Facebook funnel
Project Ignite Podcast by Derek Gehl Build a Self-Liquidating Facebook Funnel Using These 4 Moves with Nicholas Kusmich
00:00:00 00:00:00
  • Episode  33
  • Nicholas Kusmich


Nicholas Kusmich got online out of necessity, but has since built an empire out of what he’s most passionate about–marketing. Nicholas is the singular industry authority in Facebook advertising, and is relied upon by industry leaders from multiple markets. This podcast covers a huge amount of high level strategies for rolling out successful Facebook funnels and ad campaigns, including how to lower your lead costs and ensure that you don’t get blacklisted by Facebook. Nicholas also offers an incredible resource for free to our listeners–don’t miss it, and act fast, because this master class is only around for a limited time.

Transcript: Build a Self-Liquidating Facebook Funnel Using These 4 Moves with Nicholas Kusmich

Welcome to the Project Ignite podcast–a podcast designed to skip the hype, skip the BS, and bring you real, actionable tips and strategies to help you grow your business and your income on the internet. If I’ve done my job, at the end of this podcast, you’ll have a list of actions, tasks, and steps that you can use to start making more money.

Today we’re gonna be diving deep into Facebook funnel development and advertising. I cannot emphasize how massive an opportunity that Facebook currently represents for so many online businesses today. There hasn’t been an opportunity to drive targeted traffic to your website and offers for so little cost since the beginning of pay per click.

However, I think we have a limited window of opportunity, because every year, the advertising costs are going up. Today you can still get it cheap, but in a few years? If it’ll be anything like what AdWords did to the price of competition, than my prediction is it will not be the same–the price will go up.

This is why I’m so excited to have today’s guest on the show. If you’ve ever clicked on an ad for an industry expert or leader, guys like Tony Robbins–the industry leaders–then you’ll be familiar with his work, because these people rely on him to manage their Facebook campaigns.

Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Facebook advertising expert Nicholas Kusmich to the show today.

Nicholas, thank you for being here.
Thank you for having me. It’s an absolute delight.
Before we get started, could you expand on your journey to where you are today? How did you get started online? What was your path to becoming this Facebook lead generation authority that industry leaders are now relying on.

I wish I could say that I was born saying, “I’m an entrepreneur, this is the only way to go,” but that would be a lie. For my whole life, my father was sick. For most of my young life, he spent most of his time in the hospital. My mother was an immigrant that struggled to find work. At sixteen, I was forced to be the breadwinner for my family. It wasn’t easy, and I had to make hard choices.

I could’ve started out at McDonald’s and paid the bills that way, but I knew that wouldn’t cut it. So I ventured out onto the internet.

At that time, I found a website called MarketingTips.com. The one, the only, the original Corey Rudl. This was my first experience with home-based internet related business. I got this huge box in the mail, still at sixteen, a binder full of how to market on the internet.

It took me down the proverbial rabbit hole. It opened up an entirely new world for me.

I wish I could say that after reading it, I immediately became really successful, but honestly, I failed every single time for years and years. It felt like every time I hit bottom, it wasn’t actually the bottom and I’d sink deeper.

So I was pulling jobs on the side to support my family, but always trying to figure this internet thing out. Fast forward a few years and I’m needing a traffic source because I had written a weight loss product under a pen name. This was when Google had its way with businesses. I was exposed to my first Google slap.

So at that time, I knew I needed a paid advertising source. My first option was Facebook, and simultaneously, I had PlentyOfFish.com. They’d built an amazing advertising platform, because they had so much data from millions of people.

So I started on both, and Facebook generation took off. Maybe it was luck, but we were one of the first movers on Facebook, and then people started asking how we were doing it. So I started taking on work for them.

Then I decided to put my money where my mouth was and I started making some big offers to A-Listers. I put together a spreadsheet, and picked an ideal client.

So I reached out to a few names on Twitter and said, “Look. I run Facebook lead generation ads. I’m the best in the world at this. I’m gonna run a few campaigns for you, my fees are X, but you don’t have to pay me until I get results.”

It was risky but I managed to hit a bunch of home runs. People started talking, and everything took off, and here we are today–doing work for a lot of thought leaders in the information space.

So you’ve been on Facebook lead generation since the beginning.
The very beginning. Back when the advertising courses literally told you to put up an image of a smiling woman with lots of cleavage and a red border.

To get the attention in that damn sidebar…

When they finally released the newsfeed, it was a big day.

I think that’s the idea of where Native Advertising started to gain popularity. As consumers, we’re trained to ignore ads. When someone logs onto Facebook and they see the sidebar, they know there’s ads, and they ignore them.

