Social media is important, but it can be tricky to base your career entirely on organic engagement. Platforms come and go (MySpace, anyone? Justin, you out there?), and it’s hard to come up with a reliable strategy to make social media work consistently for you.
That’s why we’re focusing on Facebook ads on this episode. My guest on this episode is John Oszajca, who is the leading authority on Facebook ads for artists. He is my go to guy when it comes to anything related to advertising. I’ve taken a couple of his courses and I followed his advice and it has made a huge difference for my career. And today he’s going to share some excellent, actionable advice for how to use Facebook ads to make more money as an artist and to really grow your career.
Here are some of John’s courses:
I hope to see you in John’s Insider Circle, which is an amazing mastermind group for musicians.
As always, I encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of the great stuff I have coming up on the podcast. And of course, if you leave an honest review whereever you listen to podcasts, that would be greatly appreciated.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments. How have you used paid advertising in your career?
Eyvindur Karlsson 0:00
Now we all know that social media is very important, and that having a good quality following on social media can make a huge difference in your career. And there are plenty of experts out there who will be able to give you fantastic tips on how to grow and maintain your social media following. But that’s not the topic for today. Today we are going to discuss paid advertising on social media. On Facebook to be exact. And my guest on this episode is my friend John Oszajca, who is, in my opinion, the leading authority on paid ads, on Facebook ads. He is my go to guy when it comes to anything related to advertising. And, you know, I’ve taken a couple of his courses and I followed his advice and it has made a huge difference for my career. And today, he’s going to share some excellent, actionable advice for how to use Facebook ads to make more money as an artist and to really grow your career.
And also we’re gonna have a little giveaway so, by all means keep listening.
This is the Artemist podcast where we turn art into gold. Here’s your host, Eyvindur Karlsson.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:33
That’s right, my name is Eyvindur Karlsson. You can call me Eyvi for short, because that’s a lot easier. I’m an Icelandic singer-songwriter, and you can find my music at onebadday.rocks. If you like artists like Tom Waits and Nick Cave and Neil Young and that sort of eclectic singer-songwritery folk rock type of stuff, then you’re gonna love that. Anyway, today’s topic is Facebook advertising. And John Oszajca is really the leading authority on this for artists. He’s a musician. He’s going to introduce himself later, but he’s been around the block. He knows his stuff. He really does. He’s been everywhere in the industry, and he knows what he’s talking about. And he has a course called the music ads workshop, which is all about using Facebook ads as a musician, but it’s applicable to any kind of artists I think, and we’re going to be giving away free copy of that course. So if you go to artism.fm/adsgiveaway, you are going to find that giveaway. And you’ll be able to win that course which costs $197. That’s on me and John. So, by all means, check that out.
So, before we get right into this, if you like this podcast, please consider subscribing. and I would love it if you leave a review, wherever you listen to podcasts, those really help. And, you know, you can send me a message. You can go to artism.fm, you can leave a comment. The Show Notes for this episode will be artism.fm/ap6, and there will be a link to the giveaway there of course and all kinds of good stuff, and also to the rest of John’s courses because he has some great stuff. So we’ll put a link to those things there as well.
You can also send me a voicemail, if you want to maybe get featured on the show, you can go to artism.fm/voicemail and leave me a voice message and you know, it might get featured on the show.
Now this episode is brought to you by followme.is, which is a travel website that I happen to be involved with. If you have any interest at all in visiting Iceland, you should start there. Followme.is a great resource, a lot of great articles and a free guide to Iceland. And you can also find some great tours there. And if you’re going to be traveling anywhere in the world, followme.is has a great search engine for flights and accommodation that will get you the best deals you can find. So if you go to flights.followme.is, that’s where you’ll find some of the best deals. So do that if you gonna be traveling at all and get some great deals.
Alright, so let’s not wait around any longer. Let’s get right into my conversation with John Oszajca.
So John Oszajca, welcome to the show my friend.
John Oszajca 5:02
Thanks for having me.
Eyvindur Karlsson 5:03
Now, today we’re going to talk about advertising.
John Oszajca 5:08
Eyvindur Karlsson 5:09
You are my go to guy whenever I have a question about ads.
John Oszajca 5:14
Eyvindur Karlsson 5:16
And that’s actually where I know you from, because I’ve done some of your your courses which have absolutely changed my life as an artist. And so I wanted to pick your brain about using Facebook ads, but before we get into that, why don’t you tell me and the people listening, you know, where you come from and your journey as an artist and as an entrepreneur, and all that stuff.
John Oszajca 5:47
Oh, man, you don’t want to let me start talking about myself. I may never stop.
Eyvindur Karlsson 5:53
That’s fine. I’ll just edit it out.
John Oszajca 5:54
Sweet. So the super short version is I’m a musician. I’ve been a musician most of my life, at least since I was a teenager. I was at one point signed to Interscope for what, at least the trade papers said was the largest new artist signing in history. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it was certainly a big one. Publishing deal with, it was Famous Music at the time, they’re now owned by Sony. I was dropped. The record came out on Interscope, didn’t do much, didn’t sell enough, got dropped, as you do. Got resigned to Universal. I got dropped again before that record even came out. Some shifting over there and you know, was axed. Got resigned to Warner Brothers. That was just a one off deal. And that record came out. Later signed to an indie label, called Dreamy Draw, but as this long string of sort of one off records might indicate, it never really went that well. Never sold enough records, despite things looking very good. Especially when I signed that first deal. At the end of the day, I don’t know… You know, I could blame it on a lot of things. But at the end of the day, didn’t sell enough records. I was constantly, you know, thrown back out there to start all over again. It was a really frustrating thing. And as I was getting older, and as the money was starting to dry up, it kind of seemed like maybe this wasn’t going to happen. And I needed to start thinking about how I was going to actually make money and I had no interest in getting a day job. I had a huge ego and did not have the haircut for an actual day job. So I started looking into internet marketing. I’d see these weird headlines out there promising… This is a long time ago by internet standards. So this is probably 2006 or so when I started dabbling maybe even earlier. And I saw some flashy read headline and some ads saying if I bought some course on internet marketing, they’d teach me how to make millions of dollars in my sleep with little to no effort. So I bought the course and it was an advertising based strategy, funny enough, which meant I got fast results. I was advertising affiliate products, which you could do very easily back then. And I spent, I think 10 bucks, went to sleep, woke up and lo and behold, I had sold an E book and I made $20. So $10 profit for my $10 of ad spend and I got hooked. I was like: Holy crap, there’s money to be made out here. And I spent the next year just obsessing and consuming hundreds or probably over 1000 marketing books and courses and just anything and everything that I could possibly consume, to learn everything I could about marketing. And all the while experimenting with different sites and ideas, most of them flopping to be honest. But finally, you know, had a success on my hands. I built an online business. I really started kicking into high gear around 2007 where I could at least make a full time living off of it. And that initial business went on to generate a couple million dollars in sales within just a few years and with my finances in order… That was in the sort of health space and I wasn’t that passionate about the product to be perfectly honest. It was something somebody had had brought to me and I set up a website around it and it took off. It was a popular product.
But with my finances in order, I wanted to do something a little more exciting and around 2009 I started… Long story short, I launched a business around helping artists use internet marketing to sell their music and this is this is pretty you know, somewhat groundbreaking at the time. I don’t know of really anyone else in the space doing it, teaching the kind of advertising… Or not just advertising, but the marketing strategies that I was teaching back then. And I’ve since helped just countless artists climb to the top of you know, various Billboard and iTunes and CD Baby and Amazon sales charts. It’s been really successful for my clients. I absolutely love doing it and it’s blossomed into a business which is Music Marketing Manifesto. That’s musicmarketingmanifesto.com. And yeah, I help independent artists ultimately build an audience for their music and generate revenue from their music.
