AdSkills: 3 Steps To Craft, Convert, And Scale Your Advertising with John Belcher [Podcast 242]

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GTF 242 | Scaling Your Advertising


Are you confused about what to do to get your advertising to work for you?

You’re not alone…

In this episode, my guest is John Belcher. John is a teacher and partner at AdSkills, a consultant at Enduring Marketing LLC, and the Internal Traffic Manager of GiddyUp.

John will not only provide you with some achievable steps on how to create a great sales message, but also teach you how to build messages that sell, and the essential steps to craft and convert your advertising.

All this and more, as John and I reveal some of the key secrets to effective advertising!

Listen to the podcast here:

AdSkills: 3 Steps To Craft, Convert, And Scale Your Advertising with John Belcher [Podcast 242]

This episode is going to be exciting. We’re talking with one of the top experts in the world at helping people turn pain traffic to paying traffic. In other words, you get an ROI, you being able to go out there and make sense of paid traffic whether it’s on Facebook, Google, wherever it is and have the rubber meet the road to help you get the results and get the impact that you deserve. Our expert’s name is John Belcher. He is a teacher. He’s a partner at AdSkills. He runs internal traffic for the company, GiddyUp. What that means for you is he’s got a lot of science and data behind him, literally tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of transactions that he and his team have overseen. That can help you get out of being in the blind spots, get out of being in the dark, being in limbo, not really knowing where the results are coming from. John, welcome to the show. How are you?

Dan, I’m great. Thanks so much for having me here. I’m excited to talk about paid traffic.

We got to turn paid traffic to paying traffic. Let’s dive right into it because you’re a wealth of wisdom. What do you see are some of the biggest mistakes that people make in trying to make paid traffic work for them?

To boil this down, what we do at AdSkills is focus on trying to simplify. If something’s simple, it scales. What I see are people who, especially in the Facebook world, Facebook is the best ad network ever created, super smart. It’s been very cheap. You can essentially do anything and it was going to work. Some stories we have all these gurus that came out with their specific methods and these 42-point funnels. The stuff’s not working as well anymore. That’s because as traffic gets more expensive, you have to have very dialed in processes of how you’re going to lead people through and to get them to become your customers and then work on their lifetime value. What I’ve been working hard on for the last few years, I left Google a few years ago.

The reason because of that is I saw there was an opportunity. There was a gap in the market when it came to education to say there’s an amazing opportunity with online advertising, but you truly have to convert someone who doesn’t think your way to now thinking your way and pulling out their wallet to show you that they think your way and they appreciate the service or the value that you’re providing. When I left Google, my mission was to help bridge that gap. We’re making strides with that tremendously of over 11,000 students. We have a bunch of our courses in a bunch of licensing places. There’s a bunch of people being touched by our courses and are able to produce results, which is what we care about most. It doesn’t matter if we can do it if you can’t do it too.

That’s the piece for me is it comes down to results impact. Are we making a difference for people? The way we’re doing that is by focusing on the three Cs. We provide clarity on what you need to be doing with paid traffic. Once you have clarity, you can have confidence in the plan to execute and once you have confidence, you can start to build cashflow. Once you have cashflow from paid traffic, you’re just going to want to continue to reinvest it because it’s an elevator up to the roof when it comes to internet money. It’s great. You can truly make money while you sleep, but it’s not as easy as a lot of people say. What I want to focus on is helping simplify down what you need to focus on, the process of building success. Facebook, YouTube, Google Display Network, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, native advertising, they’re all just distribution methods. We have to talk about is the process to ensuring that people can be successful with paid traffic. That’s what I want to cover with you now.

As you’re reading right now, have you tried running paid traffic and it’s been painful? Have you lost money at it? Have you felt like you’re in the dark? Is this working? I’m not sure. These guys, AdSkills, they have simplified the process. They’ve got one of the best platforms in the world for you and your team to learn how to run paid traffic profitably and in a simple way. They deliver it in a way that you and your team can easily digest it and consume it. I’ve had our team go through it, I’ve gone through it. What I can tell you is if you like getting content in microdoses, you’re going to love the way they present and teach information so it’s implementable.

You need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to help people overcome fears and doubts. - John Belcher Click To Tweet

You can take action with it. You can use it. It’s not a bunch of hot air. It’s the most relevant, most important things. At least as I feel I’ve witnessed it, you guys update stuff as it becomes outdated. Not to already put a commercial in for what they do, but I would encourage you to go check out and find out what they’re up to. John, let’s talk about clarity, confidence and cashflow. If someone is looking at paid traffic, what’s the first step that you feel is the most important step somebody can take to get paid traffic started to set it up to work properly?

