Using Facebook Ads to scale your business
Todays guest is Louise Glendon who is joining from Adelaide, Australia. Her online business is helping people take photos they love at https://clicklovegrow.com/
ClickLoveGrow offers online photography courses for women, to help them take better photos of their kids and family.
Louise is a mother, photography expert and ex-military. She brings a fun & inspiring enthusiasm to the conversation and shows how you can thrive online with one good course!
Her Facebook Group has over 28k engaged members and she runs her business like clockwork with two signature courses, promoted with two core lead magnets.
About Louise and starting ClickLoveGrow
Transitioning from local business owner to online business owner
The power of local networking and joining local groups
Working for the Royal Australian Air Force
14:30 – Getting into Facebook Ad Strategies and Tips
Promoting a course – 5 day challenges / Facebook lives / Teaching
The importance of lead magnets for your business
The power of Facebook groups
Knowing your numbers and ability to upsell for increased customer lifetime value
Why keeping it simple is sometimes they best option to grow your business!
Louise: Yeah, it’s not too bad. To be honest, we haven’t had very many cases. And I was saying to you just before our kids have gone back to school, so that’s a big relief. But yeah, just stressful times worrying about the economy and the community but very grateful to be online at this point in time.
Adam: For sure, I mean, there’s definitely going to be a big rise in the willingness to allow people to work remote and also in the interest for people to build online businesses and to look to build online revenue streams.
Louise: Absolutely. Yeah.
Adam: So Louise, you over at ClickLoveGrow, so you offer online
photography courses. Can you tell us a little bit more about how this came to be?
Louise: Yeah, totally. So our business is ClickLoveGrow and we offer online photography courses to women and mums who basically just want to take great photos of their kids. It came about because I was originally in the military. So I
joined the Air Force in Australia when I was 18. I went to the military academy and that was pretty much my career. I had a lot of fun with it, travelled a lot, I was
involved in lots of cool operations, but I actually ended up becoming a mum quite young. And so when I had my first daughter I was 23-24, which was pretty young. I didn’t know anyone else with kids and that definitely impacted my military career. The military was great about it, I worked part time and I didn’t deploy any more but it definitely gave me this situation where I couldn’t be the mum I wanted to be and have the career progression and level of success I wanted as kind of a high achiever. So it came about that my husband, who was also military, we posted to
the US and he did a training course over there with the US Navy and so I had a little
bit of time on my hands and I threw myself into photography. After I’d had my daughter I very much wanted to take those beautiful photos and I had that typical struggle of trying to figure it out, but when I had that time on my
hands, that’s exactly what I did. When we came back to Australia, I kind of had that taste of not working and I’ve worked from home and I was like, “You know what? This is a little bit nicer than going into a job every day,” you know, especially as a
parent having that flexibility. So combined with my photography, people started asking me about it, I was doing sessions for other people. So my first foray into business was actually running a photography business here in Australia. I started you know, with kids and families, I ended up doing niching and boudoir—I don’t
know if you’ve heard of boudoir photography.
I’m not too familiar with it. I probably should have Googled it beforehand.
Louise: It’s women in their lingerie, that’s why I’m laughing.
Adam: Oh sorry. Yeah, I used to work with a merchant who sold that sort of stuff. It’s like 1940s-50’s kind of…
Louise: Yeah, the pinup style, yeah.
Adam: Pinup style, yeah, yeah.
Louise: A modern take on that and it was a really interesting jump going from military to photographing women is a long journey but it was it was a really cool
business. I really loved it. But, we had spent our whole married life travelling in the military, always moved every 18 months to a couple of years and we had loved
living in the States. We wanted to get back to living in the US. So as I was studying marketing to grow my location-based business–my photography–I learned about online marketing and initially I wanted to use online marketing to grow my photography business. But because we wanted to move overseas, it was then that I was like, “You know what? I see these people running online courses.” That’s when I really started to look for an opportunity where I could take my skill sets and take them online.
Adam: I mean, that’s challenging for anybody in order to take a business from, like you’re saying, like essentially location-based, you have a studio, you have a place where people come and maybe you rent it or maybe it’s in your own house, whatever that is, and then you’re trying to take this online and you’re pursuing these skills to help to essentially bring people
to that business but you wanted to take it online. You mentioned you were looking up so you’re obviously seeing that there were some people who were doing courses or selling services online that was working for you, so did you take a course at that time?