So when Facebook released the news feed ads, we got all over it. We knew it was the way to go at the time. It’s been a deal maker.

So now knowing, with huge experience and a vast array of campaigns–you’re doing this for different businesses, too, so you get this great cross section of knowledge–what mistakes are you seeing people make today?

There’s a bunch of technical answers to that, but the general answer–and not just in terms of best practices, but people are losing their accounts. This is mostly direct response marketers from an older school of thought, where those marketing tactics are incongruent with Facebook as a platform.

So I describe this as, imagine it’s summertime. We’re having a barbeque in the backyard, with our family and closest friends, and we’re just eating and hanging out. Then suddenly, some stranger opens the gate to the backyard, takes a burger off the grill, joins our little circle of close friends, and starts trying to sell us a vacuum cleaner.

If that were true, how would that make you feel? Frustrated, annoyed–both common answers. But why? Why do we feel that way? It’s because number one, that person was not invited, and number two, they invaded a space that they weren’t meant to be apart of. Third, even if it is a decent space, they’re offering us something that we don’t want, and on top of that, it’s incongruent with the environment.

That’s what most advertisers are doing on Facebook every single day. The backyard is the newsfeed, and a bunch of people are trying to sell us vacuum cleaners with no tact. Would that be appropriate on eBay or Amazon? Yeah, I think so. They’re commerce platforms.

Facebook lead generation is a totally different game. Nobody logs onto Facebook, credit card in hand, thinking, I’m ready to buy something. As soon as we approach the platform, we need to be congruent to the context of the platform that you’re playing on. You can’t be that sleazy sales guy. If you want to play in a social playground, you have to play by the rules.

This is a huge mistake that people make. They come on as aggressive marketers with the intention to take from the community rather than serve the community. Best case scenario is they’ll be ignored. Worst case scenario, someone will leave a nasty comment, and damage your reputation. One of the hardest things to get back is your good reputation.

If you’re gonna play that game on a social platform, make sure you’re congruent to the context of that platform, and that you understand the rules of that platform.

You just said, Facebook is a great marketing tool and a powerful platform, but don’t sell.

One of these things is not like the other.

Let’s dig down, then. I know you have something called a rapid scaling matrix, which is kind of your secret to making all of this work.

I agree with you entirely. My personal experience, and I’ve lost a few accounts, was that, when I finally unlocked the secret, I was essentially doing exactly what you say to do. There’s a disconnect, right, because you’re marketing but you’re not meant to use Facebook lead generation to sell. What the heck?

How do we do this? Let’s dig into your rapid scaling matrix and talk about how we can leverage this platform if we can’t sell.

Great question. Rapid scaling matrix essentially just means that we use Facebook for two main purposes. We use it to help reestablish or enforce a position in the market that we want to hold, or to quote Jay Abraham, it’s to “establish pre-eminent position in a marketplace.” I think that marketing is nothing more than establishing a pre-eminent position in a marketplace, using unconscious narratives.

You imply it through the content you put out. That’s the first phase. Once you establish a position, the sales and the funnels become so much easier.

Can you elaborate? What is an unconscious narrative?

If anyone follows me on Facebook, they’ll see me posting two things that we sometimes turn to ads. I’ll do one of two things. An unconscious narrative is implicit rather than  explicit. So I could either shout into the void that I’m the best Facebook lead generation marketer in the world, or I could put out a little video featuring a campaign I recently worked on that yielded a 1500% ROI.

I just throw that out into the ether. That’s a more unconscious way to say, I’m really good at what I do, and this is how I do it. When people see it, they think, this guy knows what he’s doing. I’ve never seen ROIs like that. And they’re also thinking, he’s not shouting this in my face and being aggressive. He’s actually trying to give me some value.

Does that make sense?

So when we’re trying to establish positioning, we ask our clients where they want to be in the marketplace. Generally, thought leaders want to be considered a trusted authority. So how do we establish that status?
Facebook funnel nicholas kusmich
We do that with the proof type elements, like I just mentioned, or we can use really, really great content. It’s really my belief that anybody, if they can apply this tactic properly, is really only 90 days away from being a “marketplace micro celebrity” in their market. They just need to get in front of the right people with either great content or this proof element, and you’re essentially 90 days away from being viewed as a trusted authority in your space.
So you kind of look at this in two sections. The first is the pre-eminent positioning. Once that’s established, laterally, you start reaching into the market with ads to create some kind of action.

