Liz Melville, running an online business in a lot less timeI love what I do! First and foremost, I’m a mum. I’m passionate about giving warm hugs, paddling barefoot in the sea, building Lego castles and eating Nutella off a spoon.
But I’m also a Facebook ad funnel strategist. Teaching and managing Facebook ad campaigns for other online coaches, course creators, and experts. And aspiring to never be on my laptop, or browsing Facebook, when my son wants to paint my face or read a book with me.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP-Tonic Show. This is episode 466. I got a great guest that I’ve been looking forward to interviewing and that’s Liz Melville. She’s a Facebook expert and we’ll be delving in the whole world of Facebook, how to use it to prelaunch your product or service? If you’ve got a client that’s asking advice, maybe to help you give some basic insights for that client so you don’t look all that stupid. Liz, could you quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Liz Melville: Sure. So I am Liz Melville. I’m a Scottish-last working in Scotland and I work with online course creators just to help them ditch all the drama that surrounds Facebook ads and simplify it and teach them my signature strategy so that they can have their best launches ever.
Jonathon: Oh, that’s great. And I’ve got my very great co-host, Adrian, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers.
Adrian: Hi everyone, my name is Adrian. I’m the CEO and founder of Groundhogg and we produce and sell marketing automation plugins for WordPress.
Jonathon: Oh, that’s great. And before we go into the main part of the show, I like to talk about a couple of our sponsors; our main sponsor is Kinsta. They’ve been with us for the past two years, and have decided to sponsor the show for the whole of 2020. What is Kinsta? Kinsta is the premier WordPress hosting company in my mind. They’ve been hosting the WP-Tonic website for over two years. I’ve been totally happy with their hosting. Now, what they offered to you and your clients is basically, they use the power of Google cloud. Then they got their own interface. You get all the technology that you need, staging site, latest version of PHP.
But the biggest thing is you get some, no, that’s not the right word. You get the best support offered by any hosting company specializing in WordPress at the present moment. You don’t have to be accelerated up the technical support chain; if you’ve got a question, it gets answers and it gets dealt with. It is fantastic. So if that sounds great, go over to Kinsta for yourself or for your clients. Buy one of their packages, but really also tell him that you heard about Kinsta on the WP-Tonic Charlotte. The second sponsor is Launch Flow. So basically if you’ve got a wooCommerce website for yourself or your handling one for a client, and you want to put it on steroids and you want to use a modern page builder like [inaudible00:03:00], Launch flows is the product for you and your clients.
Go over there, have a look at this amazing product, buy it, and also tell them that you heard about their product on the WP-Tonic show. So Liz, the world of Facebook, so I thought we’d start off with is basically, how did you get into the world of Facebook and become such a diva of the Facebook pixel.
Liz Melville: I’ve never been called a diva before, so that’s a new one. Thanks, Jonathan. So I kind of fell into Facebook marketing head first. So back in 2009 I was in a proper job and somebody actually employed me to do a job and I was taking redundancy and I still wanted to keep working. So while I was in my corporate job, I actually had a little kind of sideline, a little hobby business, and I was using Facebook just to tell people what I was up to, which was actually creating personalized chocolate bars for wedding favors. It was my idea I have and my house was full of Belgium chocolate. It was incredible. But anyway, I was telling friends and of course, it was at a time when a lot of my friends were getting married and they were telling their friends and I was getting business out of this and I thought this is quite amazing. I’m just chatting on social media and I’m getting money out of it.
And so when it came time for me to leave corporate, I still wanted a job. And at that point an opportunity presented itself to learn more about social media marketing and Facebook in particular. So that’s what got me started. I began, and I would advise you on Twitter and LinkedIn and all the social media platforms, but very quickly realize that it’s important to niche down. And Facebook was definitely my first love. That’s why stop with, and really just decided to specialize in Facebook [inaudible 04:56] advertising specifically, I know that’s been much waste [inaudible 05:07].