I love Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Everybody knows what they do, what they sell, what they offer. There’s a lot of talk about what does an offer constitute? It’s not just the product, it’s also the pricing and terms and those things. You have to have something that’s a compelling offer in your market. If it’s buy two, get one for free, whatever those different pieces are, whenever you’re looking at packaging something, that’s a huge piece. I’m not going to focus on that because there are a lot of people that focus on the offer. I want to talk about the process to make sure that your offer is something that you can build a message that sells, distribute it to the right people and the right places, and then how to track that. Those are the pieces that are super important because you need to figure out what your market wants.

That’s what the offer creation is for. That’s what we’re going through and we’re testing a million different things. Pay what you want, different bundles, different pricing, different packages. You have to figure out what’s interesting and exciting to your marketplace. Once you do that, what you need to start doing is we always start with the research. When it comes down to that, who is your market? A lot of people talk about their customer avatar, which we agree is extremely important. We have a whole process of how we go through and research our avatars. That comes down to looking at things like their Facebook profiles, not just to understand what pages do they like, but in their photos. Who are they? Are they with their family? Do they like outdoor stuff? Do they enjoy cats? Do they like rodeo? Are they into wrestling? Do they like football?

We can start to see as we look at their different profiles, whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the places that they’re showing things socially. What makes up the general population of people that matter? A lot of people talk about customer personas, but what they don’t talk about are anti-personas. This is an important piece because essentially what we’re trying to do at the beginning is say, “We have this thing that we need to sell.” I’m going to do the supplement space because we have a good example that runs through it. “Males 25 to 45 who would like to get more muscle and reduce fat.” That’s who our market is. We’ve got a product that we want to sell.

We built our customer avatar, but the place where things get really interesting and important is identifying the difference inside of your segments of who are the right people and who are the wrong people. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, DodgeBall, with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. Both groups there are technically people who fit into the health supplements market. You’ve got the Average Joes and you’ve got the Globo Gym guys. We look at that and we say, “Which market is the one we want to go after? Do we want the people who are very into training hard and a meathead lifestyle, they want to body build? Do we want the Average Joes, the people who care about their families, they care about things outside of work but they want to take better care of themselves?”

Drawing delineation between males 25 to 45 between those two groups, you create what we call a profitable population density. If you start excluding people who want to belong to Globo Gym and you only focus on people who want to belong to Average Joes, you’re going to have a market where you can take the exact same ad budget. Rather than advertising to everybody in a 25 to 45 market, you’re only advertising to people who show very specific signs that they want to be a part of Average Joe’s gym. They lean certain ways politically. This is where we go through the research process. We look at the qualitative and the quantitative side. We do customer surveys from other companies. We look at their customers. We look at all types of things to try and figure out who are the right people and then who are the wrong people. Once we do that, we can better define a message. We can talk about distribution. We can talk about tracking.

It’s called profitable population density. It sounds like we’d go beyond the avatar, beyond the buyer’s persona with this idea of the anti-persona. That sets the stage for tracking.

GTF 242 | Scaling Your Advertising


Before we get to tracking, we’re almost there. First, what we have to do is go through and identify the message. Now that we’ve identified that we want to talk to Average Joes and not Globo Gym. We know how to go through and craft a sales message. You talked about resources and this is a piece that I really would love to share. This is something that when I started following a formula, when I was creating sales messages, I became so much more effective.

John, I want to dive right into it. How to craft an incredible message? Message to the market match can mean everything. How do we create a great message?

There are two gentlemen that I’ve followed their frameworks for a long time when it comes to crafting sales messages. Jim Edwards has a ten-step Video Sales Letter, VSL, formula. My good friend David Frey has a Twelve-step Foolproof Sales Letter Formula. While one’s ten and one’s twelve, they’re virtually the same formulas. These guys have figured out what’s worked. They published these formulas many years ago and it still works to this day. It’s simply a number of pieces of information that you have to have and the order you have to deliver in them in order to be able to effectively get someone to want to pull out their wallets. I want to give credit where credit is due.

I did not invent this. All I did was came through and made this something that’s executable from a resource perspective. I’ve laid out the ten steps. I’m going to go through and list them off. Step one, you need to catch someone’s attention. We already identified our customer persona and we set our anti-persona. We’re going to come up with statements to make sure we don’t attract those people. We’re not trying to attract bodybuilders. We will put in language to say if you want to have a better body but not be Mr. Olympia, you need to read this, that we were catching the attention of the right people. We’re going to go through and state what’s the problem facing that person and why is it a big deal?

This is what a lot of people do. They basically say, “Here’s the problem that our solution fixes.” I see a lot of people that do well with this, but the problem is this is a rational argument at this point. We know that no one pulls out their wallet for rational arguments. We have to get emotional. That’s why steps three and four are so important. Step three is agitating the problem and step four is pushing it over the line.

