Beginning Advertising

 
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Beginning Advertising


I have yet to spend any money on advertising/marketing for my business but I am beginning to think it would be a benefit.

My question is where should I start? I currently have a Facebook Page for the business. I have not created a website yet, nor have I ran any paid advertising through Facebook.

Where is a good place to start? I have hear Google AdWords is a good avenue, but I have also heard it can become expensive quickly.

Should a website be my next step?
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Lead gen services will cost about the same long term as adwords and wont require expensive initial costs involved in website development, logo design, seo etc....

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Old 04-05-2017, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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Originally Posted by CharlieDelta View Post
I have yet to spend any money on advertising/marketing for my business but I am beginning to think it would be a benefit.

My question is where should I start? I currently have a Facebook Page for the business. I have not created a website yet, nor have I ran any paid advertising through Facebook.

Where is a good place to start? I have hear Google AdWords is a good avenue, but I have also heard it can become expensive quickly.

Should a website be my next step?
you at least need a website with a landing page to run traffic to that you get from the ads. You also need to start building a email list and make sure your targeting the right people. Don't use call to actions like CALL US TODAY or GET A FREE ESTIMATE if your on a strict budget your going to eat up your money fast. There's alot that goes into advertising online, you really really have to know what your doing or you'll be flushing money down the toilet. I would suggest getting high school and college kids to go canvass neighborhoods with a good pitch. Nothing will get results faster then that.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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I would suggest getting high school and college kids to go canvass neighborhoods with a good pitch. Nothing will get results faster then that.
I like that idea!
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Get your company name out there....

sponsor a softball team or two...
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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I like that idea!
Yep most of the time they'll work on commission. As long as you have a good script, good training, and they feel confident that you have a system for closing the leads they get, they'll be highly successful. Of course the best model is a low hourly pay + commission but I'm talking low starting budget here.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:44 PM   #7
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Where in Michigan are you, Charlie? I'm in GR.

You're going to get a wide range of replies to a question like this but I agree with Dean that you need a web page at a minimum regardless of the strategy used. No offense to spairhair, but the long term costs of lead gen are subject to the whims of lead gen services which you have no control over. I'll have to respectfully disagree that the initial costs of a web site you have complete control over are expensive. I'd say the complete opposite is true. Trusting lead gen services and relinquishing control to them has put a foul taste in the mouths of many a contractor.

Besides, your web site is an integral part of every other effort you make. Use canvassers and you drive traffic to your site. Sponsor a sports team, the same. Get referrals, they check you out online. See the pattern? If a web site was a bad investment, I doubt I would be celebrating 15 years this month of helping people do their web sites correctly.

Dean also mentioned the importance of a landing page. That precedes the PPC/AdWords you asked about. Without a well developed landing page or pages, PPC is a money burner. The same goes for any other ads. Basically, it's all of your strategies working together with your web site supporting all of them.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Just wanted to chime in - it is completely possible to run Adwords before investing in a full website.

Depending on your business, Adwords can be one of the quickest ways to generate sales. When it's done right you'll get really strong return on investment, but when it's done badly you'll throw money down the drain.

As Dean & Steve mentioned - using landing pages for your Adwords campaigns is essential.

Here's the thing - you can start with just the landing page and use it as your website in the short term. The upside here is that they're way quicker and cheaper to set-up than a proper website. Tools like Instapage or Unbounce are great for this, you can just drag and drop a page together.

You can then fire up an Adwords campaign and start getting leads and sales.

What this also lets you do is test out different headlines, sales copy, pictures and designs on your landing page to see what works the best. Once you've honed that, you can use that information to get an actual website built that would be way more effective than if you'd gone in blind.

You'll also have a stream of revenue from the sales Adwords is generating, which lets you invest a decent amount into the website instead of trying to do it cheap and getting a poor result.

The only real downside to doing things this way is that a one-page site isn't going to be great if you're interested in ranking organically in Google. But even if you started with a full website - SEO takes money and time, it might be 3-4 months before you see a result.

Here's an example of an Adwords landing page that can double as a website. It generates around $60K to $80K per month in sales from Adwords. At the start of the year they got their website redeveloped and started putting some of that money into SEO. Feel free to use it as a template if you want to build your own
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:47 AM   #9
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Re: Beginning Advertising


You should definitely get a website first. Don't consider it, just do it. Remember even when you advertise and spark someone's interest, they'll look around before just buying from you. A website will help you prove your authority in your industry and also tell people about your company. If you advertise your services without a good website, you're basically advertising for your competition.

