Facebook Advertising, Entrepreneurialism & Managing Stress with Rick Mulready

  • Becoming an entrepreneur often takes work. If you’ve fallen into your own business and need help owning your new entrepreneurial endeavor, that’s totally ok.
  • A coach is a brilliant investment to help you work on you as an entrepreneur.
  • The imposter syndrome is real for all entrepreneurs. “Who the heck am I to do this?” is a common question and a barrier to break through. Flip the script on this and ask, “Who am I not to do this?”
  • Facebook Ads are still the most cost effective and efficient social media advertising platform available today.
  • A successful Facebook Ad requires you to know your audience, to understand your offer, to create the right copy, to choose the right image, and more. You need to know the fundamentals of marketing!
  • If you’re just starting out in Facebook Advertising, start with just $10 a day for 7 days. Test it, see how it works. Then run another one for $10 a day for 7 days. Compare those results. Keep testing until you find something that connects, then put money into it.
  • You need to remember the full funnel tied to your ad. Remember to think all the way through your funnel to ensure the messaging remains consistent throughout. This consistency is what is necessary if you want higher conversion rates.
  • When you’re going for a conversion-based campaign, the algorithm wants you to go after a larger reach.
  • You need to allow your ads to run for at least 3 days for the algorithm to figure out your ad. This is part of the “learning phase.”
  • To be in this space, showing up on camera is important. And being consistent is important.
  • Anxiety is a real thing when showing up on camera, and even when running your own business. It takes a lot of work to keep it under control!
  • Remember that what you’re doing is offer help to those who need it. Use that focus to put your ego in check and keep perfectionism at bay.

Paid advertising is an art. You don’t need to start out with a lot of money, but you do need to test it and commit to it. Those who commit are the ones who succeed. And remember that commitment doesn’t require perfection. All you need to do is commit and follow through on a consistent basis. Get your stuff out there!

  • A bit about Rick’s path to online advertising – 06:40
  • The accidental entrepreneur – 14:23
  • Why Facebook Ads is the right thing right now for Rick – 18:37
  • What most people get wrong in Facebook Ads – 21:16
  • You can advertise on Facebook for very little money up front – 25:37
  • The best part of Facebook Ads – 30:00
  • Facebook Ads are part of a larger process – 35:13
  • Facebook’s AI: “The Learning Phase” – 41:32
  • Perfectionism, life on camera, and more – 45:15
  • Getting personal is hard, but worthwhile – 55:16
Transcript below


Hello, and a super-warm welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. I hope wherever you are in the world, you are having a great week. Actually, saying that has reminded me … Because, this week, I was talking to one of my listeners on Facebook Messenger, and she was asking me whether I knew what kind of split I had between the UK and America.

And I wasn't sure, because actually I wasn't sure where I could find that kind of information. And she really kindly put me in touch with a friend of hers that knows a bit about podcasts, and also was able to give me a link to somewhere where I could see the kind of breakdown I had. It was so cool, I have to say, to look at it and see that I'd got people listening in America, Australia, obviously here in the UK. It's just so nice to think that you put some content together, you work really hard on it, and you want people to hopefully take in that content, appreciate that content, and that it benefits them in some way, that they would listen.

So, I am so very grateful that you have decided to pick up this podcast and listen to it. I really do appreciate you being here, and I really hope that you have been enjoying the interviews that we've been doing so far. So far this month, we have had Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield, which, as I said last week, are like kind of dreams come true for me. And it's funny, I did an Instagram post in the week, where I said that success was like buses, that you get nothing for ages, and then everything comes along at once. I am not complaining, I am just blown away recently about some of the amazing things that have happened.

One of those things is that I've been invited to do a TEDx talk, which is amazing, because this has been on my vision board since I had a vision board, actually, along with lots of other places that I want to speak at. But a TEDx talk was always near the top of the list, because for me it has real experts. I find TED talks fascinating, I find the people that do them really polished, and the fact that I've been allowed to do one is crazy.

Now, I am terrified, by the way, and I'm trying to put together the presentation for it. I am panicking and having self-doubt, and impostor syndrome at every single slide that I am doing, because it's something huge, and I want to make it really good, and I want people to love it. Also, I know that doing a TEDx talk is an amazing opportunity, but I look at that for every opportunity I get. I think to myself that I want to be the best I can possibly be, or do the best I can possibly do at every single thing that I'm asked to do or invited to do. So, even though TEDx is really high on my list, I think I would care just as much about the smaller things as well. But I do really want this one to be really good.

Anyway, on with today's show. So, it's still September, which means I still have another interview for you, and this one is a really cool one. They're all cool. I wouldn't bring you anybody that wasn't cool, obviously. But I loved doing this one, and in fact the interview itself was done really late at night, because again, I think I mentioned before, lots of people I'm interviewing are in the States. So, it was about 10 o'clock at night by the time I started the interview, and I got off, and I was buzzing, because, you know when you do something, you think, “I loved that. Every single minute of it, I thought was brilliant.” And I'm really hoping that you're going to think the same.

So, this week, I have the pleasure of introducing the amazing Rick Mulready. Now, I found Rick through Amy Porterfield some years ago, as he is Amy's go-to Facebook ad person. Now, Rick has been in the online marketing space for 18 years, and is an industry-leading authority on how to simplify Facebook ads, and that's one of the things I love about Rick. He has this amazing ability to take something that could be quite technical and complicated, and make it so simple and straightforward, and give you the ability to walk through it, step by step. He also is the host of a popular podcast called The Art of Paid Traffic, and they've just gone past their 200th episode.

So, Rick really is an amazing font of knowledge about Facebook ads. In this podcast, we talk about how Rick got to do what he does. We had a chat about what he loves about Facebook ads, and quite frankly him and I were really geeking out about numbers, and how cool Facebook ads are, and what they can do for your business. And then we had a really interesting chat about him and how he deals with not only anxiety, but perfectionism, when we're in a business where you put yourself on camera, and effectively leave yourself open to be criticised and judged. I really hope you enjoy this episode. I thought it was a great one.

I won't wait any further, and I will introduce the awesome Rick Mulready. Rick, I am so happy to welcome you here on this episode of the podcast. I am so excited to have you with me. Welcome.

I'm honoured to be here, thanks so much for having me, Teresa.

