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How to build a strong freelance personal brand while being an a-list employee

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Overview

Balancing a full-time role as an agency employee with being one of the best-known freelancers in the world is an incredible balancing act. I know from experience as an agency owner, how challenging it can be when team members also freelance, so this week I caught up with Tony Christiansen to ask him how he pulled it off.

Tony's area of focus is Facebook ads and while working for one of the U.S's most high profile agencies, he's also very well known in his own right. We talk about this as well as Facebook ad strategies, how small businesses can make money go further and about some simple tactics you can employ today to start winning big.

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Let's have a role as an agency employee with being one of the best known freelancers in the world is an incredible balancing act. I know from experience as an agency owner how challenging it can be when team members also freelance. So this week, I caught up with Tony Christensen to ask him how he pulled it off. Tony's area of focus is Facebook ads and while working for one of the US's most high profile agencies. He's also very well-known in his own right.

We talk about this as well as Facebook strategies, how small businesses can make money go further and some simple tactics you can employ today to start winning big, whether as a freelancer or as an agency owner. Welcome to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Pop Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to this show, then take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one.

Don't forget, you can also join our Facebook community. Just visit, amplify me, dot FDM forward slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. Also, if you enjoy YouTube, then you can join me on YouTube. Just search POB gentle on YouTube and you'll find me easily. So welcome along. Let's make Tony. So this week, my guest is Tony Kristiansen from Tony Does. Which, again, is a slightly odd business name. But Tony wears many hats.

And Tony will explain this himself. So, Tony, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here, Bob. It's I'm really excited to speak to you because I've been following you online for quite a long time. We've never actually had an opportunity to engage with each other outside of possibly the odd little bit of nonsensical banter online. So it's really nice to actually spend some time with you. Do you maybe want to start just by telling the audience a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do?

Yes. So I am Tony Kristiansen. I've sort of built up my personal brand, which goes by Tony does ads here. It's everywhere online. You can find me. And yeah, I specialize in primarily Facebook and Instagram advertising for different e-commerce companies. So I do kind of my own consulting and advising to various people that reach out to me as well as I work full time at a marketing agency called Now Marketing Group, which is kind of founded by Jessica Phillips, which is over in Ohio.

But I am in Phoenix, Arizona area. So working from home most of the time with that work at the agency, it's it's full time there, kind of a full service agency. So I'm doing that full time during the day and then kind of want to get off work. I focus on other needs and people that might reach out to me for various consulting endeavors that might be advertising related. It might be recently it's been more kind of conversion optimization for Web sites.

When it comes to the e-commerce side of things, as well as just helping people with copywriting and making sure their message kind of gets across in the right way.

So there are lots of ways we could go with you at any regular listeners will probably straightaway have the question. But Bob usually has business orders on the show. I have somebody that's full time employed in a business that belongs to somebody else. He's never done that before. And there's a very good reason for that, because, as you said, your personal brand is Tony's does ads. And to be honest, I know your name. Today's the first day I ever heard of the company you work for.

And that's quite unique. Was that something you've done quite consciously?

Yeah. Kind of. Well, coming to mind my name. Yes. It kind of was something that I was like I needed to build my own personal brand. It was kind of back two years ago when I went to my first social media marketing world and I really started to get into advertising. And I just knew, you know, personal brands were kind of the future. So that's kind of where I started. I was like, I need to get on, you know, Twitter.

I need to get on YouTube and all these different platforms and start getting people to know my name. And that's kind of how I created Tony does ads. And I started working at different advertising agencies. And even though the ones that I started with were basically emphasizing and helping people with personal brands. So they encourage it actually in a lot of ways, which was really cool. And yes, I started I ended up doing some contract work for now marketing group, which is that agency that I'm at now.

And things just kind of evolved. And they ended up being like, do you want to just run all of our ads for us and just come on full time? And I was like, of course. So I ended up kind of jumping over there and just haven't stopped since.

I think somebody's building a personal brand inside of another business. It is very unusual. And I'm somebody that I'm all in on personal brand. Today, I spent the whole day on a workshop with Chris Tucker. That's how invested I am on this idea. But I tell you, in all the people who were there, none of them were employees. They're all running their own business. And I know that as somebody who run a good sized agency, none of my team would have stepped up to build their own personal brand.

They were all very keen to sort of to take rather than actually give of themselves into it. So it is very unusual.

Yeah. It's kind of cool because I've I've just seen a lot of people that I talked to on Twitter as well, and a lot of the people I'm connected with or other advertisers or, you know, strategic marketers online. And what's really cool is it's almost like influencer marketing in a way where you build up your personal brand and people start to really love you for who you are. And then people get really excited when you announce, like, hey, I'm I'm going to this company now.

And I think a lot of companies now I'm starting to see now are starting to kind of get that idea of we can bring, you know, people that really have really good personal brands. And now we kind of bring their spotlight on our brand even more, which can kind of help the business in ways. But maybe we'll talk about that in the future, too. It also can detract, too.

So it it's an interesting fine line and a lot of ways with personal brands and working for an agency that you don't own.