We do them simultaneously. First, we establish the position, and then work to maintain it. Simultaneously, we will also run lead generation campaigns to stay congruent with the social idea. We’re not running sales campaigns, but we run a variation of a lead generation campaign which will distribute great content and seek to capture email addresses, so we can add people to our funnel, or a nurture sequence, on a platform that we can control.

Once they’re on a platform we control, we can play by our rules. That includes being really cool to people and building value, but then at some time, comfortably making an offer without breaking any rules.

Got it. So let’s talk about lead generation campaigns. What kind of stuff do people give away successfully?

I say there’s two ways to do that. There’s the traditional landing page–a promise for content, but you have to leave your email address to get it. When it comes to lead magnets, there’s a bunch of categories that we can fall into.

What I’ve found with countless numbers of tests, is that you want to fall into a category of high perceived value and easy consumption. For example, an e-book. High consumption value, but not as high desire anymore. When did you last read an e-book?


Exactly! I’ve downloaded a few in the day, when they were really hot, and maybe I would’ve downloaded one in the last three years, but I didn’t finish it. I guarantee. People don’t want e-books anymore. Someone might offer a webinar, though. So there might be high desire for webinars right now, but there’s relatively low consumption. People actually don’t want to give you 90 minutes of their time. To request that much time, I would say doesn’t fit into the right category.

What we’ve found to be the best form of lead magnet is something in the form of a downloadable short duration PDF. A resource guide, a blueprint–something that is 1 to 3 pages and is highly consumable, easy to access, easy to consume quickly–these are the hottest things out there.

Let’s jump into that formula that you have for generating those PDFs.

I call it the SAGE formula. It’s an acronym that helps me remember how to develop a lead magnet.

The S stands for short. We live in an age of micro-content. Attention is short. We don’t want long pieces of content from someone we don’t know. The general rule of thumb is content needs to be consumed within 4 to 7 minutes.

The A is actionable. I believe we live in a consumer driven society where information is no longer important. Content used to be king, but I don’t believe that anymore. Content is so abundant. I don’t know who the 22nd President of the US is, but if I wanted to, I could find out in seconds. There’s so much content out there.

What’s more important than information is insight into applying information immediately to get a result. People don’t want a “what” anymore, they’re looking for a “how.” If you can offer that, you’re doing really well.
facebook marketing funnel
The G stands for goal oriented. What we need to realize is that all of our prospects have a goal in mind. They want to move towards something. If my magnet can get them a bit closer, it does a ton psychologically. It shows that they can in fact accomplish this goal. Secondly, it positions me as the expert to get them there. I get them one step closer, I can also get them three or four steps closer. This is a brilliant goal.

The E stands for easy enough for a newbie to apply. There’s an illusion out there that the longer and more complicated you make something, the more you appear as an authority. But people don’t want that. They want something easy to apply. They don’t want to be bothered, and they want to get it done quick.

Besides being the best kind of magnet to put out for people, it’s also way less of a burden for the people creating this magnet. Instead of writing an entire e-book, I’m planning for a quick checklist or resource guide that I can churn out in twenty minutes. It’s a win-win for everybody.

I deal with so many people that are starting out online with Facebook and with lead gen offers, and there is this perception that they need a long, complicated solution. It seems that the idea is that there isn’t enough perceived value. But I agree with you. People don’t want to consume a massive piece of content for the tidbits that they were looking for.

That’s some pretty sage advice, I guess.

Ha, yes. All killer, no filler.
Awesome. Okay, cool. Let’s go now to the actual ads themselves. Can you talk a bit about what you’re doing and what’s working well?

I think the main thing that people need to realize, I call it the 101 or the 201, being first and second level courses. 101, you need an ad and a landing page to capture information. We just discussed the standard landing page format, but now I want to talk about what I call a value first landing page.

The idea is ungated content that you throw out to the marketplace, and then as a continuation, or enhancement, would be a great magnet. We’re testing right now–people love sharing content on Facebook lead generation, but within that content we have a call to action.

So I recently wrote a blog post on how to avoid having your Facebook account shut down.  It’s like 3,900 words, it’s a mammoth. So I could either put that entire post up and leave it there, or I could condense it into a 3 page checklist that someone could print out and keep next to their computer to use as they’re writing ads.

So I said, you can either read this entire document, or you can just use this checklist. Just give me your name and email so I know where to send it. This has been generating leads every single day for us.

When we think about ad campaigns, we think about lead generation and either the traditional landing page or the value first landing page, and I think both will serve you really well. Does that make sense?