Jonathon: Oh, it’s fantastic, over to you Adrian.
Adrian: Awesome. So I think one of the things that course creators often have trouble with is designing a way to engage people who have no idea who they are, what they do. They just upload their course to a brand new website domain, zero authority, and they’ve spent a lot of time creating this course, but they have a hard time getting enrollments, getting people interested. We were talking a little bit before the call. There’s kind of like two levels of audience. There’s completely like cold traffic. And then there’s like Lukewarm to warm traffic. People who may have heard of you may have an idea of what you’re doing about. And then there’s the cold traffic, which is generally if you’re a brand new course creator, you have to start marketing to. Now, I’m so curious about what strategies you employ and what a course creator would be able to do in order to reach out to cold traffic in an effective way and actually get some sort of return on their investment in Facebook ads?
Liz Melville: Yeah, it’s a great question Adrian, and it’s something that I very much focus on with everyone I work with because I come from the point of view that Facebook advertising is social advertising. I want to highlight that word ‘social’. So we’re not talking about talking to complete strangers. We’re talking about how can you actually interact and create connections using your Facebook ads that it becomes like a conversation. And it’s almost thinking about, well if I was going to walk up to a stranger in the street, what would I say to them? Would I walk up and say, do you want to buy my course? You haven’t a clue who I am. You’ve never met me before. I could be anybody. I could be the dodgiest character on the planet. Until you get to know me, you’re probably not going to buy from me.
So I think this is where it, Facebook ads should be used to warm up that audience exactly. You know, as you described so that you turn them from being called and having no clue who you are to building that connection and using us to do that before you present the offer to them. So you’ve put all that effort into building your course, you want it to sell and you’re more likely to sell it to someone who knows, likes and trusts you than a complete stranger. So that for me is a key strategy is how do you move people from first contact with you to become a warmer audience and then put your course launch offer to them.
Adrian: I think that’s the step that most people miss is they think that we learn growing up; builds it and they will come. And that’s kind of just like not the reality of the situation at all, right?
Liz Melville: No.
Adrian: You have to sort of build a level of trust. But, how do you actually go about doing that? You can’t expect to do that during your course. You have to do that before the enrollment. So what kind of strategies exist that you employ to do that?
Liz Melville: You do. And I think, you know, this is where is a step that a lot of people miss out because they go from I’ve got this thing to sell. I just want to chuck out an ad in front of anyone who looks at it to try and sell it and forget about actually that are human beings behind that, and they want to be loved and they want to be nurtured and they want to be inspired and they want to be heard. And I think you can use your Facebook ads to do that, even with complete strangers. So it’s thinking about what content, what have I got that I can promote to get it in front of people who have never heard of me in a way that they’re going to take notice. And that can be very short content.
It can be a very short video talking about some kind of topic that’s going to inspire people, that’s going to disrupt their thinking, that’s going to stand out and make them go oh, take notice, I want to know more. And then follow that up with more, you know, putting more in front of them that they start to get to know you much better. Now that doesn’t have to be complicated. It really can be quite simple. And if you’re doing something like you are, you know, running a regular podcast, it’s about putting that out there and taking it to strangers, but making sure that the topics that you put in front of them aligned to what it is you’re eventually selling.
Adrian: I think we had someone on the call last year who essentially said pretty much the same thing. It’s all about having that content that is easily consumable that doesn’t require any sort of opting or exchange of information or exchange of monetary investment, but just having something available for someone to look at and then promoting that maybe like a blog post, podcast or video. And I think I mean, well once upon a time I launched a Facebook ads campaign, totally missing that step, and wasted a lot of money doing it. So it’s a very important step, Jonathan.
Jonathon: So Liz, are there any clients that you’ve worked within the past year or 18 months that come to your mind that have done this, the way that you would do it if you’re revising yourself?
