Why Your Facebook Ads May Not Be Working

In this episode, I talk about why your Facebook ads may not be working anymore. I’ve had a lot of questions about Facebook ads lately, because in our community in particular, we are a proponent of both online and offline strategies for growing your law firm.  Many people have an audience on Facebook already – either because they started a page when they first opened their law firm, or because they’re just familiar there so they have other lawyer contacts who referred them cases from having met them on social media. It’s a comfortable place to get started and a lot of people are asking “How do I decide what is ‘good spend’, a good investment of time, energy, and resources, on Facebook?” 


Tune in to learn more!


In this episode we discuss:

  • New evolving changes in the online marketing landscape.
  • The iOS updates requiring opt-in for data sharing when using Facebook. 
  • How first-party data works and how it helps.
  • Using lead magnets to gather first-party data.
  • The impact of technological challenges we’ll be facing with data privacy. 
  • Reverse engineering your funnel from the bottoms up to know how many clients you need.


Allison Williams: [00:00:11] Hi, everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys, we help you grow your revenues, crush chaos in business, and make more money.


Allison Williams: [00:00:24] Hi, everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor and welcome back to another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. And this week, we’re going to talk about why your Facebook ads might not be working anymore. So I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about Facebook ads because, in our community, in particular, we are a proponent of both online and offline strategies for growing your law firm. And so a lot of people have an audience on Facebook already, either because they started a page when they first opened their law firm or because they are just familiar there so they have other lawyer contacts referred in cases from having met them on social media. So it’s a comfortable place to get started and a lot of people say, all right, how do I decide what is good spend, you know, a good investment of time and energy, and resources on Facebook and I oftentimes will say defer to the experts, right? So I have some tried and true trusted advisers that we tell people, tell our clients, these are people that I know have, have shown results but obviously, you still have to go through the process of getting your online marketing professional and in fact, one of the things we always tell people is, you know, I have, I’ve created a little, a little tip sheet about how to interview digital marketing agencies and in particular, the ABCDs of vetting online marketing companies, in particular the approach, the business accountability, credentials, and differentiation.


Allison Williams: [00:01:55] But of course, we know that in talking about, you know, whether or not you should go with a professional or rather, in my view, which professional you should go with and even going through those questions, there are still some new evolving changes in the marketing landscape, the online marketing landscape, and in particular with Facebook that can make online marketing quite challenging. So, I wanted to share with you some, some new developments, new-ish, the marketing world has been dealing with it for a little bit of time now that may have impacted the success of your Facebook ads so that you show a little bit of grace to your providers if they are not delivering the same types of results, the same cost per click, the same cost per lead that they were able to deliver even this time last year. OK, so first you should know that generally there has been and will be continuing a shift in online marketing. And this started with the iOS update, so I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Apple, Apple products, of course, are a leading provider of our technological services and of course, Facebook accesses iOS and we download the Facebook app onto our phones, and oftentimes clients will find us by using Facebook on an Apple device. Well, there is now an opportunity, if you haven’t noticed it already, but there is, it’s been out for a while now that Apple now requires that you opt-in to data sharing.


Allison Williams: [00:03:27] So, it will give you a little prompt if you want to share your data with Facebook when you are using the app and I think you only do this once, it’s not like you get a notification every single time you log in, but you can change your notifications any time that you want by going into the settings on your Apple device. And this has really been wreaking havoc on paid search and not just on Facebook, but it’s particularly problematic for Facebook because of that notification that comes up that says, hey, do you want to opt-in to sharing your data with other people? Most people hear that and think, oh, my God, of course, I don’t want to share my data. Now, of course, the world that we live in now shares rampant amounts of data about us all the time with our consumer behavior but this gives me a feeling for a lot of people that they are somehow protecting their information and thus a lot of people have opted out or rather not opted-in to data sharing. And so the challenge with that is that with Facebook ads, in particular, it used to be the case that if someone came onto the Facebook platform and or went off on the Facebook platform, a marketer would be able to track by virtue of the cookies.


Allison Williams: [00:04:34] I’m sure you guys know what cookies are, but they are basically a little, a little footprint that you drop every time you go to different websites and marketers could use that to say, oh, this is a person who’s interested in topic X… Now, I can show you an ad related to topic X, and we’re more likely to get you to take some action. So if somebody had gone on to your website, for instance, and not done anything on the website other than just peruse the homepage and then gone onto Facebook, Facebook would be able to have seen that that person ultimately went to your website and they would be able to show images of your website to that person in the future via targeting or rather retargeting. All right, so basically following people from where they enter your website over on to other platforms where you could advertise to them. And we know that the number of touchpoints that is required for a person to see a marketing message and take some action on it is increasing as our online marketing in particular, but marketing, in general, has just become much more prolific in our society. So it is really challenging that if you have no data at all about a person and their buying behavior or the type of information that they pursue, that you send them a message, it takes longer now to figure out who are the people that are genuinely interested in the type of information that a particular ad is offering.