Essentially, what we do when we look at this is how we can turn this rational argument into something emotional that causes them to think deeper about the true ramifications of their actions? Let’s say for an instance that you can’t find your car keys. This little finder can help you find your car keys in seconds. That’s awesome if someone’s looking for that solution, they might want to buy it, but most people aren’t in the market for something. What we need to do is focus on making sure that they feel the pain when they can’t find their car keys. That’s why we talk about you’re running fifteen minutes late. You can’t find your keys. You know your boss is going to be upset with you. You’re going to have to drive 80 miles an hour. You’re putting yourself at risk for a speeding ticket. When you read a really good sales letter, what I find is I get red in the face and I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It’s a truly emotional process where you feel uncomfortable and you’re like, “This is a big problem. I need a solution.” That’s where you get to be the hero.

You come in, you introduce your solution. You talk about what it is that you’re offering exactly. You explain it to them very simply of here’s a solution. You go through and you start to establish credibility. Where have you been featured? Why did you make it? What was your reasoning behind this? What’s your why? As we continue to move forward with this, have you been featured in different places? How many people have purchased it? You start to put in reviews about proof why people love it and then you explain exactly what you get, the reasons to act, to buy now, to buy bigger bundles, and then you ask for the order. That’s steps one through ten. Nothing fancy about it. I didn’t create anything that was revolutionary here. All that we’re doing is focusing on explaining the offer and the fact that it’s helped people get results and achieve their goals.

You have to do everything in your power to help people take action in their own lives. - John Belcher Click To Tweet

That’s steps five through ten are the same every single time. You’re not going to change unless you change your offer. What you want to focus on as you’re creating messages is the angle iteration steps one through four. I consider these the one and done, steps five through ten are like the main highway of what your solution can help people achieve. These angles are essentially on-ramps. How can you get people from where they’re at onto the highway and believe in what you believe? This is that key of really going through. I know that sometimes people think this is too simple and it works. It’s that piece of making it very simple for people understand what’s the pain that they’re experiencing and how can you help them get from their hell to their heaven, which is a big part of what we talked about on the research side. This for me has been game-changing as far as helping creative people, people on my team understand how to build messages that sell things. How do we continue to get better at this, iterate faster and more frequently? That’s how you can go through and start to scale up. Do you have any questions about how we’d go through and formulate these messages?

Let’s speak to the elephant in the room. The person is going, “I’m a little uncomfortable rubbing their nose in it.” What would you say to that person to get them to understand why that piece is so important there?

I’m going to go to a principal inside of chemistry. I was a chemistry nerd growing up. If you look at any reaction, there’s a hump that has to be overcome in order to get somebody to take action to move forward with something. It’s called the energy of activation. It’s a big anthill that has to be overcome before a reaction takes place. My job, what happens in chemistry is there’s a catalyst, has the ability to reduce that hill in order to make sure the reaction happens faster with less energy required. Your job as a marketer is to make it something that you can get through to people. People want to take actions to make their lives better. They truly do, but the biggest thing is they have a limited amount of resources.

This is why I first joined Justin and Sean at AdSkills, I believe in the mission of what we were doing, same thing at GiddyUp. There are a lot of people that use this power because this is a formula that works for good and for evil. You have to make sure that you’re comfortable doing that for good, but the reason I get up every day is that there’s a lot of people out there that are trying to use the same formula for evil. They’re trying to do things that are not good for people. We’ve focused a lot on putting together a product and a service that’s great to help people get results.

I know that if I’m not doing this, someone else is and I want to make sure that I’m getting the right information with the right outcomes for people. Because as there’s a limited amount of resources, we know that there are only so many things to go around in the average person’s pocket. We want to make sure we’re putting trustworthy, quality, good things that can help them improve their lives. That’s the best way to say it from my perspective is people are looking for help. As long as you have good intentions, you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to help them overcome the, “Should I overcome this hill and make a difference?” To me, the answer to that is yes.

It’s amazing when you look at this formula. If you’re reading this and maybe you’re feeling a little bit like, “I’d be a little uncomfortable. I’d be a little resistant.” Why not give it a try? Why not try this ten-step formula? Why not try it and see how it can work for you versus assuming how it might work? You might go, “That wouldn’t work for me.” Get yourself out of the way. Think bigger. Here’s another factor to think about what John is sharing. The first four steps, if you look at any great story, any great movie, those first four steps are in almost every great one. Every great story, every great movie is about building attention, developing the problem, agitating it, pushing it over the line and getting someone emotionally engaged in that potential result. Instead of introducing a solution, it might be introducing a hero. How about you as a hero? What would that do for your business if you are introduced as the hero or your product or your service was introduced as the hero the right way? This is a framework that works. It will work for you all the time almost every time.

I think the piece is so important here. There are two things. If you look at the laws of physics, Newton’s Second Law, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. You have to do everything in your power to help people take action in their own lives. The second piece that I love was the Game of Thrones. My favorite thing, everyone didn’t like the last episode. I loved it because I took one thing out of it. Tyrion Lannister says the line, “The most powerful thing in the world are stories.” That’s essentially what we’re doing. We’re trying to weave together a story to say, for instance, we have a product at GiddyUp called Xtra-PC that we focused on now. How do we make sure this is a problem that people understand?