Liz Melville: Yeah, absolutely. And the person who totally comes to mind is one of my biggest clients, James Wedmore. So anyone in the online space who knows of James, he has absolutely mastered the art of this. But, he takes it one step farther and I think it’s all very well. It’s easy to see, just put content out there. It’s not about that. It’s about remembering there’s a human being, as I said earlier on the other side of that content. And actually sitting down and thinking, what do they need to hear from me that’s going to help them with something that’s going on in their lives. And I think one famous Martika once said that people don’t want to buy a 12-inch drill bit; they want a hole. So it’s the hole they want to drill in their wall. That’s their real need. You’re trying to sell them the drill bit; it’s making sure that you talk about how they’re going to create that hole.
And I think that’s it, what’s going on with them? What do they really need? It might not be what you think you want to sell. It’s what the really needs that’s going on in their lives and how can you talk to that? What content can you put out there that speaks to that, that really does inspire them, disrupt them, excite them, entertain them; I’m really get them thinking about something. So I think it’s a bit taking it that extra layer in thinking about what content you put out there. And it’s not necessarily how-to content. So James is an absolute master, as I said about doing this. He knows his audience in depths and he knows what makes them tick, and what he will always do when he’s doing a course launch is he starts months in advance? Start to reach new people who maybe don’t know about them, but to talk to them in their language about the things that matter to them that will draw them towards him and to the course that he’s eventually going to put it in front of them.
Jonathon: I think that’s great. So do you think the– because you work with a lot of course creators. Do you think the fundamental problem, is a lot of them approach you after they’ve built the course? But really they should have done a lot of pre-planning, and trying to find out about their target audience before they even made their first video.
Liz Melville: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point, Jonathan. It’s not so much that they approach me too late. I think it’s they approach their customers too late.
Jonathon: That’s a very good point.
Liz Melville: Absolutely. Is that I think people need this course. It’s something I knew a lot about. So I will just take everything that’s in my head and put it into this course and then I’ll go out and find somebody who might want to buy it. And I think that’s completely the wrong way around. I think it should be going and looking for that market who’s eager, that has a problem that they need solving and then saying, right, well how can I build the product to fit that needs and to solve that issue? And that will give you a much better chance of success. So yeah, I think it’s just quite– that’s another step that’s often missed, is that market research and really taking the time to ask your audience questions about what’s going on in their lives and how you can really help you.
Jonathon: Over too you Adrian.
Adrian: So let’s delve into that just a little bit more. So what strategies because you’ve obviously help course creators with this, I think. What strategies do you have in order for course creators, if they’re thinking about building a course and they’re watching this before they build anything, how do they go about and perform that market research? Is there an easy strategy that you give to people in order to perform that?
Liz Melville: Yeah, I mean, I think for me, ads will promote anything. So if you come to me and say I want to promote my market research, then you know, we’ll do an ad campaign for that. But I think it’s about saying, well, how am I going to do that market research? And the first place is to start with anyone who’s already in your community, anyone who you’re already in touch with, who is your ideal client avatar. So asking them the questions, what are the biggest challenges they’re facing and what would solve that for them if they could get any training from you? What would that be that would help? And just asking those questions that they give you that feedback, but what a lot of people will then say is well, I don’t have a list and I don’t have an existing social following, so where do I start?
So it’s then about, well do other people have forums or groups that you’re in that have people that you want to reach? Can you ask the questions in there? And if you’re still drawing blanks, is there a way of putting out content using an ad to take it to more people where you can ask the questions that way. So you can use your ads to put out something, a poll or whatever it is to ask those questions and get the response and serve that ad to exactly the people you want to reach.
Adrian: Very cool.
Jonathon: I think example, you know having a really quality lead, but having the provisor when they go to the landing page. And do you push the free lead is that final step they just got so few questions and they probably, they probably will, won’t they Liz?
