Published on December 2nd, 2018. Last Updated: February 13th, 2019.
by Amanda Bond
The Real Reason
Have Stopped Working
I’ve been running paid traffic and training business owners on Facebook ads for years. And I never planned to go public with any of this.
No one wants to attack their own industry. No business owner wants to “bite the hand that feeds them.” But this level of corruption is wrecking people’s lives. Good people’s lives. And it’s time you heard the truth from someone on the inside.
In September, I stood in front of an auditorium of business owners at a digital marketing conference, and asked them to stand if they’d ever run Facebook ads before.
Not surprisingly, most people stood up—with pride.
It’s a badge of honour in this industry, where Facebook ads are touted as the be-all-end-all of business growth. A magic formula for success.
Then I dropped my next instruction:
“Stay standing…if those ads were successful.”
Almost every single person in the room looked around, stared at the ground, and finally sat down. Then, as if on cue, the entire room erupted into nervous laughter.
And these weren’t newbie business owners.
These were the same people hiring pricey mentors, investing 5-figures in Facebook ad training programs, and shelling out cash for elite agencies—all the while turning around and training you on ‘how they did it.’
I wish the answer surprised me.
But, unfortunately, this paid traffic market correction has been coming for a while. And it won’t be a behind-the-scenes secret for much longer.
See I’ve been running ads for half a decade now. I’ve personally served 83M+ ad impressions, managed $1,269,591.85 in ad spend, and generated over $10 million in revenue.
The beauty of observing an entire industry from the inside is that you see trends that others don’t. I have access to more results, spreadsheets, and data than most business owners know what to do with.
As a Facebook advertising agency, this made us bulletproof.
As a human, it scares the bejeezus out of me.
Because the data is telling a story about what’s about to happen (and already happening in some instances)…and it isn’t a pretty one.
They told me
how they'd done everything right…
After my informal poll at September’s conference, the magnitude of the situation hit me. Hard. Armed with this awareness, I set out to navigate the frontlines of the market evolution to follow.
It started with conversations. I reached out to influencers and ‘launch giants’ to confirm what the numbers had been telling me all along.
Then, prompted by a closed-door conversation about the “dark underbelly” of the digital marketing world, I posted a bold question on my timeline asking if anyone in my community would be willing to open up the behind-the-scenes of their business…
…if they’d be willing to share about living ‘one launch from broke’.
And share, they did.
The response floored me.
And made me helllla ANGRY.
Dozens of responses. From brilliant business owners and ambitious entrepreneurs who’d sunk THOUSANDS into Facebook ads. And never seen a penny back.
They told me how they’d done everything right… how they’d followed their mentors’ systems, how they’d implemented the proven funnel templates, how they’d hired the “best of the best.”
They told me how they’d liquidated their investments, planned to remortgage their house, drained their life savings, or lost an entire year’s worth of profit.
All for, well… nothing.
I’ll share more of their stories in a second—because this is an EPIDEMIC, and it’s time for this B.S. to STOP — but this isn’t just a #BondRant.
I’m about to tell you why Facebook ads aren’t working, and how you can bulletproof your business against this market correction (or, you can * sigh * and do nothing as you watch yourself get priced out of the paid traffic game).
But first, we need a solid dose of context.
Because there’s ONE THING at the core of this mess, and I’m done pretending that it’s not a problem.
Let's turn back the clock for a second.
A few years ago, these “failure stories” would’ve surprised me. From 2014 to 2016, Facebook Ads were a near-guarantee. A cash cow. A lottery you couldn’t lose.
Armed with a Clickfunnels account and a sexy headline, almost anyone could turn a profit on Facebook Ads.
Industry titans like Frank Kern, Dan Kennedy and Russell Brunson made millions selling “just pay shipping” books and DVD seminars…then millions more selling courses and programs on how to replicate their success.
The Rise of Bro-Marketing
Terms like “lead gen funnel” and cost-per-click became mainstream, and we all got drunk on the idea (or, for a select few: the reality) of making fast money and spending our days writing eBooks and sipping vino on the Amalfi Coast.
But something else was happening beneath the surface—something I think we can only see in “hindsight.”
I like to call it The Rise of Bro-Marketing.
A digital marketing subculture dominated by money-hungry, funnel-hacking, win-at-all-costs business owners.
A business ethos that’s publicly client-centric, but privately egocentric (just follow the breadcrumbs of guilt-based marketing, silenced complaints, and an emphasis on sales over service).
To be very clear, this thing I call “Bro-Marketing” is not based on anyone’s gender, use of slang, or luxury car ownership. Bro-Marketing is ego-driven marketing—it’s a philosophy that reveals itself in self-serving, short-sighted, toxic business tactics. And, in complete transparency, I'm not even the one who invented the term. I first heard it from the mouth of MJ Demarco, author of The Millionaire Fastlane, in-person at his intimate event.
Now, I think we can all take a step back and agree that there always have been (and probably always will be) sleazy business owners.
But the UNIQUE issue in our space is that our industry was built by these business owners.
See, Bro-Marketers weren’t the only pioneers in the digital marketing space. But they’ve been some of the loudest.
And in a new, wide-open industry, being loud is enough of a differentiator to establish authority and claim dominant market share.
So that’s what happened.
They invented the tactics.
They trained your mentors.
Heck, they are your mentors.
Most current “best practices” (taught by the very Facebook ads mentors, agencies, and course creators you follow) are based on the foundation laid by this toxic brand of marketing.
Now, let’s get one thing clear.
If you’re using some of these tactics, it doesn’t make you a bad marketer. And it certainly doesn’t make you an evil, money-hungry minion.
It’s just more evidence that we’re all drinking from the same polluted pond (and, before now, you likely couldn’t put a name to that feeling in your gut telling you there’s got to be other ways to succeed).
This isn’t just an ethics problem, though.
We can debate the relative merits of hardball closing and direct response copywriting all day long, and it won’t matter.
This is about a much more urgent problem:
Everyone’s Facebook ads are failing and no one will tell you why…
We’re about to go much deeper, but for now, here’s what you need to know:
It’s NOT your fault your Facebook ads are failing.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The current system quite literally sets you up for failure.
And after seeing the “guts” of this marketing machine (and watching dozens of businesses implode because of failed ad campaigns), I’m ready to get this out in the open.
Because if one more person loses everything on outdated, misguided, or flat-out manipulative advice…it’s one person too many.
Especially when the solution is so simple.
Most of us are just too close to the internet marketing “culture warp” to see it.
And when you can’t see the truth…it has the power to swallow you (and your business) whole.
So, even if your current paid traffic ROI is positive and stable, the climate is changing so fast that you won’t be immune for long.
The current Facebook ads foundation is crumbling—whether you agree with me or not.