5 things experts should look for when hiring an ads agency to sell programs, services, and info-products

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Are you unsure what to look for when hiring a social media ads agency for your business selling your expertise?

Today, social media is the quickest way to get quality leads into businesses selling their expertise. That doesn't mean that you hire your nephew or your neighbor just because they are online all the time. This is your business, and posting on social media to draw in the right types of clients takes marketing strategy, digital technology, analytical prowess, and a splash of psychology.

1. What types of services are you looking for?

Before asking yourself what services you're looking for, ask yourself what type of business you have and what type of advertising you are seeking.

Large advertising agencies and public relations firms that cover the gamut of services from newspaper to magazine, billboard to direct mail, or TV to streaming services tend to have corporations as clients. They are less focused on social media than one might think. Usually, they will throw in a social media package where they boost posts from the client's Facebook page and put an arbitrary budget behind it. Watch out for this type of strategy, as it is not a strategy. It is a waste of money.

Social media campaigns are meant to be social, so that's why small businesses do better. There's a unique, brand-personality tied to every small business, which tends to get lost in large corporations.

Are you are looking to promote online coaching programs, get quality leads for professional services, bring store traffic to a brick-and-mortar location, or sell t-shirts or shoes online? These are all very different types of services, and most agencies do not do all of them well.

Smaller, boutique consultants or agencies that focus on a particular industry or type of client to work with are the way to go. They may be hard to find though, so keep your eye out for referrals. One place to find quality referrals is in business groups with already-successful members or marketing software groups on Facebook.

2. Does the ad consultant or agency have a discovery process?

Speaking with someone at an agency is key to getting started on the right foot. Usually, there's a survey to fill out before speaking with you, so they can qualify your business as the type they typically work with before getting on a call. Because social media ad agencies tend to focus on niche markets, it doesn't make sense for them to take every call that comes in. If you're trying to sell cleaning products online, getting on the phone with an agency that helps dentists get new patients may not be the best fit.

Just because someone can run ads on Facebook or Instagram does not mean they understand the best strategies for your type of business.

Ask for case studies, testimonials, or referrals from the agency to make sure they have had some success helping clients like you. Also, pay attention to the energy between you. You're more than likely going to work directly with the person you speak with in some capacity. A good fit will go a long way.

Take our advertising readiness assessment.

3. Are you already selling your info-products, coaching programs, and services successfully offline or without social ads?

One of the biggest mistakes we see in the online space is that many real-world experts tend to think that one great ad is going to sell their services or info-products for them. This is simply not the case. People seeing online ads are skeptical of new brands they haven't heard of. If you send strangers straight to your sales page to buy your coaching program, the likelihood of making sales is next to none.

You may think, "But I wrote a book that sold well," or "I have headlined many speaking events and sell out every time." That's great! But the reality is that only a small segment of the population knows who you are, most likely, and Facebook has access to over 200 million Americans and nearly 2 billion people worldwide. Most people in the world have not been exposed to your greatness...yet.

Having something that you've already sold is a great place to start. Developing the marketing elements necessary for making sales online is the next major step. A good consultant or agency will know this.

Read: The Three Phases of Advertising You May be Missing

4. Do you have a digital customer journey (or sales funnel) already laid out?

Most of the people in the world have not been properly introduced to you. Your stage, workshop, services, and book sales from the past were likely sanctioned by an authority your clients already trusted. With social media marketing, that element may be missing. You are likely starting from scratch (or close to it) in the digital sense.

Some pertinent questions to ask:

  1. Are the people who already know you well visiting your website regularly?
  2. Are people engaging with your Facebook business page posts already?
  3. Are people commenting on your Instagram posts?
  4. Has anyone subscribed to your email list?
  5. Do you have the proper tracking set up on your website to know what steps people are taking through your content?

If the answer to these is 'yes', that's amazing! People are already consuming your content, and that activity has been tracked, so we can analyze it for anything that could be missing or find what is working well.

If the answer is 'no', then we have some work to do to develop a customer journey through valuable content that you produce that leads them to your online stage, your workshop, your books and resources, and ultimately to your checkout page.

Image: Sample sales funnel flowchart

A fine-tuned agency or consultant will likely have a paid strategy session with you to assess the potential of your campaigns, to audit your Facebook Ads Manager, and to get a feel for the target market you are searching for to find high-quality leads.

These deep-dives into your business give extremely valuable insight into the potential success of social selling. A  seasoned consultant will give you a comprehensive follow-up report that maps out what you should do to be ready for advertising. If that is not the case, then you may want to keep searching.

5. What's the difference between Google ads and Facebook & Instagram ads?

It is easy to get Google ads and Facebook ads mixed up. They have different purposes. Google search ads are shown to people who are searching for answers from websites or YouTube or Pinterest. Facebook ads are businesses searching for clients prospectively by putting ads in front of them based on targeting selections. 

If you plan to use Google ads, you must be prepared with keyword-rich content on your website that ensures your website is found when people type a question in the search bar.

Beware, though. Google search ads will put your website at or near the top of the search page, competing against others for better placement. If someone clicks on your Google search ad result, you will be charged for that click. If that person is not really looking for what your site produces, that's a waste of money on that ad. This can work very well after time and money are spent, but regardless if you get the click or not, your customer journey must be ready on your website that the ad is sending them to.

Because you are prospecting with Facebook ads, the person seeing your initial ads may not necessarily be looking for your solution. That doesn't mean they won't buy it. It simply means that you have some convincing and nurturing to do first. The customer journey is most important with Facebook ads.

In case you are wondering, Facebook owns Instagram, so when we refer to Facebook ads, we are also referring to Instagram ads, as they are both managed via the same ads management system.

Is it possible to do this myself?

Of course, it is! Many small businesses starting out do not have the budget to pay a consultant or agency on top of the advertising fees paid to Facebook. That's why we have created a content marketing system that helps you understand what type of content necessary to take people through your unique, customer journey.

We not only show you examples of the assets that are needed, like web pages, emails, and ads to nurture prospects into paying clients, we give you color-coded steps to help you stay on track with the content pieces necessary.

CLICK: Check out our content marketing & ads system including support!

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