Eyvindur Karlsson 10:09
Yeah. And that’s where I came into your tribe, if you will. And I’ve done the Music Marketing Manifesto and a couple of your other courses and I’ve sold music as a result and learned a lot of stuff that I think is applicable to any field. This is not just… Even though obviously, it is music focused, but these principles are applicable to anything really.
John Oszajca 10:39
Sure. Well, I would sort of split hairs there and say not necessarily everything. A lot of it is applicable to everything, but some of its not. However, most of it is applicable to art of any kind. Anything that revolves around building a sort of fan base around what it is that you do, can benefit from these strategies, and there some real differences between straight up standard internet marketing and marketing art. And I think a lot of people make those mistakes. They go out and buy internet marketing courses when their goal is to promote their art and a lot that you learn can certainly be used, but there there are some things that I’ve learned over the years from working in the space, and trial and error because with traditional products or traditional internet marketing, you’re typically selling something that solves a problem, and in doing that you’re really agitating pain points and fear and kind of leveraging some negativity that’s out there, and driving people towards your solutions, whereas when selling art, you’re doing quite the opposite. We’re not gonna scare anyone into buying our music or books or paintings. Instead, we’re we’re trying to tap into pre-existing pleasure points. Pre-existing interests and passions and demonstrating that we are a good representative or leader of a movement, of our tribe, and attracting people to us through the quality of our art and the experience that our art ultimately offers. And in doing that, there are some nuances to selling art that is different than selling traditional products.
Eyvindur Karlsson 12:19
Yeah, that’s a great point. And actually, that was probably the biggest thing that attracted me to Music Marketing Manifesto to begin with, was that I had been checking out all these… I listened to marketing podcasts and everything and marketing is very… I’m fascinated with it. But yeah, that is the distinction is that they’re all focused on: This is your product… It’s educational, or it’s a software that solves a problem, and that’s great if that’s what you have, but obviously, as an artist, that’s not what you’re doing. You’re not solving anything, you’re enriching people’s lives somehow, hopefully. So yeah, great stuff. So first of all just in general, why would artists benefit from using Facebook ads?
John Oszajca 13:12
Well, so again, I know that your goal with this podcast is to reach all kinds of artists, whether there are musicians or writers or traditional, you know, painters or any type of creative person ultimately trying to generate income from their art. So, I think how you could use Facebook might vary a little bit depending on your specific goals. And what is your specifically doing that the sort of short and simple answer is that Facebook is pretty much the simplest way to get the most traffic in front of your message on the planet. And so whatever it is that you’re ultimately trying to do… I think I think to succeed, at least online, we as artists are trying to generate a tribe. We’re trying to build a tribe, trying to create a tribe of loyal fans interested in our creativity and our channel, you know what it is that we’re putting out there into the world. And we’re occasionally once we build that tribe, it’s mostly just free content and healthy communication, relationship building. But from time to time, we leverage the bond that we have with this tribe and ask for a little bit of financial support so we can keep on doing what we do, which is create and again, create that channel. So I think no matter what kind of art you make, that’s the realization is that the new job description, or at least part of the job description of the modern artist who’s trying to build a business… Again, you don’t have to do any of this if you don’t care about making money, because there’s certainly a line between being an artist and being a one man marketing team. But that’s why people are listening to this, because they want to set out to build a business and put on that hat of, you know, one man marketing team in most cases.
But if, again… Going back to the fact that I think that the new job description or part of the new job description of a modern artist is to create a channel, once you have done that, once you’ve got a medium for that, whether that’s a website or a podcast, or a newsletter, or even just a social media profile, you can use Facebook to very, very quickly get your brand, your art, your channel, your content in front of highly targeted people that we know are much more likely than the average person out there in the world to like what it is that we do, you know, through the advanced targeting options that we’ve got. We can also use Facebook advertising to advertise just to our own audience, because once you do attract people, that person becomes this incredibly valuable person to you. There’s someone who likes what you do, but it’s really easy for them to slip through the cracks and just go away forever and never see what it is that you do again. So we can re-target those people and keep them coming back and keep them engaged. So not only does the tribe grow by attracting new people, but the tribe becomes more and more active, by constantly engaging with the content that you’re creating, whether that’s a new painting, a new book, or a promotion, or a new album, or a new single or, you know, whatever it is that you’re ultimately pushing.
Eyvindur Karlsson 16:27
Yeah, right. And, you know, there are a lot of ways, obviously, to build that audience for free without paying for it.
And I know that, I’m sure, because I’ve been in that spot before myself, a lot of artists find marketing to be a nasty term, and especially, you know, advertising and doing all that, and some might feel that it feels a little bit odd, you know, to pay to get your stuff in front of somebody. But you know, again, I’ve been studying all this stuff for years without… You know, for years and years before I actually started to use any of it. And you know, a lot of those methods to get your work in front of people involves hanging out in Facebook groups and spamming your stuff in there, or, you know, doing all of these things that ultimately are just annoying to everybody, I think.
John Oszajca 16:37
Eyvindur Karlsson 17:25
And I think this is actually a much more straightforward way to say, Hey… This is just to cut through the noise a little bit, get it there. Whatever method you ultimately use to do it. And we’re going to go through some of the different things you can do with Facebook ads, but you know, to me, this is just a faster and easier way, than to just go around spamming it everywhere and hoping that somebody notices it, who likes it.
John Oszajca 17:50
Yeah, I want to stress that in case anyone’s kind of come into this and doesn’t have a lot of understanding right out of the gate of where we’re going with this and what we’re talking about… Those… I don’t know who’s teaching this. I don’t know where musicians are learning to go around just spamming every post possible with links to their Spotify playlist or links to Soundcloud or YouTube. Somebody’s got to be teaching it because everybody’s doing it. That is the wrong way to do it. And ironically, it’s probably a lot of those people that are also very critical of “marketing”. But you know, good marketing, I mean, you can go about it in any way that you want. The aggressive marketing works, frankly, but you can be as passive as you want. It’s all about creating a message and some kind of an offer, some kind of an experience that will ultimately entice your audience. If your audience responds to a low key subtle approach, then that can be your voice. There’s nothing inherent, you know… Marketing is not synonymous with being obnoxious. They are not the same thing. And what we tend to seea as humans out there is the bad marketing. That’s what stands out, because it’s bad, and it’s aggressive. But we are being marketed to all day long, in much more subtle and tasteful ways. And if done right, again, all you’re doing is giving people content that they like. There’s nothing inherently evil. And I do think that a lot of artists are very afraid. Some of that resistance is fear. It is scary to put yourself out there, it’s scary to risk someone leaving a nasty comment on your ad, or something along those lines, it’s scary to risk all that money, it’s scary to find out that actually people don’t care. And so I think there are a lot of excuses mixed into that resistance as well.
Eyvindur Karlsson 19:45
Yeah. But, you know, on the topic of the money, you know, what I discovered… Because that was… You know, I had those two exact fears. And it took me years to actually get started doing this because it was scary to me. A. Because yes, I’m just, you know, like most artists, I’m anxious, and I’m afraid of rejection and all that. But also, yeah, I mean, to spend money seemed very scary. But then I thought: The amount of money we’re talking about here is what you spend on coffee, or something. It’s not crazy amounts of money.