Louise: I did. I took an online course which was about online marketing and I very specifically did it for my photography business. It wasn’t on my radar. One of the great things that happened when I took that marketing course, so that was back in
2012-2013 where I was living at the time in Adelaide, there was an amazing group of women that actually got together in person and we’d go out to a pub for dinner, you know, all the women taking this course. It’s a big international course but
people had their little chapters. And so I met these women that were running online courses and it was completely fascinating but it was brilliant because I could actually see someone doing it. So when we started to think about moving overseas I’d also become aware that a
location-based service business wasn’t scalable potentially in the way that I would have liked it to be, you know, without hiring staff and that kind of thing but you’re
always limited in how many clients you can take and that really interested me as well. So I started looking about and I thought to myself, okay. In the space at the
time, there are a lot of photography workshops, you know, teaching how to shoot
weddings or how to grow your business or how to shoot very specific niches. But if I
had a friend come to me and says “Lou, I just want better photos of my kids. I have this camera. I don’t know how to use it.” I didn’t feel like there was anywhere online. I could say “You know what? Just go to this website, it’ll start you at the very
beginning, you know, that’ll get you sorted.” And so that to me was like, okay, that’s
what I’m going to create. I feel like that’s missing in the market and it was very much a separate business. It was taking the skill sets that I had and I guess, coming from a military background, I’d spent a lot of time learning how to be a trainer, taking information, dissecting it and making it relevant, and teaching people so that helped as well. But yeah, that was kind of the jump and looking for the opportunity there.
Adam: Yeah, I mean, like you were saying, you had transferable skills that you could take from your old career, and no doubt or highly, highly refined, you know, when you come from a military background and then
applying them to this online business, but there’s something important that you touched on there was you found a niche in America that there
was an opportunity there where you didn’t feel like people who are
serving it well. You’re able to then carve out a niche and make some space for yourself to enter the market. So I mean, when you got started, when you’ve seen that there’s an opportunity here, you know, did it take you
long to build out a course? Did you launch a minimum viable product, like what did that look like? Did you start building the community first because there are a lot of things? When you see a polished product, it’s easy to look at it and go, “Okay, there it is, and that works.” But when you actually are at the beginning and you have this idea and you don’t have a course and you don’t have a following, that’s where it’s most challenging for people.
Louise: Absolutely. Yeah. And it feels really overwhelming when you look at a finished product and think, you know, so much work and effort, but it definitely is one step at a time. So the way that I started, I started a blog in about the middle of the year and I’d put out a blog post about once every six weeks. It was very slow to begin with. But as I was getting more excited about the idea, I guess, and really wanting to move online, I decided I’m going to need a deadline. So I hired a life/business coach, I think for about an eight week period, and I was like, “Right, this is my goal, I want to sit down with you and I just want you to hold me accountable to map this out.” So that was really helpful, you know kind of setting that deadline for myself.
So I launched the course and I just want to say this. In terms of community, I was
building a list a little bit. I probably maybe had 100 people on my list, and I have a big family. I’m from Tasmania so it was probably half of them. But as a military
person, we move a lot and so you end up in a lot of communities and you just meet a lot of people, probably people that travel a lot are exactly the same, right? You meet a lot of people. I guess I had a pretty big network in terms of friends and just
people I knew on Facebook. So we launched it at the end of the year over the
Christmas period and I think sold about 128 in our first round. That was really fantastic because it kind of validated the messaging. I think it really resonated with
people as something that they wanted to learn and then what I did was madly writing it week by week. That was fun but I think that is a great way to do it, you
know, I had the course structure mapped out and we put it out there, we sold it, and then I developed it and refined it as it was delivered. And to be honest, in seven years, I’ve only updated the course materials once and I didn’t really updated them, I just re-recorded them and put them into a new format so they looked a little bit more professional. But yeah, so that’s the other thing that I think is great about an online asset is you do the work in developing it and then it’s created you can spend a lot more time on the other aspects of your business.
