Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, and you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca. And today we're talking about one of my most favorite topics ever. And that is Facebook ads. For those of you that don't know, I'm kind of a Facebook ads freak. And I feel like you either love them or you hate them. And for me, I love them. I'm like the go to person for all my friends asking their Facebook ad questions. So I'm really, really excited to like jump into this topic today. Now before we get all the way into it, I wanted to let you know about a blueprint that I have just for you guys. So if you are wanting to jump into mini sessions, which if you're new here, minis are my bread and butter, I built my business on a foundation of mini sessions. I'm a huge believer in them. And if you're wanting to launch your mini sessions, make your first $3,000 from a single day of minis than this blueprint is for you. Maybe you've done minis before. And you've never made that much money from a single date of them. Or you've never done minis and you're like that sounds great to me. $3,000 in one day of minis awesome. This blueprint is for you. And so it walks you through every single step that you need to launch your minis successfully. And now is the perfect time to dive into that as we head into almost time to start booking spring minis. So you can grab that blueprint right now. It's completely free, no strings attached. It's at Rebecca rice 3k Dash minis, that's the number three the letter K dash minis. So be sure to grab that resource, I know that it's going to be helpful for you. And I'm so excited to see you start hitting those 3k days. Now, let's jump into here's the big question. Okay. Should you use Facebook ads in 2020? Spoiler alert, the short answer is yes, you should. But I want to kind of talk through why I believe that and kind of hit some of those like pain points or things that people are nervous about. Because I know, especially last year when we were hit with the iOS update, which if you didn't hear basically, iPhones iOS updated with a privacy measure that was great for its users that allowed you to opt out of tracking like third party tracking of what websites you visit and what things you're interested in and things like that. But with that it caused some problems with things like Facebook ad marketing, where before users would be tracked so that it like I was Googling something for my kids like Kid plates or something I
don't know, that's the first thing that came to my head, then I would be hit with Facebook ads that are you know about kid plates. And so with the iOS 14 update, basically, it said, You know what iPhone said we don't want Apple said our users don't need to be tracked. We're not gonna like tell third party, you know, software, aka Facebook ads, where the users are like spending their time online. So again, it was like it was good for privacy, but also at the same time made it really difficult for people that did utilize Facebook ads. So I stayed the course. And I was a Facebook ad user before the changes and after the changes. So I had a really good idea of like, what did the changes actually do to Facebook advertising. And honestly, in all of my use, the only thing I noticed that the iOS update impacted was like heavily was the analytics reporting, where before, let's say you had an ad out for you know, photo sessions, you could see how many clicks or how many this or that and you know, visitors to your website, whatever, before you would see all that data. And you could trust that it was true. After the update because certain people ask not to be tracked, then let's say I opted out of tracking. If I were to click on an ad and visit the website, that ad would not be counted as like having a visitor and so it wouldn't track it in the reporting. Now there are other ways to see those things with like Google Analytics or things like that, but the in app Reporting Analytics that was skewed and so it may have impacted how quickly ads can be optimized because basically, Facebook learns from every single action that's taken on the ad and If it optimizes itself to send the ad to people that are most likely to take action on your ad, and so may have slowed down the optimization process a little bit, because it wasn't tracking, every, you know, website visitor every click or whatever, honestly, I feel like they still optimize plenty fast. And we use Facebook ads as our primary source of leads for my associate team all of last year. And they worked like a charm. Even after the iOS updates, like we didn't have any issues getting bookings from Facebook ads, just using our ads. And so that was our first year with our associate team, like full on with their own, you know, business, and they were consistently booked for the entire year. So I would say Facebook ads absolutely still work, you absolutely should be using them. Now, here's a little warning, I wouldn't just jump into Facebook ads without having proper education. So if you've never looked at Facebook ads before, you've never tried them, I wouldn't like take this podcast to be like, Okay, now I can go jump into Facebook ads,
