Facebook Ads for Beginners

with Jaime O’Connor


Let’s be real… For Beginners creating Facebook Ads can confuse the heck out of a business owner if they aren’t fully on top of all the crazy changes. 

Most of the time, it feels like ad experts are trying to trick us or keep us from knowing what is really going on. I’ve seen it happen so many times! Even if your ads manager isn’t doing something shady… lol, it’s still important to know the basic ins and outs so you can give educated strategic advice! 

That’s why I’m obsessed with the support my friend Jaime O’Connor provides when it comes to teaching beginners about Facebook ads. She’s going to tell us all we need to know about getting started. I consider myself pretty proficient, but recently… OY. It’s been a brain bender! This is one you will want to show up for and watch again and again!

And, if you’d like to dive in deeper, join Jaime of an upcoming Masterclass: https://www.Molly.live/easyads


Introduction to Jaime

Jaime very much remembers the day when someone showed her where the Return on Ad Spend column was on Facebook Ads five years ago, and her mind was blown. She was spending a lot of money through an agency at the time, and she never had received that number in a report. This was the major turning point for Jaime to realize that everyone needs to know so much more than is being given to them because Facebook Ads really does have a lot to offer. 

While we won’t be able to cover everything today, we are going to touch on many of the fundamentals and foundations you need. Jaime is also offering workshops on Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 9 that will go more in-depth on certain topics we cover today and touch on some other topics, too. Sign up for one of those workshops here

Jaime’s mentor Depesh Mandalia has always said that Facebook Ads Manager is like a Ferrari. Anyone can get into it. But more than likely, they are going to crash it and will certainly never get the optimum performance out of it. Anyone can get into Facebook Ads Manager and publish an ad, but you are likely going to lose your money and crash and burn without some foundational knowledge.

Jaime started her agency that handles done for you ads three years ago after this series of events that led her to realize more people of integrity need to serve clients in this vein. This was from having her own e-commerce store where she spent a ton of money on ads with no results, and also from becoming a marketing director for a growing e-comm business that grew from $1.5 million to $8 million in a year and a half. They worked with a ton of agencies and were not getting the strategic partnerships that she needed in those positions. She fired all of the agencies and learned it herself, totally falling in love with the process because it added hard data to the marketing smoke and mirrors we are all used to.



Accounting for the Customer Journey

Jaime learned that in the ads world, everyone is solely focused on direct response, which is getting the lead or purchase right now. That may seem like a good idea because of course you want the low-hanging fruit, but if you only focus on that, you are leaving so much money on the table. Humans don’t always make the immediate decision, and you need to cater to those people, too by creating brand awareness and building an audience through ads. You are not asking people to marry you on the first date this way. 

We are ultimately talking about the customer journey here. If you take a step back and pay attention to your own behaviors, you may notice that you see an ad for a product on Facebook. Then you see it on Instagram. Maybe you click on it and look it on your phone. Then you Google it two days later because you saw yet another ad. You have this roundabout way of coming to a decision about a purchase. That is general human behavior, the customer journey. 

When we only look at direct response, getting someone to make a decision about a purchase right now, the traditional last click (the last link you click on before the purchase) is what would get the credit for actually causing the sale. This is like the closer. It’s important, but so is the opener, what introduced you to something. 

The whole customer journey needs to be taken into account in terms of how you are creating your ads, how you are buying your ads, and how the ad sales are getting attributed on those sites. A little bit of smoke and mirrors, brand-building work needs to be done and taken into account as well. Plus the authenticity we talk about here is also a key component. 


When to Boost a Facebook Ad for Beginners

Facebook is trying to make it easier for small businesses to market themselves better. But there are 2 billion users on Facebook now. While it’s somewhat personalized, they are not giving you truly personalized recommendations. There is some AI triggers that will tell the algorithm to show you something based on engagement. 

    • Here’s a story of something that happened to one of Jaime’s clients recently. This woman owns a wine market and put a job posting up; it was getting a lot of engagement because people are looking for jobs. Facebook told her to boost it, so she did. Unfortunately, Facebook has limited targeting and data on the results side when you boost a post, so she was unable to change the age range. She was promoting to 18-year-olds even though she is a wine store, so they shut her account down. But she had made this choice based on something that Facebook told her to do. Thus, it’s important to know the decision-making behind why you would boost a post and understand how and when to build certain ads, which would save you from a situation like that.