You know, I think from an employer's perspective, it probably is a double edged sword. Yeah, but you would rather have. You saw sharp on both sides would be my opinion. Yeah. So, yeah, from an employee's perspective, lots of value from an employer's perspective. There should be lots of value there. So I think you're a fantastic role model for anybody listening in an agency, working in somebody else's business. I guess it doesn't have to be an all or nothing.

You're running your own private business alongside the agency business. And again, that's something that's quite unusual. Jim, maybe what you want to talk about, how you make that work.

Yeah. And I think the biggest key with that is being upfront about it from the get go, you know? And that's something where when I talk to Jessica about, you know, going to her agency, I was like, you know, she really knew I had my brand. And I told her that, you know, I have a brand. I have some clients you and then working with still. How is this going to work? And that's that's a conversation that you should have upfront.

There are other people out there that might not have that conversation and they might try to hide what they're doing. And I don't think that's ever really a good way to handle it, because it's you're probably going to get found out. So don't ever do that. There's there's a lot of risks in both in kind of both sides of doing that.

And even I've seen, you know, agency owners that have someone that might have a personal brand and then they they steal clients and that kind of stuff. So it is sort of a interesting territory to handle. I think as an agency owner and as you know, the other side of it, you just you really have to be upfront. You have to be transparent. And you have to make sure that you both trust each other. And a lot of ways, because it is a lot of responsibility, I think, for both sides to be in that kind of relationship.

How I handle it, I basically have my you know, my Tony does adds calendar. It starts pretty much when I get off work at Now marketing group. It's very segmented. So I get off work and then people can book calls with me after that. So basically I get off work at around 3:00 p.m. People can book me. Basically it's at nights, which some people don't like that because they reach out to me, you know, from the UK and other places too.

And I'm like, you know, it's not going to work if, you know, if I have to meet earlier. There are, you know, instances where I'll meet with people on Saturdays and things like that which which kind of, you know, isn't the best of times, but it's just kind of the nature of it. And there's things like this that might meld the two together, which is like I'm talking about my personal brand and I'm talking about now marketing group as well.

So I kind of, you know, I make sure that they know that I'm doing these sort of things and they're OK with it. And a lot of instances because a lot of times I'm promoting their brand in a lot of ways, too. But yeah, it's something where you just you have to be transparent, upfront. I think that's the best way to kind of handle it.

I think that's one of the things with the personal brand as well as the more you invest in your personal brand, the more you are invested in the integrity of that brand. So if you tarnish that integrity through breaches of trust, that doesn't go away, that sticks with you forever. You can't dodge that because you've built his personal brand.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, you know, Jessica is a speaker, and that's I've heard of her from like she has a conference that she runs called Social Media Week, Laima, out in Ohio as well. So I've heard of her and her agency and things, and that's where I went to meet her, actually. Social media, marketing, rokas, people like, you know, you have to go to her conference. You have to meet her.

And when I met her, we just both had kind of the similar mindset where it's, you know, it sounds crazy, but it's like, you know, treat your clients really well. You know, I have good customer service and she's really big on relationship marketing and just focusing on that. And that's sort of the core of my personal brand is very much aligned with their agency as well. So it was a really good fit. And yeah, that that whole mindset of that is be transparent, you know, care for others and show up, you know, and really kind of go above and beyond for people that you are working for.

So absolutely, I think no marketing is a full service agency to all the traditional things and the digital things as well. Yes. But your focus is it's and particularly Facebook and Instagram. It's so let's focus in on a little bit. What does a typical client with Antone's doesn't look like for you? Because I guess it's different from a marketing client. So let's start with the Toni Christensen client.

Yeah, it's been something that's been evolving more lately. I'm someone that really follows my passion. So I've really been getting into kind of conversion rate optimization and copywriting. So when I learn more, I kind of share my ideas. And then people hear about like, oh, you're really good at writing copy or this or that. So for me, I've had people more recently reach out about copywriting. And just like, you know, I have an e-commerce Web site.

What can I do to help my conversion rates, some kind of doing things like that and auditing different Web sites? I help. Other agencies sometimes, too, that are getting into ads and they're wanting to figure out, you know, how do we start as well as other founders and people that, you know, they might have an agency running their stuff and they might need someone to just dip into their accountancy. Is this look good? Is there things that we can improve on?

So it's sort of it's sort of consulting in ways it's advising and then just doing certain projects that might pop up, you know, if it might be like recently. I'm helping a lady rewrite some of her Web site copy, too.

But, yeah, a lot of the advertising related things are I you know, my brain, Tony does ads. I really prefer to work with e-commerce only. It's just something that I've I'm really familiar with. I like sort of the bigger spends, you know. Like, if you're spending ten thousand dollars or more a month just because a lot of those businesses, they've they've figured out a lot of things already. Whereas if you're newer, you know, if you're a startup or something, you might still have to work on a lot of your messaging in that kind of particular client would be someone that's really well suited for now marketing group, because they do do a lot of the you know, let's figure out your brand voice.

Let's figure out what your customer personas are. And they they work a lot on organic content as well. So sort of those clients are really good for now, marketing group. But if someone just wants advertising help and insight, then that's something that's might be better for kind of my own.

