Watch over my shoulder as I set up a Facebook Ad Campaign From Scratch…

The Music Ads Workshop 3.0 is an online course, in which I’ll teach you how to use Facebook advertising to drive traffic and grow your fan base, with a specific focus of generating profit. It includes more than 5 hours of training lessons and the content is hosted inside of an interactive members area where you can ask questions as you go through the material and get the help you need along the way.

The program goes live on December 6th an Noon Pacific. To save $50 on and get access to the early bird live coaching call bonus, just click the link below.

Click Here To Get On The Music Ads Workshop 3.0 Early Bird List >>>

55 Comments

  • Mike says:

    Hello John or Steve,
    Creating a conversion goal Im not sure how. URL contains keywords like the words that are used in the description or what my music mirrors? Example: My muzak Sound like Greatful Dead. URL key word I put In Greatful Dead? For custom conversion?
    Thank You
    Mike F.

    • Hi Mike,

      Steve here, from support.

      Sorry for any confusion, but it sounds like you are confusing the url with your audience targeting. When setting up a custom conversion, you aren’t dealing with targeting at all.

      Instead what you are doing is creating an event that your pixel will identify, whenever a visitor from one of your ads triggers the event.

      In the case of a url, this describes that the event will be triggered when one of those visitors lands on a particular page of your site.

      So what you want to do is indicate in the conversion goal, which page of your site represents the conversion.

      For example, if you are trying to keeps stats on new subscriber sign-ups, you’d want to indicate either your thank you page (the page after someone fills out your sign-up form), or confirmation page (the page someone sees after they click the link in the confirmation email).

      You can do this by “url is”, or “url contains”.

      For “url is”, it needs to be the entire url (page address), in order to trigger the conversion event ( http://yoursite.com/confirmation )

      For “url contains” it can just be ( /confirmation ).

      Let us know if you need any additional help.

  • Hello! Thank you for the info, just received our first 18 subscribers! Would you be able to say which app you use to embed video?

    • John Oszajca says:

      That’s fantastic! Great start. It depends what your goals are. I like Vimeo because I don’t like most of my videos to be found and I’m not active on Youtube. But if you are active on Youtube, then Youtube is a great, and simple solution. Another option is embedding with Facebook. This allows you to retarget some of those people that watch your videos and grow your custom audiences. Let me know if that doesn’t answer your question.

  • Tom says:

    at $1.50 per subscriber, that means you need about 1 in 10 to buy your album just to break even, PLUS you just sunk in about $600 in testing. That’s a lot of money for advertising and you would seem well off just to break even, investing close to $1000 just to get started.

    So when are you going to start making money?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Tom,

      When you spend money on Facebook advertising, you are investing in an audience that you can profit from for years to come. It can be very challenging to profit off of a single $10 album with ads (though I do see it all the time). Where the profit really comes in is over the long run. If you invest in 1000 subscribers now (as a hypothetical), and ideally break even or better, you now have the opportunity to generate pure profit on your upsell, and subsequent promotions that you run throughout the year. I recommend one per quarter. If you do this, you should have no trouble getting your subscriber value way up above your subscriber acquisition costs. And keep in mind that the testing budget is not being just thrown away. Revenue is generated from those subscribers as well. So it’s not a test budget in the sense that you are wasting that money. It’s only a test budget in the sense that your return will not likely be as good as it is once things are dialed in. This strategy works, and it works well. To the point that I have some clients spending hundreds per day on advertising. But I’m not here to say that it is easy, or without risk.

  • Tim says:

    Question on the Music Ads Workshop course, will it cover targeting ads locally? I live outside NYC which obviously a very densely populated area. One of my goals for 2019 is to attract a large local following first, then slowly expand to other metro areas.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Tim,

      While the focus of most of the example ads is going after larger, national audiences, there are a few examples of local campaigns, and the rules/theory of local (aka geo-targeting) are certainly covered. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks.

  • Markus says:

    Hi John as always finding your videos very helpful. I do have a problem with subscribers actually opening their newsletters. From about 400 I have on the mailing list only 20-25% actually bother opening the newsletter even though I ad competitions etc. Unfortunately the conversion rate to sales is pretty much “0”! We have our new album coming out in February. I’m not shy of investing some money to gain more exposure and increase our fan base but at 10 or 20 bucks a day over a period of time that’s pretty hair raising after spending a sizeable amount on recording the new album. Musicians are not business minded and don’t usually have deep pockets. I struggle with the whole concept.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Markus, a 25% open rate is pretty dismal if you are talking about the initial email and normally I am looking for an open rate on the first email of over 80%. If you are talking about the final email in your funnel it is not amazing, but not quite as bad. There is clearly an engagement issue here, but it’s pretty hard to diagnose in a comment.