All of these platforms know how to prey on innate human desires, like getting more eyeballs on your product or offer. But there are so many nuances behind these choices when it comes to building and promoting your ads. Even if you hire someone else, you still want this foundational knowledge in place so you can look at and understand your results. When we’ve hired someone else to run our ads, even if they were knowledgeable, they never knew our business as well as we did, so they were never able to get the results we wanted. This is why we’ve gone back to running our own ads. However, we have asked someone like Jaime to help us with the nitty gritty of how Facebook Ads Manager has changed while still creating the content on our own. 



Let’s Talk Numbers

One thing Jaime sees so many business owners miss is digging into the numbers in your own business, which have a major impact on your advertising. Knowing things like your average order value, your lifetime value, what you can afford to acquire a new customer will help you understand your results and if your ads are actually working or not. We often look at cost per lead, but if we are not looking at how many leads convert into purchasers and the value from those people in the long run, you may be doing your ads wrong. You may think you need $3 leads (a crazy number, by the way, especially for those in the internet marketing space), but that is not the case. 

    • I’ll never forget the ad I did on my phone right around 2017 when we were launching Camera Confidence. I was wearing big bulky sunglasses and saying, “If you are afraid of going live, putting makeup on before you go live,” I had my glasses on, and I took them off, saying, “I’m not wearing any makeup. Slap on a pair of sunglasses and show up.” Halfway through the video, my Wi-Fi cut out. We were getting $1 opt-ins for that ad. Those were the days…
    • I recently was working with a client to build a Google Call campaign, working with an agency. It was like $60 a call, which seemed crazy on the surface, but then when we looked at the numbers, the average price point of one sale was over $1,000. The lifetime value, if the customer returned to buy more, was even larger, so spending $60 on that lead was completely worth it. 

Running with that example, if it cost $60 a call, and on average you close 20-30% of people you get on a call with, it’s $600 for 10 people. Yes, you have to know these numbers. If you close three of those people, and they are worth $1,000 each, you just made $3,000 for $600 in ad spend. But if you don’t know those numbers, you can’t know that, which is a disadvantage for you. You won’t have anything to work from when running your ads. If you don’t have any data yet, there are industry baseline data numbers you can work from.

Jaime didn’t start running ads until her business was doing over half a million in revenue a year. She fully believes that selling organically first is the way to go. That gives you proof that the market actually wants your products. You could also begin running ads before you hit a revenue goal for market research purposes, but you have to account for that in your budgeting. You have to make the decision to invest the budget to get that information in an accelerated fashion, or are you going to invest the time to sell it and figure out if the market actually wants what you have to offer? You have to choose one or the other. Anyone who tells you that you can just put ads out there and make it work is not actually having a real conversation with you about your business. 

    • Jaime and I are working on a few clients together, where I am doing the organic strategy and Jaime is managing the paid strategy. She will send clients to me, saying, “These clients have potential, but they need more organic in place first.” Not every ad manager would do that. That’s why I trust Jaime to share these strategies with all of you.

You can also spend a smaller amount of money, not focusing on direct response but just building brand awareness. You can create a form of omnipresence where people feel like you are everywhere for only a few hundred dollars a month. You just have to know what your objective is, and you have to understand that this may take time before you see any direct revenue from this strategy. There are opportunities with ads to accelerate the organic strategy that I teach. Again, know your numbers, know your objectives, and know your follow-up system in order to monetize that kind of engagement-based advertising strategy. This type of advertising strategy actually does require you to follow up with people and talk to them in order to see any kind of positive results here. Again, time investment versus money investment.



Audience Segmenting and Retargeting

At its most basic level, a sales funnel allows you to introduce yourself to someone who has never heard of you. They may be solution-aware, meaning they may know there are solutions out there like you, but they just don’t know you specifically. They may even only be problem-aware, meaning they don’t know what the solutions are to the problem. These segments are both members of your cold audience. Then there is your warm audience, which are people who are definitely solution-aware and know you are a potential solution, but they haven’t taken any kind of action to indicate they are interested in working with you in any capacity. 