you definitely want to take some time to do some research and some learning because the world of Facebook ads is a world of its own. And there are strategies, and there is a right way to do Facebook ads and a wrong way to do Facebook ads. So the worst thing you could do is jump right into it without knowing what you're doing. And that's the quickest way to waste a lot of money. So don't do that. But my hope is to sort of give you a framework of why I believe you should be using Facebook ads in 2022, to book for your photography business. And you know, from there, we can walk through how to actually do it and what steps to take and things like that. So I want to dive into the reasons that you should be using Facebook ads. Now I know there are like two really polarizing camps, there are people that are big believers in Facebook ads like I am. And then there are people that hate Facebook ads and would rather stab their eye out then use Facebook ads. My own business coach, he hates Facebook ads, and for years has just gone against them. And you know what I've seen very successful, you know, million dollar business owners, some use Facebook ads, and some don't, you don't have to use Facebook ads. But I believe personally, that Facebook ads are a great tool. And you have to kind of get over the hurdle of paid advertising. And I know it's like a mental block of why would I pay for advertising? If I could just use free marketing avenues? Fair enough? I would say exhaust your free marketing avenues first, then turn Facebook ads. But the tool is there. And it's so powerful that I really believe that photographers more photographers should take advantage of Facebook ads for sure. So here's my reasons. How many do I have 123, I have four reasons to use Facebook ads. So stick with me. The first reason is that Facebook over the last bout year, year and a half has really turned into a pay to play game. Now, if you had told me that a year and a half ago, I would probably question you, but I could see trends that it was leaning that way. Now. It is definitely a pay to play game. And here's an example. A year and a half ago, I was a huge fan of posting in Facebook groups for free, which you guys have heard me talk about, I still believe in that method of marketing, especially for many sessions, but the game is changing. So algorithms now make it a lot harder for your post to be seen. Now if you're in my PMC, 2.0, my profitable mini sessions course 2.0, you know that there are ways that you can play the algorithm for sure to make sure that your post is seen in those groups. And I still have students finding success posting in Facebook groups. But I will say more and more students are struggling with that option, or booking mini sessions just because the algorithms are changing. And so Facebook is very much now a pay to play game where they are favoring on the platform people that are utilizing paid advertising. So you are more likely to find success if you are willing to put a little skin in the game. And when I talk about paying for advertising, there's always like, we have a caveat here that don't pay for advertising unless you're actually getting a return on that investment because I think of Facebook ads as an investment into my business. And so if I'm not getting a return on that investment, if I'm not, you know seeing bookings and a good profit margin and things like that from the ads, then that's when it's not worth running. But for us, especially, you know, for my associate team, we saw a great return on our ad spend. And that's that's the goal is you want to under And how much are you willing to pay per lead to get a booking? And so let's say your mini session is, you know, on the low end $150, how much of that $150 Would you be willing to pay to get that booking? For us with my associate team, we were paying about $20 per lead to get a booking. And that's not bad, you can incorporate that into your cost of doing business. And you know, raise your price by $20. And then you're golden. And so if we could book you know, our T SOC team, through Facebook ads booked over 300 minis in the last just in fall, in the fall following Christmas minis, it was crazy. Now, just so you know, if you haven't listened to my podcast about my associate team, go listen to that. But we have a bunch of photographers shooting. So that was definitely not one photographer shooting 300 minis, I would know that would be awful, I would die. And so that was split over several photographers. But either way, we were able to book over 300 mini sessions, just from Facebook ads, because I knew if these are converting, and you know, let's say I have to spend $20, to book 100 video or mini session, you better believe I'll be putting in all the $20 I can get. It's like if you hand me $1, I'll hand you $5 That's like a no brainer, you would hand me all your dollars and get the you know that $5 on each dollar return. That's how it is with Facebook ads that it's pretty consistent and in knowing what your return is going to be. So it's easy to scale to just put in more money, knowing that you're going to get those bookings on the other end. So all that to say Facebook has definitely turned into a pay to play game. And they do favor people that are using paid advertising on their platforms. Now the second reason that I believe that you should be utilizing Facebook ads is that it's much easier to reach a cold audience. Now, when we talk about cold and warm audience, basically your cold audience are people that have never heard of you before your warm audience or people that have heard of you before or have worked with you already follow you are familiar with who you are. So the easiest way by far to reach your warm audience is through your email list. And that's why I'm a huge proponent for having an email list. If you've never had an email list, I suggest you start one I've got tons of blog posts, and even some podcasts about starting an email