Jody Millward: Hey and welcome to Online Confidential, I’m Jody Millward from Social Charlie where we help train and recruit ad strategists to be awesome, epic Facebook marketers for high ticket coaches. Now, I am so excited on today’s episode I have the one and only Bond. That is Amanda Bond, the ad strategist. Personally I’m so excited, I connected with Amanda back in 2016.
Amanda Bond: Wasn’t it before that? Yeah.
Jody Millward: It was when I think that first program that you released with the Screw the Nine to Five. And that’s where I came in. And just your authenticity and your realness, I so appreciated it from working with other people and seeing other programs along the way. And then we met at Trafficking Conversion, and I burst into tears. It was such a weird thing, because it was like ah, we’ve finally met.
Amanda Bond: Hashtag true story.
Jody Millward: So, it is such an honor to have you here on the show. Welcome, welcome. I know it’s going to be a gold episode today for all our ad strategists out there. So, Amanda, before we get underway, we need to formally launch the interview. Are you ready?
Amanda Bond: No, I feel the pressure right now. I’m worried this investigative skill that you have where it’s going to go.
Jody Millward: We’ll go where no man has gone before. So, let’s just start by stating your name for the record please.
Amanda Bond: Amanda Danielle Bond.
Jody Millward: We’ve got a middle name out, cool. And where were you on the morning of the 28th of March 2019?
Amanda Bond: Holy, that’s specific. Should I get my Google Calendar out? I’m already sweating. I feel like I’m in a lawyer’s office right now. I’m already sweating. I’m like, “Let me go check my calendar. Why are you making me so nervous, Jody?”
Jody Millward: This is as formal as we get. No, but don’t be afraid, you’re not the first one to an encounter with me. But that was when we had the Ad Ascension there at San Diego, straight after Trafficking Conversion. And you delighted the people who attended there with your value bonds, or as I call them, bond shells. And you just brought the rain and it just set the stage for it was a little two day event, and everyone was just like, “Ah, wow.” Just the value that you brought for those couple of hours that you were there just had everyone mesmerized. And it was gold.
Jody Millward: So, that’s where you were on the …
Amanda Bond: That’s where I was. You literally had me pulling out my calendar and saying where the heck was I? Because I have such a bad memory if it is not written down, it doesn’t get done. So, I’m so glad you remembered, because that day was awesome and just connecting with everyone that was there, we had amazing conversations and I’m excited to continue that today.
Jody Millward: Yes, cool. Okay, so now, tell us, for those who don’t know about you, tell us a bit about yourself. How you got started off in this crazy world of Facebook and marketing.
Amanda Bond: Great question, and looking back a decade ago, this job didn’t actually exist back then. So, it’s a really fascinating career that I’ve found myself in. I’m Bond, I’m owner of the Ad Strategist where we help people stop guessing and start getting results with Facebook ads. But I didn’t start there, I started off just learning that you could make money online and that that was a possibility. And then just playing the Google game until I started to connect the dots and see how this big system of online marketing all works together.
Amanda Bond: So, for me that took years, it took a decade now looking back. I think I started that in 2009 and ventured into some network marketing along the way. Then ventured into freelancing as a social media manager. From social media management I went on to become a PR director for North America’s largest Yoga event. And then from there, it started to transition more into social media and ads to the point where in 2015 now we pivoted entirely into Facebook ads, and that’s when the Ad Strategist was born.
Jody Millward: Cool, wow. So, did you always have an interest in marketing do you think?
Amanda Bond: Absolutely. I was that little kid that was selling lemonade by the side of the road.
Jody Millward: You were that kid?
Amanda Bond: I was that kid. I was the kid that when we have girl guide cookies here in Canada, like girl scouts, I was always the top seller of girl guide cookies. Any time our school did a fundraiser, I was like you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to win that first place prize in the sales competition. So, always been interested in sales and marketing. And I mean I did take the corporate route for a while, so I have some experience at Pepsi Co and different companies … I found myself in pharmaceutical sales at one point. And then selling direct to mail, business to business. My career history has been a very fascinating one, but it all has that same common thread of sales and marketing all the way through.
Jody Millward: Cool, okay. And so we with that, now that we’re on this virtual pathway, did you have to make a transition between going corporate where you’re going to the office and you did nine to five at the desk to transitioning to offline, or virtual, remote? How did you manage to do that?
Amanda Bond: It actually happened in a very ebb and flow way. So, as I was going to university I was recruited to go work for Pepsi Co in a Thursday to Sunday role. And I said, “Oh my gosh, why don’t I just rearrange my schedule as a student from Monday to Wednesday? I’ll do school Monday to Wednesday, I’ll work at Pepsi Co from Thursday to Sunday.” And then Pepsi Co basically at that time offered me a salary that I couldn’t refuse as a student. And I’m like this school thing, who even needs it? And at that point I said goodbye to my university career temporarily, because I did end up going back. And started with Pepsi.
Amanda Bond: So, that lasted about three years. Then I said all right, I’m going to go back and try and finish this education. But by that time I actually had experience in the real world working a corporate job, and I was like all the stuff I’m learning in the textbook, you’re going to go to a job, you’re going to go to a career, and it’s going to be different verbiage. It’s going to be different wording. They’re going to teach it to you in their own specific company branded ways. So, my young mind was like why do I even need this school thing? And I ended up saying goodbye to it and going back into the corporate world.