John Oszajca 20:22
Well, it can be I mean, it can be crazy amounts of money. You want it to be crazy amounts of money to be honest. Like, the more… You don’t start there. You start with the cup of coffee a day. You build something that’s profitable. But once you actually have your metrics down, you know what you’re spending, you know what it’s costing you to acquire a new “fan”, and you know how much money you’re generating off of each new fan, your business becomes an actual business where you have real metrics. It’s not throw it at the wall, see what sticks, it’s not build it and they will come. It’s: Okay, I spent X amount and I made X amount. And once you got a, a nice balance there, a profitable balance, you want to go out and spend as much as possible. And I do have artists, students that go out into the world, and they start at the five or $10 a day range, but they end up in the $500 a day range, because that’s where you want to be if it’s profitable. The more you spend, the more profit you make. So that is really the goal.
Eyvindur Karlsson 21:21
Yeah, but at that point, you’re not afraid anymore.
John Oszajca 21:25
Of course, yeah.
Eyvindur Karlsson 21:26
But let’s go through a few of the different applications that Facebook ads offer, and some of the pros and cons of each approach. And I’ve written down a few that I have used, at least I’ve used most of them, myself. And if I skip over some, then you know, you can add that. But first of all, a lot of people… And this is something that I see a lot is people pay… They advertise with the goal… Because you have different goals.
John Oszajca 21:55
Eyvindur Karlsson 21:58
Yeah, for those who have never gone into the ads part, you have different objectives, you have different things that you want to accomplish. And first of all, it’s likes for your page. So what are the pros and cons of, of advertising with the goal of getting a like, and would you say that people should do that?
John Oszajca 22:20
Well, I’ll first say that, you know, there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat, so to speak. Many different ways to get to the same place. And so just because I think some things may be a bad idea doesn’t mean that somebody else is and found a way to make it work for them. I’m not a guy out there to trash every other way that it’s being done. I just know what I do. And I don’t personally… I very seldomly put any kind of money into likes. Likes in themselves don’t represent a lot of value to me. They’re… Let me rephrase that. Getting a whole bunch of real followers on your Facebook page has some value. Certainly when you post something, some people are going to see it. But I don’t know… All of these are huge conversations. And I don’t want to bog people down, like trying to explain edge rank and how their algorithm works. I don’t know if that’s too much here. But the long and simple story. And you can tell me if you want me to explain what I mean. But is that just because you have 50,000 likes doesn’t mean 50,000 people are going to see what you post. In fact, Facebook’s just going to release it to a couple of hundred people. And if they don’t engage, that’s probably all that’s ever going to see it. Ask me how I know. I have 55,000-ish likes, and quite often I put something out, it only gets a couple hundred impressions.
And so having a whole lot of likes, doesn’t do a lot. You could argue that it it does something for social proof. And actually, it does do something for social proof. The industry, though, is pretty wise to how easy it is to get likes, so it doesn’t do that much. I suppose if you have zero likes, then that’s going to concern the industry, they’re going to look at that and go: Okay, this person has nothing going on.
But even then you’re not gonna land a record deal on lies and hype. You know, they’re going to figure it out sooner or later. So there’s no real fear there. And when running a campaign, because everything I do is about its direct response marketing. I’m all about getting leads, metrics, ROI, generating a positive return on my investment. Everything comes down to numbers for me. And so what I have seen over and over and over again, is that if I’m running an ad campaign with a brand new account with very few followers versus a very established account with 10s of thousands of followers, my conversion rates don’t change, my costs per click don’t really change. What it all comes down to is how compelling is the ad copy. The reason that you’ve given people to click. If you come up with something compelling people are going to click. Doesn’t really matter how many likes you ultimately have. Again, yeah, attracting followers to your page, which means that they’ve clicked like, there is some value there particularly because you can keep retargeting those people, which we’ll probably talk about more later. You know, it is a way to at least, locate and communicate with your fans. So there’s some value in likes. But I’d much prefer personally to spend my money on something that has a more measurable return on investment, and just feel confident that likes are going to come. I mean, I can’t say I’ve never spent money on likes, because I think 10 years ago or something, I did a blog post experiment that involved buying a few hundred likes. But other than that, the Music Marketing Manifesto page has like 55,000 likes, and every single one of those just came from a byproduct of doing what I do. Either people landing on my website and clicking over to the Facebook page or searching for me on Facebook or seeing my ad and clicking like on the page. There is one little trick that I’ll do just not go too deep, into too many different rabbit holes. But when I put out content and hundreds of people ultimately like that content, because I’ve been promoting it with an ad, I do go through and invite every single person who liked that post to like my page, and I pick up a lot of likes that way. I’ve only been doing that, you know this last year or so. But it takes a few seconds and I get a bunch of new followers. So that that’s a nice byproduct of ads, but I don’t personally ever spend money on likes. As a as a word of caution, if you are going to do that I would really caution you against using the worldwide setting. And I know some disagree and and again, there is an argument for social proof. If you really feel that that’s important to you, then you can go out and use the worldwide setting and get a whole lot of really cheap likes. But I don’t personally do that. I don’t I don’t want to get 50,000 likes in the Philippines or Turkey or wherever, you know. These click farm countries where you tend to pick up these cheap likes. And if I target my own country, like let’s say the US, New Zealand, UK, Australia, Canada, one of these countries I’m actually targeting, if I go after likes in those countries, I tend to pay considerably more, you know, 15, 20, 30 cents. And in that case, I’d rather be concentrating all that money on getting subscribers. And so I’m going to spend my money on traffic or conversions rather than likes. So long story short, not my favorite strategy. The only real benefit I see is either social proof, which I said doesn’t mean that much to me, or retargeting. There is something to be said for the fact that you can go and build up a big community and then just re target those people. But that’s not my first thought with most campaigns employing that kind of a strategy.
Eyvindur Karlsson 27:52
And also, I would imagine that if you do that with the purpose of retargeting them, the retargeting is probably not going to be as good as if they had come to you organically.
John Oszajca 28:05
Yeah, I mean, think about that ad that goes out with the little like button right there in the corner of the ad. If a person’s clicking that before they’ve actually gone over and checked out your page, how valuable is that like? It really doesn’t mean much.
Eyvindur Karlsson 28:18
Yeah. And by the way, you said subscribers, and we’ll get into that later. But what you mean is a mailing list subscriber.
John Oszajca 28:23
Mailing list subscriber, yes.
Eyvindur Karlsson 28:26
So, moving on. After paying for likes, you can also pay for a video view. And I’ve done this, and this is actually a strategy that I learned from you, which has actually, I’ve used a lot, and I really love so why would you want to pay for somebody to watch your video.
John Oszajca 28:48
So there’s different ways that you might use this, you might have a new music video, and you might want to get the world to see it, maybe you think it stands a chance of just going viral. And so you kickstart that with some paid views, with the hopes that it’s going to get spread. In that case, you’re just bidding on video views. Engagement is the objective with that, and then under there, you select video views.