      I would not invest more money in ads, until you have a plan for how you will diagnose the engagement issue. There are a few obvious places to start…

      1. If you have confirmed opt in off, turn it on. This has been making a big difference for me over the last little while. If you do this, reset your email open stats (in aweber you do this by recreating the email). That way you can immediately see the impact of the changes.

      2. Go through the funnel, from sign up on, and see if there are any issues you may have over looked, such as off putting language in your initial emails, the use of words like “subscription” (which tend to scare people), etc.

      3. If the problem is not the initial email but those later in the funnel, then try making changes to your email subject lines and copy.

      4. Consider making changes to your targeting.

      5. If you’re still completely lost, try sending a brief, and light handed, survey to your list. Simply point out that records show that they have not ordered your latest album, and in an effort to better understand your subscribers, you are sending out an anonymous survey asking for any feedback they might be able to offer about the reasons why”. Then wait and see what comes back. Often the answers are illuminating.

      I can definitely understand your reluctance to spend money on ads with stats like that. You should not just hand over money to a process that is not working for you. But I would suggest that the issue is not advertising. The issue is an engagement issue. There is a “message to market match” issue that needs to be sorted out before you will likely be able to generate anything close to a profit.

      Hope that helps.

  • Thank you this was great. I have always felt way too overwhelmed by the ads component in Facebook to actually move forward with it. But talk about a lightbulb going off, awesome! Is there a point in which it is too early in developing your exposure to jump into the Facebook ad development, or is it a “no better time than now” kinda thing? Either way, I think I need to sign up for the workshop!

    • John Oszajca says:

      That’s awesome to hear Dagan!

      In terms of when to jump in, I think what is most important is that you get clear on your goals. Facebook advertising is just a method of driving traffic. So if you know why you want to drive traffic, and have a plan to monetize that traffic, then there is no reason not to start.

      That make sense?

      • Totally, thanks for the feedback. Drive traffic->Add subscribers->Relase single on BandCamp for sale! Already added a few subscribers with the campaign I set up last night!

        • John Oszajca says:

          Sounds good. In my opinion there is a lot more you can do than just drive traffic to Bandcamp. I have o issue with Bandcamp, but with third party retail platforms like that, you don’t control the customer flow and you miss out on other opportunities to generate income (such as an upsell), as well as the ability to tag and organize your subscribers a bit better. But still, what you have outlined is a plan, and a place to start. If you are not profitable, just know that there is much more you can do. Good luck out there!

  • Steven V says:

    Hi John,

    great, thanks for sharing.

    I wonder – do you have any insights or data of actual sales from ELM TREASON through facebook advertising, in combination of their implementation of Music Marketing Manifesto?

    Just curious.

    Checked out their facebook page, they have around 1.4K likes, not much, but a decent amount of interaction and engagement on their posts. Would you recommend having more likes & engagement before running facebook ad campaigns, or does this not matter?

    And is it doable, to build for example a monthly profit of 3000$ with facebook ads like you are teaching? (with the right image, brand, usp, funnel, etc. in place).

    Thanks!
    Steven

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Steven,

      There have been sales, but I’m not at liberty to disclose anything financial without their permission, and usually the artists prefer to keep these kinds of details private. We are really just getting started on the campaign and there is much work to do. But there are always sales, and sales are the primary purpose of any campaign like this.

      When it comes to likes, I really do not put any importance on them at all, at least as it pertains to direct-to-fan marketing. Likes can matter if you are trying to impress the industry, but they mean virtually nothing when it comes to impacting conversions. Subscribers and sales all boil down to the copy, and of course the music. Engagement is another factor. Engagement is always crucial, but there are no requirements that you have pre-existing engagement for an evergreen campaign. It is only important that those becoming attracted to your funnel engage. That can be on social, in reply to emails, or in blog comments.

      It is absolutely doable to profit $3000/month, but that will take a lot of diligence, hard work, good music, and an investment. It is difficult to do much more than break even if you only sell a single album, and even that can be challenging. The real profit comes when you start to look at this as “buying an audience” who you can market to for months, and even years to come. The important metrics are subscriber acquisition costs and subscriber value. You just need to make sure they are worth more than they cost. If they are not, you need to either increase the amount and/or frequency that you sell to your list, or lower your acquisition costs through refining your ads and opt in form. Make sense?

      • Steven V says:

        Thanks for getting back to me, I appreciate. Yes, makes sense.

        When you tell: “It is difficult to do much more than break even if you only sell a single album, and even that can be challenging”.