Adam: Yeah, building the groups and the engagement and the community because I mean, it’s a niche that people are passionate about in terms of the kids, like who doesn’t love their kids? If you look on my phone there’s just thousands of photos of my daughter, so to teach people how to take really good photos of their kids and then people are going to be proud of that and they’re going to want to share those pictures with the group and the other people who’ve taken the course and that helps to build that community and also to push people to want to be better at it. Have you found managing, you know, your Facebook group is over 27,000 people in it, I mean, I imagine, we can talk about that, like is that very difficult to
manage? Or is it like people kind of user-generated sort of stuff where they ask questions and they reply and they kind of for the most part engage with each other, like what does that look like?
Louise: So it is a really highly engaged group and to be honest, if we didn’t go in there, I think it would be a pretty highly engaged group. But the problem can be
when we take our foot off the pedal a little bit or we get distracted, they can forget who I even am. It does take a little bit of effort. I have a fantastic moderator team, so members of our community that have offered to help, especially in the different time zones, to make sure nothing traumatic happens while we’re all asleep. As it’s growing larger, we have implemented approved to post with our Facebook group. I
think that really helps keep things on track.
I have a couple of different communities. So our big 27,000 member group, it’s all
women that are essentially interested in photography. I think the first thing is just to
make it a really welcoming place for beginners. What I know exists out there is a lot
of photography groups with things that people don’t like, you know, harsh criticism and people that post really amazing photos and other people feel overwhelmed or like they’re not good enough so they’re too scared to post. So I took those things from other communities and flipped them in my community to make it feel like a safe place to people that are my ideal client, you know, because we have a beginner course as our front end product. So I just try and do things. We share a blog content in there. I do a lot of things like you said, getting people to post their own photos, I do critiquing, I try and do videos. But it ebbs and flows. It’s really hard to maintain a really high level of energy for those kind of marketing activities. I have my team. I have a content portion of my team who create a log of posts and things. I do need to show up on video but when we do live launches, that’s where I really go and we might do a five-day challenge or do a live video every day, I’ll do some teaching or really raise the awareness and get the energy high before we go into a launch or offering a product. And then when we’re not in a live launch sequence I just try and keep it high. That’s our free group. When students come and take our course, we then have grads community. So they graduate from our course and we call it the COG grads and we really make a lot of effort to nurture that community because I would say most of our marketing effort is on our front end course. That would bring in about 40% of our revenue and about
90% of our ad spend is focused on that first course. The back end sales, which have no cost of acquisition in terms of acquiring leads and students, they are our existing community buying into other programmes and that makes up about 60% of our revenue, so it’s really important that we nurture the community of students after they’ve taken our courses so that they stay really engaged and really interested in our subsequent offers.
Adam: Yeah, so is that like kind of more advanced training programmes that you put out or is that you’re recommending other programmes as an
Louise: No, so we don’t do any affiliate. I think it’s a little control aspect of my brand and my business. We don’t do any affiliate. So we have our beginner course which is an eight week introductory course. Then we have an advanced course which is a four month course and it only runs twice a year. We feature a lot of our students who’ve taken that course, you know, putting them up as being inspirations
and create a lot of interest in that programme. It sells out really quickly each time
we run it, which is fantastic. And recently, we’ve introduced some kind of hands-on creative workshops that are smaller, they’re lower cost, but they exist so that people stay engaged in our community. And this is another thing coming back to really listening to what people want. I was always very fixed on, okay, create one product, you know, have one focus for your business, make the messaging really strong. But of course, after people take that they’re like, what’s next?
Adam: What’s the upsell? They took that and they enjoyed it, have you got something else? What can I do next? It’s almost like a game and they want to level up. They want to get the badges, you know, like what’s the next thing for me to accomplish because I really liked that and I learned a lot? Essentially, if you don’t create it, then they’re going to go and look somewhere else for it.
Louise: This is exactly what I was going to say. So I had a lot of resistance around
creating different products because I had it in my head about this consistency model. I’ve made friends with lots of our students and they’re like, “Lou, we want to keep learning with you but you don’t have these programmes. We’re literally going to your competitor and spending money because we can’t spend it with you.” I’m like, “Ding, ding, ding, ding. Okay, it’s time to pay attention.” And yeah, so we’ve implemented that and it’s been exciting because having the same course for seven
years, I don’t want to say it can get boring, but it’s fun to have something new to work on and create in our business, which has been great.