Essentially, what it does is it goes into old computers and it speeds up the operating system via replacing it. It’s using a Linux operating system. The thing that’s so important here is we’re not solving the slow computer dilemma. They have a choice every single day when they wake up. They want to deal with a slow computer or do they want to spend thousands of dollars on a new computer. Xtra-PC is door number three, which can help them solve their problem and get better performance for only $40. When you look at it that way, our goal is to get in there and push them over the line from the emotional side to say, “You’re spending hours of time every week waiting on your computer to load. There is a way to be more productive. You can get more done. You can spend more time with your family. You can spend more time doing the things you care about. This isn’t a big solution. It’s not a big commitment in order to get this done.” Those are the things that are important to me is to find ways to weave in stories, so people understand why this is so important.

This is so good. I know we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve covered going beyond the avatar. We’ve covered the concept of the anti-persona. We’ve covered the sales message framework, the ten-step formula. How about tracking? We’ve got the avatar. We’ve got the message. Now, we’re going to start running some ads. How does someone make sense of being in the dark with the idea I could run an ad now, but it may be a few months before someone buys something from me?

I want to cover a couple of things here. I want to talk about one thing to make sure that we are talking about tracking in a way that makes sense for everyone. This is a resource at AdSkills where we call it the network funnel. Essentially, what we’re doing is there are five stages of awareness. This is a book by Eugene Schwartz called Breakthrough Advertising that breaks these down and essentially we’re trying to understand with that message we created, who does that appeal to? Is that for someone that has no awareness of even the problem? Are they understanding the problem but didn’t know there’s a solution? There are other solutions, but don’t know about the different niches.

They do know about the niche. They know about our offers. That’s the different levels that you can progress through. What we’re talking about when we talk about ad networks is how we’re distributing things. We’ve got here some of the different traffic sources that we use to reach each one of these levels and the different types of targeting that we utilize to make sure our message reaches the right people on each one of these networks. That’s the biggest thing for paid traffic with us. It’s a distribution network in order to make sure that the message that we created gets out in front of the right people. When you talk about tracking, the piece is so important for me. I have a little miniseries that’s coming out. It’ll be for YouTube playlist called Bloody Pixels.

The reason I call it that is because I’ve tried to teach tracking for people for so long. Tracking is not a sexy topic. You’ve heard someone say, “I made an extra $300,000 last month because I got my tracking in place.” It’s not a sexy case study. I took some time. To me, it’s the most important thing that business owners can do is get their tracking into place. It’s not something that you grab a piece of code, put on your website, and it’s done for you. Tracking is a set of habits. It’s almost a cultural piece of saying we are going to track everything. We’re going to put in the effort to be able to track. The example I can give everyone in their daily life, if anyone’s ever wanted to lose weight or gain weight, what do you have to track? What you put into your mouth.

There are no built-in apps that do it for you. You could pay someone to sit there and write down everything that went into your mouth and have calorie counts. You can pay someone to put together a meal plan that you’re supposed to follow, but there’s no app that has a little chip that goes inside of your stomach and counts the number of calories coming through. It doesn’t happen. You have to have preparation in place. That’s the biggest thing that we talk about from the tracking side and why I brought up Bloody Pixels. It’s a boring topic. It’s not something that’s interesting for people. I said, “What’s the most consumed topic out on the web, out on Netflix, Hulu, etc.?” It’s murder. Murder is the number one topic of most shows, detective shows, people enjoy murder for some reason. I said, “What are the parallels between tracking and murder?” and essentially at the end of the day, tracking people, I call them tracking like we are data detectives.

That’s the entire purpose of what we’re doing. There are three steps in the tracking process. If a detective goes into a crime scene, they’re going to label the evidence. They’re going to send the evidence to the lab to be analyzed. They’re going to get a report back telling them what happened and what they should do next. You label, you analyze and then you figure out your next steps. Tracking is the exact same thing. You have to be labeling things. This is where we talk about UTM tracking and putting things into your links to understand where did this person come from? Did they come from a Facebook ad? Did they come from my YouTube video? That’s social consumption. Did they come from a referral? Did they come from an affiliate? All of these labels to understand where people are coming from.

Find ways to weave in stories so people understand why you or your product is so important. - John Belcher Click To Tweet

It’s important to have that stuff in place. You go through and you customize your analytics tool. There are a million different analytics tools out there. I’m going to focus on Google Analytics because this is what most people use. You either have eCommerce tracking if you’re on an eCommerce store or you have gold tracking if you do some lead generation or webinars or anything like that. What we’re able to tell when we put those two things in place is we’ve got labels bringing people in and then we’re tracking what’s going on the website to see what they did. We can go into a report and we can see these labels generated these results. People from this Facebook ad had a 22% opt-in rate for our webinar.

