I spent $19,000 of my own money to generate leads for a client.
Here’s what happened: It was 2009.
Facebook had just announced the release of their ad platform.
At the time, I was generating leads for my clients with email marketing. We would rent email lists… and mail out my clients offers.
The first time I did this… I generated $3M in revenue for a property client, simply by mailing their converting newspaper ad to the list.
But, that’s a story for another time. The problem with this strategy was… We would always run out of people to mail. The lists would get exhausted… and offers would fail.
So imagine this: Facebook announces the launch of their ad platform. I can remember the day they announced it. You’d be able to target by demographics, gender, interests and more. I immediately knew this would change everything. So on DAY ONE of Facebook, here I am… ready to spend 4 figures plus a day. It was an immediate success.
Until… I picked up my 3rd client.
They were a finance & property client that were referred to me and said: “Ben, we want to generate $10M in sales. We’ve heard you’re the guy who can do this. $10M in sales would be 20 clients for us, and our profit margin is 7%. Can you get us leads?” I knew exactly how to do it. At least I thought I did. So I said: “Easy. It will cost $20,000.” Which as you can imagine… was a lot at the time for running ads on Facebook.
I mean, marketers weren’t even doing it… let alone normal business owners. The client agreed, and we launched the campaign. I was excited. Another client signed up, about to be a smashing success on Facebook. Sounds like a good time, right?
Well here’s what happened: I spent $5,000… no leads. $10k.
Same result. Next thing, I’d spent the $20k I’d been paid… and I hadn’t generated a single lead. Now – keep this in mind: Back then, there was no masterminds. No Facebook groups. No courses. Literally no one you could talk to about how to run ads. Optimise them. Improve them. You were on your own.
So… I had 2 options: I could stop the campaign. Apologise to the client. Say bad luck, this is marketing. Or… I could keep going. I was already getting great results for other clients on Facebook. So I knew I just needed to keep testing this new platform… And eventually I’d figure it out.
So I thought to myself. Fuck it. If I can make this work… the opportunity to grow my business and make money is endless. Either way I’m going to pay for this. I can spend my own money and get results. Or I’ll have a bad reputation with this client… and I still won’t know how to get ads to work.
In my mind… there was only one option. So I started spending my own cash on my clients ads. $5k in, no improvement. $10k in, I had a few leads. Eventually, after spending $19,000 of my own cash… the client had their leads. They made their $10M, and they were stoked. I was $19,000 out of pocket on that day. But I now knew exactly how to make Facebook work.
Fast forward a number of years later. I’ve got clients across the world that my agency – BusinessNET runs ads for. Huffington Post recognises me as the Worlds #1 Facebook Marketer. I launch The Mastermind™ to share my knowledge with business owners around the world. Had I given up that day… Who knows. Maybe I never get here.
But this is my point: One way or another, you’re going to pay. Pay for your education to get where you want. Or pay the cost of learning as you go. Either way you’re gonna pay the price.
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