Author: catherine_h


My one year ‘mental breakdown’ Anniversary

Almost one year today marks my mental breakdown.

The day I walked into my high loft ceiling inner-city office (that was always more of an ego play than a necessity) and through puffed cheeks and eyes told my team I was resigning as CEO effective as of immediately.

I was prepared to lose my business in that moment, as difficult as the idea was to swallow, it had come to be a matter of life or death. I was on the verge of killing myself, I needed a change of skin ASAP.

With only the perspective that the gift of time can give I can now appreciate this heart wrenching and difficult stage of my life. I can hand on heart say that – were it not for the depression – I wouldn’t be where I am today, which is now the complete opposite: joyful, fulfilled excited again and purposeful.

I can also see now why I had the dark thoughts I had. That I was living in a state of fear, my soul was no longer fulfilled by what I was doing but yet my mind was rationalising everything and telling me to stay. I was depending on my external environment to validate my internal state and was getting shit whipped by life in the process. I had it all twisted. The more I ignored it the more I sped myself straight into a proverbial wall at eighty miles per hour.

And so, in a drastic move my nervous system took things into its own hands and drove me to my knees.

I was one of the lucky ones who was unsuccessful in my suicide attempts. I barely scraped by with my life.

It never had to get that far. If only I had just listened sooner.

I want to take this moment to give gratitude and thanks to the people that supported me through this difficult stage. To the team at Eight Loop and our online communities who banded together to give me the space I needed, to mama Brooke and Kirsty and Charlotte and my lil sis who took turns babysitting me on suicide watch. To Tim for being the first person I felt comfortable telling about how bad things really were. To Guy who gave me perspective. Alyssa and Sergei for the trips! My mum for the late night calls. To my two business partners Justin and Brandon – it is no coincidence that the depression began to shift the moment you came into my life in the way you did. To my ex husband who withstood the psychological abuse I threw his way.

The list goes on and on, and in many ways, helps to shine a light on the success of my recovery.

A year on, I have found my smile again and fuck does it feel good! I’m excited for what life has to bring and am almost in shock that I ever considered doing the things I once considered doing to myself.

If you are experiencing a difficult or dark time in your life, tell someone ASAP, do not martyr yourself in silence. If you don’t have anyone, reach out to me.

Know that better times will come, I can promise you this – physics demands that love and light always follows strife x

The secret magic of gardening

How gardening and plants helped me to rediscover the present moment
There’s a lot of things that plants and nature helped me with when I was going through a hard time last year.
For starters, plants taught me the elusive and tricky art of appreciating the present moment.
You see, at the time I had become so consumed with chasing the things and outcomes and experiences that I was no longer enjoying the now, which was instead filled with worries and plans and plotting and strategies.
I was addicted to the thrills and pleasure new money could buy and some unresolved festering insecurities meant I was living in a world of lack and fears.

Magic in Gardening

As I started to garden I became mesmerised in watching the tap root of a seed unbuckle from its tiny unassuming shell, inside it the most prized recipe of the universe – the code of life. I realised it was the actual gardening itself that made the rewards of a mature plant so worthwhile. Kind of like parenting I guess – the real joy comes in the raising of the children or being a part of their lives and not in getting some 45 year old man delivered to your door step ready to be your new son!
The journey is the fun part. The outcomes are the short-lived dopamine hits that always wash away eventually.
There’s nothing wrong with having goals or desires, without them there would be no expansion or growth. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with nice cars or private jets or big fat bank accounts and five girlfriends if that’s your jam – but when you look to those things to make you feel some kind of way about life then that’s when you start to thread deep water.

Enjoying the Now

In a way, watching a plant grow is like watching the basic code of reality unfold before your very eyes. For some reason it gave me the perspective that I needed to get through during that tough time. Green, green, green, my city house became a country house, which became filled with plants and I was found gumboots deep in a forest staring up into the canopies of trees.
It was the unfurling of a green leaf and the speckled cap of a mushroom growing in the dense forest undertow that reminded me that the universe cannot be anything other than conspiring to look after me and to enjoy the journey.

What Forests Can Teach Us About Connection

In the deep grizzly backcountry of Canada in the mid 1980’s, Suzanne Simard was counting the ghosts of saplings that had perished seemingly without cause.  What she discovered was startling.

Susanne in the her memoir Finding the Mother Tree

She was researching the effects that the then current free-to-clear logging practices were having on the health and growth rates of the trees over long periods of time.

The reason that her saplings were dying was because a delicate balance of collaboration on the microbial level had been disrupted. You see, deep down below the undertow an enormous fungal web existed, which – under normal circumstances – would have been supplying her saplings with nitrogen – the crucial building block of photosynthesis.  A pyramid of creatures – earthworms, slugs, snails, spiders, beetles, centipedes bacteria, copepods, protozoa – all crunching one another, leaving behind tiny bits of excrements that then get consumed by even tinier critters – creating a nutritious soup full of nitrogen compounds.

But the land had all but been stripped bare save for the little saplings standing at arms row upon row.  The clear cutting policies allowed for ‘weeds’ like birch that were thought to hinder the fir by competing for sunlight and soil nutrients was actually killing the firs in the end.

What she discovered was that the birch was actually sending nutrients to the firs using a sort of mychorrozial network that transmit information molecules across synapses.

Competition and collaboration took on entirely new meanings.

Of course, when her research was published she was ridiculed by the policymakers and fellow researchers who were more interested in making sure a woman wasn’t the one to disrupt the politically fine-tuned industry of logging.

