Blog - Maxwell Finn


How I Turned A Fun Idea Into A 6 Figure Business In Just 1 Year

In 2015 I launched a fun little side project with my business partner Nick Haase called Startup Drugz. The concept was incredibly simple, but nobody was doing it. We decided to put funny startup and entrepreneurial sayings like “I’m A Millionaire On Paper” on t-shirts. Basically, we wanted to create an apparel brand for entrepreneurs like myself.

After coming up with the idea I spent a few days building out a basic Shopify store and designing a handful of t-shirts. Once the store and initial products were ready we went live and submitted the store to Product Hunt. Within 24 hours of launch, we knew we were on to something big.

During our first 48 hours in business, we generated over $2k in sales with 15,000+ unique shoppers visiting our store. Pretty amazing right? What’s even more amazing is that our sales could have been 3-4x higher, but we made a ton of amateur mistakes. For example, Shopify automatically sets shipping at $10 flat rate for all new stores, so we were charging $10 shipping on $20 t-shirts. We lost a ton of sales because of this.

All entrepreneurs (even the best in the world) frequently make mistakes. However, successful entrepreneurs learn from each and every mistake. After our first week in business, I put together a list of every mistake we made and then spent the following week fixing them all.

Facebook’s Advanced Website Custom Audiences

Facebook just added a ton of amazing new features to its already robust custom audience tool, called Facebook’s Advanced Website Custom Audiences. You can now create custom audiences based on frequency of visits, duration of visit, amount spent, device used and much more. Custom audiences are the foundation of retargeting and with these new segmentation capabilities advertisers will be able to run even more personalized and relevant retargeting campaigns.

As discussed in my blog post, 6 Reasons Why Your Facebook Ad ROI Sucks, custom audiences and retargeting are a critical component in finding success with Facebook ads.

In this video I provide a hands on demo/tutorial of this incredible new feature. I also break down specific use cases for a wide range of advertisers. These use cases include:

For an ecommerce store

  • Create a custom audience for your best customers who have made at least 3 purchases and spent over $1,000 in the past 60 days.
  • Create a custom audience for your best prospects who have visited the store at least 5 times and added over $250 of product to their cart in the past 30 days.

For a media property/blog

  • Create a custom audience for your most active mobile readers who have visited the site at least 15 times on their mobile device in the past 30 days.

In future videos I will show the results from several test campaigns that I have been running with Facebook’s advanced website custom audiences. Currently, the results are beyond impressive, which is expected given how targeted and personalized the campaigns are.


How To Supercharge Your Facebook Lead Ads With Video

Over the years Facebook has developed one of the world’s most powerful advertising platforms. They have accomplished this by continually releasing new ad units based on where and how people are consuming their content. A few years ago when more and more people started using their smartphones to consume media, Facebook released ads specifically for mobile. Today, along with traditional desktop and mobile ads, Facebook advertisers have the ability to run Instagram ads, video ads, lead generation ads and dynamic product ads along with several other placements and formats. Both video ads and lead generation ads have seen rapid advertiser adoption and are producing incredible results. Unfortunately, there is no native way to run video lead generation ads. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could combine two of Facebook’s most powerful ad units into one?

As a Facebook marketing addict I spend my free time experimenting with the platform. This means I try a lot of things, many of which do not work and are just a waste of time, but every now and then I find something cool. I was able to find a “hack” that allows you to run a video ad and lead gen ad within a single ad unit. In the video above you will see how I did it and learn how to create your own. Enjoy!

This Facebook Targeting Option Helped Me Generate A 2,700% ROI

Running a successful Facebook ad involves dozens of variables. Of these variables, personalization is one of the most important. Your ad needs to speak to the person viewing it, which creates a dilemma for the advertiser. You want to create an ad that reaches a large number of people, however the larger your reach, the more general and impersonal the ad. This is why retargeting and dynamic product ads have become so incredibly popular. You can reach large numbers of people with incredibly personalized and relevant ads.

