Ever feel like you’re darned if you do, darned if you don’t? That’s what so many fellow course creators have expressed to me on the topic of Facebook ads. But not to worry – on today’s episode, Monica Louie shared her top tips for Facebook ads, and talk about how she’s developed both a course and an agency on this challenging topic.

Give them some value. Build that relationship before you make the offer.

Monica Louie

It was great to chat with Monica and glean some really cool info along the way. I’m still mulling over what I learned in today’s episode, and I think you’ll enjoy what you learn!

In This Episode, We Talked About:

  • (2:34) How Monica got started in the world of online courses
  • (5:15) Starting out with a course and building to an agency
  • (7:38) The importance of having Facebook ad knowledge – or choosing to outsource
  • (10:56) Monica’s course launch strategy
  • (12:15) Her sales funnel and affiliate sales
  • (13:06) Monica’s course pricing strategy
  • (14:25) The online platform and tools that works best for her
  • (16:30) How Monica got a testimonial from one of my favorite online entrepreneur gurus
  • (18:16) Her advice for course creators who want to boost their ROI with Facebook ads
  • (21:10) Advice specific to people who already have a solid funnel
  • (22:31) Monica’s recommendations for my Facebook ad targeting

Whew! That about does it for today – don’t forget to join me for the next episode of The Online Course Guy!

Jacques Hopkins: Episode 88 agency versus courses with Monica Louie, the online course guy podcast. Regular people are taking their knowledge and content and packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing it. When you take some kind, of course you've covered this stuff. Check it out. Ladies and gentlemen, here's the online course. Got Jeff Hopkins, everyone at Johns Hopkins, and welcome to episode 88 of the online core sky podcast. I've got the full interview with Monica Louie coming up for you shortly, but first let me tell you about our sponsor, and that is of course. dot com makes it so quick and easy to send a short video message to anyone with an email address.

I have had the creator of bungee Oro on this show and . He talked a lot about customer relationships and customer delight. I recommend you go back and listen to that episode. That was episode 41 of this podcast, and it wasn't just a big sales pitch for Bon Juro. Matt, the founder, was just fascinating to talk to about customer relationships and if you are interested in having good customer relationships.

Then you should be using a tool like bungee . If you want to give it a shot, there's a free 14 day trial waiting for you at dot com slash shock that's dot com slash Jac Q. U. E. S. all right guys. Today on the show, I had Monica Louie. You may be familiar with Monica already. She is a Facebook ads expert.

She has an agency where she actually, her company provides services. Facebook ad services, but she also has a course on how to be successful with Facebook ads. So that's actually my favorite thing from this episode. A lot of people start with an agency and then they turned all nine courses. Monica kind of did it the other way around.

She had her course and then started to do some agency work. So if you've ever asked yourself the question, should I have an agency that provides services or should I have a course that teaches people how to do this thing or both? This is a great episode for you, or if you're just curious about Facebook ads.

Monica shares a lot of information about how to be successful with Facebook ads for online courses as well. This was a great episode. Fantastic to meet and talk to Monica. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Let's get to the full interview right now. Hi, Monica. Thanks so much for joining me on the online core sky podcast today. How are you?

Monica Louie: I am great. Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

Jacques Hopkins: Great. I'm excited too. So just start with. I know you have a lot of things going on online, not just an online course or online courses, but how did you get started? How did you get into the world of having an online course.

Monica Louie: Yeah, so back in January of 2015 I launched my first blog online. It was a personal finance blog, sharing our story, my family's story of getting out of debt, and I was really wanting to launch that as a side business that I can help people get out of that.

But I also wanted to go about it the right way. So I ended up learning about B school, Marie Forleo's B school, and that was my first introduction to an online course. So I ended up signing up for B school through Amy Porterfield's link, and she had an amazing bonus package that went along with it. And I just.

Felt like I really struck gold with that bonus package and with the school and learned a whole lot. So that was my first experience in going through an online course myself.