The one thing that I would caution you against is if you’re going to do that there’s an option where you can bid for just video views or bid per people who’ve watched five seconds or 10 seconds or what’s called… What is it called? I always forget this. Is it through-view? No. Through… Ah… There’s a word for it that Facebook uses. But it means that somebody has watched the entire video, if it’s 15 seconds or less, if it’s longer than 15 seconds, then you’re targeting people who watch at least 15 seconds of it. And in doing this, you’re at least teaching the algorithm to look for more quality views. And I would definitely do that. Otherwise, you’re just getting people scrolling past it and watching it for you know, two seconds. And it’s really not that valuable in itself. As video views are really cheap. If you’re just going for regular old views as somebody scrolls and pauses for a quick second and watches, like I said, a couple seconds of it. They’re half a cent to send something like that. But so i would i would bid so that the algorithm starts honing in on people… You’ll pay a little bit more, well considerably more when compared against the half a cent, but it’ll still be in the cents. But you’ll be getting better quality views.
Eyvindur Karlsson 30:27
Sorry to cut you off? I think there social proof is probably worth more.
John Oszajca 30:33
Eyvindur Karlsson 30:34
Yeah, I mean, when you have 100,000 views.
John Oszajca 30:37
Yeah, it isn’t YouTube. I don’t feel it’s as important on Facebook. I’m sure it’s a factor. I think the comments and engagements and likes and shares on a video are more valuable. The views are just not as prominent is all, on the Facebook videos, I mean that they’re but they’re not as prominent. So I guess they don’t strike me as meaning as much.
But you know, you could be right. But so video views… Just, you’ve got content, you want people to see it full stop. So another thing, and I think this is the strategy you’re referring to, and I like this approach… I don’t tend to do a lot of video view ads. Because again, I’m always creating these funnels. I’m always creating a… I’m trying to walk prospects through a series of psychological states with my advertising. It’s all thought out. And it’s an involved campaign with many ads, driving people towards an end result, which is to feel affinity, have interest, desire and ultimately take an action, which usually means purchase. So that’s complicated. And I don’t want to make this conversation too complicated. So having said that, I don’t tend to go and promote videos for the sake of just getting views. If seeing the video is an important part of that process of my funnel, then I’m probably more likely to drive people to a post, a blog post that has that video embedded on it. Less people are going to see it, but they’re going to the people that do see it are going to read the post that goes along with it, the story, they’re going to hopefully feel more of a connection to the video when they watch it, they’re hopefully going to leave some comments below it. And allow me to reply. And again, it’s all about building that tribe. It’s one thing to just somebody clicks on a video for 15 seconds and then forgets about it, it’s another to click on over to your website, watch a little video, read a little post, leave a comment, get a reply back, you know, that’s relationship building. So I tend to do it that way.
But one thing you can do, and which I do do quite often is use video to build audiences. So within Facebook, you can build what are called custom audiences. And that could be only people that have clicked on a particular page on your website, or it could be only people that engaged with or liked your page in the last 30 days, or people who purchased in the last 30 days. There’s all kinds of different variables there. You can create these custom audiences of people that meet particular criteria, especially as it has to do with engagement with your content or traffic. You know, landing on particular pages. And then you can target those people. And once you’ve got a custom audience, you can also create a lookalike audience off of those people. And what a lookalike audience means is that Facebook takes your custom audience and looks for patterns amongst the people within your custom audience, and then essentially clones that but applies that filter to your entire country. So if you’ve got, let’s say, 500 people who bought your book or your album, you can upload that list to Facebook’s ad manager, to your ad account. And you can create a custom audience called customers or whatever you want to call it, and then create a lookalike audience based on those people. And these can be, they’re not always, but they can be really, really powerful. But quite often, new artists don’t have 500 customers, and yet, they’d like to find one of these large, highly targeted audiences. So one thing you can do, and it works particularly well with musicians, but anybody can do it, an author could do it, an artist could do it, is create a video, don’t create one that’s too long, you know, a minute, two minutes tops, and then go and upload it to your account and then run an ad, a video ad, to get people to watch this video. Again, I would go on through… Why am I forgetting the term? Through view? That doesn’t sound right. It’s through something. But whatever that options is it’s there.
Eyvindur Karlsson 34:49
John Oszajca 34:49
Is it playthrough? I don’t know. It’s something like that. It’s got through in the title. And I can never remember it. I’ve done this many times in interviews. I always forget the name of this particular bidding option. But anyway.
And then you go and run that ad, bid on people to watch at least 15 seconds of it. And then you go and create a custom audience of people who have watched, let’s say at least 50% of it. So when you go into custom audiences, you have all kinds of options. And you can tell Facebook, I want to create an audience of people who have watched at least 50% of this video. You can go all the way up to 90%, if you want, but of course, the depressing thing is when you actually look at how few people have watched 90% of the video, it’s a small number.
Eyvindur Karlsson 35:30
You can target the people who have watched it with the audio on right.
John Oszajca 35:36
You know, I haven’t done this in a little while somebody was mentioning that to me the other day. I think this is a new option that I had just haven’t seen, to be honest.
Eyvindur Karlsson 35:43
I think… At least I was looking at one of my videos a couple of months ago, and I think that was one of the things that I could see as a filtering option.
John Oszajca 35:50
Yeah, well, I would not be surprised. They’re adding stuff all the time. I hadn’t seen that last I looked but I believe you. And so certainly that would be valuable. Because what good is the music video of your audio is not on?
Eyvindur Karlsson 36:04
Good for the filmmaker, I guess?
John Oszajca 36:06
Yeah, well, it’s not going to be good for your lookalike audience, I can tell you that. But yeah, you can go and because obviously, it stands to reason that if somebody has watched 50% of your video, or listened to it with the sound on for any significant amount of time, then chances are they like something that they saw. And then we can create a profile, we can create a custom audience of just those people and then clone those people, clone all those weird things that we have no idea about when it comes to the complexities of Facebook’s algorithm, and apply that filter to all of the United States or all of Canada or whatever country you’re in. And suddenly our audience goes from a few thousand to a few million and we can we can benefit from running traffic to those audiences for a very long time. Because they are so large. So that’s my preferred method when it comes to video ads. That’s how I use them more than any other method.
Eyvindur Karlsson 37:00
Yeah, and I used this when I did a crowdfunding campaign because I had really no audience at all. And so I created a video promoting the thing and I boosted the video. And then I created a look alike audience from that. I don’t really know how… You know, because it was not on my website, the campaign. So I couldn’t really track the numbers. But you know, I did it and the campaign was successful. So who knows?
John Oszajca 37:28
Well, I know quite a few artists who do well. I’ll give you one of the more successful uses of this technique. It was a client, one of my students who I did a consulting call or two with. And she was doing really well, because she was getting subscribers to her mailing list for something like… I can’t remember, I want to say 60 cents, or something really cheap. Under $1. And that’s about as cheap as it gets. And again, these are people signing up to her mailing list to get some free music. And then she’s got them on herr mailing list and she can send out emails to build that relationship and ultimately generate some income by selling that list some stuff. But so she went out and created a video. And this wasn’t a music video, if I remember right. It was just her kind of talking to the camera, explaining who she was and what she did, and inviting them to get some free music. And she ran that in an ad. It wasn’t a video ad so much. It was a traditional ad. But she instead of using an image, use the video and created a custom audience of people that watch 90% of that video. I think it was only a minute long. So it was more doable to get people to watch the entire minute or 50 seconds of it at least. And then she created a look alike audience of those people that watch at least 90% of the video. And these audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences are rolling. So meaning every time somebody hits or matches that criteria, they get added to the audience. So the custom audience grows. And as it grows, the lookalike audience becomes more and more refined. And, her prices just went down and down and down over the course of the next year. It took her a while, I can’t remember if it was months, or a year, but it took her a while to get things as cheap as they were. But she just kept on doing the same thing, letting the same ad run to the same custom audience, it became smarter and smarter and the lookalike audience became more and more refined. And you know, that’s a great way that you can use video in your advertising, to ultimately attract more people. Because Facebook’s algorithm is far more advanced than our thinking alone will ever sort of be. You know, let’s say you’re a musician, and you you think fans of the Eagles are going to love your stuff. That may be but Facebook can see many, many more variables. Maybe it’s fans of Eagles who also like Labrador Retrievers and tattoo shops, you know, and we would never guess at these these things. But when those filters are applied, sometimes we just see our targeting become extremely laser targeted and effective. There’s so much that can be done with targeting. So by creating these lookalike audiences, we let Facebook do all of that stuff instead of all needing to be, you know, psychology experts.