That makes a ton of sense. Brilliant. Let’s shift our focus to the ad platform, now. We had sidebar ads, mobile ads, dark posts. Where do you spend most of your time?

When we run a cold ad–targeting an audience that doesn’t know our client–100% of our attention goes to the newsfeed, and it will be a dark post. This is because we will be split testing. For those of you that don’t know what a dark post is, it’s a post that appears in the newsfeed as though it was coming from a fanpage, but it never gets posted on the fan page itself. The reason for that is we’re testing multiple versions of this ad, and it would be terrible if a fan went to a fan page and saw several versions of the same ad all posted one after the other. That’s where the dark post benefit comes from.

100% of the time, it will be a dark post in the newsfeed, and we constantly split test and separate desktop and mobile. Users respond differently depending on the device. Depending on the magnet, and where we drive traffic, that would determine our placement.

If we’re driving people to a top of the hour webinar, we would not use mobile to do that, because someone on their phone will not sit for 45 or 90 minutes to watch that webinar. If it’s a general campaign, newsfeed, separate desktop and mobile, and dark post with split testing.

Let’s talk about targeting. When I’m targeting, if I’m connecting with people that have connected with me in some way, my response is far and away the best when compared with cold ads. What is your strategy for targeting?

We lump audiences into four different categories. The first is a cold, interest or behaviour based targeting. The other one is a lookalike audience. The third category is retargeting, and fourthly is custom audiences.

For the sake of this conversation, we have our list, and we create a custom audience with that database.

So you’re right. The closer they are to home, the better response we’ll get. But the limitation to that is scalability. No matter how many fans you have, it’ll run out really quick. So at some point, we need to expand out into cold audiences.

So first, we go through custom audiences. Then, we move to retargeted audiences. We don’t actually reach out to lookalikes, but there is a little trick. If I’m in a personal development market, you can bet I’m reaching out to Tony Robbins’ audience because they have a big following. However, that might be pretty expensive, because we’re looking at 4 million people. So in that case, we upload our customer list, within our chosen country, and we create a lookalike audience.

Then, we go out to Tony Robbins’ cold audience, and we layer our lookalike audience on top of that. That’s gonna shrink the audience from 4 million to maybe 600,000. It’s a big drop, but now we know that we’re targeting the right people. That will be enough for us to drive traffic to a website conversion type ad, with a tracking pixel, and that will be enough to start seasoning that tracking pixel.

The reality is that if you put a conversion pixel on the thank you page of any landing page, the more people that hit that page, the more Facebook gets intelligent about the person you’re trying to reach. Then, as you start delving into cold audiences, the pixel does most of the heavy lifting because we’ve set up a conversion campaign, and now Facebook is finding the people that are most likely to hit that thank you page.

I’ve done everything you’ve just mentioned, but I had never considered that trick with your conversion pixel. That’s huge.
We can even take that a step further, then. People tend to set up a new conversion pixel for each of their lead magnets. But what we do, is if we know we’re marketing to the same audience, we use the same pixel. That way, more people will hit that pixel, and we’ll have a better idea of our perfect customer. We can take this so far. It’s one of the most underutilized things with Facebook–people don’t realize how powerful that pixel can be.

Absolutely. I had no idea. That’s fantastic. So where are we? We’re running out of time here. I have so many questions! Let’s just do it.

So as we’re moving through the process, we’ve done our targeting and created our ads–how do you go about bidding?

9 times out of 10, we divide our campaign structure as either a click to website campaign, or a website conversion campaign. If the goal of our Facebook funnel is to capture leads, we’re doing a website conversion campaign. If we’re only driving content, it’s a website click campaign.

So we use OCPM, or optimized bidding, where we let Facebook lead generation go out and determine who will be the best fit. So we let Facebook lead generation determine the bid first, and if our pixel is seasoned well, Facebook will get really good at it.

It takes Facebook lead generation 24 to 36 hours to optimize any given ad. When newbies run an ad, they tend to stare at their computers and watch every lead. But that’s just going to give you a headache. It’s going to optimize as Facebook determines the best bid, and it’ll give you a steady number.

As soon as it gives you the lead cost, you need to first decide if you’re happy with it, and then decide if you want to scale up to reach more people. If you do scale, you’re going to hit a point where as soon as you raise your daily budget, it’s going to throw off your Facebook algorithm again and it’ll need to restabilize.

