So you want to learn how to create a Facebook ad agency? Awesome!
Running Facebook ads is our top side hustle pick for a lot of reasons – it’s flexible, inexpensive to start, and pays well for the work you’re doing. But it’s also scalable. Yep, you can realistically grow this side hustle into an agency you run full-time, which allows you to work from home while earning a decent income.
The reality is that starting a Facebook ad agency is not something you can do overnight. It takes time to develop your skills, grow your client roster, and learn how to run a business. But this article is going to walk you through the steps:
- Step 1: Get really good at running Facebook ads
- Step 2: Identify your niche
- Step 3: Determine your pricing
- Step 4: Find your first client
- Step 5: Start scaling your Facebook ad agency
- Step 6: Work on the day-to-day management of your agency
Here’s how to create a Facebook ad agency in 6 steps
Step 1: Get really good at running Facebook ads
If you’ve searched for an article about how to start an ad agency, you may have already learned how to run Facebook ads – so you’re a step ahead, and that’s awesome. But what will separate you from the rest of the ad managers out there is being able to offer additional services so your clients get the most out of their ad spend.
Being that learning how to run Facebook ads is the most important, let’s walk through that one…
Facebook ads start with a marketing objective, which is what the goal is of your ads. This can be:
- Awareness: You’re generating interest
- Consideration: Get people to start thinking about your business and interested in learning more
- Conversion: You are pushing people closer towards buying your products and services
After you’ve identified your objective, you will start targeting the audience. You can base this on location (especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses), demographic information, and their interests.
Targeting the right audience is understanding your client’s customer base. Who is their typical customer? What do they like? How old are they? Do your research, but also talk to your client if you have any questions.
Then comes the ad. Creating a Facebook ad involves compelling copy, high-quality images, the business name and social information, and a call to action (CTA). Here’s an example:
Setting the budget for your ad is the next step, and this is going to involve your client a bit. Some businesses can spend more than others, some can spend the money but don’t want to, and it’s your job to offer guidance.
The reality is that the more you spend, the more people will see these ads. Your clients should spend no less than $15/day. Anything less is a waste of time and money.
And finally, a good Facebook ad agency will be able to optimize ads to make them more effective. Find one thing about your client’s ad to change – maybe the image, copy, the offer, etc. Change only that one thing, and then split your ad budget between the original ad and the edited ad.
Pay attention to Ads Manager to see which one has the lowest CPC (cost per click), and that’s usually the winner. You can keep testing different variations until you feel like you’ve got it right, but only change one thing at a time.
Pro tip: To get really good at running Facebook ads, check out the Facebook Side Hustle Course. It’s an in-depth course on how to run ads for clients, plus you will learn how to fund clients and get them to say “yes” to your services.
The Facebook Side Hustle Course is everything you need to know about how to create a Facebook ad agency, all packaged up in one comprehensive course.
Step 2: Identify your niche
You’re going to want to focus on small businesses over big ones. Big businesses already have marketing teams, and if they don’t, they might outsource to a large, well-established agency. Not trying to minimize the awesome agency you’re creating, but you’re just not there yet.
So, you’re going after small business owners, but what kind?
There are so many different kinds of businesses that can benefit from Facebook ads. Gyms, bookstores, home improvement companies, restaurants, markets, clothing stores, service-based businesses, salons, real estate agents, and more.
You can pick a niche based on your interests, professional experience, education, etc. Understanding the lingo, the kinds of customers you’re targeting, and simply knowing people in an industry can be a huge help as you grow your agency.
But here’s the other thing… getting married to one niche only, especially in the beginning, has the potential to restrict your growth.
You may really want to work with massage studios only. But are there enough massage studios out there to build a Facebook ad agency? Probably not. You could expand that to business in health and wellness – natural food stores, yoga studios, wellness coaches, acupuncturists, wellness retreats, spas, juice bars, etc.
Being hyper-focused in the beginning prevents you from seeing the potential around you, and it also puts you at risk if something happens to one industry you’ve built your business around. An example of this is how hard the tourism business was hit by COVID.
Being able to run ads for a diverse set of small businesses can help you stay in business.
Step 3: Determine your pricing
You can realistically charge your clients between $1,000-$2,000/month, with the average amount being $1,500/month. People who charge on the higher end generally have more experience, or they’re more comfortable asking for what the service is really worth. Yes, it’s actually worth $2,000/month, but brand new ads managers might not feel confident asking for that much.
You can charge more than $2,000/month if you’re doing more work for your clients, like email marketing, copywriting, or social media management.
Step 4: Find your first client
All you need to start is one client. Sure, you’re going to go big and expand beyond this one, but the reality is that all it takes is one to get you started. So how do you find that first client?
Here’s where you should start:
- Your inner circle: These are people you have personal connections with. Maybe old work contacts, people you know from college, your friends, family, and their friends and family. Reach out to people and let them know that you’re starting to run ads and that you’d love some referrals.
- Local Chamber of Commerce: A chamber of commerce is an organization designed to promote businesses in a community. As a small business owner yourself, you can get involved and network with other businesses in your area.
- Reach out to businesses in your niche. If there is a business owner in your niche that you’d love to work with – your favorite restaurant, the gym you work out at, where you get your haircut – send them an email and explain how you can help them grow their business with Facebook ads. Don’t forget to follow up a week or so later with another email.
But I’m just starting out, will anyone really pay me to run Facebook ads?
Sure, it is scary to put yourself out there knowing you might hear a “no,” but that’s a reality you’re going to have to get comfortable with. Not every business will want to pay someone to run ads, but spend some time listening to them and find out why. It helps you get better at selling yourself and your services.
Here’s a comment from one of our Facebook Side Hustle Course students. It’s a powerful reminder to trust the process, whether you’re on client 1, 2, 3, or 10.
