Welcome Fasttrackers to another episode of the Total Freedom Show – your fasttrack to total freedom. My name is Christopher Duncan, your host, and today I’m here with Cat Howell, who is in my home country. It is not very usual that I get to speak to someone from Takapuna in the North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand, so Cat, I am excited to have you here. It’s gonna be fun.
Chris: What we’re going to talk about today, listeners, is Facebook Ads. We’re going to talk about funnels. We’re going to talk about – if you’re a freelancer, maybe we’ll even cover how to start as a freelancer. How to actually grow an agency if you’ve got a small business, how to grow ads, so – Cat, I am super excited, so thank you for spending some time to be here on the show.
Cat: Wow, what an intro! Thank you! Thanks, Chris, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Chris: You’re originally from Canada, right? And you’re living in New Zealand, and you said that your husband imported you, and you started a new business via—
Cat: Yeah [laughs]
Chris: I would love for you to just give the listeners a quick background of who you are and what it is you’re up to.
Cat: So, I’m the founder of Eight Loop Social. We’re essentially one of Australasia’s top Facebook Ad agencies. We focus mainly around social media and Facebook ads, but it sort of wasn’t where I got started. I got started in the internet world, trying to launch a travel website without any knowledge of how to sell online or how to build communities, or even how to use Facebook ads.
Cat: When I first launched, I remember I literally thought I would be rich and sailing in a private yacht within a couple months. I literally thought you just created a website and the crowds will come, right? This is not something you learn in school. It’s not something they teach you in University.
Cat: And, as you can imagine, that is certainly not the case when you create an online business. So I went on to a very steep learning curve – it cost me a lot of money and a lot of wrinkles, and that’s what’s led me to where I’m at now in my business.
Chris: Well, that’s exciting.
Chris: So, Eight Loop Social is mainly focused on – I guess, what the problem is that you had, which is Facebook ads.
Chris: Who are you working with the most, now? What are you most excited about?
Cat: We work with three different types of verticals – or verniches, if you will. We work with quite a few big brands, we work with a lot of ecommerce, and then we work with coaches, consultants, and experts. So, online entrepreneurs.
Cat: This last one is probably one of the fastest-growing ones out there. There are a lot of people that are waking up to the fact that there’s a lot of money to be made online – and not just money, but it’s a really great way to share your knowledge, your services, your offerings without being limited or restricted to what, in the past, you had to do on a local level.
Cat: So I think more and more entrepreneurs now – and, not just entrepreneurs, but more and more people are realizing or getting fed up with the 9-to-5 and realizing that there is a path to be made in the online space.
Chris: It’s true!
Chris: And you know, it’s so interesting – so, listeners, wherever you are in the world – you know, I know some of you are in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Asia – the great thing is this; I’m here in San Diego, I’m talking to you in New Zealand. I remember being in New Zealand and thinking, “gee, there’s no one around.” You know – there’s nobody here.
Chris: And it’s a great place, it’s a great country. I love my country, I’m so proud of it, but there weren’t enough people around. And there were so many people leaving, right? To go to Australia and go overseas – and it’s funny now that I am overseas, but I remember at the time thinking; “I just wish there was a way I could get out there and grow.”
Chris: So I think you’re spot-on, really, with the power of the internet.
Chris: You started doing that, didn’t you? You actually left and became a freelancer first, is that right?
Cat: Yeah! I was a marketing manager for a company, and I was surrounded by entrepreneurs every day. It was for a business district, and I was surrounded by property developers and business owners and entrepreneur, and I think it was really very much that saying that ‘you are the people you surround yourself with,’ and it just sort of started to rub off on me.
Cat: I started to realize, “if these guys can do this, there’s no reason I can’t.” So that’s sort of how I caught the bug, and I decided to go out on my own. It wasn’t the smooth ride that I had initially anticipated. There were a lot of big bumps along the way, but I think it all led me to where I’m at now in my business. It was certainly – I had to go through those failures, if you will, in order to have the social media agency and the businesses that I have now.