Jacques Hopkins: So what, like, I don't even like an exact percentage because I know you're doing more than an online course, but what portion of your business as a whole country is, is from the online course as opposed to with the other aspects of your business?

Monica Louie: Yeah, so my business largely, so I'm a Facebook ad strategist, and so the online course is just one piece of my business. I also do Facebook ads coaching, and then I have a growing agency. And so when I started my business, I started with just the coaching. And so that was just my primary business model.

I was Facebook ads coach, meeting with people one-on-one to work through their Facebook ad campaigns, and then as that grew really quickly, then that's when I realized that my time was being stretched. I was running out of time to help people. There was an obvious need here, and so that's when I got the idea to create a course.

So I could have a lower price offer, but help more people have success with Facebook ads. And so I launched that in September of 2017 and that took off really, really well. And then, at the end of 2017, then a couple of people were coming to me. They were wanting to work with me. But they didn't necessarily want coaching.

They were farther along in their business that they wanted. They didn't want to learn Facebook ads themselves. They didn't want to go through my course. They wanted me to do it for them. And so looking at where they were in their business, it made total sense. So that that's when we started growing its team and growing our ads management service.

On a small scale to really refine our processes. And then early this year we decided that, you know, we're getting our systems and processes in place. We can really scale this up. So now we've been growing the team. So now majority of our revenue is coming from our ads agency.

Jacques Hopkins: That's really interesting, Monica, because I've certainly talked to people on this podcast or anonymous podcasts that have, that have experience with both a course and an agency, but I think more often than what you're describing, people go agency then the course and may be scaled down the agency and ramp up the more passive side of a course.

So. How have you been able to, I'm guessing you're not in there like doing all the Facebook ads or have you systemize this, this agency side of your business?

Monica Louie: Yeah, it's actually been really great. I've got a great team of people that work with me, and I am still very involved in the client meetings and this overall strategy, but the team is in place and we've been growing really fast, so we've got people trained that kind of take the strategy and run with it, and then.

We review the ad copy and the ads that they put together, the images and ideas, and you know, we tweak, but then they run with, with getting it set up and then monitor how things are going. They always report back daily on how things are going and then we talk about, you know, if we need to test new ads or, or what changes we need to make and, or other new ideas that come up. So that's been working really well. It's really nice.

Jacques Hopkins: For those that are maybe listening to this, that have a successful course already. I don't have an agency, but have thought about it. what are, what are the reasons that somebody would want to, to move over and start and grow an agency side of the same type of.

Monica Louie: Business. No, I think if there's a demand for it, then you know, when people are looking for, you know, to take it to the next level and wanting to outsource what your course teaches, then that's where it can make sense to, to have an agency. But I like the way that we approached it where, you know, it wasn't like we were looking to start an agency.

It was just that, I had a couple of connections that I really wanted to work with these people. I really wanted to help them out. And so, you know, I was very upfront that, you know, this would be my first time diving into actually doing ads. Or people not with people. And so they were game for it. So we tested and started to define our processes and that's when it worked out really great.

And we saw the potential here because people more and more were coming to me when I was just offering coaching. People would ask if I was doing as management and so I would refer them to other people. And so we saw that there was huge potential there. So that's where, you know, you got to look at your time and availability, but also is there the demand, if there's the demand, then it's definitely something worth looking into to see if it's the right fit for you.

Jacques Hopkins: That's, that's really, really cool. Cause I know a lot of people that want to be successful with something like Facebook ads, but don't necessarily want to be so far deep into their business where they're actually going through a course and implementing it themselves. They have the money to where they just want to outsource it to somebody. So that's cool that you're able to. Appeal to both types of people. Really. So back to your, Oh, go ahead. Go ahead.

Monica Louie: Oh, well, I was just going to say, so I really liked that. You know, we have offerings for pretty much anybody, no matter where they are in their, in their business, if they're just getting started, you know, and they are wanting to learn all the things so that they know how to do it, then it makes sense to start learning Facebook ads on your own.

