How Course Creators Get Leads Through Content and Scale Revenue Through Smart Promotions with Marketing Professional Daniel Daines-Hutt
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Learn about how course creators get leads through content and scale revenue through smart promotions with marketing professional Daniel Daines-Hutt in this episode of the LMScast podcast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.
Daniel has a lot of experience around content marketing. One strength course creators tend to have that most businesses don’t is the ability to create a lot of rich content. But marketing that content is something many course creators struggle with. Chris and Daniel dive into various content marketing strategies in this episode, and what to look out for when building content made for marketing.
To provide some context and social proof, Daniel shares how he wrote eight blog posts in two years, and his second article got 50,000 visits, which led to 3 million dollars in client requests. In doing this, he proved that the amount of content you have is not directly proportional to the amount of traffic you can recieve and the amount of value you can add.
One big challenge with business in the digital ecosystem is the emotional disconnect where your audience can just click away from your content and do something else online. This is why Daniel focuses his content around actionable steps that will produce value for the students.
Daniel shares how he believes all content should be actionable so it is valuable for consumers. When content is valuable to consumers, they feel reciprocity to take action by buying and sharing.
Giving your audience the results they actually need is an aspect of content marketing that is often overlooked. Daniel references the LMScast with Nick Usborne where Chris and Nick discuss conversational copywriting, and how that is very similar in nature to the actionable content approach Daniel and Chris discuss in this episode.
Once piece of content Daniel created was his guide about paid ads where he goes over everything you need to know about creating paid ads for platforms like Facebook. You can find that over at AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content. In this episode Daniel shares his strategies for creating his long form content, and some best practices you may want to try out to improve your production strategies.
To learn more about Daniel Daines-Hutt head to AmpMyContent.com. You can also find him on Twitter at @inboundascend. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I am the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest who I have known for quite a long time, Daniel Daines-Hutt from down under. How you doing, Daniel?
Daniel: I’m very well, thank you for having me, buddy.
Chris Badgett: This is going to be a fun episode, especially on the marketing bent for course creators. Daniel has a lot of experience around content marketing, he’s helped us, and his partner Freyja have helped us with content marketing. He has just been going crazy with some crazy numbers that I want to tell you about here. You can find him at AmpMyContent.com, and he’s got a specific article at AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content that we’re going to be talking about today. But, first, Daniel welcome to the show.
Daniel: Thank you so much for having me. It’s good to chat, man. It’s been too long.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s been a while. Course creators out there, a lot of them they have this problem, I call it the five hats problem, they have to be an expert, a teacher, a technologist, a community builder, and an entrepreneur all in one. A lot of them are experts, or teachers, but they don’t really have that marketing muscle built up. They might build a great course, and … A little side note I want to say is that course creators have a strength that a lot of other online business owners don’t have, which is they’re used to creating content. They will get it done, they just need to know what to create. So, I just want to put that little caveat about what makes course creators different.
They can make videos and write all day long, they’re just not sure how to do it. So, how we can we help course creators today create some content that’s not behind the membership, or inside the course, that’s going to work for them? How do they drive traffic to that? I have all kinds of questions around this, because I see far too many courses launched without the marketing really thought through. How can you help these people?
Daniel: All right. Well, I’ll give you some social proof upfront, so that people pay attention. So, I wrote eight posts in two years. From those posts, the second article got 50,000 visits, which led to 3 million dollars in client requests. We didn’t take them all on, in fact we pivoted from that in the end. We have had the top 10 content of all time on inbound.org, top 10 content of all … Sorry, 2017 and 2018 growth factors. So, all these results with very little content.
I used to work in retail for years and so, I think one of my major skillsets is I’m empathetic, and because of that it makes me a good direct response marketer, because I’m a bit of a nerd. I did engineering, I understand numbers, but I also understand people. So, copywriting and things like that, and content writing is just connecting the dots between the two. A big thing that we talk about is you don’t actually need that many content assets, you just need the right ones. So-
Chris Badgett: So, you don’t have to blog every day?
Daniel: No. I didn’t want to curse, or anything like that, but no, you really don’t. A big problem with that is we emulate what we see, and what we’re doing is reading news sites and media hubs, and things like that. And those guys are paid to get the same person to come back, and the same eyeballs on an advert. So, if you come back five times per day, they’ll get paid five times, like five bucks or whatever. You, as a small business owner, or course creator, or service owner, that’s not how you earn money. And so, you don’t need to be churning out this content all the time for the same person. In reality, you want to make something good, and get it in front of someone who is just like the person who is already buying. And then someone else, and then someone else.
