Friday I produced my very first Facebook ad. I imagined I would easily make several hundred dollars in 5 days. I was so excited until I cancelled the ad Saturday afternoon. My ad did not produce the desired several hundred dollars and was a failure. Here is what I learned from creating my very first Facebook ad.
What was my first Facebook Ad
I recently purchased several courses on making money with Facebook Ads. I went through them very quickly because I wanted to get something up and running before the end of the week. The courses covered making money with fan pages, getting likes to pages, winning JV contests and promoting products. All of this sounds great but none of it was how I wanted to start my very first Facebook Ad. There was on section on selling t-shirts. Bingo. That was going to be my first ad.
The courses covered creating a Facebook fan group to promote a topic like Golden Retriever Dogs. Once you have a bazillion people that have liked you group, you create a t-shirt about Golden Retrievers and sell it to the page. Most of the bazillion people buy t-shirt and you make some serious money for your effort.
I decided to start with something that I know very well and that is Georgia Football. Blame my love of Georgia football on both of my parents who graduated from the University of Georgia. Actually my mother graduated from Georgia 2 years after I graduated from University. Not many people get to go to their mother’s college graduation like I did. Actually I didn’t graduate from University of Georgia so I am pretty sure I have been written out of both of my parent’s wills for this oversight.
Anyway (up until Saturday) Georgia was having an outstanding football season. We were the only team in the country that had played 5 teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation in our first 6 games. Most of the games were thrillers winning in the last 2 minutes against LSU, winning late in 4th quarter against South Carolina, winning in overtime against Tennessee. Our quarterback Aaron Murray was putting up some incredible numbers and Georgia was ranked #4 in the nation for Offense. My first t-shirt design was going to be Aaron Murray for Heisman.
Lesson #1: Overcoming Your Weakness
Even though my mother was the director of the best art gallery in Atlanta and has had photographs on the cover of many national magazines and has won about ever interior design contest she has ever entered, the genes for her right brain artistic skills were never passed down to me. So I decided to overcome my weakness and hire someone to create a t-shirt design for me.
I went to eLance.com and posted a job looking for someone to design a t-shirt that would say Murray for Heisman on the front and Murray and the number 11 on the back. I ran a short job posting that would last only 3 days. Like i said I was eager to get my first ad up so I ran the shortest possible job posting you can run on eLance.
The job posting required the winner to produce 2 proofs for the design. I would pick one and then they would be required to do up to 3 revisions based on my feedback. The final files I would received would be a vector EPS file and the original Adobe Illustrator file before text is converted to paths.
I got 23 people to submit proposals for my job posting. The lowest proposal was for $20 and the highest proposal was for $280. I decided to hire 3 contractors and let all 3 design the t-shirt. I got 6 proofs. I selected one from each of the 3 contractors and gave them revisions. The all sent the revised imaged back to me. None of them required a second revision and I accepted their work. I got the request EPS and AI files from all 3. Here is the winning design.
Lesson #2: Give Yourself Options
When I posted my job on elance I could very easily have just picked one contractor for the job. I decided not to do this because what if I picked the absolute worst designer out of everyone that submitted a proposal? I didn’t want to end up with only one choice of designs.
Instead I picked 3 designers with a good portfolio and were on the lower end of the price range. I selected proposals at $20, $50 and $60. The winners were from Pakistan, Canada and US. The Pakistan designer was $50 but turned out to be the absolute worst designer. The Canadian designer was $20 and did it low to get my business but any future designs would be $50. He turned design around in less than 6 hours after awarding job and requesting revision. The American was $60 always completed work the day after I requested it.
From the 3 I liked the work from the Canadian the best and used their design. I loved the super fast turnaround time. The American was 2nd and can use her in the future. I would never use the Pakistani designer again. So lesson learned – give yourself options.
Failure #1: Wrong Ad Type
There are 2 types of Facebook ads – right side ads and newsfeed ads. Newsfeed ads require you to send the person who clicked on your ad to a Facebook fan page. A right page ad will allow you to send traffic to a Facebook page or to a site outside of Facebook. Well since I didn’t have a Facebook fan page promoting Aaron Murray for Heisman then newsfeed ads were not an option for me. So my first Facebook Ad was a right side page ad.
I filled out my form for a Facebook Ad and submitted it. It was approved in about 5 hours. I budgeted $20/day for 4 days. Maximum amount I would spend would be $80. I could afford to lose this amount in learning about Facebook Ads. Once my ad was approved I started it running.