Because there is a lot to understand when it comes to Facebook ads about why some campaigns work and why some don't. And so learn all of that for yourself. That's why I started with coaching because I thought it was super important for people to understand the behind the scenes of a Facebook ad. It's not just at it and forget it.

You need to understand all the different variables that come into play that can help determine your success. So that's why I started with coaching. I really wanted to empower people to understand that. So starting with learning through an online course or through with coaching, and then, you know, getting it to a point where, you know, I don't really need to be the one, you know, adjusting budgets every day or setting up the new ads, then that's when it makes sense to, to start looking at outsourcing.

Jacques Hopkins: I love that. I completely agree. I think, you know, one thing I normally tell people, and one of the biggest mistakes with outsourcing I see is people, people outsource. Things because they don't know anything about it and don't care to learn anything about it. But it makes you a better outsourcer if you at least know a little bit about what you're doing. So if you know the basics of Facebook's ads, when you're going to outsource it, you're going to, it's going to be better overall, even though you're not the one doing it. Sounds like that's kind of what you're.

Monica Louie: Saying. Yeah, exactly. And then you know what questions to ask because I'll have people that come to me and they don't understand Facebook ads. And so, you know, it's kind of like we're speaking two different languages, so I kind of have to, you know, figure out what they're asking, what they're actually wanting to do with the Facebook ads. Do they understand that if they're wanting to sell a product on the back end, like an online course, which a lot of our clients do.

Then, you know, do they understand that they need to have some kind of sales funnel in place to warm up the audience and get them ready to buy? And so that's why we have those questions. But then also, you know, we look at, well, is. Is my agency, you know, are we going to be the best fit for you and for your strategies?

Because we work with online businesses, we work with bloggers, we learn, we work with online course creators, online experts, and our experience is not in like the local market, like with real estate agents or dentists or you know, that kind of market. We are also. Don't have a lot of experience with eCommerce and selling physical products.

So we really, you know, specialize in what we know how to do well. And so when somebody comes across and they're looking for what we know how to do, well, then that's when we find that it can be a great fit. But we do refer people out. If they're not going to be the best fit for our agency. So it's really important to know those questions, to know that, you know, if you are going to hire your Facebook ads out, the people that you are talking with about running your Facebook ads for, you have experience in what you want to do with Facebook ads and have results.

So super important. And I think people just think Facebook ads, you know, they, they don't realize that there are all these different niches within Facebook ads.

Jacques Hopkins: I love it. Monica. that's, that's really cool. So going back to September, 2017 when you launched the course, what you know is, it sounds like it was, it was fairly successful for you. What was your launch strategy back then?

Monica Louie: Yeah. So it was, it was kind of interesting because I started the Facebook ads business, at the very end of 2016. So I really say like, I really dove in in January of 2017 with my Facebook ads coaching. And then in June of 2017 I launched my website. It's AMU while longer than I planned to get my website up.

And so then that's when I started doing consistent Facebook lives and really trying from my Facebook page. But I have a pretty small audience. My email list was. From my, that freedom blog. And so it wasn't really, you know, most of those people were probably not super interested in Facebook ads for their online business, but I had a network, and so I was becoming more well known in my, in my network for somebody who can help with Facebook ads.

So I ended up doing webinars and one of the webinars I partnered with an affiliate. To do a webinar for her audience. And that worked out really well. So because my audience in the Facebook ads niche was still relatively small, so that ended up getting me seen by more people and more people introduced to me. And so we did. I did a total of four webinars, but just one with the affiliate.

Jacques Hopkins: Very, very cool. So fast forward to today, I know that that course is still available. I'm looking at the sales page on your website right now, and is there any sort of funnel? Is there any sort of scarcity incentivizing people to buy now, or is it just, Hey, go to Monica, louie.com click on the courses and you can enroll anytime you want.

Monica Louie: Yeah. So we do have it evergreen, because we do have a lot of affiliates and it's easier for affiliates to promote the course if it, you know, is not an off and on type situation. So it is evergreen and, but then we do launches. So we just did a five day challenge recently. And we're getting ready to do three day challenge coming up.