Liz Melville: They do. I mean I have actually myself, when I’m running webinars quite often on the thank you page, I’ll just have a thanks for signing up. Would you mind just answering two questions and it literally is two questions and that’s usually what business are you in and what’s your biggest challenge in running Facebook ads? And that means that I’ve had hundreds of feedback just from one webinar that tells me exactly what my audience is facing and challenging and I can then adapt my training to exactly what they said they needed. That’s gold for me, but it’s so simple to do, but it’s something very few do.
Jonathon: Right. So when it comes to a cold audience that you have identified for joining other Facebook groups. You have done some research and you think you are answering questions but you haven’t got a large social media presence. What are some of the campaigns that come to your mind that being aimed at pretty cold audience, that have got some success?
Liz Melville: I think there are kind of two arms to that. I think there’s creating something that is the ad itself. What does that look like? What are you going to ask? And how you’re going to present that question to people as an image? What is it, is it a video you’re going to speak to them? What’s going to be most compelling to them to want to react to it?
Jonathon: Can I be a bit more specific actually for you? What do you think are offering a really good lead [inaudible 16:42] or maybe a very small free course, are pretty good ideas when you’re aimed at a semi-cold audience?
Liz Melville: Do you mean for actually doing market research about who their audience is and what they need Jonathan or actually you’re past that? You know who they are and you want to offer–?
Jonathon: I would say the second really.
Liz Melville: Okay. Right, I think in that case, again, it depends on your strategy. So lead magnets are great when you know exactly who you want to target because the clue’s in the name, there is a magnet to get leads that’s going to lead it through to you presenting an offer to them, so you want to get the right people. And a good lead magnet is only going to work when you do understand your ideal client and you do know the challenges that they face and you put that in the lead magnet, you give them one step that’s going to take them farther to solving their problems and the rest of the solution is in your course.
So the lead magnet can be very powerful in filtering out, getting the right people, getting raise the hands as interested in what you’ve got and then you know, drawing them through to your offer. So I think lead magnets are great, but again, a lot of people will create PDFs and all these things and put them out and then they still don’t convert to a sale. Because you’ve then got to move them from having said, yeah, I’m interested in your free stuff. You still got to get them interested in your paid stuff. And so quite often you might not want to do a lead magnet. You might want to offer a free experience that is doing two things. It is warming people up, letting them get to know you and gathering leads at the same time; so things like webinars, free experiences, challenges, and video series, and all these kinds of things that typically launchers will use, are great ways of collecting leads, but also getting that extra beta engagement as well.
Adrian: If I can jump in and I want to build on top of that. So Chris from Lifter LMS who often comes on the panel show, big LMS provider for the WordPress community and he has taught me a strategy called the free course lead magnet. And that is exactly an example of that strategy you just mentioned. Something that does both actions, both warms them up, builds trust, and then ends up with some sort of conversion strategy to upgrade them to paid. So for the one that we implemented was; we are a software company, so we are a free course lead magnet is basically just training on how to use the free portion of the software and then builds up to implementing some of our premium stuff, which then pushes them to a paid subscription. So if anybody’s curious about what an example of that looks like, a free course lead magnet short under an hour explaining again how to solve like step one of their initial problem and then building upon “here is the paid thing that’s going to help you solve steps two, three, four, and five.”
Liz Melville: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that’s a brilliant way to do it. But I think what a lot of people do is, it’s easier to almost hide behind “I’ll just create a PDF and I’ll just promote that and I don’t actually have to show up as me and talk to people. God forbid, it’s kind of, I’ll just put that out and that’ll get the leads in for me.” Now that will convert to a sale, but you’re going to have to have a damn good email sequence nurturing people after that that allows them to get to know you through email and the even into to get them to click on open up that email is no mean feat. So I think you know, yes there’s a place for lead magnets but I think you need to use them very strategically and quite often actually giving them a free experience of you is a much more powerful way to get your leads in.