Trees know that the more successful the whole is the more successful the individual

She would later go one to show that elder mother trees provide nutrients and support to nearly every species in touch with its fungal web, even those that seem to compete against her saplings.  The reason for this is that the tree understands that its own young ones have a better chance of survival if the whole succeeds.

Today, her research forms the basis of most of our modern understanding on how plants communicate and interact with their surroundings.  The overall picture of all of her years of research is one where everything is recycled into itself in a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit.

When I read of Susans’s recount in her book The Mother Tree, it reminded me that humans are also a part of this cycle of recycling and support.  We all need each other, even on the microbial level (or rather, especially), to continue to do what we do and thrive in order to also thrive.  We are all part of something bigger and the success of one of us means a higher chance of success for all of us.

It seems basic to say and common sense in a way but sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re all in this together.

We have become isolated in our own technological worlds in many ways and perhaps there is something to be said in the exploration of the basic code of life transpiring as collaboration in forests and be inspired towards the possibilities of the implication on human life. The lone sapling may grow tall someday, but if it’s disconnection from the web of support it will be prone to decease and weather and decay and likely succumb at a premature age. Together with his siblings, however, the sapling will grow strong.

 

 

 

The Alchemy of Jealousy

The Alchemy of Jealousy

The science behind why we feel jealous and how to understand what it’s really trying to tell us

I’m ashamed to admit this but I recently had a friend come to me and share some exciting news and my first (internal) reaction was to feel a pang of jealousy.  Of course I wanted her to be happy and successful, and yet, I couldn’t help but feel envious, I hid this, of course, and fronted an excited smile instead.  The attitude of jealousy is off putting to admit to and I chastised myself for my reaction.

When I asked on my Facebook page if there was a time and place for jealousy the responses were more or less towards the sentiment that jealousy and envy were best left at the door.

The Tao Ching warns of envy and jealousy:

Tao Te Ching 3

                Not exalting the gifted prevents quarrelling. Not collecting treasures prevents stealing. Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.

                The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

                If men lack knowledge and desire, then clever people will not try to interfere.

                If nothing is done, then all will be well.

To believe yourself deserving of what another possesses is unrealistic

 

I was pretty much of the same opinion about the emotions of jealousy and envy – that both served no purpose other than to let you know you strayed off course internally.

In a previous relationship I felt jealous of my partner.  I was so ashamed of feeling this way because in my mind all this showed was my own insecurities so I suppressed everything deep down and shamed myself for the lack in character.

I suppressed any feelings of jealousy I felt of my partner in a previous relationship I was in.  Jealousy, in my eyes was a sign of insecurity.

But then I heard Dr Robert Leahy on The Psychologist Today podcast describe a study that showed that “couples who illustrate jealousy are more likely to stay together. And that got me to thinking – it’s relatively easy for us to admit to feelings of anger towards others, even depression, but to hear someone admit of their jealousy or envy is a rare thing in this world. And yet we all experience it, even the little babies at eight months old.

So what gives with jealousy? Is there a purpose for it and if so, how can we better understand it to help us improve our own wellbeing and relationships?

 

The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

 

While both emotions are defined as passionate and intense, they differ  in the sense that jealousy is directed at a real or imagined third party – for example, jealousy over a person that has captured your lover’s eye – and envy is towards an aspiration or desired state of being.  It is possible to experience both emotions toward friends, peers, romantically, family and the emotions are universal with jealousy being observed in babies as young as eight months old and even animals display the behaviour (dogs are the most jealous followed by horses and then cats, in case you’re curious).

The green eye, as these emotions are sometimes referred to, has been the culprit of many wars and is the leading cause of death in homicides between couples.

I can personally attest to feeling jealous from a very young age of my younger sister.  Innately I must have understood on some deep biological level that this little squirming grub of a human was competing for my parent’s attention and affection.  As I got older I was envious of her beauty and ease of nature.  Obviously, I never openly admitted these emotions to anyone.

Though tried as I might to live the Taoist way and let it sliddddeee, jealousy would nip me in the butt when I would least expect it sometimes.

In my misunderstanding of the emotion I worked shame on myself as the number one defence against it.

Soon, I found myself stuck in a sordid self perpetuating cycle where the more I felt jealous, the more shame I felt, the shittier life was and the more scenarios came into my reality to make me feel even more jealous. My environment was exacerbating the whole scenario and the more that I was allowing this to frustrate me and cause me shame the more and more it happened. At the peak of my mental hiatus I was experiencing jealousy on the daily.

What I would soon come to realise is that the emotion of jealousy is actually a beautifully giving one when we understand what it it really saying to us.

 

The Benefits of Jealousy

 

The Biological Perks

 

While it’s definitely a hard life if you’re name is Jealousy, it’s not all bad, according to a key evolutionary theory coined the ‘Parental Investment Theory’ by Robert Trivers in 1972, jealousy serves a purpose in helping to keep bonded pairs during during the gestation period of their offspring.  For the females, they want to ensure that they get the strongest male and that this male is able to provide his attention and protection to herself and her offspring, any competing females of his attention impinges on this goal. Vice versa, jealousy helps to serve the males in ensuring paternity of his offspring.

Evolution is about competition and survival, jealousy – it would appear – helps to protect the gene pool.

Of course, times have changed. We’re no longer cavemen bonking each other over the heads. One for he perks of being a human is we can rise above or biology.

So does jealousy still serve a purpose in the post-modern world?

