The EntreMD Podcast with Dr. Una | Facebook Ad AbuseWe need to talk about Facebook Ads, but not in the way you might expect. I came across a doc recently who was asking for advice about how they can use Facebook Ads to promote their business. Nothing unusual about that. But their reason for using them was because, in their words, “I need patients and I don’t want to do the work.”

Now, we know that marketing is hard work, and putting yourself out there is uncomfortable. But in all honesty, this is what I call Facebook Ad Abuse. Are Facebook Ads a great way to promote your business? Yes, they can contribute to your marketing strategy in amazing ways. But are they a magic pill? Absolutely not.

If you’re abusing Facebook Ads, it’s time to stop. Tune in this week to learn how to use your Facebook Ads in a way that actually gets you the results you want. I’m sharing what I’ve discovered from researching all kinds of businesses, and where you should focus your attention as you market your business so you can guarantee a better return on your Facebook Ad spend in the future.

If you need help either discovering your zone of genius or figuring out how to present it to the world, you need to join the EntreMD Business School. Enrollment is closed for now but you can join the waitlist for the grand reopening and in the meantime, listen and apply what I’m sharing on the podcast. 

If you loved this episode of The EntreMD Podcast, I invite you to join my signature subscription program EntreMD On Demand, giving you access to a library of business courses designed to help you thrive as a physician entrepreneur! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Where I see so many physicians placing too much importance on Facebook Ads alone.
  • Why using Facebook Ads as your only strategy is never going to get you the results you’re looking for.
  • How I study the business models and marketing strategies other businesses are using.
  • 5 other things that successful businesses heavily focus on when it comes to their marketing.
  • How embracing these other areas will give you a better chance of seeing a return on investment from your Facebook Ads when the time is right.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi, Docs. Welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.

Well hello, hello, my friends, welcome to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. And as always, I’m super pumped that you’re listening. And I just want to say thank you, like I always say for listening to the podcast, subscribing, sharing it. I’ve been getting so many, so many great reviews from people who are just like, “Oh, my God, some doc said I absolutely have to listen to this podcast. So thank you so much for doing that. I truly, truly appreciate it.

And today, we are going to have a fabulous time talking about something I love to talk about. Which is Facebook ads, but not in the way that you think. Now, I saw a post on Facebook, which is a post I see a lot. And the person was asking about Facebook ads. And people were saying you can go here, you can do this course, you can get this person on board, and all of that.

And I started asking some probing questions. And at the end of these questions a person made this statement, the person said, “The truth is, I want to do Facebook ads because I need patients and I don’t want to do the work.”

So I want you to sit with that thought and I want you to also ask, is there an element of that that I’m doing as well? The truth is, I want to do Facebook ads because I need patients. I need clients and I don’t want to do the work. Which is the “dirty work” of marketing, putting myself out there and all of that stuff.

And I label this as Facebook ad abuse. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. And what is abuse? Abuse is simply abnormal use. Are Facebook ads great? Yes. Are Facebook ads wonderful? Yes. Can they give you a huge return on your investment? Yes, they can. But if they’re used as part of your strategy, they’re used strategically.

When it is used primarily because you know the things you have to do to promote your business and you’re like, “I just don’t want to do that.” That is abuse. And a lot of times you don’t get the result that you’re looking for.

Now, one of the things I do, because the primary thing I’m doing with the second stage of my career is that I’m helping doctors build profitable businesses, is I study businesses. I study medical businesses, non-medical businesses, online businesses, brick and mortar businesses. Really innovative businesses that no one else is doing, I study.

So I can look at a website and somebody else is like, “Wow, this is pretty.” I’m looking at, “Okay, so what are the business models they’re using? What are their marketing strategies?” That’s kind of the way my mind works, okay? All right.

So I’ve looked at a lot of businesses and businesses that are doing multiple millions per year, I’ve looked at a lot of those. And these are businesses that would spend as much as six figures a month on Facebook ads. So don’t misunderstand what I’m doing here, I’m not knocking Facebook ads, but there is a way it is used. So I’m talking about people who use upwards of six figures a month. Think about it, my Facebook ad budget is $250,000 a month. Think that big.

And when I’ve studied them, I’ve tried to see, okay, so is this a strategy they use? Yes. Is this a strategy they use a lot? Yes. Is this a strategy they put a lot of money behind? Yes. Is it a strategy that they report gives them a great return on their investment? Yes, yes. And I’ve seen the back end of a lot of these, yes.