Eyvindur Karlsson 40:25
Wow, that’s amazing. That’s really cool. So yeah, alright, so that’s video views. And you can use those, obviously, in a number of ways. What about event responses?
John Oszajca 40:38
So I’ve been using event responses a lot recently. It’s not something that I’ve done historically. I did some playing with it a few years back, and never really saw exciting results and hadn’t been using it for a while. I’m also not actively touring as an artist. So it’s not been particularly important to me. But I have started doing some shows again, and I’ve been involved with the promotion of all those shows. And I’ve had really good luck. So again, if you’re not familiar with it, you can go to the Facebook ad manager, select engagement as the objective and then select event responses as the sort of sub objective. And sorry, I’m thinking about how I said video views were under engagement. I can’t remember. Are they under engagement? I honestly don’t remember, unless I’m looking at it. There’s so much going on in there.
Eyvindur Karlsson 41:26
I have it open here, let me see.
John Oszajca 41:27
It doesn’t matter. I just didn’t want to steer people wrong. But you’ll find your objectives.
Eyvindur Karlsson 41:34
It’s under consideration. There’s no such thing as… It’s not called engagement anymore, I think.
John Oszajca 41:39
They changed it in the last week or something?
Eyvindur Karlsson 41:41
Awareness, consideration and conversion.
John Oszajca 41:46
Facebook changes, like, almost weekly, it’s crazy how quickly and radically…
Eyvindur Karlsson 41:52
Consideration is the same as engagement.
John Oszajca 41:55
I set up an engagement ad, not much more than three weeks ago, and engagement was there. So it’s changed very recently. But also they roll things out slowly. So you could be seeing something that I’m not. At any at any respect… So I guess it’s under consideration for at least some of you.
Eyvindur Karlsson 42:13
Oh, and by the way, if anybody’s confused, we’re talking about Facebook events, you know, and event response is, you know, if somebody says they’re going or they’re interested in the event that you’re promoting,
John Oszajca 42:25
Yeah, so I was going to sort of explain all that. But basically, you can set up an event on your page. And if you want people to engage with that event, and indicate that they are either interested or going, you can go and create a simple ad to promote that event. And the metric with which you can sort of bid is event responses. So in other words, you’re telling Facebook: Hey, Facebook, I want you to go after people that are engaging or that are responding to this event, or saying yes, I’m going to go, No, I’m not going to go or I’m interested. Those people who take that action, I want you to target them. So remember, just because we’re targeting Eagles fans, Facebook’s not just going and loading up 5 million Eagles fans and distributing our ad to them one after another. What it’s doing is it’s also looking at the results our ad is actually getting, and then looking for patterns amongst those people that are taking the action that we ultimately are wanting them to take and then it’s applying a filter, it’s creating segments of your audience. So as people start to engage with your event, or your video, or whatever it is that you’re ultimately promoting, Facebook starts to go: Okay, we’re seeing that it’s people in the United States that are on Instagram that are… In case that wasn’t clear, Facebook owns Instagram. So you can advertise for both within the same platform. And all these other things, you know, they like tattoo shops, and they like Labrador Retrievers, or whatever the case may be. And again, there’s many variables. And we as marketers only have a glimpse at how the algorithm actually works. We don’t know all of the specifics, but they hone in on people taking the action that you want them to take. So by bidding for Facebook events, as long as you’re getting at least about five a day, which by the way, is an important factor. No matter what your objective is, you need to give Facebook at least five actions a day for the algorithm to do what it needs to do. But they’re going to hone in on these people that are responding to your event. Now, there are some things that I’ve learned in doing this. And I’ve had, like I said, in the past some failures using event responses. Well, for starters, just because someone says they’re interested or coming to your event does not mean they’re actually coming to your event. However it is it is a solid metric. You know, if you’ve got 500 people interested or going chances are, you created so much awareness for this event that you’re going to get a good turnout, whether it’s those same 500 people that show up or not, you know, I can’t really say and sometimes the actual turnout is less than the indicated interest. And sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s around the same. But it’s an indicator in the sense that if I’ve got nobody interested, then probably nobody’s coming. If I’ve got a good amount of interest in the event and a good number of people saying they’re coming, then I’m feeling pretty confident that things are working, awareness is building, particularly if I’m in a small community. But the other thing, I think, to stress with events is that, again, none of this stuff is free. None of this stuff is particularly easy. Just because you’re a musician, and you’re playing or just because you’re an author, and you’ve got a book reading doesn’t mean that’s enough to entice people. There are a lot of authors out there, there are a lot of art shows out there, there are a lot of musicians playing, particularly in larger cities. So I think for this to work, there needs to be something exceptional, remarkable about the event itself. It needs to really be something that the community you’re targeting sees and goes: Oh, that sounds fun. Particularly if you’re in a small town, which I’ve been living in a small town in New Zealand for the last number of years, and it’s been working really well here. It’s a large enough town, that there if you include the surrounding areas, there’s probably about 20,000 people in the vicinity, at least that I can reach through Facebook.
But it’s small enough that there’s just not a ton of stuff going on. So if I can create a very active event and get a whole lot of people interested or going, what happens is that other people in the town see that 12 of their friends are interested in this event. And then they indicate that they’re interested and it grows from there. And people come because it’s the thing to do on Saturday. They see that wow, like 600 people in town seem to be going to this, I’m sure it’s going to be fun, and they go. Or if you’re in a larger city, and you’re creating an event, you just really need to ask yourself, who am I targeting? And why should these people want to take time out of their day to not only come to the event, but to even even respond to my ad. So if you’re just another singer songwriter playing in Hollywood on a Wednesday night, that’s probably not enough to really make your advertising all that effective, because if I live in Hollywood, I’m going to be seeing those kinds of ads all day long. And those kinds of opportunities abound. However, if you’re targeting really targeted singer songwriter fans, so people who like artists like Tom Waits and Nick Cave, and Warren Zevon, and you created a songwriter festival, or better yet… Not a festival, but you know, a multi… What do you call that, when it’s a night of artists as opposed to an actual festival. But whatever you call it, a multi sort of artists concert of really specific artists that all have the same vibe, and then targeted people you knew like to that vibe and those kinds of artists and lived in the area, then you might be more likely to attract attention. Because this is this is a cool event, there’s something unique and special going on here. So that’s the only thing there. Just running Facebook event ads in itself is probably not going to get you that far. But if you’ve got something unique…
And this applies to all things advertising. It really comes down to creating what’s called a market to message match, or message to market match. But it’s really about knowing who you’re speaking to, and presenting them with an offer they can’t refuse, you know, something, that’s just a no brainer. Like if you’re telling starving people that free food is is going to be served at such and such address at such and such a time, then you’re going to have a line around the block because you’re giving people exactly what they want. You’re giving starving people free food.
