5 Rules For Facebook Ads That Work


I’ll share with you my top 5 rules for Facebook ads that work so that you can stop wasting money and start getting a 500% return.

Most people's marketing strategy can be summed up in 2 words… HOPE MARKETING!

This is where you throw $50 at something and just HOPE it works. It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s discuss this further.

Why Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are hands down one of the best ways you can attract clients. It doesn't matter if you're a new business wanting to start from scratch, or an existing business wanting to scale.

Whether if you've got a product or service, high ticket item or low ticket item, B2C (Business To Consumer) or B2B (Business To Business), if you're looking to advertise to CEO's or grads, you must use Facebook ads because everyone is using Facebook.

Roughly 90% of the adult population either uses Facebook or Instagram each month.

The reason I mention Instagram is Facebook owns Instagram. Therefore, the Facebook ads platform will also allow you to create and run an Instagram ad.

However, the problem is most people don't know what they're doing with Facebook ads. They might have a Facebook page and see that little blue button that says, "Boost Post", and then click that button.

That's what I would call hope marketing… just throwing $50 at an ad hoping to get a result just because Facebook recommends it.

All the ads you place should be done on Facebook Ads Manager. You can go there by going to www.facebook.com/business.

Confused With Facebook Ads?

Confused female worker in modern workplace imageThe good news is you don't have to be. You don't have to waste your money and walk away thinking, "Facebook Ads don't work."

And you definitely don't have to spend hundreds of frustrating hours on trial and error.

Having invested over $1m of my own money in Facebook ads over 10 years (and being personally mentored by Facebook), I now have it down to a science.

I say "invested" because just like any investment, when done right, you can literally turn $1 into $5, or $1000 into $5000. And unlike shares or property, we're not talking about years. But more like months or weeks. Sometimes, even days or hours.

So follow these rules to create an endless stream of new clients (even if you're a beginner, on a small budget, or bad with computers).

If you’ve ever wondered, “Do Facebook Ads work?”, my promise to you is that if you practice these five rules, you will create a successful business that will provide you with all the fulfilment and financial freedom you could wish for.

Also, quite often, I get asked, "Cham, I've spent X amount of dollars on ads and it's not working. Why not?" These five rules can also serve as a test on why your ads aren't working.

So without further ado, here are the five rules for Facebook ads that work.

Rule #1. Target One Person, Target Everyone

If this rule seems counter-intuitive, it's because it is. It's only something that I’ve learned after years and years of running Facebook ads.

Target One Person

Woman sitting beside a window holding a mobile phone imageOne of the ways to learn how to make Facebook ads work is you want to target a specific customer - your ideal client. The more you can target your ideal client, the more success you will have with Facebook ads.

You could have the best hot dog in the world… but if you're selling it in front of a vegan convention, you've got a big problem!

A common marketing mistake is thinking your product or service helps everyone. The problem with that is you try and please everyone in your Facebook ad and end up pleasing nobody (while spending many fruitless hours and dollars).

The only people you should be trying to please is your ideal client. Take a moment to picture who this person is right now.

  • Maybe it's a great client you've had in the past that you would like more of?
  • Perhaps it's a younger version of yourself?
  • How old are they?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their problems or passions?

Your answers will determine what demographics and interests you select in the "Detailed Targeting" section of your Facebook ad.

For example, it could be a woman between 30 and 40 years old living in Los Angeles who likes personal development AND horses.

The great thing is that you can target thousands of people EXACTLY like this with Facebook for only a few dollars a day!

There are also other great tactics you can use to target your ideal client. For example, if you have an existing Facebook page or an existing website or an existing spreadsheet with the emails or mobile number of your clients, you can upload that to Facebook to create what's called a "Lookalike Audience".

This gives Facebook a sample of what you consider your clients. Then, Facebook will create a pattern of what makes up your ideal client and find hundreds of thousands more of your ideal clients on Facebook. You can then advertise to them. It’s almost like cheating!

In all the tests on the 26 different audiences we regularly use, lookalike audiences are always in the top three.

Target Everyone

Map of Australia with pins imageAnother effective rule for Facebook ads that work is to target everyone. Targeting everyone is where you would place the exact same ad but broaden the audience.

So if you were selling anti-wrinkle cream to women, instead of targeting a lookalike audience of your best customers, or instead of targeting what you think fits the profile, like women over 40 in Sydney that are interested in health or beauty, you would instead place an ad and target only the things you 100% know are true.

In this case, all the people in Australia (because you might only ship to Australia).

Now I know that would mean targeting the whole of Australia, and you might be thinking that it’s a shotgun approach and it’s a waste of money. I thought the same thing when Facebook explained it to me.

It actually gives their algorithm (which is like their Facebook super brain which figures out who should see which ads) more room to play with. You're not putting a limit or ceiling on the potential customers.

Sometimes, this untargeted audience will do better than targeted ones, and sometimes it won't. But like all marketing, you switch off what's not working, and you keep the ones that are working.

Rule #2. Build Relationships Until People Are Ready To Buy

Man and woman shaking hands in an apartmentWhat's the goal of marketing? What are we trying to achieve in all our social media posts, ads, emails we send out etc.?

The goal is to build relationships until people are ready to buy. If you want your product or service to sell like hotcakes, don't focus on selling it straight away.

Focus on building relationships through education.

If a guy went up to every lady he saw and asked, "Want to get married?", how successful do you think he would be? That's exactly what we do as marketers when we ask complete strangers, "Want to buy my stuff?"

