Disclaimer: this blog post is unlike any other AdLab blog post you've read before. Reason being, it's massive, but chock-full of amazing stuff. And it's written for people who aren’t afraid to hustle. Is that you? Great. Welcome and enjoy reading.
What you'll learn in this post:
1. What does a Facebook ad agency even do?
2. Choosing An Industry to Serve (The Ideal Clients to Work With)
3. How to Find Your First Local Client
4. How to Close the Deal (2-week trial)
5. How to Turn Your Trial Client Into a Recurring Monthly Client
6. How to Handle Common Client Objections
7. How to Scale to 10 Clients in Just 90 Days
8. How to Handle Client Referrals
9. How to Manage the Day-to-Day
What if I told you that, after today, you’ll know exactly how to build a successful 6-figure Facebook ad agency from home—helping the local businesses you care about—using a box of donuts and $5 a day? (Yes, you’d probably look at me as if I had two heads.) Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. The team here at AdLab has put together the guide to do just that.
Why? Well, because far too many local businesses are aware of the lead-driving power of Facebook ads, but have absolutely no clue how the heck to even use them. They’re intimidating. Also, there are local businesses that “get” the social media platform and use it to create buzz, but they still struggle to move effective leads through the funnel.
And, let me guess. One of those two reasons is why you’re here today. Therefore, I’m going to give you the process you need to build something that’ll help support you and your family, all while driving leads into businesses using Facebook advertising.
So, before I dig into all this good stuff I’m about to share, here are my goals for you—illustrating the exact skillset you’ll walk away with once you finish reading:
- Get your first paying ad client within the next 30 days.
- Gain five clients in the next 60 days.
- And, ultimately, reach 10 clients (a manageable amount) in the next 90 days, hopefully getting you to the $10,000 a month mark.
How in the heck is acquiring 10 clients that bring in $10,000 a month in revenue even possible? I’m glad you asked. Think of it as a snowball effect. Once you nail down the process and gain your first client, you’ll leverage that person to get everyone else.
Ready to learn how you can tackle those three goals I mentioned? I won’t keep you waiting any longer…
1. What does a Facebook ad agency even do?
Again, at the core, you’re driving leads into businesses (your clients). To do that, you need to find people who would love to spend money with your clients. Enter Facebook ads, assisting you with catching leads via a funnel like this:
- Facebook user sees an amazing offer on a Facebook ad and clicks to learn more.
- The user is then redirected to an opt-in page that is only designed to get their name, email, and cell phone number, in exchange for the offer.
- Once the user enters their information, they are taken to a Thank You page, giving them instructions on how to claim the offer as well as an incentive to do so immediately. (We’ll come back to this.)
- Once they land on that Thank You page, they’ll get an email and text message with instructions on how to claim their offer.
That’s the process a Facebook user should take to land on your client’s business. Now, to take that a step further, there’s a four-part process you must walk through to successfully generate leads through that funnel:
Part 1: A Jaw-dropping offer (JDO)—a narrowly targeted, irresistible sales offer that compels the target audience to take immediate action. Think of it as a product or service of perceived high value your client can offer for free or of little cost, getting new customers in the door.
To help decide what things are within your client’s scope to offer, you need to know their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). For example, if you had a dental client, their JDO could be a free teeth-whitening session. It doesn’t cost them a whole lot of money or time to offer. Yet, if they can get the customer to return or pay money by way of an upsell, they’ll make that initial free offer entirely worth it.
Part 2: The Facebook Ad—once you’ve narrowed down the JDO, it’s time to create Facebook ads to promote it. And, when you’re making your ad campaign, there are seven specific components you need to include to ensure it’s successful.
- Business persona page: much to your surprise, we advise you not to run an ad from a client’s Facebook page. The trick to getting greater engagement is to actually run it from a “persona” page. A “persona” page is simply a public figure page (not a profile) in your agency's business manager account. You can create a page using yourself, a team member or an avatar ideal for your industry. When you create ads from this page, the ad copy should be worded like a friend sharing something with their friends instead of an advertisement. (Be sure to avoid making endorsements, to stay FTC compliant.)