 

Jealousy as a Bonding Mechanism

 

Here’s an interesting question, if your partner told you that you were free to sleep with and date anyone you choose and that this wouldn’t bother them in the least would this excite you or make you feel like your partner no longer cared?

Behaviourally, jealousy seems to serve the purpose of screening for ambivalence. When a partner expresses jealousy,

jealousy as a bonding mechanism between couples

 

Democracy & Jealousy

 

 

Jealousy as a Compass

 

I struggled with the cycle of negative emotions that came with feeling shame around my feelings of jealousy until I came across some teachings from a law of attraction guru Abraham Hicks. I’ve been following Abraham for a couple of years now and her work has truly transformed my life. She talks of emotions as a compass to our own relationship with source.  And that – while the point is never to not feel any of the negative or “bad” emotions ever agains as this would mean no more expansion or growth (and the end of life), but rather that these emotions don’t rule our lives.  It’s about understanding that you have a sophisticated compass within you and then interpreting what it’s trying to tell you to make meaningful changes towards the expansion you seek. To to point of jealousy, she explains that there are really two conversations to be had:

  1. what is wanted, and
  2. the lack of what is wanted

It struck a chord. I began to understand that the jealousy was signalling to me what I actually desired (whatever it was I was feeling jealous over), and that instead of self shaming myself for wanting these things I needed to acknowledge the desire.

Then there’s the lack of what is wanted, this is what hurts, this is where the suffering pit in the stomach feeling of jealousy sits.  The focus of the gap between what is desired and what is reality.

For example, if you have been trying to conceive a baby and then suddenly hear news that your friend is pregnant, it’s natural to feel a sense of envy. This further reinforces the desire that you hold.  There is nothing wrong in the desire itself, but where we go wrong is how we stack up our entire happiness on the outcomes.

So basically, jealousy is pointing out to you a desired outcomes/thing/experience/feeling that perhaps you may not have even been aware of before.  The suffering part of the jealousy is when focus is kept on the current state you are in vs desired and the gap between the two.  Somewhere in that gap is a narrative that will sound a little like “it will never happen to me,” “I won’t ever be so lucky.” etc.

And herein why jealousy and envy feel so bad when they hit.

 

How to Reframe Narratives of Jealousy or Envy

 

One of the bigger issues about jealousy is the shame and blame we throw around when the emotion is expressed by ourselves or others.

In romantic relationships, we become defensive and offended when our partners express jealousy, in dealing with moments of envy, we torment ourselves for feeling the way we feel instead of actually giving ourselves compassion in the moment we need it most.

If focus shapes behaviours and decisions then whatever is focused on can only ever amplify according to observer-based laws of quantum physics. Once you place your focus on the lack of something you are making the love to yourself conditional on some outcome or experience to occur in order to feel some type of way.  The reality is it won’t even matter what that thing is or how menial or special it may be, the material world will never satiate a spiritual thirst. If you don’t figure out how to make that love conditional, you’re going to feel pretty insecure and that’s going lead to experiencing lots more jealousy. Round and round it goes, until one day you drive yourself so deep into the ground you have no choice but to face the music.

But this is where the magic of Jealousy comes in – it’s here to prevent you from having to chase your tail and to address the bugged lines of code before you hit the wall.

 

 

The Alchemy of Jealousy – Using Sexual Gnosis for Manifestation

 

“Just add it to the wank bank!” Those are the words that came out of my mouth on a video I posted to Instagram back in 2018. What I was referring to was objects of desire, not necessarily of the sexual sorts but rather the vision board sorts. It makes me cringe to hear my shrill younger voice say those words but the concept has served me well through the years, it’s a bit weird though so bear with me.

Sexual

A “wank bank”, for those of you that are wondering, is basically an imaginary reference file used to arrange visual cues that you will use to either achieve or during states of sexual arousal.

The reality is that there is a time and place for jealousy and if you can have fun with your new desire of expansion then jealousy can be used as a powerful motivator to get you aligned with the desire.

The reason wank banks are so effective as a subconscious reprogramming tool is because when you are in a deep state of arousal or orgasm your brain is being flushed by dopamine and activations in the pre-frontal cortex allow you to more easily access altered-states of consciousness.  The wank bank is used as a fun way to store those visual cues of desire and during a state of orgasm those cues are thought about. It helps if you can visually see it, even if just printed, during the state of gnosis so for this reason masturbation often makes this more convenient.

(It may help to watch the video below to understand the concept better).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cat Howell (@cathowell)

 

Final Thoughts

 

Jealousy is a giving and beautiful emotion when we understand that it’s really telling us to give ourselves a bit more of our own love. When we experience it, consider it an opportunity to re-examine whatever conversation is happening in your mind at that time that may need re-framing. Don’t beat yourself up for it.  Take a deep breath and allow yourself to practice the act of changing the way you feel about the situation.

Chastising ourselves or our partners for feeling jealous will only further the insecurities. We suppress it and then feel shame.  We feel bad about feeling bad and round it round it goes.

When a partner expresses jealousy towards us our natural reaction is to admonish and shame the feeling of jealousy, well of course all this does is fuel the insecurities even more and flames the jealousy.

Instead what we need, says Robert Leahy, is more compassion and normalisation of the emotion fo jealousy and envy.

“Have compassion towards yourself when you express it.”

If all fails, add it to the wank bank. 

 

 

 

How to Find & Hire your FB Ad Unicorn or Contractor!

How to Find & Hire a great facebook ads specialist!

 

You thought trying to crack the sales game was the hardest part about building your business or agency until you had to hire Facebook ads specialist to manage the campaigns and funnels!