Amanda Bond: So, I ended up for about … I’m going to say I was six years in the middle there where I was jumping into corporate in a role while building a business on the side, or while taking on some freelance jobs on the side. And then a new opportunity would come up for advancement in the corporate world and I was like okay, awesome, I’m going to go move over there. So, just pivoting towards the ROI in that instance.
Amanda Bond: But then I’d be like oh, I’ve got some spare time on the weekends, I’m going to take another side hustle on. And just kept building both at the same time. So, I was building the corporate career and building the side hustle at the same time. Until, I believe it was 2014, I decided you know what, I’m not loving the corporate role I was in at that time. I’m going to take the massive risk and just leave all of the corporate behind, give myself permission to go all in on this side hustle. I wasn’t one of these people that also had savings put aside and was doing it in a safe and planned out way. So, I blew up some bridges and then moved to Bali, because I thought that’s what people did with side hustles. So, I moved to Bali and said listen, it’s either sink or swim time. I’m going to figure it out or I’m not, and we’ll see how it goes down.
Amanda Bond: And looking back, it actually took me two years of not having it all together, where I actually moved back in with my parents at that time, to survive that drought. And that was okay, because it was all part of the process that led me to this point in my business where I am now, where our growth is just doubling year over year. We’re bringing on new team members and we’re finally seeing the fruit of all of that effort that happened starting a decade ago. It’s crazy.
Jody Millward: It is. And like you say, it is all part of the journey, and it gives you so much more to draw on now from all those rough years that you have the smarts now to make better decisions. So, with Facebook ads, do you remember the first time that you dove in and you launched a campaign? Was it for yourself, or was it someone else? That can be a terrifying experience.
Amanda Bond: I think … actually I don’t … this is a good question, I don’t recall the very first ad I ever ran. But I do remember one of my earliest ads that I ever ran and it was for a friend who I convinced to let me spend it was probably something like $10 for their event. And she was a boudoir photographer, and she was hosting this event where they were going to do some education on the topic. It was hosted the a beauty salon or something of that nature. And I had this $10 to go put butts in seats for this event. $10.
Jody Millward: How did that go for you?
Amanda Bond: Plural butts. It tanked. It tanked so hard back then, and I was creating the images myself in Pic Monkey, which I don’t even know if that’s still a thing these days the copy was atrocious, I could probably still dig the image up somewhere in my records. It was nerve wracking and it flopped entirely.
Jody Millward: Yeah, which is a great stepping point. So, that person was your friend, obviously, and they’re just going, “Yeah, have a go, go for it. Here’s $10 a day.”
Amanda Bond: $10 total, let’s just clarify.
Jody Millward: Oh, right, okay. The big monies. Okay, so … but that does sort of tap on, the reality that a lot of us face as ad managers, we do have people that will come to us and go … because of what they’ve heard or seen online that you can get these fantastic, awesome big results with a fraction, you can put $10 and you can put $10,000 out. But you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg with all of that, right? It’s unreal.
Jody Millward: So, let’s touch on that, what have you found as an ad manager, as an ad strategist has been a major issue when it comes to client expectations when you’re running other people’s ads?
Amanda Bond: This one gets me so fired up, and we actually coined a term for it. I didn’t, I wasn’t the one that made up this term, it was Jill Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five years ago who was a client of ours. And she coined this term Ad-motions, where you get emotions, the client gets the emotions. When there’s a gap between when you initially put money into Facebook and then the time it takes somebody to go through their sales process to actually see the ROI.
Amanda Bond: So, let’s say a launch base scenario. Somebody’s going to open the cart for a five day period, but to do that, they’re going to start warming up their audience and spending money on ads, let’s say a month in advance. And then a week in advance they’re going to start spending even more heavily on a webinar which they’re not sure how there’s going to perform. So, there’s a lot of money output at that time, but until that cart opens, there is no way to measure what is expected in terms of ROI. And that can be crazy nerve wracking, right? I mean even to this day, after having seen everything you could possibly see behind the scenes with Facebook ads, I still get Ad-motions, because it is money that we’re dealing with, and things can change so fast on the platform.
Amanda Bond: So, Ad-motions is a big thing that happens with clients and as I learn to become a better strategist, it’s not always just about the math and the numbers of Facebook ads, it can be that role about helping clients to set expectations of what needs to happen to see that positive ROI. And, Jody, I’m sure you’ve heard this so many times where people are like … like you said it, they just see the tip of the iceberg where, “Oh, this person spent $1,000 and made 100 grand, I want to do that too.” Yes, and they had systems and structures and proven sales processes. And it wasn’t the first time they’ve launched it. They had marketing collateral that they’ve been developing for years. All of that stuff is super important too.
Amanda Bond: There was this time that a client of mine would go off to a mastermind, and as an ad strategist I hated when clients went to masterminds. Not because it wasn’t enriching and fulfilling, because they are, but because they would listen to somebody else tell a story about what’s working in their business without knowing the full what was happening. And I’ve observed this, and this is a little fun fact, I’ve actually seen people who I’ve seen the back end of their numbers, I’ve seen the back end of their business, lie to other people about the results that they’re getting in the industry to make themselves look better maybe. I don’t know what it is, but that does happen.