- Main ad copy: less is more. After all, the goal of your ad is to drive clicks, not tell them everything they need to know about the offer.
- Targeted ad image: a high-quality, professional image that’s colorful is necessary in order to catch the attention of viewers while they’re scrolling through their News Feeds.
- Jaw dropping headline: keep this short and to the point.
- Ad description: don’t go any longer than two sentences. Sum up the main offer and add a bit of scarcity (ex. Limited spots available!), urging viewers to click now instead of tomorrow.
- Custom URL: ensuring you have a custom URL for your page will save you money. That’s because ads with extensions such as .leadpages will be rated poorly by Web of Trust, resulting in your ad getting charged higher rates on Facebook.
- Call to action button: tell your user exactly what they should expect when they land on the other side of your ad with a succinct and relatable call to action. Think Download Now, Learn Now, Book Now; you name it.
And, targeting is just as, if not more, important when it comes to the success of your ad:
- Location: use the client’s town name as the base location and adjust the mileage from there. For a restaurant or gym, we advise keeping it inside a 10-mile radius. For a dentist or similar service, extending the radius to around 25 miles is the sweet spot.
- Age range: use the 20-year rule, keeping the age range within a 20-year span. That way, there’s a better chance the audience will have more things in common as they’re closer in age.
- Gender: most of the time, we suggest going with either male OR female. Not both.
- Detailed targeting options: there are a lot of cool options when it comes to this—what users post to their timelines, apps they use, ads they click, pages they engage with, and more. But, don’t go crazy. Only use options that directly relate to the person you’d like to target with your ad.
- Budget: always remember to start low and scale the ad spends from there. We recommend starting at $5 a day to give the ad time to mature within Facebook’s ad algorithm. If you see your ad performing well after 72 hours, start increasing the budget 20-30% every few days.
Part 3: The Funnel Pages—after clicking on your ad, leads will wind up on a series of funnel pages to accomplish one thing: opt-in to the next stage of your funnel.
To create the opt-in and thank-you pages I mentioned earlier as part of the funnel (see “What does a Facebook ad agency even do?” section), we use a service called LeadKit. It’s a fast and easy platform that’ll help you build these pages with a subscription costing you $20 a month per business. But, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
The key to these pages is to keep them minimal. For your opt-in page, be sure to include these fundamental components:
- Client’s business logo
- Jaw-dropping headline consistent with the ad
- Opt-in form that’s short and sweet
- Call to action button with scarcity in fine print (and below the CTA button)
- Congruent background image that matches the ad
Take a look at this opt-in layout example we’ve found works with dozens of industries.
After the reader clicks the Submit button on the opt-in form, they’ll be taken to the Thank You page to wrap things up. This page is very similar to the opt-in page, with only a few minor changes.
- Client’s business logo
- Congratulatory headline
- Instructions to check email
- Instructions for claiming the offer
- Call tracking number—check out CallRail, which requires a low investment of $2/month per client.
- A “bonus stack” with added scarcity—a feasible added freebie or special offer if they contact the business to claim the original deal immediately. It ups the ante, so to speak.
Take a look at this layout example of a Thank You page.
- Email #1: restates the exact same information from the Thank You page. The recipient should receive this immediately after submitting their information on the opt-in page.
- Email #2: states the benefit of claiming the offer and reminds them it’s expiring soon. The recipient should receive this two days after email #1.
The idea of the text message is it puts the tracking phone number in the prospective customer’s hands, removing the barriers of signing up while encouraging them to call the business right away.
2. What clients should I work with?
That’s a vital question. There are two types of clients we work with, and you will too:
High Lifetime Value clients and Low Lifetime Value clients.
What I mean by High Lifetime Value clients is their business allows the opportunity to make a lot of money off one particular customer. Think dentists, real estate agents, chiropractors, etc.