Tony does ads brand and within the whole conversion space. Obviously, you work in your practice mainly with e-commerce businesses, but do you have much broader experience? I'm curious to know in terms of conversion, do you find that there are some areas you immediately, instinctively want to hone in on? Because, you know, there's probably a little pot of gold in the corner there.

Yeah, that's that's actually like one of the reasons why I really like now marketing group is I mean, you know, like I've said a few times, is they really focus on that kind of the start of figuring out what you're for and voices. And that's sort of when it comes to ads. If I have someone that reaches out to me and they're like, you know, I'm just launching this company, can you help me out? I really don't even want to touch it because I know they're going to need a lot of work figuring out kind of that brand voice, what works, what resonates with people, their messaging.

I can help with that. But it's just it's it's something that I'm not as passionate about. And Jessica now marketing group. Ah.

So that's kind of the difference in ways.

And I'm sorry, I don't know if I answer that question very well. I guess where I'm coming from is on most Web sites that there are conversion problems or opportunities that you can exploit.

And do you find that when you work with a new client that there are some obvious things that, you know, you can go and unpick and that will lead to a better conversion rate?

Yeah. Gotcha. Yeah, I think lately it's been looking at I've been looking at a lot of kind of Web site usability and figuring out how to make Web sites better. And there's this book I've been reading that's that's called Don't Make Me Think. And I think that's a really good mindset to have when you're looking at a Web site. Is your you have to have the mindset of kind of that first time Web site visitor. I think a lot of businesses don't have that.

You know, they want to talk about themselves. They want to have their logo nice and big. You know, they want to say, you know, we've been in business for this many years and we do this and we do that. And that's the main shift that I kind of like to tell people about and try to get their mindset more aligned with. So you have to think about someone that's basically going to your Web site and has this kind of mindset of like, OK, who cares?

You know, I don't care about your brand. Really. What can you do for me is kind of the person that you need to be talking to on your Web site. So a lot of it is realigning kind of what a business says about themselves to what a customer is actually looking for and how you can position yourself to be that you know, that solution for their problems. So showing that, you know, you've been there, you've you can empathize, empathize with them, and then showing that you are you know, you have social proof, you have credibility authority.

You've been there before us. You kind of have that solution that they don't have to worry about, you know, paying for. So it's sort of having that mindset shift, which can be it can be kind of an overhaul on copy and a lot of ways.

And then it's it's focusing on. Yeah. What is that conversion that you want. Right. Do you want people to call you? Do you want people to download your lead generation item? Do you want someone to buy and then making sure that that kind of stands out on your Web site. And it's very clear, you know, it's that it's that button that's you know, it pops from the Web site. There's an audit I did just last night.

And the you know, their main button was like a shop now button. And it was basically the same colors have everything else on the Web site, so you don't even really see it. And that's like it. Just a quick, easy thing. Like just make whatever you want them to do, be the apparent equip them to do. Right. So that's like the main thing. And if it is something that's like I would say another main thing that I see a lot, too, is when you're having blog posts and all the different pages on your Web site, think about what the call to action is, especially like on the bottom of pages.

So that's another thing I see where they might have a blog post about us or whatever it might be, and then you get to the bottom and there's nothing there. And that's kind of the thing that you want to help people with, too, is kind of what's next. What do what should I do now, now that I just have this information. So there's like some quick things that a lot of people can do fairly, fairly easily, just like add whatever might be related products.

Maybe if it's to the blog post, if it's about us, maybe redirect them back to whatever those services are and learning more about those, you know.

I love that. And I think that don't make me think was really important because most people browse instinctively. Yeah. And they don't think they're not in an active thought process. They're browsing. Browsing is an unconscious process. And I recently installed hot tar on my Web site and a few clients Web sites. And it's incredible actually, when you watch people moving through your Web site, how you have these big moments where you slap your forehead and think, obviously, why why would you design it like this?

And it does make me reflect on how a lot of Web sites get built. Yeah. If you imagine the situation and the average small Web site agency, they've struggled to get through a project with a client. The projects usually been built by a few hipster 20 year olds who don't understand the business. And by the time that project is signed off for the client, they're done, has washed. Thank you very much. Let's get going. They're not looking at the site from a conversion perspective.

We're looking at it from a get paid perspective.

Yeah, exactly. And that's it's crazy because I'm seeing a lot of similarities now with kind of how I how I've done ads with like working with videographers, because I don't necessarily create the creative I usually work with a, you know, a videographer or a creative team that can make the images and videos for what I need for ads. And it's very similar to me working with a Web site designer or Web development team with Web site. So, you know, with creative, I'm you know, there's people that are great at making videos and they might be great for, like, telling your brand story.

You know, they might be great for movies, but that doesn't work for ads, you know. And similarly with Web sites, there's people that make really beautiful looking Web sites, but they might not convert at all or make any sense to a user. So it's sort of the I'm seeing a lot of similarities and patterns in both of these things. I'm really just kind of diving into now. A lot more is where, like you have you can't have really skilled people at making videos, but they might not be very good at making videos that actually convert, you know, and sell your products.