Adam: Yeah, it helps keeps things exciting for you because, I mean, it’s amazing that you built a course seven years ago and you only have to upgrade it once. To still be able to sell that, no problem as your front end product, like that is just internet marketing perfection right there, you know.
Louise: I think I picked a skill that it’s a tangible skill that it’s like an uptrend based, I guess.
Adam: Absolutely, it’s one of those niches. I mean, people are always going to have babies.
Louise: Yes, that is true.
Adam: It’s like people are just going to keep having babies so there’s
always going to be potential new clients for that business and potential first time clients for that business. So it does hit the sweet spot in that regard and offering and creating these courses, I guess, like you kind of have to take a step back there and get out of your own way in terms of llike what you thought was the right way to go about it. But then you realise by listening to your community, I think this is a very important
thing for people to hear, you know, by listening and gaining the feedback, you realise that actually it’s the best way for the business to pivot because you know, you gave numbers there that 40% of revenue uses 90% of the ad spend. But then, with these people who’ve already gone through that, they actually bring in 60% of the revenue for 10% to spend at the at the back end. So, the front end product is more expensive to sell, you know, you’re going to struggle with things like ad fatigue and everything else. But with these back end products, these people already know, like and
trust you, they’re an engaged community and yeah, it’s just going to be more easy to sell like you’re saying creative workshops, advanced workshops for these people.
Louise: It’s true. Because our front end offer are relatively low cost product where, you know, our ideal client is a stay at home mom or someone who’s on maternity leave, so we’re not selling high ticket, really expensive programs. And so it would be very difficult to scale once you start implementing ad spend and different strategies,
it would be really hard to scale profitably with a low cost. So that’s why it’s been really important, I guess, over time that we build out those other back end offers. And again, I don’t think it’s something that you can necessarily launch from the very beginning, it’s a lot of testing and adjusting kind of adapting as you go.
Adam: And listening, like you’re saying, listening to what people are saying and remaining consistent as well in your market and your message and building the communities, you know, because people can add their friends in the groups.
Louise: Oh, totally.
Adam: That’s a cool part of it all too, isn’t it? People can recommend it and tag you on Instagram and everything. I guess what has helped overall, I guess, I mean, we spoke now about the group and we spoke about the odd side of things like what else has helped you with regards to growing this business and growing and gaining awareness for your brand?
Louise: Yeah, I think one of the things is that we really pride ourselves on the level of commitment to our community. We are definitely not just selling a course, emailing it and forgetting about it. We really do have a strong community and so that ties into the level of support that we provide when they’re coming through the course. We have instructor teams. We have one on one support to make sure that we get really strong results, basically, and we get fantastic testimonials and build a
really strong loyalty to our brand. The other thing we do is we use our student content as a part of our own content strategy for consistent storytelling, so we’re always sharing the successes of our
students. We’re sharing their images, telling their stories, asking them questions, and I think by doing that, again, people feel really connected to the brand. They form great relationships with each other. But it just means that by using student
images, we’re consistently showing up social proof. And also, you know, we’re not
saying here’s a testimonial, you know, Jane said, “Oh, COG is great.” We’re literally
showing through the content what people are achieving. I think that has been a big part of it. And then I guess on the other side is I, you know, I’m a totally digital marketing nerd. I love it. These are all things I didn’t know about in my business to start with, the email marketing, and the different campaigns that you can set up. Moving to Evergreen I resisted it so badly but it has made a really big difference in
Adam: Sorry, what do you mean evergreen move?
Louise: So when I first started back in the day, it was all about the big launches and we don’t launch for eight weeks, which in these days, sounds insane, right to open cart for eight weeks. But that’s how we used to do it and Facebook had a lot of
organic reach. I could work with influencers and they would post like one post on Facebook and the sales would just come rushing in. But it doesn’t really work like that as much anymore because we don’t have that organic storage. As the business changed and developed I moved to a model of list building. So I would say spend a couple of months building my list, spending money on leads, nurturing them, and then going straight into a launch. But that meant that people had to wait sometimes like two to three months before they were even offered a product. And if they were really interested, they probably go somewhere else by that point. So I resisted it for a long time because launches really worked well for us. We had great conversions and that’s where we’d make a lot of our revenue. We’d make a lot of money on our launches and then we wouldn’t make anything for the next few months.