I have been really lucky that I've seen Rick talk. I've followed him for quite some time, and I remember seeing you, or hearing you, more likely, on Amy's podcast, and thinking to myself, and I was driving … It was one of those moments when you're like, “I haven't got a pen, I need to remember this guy's name.” Because you were just talking so much sense, on a subject that, A. I haven't really found anybody who was really good at it, or said it in a way that we could understand. So, yeah, I found you really quickly, and I followed you, and I've loved your stuff ever since.

Thank you. I really appreciate that.

No worries, but, for my audience, if they haven't come across you before, and I have mentioned you … In fact, really quickly, I did a talk at Converted in Minneapolis last year for lead pages, and you were in my presentation. Because-

That's right too, you mentioned that to me. Thank you- [crosstalk 00:06:36]

Yeah, remember that. Yeah, I name-dropped you there, and I know I've name-dropped you before, but if my audience haven't heard of you, Rick, tell me a bit about how you got into doing what you're doing, and how you got here today.


A bit about Rick’s path to online advertising


Yeah, so, I come from a corporate background. I was in online advertising for … How long was I doing that? For 12-and-a-half years, before I left the corporate world. So, I started back in, I like to call them the Wild West days of the Internet, where … I started back at AOL, on the East Coast of the States here, and I was in the online … the advertising [inaudible 00:07:12] operations team. So I started out as somebody who implemented all the ad deals that the sales team were selling, and then, pretty quickly, I was managing the team. So, I was one of the managers for a couple of people, and then it progressed from there, and then before I knew it, it was me and one other guy who were managing about 40 people, total.

And so that was my first sort of introduction, if you will, to online advertising. And this is still back in the days where, when I first started, I remember, they were still sending out those discs, the AOL discs, with the annoying connection sound and everything like that.

And so, this was a lot, too, before there was any kind of regulation or standardisation of advertising, so I just got to see things really early on. Also, way back when things were just measured by click-through rate. That was it. It was just like, that was the measure of success. Like, “How was the click-through rate?” I was at AOL for five years, then I moved out here to the West Coast, I worked for Yahoo for a couple of years, worked for Funny or Die for about a year. And so, a lot of different companies in the online advertising space, over about a 12-and-a-half-year period. And so, starting in 2000, and here we are in almost the fall of 2018, I've been doing this now for almost 19 years-


… in the online advertising space. And, obviously, I love this space, the whole world of online advertising and marketing is just … I love it, and I can talk about it for days. I've just seen so many different iterations of it, and also worked in so many different parts of it, from back in AOL, which was just like standard banner ads, and things got a little bit crazy when we were doing animated gifs, back then.

You're like, “I'm changing the world here.”

Exactly, and then when I was at Yahoo years later, then it was more like, we called it rich media, where there were interstitials, or things moving around the screen, and all that type of stuff, and search. Then, when I was at Funny or Die, this was a branded entertainment. So, these are big production videos that we partner with brands on, and stuff like that. And I did contextual advertising, another company.

So I've just kind of seen the whole gamut of online advertising and online marketing, and what works for big brands and what the accessibility, I guess you'd call it, for small businesses. And that was really the reason, or that was a reason why I got into Facebook ads, was because I was at these big corporate jobs and companies, working with and for some of the biggest brands in the world, but I was also, number one, I was starting to get an itch of, “I want to do something else. I want to do my own thing, I want to get out of corporate.”

I didn't really know what that was, but, this was around 2010 or so, I was seeing what was happening on Facebook, and I was seeing the ability for small businesses to market themselves, on a platform that wasn't costing them a lot of money. And so, because of my advertising background, I gravitated towards the advertising side of Facebook, and I dove in. In 2010, I said, “You know what? I need to figure out something. I want to leave the corporate world. I don't know what that looks like, I don't even know what … I've never been an entrepreneur, I've never … running my own business or anything like that.”

But, I knew I had this itch to do something like that, and so I said, “You know what? This is what is right in front of me right now, from a Facebook ads perspective. Let's try it out.” And so I dove in, started teaching myself, started running some campaigns. I ran some campaigns for friends. And so, long story short is, I left the corporate world in 2012, in the fall of 2012, fumbled around for 15 months, had no idea what I was doing, and then finally got some coaching, got some direction, in January 2014, and started the business that I have now. We've been growing over the past … almost five years now, because we're at the end of August here, so a little over four-and-a-half years, and things have been awesome. It's been an amazing ride.

That's so cool, and actually one thing that I find really interesting, because your story is fairly similar, in a sense, that I came from corporate as well. And in fact I was listening this morning to … I don't know whether you know Carrie Green, she's Female Entrepreneur Association.


I was just listening to her audiobook, and she was saying, “From a really young age, I'd started my own business.” And then I was listening to something from James Wedmore the other week as well, and he was saying the same, and I was thinking, “Do you know what, I never did.” I don't know about you, but I never had the inclination at all for a long time.

Yeah, I was just talking about this this morning with somebody else. Like, I don't come from an entrepreneurial family.


My dad was an auto mechanic, my mom, when I was growing up, was a paediatric nurse, and then later a children's librarian, so I don't come from that entrepreneurial background. However, when I was a young kid, I was best friends with a kid in my neighbourhood who did have that entrepreneurial kind of … He wanted to do his own thing, and so we used to do … I recently told my wife this, she was like, “That's the weirdest thing ever.” We used to dig up dirt, and sift it, in like wire mesh.


And we used to put in little Ziploc bags, and take it around to homes in the neighbourhood, and sell what we called “sifted sand”. And we would position it like, this was great to grow plants in, you know?


We always got the pity dime from people, but they were just throwing it in the trash right after that.

And it didn't take off, Rick? I don't understand.

It did not take off. No, we did not end up selling that business or anything like that.

It's really weird.

We would hold magic shows at his house, and we would invite neighbourhood kids. They would have to pay to come, or I remember we would do Halloween haunted houses in his basement, invite neighbourhood kids. But, even though I was part of these little entrepreneurial ventures that we were doing, it wasn't driven from me. These were driven from him. You know, as I think back on it now, it's like, yeah, that could play a little bit, like, that's what it's like to do our own thing. But these were definitely coming from him, and he's since gone on to … He's started his own business and done really, really well for himself. But, for the most part, the entrepreneurial stuff, I don't come from that type of … My family was not that, from the entrepreneurial side.