Like, was it Kevin Kelly? A 1,000 true fans. You just got to keep putting out in front of those people. There’s actually certain types of content that people need, and I normally find that people either get traffic and no sales, or they get sales and no traffic, and it depends on the background that they have. Especially if you’re an inbound marketer, you want people to come to you. And if you’re an outbound marketer, you will go out and be aggressive, but you’re not creating assets, and stuff. In fact, you want a blend of the two. So, digital sales and things like that, we need specific things. All sales, in reality, we need trust, and we need authority, and the person needs to understand the problem, and see that it’s a solution, they need to trust that a solution will be provided, and all these things.
The problem with digital is there is an emotional disconnect. There is this social dissonance where they can just click the button and turn off. If you’re listening right now, you can turn off if you really wanted to, but you’d miss out. So, we have to do all these different things to keep people entertained, to build trust, to build reciprocity. But it’s actually not that difficult. You’ll find that how to guides super actionable and valuable, the customer will buy from you. If you’re trying to sell surfboards, if you’re teaching people how to surf, yes it might take a little time at first, but that person might buy 10 boards at $2000 a piece over like the next couple of years. So, it’s worth teaching.
Even though everyone’s got a post on it, it doesn’t matter. If that person wants to buy from you, it makes sense for you to have that asset on your site. Case studies of people are like a transformation, because if we think about it, the reason we buy anything is for a change in state from pain to pleasure, for status, or tribe, or whatever. So, case studies, and testimonials and things do really well. But, then again, customers don’t have websites, and they can’t build links to use, so then you need to create assets that people do have websites [inaudible], it’s like whitepapers, ultimate guides, and things like this. So, when you break it down, you really need only about eight or nine articles to run a successful business.
And I’m going to prove that, because that’s what we’re going to do with our new website, and that’s what we’re doing right now. That’s a big thing to understand you don’t need a huge amount of content. And then also if you are going to do that, obviously that content has to be good. I have got an article, that I’ll link to, where we show you how to take an old post, and actually turning into what we call killer content. Like I said, there’re certain things that make the most effective post online. We read data by BuzzSumo, and Jonah Berger, who wrote Contagious, like, why posts go viral, and things like this. And we took all this information, and we created this checklist. It’s basically yes, content has authority, content build trusts, content builds reciprocity.
But, in reality it’s longer content, content with images because it provides context, and it breaks up, and it’s easier to read, content that’s actionable, so, if you’re actually telling them how to do a thing, not just what the thing is. So, the guide that we’re talking about today is like 30,000 words. We don’t have to do that, but it’s a great asset to get influencers to link to. But, only reason it’s 30,000 words is because it’s super actionable. We talk about ad design, and then I walk you through, and show you how to do design ads, so by the end of that chapter you have actually got your ads designed. So-
Chris Badgett: And that’s AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s all in there, but those are the two big things that I need to get people to understand is you don’t need that much content. To actually get killer content, you can go into old content, and actually edit it, and tweak it. It’s only certain things, and we show you side by side comparison of two posts, so you can see it.
Chris Badgett: [crosstalk] What’s the difference between an ultimate guide, and a blog post? What makes it a guide? Is it the actionable nature, like it’s not just information or story time?
Daniel: I think all content should be actionable anyway, because there is different elements we want to hit. And if the content is actionable then it becomes valuable, which means they will either feel reciprocity to take an action, to obtain, to buy, or they will tell friends about you. A blog, if we think about it from the original context was someone sharing … It’s like what Twitter is now, it’s sharing how they feel, and what they think, and ideas, and inner thoughts, and stuff like that. Direct response is all about understanding it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. So, you need to give them what they actually need, which isn’t that difficult, it’s just talking to these people. I was listening to your episode with Nick Osborne, where he’s talking about conversational copywriting. It’s the exact same thing.
It’s talking to them, and actually understanding who they are, and what they need, and helping them connect the dots from where they are to the offer that you have, that’s all we really need to do. That’s all our content has to be. They have a specific problem here, let’s help them solve that, so then they can figure out the next thing, so now they’re ready to be a customer. And move on from there. I apologize, like I said before, I have had two coffees, so I can ramble on and things like that. But, just let me know if-
Chris Badgett: No, you’re doing good. You’re doing good. I want to know, if somebody is listening out, and they’re a course creator, and they’re going to create some of this killer long form content, and instead of giving … They’re going to dispel the myth that they have to blog every day, or even every week. How can they be strategic about the content? And I’m going to give you a specific example that we could use. Let’s say I’m a course creator and I have a course, I’m a runner, about how to go from being out of shape couch potato to your first marathon in like 90 days, or something like that. So, couch potato to marathon finish line in 90 days, that’s my course. What kind of content, or ultimate guides should I be creating?