And we need to kind of think like that when we create our ads. Is Joe Blow Stranger out there in his living room sitting at his computer? Does he really care about some artists that he’s never heard of? Frankly, no. So how do we make them care? How do we entice them, and that’s where that message to market match or market to message match comes in. And it becomes really all about targeting, knowing who we’re going after, knowing what’s important to the people that we’re going after, and then framing our offer in a way that just about has to pique their curiosity. Whether it’s because, you know, again, half the town is going or whether it’s because they’re, I don’t know, X-Men fans and you’ve got an X-Men comic book convention. How could that not be of interest to someone if you got that granular and targeted. So that applies to event advertising. And when you do that, you know, the other benefit of doing this, building an event, as opposed to just say building a mailing list of people in your area and telling them all to come to your show is that once they have indicated, again, not only do you create that social proof, because other people, when exposed to this the ad see that a bunch of their friends are going… Not only is it is that one benefit, but also you have the opportunity of posting into that event. And whenever you do, the people that have indicated they’re interested are going to get those responses. So it opens up a new channel of communication. And while you’re not messaging them, they’re just getting a notification, that is going to get a lot more eyeballs coming back to the same event in a fairly passive, non intrusive way. So that’s another reason that putting that ad spend into event responses can be a great way to go, as opposed to just building your mailing list and advertising to them that way. The other thing is, even if you had a very limited budget, but let’s say you had a fan base, even if you just promoted your event to your existing audience and spent a couple of dollars a day, that would be money very, very well spent. Because, you know, those fans are most valuable audience and yet, most of them are not seeing our messages, even if we do email them, you know, open rates on a big mailing list tend to be around 30, 40%, if if they’re going really well. And so that’s a lot of people that signed up for some free music that are not seeing your message. So the targeting of a custom audience becomes really important because it’s so cheap, by advertising standards. It’s just, again, a couple of dollars a day. Typically, with that kind of advertising. I’m not spending more than about $1 per person in a custom audience per day. And you know, we’re we’re making sure that all our fans know that we’re performing or having a book reading or having an art gallery show, and so I think it’s… For as cheap as it is, whether you go after cold traffic or just your existing audience, if you’re doing any kind of live event, I think it’s a no brainer that you want to go and set up an event and run some cheap ads to get more exposure for that event.
Eyvindur Karlsson 52:00
Yeah. I think you might have misspoke, or maybe I misheard, but how much per person? Because think you said a $1 per person.
John Oszajca 52:09
I think I said dollar per thousand. Pretty sure. Thousand. So and again, I don’t want to confuse people. There’s different metrics for different scenarios. So when I’m advertising to cold traffic, I never spend more than about $1 per 10,000. If I’m advertising to warm traffic or very local audience for a short amount of time, then that shrinks to about $1 per 1000 people. So yeah, for an event in my small town, for example, where Facebook tells me… I’ll go about 10 miles out of the town that I live in. And it gives me about 20,000 people. So I’m advertising… I’m spending about $20 a day. And even then, you know, that’s a lot by Facebook advertising standards, that’s a lot of money to be spending for such a small audience. So it’s going to be a short lived ad. But with events, we’re not normally promoting them six months in advance, we’re promoting them, you know, one or two weeks in advance. And so we can get away with shrinking that ratio of dollar per thousand. As opposed to when we’re going after cold audience trying to attract new people, and we are hoping to run that ad for a long period of time, we want to keep that budget to about $1 per 10,000.
Eyvindur Karlsson 53:24
Right? Although I will say there are ways that you can use events when you’re actually not promoting a physical event. Because because I used… I’m pretty sure that I did use an event to promote my crowdfunding campaign. Which is great. You put the date at the end date of the campaign. So you can use that. And it works quite differently. And so in that case, you might do it more in with, you know, more time to go. So you might start doing that a month before you start your campaign. And then the campaign might be a month or something. So in that case, that might be. But also you can if I’m not mistaken, you can retarget people who have responded as well, right?
John Oszajca 54:13
Sure, you can. Yeah, to be honest, I don’t do that only because, in most cases, I’m targeting everyone regardless, and those people are part of that mix. So if they’ve responded, I don’t really need to run an ad to get them to respond again. I also don’t need to run an ad to remind them because I’m posting into the event. And they’re getting those notifications, that the admin is posted to the event that they’ve responded to already. But I could conceive of some scenarios in which you might want to do that.
Eyvindur Karlsson 54:50
You could create a custom audience. So you can create create a look alike audience?
John Oszajca 54:54
Absolutely. Yeah, look alike audience would be a great thing to do. If you’re on a limited budget. Again, I tend to always… Let’s take my scenario where I’ve been performing in my hometown, I want to target the entire city. And all the surrounds. I go for 18 all the way up on all age groups. It’s such a small audience that I’m not narrowing it. But I’ve also got the budget to do it. And by the end of it, I’ve spent maybe $300 on a show. And so if your budget was much smaller, and you might only have $40 to spend, then yeah, you could create a custom audience of people that responded to past events. And then that could be really valuable for you in the future, because you’d, you know, be not wasting any kind of money on the people not likely to come. So that’s a great use. I don’t use events for non physical things, like you said, like a record release or anything like that. I know many do. I don’t have a problem with it. I’ve never really done it. I think I like to keep things. I guess when I get them from people, I feel a little smidge, like an invitation to something that’s not an actual event. I feel little smidge of annoyance or something. And this is just me, perhaps because when I get an invite, I think I’ve actually been invited to something. And when I find out, it’s the record release I think I’m being promoted to so it kind of personally… Again, it doesn’t bother me, but it kind of turns me off a little. And so I don’t personally use them that way. I think, you know, I’m trying to create as authentic of an experience as possible, but I can see the use of them. And I’m sure that many have used that approach successfully.
Eyvindur Karlsson 56:31
Right. And well, then of course there are you know, you can boost blog posts or things that you share, or I guess, Facebook posts as well. I guess we can sort of lump that into into one I guess.
John Oszajca 56:46
Eyvindur Karlsson 56:47
Yeah, so boosting.