A good kind of mindset. I like to talk about with videographers is, you know, a lot of people make in a lot of brands do this, too, and it's similar again to the Web site. Thing is, they want to have their logo show up first, you know, or on the Web site. They wanna have their logo nice and big where people don't really care about that. And when you're running ads, it's it's I compare it a lot of times to people that buy tickets to movies to basically like a billboard on the highway.

So a lot of businesses and videographers that I've worked with in the past are making these, you know, movies that they have seen before where people have paid money. They're sitting in the movie theater and you can't have your logo show up nice and slow.

You can have that slow intro, whereas the reality of it, people on social media don't want to see ads at all. So you have to kind of treat it like a you know, it's like a billboard where you're driving by at 60 miles per hour. They're not paying to see you at all. They're not invested in your brand at all. So you have to kind of show up in certain ways where you grab their attention really quick. You know, in like three seconds or less.

So you have to treat it a lot differently. Whereas with Web sites as well, it's kind of similar where you're your you know, your logo, nice and huge in the header, might distract from the actual call to action or the actual, you know, need and solution that someone's looking for. So you have to kind of, again, have that don't make me think attitude that any Web site, visitors and people that are looking at your ads kind of have.

I think there's something really interesting I saw with, you know, the thrive themes thrive people. They have thrive architect, which is their equivalent of things like Beever Builder and elementary or some sort of WordPress visual site builders. And they made a filmic philosophical stance that they weren't going to provide an unlimited hero module because they said it doesn't work. They don't convert, they just distract. And so lots of people don't use the thrive ecosystem for the purpose for that reason.

Yeah, but it was very interesting, the stand that they would make on such a strong conversion point.

Yeah, and that's. That's a crazy thing, too, because like a lot of the you know, a lot of the e-commerce people I work with, they are using Shopify themes.

And some of those Shopify themes aren't necessarily set up for conversions like they might have. You know, like one of the things I don't like to see, but a lot of Web sites have it is a slider at the top. That might have that call to action that then after a second or two, it slides again. And I hate that because it's it's kind of an Uninor and interruptive experience. You know, for some, it's going to a Web site.

They're trying to search around for their solution and then, boom, you you put something else on it. So it's just kind of like interruptive and it can kind of distract why someone's going to your Web site. So a lot of times those those can hurt conversion rates where a lot of a lot of the really good conversion rate experts are going to say, you know, have one image there and maybe it is your maybe, you know, instead of that slider, you maybe you stack those images kind of underneath each other and spaced them out more visually.

But you still have that main focus right there that says shop our latest collection or whatever it might be. And it's not something that's kind of sliding and changing people off, you know, making people kind of off guard with what they went to Web site for.

Yeah. I think something else I would like to ask you about is retargeting ads, because I work with clients on low level and stuff a little bit. But I find the the way I often describe it to them is if you're gonna pay a pound or a dollar to get someone to your Web site, why would you know the retargeting in and have them sort of roll around in your pinball machine for a while?

And it always seems to get great results, but that's sort of very small scale. I'm interested to understand, how can that work on a large scale? Does that scale up?

Yeah, I'm that's like one of the biggest plays I like to start is the remarketing. And that's where some of these really small. You know, I didn't say take out small brands. So these brands, you know, that are starting out or might have local budgets, I would say, or, you know, small, smaller businesses, the retargeting can be some of the most valuable ads that you can run. And it depends on a lot of things like how much traffic you're actually having on your Web site.

If you don't have any, you kind of want to build your brand and that's different. And you probably want those kind of top of funnel ads going that you're you know, you're putting out that value. But there's a few businesses that I'm helping right now that we're just doing remarketing ads because then you have smaller budgets and they don't want to spend a lot. But we are doing, you know, highly targeted ads, bring people back to the website.

And yeah, when it works with e-commerce, they're spending more money. It's it's similar in a lot of ways where you're you're really not spending very much money in remarketing retargeting ads. I typically do sort of three different tiers. So you have top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom a funnel. Just to break it down real quick, top of funnel is basically I'm targeting, you know, looking like audiences. So people that share characteristics of your most valuable audience that you might have, which might be like a purchasers list, recent purchasers or something, and I might do like interest based audience.

So, you know, if you're selling, I don't I can't even give you a great example right now, but interest based. So, like, if it's if it's fashion, maybe you're targeting Michael Cause or whatever might be as a random example. So that's at the top. You know, you're targeting these businesses. You're trying to people and you're trying to give them value and bring them down. And then the next level I typically do is engages.

So people that are going to your Web site, interacting with you online, watching your videos, that kind of thing, and then the bottom those main remarketing ads that I do are dynamic product ads. And they're just so valuable because it's basically the ones that are showing you the same product that you just looked at back on Facebook. And it's where some people are like, oh, Facebook is kind of creepy or whatever, but I mean, they work and they work really well.