But they also focus heavily on a number of other things. And I have five of them, five of them that I’ve noticed that they heavily focus on. And if you’re going to say, “I’m going to throw my weight, I’m going to throw money behind Facebook ads,” then I want to invite you to also consider these other things as well. They are not doing it in isolation and they are not doing it to escape the work. Okay? All right. So let’s look at those five things.

The first thing I see them doing a lot is that they publish regularly. They publish regularly. Whether that’s a blog, or a podcast, or a YouTube channel. I’m not saying they all do it, I’m just showing you, most of them do this. So you would see someone like Russell Brunson, co-founder of ClickFunnels, and they have a lot of ads. And if you’ve never heard of them and you go look up ClickFunnels, you’re going to see all their ads. They spend a lot on ads.

Now at the last count, ClickFunnels was a $160 million company. That’s the count that I have. So what do they do? They publish quite a bit, a lot. So he has a podcast that goes out sometimes every week, sometimes multiple times a week, but there is publishing that goes on often.

So now I want you to think about the companies you’ve looked at and you’ve admired. And you’ll see that a lot of them either have a podcast, or they have a blog, or they have a YouTube channel. If you’re a coach, look at Brooke Castillo, she’s had a podcast since what, 2014 and she publishes. Look at Pat Flynn, he publishes. They publish.

So what is that for? Well, I mean, the know, like, and trust factor is there. Someone can come on to a podcast and start bingeing on it and decide this is the person I need to take me where I’m trying to go. This is a doctor I need.

Now, if you are in private practice, this is gold because very few people are doing it. If you’re going to be that person who is publishing weekly, YouTube and all that stuff, you just become a sensation. That’s just the way it is.  So they publish regularly, they do. And so if you think about it and you’re doing Facebook ads because you don’t want to publish regularly, that’s not the winning strategy. It really just isn’t.

Now you may say, “Oh, I know this person, but they’re not publishing regularly.” But if you look, a lot of them are either then doing Facebook Lives every week for instance, IG lives every week for instance. Some of them have Facebook groups where they’re going and they’re sharing their thoughts every day. They are publishing regularly. So Facebook ads, yes. But this should be part of it as well. So that’s number one.

Number two, they speak a lot. And this is speaking with a call to action. Speaking with a call to action. So they are doing webinars, they’re doing live streams, they’re doing events, they’re at other people’s events. Again, think about it, how often would you see a ClickFunnels webinar? How often would you see a Brooke Castillo webinar? I’m saying that because I know a lot of you listening are coaches.

There is even a course creator who is like, “I did $10 million in sales.” And we’re like, “What’s the strategy?” She said, “I did a webinar every single week.” Every single week she did a webinar. Every single week. So am I telling you to do it weekly? Not necessarily. But what I am saying is they do a lot of speaking.

And they do a lot of speaking with a strong call to action, like speak and come work with me. Or come schedule a call with me. Or come something, come get my freebie. They’re not just speaking to be speaking. As doctors, you know, doctor, that is taken from the Latin word which means to teach. We love to teach, we love to give information, we love to educate. But that is not the kind of speaking that grows a business.

In the EntreMD Business School, we work through this framework a lot. So yes, you’re going to educate, but that’s like 50% of your talk. There are all these other things you’re going to do if that talk is going to be a vehicle that is going to lead to business growth.

So when you are like, “Oh my goodness, Facebook ads, that’s what I really want to do. I want to spend $6,000 a month on Facebook ads.” My question to you is, are you saying that because you want to up-level your marketing strategy? Or are you saying that because you don’t want to speak? And so because you don’t want to speak you’re going to do Facebook ads.

The third one is they work really hard on their referral networks. Referral networks, there are people who would do a course launch, for instance, and half of their revenue came from affiliates, came from other people they had built relationships with that said, “Hey, go check out this person’s course.”

If you look in the online course world, for instance, you’ll see a lot of that. You see new people cross promoting and all that stuff. Private practice is the same principle, right?

I worked with a doctor once, a pediatrician. And her practice went from zero to fully booked in three months. And that was because she had three OBGYNs who were like, “We will get you busy.” And so she had to build those relationships with them. And she had to maintain those relationships with them. Well, what was the consequence? In three months she was bursting at the seams, like had to hire another physician. And why was that? Referral networks.

Say you are a coach, or really any kind of entrepreneur, and there’s this concept called the dream 100. And you’re like, these are 100 people who I would love for them to be part of my referral network, or promote my stuff, or endorse me and stuff like that.

And people actually create a dream 100 and intentionally build relationships with them, and it skyrockets their business. But it’s networking, it’s talking to people. It’s not a comfortable thing. It’s reaching out to people who maybe ordinarily there will be no reason for you guys to talk. So it’s uncomfortable.