Amanda Bond: So, you go off to these masterminds, everyone’s sharing, I’m doing air quotes here, “What works,” but you never know what is actually leading to those results, or if Facebook ads are just one small puzzle piece of this much bigger picture. So, they bring these expectations to you, the ad strategist, and you, especially when I was inexperienced, I took that as law. I was like, okay, we’ve got to get this result. We have to do it for this client because they said.
Amanda Bond: And when I was first getting started, I didn’t know how to set and communicate boundaries that were realistic based on the data from each and every business. Not based on what they heard at a mastermind, not based on what the newest, shiniest tactic was, but listen, here is what is real and true in your business right now. And, that allows us to make these predictions, but predictions are never finite or final or expected to come true as you predict them to at the end of the day. And, that involves a little bit of risk. Shall we move forward?
Jody Millward: Yeah, absolutely, because like you say, they’ll come back, they’ll share this little glimpse, but as you say, there’s all this other stuff behind it. They may have great SEO going on, lots of website traffic, lots of affiliate ventures or joint ventures that they’ve done in the past. This huge audience that they can be tapping into. Whereas most people starting out don’t have that. So, that $10 at 100K return, it hurt. So, therefore the client will have this unreal expectation, and therefore, if things don’t start to happen, where are they pointing the finger, right? They’re not pointing it at the mastermind person, they’re pointing it at the ad manager. “What’s going on? The ads aren’t working. We need to do this.”
Jody Millward: So, have you experienced that kind of thing before where, “The ads aren’t working. What are you doing?”
Amanda Bond: Thank you for bringing up traumatic memories, but yes. I’m just kidding, but one instance does come to mind where I spoke with a client. And so we before launches would create projections. We would say, “Based on historical data, when you did this, that happened. So, we can realistically expect this to happen within this range if no variables change and you improve the process along the way.”
Amanda Bond: That is a very broad answer, as it should be, as all of us business owners when we look at our business performance should be taking into account when we’re making those future projections, right? It’s just that’s what we should be doing. And so I said this to this client and they said, “Awesome. We only converted at 1% of our opt-ins on the last launch.” I said, “Listen, if you did implement improvements over last time, and we expanded the touch points of the number of ads that we had, if we saw a 3% a conversion rate, not we were going to, if we saw a 3% conversion rate, we would have these results.”
Amanda Bond: And so what happened was the ads manager, myself and my teammate, because the scapegoat when that didn’t happen, because clients always hear, “Oh, so I’m going to have a 3% conversion and I’m going to make that much money.” They forget all of qualifying factors in the middle of that to arrive at that situation. And so the client didn’t have that launch, they converted at the exact same percentage that they did before. And our team was yelled at inappropriately to say, “You gave us garbage leads.” I love hearing that, I love hearing that statement because leads on Facebook cannot be garbage. Unless you are targeting countries that are irrelevant to your target market, unless you are experimenting with really slimy hacks and tactics. If you’re playing in that territory, sure, your leads could be lower quality.
Amanda Bond: But when you put a message out into a marketplace, the people that resonate with that message are the people that become leads. So, if there are people that are becoming leads in our businesses that don’t align with the actual people that we can help create transformation in their lives, it’s not because they’re garbage leads, because those are frickin human beings, right? At the end of the day those are humans. We have to turn the flashlight on us and say all right, where am I not communicating my message as effectively to attract the right type of person who can I create transformation for via my ads? And then repel the people who wouldn’t be a right fit for the container and the space that I create through my programs and my services.
Amanda Bond: How can I do that in my messaging? How can I do that in my sales sequences? How can I do that in the entire sales process, no matter what marketing modality you use, challenges, webinars, et cetera? And then create a system, like a foundational system with our marketing that ads will then go on to amplify.
Amanda Bond: I always say this, and Jody, you probably remember this going through some of my videos. It’s like ads will only amplify what’s broken.
Jody Millward: Yep, I know that one.
Amanda Bond: They’re not magic. Ads are going to amplify what’s broken in your business, and that’s a gift, because it gifts us the data that we need to then improve the process.
Jody Millward: Absolutely, because in the old days, you use to spend $10,000 on a billboard, and it’s very hard, you don’t get data back from that, right? People just drive by, you get an occasional phone call. Facebook, you get real time data, you can vest into it, make those pivots and turns as you start seeing results. Going, “Okay, people aren’t clicking on this ad, let’s change it, change that messaging and dial it all in.”
Jody Millward: What I loved about that, because without ads, ads are just one piece of the puzzle as you said. It then also goes into what’s the email sequence like? What are the open rates on those emails? Nobody’s opening the emails, so if you’re expecting someone to just click on the ad, come over, buy, do whatever straight away, there is that really, really tiny percentage of people that do, you’ve just caught them at the right time. But if that’s what you’re relying on, I think you’re delusion. And I think us as ads managers have to get that boldness, because we can also be really heavily impacted as well, can’t we, by seeing other people post their … this is … look at this fantastic result I got from my ads.
Jody Millward: And it’s like great, yes, you do that, because when you do get an awesome result, you do want to shout about it. As I’ve heard, and I probably would agree, that 80% of your ads aren’t going to work. It’s that 20% that after you’ve done all the refining and analyzing and optimizing, fixing the message, that 20% that get the home runs.