Allison Williams: [00:05:57] And because of that challenge, there is the difficulty now with retargeting, there also is difficulty in collecting data. So it’s really important now that when you have someone go to your website that you have some way of capturing their information and capturing their information is not by them dropping a cookie on your website, as was previously the case. Now you need to have first-party data. First-party data means that that person opted in, volunteered, raised their hands to have you have their information, and use their information to continue communications with them. Now, this may sound somewhat onerous, but it really is nothing more than what strategies we were already using with things like e-books and online newsletters. Maybe you had a lead magnet associated with like a tip sheet or top, top 10 questions for X, Y, Z practice area. Those things are now much more important and they’re going to take on increasingly more importance as time goes by. One reason why they are taking on more importance as time goes by is because there is now pending and proposed privacy legislation across the world that really focuses on restricting data from a privacy perspective. Digital is becoming now focused on privacy, so you have to think about that from the perspective of the idea that if now our goal in being able to access the online terrain is that we access what we desire and whomever is seeking to gain our information can only gain it if we elect to give it to them.


Allison Williams: [00:07:36] Well, that’s going to make it really challenging for marketers to be able to go after certain audiences it’s not impossible, right? There is always, where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can still market online. You can still be very effective at marketing online but typically you’re going to see a rise in the cost per lead and the cost per click, especially if you’re not using an indigenous audience that you have created. So if you are starting to do things on your website, like have e-books and have newsletters and have tip sheets that people can download, it’s going to be really important that a person give you their email, maybe even their telephone number if you are doing text communication marketing, something that we can talk about on another episode, if you are starting to see different avenues there, right? I want you to contemplate just for the moment that next year cookies are going away, right? Twenty, twenty-two, there will be no more cookies. So you’re not going to have that digital imprint to rely upon it if you want to get in front of someone, they have to have given you permission to do that.


Allison Williams: [00:08:42] Now, this is, I want you to think about what happened many, many years ago, I can’t remember how long ago it was now, but there was this robocall database that you could go on and register to be excluded from robocalls. And the reality is it’s still happened, I can’t tell you the number of times that even after I put my name on that database, I’m sure many of you had the same experience that you still get the call and that it was more infuriating to get the call after I knew I was on the protected database because now I’m like, OK, why did I get this? Why did you give the database people my number if everybody can still send me messages? And that effort at privacy protection, that effort at preventing the proliferation of unwanted or unsolicited communications really, really started the process but it didn’t end the process. Right? And the process, I don’t think is ever going to end because I think as, as our world becomes more technologically sophisticated, as our world becomes more digitally global, I think this will continue to be our issues.


Allison Williams: [00:09:48] But right now, these issues are kind of getting ahead and I want you to just think back to the election of twenty-twenty and I’m not going to go into politics here, this is not the place for that. So I know that that’s not what we’re doing but the election was contentious, to say the least, and even prior to that, if you look at the elections of twenty sixteen and twenty twelve, there were starting to be rumblings that, that Facebook in particular, but certainly other online platforms, Twitter, Instagram, but much, much more Twitter and Facebook have been hacked and or targeted by nefarious agents in other places across, across this, across the world, really to invade our elections and steer the outcome that they desired and there were a lot of questions raised. Right? We’ve had congressional meetings about Facebook and the fact that it is a private company, however, it has an enormous amount of reach, an enormous amount of power and of course, it operates in the telecom world if you will. So it does have some regulation, but nowhere near as much regulation as I think some people felt would be in place to protect us from things like cyber hacking and, and kind of fake news, if you will, being put out into the public domain. So whichever political party you are a member of or even if you are not involved in politics at all, this particular trend that we have in our world right now has really caused a global look at privacy and accessing platforms for the distribution of information and the fact that you can steer an outcome through using algorithms to ultimately direct what content will be shipped will be shown to whom and where.


Allison Williams: [00:11:45] Now, if you are at all geeked out by this, this is something that’s interesting to you, I recommend The Social Network. I saw this, I want to say it’s a documentary, it’s more like a docu-program docu-series on Netflix, but it kind of traces the fact that now information that we think is coming to us simply because we search for information, even the choice of search results from the exact same searches in different places by different people can lead to vastly different, vastly different search results. And we know that that’s happening because once a computer figures out or rather a person who is engineering a computer figures out what it is that you are drawn to, what it is you’re listening to, whatever, whatever it is that you’re watching and they figure out that that is a source of potential profit for them, whether because they achieve an outcome that they think is going to help their business like electing a particular official or they achieve an outcome of you being outraged and incensed about something so that you buy a certain product or service. Either way, the engineering of information through these systems is becoming more and more palpable and something that global leaders are looking at stemming the tide of.


