Too often people want to just jump straight into the DOING when it comes to ads…

… but they completely skip over the planning and strategizing part.

While that might be the “boring” work, it is absolutely necessary for success.

That’s because ads only amplify a foundation that already works.

If you fail to plan and strategize, your foundation is going to be busted.

In today’s episode, I’m going back to the basics and walking you through Step Two of The Hirsh Process: Strategize.

After tuning in, you’ll know exactly how to create a strong marketing foundation that will set you up for success with your ads by becoming clear on:

  • Your ideal customer avatar
  • Your offer and the problem you solve
  • Your marketing goals 

Be sure to give it a list, and then head over to my Instagram page (@emilyhirsh) and drop a comment on my latest with your biggest takeaway from this episode.

Need support strategizing, implementing and managing 100% of your marketing and ads strategy? See if you qualify to work with Team Hirsh by filling out an application at helpmystrategy.com.

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody, welcome back to the podcast. How is your week going? How is everybody doing? I am gosh, for the last like month of episodes, I feel like every time I record I’m like, “I’m doing amazing and I’m so happy and everything’s going so well.” And it’s true. It’s like I went through a rough season last year, I’ve shared a lot of it on the podcast about just like,  the struggles, business, and we were buying a house, and the stress that I was feeling. And this is a good season. It’s a tough season as a parent right now because I have a newborn baby, not really newborn. What am I saying? He was like six months old now almost, but still I’m in that I’m in that early, like first year phase with a kid. That’s rough, but it’s my last one. 

So I feel like I’m in a better mindset knowing like this is my last time to enjoy all these little moments, but I really do just, I have moments throughout the day where I just like pause and I’m like, God, I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful for my team and my team members that just put in like, just brilliant people on my team. And it’s so rewarding to see where we go every single month when everybody is working towards amazing goals and whether it’s client goals, or like our internal marketing goals or whatever it is and just like using their brain in an efficient, productive way where we’re able to just constantly improve. 

And we recently did monthly planning for the next month’s goals. And I was like, God, I cannot believe how much we’ve done in the last 90 days, like how much we’ve accomplished and grown as a company and just having our best months. And then I’m also so grateful just for my life that I’ve created. Like sometimes you just kind of forget and you take it for granted, and you’re like, wow. You know, a lot of people right now are really struggling with, you know, 2020 has just been a rough year for a lot of people in terms of lost jobs, and the economy, and the effects of COVID and kids home from school. And I just sometimes feel like taken back. I have no words for how grateful I am in this, and I mean, it wasn’t an accident. I’m not lucky. I’ve created this lifestyle and I’ve kind of gone after what I wanted. And I push my team, I have high expectations and we all do, of ourselves and of our team, and high standard for our delivery, but it really pays off.

And it’s just so, so rewarding. So when I say like, I am doing amazing and I’m so excited, like I truly mean it right now. And I’m sure I’ll, you know, I’ll go through another hard season at some point, and I did last year and I wasn’t feeling so amazing every day and I was struggling, but I got through that. And we’re having our best months in business. We’ve had over 90% retention rate for the last five months on our roster, which is just amazing. Like in one month was 100 and another was 97%. So a lot of months over 95, which means like out of 50 something clients we’re losing two every month who, you know, for various reasons have to pause their campaigns or change their strategy or whatever it is, but it just feels so good to have that level of service for our clients right now. So anyways enough about that, let’s dive into today’s episode. 

So over the next several weeks, I’m going to be doing podcast episodes about The Hirsh Process, kind of like re-reminding you about it in various episodes in content. So that like over the next two months, basically, I’m going to be doing that through content, and that’s going to kind of be our theme and just like bringing you back to that core Hirsh Process, and then in different forms of content around that, not every single episode, but we’re going to sprinkle them in over the next couple of months. Because it’s been, since I started my podcast, that I actually did an episode on what the Hirsh Process is. So honestly, I don’t even think I want to go back and listen to those first few episodes. Like, I actually would not do it because I’d probably be mortified by how bad they are, because I’m pretty sure the first five episodes of my podcast probably suck compared to episode 200 and whatever we’re on cause you just get better as you do it. So I will never listen to them. So that would kill me. I’d be so embarrassed. You can go listen to it if you want. 