Amanda Bond: Yeah. I believe that ads managers are at a great disadvantage in this online internet marketing space, because a lot of business owners are participating in the launch model where they don’t have businesses that are open every day. And when businesses aren’t open every day, that takes away our opportunity to optimize and iterate the process. When you are just generating webinar signups for one week, and on that webinar you’re going to open the cart and then close the cart, and then that’s done, there is no way for you to improve that process fast enough to make a meaningful difference.
Amanda Bond: And so one thing that we’ve done differently in our business as we’ve transitioned away from the done for you Facebook ads and more into the digital courses, the education and training sphere, is make sure that we have a product that is available 365 days a year so that we can constantly be looking at the data in tiny little sections, right, like you measure how people are clicking to your blog post, who are clicking to the landing pages. How many of those people are opting in? Out of those opt-ins, how many people are opening your emails? From the emails, how many people are registering for your webinar? From the webinar, how many people are attending? Of the people attending, how many people are clicking to the sales page?
Jody Millward: So many numbers.
Amanda Bond: So many numbers, but when you know all of them and you have a business that’s open every day, you can take a little tiny segment of that and improve it one at a time. And so the results start to compound, right? Like you might only be making a 3% or a 5% improvement per little tiny tweak in your sales process month over month, but that is going to compound so fast to give you exponential growth in the future to actually give you better results with an offer that’s open every day, versus these scarcity fueled very energy intense launch periods that a lot of people are operating under.
Jody Millward: For sure. So, with that, I love the Evergreen. When I do talk to someone, and I was talking to someone recently, they did a launch, it was an event. And they were only going to launch every six months. And I’m going, “What revenue’s coming in in the meantime?”
Amanda Bond: That’s scary.
Jody Millward: And launches are so unknown, like you were saying earlier. You invest into the webinar, you don’t know what’s coming back until you open and close that cart. And so with that, how then, like with your Evergreen model that you’ve got running, how then, without applying those, and we’ll touch on brand marketing as we have to. Anyone who talks to you has to talk about brand marketing. Without applying those ickiness and the false scarcity and everything, how then do you apply … what’s giving people the urgency to buy now? Is it just in your messaging that is getting people over the line because it’s such a great product that you have?
Amanda Bond: Yeah. I mean essentially it comes down to what transformation are you creating in people’s lives, and is that valuable enough that could drive somebody to make a purchase decision without being put through the ringer of scarcity and falseness and BS that’s happening? I believe if we give people choice, if we educate people on why they would benefit from transacting with us, and then treat them like grown adults who can make a decision that’s right for their business when it’s time to make a decision for their business, and even encourage people to say, “Listen, it’s not right for your business right now. Here’s what you could do in the meantime. I ain’t going anywhere, you’re welcome to come back in six months time, nine months time when you’re going to get the results that this thing can help you create.”
Amanda Bond: When we take away price discounts, when we take away deadline timers. What is left is a foundationally strong message. That is what is going to get us results, right? When we treat people like humans without all the ick, without all the grossness, without all of the let’s bait them, let’s treat them fish, let’s treat them like animals. Whatever analogy we can come up with, at the end of the day we can trust people that we transact with to make great decisions, because as consumers, we are making daily decisions to transact with other businesses, so why would it be any different for coaches, consultants, course creators, people online? It’s not.
Jody Millward: It’s not. And I remember years ago, and this is what I always come back to, he’s like one of the grandfathers of online marketing, and I was talking to him and he said this relationship marketing is a myth. But, these days it is not. Admittedly that was about 2016. It’s not, and it’s an essential part. And like you say, you’ve got all your deadline funnels and that scarcity and that ick that comes with all of that, that’s how it used to be. Whereas there’s that real genuineness. And I know for yourself, you can go in and please tell us the numbers, but it’s like you’ve gone on to create a very successful business without all this 10,000 people on your list and these hundreds of thousands of followers.
Jody Millward: So, let’s just dive in and tell us about that, because I have a big thing myself about list building, right? People often get caught on the list building wagon just for the sake of list building. But, you end up getting people that really aren’t interested in your offer and they never even open your emails, whereas you’ve been list building in a very strategic way that people who are interested in your offers it seems are coming onto your list.
Jody Millward: So, tell us about that, what are your kind of numbers there?
Amanda Bond: Well, before I do, I just wanted to add one extra thing to the Evergreen side of the equation, there is nothing that gives us more joy than seeing somebody who originally entered into our email list, or into our social audience, two years ago, that finally decides to make a purchase decision, because they’ve been working towards making that purchase decision when it makes sense in their business. So, I just wanted to really share that that does happen, and they’ll share their story, they’ll say, “Listen, I’ve been implementing this advice behind the scenes.” Guys, you don’t know who those people are in your audience, because they will never tell you until they become customers, but they are out there.
Amanda Bond: So, please keep showing up for them, because they’re just waiting to get their businesses in a solid position.
Jody Millward: 100%.
Amanda Bond: Let’s talk about the fun stuff. So, in our business actually we don’t have any lead magnets. We don’t have any way … yeah, right. No lead magnets, no freebies, no … oh my gosh, what did somebody else call it? No bait. No ethical bribes. All of these terms, we don’t have any of that. The only way that you can join our email list at the ad strategist is by going through a sequence of content that basically just lays it all out there and says, “This is who we are, this is how we do things. This is how it can help your business. And you’re welcome to request an invite to the program that will help you implement that and help create that transformation in your life.”
