Here’s a Quick Guide on How to Advertise Online

(Without Spending All Your Money)

social media advertising for professional speakersAdvertising sucks.

More specifically It sucks all your money away if you aren’t targeting it properly. So if you’re doing your own marketing and spending money on Google ads to reach a vaguely defined, general audience – stop.

I’ve seen dozens of speakers make the same mistakes with their advertising, and I’ve made some on my own. But if you want to do online ads, here’s what I’ve found: Twitter advertising gives you the most bang for your buck.

When you think of online advertising, your first thought may be of Google Ads. But here’s the thing about Google Ads: you’re only paying for the keywords. There’s no way to determine the searcher’s intention when they click your ad. That’s wasted clicks, which equals wasted money.

Social media is great because you can speak directly to your customer. So advertising your speaking business on social media is the way to go. And there is no better place to target an audience with specific interests at (relatively) low cost.

And there lies the rub…your audience. Before you even think about an ad, you must first define who you are advertising to. Be as specific as you can.

Facebook allows you to do this. And while I don’t use Facebook for business (and will gleefully ignore your friend request) I do have a business page on there. It allows me to define my audience. I can see people’s interests based on their likes, set aside a small budget, and create a targeted ad for them. Now we have a focused message for a specific group. And that’s how you advertise.

Even though Zuckerberg’s (first) baby deserves its praise, I’ve found that Twitter is even more efficient when it comes to advertising. First, Twitter ads are cheaper…way cheaper than Google Ads. Second, Twitter is #super-targeted. Hashtags allow for more qualified leads than other social media.

Let’s say you are a motivational speaker, and your target audience follows the TEDTalks hashtag. When you place your ad, you know that only people who follow that hashtag will see your ad. Create a interesting message and an appropriate landing page for those potential consumers. If someone clicks the ad, you are more likely reaching a person who will hire you or buy your product.

I’m a tinkerer by nature, so I’ve played with all these platforms. Anecdotally I can tell you that the first time I tried Twitter ads I targeted people who follow #nsaspeaker and #speakermag. Now I work with speakers and that’s who I want to see reach. But even I was shocked when within 24 hours of starting my campaign, and with less than $100 invested, I’d landed two new clients.
I’ve never had that kind of success again. But two years later those clients still have me on retainer. So the math on that investment is very simple for me to do.

So if you are a speaker who works with sales organizations, then you can target people who follow sales associations or even specific conferences. Imagine the possibilities!

A quick word on LinkedIn ads. Wait…there are ads on LinkedIn? Yes, and if you didn’t know that, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t advertise on LinkedIn. I’ve allocated over $1500 to LinkedIn and seen zero return on the investment. The ads get buried in the content and, when they are clicked, they cost about $7 or $8. Of course a single client would make me change my mind very quickly.

So, if you do your own advertising, consider Twitter before Facebook, and Facebook way before Google or Linkedin ads. Define your audience. Find them on Twitter and Facebook. Create an ad campaign for them, including a landing page. Adjust and repeat.


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Aidan Crawford

Aidan Crawford is president of Short Circuit Media. His main job is helping consultants, trainers and professional speakers get their marketing in order by creating and implementing strategies to help them reach their target audiences.


Let’s have a quick chat about your marketing goals and see how I can help.
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