Chris: It never actually pans out as we think, right? [laughs]
Chris: I mean, there’s not a single entrepreneur that has actually got it, and it had been as easy as they first thought. It’s kind of funny that way.
Chris: You obviously went from a job to starting a business, which I think a lot of people listening would love to make that transition and create that jump. You talked about hanging out around successful people. How important was that for you, hanging around those other people that kind of gave you that belief and that confidence right at the beginning?
Cat: I think it’s one of the most important things you can do, if you’re trying to build or up-level yourself. Even with the friendships that I had while I decided to have my own business – all my friends are entrepreneurs, but they were all sort of in that start-up phase, so … struggling, if you will. And I think we have a really bad habit, in the entrepreneurial world, to always focus on the negatives and the struggles. You know, how hard it is. And I think what that does is, it perpetuates this mindset or this really vicious cycle where you feel like you can’t get traction.
Cat: I believe that when you start to hang around, or you start to connect with individuals that are earning seven figures a month or flying first class around the world, it really, really puts a fire under your ass in many ways, right? Because then you start to look at what you’re trying to achieve and – it’s that saying, right? If you aim for the stars, you’re going to land on the moon.
Cat: So you need to surround yourself with that, so that you get your mindset and your reality becomes that.
Chris: That’s true.
Chris: A lot of times, I’ve seen it happen. Getting around those people, everything changes, but it’s not – it’s not everything, right? So you started out, and – let’s talk a little bit about how you started it, and how you got off to the start that you did. Because you’ve been successful, and not every business gets down that track. And I think it’s – is it five years, you’ve been doing Facebook and social media?
Cat: Yeah, about. And it’s so different. [laughs]
Chris: Well, let’s dive into that! What are some of the biggest lessons that you learned, starting out and starting your agency for the people out there wanting to start?
Cat: I think one of the big things – and I think you touched on something that actually is one of the big questions that I have as well. Some of the common things you probably hear from a lot of people you interview or for your listeners that are being told, you know, well, here’s what you need to succeed: you need to surround yourself with success or uplifting mindsets. You need to have the drive, and you need to just pick yourself up. You need to have goal-setting, rituals, dreamscaping – all of that stuff.
Cat: A lot of it is – ‘okay, well, is it possible to have all of that and still not be successful?’
Cat: In my situation, I definitely consider myself very lucky. I look at my storyline and where I got to, and while I always had – you know, I always picked myself up? I think there were some definite opportunities that came my way. But, I think, as an entrepreneur, two of the big things is a.) understanding that when those opportunities are there, [you need] to take them and to understand when they’re happening. A lot of people don’t even realize when they have opportunities in front of them.
Cat: And I think the second thing is b.) to not give yourself a crutch. Essentially, no Plan B. And I know this very controversial, because a lot of people might be thinking; ‘I can’t quit my job, because it’s too risky’ – but I know in my own case, not having a choice? Not having a choice to earn that money because I have employees, because I have a mortgage, because I have to support my family – is really what picks me up when I hit the bumps. Because I have no choice. I don’t have a Plan B.
Cat: So, I think that’s also a very, very important part of success. Most people will fly when they’re thrown off the edge.
Chris: Wow! That’s such a great quote.
Cat: Well, I think I swiped that, but yeah [laughs]
Chris: I love how you put that! To talk about it as a crutch – it really is, isn’t it? You know, when you just have to succeed, there’s no other way. I think most people do find it. But it’s like a lot of us don’t allow ourselves to even realize what’s possible, you know? It’s as though we’re – we’ve been burnt once, or failed once, and we kind of get scared. As we grow up, we forget what it was like to be that baby who didn’t even know how to walk.
Chris: Starting a business, it can be difficult. A lot of people talk about it being difficult. But, you know, it’s really just metrics and understanding the numbers and what it is you need. And so I love that you really mentioned that.
