Learning how to run Facebook ads for clients can be super intimidating for some. There is new terminology, new technology, and clients are placing part of their ad budget in your hands. Oh, and you’ll also need to find clients before you can really run your own mini digital ad agency.
The good news? Once you get it, you get it!
Running Facebook ads is a skill that can transfer to small companies and local businesses in a variety of niches. It’s also a super profitable side hustle, bringing in $1,000-$1,500 per client if you work at it.
Sound like something you’re interested in learning? This short guide to learning how to run Facebook ads for clients will get you started in the right direction.
But first, a little terminology for your notebook
To help you with some of the concepts discussed further down in this article, here are a few key terms to learn:
Business Manager is going to be your tool of the trade when you’re running ads for clients on Facebook. Business Manager is designed for two different types of groups:
- Companies that have a lot of different things going on in the background and need to hand out lots of different permissions to a lot of different people.
- People who have their hands in a lot of different permissions for a lot of different companies, like Facebook ad managers and advertisers.
Business Manager allows you to keep all of your clients separate, which includes separate billing information, ad data, pages, and more.
This nifty tool is located within Business Manager and, once you’ve created an ad account for a business, will be your bread and butter for running advertisements for a client.
Facebook has a very useful snippet of code you can post on websites outside of Facebook. This snippet is something called the pixel. The pixel can track activity on your site and be customized for specific events, like “left cart” and “got to purchase page.” You can then use these audiences that the pixel collects to create new ad sets. It also takes out some of the guesswork that Facebook has to do when it’s trying to bid on ad space for you, which in theory should optimize your spend and targeting.
While installing the pixel and using it isn’t necessary for running ads, learning more about it and how to use it is strongly suggested. The pixel basically creates free data for you to use so that your ads are more relevant and cheaper to run. Learn it, live it, love it. In fact, read Facebook’s help file on the pixel because they have some great advice.
Business Manager navigation bar:
The nav bar is going to be the main way you switch between clients, businesses, ad accounts, pages, and settings (which includes payment information). This is also where you find your reports and can see more in-depth information that will help guide more ads in the future.
The nav bar is important stuff that you’ll need to learn like the back of your hand. Go click around. Don’t worry, as long as you don’t change anything, you won’t break anything!
How to run Facebook ads for clients in 5 simple steps
You know the terms, and now it’s time for the good stuff. Remember, this isn’t an all-inclusive guide – the goal is to show you how easy it is to get started.
Step One: Training
This step isn’t only to remind you that Laptop Empires has its own Facebook Side Hustle Course that legit teaches you everything you need to know about Facebook ads. That’s only half true – you will need some kind of upfront training to really get Facebook advertising right, no matter where that comes from.
Think about it this way: you’re going to make mistakes (everyone does). Training upfront will help you avoid the worst of the worst mistakes. These kinds of mistakes are the kind that ticks off your client and can really drag your morale down.
Remember that you’re playing with money here, and most of the time, that money isn’t yours. Take the time to learn how to run Facebook ads for clients before you waste their money and your time.
At the very least, check out Facebook’s resources for Facebook advertisers. They recently rebuilt their guide, and it’s pretty sturdy and intuitive, and you can start digging into it below.
Here are a few things to pay close attention to:
- Ads: This section is huge and comprehensive. Start at the top and work your way down. Short on time or just feeling a little curious? Read the Lead Generation, Placement, Reach, and Audiences sections.
- Fundamentals: Read all of the sections in this area, but start with their Beginner’s Guide. This is even a great place for experienced ads managers to learn something new.
- Optimization: The optimization section might stump you a little, but it’s all very important. Knowing how to respond to bad ads or increase the successfulness of good ones is key in learning how to run Facebook ads for your clients. This is the core of becoming a good Facebook ads manager. This section even goes over bid strategies, how ads are delivered, and has a brand spanking new troubleshooting section.
- Oh, and read about the pixel while you’re at it.
Whether you take the Facebook Side Hustle Course (psst – it’s way easier than reading all of this information) a different course, or actually do put on your reading glasses and blow through the Facebook information, you need training. Start there.
Step Two: Get close and intimate with Facebook Business Manager
The first part of this step is determining whether your client has their page in Business Manager or not. This is not the same as running boosts! Sometimes people think that a page that has run boosts has set up Business Manager. This is not true. The easiest way to determine if your client has Business Manager or not is to ask this question:
Do you have to go to business.facebook.com to access your Facebook page?
If the answer is yes, then tell them to add you.
Protip: while Business Manager has multiple permissions on multiple assets (page and ad account, for example), it’s way, way easier for your client to just add you as an admin across the board by following these instructions:
- Log in at business.manager.com and use the nav bar to get to Business Manager Settings.
- Go to the People tab.
- Click the GIANT blue button that says “Add New People.”
- Have them enter your email address.
- Next to your email address, have them assign your email the role of Business Manager Admin.
- Click save.
If the answer is no, you’ll need to teach them how to set up Business Manager. However, you should have a solid understanding of Business Manager yourself before trying to give someone else instructions. Otherwise, you will wind up running in circles a bit if your client is not tech-inclined.
Here’s the easiest way to teach your clients how to set up Business Manager:
- Have the person who is going to be the first admin set up an account at business.facebook.com. Don’t do it for them with your profile! The best choice here is to let them set it up themselves. They can screen share with you, but don’t do it for them.
- The setup prompts are easy. Have them enter their business info and follow the prompts.
- Follow the instructions above now that they have Business Manager.
- Again, it’s best that they make you an admin; this means you can assign yourself assets (Facebook’s instructions here), and create an ad account if you need to.