But in terms of where the budget's split, you know, the top of funnel, I might be spending 70 percent of the budget there. And then I'm kind of trickling down maybe 20 percent at the middle and then 10 percent or so at the bottom. So you're not spending a lot at that bottom, but that is kind of the the ads that do clean up those sales of people that might have get distracted, you know, on their phones.

I just had like a great example, like, you know, you could be on your phone. You might have, like, your dog run into something and spill something over, you know? So then you're you're you're leaving the website or whatever it might be, you know, or someone shows up at your door or whatever it might be. So people get strapped in a lot, especially on, you know, on their mobile phones. It's just kind of the way people are now.

So it's great to have those kind of remarketing ads that kind of reminds them to come back and finish their order. And sometimes you might need to nudge them and give them like a discount free shipping or something, too. Sometimes that works as well. But a lot of times just reminding them again to come back and shop works looks right.

I think it's important for me to just put supposed button for a second here and encourage anybody listening to Guba. Listen to that again, because what you just heard, there was a masterclass in very, very crystallized form on how you should run arts, because what you said was that you're not spending. You're spending all the 70 percent of the money in the top of the funnel and the top. And that's where most businesses are spending 100 percent of their money by spending that additional 30 percent on building that remarketing mix.

That's where you're doing all the selling. Yeah, exact. So, yeah. The majority of businesses, in my opinion, that are dabbling in Facebook ads, they're not doing the remarketing element. Thirty percent more money, 100 percent of your sales. Yeah.

And if you have really good ads, like you can get pretty good sales numbers from the top of funnel, too. But yeah, that's that's the middle and bottom is where you really kind of clean up. And yeah, you don't have to spend as much because, you know, at the top you're you're basically funneling people down. Why call it a funnel. Right. So at the top, you know, you're hitting all of these people that are kind of, you know, that same interest group.

You're providing them value. You know, make them happy. You whatever you might be doing, make them start to like your brand. And then maybe the middle. It's more like here's what we offer now. Here's what makes us different, those kind of things. Reviews, testimonials. And then, yeah, at the bottom, it's just great to be like, here's that product that you did. Look at that you were shopping on our website for.

So because the audience at the top is this huge bucket of people you're targeting. And in the middle, it's just remarketing to those people that started it. And engage with your brand might have went to your Web site. That's why it's a smaller budget. And then again, at the very bottom, it's just those people that looked at specific products and then showing them ads for those. That's why, you know, if you split it up evenly, you'll be said you'll be showing those people the very bottom, like tons of ads and they will get too tired of them.

So that's kind of why you put it that way. And then you can focus a lot of the top on, you know, acquiring new customers, which can become really valuable for brands, you know.

So for any one client and there's not going to be a simple answer to it and to answer for this. But with a typical client, how many ads are you running at any one time? At each point of the funnel. That is a great question. So the bottom of the funnel will be the easiest one to explain, so I'll start there. Yeah, so bottom, since it's those dynamic product as what they're called, I typically might run to I might even run one depending on how well it performs.

So it depends.

Yeah. Like you said, it depends on budget. A lot of times too, because basically at the bottom, if your budget is bigger, I can basically say, you know, let's do a dynamic product. Add to people that have went to the website in the last three days and looked at products. Right. And then if it's still big, I can say now let's segment out. You know, the next people from like three to seven days and show them another ad and then from, you know, eight to 14 days, I'll show them another ad.

And maybe you're having like a. Sometimes you might taper off different discounts and things. So, you know, at first you're reminding them to buy your product and they don't buy. Then maybe the next time you like. Well, how about free shipping now and kind of try to reel them back in and the next time maybe it's like, how about, you know, buy one, get one free. You're 20 percent off now. So depending on the budget, I might have, you know, one to three ads, maybe a little bit more like like I said, it depends on so many things in the top.

Yeah, it can it can range really in a lot of ways.

So, for example, if you're spending, you know, 10 bucks a day or something, ideally you're running ads for what's called conversion.

So, you know, you're optimizing for someone to do something on your Web site and it might be purchased, it might be sign up for your lead generation offer, whatever it might be. So if you have, you know, a smaller budget at the top and you're running, you know, 10 ads, it can't. Facebook doesn't have a nice enough information per week to really optimize for the results. So if you have a smaller budget, you have to be running a lot less ads.

But I still like to test most of the time. So I might test audiences or I might test, you know, the same audience and have a few different ads in that. But it can really range in a lot of ways. So, I mean, I've done for a typical typical is like not even a term really, but for the smaller businesses, you know, it might be, let's say, five ads or so at the top of the funnel at the middle.

Maybe it's two ads at the bottom, maybe it's one or two for the bigger businesses that are spending, you know, ten thousand, twenty five thousand or more a month. It could be hundreds of ads that you're running. Facebook now, though, is changing to be more where they're optimizing a lot better for you.

So they're actually kind of preferring you to use less audiences that are slightly bigger than what they used to be like.

If it was one or two years ago, I'd be splitting up audiences a lot more out in second. Same at segmenting them more and having way more ads. But now they kind of want you to have bigger audiences so they can kind of really rely on their A.I. to optimize for the results.

So it's a very long answer to your question. But yeah, I would say anywhere from five to hundreds of ads per clients.