Allison Williams: [00:13:05] So all that to say that your Facebook ads are caught in the fray of this, right? And so Facebook has already started this process of protecting privacy by virtue of having the opt-in requirement and if people opt-in great, if people don’t, often then the way that you’re going to be able to communicate with them is first-party data. OK, first-party data being they gave you their information, they say, yep, I’m ready, willing and able to accept communications. Now, this does not mean just to kind of put a very fine-tune fine, fine point on this, this does not mean that you will not be able to still make money on Facebook ads, right? And this all goes back to the discussion of your lifetime value client. How much is a client on average going to pay you over the life of their being a client of your firm and short term, what is the average case value of your client? So if a client is a one-and-done type of client, they’re hiring you for something that you don’t anticipate will ever regenerate into an additional service in that practice area or even additional services across a multitude of practice areas that you have in your firm. Then you need the average case value so that when a person comes in, I’m likely to get X dollars from that person one and done over whatever period of time. But once you know those numbers, then you can make a qualitative decision about does it make sense for me to spend, you know, seventy-five dollars a lead for me to generate the, the, the numbers of people that I need to be in front of in my funnel in order to schedule the right number of appointments, convert the right number of people and ultimately charge them at a rate that’s going to get me the revenue goal, get me to that revenue goal that I desire.


Allison Williams: [00:14:58] Right. So this is, again, about reverse engineering your funnel from the bottoms up, right, you need to know how many clients you need at a certain average pace value to know how much money to know, you know, everything else that goes into the funnel. So we know how many clients we need, we need to know what our conversion rate is on seeing those clients, we need to know how many people have to get scheduled for us to convert at that rate and then we need to know ultimately how many leads are required based on our current scheduling rate. And of course, all of these numbers can be subject to change, you should always be working to improve your conversion rate on sales and improve your scheduling rate on intake and improve your lead qualification rate on your at the top of your funnel. Those are, those are always omnipresent goals for a law firm. But when you start thinking about the fact that now you’re going to have to cast a wider net and the costs may go up, you should be thinking about if my costs are going to go up, what is the, what is the investment that is worth it to me to acquire a client and a lot of lawyers because they are price resistant and because they don’t, because they don’t have the kind of intestinal fortitude to stay the course and say, I can, I can afford to invest several thousands of dollars that may not yield fruit for me for a period of time in order to get to the other side of, OK, these are what we have found are the strategies that are going to yield a higher click-through rate and that are going to result in a higher conversion rate overall.


Allison Williams: [00:16:35] Right? So in other words, all of this is designed, everything that we talked about today is really designed just to empower you to be looking out for the potential if you’ve not already seen it, at an increase in cost for your Facebook ads and to understand a little bit of why that’s happening and to give some grief to our marketers out there, I am a lover of legal marketers because we need them in order to be effective in our world, just as they need us in order to be effective in their world. So we have a symbiotic goal of working together but it’s really important that we don’t try to hold people accountable to a standard that can’t be met because of changes in our online digital marketplace that they have no control over.


Allison Williams: [00:17:19] All right, everyone, I am Allison Williams you’ve been tuning into the crushing chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast and today we talked about why your Facebook ads may not be converting as they have before. And if you need help with this, this is something that you’re struggling with on how to choose your online marketing provider, we do have a link in the comments to give you some information about how to do that. I have, again, those questions that go to the approach, the business acumen, the credentials and differentiation of your marketing company and that resource is available to you if you download the link, download the tip sheet that’s available at the link in today’s show notes and if you just want to talk about what’s going on with your business, in particular at Facebook Ads, is even the right strategy for you, because it’s not for everyone and sometimes it’s the right strategy at the wrong price point. Sometimes it’s the wrong strategy at the right price point and neither one of those is going to be effective at growing your business the way that you desire. But if you need help with growing your business, Law Firm Mentor is here to help you. So you can always get an appointment with a member of our team to talk through what it takes to get yourself to the next level in your law firm. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor, and I’ll see you on the next episode.


Allison Williams: [00:18:45] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s guests and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you own a solo or small law firm and are looking for guidance, advice or simply support on your journey to create a law firm that runs without you, join us in the Law Firm Mentor Movement free Facebook group. There, you can access our free trainings on improving collections in law firms, meeting billable hours, and join the movement of thousands of law firm owners across the country who want to crush chaos in their law firm and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a great day.

Allison Bio:

Allison C. Williams, Esq., is Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law. 

Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.  In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.

In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers.  She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.  Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications and money management in law firms. 


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00: 02:15 (26 Seconds) 

So, I wanted to share with you some, some new developments, new-ish, the marketing world has been dealing with it for a little bit of time now, that may have impacted the success of your Facebook ads so that you show a little bit of grace to your providers if they are not delivering the same types of results, the same cost per click, the same cost per-lead that they were able to deliver even this time last year.