People from YouTube had 32%. People from Twitter had 8%. Now, we can go through and start seeing everything that’s going on. Most businesses have Google Analytics on their website with no goal tracking set up. If they have a goal, it’s not set up correctly or their tech guy changed the URL, so it doesn’t work anymore. They try to get their eCommerce setup, but it’s not working with Shopify. They’ve got Shopify as a store and they’ve got their website over here and they’re using Eventbrite over here to set up events and none of them talk to each other. If someone comes to the website and go to their Shopify store, they don’t know what traffic source brought them to Shopify to make the purchase, it looks like everything’s coming from the website.

We call those Frankenstein websites. There are so many problems. The first thing you have to do is have an understanding of how to do tracking. What are the basic things you have to take into account? Essentially, what you’re doing from the data detective side as you’re moving from the little kid with the badge that says, “I’m a detective. I have Google Analytics on my website.” You’re not a detective at that point. You have to go through and make sure that everything is set up correctly. That’s when you become the local detective.

Have you ever seen the show, 48 Hours? The whole goal of 48 Hours is they need to find somebody within two days. You’d get someone that’s arrested and convicted. The goal is a conviction. They want to make sure that someone is charged with that crime. When you have that mentality when you go into things, you’re good at evidence labeling, but sometimes you’re biased and you’re just trying to pin it on somebody. That’s what most businesses have some tracking in place. They’re using last-click attribution and they’re saying, “My Google search ads are producing the most revenue for my business. It’s all coming from my brand terms. I guess people are searching for me.” You and I both know that’s not the case because there has to be a reason that people are searching for you. They don’t just know about you. That’s that piece of like, “If we’re just trying to convict the last click, we’re not going to be able to scale because we don’t know what’s causing the beginning.”

How are people first learning about us that’s turning them into customers? That’s leveling up from what we talk about the local detective level to the FBI detective level. FBI, they’re looking at the bigger picture. They’re like, “This murder looks similar to that murder.” It’s looking at, “Could this be a serial killer? What are these things?” They’ve taken themselves out of conviction mode and now they’re trying to be unbiased and figure out what’s the bigger picture here. That’s where we start looking at tools like Wicked Reports, that focuses on first click tracking. Alex Becker has a new tool called True Tracking and a part of Market Hero, which I’m very interested in. It looks like he’s doing a nice job with that. I’ve had some discussions with him.

Those are tools that are focused on what’s the first thing that brought someone to your websites? They’re going to place an anonymous cookie on that person. When they become a lead, it’ll say, “This campaign.” Maybe way back in the day, you had a Facebook campaign that was a piece of content that brought someone onto your websites. A couple of weeks later, they became a lead. They’ve opted-in for your lead magnet, they did a podcast, whatever they were doing. You could start to track all of their sessions or touchpoints. It used to be the Marketing Rule of Seven where you had to talk to someone seven times before they converted. Now, we say it’s seven-plus. It’s probably at least double that, maybe triple because there’s so much noise out in the world, but it takes a while for people to come through and convert.

If you only measure from the last thing they did that caused conversion, you’re never going to be able to scale up because you won’t understand what’s getting people involved in your sphere of influence. Having tools like Wicked Reports, that’s what I typically recommend for people because it works so well, is focusing on what’s the first thing that brought them to your website? They have a report there that I love. It’s called Missed Opportunities. Essentially, those are campaigns that you are running, you’re spending money on and they are getting attribution for a sale. Oftentimes, if they’re not showing immediate ROI, we turn them off as marketers. We want ROI on our stuff now. This is what I love about Scott’s tool. It focuses on let’s see what happens 90 days later.

Which of these campaigns is ROI positive that you turned off? Now you can see this Facebook ad way back in the day brought in a bunch of people and it took them a while to become customers. Now they’re customers and high quality, high-value lifetime customers. Being able to see those things from point A to point Z and understand the lifetime value is becoming that part. That’s what great companies do. There are two types of companies. There are average order value companies which essentially I make a sale for $50 so I have to sell it for $40. That’s what a lot of us are focusing on a daily basis. How do I make profit on this little tiny margin and try and do as many times as possible?

It’s hard to get rich if you do that. It’s hard to build a big business just focused on those things. Whereas the companies that do a good job of tracking people over time, they’ll say, “These customers are worth roughly $200 to us. To sell a $50 product, I am willing to spend $150 to acquire someone who buys $50 now because they’re going to be worth $200 in the long run and I’ll have an additional $50 in profit.” That’s how companies get big, but you have to have your tracking in place to be able to look at those things. Did that make sense?

Having done this for a while, I’m going to unpack a couple of things that you tried to speak to maybe what’s on the mind. Speak to the idea of going upside down that you ended with. I’m willing to spend $150 now even though I’m only selling a $40 sale. Speak about that a little bit and why that counterintuitive approach can help companies scale bigger, better and faster.