And sometimes when you’re like, “Dream 100, referral networks, I don’t want to do that. Instead of doing that I’m going to do Facebook ads.” If that is the reason why you’re doing Facebook ads, it’s called Facebook ad abuse. Okay? All right.

So they do this. All right, if I can go back to Russell Brunson. And I say this because he talks about it everywhere so this is not hidden information. They asked him at an interview, what is the secret to success? And he said, “You know, the answer people usually give is that there’s no secret.”

But he’s like, “For me, there is a secret. And that secret is the dream 100. I came up with 100 people who would refer to me or recommend my stuff, endorse my stuff. And I started working that list. And they are the people that made me go from zero to a nine figure company in three years.”

So it works. So he does a lot of ads, but he does this as well. Do you see what I’m saying? And he’s $160 million company, he does it as well. So that’s number three.

Number four is networking. You’re like, “Wait a minute, we just talked about networking.” Well, that’s creating your referral network. And you have to do networking to get to that. But this is networking, period. This is you putting yourself in rooms where your potential clients, your potential patients are. This is putting yourself in rooms where your potential referrals are. This is a way of life, I network. This is what I do.

When I walk into places I introduce myself. This is who I am. This is what I do. This is who I am. This is what I do. This is coming out of hiding and just networking. Now, you might go like, “Dr. Una, you don’t get it. I’m an introvert.” But I’m an introvert for you. I, Dr. Una, am an introvert for you. I am the example that you can still be great at speaking and networking and all these things, even though you’re an introvert.

I was a person who if I went for any kind of event I’m at the back. I corner one person, I’m talking to that one person so nobody feels the need to talk to me because I couldn’t stand talking to people. Not because I didn’t like them, but I was terribly shy. And I was socially awkward. And I felt like I was terribly insecure.

So I’m like,  oh, they’re going to go like, “Why is she here? What does she know?” And when I’m talking, I’m like, they’re going to be like, “What rubbish is she saying?” I had all those things.

But I’m telling you, this is why I say that the greatest reward of entrepreneurship is not the money you make. It’s not the impact you have, the impact you have is huge. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, you hear me say I want to help 80,000 doctors and all that., so I’m not knocking impact. But one of the greatest rewards is the person you become, because you have to change. You have to up-level, you have to elevate your self-concept, you have to function differently for you to pull off your goals. It is the biggest reward.

So networking, they network. They go to events where they’re not speakers, but they go to events. They go to meet people, they go to talk to people, they go to introduce themselves to people. They go into places where their potential clients are. They introduce themselves and answer questions and do all of that stuff. They network. They have people skills. They are social.

Now, strategically social, right? Strategic networking, not just randomly doing stuff. So they do that as well. And so if your reason for doing Facebook ads is I don’t want to network, then that is called Facebook ad abuse. Okay, so use Facebook ads, but for the right reason. So that’s number four.

Number five. Number five is one of the most fun things. It’s the most messy, it’s potentially the hardest, but it is so much fun. And that is they continually fine tune their message.

They continually fine tune their message. You know how when you first start out in business and people are like, “What do you do?” And it takes you three minutes to explain what you do. And at the end people will still have this look on their face like, “I don’t know what she’s talking about.”

And, for instance, in the business school this is one of the first things we work on. What is your message? What do you help people do? And people come up with all kinds of things. And we start working through that till we get what we call your good enough message.

And we call it good enough because your job is to continually fine tune that. That is the benefit of publishing because the more you publish, the more clarity you gain. That is the benefit of going out there and making offers and actually working with people. Because the more you talk with people, the more you clarify that message.

The more you speak on stage, the more you clarify. The more you network, the more you clarify. The more you go through a process, like we would do, for instance, in the EntreMD Business School, the more you clarify that message.

But it doesn’t end there. Donald Miller, he has Business Made Simple University. I mean, he’s a very successful entrepreneur. And he was like, “Oh yeah, a few years ago, we hired a marketing consultant to come help us fine tune our messaging.” I was like, “Hang on, hang on.”

Because one of his big things is messaging. He’s really big on how to communicate what it is you do. He has courses on it. He has a book on it. He has all these things. But still humble enough to realize we can make this clearer, we can make this better. I mean, his company does over $100 million. And he’s still working on his messaging.

And so they continually fine tune their message. Because if your message is not clear, it doesn’t matter how much you throw at Facebook ads, it is not going to work because you have to get attention. So they work on that. They work on that, they talk to people, they tweak it, they get coaching, they tweak it. They constantly work on that process.