list. So dive into those. But that's the best way to reach your warm audience. Now, when we talk about your cold audience, I believe Facebook ads is the easiest way to reach a cold audience. Because we're paying to play, we don't have to fight algorithms to be seen, which in the last year has really been very attractive to me, because it's been exhausting having to fight the ever changing algorithms and knowing that I'm paying for these leads, and that Facebook is going to show my ad to whoever I want them to. Like that's golden right there. And so it's way easier to reach a cold audience when you're paying for the cold audience. And then if you're having to, you know, scrounge and find them, again, I do feel like there's value in exhausting your free avenues. First, go for that cold audience in the Facebook groups. But once you've done that, and you've you know, got the bookings, you're going to get from there, then I would say definitely turn to paid advertising with Facebook ads, because it's so, so easy. And here's Reason number three, why you should use Facebook ads is because you can get very, very specific with your targeting. Facebook is honestly creepy in the way that you can target people. You can target people based on demographics, you know, how old are they? Where do they work? What kind of education do they have? What kind of income level do they have? Are they parents? Are they married? You can target people based on their interests? What kind of things do they like to do? Are they interested in what are they Googling, and when you get into interest targeting, that's where it gets a little bit tricky with the iOS updates that anybody that has opted out of tracking, they won't be showing up in those interest searches. But I still think there's value in you know, using interest targeting. You can target certain cities or a radius of your city or whatever. Which is one reason that was super helpful for my associate team because we have associate photographers in a lot of different areas. We have some in Dallas, we have some in Nashville, we have some in Houston, we're expanding to Virginia next year, or I guess this year, and Savannah, Georgia. And so we've got we've got associates everywhere. And so utilizing Facebook ads, that was way easier for us to target those specific areas then trying to join Facebook groups for areas that we don't live in. And it just it got messy and so Facebook ads were great because we were able to target those specific areas, especially if you're like planning on relocating. I know for us It was great that I was able to run Facebook ads to Tennessee, when I still lived in Texas, that it was this like odd in between period of we knew we're moving to Tennessee, but we weren't there yet. So I was able to create ads that targeted Tennessee, even though I didn't live there. So that's one reason that it can be very, very helpful. Now, when it comes to creating an audience for your Facebook ads, when I say audience, basically that who the ad is going to be served to you can decide what kind of people to be served to, I have found the most success with using look alike audiences of my email list. So basically, I export what's called a CSV file, you can export it from any of your email platforms, we use Flow desk, so I just export that CSV of my email list, and I load it into Facebook Ads Manager. And so it creates this essentially list of matching people to their emails. And then I say Facebook, I want you to create an audience of people that look just like these people. So Facebook will go in and see their common demographics, their common interests, you know, things like that, and create this look alike audience of like 2 million people in your targeted area that look like your email list. So that has been by far the most successful audiences. And it's always worth testing audiences. But for us the look like audiences work best. Let's recap a little bit, we've got one more reason reasons to use Facebook ads, Facebook's turn into pay to play, it's a lot easier to reach a cold audience, you can get super specific with your targeting. And then the last reason which is my personal favorite is that when done right, your Facebook ads turn into a lead machine, okay, a lead machine. And this is what we saw with my associate team. And it was honestly amazing to watch and other people noticed. And we were able to help train other photographers who had associate teams that were wanting to have a lead generating machine. And so what this does is you can have ads running all the time and doing the marketing for you. So you're not having to post in Facebook groups and respond to people and comment and message and all the things you're able to have this ad running and doing the marketing for you. It saves time and energy, and you can set up automations for getting them booked. So it really streamlines the process. Now I will say our team, our favorite like form, we've tested lots of different types of campaigns, which if you go into Facebook Ads Manager, and that's worth mentioning, when I'm talking about ads, I should have said this at the beginning, probably but when I'm talking about ads, I'm not talking about boosting posts, okay, you know, that like little button that says boost on a post, that is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about going into ads manager and creating an ad for Facebook or Instagram. So if you don't know where that is just Google Facebook Ads Manager and you'll find it to like set up your ad account. But our team has found the most successful