Jonathon: Yeah, I agree with you there. Well, we can wrap up the first half of the show folks. When we come back I’ll be talking with Liz about how you identify your target audience using Facebook and also retargeting. We’ll be back in a few moments folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back, where we’re delving in the world with the diva of Facebook, Liz Melville. So, Liz, another factor is how you utilize all the tools on Facebook to identify the best audience for your product or course. Now, though Facebook offers a lot of insights into different audiences. Based on your experiences is this another area where I think we’ve covered some traps that people fall into in the first half. And we’ve given some clear advice about how to avoid that or start thinking in the right way. But then we’re dealing with Facebook itself, especially if you’re wanting to do this yourself.
Is identify using the metrics that Facebook offers and they offer a lot of different metrics to find the right audience. Is this the kind of third mine elephant trap that people fall into? They don’t understand how to use the Facebook matrix about identifying the correct audience.
Liz Melville: Yeah, actually, the biggest trap I see few people fall into is not so much that they don’t know how to use Facebook metrics to identify the right audiences. They don’t know who their audience is full stop. And I think where people go wrong with Facebook ads is that they dive in there and think that Facebook is this magic bullet to go and somehow find the perfect people and draw them in. It won’t, you need to tell Facebook where to go and look for these people. And if you don’t know who your ideal client is and you don’t know what makes them tick and you don’t know what they’re interested in, then you can’t possibly tap into all the targeting options that Facebook gives you. So for me, the most powerful tool is not actually on Facebook. It’s a blank sheet of paper.
And it’s sitting with that and absolutely brainstorming who is my client and attacking that from two angles. What are their demographics? So how old they are, where they live, and that good stuff, but also their psychographics. What are they interested in? What books are they reading? What lifestyle have they got? Have they’ve got kids? Where do they live and what do they aspire to do? What brands do they aspire to wear, to use, and who are they following on Facebook? What websites do they visit? All of that stuff. And you might think; what I need to know all that for? That will make your targeting on Facebook so powerful because armed with all these keywords and all this research that you’ve done on your blank piece of paper, you can go into Facebook and use the tools to type in the keywords and see what audiences come up as targetable. And that will make your audience targeting much more powerful. And then you can use the metrics as you’re running ads to see whether they’re really are working or not and interpret what the data is telling you.
Jonathon: So I totally understand where you’re coming from, but it was a little, as you say, these truthful words. It was getting more and more daunting either way. How do you assemble these descriptions of your ideal client? Are you making educated guesses or are there ways of finding data that back up; they do your target audience does are the people that go to specific websites or they read specific magazines or all the other matrix you were pointing out?
Liz Melville: Yeah, I mean you can, and it’s interesting that you say that all starts to sound really daunting. And it’s amazing how people are daunted by just sitting with a blank piece of paper and actually having to think about who their ideal client is. And it does amaze me because all we’re asking really to do is to sit and think about them. If you know them well enough, you should have a pretty good idea. And be able to fill in some of those blanks. But you know, we have a great tool available; Google. You can actually go into Google and type in things like the most popular books read by yoga instructors. Whatever your niches, you can take that in and you’ll get ideas. So you know, replace that best book with something else, and most popular websites visited by the niche that you’re trying to go after. So you can actually use Google off of Facebook for a lot of research into your target market. It’s amazing what will come up that you can put on that blank piece of paper and then you can go in and use the tools on Facebook to further refine that in terms of what you can and can’t actually target within Facebook itself.
Jonathon: Right. I’ll just give you a second actually, Adrian. This dear little game here; I know a young man that’s got a software WordPress software product–
Liz Melville: Is he not too far from here by any chance?
Jonathon: Or he’s identified his target audience. Are digital agencies– people who I mean drip campaigns for clients, right? So how would you advise him if he wanted to run a Facebook campaign that would be targeted at digital agencies and persuading them to utilize his fantastic product?