Daniel: All right. The article that we talk about, this big guide, it’s all about paid ads. In it, we talk about how to write an ad, we actually interview our audience. So what I will do is I will have a one-on-one Skype call or a coffee with someone who has done the thing, someone who is close to solving and taking the action, so who is about to become a customer, and someone who isn’t. So, someone who is-
Chris Badgett: So, different parts of the journey.
Daniel: Yes. Because then I can connect the dots between the three things, because people would never tell you what they mean, and the reasons … underlying reasons behind things are totally different. If I talk to someone who has already completed it, they’ll be very honest and raw about the stuff that was actually motivating them, so I can connect that with this guy, and with this guy he understands what his problem is now, but he knows two weeks ago when he didn’t know how to describe the problem, he knows what that is, so, now I can talk to this person. A big secret is I will do that before I even write the article, or create the product, because, it’s really easy to create an advert, if the content, if the product, all ties together.
If we talk about sales psychology, there is two types of sales peoples, you have the people who make … Sorry, three. You have people who make an offer, and that’s it. And then you have people who are pretty good who do reframing, they come back, and they find out what the objection is, and they try and change it. Then, they find out what the new objective is, and they try and change it. It’s reframing the objections. The people who are really, really good are what we call pre-framing. They find all the objections in advance, and they bring them up, and they create solutions to them before they even make the offer. So, what happens is, and I’m a big nerd, so I apologize on this.
If we were to have a conversation and I make an offer, and you have an idea about, like running, you’re like, “I don’t want to, it’s too much effort, I never been in the habit, I can’t do it,” blah, blah, blah. If I make the offer at that point, there is no chance. But, if I know all those objections you have, and I cover them in advance, and I walk through how to get there, it’s a really easy way to get someone ready to buy. I wouldn’t even go from couch potato straightaway, I would go from casual runner to … Like, my course would probably be casual runner to marathon runner, because that person is a hot league, but I would still talk to couch potatoes, and I would do a piece of content, like, “How to lose your first five pounds running,” or something.
And the first stuff I would talk about is the major objections that they have, and it’s habit creation, “Make sure your running shoes are by the bed, do it at the same time every day. It’s about the trajectory you’re on, not where you are, you’re not going to see results for X amount of time, but they are there.” Stuff like that, because at that point those are the major things stopping that person from getting off the couch. Then, the next one is, “Okay well, to stay committed you need to get a running partner, so here is how to find friends, here is how to do this, here is …” And so, we walk them through it. So, I’m going to … So, it’s makes sense, you’re actually moving them from one thing to the next. Can I share my sales funnel, and how it works? Like, the pre-frames.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Let’s hear it. Let’s hear it.
Daniel: So, we [inaudible] my content, and we created a course called the Amplified Content Academy. We teach people how to write, but we also teach people mainly how to leverage content, how to promote it so we can write less, how to run paid ads, how to do SEO, how to get on podcasts, things like that. It’s pointless me trying to sell that to absolutely every small business owner, so what we have is we have a sequence of content that actually gets people through it. The first thing is the manifesto, where we cover the major objections. People think they to write all the time, they don’t. People think it’s very difficult to write, no it’s just a couple of different things, so we go through that.
Then, the next article is we show them how to take an old article, and improve it. Because, now you’re onboard with the idea, and you want to get started, but I don’t want you to take this massive leap, and write something brand new and come up with an idea. I want you to take a post that’s got a little bit of traffic, and let’s get more simply by improving it. And these are the tick boxes, and this is what we have to do. Now, you’ve got an article that’s getting more traffic, brilliant. Let’s make it more efficient. So, I go through how to capture more leads. All our articles deal with 17 to 83% opt-in rate. Most websites will collect 2%, so like 2 out of every 100 readers. We’re getting 83 out of a 100 to specific pieces of content. We show you how to do that.
By that point, you realize that you don’t have to write as much, you know how to improve content, your content is already capturing more leads and getting more traffic. Guess what? You probably want to get it out in the world, and get more people to read it, when we have a product, and a training program that does that. So, we’re creating the ideal person who is ready for our offer, if that makes sense. And it’s the same with the running, it’s what I would do. Even though people have written 10 million times, if not more, about habits to get started running in the morning, it doesn’t matter because that is a conversation you still have to have. As the business owner, even if you were selling running shoes, it’s the same conversation you got to have.