So, I don't know, I think it's just more of, I've always been one to want to do my own thing. I grew up in New Hampshire, went away to school in Virginia, so I went away 500 miles from home-

Oh my goodness.

And then, lived in Virginia for 15 years, then moved out to the West Coast and all my family is in New Hampshire. And so, I've always been that adventurous, want to do my own thing, but, at the same time, I just don't really know where it came from. I just want to do my own thing, want to create and work on things that I want to work on, and serve people in a greater way.


The accidental entrepreneur


Yeah, that's awesome. I was thinking about calling myself like, “The Accidental Entrepreneur” or something, because, and I don't know about you, for a long time I couldn't even call it myself. To see myself as an entrepreneur, it wasn't even a word that entered my head, because I was just doing what I guess I'd always done, but doing it for myself, rather than doing it for a business. So, I think it's really interesting, and actually you and I had a conversation when we did meet in San Diego, about coaching. So, it's interesting that you said you got your coach, because I actually asked you a question about, “Would you pay for a coach? Do you think you should have a coach?” and you said to me, “Everyone should have a coach.”

100%, yeah.

And actually, I'm not blaming you for this, Rick, but I'm just saying that I now have a coach, who I love, and is amazing, and yeah, and she's awesome, and I get it, and I see it. But, actually, one thing that I think I love having about a coach, and maybe this has helped you as well, is that I needed the help on me and working on me as an entrepreneur, rather than … I didn't need the help doing marketing or social media, because that's what I knew how to do. You know, I was the technician in the business, whereas I needed the help stepping out into being that entrepreneur person.

Totally, and one of the first few things I'll never forget. So, my first coach was James Wedmore, and I'll never forget-

That's not bad for a first coach, is it?

Yeah, he's pretty good. I shouldn't say that, he's the second coach. He was the one, though, that really helped me take things off, or helped me to get things off and running quickly, in January 2014. But I remember sitting down with him the first time, and he said, “Well, why do you think you've not made any money since you left the corporate world?” That was 15 months, you know. In almost a year and a half, I really hadn't made hardly any money, and I said, “I don't know.”

Like, I'm just sitting here, and I'm just trying to think about this, and James is very good at not telling you the answer, but leading you to the answer, and you figure it out yourself. And like, “Why haven't I made any money? I don't know. Oh, I haven't sold anything, or I have nothing to sell.” And he's being, “Okay, cool.”

And then, so, once we realised that, talking about it, like working on yourself, the second thing was … and so he said to me, I'll never forget, he said, “If you were to teach me one thing right now, if you could help me do one thing in my business right now, what would it be?” I was like, “Oh, Facebook ads.” And he was like, “Boom, done.” He was like, “Okay, cool. Why aren't you doing that on a greater scale?”

And my thing was, was, who am I to be teaching Facebook ads? This is January 2014, so a little over four-and-a-half years ago, and there's Mari Smith and Amy Porterfield, who you've had here on the show. I was like, “These amazing people are teaching it, who the heck am I to be doing it?”

Yes, I had a corporate online advertising background, and know the online marketing space inside and out, but, in my mind it was different when it came to my own business. So those were the first two things I needed to overcome. Number one, I needed something to sell, and number two, I had to get over the fact that, why not be, like, “Who am I not to be teaching this stuff?” It's a great point that you bring up as far as why having a coach, or one reason why having a coach, is so important.

It's really awful that we doubt ourselves like that, but, like you said, I think in industries where … and in our industry, boy, there are a lot of people. Every man and his dog does social media. And you look at these other people, and, like you said, you think, “They're doing it, I don't need to do that.” And what was interesting actually, it's funny you should bring Mari up, is, when I first started, Mari was one of the go-to people, and I went and did some training with her, and bought an online course or whatever it was. And yet, when you came along, I suddenly went, “Oh, that's different.” And actually, I really liked what you were saying. I really liked your style.


Why Facebook Ads is the right thing right now for Rick


So, if you had sat there and said to yourself, “Oh, Mari's doing it, I'm not going to do it,” I'm not saying there's anything wrong with what Mari's doing at all, it was just you said it differently. You might have done it differently. Was there ever any thought that you might choose something else? I am a huge Facebook ads fan, I much prefer it over Google ads, I much prefer it over … I've done a bit of LinkedIn, I didn't think that was very good, I've tried Twitter, didn't think that was very good, so Facebook ads for me is really big, I love it. Was there any doubt that you would pick that over something else?

No, not up to this point, and I answer that way, because who knows what it's going to be in two years or three years from now?


There could be something else that comes along, and, yes, I'm known as the Facebook ads guy, if you will, but at the same time, my gift, that I've realised that I have, that I've no idea where it came from, but I just … It's kind of my superpower, is, I'm able to break down complex things and simplify them for people, and say, “Look, this is why it's important, this is what you do, and this is how you go implement it in your business, and how it's going to help you.” Facebook ads are a big, complex thing to so many people, but, with that said, who knows what it's going to be in two years? It might be a platform that's not even around right now, and the ability to market yourself on that platform is amazing.

Okay, cool, so my whole goal is to help and impact as many online experts and Facebook ad managers and help them grow their businesses, so that they're able to help so many other people and their customers as well. And so, if that's better done by another platform down the road, then I'm going to break that down for people and show them how to simplify that and use that in their business. But, up until now, no, it's been all Facebook, and at this point now, I group Instagram into Facebook, from an advertising perspective-[crosstalk 00:20:12]

Yeah, absolutely.

I group it in together. And for the past … so, I've been doing Facebook ads now for over eight-and-a-half years, it is still by far the most cost-effective and efficient platform to be marketing your business on. Even though costs have gone up, yes, it's been more expensive, it is still hands-down the most cost-effective and efficient platform. Like I said, if something changes in two years, and whatever that might be, we'll be ready for it, but it's not changing right now.

And I think, as well, the skills that you're putting into building a Facebook ad. I know that you'll talk about the fact that you've got to know that audience, you've got to understand who they are, because if you don't, then that is like, first hurdle, you've just fallen. And then things like, when you're putting the ad together, what language you're using, what imagery you're using. What are you saying to that audience, where actually, should you be saying something different? And I think the actual technical bit of it, which is, obviously you have a really good skill of teaching it, if you had to take those skills, you could easily transform them to a different programme, or a different platform, if it became the platform to be on.