Amanda Bond: So, the only people on our list are people that are interested in learning more. They’re not necessarily all going to become customers. But they’re interested in learning more about what working together would look like. And when you actually run the numbers on this, it becomes astronomically crazy how much different are community shows up in terms of sales conversion rates, because we generated our first seven figures in the business before the email list was 5,000 people big.
Jody Millward: Hilarious.
Amanda Bond: Right. Some people try and aim for 5,000 people on a single webinar to generate maybe $10,000, or maybe a few thousand dollars. We just want to make sure that there’s no hype, there’s no doing things that are going to expire seven days later for the sake of quick cash. Going back to what I said about launching in terms of not being able to optimize, wouldn’t you want to your time and your effort into doing things one time and then improving it over time so that a year later it’s twice as good as it used to be, it’s essentially taking the content, the conversations, the connection that you have with your audience and infusing that into the copy, into the messaging of all that. It’s so much more fulfilling than just running around trying to figure out what the next marketing hack is, because you need to figure out how to turn a dollar. Because it gives you so much more time to spend with the people who are implementing your program, implementing your systems, implementing your framework.
Amanda Bond: Now, one thing that I do have to caution is this shit takes time. It’s going to take time to build a steady and stable business. And for us, what that looked like was when we finally put the digital product out into the world and started selling it, Evergreen, it grew at a snail’s pace, and that was perfect. So, the first month we made one sale. Amazing, we’ve got $1,300 that we generated. The next month, we did two, so we’re up to … I’m going to go on even numbers else I’m going to lose track.
Jody Millward: I know, same.
Amanda Bond: We did $1,000 a month, and then it jumped to $3,000 a month. And then it steadied over three months at $3,000. And then it went up to five, and then it quickly jumped to eight. And then eight was steady for five months. And then all of a sudden it hit 10, and at 10 we had created enough revenue to then invest into team, invest into getting the support that we needed, that all of a sudden we were able to jump from a 10 to a 25 the following month. But that 25 didn’t happen without looking at what was working through the one’s, the three’s the five’s along the way.
Amanda Bond: So know if you’re going to change from a launch model, it’s going to take time. And my biggest piece of advice to do that is that this is where people get it wrong. They say, “Okay, I’m going to go from launch and then I’m going to turn it into Evergreen.” And their launches are like this big hoopla. They have livestream events, they have question and answer webinars, they have training webinars. There’s five of them, it’s chaos but amazing. And then there’s testimonials and they do 47 hour livestream fest with all of their past clients. And they make a big deal out of it and they’re talking to people in DM’s and they’re getting on sales calls. And then they say, “That launch, it was so spectacular, let’s turn it into Evergreen.”
Amanda Bond: And then they take one slither of it, which was the webinars that they thought performed well, and they put it on auto webinar and they say, “Why isn’t this working?” Well, you didn’t take what was working from that. Obviously I’m being facetious with how many things I said in that launch, but let’s say you had three different live streams and a training webinar. Maybe somebody watched that first livestream and then it was something that you said in that livestream that spurred them to get interested to register for the webinar. And then they watched the webinar but it was one final email that you sent in the live launch that actually spurred them to action. But you only copied over the webinar.
Amanda Bond: So, they missed the opportunity to have that realization from the livestream, and make that purchase decision in that final email that they’ll never see, because you gated it within that launch. So, I really want to encourage people if you are going to make the switch, ask yourself and contemplate how you can make that switch in a way that emulates the same experience for your end user. Because it’s not fair to them if you don’t give them that same level of heart and pour into them that same way you would somebody who is there live in launch mode during that time.
Jody Millward: Yeah, for sure. I’ve done a couple of launches, but there was one that I did and I swore I’d never do another one because we all nearly died. Seriously. There were 24 hour days, everyone was exhausted. It was a huge, massive launch. It was very successful, but we all nearly died.
Amanda Bond: No more of those.
Jody Millward: Loves Evergreens. Okay, so tell us about the article, Bro marketing. I remember when it came out, there was … it went off. There were people from different camps and all groups going, “Have you seen this article from Amanda Bond? Da-da-da-da-da.” So, tell us a bit about that, how did that all come about?
Amanda Bond: Yeah, so the article was actually the month that the revenue jumped like crazy. And so what Jody’s referencing is this … it’s a multi-page blog post, but it’s essentially a pre-sales site. And now I don’t take credit for this concept, I didn’t make this up, I’m not the originator of it. I look to somebody that I view as a mentor, Andre Chaperone, who actually has been the fuel behind a lot of the things. You know how like Russell Brunson talks about soap opera sequences?
Jody Millward: Yeah.
Amanda Bond: That’s a concept that has developed through Andre’s work of over a decade in this industry. So, he’s very notable. And his belief is that you should give value to your audience before money ever changes hands. And to do this, there’s these pre-sale sites that are positioned as multi-page blog posts that help people shift and reframe their beliefs as they start to contemplate whether your product or service essentially would be a fit for helping them create what they’re looking to create in their life.