Chris: So, what do people really need to understand to take that jump? Because I know there are people listening – they hear it, and they go; ‘yeah, yeah that’s alright for you, but I’m not risking my house and my family and putting myself under that pressure.’ What do they need to know?
Cat: I mean, the first thing that you need to know is that, I guess – I’m sitting here, telling you how successful my business is, but I guess it’s important for entrepreneurs to realize that I do go through a lot of sh**, right? I have a lot of moments. I’m having a moment with PayPal right now, and it’s … [laughs] It’s one of the most stressful experiences in my life. They’re holding all my cash, so.
Cat: It’s not a situation where, you know – it’s just, you’re successful and that’s it, you know? You’re always going to have those moments in any business, in any moment in your business. And, in fact, I believe they get bigger. The challenges get bigger, but your mindset is more equipped for it at that stage. So I think that, in itself, is probably the biggest thing.
Cat: If you don’t believe that you can make it, you won’t. In order for you to make the jump, you just have to back yourself one hundred percent. You have to believe, in your mind, that this is – you know; there’s no other option. And it’s never going to pan out the way you thought – as you mentioned before.
Cat: But as long as you believe that, you know, you’re why is solid and your goals are solid and you know you’re going to be successful. One way or the other, you will get there. And it’s probably not going to be the way you expected, but you will get there. That’s probably the most important thing; before you make that jump, you have to make sure you don’t have any stories going on inside your head saying; well, this is going to take me years and years, and I can never be successful, and everyone else is lucky except for me—
Cat: — because that is just going to self-sabotage your success.
Chris: Right! I love it!
Chris: We’ve covered so much already, and here’s what I’ve taken from the first half. We’re about to have a short break, listeners, as you know we normally do, but here’s what I’ve taken from this so far.
Chris: Number one, if you want to get into a certain area, surround yourself with the right people. Number two, what Cat did is, she actually went out there and got a job, and was freelancing and working on it while getting paid. And then I just love the last piece, where you’ve just got to back yourself, and most people don’t know that they can fly if they were to jump off the edge.
Chris: We’re going to take a short break. When we come back, we’re going to get some of Cat’s top tips. We’re going to understand exactly what it is that you need to do to explode on Facebook. So stay tuned, and we’ll be back after the break.
Chris: Welcome back, listeners, I’m here with Cat Howell, who is a social media expert. We’ve been talking about lots of things. In fact, we’ve been talking about start-up businesses, taking a jump, taking action, and believing in yourself, hundred percent, and Cat – I’ve been having lots of fun. And I want to ask you this question, now that we’re back.
Chris: I want to ask you this; if you were to go back to the beginning, right when you were starting out, you could float back and you could tap your old self on the shoulder, and you had a minute to give advice, what would that advice be? Go.
Cat: Invest in Facebook? [laughs]
Cat: Um, I mean, I think I would just have – I probably would have stayed away from a lot of the typical society pressures or beliefs where you have to get married and buy a house and have a job and that’s the way we’re supposed to live life. So I probably would have surrounded myself with coaches or successful people a lot sooner.
Chris: What’s freedom to you? What matters most?
Cat: I think it’s discretionary time. I think that, for me, success is the ability to have time to do or pursue whatever it is that you want – whether that is travelling somewhere in luxury, or that is just being able to have a weekend. I think that you can have a very successful business that turns a lot of revenue and become a prisoner to it very easily – especially if you’re in that start-up phase. So I think freedom and success is, for me, discretionary time.
Chris: Totally. And by discretionary, meaning; doing what you love. [laughs]
Cat: Exactly, yeah.
Chris: So, asking the same thing a different way; if you could only take your experience – no contacts, no money, nothing – you’re starting over from scratch, only what it is that you’ve experienced, and you had to start from scratch today – how would you start?
Cat: This is a great question!