I would also ask myself a few questions before advertising:

1. Who is my target market - This is important because your copy, resources and website should be targeted around this. It will also influence your advertising.

2. What is my product/service - This influences how you should advertise. Google AdWords or Facebook, should I have a mail list, should I have a Facebook pixel etc.

3. What is the purpose of advertising - Have this clear message in mind. Advertising for the purpose of selling is different to advertising for education and brand awareness. It's important to know what you want to do.

We've dealt with clients that feel overwhelm when first diving into this. Think about it as a relationship - Getting a website is like asking the person on a date. Overtime you get to online advertising, landing pages, mail lists etc. Start at the basics
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:18 AM   #10
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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Originally Posted by DanielLocalBiz View Post
You should definitely get a website first. Don't consider it, just do it. Remember even when you advertise and spark someone's interest, they'll look around before just buying from you. A website will help you prove your authority in your industry and also tell people about your company. If you advertise your services without a good website, you're basically advertising for your competition.
I really have to disagree that it's always the best first step, or that you shouldn't consider alternatives.

Let's assume somebody has a $4K budget to start advertising their business.

If you started with building a website, you'd need to invest nearly the full amount to get a well-built site with decent sales copy and all the on-page SEO boxes ticked. It'll most likely take 1-2 months to finish the project. It won't start magically spitting out leads either, you'll either have to invest in SEO for a couple of months or do other advertising yourself.

So you're $4K down and 1 or 2 months later it still hasn't got you a single client. It's a great asset - sure, but it'll be slow to get moving.

Consider the alternative, $2K can get you set-up with a killer landing page (that will work fine as a website for the time being) and a properly built Adwords campaign. If the person you're working with knows what they're doing the entire set-up should take 2 weeks.

Then you'll have $2K left-over for your first months Adwords budget. I've built this strategy in a number of home improvement markets - that kind of budget will usually generate at least 20-30 leads in the first month.

So 6 weeks after you begin you'll have customers coming in and the investment has already generated significant ROI. Best bit is that you're not paying Google until your account reaches $1000 worth of clicks, so there's a good chance customers are paying you before you've spent more than $2K you put down at the start.

Keep that running for a couple more months and you'll have plenty to invest in a website & SEO - and give it the time it needs to get up to full steam.

Obviously this isn't going to work for every business. You need to think about the size and competitiveness of your local market, the value of your average job and your own close rate. But it's strongly worth considering.
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:35 AM   #11
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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Originally Posted by Leon.Bennetts View Post
I really have to disagree that it's always the best first step, or that you shouldn't consider alternatives.

Let's assume somebody has a $4K budget to start advertising their business.

If you started with building a website, you'd need to invest nearly the full amount to get a well-built site with decent sales copy and all the on-page SEO boxes ticked. It'll most likely take 1-2 months to finish the project. It won't start magically spitting out leads either, you'll either have to invest in SEO for a couple of months or do other advertising yourself.

So you're $4K down and 1 or 2 months later it still hasn't got you a single client. It's a great asset - sure, but it'll be slow to get moving.

Consider the alternative, $2K can get you set-up with a killer landing page (that will work fine as a website for the time being) and a properly built Adwords campaign. If the person you're working with knows what they're doing the entire set-up should take 2 weeks.

Then you'll have $2K left-over for your first months Adwords budget. I've built this strategy in a number of home improvement markets - that kind of budget will usually generate at least 20-30 leads in the first month.

So 6 weeks after you begin you'll have customers coming in and the investment has already generated significant ROI. Best bit is that you're not paying Google until your account reaches $1000 worth of clicks, so there's a good chance customers are paying you before you've spent more than $2K you put down at the start.

Keep that running for a couple more months and you'll have plenty to invest in a website & SEO - and give it the time it needs to get up to full steam.

Obviously this isn't going to work for every business. You need to think about the size and competitiveness of your local market, the value of your average job and your own close rate. But it's strongly worth considering.
I didn't realize website design was so expensive there. I'm obviously taking about the situations directly related to us, in which instance the design isn't nearly as expensive and the projects have a much shorter time period. Just doing websites for contractors makes things easier because you learn what converts, what doesn't etc. We've had great success with websites done for $600 - $800.

We've seen to change from company to company. A kitchen website we did took 6 months to start converting but now he's booked 3 months in advance. BUT he never did any advertising. It was just referrals and patience for SEO to do it's work. Another contractor website we did got results within the week because he advertised locally and had his website listed on membership directories.

