ep 464: How to Know if You Should Be Running Paid Ads Marketing Strategy

ep 464: How to Know if You Should Be Running Paid Ads Marketing Strategy

Is your business ready for paid ads? You might think I’m going to recommend running ads 10 out of 10 times – but the reality is, there are buckets you need to be filling before you pull the trigger.

Timing is everything and while the answer to this question isn’t black and white, there are 3 main ways you should be growing your business visibility before you decide to start using paid ads.

If you are debating if this is a good time in your business to be putting money into ads, then this episode will provide you clarity and a TON of value. Listen in to find out more!


Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact!


Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast! If this podcast has added value and helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you.



Emily Hirsh:

When you look at should you be running paid ads, you’re also looking at, okay, am I going to get what I need from these other buckets or should I be running paid ads? In an ultimate scenario, you have all three of these things working for you.

You are listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast, episode number 464.

Hello my friends, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week. Today is gonna be the day that I do my workshop on creating your 2023 marketing strategy. So if you’re listening to this and you want access to that, you can get access at hersh marketing.com/workshop. It’s gonna be really good. I just finished up the slides. I have a whole process that I follow whenever I create trainings, especially from scratch, and I do a lot of work on it, come back to it, reflect on it, reread it, go through it, and it’s, I think it’s gonna be really good. So I’m really excited. It’s a very in depth workshop about creating a marketing strategy that’s gonna get you results. But also I really dug into creating a marketing strategy that’s going to feel in alignment with you and your business next year and not lead to burnout and overwhelm because so many people this past year really struggled with that.

So I took it to the next level and not just like a marketing strategy to create sales because obviously yes, we wanna do that. I think one of the important pieces to that is making sure it’s in alignment, making sure it is taking into consideration and reflection and thoughts from this past year and what you actually wanna be doing and making sure you’re not overwhelming yourself and putting yourself into a position where you’re gonna be stuck in paralysis. So if you want access to that or if you listen to this later on and you want the recording, it’s going to be incredible. So hirshmarketing.com/workshop will save your seat for that. Alright you guys, so I got this question, I had this conversation with someone probably a week ago and I was like, I haven’t talked about this in a really long time. So I wanna talk about it because especially as you are creating a marketing strategy and as you are looking at your next year, you might be contemplating this question or maybe you are already running paid ads and you’re like, should I be doing this?

Should I not be doing this? And I actually get this question all the time, and I haven’t talked about it on here in a long time, which is, how do I know if I’m ready for paid ads? How do I know if I should be running paid ads? Like when am I ready? And of course, as with any question, there’s no like black and white answer. Like when you hit this business revenue, you are ready for paid ads. Like it doesn’t work that way. But I think that this is something to really think about if, especially if you’re not running ads or you’ve for whatever reason stopped running them, pause running them. So first of all, let’s back up. There’s only really three main ways to grow your business visibility. And when I say visibility, it’s getting your business in front of other eyes. So that is through building an audience.

It also is through lead generation. And then those things lead to sales. And so I think there’s only three core ways and I’ve bucketed them into these three ways. And so when you look at should you be running paid ads, you’re also looking at, okay, am I going to get what I need from these other buckets or should I be running paid ads? In an ultimate scenario, you have all three of these things working for you. And so those three things are one, organic marketing. So this is content marketing, this is social media, this is you. My podcast is an organic marketing method, YouTube channels. This is organically putting content out there and from the platforms themselves, from the algorithms, people are finding you and people are seeing your content and you’re growing in that way. This also could be considered like a keywords that you rank for when someone googles your website or Googles you, that could be considered organic as well.

The next bucket is relationships. And I bucket relationships, everything as a relationship. But I bucket this in being able to get in front of other audiences, being able to be a guest on podcasts guest speaking, doing a guest presentation for someone, putting yourself out there and providing value to another audience that then puts you and your business in front of another audience. This also could be especially for e-commerce affiliates or in influencers who talk about your product and share your product with their audience. It could be collaborations that you create in that way. This is direct relationships, strategic relationships that are going to help you get that visibility. And then the third bucket is paid ads. And this can be obviously Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, you name it, it’s paid ads. You are paying for traffic, you are paying for people to see a strategic, you know, journey you’ve created for them.