Typically, I think it wasn't actually a long answer compared to where you could've gone. It was as concise as you could sensibly be gold for anyone that cares.

So, yeah. That's a really good masterclass on Facebook. And I think an important lesson there is there's no right or wrong. It's important to experiment and try things out, but to not leave all that money on the table by not having the retargeting that's theirs.

It just makes me sad.

Yeah, I would say if you're going to do any ads at you like, it better be remarketing targeted ads like bare minimum just because. Then again, it does depend, though, if you don't have any traffic to your website whatsoever, if you don't have any sort of social media engagement, then OK, work on your top of funnel. But primarily, I would say focus on the remarketing ads, because those are that's the low hanging fruit, really.

Right. Those are the people that already know about you that you sort of have been looking at your Web site or interacting with you. So you've already built up that trust a little bit more with those people. So it's gonna be a lot easier to kind of get them to buy.

So for anybody that's listening, doesn't know what we're talking about, remarketing us a remarketing advertising to people who visited your website. And that's delivered through tracking through visitors to your website on Google, through the Google Tracking Code and on Facebook, through the Facebook tracking pixel. And the reason I go through that little ramble is to ask the question. I know on Google there's a minimum audience size that you have to accrue. Does that also apply on Facebook?

Yeah, kind of depends on what you're specifically asking, I guess. Yeah. If your let's say you want to remarket to like your email list, it has to be a minimum of one hundred people. So if you have a list of 50 people, that won't work at all. In terms of targeting actual audiences like say you're doing a cold audience that you're trying to target and you're, you know, saying, you know, within 10 miles of this business or whatever, it's better to have more people in that audience that you're targeting.

I'm not sure. I think Facebook does limit it. I'm not sure exactly what that number is, where I was from.

Like, let's say if you want to do where I was coming from specifically, was the Web site visitors retargeting them?

No. Yeah. They'll they'll run those ads pretty much with whatever number that you have. But yeah, you're going to I mean, the minimum spend you can do per day is going to be a dollar. So if you don't have you have 10 people, you know, a day going to your Web site, maybe your product is worth a lot of money. So it's OK to run those ads. But, yeah, I would I would recommend kind of doing them it once you kind of built up more visitors.

So, like, it kind of. Yeah, it depends on a lot of ways. But primarily they don't typically I don't I don't know, a number off top my head that they'll say, you know, we're not going to run these for you. If there's they're stupid, like on your Web site, they'll typically show them those ads. But if there are a smaller audience like that, like maybe it is 50 people or something that you're sending those ads to.

They're typically going to cost a lot more. It's just how they do it. The smaller the audience, the more the cost is just because it is more targeted. So that's something to keep in mind. So ideally, you have more people going to your Web site first. And that's where that kind of the top of funnel in the middle of funnel might help out more.

You know, to really start promoting getting traffic to your Web site, I think the reason they ask is obviously entirely selfish is I have some clients that have very, very specific sort of niche engineering businesses, and their Web sites are very quiet for very good reasons. Yeah, there's only a few people in the world who would be actually interested in their business, but there are very high value running remarketing ads for us. Google is a problem, whereas from what you're describing on Facebook, there could be perfectly valuable.

Yeah. And one of the things you might be able to do in that case, too, is just make that timeframe a little bit longer. So, you know, if it's a really busy Web site, I could do a marketing to like seven day visitors. Sometimes I've done like one day, three day if it is a smaller business. It might be more like 60 day, 90 day, 180 day visitors. So, you know, someone that's, you know, been to the Web site, you know, two months ago or something, for example, just know when you do do that that they might not recollect going to your sites.

That's one of the things that you have to keep in mind as well. But that can help kind of make that eight size a little bit bigger, which can help out.

So I guess one of the things we started talking about was the Tony Christensen, Tony. Those ads, personal brand and personal brands don't happen by accident. They need to be built intelligently and deliberately. So I'm curious to know, what does your personal brand, Eco-System look like? And how did you go about the. That is a great question. It's it's been a evolving work in progress. I would say as well, it kind of started with, I would say kind of started on more like YouTube.

And now I'm going a lot more at Twitter in terms of kind of products and services. It was helping people do kind of like routine or work where it is managing bigger client accounts. And now it's shifted more to doing more consulting, advising. So meeting with someone, there's a lot of people that reach out to me and they just want to figure out how to start as well as like how to set up their structure of that funnel that I kind of talked about, too.

That's another thing that I can do quite a bit. And then more recently, like I've said, I've been getting more into kind of the conversion rate optimization. So that's something that I've been kind of toying with a lot more at now, marketing group with some of those businesses that we're helping out. So making tweaks there. But then again, it kind of can bleed out into my, you know, my own personal brand. And now I'm, you know, talking with other people that have websites and e-commerce businesses that might I might be able to find, you know, your button here's a little a little weird or, you know, you're using too much brand lingo and people don't know what that means.

It kind of offering that as a as a consulting kind of service to people.