But anyways, it’s been two years since I really brought The Hirsh Process back on here. And so today we’ll start with the first, the first part of the process, the first step, which is strategize, which is your marketing foundation. And so I’m going to not just tell you what the process is, but we’re going to talk about your marketing foundation and just the important key components to having a really solid marketing foundation. 

First of all, in my opinion, the number one key to successful ads is not the ads themselves and the strategy themselves and all of the pieces that you do once you start ads, it’s actually setting the proper foundation before you start at. And I’m so passionate about this. And I speak about this a lot. When I do a presentation, when I speak to people, with our clients, because I can say it a hundred times over and people still don’t do this, like still don’t set their foundation the way that they should. So the number one key is that before you start your ads, before you turn them on, before you start spending money, before you finalize your strategy, that you’ve set the proper foundation. What does that foundation mean? 

And this is the first step of The Hirsh Process is what it’s defined. It’s that you know the answer to three things. You know who your ideal customer is, you have clearly defined who that person is, their struggles, what they need help with, their dreams, their age, their gender, exactly what they’re saying to their friends about their problem. All of those components you’ve clearly defined it. I mean like you have a person that you’ve written this out, you’ve sat down, you’ve thought it through so that when you do create marketing material, you’re making it for that person. 

The next thing is that you have clearly, you are able to clearly articulate your offer and the problem that you solve. So before you could ever run ads and be ready for ads, you got to be able to clearly articulate what it is that you solve for people, your business and your brand. But also that you have an offer that you can clearly articulate and kind of the, like my own test for this is if you, if you’re at a party and somebody is like, “Hey, what do you do?” Let’s say your ideal customer like happens to come up to you at a party. And they’re like, “Hey, what do you do for people?” You would be able to in two sentences or less explain to this person, the problem that you solve to get them interested in talking more to you. And it was crystal clear. They could not be confused. 

You know, for me it’s I help influencers and entrepreneurs with their digital marketing strategies through paid Facebook ads and Instagram. You can not confuse that, right? Like, I’m very clear when if someone asks you what it is you do and you’re like, “Well, it’s complicated. Um, I do this and like, then a little bit of this,” and you’re confused by the end of it. And you know what I’m talking about because I’ve done it. It’s like for some reason explaining what we do and like talking about ourselves is really hard. So you might have to be like practice this, but you need to be able to clearly articulate both your offer and the problem you solve before you can run ads, because even if you’re not directly articulating that in your ads, you have to make sure there’s consistency between everything you’re doing, the free content you’re putting out the lead generation, the opt in, all of that, that there’s consistency, okay? 

And then the third question that you have to be able to answer before you’re ready to run ads is what are your goals before you spend any money? What are your goals? What are your baseline metrics? What are you, what are you measuring success with? And that is the third piece of The Hirsh Process in this step, because this is where most people mess up. Here’s where people mess up in out of these three questions. People think they know their ideal customer, but they don’t know them on a deep enough level. And therefore, then their messaging suffers when they go to run ads and they waste money testing messaging that’s just not great. 

People think they know their offer and they have an idea in their head of what their offer is. And they maybe can tell you what their offer is, what it consists of. Like it has this many video trainings, and it’s this and this, that’s great. But what does your offer do for the person? Why do I care about your offer as your ideal customer and what does it do for me as your audience? Okay. So people miss that. 

The third thing is people just don’t set goals. They just go, “I’m just going to start ads. I’ll start ads and I’ll see what happens” and that is the biggest mistake. This is where almost everybody misses and even, you know, I even have to bring my own team, my own marketing team back and be like, guys, we’ve got to follow our process. We cannot start these ads until we have a lead number goal, and a cost per lead goal, and a sales goal attached to it. And my team knows, but even I sometimes forget, cause you just like build the funnel. You’re ready, you’ve got the strategy. You want to get it launched. And then you’re like, okay, turn it on. And it’s like, okay, well what’s successful? 