Amanda Bond: So, I go through Andre’s program, Sphere of Influence, and I’m like all right, what is going wrong in the Facebook advertising industry right now? And it was actually hot off the heels of a click funnels affiliate launch where there was some illegal activity where people should have went to jail. There was some cookie stuff. There was a lot of stuff going on. And I was like, “This industry is all drinking from a muddy pond.” There are a lot of things that are being passed through this industry where they’re not really the greatest tactics that we’re all being taught, and unknowingly modeling.
Amanda Bond: So I’m like, “We’ve got to talk about this. I’ve got to do some research.” So I delved into detective mode, I was obviously was taking after you in that. I was like I’ve got to talk to everyone about this, and I dove into ads manager, I dove into historical dove. I dove into what the CPMs were before and what the CPMS are now. Lead costs people are paying, how they are launching differently. What changed? How much people were losing with Facebook ads. How much people were paying to high ticket mentors and not getting any help or support or results.
Amanda Bond: And it actually became this month long, more than that, this few months span of really diving into the underbelly of our internet marketing industry to see what was happening. I took all of that and I worked with my amazing team, a copywriter, our developer, to turn it into this article. And little old me is like, “Okay …,” I think it was five or six days before Christian, and I’m like I’ll just post it on my Facebook page maybe get a few people there, hopefully, fingers crossed, we’d have 100 people hit the site. I’m like we’ve got heat maps on it, we’ve got all of our pixels. It’s fine, I’ll just see how they’re making it through and what page they drop off on to see what we need to fix.
Amanda Bond: I totally expected it to bomb. I totally expected nobody to even get to the opt-in part. And honestly, it was a simple Facebook post, I spent like three minutes on it when I normally spend three hours trying to craft the genius on Facebook. And I threw it up, and all of a sudden there was more traffic on our site than I’ve ever seen in our lives, in our business life. And that, the 72 hours following that, we had more traffic on the site than the previous two and a half months combined.
Jody Millward: Wow.
Amanda Bond: So, yeah, this article has now went on to be a multi six figure seller. And it’s all Evergreen, you can join the program whenever. And it’s just because we took the time to dive in. I always say I didn’t write that, every single person that I talked to and they shared their story, they wrote that. I was just the mirror that held it up to everyone and said, “Look, this is my findings, this is what I’ve found.” You guys have said this is what’s happening.
Jody Millward: So, when that did come up and it did blow up the internet, especially with the marketing world and Facebook ads, there was a lot of different comments that were coming in. There was a lot of support, there the ones that obviously weren’t so supportive. How did that make you feel? Is there a sense that do I really know what I’m talking about, that imposter syndrome? Did that come into affect with you at all when that came out?
Amanda Bond: Absolutely. And so I wasn’t prepared for what actually happened. And like I said, it was a few days before Christmas and at our family we celebrate for days on days on days, and I had surprised my boyfriend with a snowboarding trip for his birthday in between Christmas and New Years. So, all of that was planned. As soon as the article went live, my bandwidth, not bandwidth, my conversations, my inbox, everything blew up at the same time. I was not expecting any of it, and I actually got sick. So it’s like it manifested in my body, it wasn’t quite bronchitis, but I was down and out for the count. At one point I was shaking, I had the chills, everything.
Amanda Bond: And so I actually ended up, I think we might have chatted back at that time, I ended up clearing my calendar for the following three months to deal with the backlash of essentially that burnout, right? Because it was so fast, I didn’t have the systems and structures and team in place, even after having taken so many months to prepare and to slowly get the delivery of the program up to par. But I was still trying to operate as this one woman team who has it all and just has a few contractors that are key support. And yeah, it was very overwhelming. Of course I’m hella grateful for everyone who it brought into my life. I wouldn’t change a thing, but dang did it make me grow as a human being in that process.
Amanda Bond: I literally broke down in the process, and what’s that Chinese … there’s … maybe it’s not Chinese, maybe it’s a Japanese proverb when it’s like where a vase or something breaks and you fill it back, you fill the cracks with gold and then it’s more coveted, more beautiful. I feel like that’s really what it did for us in our business. It reminds me of a book that I love reading, You Squared, and they have the follow up book, the Quantum Leap strategy, that basically says the only way to achieve a quantum leap is to just dive right in and have things go wrong. And that’s scary, that is so scary in the process, because without those things going wrong, without that data, that feedback, and fundamentally being a good human, not doing things illegally or bad, really actually caring about things, when it goes wrong it gives you the data that you need to rebuild even stronger.
Amanda Bond: And I’m telling you, that was the catalyst, my friend Jacqueline Malone from Go to Girls podcast, she said, “Bond, we’re going to look back at this and there’s going to be before the article and after the article moment in your business.” And I was like, “Nobody’s going to go to it.” And she’s like, “You just watch.” And I swear to god, there was a before the article and an after the article moment and catalyst in the business.
Jody Millward: Wow, that’s amazing. And it’s often … like you said, you did a little three minute Facebook post, normally spend three hours on doing something. And it’s those little things that do just take off, and it was, it was an incredible blog post. And as I was reading the comments, I was going, “I hope she’s going all right,” because … yeah. It was great that that buzz has now been sealed with gold, and so that’s awesome. And I know it’s happy days. Well, there’s always going to be learning journeys.
Amanda Bond: There’s always people that are dicks on the internet. Let’s just be honest, even to this day, I still get such negative comments on the post. And people always reassure me well, they’re commenting because something in it is stirring something up in them. Even my life and my personal therapy, I know when someone else is angered or triggered by something. That’s theirs to deal with, that’s not mine. I’m just going to go out there and speak my truth.
