I hear this question time and again from current + potential clients… “When will I start to see results with my ads?”

Well, the reality is… it varies! And it depends! (I know that’s not what you want to hear! But I’m not here to serve up anything but the truth.)

Some people see results within a few days. Other people need a few months.

And in this episode, I’m detailing the recommendation we give to our Hirsh Partners, plus serving up a signature “Emily pep talk” all about…

  • Why marketing is an investment of both TIME + money
  • What to do with your marketing “failures”
  • And why you should NOT give up, even if you don’t see overnight “Instagramable” success!

Tune into another episode all about real marketing, with a dose of business advice. Then slide into my DMs (@emilyhirsh) and ask your follow-up questions! You might have your Q answered in a future episode!

Key Points:
[4:35] I’m just going to say this… starting a digital product business is harder than it looks on Instagram.
[6:14] And p.s. your marketing is NOT failing if you don’t see results overnight!
[8:20] Here’s how we answer the question for our Hirsh Partners.
[11:34] …even if it takes 90 days, you’re NOT failing!
[13:39] This is what we do for our clients (+what you should do, too)

If you want support in your first 90-days of “buying data” and analyzing the results, we have a brand new “Performance Package” that leads you through The Hirsh Process. Go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply!

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Episode Transcripts:  

Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention innovators, influencers, creators, and game-changing entrepreneurs: your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry, and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience. With killer strategy and laser eye for impact, we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online. And now, we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’ve learned, taking you behind-the-scenes with the Hirsh Marketing Team, and giving away the secrets to our clients’ success. Stay tuned for top-converting strategy, ROI reports, and insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else. You’re changing the world, and we’re the team to help. 

Hello my friends. I am currently recording this podcast in California. I’m doing a batch recording, so this will come out after I’m back home. But I’ve had such an awesome week! I’m just so grateful for the freedom to be able to like, a week ago be like, “Well, my nanny’s gone, in Austin, so I am going to head to California, and stay at my mom’s.” And I have, because we used to live here, a lot of nannies that can help me, and babysitters, and just work almost a regular schedule, a little bit less hours, but be in NorCal and go to the beach and yeah… Just super grateful for that freedom. And it’s awesome, because I’ve worked almost the same schedule here, and just did all my team meetings and a couple of guest expert recordings I had to do, and then got a ton of stuff done, and just, [it’s] so great to have a change of scenery sometimes, too. 

So anyways, that is what I am up to, with my kids. I will say, though, I am by myself with my kids. My husband decided to stay home and work and get some stuff done, and even though I have nanny help, I’m still by myself with the kids. So, getting them ready in the morning and breakfast and dinner and bedtime is all on me. I have my mom here, but they really need me to do that. So, it’s a lot of work. I’m tired from that, but I have been dedicated to getting up before my kids still and doing a meditation and a little bit of my morning routine, because I have to do that if I’m going to try to keep a regular schedule, and those workouts, too. So today I’m going to talk about … I’m going to really answer the question, “When will I start to see results with my ads?” 

And this would be something that I would tell people who are coming to work with us as a client. This is something I would tell my students. And there’s not a clear cut and dry answer, but I feel like people really just want that… They want to be told like, “Well, when should I start to see results?” And here’s the thing, it really varies. And we’ve had clients come on, and in the first week we’re at 400% ROI. We’ve also had clients come on and it’s taken 90 days to get them profitable. And this is what I’m trying to change the mindset in the industry about, and that is that marketing is, especially in the beginning, an investment and not an expense. And you have to invest in the beginning, especially in the beginning, or when you launch anything new. Until you get to the place where you are profitable, and you’re ready to scale…

You have to see marketing as an investment that you’re willing to put X percentage a month of your revenue into marketing, and you should know that number, and you should also know, “I will most likely not see an immediate return from it.” And again, that sets you up so that when you do have an amazing first week trying ads, 350% ROI, you’re so surprised and happy about it versus when you don’t, you’re like, “Turn everything off, it’s not working, it’s failing.” And it makes me sad how many people out there only have in their business $250 to spend, and they don’t have a lot to invest in the business, and so they put that into marketing and they think they’re going to get something amazing out of it, then they don’t, and then they’re frustrated and they feel like, “Man, I just wasted that $250 or $500.” And I’m just going to say this to everybody: starting a business is so hard, so hard. And we’re like, solopreneurs where we don’t have funding, we don’t have backing in our business, we don’t even have teams most of the time! 