Lesson #3: People are Willing to Help You Out
As soon as I started to run the ad last Friday, I started to get people posting on my wall where they saw my ad. One of them was Mark Thompson who is a very successful Internet Marketer. He mentioned he was living in Europe and saw my ad. This was not a good thing because my t-shirt was designed for people living in the US. Even though this was my first Facebook Ad, people were willing to give me constructive Feedback on what I was doing wrong.
Later I got feedback from 2 other people on my ad. The last feedback I received was showing me exactly what I was doing wrong. He said I should first create a fan page, get people to like it and then sale the t-shirt on the fan page. Shazam all the parts of the training that I glossed over about creating a fan page and getting likes now made sense. Thanks to help from total strangers I knew exactly what I was doing wrong.
Mistake #2: Wrong Target Audience
When I created my Facebook ad I created a right side of page ad. That was because it allowed me to send clicks to teespring.com which is where I was selling the t-shirt. When creating the ad you can select target keywords to narrow your potential target audience that will see your ads. You MUST spend time on getting this part right.
As I mentioned before people in Europe and Fiji were seeing my ad. This was a waste of money spent on the ad because people who could never have purchased the t-shirt were seeing my ad.
What I should have done was to limit the ad to only people living in the United States and that like Georgia football. That is a much narrow and laser targeted audience. Instead when I ran my ad my initial selection had the potential audience of around 1.5 million people. Make sure you ad is focused directly on people that would be interested in what your are selling and would be potential buyers.
Mistake #3: Take Your Time
When I started working on my first Facebook Ad I set a goal to have it up and running in one week. I spent mornings before work and evenings after work working through the training courses that I had purchased. I glossed over the videos on topics that I wasn’t interested in since I knew I wanted to sell a t-shirt for my first ad.
Instead of placing a deadline to get my ad running I should have allowed adequate enough time to learn the topic before jumping into the deep end. If I had taken the time I probably would have learned how to tie together the fan page, likes and monetizing the fan page by selling t-shirts.
My goal this week is to go back through the training and pay attention to every video and every chapter in the book. Then capitalize on what I learn and run my second Facebook Ad.
Lesson #4: Make sure people will buy what you are selling
There is nothing better to learn about sales except to sale what people are willing to buy. I got caught up in the amazing success Georgia was having in the football season. Like 85,000 of my closest friends I believed this was the year Georgia was going to win the national championship. And I wanted to capitalize on that belief.
Some fans believe that Aaron Murray the quarterback could not win the big games. I always hated those fans and hated it even more when they would boo the team when losing. I believe my team will win every game every year and I would never boo my team.
This year Murray in his Senior season was winning the big games. Not only was he winning the big games he was winning them by driving the team to score in the last minute of the game to win. That is a champion. A champion that was playing like a Heisman.
I wanted to capitalize on his winning games by promoting a t-shirt that says Murray for Heisman. Well the lesson learned here was that I started my campaign on Friday and the next day Georgia lost the football game. With 2 loses there is no way that Murray would win the Heisman now. So here I am trying to sell something that nobody will buy.
Lesson #5: Be Willing to Lose Your Investment
Many people like myself dream of making a bazillion dollars when they purchase a new training course. I figured I could easily make several hundred dollars in selling my first t-shirt. Well I never got off the ground.
I had an initial investment of up to $80 that I budgeted for my Facebook Ad. Luckily I made my audience so big when completing my ad that I actually never was charged a penny for anyone clicking on my ad. So I did not lose my $80.
The only money I am out was the $130 I spent on hiring my 3 graphic designers. I can afford to lose this money because it allowed me to find 2 very talented graphic designers that I can turn to in the future. Plus I know my best designer can create 2 proof designs within 6 hours of me sending him the details of the t-shirt design. If he is busy then I have a very talented 2nd designer to turn to.
For future designs I will be paying $50 for my first choice of designer with a 6 hour turnaround or $60 for my 2nd choice designer with a 24 hour turnaround. For me this was money well spent. I am paying people to do something that I could never do myself. It was worth the money to find out the quality of work I can expect in the future and how long it will take.
I am going to spend this week going back through my Facebook Ads courses and pay attention to what I am learning. I think my second Facebook Ad will be something to promote Breast Cancer Awareness month which is this month. I want to strike on this topic while the iron is hot. I think my t-shirt design will say “Save Second Base”.
If any of you have been successful at selling t-shirts on teespring.com with Facebook Ads, I would love to hear from you. Share with me your designs and how you sold them.