PS – you’ll need them to enter their credit card information there too so that ad-spend comes out of their account (or your own, if that’s how you do business).
Seem complicated? That’s because it is. The learning curve is steep, but once you’ve figured it out, it will get easier, promise.
Step Three: Get organized
Once you have clients, you’ll be surprised about how demanding they can be (meant lovingly of course). Staying on top of ads is going to be a constant priority. You’ll need to monitor performance, make sure you’re not neglecting anyone in particular, make sure ad-spend is on point, make sure you didn’t leave the baby in the bathtub, remember to eat and feed the dog…
Part of learning how to run Facebook ads for clients is learning how to balance life and the job you’re doing for your clients. That’s side hustle life at its core. While sometimes life definitely gets in the way, and most clients are very understanding of that, they still expect you to communicate with them and make sure they’re getting their money’s worth from your services.
To get and stay organized, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I need to get done every day?
- What do I need to get done every week? (Do any of those tasks need to be addressed today?)
- What do I need to get done TODAY?
Make sure you designate certain days of your week for certain tasks. Maybe one day you write your reports and send them out. Maybe on a different day you tweak issues. Maybe you check your emails twice a day at certain hours. Whatever your process, define it.
It’s possible that a lot of people get used to having their days defined for them because of typical 9-5 job stuff. But when you start running Facebook ads for other people and companies, you’re going to see that you have to manage your OWN time. It’s kinda fun. And kinda not. So get the kinda not part out of the way whenever you can, and get it done first.
For workflow management, Asana is an awesome tool that’s free for basic users. It’s actually what the Laptop Empires team uses, and you can read more about it here: Asana Review: Project Management For Your Online Business. It takes a minute to learn, but our friends at MoneyLab created an in depth course for using Asana, especially for bloggers!
Trello is another free app that is also designed to get you a nice looking workflow to your day, week, and general processes, like onboarding new clients.
Don’t neglect the organizational aspect of learning how to run Facebook ads for clients – you’ll want to set this kind of thing up way before you think you need it.
Step Four: Find yourself some clients in your chosen niche
This should be pretty obvious, but it’s gotta be said. You need clients to make money, and you need to make money to keep getting more clients. There are a couple of ways to do this, and one of the first ideas is to start asking around in your inner circle to see if anyone might need your assistance. You’ll probably be surprised at who pops up!
But, this next part is going to be even more important…
Choosing a niche
There are a lot of businesses out there and there are certainly a lot of businesses that need your help, but one of the things you need to do is narrow down your expertise. Although all ads are basically the same, certain things work for certain industries.
An ad for a new book isn’t going to be the same or have the same information as an ad for a dentist, but Facebook ads work well for both types of clients.
A chiropractor isn’t going to have a free appetizer offering (gross). Likewise, you won’t get an adjustment from a local brewery (maybe that would be okay?).
Similarly, a veterinarian office looking for new canine patients and one looking for feline patients won’t even necessarily have the same kind of ad, even if you could argue that they fall into the same niche. Psychology Today even talks a little about the personality difference between cat and dog owners. Personality differences often mean different offers work on them.
If there’s such a big difference between cat and dog owners and the offers you might run for a vet’s office, then what do you think the difference between trying to sell a book (a product) vs. trying to sell a message (a service) is going to be?
Spoiler: the difference is astronomical, and the more narrow your niche, the more likely you’ll be able to learn how to nail ads for your clients, which means more money in your pocket.
Quick course plug here: niches and choosing the right kinds of clients are covered in detail in the Facebook Side Hustle Course. But, if you’re just learning how to run Facebook ads and aren’t sure which direction to head in, choose a few niches and see what you like best. Not everyone will like selling high-end services, and not everyone will like trying to get people to pick up a Pikachu plush. Play around, see what works for you.
How to acquire clients
Here are just a quick few ways to find clients for Facebook ads:
- Talk to people you know. Post a few posts on Facebook telling your friends and acquaintances that you’re looking for clients. You might be surprised who pops up or knows someone who could use your help. Your inner circle wants the best for you, and they’ll often do what they can to see you succeed, so these are the best folks to call on.
- Network with people in your niche. Do you want to run ads for massage therapists? Find yourself some groups of massage therapists and see if they might be interested in partnering. This works really well for all sorts of niches.
- Your local chamber of commerce. Often, local chambers are a GOLDMINE for clients. These close-knit groups often depend on each other for work first before looking outside of the group, even if they don’t know you. See what your chamber has to offer.
Step Five: Hustle, baby, but not alone
Gonna stress this last point hard…
You can’t do it by yourself.
You might be tempted to try, but it’s a lot of work. Learning to run Facebook ads, finding clients, managing your workload, etc., etc., etc. can feel like a lot when you’re not surrounded by people working at the same thing. Seriously, going at it alone isn’t an easy approach. In fact, most side hustles fail, so ganging together will already put you ahead of the game.
So, find your tribe and dig in.
If you decide to take the Facebook Side Hustle Course, you’ll be invited to join a group of pretty amazing people that will keep you in check, answer your questions, laugh and cry with you (no, seriously – this happens). If you’re not in that side hustle group, here are a few other places you can look for support:
- Get a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been in your shoes and walked a couple of miles in them. They pass on sound advice that comes from similar experiences. A mentor can be a friend or a family member, but more often than not, mentors come from your own efforts. If you admire someone, ask them to help you.
- Find more people doing what you’re doing. Solopreneurs love talking to others who are doing the same thing. This is an especially beneficial relationship if you both have some advice to share. These tribes can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, online forums, and even in person peer groups through websites like MeetUp.
There you have it. Five ways how to run Facebook ads for clients. Now get going – you got this!