We are just trying to build something that’s profitable in the beginning, especially if you are in the digital product space. If you’re selling a service, you’re trading time for money so you can… that’s what I did in the beginning. So I just worked myself like crazy, and so I was always profitable, because I didn’t have to put… I exchanged my time to go find clients instead of using money to find students, course buyers, or digital product purchases. But starting a digital product business is hard. And the vision out there that it’s going to be profitable in the first month of something new, or just like out the gate it’s going to work and be this amazing business, is so wrong. And I’ll just share with you guys, like with IGNITE, I put almost all the profit from the last launch back into it right now to grow to the next level. 

And what’s funding my business is the service side… which I’m not at all saying have a service side and a digital product side, I’m not saying that! I’m saying that I have “funding” to start this new digital product through another medium or another business, and I see that a lot like. So, I guess what I’m saying is, you’re not failing if you have had a hard time getting momentum with the marketing, because you don’t have a huge budget for it. And just remember, we’re all creating a business that’s going to hopefully be here for years, it’s going to leave a legacy, it’s going to do millions and millions of dollars. And that doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not easy. If it was easy, then everybody would be doing this, and they’re not. So back to the question, “When will I start to see results with my ads?” It’s going to vary. And instead of answering that directly, what I want to do is shift your mindset to, “I have to take this next step, whatever it is, in my marketing to get to the next level… 

I have to invest time and money into this next step in my marketing in order to get to the next level. And whatever the outcome is, I’m going to learn from that experience and what I did and what happened, and I’m going to use that to then improve and get to the next level. And so even if it’s a complete failure, even if I learn that this product didn’t work or this funnel didn’t work or this webinar didn’t work or these ads didn’t work, and I lose $1,000, I didn’t fail doing that, because I had to go through that to then get to the next level.” And for me, a lot of times this happens with team stuff. Like, we will lose a client, or… we’ll lose a client, or something will happen, a team member… or things will feel really stressful and hard, and you’ll look back and you’ll want to say like, “Oh man, I wish I could go back and change what I did, because I wouldn’t have lost X amount of money or lost that client or ruined that relationship or lost that team member.”

But you can’t. Business is not like that. You have to go through those failures, and you have to be grateful for those failures, because they are what get you to the next level. And so the only thing you should be afraid of is not putting money into your marketing, not putting money into your business and not doing things that make you uncomfortable, because then you’ll never grow, and that’s what you should be afraid of! So for us, what we always tell people with this [question], “When will I start to see results?” is, we require that 90-day period. And the reason we require that is because that’s a lot of time… So I’ve also had people say like, “I’ve been working with an ads team for six months, and they say that it’s still figuring out the pixel or something.” 

That’s ridiculous, because that is not the way it works. But we like the 90 days, because here’s what happens during that 90 days. Let’s say this is a funnel that is relatively new, the product’s proven because it’s been sold in some way, but it’s new, so it hasn’t been really… run cold traffic to or mass scaled or really proven that the strategy is working the way we want. So we initially would do that strategy call and make sure the strategy is good, make sure we don’t have suggestions or any huge red flags based on our knowledge of all the strategies that work, and that we want to make suggestions before we turn ads on, and that really, that foundation is put in place, the messaging is clear, the numbers are clear, our projections are clear… And during this time, we will make projections, and you should do this, too, of the next 90 days. 

So you should say, “Okay, based on my numbers now, based on my… either historical averages or industry averages, I think in the next 30 days I’ll be able to do ‘this,’ 60 days ‘this,’ and 90 days ‘this.’” And then you have a metric of success to at least measure against. Be very realistic with these numbers, just like we will. They’re not to make you super excited about how easy marketing is and easy Facebook ads are. They’re to make you really realize how much work it is and what it’s going to take. So then you go all in, and you start the ads, and you do the absolute best that you can to create the best ads and the best strategy and get the best results. And you spend your budget, and you at least let it go for a week… not the same ad, but you’re letting traffic go through this. 

And I really like a minimum of a hundred people through a funnel before we make any decisions about what is and isn’t working, but arguably more, at least a hundred… I like more, like a thousand is great! But that’s a lot. Sometimes if you’re on a budget, you’re not making money back with yet… So you have your projections, you start that time. And then from there, we take all our data and we look at what is and isn’t working. And so, after that first week, first two weeks, we’ve gotten a significant amount of people through the funnel. So we look at all the major metrics: We look at the cost per lead, the landing page conversion, the cost per click on the ads… We look at the actual sales conversion, we look at, if it’s a webinar, how long are people watching? All of those important metrics, and you find those holes, then you plug those holes, and then you keep doing it again. And usually 90 days is a really good amount of time to be, “Okay, I’m profitable now.” 