But, because you got to have all those times, why not create an asset to do it for you? So, you have a piece of content you can build links to it so Google will push … they get more traffic. You can run paid traffic through it, so you can get brand new people who’ve never heard of you, and things like that. So, in reality it’s not that difficult, it’s … I’m sorry if you can hear the little dogs in the background, we got a lot of puppies, and there is construction work going on. So, it’s not too difficult, what we’re trying to do instead is … Threw me off my-
Chris Badgett: It’s working smarter not harder, right?
Daniel: Yeah, and it’s also learning what those assets are that you can leverage, because a lot of people will think, “Oh no, I need to create a piece of content that has no competition, so I can rank in Google, and things like that.” And yes, you’re going to get traffic, but it’s for this random, random long-tail keyword, which is fine, that works, but in reality … People laugh at me when I say this, traffic is just a bonus. If you had a physical store, if you were selling one-to-one, you would have all these same conversations. All these same conversations with these people to get them ready to buy. By actually having those assets you can speak to more people, and you don’t have to repeat yourself all the time so straightaway you’re automating the process. It’s a benefit that when you promote it, Google will send traffic. When Google dies, and the next thing comes along, that can send the traffic and whatever.
But, it’s an asset that sells for you, it gets that person to that point. People think I’m crazy when I say that, but it makes it so much easier to actually do those things, and it’s a better experience for your reader and your customer, because sometimes you will have these conversations, and you’ll forget what you’re saying or you’re having an off day, or you can’t close, so you can create a piece of content instead that doesn’t have a bad day, it doesn’t change, it’s always good, it always converts. So I just pulled my shoulder, just done too much surfing in my last few weeks, I put my arm up, and I couldn’t move my arm. Hopefully that makes sense.
Chris Badgett: It does. It does. If we’re going to make this, what’s the time commitment to do an epic post that’s long, maybe not 30,000 words, but let’s say a nice 10,000 word solid guide or action plan, or something. What’s the time-
Daniel: In reality, most content you only really need to do about 3,000 words. The reason we did this is because, one, it’s a massive topic that I wanted to talk about, and I didn’t want to leave anything out. Two, I’ve been writing content for years, so it’s not that difficult for me to do one of these. And three, it’s a really competitive niche and I wanted to blow the doors off and say here we are, we are the people in this niche. If you are selling surfboards, or running shoes, or whatever, you don’t need to be creating that kind of content. In fact, I teach people ultimate guides should be like the 8th post they create, because it will kill you if you try and do it too early. So, 3,000 word is fine.
Now, I can write a 3,000 word article in about 2 hours, sometimes 45 minutes, and I will give you the sneaky tricks on that. A lot of the reason why people can’t write is they don’t have systems and processes, either they have these mental blocks, and things like that, or they realize … They think they’ve got to write all the time, and they find five minutes, and the kids are asleep, and then they sit down and they just come up with a topic like 10 things batman taught me about WordPress plugins, or whatever. It’s like something that was just connecting the between the things you just did. So, if you plan out your content in advance, and you know the conversations, you have got to automate, and stuff like that, makes it easier.
Almost all content online, like we said, those seven or eight posts, they follow specific archetypes. So like the Hero’s Journey, and all these different things. They’re the same stories that have been out for years. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time, you can use templates. And by a template, I mean the way people perceive information, we have to ring certain bells when we do it, and it makes content more effective. We lead with an intriguing headline, and then we talk about the before, where they are now, and the pain of it, and after where they want to be, and then the bridge of how they can get there. Then, we get into the content, and things like this.
So, if you understand the content you got to do, and you have got templates, and things, and structures, and you know what it is, what I will do is sit down with a piece of paper, like I’ve got now, and I will make notes. So these are my notes to talk about this particular episode today, the different chapters, and things to cover. I will do that on a piece of paper, and I will put the template down and I’m going to say, “Well, the before, well the after, what’s the bridge?” And I will write these things on it and I want to cover what makes sense in a specific order. And then I will turn on Camtasia or Snagit and I’ll record myself talking, and I will just … As if we’re siting down right now and I face away from the camera so I don’t put myself off, and I just talk as if I’m sat at the coffee table with a friend, I walk them through the things, and I talk about this.