What most people get wrong in Facebook Ads


It's what most people get wrong, if you will, when it comes to Facebook ads, because they think that the way to be successful on Facebook ads is how you set everything up and working Ads Manager. And of course that's important, yes, there's complete truth to that. However, to your point, Teresa, there is this whole foundation of marketing, right, like how do you understand your target audience, what is the offer? How are you positioning yourself, how are you communicating that?

That is the fundamental stuff that is going to be relevant in marketing your business, regardless of whether you're using Facebook ads or some other platform, Snapchat, whatever it is, that you've got to know the fundamentals, and you've got to … Don't skip those steps, because so many people just want to dive in, say, “Okay, I want to go do Facebook ads.” They dive in and start doing it, which I love, I love the action-taking, but, you've got to stop and make sure that you understand your target audience, understand what your offer is, how are you communicating it, and just what is the voice, what does the copy look like? That's fundamentals of marketing … I almost said, “farketing”. Marketing fundamentals, 101-

You've just invented a new word.

We did, we did.

Hey, that. We'll confuse everybody, they'll pay loads of money, because they won't know what you're talking about-[crosstalk 00:22:40]

Exactly. It's that bird.

Well, I can tell you, it's going to cost a lot of money.

Exactly, yeah.

Yeah, like you said, these are basics, and things that so many people either, A, don't give time to, or don't think are that important. You must see this a lot, and I see it a lot, that people just hit that Boost button and go, “Well, I did a bit of Facebook advertising, didn't really work for me, so therefore it's rubbish.”

Yeah, they have no strategy behind it. There's no strategy behind it, and a strategy is, how do I take somebody from not knowing who I am to becoming a paying customer? How do I take cold traffic and turn them into warm and hot traffic, if you will? Again, fundamental marketing stuff here. And most people, you're right, hit that “Boost post” button, and it does have its place, but most people are doing it just so that more people can see their stuff. That's the reason most people tell me. And, all well and good, but what's the strategy behind it? Why are you doing it? That's the most important thing.

Yeah, and you know what, if it's literally, you want eyes on it, then fair enough, I guess, if it doesn't matter which eyes. Not the best strategy, but if that's your objective, then you've hit your objective. But, if you want a much smarter objective underneath that, or you want it to do something specifically, then you need to think about it.

Yeah, exactly. If somebody says, like, “Look, I want to boost this post because I want more people to see it, and the reason for that is, because I'm building engagement audiences of people who are looking at my content, or viewing my posts on Facebook, so that I can retarget them with X, Y, Z offer,” okay, cool, now we have a strategy. But most people don't think through to that extent.

Yeah, yeah. So, because obviously you came from corporate, and as I did, I had huge budgets for marketing.Wouldn't you love that in your own business now? But, did you feel at any point that, or did you struggle with the transition to go from huge budgets down to teeny-tiny?

Because when a business is starting out, and I don't know about you, but if someone says, “I want to do Facebook ads,” I literally say to them, “Start on £5 a day for seven days, and test it.” Then, give another chunk, test it. Then another chunk, and then, when you start to realise what that's doing for you, then by all means, you can upscale as much as you like, but keep that budget low.” So, did you have trouble going from that mindset of, “I need a budget of this to have this,” or was it fairly easy?


You can advertise on Facebook for very little money up front


I actually didn't have any challenges there, and eight-and-a-half-years ago, this is only when, pretty much, they had the right-hand column ad, the little tiny image, and the costs were super-low. This is way before conversions or any of the objectives and stuff like that. This is like just driving traffic, and so the cost per click was so low that it was like, “All right.” Like, “We can do this really cheaply.” So, I didn't have a tough time transitioning with that, but that is one of the myths, is that people have to spend a lot of money in order to see results on their Facebook ads. Even with the increased cost, you still don't have to spend a lot of money … have to do it.

I'm actually not teaching a whole lot these days, of like $5 a day, just because the costs have gone up a little bit, and if you're looking for conversions, it really is about reaching as many people as you possibly can to give the algorithm time to and data to work with.

But, with that said, I would say, “If you're just starting out and your budget's low, 10 bucks a day. $10 a day, and run it for seven days and see what happens. You'll know pretty quickly, within a week's time, whether you're hitting on something.” And then, to your point, Teresa, exactly right. You just build from there, so that's the whole idea, is like, build the momentum, snowball from there. As you start to see results, as you start to see some revenue and profit coming in, just keep putting it back in your ads, and keep building from there.

I'm interested to know, do you think that you can intelligently predict what you can expect from an ad? Because, in my head, when people say to me, “Well, what would I expect for that?”, I kind of go, “How long is a piece of string?” There are so many variables to every single ad, even down to, is it a particular time of the month, is it Valentine's and everybody's trying to target men? What copy's on there, what image, what's your target audience? There are so many variables that if someone came saying, “I want to do this type of ad to these type of people, what could I expect?,” do you think you could intelligently go, “This is what you could expect,” or are you really like, “You've got to try it?”

I've been doing this long enough that I have somewhat of an idea of what one might be able to expect, but it all depends on so many things, like you mentioned. Like, what niche are they in, what are they marketing? Is it a free lead magnet, is it a webinar? Is it a video series, are you sending somebody to a direct sale that's inexpensive? You're right, what time of year is it? There's so many different factors there, but I could give a rough estimate to people, depending on how much information they're going to give me. But, with that said, people do want, like, “What can I expect?” Well, you just got to try it. You just got to test it out and see what … That's the thing, is that people try this out.

And, using the example that we just said, all right, if I want to do $10 a day for seven days, and if it didn't work, people throw their arms up and say, “Well, Facebook ads suck and they don't work.” Well, you only tested for $70, and you only tested for a week, okay? It's like, test something else, or change an element here, or … This is online advertising. The art of this whole thing, which is why I named the podcast The Art of Paid Traffic, is that it is an art. You've got to test different things to find out what works, and then from there, you keep going, but it's for people that are willing to do that, are going to win, right? But, again, you don't have to start out with a lot of money.

No, and I think that's kind of the beauty of it, isn't it, that, like you said, when I go in and speak to people about traditional marketing, print something, you just think, “Okay, so how much are you paying for someone to design it? How much is you paying for someone to put it in the magazine or the paper or whatever, and then, when do you decide that that doesn't work? Because by then, you've spent all your money, whereas with Facebook ads, the beauty of it is that, if something isn't working, once you've given a decent testing-bed time, you can turn it off.

