I get it. Us contractors are busy people. We get up early at the crack of dawn and are usually on a project site long before most people are even awake. We are putting out fires left and right while most people are still sipping their morning coffee. You need to deal with customer complaints, chasing late payments, and wondering why the supplies are not being delivered on time.
The last thing on your mind is I wonder how those Facebook Ads are doing this week? Why not just hire an ad agency, pay them a monthly retainer and let them run them? Makes sense doesn’t it?
Well no actually. For starters marketing your business and getting new customers is one of the most important aspects of running your company. If you stop getting customers and landing new projects you eventually run out of work. No work leads to no cash. And without cash you soon struggle to cover expenses at the end of each month. You shouldn’t be trying to delegate your way out of such an important task.
If you do in the end decide to hire an ad agency, see them as the people who will do the heavy lifting of creating and testing ad creatives, split testing landing pages, and measuring how many leads you are getting. But you need to be working closely together with them. Do not give them a blank cheque to run your ads. You care more about your business than they do.
You need to grasp the basics of internet advertising. If you do not understand the basic fundamental concepts of internet marketing, your agency will screw you over.
There are many reasons why this could happen, here are some of the aspects you should look out for:
Own Your Account
Make sure that all your ads are being run on accounts owned by you! Don’t let the ad agency run YOUR ads on THEIR account. You need to have full administrative access to your own account. You need to see all the metrics and all the results and not just the stats the agency chooses to share with you. (Most agencies like to send these superficial monthly reports like “hey! Your clicks went up this month”.)
You need to know what is working and what is not. And you need to have access to the entire history of your account. So if one day you decide to fire them, the new person that takes over will have a clear picture what types of ads you have been running all this time.
And one final point: You need to know how much you are paying per click to Google and Facebook.
Pay them on results not on ad spend
The key to being successful on Google and Facebook is running ads with a higher engagement and CTR (click through rate) than your competition. This improves your quality score which in turn brings down your spending. The same amount of impressions will lead to more clicks and leads.
However many agencies charge a commission based on your ad spend. The more money you spend, the more money they make. Which means that they have absolutely no incentive to save you money! Who cares If your cost per clicks are 50% higher than what the competition is paying!
Therefore you need to work out a compensation system where on top of their retainer they get paid on the leads they generate for you. Give them an incentive to run and properly optimise your account.
Are they willing to do the grunt work?
Internet advertising, whether its on Google, Facebook or another channel is a tedious job that requires testing out ads, images, ad creatives and landing pages. Unless you hire a more serious ads consultant, most agencies get some intern to do the boilerplate work.
Another common problem with such agencies is that they sell their services again and again to the same industry. Then they run copy -paste jobs. Imagine if you find out that your ads for your plumbing services are identical to other plumbing companies in your town. This actually happens quite often! If you are competing for the same customers, so you should work with a company that will make you stand out.
Do they have Skin in the Game?
And finally ask them if they run their own internet ads and how much money they spend on their own campaigns. Ask them about their biggest failures when running such campaigns. The real learning experiences can only occur from failures. You do not want to hire an expert who has not spent his own money on internet advertising. This person does not feel the pain. There is nothing more painful than blowing 1000 dollars on a campaign that got no results. It has happened to me several times. Every single time it hurt, and every time it made me a better (and wiser) marketer.
I would not have acquired the knowledge I have today had it not been for these experiences. If you want to learn more about my internet marketing experiences, then I highly advise that you check out my ebook here.
So to summarise, regardless of whether you outsource or not, you need to have a fundamental grasp of how internet advertising works.
And finally I want to hear your comments: What are your thoughts on hiring ad agancies? Do you prefer to do the work in-house or outsource it?