I still think a website should be the first thing you do. That's just because we've seen the difference in results. I guess it's down to where you are and what's around you.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:45 AM   #12
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Quote:
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You also need to start building a email list and make sure your targeting the right people.
Can anyone expand on this? I feel like an email list is something super manageable on top of other advertising campaigns.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:49 AM   #13
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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Originally Posted by CharlieDelta View Post
Can anyone expand on this? I feel like an email list is something super manageable on top of other advertising campaigns.
This can be anything from nurture campaigns to general top of mind lists. Normally the easiest way to create them is to have a lead magnet that automatically triggers them into an automation, or to manually create them from clients you see.

They are great to use and can often convert clients a few weeks down the line when you thought you may have lost them.

I would obviously advise you have someone come in and create the system for you. After that, it will run by itself. We do it all the time so that clients can manage it themselves. We just step in when needed.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:06 AM   #14
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Re: Beginning Advertising


That's good value. Looking at your sites you might be underpricing yourself!

The thing about a lot of digital work is that pricing becomes quite subjective. Unlike home improvement contractors we don't have many material costs and websites can vary so dramatically.

I've seen great websites for $500 and horrendous ones for $50,000.

I think there is a sweet spot though, and generally the people who've put in serious hours to master design, copywriting, UX, tech and building the systems to consistently deliver all this in a neat package for this particular industry are worth paying $3000 - $4000 for.

It seems like a massive jump to go between $800 and $4000 - but consider this:
  • If your website gets 320 clicks per month
  • And 6% of those clicks turn into a lead (conversion rate)
  • And an average customer is worth $750 gross profit
  • And you close 50% of your leads into sales
  • Then improving that conversion rate by a measly 1% is worth $14,400 per year gross profit
That's another reason why I advocate landing pages first - it lets you test which message & design converts before committing to a website where it's harder and more expensive to test changes.

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Old 04-06-2017, 01:44 PM   #15
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Re: Beginning Advertising


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I didn't realize website design was so expensive there.
They're that "expensive" here too—and often more. But it also depends on the scope of the web design. If all you're getting is something pretty to look at, yeah, then that's expensive. But since Leon is in marketing, I doubt that's what he's referring to.

Quote:
We've had great success with websites done for $600 - $800.
Obviously, you're making up the slack because no qualified web designer worth their muster is going to work for that kind of rate unless they're in India or some other place where that would be good money. If you, the designer, and the client are all happy with the arrangement, then you don't need to ask for any more than that.

However, let me illustrate a valuable principle that is true for both a comprehensive web designer and a contractor because they share this in common.

Pricing your service like a commodity is a common practice but a deep pit that's difficult to escape.

This will greatly help contractors here who don't yet think this way if they take it to heart but us marketing people and savvy contractors here already know this. It's been estimated that for any given skill, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. That translates to around 4 years of full time practice. If you've been practicing your skill for 10, 20, or 30+ years, you are indeed skilled.

Here's something every contractor here can identify with. To make it worse, society has conditioned people to think this way. You've been conditioned to think about your rates strictly on a per hour basis and many of your clients believe the same way. If something takes you say 10 hours, you charge x amount. That's okay for the most part but an important factor is missing in most applications.

If you have say 20 years experience, you know things that add a great deal of value. You'll do a far better job in any given time and probably do the job in less time. Should you charge less because you do something better faster? A price shopper would think so, that's why they make such terrible clients. They're literally trying to punish you for being good. Screw them!!! Move on!

Now take this principle and and apply it to your ROI on marketing and advertising. Use it to direct your presentation, both in advertising and the way you present yourself to prospective clients. Also apply it to the way you choose your marketing service provider and methods of advertising.

Web design prices, and for that matter all manner of design and marketing prices, vary greatly. Most web designers are commodity based thinkers. And you'll typically get a commodity web site unless you have a mediator like what Daniel seems to be doing. But if you judge web design on price you'll attract clients who judge your service on price.

This turned out to be a long post but it will give CharlieDelta a better scope of things to think about as he enters this new and unfamiliar world that holds incredible potential. It will also help others here with thinking that will help greatly as they deal with price objections and need a way to rise above them.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:02 PM   #16
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Couldn't have said it better myself.

Another problem with charging $800 for a site is that your clients are usually hell.