Jody Millward: So, how have you? Because that is a thing a lot of the times that’s holding people back, either ads managers getting more confident and putting themselves out there, or event coaches spreading their word, is being more visible, because you are going to cop it, you know? Like you said, there’s always dicks around. So, how have you been able to, or what do you do every day as you put yourself out there, because you know you’ve got a message that needs to be heard that’s going to help people. But there’s that part of you that’s going, “I’m going to be attacked and people aren’t going to like what I have to say.” What’s the strategy that you have to overcome that, to keep putting yourself out there every day, being consistent with that?
Amanda Bond: Yeah. My answer to this probably would have been different a year ago, but now it’s changed, and it’s truly just getting professional help to support you in this journey of being human. For me, I have a love relationship with things like psychotherapy, right? To actually go and look at you as a human, what makes up your biological makeup? What triggers the heck out of you? What makes you anger? Where the roots of those things actually come from, because once you have clarity around why you behave the way you behave personally, it gives you permission to say, “Oh, okay, I don’t need to behave that way anymore. I don’t need to react that way anymore unknowingly, because now I have new information. Now I have new power.”
Amanda Bond: So, anything in the personal development realm that is giving you insight into yourself has been the biggest thing for me to really expand the capacity that I can hold for other people. Even Jody, when we were working together, I think it was in 2017, I was terrified of everything. I had feelings of PTSD going in Slack, I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough. I was worried that people weren’t getting it. I was over delivering by getting on 72 different calls. Where can I make sure you have it over here? And what I could have done is just communicate, like listen, this is not a polished, finished version of something. And, here is the way that I best take feedback to make this a better experience for you. And here’s what I’m feeling and why I’m worried that you’re not going to like it.
Amanda Bond: So, maybe just share when things are making sense and not making sense for you, et cetera. But from that 2017 point to now, the capacity that I can hold for people knowing when it is something that I can take and use for criticism and improvement, and then knowing when to be like, “Listen, that’s your energy. You go over there, that’s your energy.”
Amanda Bond: I’ll give you a great example, somebody in my email sequence called out my own Bro Marketing, and I will fully admit the reason I can write so succinctly about Bro Marketing is because I used to be a bro marketer. It’s just how I learned and how I grew in this industry. Now that I know better, I do better, but that’s not saying that those patterns aren’t still showing up somewhere in my marketing.
Amanda Bond: And so this person was like, “Yo, you’re a bro marketer to the core.” Of course I’m emphasizing for effect, but I was like, “Yes, and thank you for that mirror, because now I’m going to go reflect and say … because at that point in our emails it was like, “And you’ve saved $200 of the original price?” And I was like have we ever offered it at that non $200 price? I’m like no. And I’m like does that align with my values, the company values? No. Okay, thank you. Literally, we are going to get off this email and go change that copy, because you are accurate.
Amanda Bond: So, for me, being called … she said it was, “Broetry,” like, “You wrote some good Broetry there.” And I was like, “First off, thanks for the use of that term. And, I’m going to go change that and reflect, and I’m very grateful for your criticism, because that gave me the opportunity to grow. But without … and I also have, yes, professional help, and spiritual shit. I love soul consciousness readings. I love … I’m going to butcher saying this, shocking record readings. I love any type of reflection of who you are as a human so you can understand yourself. Human design, learning your core being, your enneagram. Whatever flavor you love, understand that so you can show up better.
Amanda Bond: The more you can stand in you and your power, the more your message is going to ripple through the universe. So, doing that inner work is always foundationally what needs to come first before we can get out there and become web celebs.
Jody Millward: For sure, and that’s it, that’s one of the sayings that I always say, or sort of say, is you can have all the skills to pay the bills, but if your mindset, and if that inner strength isn’t there, then it’s a real uphill battle. So, I just wanted to also just touch on quickly before we wrap things up, your experience here. You were a freelancer, contractor, whatever. You were running ads for people. And then you decided to go into an agency. So, tell me about that experience for all our other ad managers out there that are going, “Oh, um, yes.” Or they either agency models themselves, or they’re thinking about agency. So, tell me about your experience with getting your agency up and running, I’d love to know.
Amanda Bond: Yeah. Okay, so we started the agency I believe it was 2015, and it ran through 2017. Oh dang. 2017. And so I was a glorified freelancer during the first half of that agency. I called it I’m a Facebook ads agency, but I was just a freelancer, it was just me. And then I was at capacity because frankly I was quite good at Facebook ads, we were getting amazing results and our referrals would be people waiting months and months to get on our roster. And I was like first off, I just can’t handle that capacity. What’s the solution? Oh, just start a Facebook ads agency, that’s what you do, right?
Amanda Bond: No. First you actually slow down and figure out why you do the things you do and what makes your process unique, what sets you apart rom the competition. Doing that foundational work of who you work with and get the best results, you need to understand the customer. And then you need to understand your processes. If you don’t understand why you do things the way that you do them, you’re going to have exactly what happened to me. I hired ads managers, they were rock stars, I love those human beings. I’m like, “All right, let’s load you up with clients,” and they’re like, “Okay, how do we do this?” And I’m like, “That’s a great question.”
