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Janine Bolon: Hello and welcome to the next episode of The Thriving Solopreneur. I’m Janine Bolon, your host and I wanted to let you know about an amazing guest that I have on today. Her name is Janet E. Johnson. She is not only a worldwide speaker, trainer, and agency owner, but she has generated millions of dollars for her clients using, you guessed it, online marketing. It is so nice to have somebody of her caliber on the show. I cannot tell you how lucky I feel today. She started all the way back in the Wayback Machine of 1998 selling on eBay. Yeah, running a daycare in her basement. She then shifted to blogging and then she started doing that crazy thing we all know, and sometimes despise, SEO. It’s like, oh my gosh! And then, she moved into social media marketing, glutton for punishment, we’re going to find out. In 2007, she transitioned her business to focus on mainly social media, and then even that area became so big. So the last 7 years, she has been specializing in lead generation with Facebook and Instagram advertising. Welcome to the show Janet. It’s great to have you with us today.
Janet E. Johnson: Well, thanks Janine. I appreciate it. It’s fun being on.
Janine: Yeah. I just can’t wait to dive right in and I would absolutely love to know, how did you even get started in the business? Because most solopreneurs like myself, we’ve read every business book we can and as new trends come on, we are always here, like, do I even really care if Twitter is using a hashtag, and what does it mean for my business, and all these revolutions and social media that we’ve seen. So talk to us a little bit about, how did you kind of, it seemed like almost snuck up on this whole social media aspect. But go ahead and tell us a little bit about your story.
Janet: Yeah, I mean, how I actually got into this is, well, I was the typical person that, you know, my parents taught me go to school, get the grades. And I knew since first grade I was going to be an elementary teacher. And I did it, went through college, started out as substitute teaching and I answered an ad, now this is showing how old school we are. Answered an ad in the newspaper for a fitness company, because I kind of got into fitness at that time. And then, what ended up happening? It was a network marketing company. And the next 5 years, my life completely shifted my mindset, completely shifted to entrepreneurship and understanding, like, wow, I didn’t really have to go to school. There are other things out there.
I went through all these trainings. My life as an entrepreneur only began because of Bill Gouldd. Most people haven’t heard of him, but he did Equinox International. I went through so many trainings and it kind of reset my brain. Well go forward, I ended up doing daycare in my basement because I wanted to be with my kids. And since I had an elementary education degree, that was great. Move forward a little bit, as I was doing that, I started shopping on eBay and I thought this is amazing. I’m a shopper. Just hate to say that I’m a big shopper, and so I’m like, I can shop online. This is so cool. And then, I started finding out that people were selling stuff on eBay. I’m like, that’s pretty cool. So I shifted my world and I started selling on eBay, and then it transitioned in all this other stuff that I am today.
I just grew in love with the internet, love the internet, just all everything it is, but it was so little when I began. It’s become so big now.
Janine: I totally understand that because the reason I got into podcasting and stayed in radio and that sort of thing was because I wanted to homeschool my 4 children. I was like you, I started off, I went to college, I got an analytical Biochemistry degree, I was working in the pharmaceutical industry and then, life happens. I became pregnant. They didn’t have maternity policies at that time. And you had to make a choice. Day being a scientist working 70 hours a week and not raise your child or you can drop out of the workforce. And of course, I did what a lot of women did in the 90s, early 90s, I dropped out of the workforce. And so, wanted to start doing things that I could still make money within, like you said, found the internet, found that I could use freeconferencecall.com and interview people. [laugh] And actually become an audio blogger because when you’re talking about dating yourself, so there is definitely a process to all these.
So let’s talk a little bit about that social media, because most of the solopreneurs that I get the opportunity to speak with, social media not their thing, or they’re authors, that they’re trying to launch books or something like that, not their thing. They know they need it but they don’t know where to go. So let’s just ask that huge, big question. Does Facebook and Instagram ads really work? Because, like, I was talking to you about before the show, an entrepreneur has thrown a hundred dollars at the wall to see what would stick using Facebook ads. They really didn’t set up. They didn’t put any mindset to it because they just wanted to see what would happen. And of course, the results are miserable, because, I’m sure you’re going to educate us a little bit on. What do we need to do to make a Facebook or Instagram ad work to our benefit?
Janet: Let’s start with what you’ve talked about. The first part is, maybe they’re not even into social media. They know they need to have a presence on Facebook, that maybe Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever. But I look at time and like the organic posting, time is money too. So what we do with our time, because we are our own business, everything we do, every minute we spend can either produce money or you cannot produce money.
