It Pays to Be Mistrustful. Here’s Why.

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Facebook ads are dead.

This was news to me as I ran (and still run) a successful digital marketing agency that generates millions of dollars in revenue for our clients. Much of that revenue comes, you guessed it, from Facebook ads.

But there he was at a networking event, losing a potential customer (or maybe a student). Because I had heard in a pre-recorded webinar that Facebook ads are dead. All this time I’ve been in the funeral home business and I didn’t even know it. So my seven-figure business that was currently running was completely unfeasible. What a shame. By the way, the guru of the backward hat who led this webinar was offering a course on YouTube ads. And I think I attended an inaugural conference some time ago titled Webinars are Dead.

It was a reminder (assuming I needed one) of a principle I liked: all the information is incorrect until it is proven correctly without a shadow of a doubt. Forget the innocent until guilt is proven. This is for criminal trials. In your day to day life, the general rule should be wrong until it is proven correct. The burden of proof always falls on the person speaking to you. Proving that I am wrong is a no answer. If they don’t come with a hateful cascade of evidence, I suppose there are plenty of them.

Related: YouTube’s advertising revenue has gone down, is TikTok guilty?

Why it is worth being suspicious

When you assume that everyone is wrong until the reason is proven, it has two beneficial effects:

  • Drown out the noise: If everyone is presumed to be wrong until the reason is proven, you have permission to ignore almost everyone. The detractors of your family, the bosses who talk in the news, the gurus in the back hat who are pasting your Facebook feed. You can disconnect them all. Why wouldn’t you? 99 percent of them are wrong anyway.
  • You can focus on what works: A suspicious attitude is penicillin for shiny object syndrome. If everyone has to show their work before it catches your attention, you can stop letting yourself get distracted by the grass syndrome being greener. And then focus on what works.

Imagine if I took the floor to Mr. Facebook Naysayer. Imagine if he said: My God! I am wasting my life and my clients money! I should jump the boat and turn to TikTok! O YouTube! O Crypto!

I would walk away from a seven-figure business. Some Yahoo in a webinar is proof of nothing. Our conclusion is proof that, yes, Facebook ads still do work. Maybe it’s no longer low fruit. Maybe you can’t launch a cheeky ad and earn a million dollars selling a junk product. If that’s what you mean by dead Facebook ads, you’re right and I’m glad.

Think about it. If Facebook ads didn’t work for anyone, people would stop buying them, which means less revenue for Facebook. Do you really think Zuck will get on his knees like that? Facebook ads are proven and true. They will work for a long time. But, it has become a specialized skill to do they work. This leaves room for people like me, who have been playing with FB ads from the beginning. Watch them evolve and understand how to make them work. I offer value to customers who don’t want to have to figure out FB ads for themselves – a value they’ll gladly pay for.

Related: Do you want a successful business? Focus on these 5 things

Why don’t I do TikTok

I was on a podcast a while ago. The host asked me: What do you see as the future of social media marketing? What role will TikTok play in this industry? I have to give each podcast host’s favorite answer, and my favorite too, I have no idea. My experience is embarrassingly provincial. I do Facebook and Google ads (including YouTube). I do them very well. I do them so well that my agency crossed seven sales figures when I only had a handful of customers.

Now ask yourself why you would interrupt a business like this by chasing something new and bright? With Facebook and Google ads, it’s like you have the trap code to hack a slot machine. I can crush that button all day and the money will keep coming out.

With TikTok? I don’t have these cheat codes. I don’t think anyone does. It’s too new. Yes, I realize some people have gone viral sensations for millions of dollars through TikTok. But I see them as coincidences: the rookie who hit a grand slam home run. There is no repeatable formula for success that can follow.

Does that mean I will never do it? to incorporate TikTok marketing into my agency? Never say never. But I will let someone else find this cheat code. I’m having too much fun killing him with Facebook and Google ads. If anyone else paves the way for TikTok’s repeatable domain, I’ll just buy him the secrets. But imagine I bought the hype and left my company in a search similar to Indiana Jones to dominate TikTok. He would probably end up crushed under that big rolling rock.

Right now, TikTok is like a powerful snake, twisting in the grass and everyone is trying to grab it. This is what I learned about how to try to catch a python twisting with bare hands. Do not do it.

Related: 4 reasons why social testing is essential to building your brand

So how do I know if someone is right?

Do you have any idea how many financial advisors live check to check? Think about it. When you look at most financial advisor books, they are a disaster. They do not invest in any of the products they present. They are glorified sellers.

Instead, look at the main hedge funds. What do they invest in? These diversified portfolios presented by all newly created financial advisors? No, they usually have between three and five shares at a given time. Billions of dollars are bet on shares of three to five.

So why do they exceed the indices? Because they don’t hear the noise. They assume that almost all the information they hear is incorrect and focus on what they can verify. It doesn’t happen often, but when they discover something good information, is accompanied. Good information is rarer than platinum.

By the way, hedge funds usually have business funds invested in these stocks, not just investor funds. Say what you want about them: they have skin in their own game. So which financial advisor do you trust? What it does invest in what you sell. What has skin in the game.

All my students know that I practice what I preach. I don’t show them Facebook and Google ads because I think it’s a good racket. I earn most of my income by doing these things. I am not afraid to show my receipts.

When you accept that almost everyone is wrong, life becomes much easier.

You can disconnect from the news and about 100 percent of your social channels, making you productive. You can stop chasing bright objects and trust your instinct, or better yet, your eyes.

You can reconnect with this all-too-rare asset in the age of misinformation (common sense) and follow well-trodden paths directly to the bank.

Best of all, you can turn off the noise and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sunset over the mountains, a delicious meal and a glass of good wine, listening to beautiful music as you stroll along the beach, quality time with your loved ones and your pets. You can’t pretend that.

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