Amanda Bond: I’d like, “I would do this.” And they’d be like, “Why would you do that?” I was like, “Oh, because of this.” Oh, but if they did that, I would have done that. So, it depends. But there’s this over here. So, there was so many … what are they called? Those brain maps. There were so many trees in my head that I didn’t understand why I was doing things the way that I did things, because it was all up here. And so I would spend more time on Zoom, which is why I love these humans so much, because I got to know them so well being on Zoom, teaching them how to do things. And then I would get frustrated as this agency owner because I was like, “Ah, I literally could have set up that campaign in seven minutes, and now 72 minutes later we still aren’t finished, and I’m going to have to check it, and they’re not going to remember how to do all this next time. Man, this is not working out the way that I wanted it to.”
Amanda Bond: So, just essentially I realized that after that, my core strengths are not operations. I have now come to terms with that. Again, human design, enneagram, core being. All of those things help me to realize that that just wasn’t the case. I’m not foundationally strong in operations. My strength lays in producing content and being on the sales and marketing side. If you put me in those two roles, I will excel. And so what I couldn’t do was operate an agency, and it was painstaking to shut it down because we had to tell clients we weren’t working with them. We had to tell our team that listen, this company is no longer structured this way and therefore your role’s been eliminated.
Amanda Bond: And then honestly, it was four months after that before I did anything else, because I’ve experienced burnout so many times in this process. Because not only was I servicing all of our clients, which were now three times before because I was doing it, they were doing it, our capacity had expanded. But I was also teaching them and training them along the way.
Amanda Bond: So, the agency wasn’t for me. It’s a beautiful model. If that is your strength, go all in on it, because the opportunity out there for qualified ads managers who get results, it’s only getting bigger with the way that digital marketing is going. And all of these brands are shifting their advertising dollars from those billboards they’re seeing on the side of the road, like you said, calling in, they’re shifting it from that into digital marketing. So, it’s still wide open, and no matter what path you take, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to pivot. And my biggest piece of advice, especially if you’re feeling like an imposter is you are going to mess up. You’re going to mess up, you’re going to screw something up. You’re going to disappoint somebody in this process. Know that that’s part of this journey.
Amanda Bond: And it doesn’t make you a bad human because something bad happened one time. As long as you learn from that mistake and communicate with those people, communicate to take what you did to improve on it the next time, that’s how we grow as humans, right? It’s like working out when you’re constantly stretching, you’re like, I don’t know, I don’t workout, your ligaments, your muscles. Your muscles and your ligaments, right? Like you’re stretching them to the limit until when they break and then they’re going to heal but give you more capacity.
Amanda Bond: So, please know in this journey none of us have it figured out at first, and I mean it’s taken me a decade to get to this point. And I’m just getting started. So, I’m going to look back on this time of my life and be like, “Yo Bond, what were you thinking?” Because I know I look back on previous versions of my company I was like, “How was that even a thing?”
Jody Millward: Yep. And that’s what I love, it’s like recognizing those points and then pivoting. Identifying what your strengths are and working with that. And so that is one of the biggest things with an agency, it’s like you might be good at Facebook ads, so therefore you have more and more people coming to you. You go, “Great, I need to build up an agency.” But then you have those team members that you are then having to oversee and train and all the rest of it, and operations. It’s a big thing. So, yeah, it’s identifying where your strengths are and working towards those. Or, if you can, hire people to compliment those strengths. But again, it’s a tough gig.
Amanda Bond: Yeah. And you know what really helped for me actually, after we shut down the agency, I took on almost a consulting role where I worked directly with one company. That was so fulfilling for me because it was one company, it was steady and stable. I was able to focus like crazy, and together we hit amazing heights within the company. And it was the exact stability that I needed in my business to pivot to the next thing that happened a year later.
Amanda Bond: So, for me, I look back on that, I was like, “Ah, that was the reset I needed in between the agency and now the training and education company that we have.”
Jody Millward: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s where through what you were saying before with, I don’t know, focusing on one Evergreen system that you have now, it comes back to having that focus then going consulting, focusing with that one client. It just helps to clear the head of all the other stuff, and just dial things in so much sharper. Yeah, that’s a big part of it all, which when you’re an ad manager juggling multiple clients, is so hard. So hard.
Jody Millward: Well, that concludes the interview for today. I think you will be free to go, we will not detain you any longer. So, thank you Amanda, or Bond rather. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you with us and digging in, going behind the scenes of your business and what’s been going on for you as you built your company, pivoted and turned to what fits you best at the moment. So, how can people find out more about you? And where, like this article that I’ve been talking about, where can they go and read that?
Amanda Bond: Oh my gosh, well you can come on over to the website at theadstrategist.com/confidential.
Jody Millward: Ooh, okay.
Amanda Bond: Theadstrategist.com/confidential. And I also chatted about my favorite thing, which was Sphere of Influence, so you can read the one that it’s modeled against, you can find that simply at theadstrategist.com/SOI, standing for Sphere of Influence as well. Those two articles will tell you more about our industry than pretty much everything that I’ve read in the last year.
Jody Millward: Yeah, no doubt, for sure. Great article. I’ll check out that other Sphere of Influence, that sounds amazing, love the sound of it. Okay, great, well thank you Bond, it’s been an absolute pleasure being here with you today. Thanks everyone for joining us and look forward to seeing you next time on Online Confidential.