And I try to think of like, “Okay well, what might be an objection now, what might be a problem? And it’s just an ad-lip at first, I have covered all the stuff, I have done my research, and things, I’ll stop it and then what I will do is I will transcribe that personally, so then I’ll play, I’ll listen to like 30 seconds, and I’ll start to write and start to write. Within the first 40 minutes, you’ve got maybe 1,500 words, super, super easy, because a lot of stuff is covered when you’re talking in things. Then-
Chris Badgett: I just want to say that I was looking at your post on AmpMyContent.com, and the copy is conversational, and there is lots of question … You’re pulling the reader in, it’s very good, and it’s very readable.
Daniel: Thank you. That’s it. It’s not the initial draft where the money is made, it’s the edits. So we’ll do like 15, 16 different edits for different things. We do sweeps of them, so I’m editing for flow, so I’m, “Okay well this doesn’t make sense, how can I say it for less? How can I put more whitespace in so that it’s easier to read, how can I keep pulling them down the page and stuff?” But, once you have got that ad-lib and that transcription, that’s the skeleton of the post, and then you’re just going in and adding to it, and you say, “Okay well I talked about …” Okay so for example in this chapter I talk about business numbers, people need to know that business numbers to run paid ads and blah, blah blah.
I talk about that, but then I show them, it’s like, “Okay well step one you need to figure out how much a customer is worth, here is how you do it, so you log into your stripe, and then you do this, and then you figure out the average order value and you click this, and this.” Suddenly you’re at 3,000 words, because you’re breaking down all those parts. So now you have a template, it’s 3000 words or more, it’s already actionable. You’ve already got a heap of screenshots, because every time you said, “Hey click on this.” You took a screenshot, and you put it in the post, and things. It’s why I love Snagit, because it’s so easy to like … You literally screenshot edit, insert and post, do the next paragraph, blah, blah, blah.
So you can get something like that done in two to three hours, it looks like a finished post, probably better than most content you’ve put out there, that’s when the editing comes in and when we talked about that killer content, and certain stuff to tick, it’s like, “Okay, well what’s the word count? What’s the context? How does it flow? Is it easy to read? Am I being conversational, but not talking down to the person? And things like this. And keep reading it through, again, and again, again. It’s just knowing these processes and systems, and you can write content so much easier. So, I have one customer on our training program, and he is in Norway, he runs a hub spot agency, and things like this.
And that client is worth $100,000 and their conversion from leads is about 50%. So its worth a lot of money, and he wanted to improve his content. On his very post, they would normally get 5 leads over the first few weeks, he got 21 in the first 15 minutes, just because of how much the content had improved, and it was the same readers, they were CTOs and things like that. But it was far more effective at doing its job. And it’s just understanding and knowing all these things. How we learned is we made all the mistakes, like I wrote a 40,000 word post over two weeks and it only got two shares. I figured out what works by doing it all wrong and that’s why we create Amp because were trying to help people sidestep that. And also I think content promotion, it’s very niche, but it’s like a lot of big blogs will only have one article on it and they’ll put a list of all the methods and then that’s it.
There’s subtleties to all these things to make them more effective. Like our outreach right now, we get an 80% success rate, with our outreach and stuff like that of like getting on podcasts, building links to things and like that. But if you were to read an article on it, it’s like fine, the guy who’s linked to something before, send him an email and that’s it. So like …
Chris Badgett: There’s more to it.
Daniel: Yeah. There’s always like some finesse, but it’s not that complex. It’s just, if you tick these boxes and do these things, it’s not that hard. So like for course creators with that content, getting to understand your audience, speak to these people, why are you creating this? Is there someone you know who has this problem? How can you talk to them? Is there someone you know who’s got past it? Is there someone who would be good for but doesn’t even know it’s an issue right now, because they’re so far removed, things like that. If you just do that alone, you’ll get better face to face sales. You’ll learn how to write better copy, you’ll learn from the content you need to create, just empathize and like be there with your audience.
But again, I’m two coffees deep. So I’m like, [inaudible].
Chris Badgett: Oh, it’s good stuff. The coffee is good. It means we’re getting double the value in the same amount of time. One of the things that scares Facebook course creators is wasting money on Facebook ads. Like your article, how we drive a $22 to $1 ROI from cold traffic using Facebook and promoted content, what are some … You’ve been doing it a long time so you’ve developed like a serious skill at it, but if somebody is wanting to get in the game of Facebook ads, and they create some nice content, pillar content to send people to. What are some things they can do to increase the odds that they’ll get a positive ROI on their investment?
Daniel: Well straight away, as we’ve been saying, don’t just promote anything because if it’s weak content and it’s not converting even warm leads on your site, chances are really slim it’s going to convert someone cold.