One of the things that we were speaking about before we came on air was Twitter. I was asking you, which was your favorite social media platform. You mentioned Facebook. You mentioned YouTube. I asked you what your favorite was and you said Twitter, which right now for a lot of people might sound like an unusual choice. Tell me.

Yeah. So Twitter, I'm finding it is the best to really quickly network with. For me, it's all sorts of, you know, media buyers out there. So I can find out what's working wherever those people are, what what they've tested and what's worked.

It's great to with media buyers as well, because I can find different bugs and issues that people are dealing with. And some of them might be able to reach out to a Facebook rep before I can so they can get information faster.

So it sort of keeps a really good pulse on the whole advertising industry and a lot of ways. There's some really interesting brands and personal brands out there that, you know, talk about research that they're doing, things that they're seeing kind of with the industry as a whole, which is really interesting, especially with all of the covered shutdowns that were happening.

You know, we could track in that businesses that, you know, a lot of these guys do surveys with a lot of us as well.

So you can get data on kind of how people are feeling about the industry and what's actually happening kind of with aggregated data, which is really cool, too.

So we could see, you know, our costs are really low or our costs are rising now steadily. So it's really interesting for that kind of stuff as well as the other side of it to the client side. There is a lot of the kind of direct to consumer business, e-commerce clients, owners out there that are on Twitter talking about getting funded or whatever it might be for their business, but then starting to want to learn more about ads. So they look for advertisers that are posting, you know, relevant information out there.

And then you can have people kind of reach out to you for consulting and different work opportunities.

So it's it's just really good for kind of the pulse for future work, as well as just the latest news and things that are that are going on in the advertising world.

I think I was off Twitter for a long, long time, and recently I started getting back into it because I called most of the people I was following. And that's called we see, you know, killed me. But it just made it a much more useful and enjoyable place to be because I'm not exposed to the level of noise that we used to be a real problem on Twitter.

Yeah, yeah. There's there's definitely a lot of noise in Twitter. And yeah, if you have a bigger list, I would you know, a big following are followers list. I would say, yeah. Take advantage of Twitter lists. I've just kind of done that recently. And the more that I'm kind of getting into conversion rate optimization, I'm starting to find people that, you know, really live in that world. And I can build lists of those people, you know, and then see what those people are talking about today and reach out to them.

And I've really been like my tactic lately has been seeing, like, really interesting things that people are writing really great mindsets to have or stats or whatever it might be, or some people just give feedback freely, you know. So I had one guy I found that was basically like post your website below. I'll give you feedback. That's how I really started to get into conversion rate optimization. I just read his whole thread and was like, wow, this is really good.

So I'm one of my tactics now is like finding those people that are like incredible and then being like, how did you learn? What book do you recommend? All that kind of stuff. And that's kind of how I really started to dive into it a lot more. Now, in terms of conversion, rate optimization is just finding. How did you learn this information and how can I learn it? Which Twitter has been just instrumental in. Help me figure that out.

I can see that and certainly I think I can see a whole new level of usefulness for it. Now, we've been running the podcast for a while in terms of the way that I can connect with people that you just can't on other platforms. Yeah. So anybody listening to this, that there are going to be two kinds of people. There are going to be those who are busy working in a day job, and they're going to be those who are running their own business.

And I think for many, you should be the poster boy for the employee that's running a side gig. And there's two questions I have to ask you and your I would fully expect you to. Answer diplomatically. That would be the word. So the first one is you've been running your site business for a while. You're very competent, you're very skilled.

You're in demand because you have a strong personal brand which pays you better to day job or the sidekick.

Currently, the the day job does. I think this a good gig. Could if I wanted to invest more time into it. But it kind of I don't know if I mentioned it here, but I'm kind of having a house built currently and I've just recently kind of moved down to Arizona. So just getting a lot of family time in right now. So it's it's been a balance of do I want to make more money on the side job and not have time?

You know, as much time with my family, you're going out and seeing not really going out, but going and seeing my house, you know, in the progress group, getting done there or investing more into the in kind of the side business and getting that going more. So, yeah, currently it's the it's the day job.

You kind of led me on to the other question, which was, I think, Jessica, no marketing. It sounds to me like you're aligned and connected to that business in a way that many employees aren't. So there's a lot going on on the side. So my question is. Would you ever want to run your own business or are you quite happy having this dual role?

Yeah, that's a good question. I've definitely, you know, thought about it in a lot of ways. The kind of the previous agency I was at, I wasn't happy. So that's where I started to get these other clients. And that was an agency, too, that they didn't really care as long as they, you know, don't take our clients kind of mindset, don't dabble in our Nishino, that kind of stuff. So I've played with it there.

It is something that I have thought about maybe in the future. But like I, I've really liked going go into now marketing group because they've just they've been a really solid brand for me to be able to go into, have. Have a nice impact. And they, you know, they work with great people. They're doing incredible work. So I'm I'm liking the job that I have now. I'm kind of content where I'm at now. Will it change in how many years?

It could very well. That's just kind of I'm taking it in stride right now.