For Low Lifetime Value clients, their business allows the opportunity to bring in a plethora of customers through the door, but they have less value because they ultimately won’t be investing a lot of money in the future or coming back often. Think restaurants, gyms, hair salons, etc.
With that being said, what do you charge these two types of clients? For High Lifetime Value clients, we suggest charging a minimum of $1,500/month, with $500 of it going to ad spends and $1,000 to your pocket.
On the other hand, for Low Lifetime Value clients, we suggest charging a bare minimum of $800/month, with $400 of it going to ad spends and the other $400 to your pocket.
Let’s do some math to help bring these numbers to life. Say you have 30 days to put all this information shared here today to good use. But, you’ve only brought two new customers through your dental client’s doors, with a lifetime value of $8,000 each. $8,000 x 2 = $16,000/month. $16,000 x 12 months = $192,000. That’s the value you add to their practice every year.
Thus, if you charge that client $1,500/month for 12 months, that’s $18,000 a year they’re investing in your service. And, with a median annual dentist salary of about $146,000 a year, do you think this High Lifetime Value client can afford your services? Without a doubt.
Now, this doesn’t mean one client is better than the other. While we do encourage you to work with High Lifetime Value clients—they know their value to their customers and they need someone to market their business as they’re passionate enough caring for their own customers—it all boils down to who it is you want to serve. Pick the clients you’re most comfortable with.
3. So… how do I find my first local client?
After years of serving the wrong clients, we created a checklist to illustrate what exactly you should be looking for when in search of your first ideal local client.
✔ Been in business for at least 3-5 years. This generally tells you they’re more stable, know their lifetime value of their customers, have an upsell process that works, and a better understanding of the value of good marketing.
✔ Member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Tells you they not only care about building their own business, but also their community.
✔ Advertising on Google. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it can give you a clue they’re savvy and already spending money on advertising.
✔ A website. Run the other way if they don’t. Seriously.
✔ An active Facebook business page. It’s a good indicator they’re ideal for your ad agency. They understand how the platform works.
✔ Good online ratings. On both Facebook and Google. This tells you they do a good job creating loyal customers.
But, the idea is to make a list of potential clients who meet the majority of the things listed and you feel you’d be interested in working with them. Then, you’re ready for the next step: outreach.
4. And, how do I get them to jump onboard?
Successful local businesses want to establish relationships within their community. So, I can’t stress enough the importance of starting with clients who are local to you. When you do, you’ll be able to visit them in person to help establish trust and confidence in your service.
And, once you hustle past that part, you’re already a step ahead of most because this is where many people quit. They’re either too lazy or too scared to go out in person and acquire clients. Being scared is normal, however! To overcome that feeling, view your outreach as a favor you’re doing for your potential client. They need your service and you’re coming to them to tell them you can help.
You in? Let’s get you to land your first client fast with this easy 3-part process:
Step One: The Donut Bomb
On the morning you plan to approach potential clients, go pick up one- or two-dozen donuts (or cookies) to take to each business.
These treats can sit in the break room while office employees ask, “Where did these come from?” As a result, your name and agency will spread like wildfire without you needing to be present. Hence, the reason we call them “Donut Bombs,” subtly creating awareness of who you are.
To take it one step further, be sure to write a note to go along with your sweet treats, featuring:
- An introduction—Hi, my name is…
- Awareness—I run a Facebook marketing company here in (insert your town)
- No strings attached statement—Enjoy the treats
- Contact information—Your name, company name, and phone number
Listen closely to what I’m about to tell you: don’t forget, when making your delivery, to avoid the urge to make a sales pitch! That means absolutely no mention of the results you can get them or that you’re selling them something. You’re simply doing something nice for them.
Make the drop-offs early in the morning before it gets too busy, and walk out of the office without asking anything of them—the receptionist, owner, whoever it may be.
Step Two: The Follow-Up
Towards the end of the day, or the next day if you have to, go back to the business (or businesses) where you made the sweet treat drop-off and speak to the same person you spoke with earlier (receptionist, etc.). If that person happens to not be there, mention you spoke with (name of the person) earlier.