There comes the point in time, at the end of the day, the way paid traffic works. We pace a certain amount per click. We have a cost per click. The way that you get bigger is you make your earnings per click bigger. What a lot of people try and do is they try and say, “I want to pay less for clicks because I’m only making $1 per click, so I can’t pay more than $1 per click in order to make margins.” When you’re a small business and you’re bootstrapped, you don’t have any other funding. You don’t have any other things flowing through, that’s how you have to operate. If you don’t, you’re out of business at the end of the month.

There’s this inflection point of smashing through the roof and beating out your competition is when your earnings per click, you’re not looking on the same day. You’re looking a year from now to say, “If we bring people in, do we have enough ability to say that these customers are going to be worth more over the long haul?” Whoever can afford the most per click will win. That’s not something that’s unique. I’m not the first person to have said that. To me, when you’re an entrepreneur, there are two flips. Number one, I started as an employee, so operating as an entrepreneur is a big flip. The second piece is the monetary side of working on a day in, day out cashflow versus a long-term operation of things. How can we continue to make sure that we’re bringing in cash, but we don’t want to be stockpiling cash? We want to be pouring this into the acquisition and knowing that it will pay off in the long run. That’s how you build value in. We talk to people with fiduciary responsibilities. You’re building value for investors over the long run while you’re fueling growth.

It’s like how do you build your version of a Netflix following or WordPress following? Here’s another one that I would imagine if someone’s reading that might be in their heart or in their mind. This all makes sense. I want to do it, but I’ve been running ads for a year. I start putting tracking in. How misleading is it going to be that I’m starting it now versus what I’ve built up over several months prior to knowing what I am making or not? Speak to that a little bit.

A lot of people fall short with tracking is they’re depending on Facebook or Google to tell them their numbers inside of the ad networks. It’s usually the biggest problem inside of Facebook. People are looking at Facebook as their analytics platform and the problem with that is Facebook is extremely biased. They’re going to be reporting that we’ve done this amount of revenue through our ads and my problem with that is Facebook is going to take credit for everything. If it showed an impression of an ad to someone who ended up buying, it’s going to take credit for it regardless if it was the first touch, the last touch, the middle touch. If someone scrolled past it, didn’t click on it, didn’t even read it, they are going to take credit for absolutely everything.

The reason Facebook and Google take credit inside of ad words for everything is because they want you to spend more money. - John Belcher Click To Tweet

Was it an assist? Probably, there’s a good chance of that, but whenever you’re using a biased analytics source, it’s really hard to scale because you don’t have unbiased numbers. That’s why I would say if you already have a successful business and you’re operating well. I talk with most people operating on a Facebook, the point you need to get to is installing an unbiased third-party tracking source, Google Analytics, Wicked Reports, something like that. We recommend both of those. Google Analytics is free. Get your Google Tag Manager stuff set up and then install Wicked Reports because it’s going to help you through the scaling process. They’re not incentivized. The reason Facebook and Google take credit inside of AdWords for everything is that they want you to spend more money.

If I’m your sales guy and I’m like, “I made you fifteen sales for $25,000. I want you to send me more leads. If you don’t have any way of verifying that, I’m going to get more leads.” If you’re like, “You actually made two sales,” just because you saw someone through a globe that you didn’t actually sell them anything, how are you going to take credit for that? That’s the discussion you have to be able to have. Facebook and Google ads are your salespeople. You need to fight back on them and make sure that they’re only taking credit for the things that they closed. That for me is that piece of understanding, having that analytics piece in place, it’s unbiased and that is your North Star.

Everyone tells me they’re like, “Why do Facebook and Google Analytics not match up?” Because Facebook is biased. What I want to have is something I can commit to as a North Star to say, “This is the numbers that we look at on a daily basis. This is revenue in, cash out, those types of things to understand what’s going on.” Be able to look things as squarely in the eye from an ad network perspective and say, “We’ve been running this long enough. We feel very confident. We’re getting this reporting through our UTM tags.” We also know that Facebook’s providing a HALO. YouTube is providing a HALO. All of those things come into account. Analytics and tracking will never be 100% accurate. What we shoot for is 85%. We can have a pretty good idea of where things are taking place and the amount of impact that’s going on. Every time we add in something new, we call an isolation experiment.

I created a tutorial that talks about this, particularly with YouTube advertising, but you can do with any type of advertising. If you’re going to run ads and you’re going to layer in something new that your business hasn’t done before, let’s say you have a product called Seven-Minute Abs. How hard would it be for you to duplicate a landing page and call it Eight-Minute Abs? If you run ads on one ad network to that page, that’s the exact replica of your actual homepage. You can determine how much did I spend? How many people came to the websites? How many did the things I needed to? Now you understand the metrics for that ad network that the only thing you’re promoting to go to that new page is that one traffic source. You can determine your ROI and that’s the piece to me of like, “It’s a very simple way to go through and isolate something, understand the numbers, and then roll it back into your main business.”