You know, what I love about the answer is because you've invested in your personal brand. What it has allowed you to do is stand out and be attractive to those businesses that you're aligned with. You have options. You have choices which people who haven't built their personal brand probably wouldn't. The truth is, if you hadn't invested in Tony Tarzans, you probably wouldn't be no marketing. Is that fair to say?

Yeah. Yeah, Major. Yeah, I think that's kind of the beauty in it in a lot of ways, like the more that you can kind of show what you stand for and when you meet, you know, like someone like Jessica that has the exact same values, like they have the kind of brand manifesto that says, you know, this is the kind of people we are and what we do for our clients and how we go above and beyond.

And I was like, this is everything that I live for. So this is perfect. So, yeah, it really worked out.

And that's where I haven't thought about leaving at all, really, just because it seems like it's the place to be because it is in such alignment. You know, I've reached out to her recent like it's as recent as this week. And I was like, you know, I'm really getting into conversion rate optimization. Can I start doing it for our clients? And she's someone that says, yes, like, let's do it. So that's really cool, too.

If she was someone that was like, no, you know, just do ads, you know, just do this or, you know, do the stuff that you don't want to do that might be different, you know, and then I might want to go out on my own. But they are an agency that's really just really focused on helping people and then really just treating their employees. Right. So I haven't had that. You know, I need to get out of here now feeling it all, really.

It's just work that I'm passionate about. So I'm really enjoying it.

Well, I love the answer was brilliant answer. And I'm glad you brought. You've been really, really generous with your knowledge throughout everything, talking about building the personal brand and being this ambassador for the true entrepreneur on the one hand and employee on the other. He's really, really interesting. So, yeah, it's cool. Yeah. It's going to say it's it's it's an interesting thing to do because it's one of those things where now it's kind of neat because I can have stability with the daytime job and my, you know, side hustle.

Tony does ads now to can I can kind of position myself as not having as much time. And I can't be more picky. Right. Whereas if I was doing it all on my own, I might get into a situation where it's like I need money. I will get this client, you know, because it is money and it's not something that I might be aligned with or want to do. And that's one of the cool things with my situation now is I have a steady, reliable income from the day job and then I can kind of use my limited time and kind of my position to to be a little bit more picky and look for just the work that I want to do.

And kind of what I what I'd like to do, though, is still not say like I'm not going to help you, but try to find other people that might be better fits, you know, for that brand what they are in line with.

Tony, I'm looking at the time. You should probably bring things to a close soon. But I have one question left to ask you. It's the one I have been really good with remembering recently. And what's one thing you do know that you wish you'd started five years ago?

I think the main thing is, and I've mentioned a lot here, I think already is just following your your passion. You know, I think before, you know, five years ago, I don't I don't want to do the math, but I think I was. No, it was a while ago. Never mind. Yeah. I would say follow your passion.

You know, before I when I was going to say is I, you know, went to a college and wanted to get a job that had a, you know, a great title at a great company and that it's changed a lot where I don't care as much about income and in a lot of ways and it's more about let's wake up and be excited about who we're helping in the work that we're doing. So I really just would say I would tell myself back then.

Just do what you want to do and be passionate about it. And that's kind of what I've done now with sort of getting into conversion rate optimization with ads. I've just dove into it head on and really do like a deep rabbit hole and a lot of ways of just like learning everything I can and really learning out about it. And it helps you, you know, helps your personal brand, too, because people see that passion and it kind of leaks through and a lot of ways and it can help kind of position yourself to be that expert.

So just follow your passion and do it 100 percent. Really?

Absolutely. I'm waving a flag. That's an awesome answer that people want to take things further with you. I want to connect with you. How would you like them to do that?

Yes, my Web sites, Tony, does AdCom. That's a great place to reach out to me. I'm also just everywhere online, but primarily on Twitter at Tony does ads, but everywhere else at Tony does ads as well. Perfect.

Tony Christensen from Tony Danza. Thank you so much for your time. It's been a great guest. I can't wait, hopefully, to meet you in person if I can make it over to social media marketing world sometime soon.

Yeah. Bob, thanks so much for having me. And yeah, I know we covered so much here. So if anyone has questions, feel free to just reach out to me on any of those platforms and I'll be sure to answer them. Provide clarity there to. A lot of the time when I speak to my audience, I assume you're a business owner. Today I want to speak to employees and see this if you're freelancing. Talk to your business owner and ask them how you can make this a win win situation.

If you don't, then eventually the hammer will fall. If you do, then you might find you get to play much bigger, like Tony, as if you're the employer who resists or resents freelancing, then. I feel you. And I was you. But try this. Make it clear to your team you value loyalty over everything. But you also want to foster entrepreneurial skills, make it clear that competing is not allowed. But the carving out a niche claiming that as your own is raise your people up and they might raise you up with them before I go.

Just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already, then join our Facebook group. You can find a link in the show notes or just hit Amplify Me Dot FDM forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. Follow me wherever you hang out. You'll find me at Bob Gentle. And if you do, then message me. Let me know so I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show that again.

I would love for you to review it on iTunes. It means a lot to me and I don't underestimate that. It really does mean a lot to me. And it's also the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks again to Tony for giving us his time this week. And to you for listening. I'll see you next week.

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