John Oszajca 56:48
So I don’t… Well, sometimes I do. Whenever I use the boosted post option that’s out of laziness. Certainly, if you’re not familiar with that… Well, I think everyone’s got to be at least somewhat familiar with it. If you have a page, which everyone listening to this probably does, for their their career. And if you don’t have a page, you need to get a page. You can’t run ads without one, and you should not be trying to run your business from your personal profile. But assuming you do, and you’ve ever posted anything, you see a little boost option there and you can spend whatever you want to spend to make sure that more people see your posts, and you can target strangers or you can target people who like your page. Typically, if I was to boost something, I’m targeting people who like my page. But as I say, I don’t really use the boost option unless I’m just in a real rush and being kind of lazy because there’s a lot more options within the ad manager. So what I do, whenever, let’s say okay… So I have a podcast. The Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast, and I put out a new episode recently, and I want my… Not only do I want my existing audience, but quite often I want, you know, new people to listen to it. Sometimes I run a post out to new people sometimes I don’t, based on a million different thoughts and variables. But setting those aside, with this new podcast that’s come out I publish the episode to my page. And then I go into Facebook and I create a post saying: Hey, new podcast is up or whatever I do. I don’t actually usually just say, hey, a new podcast is up. Whatever problem I’m solving with the podcast episode or whatever titillating idea I’m exposing people to I lead with that, you know. So this recent one for my audience was about Spotify versus… Or the streaming models versus sales models. And I’ll ask a question, you know: Which is the better way to go? or something like that, in the post. I can’t actually remember what I put up in my post in this particular case. But then I’ll go into my ads manager, instead of just clicking the boost option. Again, both are kind of accomplishing the same thing, you just have more options. And I’ll select all my targeting options, and I’ll usually run two different ads, one will be to a warm audience and one will be to a cold audience. The first one will be to create an… I create a campaign where the objective was, in this case, traffic, because I’m trying to get people to click over to the post. I’ll target people who liked my page, or maybe I’ll target people that are on my mailing list or within a custom audience containing people that are on a mailing list. And people that have engaged with my Facebook page in the last 180 days or whatever, whatever I put together. So again, people who are already familiar with me, and I’ll target just those people. And then when I go to the ad creation page of the campaign setup process, I don’t create an ad, I select existing post. And it’ll be right there, because it’s the most recent one I created. And, you know, set my budget accordingly. If if I’ve got 50,000 people that liked my page, then I’ll bid about about $50 a day, or a maximum of $50 a day, because again, this is a warm audience. So it’s $1 for every thousand people. I usually go in all honesty, a little bit less than that, because I’d rather the ad run longer. There’s a tipping point, by the way, where you can double your budget, but you don’t double your traffic. You know, if you stretch that ratio out too much, if you try to be too much a day, there are diminishing returns. So there’s a little bit of a balancing act there. But I’ll create that ad set targeting warm traffic. Then once I’m done, I’ll go back in to the campaign level, click on the ad set tab, and then duplicate the ads that I just created. But in this one, I’ll remove the option of targeting people that like my page. And I’ll target, I don’t know, a completely new audience. People have never heard me before, you know, maybe… In this case it’s Music Marketing Manifesto. So I target people who liked, you know, one of the various sites or services that are out there for musicians, or a look alike audience for that matter. And so, I’ll be simultaneously attracting new people to the post, while also making sure that my existing audience sees it. Again, if you’re on a really limited budget… So I have another project, which is a beer podcast of mine, it’s sort of a passion project that does generate money through ads. And with that, I do the same thing. I keep my budget very small, I’ve only got a few thousand page likes. So I’ll bid $2 a day on people who liked my page, and I’ll bid another like $3 a day on people who like beer or home brewing in in New Zealand. This is a very New Zealand centric podcast. So I’ve always got my existing audience getting exposed to things and I’ve always got new people coming in. And I find that this is a better way of going about the sort of boosted post option, than paying money for it. But I think I think this is a really important and it’s almost more important than attracting new fans is making sure that those existing fans that you have are seeing your content. What is the point of publishing something if no one is seeing it? Which is a whole another conversation? Because I don’t think we actually have to be slaves to social media in the way that the headlines have us convinced that we do. I don’t post that frequently to the social media platforms, and yet my businesses are healthy. But again, that’s another subject perhaps for another day. But yeah, that’s basically the more advanced approach to boosting posts, and I do it anytime I create any kind of content. I create a post and then I spend some money making sure my existing audience sees that post. Because otherwise, what was the point?
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:02:32
John Oszajca 1:02:34
Whether I’m selling something or not.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:02:35
Yeah. And I mean, it’s all a part of that, you know, the building of a relationship, right? The building of your tribe. You know, engaging those people, which, you know.
John Oszajca 1:02:45
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:02:47
I think everybody who uses Facebook, and has a Facebook page, and who tries to use Facebook to market themselves in any way knows that every year, every month, fewer people are seeing what you post organically.
John Oszajca 1:03:03
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:03:04
That’s just how it works. And so I think, at least as far as I’m concerned, because I know there are a lot of things you can do. But I think this brings us to the main thing, which is to use Facebook ads to grow your mailing list.
John Oszajca 1:03:20
Right. So again, without kind of confusing too many people or going too deep down another rabbit hole, I teach… Fundamental to everything that I believe in as a marketer and teach to artists is that they should be engaged in what is commonly referred to as direct response marketing. We often refer to it as artists as direct to fan marketing, but I teach people how to build funnels. So you drive traffic to some kind of a page where they can begin a relationship with you. For musicians, this means signing up to your mailing list in exchange for some free music. And this is where a pre written and pre scheduled email series can take over. And again, not sell, sell, sell, but instead build the relationships and share blog posts and videos and music videos and key pieces of content that are again designed to walk people through a series of psychological states so that when you finally do ask them to spend money with you, they’re ready to spend money with you.
And that’s what I think is really the only way to go for independent artists. Because at the end of the day, when you do that you’ve got a real asset, you’ve created an audience. And you can keep going back to that audience over and over and over again, for years with new content and with new promotions. So that is where I spend the huge majority, 90% of my Facebook advertising spend. And I you know, I spend a lot every year on Facebook advertising, but the huge majority, 90% of it, goes into building my mailing list for virtually every business. And you know, it’s pretty straightforward. With this, the objective is conversions. If you’re spending less than, say $10 a day, you’re probably going to have to go with traffic, because again, you need those five actions per day in order for Facebook’s algorithm to do what it needs to do. And again, if we’re not getting five conversions a day, we go to traffic, because anyone can get five clicks a day, but not everyone can get five subscribers today on a limited budget. But all we’re really doing… You know, again, the ad creation process doesn’t change that much from from objective to objective. There are different nuances. But for the most part, it’s pretty similar. We’re going in, we’re targeting a really highly targeted audience, people we really feel strongly are likely to appreciate what it is that we’re doing. There are a lot of ways you can dive into targeting, we can talk about that for hours and to hone in on your audience. But, you know, it all starts with common sense, and doing a lot of experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. But we go and we target people likely to be interested in our freebie offer. And likely to be enticed by our copy our ad copy or landing page copy. And we create an ad. And we make a bold claim about what it is that… The experience that we’re ultimately offering, whether whether your traditional artist, an author or musician, it’s that experience that people are speakers are seeking. No one needs another download. No one needs another commercial entity to follow. But we all need deeper and more meaningful experiences in our lives. And that’s why we engage with art. So you make a bold claim or promise about the experience that your art ultimately offers. And you entice them to click because of some kind of freebie again, for a musician, it’s obvious be free music if you’re an author, maybe it’s I don’t know, if free a free ebook.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:06:58
A short story, maybe?
John Oszajca 1:07:00
Yeah, perhaps. If you’re a painter, it gets a little more tricky, you know. It could be something like a print that they can, you know, print on their own. A free print that they can they get the… What do you call it? A single user license, and they can print it and frame it or whatever it is that’s going to entice somebody.
You can even do things like free for shipping and handling and stuff like that, which might work well for artists with prints and things like that to build the list that way. It’s a whole sort of different take on the same strategy.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:07:35
I would think… Sorry, but I think, in terms of visual artists, whether it’s a photographer or a painter or Illustrator, whatever, yes, it might be a little bit tricky to figure out, you know, what you can actually give away. But the ad thing, the ads themselves, you know, the picture will be doing the talking so in that respect maybe the the copy isn’t as vital as with, with music. So there, you know, there are pros and cons there, I think.
John Oszajca 1:08:08
Yeah, I still think the copy is really important, even with the image because you’re steering the person. Just an image all by itself may make a person go: Wow, that’s cool. But just the little bit of extra copy telling people that, I don’t know… What could we say about a visual artists? So and so has been heralded as the next Andy Warhol by the Los Angeles Times, click to like his page or click to find out when the next showing is near you, or click to get a free print or whatever that enticement is. You’re taking people by the virtual hand and walking them towards the action that you want them to take, as opposed to just putting… And certainly the visual is going to be enormously important. But by just putting a visual out there and not putting emphasis on the copy you’re leaving too much responsibility in their hands. We really need to push them towards what it is we want them to do. And so I really do think the copy is still enormously important.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:09:11
Oh, absolutely. But that’s not what I mean. I just mean that the image will go a long way to tell you about that experience. I mean, of course, you know, obviously you need to… People need to know what you’re actually offering them, of course.