Then, remind them you have a Facebook marketing company—that was on your note—helping local businesses get more people in the door. Let the person know your company is in the process of building something brand new to help (name their type of business) get leads.
All you need to say is, “I have a few questions for the office manager. Can I get some help? It’s only going to take about 15 minutes and I can come back in whenever might be best.” If they set a meeting, great. If the opportunity is there, talk to them right away.
Now, this part is important. You didn't say, “If I could help you with it.” You said, “I wanted to talk to the office manager about getting some help with it.” Meaning, “I need some help with it.” Make sense?
Step Three: The Trial Pitch
At this point, they're going to let you in for 15 minutes right away or they're going to schedule a meeting later. Either way, once you’re in the meeting, your goal is to get them to take a chance on you. This is easier than you think even if you have no experience—it’s all about how you phrase the pitch. So, let’s go back to the dental practice as our example again.
What you’d say in that 15 minutes is something like: “We've been working on a way to get leads into a dental office using Facebook, and my friend, who initially walked me through this, has been helping dentists from Arkansas get a ton of people through the door using it. I've been looking for a local office here to help me test it out.“
Once again, are you asking them to take a chance on you and pay a bunch of money? No. You just say you have a friend that's using this process and it's working well, and you’re putting it into action locally.
Remember the angle: you have a Facebook marketing company, but you haven’t done this before. So, you're coming in asking for their help. “Would this be something that you might want to work with me on?”
If they say, “Yes,” great! Or if they say, “Well, I don't know. What does it involve?” Then you get the chance to walk them through your process. Show them everything you're going to be doing. Don't hold anything back. It’s an attractive offer.
Once you give them the inside scoop and they agree to join forces, next say, “Here's the deal. Since you're helping me out, I'll do all of my usual work for free. If you guys pay for $100 in Facebook ads, I'll go to work for you.”
This $100 is money they're putting on the line. If it doesn't work, you come back and say, “Listen, this didn't work. Didn't have it dialed in.” And, you go from there. But, they're putting some risk on the line too, which is important.
If they say no, simply respond with a “Thank you,” and be on your way. If it’s a “Yes,” have them sign up and pay on the spot using SamCart. It’s a professional platform to sell your digital services from here on out.
After that, your focus should be on creating a trial campaign, giving them a teaser of what you can do with their business. We suggest working on it the evening after you sign them, so you can send them a branded piece in the morning and let them know you’re ready to rock.
5. What can I do to get them on my monthly client roster?
By this point, you have your first client who has agreed to join forces with you for a trial run. But, how can you push them to be a part of your regular client roster?
Well, for starters, we suggest running a 14-day trial. During that time, you should spend $5-10 a day (of the $100) on their campaign. If you’re bringing in leads, they should love you. That’s the moment you know to ask if they’d like to use your services on a monthly basis. After all, you’ve proven your value.
So, set up a meeting to discus the results of the trial experiment. Let them know the number of opt-ins and the phone calls you’ve tracked, and ask about their results and experience when the leads came in. After that point, if they feel compelled to keep working with you, as they should, you can talk monthly costs—$1,500 or whatever you choose to bring the heat.
This is the point where you can mention you’ll be charging more for new clients. That’s the honest truth. All because they helped you prove the model. An example of a deal would be $900 plus an ad spend of $200-300. If they’re sold, shake their hand. If not, no pressure. You don’t want unsure clients anyway.
But, if they’re not quite ready to give you a firm answer yet, we have a lesson inside our AdLab Mastermind group (more on that later) to walk you through the process of saving the “ones that got away.”
6. Let’s prepare for some common client objections.
You will encounter objections. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of common questions we’ve heard over the years, helping prepare you to answer these gracefully while being put on the spot.
- “Can you email me the information?” Feel free to do so. Record a short video walkthrough explaining the features/benefits of the service you offer. But, just avoid sending any links to actual funnels or explaining the details of your free trial. Instead, request a good time to meet in person to discuss. If an in-person meeting isn’t feasible, setup a video conference as a last resort.