Strategic content strategic, you know, a funnel, an opt-in a journey you’re taking them on. Now out of those three, what one do you think you have the most control over? Paid ads Because paid ads you set up, you define the targeting, you define where people are going. You define how many people you want to go there based on the budget you set. You have a lot of control. Overpaid ads, you get to change the messaging, you get to change the targeting to improve your results. Organic, you’re relying on Instagram and Facebook’s algorithms, ands algorithms and Google’s algorithms and it’s a little bit of shot in the dark. And I am not saying this to be like paid ads is the only way you guys know I’m not a black and white person like that. I think you’ll need all three of these things. But I think it’s important to think about what one do you have the most control over and therefore what can you potentially get the most momentum fastest with relationships, same thing.

It’s dependent on other people. It’s dependent on the quality of those people’s audience. I just talked to someone who said they’ve done a lot of influencer campaigns and half of them are good and half of them, you never know. They’re terrible quality audiences and, and you would think they’re gonna be great from the outside. And then you go, you know, pay for a promotion or pay for something and it’s really poor quality. And so it is a little bit, I mean it is outta your control also it’s dependent on people saying yes to you. And so banking on guest podcast, guest appearances and other people getting your business out there is not a long term strategy. Just doing that, right? And so these are our three options. We have the most control over paid ads because we get to control all the elements to it.

Okay, now how do you know if you’re ready for paid ads? So one of the ways that I would measure this is are you currently capped with your reach? Like do you feel like I desperately like the number one problem in my business is I need more people to see my content. I need more leads on my list, I need more visibility and I need it faster. If you feel that way and you are doing the organic social media or maybe you don’t have time for it, like that’s the other thing. Organic equals a time investment. Paid ads is a money investment. Those are two resources that we both have. We all have. But honestly time is our most limited one. But if you feel currently capped and you feel frustrated like I’m putting out good content, I have, you know, a product that I know or a service that I know can help people and I either need a strategy or to amplify a strategy to get more people to pay attention to it, that’s a really good indicator that you’re ready for paid ads.

Now there’s a lot of people that I work with and we work with who don’t have a strategy ready to go to be amplified with paid ads. So I also want to be careful here in saying you can quickly, within a matter of weeks, put together a strategy and launch it to paid ads with the right support so you don’t have to wait. I see this happen all the time where people wait literally months and months because they’ve convinced themselves, well I have to have a strategy, it has to be 100% done and then I have to test it. I have to get enough leads in, I have to see if it’s working and then I’ll be confident investing in paid ads. Well that could take months because your reach is so limited. So yes, before you go actually launch paid ads, you have to have something to launch them to.

But if you’re looking at getting support like you are looking at really investing in your marketing or hiring an agency, a good agency should be able to help you with the strategy and they actually should push to be able to do a, to do a deep dive on that before running the pays. So if you feel like in order to reach my business goals, in order to reach more audience, more leads and increase my overall visibility, even in that, in that bucket counts lead generation and what you’re doing right now, you’re very capped, you’re very limited. And even if you were to go create a strategy and launch it, you’re not gonna get a whole lot of momentum. It may be time for paid ads, it may be a serious thing for you to look at ASAP to increase the speed at which you grow.

And the second thing, and this is probably the most important piece, is you’re willing and able to invest in your business. If you go into paid ads, especially for the very first time, and you go into it with the mindset of if I don’t make back this first 30 days investment immediately and I’m profitable out the gate, you will be set up for disappointment. And I’m not saying that it’s not possible to be profitable in the first 30 days of running ads. I have, it happened to clients all the time, but we will not bring clients on who have never run paid ads, who have that expectation because there’s just too many variables. We don’t know the cost per lead, we don’t know the sales conversion, we don’t know if the messaging’s gonna hit, we don’t know if the strategy’s gonna work. We don’t know what optimizations we’re gonna have to make.

We will get it to successful because marketing always works. But it’s a matter of time and when and what optimizations are required. And so if you, in order to keep your doors open to your business, to feed your family, to pay your bills, et cetera, cannot invest in your business, you probably don’t wanna run paid ads yet. Go get a few new clients, go get funding or investment, go find some capital so that you give yourself like a 90 day runway. And again, I am not saying that you for sure 100% guaranteed won’t make your money back in that 90 days. But what I told this person I had this conversation with is you have to be prepared. Like you have to be okay with that worst case scenario. Cuz she was asking me like, how do I know if this is the next move for my business?