As long as the product’s good, a lot of times… I’d say 50% of the time it takes less for our clients, but then sometimes it doesn’t take less, sometimes it really does take that full 90 days. And here’s what I always tell people, and here’s the way I want you to see it: If it takes that 90 days, you’re not failing. You had to go through that 90-day cycle where you went all in, got all the people, and saw the holes, fixed the holes, did it again, fixed the holes, did it again… and you just kept doing that until it worked. And if you give up in the middle of that, or you give up at the beginning of that, and you don’t make it all the way through that, then you’re going to be stuck. And so it’s essential that you commit to that amount of time and the budget that you set aside and the .. also it’s essential that you commit to fixing the funnel, because there will be problems on the funnel, there will be things that you need to fix, and the ads can only do so much. 

And so your results on your ads are also dependent on your backend, the funnel converting… And that’s why people ask me, “Do you guys help people with their funnel conversions?” I’m like, “How can we not?” Because you can obviously see from an ad if you’re getting great cost per lead and great leads, and then like, “Oh, they’re dropping off right here.” We can consult on that very easily. And if an ads company is not, it’s because they don’t have people trained in that. And so it’s important to me that I do, because we just want all our clients to be successful. That’s very essential. So your funnel and your messaging is going to support the success of your ads.

So, “When will you start to see results in your ads?” also depends on how that works and then how willing and able you are to fix the problems and then do it again. And you just see that as a cycle, and you just accept like, “This is an investment, I have to do this to get to the next level, I’m going to learn so much, and then my marketing will work at the end of this cycle if I stick with this.” It will work, because marketing always works. You just have to fix the holes. As long as you have a good product and as long as you’re clear on your messaging, those are the two crucial things… then marketing will always work. And one cool thing that we do for clients, that I think you should do if you’re either doing it yourself or with another team, is we actually have meetings about the 30, 60, 90 days. 

We’ve always done projections, but we never re-met on it. And so we actually bring back in our strategist who did the first initial client strategy call, and she checks in on the accounts at the 30-day goal. And so what that allows us to do is say, “Well, did we hit our goal? How far away were we from hitting our goal? Where are the gaps? What do we need to fix? And then, do we need to adjust the next 30 days projections based on the numbers that we now have?” So we have that conversation live with the client, and we bring back in our strategist who did the initial call and set those initial projections. And what this does is, it makes it so that my team and the client is constantly referencing those projections, because those are essential.

We sometimes might get the projections wrong. That’s okay. That’s not the point that you get them 100% right. It’s that you have a metric of success that you’re measuring against, and then once you get data, you adjust that metric of success based on the data, and you also fixed the holes. And that those metrics of success will point us very clearly to what the problems are, which allows us to fix it, which allows us to get to the point that marketing always works. So at 30, 60 and 90 days, we all re-meet and look at where are the holes, where do we need to improve things, where are things working, where are they not working, do we need to adjust the next 30 days? And then by 90 days, we’re usually out of the scaling phase. We’re usually optimized, we’ve got it figured out, we’ve adjusted what is and isn’t working, and we’re ready to increase the budget, and we’re profitable. And so that is our goal for every client. 

That’s why… most take a lot less, especially once you come in with a following or a very proven funnel, it’s really easy to get them profitable within the first couple of weeks, especially if they’ve already run ads or they’re currently running ads. But for those people who are new, we don’t know. And that’s why I did an episode about the problem with guaranteeing ad results [episode 96], because you can’t, unless you have data. A lot of people loved that episode, I got a lot of messages about that. So if you haven’t listened to that, go back and listen to it. But you can’t unless you have data. So unless you’re currently running ads and they’re profitable… then you know for a fact, “Here is how my ads are converting.” If you don’t have that, there’s no way to guarantee their results. You just have to go through this process. You have to go through the, “get as many people in the funnel, evaluate the data, fix the holes, do it again” as many times as it takes to get it profitable, usually it doesn’t take more than 90 days. 

So hopefully that helps you guys with “When will I start to see results with my ads?” It’s never going to be a cut and dry answer, as with most things with marketing and business. If you guys want support with your first 90 days, we have a killer 90 day [package] for both people who are in that camp of currently running ads or they have a proven funnel, proven product and they’re kind of ready for the higher level, full suite of retargeting ads and all of that… Those are our premier clients. And then also the camp of people who are in the phase of buying data. They have a proven product, but they need to prove their strategy, they need to do this process with us, and go through all the testing, and they don’t want to do it themselves. So that’s our “Performance Package.” So you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com and apply to work with our team, and I hope to see some of you coming through, and everyone else I will see on the next episode. 

Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind-the-scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review, so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.