Speaking of that, what if you did just what you described? You ran Eight-Minute Abs, you isolated a network, call it Facebook, started driving traffic. After 30 days, you may have generated tens of thousands of subscribers. It was to an offer, but the offer was not breaking even in the first 30 days, but it looked solid. You have a backend. Let’s say you have a backend with multiple other products and stuff because you’re a pretty savvy dude. You’ve got a lot of other stuff to make available, but you are upside down $0.30, $0.50 per lead only. What would you do? Would you shut it off because you’re not profitable in the first 30 days? Would you keep running it and/or what data would you put in place so that you could truly measure the long-term value? What would you do in that case?

What I would do is the way that we’ve done this in the past, we will budget. We’ll say we’re going to spend $10,000 on this campaign, isolating this to see what happens. What we look at is the existing business data. We say, “How long does it take to get to if our value per lead over the course of a year is $10? We will run the $10,000 and see at what point when we get to break even. Knowing we’re paying $3 a lead from Facebook, what point do we cross break even? We go back, can we run the same experiment again to try and double the budget and see if the numbers to get back to break-even are the same. It’s taking baby steps to make sure that you have some information that’s accurate to say, “Are we close here? Is there an opportunity? Is this something that’s going to take us ten years to make our money back?”

A lot of people in the industry use Infusionsoft. When people come through Eight-Minute Abs, just tag them with, “We ran YouTube advertising for this.” You can go in and build a report that says, “We spent $10,000 on YouTube. Where are we at on our revenue now?” Only people coming through Eight-Minute Abs are going to be tagged with YouTube. You’re going to be able to go back and look at these cohorts. That’s where the core analysis becomes very important. What I laugh about is we’re going back to elementary experiments. Isolate a variable, test a variable. The results this second don’t have to be perfect. The business takes place over time. Run your experiment on YouTube, spend $10,000 and look at it at the end of the quarter and see what the numbers look like. You can say we ran this for a couple of weeks, here are the numbers on day fourteen and then we’re going to come back and look at this at day 90 and see how we’re doing. If in a quarter you’re running two-week experiments, you can run six experiments. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

GTF 242 | Scaling Your Advertising


We’ve scratched the surface and in some ways probably opened a gap for people. If people want to go deeper with your stuff, how can they get in touch with you? Where should they go to get started?

They can go to This is a piece. We have a lot of people reach out through Facebook Messenger. I don’t have Facebook Messenger on my phone anymore because we have so many people reach out through that. The biggest thing comes to that website. You can check out what we offer. The biggest thing that I’ll say is we are not built if you’re a single-person shop is your first offer. We’re trying to make sure that people that are doing this are marketing professionals. We’re focused on teams that are looking at scaling. They have people. They have marketers on their team. They have an actual marketing team. That’s who we’re focused.

I have thousands of hours of free content on our YouTube channel. If you’re someone that’s getting new and into these things, please come in and check it out. If you’re looking to go through, scale-up, build an internal traffic team, make sure you’re hiring a good agency. You want to make sure that whatever those things are, we have resources to help out with all of those pieces. That’s the best way to come in to start with the content. We have turned it into a new roadmap that talks about you start with the research, you work on your messaging, your tracking, etc. You then roll into distribution. We set it up to help you be successful. If you’re not that size yet, you can feel free to ask questions, comments on Facebook, anything on our YouTube channel. I’m always there to help out people. I want to make sure that you know the right market, how we can dig in and be helpful and valuable to you. We’d love to help.

I would encourage you to go to I’ve gotten a chance to know these guys. John, I sent out to 300 of our clients, colleagues, peers, guests on our show that I hold in high regard. I sent out a notice of thirteen strategies to put in place and they were in the top three overall. Why? It’s because their stuff is amazing. Some of the top experts in the world that you would know their names are sending their kids through this. I know we’ve had our team go through this. I’ve become a big advocate for these guys for good reason because they’ve got the highest quality, simple training in microdoses. Go check out what they’re doing. John, what is something I should have asked you that we didn’t get a chance to cover?

The biggest thing that I think we should have talked about is let’s say you’re running Facebook ads. How do you move to another network? We talked about the sales message earlier and essentially what you’re doing is you don’t have to have a different message for YouTube. You have to understand the actual ad network, the place that people are consuming information. That’s the piece that we go into the inside of our courses is talking about here’s how you’re going to go through and develop a plan. You’re going to develop a message and then how do you distribute it? How do you focus? A lot of people come from Facebook, go to YouTube and are not successful. It’s because they don’t understand the difference between Facebook and YouTube. That’s what I spend a lot of time educating people about is how does your message need to change to distribute the information to the right people in the right places.

I’ll speak to this from also a traditional point of view. When we were running and spending lots of money on radio and TV long before the internet or direct mail, we had found we had to make tweaks in the message and our direct mail compared to what we put in our TV ads. Compared to what we put in our radio ads, so it’s a market to message match, which I think Dan Kennedy coined at some point over the years or gets credit for it. Think of it in those terms. It doesn’t mean that the platform doesn’t work for you. Take the same approach John’s been talking. I have stamina. Look at it as a long-term approach, but many times a little bit of an angle switch or shift will give you incredible results, short and long-term. John, what are one to three action steps you hope that our readers take from our time together?