Cat: The first thing I would do is go find someone that has done successfully what you’re trying to do. I think the biggest – this is what baffles me the most; you would never see a professional athlete try to hit the Olympics without a coach. And often, they have teams of coaches. They have many, many coaches behind them. And yet, in the business world – I don’t know where this came from, this belief that you have to sort of figure it out on your own or you have to struggle on your own when, in reality, if you want to get from point A to point B? The best and the fastest and the most effective way to do that is find yourself a mentor or a coach or someone that has done that and then get them to mentor you, so that you bypass all those learning curves. All those very expensive and time-consuming learning curves.
Chris: [laughs] So true. I couldn’t express more how behind that statement [I am], I mean – the slowest way to learn anything is through experience. A smart people learns from their own mistakes, and a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.
Chris: There are so many people out there trying to recreate the wheel.
Chris: Obviously you’re a Facebook expert, social media expert, been speaking around the globe, running an agency for over five years. I would love you to speak to the person out there that has never run Facebook ads or has never made money using Facebook. Take them through your tips or your advice or your steps so they can be super successful.
Cat: I think some of the biggest things that we see, certainly from new Facebook advertisers out there is, the platform in itself is fairly – Facebook even provides you with free training. So you can go to Business Blueprint, which is free, provided by Facebook. Most people tend to get their targeting right, and they tend to be able to set up their ads. The biggest mistakes that we see happening in this Facebook world is that there’s no funnel. And also, they don’t understand how the platform fully works in the sense that they only – they’re sort of half committed to it.
Cat: So they’ll spend about twenty dollars, they don’t get any results, they panic, they turn the entire thing off, when in fact – for example – the cost per conversion would have been forty dollars. They haven’t even let the campaign run long enough to get any traction.
Cat: And then, as I mentioned, the second part of that is that there’s no actual sales funnel behind the ads. They’re just trying to direct people to a sales page. They’re directing cold audiences to a sales page, and that’s probably the fastest way to lose a lot of money on Facebook ads. And that’s two of the biggest mistakes that we see with new advertisers on the platform.
Chris: So, in order to be successful, I guess, is to actually be brave enough to spend a few thousand. We’re spending around twenty-five thousand a week, and the one thing I saw in your site that I really loved is, you’re like; ‘I can show you how to spend $1 and make $5.’ And that gets me excited! I’ll spend that dollar to make five dollars every day, all day, every minute. I would get loans from the bank for that.
Chris: How is that even possible? I mean, I know it’s possible, but do you want to explain? Like, how does that actually work to get an ROI of 5x on Facebook? That’s a significant client. That’s pretty amazing.
Cat: Yeah! It’s amazing. You probably won’t find this on any other type of advertising platform, right? It’s insane. And I think that’s actually even conservative for some verticals. Last month, we had a client that made $350,000 from $4,000. I don’t even know what the ROI on that is.
Chris: I want to be in that business!
Cat: Well they were selling a high-ticket coaching program, right? That’s where your funnel comes into play. If you are able to generate a lead, and then build trust and affinity, and then convert them – especially those high ROIs, [like] the ones I just explained to you before – that normally is what you would see for a high-ticket offer. So mostly coaches, consultants. In ecommerce, what we tend to see is the cost-per-conversion, the ROI is a little bit less because you’ve got costs are consoled, so around twenty percent will go into your ad spend.
Cat: But even then, that’s incredible ROI for an advertising platform. But all of that, really, is hinging on your ability to generate a lead, and then to build trust and affinity with them and retarget them. And also understanding what is the quickest and fastest way to do that. What we see is a lot of people going; ‘okay, I want to sell someone into my online course,’ or ‘sell someone to get my products, so first I’m going to get them to download a lead magnet, and then they’re going to get ten video series and sixteen emails behind that, and once they get this email, they have to join a webinar, and then they’ll go in here, and then they’ll get a discount offer—‘
Cat: It’s extremely convoluted and you’re sort of – your tolerance for a leaky funnel is a lot lower, whereas what you should be looking at; how do I generate that lead and then nurture them into a sale, and then what is the quickest and minimum viable way that I can do that? There’s a lot of solutions that you can do with Facebook.