So you have to define success in your goals before you spend any money, because if you don’t, how are you going to know that it’s successful? You’ve got to define the success and the baseline of success for yourself before you can do anything. Cause you otherwise, what is success? That means knowing I want to pay this much cost per lead. I want to pay this much to acquire a customer. I want to spend this much and out of that spend, I want to make this much. And that means knowing all of those goals of big goals, spend, and profit goals, and then the little goals of landing page conversion, cost per lead cost per purchase, sales conversion, all of those things. Now, even if you get it totally wrong, like you think that you can get a $3 cost per lead and you totally can’t and now you have to readjust that to $5 cost per lead, that’s still okay because at least you set a baseline metric and at least you can see where you’re off. 

So the next thing I want to talk about and move into in this process, because knowing your ideal customer and clearly articulating your offer, those are pretty straight forward. Like as long as you go deep, as long as you can kind of go through that test where if you were at a party, you’d be able to clearly explain what your offer is and how it helps someone and then you feel like you have that deep understanding of your customer. You might think you do right now, go deeper like that. That’s usually the case. So those two are pretty easy, but let’s talk about this third one, which is defining your goals and setting yourself up for that success to finding what success means for you before you run your ads and let’s walk through how you would do this if you’ve never run ads versus if you have.

So if you’ve never run ads, you have to set those metrics. This is where a lot of people are like, well, I’ve never run out so I can’t set those goals because I don’t know what I’m going to do. We just recently did our pop-up podcast series launch, which we’ve never done that before. Right? Like that was a brand new thing. You bet I still had goals for cost per lead of a registrant to the podcast series, for how many people I thought would download the episodes out of the registrants, which would have been considered like the show up rate of a webinar for how many. The percentage of the leads that I wanted to book or fill out an application. And then out of those, how many would be qualified out of those? How many would book a call out of those? How many would close and all of our various offers? 

And yes, I was guessing because we haven’t done it before, but I still had those metrics. And I obviously did go and look at like past webinars or things that we’ve done for metrics. Even if you don’t have metrics though, you can still set a goal. Now there are averages. So you know what an average webinar cost per lead is five to $10. So maybe you put $7 and that’s your guess, but if you’ve never run ads, you still have to decide what is a metric at every action point in your ad, your strategy from the ad to the landing page, to the actual offer, to the sales conversion, to the total amount you made and the total amount you spent. Like what are all the metrics that we can use to define success? List those out.

If you were like envisioning your funnel and you look at every step where someone has to take an action, you’ve got a metric tied to that and then put a goal to it. So at every one of those points that we defined now, what is our goal conversion there? What is success for us? How much money would we need to make? If we’re going to spend a thousand dollars to, you know, be happy with our ads, this is where tools like our projection calculator, which is in our Facebook ad toolkit bundle as well as in Ignite. And what we use for client’s come in handy because you’ve got all different conversion types, but even if you’ve never run out, you have to define what each of those steps are and then assign a success metric to it. 

Now you might go then run ads for 30 days and come back and say, okay, I way over shot this. Like I can not hit that cost per lead goal. I’ve got to readjust this, which means it’s going to change my lead goal, which means it’s going to change my return on ad spend goal and my profit goal, which is all fine. But at least then you’re staying realistic. And we just recently had a client who just signed on, she’s been on here for 30 days and she was telling my team, and this is why I was like, yes, this is why I love our process and this is like, this means it’s working. She was telling my team how she was so impressed that we set her up with these like really realistic projections and expectations. And now they surpassed them. Halfway through the month they were already at their goals. And now she’s like, I’m just super excited because I had this realistic expectation of what it was going to happen and what my conversions were going to be, how much money I was going to make and then halfway through the month we’ve already met them. 

And so now it’s just like, we’re surpassing them. And she’s like that getting me in that mindset where I’m going into this with those expectations allowed me to then feel so happy when we succeeded them, but like I knew what I was getting into and I had this very realistic expectations set. And that’s part of this is you’re setting these for yourself so that you don’t feel like, oh, if I spend a thousand dollars, I should just make 5,000. Okay. That doesn’t happen magically. It happens by hitting conversion metrics at every step of the way. And so what are those? And then if you don’t hit them, where is the gap? Where did it fall off? So if you’ve never run ads, you’re going to have to guess, and then go back and update with the data.

