If you’re thinking of hiring a consultant or agency to run your Facebook ads, it’s important to understand how much that might cost and what’s involved in the quote they provide you.
Unless you get a rubbish one, hiring a Facebook ad consultant isn’t going to be cheap. There are definitely pros and cons to hiring one and that’s what this article is all about – helping you make the right decision.
I’m going to cover:
1. How much it costs to outsource your Facebook advertising
2. What does a facebook ad consultant do for the money?
3. What sort of pricing structures you might come across
But first, let me cover a bigger question…
Should you hire one in the first place?!
My answer might shock you… but in most cases, it’s not worthwhile outsourcing your ads.
If you’re a smaller business, chances are you’re run off your feet, super busy, with NO time to do anything.
You’ve read about Facebook ads and know they can play a part in scaling your company. But HOW are you going to find the time to learn and run them?!
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion of outsourcing them.
Facebook ads can cost quite a lot of money to get right. When you start to take into consideration the ad spend you need to make them work, plus the agency management fee, it adds up. And when money is tight, sometimes that expense can be unaffordable.
When is the right time to outsource your ads?
When I receive in enquiries from businesses, I’m often looking at a couple of things…
- have a budget of £3,000/pm or more
- have a proven online sales funnel
If the answer is yes to either, I’ll look further into working with them.
When a business has a budget of £3,000/pm or more, if the funnel takes time to convert, I know the client won’t be short of cash. And if they already have a proven sales funnel, I know we’re likely to see immediate results.
If you’re short on cash and really need every penny, consider learning how to run your own ads.
Yes, it might take some time to get it right. But it also means you’re not spending money on management fees, meaning you’ve got more money to go into the ads, resulting in quicker results.
Once you’ve figured out how it works, you can look at outsourcing.
Also, by learning how to run ads yourself, it means when you do come to outsource, or get external support, you’ll know what questions to ask and you’ll be able to see whether the person helping you really knows what they’re doing – which is vital.
How much does it cost to outsource your Facebook advertising?
I’ve seen ad consultants charge as little as £250 per month, ranging all the way up to £10,000+ per month.
Whaaaaat… that’s a big gap, right?!
What do you get for £250/pm vs. £10,000/pm?
There are many factors that go into the price of done-for-you Facebook ads. Most are based on:
- How much experience the consultant has
- How complex the project is
- The ad budget of the client
- The return on investment generated from the consultant
(see below for pricing structures)
The thing that makes Facebook ads as a service different from other creative marketing, is that results are very black and white. It’s very easy to see in Facebook reports whether the agency or consultant has generated a positive return on investment or not.
If the consultant is generating you £10,000/pm in profit and is charging you £2,500/pm, it’s a good deal right?
But if they charge you £500/pm and generate no return, it’s not a good deal, obviously…
What does a Facebook ad consultant do?
Different consultants will get involved in your business in different ways. For example, some consultants might JUST run your ads for you, whilst others will take control of your ads, email marketing and will even create a full funnel for you including landing pages etc. (this is where complexity of project has an impact on price – just running ads vs a full funnel build are completely different jobs).
Personally when I work with clients, I tend to only get involved in the first part: creating and running the ads, as I only like working with clients who already have proven funnels.
At the same time, Facebook advertising is often just the tip-of-the-marketing-iceberg, and in order for our ads to work better, we need things like better content creation. So I like to get involved in things like content strategy.
Most Facebook ad consultants will:
- Set up and manage your ad campaigns, including all the testing and optimising thats required
- Come up with the ad copy & creative (with your help)
- Do audience research
- Set up and your tracking (Facebook pixel etc.)
- Track conversions and provide reports on results
The Different Facebook Ad Pricing Structures
There’s a few different pricing structures you might come across but the three most common ones are:
1. Set up & management fee
This is the most common structure I’ve seen and the one that I use. For any campaign with any client, there’s going to be an initial set-up period. From onboarding the client, to making sure the tracking is in place, audience research and creating the actual campaigns.
This takes a lot of time to do and to get right, hence the setup fee. Typically this is charged upfront before any work takes place.
Then there’s the monthly fee to manage and run the campaigns. There is a lot of work that goes into managing a successful campaign such as:
- constantly monitoring campaigns, to see what’s working and what’s not
- Continuously split testing ads and audiences
- Creation of new campaigns/creatives
- Reporting back to the client with results
Often the ad consultant will charge for the first month upfront along with the set up fee.
If a campaign is working, there’s not a huge amount that the consultant has to do, other than monitoring things to ensure they don’t bomb (which can happen!).
Whereas, if a campaign isn’t working, the consultant will be doing a ton of work behind the scenes to make it work; like a little scientist running experiments. (this is why you don’t often see hourly rates – because it’s very hard to give an estimated number of hours)
2. Percentage of spend
The second option you might see (typically from larger agencies) is the management fee being taken as a percentage of spend. For example, PPC agency, Wordstream take a percentage of the ad spend as part of their management fee.
This option protects the consultant as it means if the client is ever to scale their ad spend (sometimes for short periods of time), they’re being compensated for the extra work they’ll need to do.
3. Performance based
The third one, and one I’m seeing more and more of is performance based fees. This is where the consultant only gets paid if they generate results.
This is great for the client as it means there’s no risk other than their ad spend.
I see a lot of beginners coming into the market offering this type of fee, as a way to get clients and experience. I’m not the biggest fan of this because successful Facebook ads don’t just rely on having a good ad consultant; the client needs to have an amazing offer and funnel in place – something the consultant might not have a say in.
The most important thing when hiring a consultant is ensuring they know what they’re doing.
Before any work starts, you should ask them what their process is. What will they be testing? Because, if after a month you’re not seeing results, you’ll know what they plan to do to make it work.
It’s also important to stress here that like any relationship, it’s a two-sided thing. If you’re not seeing results, often it can be a problem with the overall strategy or offer, not just what the consultant/agency is doing.
In summary, a great ad consultant can be an amazing investment for you and your business. If they can free up your time whilst generating you revenue you might not have been able to generate yourself, then it’s a win:win. But you need to make sure your business is ready to invest in one. Otherwise I’d suggest starting by trying to learn the basics yourself.