And she doesn’t have a big email list. She posts on social media, she doesn’t get much traction. She’s tried the, the route of getting on guest podcasts. She’s been on a few, but she’s kind of capped. She doesn’t know what else to do. Like it’s not really going anywhere. And so I think she’s very much ready for paid ads and she needs to sit down with us and go over a strategy, create that custom strategy, do a deep dive in her business and launch it to paid ads. But I said, but you have to be okay with the worst case scenario that if you don’t make any of the money back in the next 90 days, you’re gonna be okay. I’m not saying that that’s gonna happen. We’re gonna do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen to make optimizations and to make improvement.

But you also might grow your list with 500 leads and only one or two buy in the first 90 days, but now, now you have 495 plus leads, right? And so it’s a long term play. It is an investment in your business and the sooner you set yourself up for being able to do that, the faster you are gonna grow. And that’s something in this online space that I see so much is people don’t treat their business like a business. They treat it like a side hobby and side hustle and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you have goals to getting to that legitimate real revenue boosting, profitable business, you have to invest. You have to invest in the business. And so marketing is one of the things that as soon as you can, should be non-negotiable and paid ads is one of the best ways to do that.

So that is one of the biggest indicators. And if you’re like, no, I would have to shut my business doors if I spent, you know, a thousand dollars on ads next month, then go get clients, go get some business, go get funding if you can’t, you know, find another way to, to fund your paid ads and get $3,000 and now you’ve got some runway and you’re able to be strategic with it, but you don’t have to be stressed about it. And then the next thing is just if you want faster momentum, like paid ads are just faster. You’re paying to reach more people, you’re paying to reach your ideal audience, your pain to get people in your funnel, your pain to grow your list. So yes, it costs money, but it’s so much faster. You can literally achieve what you could organically on social media in a year within a matter of weeks with paid ads.

And it is such a numbers game once you dial it in, it’s like, okay, if you wanna book 10 calls, you need this many leads. Here’s your average cost per lead, you just have to spend this much money. Like it’s, it’s become so simple, especially after those first couple of months doing it where you’ve dialed it in, you know, your baseline metrics. And that’s one of the first things we try to accomplish with clients. And then it becomes this game of like, okay, what’s my goal? How much do I have to spend? What do I have to optimize? What do I tweak? What levers do I pull? So if you want that momentum faster than how you are currently getting that momentum in terms of traffic, audience leads paid ads is probably the answer for you if you’re willing and able to invest. And that’s kind of like the big, if it is an experiment, it it is in the first 90 days, you have to look at it that way.

There will be 100% guaranteed optimizations needed to improve. Even if things work a little bit, there still should be optimizations. And so, you know, most of the time, if I was to summarize, people wait too long to do paid ads and obviously I do have a biased opinion. I run a lot of paid ads myself. It’s my number one traffic source. It’s, I love it because it doesn’t take my time and I’m able to amplify these awesome things that I do put a lot of time into like my workshop or like my webinars or my, you know, downloads that I create. I mean, I’m able to reach thousands more people because of paid ads than I would be able to. And so I think people wait too long and a lot of times I do see businesses in the same place they were six months ago because they’re afraid to invest in paid ads.

And I think the biggest fear comes from feeling like they don’t have a strong strategy and a plan to go into the paid ads to actually go execute the paid ads. And so, I mean, that is number one, you need to have a plan, you need to have a strategy, you need to have some projections so that at least we go out with some baseline metrics we’re trying to achieve and then we go and improve it. And so that’s what we do in the strategy call with clients. Marketing’s just this process, it’s following that. And I think there are a lot of people out there who play small in their business because of the fear of investing in paid ads and having it not work or losing that money. And so what if you shifted your mindset and you just said, what if I did lose that money, but what if I gained hundreds of leads from it?

And what if I was able to get data to know what I need to improve and feedback and be able to talk to more leads and have this engagement? Like, isn’t that progress for your business? And that’s the worst case scenario. Best case scenario is you’re gonna make some sales. So it’s something to think about, especially going into this new year of have you held yourself back this past year by not really getting support in your marketing, not really taking it to the next level and not investing in paid ads. And then if you look at those three main ways that you can get visibility and attraction to your brand, are you prioritizing them? Are you putting actions forward? Which one is your number one priority? And do your actions really back that up or do you need to make some changes? All right everybody, I hope this was helpful. I will talk to you guys next week if it was helpful or if you have any questions about this or you want me to do a quick run through of like, is your business ready for paid ads? I love doing that and I’m very honest about it. So you can send me a DM at Emily Hirsch on Instagram. Otherwise, I’ll talk to you guys next week.

Thanks for listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to help my strategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.