Liz Melville: Sure. So let’s say this hypothetical young man was to come to me and I’d be saying, “Well, you know, so you’re looking for digital agencies. Where do they hang out on Facebook that we can target them?” So it’s thinking about their daily life. What tools are they having to use to actually do their work? So is there email software that they’re perhaps having to use? Start to list those tools and they’re probably going to be interested in online advertising, for example, if it’s a digital agency. And so is that something we want to target people who are interested in online app advertising? And they might be interested in digital marketing, so what would be the most popular websites for people who are interested in digital marketing, and start to do some of that research on Google? And we’ll start to draw a long list of interests that you could potentially target.
So it really is thinking about if you were to put yourself in the shoes of that customer, what are they doing on a daily basis? What problems do they have and where are they looking for the solution? So yeah, what tools are they using? What websites are they seeking help from, and professional periodicals or magazines might they be reading, really brainstorming all of that too, to kind of create a profile? And then what I do is I take that, and I will go into Facebook audience insights and you can start to plug in some of those ideas and it will give you more suggestions. And I’ll also tell you what you can and can’t target. It’s amazing how you suddenly fill that sheet of paper.
Jonathon: So how’d you make; when you’re utilizing the Facebook insights tool? How do you make your decisions about– because you got a long list and you starting– at that stage, when do you make decisions and how do you make that decision about the ones that you really think are going to be appropriate?
Liz Melville: I think there’s a bit of trial and error because you can draw up the list of–
Jonathon: Is that where the magic comes in?
Liz Melville: It’s not so much where the magic comes in, it’s where having to run Facebook ads and see how the goal comes in. Because you can look at a thing comes up and I might see, okay I’m going to target an audience of online advertisers and I know there’s that amount of people, you know, 2 million people in that audience. You still don’t know who’s going to want to react to what you’ve got to offer and what you’ve got to say. So there’s still that element of testing out and what they’re going to react to, what your ads look like and to get the best result? So it’s a kind of looking at, well if I’ve got this long list of people I want to target, who you don’t want to start with? Who do I feel got the low hanging foot in it that has got the biggest proportion of my ideal client in them? And then work your way through that. And if they don’t work, you move on to the next one and you just keep doing it. So there’s no exact science in that. It really does come down to, you’ve got to test them out and see where those great audiences are and where they lie.
Jonathon: I think we’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show, but then I’m going to let Adrian talk in the bonus content and also I got a couple more questions myself. I understand you’re going to be running a free course in the near future, which sounds– I probably going to join myself. So Liz, first of all, how can people find out more about you? Secondly, how do they sign up for your free course?
Liz Melville: Yeah, people can come and find out more about me. I would love for them to come and listen to my own podcast. It’s Ads That Convert Podcast and that’s where I give lots of tips and strategies to run ads more simply and get them converting and so come and hang out with me there. And if you would like to join the free training, I would love for you to do that. It’s on February the 12th, and it is really showing you the three most important ads that online course creators need to fill their launches with more ease and without being over complicated or needing a lister and let that to get you started. So you’ll find that at Lizmelville.com/training
Jonathon: And we’ll make sure that’s in the show notes folks. So you’d be able to click and join. Adrian, how can people find out more about you and your company and what you’re up to?
Adrian: So you can go to Groundhogg with two gs.io to find out more about how our marketing automation plugin can help you. If you have a course increased student engagement and a whole bunch of other cool stuff. So again, that’s Groundhogg.io. We also have our lead magnet mini-course, which we kind of talked about today, which you can sign up for free and get a funnel launch to help you with the marketing for your free course.
Jonathon: And if you really want to help the show folks, go to the WP-Tonic website and sign up for our monthly newsletter. Oh, me; we’re going to be changing the format in 2020. Our panelists on our round table show every Friday are going to be contributing to the newsletter with their own articles and insights. And it’s just going to be a fantastic feast of WordPress and dealing with online marketing and course promotion as well. We’ll see you next week where we have another fantastic guest and giving insight on how to make you a better marketer or a better course creator. We’ll see you soon folks, bye
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