is using messenger ads, we really like messenger ads, because it allows us to still have a conversation with people. And you know, maybe the date that we're advertising or whatever doesn't work with them, we're able to talk to them, and potentially find another date that does work for them. So we really like messenger ads, they can be automated, you can have automated responses and all these things. And it makes it so simple and streamlined to book from those. But it still gives you that personal touch, which I really, really like. And honestly they've converted way better than if we send people straight to our website or straight to a contact page. The messenger ads have converted by far the best over any of our other like ad campaigns that we've used. So it can be a lead generating machine. And I'm telling you if you can get on this ad train, u haul. I was telling my husband the other day I'm like if more photographers knew how to do this, like more photographers would be fully booked because like I mentioned my associate team. We started them from scratch last March. And they had zero client base. We did not give them my email list. Like for Rebecca rice photography, they
started literally from scratch with zero clients. They didn't have any past clients. They didn't have any, you know, marketing efforts. Like we were literally starting everything from scratch. They didn't have any followers. They didn't have any anything. And we were able to keep them fully booked from March all the way through. Well, we stopped shooting in the first week of December, but we're gonna keep them fully booked that entire time just through Facebook ads. They posted a couple times in Facebook groups, but we just found that Facebook ads were way more effective in booking faster because we wanted to book a lot very quickly. And so you guys it was a lead generating machine and I'm telling you it works if it can work for a company that was absolutely brand new and had zero client base. It can work for you. So you Time to jump into the Facebook ads game. If you're like Rebecca, I'm sold like I want to do Facebook ads, but I have no idea how to do Facebook ads. Well, I actually have a Facebook ads module that is inside PMC 2.0. So if you're one of my PMC, 2.0 students go rewatch that module. If you're not one of my PMC, 2.0 students, don't worry, I have something for you. So I have pulled that module out and created the Facebook ads mini course, it is now live in my shop. And for a limited time, it is 50% off. So if you are wanting to dive into the world of Facebook ads, you're wanting to really understand how to make this thing work. I teach you all kinds of different campaign options to do like conversion campaigns, or I do walk you through messenger campaigns just like my team uses. But everything you need to know about getting started with Facebook ads is in that mini course. So we've linked it below here in the show notes. You can head to my shop, Rebecca rice bow comm slash store. And it's listed in my shop. And like I said, For a limited time it is 50% off. So now's your chance to grab that mini course, it is an investment in your business. And I'm telling you by implementing the things in there, you will see the return on your investment so fast. Guys, if I told you how many 1000s of dollars 10s of 1000s of dollars that we booked from Facebook ads this past year, with, you know, zero client base, you guys it is a million times worth it. You're not going to regret getting that Facebook ad education. And I will also note, the strategy that I use is very different from any other strategy that I've seen, I had to really develop it on my own because I tried the other you know, there are awesome Facebook ad courses out there. And I tried their strategies, and they just did not work for family photographers. We struggled a lot before developing this method, this strategy, specifically the messenger ad strategy. And I have found it works like a charm for booking families as a family photographer, so don't miss your chance to get in at 50% off with this mini course. This is the perfect time like literally, there's no better time to jump in right now. Because we're headed into it's almost time to start booking spring minis like guys, we're almost there. And so if you're not even thinking about spring minis yet, you really should start thinking about it, because you do not have as much time as you think. And so now's the perfect time to jump into that mini course. Learn all you can about Facebook ads, and then really start applying when it's time to start booking your spring minis. So I hope this was helpful for you. I know this was a little more technical than most of my podcast episodes. And I can tend to get like a little nerdy with Facebook ads. So if there's anything that I said that was confusing, or you didn't quite understand, please reach out to me and I would love to like clarify or help you understand a little better. You can find me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography. I'm really active in my DMs and yes, it's really me. I have people every week when they say okay, Rebecca, you said to ask you a question. So I'm finally going to ask you a question. Like please be that person reach out to me, ask me any questions you have about Facebook ads, and I would be happy to jump into those DMS and help you however I can. So with that we will go ahead and sign off for today. I hope you guys have an awesome week and we will see you this time next week. Bye guys.

50. Should You Use Facebook Ads in 2022?