So even when they do their Facebook ads, they do different variations with their messaging. This is not something you can delegate. You can’t say, “Oh, I’m just going to give it to a company.” The company does not know your ideal clients as much as you do or as much as you should.

So you’re the one that’s like, “These are their pain points. These are the pain points in their words.” Right? This is the person I talk to. This specific person I talk to, this is the outcome they’re looking for in their words.

Why? The best marketing is you going into a conversation that people are already having in their heads. Not trying to drag them out of their heads into your conversation because they do not care. They are tuned into a radio station called WIIFM, what’s in it for me. They’re not there for you. Your ideal client doesn’t really doesn’t care about you, except in the way you can help them make their problem go away. They don’t care.

So the more you work on that, the clearer you make that, the better everything goes. So if you are avoiding the hard work of figuring out your messaging and you want to throw Facebook ads at that problem, it is called Facebook ad abuse.

So are ads bad? No, not at all. But ads in isolation will not give you the results you have. So I want you to pause with me. And I want you to think for a moment. Think that you’re publishing weekly.

So let’s say you’re doing a podcast every week, and you are giving value. So value, meaning you’re helping people solve their problems. And you’re telling them about what you do and you’re inviting them into your world. And then you’re speaking, maybe you’re doing this once a month or so.

Or you decide I’m a full time entrepreneur and I want to do a webinar a week, or a masterclass a week, or a live stream stream a week. You can do that with a call to action. So your email list is growing, your number of clients, patients, all that, that’s growing. You work on your referral network.

So imagine over the course of a year, for instance, maybe you have 15 people, 20 people, 50 people that refer to you or who have endorsed you, or who have brought you into their world and made your life so much richer. Imagine that. And you became really good at networking.

So once a month, you’re at some kind of networking event and you walked around and introduced yourself to people. And you told people what you did, you were interesting and interested, right? And you’re constantly fine tuning your message, paying attention to what your people are saying. So you know your ideal client like you know your name.

And then you throw ads at this. Can you imagine what will happen? Because when people see the ads, maybe they didn’t want to buy. But they found your podcast, and they listened, and listened, and listened. And maybe three months later they bought. But you had given them a pathway to do that.

And you’re speaking at events. And people can find your blog, and they’re following that. And they get your freebie and they get on your email list. And they’re on your email list, but because you know your messaging, your emails hit them at the gut. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, she gets me, he gets me. I just need to work with this person.”

You’re networking, so your social network is growing bigger and bigger, and you just have access to bigger rooms and bigger audiences and bigger everything. Imagine that. You can have that. But you will get that by no longer using Facebook as as a shortcut, it will not give you the results you want.

And you have to have multiple streams of audiences. That’s the thing, I mean, I call it a thing. I don’t know if anybody else thinks is a thing. But you need multiple streams because if Mark Zuckerberg decides to shut your account down, which it has happened many, many, many, many, many, many times, then you’re out of luck.

Imagine being in the middle of a launch, imagine launching your practice, launching your online course, launching your coaching program and he decides for three weeks your account is going to be shut down. But if you have all these other things in place you’re like, “Oh, well, we lost one stream, but we still have four, we still have five.”

So go build your business. Go publish, go start speaking, create a speaking schedule. Build your referral network, start networking, work on your message. And then, if you will, throw Facebook ads at it.

So I see it as a trap, just doing that as a shortcut. I don’t want you guys to be victims of Facebook ad abuse because it will hurt your business. It will demoralize you. We don’t have to do it that way. Go build your business. Go build these five areas of focus, throw your ads at it and watch your business explode in a good way.

And when that happens, I want you to come back and send me a PM, email, DM, and say, “Dr. Una, oh my goodness, thank you for doing that episode. It got me on the right track, and it has totally, totally, totally transformed my business.”

And if you’re thinking, “Wow, I hear you. But I cannot imagine doing these five things.” Guess what we focus on in the EntreMD Business School? These five things. We focus on the things that are algorithm proof. That no matter what mood Mark Zuckerberg is in, you still get the results you want.

So there’s a community of doc’s who are doing this together. I coach them every week and we do challenges to get us off the ground with these things, and events, and the whole nine yards. And it’s a beautiful place. I invite you to come join entremd.com/business. It would be the best investment you make in your business. And I can say that confidently because so many doctors have said that.

So check it out, come join us. But regardless, no more Facebook ad abuse, okay? Build your business, then throw Facebook ads at it and I cannot wait to celebrate you. All right? All right, so see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast and do not forget to share this with the entrepreneurs in your life. It will save them a lot of time and money and they will love you forever. All right, see you next week.

Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to entremd.com/ondemand and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.

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