What’s the Best Way to Learn Facebook Ads? 

 May 24, 2019

By  Daniel Larsen

Some people can sleep with their head on a book, drooling in a public library, and wake up knowing every word they slobbered on.

If that's you, get outta here. Go solve global hunger or cure cancer, and leave advertising to us mouth breathers.

If you're a normal, above-average human who wants to kick some Facebook ads, come with me.

To Learn More Quickly, Use Your Own Learning Strengths

Some real people learn best by doing. Others learn best by observing.

I'm biased, but I think most people learn fb advertising by studying and doing.

I personally learned by doing. When I started, there were no resources, courses, or even blog articles about how to do it. I had no choice but to learn by trial and error.

I Learned Facebook Ads the Hard Way (so you don't have to)

Originally I hired agencies to run them, for my business at the time.

These were established agencies, and they were confident they could get me results. So I paid a lot of money, expecting it was worth the investment.

They got me zero results. 

Rather than abandon the ads platform, I abandoned the agencies. I took it on myself to figure it out.

Gradually, by trial and error, I figured it out. That’s when I learned how to test, what to test, and why.

Along the way, I learned a ton of tricks and a lot of pitfalls. I learned what to focus on, and what to ignore. 

To Make Any Money With Facebook Ads, You Must Learn Basic Advertising Fundamentals

These days, it is not enough to know how to run a facebook ad. You have to learn the fundamentals of advertising and human psychology.

Then, you take your knowledge of those fundamentals and combine it with creativity. You must do this to lasso your customers out of the feed, wrangle them in to buy, and to keep them coming back for more.

But Wait, There's More!

On top of that, you have to keep the Facebook algorithm happy, which is a chore. They change things often, make new policies, and keep quiet on what they actually want and require. They've started rejecting ads for more petty things, but only give cryptic non-info when you try to figure out why. 

Understand these five things, and you'll be ahead of the game in learning Facebook ads.

1. If You Want Sales, You Must Offer Something Specific People Want

When you understand the reasons people buy, it's much easier to make an offer they'll take. Even more important, this makes it easier to avoid offering them something they don't want.

People buy to:

  • Reduce pain / increase pleasure
  • Make money / save money
  • Save time / reduce work
  • Reduce effort
  • Gain prestige, social status

If this sounds overly simplified, it's because it is. Good thing is, that doesn't reduce the value of knowing these motivations.

These reasons stem from deep human psychology, and understanding them fully takes a lot of study.

But you can easily apply them as a basic checkpoint for any offer you make.  Doing just that gives you a lot more power to make effective ads.

If you make an offer and it doesn't meet these reasons, you know you need to go back to the drawing board. 

2. If You Want People's Attention (and dollars) You Must Learn to Write Great Ads

People have more distractions now than a cat in a room full of laser pointers. Loud noises, bright shiny objects, fake news, and oh the memes and gifs. Ding, beep, blump, the notifications pull them every witch way all day long.

Even if they're focused individuals, with their phones on silent, you compete with their inner monologue. Your audience has countless things clouding their mind, and less attention span to give in total.

Advertising has picked up the pace to match, creating a vicious cycle. Ads everywhere are more compelling and distracting than ever before, with each advertiser trying to one-up the others.

Some are good, some are great, and some are downright shitty. Unfortunately, you have to compete with all of them.

Facebook advertising is accessible to anyone with a credit card, so thousands of new advertisers enter the feed each week. Everyone is competing for the same feed space, and the same attention span of the people they're interrupting  with ads. Yes, Facebook is 100% interruption advertising - nobody is coming to Facebook to look for your service or product.

In order to rise above all that, your ads have to be way better than "not shitty".

Creating killer ads is a combination of art and science, logic and creativity. We'll dive deep on it elsewhere, but in a nutshell, your ads have to:

  • Catch people's attention by interrupting the pattern they're in while scrolling the feed
  • Hook them with a reason to keep reading/watching
  • Hit them with the benefits that speak to the buying reasons from #1
  • Leave them curious enough to participate in the next step in the buying process. 
  • Bonus: If you can do all that and get them to engage by commenting or tagging a friend/colleague, you get extra Zuckbucks.

3. Basic Advertising Mechanics

Even once you get good at creating ads, you'll still make some that don't work.

You'll still make writing mistakes, targeting errors, or miss the mark with your audience. You live, you learn, and you make more ads. 

Every ad is a test.

Every test is based on a theory.

For example, I theorize that if I do x, it will give me y result.

You run many of those tests, changing only one variable at a time. You learn and adjust, and that’s how you begin to create successful ads. Then, you keep testing to make them better.

Once you have some experience, you can get more wild with what you test. Some of the wild stuff I've tried over the years has surprised me the most, in a good way.

4. Succeed These Days, You'll Need More Than These Basics

Facebook ads have become very competitive. Even some people who once succeeded are now struggling to get a profitable return on ad spend.

Some others are still profiting well.

To be one of those people profiting while most fail, you need an edge. What will be your edge?

It could come from a skill you already possess. Maybe you're an enthralling storyteller, or a master of verbal selling. Maybe you just have a knack for writing piss-your-pants-funny jokes or one liners.

Maybe you can create catchy animations, or mind-blowing graphic effects. Maybe you're a skilled visual story teller.

Or, maybe you just decide to work with someone who can give you an edge, and help you skip ahead. 

But, Who to Follow?

My suggestion would be to choose one person who knows their shit, and follow them. Preferably, follow someone who is selling something similar to what you need to sell.

Apply their strategies, test, and learn. Take notes on everything you do, and note how your results change in response to your own changes.

Keep working at it, with whatever you’re offering, until you get results. Then work on the next offering. Make sure first, that it’s something people will actually buy, of course.

And in case you hadn't guessed it by now...

5. To Master Facebook Ads, You Will Pay Tuition One Way or Another

Whether you go it alone or study under someone else, you'll have to spend some money to learn.

Even if you don't pay someone to teach you, you'll pay tuition to Facebook in the form of ad dollars.

If you learn from someone who can save you the big mistakes, you can get ahead of the learning curve more quickly. That will reduce the amount of money you have to spend on ads before you start seeing success.

If you go it completely alone, be prepared to spend a lot more money on ads before you find something that works. And then even longer before you learn how to consistently get results.

I let agencies spend tens of thousands of dollars, and they couldn't cut it - and things were easier back then.

I then spent a couple thousand more, figuring things out, before I had one truly profitable ad. The point is, you will have to have some skin in the game in order to learn. 

So if you were thinking of just boosting some posts, to see what happens...don't. Save your money. Come up with a better plan for developing the skill. Or don't do it at all.


You don't need to be a rocket scientist to learn Facebook ads. You don't even need a college degree.

But you absolutely need a hunger for knowledge, a budget for learning, and some thick skin. It's not easy losing money and keeping your cool, sticking to the plan. 

And you do need a plan. On the contrary, if you figure out the way to just boost a few posts and rake in the millions, you let me know.

Daniel Larsen

Since Daniel started his first business at age 11, making up to $500 each school day, he's owned, operated, and sold businesses in niche products and services. He now focuses on marketing & advertising physical products, apps, and other innovative B2C solutions online, which is ironic since all his hobbies involve getting far away from all data connections.

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