You don't have to suddenly haemorrhage £5,000 on an ad, and go, “Oh, it didn't work all.” You can be working up to that, and then, obviously, the other thing that you can be doing, which I know that you advocate a lot, is split testing, and is-

Yeah, totally.

… is checking, and tweaking, and moving and just seeing what difference that makes to your ads.

Yeah, it's a puzzle, right, and you're trying to move the pieces around to figure out where the pieces fit together, meaning, like, okay, this is the target audience that we're going to start testing out. This is the offer that we're going to make, this is the image, this is the copy, and you're trying to find out what resonates the most with that target audience, right? And it is a game, and you've got to be willing to play the game if you want to be successful here.

Yeah, so I get really excited when we talk about Facebook ads. This is so sad, honestly, but like-

It's not sad, I can chat about this all day long.


The best part of Facebook Ads


When I talk about pixels and things, you literally see some people going, “What?” It's just like, “Uh?” And that blows my mind. I love how smart the world is now. From a marketer point of view, I like numbers, really love to get that funnel number and go, “Okay, the reach was this, the clicks were this, the conversions were this, the email opens, email clicks.” You know, I love to see those numbers. What bit of Facebook ads makes you proper happy? I know that's really sad. Like, what bit do you just love?

It's actually that, what you just described. I love looking at entire funnel and diagnosing where the breakdowns are. Like, I love looking … because what most people do is, they look at their Facebook ad, and they stop there. They'll say, “Oh, these are my stats for the ad, and then this is my landing page stat,” like the conversion landing page, and that's it.

Whereas, you've got to look at the entire funnel. You've got to look at the entire strategy here, and break down, “Okay, all right, yes, what are the stats for your Facebook ad? Okay, they're pretty good. Okay, cool. Now, your landing page is converting at 35%. Okay, awesome, not seeing any red flags here. What's the next step in your funnel?” And then the next step, and the next step, and looking at the entire thing to try to diagnose where the problem is, conical problem, and then what that's going to allow you to do.

It's like, “Okay, we need to hone in on this one area.” So, like a webinar funnel, for example, I love to look at that, because there's so many different factors that you've been looking at. You can have the greatest everything, but if people are only staying on 40% of your webinar, okay, there is a problem right there. Because, all the platforms these days tell you when people are dropping off, and it's like, “Oh, people are dropping off at the 40-minute mark,” or whatever. Then you can say, “Well, what's happening at the 40-minute mark? What am I talking about at that point? And so, I need to correct that.” I just love that whole thing.

I would say, a very close part two to this whole thing is, I love looking at the fundamental stuff we talked about earlier, and understanding, figuring out the target audience, and what types of offers can we make for that audience, and what is the strategy that we're going to use, and to test out, and to try to get them through the funnel? I love all that stuff, and, it sounds like, because, I … all day long. It's awesome.

And do you know what, it is awesome, and I know, I feel a bit geeky talking about being so excited about it. But I am genuinely blown away by the fact that we are in so much control of each step, and what's interesting is, people don't often think … like, I've had people come and go, “I want to do Facebook ads.” And I'm like, “Okay, so where are you going to send them?” And they're like, “Well, that doesn't matter.” And it's like, “No, no, no, that totally matters. If they're landing on a page, and that page does not resonate with what they're expecting, if that page does not have the same tone of voice, or the same branding, or have the same offer as the ad had, then it completely kill your funnel. You may have the best click-through rate in the world. However, your conversion rate is going to absolutely bomb.”

Yeah, and we, being so close to it and geeky and all that, we take it for granted. Like, “What do you mean, you don't know that?” My wife gets served all kinds of baby clothes posts and ads and stuff in Instagram, now, and she was showing me this super-cute little outfit … We're having a baby girl, and this super-cute little baby girl outfit, and so I clicked on it, because I was like, “Oh, I want to know a little bit more information.” And so, I clicked on it, and it took me to their entire product page.

It was like, I don't know how many, 30 different products on there, and I was like, “Wait a minute, wait. This is marketing 101.” I think it was, I don't know, a pair of little shoes or something like that. Don't take me from one promotion for this, or I should say a promotion for one thing, click on it, and then take me to a page where there's 60 things on there. I had to thumb through the whole page to find what I was … That's just the worst experience ever, that's 101, you know what I mean. It's just like, “Come on, guys, really?” This is basic stuff.

And I think if you want anybody to do anything, you've got to make it the most simple and straightforward process. I joke, which is really mean, that people are a bit lazy, and sometimes a bit stupid, and I don't know that people really are stupid, I just think their lives are going at 100 miles an hour now, and all you need to do is go, “I want you to do this, this is how to do it,” in the simplest form.

And, like you said, if you've then had to go and search through to find that same thing, any number of things could have stopped you from doing that. You could have looked at that page and gone, “I can't be bothered.” You could have got to that page, got distracted and had to come off. Anything. Whereas, if they just put it there straight away, or even better, moving forward and then looking at Messenger ads and things, if you can complete purchases through it, and stuff, wow, that's the way to do it.

And, being the marketing snob that I am, that was a complete turn-off, you know?


And even Amy, my wife, was just like, “Well, that's a bad user experience.”


Totally, it is. And like, for that reason, I did find them, and I looked at them, but I was just like, “This just didn't feel good.” It wasn't a good user experience. We were just like, “All right, we'll keep moving on here.”


Facebook Ads are part of a larger process


Yeah, and I love this, actually, Rick. What this is doing, I think sometimes when people talk about, “I'm an ad person,” or, “I'm a tech person,” or, “I'm a this person,” it's like they put themselves in this box, and some people don't think outside that box. They don't think. As an ad person, you could quite rightly, I suppose, not very morally, but you could go, “I've put together this ad, the ad is perfect,” and not think about, “Have they got the audience right, and what page am I sending you to?” And this is where you differ, this is where, when you are teaching Facebook ads and when you are talking about Facebook ads for business, it's a whole process, and the success of it has got to include that whole process.