- “I don’t have the budget for Facebook ads.” Your service is a sophisticated way to target potential customers who are most likely to spend money with your client. If $100 isn’t affordable or they don’t have the budget, thank them for their time and move on.
- “I already have a ‘Facebook guy’.” You’re not there to steal them from their “guy.” You’re simply there to let them know you can be of help to them.
- “Facebook doesn’t work; I’ve tried it before.” You’re goal isn’t to convince them that your process works. You know it does.
- “I don’t want to encourage ‘freebie seekers’.” (Groupon, etc.) The process you’ll work through for local lead generation use unique targeting designed to weed out customers who aren’t ideal for them. You won’t just shoot ads out to everyone hoping you’ll get a few that may be interested. Instead, you’ll focus on people who already have a reason to purchase from your clients, making them more likely to convert.
Familiarize yourself with these objections and sample responses, and you’ll avoid getting caught off guard and flustered.
7. Now, here’s the answer to scale your agency.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, the 90-day timeline is for freaking hustlers. Period. If you’re not about hustling and putting in the hard work, you’re not going to do this in 90 days.
On days 1-35, you’re focused on one client. And, one client only. But, here’s the kicker. On days 36-60, you’re focused on getting a testimonial case study from that first client after they agree to your monthly services. With this one testimonial, you can then begin reaching out to new clients via Facebook messenger. And, on days 60-90, you repeat, repeat, and repeat.
Again, the foundation of this step is the video testimonial. Therefore, go ahead and ask your client if they’d be willing to record a testimonial recapping their early results with you. Simply ask them questions as you film them using your phone (you can edit your voice out later), and set it up on an inexpensive tripod on your desk. It should be no more than 10 minutes long.
The idea behind this is, once you nail down your first client and do a great job; leverage the video testimonial to acquire more clients. It’s pretty doable because, more often than not, your client has built relationships with other people in their industry (through school, conferences, etc.).
Who better than them to help you get your foot in the door with more ideal clients like them? The more you work hard at delivering great results, the more you open yourself up to a network of people who can propel your agency forward.
Here are some sample questions to ask your client when filming the video testimonial:
- “What’s your name and what’s the name of your business?” Simple enough, right?
- “How did you hear about (your name) and (your marketing company)?”
- “Specifically, what have your results been while working with (your marketing company)?” Now here's the key. Before you begin recording, tell them you have the results written on a piece of paper so they don't have to fumble with it in their head. When they get to this question, hold up the piece of paper.
- “I'm guessing you have other friends that work in other towns who’d like to focus more on running their business and less on marketing. If one of them asks you why they should work with us too, what would you tell them?” They’ll answer this question much more candidly when it’s not rehearsed.
- “Down the road, if we start taking on a few more clients, do you know one, who isn't your competitor, you’d recommend I try to work with?” This puts them on the spot so they’re more likely to suggest people they know, and like, off the top of their head.
Next, you’ll be ready to edit your testimonial video. Here’s an example of how your script should go:
“I work with businesses to set up what I call a ‘jaw dropping’ offer. Then I set up a page that looks like this. (Show the landing page on the video). Next, I use the power of Facebook ads—and very specific ad targeting—to zero in on the ideal person to take the offer. After they enter their information, they get a powerful incentive to come into your business.
Next, it’s your employees’ turn to win them over, making them feel like they want to come back again and again. You're already good at that. You just want more folks making it in for the first time so they can see how great your office is. That's where I come in.
If you're looking to automate your office's patient lead generation and would like to leverage the power of Facebook to do just that, enter your information on this page. I'll give you a call. My name is (your name). I'm the founder and excited to learn more about your practice and how I might be able to help you grow your office.”
Once it’s complete and ready to be shared with the world, build your Referral Connection page. This should include the following:
- Business name and/or logo—if you don't have a logo when you start out, don't worry about it. You don't necessarily need a logo. Simply use your name.
- Picture of you—we like using pictures with family members, showing readers you’re a real person.
- Personal description—give a short quip about yourself and what you do.