So, I want to talk about first, because you brought this up organic versus paid, okay. So a lot of people think that they have to be on social media and they have to post, like, ten times a day or have all this content out there. And over the years, on Facebook specially but Instagram as well, and this is my opinion and some people are against me on this, but I call that fluff. We have to put the fluff out there. We have to make our presence away out there. But with the organic piece, with posting all the time and not putting any paid advertising behind it, your reach is minimal. The fans on your page already, it’s less than 4%, if not, even down to 2% of the likes on your page will even ever see your content. Crazy. So, I do believe that you need a presence. But I think people spend way too much time focusing their efforts and energy into all this great content without any advertising behind it, without any money behind it. Facebook has become an advertising agency of its own, that’s what Facebook is. And then, they own Instagram. So that’s kind of, like, if you’re not into doing all that social media posting, you don’t need to with advertising.
So, the second part of your question is in advertising. How does it work? How many times have I heard before that? “Oh, I tried ads but they didn’t work. I threw money out at my ad but it never did anything for me. I spent $20 on a post and I got nothing from it.” Well, how many hours I have to go back to the organic? How many hours do you think you spent pushing content out there and for free? But hours and hours and hours spent, but you never got anything out of it. Here’s the thing with that. If you know what you’re doing, you will get a return on investment. That’s just all there is to it. It does work but you absolutely need to know what you’re doing and it needs to go beyond hitting little boost button next to the post.
So hopefully that kind of helps you. The audience is there. Facebook has, what, 80% plus of the population in the world, I mean. So your audience, more than likely, I can never promise you that, but is more than likely, there. And more than likely, a lot of them are on Instagram, but with Facebook, you can test both at the same time. So you’re both basically going to be able to go on Facebook and Instagram with your ads. So they do work but you need conversion strategies. You need to have a strategy behind it and know what you’re doing so that you do convert to leads and sales.
Janine: And I think that’s something that is so wonderful with what you bring up, which is the difference between organic growth versus paid growth. And I’ve heard so many business owners say, it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t work for me. Unlike you, I’ve kind of despaired because I’m like, look, I wait for a business to grow until the first 3 years. I’m just building. I’m building like crazy. I’m getting to know people. I’m bringing people in, letting them know what my widget is that I am creating or building. But then, when I hit about your four to five, that’s when I really start kicking in the paid aspect of my businesses. I’m a serial entrepreneur, right? Build businesses and sell them and start another one because that’s my joy, right? So that’s one of those things that… And thank you so much for delineating the difference between organic growth versus what you’re doing with paid growth.
So let’s talk a little bit about Google. Because Google’s like, okay yeah, Facebook, you’re awesome, you’re great, but hello? We are the search engine mafia so I say that [crosstalk] and they are because remember back in the day when you had fifteen different search engines and depending upon what you needed, it was either being AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, HotBot. Yeah, I started listing them off and people like, “Oh my God, I remember those names” and they all became [crosstalk]. Isn’t that funny? AltaVista was the only one that you can ask questions on. So a little history there for you as we go into the Wayback Machine. But with Google, talk to us about that platform relative to ad, say on Facebook and Instagram.
Janet: Yes. Yeah. Well, the two are different first off. One is interruptive, Facebook and Instagram is interruptive. People aren’t necessarily looking for your product or service but you’re bugging them in the feed, I mean, but we’re putting it in front of the right people. It’s the goal that would show the interest to it, but you are, it is interruptive. Whereas, Google is more, where people like, let’s say your air conditioner breaks, what are you going to go do? You’re going to go to Google and go, “I need air conditioner repair”, air conditioner repair. You put that in and then they pop up. And YouTube, they own YouTube, which is amazing, which is great, and so, you can do YouTube ads too. My number 2 favorite ads is YouTube ads. So I still don’t, Facebook and Instagram are by far still the least expensive, but they are two different things, so I think it depends on your business. I do tell people like the, computer repair, any repair type things, you should be on Google. Like that makes sense because it’s something happens and breaks and you go over there to search for it. So there’s certain types of things that absolutely should be there but you could use both platforms.