It has to. I can't tell you how many conversations I have, and I always laugh when someone comes to me and says, you know, they're asking questions or whatever. And maybe asking them, like, “Why didn't you join my programme?” Or, “Why didn't you join my group?” Whatever it is, and that's generally how it happens. They're like, “Well, I'm an Advanced Facebook Partner.” Okay, cool. Well, you were obviously here, though, for some reason, and you're obviously looking for something, so I always take that as a challenge, to dig deeper.

Nine times out of ten, this happens so often, it comes back to exactly what you were just saying, Teresa, that it's the fundamental stuff, and it's just like, and I don't say this to them, because I'm a nice guy, but what I'm thinking, though, is, “Really? You call yourself an Advanced Facebook Marketer or Facebook advertiser and yet, the thing that's holding you up from getting success is because you don't truly understand that target audience, whether it's for your own business or for your client's business.”

Yeah, totally.

That's holding you up. Like, if you told me, “Oh, I couldn't scale my ads because I was trying this strategy,” that's a different story, but if you're telling me some basic fundamental stuff of marketing, that drives me crazy, because I want people to be thinking about that stuff before they even get into ads manager. You've got to have the basics done first.

And I did a great experiment, actually, and I think it was something that Amy suggested on Courses That Convert, where she talked about interviewing your ideal customer and getting on a Zoom call, and I recorded those Zoom calls, and I had them tell me what they needed, what they wanted, but then I asked them to use words like … I said to them, “How do you feel about that? How does that make you feel?”, or, “What do you think when you think of this?”, or, “when you need this?,” or, “How do you feel about your business?” Or, “How do you feel about the future? What would you want in the future?”

And I really dug deep into all those words, and I put together … I spent ages, actually, and it's one of the first big things I've done for me, and I always find it funny when you do stuff for yourself, it's always a bit different, isn't it? When you do it for other people, it's like, “Oh, I'm disjointed from that, so that's okay.”

I was putting together this lead magnet, and I had these checklists, and I spent a really long time on the ad, and in fact I recorded a video for the ad. I did a video of me stood there, introducing who I was and explaining what the lead magnet was, and encouraging them to obviously go and sign up. And then we did an image ad, so, no picture of me, just a picture of the checklist, and I've got a guy called Steve who works with me, who helps me with Facebook ads, and I kind of tell him to leave it to them, when it's my stuff. It's like, I don't want anything to do with it.

And we set these ads going, and we did a lot of split testing, and we were tweaking, and I spent a long time on the copy, trying to really get into the person we were talking to, and we managed … and I am blown away by this, I'm almost saying this just so that you'll say, “Oh, well done.” This is really sad. But I managed to get a conversion rate on a lead magnet of 39p.

Nicely done.

Honestly, I was like, “I can't even normally get a click-through rate of 39p, let alone a conversion rate.”


And then my lead page, my landing page, was a 68% conversion, like-


Honestly, I was blown away. But I spent the best part of easily a couple of months thinking and planning and working it out, and really like … like you said, the tech bit in the middle, I actually left most of it to Steve, and said, “Okay, put the ad together, but here's all the elements, and this is who we're targeting, and this is what I want to target.” But there's all those other things that, as you kind of build them all together, that's, I guess, for me, that's what made it as successful as it was. I wasn't expecting it to be that successful. In fact I was kind of gobsmacked, if I'm honest. I agree, I used a bigger budget, I think I was doing like £20 a day, and that's really interesting, because actually now that might make me think differently about saying, “You can start so low.”

Yeah, for a number of different reasons. Number one is, as I mentioned before, the algorithm, especially on a conversions campaign. It's all about reach, right? The greater number of people that you can reach, it gives the algorithm more data to work with, to find you those people who are going to be converting.

But, number two is, when you choose conversions as your objective, Facebook wants you to get somewhere between 35 and 50 conversions per week, per ad set. And so, if you are spending … then it becomes just a math game. You know, like, okay, if I need to get 50 conversions in a week, and … Let's just keep it really simple. If I need to get 35 conversions in a week, that means I need to get five conversions a day. And if my leads are costing me $5, well, I need to be spending at least $25 a day. Like, it's just a math thing.

And so, obviously figuring that out becomes much easier when you know what your lead cost roughly should be, and when people are starting out, they don't necessarily know that. They're like, “I have no idea how much the lead cost's going to be.” But that's just another reason why the platform has changed, and you do need to be spending a little bit more money, but again, you can be testing for the types of small budgets that we talked about earlier.


Facebook’s AI: “The Learning Phase”


But that's a really good point, and also they've got the new learning thing now, haven't they, where Facebook is learning, and it likes you to leave it. How do you feel about that?


Bit of a-

It's actually always been that way.


They've just labelled it now, like they've just called it the Learning Phase, when it was always going on in the background anyway, where you need to be leaving your … When you start your ads, you've got to let your ads run for at least three days, to let the algorithm, as I said, do its thing, right? You've got to get into the algorithm and the Learning Phase. They will be up there for, say, three to five days or so, again, depending on how many conversions that you're getting, if conversions are your objective. It's always been that way. They just labelled it now, and it's like, okay, they're calling it Learning Phase. So, whatever, it's fine. It did confuse a whole lot of people. They were like, “Wait, what does this mean? Why is this up there, is there something wrong?”

It's almost like now, they're encouraging you not to turn it off. It's almost like that is the thing that says, “Oh, if it's saying ‘Learning Phase', you can't turn it off, because we're still learning.” Whereas, like you said, it's always worth keeping it for a length of time anyway, because you knew it needed to … I kind of say, bed in or whatever, and wasn't really entirely sure what I was saying, but I knew it had to kind of sit around for a few days in order to understand what it was doing, before you could get some real results from it.

Yeah, totally, totally. It's there now, it's really always been doing that in the background anyway, they just labelled it now.

Yeah, they like to do these things, just to confuse us. Like they like to change things all the time.

They do.

Confuse the hell out of us.

Keep us on our toes.

Absolutely. Rick, I could talk about Facebook ads all day with you, but I know, I'm conscious of time, and there's a couple of other things that I want to talk to you about-


… I'll be finished, so we might have to have another specific Facebook ads-

That's cool, we can do that.

I just love this stuff. So, not long ago, you had 200 … was it 200? Episodes of your podcast.

Yep, yep.