The experience can only be likened to trying to hit a miniature horse target using a blank BB gun at a rundown amusement park – exhausting and frustrating.

Hire the wrong person – and it can take you under.  Get the right manpower in – and your business can soar to new heights.

Over the past three years, we’ve hired over 16 FB marketers for our businesses (one of them an ad agency) and for our clients as well.

And I’ll admit one thing – I hate hiring. And I suck at it.  I usually hire based on gut instinct or will go and recruit friends, which doesn’t always pan out for me.

I’ve learned the hard and expensive way that there’s a right way to hire and a wrong way to find your unicorn. I also have yet to meet another business owner that has gone through the experience of having to hire as many FB Marketers as I have – and so, in a bid to help you avoid the expensive growing pains, I’m sharing with you the unique process we’ve developed inside our agency to ensure we find and bring in top talent.

As a preface, here is usually what we look for to hire facebook ads specialists (I’ll go into this a bit more in when I explain Phase 1 of the process):

  • Has drive and initiative
  • Resourceful
  • A creative eye and ability to pull strong copy together (although not always necessary as this can be outsourced)
  • Ability to interpret data in a strategic and meaningful way and communicate this back to a wider team
  • Thorough understanding and experience of the FB ads platform
  • Aligned with our company culture and values

If they have proven results in the given niche – even better!

But you can see why we call them unicorns now! 

The Unique “FB Unicorn” Recruiting Process

The process to hire Facebook ads specialist below is basically broken down into five phases, I’ve explored lots of different tacts through the years (including the “gut feeling” hiring process and the DISC profiling etc), this one – so far – has been foolproof. You’ll see why.

Here’s an overview of the “hire Facebook ads specialist” process (note this applies regardless if it’s for a contractor or in-house marketer you’re after. You could also use this process for different digital marketing specifies but would just need to edit phases 3 and 4).

Recruitment Phases:

 

Phase 1 – Talent Awareness

Phase 2 – First Assessment

Phase 3 – Second Assessment

Phase 4 – Third Assessment

Phase 5 – Phone/In-Person Interview

There are really two main things that happen in this phase of hiring Facebook ads specialist: first, you are identifying what your specific needs are and the outcome you want from a recruit and putting this into a job description.  Getting clear on salary or compensation is important here too.

As a general rule of thumb – an experienced FB marketer will command roughly $70-$100K salary.  If you’re looking for to hire facebook ads specialists as contractors, it can be anywhere from $1,500/mth-$10,000/mth depending on experience and skillset required and your spending. If you’re an agency contracting for an account, budget 25% of the account fee towards your contractor costs.

The second part of this phase is where you place your job in front of skilled talent.  This is oftentimes where most people struggle as – unless you already have connections or peers to refer you to marketers, it can feel like the Wild West out there (you can read more about hiring from the client perspective here).

Posting to relevant FB Groups and local job sites are just two of the ways to gain traction.  Likewise, you can use this free directory to get matched with pre-screened Facebook marketers based on your budget, niche and needs: https://digitaldistillery.com/directory/

Phase 2 – First Assessment:

 

This part ties into the first phase in that – part of the job description asks that candidate complete a short survey.  The purpose of this is two-fold:

  1. Who reads instructions properly (you’d be surprised who many don’t)
  2. Identifying marketers with basic competence and understanding

The survey can be created in Google Forms and essentially asks them questions about ads, campaigns, and even hypothetical case studies they need to advise on.

If you’re unsure about potential questions, I’ve posted a few examples below.

Phase 3 – Second Assessment:

 

Most people stop at the first assessment when screening candidates and then hire based on a phone interview.  But one thing I learned the hard way is that being book smart is completely different from being actually good.

There are a lot of marketers out there that can dot all the I’s of FB ads on par, but when it comes to implementation – fall flat on their faces.

And here’s the truth, being a good FB marketer requires that one is skilled at:

  • The technical platform side of things
  • Creative and copyrighting
  • Data analyst able to optimize

These require fundamentally different parts of the brain – which is why the industry often has a saying when searching for a good FB marketer that you’re “looking for a unicorn”.

The second assessment aims to filter out those that can interpret data properly from those that can’t find the broken pixel in a haystack!

As part of this assessment, get each candidate that passed the first round (usually about 20 in this stage) to sign an NDA.  From there, give them access to an ad account and ask them to provide feedback.  This is unpaid.

Keep an eye out on how long it takes candidates to complete this task, who seems eager and hungry, and who requires chasing up (if you need to chase up btw this normally disqualifies them).

Phase 4 – Third Assessment

 

This final technical assessment is the reason our requirement process works so well.  What we do in this phase is we require our finalists (normally about 4 at this stage) to run campaigns on the account for a one week duration.

This will allow you to see how they work (ie: their naming conventions, how they optimise, how they build out creative).  While you shouldn’t really expect results in terms of sales or leads from a one week test, you can still get a great gauge on your talent pool and will begin to spot the stars that really know their stuff.

Just create a new ad account for each candidate and duplicate the funnel so they each have their own pixels and funnels to work with.

The reason you wouldn’t just run this assessment right from the get-go is that – for obvious reasons – you need to dedicate ad spend here for them to run the test (we normally allocate $500 each) – if you have a huge pool of 20 potential candidates, this becomes a costly exercise.

Again, this is usually unpaid although sometimes we do offer $500 payment to each candidate for the week so that they each take it seriously (you’ll find if you don’t pay only about half will complete this stage – which some would argue isn’t a bad thing as separates those that really want it from those that don’t).

