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If something sounds too good to be true… it probably is.  That’s the experience I’ve had this week, when I decided to give Facebook ads a go.

I haven’t shared a ‘this is what I did and this is what I learnt from my mistakes’ story in a while, so it’s probably time for one!

Why did I decide to try Facebook ads?

The honest answer is, I didn’t!  I was busy Googling how to use Google Adwords (see previous post) and Analytics and I saw a company come up that said they could help with your marketing – for free – for a week.

I took a look, everything looked ok, so I arranged a time to speak with them.  You may remember, I spoke about how some things are worth outsourcing to experts and I thought this might be one of them.

There’s a reason things seem too good to be true

The call went well and they said they could optimise my Facebook Ads Manager, set up a few ads, test to see which copy and images performed best and we’d review at the end of the week.  All sounds good, right?

As I write, the ads have been running for four days (well, actually, they ran for three and then I pulled them – as I thought they were pretty bad.

You can see here, for yourself:

Screenshot of Tiny Chipmunk Facebook ad

They all look like this – no image or text changes, as I was promised.  Newborn is spelt wrong – and I’m not convinced the text helps to sell the product at all, or that they understand what the product actually is.

Now, I have to take some of the blame here – which is why I’m not going to tell you who I’ve been working with.  It may be that they’ve done some excellent work for other clients and just don’t understand me and my business.

In fairness, perhaps they could have tried a bit harder, but still…

What could I have done differently?

Firstly, I think I should have checked the copy myself, before the ads went live, rather than leaving it to the ‘experts’.  

I have a habit of being too laid back and thinking ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ and, while nothing terrible has happened (although I am pretty embarrassed to see those ads, representing my company), it’s a lesson I will learn from.

While the ads management was free, I obviously have thrown money away on ads that haven’t done my brand, or sales, any good at all.

What do I recommend?

Do your research

If you do want to pay someone else to manage your Facebook ads (or any other ads), I would look into them carefully. Much more so than I did.

I would want to know more about their experience and get some testimonials from their clients.  I would suggest asking for case studies / real examples, with the figures – i.e. we spent X and conversions were Y.

Can you do it yourself?

If you don’t want to / can’t afford to pay for this. Rick Mulready has an excellent podcast and blog about Facebook ads, where you can learn a lot yourself.

I’m not saying don’t pay anyone to manage your ads, nor am I saying spend hours learning how to do it yourself.  Do whatever works for you and your business, taking into account the time, experience, skills and resources you have available.