Which is kind of cool, I have to say. When I hear these milestones of people, I just think, oh my gosh, I can't imagine getting to that point. And, in your 200th episode, you had Amy Porterfield, not Amy your wife, interview you, which is a common mistake people make. People say that. They get-

They do. I always have to clarify, “Amy, my wife. Not Amy, my work wife, Amy Porterfield.” For those who don't ever … if they've heard Amy on the show before, on this podcast here, Amy's one of my very closest friends, so I have to clarify which Amy I'm talking about a lot.

And that is a cool partnership, I have to say. You two are like a powerhouse of online digital marketing. So, she interviewed you for your 200th episode. You talked about things that were a little bit out of your comfort zone, you know-

Yes, they definitely were.

Excellent, coming on camera and talking about what you do and Facebook ads, but it always is a little bit terrifying putting you and yourself and your real self out there into the world. So, first off, congratulations on the fact that you're going to be a dad soon.

Thank you, thank you.

So cool, and very exciting, and your wife Amy is beautiful-

Oh, thank you.

So I can only imagine this little girl is going to be just an absolute gem, honestly.

I appreciate that.

So, yeah, and we were just talking before you came on that you are in a new office, because obviously the baby's having your office-

Yes, my office is converting. We're converting it slowly right now, but I need to get out of there. We've got three months left, we've got to get on this, yeah.

It really, really excites us, so huge congratulations on that.

Thank you.


Perfectionism, life on camera, and more


The other thing we talked about, which I just wanted to pick up on, was, in the episode, you mentioned the fact that you had had anxiety, and also that you had real issues with being a perfectionist, and I was fascinated to hear that, because, A. from an outsider looking in, and I know it's never that simple, but you're very confident on camera, you go on Insta Stories an awful lot, and have consistently gone on more than most people I would say, actually over time, when I've watched you and a lot of other people, you're the one that's consistently on, talking to camera all the time.

And I was just really interested in this, to how you manage to do that and also run your business, because perfectionism is probably one of the worst traits to ever have, especially if you're trying to run a business, because nothing is ever going to be perfect. So-

It's the enemy of growth, for sure.


We could talk about a whole episode about this stuff, here. First of all, I appreciate you saying that, about how I show up on camera. I've worked at it a lot. It's one of those things where I still have a hard time … I have an easier time getting up on stage in front of a thousand people and speaking than I do just grabbing my frigging phone here and hitting record on Insta Story, doing a story-[crosstalk 00:46:38]

I hear you.

I literally have a harder time doing that.

Isn't it weird?

It really is weird, and it's a different dynamic, I haven't quite figured that out. What I've learned, though, is that … And a lot of it's based on feedback from people, like hearing you say, “You're great on Insta Story, you're great on video.” I really appreciate that, and it makes it easier for me to, when I'm having those anxious moments of like, number one, I'm nervous to do this, number two, oh, that wasn't bad, I'm just going to keep deleting this 15 times until I get it right, you know?


It's hearing feedback from people, saying, “I love when you walk to Whole Foods.” And I'm like, “Really?” Like, that's the dumbest thing I've- [crosstalk 00:47:17]

How many times do you walk to Whole Foods, though?

Way too much, way too much, because I live like a block and a half from it. But people love it. They're like, “It's a insight into you.” And when you give tips and stuff like that, it's just like, what you were talking about earlier, like how I present things. So, people appreciate it, and so, for so many different reasons, number one, I know that I need to be doing it. I know I need to be showing up and serving the people. If I want to have as big a impact as I want to have, then I need to be doing these things, and I need to be, maybe not comfortable, but at least doing it, and showing up on camera. And so, has it gotten easier?

Yes. I have also started giving less of a crap when I do something like, last night, for example, my wife Amy and I walked up to Whole Foods, to get some food, and I was like, “I'm going to bring my phone, and probably just going to share this little thing.”

I saw it, and it was great.

The first time we did it, I was like, “That was super-dumb,” and I was like, “But I don't care, I'm going to put it out.” She's like, “Totally, then just do it.” But it's episodic, I have people commenting, they're like, “She's …” because I showed her pregnant belly and stuff. It was just little things like that, that people really enjoy seeing, so, just remembering that, that like, when I'm feeling nervous, when I'm feeling anxious or, this wasn't good enough, just getting it out there.

The perfectionism, look, we're all going to be judged, you know. I'm sitting here in this office, in the co-working space, people are judging me walking by, whatever. I can control that, it's natural, and we do it ourselves to other people. It's a subconscious behaviour, right, it's going to happen, so understanding that we're going to be judged, regardless of what we do. We're going to be judged when we just walk down the street, right. So, remembering that is going to make it easier to put our stuff out there. We're going to be judged. We also can't have an impact on people in the world, and do good things, if we're hiding. So, if we're going to hide and not play bigger than ourselves, if you will, we're not going to be able to do that. We're not going to be able to have an impact that we want to have.

As far as the anxiety goes, just in general, one thing that … and I literally didn't make this connection until this year, so, very later in my life. I finally sort of pieced it together, that I've had this sort of low-level anxiety throughout my entire life. I remember back in … I want to say it started in like seventh, eighth grade, and I started to worry about everything. I remember worrying … this sounds so stupid, I worried about worrying, because I made myself sick, and so I would worry, and like, “Oh, God, I don't want to feel like that, so I'm going to worry about that.” Which is just-[crosstalk 00:50:12]

Yes- [inaudible 00:50:12]

That doesn't work very well. And I remember my parents sent me to talk to … I grew up Catholic, and they sent me to a priest, to talk to about my anxiety, and my worry, and that didn't do a lot of good. And then things continued like that through high school, and then they got a whole lot better in college, but then, just basically throughout life it was up and down, it was up and down, like feeling better, and I would say, when I left the corporate world to do my own thing, things really accentuated. The anxiety really kicked in, because I'm like, “Wait, I'm not … I don't have a steady paycheck coming in. If I'm going to make money and support myself, I have to do it.”

And one thing I realised after a few years of that is that I have more job security now, having my own business, than when I was in the corporate world. Because I could show up on a Thursday, and they could be like, “Hey, you're done tomorrow.” And I'm like, “What?” Whereas, I control that now. And so, it has been a journey of dealing with that, and I went through some very dark times that … I think Amy and I talked about it on the podcast a little bit. I went through some really dark times, back like three years ago, in the business, where I was just not happy, and I'm like, “What am I doing? How am I going to …” Figuring this all out, and all that stuff, and I've worked very hard on it, and I have it much better under control.