Chris Badgett: I just want to echo that point. Like before you go after affiliates or paid traffic or anything, something needs to convert organically. Like it needs to pass that litmus test first. Is it really important point that some people overlook.
Daniel: Even if you’ve only got like 100 readers, it’s still better to focus on trying to convert those guys and just talking to them and emailing them back and forth to figure out what works. So there’s a few problems that people have with paid ads and stuff. They’re scared of them so they don’t run any, and then they think, “Shit, it’s new year, I’ve got to change, my business has got to grow,” and then he put money into it and they just burn every bit of budget they’ve gotten the first hour, so it’s all or nothing or they are promoting content that’s not very good and it isn’t tested. If you’ve got a bit of budget and you wrote a new post and you want to see how it works, if you’ve got the money to do that then it’s fine.
A lot of people who’ll talk to you about paid ads have a huge budget and they’re dropping 10 grand a day if not more on things like this. Great, not relevant to the person who’s still got a job on the side and doesn’t have a huge budget and does know how to do this. So you don’t have to spend a fortune. A couple of major things that you need to know, you have to know your business numbers because if you don’t know that, as unsexy as it is, then you don’t know what your margins are. If you don’t know what a customer is worth then you don’t know what you’re willing to pay. If you don’t know on average how many leads you need to get a sale, then usually what will happen is they’ll stop an advert to soon.
I was helping out a local gym here and we were running an ad and for something like $17 they would make $300 back. So people would come in for like a first month trial. That was on the first month. 10% of those people then signing up for a year long, $2,000 thing. So they were actually making about $300 per person per dollar spent but they turned off the advert because they didn’t know what their numbers were. And we sat down and I looked at them and I was like, “Yeah, we only made $300 this week.” I’m like, “Yeah, but you only spent $50 and also those other people just signed up and on average, you know that every 10 people are going to sign up. So statistically they’re going to buy this and they’re going to buy this and they’re going to buy this.” So if you don’t know those numbers, it’s very difficult to get them to run an ad long enough or be confident enough to do those things.
It’ll keep you up at night as well because you’re like, “Am I just wasting money?” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Another thing to understand is almost every ad starts at a loss. No one tells you this. You’ll spend $4 and if you’ve got a good offer, you might make $1 back. It can be a number of things. The ad isn’t converting as well. It hasn’t had enough traffic yet to boost relevance and things. Usually it’s a message to market match kind of thing. You’ve got to just tweak it a little bit. And so what you actually have to do it, it comes from product design, it’s called bottom up testing. You’ll create these variations, you’ll find what works and what doesn’t and you’re cut out what doesn’t and you’ll keep the winning thing. I mean, you’ll test variations again, variations again.
People might have heard of it as AB testing or multivariate testing. In the guide we talk about a Facebook newsfeed ad, we do that because it’s the easiest one to write, it’s the biggest image, you can write the most content and stuff. So you are more likely to write an ad that’s more effective. If we look at how someone consumes a Facebook ad, it’s the same as a sales page, but a little bit different. So if we look at a sales page, someone reads the headline, they read the intro, it pulls them in, et cetera, et cetera. When they are looking at a Facebook ad, they are scrolling through their feed and the first thing that gets their attention as the image, so it just stops them in their track, say, “Oh that’s interesting,” or whatever. Then what they’ll do is they’ll read the headline underneath and they see if it’s relevant to them.
How our brains process information is what we do. We’re trying to save energy all the time and we’re just looking for specific things that are relevant to us. So if it’s actually relevant to them, they’ll read the subhead. Okay, well now you’ve got their attention. And what they actually do is they scroll back up and they read the copy above. But if people don’t know that, they start to write their argument in that copy at the top above the image and no one’s reading it, they’re scrolling past. You have to understand the elements of how it works. So when we are testing, we know that the image is the most important thing at first, because if the image isn’t stuff in them in their tracks, they’re not going to read anything, they’re going to scroll straight past.
So we will test just the image and I’ll normally do about four variations so it doesn’t cost me a lot of money to do, but I will find one image that works better than the others. If we’re going to test all these things, image, headline, subhead, copy and stuff, doing them one by one, just image at first, find a winner, then headline and find a winner, it means we can do a low budget per day and the ad gradually improves as we’re doing this and we’re learning more about the audience and things. Multivariate testing is if we tested every possible computational variation of all those different things, let’s do all four images with four different headlines, so that’s already like 32 different ads and then this and then this. So it works out, it’s like 164 different ads.