John Oszajca 1:09:28
Sure. I think the I think that can be said though, or should be said of all images and all ads, if you’re a musician, the image you choose of yourself should align with the promise of your music. If you say you’re the, you know… I don’t know, you’re following in the footsteps of artists like Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, but you look like an accountant in your picture, then there’s a mismatch there. And sorry, somebody is doing construction next door. I don’t know if that saw is bleeding through. But that’s always important. I think that alignment that you’re talking about.
But yeah, and I guess I don’t really have much more to say, because we talked about so many of the nuances of ad creation and some of the psychology that goes into it when talking about some of the other ad types. But I will certainly stress that again, this, to me is the best money spent because it’s the easiest to track ROI on. You know, how much did we spend to attract a new fan, and by enticing them to sign up to our mailing list, we actually have an asset now. And we can measure how much that asset is worth to us. And we can take a look at our business and go: Okay, how much are we spending and how much are we making, and if the numbers don’t align favorably, then we know we need to either a run more promotions or be bring down our acquisition costs.
And it might sound boring, but that balance… Being able to turn what is historically been such a subjective business… You know, even the major labels, and they still do it, to a large extent, have always just been: Somebody at the company thinks you’re great, we’re going to go spend a whole lot of money making sure other people have a chance to agree whether or not you’re great. And if we do our job, and the music’s out there, in all the places that music is traditionally purchased or consumed, then people will find it, they’ll engage with it and money will be generated. By most standards, that’s not much of a business, you know. That’s not much of a business model. There’s too many variables there, the ROI is too hard to measure. But with this approach, with the funnel approach, with the lead acquisition approach, we really have very real numbers. And if our business is failing, we can determine why it’s failing. And we can take very, very specific steps to fix our business and make it more profitable. And that to me, when I first kind of figured this out or whatever, a decade ago was just tremendous. It was unheard of, for artists. And as someone who’s never been afraid of marketing, I’ve always enjoyed it, I always liked it, I always had a… You know, it was always in my DNA, so to speak. This was game changing. And I think it can be for any artist who is not afraid of marketing.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:12:23
Exactly. That’s well said. And that’s exactly what I think is so important is to… I mean very few artists can make a living as an artist without being a businessman as well. Sure, you know, you might get like astronomically lucky, and somebody finds you and discovers you and just takes care of you. But that that doesn’t happen as much anymore.
John Oszajca 1:12:47
Not only does it not happen very much anymore, but when it does, the fame and success is usually pretty fleeting unless ultimately do become a bit of a businessman, or have somebody that is very much an integral part of your team that is a good businessman. There are there are good partnerships with managers and artists out there. But I am out here trying to give power to the people who can’t find a manager because they’re really hard to find, good partnerships like that. And I went through such a hopeless phase after four record deals and a loss of two managers and two lawyers. And it just was so… And multiple booking agents, it was so frustrating to need to rely on other people in order to have a career, and with online marketing with the approach that that I teach and now many others are teaching, you don’t need to rely on anyone. There’s still going to be a stage in your career, if you ultimately hit the heights that you’re hoping you hit, where you need to bring in help. You will probably need to get a manager or you’ll need to, you know, outsource it. Pay somebody to work for you. You’re the CEO of your company, but you pay people to do the things that you don’t have time to do. To do the marketing. But you can’t do any of that, you can’t run your business if you don’t understand it. So I think we need to jump in first, do it ourselves. And then we can, again, really be the CEO of our own company and pay people to do it. But you don’t need to rely on other people with this approach when you reduce it to… And I don’t mean to… I was going to say numbers, but you don’t… I’m not trying to sound heartless or soulless, or anything like that. It’s just numbers are real. Everything else is subjective. And to me, and that was that was just really a wonderful turning point in my life to sort of understand that.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:14:40
Yeah, fantastic. And again, you know, I think it’s life changing to have that… To just get that mind shift to start seeing how your art can be a business. And on that note… First of all, I think any musician out there needs to check out Music Marketing Manifesto. If you’re an indie artist, it’s going to change your life. I firmly believe that. And your advertising course is fantastic as well. Music Ads Workshop.
John Oszajca 1:15:17
Yeah, Music Ads Workshop 3.0. Meaning it’s in its third third edition.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:15:22
Yeah. And that is also fantastic and I think there’s a lot of stuff in there. Well, in both of those, but especially there for any artist, even if it is music focused, it’s good for anybody because, again, as I said in the beginning, the principles are the same. And we’re actually gonna give away a copy.
John Oszajca 1:15:42
We are. Yeah, I don’t know how you’re picking people. I don’t know what your criteria is yet by but anyone listening to this will probably have already heard what the criteria is because you’ll say it in the intro. But yeah, you’re going to give away a copy or I’m gonna… I’m going to donate a copy to allow you to give it to one worthy individual.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:16:02
Yes, and I will also put a link in the show description to the giveaway. And I’ll also mention it in the outro. And I’ll put links to Music Marketing Manifesto and the Music Ads Workshop for anybody who doesn’t win and wants to pick them up. Or pick that up, and the other one, because those are absolutely worth a lot more than what you charge for them.
John Oszajca 1:16:30
Thanks. Yeah, I know, it probably sounds like BS. Because everybody, you know, it’s part of marketing to justify your prices and tell everyone you’re just trying to give back when in reality we’re trying to run businesses too. But there is a there is honestly like a very conscious part of me that keeps my prices low. Because I price my things not based on what they’re worth, they’re worth a lot more. If I give somebody you know, career changing stuff is worth thousands, and my advice, my course have changed careers, many of them. But I know that not everyone’s going to follow through. And I know that musicians come into this on a really limited budget, more often than not, so I try to take this sort of worst case scenario, the person who’s on a budget and isn’t going to follow through. And what do I think is the right and fair exchange. And I price things accordingly. I want everybody… I want to over-deliver on everything I do. And I keep my prices really low as a result.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:17:27
And you do man.
Well, thank you again. This was a fantastic talk. And yeah, I’ll talk to you later.
John Oszajca 1:17:36
Awesome. Thanks very much for having me. And yeah, I look forward to seeing whoever your lucky winner of Music Ads Workshop is in in the members area in the not too distant future.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:17:48
John Oszajca 1:17:49
Cool. Take care.
Eyvindur Karlsson 1:17:50
You too. Thanks again to John Oszajca. I really loved that chat. And I hope you did, too. I think there’s some really valuable stuff in there. And I hope you will take action, and use some of the tips that you got from John in this episode.
Please subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future episodes. We have some great stuff coming up in the next few weeks. So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of that. And if you want a chance to win a copy of John’s Music Ads Workshop 3.0. Go to artism.fm/adsgiveaway and you can get a chance to win your very own copy valued at $197. So that’s not nothing.
And if you want to check out Music Marketing Manifesto, or some of the other stuff that john has going on, go to the show notes which will be at artism.fm/ap6 and there will be some affiliate links there, which I get a little commission if you use them. And it is great stuff especially for musicians, but a lot of it is applicable to any artists.
Now I will see you on the next episode. And until then, go art yourself.