It still pops up from time to time, for sure. It's something that's been part of my life for much of my life. I've realised it's not going to go away overnight, and I have coping mechanisms and stuff like that. It's so much better than it used to be. It's the whole cliché of, life is short. Be happy with whatever we're doing, or make sure that we're doing something that makes us happy, and being appreciative and gratitude, and being grateful for what we do have, and, I got a pretty good gig. Like, the business has done very well, and I am super-happy with, I have an amazing wife, we have a baby on the way, I live in San Diego, things are good, you know? I have nothing to be complaining about, and I have my health, and all that stuff.

That's nice.

So, I don't know if that answered your question. I kind of rambled there, but that's a little-

No, no, not at all.

My journey through that.

And I loved, actually, some of the things you said. The first thing that I really liked about that was that you talked about helping others, and actually, I think if we can come from a place of thinking, and actually, you want a business where you are genuinely helping others. Obviously, we all want to earn some money, and we want to be successful, but, actually, I think when I talk to you, Pat and Amy, and [Jasmine 00:52:57], all of you, and me included, as coming from a place of, I really genuinely want to help people. Exchange up for money, they're brilliant.

And actually, when you think about that, that's a great way of then getting … and I'm talking about myself, Rick, not you, over my own ego, of, “Oh my God, what do I look like, what do I sound like, that looks stupid, why did you say that, why did you do that?” Because I have done a million Insta Stories of me talking and deleted them, and thought, “What are you doing?”


And it takes so much effort to go and do that, because I look at it and think, “Oh, man, you look like an idiot, you're a fool.” But actually, like you said, if I'm doing it to help someone else, then suddenly I can take my ego out of it and think, “Is this helping them? Yes. Then you've got to do it.”

We're always our own worst critic, right? We're always in what we think, “That was terrible,” other people are like, “No, that was great.” And most people, the more human that you are, if you're messing up and starting over, people relate to that. Have you talked to Jasmine here on the show?

I'm speaking to her soon, yeah yeah, so-

Very cool, so definitely ask Jasmine about that, because she and I've talked about that a lot, where it's like, you could have the most polished-looking video, for example, but then, if you just grab your smartphone and you're walking down the street and you start talking to it, holding a coffee, generally the one where you're just real, walking down the street with your coffee in hand, is going to do better, because it's more relatable to people. And so, even when you're messing up, even when the lighting might be terrible or whatever, like, “Oh, the backdrop sucks”, like, just get it out there, because that's what people are going to connect with.

And I remember your going to Whole Foods, one, because we don't have Whole Foods, and I love Whole Foods, it's amazing.

It's the best.

So, if I lived … well, if I lived in San Diego, that would be amazing, but if I lived over there and had a Whole Foods, I'd be going there daily, I can assure you. But it's stuff like that we remember. I won't remember every bit of fact, figure, technical thing that you might have told me, it's hard to remember things like that. I remembered you were having a girl, I remember your wife's name, and those are the things that actually, although they might feel a bit frivolous or pointless or daft, actually they're the stuff that we resonate with, and as humans we connect with, don't we?


Getting personal is hard, but worthwhile


Yeah, I'm so glad you bring that up, because I had a hard time, and it really wasn't until probably the last, say, 10 months, that I didn't talk a whole lot about my personal side, like my stuff, if you will. And I definitely wasn't talking about the anxiety and perfectionism. I wasn't talking about that at all. But, I'm talking just even something as simple as, I go up to Montana three times a year to go fly-fishing, I share that stuff. Like you said, Teresa, it seems frivolous to me.

Like, why does anyone care that I'm in a new co-working space? But I've talked to five different people today, and they're like, “Oh, are you in your new co-working space?” I'm like, “Because I shared it on Insta Story.” You know what I mean, I took seconds to share it, and that is what I'm going through right now, and I shared the reason behind it, because we're turning my home office into the baby's room, like people, they can connect with that sort of thing.

And I have found that, the more that I've done that, it helps you become more relatable to people, and just sharing that stuff, where I think I'm like … if anybody follows me on social media, especially on Instagram, if you'll see me on Insta Stories for several days, it's one of two things. Number one, I'm either sick or I'm going through a period where I don't think anybody's going to care what I'm doing. So, like today, for example, is a perfect example. I've done five interviews today-


… between me being on other shows and people being on my show, so I've just done an interview day today. I haven't done any Insta Stories. Number one, I haven't had time to do it, but, number two, I'm like, “This is just my day. This is what I'm doing.” But, I'm sure that people would want to know … after this, I'll probably do a quick Insta Story to talk about, “Hey, I just wrapped up this many interviews, and this is why I did it, because I batch that time into one day.” So, it's that sort of thing. Get yourself out there, talk about things that are personal to you, so that people can connect and relate to you. That's what they love.

That is so awesome, Rick. Honestly. Do you know what, I literally could talk to you all day. I have had so much fun. This has been such a great episode.

It's been great, thank you.

Thank you so much for coming on, and I do hope you'll come on again, because, like I said, there are a million Facebook questions that I could ask.

Let's do it.

And I would love to do something a bit more focused. I just really wanted to get your story across-


… and to get people to understand who you were and things. So-

Thank you, I appreciate it.

So much, Rick, and it's been great to have you on the show.

Thanks, Teresa, I appreciate it.

So, there you have it. There was my interview with Facebook ads guru Rick Mulready. And, like I said, I really enjoyed talking to Rick. It was such good fun, he is such a nice guy, and I don't know whether there is something about that part of the world, but Rick, Amy and Pat all live in San Diego. Crazy, huh? Anyway, they are the nicest people I've ever met, so I really do hope you enjoyed it. Of course, if you want to find out more about Rick, I will put his links in my show notes. Just go to and you'll find all the links in there, or just search for him on and you'll find him there, with all his links and a link to his podcast.

Next week's interview is not one to be missed, and it's the final one to round off September. Although obviously interviews will be back, I just wanted to fill September with some great interviews. But next week's is such fun. I don't think I've ever laughed so much on an interview. So, you'll definitely want to make sure you catch that one. Thank you so much for tuning in, as always, and, as always, if you are listening to this and you have friends or colleagues or your mom, your nan, I'm not fussy, anybody that you think might like the podcast, then please don't forget to share it with them. I would really appreciate it. And wherever you are, have a great week, and I will see you next week.