And so we are doing live launches where we'll have a limited time discount with those lunches to kind of add that scarcity level. And then we are working on more of an evergreen funnel as well going into next year. So

Jacques Hopkins: what is, what is your pricing? How did you come up with it and what is that discount that you offer for the launches? That only happened a few times.

Monica Louie: Yeah. So right now we have two different packages. We have the basic course package, which is two 99 and then we have the VIP support package, which, or I'm sorry, three 99 and the VIP support package, which is five 99 and then during the live launches, we offer $100 off, which brings down the basic course to two 99 and then the VIP package to four 99.

And then we also have payment plans with each of those. but we started, when I first launched the course, it was. One, let me see. I'm thinking I did a prelaunch sale. and that helped to get some people in. So as I was creating the course last year, I knew that there was demand for it. I knew there was a need for it, and so I decided to just see if people would buy it.

So, you know, start purchasing as I was creating it, knowing that it was coming, and then that really helped keep me to the deadline of this course will be done, you know, by this date. And so with that, I think I offered it for one 99 and then the price went up to two 99 but during the launch it was two 49. I'm trying to remember the timeline. We had a couple of price increases in there for the end of last year.

Jacques Hopkins: And then when somebody signs up for the core. So what are the some, what are some of the tools that you're using to deliver the course? A hosting platform is a teachable.

Monica Louie: Yes. Yeah, we're using teachable. We've, we've tested a bunch of different WordPress plugins and because I started with a WordPress plugin, because I loved going through the B school experience. I don't know if you know anything about B school, but it's a gorgeous, I mean, everything Marie Forleo does is just super top notch, super high quality, gorgeous.

And so I really wanted my course to have the same feel. And so I wanted it to be, I wanted it to be customized. And so that's why we started with it on WordPress last year was with. A plugin. And then, we just found out we tried a couple of different plugins and we just found out that trying to keep all the tools connected with WordPress, was vegan beginning to take, you know, more manpower for my team.

Then what we thought was necessary. So we ended up, I had heard a lot of great things about teachable over the last couple of years. And so then finally, we made the switch earlier this year to teachable and we've never looked back. It's been an amazing experience. We're really loving. having the course on teachable.

It's been a really great experience for us and for our students. And then for email service provider, I use drip. And then we are right now using the teachable sales page. But for other landing pages, we use lead pages.

Jacques Hopkins: Very cool. Any other, any other tools throughout your online businesses that you, that you really enjoy right now?

Monica Louie: Well, yeah, for keeping everything afloat and figuring out who's doing what we do, we use a sauna. We absolutely love a sauna. And because we have a large number of people on the team now, and you know, we need to keep track of all the little details, all the little tasks and who's doing what and making sure that they get done.

So we use a sauna. And then as for team communication, I really try and stay out of the inbox and. As much as possible. And so we use boxer, which is an app. They have a web app, but it doesn't work great. But I use the mobile app and it's, it gives us the ability to message, via text or voice. So that's a great way for us to stay in constant communication.

Jacques Hopkins: Very cool. So my next question for you is very important, and the one I'm probably most curious about, how did you get a testimonial from Pat Flynn?

Monica Louie: Pat Flynn was actually a coaching client. So he and I met at fin con in 2016 I was a huge fan, so he was, he was really one of my first online mentors opening my eyes up to the blogging online business space.

And so I listened to 90% of his podcasts episodes. I just absolutely love his podcast. And he had mentioned fin con, and since I had started my personal finance blog, I knew that fin con, which is a personal. it's a, it's a conference for personal finance, bloggers, podcasters. And so I'd heard great things about incon.

Pat had mentioned that he's spoken at fin con several times and loved the loves the conference of once I started my personal finance blog, I knew that that was a place that I had to be. And so I ended up meeting him at fin con in 2016 and then saw him again at fin con in 2017 and that's when I told him that I was making the switch to doing Facebook ads.

And so actually. Yeah. So then, we actually connected and he came on, signed on as a Facebook ads coaching client. so we worked together in January and February of this year, and it was really a great experience. And now I'm in his, his SBI accelerator high level coaching and mastermind program. So super, it's a great honor to be able to work with that plan.

Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, that's, that's really cool. And not only is it cool that it's from him, but the, the, the words themselves are pretty powerful. Turning $265 into 7,000, $163 of revenue. And he talks about how, you helped him with the launch of a $247 course. Spending $265 for a total of 29 conversions. So that's a pretty big ROI.

So a lot of the people listening to this either have courses already or once I have courses, and there's all kinds of organic strategies for traffic. And then of course, page strategies for traffic. And one of the most popular ones is Facebook, but a lot of people struggle with Facebook. I've had a lot of people on this podcast who say, yeah, I just could never get. Facebook to work for me. Do you have any high level tips? For course creators to be able to see some positive ROI is like

Monica Louie: this. Absolutely. So you've got to make sure that you have a funnel. And so whether you're doing, you know, one time launch or you're doing an evergreen funnel, make sure that you've got a funnel to be able to bring people in to get to know you.

But then, you know, give them some value. Build that relationship before you make the offer. So we actually work with a lot of clients who have online courses, and most of them are doing. Evergreen webinar funnels. And so we drive traffic to get people to sign up for the webinar, and then they offer value in emails and you know, offer the sale on the webinar.

And then we look at retarding for those conversions as well. And so that is pretty much the strategy that I did with Pat Flynn. But it's just super important to understand the customer journey and what is going to get them to trust you so that they end up, you know, buying on the backend. So with Facebook ads.

I've had, you know, a lot of people have said to me like, well, I've tried Facebook ads, you know, and it never quite worked for me. I hear that a lot too. And, I think it's all about your level of commitment and then all about testing. So my most successful clients have been the ones that are like, okay, I'm ready.

I'm going to figure it out. And so then we work together and figure out the Facebook ad strategy that works best for them and helping them achieve their business goals. But it does require testing. It's, it's not set it and forget it. So you always have to be on top of what's working with your ads and what's not, and testing new ideas.

Maybe it's a new message with your ad. Maybe it's just a new image or a video ad versus an image ad. So there are all these variables that you can test, but finding that right combination can help you achieve that level of success that you're looking.

Jacques Hopkins: For. Yeah. Really cool. I'm glad you mentioned the, the funnel, because people like to blame the Facebook ads when really they have an issue with something that's downstream of the Facebook ads themselves.

And usually I'll refer to like what happens between the traffic source, like a Facebook ad and then the sale. Everything in the middle there I like to refer to as a machine. And if, if the machine is broken, you don't need to be spending any money getting people into a broken machine. So I agree that we've got to fix the machine first and then maybe talk Facebook ads, but in this case of what I'm reading about Pat Flynn, I mean, that's a 27 times ROI, right?

So I, I don't, I'm assuming that normal people could necessarily expect that big of an ROI with an online course. What are some, I'm more in general, what are you saying in terms of an ROI? ROI to two online courses that have good funnels, give machines on the.

Monica Louie: Inside. Yeah. If it's a really good funnel, then we're seeing 200, 300% ROI for our clients. And yeah, that is something that, you know, I've got Pat Flynn's testimonial and it's really great that we've got those numbers, but that is something that I like to mention is that, you know, Pat Flynn has spent years building his audience, building his warm audience, so people. No. Like, and trust him. A lot of people know, like, and trust him.

So that's why when he offers something, you know, like a $247 product and a lot of people are just ready to buy. And so that's what we see a lot of times with our clients is that the warm audiences convert the best. So we like to test a bunch of different audiences and of course we want to be growing the audience always as well.

So we do target. Colder audiences, but then we do see time and time again that I'm targeting the warm audiences. Those are the ones that are more likely to convert, and so it's really important to have a focus on growing your audience overall as well, so that you can see that steady increase of ROI.