Number one, I hope you build an anti-persona to know who you do not want to buy your products because that will result in fewer refunds. It will result in higher LTV. It will result in more positive reviews when you start reading out the wrong people through your marketing. Number two, I hope you go through and develop your sales messages and the way that I described, understanding why it’s important to push people over the hump. If you’re working in their best interest, you truly need to do that to help them take action. It will be massive. Finally, focus on tracking. Tracking is the piece that will help you break through scaling barriers. You can build a very successful one-legged stool on a Facebook or a Google AdWords or YouTube. The marketing stool that we want to build better be comfortable to sit on upside down. That’s not fun to sit on an upside-down stool with the one leg. I want to make sure that’s something when you think about this, your tracking is a thing that can help you diversify and scale. You need to invest in it.

Just a little bit of an angle switch or shift will give you incredible results both short and long term. - Dan Kuschell Click To Tweet

The worst number is one because when something changes and as you’re reading now you’ve experienced this. Have you had an algorithm change in the last few months or a few minutes or few hours or few whatever? You have, haven’t you? It impacts us in one way or another. When you only have one, it can be the death of a business. We’d hate to see that happen to you. We want you to have a bigger impact, a bigger reach, bigger contribution, get more leads, get more sales, get more profits, have more growth, have more freedom. Have the ability to scale and also do the things that that you love to do. John, it’s been a real pleasure to have you here with us. Before we go, I’d like to get into a couple of little personal things. You played some football and you played at that big school in Michigan.

It hasn’t been a while, but yeah.

What were you known for in high school?

At high school, I was a linebacker and a shot putter. I went to Notre Dame as a track athlete. I did shot put and hammer. In my senior year, Coach Kelly’s first year coaching, I was able to walk on the football team as a long snapper. It was a very cool experience and I love it. My wife went to Michigan, so we have that rivalry every year, but we’ve been victorious the last three.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I like to sing. I’m a karaoke guy.

If you were going to turn to your wife, what would you thank her for how she has shown up to allow you to be you?

I do thank her for this probably once a quarter is when I quit my job at Google, I didn’t have VC funding. I didn’t have a backup. I left my job, moved back in with my parents for a couple of months in Wyoming. She had just moved out to Seattle for her new job with Stryker. I moved out there and got to move in with her into her apartment. She let me do my thing, encouraged me to go after, figure out how you can be an entrepreneur. There were some dark days there, but she was very patient with me and gave me that opportunity to learn how to make an impact and create. There’s a difference between making money and creating money. It takes time and process to get there. I thank her. I said, “Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to take time to learn how to do what I love to do because I wake up every day and I love what I do.” That is something I would say and I do say.

What do you hope to build with AdSkills over the next few years that most people don’t know?

The piece that I’m focused on is we’ve done a good job with people who want to build the agencies. We call them the 1099 employees helping to build things. There’s a really big push from a lot of companies that want to build internal traffic teams. That was a part of me working at GiddyUp is I wanted to know how to do that, what are the systems and processes you have to have in place. The piece that’s been most fulfilling for me is the media buyers that I hire have no background experience. Both of them have truly been out of the workforce for a few years and wanted to come back in. Another one had just taken the wrong career path and was trying to figure out what to do.

They both felt like they were in bad spots from the desirability in the job market of like, “I don’t have any experience. I want to go back here. I’ve been out. Maybe all of my stuff’s invalid.” It was easy for me. I just wrote a sales letter and said, “I need people who are competitive, are organized, they have attention to detail, and they care about what they do.” I’ve been able to help them change their lives and get back to a spot where there are flexibility and freedom. My goal is to help over the next few years 1,000 people get out of a job they hate or get back into the workforce doing something they love, working with some very reputable companies doing media buying, which is not something that people go to college for. We want to be a college that helps people change their lives. I know that’s a little bit of a cliché thing to say, but it’s cool when you’ve seen it happen multiple times now. That’s something that I’m very set on doing.

If you go through their courses, you’ll see why that it will be a reality. John, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. I look forward to us getting a chance to see how we can help each other a lot more. If you want to go deeper with what John’s been sharing, we’ve given you a glimpse at the tip of so many incredible things. Go check out what they’re up to at John, it’s been awesome to have you with us. I appreciate it.

Thanks for having me. Hopefully, we’ll get these resources shared. I hope that people can take something away to improve their business and turn pain traffic into paying traffic.

Take action with what John’s been sharing. If you never want to miss an episode, go to Seize the day. Make it a great week. We’ll see you next time on

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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About John Belcher

GTF 242 | Scaling Your AdvertisingJohn Belcher heads up the GiddyUp Internal Traffic Team where he leverages his experience with paid traffic to run GiddyUp’s entire suite of products on multiple ad networks to helpGiddyUp’s marketing partners find success and scale faster than ever.

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