Phase 5 – Phone/In-Person Interview

 

By this stage, you will have a very clear preference towards a couple of candidates.  Now is the time to get on calls and make a pick.  Oftentimes, this will come down entirely to company culture and who you best “vibe” with – and, after all this assessment – it’s actually ok to let your gut do all the talking here.

We’ve found ourselves in a position before where we couldn’t decide between two finalists and hired them both!

As you can see, the process is extremely rigorous but – while it may seem like it will take you a lot more time it actually saves you time as you immediately cut down phone interview time.

Take your recruitment process seriously and dedicate the time required to it – hiring the wrong person can take your business under, hiring the right person can grow it exponentially!

 

Your Turn!

Get matched with up to three FB Marketers based on your budgets, needs and niche (free service):  https://goo.gl/forms/3q0wimG7mMJac8fg2

The Digital Marketing Guide to Trolls for Marketers

How To Deal With Trolls

The Digital Marketing Guide to show marketers how to deal with Trolls.

After six years of playing in the digital marketing space, I’ve become somewhat immune to trolls – I often forget how horrible of an experience it was to deal with trolls when I was first getting started out in the digital marketing world.  can be when you’re first getting started out.

Spurred on by a recent troll attack where I sort of slightly lost my usual cool, I thought it would be beneficial to create a mini digital marketing guide for all of you marketing wizards on the different types of trolls I have come to observe in the wild interweb and how to handle them.  Kinda serving as a reminder to myself as well lol.

Getting Started With How to Deal with Trolls

You don’t have to put an order for them, they will come uninvited with their unsolicited attitudes and opinions.

I have seen cancer campaigns get trolled. I’ve seen at-risk youth charities get trolled.  I’ve even seen brilliant and beautiful artists get slammed by trolls.

Heck, if mother Theresa ran ads she would get trolled HARD.

Says something.

They. Are. Everywhere.

And if you are making any sort of impact in this world, you’re going to need to get used to them and learn how to deal with trolls.

In fact, in many ways, trolls should serve as a sign that you are making waves as they have become a staple part of the line ecosystem.   

So the first step is to take a deep breath if you’re currently having to deal with them.  They ARE NOT a reflection of your self worth and please do not ever ever base any kind of decision on what a troll may have said to you other than the decision to let it be water off your back!

Ways to Mitigate Trolls

I’m of the opinion that you can’t truly ever get rid of trolls like these.  I’ve worked with too many fucking brilliant businesses and soloprenuers to have seen first hand that they are like the barnacles of the internet.

But, there are things you can put in place to protect yourself and or reduce the amount of trolling you get:

  1. Run awareness-based campaigns before running your direct response
  2. Hire community managers to handle your posts and feeds
  3. Have fun with them and be a master of how to deal with trolls

TYPES OF TROLLS TO DEAL WITH

Here is a list of the most common types of trolls you will likely encounter:

The Bot Troll

These are basically fake bot farms that essentially are created to leave negative feedback and comments across ads and on blog posts.

How to spot them: the comments seem irrelevant to you or what you’re talking about. When you click on the profile it’s a random logo or a page with no content on their feed

How to deal with trolls of this type: They’re not human, no need to respond. Delete and block.  If the issue is persistent and growing have a look at where your traffic is coming from and review your campaign objectives or targeting.

How To Deal With Trolls

The Sexual Troll

They seek validation through shock factor and sexual gratification. Some are genuinely trying to connect but their approach is less than ideal.

How to spot – the dick pic in your inbox is usually a good indication. Comments or messages that are generated around sex or sexual acts usually give it away too.

How to deal with trolls of this type: Delete and ban the person from your ads. If someone messaged you you can also delete and ban although I must say my team and I have a bit of fun with these types and will respond d with dick pics sent from other trolls.

How To Deal With Trolls

How To Deal With Trolls

 

The Keyboard Warrior Troll

These trolls are a little bit nastier than the above and will make snarky comments, accusations, or leave abuse that can sting like a bitch!  Some will take things to the next level and start seeking out all of your content to troll, leave negative reviews on your page without ever having bought or worked with you and go so far as to create negative threads about you in forums.

How to spot them: Horrendous use of grammar most of the time. The profile photo is more often than not some stock image or a cat picture. When you check out their profile their feed is mostly shared links. If you check your CRM you’ll see they’ve never purchased or worked with you before.

How to deal with trolls of this type: They are rigid in their opposition to something, it stems from a deep fear of change and the uncertainty it could bring. They must have everything on their terms and feel in control.  This actually describes every single human being on this planet, however, this type of troll lacks the control in the aspects of their life that most of us as able to draw from and so find power in putting others down.   If it’s abusive or hate-based comments – delete and ban. If the comments are about your product and integrity then respond in a non triggered manner.

For example: “This is a scam and they’re just ripping people off”

Response: “Hey Fred sorry to hear you think this is a scam, I can see from our records that you have never purchased from us before. Can you clarify why you say this is a scam! We have worked with over XYZ customers and pride ourselves on being the best in the market”

If the comment is so ludicrous you can’t even answer in a logical way a good response is “you’re right”. There’s not much someone can argue about you after you tell them they’re right but to all others reading they will see how triggered the troll was to begin with:

Ex: You’re just an alien trying to scam all the money.”

Response: “You’re right”

How To Deal With Trolls

 

The Angry Customer Troll

These are customers that either struggled to get any response from your support team or weren’t happy with their purchase.