    • Before I got a Peloton, I had no idea how much your butt would hurt from sitting on the Peloton. I wasn’t even problem-aware at that point. After one ride, I realized that my butt hurt. Now I’m problem-aware. I don’t know of any solutions to this problem. Turns out bike shorts have padding, so now I’m solution-aware. Once you are solution-aware, which brand of bike shorts am I going to purchase? Maybe I got an ad for the seat cover that is a pad instead so I don’t have to wear sweaty bike shorts after all. 

A mistake people make in this component of it is they think that because someone is solution-aware, they are considered warm. They are only considered warm once they know who you are. This is super important to distinguish and think about. Once they are warm, they have engaged with you in some capacity. Maybe they have visited your website or watched a video you created or liked a post. But they haven’t filled out an opt-in form or added a product to a cart, taking an action like that. Once they have taken some kind of action like that, they are now a hot audience. These are people who have not made the purchase but have taken some sort of step to indicate that they may be thinking about making a purchase. 

Retargeting is a strategy that is used in order to take a warm audience and move them along the customer journey. Let’s say I go to a shoe website and look at the page for a specific pair of shoes. I then leave the website without purchasing. All of a sudden, those exact shoes are following me everywhere, saying, “Come buy me!” How this happens is there is a piece of code that you put on your website when you are running ads. That piece of code triggers every time someone comes to your website and takes an action. The easiest example is someone takes an action of becoming a lead or adding to a cart. The line of code, called a pixel, knows that person took that action. They are likely logged into Facebook somewhere else, and that is how you can tell Facebook, “I want you to run ads to people who take this specific action that says this specific message.” But with some changes in iPhones recently, that now is a different process. 

For those who don’t know, iOS has implemented some new privacy initiatives that make retargeting more difficult. Keep in mind that certain folks are creating new clickbaity headlines around this change in order to entice you to click on their articles, but it doesn’t have to be as scary as it may seem. Also, not everyone is opting out of ads on their phone, especially if someone looks at something on their phone and then searches it on their computer, which are steps that many potential consumers take. 

How you can get around this new process is there are a lot of audiences you can create on platforms that make it so you can still retarget those people if they are interacting with you. Yes, you may miss some people who add something to a cart because you don’t have that pixel information, but you can retarget them if they take a different action, like watching a significant portion of a video. Jaime is currently running a video for cold audiences, where it’s getting 25 cents to watch 25 minutes of video. To make that clear, that’s like walking up to someone on the street and saying, “Hey, if I give you a quarter, will you watch 25 minutes of video?” So there are ways you can create audiences that are actually really interested in what you’re selling without having the pixels in place.

    • When I was a full-time actor, I would pick up random side gigs. I got paid $200 to sit in a room and talk about yarn because I was interested in crocheting. Think about the possibilities. 



Facebook Ads for Beginners: Best Practices for Getting Started

If you’re just getting started with ads, make sure you do these two things: install your pixel and get a Business Manager set up. Facebook will treat you as an actual business; do not run ads from your personal profile. And you can’t collect necessary data without installing a pixel, so you need that in place. 

Next, start creating content that is valuable and authentic for your people. Video content, be it live or pre-recorded, allows you to build relationships with people that will then allow you to sell to them. 

Third, get someone you can trust who knows what’s going on more than you do. You need a basic understanding of how to use the Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Ads Manager so even if someone else is running your ads, or you need to run your ads in a pinch, you don’t get yourself in a situation that will ultimately have you waste money. Understanding these fundamentals will save you so much money in a long run. You can also attend Jaimie’s workshops to get a deeper understanding of some of these concepts. 

I had a client who had 25,000 likes on her Facebook page. Before I had access to her Ads Manager, she went into her Ads Manager and saw that 18,000 of her likes were from people in Venezuela. Nothing against Venezuela, but she was in California, and thus international patrons were not her ideal audience. She had to launch a whole new page because of this, as those numbers are total junk. Another bot-building client swore his numbers were real had the same exact thing on his account. This happens all the time. Don’t be these people!


Ads Library

For any of your competitors or anyone whose ads you really love, you can actually look at everything through Facebook’s Ad Library. You can also get to it through a business page by clicking on the Ad Transparency section.

Facebook ads can be intimidating for beginners. We have the expertise and experience you need to get started with your first campaign, but if we’ve missed something or there is a specific question that has been nagging at you for days, contact us so we can help!


Contact Jaime


Additional Resources