When you switch to charging based on value delivered rather than cost, your clients improve dramatically. People buying a $4000 site usually expect less of you than people buying an $800 site. They're not worried about what you're actually doing or how you do it - they just want the best result!
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:13 PM   #17
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon.Bennetts View Post
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Another problem with charging $800 for a site is that your clients are usually hell.

When you switch to charging based on value delivered rather than cost, your clients improve dramatically. People buying a $4000 site usually expect less of you than people buying an $800 site. They're not worried about what you're actually doing or how you do it - they just want the best result!
We've actually had the total opposite. Our business model is also different to 90% of the people we meet, but I obviously understand the market that charges a lot. I guess it depends on where you are in the world and who your're targeting.

Anyway Charlie, hope we've answered some questions during our discussion
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:50 PM   #18
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Re: Beginning Advertising


A website is an absolute necessity. It should be done first thing - and it doesn't need to be expensive. You just need to get going and the website is a necessary tool to market your services.You could even create it yourself - there are millions of free, great-looking themes in Wordpress. Getting hosting and domain is not expensive. Take your own photos and create interesting images in Canva or a similar tool. When you have a website, you have a landing page and all the information you see as important, at one place. And people will be able to fing you on Google.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:34 AM   #19
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Re: Beginning Advertising


Hey Charlie,

Everyone here already pretty much told you what to do, but I ll try to provide some value as well.

Here are the steps i suggest you to do:

1) Create a website - Having a website is of the highest importance nowadays. You won't find people reading yellowpages. If they need something they will try finding it online.

2) Set social profiles, build google my business profile, create citations

3) Run Adwords/Bing Ads - This will allow you to test keywords, and drive some traffic to your website (not to mention potential leads as well), and will help your website while Google "keeps" it in its sandbox.

Why I chose AdWords/Bing Ads over Facebook ads? Well I am of opinion that AdWords/Bing ads are shown to the best targeted audience - the one in the need of your service(if you properly select targeted keywords of course). AdWords are shown whenever someone searches the keyword which is your targeted keyword, while Facebook is more used to advertise something to people which are not in the immediate need for that product/service, but they might like/need it eventually. So in a "battle" between audience which is in immediate need for the product/service vs audience which MIGHT be interested in the product/service we are offering I pick the first one.

4) Start doing SEO slowly, use insights from adwords/bing ads to find out around which keywords you want to build your strategy.


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Old 04-22-2017, 04:41 PM   #20
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Re: Beginning Advertising


A lot of good advice above so far. If you do a website, you have to keep in mind that a website is useless unless you're driving traffic through it. If you just have a classic homepage, then you'll want to invest in SEO. The downside is that it can take a long time to kick in (3-4 months or more, as others have mentioned).

If you're looking to get more jobs quickly, then PPC advertising (Google AdWords and Facebook Ads) is the way to go. The thing is your copy writing and your landing pages have to be good enough to convert a high rate. Thinking of advertising cost is kind of a mistake in my opinion. If your advertising is good enough that you're making much more than $1 for every advertising dollar you spend, then it make sense to scale up to as many jobs as you can handle. On the flip side, if you're running ads at a loss, then even if your budget is low, you're still losing money. You must treat advertisement as an investment and not an expense.

With that said, if you just jump right into AdWords or Facebook Ads (or God forbid, AdWords Express), there's a high chance you'll lose money. It's worth it to invest a lot of time into learning PPC through youtube videos or articles first. You're bound to run into a lot of pitfalls, and it's best to try to learn from others' mistakes instead of your own.

Google AdWords:
As others pointed out, this is the best source for targeted traffic, because people are literally looking for your service. It tends to be more expensive than Facebook Ads for that reason. If you're going to run AdWords, make sure that you run it only for the Google Search Network, and not the Display Network. GSN is the actual results you see from a Google search, but DN shows up as banner ads to people who mostly aren't looking for you. This is why I advocate against AdWords Express. It's a watered down version of AdWords, but it takes away the option of opting out of the Display Network and actually puts >80% of your budget there (a big waste of money).

Facebook Ads:
This is generally cheaper than AdWords, but it's interruption advertising as opposed to people searching for you. It's harder to find leads this way, and you have to make very compelling offers or put users through a "low barrier to entry" funnel in order to convert them into customers.

That said, both can work and does work for a lot of people as long as they do it right. At the end of the day, your cost per customer acquisition is what matters the most. The hard part is that you'll probably have to do a lot of testing to get to a point where PPC is profitable.

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