Maybe you’re a blogger. Or you sell handmade jewellery at fairs & on Etsy. Run creative workshops? There’s no end to the number of types of small creative businesses out there but I think 1 thing we all face is HOW TO GET TRACTION IN THE BUSINESS! One avenue I’ve recently been trying is advertising, namely Facebook advertising. I’m part of a lot of creative Facebook groups where every now and then someone will post the same Q “is X worth it?” (I do that myself) so I thought it may be helpful to write a post on Facebook advertising for small creative businesses/ freelancers for someone who’s tried it 🙂

 

The experience

I have run 2 Facebook ads to promote  2 of my craft workshops in London. The 1st workshop (November 2016):

 

The 2nd workshop (25 July 2017 at Drink Shop Do)

 

 

The good

You can put a very small amount towards the ads- something that is useful for small businesses with little cash-flow. It’s a good way of seeing if the ads are effective before increasing ad spend! For the 1st ad, I invested SGD$5+ (about £3) and, for the second, I doubled the amount to SGD$10 (about £6) to see if more money would = more results.

 

Moreover, you can pause/ stop the ad mid- run if you decide it’s not working for you (I did that for the first ad- I had dedicated £5 to it, but saw no results so decided to stop it halfway. For the second, I let the entire budget run to see if the extra spend would be effective)

 

The bad

Both times, I got zero results (measured by ticket sales). How about other benefits, such as liking my Facebook page etc? Again, minimal (not more than 1 or 2 additional likes)

 

Perhaps you are thinking that the issue is with my product (the workshops) and not the advertising medium: maybe no one is interested in making these things? In the same time frame, from marketing the event to Facebook Groups alone, I saw 30 “interested clicks” for the mermaid workshop (0-2 from the Facebook ad) In addition, tickets for the Crazy Ring Workshop did sell through other avenues (e.g. through my Facebook page and listing on an events directory)

 

Another feedback I get is maybe my ads aren’t targeted enough? For the Mermaid Crown workshop, I targeted females between 18-39, living in London and with only 2 specific interests (which I know have a strong correlation with mermaid crowns). I think it is difficult to get more targeted than that 😛 So…. if you ask me, Facebook ads are totally not worth it if you are trying to sell tickets to an event!

 

In terms of ad impressions, I was informed by Facebook that my SGD10/£6 reached 1,125 people, resulting in 14 clicks. This brings me to my 3rd issue with Facebook ads. I saw my own freaking ad!!!!! You know how when you see an ad, there’s a sponsored (or something) notice and you see the ad? I saw that many times myself (not to be confused when Facebook shows you your post hoping you will run an ad on it- I saw that too but the text before the post is different)- correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think showing the ad to the person running the ad is very effective or can be counted as reaching a person!!! So… I am slightly dubious about the reach/clicks metric that Facebook reported!

 

Alternatives

Instead of Facebook ads, what I found useful was:

  • posting in related Facebook groups
  • listing the product/ event on relevant directories

 

Hope this overview was useful for you guys 🙂 Have any of you run Facebook ads and how did you find them? Would love to hear more so we can all share info 🙂

 

 

Written by Zen

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