But I’ll follow up with a case study that I have right now. Currently, I have a client that came in. They’re high ticket clients. They actually teach people how to sell on Amazon and to work with them, it’s in the
thousands. So what they do is they have what we call a video sales letter, we take them to a landing page. They already had this whole sales funnel documented with YouTube ads and it was costing them approximately a $100. Right now, it cost them $100 to $120 a week and it’s qualified leads because they’re already going through a bunch of things to get there. So that’s fine because they make enough return on investment to make money on that. Well, they came to me and they decided we really want to try Facebook with this. So they’ve already documented on YouTube. It’s working over there. We brought it to Facebook, we started the Facebook ads, same exact funnel, and we are getting it anywhere from $20 a lead up to maybe $60 a lead, $60 to $70. So we’ve cut at least in half the cost of what YouTube ad. So for the cost for the dollar and reaching your audience, I see Facebook and Instagram as the winners still.
Janine: So unless you have a brick and mortar building that you’re paying rent on and you are in that location, it still serves you best to do Facebook and Instagram. So thank you for answering that because that’s something that frequently is asked. “Janine, where are you? Where do you put your money? Where do you put your time in your marketing? ” And people like to do Google. I had some and I’m like, “Oh, not really. Not for my business” People aren’t looking for me. I have such a referral-based business and like you said, you got to know on that. So talk to us a little bit about, I love the fact that I have entrepreneurs like yourself who come on and you’re willing to educate us. We need so much education as business owners. The landscape constantly is changing. So what are some latest ad strategies that you can offer a newbie like myself who’s, like, trying desperately to figure out how to market a product or service? What are some ideas that you can give to us that are “Do these first 3 things and then call me when you’ve had success with them.” Like, “We can become a better client for you so we’re not having to start at ground zero.”
Janet: That’s a toughie because Facebook ads have become a little more complicated. Business manager and ads manager, or something that I want people to, if they want to run, they have to become familiar with those areas. It used to be just hitting the boost button but it is not that way anymore. So learning ads manager is very critical to anybody’s business and ads manager is where you run your ads from. So you can choose certain criteria. You can choose your campaign objective, which is what it’s called, where you can drive. When you hit the boost button, it basically, your pain based on your reach. How many people do you reach, okay? Well, when you go into ads manager, you have a campaign objective. Then you can break down, do I want to pay based on my conversion events leads? I can learn. How much am I paying for every single lead that comes in? You can get it more targeted to what your goal is.
So I think, getting used to the ads manager, and I’d simplify that and people go, “I get so confused in ads manager.” Well, let’s simplify it. There’s 3 areas. One is campaigns, one is ad set level, and one is ad level. That’s all that it consists of. Ads manager has 3 tabs. It’s like an excel spreadsheet, 3 tabs across the top. Campaign is where you choose your goal, like, what do you want to do? You want to drive traffic to your website? Do you want to reach the most amount of people or do you want to track conversions? Okay. You’ve got to pick your objective. Ad set levels is where you put your money and how much you are going to spend. It’s where you choose your audience and that’s kind of the main things there. That’s the main things, you’re kind of, that’s the ad set level. And so, we focus on audiences at ad set level. And then, ad level is where you put your writing the copy, if people know that wording, and the creative, like, if you have a video graphic, that kind of thing. So just really breaking that down in simplifying it but playing around in ads manager, I think is super super important for people to get used to. That’s step 1.
Step 2 would be, try more creative than just one. So instead of just putting a video out there and thinking, “Oh, videos, work the best”, go, put a creative of video and then also, put a creative of a graphic or GIFs. GIFs have worked really well lately too. So that’s another tip for you. GIFs are very simple to make in Canva, if anybody uses Canva. And you can create a GIF testing. That’s my number 2, is tests. Test is simple. Simple test to creatives against each other and just look at the cost of which is costing you less.
And then number 3, you wanted 3 tips, number 3 is really pay attention to what results you’re getting. So it’s nice when you’re doing 2 items, I always do 3 but I’m just trying to simplify it. Just 2 creatives and go which one actually cost me less. And pay attention to your data because you can really learn from that.
Janine: And it’s right back to what we do as business owners, which is follow up, which is basically what you’re saying, “Looking your data, see what your data is saying, and oh, allow it to mature. Let yourself get through the entire campaign before you pull the plug on things.” I had several clients of my own where they were writing books and I’m like, “Have you done any AB testing on your covers?” And they’re like, “What are you talking about?” And I said, “Okay, I’m not a marketing professional.” I’m the first one to admit it but I have educated myself enough to know that just because I’m in love with the book cover, may not necessarily mean it’s going to reach the demographic. I am desperately trying to educate and help with whatever my message is. And so that’s where I got really stingy and started doing this AB testing where you have the, like you said, the 2 creatives. And I would throw up these two different book covers and say, “Hey, which one do you guys like?” And I’ve started seeing more, more people doing that with the poll system that you can have on Facebook, where they’re just asking their peeps, “Hey, which one do you like best?” So that’s another fun thing to, kind of, throw around and have fun with.