How to deal with trolls of this type: Believe it or not but you should come to LOVE these kinds of trolls as the social proof this will build on your online assets once you respond will be pure fuel to your marketing.  Use this as a chance to look after the customer, show you care and handle the issue.  Tip – never ever handle the logistics on the thread, always take it into a DM if possible.

Ex: “I bought my product six weeks ago and still nothing, this is just a big scam!”

Response: “Hey Fred, we’re so very sorry to hear you haven’t received your product yet!  We would like to sort this out for you asap! Please send us a DM with the email address you used to purchase and we will resolve this matter for you!”

An ad with this kind of commenting will propel your conversion rate as this is the kind of stuff consumers want to see, a responsive and caring company.

The Psycho Troll

I’ve only encountered two of these in my life, but boy oh boy – it makes me shudder to still think of those instances.  These are extremely rare but have a sharp bite when they decide to come after you.  They appear to have a personal vendetta against you and will go to great lengths to get a reaction from you and attempt to destroy you.

How to deal with trolls of this type: If you have a psycho troll on your hands tread carefully. The key is not to trigger them further whilst putting and end to the madness. First, reach out directly to them and leave a voice memo asking g to clarify why the sudden attacks. If this leads nowhere involve a lawyer with a restraining order or cease and desist.

How A Service Doc Can Help You Get Past Being Overworked and Underpaid

How A Service Doc Can Help You Get Past Being Overworked and Underpaid

Every freelancer or agency owner has at one point found themselves in a situation where they would underprice their services and go way over scope on projects, in an attempt to keep clients on the books.

And the truth is, it’s counterproductive for the growth of your business and makes it near impossible to gain any kind of momentum. If you look at the big picture, you’ll realise you’re often essentially working for free.

So you get to a point where you have to ask yourself an honest question: do your current prices reflect the future goals of your business?

And if the answer is no, you’re potentially missing one super essential piece in your business: a service document.

How does it work?

Your service document is basically a menu of all the services you or your business offer, as well as the deliverables, and how long each of these particular services take to fulfil. Once you have an internal hourly rate as well, prices for each task are easily calculated, and there are no longer those grey areas, which will avoid you going over scope.

For example, if you’re offering an email sequence, you’ll want to list out exactly what those deliverables are, how many emails (and revisions) are offered, if this includes integrations, and how long it will take you or your team to complete this. From there, you can easily work out how much (internal hourly rate x projected time to completion) you should be charging.

…And you might be surprised.

In setting up your service document, you might be shocked to find out that you could easily be charging about $1,500 minimum for email sequences, if you work out the actual deliverables and time spent fulfilling this service in a way that doesn’t burn you or your business out.

This is fundamental in gaining clarity with your clients and eliminating that infamous grey area where you inevitably tend to find yourself. Now, when you onboard a client into your business, their contract can specify exactly what deliverables you’re charging for and they’re agreeing to.

So if your client comes back and wants more revisions, extra copy, changes to graphics or additional email sequences, you can identify those as non-included deliverables and charge for those accordingly.

And then there’s business development…

Another thing the service document can do for you, is help you move out of the driver’s seat.

You’re expanding. You’ve got a lead generation system in place and a sales person taking calls, but you’re still constantly across and involved in every aspect of your business. And you shouldn’t have to be.

Your service doc is all your sales person needs to pitch clients accurate prices without your involvement whatsoever. And the rest of the team can take it from there, because they have a clear list of deliverables to get to work on.

This will save you hours of time, eliminate going over scope altogether, and help create the well-oiled machine you want your business to be.

To save over 25 hours time on setting up your service document, we’ve released the exact one we use in our 7-figure agency – so all you have to do is edit it accordingly. You can access it here.

And with that, this marks the end of your journey of being overworked and underpaid.

Scaling Facebook Ads – We tested 7 methods, here’s what’s working best….

facebook ads scaling methods

Split Test: The Best Way of Scaling Facebook Ads According to 7 Methods

So your campaign is running great and it’s time to scale – or maybe your client is in planing of scaling Facebook ads fast because they have a budget or ad spend quota they need to hit. However, what’s important to remember when you’re trying to scale, is that there are a number of factors that should change your approach. What are you optimizing for, for example? How fast do you want to scale?

What’s the difference?

There are a number of methodologies of scaling Facebook ads, here are the ones we’d like to test:

  1. Horizontal, no bid: duplicate ad multiple times, stay at the same bid amount/automatic bid
  2. Horizontal, manual bid: duplicate ad set multiple times, change manual bid
  3. Vertical, slow: scale ad set slowly by 16% per day
  4. Vertical, xtra slow: scale ad set by 10% every three days
  5. Vertical, fast: scale ad set by 40% per day
  6. Vertical, xtra fast: scale ad set by 100% per day
  7. Random, campaigns: duplicate entire campaign (pause ad sets that aren’t needed for test in duplicated campaign)

The Test

We wanted to see if there was really some “best” way of scaling Facebook ads, even though scaling is heavily dependant on several factors.

Hypothesis

In this case, coming up with an exact hypothesis is hard, because as mentioned before, there are a few things you might want to optimize for when scaling Facebook ads.

For example, what is the priority here? Is it to scale as fast as possible? Or is it more important to maintain a healthy CPA/CPL? Which means there may not be a “best” way of scaling facebook ads, because there are definitely multiple interpretations of “best” in this case.

So why not run each methodology and see what happens to scaling Facebook ads?