But if you’re happy with that lead cost, you have the choice to try to make it better. The advanced bidding approach is when we have a campaign running, established at a $2 per lead campaign, and we want to get that down to $1.50. Then, we multiply it by three, which takes us to $4.50. Then we optimize bidding to cost per conversion, where we dictate manually how much we’re willing to spend per conversion. We always take our goal and times it by three. So we set our manual bid to $4.50. Then, 9 times out of 10, that $2 lead becomes a $1.60 lead. You can’t do that right off the bat, but once Facebook lead generation has optimized, you can get involved with the manual bidding and bring down the cost by doing what I just shared there.

That was awesome. So, now, we’ve placed our ads, now we need to look at relevancy, and positive versus negative feedback.

You need to pay attention to your negative feedback. If an ad of yours pops into the high negative feedback element, you should turn that ad off as fast as you can. If you let an ad with negative feedback run for too long, Facebook lead generation will think that you don’t understand your audience, and will assume that you’re breaking rules within the community. Consequently, and quietly, Facebook will shut down your account.

You’ll be so confused, because you have high positive feedback, and you’re relevant, but it’s all because of your negative feedback. That’s an indication that you’re treading on thin ice. Repurpose the ad, duplicate it, and start again.

Let’s talk about their penalties. So I’ve heard that it’s all very algorithmic, and that appears to be true. It’s not a person looking at your page manually–their compliance department isn’t even that big.

To be honest, if I could crack the code, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. But I do agree with what you’re saying, and that’s because Facebook lead generation has trouble with is distinguishing between a positive and negative comment, so they measure impressions versus engagement. And they can definitely see whenever someone clicks the little X at the top of and ad to say they don’t want to see it anymore. The ad will go on a watch list. The algorithm will send notice to Facebook lead generation saying that this person needs to be shut down.

That’s the remedy that Facebook seems to have deployed. The only thing you need to watch for is the negative feedback, because it’s indicative of how many people are clicking that X.

Got it. Now, when you’re setting up your campaigns, you’re generating a lead, but are you trying to create a self liquidating campaign that maybe offers something free but then follows with an upsell to try to cover the cost of the ad, or with Facebook lead generation, are you finding that you typically capture the lead and convert them later?

There’s no perfect answer. Every business has a different approach. How I see it though is that I’d categorize leads into three swim lanes: the fast, the medium, and the slow. The fast person is someone that’s highly engaged, they’ve downloaded the magnet, and they’re ready to go. Then there’s the medium lane, and they need the nurture sequence. Then you have the slow guys. They’ve hopped on the list, read all of your emails, but they never buy anything until like 12 years into the process. With regards to self-liquidating offers, I think it’s highly underutilized.

If you can be kind of tactful about it, instead of aggressive, offering a supplementary product, usually advertised as on sale and only for a one time offer, people will generally buy into it and will help fast movers feel like they’re part of the process, without hurting your medium and slow movers by seeming too sales-y.

Great. Before we wrap up, where can our listeners find you?

Everything about me is up on NicholasKusmich.com. You can also find me on Facebook lead generation under my name as well. I also have a free gift, though, that might be of relevance to some of your listeners.

So the position I hold in the marketplace is that if I can give away information, I’ll give it away for free. I recognize that probably half of the population cannot work with me at this level, and I’m cool with it, so I can just give my content away.

So I usually do masterminds and higher level courses behind closed doors. It’s usually private and really expensive. But I’ve taken one of the trainings I’ve done, and I’ve summarized it.

It’s a full day’s training, but I’ve condensed it into a 40 minute video and I’m calling it the Behind Closed Doors training, only available for a limited time. You can get that at NicsBlog.com\secret. You just fill in your name and email and we can send it to you. It is limited, but it is a pretty cool way to see some of the high level stuff without having to pay for it.

Thank you so much for sharing all of that, Nick. That was some really great, high level stuff. To get that level of training, for free, on a podcast, is unheard of. Thank you so much.
It was a great time. I would do it again any time, any place.

Awesome. Okay, everyone, that was Facebook expert Nicholas Kusmich. As always, the transcript and show notes will be up at ProjectIgnite.com/podcast. If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe on iTunes–just look up Project Ignite, Derek Gehl, or Internet Marketing and I’ll show up! If you’re an Android user, just get us on Soundcloud!

Also, if you like what you hear–leave a review, tell us what you think.

Now it’s time to take the tips, tools, and strategies that we’ve learned from Matt here today, and apply the final essential ingredient to make this all work for you: that ingredient is action. Go forth, take action, and stay tuned for more info-packed episodes of the Project Ignite podcast–a podcast designed to simplify marketing and online business so you can get bigger and faster results and make more money.

This is Derek Gehl, signing off. See you in the next episode.

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