It always astounds me when I see marketing companies paying thousands of pounds into Facebook. They claim to be able to get a great ROI for “Other Companies” yet 1 like on a post (probably from one of their team) for over 50,000 impressions is not great. That is terrible targeting. It’s even worse if they don’t hide the abusive messages they get from other marketers who are able to see through their disguise.

So what’s the problem? These businesses are companies with at least 10 employees. It absolutely staggers me how they can be so inefficient. The thing is they’ve got a specialist audience, but that audience is people like me. I’m able to analyse their business within about 5 minutes and see weather or not they’re decent. So are other marketers, and to be honest, most of us see an issue and point out these mistakes they make because it’s irritating that someone else can spend thousands of pounds so inefficiently. It’s kind of like a prickly feeling you can’t ignore. The kind of feeling that says: Can I trust you to do my social media if you havn’t even sorted out a cover photo for your marketing page? How can I trust you if all your links are dead? How can I trust you if you take my information with no SSL. That’s the padlock up at the top of your browser keeping your information safe! Without this, people can intercept your data and these marketing companies are in breach of GDPR. Woohoo!
I’ll break it down. I get very little out of Facebook personally, as it’s never really that good for people in my line of work – the majority of people one finds are time wasters, and my conversion rate is less than 5%. I actually get more business than I can handle from my website. Unless you’re selling something like a digital product, you are unlikely to benefit from Facebook as a marketer, because time wise, it’s inefficient. I get about 2 emails a week asking me to run social media from someone. Most of the companies, I would rather just get a one off fee and say: Use this to manage your media, do it yourself. Then I charge a 10% of ad spend to run ads. That’s £20.00 to set up a £200 ad campaign. Which takes me all of 30 minutes to set up, and occasionally tweak if necessary.
This generates people more business than if I am their social media admin. If I do that as well though, I generate more business than they do, but the ROI is not good enough as they need to recoup £400.00 a month, usually in a small town or area with huge competition. It’s better to have a slow creep over time, and I always work hard to ensure my clients get a better service even if it stops me earning a tonne of money.
Most marketing companies out there cannot be trusted. I have SEO ‘experts’ contact me all the time. I do a cheap and effective SEO solution, as backed up by pretty much anyone I’ve ever worked with. I can see that most of these experts havn’t got a clue. About 4 years ago, neither had I, but I became obsessed with the idea of bringing people in to businesses through websites, started following Neil Patel, who is the only SEO expert I feel I can genuinely trust, and now, I’m probably the best value SEO guy I know. – I know quite a few! At the moment, my conversion rate from my website hovers between 50% and 75% monthly, despite it looking ‘weird’. Weird is good in marketing because people don’t forget it. I am a very weird guy.
Last year, I started Fantasoft, named after my favorite games company of all time. I had nothing but the money for a domain name and company formation, hosting provided by my friend Dug of and desperation. I had just taken voluntary redundancy from Open Space Advertising, where I had worked under Gary Hickman, who is now kinda like my friendly rival. I went and found a member of the old Fantasoft team and begged to use the name, which I was allowed to do. Because it meant a lot to me, it helped me build this company. I felt I had to do a good job of making it work because I couldn’t let the name down…

A year later… I have clients. I have returning clients. I have enough businesses contacting me to make me feel happy, and kinda proud of myself. I worked hard for this


But there’s a dark side to doing marketing and doing it well. I see hundreds of companies constantly selling snake oil on Facebook and it makes my blood boil. “Buy our copy pasted marketing guide or subscribe to our fictitious marketing secrets email list for money monthly.” There’s one real rule of life that’s always stuck. Those that do, do, those that can’t do teach. This is very true for most online marketers. Most of them are decent, or simply… OK. If they were really making millions of millions, why would they share it and flood the market with competition. Makes no sense to me. Then again, I only spent about 7 years studying human psychology. Marketers are like predatory animals. Why would they just give out their secrets when the ROI for keeping them would make them much more money!

Some will begin with: “These guys followed this plan and got rich quick. Check out my Lambrini… I mean Lamborghini.” Sorry mate, the Countach will always be more epic than the Aventador. I’d rather drive a Ford Escort… These people generally sell the secrets of yesteryear. They baffle me because they apparently spend all that money on a car, yet my cameras are better than their inaudible webcam. I digress. They sell what worked for them, be it drop shipping, amazon sales, other marketing stuff. Their marketing techniques worked well… For a while. But now they’re getting a fall off, not doing so well. So they share what used to work for them, and marketers snap it up, and do an OK job. The advice is decent… But eventually, all the techniques turn to dust


Some marketers sell products and systems that work. These products and systems are generally similar. They follow the age old marketing guides which are all the same. You could have bought any marketing book ever and devised your own system. Does it use a combination of programs? Does it have massive integration necessity? Avoid it like the plague. The second one of these programs stops working or gets nerfed, you can’t run this system and you could be out a few thousand, not counting the time it takes you and your team to learn this system. You’ve been hosed by the marketer who knew the system was on the way out. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It annoys me. Oh, and most of these systems are complicated for the customer! I forgot to mention that. Thing is with marketing, the more steps a customer has to follow to sign up for or do anything, the more of a chance you have to lose them each step of the way. Landing pages are old hat, but they’re simple and effective. Just build them into your website, rather than on another domain. Might as well benefit from the traffic…


So where does this leave us?


I believe in simplicity. If you don’t screw around with marketers who charge you for information you can find (for free) on YouTube, (this step costs you money) using their selected programs and affiliate links. (this step costs you money) you will lose less money to begin with. If you run things simply and easily, you will be fine. Facebook has it’s own posting and scheduling system. You can never mess up with that. Keep an eye on your incoming messages. Keep things simple with your marketing and boom. You’ll do well. You won’t make millions on a get rich quick scheme, but you’ll do OK. Keep up to date with new Facebook changes, this will help you sell better than complicated systems.

This is Alex O’Neil, Director of Fantasoft, a small unheard of marketing company – signing off.