        Then the real money comes from regular upsells or additional products? Merchandise, limited exclusive editions,… ?

        To get, for example, 2000 hard-leads, real potential fans on the aweber mailing list through facebook ads, can you give a rough estimate about the average cost? If the optin page converts at 25 % for example – what kind of investment should we budget for facebook ads if our goal is to generate + 2000 high quality leads?

        + 2000 fans are a good start to build a succesfull crowdfunding campaign as I believe!

        Thanks a lot,
        Steven

  • Paul says:

    This is pure gold John! I learned a version of this method from your Copywriting workshop and it’s so incredibly cool you’re teaching it for free here – it’s invaluable info. I honestly attribute this exact strategy for taking our mailing list from about 300 to over 1,000 subscribers just in the past few months. I actually was thinking to ask if you’d ever release an update to the Music Ads workshop and then like a week later you sent out this email. Super excited to see what more there is to learn. Can’t wait to get it. Thanks for all you do!

  • Polly says:

    A lightbulb has indeed gone off! I had no idea. Longish term, my goal will be to sell a self-published book rather than music but the marketing must be kind of similar? Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

    • John Oszajca says:

      That’s awesome to hear Polly!

      There would be a few differences between selling a book and selling music, but fundamentally the process wouldn’t be all that different. The biggest differences would be how you incentivize people to opt in, and some aspects of the funnel would likely change as well. Because with a book, it is more about showing value in your writing and getting people to engage with the content itself, as apposed to music which is much more about tribe building (in addition to the music of course). But the basics of driving traffic, growing an audience, and monetizing that audience would be the same.

      Thanks for the question.

  • I just learned a lot here but I have a question. With streaming being the main way music is now consumed, especially in hip hop, is offering an actual download an incentive anymore?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Great question. Thanks for bringing this up. It is absolutely still a powerful incentive. For example, that page I showed in the video is currently converting at 40%. Meaning, that nearly one out of every two people to land on that page are signing up to hear some free music.

      There are a lot of misconceptions among indie artists about consumer behavior, especially regarding streaming. While the mainstream music industry has, without question, shifted to a streaming model, it’s important to realize that the buying triggers for mainstream artists are very different than the buying triggers for independent artists. For the most part, people buy independent music because they feel a connection with the artist. When that bond exists, your fans will support you in any way that you ask them to (within reason). This is one of the reasons artists do so well with crowd funding campaigns. If you have a relationship with your fans, and if you withhold the lion’s share of each album from the streaming platforms, your fans will still absolutely buy your albums.

      There is this myth that no one buys music anymore. But it’s simply not true. While streaming has certainly cut those sales down dramatically (and will likely continue to do so), There was still $169 million dollars worth of albums sold in 2017. That’s approximately half of what it was in 2010. But that’s still a decent number. If anything, it has hurt the larger artists much more significantly than independent artists.

      The bottom line is that there will always be ways to monetize your fan base. Even if you embrace a streaming model instead of a sales model, you will still do far better if you focus on building a mailing list and creating a bond with your fans via email communication. The free download is still the best way to entice people to sign up. Not because there is any inherent value in a free download, but because that person felt compelled to click over to your page because of some claim or promise made about your music. The free download is simply the next step in that person’s journey of musical discovery.

      Let me know if you have any additional questions, and thanks again for bringing this up.

  • Jamez says:

    Hi John!

    Another awesome video, thanks a lot. You rock as always!!

    By the way, is it possible to ask further questions in private as a MMM member when you get stuck somewhere along the road after the upcoming course has been bought?

    Regards,

    Jamez

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks Jamez! Much appreciated.

      In addition to the members areas of each program, you can send in an email if ever you have a question you want to ask in private and either me, or my support manager Steve will be able to help. I also am in the Insider Circle forum answering questions daily.

  • Joseph Ryan says:

    John I really like your style. Very different approach than the indeprenuer methods. One question. The conversions were actual email subscribers yes? Tracked by the pixel installed on the site yes? Thanks! -joe

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks Joseph. Really appreciate that. And yes, the conversions I was speaking of in this context were email subscribers, tracked by the Facebook pixel installed on your site, and more specifically, the custom conversion goals I show you how to set up in the video. Let me know if you have any other questions. All the best.

  • James Steele says:

    Very interesting and I can see this being very useful to hone an effective ad. It’s interesting to me that as is human nature, the promise of something “free” (two downloadable songs) is the motivator. Give away your music AND pay money on top of it for the email addresses. Not saying it can’t be worthwhile, but it drives home the need to eventually monetize the “relationship” by making a sale of some sort (music or misc merch). Also makes me wonder about whether one should hold back one’s best songs from being the freebie for this? Also, if I have fans that have previously paid for a song on iTunes as an example, will they feel jilted should the see an ad where I’m giving it away in exchange for an email address? Just thinking aloud here. This is very thought provoking and that’s a good thing and this method of testing your message is brilliant. Thanks so much.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey James,

      All great questions and points.