So one of the things I’d love to hear from you is, what is the biggest challenge with ads that you’re experiencing? Is it just trying to keep up with all the changes they’re making every 4 months or is that just me? I mean, I’m like, every time I turn around, there’s something new happening and do you have any recommendations on how stabilize our own marketing with what’s happening?
Janet: Yeah. I mean, it is good to pay attention though, what is changing, I would definitely say that. I think the biggest thing lately has been iOS 14 with the Apple updates. They are blocking Facebook ads. Well, if they’re giving the option to block Facebook ads, which is going to happen with Google, it’s going to happen with everybody with Apple. But bottom line is, Facebook’s done some things on the back end to prevent that. But there’s a lot of very techy steps that have to be taken in order to overcome this iOS 14 and business owners have to do it in order to even run ads. So that is something that I think people need to know about and really understand before they even run ads and the business manager piece is business manager, and knowing business manager, and how to work that. Now, we talk ads manager. I’m talking business manager oversees ads manager. So it’s like, we’ve got multiple layers. People think, like, it’s just in by Facebook and on their page, no. It’s actually called business manager and it’s separate. But you have to have, you know, it is run through your account.
So I think that’s something that people really have to get used to and paying attention to. Yeah, these changes are happening all the time and then we had [inaudible] app. Have you heard of that years ago? And we thought the end of the world was going to be here and it was fine. It was a hurdle. We moved forward. The same thing with iOS 14. There’s just, there’s going to be hurdles in our way and someday, it won’t be Facebook ads. You know what I mean? But for now, it is the place to be. So I think, just really paying attention, following somebody, whether it’s me, whether it’s somebody out there. There’s a lot of good resources out there. Just making sure if you’re running ads, you better pay attention and you better pay attention to the policies and procedures too because they have a little frenzy of shutting accounts down if you break the rules also.
Janine: I remember, that was GDPR, when we were trying to figure out what to do with our newsletter lists and here I am, I borrow a lot of content from other creatives, but I always give them credit. And I was really watching international laws, that they were starting to put forward with the GDPR because I was, like, it’s all for education, you know? I don’t mind promoting somebody else’s website with my stuff. So yes, once again, iOS 14 is here just like GDPR was a couple of years ago when we were all [crosstalk]. Once again, a lot of changes.
So help us out as we wrap this up. Thank you, first of all, for being on the show, but talk to us a little bit of how you, specifically in your agency, works with clients.
Janet: Yeah, we do 2 different layers. So basically, I do a lot of full management. So we are, you come to us, we show you exactly how to get through this business manager, John Klett. With the iOS 14, we walk you through safety features. We optimized for audiences. We do it all, okay? We create your creatives, we do your copywriting, and we work with you on everything so that we can have the most successful launch of your ads. So there is, we fully set it up but we also, we know the best ways to get there so that you’re converting to sales. My overall goal with any client is getting the most leads and sales through their business so they see a return on investment. I mean, that’s the goal and that’s why I really focus on ads because we can see a return on investment over fluff posts like I said, that’s tough sometimes.
So there, you can learn about that, the full coaching site of things, that is adssetupforyou.com. So that’s all it is, adssetupforyou.com. Then, we also have the coaching site. So the coaching site of the business is adsevolutioncoaching.com. So it’s just adsevolutioncoaching and we talk about the same things, but you just need to take action yourself. So it’s more, we train, we go in-depth, and the good news about it is I will review everything for you. So we do live calls on a weekly basis where you can actually get your content reviewed and I say, you know what, test this, test this next and I tell you, kind of how to work things, but you do it yourself.
So we have both sites that, because you know what, I’m a teacher, and I love teaching and coaching. So that’s definitely love site I have, but a lot of people just want it done for them too, so we have both sites.
Janine: And I think that’s wonderful, being able to offer the do-it-yourselfers and the bootstrappers one option, and then other folks who are in the business 7 years going, not touching that at all, “Here you go. How much do you need?” [crosstalk] It’s wonderful, wonderful that you have both of those. Well, thank you so much for being on the show with us today Janet. It’s been an absolute delight.
Janet: Thank you Janine.
Janine: And this is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. I will see you again on next Friday. We publish or broadcast every Friday. Have a wonderful weekend. Make sure you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground as you reach for the stars in your dreams. Have a great weekend.