- Testimonial video—the video you recorded with your first (trial) client.
- Pointed headline—lets the reader know the point of the page is to schedule a call with you to discuss your services.
- Instructions for the contact process—this is just an added bonus. It’s nice to know what to expect.
- Contact form—readers need a place to enter their information (name, email, phone)
- Submit button—your call to action, so to speak. And, it should stand out from the rest of the page.
- Copyright date—after all, it makes it more legit.
- Industry related background image—use an image that has a general business vibe.
Next, we’ll answer how you’ll handle those client referrals you’ll be sending to this page.
8. How do I handle client referrals?
After you’ve closed a successful trial and gathered names for referrals during the filming of your testimonial video, you need to start making contact with those potential clients. Leverage your trial client relationship while tackling the following steps for contacting these referrals:
- Do research on them. Similar to the process provided in the “What clients should I work with” section. Only keep the ones who appear to be a good fit on your list.
- Contact those who seem to be an ideal fit. And start with this when introducing yourself to the person who answers: “I'm a friend of (your original client). He said he used to go to school with (referral name) who works at your office. She/he referred me over to possibly get some help with a marketing program we're working on. Could I possibly set up a time to speak with him/her for about 10 minutes?”
- Walk them through what it is you do. Once you get on the call with your ideal client contact, introduce yourself in a similar manner as step #2. And, briefly walk them through what it is you do.
- Offer to send them the testimonial video. Say, “Can I send you a quick video that we cut with (client name)?” If yes, ask them the best place to send it to. If it's email, great. If it's Facebook Messenger, that works, too. Now you can see where the testimonial video comes into play.
- Ask for their thoughts and if they’re interested. After they’ve had time to review, ask for their thoughts and if they’d help you test it out in their area to recreate the results you helped their friend get. Offer them a free trial and $100 to get started with ad spends.
Now, you’re ready to close. We have a special closing method to help you—The Clincher. After speaking with the potential client and giving them time to review everything, hop onto 1-800-Baskets, The Popcorn Factory, or someplace local and pick out something that’s not only tasty, but also looks amazing to send to their office along with a card mentioning the conversation. These arrangements can get pricey, but it’s all about investing in new business relationships.
9. Things are moving fast. What about managing the day-to-day?
With this process comes the freedom to enjoy doing things on your terms. That being said, you need to carve out some designated work time a few days a week on your calendar to stay ahead.
Here’s what a typical day should look like when you’re not seeing clients:
- Log in to check your ads and click costs.
- Check your opt-ins in LeadKit.
- Check your call tracking data.
- Check your heat maps if you're using anything to watch what's going on, on the page.
- Tweak any issues.
- Check for client emails and answer them. This should not take more than an hour or two a day once you get rolling.
- Compile the week’s data and send it to clients by the end of business day. They can walk out of their office knowing what you did that week.
- Ask them to let you know how these leads turned out in the office.
- Highlight a different client's success story. If you have more than one, consider putting it in there.
- Anything you want!
And, once a month, send the full month’s stats to constantly remind your clients how valuable you are to them. Also, to help manage your workload, we advise you not to go over 10 clients without hiring someone to help manage your day-to-day.
Lastly—and this is important—we’re big on hustling and working your butt off. But, once you get this rolling with the right processes and business relationships, it shouldn’t take up a huge chunk of your life.
So, there you have it. You’re now looped in on the process that has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs like you build a buzzing 6-figure Facebook ad agency from home. Now, go on and get out there to start crushing this in your community today.
And, while you should be able to take what you learned today, purchase some software, and begin rocking it out, I’d like to offer you some additional help via our AdLab mastermind. Consider it a one-on-one support system, giving you access to hundreds of ad professionals available to guide you along every step of your Facebook advertising journey.
If you join today, as a member, you’ll get access to an exclusive library of case studies and interviews, expert Facebook ad trainings, and so much more, to assist your home agency at any stage.
Have questions or something to share on starting your own Facebook ad agency? Drop us a note in the comments section below. We’re here to support you.