‘One is the most dangerous number in business’. I learned this from good old Den Kennedy. Even though I forgot where I came across this, it has always stuck with me since I heard it.
He said that one is the most dangerous number or word in business. And I had to learn it the hard way. So let me quickly explain to you what I mean and share a little story.
My Facebook Ad Account Was Disabled: Now What?
In the past three years I built up a very successful and profitable sales funnel. This funnel used Facebook paid ads to drive traffic to my blog where I captured leads and converted those people to customers. Everything was perfect; I had a money making machine. All I had to do was send more traffic to my blog and more people would join my email list. And I could make more money. It was like a golden goose.
I just invested more into paid ads, and boom! I was making good money. It was the perfect funnel and a perfect system.
And then what happened was; Facebook shut down two of my ad accounts. So here’s what happened. I was promoting a program called the Inner Circle. You probably know this if you have been following my stuff. And I made a mistake! I misread something in the Facebook ad guidelines and I had a missing word in my ad text. Due to this one error, they shut down my account. At least that’s what I think because they never let you know the reasons.
This happens to so many people. You never get to know why Facebook shuts down your account. It’s a real pain in the ass. I got to know Facebook from a different perspective. So here’s what I did then. I still had three other accounts so I was working on a new ad account on this other ad account that didn’t shut this down. I promoted more stuff and it went well. So then I thought maybe Facebook will let me promote my old website. So I promoted my old blog and boom! Five minutes later, my second ad account was shut down.
I was really super frustrated. You can imagine: I had this perfect funnel built, I was so confident with this funnel. All I had to do was scale out my paid ads and money would come out of the other end. I had worked for months and years on this funnel to make it work and now Facebook came and took away the ground below my feet.
So I was panicking. I was scared. I even had a hard time sleeping. I needed to find a way to make these Facebook ads work again. And the thing is once your Facebook ad account is shut down, first of all you can send an email to their support, telling them it was just a mistake. Or you could say that you fixed everything. The problem is, Facebook is just as big a giant as Google and they don’t have to respond to you. You are like a tiny little fish—you’re not even a fish! You’re more like bacteria in the Facebook universe. They have huge clients and huge advertisers and you are bacteria. They don’t have time to respond to you or deal with you. That’s how big Facebook has become.
So don’t ever expect a response from Facebook when it comes to your ad account being shut down. I never got one. What happens is this. The domains that you used in the past and the Facebook pages that you used to promote in the past with your ad account that was shut down get somehow tracked by Facebook. So you cannot promote anything that you promoted in the past—not your domain or your Facebook page. So basically, my Facebook page was rendered useless and my domain was rendered useless by Facebook. Even then, I did try to promote the domain and boom!
Five minutes later, the new account was shut down too.
The Solution: Turn Your Loss Into An Opportunity
Now the cool thing is I still have two ad accounts I’m using them occasionally to promote webinars and important stuff. Those are still working so no worries! I’m still on Facebook, advertising there. I still have two accounts. But I’ve become a lot more careful and I’ve learnt a very important lesson. And as I said in the beginning, that lesson is: the most dangerous number in business is one.
So back in the day, I was relying solely on Facebook to drive traffic. I was so dependent on Facebook that when they shut down my ad account, I was panicking! Business was destroyed for a while! So what I did is, I took that as an important lesson and I went out and learned a lot about marketing and different methods. I learnt more in a few months than the last two years, probably. This is because now I had a new fire under my ass. I knew that I can’t rely completely on Facebook to do my business because what if they shut down my other two accounts as well? I’ll be out of business and I can’t let that happen.
So I left Facebook on the side. I still have those accounts when I need them. I can still promote stuff but I didn’t want to rely on them. I didn’t want to make it the foundation of my business. I didn’t want to use them as my main traffic source.
So I went out there and I started testing lots of new marketing methods; from solo ads to cold emailing to direct mail. I tried all these things that I would never have tried because I was so comfortable. So whenever you get too comfortable in your own business, you’ve got to step it up. If you just have one thing that your business is grounded on, you’ve got to step it up. You’ve got to find different sources, different methods, different forms of communication with your clients, and different ways to reach potential clients. You need a back-up system for your business. That’s the lesson I took from my Facebook accounts being shut down in the past.
Now, I’m having a huge breakthrough. Actually, sometimes these setbacks are just breakthroughs in disguise. It’s a blessing in disguise. Back then, a few months ago, I didn’t look at it that way. I was sleepless and panicking about this and I was really frustrated. I was calling my girlfriend and complaining about how my second ad account got shut down. I was saying that I hate Facebook and I’m going to kill those guys (I hope no one from Facebook is reading this!).
I was stressing out then. But now, after spending a few months of researching new methods, testing new stuff and having that fire under my ass, I must say that it’s been a huge payoff. This made me build a back-up system and expand my skills and horizon. I’m having a huge breakthrough right now in my marketing and in my business because Facebook shut down my ad accounts.
Create a “Backup System”
So never ever have just one traffic source or one way of finding customers. Never rely on a third party service like Facebook or Google to build your business on. You always want to build your own mailing list. One reason is that you make your own policies, if you have your own email list. Now of course, there are things like the ‘Can Spam Act’ or whatever they’re called so you can’t go spamming people. But apart from that, you can promote whatever you want. Of course, you have got to be compliant with the laws of your country.
What I mean is, if you own a mailing list, then you are the owner of that media. You can do whatever you want with it. You can send the offers that you want. You can decide what the page can look like. For example, Google only allows certain layouts of landing pages. That’s the kind of stuff that is holding you back as a marketer.
So the ultimate goal of your marketing should be defined marketing solutions that are independent of third party services like Facebook, Google or Twitter. If you cannot find things that are completely detached from third party services, you have to at least find a variety of different sources that are working. So, if Facebook disappears tomorrow or they shut down your ad account, you still have these two other back-ups. Or if Twitter disappears tomorrow just like MySpace disappeared, you still have these other two options.
You never want to depend on a third party service and give them that much power. It’s dramatic. I mean, I’ve heard stories of honest, upright business people in their forties and fifties that had randomly got their Facebook ad accounts shut down. Their whole business was destroyed. They had to fire employees just because Facebook shut down their ad account and their whole foundation was gone.
So until next time, remember: one is the most dangerous number in business!
Featured image by Scott Beale via Flickr.com.
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