You see, customers don't buy when you're ready to sell! They buy when they are ready to buy.

In the meantime, it's our job to build a relationship instead of rushing into things right away. A little bit of patience goes a long way.

More importantly, while other business owners are frantically fighting over a few clients that are ready to buy right now, you will get the lion's share of clients that will buy in the near future by building a relationship until they are ready.

And how do we build relationships with people these days? Through education. We educate people by answering all the common questions they have.

To put it in another way for you, we give people solutions to the problems they have… and we do this for FREE. Why free? Because we can reach a wider audience and give people a chance to get to know us first before you ask them to reach into their wallet.

This could be:

  • Free Information (Video, Audio)
  • Free Event (Info Night, Workshop, Seminar, Webinar)
  • Free Session (Discovery Session, Strategy Call)
  • Free Advice (Health Check, Review, Audit, Assessment)
  • Free Trial (14 Day Membership, Test Drive, Demo)
  • Free Quote (Inspection, Appraisal, Report)

Rule #3. So What?

Bored woman scrolling through her phone imageThe third rule for Facebook ads that work is “So what?” Let me explain. The problem is most people's Facebook ads are boring. People read the first few lines and they think, “So what?” There goes your hard-earned money and hopes of impacting people's lives.

When you're thinking of what ad to place, imagine your ideal client seeing it on their Facebook newsfeed. Will they be compelled to interrupt what they were doing and pay attention to the ad? Or will they subconsciously think, “So what?”

You need to ensure your ad is compelling. And creating a compelling ad comes down to these three critical components:

  1. A compelling image or video - This is the most important part of the ad. Your image or the first frame of the video should be inspiring enough, unusual enough or striking enough to stop people's thumb from scrolling in the newsfeed.

Tip: Use people's faces. Research shows that ads with faces do up to 35% better than ads without.

  1. A compelling headline - The first line of your ad is the most important. When in doubt, ask a problem-based question. The same question your ideal client asks themselves.

For example: "Do you find Facebook Ads confusing? You're not alone."

  1. A compelling offer - This is the freebie we went through in the previous step such as the "Free Strategy Call".

In wording a compelling ad, always phrase your offer in terms of the benefits it will give your ideal client. This is quite basic, but you won't believe how many people fall into this trap once they start writing their ad.

People fall into the trap of using flowery language or talking about the features of their product, like "New Breakthrough In Laser Treatment For Wrinkles!", which is kind of like a “So what?” subject line.

Instead, a compelling headline would be, "This woman looks 40 years old but actually just turned 63. Want to know her secret?"

Pretend you are your ideal client reading your ad. If you find yourself saying, “So what?”, then you need to make it more benefit-focused.

Rule #4. Test For Success

Multiracial partners creating Facebook ads that work on a laptop imageIf you really want to find out the answer to “Do Facebook ads work?”, and if you want the best ad for your business - the one that will attract your best client with the cheapest investment, well then you have to test.

The best marketer in the world is not a fortune teller. 80% of the ads you create won't be great. But once you find the 20% that work, the greatest hits so to speak, you can focus on those, and that will create an endless stream of clients for your business.

The problem I find is most people give up too easily. Either they’re impatient, or their expectations don't match the reality of what it takes to succeed.

That would be like digging a few shallow holes for gold and then giving up because it's not working. But in reality, they were sitting on a goldmine and just didn't persist long enough to strike it rich.

Here are the things you need to test successfully:

  • Audiences - Test at least three different audiences.
  • Ads - Have at least three different ads. You can change either the image or the headline.
  • Time - Test for at least one week. That's because some days of the week are better than others.
  • Money - Spend at least $5 a day for each of the three audiences for seven days. So that's $105 in one week.

Rule #5. Let Facebook Make You Money

Amazed formal male looking at laptop screen imageThe fifth and final rule for Facebook ads that work is letting Facebook make you money, and here’s how you do it. You see, Facebook has spent billions of dollars perfecting its algorithm - its secret sauce of efficiently finding the ideal client for your ad.

But for Facebook to work its magic, a few technical things have to be done correctly.

  • Campaign Objective - This is the first question Facebook asks you when you’re creating a Facebook ads campaign. For 90% of people, your campaign objective will be "Conversions" (not traffic, not awareness and definitely not reach!).
  • Custom Conversion - If your campaign objective is "Conversions", then make sure you have set up a 'Custom Conversion' event for your offer so that Facebook can track how well your Facebook ad is doing.
  • Install the Facebook Pixel - This is a tricky piece of computer code that goes on to your website. It lets Facebook track exactly who is going to your website, what pages they visit and how much time they spend there. Without this information, Facebook is flying blind and can't send you your ideal clients (because it doesn't know which clients are filling your form in the first place!).

Yes, I know these things are a bit technical. But the good news is you (or your tech person) only has to do it once. After that, you're home free!

5 Rules For Facebook Ads That Work - In Conclusion

5 Rules For Facebook Ads That Work - In Conclusion imageWe hope you found these five rules for Facebook ads helpful. To recap, the five rules for successful Facebook ads are:

  1. Target One Person, Target Everyone
  2. Build Relationships Until People Are Ready To Buy
  3. So What?
  4. Test For Success
  5. Let Facebook Make You Money

If you want to see me actually place an ad in front of you and to also show you how to do cool stuff like create lookalike audiences, then please come to our 1-day online event called Marketing Made Easy. Click here to reserve your FREE ticket.

I’ll also be going through the six other marketing methods that I recommend besides Facebook ads.

Read more about: Podcast

Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.