Adam: A couple of weeks or a month, yeah.
Louise: Yeah, so switching to Evergreen just made, you know, I had a lot of mental
resistance to it but when we implemented it, it just made so much more sense because people could come in. If they were ready to buy they had the opportunity to do so. If they weren’t, they went through around nurturing campaigns and then they’d be offered subsequent opportunities to buy. So it was a real mindset shift for me but it meant that I was getting a better and a faster return on ad spend. Then I was in the build list, build audience, just putting money into leads and then just
hoping when we got to launch time that we would recruit them.
Adam: Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen it’s changed massively over the last– I get what you mean now by Evergreen. Sorry, I thought that because you touched on email marketing and I thought that maybe there’s some software that I wasn’t aware of and I get what you mean now. You have an evergreen funnel running, yeah, I mean, it can run at all times. I guess some people maybe don’t know, but you gave a great explanation for it. And it’s like how launches are done has changed now massively. You can you can see that carts only open for a couple of days. What you’re saying about working with influencers often what people will do now before they launch a course is they’ll team
up with a whole bunch of influencers or bloggers and they’ll jump on to the videos
and they’ll do Facebook Lives. They’ll do all this kind of presale work and then boom! Cart opens for like three days or something and everybody, you know, you look at James Wedmore all these Amy Porterfield, all the big names and all the superstars, all these people. But that’s what they do and then the market came to follow suit in a lot of ways. The Facebook Messenger seems to be working really well for people as well sending
people into these chat floors. So I’d love to just touch a little bit on you know, you mentioned there a lot about Facebook ads and about getting people in initially. Can you talk to me a little bit about like, do you use lead magnets? Would it be start a conversation like a messenger ad like what sort of ads have worked, you know, for
you and you see working now more importantly?
Louise: Yes, so we have a couple of core lead magnets and, again, we’ve been using them for a long time and I guess I don’t want to break it because I don’t want to touch it in case I break it. Our main two lead magnets that we use are Kids Photography Guide because, again, our target audience is people who want to take better photos of their kids. And then our other one is a manual settings cheat sheet. So at that point, we’re targeting people who are already problem aware, they already know that they would like to improve their photography, maybe they’ve tried and struggled a little bit, so this one appeals to them. So there are two, just PDF guides, traditional opt in, bring them into the funnel. We also have a five-day mini photography course which is on the banner of our website and we do promote ads to that as well. But what I find is that when our sales come through, and this is something as well, I’m really big on sales, data analysis. You know that sounds fancy but it’s not. It’s just looking at your sales and then saying: Where did they come in? How long have they been with us? What content did they consume before they decided to buy?
So what I usually find is that because we do a lot of retargeting, you know, someone might download the Kids Photography Guide and then they’ll join the mini course, and then they might participate in some other content, and then they get trigger one of the offers and then they purchase after a period of time. So, I think with optins for me, I’ve realised it kind of has that layered effect so that you can have a few different touch points for people to see what you do and consume your content to build a relationship.
Adam: And to come into your funnel and those initial lead magnets they are free. It’s not a tripwire, like it’s not like $1 to get this, because I know some people have kind of moved to this, you know, it’s $1 or $10 because they want to get somebody to spend money right from the get go.
Louise: Yeah, so I have experimented with that and so we tried for I think 18 months, and to be honest, it worked really well in terms of the people that purchased, you know, say like a $17 offer. We had really great conversions into our main product and then someone said one day, “Well, why don’t you just start offering the main product on the thank you page?” And we got the same conversions of people buying the full product as we did the $17 product. So I think
with all of these things, it’s absolutely worth testing for your particular market and
just seeing what works and what doesn’t work and sometimes it’s strategies. There
are lots of things you could do, but sometimes keeping it simple is kind of the
easiest as well, especially if you have kids and you don’t have the time.
Adam: Yeah, for sure, because I mean, you work from home and have kids and you
have this online business and it’s a big community and lots of members and like just
Louise: Moving parts.
Adam: I don’t want to make it sound scary, yeah, a lot of moving parts but also there’s elements of responsibility there as well so it’s important. How do you find managing that? Do you want to dive into that a little bit?