If you don’t have a budget, you’ve just burnt through it all just to find a winning ad and guess what? Now you’ve got no money to keep running the ad. Like if you’ve only got a little bit of money each day to put into these things, it’s fine, and it’s the fastest way to do it if you’ve got cash, multivariate, find the winners, scale it up, boom money in the bank. That’s how people do these like six figure businesses in six months kind of things. But I know not everyone is in that situation. So you are better off testing an image first, is getting more clicks. Then you test the headline and now it’s getting more clicks. And so what’s happening it goes from four to one, now three to one, now two to one, one to one and now you’re making 50 cents back for every dollar you spend, and now you make it $2 and things like that.
And you can keep improving it until it gets to that point. I think our lead cost on this advert is about $3 in New Zealand, which is about a dollar 80 US, which in the marketing space is highly competitive. I know from my business numbers, we can afford to spend $23 per lead. So spending like $3 means you’ve got a $20 extra margin where we can put into ads and stuff. If I didn’t know my numbers, I wouldn’t know these things, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s because we tweak the ad and we kept working. I’m really stubborn, when I first brought this case study, I did it when Zuckerberg was on trial. Oh man, it was costing me like $25 just for a click. Not even for likes, for someone to subscribe, because you’re going to get eyeballs and you get clicks and you get conversions and then they’re going to be like sales or whatever down the line.
So it was way, way out of my mouth chins and stuff. The week that ended, boom sales, the competition and things, the costs just dropped down. After that as well, we started tweaking these things and then it went from $12 per conversion to $5 and then it went to $3 and then it went to $2. So it’s like those gradual improvements means that we can then scale up from there. So it’s understanding that you can’t just promote crap. Ideally you have tested it to a warm audience and they’re opting in and things, and we have articles to show you how to do all that. Then it is understanding that run a little loss at first. You’ve got to know your goalposts to aim for. So me knowing that I can spend $23 means, “Okay, I can work towards that and I know when I need to get 50 leads to make a sale. So I don’t want to turn off the ad before it’s got 50 leads because otherwise I’ve wasted my money because statistically there’s not going to be a customer.”
Things like this. It sounds more complex than it is, but it’s not that difficult. And the way we structured this article, the stuff that we’re talking about, it’s all done in a step by step process. So we teach you how to find your numbers at first and then we teach you how to research, how to design an ad, how to actually write the ad and things like that. So it’s like you don’t move on to the next step until you’ve got those things done. Am I making sense? Is it-
Chris Badgett: You’re totally making sense and I’m grateful, you’re just dropping all kinds of knowledge bombs to anybody who’s considering running a Facebook ad for your course or your membership site. And I’d encourage you to go check out ampmycontent.com/promoted-content. That’ a gold mine. I really appreciate that. Daniel. Before we go, I want to ask one more question. We got the traffic, we got the converting piece of content, we scaled it with Facebook ads. We kept iterating until we got it working. What about the piece … How do we convert to a course or a membership sale from the content? Should we be getting them to opt-in and then do a nurture sequence or go straight for a sale?
Daniel: It depends on how expensive the product is and how far removes they are-
Chris Badgett: Let’s say it’s cold traffic that hasn’t heard of us before coming from Facebook, I guess. I don’t know if that’s what you mean by how far removed, but …
Daniel: so we have the content academy and it’s not cheap. And normally people won’t buy from me for about 40, 45 days after finding us. And that makes total sense because it’s not cheap and they have to learn and they have to be on the same wavelength and things like that-
Chris Badgett: And I just want to add, I had somebody a yesterday by our infinity bundle. It’s our most expensive software package. It’s just under $1,000. I went and I checked my CRM. They’ve been following us in our email system for 10 months.
Daniel: Yeah, right. So it takes time. I will say irregardless if you’re going to pitch them today in an hour or if you’re going to pitch them in 30 days, get the lead because it’s … If we look at sales psychology, there’s the commitment inconsistency principle. People like to keep doing things that they feel aligned with themselves. So if you can get them to say yes to something, they are 40% more likely to say yes to a bigger thing. So the sheer act of getting them to become a subscriber, and here’s the irony, even if they put in a fake email, they are still more likely to buy from you at some point because they have taken some action. They’ve paid their attention, they’ve put their hand up, they want the thing. Now they’re not going to get like your bonus or whatever unless they put in a real email.