Jacques Hopkins: So I'm glad you mentioned audiences. Let me, let me ask you a specific question about Facebook ads. Since you're the expert and we're talking right now, I'm going to be a little bit selfish, but one of the, one of the areas that I struggle with, just in my head, I'm certainly not a Facebook ads expert. Is is with audiences, and I'm thinking about my piano course piano in 21 days, which is for beginners.

People that have little to no experience with piano. Compare that to somebody that I know who has like an advanced piano. Of course he's, he's been successful with, targeting people interested in piano. But that doesn't work for me because the people I'm trying to target aren't necessarily interested in piano because they're, they don't play piano yet. What kind of targeting do you think would. Would work for something like a beginner piano course.

Monica Louie: Sure. So there are a lot of different options when it does come to the audiences on Facebook, which is really great. I love having a lot of those, you know, so many options, which means there's always something else we can test. But for you, so, well, I usually, my go to is if we want to bring new people into the funnel, then, and expand that warm audience and I would do a look alike. Of your warm audiences. So lookalike audiences is where Facebook looks at your source audience. So if you had your email us, for example, you could upload your email list into Facebook.

Facebook will use the data that you provide, usually name or email, name and email, and it will look at its users and try and match. The, you know, the people on your email list too. It's Facebook users and usually it does a pretty good job. It can get most of them, probably 75 80% or more. So then it can match those people too, and it'll look at their similarities.

So what are the, you know, what are the pages that they're looking at? What are they, how do they interact with pages on Facebook and post on Facebook? What are their interests? What websites are they clicking on? And you know, Facebook knows a lot about us, so it looks at all that data. And then when we tell it to create a lookalike audience of those people, it looks at that data of those similarities amongst those people and looks at the other users, you know, 2 billion plus users and says, okay, well these people also have those similar characteristics and habits, and so we're going to put them into this lookalike audience for you.

So we have great success with lookalike audiences. So for you, I would look at maybe, you know, depending on how many people are buying your course, how quickly, I would look at your more recent buyers of your course and create an audience of your more recent buyers because those are the people in the stage that you want to capture.

So then I would upload that list of your more recent buyers and then create a lookalike audience of that and start with targeting that. That's, that's where I would begin.

Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Thank you so much. This has been, this has been great information, Monica. Thanks for much for, for coming on and talking to me about this and sharing these, these steps. I know a lot of people listening to this want help with Facebook, so obviously you have your course that you offer. For those that do want the more done-for-you services, are you taking on new clients right now?

Monica Louie: Absolutely, yes. We are growing our team and we're always taking on new clients so they can learn more about that at Monica, louie.com/wwm for my work with me page. So thank you for asking. I appreciate that. Yeah, no.

Jacques Hopkins: Problem. Let's just wrap this up by letting, letting everybody know what the other links are and, and things, ways that you can help them with Facebook ads. Sure.

Monica Louie: Yeah. So I've got my course and I do coaching on a limited time, but with the course, we actually have a group coaching component as well. So that's a great way to get your questions answered and get feedback on your Facebook ads. So I really like to add that level of service to get you that feedback on your Facebook ads with the Facebook group, but then also monthly group coaching calls and we'll do hot seats and it's really a lot of fun.

And so, and we've got a great community there. So, the course can be found at Monica louie.com/flourish but then also if you're just interested in learning a little bit about Facebook ads, am I really ready to jump into that? I would love to offer my free Facebook ads starter. So your audience and that can be [email protected] slash online course. Guy.

Jacques Hopkins: Monica, louie.com/online course guy. Sounds great. Monica, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast.

Monica Louie: Today. Thank you so much for having me. This is a blast.

Jacques Hopkins: And that's going to do it for another episode of the online course guy podcast. You can find all the detailed show notes and links from today's episode by going to the online course, guy.com/ 88. Don't forget to check out our sponsor of this podcast, Bon Juro. You can get a free 14 day trial by going to dot com slash Jacques and if you're ready to continue this journey of online courses, I've got the free online course workshop waiting for you at the online course, guy.com whether you're just getting started. Or you want to take your course to the next level. That is what you need. The online course guy.com and look for the free online course workshop and there's more online course guy podcasts coming your way real soon.