      Re: Monetization. Absolutely. The whole point of building a mailing list is so that you own your relationship with your fans, and can monetize that relationship over many years. If you do a good job of capturing the attention of your mailing list you will have no problem running varied promotions throughout the year. If those include things like future albums, recurring membership programs (like Patreon), tickets to live performances, house concert tours, crowd funding campaigns, seasonal promos, and more, you can generate a substantial amount of money from a relatively small audience. It just comes down to making sure your subscriber value is higher than your subscriber acquisition costs. But that is the whole point of everything I teach.

      Re: Free downloads. I personally do think you should strive to give away your strongest material. It just comes down to first impressions, and the fact that you only have that one chance to trigger their interest. I have never experienced any backlash from a fan who sees that one or two of the songs they bought on an album is available for free on my site. The reality is that, when it comes to indie music, most purchases come from a place of support. Your customers are not calculating the cost of your downloads, so much as they feel it is fair to support an artist they appreciate, so buyers remorse – for any reason – is very unlikely.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Johnny Reed says:

    Thanks John. This made it come together for me. I took your RECORD RELEASE FORMULA online program 11/24/2015. I had released my album November 1, 2015 so missed the PRE aspect of it, and I don’t tour so I didn’t have an large email base to start with. I have used your squeeze pages and taken out many facebook ads, created the pixel etc. but this discussion was great and just what I needed. I going to run a NEW AD SET and hopefully tell you everything went GREAT!! Thanks again, Merry Christmas!!
    Johnny Reed http://www.johnnyreed.com

  • Gen says:

    This all awesome but till now all serious payments or clients who approached to work with me in the studio or live shows only through direct relationships time and time and patience harvesting trustful relationships with those clients who can really pay fat checks that is my personal experience But thank you for additional information 🙂

  • David says:

    This is brilliant. Definitely buying. See you on the 6th my dude!

  • Jamil Hai says:

    Hi John! Love this. I purchased a previous fb ads course from you. Will this one cross over or do i need to repurchase? Thanks!

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Jamil,

      I would never say you “need” to buy any of my programs, in the sense that the fundamentals of good marketing are well established. And as someone who has purchased an earlier version of MAW you should already have a good feel for advertising. What I offer in my programs is an opportunity to enhance your understanding of these concepts through sitting in with me as I share what it is that I do as a music marketing consultant. Facebook has changed a lot since the release of MAW 2.0 and the new program will reflect those changes, and many of the nuances of how I now set up campaigns will also be shared in the course. I’m not big on scare tactics so I’m not someone who will tell you that you need to buy this or the sky will fall. But if you want to become better at Facebook advertising and stay current with some of the changes to the Facebook ad platform, I personally believe it’s a great program. Thanks for the question.

  • Eden Moody says:

    Wow this is AWESOME – THANK YOU!!!

  • Great Stuff john! I learned some very similar lessons with Google adds. But at a cost. I have subscribed to you in the past and its been super valuable. Best wishes in business and music

  • Gary says:

    Hi John – not sure if I just can’t figure this out, but it would be helpful on the videos if there were a way to forward/rewind. Sometimes I have to stop and come back later – or review something earlier in the video. And.. bummer – I have to start back from the beginning. Hope this helps make things easier/better for others too! Happy Holidays..

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Gary, to be honest, I set it like that because stats show that more people watch the entire video that way. I don’t want people to skip around and miss important content. However, I do totally see what your saying and I realize that many will likely want to roll back and re-watch bits that brush by too quickly. So I’ve gone ahead and turned the player controls on for you guys. Enjoy.

  • MikahH says:

    Thanks for sharing this John. I learned a lot from this and am excited to try my hand at a campaign later tonight, and I plan to sign up for the Music Ads Workshop next week. I have a question though… I own MMM 4.0. How will the course vary from what I learned in MMM? Thanks again.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Mikah,

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the video. MMM focuses on only a single ad strategy, selected to support the primary aims of the course. In MAW I will cover many more strategies and go into much more depth since this is a dedicated course on Facebook marketing, as apposed to the funnel building covered in MMM. That make sense?

  • Mark Hill says:

    You know what I love about you John? You actually share stuff with us that others would charge for. This was super informative. Rock on man!

  • Sarah says:

    This is awesome! Thank you so much John. Definitely looking forward to Music Ads Workshop.

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