If you have run ads before you still obviously have to do this, but you have an advantage because you can go back and use data. So let’s say, you know, for this podcast series, like I was talking about, I went back and looked at our average webinar cost per lead, and our show up rate, and our application rate, and then our qualification rate. And I was using those metrics to still pull it in, so I did have some data. And so once you’ve run ads, you have data now, obviously like a new funnel and a new offer is different, but you can still kind of translate it over. And so you’ve got that, you’ve got that advantage and you can use that data and you absolutely should use that data when you have previously run ads to know all of those metrics. Okay. 

Now the last thing I’ll state, I’ll say here is reiterating that the number one key to success is setting that proper foundation. This is why this is step one in our process. This is what we do when we technically onboard a client and it’s very heavy. Like our onboarding is intense. It’s a strategy call with an extra portion on that call with our creative director to go through this messaging pieces. Then we have a reporting and numbers call where we’re reviewing the tracking and the goals and the projections. Like there’s the most amount of work that we do when a client is either live launches or onboarding them because it’s so much heavy work for us to get this process set up for everyone. But it is so key to success with their ads, and a lot of people in this could be you. And I got this feedback a lot when I did my Ignite avatar interviews. 

I interviewed a lot of our students to ask them just kind of where they’re struggling, what they liked about Ignite, and I just was trying to do this process and actually improve our messaging for that avatar. But a lot of people said they really always lean towards wanting to jump into just the doing. They don’t feel like they’re moving forward unless they’re doing, unless they’re running ads, building the funnel, like getting things launched and live. And so they skip over this strategizing and planning because that doesn’t feel productive to them. It doesn’t feel like I’m moving forward in my marketing by just strategizing and planning. But it is the key to success. It might be boring. It might not be, you know, exciting to you. You might not like numbers. You might not like having to sit down and do that critical thinking about your ideal customer, but any. Really let me just say anything you do, like if you’re to roll out a new strategy in your company, in your marketing or whatever it is, you’ve got to sit down and set the foundation. You have to strategize.

I’ll give you an example. We just went into our planning and I’m pretty involved with the marketing team right now, and one of the things we will be launching is an audio book. And we can’t just say like, okay, launch the audio book. Okay. What does that mean? Like what do we have to do to launch the audio book? How are we going to announce it? How are we going to attract success? I have to set that foundation and spend that time. And it might just be like 20 or 30 minutes, but I still have to set that foundation in that example, to be able to move forward and to guide my team and to set us up for success and to know like, how are we defining success? How did we accomplish this, launching it? How many downloads do we want? How do we want to incorporate it into our book funnel? 

That’s just one example, but it really, this goes with everything that you do, especially in marketing, you have to step back and spend that little bit of time. It really doesn’t take that much time. It just takes critical thinking and strategizing, but spend that little bit of time to really set the foundation and then everybody’s set up for success. Then your team, then you everybody’s got their expectation set, right? And you are able in the long run, you save so much time and money. So that is step one of The Hirsh Process. It is critical to your success. It might seem boring. It might even seem counterproductive because it’s like, man, I didn’t make any progress, all I did was kind of like plan and organize everything and set defined success. But regardless, if you’ve been running ads for a while and you didn’t do this, you’re going to have to go back and do it. Or if you haven’t run ads yet, this is what you need to start with to get clarity on so that everybody’s on the same page. You’re on the same page. Your expectations are set properly. You know how much you’re going to spend and how much you’re going to potentially make from that. Nobody’s confused and nobody is set up for failure basically. 


So that is step one of The Hirsh Process, and like I said, I’m going to be going through it over the next eight weeks. It’s not going to be like the next episode, but I’m going to sprinkle in The Hirsh Process again, cause I wanted to revisit it after 200 podcast episodes and give you guys that, those takeaways. So thanks so much for tuning in today guys and I’ll see you on the next episode.