Cat: For example, you can run a lead ad, where you can collect people’s phone numbers, emails, straight in Facebook. If you’re a car dealership or you’re trying to sell quotes [as] a financial planner, whatever it might be – you can get people requesting quotes. And you never have to create landing pages or send anyone to a website. You have to really understand, how do I nurture the lead first? How do I get the lead and then nurture them, and what is the easiest and quickest way I can do that? And that’s when you start to get really good at ROI.
Chris: That’s huge.
Chris: Obviously you’ve got so much experience on there. Who are your favourite people to work with at the moment? Who’s winning big on Facebook?
Cat: You mean like, the niches? Or specific names?
Chris: Yeah – no, not people’s names, no. The niches, yeah.
Cat: I think ecommerce is kind of … ecommerce is sort of crazy, because drop-shipping is really big nowadays, so we’re seeing a lot of people with Shopify stores turning insane amounts of money every month and they never even touch their products, so that’s kind of a crazy industry.
Cat: Certainly the service sectors – so coaches and consultants and experts. If you have a skill, if you went to University for something or you taught yourself a skill, you can package this up. Especially if you’ve got case studies or testimonials behind you? You’ve already got a leg up behind most people trying to do this, so.
Cat: You can package this up and make some really good money, yeah.
Chris: So, you’ve got a lot more – I’m sure – that there is that people need to know to get this right. We were talking off-air; you have a Facebook group or community that people can join to learn more?
Cat: Yeah! For anyone that’s sort of struggling with their Facebook ads, there is a Facebook group; Facebook Ad Hacks. It’s full of hacks and tips and the community is really active in there and supportive, so, if you’ve ever struggled with your ads, this is probably a good place to go for some help.
Chris: And we’ll put that link in the shownotes, Cat, so whoever wants it can head over to christophermduncan.com/podcast – you’ll be able to get those shownotes. If you’re watching this on iTunes, and you want to just jump over there right now – Facebook Ad Hacks https://www.facebook.com/groups/557604277731548/ . I highly recommend everyone gets over there. I’m definitely going to be in that group, asking lots of questions—
Chris: — especially about lead pages? We had massive success with lead pages for a campaign we were running last year. We haven’t put it back on, and I’m definitely excited to talk more about those are working.
Chris: I love chatting Facebook and Facebook ads, and from one marketer to another, your level of knowledge on this is deep. You seem very centered and pragmatic on exactly what you’re doing, so I really appreciate your time here today.
Chris: We are going to have to round up and say goodbye in a second, but before we do, what would you like to leave our audience with today?
Cat: For those of you thinking that you’re wanting to start your own business, your own venture, or for those of you feeling like you’re being dealt to by the universe, I guess just consider this your little high-five – to let you know; pat yourself on the back, just keep going. We all go through this. And, you know, if you push through this, the rainbow will definitely be on the other side of it.
Chris: You’re awesome! That was such a positive way to end. I absolutely loved listening to you today and learning some things. I’m looking forward to talking to you off the air as well and then jumping in your group.
Chris: Listeners, I hope that you got a massive shove today. If you’re in a job and you’re looking to get out and start a business, start freelancing, start working with people that you want to work with in the future, surround yourself with positive people and make that jump. But don’t give yourself a crutch! As Cat said, don’t give yourself that way out. Don’t allow yourself any option except forward. Know that there are going to be some bumps along the way, but just fail forward and focus on it.
Chris: If you are doing Facebook ads, make sure you’ve got a funnel. If you don’t have a funnel, you’re really going to be in trouble. And don’t be scared! Go all in, make sure you really get to that ROI. Join in her group! I highly recommend that you learn from people who are where you want to be, and – I think we should end with this.
Chris: The fastest way from where you are to where you want to be is to find someone who’s already there. Find that mentor, get that support, and live with total freedom. Thank you so much, Cat!
Chris: You’re a rockstar!