The 20 Best Facebook Targeting Options

Over the course of the last decade Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team have built the most powerful advertising platform in the world. The ability to target incredibly specific groups of people is one of the primary reasons why this platform is so powerful. Amazingly, most advertisers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to setting up the targeting for their ads. Facebook has collected an absolutely massive amount of consumer data, which you can tap into when creating your ads. This data goes far beyond age, gender, location, language and broad interests. Facebook provides advertisers with over 1,300 unique pieces of consumer data that can be used for targeting.

We put together an awesome excel doc that lists all 1,300+ data points. The sheer diversity and volume of these options can be a little overwhelming so we decided to highlight 20 of our favorite targeting options.

Startup Drugz Top 3 Performing Facebook Ads of 2015

If you are new to Facebook Ads be sure to read my previous article Why Your Facebook Ad ROI Sucks.

Let me kick this article off by saying we run a lot of Facebook ads! Throughout 2015 we ran over 300 different ads on Facebook. A majority of these ads failed, but several were incredibly successful. In this 3 part series we are going to give you a behind the scenes look at our Facebook ad strategy. This post (Part 1) will show you the creative, copy, targeting and results from our best ads of 2015.

Why are we doing this? When we first launched Startup Drugz in early 2015 we spent countless hours searching for case studies and best practices in the world of Facebook advertising. We found tons of great resources, but many were broad and didn’t contain actual examples of successful campaigns. The content of this article is exactly what we were looking for a year ago.

So without further ado let’s get started!

How My New Store Received 55,000 Page Views Within 7 Days Of Launch…For Free!

Product Hunt is without a doubt one of the most popular startups in the world. It’s quickly become the go to destination for both announcing and discovering incredible new products. As an early user I’ve had a front row seat to this hyper growth app. Every day it seems the top hunts are receiving more upvotes than the previous day (with the exception of a few anomalies). The growth of Product Hunt really has no direct impact on me as a user, other than maybe seeing a wider array of cool products. As a maker (their word for a user who owns the product being hunted) the growth has had an almost unbelievable impact.

As a maker of two hunted products (one hunted 6 months ago and another 1 month ago) I can share cold hard data, which shows just how big Product Hunt has become and why it is the most important tool when it comes to launching your product. The focus of this post will be on my most recently hunted product.

About 5 weeks ago I launched a small side project called Startup Drugz with my 2 business partners, Nick Haase and Dana Severson. Basically we wanted to become the evil twin of Startup Vitamins and any other company creating apparel for startups with inspirational sayings on them. We designed a dozen or so shirts with funny startup sayings on them and created a very basic Shopify store. All 3 of us decided the best place to announce Startup Drugz was on Product Hunt and so early in the morning on Tuesday, April 21st we pressed submit.

Why Your Facebook Ad ROI Sucks

Let me preface this article by stating that in my opinion Facebook currently offers the most comprehensive and powerful ad platform for businesses of all sizes. Unfortunately, the 99.9% of people that say Facebook ads don’t work aren’t fully embracing the incredible technology that Facebook offers them. I launched a new brand, Startup Drugz, about 6 months ago and the only paid advertising I do is on Facebook. We did over $10k last month in sales and are on pace to do over $15k this month. For every $1 we spend on FB ads we make $3-$5 back depending on the day.

Through my social media marketing consulting I hear the same story from nearly every SMB client. The story goes “I made an ad on Facebook targeted some relevant groups and pressed submit, but after a few days and a few hundred dollars I didn’t get any sales so I stopped.” The problem with this strategy is that, even with decent targeting on your first ad, you are still targeting way too broad of a group and aren’t using data from your store to tweak and tailor the ad. Even the biggest most successful advertisers (all of whom allocate huge chunks of their budget to Facebook) in the world don’t hit a homerun with their first ad on a new platform. It’s just not possible. That being said here are several things you should be doing in order to increase your ROI with Facebook ads: