When AdSkills Met Ad Lab

I recently had the pleasure to interview Justin Brooke of AdSkills.com.

When it comes to paid ads (of all varieties) there is nobody better at the strategy, the big picture and a wholistic understanding of the market than Justin.

The interview (and a transcript are all here in full for you.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

The New Google Ads Gold rush with Justin Brooke of Adskills.com

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Rob Warner, Justin Brooke

Rob Warner  00:00
Hey, everybody, I’m Rob here, from PPC, Ad Lab and formerly of invisible as you probably know me from. Here today to do something fun that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. But this man’s a pretty difficult guy to get hold off. You’ll see on screen I have with me today the wonderful Mr. Justin Brooke.  I think in marketing circles, and certainly in the circles I’ve been hanging out is a pretty legendary name, which is probably explains why he’s not the easiest person in the world to get hold of. Particularly, if he doesn’t know you very well. And certainly Justin doesn’t know me very well. Although I do claim to be in the back of one of those photos from years ago.

Justin Brooke  00:41
So long story short,

Rob Warner  00:45
Justin and I through one of his team members got chatting over the last month or so. And Justin said he’d come on and talk to me. So if if doing an interview when you guys benefit is a way for me to talk to sort of Justin for an hour that I’m here for you. And I’m here for me. So Justin thank you for jumping on me today.

Justin Brooke  01:02
Oh, thanks for having me. Let me just take a swig of my SmartWater and make sure I can be able to answer your questions.

Rob Warner  01:08
So I am about to drink on my call. It’s late in the day for me. It’s early morning for you mid morning. It’s getting late for me.

Justin Brooke  01:16
So it’s all good.

Rob Warner  01:19
So Justin, would you do me a favour item just to me, for anybody who’s lived under a rock for the last 10 years on the internet and doesn’t know who you are? Just give them your version of the of your bio.

Justin Brooke  01:32
You know, I is long as I’ve been marketing. And as hard as I’ve been marketing, I still find plenty of people who don’t know who I am so completely at peace with it. Lots of work to do job security for me. You know, I am in the ad space. Bee in the ad space for a long time, I’ll give you guys a quick version started in 2007. I interned with Russell Brunson. And my job as an intern, this is long before the click funnel days. My job is he had this closet of courses, and it was over a quarter million dollars worth of courses in there. And my job was to review them and write affiliate reviews on them. And so, you know, I got to learn from the best in the world. I mean, Jay Abraham, Stephen piers Chet Holmes, Dan Kennedy, Joe Polish. I mean, they’re just the legends of marketing, and many other even older names than that. So I got the education of a lifetime in exchange for writing some affiliate review articles. And then I ended up actually outsourcing a lot of the writing. I don’t tell this story too much. But I think for our audience, I think you know, it’ll be great. So I outsource a lot of it on like Elance, Elance was popular, then now it’s like, well, before. Yeah, so I really enjoyed a lot of the work. So I’d have more time to hang out with Russell. So I actually did write a lot of the reviews, but I did still get the education of a lifetime. And one of the courses of all the things I watched, it was a Google Ads course that I watched old John Barker course. And for me the big change the the Epiphany, the paradigm shift that I had was advertising was always like newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, you know, I didn’t, it was always something you had to ask permission for. And you have to spend a lot of money. And then here comes this Google Ads thing that I can, you know, I don’t have to ask permission, I can start with $100 a day, I can do it in my own house. And it just blew my mind. I was like I can reach you know, it’s the same headline I use on my stuff today to tell the world about your product for $5 a day. You know, that is essentially what Google Ads did for the world. You know? And so that’s why I’m an advertiser. You know, I took that education that I got with Google ads, went home took my last 60 bucks, I only paid half the electric bill, and I paid 60 bucks into a pathetic $2 A Day campaign, but ended up doubling my money. 11 months in a row and I turned that $60 into six figures. That’s quite literally what took me from eating ramen noodles to eating Red Lobster. That’s a popular seafood restaurant here. I know. So yeah, that’s why I’m an ADS guy, man. Ads changed my life, literally. And so

Rob Warner  04:29
I was going broke until I ran some Google ads. And they ran them out of desperation when we realised we couldn’t sell our software. And then we ran them and people started buying our software and then somebody else could you run my ads. I have no money costs are running around. And one begins to become four, and that’s the way it goes. Right.

Justin Brooke  04:51
Right. And so since then, you know, we started Ad skills, which is online advertising, you know, we’re not allowed to use word trade school it’s illegal to use the word trade school, we’re you know, but we function a lot like that, where we have the training certification and job placement for advertisers. And in between there, I ran an agency for quite a few years landed. You know, Russell Brunson was a client, Dan Kennedy was a client, Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern and worked with later on, but we’ve done great. So I’ve been through the ad world, you know, from the beginner to the membership side selling my own, like non marketing thing, having an agency and now you know, having a full on like, almost like an online school for advertisers. So I’ve seen a lot, manage, we’ve managed 10s of millions of dollars, and over 13,000 advertisers. So I get to see some pretty cool trends and patterns, overseeing somebody’s accounts, as I’m sure you do. We have 13, I stopped counting at 13,000 I need to recount but there was 13,000 customers, but that doesn’t mean they’re all in our members. You know, they bought a book, they bought a thing, you know, damn it,

Rob Warner  06:01
my MCC has five and a half  thousand In fact, we had to start a second MCC because we hit the limit.  I’ve never seen anybody got a bigger number. So you just want to find your turn.

Justin Brooke  06:14
You win because I don’t haven’t been an MCC, I bet you get to see some really interesting things. But for us, it’s mostly mostly in our Slack group. And so I get to see a lot of as you do, you know, it’s very interesting to see the patterns across 1000s of accounts, it gives you an insight into the industry that most others don’t have. I think

Rob Warner  06:34
it’s a really, really interesting perspective I’ve long believed is one of the most useful things you can have is that sense of perspective that it’s really hard to get particularly in as a startup, if you’re a startup, if you’re a freelancer, if you’re thinking of becoming a freelancer, if you’re if you’re a solo or small agency, you know, a sample size of ones are really difficult thing to judge whether it’s working well or not. And that’s often what many people are faced with when they’re starting out in the ads game. So thank you. And by the way, I think that was a very understated version of saying some of the things that you’ve done. I’ve seen, I’ve seen that over the years, just it’s done some pretty damn cool stuff. So it’s been very modest here. Question for you. You’ve been backing Google ads, since since the day Google Ads was a baby. I remember the go to days and the penny collection, all those kinds of things. Yeah. We’re now 50 years past that point, when 2022 at the time recording this. Do you still believe now is a time good time to become a Google marketer?

Justin Brooke  07:39
Oh, man, you know, it’s I do you think that there was a period when I got out and a lot of us got out. But I think we are in a new Google Gold Rush period because of the machine learning the algorithms. You know, if you believe that that is popular in the world, you’d be hard pressed, I would love to hear somebody’s argument that machine learning and algorithms are not. I don’t know, they’re in the better for society. But for business for tech technology, I think they’re doing phenomenal things. And who better literally, like what is a better algorithm company than Google? You know, billions of dollars have been spent. They hire the greatest minds in the world, about algorithms and AI and machine learning. They have just massive amounts of data going through there. And so I think we are in a new gold rush of advertising, but specifically a new gold rush in Google itself, because of what where machine learning and algorithms are going. So yeah, absolutely. Like you do not miss the boat on Google. Your right in time.

Rob Warner  09:01
I couldn’t agree more actually. I think it’s really, really interesting. The move that they’re making with their AI, it’s often there, is a rebellion by many PPC marketers, PPC agencies, you know, the people running the ads on a day to day basis, there is very much a kind of fight against the algorithm. In my view, that’s kind of misinformed. You’re gonna lose, and you might not lose today, you might lose tomorrow, but you’re going to lose, you know, when you’ve got an AI that’s doubling in capacity every two to three months, I think is what the current numbers are. You’re gonna lose. So tell me you, I think you’ve probably just covered it but I just want to dive into it specifically. Obviously, Google AI is massively changing the way people run Google campaigns. Now it should be So what’s your thought? Is it a good thing? Or a bad thing? What’s the what’s the caveats? And the guardrails? People are think about that?

Justin Brooke  10:10
Yeah, you know, I like to keep my predictions kind of like, one, two, maybe three years. Because after that, like, so, but like, think about COVID, right? You know, I mean, we would have been planning something 10 years out, and something like that comes through. So like, you know, I don’t love to go that far out. What I’m thinking about is like, one to five years, absolutely, we are in a, we’re in a boom, time, boom, time of algorithms and machine learning where these things are going to be massively helping us get results, increase profits, increase results, you know, like, it’s, it’s a great time. However, I am not ignorant to the fact that they are trying to replace me with that algorithm, you know, and I know that that’s coming, I’ve already thought ahead of how that’s happening. You know, just the real quick version of that. It’s very easy. They see all the text ads, they see all the pixels, they see all the landing pages, it’s very easy for them to like, keyword, okay, here is the 100 best performing ads that have ever run on that keyword, choose three. All right, here’s the best landing pages that have ever run on there. And so choose this layout versus that layout, you know, okay, we want this layout that would have a 64% conversion rate, and then choose this ad, because that would have a three or 12%, click through rate, you know, so it’s very easy, they have all the data, they know what’s converted, they know all the, all the information. So in the future, you’re gonna be able to just like, you know, you’re gonna, like, say, I want this, and you’ll probably be able to talk to it. Because I think that we are the voice interfaces, right now. You know, our clients tell us, hey, I want X amount of leads for X dollars. And then we type it into the computer into the computer.

Rob Warner  12:13
Alexa in human form,

Justin Brooke  12:15
we are Alexa in human form, basically. And so in it, you can see that it’s already happening. We’re training our phones, we’re training our computers, we’re training with Alexa, you know, voice technology is absolutely growing, growing. And so we’ll see large

Rob Warner  12:30
queries, you can see in search queries, how voice search is impacted. You do a search query report, you’ll see queries that you would never have seen even 18 months ago. And it’s just because more and more people are talking to the phones.

Justin Brooke  12:41
Yeah, you know, I think it won’t be too long before it’s, Hey, Google, advertise my business. Okay, what domain name and then we tell it the domain name, we tell it the objective, we tell it the budget settings. And then the algorithm goes, you know, we maybe we click a few different selections, you know, yes, this ad looks good. Yes, this landing page looks good. And then it’s off and running. So I believe that’s coming. But it’s at least at least five years away. And so we have a strong five years to prepare, and maybe even 10 years.

Rob Warner  13:19
So here’s here’s my take on it for what it’s worth. And thank you, because I agree with just about everything you said, I think on that is I think we’ve lost two years, I think progress has been has gone over the last two years, and COVID was part of it. But effectively the whole Facebook data, iOS situation, and the not just the iOS change. But the events that led up to that the increased data scrutiny that started coming out sort of three years ago, I think Google will further down the track than they are now in some respects. And what they’ve had to do is they’ve kind of looked over their shoulder and gone, holy crap, the whole world is now looking at data privacy. Anything we do that is not 100% data privacy compliant, is gonna get ripped to shreds publicly. We’re gonna be public enemy number one at some point in the future. And it happened to Facebook very, very publicly. It hasn’t happened to Google to the same extent. And I think what they’ve had to do with more or less rip apart their progress, and okay, let’s do exactly what we’ve just done. But let’s reengineer it in a privacy friendly way. And then how to divert resources that would otherwise have gone into all the things you’ve just talked about. Take some backward steps to go forward.

Justin Brooke  14:39
Can you imagine? Can you imagine how Google would have felt while all that was happening with Mark Zuckerberg? Like because me and you know, you’re looking at Google and like, Facebook’s in trouble, like, if you think Facebook’s bad, y’all gotta look at Google because they’re, they’ve been doing this for a long time and a much bigger and you know, so they had to be just like shake In your boots?

Rob Warner  15:01
Absolutely. So So I think that’s what’s happened because I was listening to, I think, even Mike Rhodes saying just a few years ago about the depth of the keyword and how keywords may ultimately disappear. I can see some sense in that. And I think what has happened is the timeline is pushed out, while everybody’s regrouped reengineered their solutions. But in the meantime, while they’ve been doing that, the AI team, they’ve been happily keeping their work. So the AI’s are getting better and better and better. And now the rest of the business is catching up. So I think we’re going to see a bit of an acceleration, you can see it in everything Google do with the with the user interface, the you know, the level of control is gradually collapsing and collapsing and collapsing, and collapsing. It’s a 1% here and a 1%. There.

Justin Brooke  15:45
So we don’t feel it.

Rob Warner  15:46
Yeah, yeah, it’s death by 1000 cuts. So. So I agree with what you’re saying in terms of the future. So can we just fast forward a little bit?

Justin Brooke  15:56
Do we have jobs?  Do we have jobs?I think so. I think the new job will be the consultant because at the end of the day, the CEO wants to be the CEO, you know, even if AI become so good that Google Ads becomes Hey, Google, like, you know, pay Alexa or whatever, you know, I don’t believe the CEO is is is the one saying, hey, Google, I believe that’s still the CMO. And I believe the CMO sti needs an advisor. And so I think information consulting is where we will go. I wrote a blog post a long, long time ago called I think it was called like, taming the Tyrannosaurus, or writing the Tyrannosaurus or something like that. And I was talking about the Guru’s and how, like, if you learn who the Guru’s are in any market, you know, learn who the Frank Kearns and the Russell Brunson czar, right in any space. And then you cater to them, you you become their testimonials, you start out as their testimonials, you offer them a written one, and you offer them a video one, and you keep just, you know, like feed it because they need that for their marketing that helps them and you become on their mind, right, because you’re on their on their sales pages and in their emails. And they start saying, Oh, this guy, you know, he got such and such result with my thing. And so you start kind of, and I think that that’s where we will be so like you can kind of like, in a way tame the Tyrannosaurus is so that they bring you forward in the market. And I believe that’s where we will sit as marketers with the AI, you know, we will know how to feed the AI, we will know how to give it clean data, we will know how to run the AI. And the AI will be doing all the work which will be great. Because we will know more to this I’ve always thought the keyboard is like the most archaic way of of getting data into the computer. And so we will just be able to talk and the AI will do much as it’s already starting to do great things for us. It will do even better things for us. But I do think a lot of people are going to be hurt because they’re very romantic about copywriting. They think copy Oh, there was no way that AI text is the easy thing. You know, just look at the GPT three platform Jarvis, you look at all these content writers, you know, that are out there, they’re becoming incredibly good. You know, they may not be yes, they’re not as good as a master writer. But the thing about exponential curves is, you know, like you you only see it for a glimpse in that little bit of a you at the bottom, and then bam, it just takes off. And that happens so fast that people are ready for it. And I think that’s where a lot of people are gonna get hurt by AI is they’re overly romantic about what could not happen to them. They’re ignorant or in denial. And what happens is that spike happens, and then they’re too late. Like if you got to see it in the little you and I think we’re right there.

Rob Warner  19:15
I’m with you there. For me one of the big things right now that I see everywhere in particular. So E commerce, I believe is relatively easy for Google because there’s a there’s a buy button attached with a value attached to that purchase. optimising conversion value and row acid things is really easy, because you can see and you’ve got total transparency through that chain, where it’s more difficult in the services market, where there’s ultimately going to be a phone call and maybe a visit and maybe an estimate and a booking and all the steps that happen offline. And a lot of the criticism I see is people not fit was you said feeding the Tyrannosaurus. If you don’t tell Google which were your good conversions and which were are bad conversions. It treats them all equally, and it will optimise for all equally. So our job is in some ways you say is that data keeper it feeding that back, it’s feeding that in there. Because for me, one of the things that I think, definitely going to come in our way is number one, our jobs just got better, because we don’t have to do all that boring stuff. Yeah, so and that, but our jobs just got higher pay. Because, you know, there’s a lot more value in strategy than the pressing key function. So let’s understand that actually, we now have a higher value role. It’s just different. And we need to learn to adapt to that.  But if you’re attached to keyboard bashing, good luck, you’re gonna have a problem in a couple of years, and might not tomorrow, mine or the next day, but it’s coming and get expect that to happen. So I think we end up with better jobs. But our job is to kind of keep that data and keep it going all the way and just make this thing happen. It’s next slide. I honestly think it’s an exciting thing to watch happen. Because we get to be a bigger part of a business’s success, when I think you only have to look at what the Google are doing the local service ads, local service ads, essentially Google cutting out the middleman of the agency in the ad interface. And saying, We think we’ve got ad units that can perform better than you.

Justin Brooke  21:33
Google have come out and said, the agency is in their way, like they’re trying to move the agency. Yeah,

Rob Warner  21:39
yeah, we saw shift about four years ago, four years ago, Google was super friendly to agencies, they used to throw money at us for resources at us. And it was like,

Justin Brooke  21:50
riding the Tyrannosaurus.

Rob Warner  21:51
It was great. But then they had a change of leadership. And they started investing in their AI and the kind of hang on a minute, we’ve been fighting a churn problem. For a long time. We believed agencies is our feet on the ground were our answer, our churn problem hasn’t gone away, they are not our answer they are part of the problem. And I believe that’s correct.

Justin Brooke  22:12
Just as Uber is trying to replace the driver, Google is trying to replace the agency, because we’re getting a cut that they want.

Rob Warner  22:22
I think to your point, and this is where things get really interesting is Google don’t care about the success of any individual advertiser. It’s Think of it like I think it would says like casino, they are the house What they care about is keeping you at the table. Because they make their wins over the long term by keeping you at the table. They don’t mind individuals getting exceptional results, but they ain’t playing for that. They’re playing to keep the players in the game keep them spending. And that’s how they make more money. That’s how they keep the competition pool, deep enough. I believe our jobs where we get to win is, let’s be that 1%, let’s be the exception of wallets, there’s going to be an exception. And there will be there’s always people who win at the casino. There’s always people who lose, let’s make sure we are skilled and prepared to be that one that wins. And I believe you can do it by design, if you just think it through properly.

Justin Brooke  23:21
Yeah, you know, to ride on that same analogy, you know, in a casino, if you’re a card counter, you’re kicked out. So if you’re someone who understands the math behind how this system works, they kick you out, because you can but Google’s not currently there’s there’s no beef against that if you understand how to use the system better. They do, they don’t kick you out because you’re getting better results. So you essentially, using that analogy, Google is the house, they’re the casino, you can be a card counter in this casino, and they’re fine with it. So there’s a lot of potential I think we have a great next 10 years, for sure. And after that, I think AI starts to get really, really good. And I can’t really see past 10 years

Rob Warner  24:08
No and I can’t either but to be fair, I’m not sure if I’m not sure we’ll be talking about same types of devices, I’m not sure are talking about the same type of interface that will be a different. It’s such speculative at this point that who knows what it will be.

Justin Brooke  24:23
So if you’re, you know, an agency coming up in

Rob Warner  24:29
2022, and you’re responsible for the future of your business, what’s your what’s the top things that an agency needs to know right now in terms of, you know, where they’re going in the future of advertising you think of to the extent we haven’t covered it already.

Justin Brooke  24:44
For starters, if you’re listening to this interview, and you’re like, I don’t know what they’re talking about. If you’re in trouble. That’s where you need to start, like you need to understand GPT three, you know, that’s a copywriting out algorithm machine learning, it’s what they call the AI really, there is no AI yet. It’s all machine learning algorithms, if they’re really complex if then statements. So you need to understand this language neural networks, machine learning algorithms, you need to kind of, you don’t need to know how to write them, you don’t even know how to create them. But you need to understand what they are, how they function. And the more you spend in this arena of understanding, like, where a lot of guys are in the industry is they know that they need a JavaScript pixel, but they don’t know what the JavaScript pixel is doing. They don’t know how to read the code at all. And I’m not saying I can code JavaScript pixels, or whatever, but I can look at the code and I can understand, you know, okay, they’re trying to do a get request here, you know, I can place this here, I could change that a little bit, I know enough to be able to manipulate the code. And that’s really where today’s advertiser needs to be, we are much more we’ve gone away from where advertising was mostly a communication medium, it was a pick up the phone, hey, I want this, I want that it was a lot of networking relationships, it is now a very technical career, where, you know, the more you understand about code, machine learning algorithms, if you can, if you can get in on that, if that’s like, whoa, I’m not, that’s a deal breaker, it’s probably time to start looking at something else, you know, because that is very, and I’m being serious as I can be. That is where you need to be, you need to understand how pixels work, how sidetracking works, how Google Analytics, like if those things you’re like, oh, I don’t like them, they’re too technical. That’s the future, you know, and not even the future. And that’s today, you know, that’s like the barrier to entry. Right? Now, if you want to be good, if you want to get above six figures, you need to be in that realm and higher. And that’s really where they need to spend. And if you do it, I’m telling you, the juice is worth the squeeze. If you learn these things, you know, seven, eight plus figures is not a problem for you.

Rob Warner  27:08
That’s it’s really, really interesting, isn’t it? I add? I agree, I think it seems to me, the days of being a solo freelancer, jack of all trades have to go by  the wayside. Because you can’t have that level of depth of knowledge, you can’t have the data pool to be able to play sufficiently, I think access to data is a big part of this. And I’ve just so for one of our software products, we’ve decided to build a Chrome extension, just as an aside, simply because we can then effectively show people ad competitor ad copy directly in the user interface in their Google ads, compared to you know, so show them against their own key word, what’s going on in the market, what’s going on the broader market, which ads are most frequently seen what the language is using those answers. And we as part of that extension, we’ve just commissioned a statistical prediction engine to say, and we’ve supplied them with that. But here’s 15,000 ad groups worth of data, each with more than one ad in it with a whole bunch of clicks and things, build me a model to predict click through rate. So when I randomly pull out that the click through rates, you can predict which ad is going to win based on natural language processing. Now, I can commission that piece of work because I’ve got 15,000 sets of adgroups to do it on.  Some agencies have deep experience in a particular niche. If you’re just generally freelancing, you don’t have that depth of data, you don’t have that depth once done. I think it’s really hard to do the things you just talked about for that reason.

Justin Brooke  28:59
Right? That absolutely agree. Full stop. Absolutely agree. I also want to add to that, because of where technology is at we can do more with three or four people than ever before, you know, I mean, you can take a three or four person company into many, many millions, you know, so I agree the solo person, it’s extremely hard. There’s so much learning. There’s so much work, you’re you know, we’re humans, so we’re limited to 24 hours a day. If you start trying and I did I tried all kinds of different sleeping patterns. biphasic polyphasic, you know, don’t do it. You need sleep, there’s nothing better than just a good solid eight hours of sleep. You know, you want to talk about productivity, get some sleep, drink some water like the two greatest hacks ever and they’re the city are free. They’re sitting right under our noses

Rob Warner  29:55
You can’t say that Justin, there’s no sales letter in that

Justin Brooke  29:59
Right, and you know, you start trying to sleep less so like, when I see a lot of guys doing is like, Oh, well, I’ll wake up earlier, you know, I’ll go to bed later I’ll wake up earlier, you start crashing your immune system you can’t think is sharp, so there’s just no way around it, you know, what you need is you need more man hours, you know, the only way to create more man hours is not sleepless, you know, is actually to hire someone or partner with someone, you know, even a two person team is extremely dangerous because a two person team, one guy is in charge of product, one guy is in charge of marketing. And that little team can do amazing things, or you have one person with an assistant, you know, so now all of a sudden, you don’t have to schedule your own calls, you don’t have to do your own research, you don’t have to book your own appointments, you know. So you really need like, if you can build, you know, like a four person team that I we construct is like, it’s you, okay, whatever it may be your product, maybe your marketing, you know, whatever your skill set is, you’re doing you, but then you have an assistant, and then you have the opposite side of you with your marketing, then you have product if your product and you have marketing, okay, so you have an assistant product marketing, and then from there probably customer support, or tech, you know, somebody to run the tech for you. And that little four person team, you’re going to be dangerous. I mean, you’re going to be able to create some really life changing income for you in that four person team.

Rob Warner  31:28
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. Our little software started, that were building up at the moment and were deliberately keeping it small, we’ve taken a view, or if we are internal challenge that we’ve set is, if we think we need to hire somebody, let’s spend the first half of the time we would spend hiring them, figuring out how not to need to hire them and still achieve our same objective.

Justin Brooke  31:52
Because if I figure that out, then it wasn’t the right hire.

Rob Warner  31:55
Exactly. So if I can figure out how not to do that, then I know that I can scale better, there’s more control, because often we go to hiring as a default thing. It’s a we’re a bit busy, we need to person.  Actually no, you need to get better organise you to rethink the process, you need to just be smarter about what you’re doing. Focus on the outcome, not the process. And there’s so many different ways you can achieve the same outcome. Nine, nine out of 10 won’t involve hiring somebody. But we go to the 1 in 10, that’s always a hire, so dive into detail for a second. We won’t get too detailed because that doesn’t that well or live with us necessarily. Given what we should be saying about data and about, you know, insights and knowledge. In your view. Do you think you know somebody starting an agency or has an age today, we’re still in an age where you can run a general purpose agency servicing all comers? Or do you think you’re kind of forced down a niche path where you really become good at one thing?

Justin Brooke  33:04
One second, let me switch out my air pods. I just got the notification in my ears and my batteries are dying so. Okay, you can hear me? Okay. agency’s data, rephrase the question again. For me,

Rob Warner  33:32
what I’m asking is, given what we’ve just talked about in terms of future direction and data and specialism? Is it realistic now to see a generalist agency taking work from all comers? Or do you think there’s a need to be really good at one thing, and one day one market one, one type of customer,

Justin Brooke  33:50
it’s possible to make money and that’s the problem is you will have some of the we say this message, you know, but then I like to term Fred Wilson, you know, I don’t feel I think some people use like Homer and Bart Simpson or whatever. I think that’s like insulting, like Fred Wilson just stands for like, he’s Fred Flintstone, you know, or whatever. He’s just the average guy, right? So the average guy, he hears this message that he should create a niche agency, but then he doesn’t. And he just says yes to this person and to that person. And he’s like, I made a sale here. I made a sale there. And so there’s conflicting data is he’s hearing that he should niche, but then he’s getting paid from this and this, that what he’s not seeing is he’s not seeing a year down the line of how because you said yes to this customer into that customer, they have two completely different product sets. And you’re gonna do that again, which is another completely different problem over here. And so then you’re gonna, you’re gonna know you have too much work you because you’ve accepted four or five clients. They’re completely different. You’re you’re overwhelmed and you need to hire but how are you going to hire Are because this is a completely different system. And this is a completely different system. And this isn’t. So how are you going to train because then you’re gonna say yes to a six person who is also completely different and throws all at you. And so that’s why you need to have a niche agency. It’s so that you have a easier hiring so that you can create checklists and diagrams and know exactly Okay, new customer comes on day one, we do this day three, we do that day seven, we’re here. Now we’re implementing this process that you know, it’s a very factory, you know, kind of roll out, you know, you’re doing the exact same thing for every client. And that’s why you need the niche agency is Yes, anybody can say, Yes, I’ll do this. Yes, I’ll do that. Yes, I’ll do that there’s plenty of money being thrown into this industry that you can kind of stumble your way into a few clients, but then you’re going to be trapped under this thing that you can’t get out of, and then you’re going to be like, Oh, that’s why Rob and Justin are saying this, oh, I wish I need to lose the last two years of my life, you know, in this. So absolutely. You need a niche focus. If you start a niche focus, you’re just going to have just a much better time and not pull your hair out.

Rob Warner  36:15
Couldn’t agree more, I think for me, and here’s the weird thing. When COVID hit two years ago, invisible, we lost a huge chunk of our business. Because we had lots of dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, you suddenly had to close their doors. And it kind of changed the argument a little bit because three COVID There’s a preach, preach, preach, you’ve got a niche, some dead some then when COVID hit you either like niche lottery, you either wall big or you lost big depending which market you served. And, hey, that happens. Sometimes that’s just, you know, it’s hopefully a once in a lifetime event. But they happen.

Justin Brooke  36:56
Our local guys got crushed. Our econ guys were like, what do we do with all this money?

Rob Warner  37:01
Exactly, exactly. A friend of a friend of mine was making, I think about a million a month, during COVID, not in an agency, but in another business. After having made like about 100 grand a month free COVID. And he’s gone. This is great, but it’s killing me. I can’t do it. What would you advise me, it’s like, soaking up, you’re making life changing money, sleep, when this finishes, you’ll be fine. Buy as much rest as you want in the future. But I think back to the sort of that sidebar, sigh I think as well as the hiring and multiplies the learning. You’ll everything you learn is reusable, everything you learn, you can leverage again and again and again and again. And you just get better clients, you get happier clients. Because you’re an insider, you know it at that point, you I often find with a lot of things like, you know, we know the subtleties, because, you know, if you’ve dealt with the same industry and you know, your campaigns, you’ve done something so long. You can take one look at the screen and go, that’s wrong. And anybody else looking at it for the first time. What do you mean that’s wrong? It looks it’s in the range. No, that’s wrong. I know that is wrong. That is not the number that should be there. I know these numbers.

Justin Brooke  38:17
I have the perfect story for what you’re talking about. Because I’m literally I’m sitting in an RV. You know, we haven’t talked about it yet. But I’m building a farm. I got 16 acres here in Roan mountain, Tennessee. And so we’re living in our RV on the land while we’re building things out. This RV that I’m living in came from an affiliate check where I there was a big launch happening and because I knew this niche so well, everybody else was was bidding on cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, you know, the standard keywords. I bid on Bigfoot and Illuminati. And so my ads were way cheaper. I had like no competition. But I knew this market so well, that because I had bid I’ve been on Big Foot and Illuminati with these Bitcoin ads. I knew that my market was over there. And then I would have this, you know, this blue ocean of people literally sitting in a $70,000 RV. From that concept that you just talked about.

Rob Warner  39:18
It’s so true, because we know you got less money to play simple here. You’re 15 clients 15 different niches. Somebody shows you a dashboard and ago. What do you think? Yeah. All right. Looks okay. Someone shows you 15 clients in the same niche. Can you show your dashboard? You know, yeah, you know what the answer is? So one of the things that occurs to me then just diving into a little bit more Google ish for a second, having sort of moved into the agency space a little bit. I believe one of the big drives that I’m seeing at the moment is ad copy All the metrics we see and last year I took them on thought and wrote a 75 page report and quality score, which broke down mathematically, which was an insane thing to do, but quite fun. I have a mathematician on staff. So we’ve we’ve literally pulled millions and millions of data points and tried to prove the point is what Google say about quality score. actually true. And some of it is and some of it isn’t and we went through. But one thing that was stood out and seem to be standing out to me more and more is click through rate is a driver of such a lot of Google at the moment. And therefore, ad copy becomes critically important. And the landing page, what’s your thoughts around, you know, that copy creative process and all the talks about Jarvis and other ai ai recently? And, you know, that landing page experience? Because quite often, you don’t get to control it as an agency? What are your thoughts on whether you should control it shouldn’t control it? How important do you believe it to be?

Justin Brooke  40:56
Whether they should control the copy the landing page,

Rob Warner  41:00
agency or client. So

Justin Brooke  41:03
I, I teach our guys not to. There’s so many different things, you know, and at some point, like, if you’re, so some of our guys, you know, I’ll talk to them and they’re struggling agency, and I start, you know, talking to them about their business, and they handle the landing page, they consult on the funnel, they set up the tracking, they set up the autoresponders, they set up the ads, and I’m like, you’re building their whole business, you might end up getting paid 15%, you know, you might as well just start this, like, the only thing that was left, what the guy bought the domain name, so like, 999 a year, and maybe he’s got the hosting. So we’re talking about $33 or more a month, and you run this business at this point, you know, and so it’s easy to get you it’s so easy sometimes to sell in this industry, because sometimes all we have to do is say yes. And it’s like it can come to us, because everybody else doesn’t want to do this work. And it’s so hard. And there’s a lot of pain. You know, there’s immediate financial loss if you don’t do it, right. So they want to hire someone, if someone just reaches up their hand and says, Hey, I don’t want to do that. A lot of times, you know, you will get the money. But then the problem comes is you start getting too much feature creep. And then you again, it comes back to how are you going to hire for that, you know, you’re doing more work, are you charging correctly for that, like if you’re doing the media buys the landing pages in the funnel, you should be getting probably 50%. Because you’re as you’re essentially the marketing department of that company, you know, their product, and your marketing. And so you might as well be a co founder at that point. But a lot of our guys, they’re only getting, you know, some of them are only charging 1000 $1,500 a month, you know, and so they’re not, they’re not even smart enough to charge 15 20%, which is absolutely fair, and like competitive in our industry. So if you’re not even charging 15 20%, you’re only getting paid, you know, 1000 $1,500 a month, this company is making a million, what are you getting? You know, you’re getting like 1%, if even that. And so you’re doing 50% of the work for 1% of the revenue. And you just you just got a blues, there’s no way you can do the math as again,

Rob Warner  43:29
I really surprised. So you in my head before I asked that question, you’re gonna say control it because there’s no way you can guarantee results are interested, you didn’t have my head, I always want the landing page because I want to control the ad copy control landing page, then at least at least I have control to that first touch point of what’s going to happen if the business screw up after that when they answer the phone or when they do something that’s kind of on them. But let’s dive into Ad skills because this is this fun, but I want to actually dive into

Justin Brooke  44:03
a couple more points to that. Super fast. So yes, but what I’m really saying is like, if you’re if you’re charging correctly, yeah, you can do all of that. If you’re getting one of the business, awesome. Now you are ascending, you can make that work, because you can hire, you know, but if you’re getting 1%, you know, then you’re just not going to have the funds to be able to hire the help and to be able to deliver a good enough results. So if you’re charging correctly, you can bring all that stuff on. And that’s great because you’re you’re building a better valuable business, more revenue, and you have more control. What we normally do is we will refer that work out and get 10 to 20% of that sale. So yeah, you know, so we’ll partner with a landing page guy with a funnel guy with a conversion rate optimizer that way I can, you know, push that out and not have to do the work but the phone apps, right right Right. That’s the end of that.

Rob Warner  45:02
Okay. Okay. So it’s from your perspective, it’s an economics issue, not a controlled performance issue. And that makes sense. I would I would support that entirely. Yeah. Don’t do it for free. That’s stupid. So one reason I wanted you all here today was to talk about AdSkills. I’m an  AdSkills customer, I pay for it, and not here on freebie. It’s the most ridiculously inexpensive training programme. So somebody asked me recently, tell me how I position Adskills, right? And this was specifically in context of Google. Somebody said, Where should I learn, I said, first thing to do, go into the Google cost, learn what the interface looks like, and how it works, and what the words are, that are involved. And forget everything else that told you apart from which buttons are which and where they are on the page, that you’re not, they’re not there for you, you’re interests there for their interests. When you’ve done that, go enjoy AdSkills, learn the actual strategic things that need to happen in your campaigns. So you understand, first of all, the higher level of this, you know, you’re talking about the foundations of Russell Brunson, and Dan Kennedy’s understand this level of marketing. So then when you get back down, you start into the training as more detail to press the buttons, you know why? You’ve got the understanding? So tell me AdSkills from your point of view, because I’m interested as to how you see it.

Justin Brooke  46:33
Yeah.Clearer on it than ever, because we’re working on like, investor pitch decks and stuff. And I’ve had to, like really boil down everything that’s been in my head for, you know, 10 years into, you know, they only want to hear like one sentence. Yeah. And sometimes they’ll even wants one sentence, they just want visuals. And so we, you know, we help you master digital ads for $19.99 a month, and you get all the classes, you know, so that’s what we are, you know, very much like a Netflix for advertisers. But you know, where we come in is the problem with advertising, is it there’s such a high learning curve, you know, it’s, there’s no, everybody thinks that they have a traffic problem. But if you know how to write a check, you can get traffic, you know, it’s not a problem, you know, you can just swipe your credit card, you can write a check, and you’ll have cliques coming to your webpage, the problem is that you can’t keep that up for too long, before you just run out of money. You know, even if you’re even if you got a million sitting there, you’re eventually just going to run out of the money. So the problem is being able to turn that that check into more money back, you know, ideally, within 30 days, I think one problem is too many guys are trying to turn that into, you know, like a profit on day one. And it’s, it’s so hard, you just can’t build a great relationship with a customer, he can’t deliver enough marketing arguments, they’re, they’re seeing so many ads from everywhere else, but it’s very, very possible to you know, to have 100% or more of that money come back to you within 30 days. And that’s really what we do, is we teach you how to make your money back in 30 days, so that you can continue to keep writing checks, or, you know, I mean, if you have for us, you know, we have the American Express card, you know, and you can, with an American Express card, you basically can spend as much as you want, you just have to be able to pay it back within 30 days, because otherwise you get hit with an enormous interest rate, you know, and that’s the whole trick with American Express. But so if you have that kind of an ability, where you can, you know, you have unlimited money, essentially. But you can make it back in 30 days, then you can keep doing that, you know, and that’s really what we do is we help you to have proven frameworks, templates, systems processes, that you are going to be able to run this over and over again. And I think another problem is so many people, they only learn Google ads, or they only learn Facebook ads or tick tock tick tock ads is the thing right now. And the problem is when you only learn one platform, you don’t know how to then go on and so you’re stuck having to buy another course watch another course. So like you spend eight hours right now learning and it’s like, oh, no worries, I got time this week, you know, I’ll trade my time for dollars. And so you spend some time right now to learn just Google ads. But then what happens when you need to learn Facebook ads, you’re gonna spend another eight hours and then another eight hours and you know, another couple 100 bucks with with ads skills, we teach you all of them in one platform for $20 a month, and then also to finalise Awesome. Thank you. Thanks. And then we give you a nine week course that teaches you the fundamentals so that you’ll be able to go to any ad network because CTR is important in all the ad networks account structure is important in all the ad networks, understanding pixels and landing pages, it’s important in all the ad networks, you have you understand the fundamentals. And that’s what we do in our introductory nine week course, if you understand the fundamentals, or you just spend the time doing that, you will be able to go across to all the ad networks and never have to buy another course again.

Rob Warner  50:19
Love that never buy another course, again, that’s that’s obviously phenomenal. And I honestly would wholeheartedly recommend anybody jumps on AdSkills. So as far as I’m concerned, just in previously had this priced several $1,000, and then had an epiphany that that wasn’t necessarily the best way to serve the market and you

Justin Brooke  50:39
do for the market. So we had the change.

Rob Warner  50:43
And that’s an interesting move to make. And that’s been an interesting journey to go on. And I’m sure it will continue, but kind of $19.99 a month. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous in the best possible way. And I just hope over delivering. That’s cool. Just anything, just as we wrap up that you would have liked me to ask you today that I haven’t, that you think people ought to know about either add skills or about media buying in general.

Justin Brooke  51:15
No, man, this was a phenomenal conversation. I really love talking about this AI stuff, because I think it’s hugely important, I believe, wholeheartedly that the copywriter and media buyer 10 years from now we’re going to be very, very different. I believe we’ll probably be just be talking, I don’t think we’ll be typing or even writing I think we’ll just be talking. And so yeah, just pay attention to those areas. You know, really look at GPT three and what it’s doing because like you said, it’s very easy for you to pull in 1500 ad sets. You sort them by highest CTR, and you go okay, I like that one. But the problem is you can’t plagiarise that, you know. And so what you do is you hit the GPT three button, it rewrites it for you intelligently so that almost all of it is still there, but now it’s yours. And so just yeah, really, really focused in this area, guys. It’s very important.  Thank you, Justin.

Rob Warner  52:15
As we wrap up, thank you so much for your time. Anybody who hasn’t got it, go and get AdSkills. Full disclosure, I am NOT an affiliate. I am not getting paid. I’m here because I think it’s awesome.

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