But it just goes to show like how more effective it actually makes them. So by getting the subscriber also you’re building an asset list, because something like 60% of your sales will come from previous customers. So it makes sense to have this list. Also, it makes it really easy to promote posts in the future to your email list and say, “Hey, we just wrote this new article.” You get a hit per social shares and stuff because you’ve got 5,000 people that you’ve built by subscribers. Also, email is a very effective sales channel, so when you can automate, you can nurture and you can build offers, you can promote new content to them, and things like that. There’s one of the reason why I suggest this as well. So I know that when someone first finds me, it’s about 40 days before they will become a customer.
And I know that I’ve got about 50 leads before I will get a sale. If I set up an ad, and I’m running it for X amount of cash and I won’t get a feedback, so we can set up tracking and things so Facebook will know who clicked on the ad if they opted-in and which articles they read, did they buy, how much it cost them to buy. I have all that set up, but I also have other feedback loops at a much shorter time periods because if I was to wait 40 days, man, I am not going to sleep at night and knowing if my ad is working or not. I’m just going to sit there and spend money for 40 days? You’d go insane. You’ll pull your hair out and all kinds of stuff. I know people buy it, but it’s like, am I happy to just sit there?
So what I can do instead is I say, “Okay, well I need 100 leads. I know what each lead is worth, and a lead while almost happen two days later. So if I’m tracking that, and I have my margins, I know what I can pay for a lead, then straight away I’m saying, “Oh well this is less than what I know I statistically can pay, I can keep running it, I can keep tweaking and improving and things like that.” So again, by collecting the subscriber, I’m getting a quicker feedback loop to myself. It’s going into my ads, and I can say, “Okay well, yes, I know this is profitable because I can spend X on leads. I make X amount of sales per 100 leads. I know what they’re worth, and I’ve got a quick loop.” I’m very sorry. I’ve been on Skype calls and things for days, so just-
Chris Badgett: No, it’s all good.
Daniel: So yeah, there’s so many benefits to getting that email subscriber, you’re building assets, quick feedback loops, helps in promotion. I’m all about smart, lazy. How can I make the most effective thing? So a lot of people will talk about what we’ve talked about today and they’ll call it native advertising where they are … It’s a sales page, but it looks like a piece of content. Now your content should sell in some way. It should sell an idea. It should sell an opt-in, it should sell something.
But because you’ve written it as a piece of content, again, you can build links to it. People will share it. People will boost relevance. I’ve got people who click on an advert, read our article, opt-in, and then share the original advert, boosting its relevance and lowering its cost and also sharing it to their friends. I’ve got other competitors sharing our articles because they are conversational and they prove a point, I ended up realizing that they’re sending people into our sales funnel and things. So you’ll have this one asset that does 10 things [crosstalk]-
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.
Daniel: … SEO it does … So it’s figuring out how to do those things so you can do less stuff or have a smaller team or be more effective in what you have.
Chris Badgett: That is killer. That is killer. Well, Daniel Daines-Hutt, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on the show. Go check out ampmycontent.com. Check out the article at ampmycontent.com/promoted-content. Is there anywhere else the good people of the internet, the course builders out there can do to connect with you?
Daniel: [inaudible] I had a bar if you’re interested in the Amplify Academy when it opens next, there’s like a premium training thing on there, You can opt-in. In all fairness, you’re probably going to get an offer for it at some point anyway if you opt-in. The only other thing, and I always laugh because people keep asking me is my Twitter handle is @inboundascend A-S-C-E-N-D. People always want to know. But the thing is, I only have a post, photos of my cat or music that I’ve been listening to and occasionally I will share a blog post or something on there, like once every four months. But if you want to see what … I think I had Gerry Rafferty playing when you first … I didn’t realize the call had already set up and it was just saxophone solo. So if you want to see like the crazy inside of my head, you can go follow me on Twitter. But all of this stuff that we do it’s through the blog.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well thanks so much for coming on the show.
Daniel: Thank you so much for having me and I hope it’s been helpful. When this goes live as well, I will jump in and try and answer any questions and things or comments, because I think you guys transcribe it, right?
Chris Badgett: We do. Yeah.
Daniel: So like if there’s any questions and stuff like that … I don’t take on clients, as much as people want to do that. It just, I couldn’t figure out how to scale it and me writing like this aligns more with what I want to do, so I can help more people. So I do get a lot of client requests daily. But yeah, all we have is the content and the academy. But thank you again so much for having me, and it’s been too long, we should chat again soon.
Chris Badgett: Absolutely.
And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast, I’m your guide Chris Badgett, I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling and protecting, engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to LifterLMS.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting on the internet.