Test Rules

  1. We are limiting the scaling tests to methods that keep the creative the same. This means that our test does not consider the possibility of introducing new offers in order to scale.
  2. We are not scaling out to new audiences in this test.
  3. The original ad set will contain 2 live ads each. For the course of the test, we won’t be allowed to pause or create any ads within any ad set that is part of the test.
  4. We will run this test on 1% lookalike audiences only, to keep the audience sizes the same across all tested ad sets.
  5. We will NOT select expanded interests in any ad set that is part of the test.
  6. We will not do any form of optimization over the course of the test.

Strategy

Here’s how we ran our scaling Facebook ads test:

  • We created 7 separate campaigns (1 for each test)
  • Optimised everything for the ‘Lead’ conversion
  • 7 Days Click 1 Day View
  • Automatic Placements

Some possible problems that could affect the outcome:

  • Overlapping audiences
  • Differing auction conditions across the difference audiences

Results

Facebook Ads scaling Method 1

Pre-scale:

Total Spend: $130.48
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $4.50
CPC (Link): $1.09
CTR (Link): 0.92%
Leads: 29

7 Days Post-Scale:

Total Spend: $540.02
Daily Spend: $80 (in one ad set ads were disapproved and never ran)
CPL: $7.17
CPC (Link): $1.43
CTR (Link): 0.91%
Leads: 76

This resulted in a 59.33% rise in cost per opt-in, in the 7 days post reaching the desired scale (and we didn’t even quite reach the desired scale because one ad set was disapproved)

facebook ads scaling method 1

 

Facebook Ads scaling Method 2

Pre-Scale:

Total Spend: $128.56
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $5.84
CPC (Link): $1.08
CTR (Link): 1.42%
Leads: 22

7 Days Post Scale:

Total Spend: $638.52
Daily Spend ~$100
CPL: $13.59
CPC (Link): $2.31
CTR (Link): 1.15%
Leads: 47

This resulted in a 132% rise in cost per lead in the 7 days post reaching desired scale

 

Facebook Ads scaling Method 3

Pre-Scale:

Total Spend: $128.35
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $4.14
CPC (Link): $1.38
CTR (Link): 1.36%
Leads: 31

7 Days Post Scale:

Total Spend: $666.92
Daily Spend: ~$100
CPL: $9.39
CPC (Link): $1.67
CTR (Link): 0.98%
Leads: $9.39

This resulted in a 126% rise in cost per lead in the 7 days post reaching desired scale

facebook ads scaling method 2

Facebook Ads scaling Method 4

*This is the super slow scaling method. We still haven’t reached our daily budget goal of $100/day

But the cost per lead has shot up and it seems this is too slow to be practical.

Facebook Ads scaling Method 5

Pre-Scale:

Total Spend: $128.35
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $6.11
CPC (Link): $1.13
CTR (Link): 1.55%
Leads: 21

7 Days Post Scale:

Total Spend: $701.49
Daily Spend: ~$100
CPL: $6.68
CPC (Link): $1.28
CTR (Link): 1.15%
Leads: 105

This resulted in a 9.33% rise in cost per lead in the 7 days post reaching desired scale

facebook ads scaling method 3

 

Facebook Ads scaling Method 6

Pre-Scale:

Total Spend: $128.47
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $6.76
CPC (Link): $1.61
CTR (Link): 1.10%
Leads: 19

7 Days Post Scale:

Total Spend: $701.53
Daily Spend ~$100
CPL: $6.56
CPC (Link): $1.37
CTR (Link): 1.12%
Leads: 107

This resulted in a 3% DROP in cost per lead in the 7 days post reaching desired scale

facebook ads scaling method 4

 

Facebook Ads scaling Method 7

Pre-Scale:

Total Spend: $128.08
Daily Spend: $20
CPL: $4.42
CPC (Link): $0.95
CTR (Link): 1.41%
Leads: 29

5.5 Days Post Scale (These got cut because people weren’t moving through funnel at all on the back-end):

Total Spend: $525.74
Daily Spend ~$100
CPL: $7.30
CPC (Link): $1.38
CTR (Link): 1.26%
Leads: 72

This resulted in a 65% increase in cost per lead in the 5.5 days post reaching desired scale

facebook ads scaling method 5

 

 

Scaling 40% or 100% daily performed the best in our test.

 

Final Conclusions

Scaling 40% or 100% daily performed the best in our test. The 100% daily scaling actually resulted in a lower cost per conversion at scale. It’s also worth noting that for both of these scaling methodologies the CPL didn’t really shoot up even as we were still scaling.

None of the scaling methods where we duplicated ad sets or campaigns seemed to work that well for us. Though it’s possible that by getting the right configuration of manual bids you might have better luck.

All that said, please consider that there are other scaling methods that we didn’t test here. For example: scaling out to new audiences has traditionally worked really well for us. Also campaign budget optimization is looking like it’s going to be a really really good tool for scaling (results to come). And finally, introducing new offers to your audience can be another great way to scale.

Usually it’s a matter of combining a few of these methods in order to achieve the best results!

 

SPLIT TEST: 1 DAY CLICK VS. 7 DAY CLICK 1 DAY VIEW

When setting up a campaign – Facebook will ask you whether you want to optimise for a 1 day click or a 7 day click 1 day view.

The following posts examines which window to optimise for for optimal campaign results.

What’s the difference?

When you set up a campaign, Facebook automatically defaults to 7 day click.  The 1 day click means that Facebook will optimise for more people that take action and trigger your event within 1 day of click on the day. A 7 day click 1 day view means that Facebook will optimise for more people that take action within 7 days of clicking your ad and seeing it within 7 days.