Step 5: Start scaling your Facebook ad agency
There are three things you need to focus on now. They don’t need to be done all at once, but they’re equally important, so spend an hour or two each day working on these.
1. Ask your first client for a testimonial
As long as you’ve been an attentive ads manager and have brought in leads, your client should be willing to share their experience. Plus, word of mouth is a powerful thing when you’re growing your business, and your client realizes that.
You can ask for a video testimonial, filmed on a smartphone, or a written testimonial. If they do a written one, try to get a photo of the business owner. Putting a face with that voice can help potential clients build a connection.
2. Start a website
This link will take you to an article that teaches you how to start a blog for only $2.95/month. You can use a blog-type site for your business without actually blogging, but it gives you the flexibility to blog in the future if you want.
Your website doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should include:
- A little bit about who you are
- How you can help business owners through the services you offer
- Your contact information
3. Start an email list
A WordPress site (suggested in the link above) has a free plug-in contact form. Potential clients can fill this form out, an email is sent to you, and you capture their email address. Be sure to save that email address, even if they don’t end up working with you.
You also want to find an email service provider (ESP), which has list management tools that help you collect and send emails out to anyone on your list. ConvertKit has really strong features, and it’s free for lists under 1,000 subscribers.
MailChimp is another option, and the biggest draw is that it’s free if you have under 2,000 subscribers.
Once you have your ESP, set up an opt-in form on your site that encourages people to sign up for your email list. You’ll have more success if you present them with an offer, which can be as simple as “10 Reasons Facebook Ads Will Work for Your Business.”
This email opt-in from Millennial Money Man isn’t even offering a freebie, but it does promise future emails about a specific topic.
Not everyone who signs up for your email list will turn into a client, but it can help you grow your client roster because you’re reminding people of who you are and what your Facebook ad agency can do for their business.
To do this, get on a schedule of sending emails out every week or two. You can share all kinds of things in your emails:
- An ad that did really well for one of your clients
- A new digital marketing tip you learned and can’t wait to share
- Mistakes that turned into successes
Catch them with a great email subject line, be genuine, and engage with your list.
Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Side Hustle Course and see how it can help you start your Facebook ad agency. We have a number of students who have grown their agencies to bring in an extra $5,000/month. There’s even a small handful who’ve hit $10,000/month!
One of the things our students love most about the course is our online coaching and support community. There are weekly coaching calls and hot seats with the course creators, plus lots of love and support from other Facebook marketers.
Step 6: Work on the day-to-day management of your agency
The final part of learning how to create a Facebook ad agency is keeping up with it. Sure, this is a no-brainer, but if you’re new to entrepreneurship, there is a bit of a learning curve. You’re used to being told what to do, and now you’re on your own.
Find tools that help you run your business
Asana is a project management tool that we use to run this business. It’s great for teams or individuals, and you can use it to create a schedule and build out ads for your clients. Here are a few more options:
- Trello is another really popular project management tool
- Dropbox is good for storing files
- Loom is something we use for recording videos – sometimes helpful when you’re trying to explain something to one of your Facebook ad clients
- CloudApp does screen recordings, screengrabs, and more
- Slack is a way for teams to keep in touch with one another – keep this in mind as your agency grows
What’s nice is that many of these tools are free for the purposes you’re using them for, and if they’re not free, some have free trials, so you can test them out before you decide which you want to use.
Create a system that can be duplicated
Okay, this one is huge, and it can take a little time to nail down. See, as you begin taking on more clients and creating more ads, you’ll want to figure out a system that you can use over and over again. This not only increases your efficiency, but it will also help when you’re ready to outsource work (more on this in a second).
Here’s how you’re going to create a system for your Facebook ad agency:
- Identify all the things you do to run your business. This is how you find clients, your onboarding process, creating ads, billing clients, answering emails, handling your business taxes, etc.
- Break each activity down. What software are you using for each task? Is there anyone else involved? What are the exact steps you take to complete each activity?
- Find the friction and eliminate it. Are you wasting time on something? Are you using the right tools? Are there unnecessary steps? Are your strategies bringing in results? You are taking a critical look at what you’re doing and whether or not it’s working. Make some theories about what is and isn’t working, and then brainstorm ways to improve your system.
- Test your new system. Spend some time trying your new system – give it a good chance – and keep track of how you’re doing. Remember it takes time to get used to something new.
- Evaluate and improve. Did your new system meet your expectations? Are you being more productive? Has it increased your leads? Are your Facebook ad clients seeing better results? If it’s not working, then tweak it and try again.
Once you’ve found something that works, you’re going to work smarter.
Outsource when it’s time
Every new entrepreneur goes through this period where they need to outsource, but they’re afraid to for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it’s about the cost and the fact that you think that no one can do your job as well as you can. This is why your system is so important – you’ve created something that can be replicated.
But outsourcing, more often than not, helps you focus your energy on what you do best, which is running Facebook ads! Hire a virtual assistant to handle your billing and do inbox management. Hire an accountant to do your taxes. And when you’re ready, hire someone else to run ads with you.
You can even hire experts in different areas to do things you’re just not good at. For example, that’s exactly why we’ve got a web designer, SEO guy, and copywriter that we outsource too. They’re better than us, and it helps us create a more valuable business overall.
The final word on how to create a Facebook ad agency
You’ve just learned how you go from the basics – learning how to run Facebook ads – and then growing from there. You’re expanding your knowledge, finding clients, expanding your client list, and then maybe your team and the services you offer.
This kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight, but because it only takes 2-3 hours a week to run Facebook ads for one client, you can realistically grow your agency outside of your full-time job or other responsibilities.
You’ve got to put in a little work every day to make it happen, but the fact is that it can happen.