Louise: Yeah, totally, let’s do it. I absolutely have a team who I love and who make my life easier and I would not be able to do it without them. And again, I think a
team sounds scary when you start out but a team can literally be starting out with someone working an hour a week for you, you know, to help out, to assist with things and then it grows from there. One of the women who works the most hours for me, she started out, you know, when I first started, I said, “Hey, I’m doing this
thing. Do you want to just help me out a little bit?” And she now works 35 hours a week. She does our content and oversees our other team members. I definitely have admin support. So once you get to a certain scale and a certain, you know, level of quantity going into your inbox can cause a little bit of anxiety. I have an amazing VA who does our admin support, who manages all our payment plans because that’s obviously a very fiddly job once you start having high volume people and payment
plans and just managing all of that, and back end like email automation stuff, and
then the rest of my team are instructors and so they’re all past students who are also mums and they also work from home. So we have our team located remotely. They’re all amazing group of women who definitely support me. And yeah, that’s how we operate.
Adam: I love what you’re saying, you know, it’s for people to don’t get
overwhelmed because a lot of people can start off with this magical idea that there’s a unicorn VA out there that can do everything for them and it doesn’t exist and you’re better to hire a specialist if you can. And like you’re saying, just for a few hours a week, you know, if you want somebody to help you with your social, you know, just find that one person and then you know, somebody else for the admin or somebody else for a video, you know, don’t be trying to find the one person who can do it all because often they don’t exist, and if they do, they charge a bloody lot.
Louise: That’s true.
Adam: Because there are people who can do it all, you know, but they’ll
charge you a lot more than maybe a starting business can afford. And like you’re saying, it’s, these tasks that take up a lot of time but they don’t actually, you know, let’s say drive the business forward or drive the revenue. Those are the first ones to try and pass off and then train somebody in to do and maybe they can do it better than you. That’s
something people have admitted too, you know, like sometimes those
people might be better at it than you, but people have sometimes a control issue and are reluctant to relinquish their, yeah, because
essentially the person is interacting as you and you’re cautious because
it’s your business and you’re essentially given somebody else permission to speak as you or on behalf of you. Especially when you’re working remote, some people can–a little bit less now–but you know, maybe some people can just be a little bit more hesitant to relinquish control. It sounds like you’ve built a good team. So where would you go yourself to
find virtual help?
Louise: Well, I was just having this conversation with a group of friends yesterday and to be honest, I think referrals at the moment is kind of the ideal place, so asking around in your networks, who’s worked with people for specific type jobs. I find
Upwork to be really great. I’ve found some really great contractors on there for managing different tasks. One thing I did want to say, especially when it comes to admin support, you’re always better off paying someone a higher rate who is more efficient and can get things done within a shorter time period than going super cheap. I know that can be a temptation but I’ve definitely learned that lesson. Because you do want to have the confidence that someone is not going to be like always needing support or getting things done really slowly when you can hire someone who can just get in and do it really quickly and you’ll pay less in the long
run I think is good advice.
Adam: It costs you more in the long run, yeah, bad hires, because in terms of time and stress and possible mistakes. Look, so this kind of brings us now towards the end of the episode and it’s been really great to chat with you Louise, and I look forward to sharing this with our listeners and letting everybody tune in and hear it. So if people wanted to get in touch with you and engage with you and your brand, where would they go to find you?
Louise: Yeah, I’d love for you to check us out at Clicklovegrow.com. On the front page there we have our free Mini Photography Course, so whether you have a DSLR or even an iPhone, that’s really fantastic. And to help you take better photos on Instagram, we’re ClickLoveGrow and same on Facebook. And if you do go to our
socials, you’ll just see that we do share a lot of beautiful inspiring photography taken
by our students.
Adam: Lovely. So I’ll make sure to link everything in the show notes. Pretty sure
you can click over to Spotify now as well if you’re listening there. So thank you, Louise. I appreciate it and I wish you all the best with your business.
Louise: Beautiful. Thanks so much for having me, Adam.
Thank you for listening to the Digital Nomad Cafe podcast. Head over to the website to access the resources and links mentioned in today’s episode at digitalnomadcafe.com.