Basically, once you have run enough data through your funnel, if you notice that most of your conversions take place within a 1 day attribution frame (you can check this by clicking on your Reporting Columns > Customise Columns > bottom right you will see “Comparing Windows” > select the attribution windows you’d like to check), then the logic goes that you should be optimising for that window at the ad set level to improve performance.

What’s Facebook’s Advice?

Facebook pretty much advises you to choose the window based on two things:

  1. the purchase cycle of your product (ie: if you’re selling something that needs consideration then opt for 7 days)
  2. the window that will get you closest to 50 conversions per ad set per week (as this helps their delivery system learn who it’s best to show your ads to)

They advise to run a split test and:  

“You should choose your conversion window based on the type of conversion you value and want to measure. Don’t measure using a conversion window that doesn’t make sense for your product. Your conversion window should help our delivery system get you what you actually want. That being said, there are certain laws of statistical probability we can’t get around. We do need about 50 conversions per week to optimize an ad set’s delivery. If you can’t get that many, we recommend choosing a more common result. If that doesn’t work, try a longer conversion window. We also recommend trying out various relevant combinations of conversion windows, optimization events, bids and budgets to see what works best for your business..”

Can I switch the optimisation any time?

Yes, accordingly to Faecbook, changing your window won’t cause you to lose any conversion data. However, in general, we recommend against changing your conversion window unless you want to measure results using a different attribution window..

Keep in mind when switching conversion windows that we recommend letting the updated ad set run for a few weeks (of about 50 conversions per week) so our delivery system can adjust to it. This gives us time to learn how to best deliver the ad set for the new window. After the adjustment period, we recommend letting the ad set run for at least another week or two so you can see the results with optimized delivery. This is especially important when switching to a longer conversion window since more time needs to pass for us to have all the data.

The Test

We wanted to see if there was a significant difference between the optimistion windows so we set up a split test and dedicated $2,800 to testing. This was for one of our own funnels and the conversion trigger was for an opt in into a free lead magnet. Here are the results below.

Hypothesis:

Optimizing for 1 day click will result in lower cost per opt-in since Facebook will optimize impressions for people who are likely to take immediate action.

Things to consider:

For this test we are testing 1 Day Click vs. 7 Day Click 1 Day view conversion windows. The results should be valid for TOF lead gen campaigns optimized for opt-in conversions.

Test Structure:

Standard split test (with delivery optimization as the split test variable).

Other ad set settings to note:

Auto placements
Optimization for ad delivery: Conversions
Bid Strategy: Auto (lowest cost)
Conversion event: Lead (standard event)
Delivery Type: Standard

Test 1 Results:

1 Day Click:
CPM: $37.18
CPC (Link): $1.20
CTR(Link): 3.10%
Total Spend: $1,473.95
Cost Per Lead: $5.44

7 Day Click 1 Day View:
CPM: $36.39
CPC (Link): $1.20
CTR(Link): 3.03%
Total Spend: $1,473.95
Cost Per Lead: $5.19

Test 2 Results: 
1 Day Click:
CPM: $29.18
CPC (Link): $3.46
CTR(Link): 0.84%
Total Spend: $601
Cost Per Lead: $23.1.5

7 Day Click 1 Day View:
CPM: $24.19
CPC (Link): $2.66
CTR(Link): 0.91%
Total Spend: $601
Cost Per Lead: $13.98

Statistically significant? Yes

There’s an 86% chance we would get the same winner if we ran this test again.

Final Conclusions:

Using the 7 Day Click 1 Day View conversion window outperformed 1 Day Click in both tests. In test one, 7 Day Click outperformed 1 Day Click by about $0.25 per opt-in but we weren’t able to reach statistical significance before the test ended. In test two, 7 Day Click outperformed 1 Day Click by about $9 per opt-in.

These results were statistically significant.

When you set up a campaign, Facebook automatically defaults to 7 day click.  As a result of this test, we will be continuing to use the default setting for our campaigns, including the ones that usually have 1 day attributions.  

 

IMPORTANT: this test was run December 2018. If you are reading this and it’s been more than 6 months results may no longer be applicable – FB changes FAST!!!

How to Stream a Live Counter on Facebook

Instead of having to create a video for your launch offer that involves hours of recording time and managing your posting at just the right time, why not try streaming a live counter to your Facebook page.

This is setup using ClickFunnels and OBS, so check out the steps below to create your own.

Tips

You can only record a live for 4 hours so make sure you set yourself a reminder otherwise you’ll need to go live again.

Step #1

Create a custom landing page, it doesn’t need to be anything too fancy and create a counter function.

Step #2

Open OBS (software for recording and live streaming) to edit. Make sure you have scene selected and under the sources category select Window Capture from the menu and the correctly labelled capture you are using. Then click ok. From here you can adjust or re-position your window to suit.

Step #3

Inside your Facebook page under publishing tools in the top tool bar, click create then select live video from the menu options. Once your live screen appears, click connect and you will see that Facebook gives you a stream key. Copy this key and go back inside OBS.

Step #4

Once in OBS, select settings and then stream in the left hand side of the menu. Click show and paste in your stream key. Click ok.

To note: Every time you go live (with a new live) or stream a live counter on Facebook you will need a new stream key.

Step #5

Click on start streaming and your live stream screen will show. You can choose to share it in a Group or a page and make sure to add any copy and a title (you can’t go live with video without one).

You can now push go on your counter will go live. You can continue doing any work or browse any sites on your laptop with no interruption to your post.

Links to:

OBS – Free software for recording and live streaming