Beware this “bait and switch” social media ad buying scam

Cautionary tale today.

The social media marketing gurus of the world will delight in telling you why now is a great time to do Facebook ads.

After all, much of your competition is running scared and skimping on their marketing.

Cost-per-click is down 30% on average, according to some sources.

‘Tis a fine sentiment.

Back in ’08-’09 I did make out like a bandit on Google ads while other advertisers were lying in the fetal position on the floor of their offices.  Indeed, smart marketers know that when there’s “blood on the streets”, it’s time to market even more aggressively and hoover up market share like a Dyson.

Which brings me to the caution part.

Last year, a client of mine was sucked in by the promise of fast leads thanks to a social media marketing agency keen on raiding his wallet.  When I first found out about the campaign, I insisted on giving it the once over to determine if it deserved The Muscle’s much coveted seal of approval.

It did not.

For one, I was appalled at the lack of basic grammar and spelling on the landing page they’d created.

(And, as a writer, somewhat professionally offended.)

Ditto for their email follow up sequence.

I sent the client a note requesting that we bring those leads back into his Aweber so we could nurture them properly and with the quality of writing consistent with his other messaging.

And while this agency liked to point out ‘so many leads’ were coming his way, my client had only one booking (that didn’t show up) and a grand total ZERO sales.

Then, I noticed something, well…a little funky:

Almost ALL of the leads I imported had an IP address based in South Korea.  Yet, this client was a chiropractor based just outside of Toronto.

The Muscle smelled a rodent of the scurrying, pointy-tailed variety.

Now I’m not discouraging you from doing paid traffic on Facebook.

I have other clients that are doing very well with this right now.

And it may be truly be a good time to throw your hat in the ad buying ring.

But if you’re new to all this, my advice is not to trot down a dark alley and act surprised when you meet some questionable characters.

Beware the charm offensive.

Insist on proof.

Anyway, hope this warning saves you a few dineros.

Two MORE ways I can help:

I know people.

Good people.

If you’re ready to swim in this particular shark tank, I can open my rolodex and introduce you to some great ad people with high-powered tranq riffles.

And two, aside from targeting, two big factors in your ad success are the copy used in your ads (how you get attention) and the copy on the landing page you are bouncing them to (how you keep that attention long enough to get them to take action).

My book Stealth Email Secrets shows you a simple-yet-proven landing page formula and no less than 7 easy-to-create email types that can easily be adapted as Facebook ads.

Get those, and a ho’ lot more goodies inside the book, here:

Click here to get your copy of Stealth Email Secrets from Amazon.

Find out why leading author and speaker John Brubaker calls this, “one of the small handful of books that sits on my desk next to my laptop and my planner, while all others are relegated to the shelf.”

Alright, that’s all The Muscle wrote for today.

Happy Scam-Avoiding,

Conor Kelly


[PHOTO] Are you missing this crucial piece in your marketing?


Take a minute and read the ad above.

This one caught my eye while riding the subway the other day.

Can you tell what’s missing?

Let’s come back to that.

First, the good (or at least decent):

Not a bad headline, although it could probably be better.  The “Did you know” with the statistic used is what I call a ‘catch all’.  It paints with a broad stroke how the ad’s content could be relevant to anyone on the train.  The amazon review is also a great way to do social proof.  And I like the “common causes of dehydration” as it supports the claim in the headline.

Subconsciously, riders are reading this going, “I travel, I drink…maybe I’m dehydrated.”

Now the bad and the ugly:

What’s being promised here?  There’s no real benefit.

For starters, dehydration can lead to fatigue, poor mental performance, higher toxicity, faster aging of skin, headaches, dizziness, poor digestion and…wait for it…a slow metabolism.  You can’t stop at telling them why they’re dehydrated.  You’ve got to connect the dots for them so they know precisely what it means.

Better hydrated they can:

Boost energy…

Look younger…

Think better…

They’re in dehydration ‘hell’ right now.

Show them heaven.

Heck, you might even drink more water today just based off my short paragraph of ‘harms’ above.  Those could easily be bullet points in the ad and would not take up much space.

No doubt you can see how any of the above might give this puppy an ROI-enhancing facelift.

But the simple 5-minute “trick” that will juice up the response from this ad without changing anything else?

Survey says…

Having a call to action.

What do they want us to DO here?

Not clear at all.

Sure, the Amazon review would suggest you could find the product there, but that’s simply too much homework to lay on people who are rushed, distracted by their phones, or merely avoiding making eye contact.  Even “Visit this website” with a URL would probably beat what’s there now.  A web address with a promo code to get a limited-time discount…even better.

And maybe a QR code so they could scan a digital coupon direct to their phone.

Which leads me to the rub:

If there’s any confusion about what action you want your prospects to take in your ads, your emails, or when landing on your website, guess what?  You’re that much less likely to get any action whatsoever.  Don’t leave it to them to put two and two together.  Tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do.

Spurn this advice at your ownrisk.

Those are just a few potential ‘upgrades’ that jumped out at me while staring at this ad for a few minutes between Ossington and Bay stations on Toronto’s Bloor line.

Imagine what I could do if I had two solid hours to spend on your marketing. 😉

With that in mind, if you’d like me to perform one of my signature Mini Power Critiques on your website (or your sales letter, or your email campaign) here’s how it works:

I spend a couple of hours on your website then I send you detailed notes, along with a screen capture video, that outlines every last one of my recommendations to help you get more conversions, leads and customers – and jack up the ROI you get from any advertising you currently do.  I’ll even throw in suggestions for taglines, headlines, bullets, or other hooks that’ll inevitably occur to me.

The cost for this goodness is just $275USD.

And if your pulse is not already a bit faster, here’s what I’ll do:

If you book (and pay for) your website critique before Friday March 6th at 6PM, and you end up hiring me to do a re-write, I’ll credit this amount toward my fee.  In that sense, you’ll have gotten to drink of the fruit of my knowledge for free.

If you’re interested, go to my calendar below and book a time to tell me a little about your business, your current situation, and the item you’d like reviewed and we’ll take it from there:

That does it for today’s muscular installment.

Mind ye this hallowed rule:

Let no marketing leave the door WITHOUT a call to action.

Happy Commuting,

Conor Kelly



“With just a few short questions Conor was able to come up with a marketing plan that’s perfectly customized to my goals and my strengths.  He’s very knowledgeable, and has great instincts!”

Amirali Rahnamoon, Osteopath at IN and OUT Fitness


Mirror selfies and the end of civilization

Meet Lazar Angelov.

He’s Facebook’s premier Bulgarian fitness model/personal trainer.  I’ve never met him, but coincidentally he trains at the same gym I sometimes frequent when I’m in Sofia.

In “Fakebook” terms, his following is HUGE.

His marketing basically consists of posting wax ‘n tan shirtless pics of himself in various locales.   This daily ab-check garners hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of comments.

(Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?)

Besides foreshadowing our impending doom as a species, it’s a pretty good racket.   He’s got a great physique and a photogenic look which seems to be enough for him to build a fan base he can besiege with his online personal training programs.

So one day I thought, “I can do that,” and figured I’d try the whole ab-domination routine.

‘Twas a mere two mirror-selfies later that I elected to scrap the idea.


It just ain’t me.

The Muscle don’t play that.

Heck, I never even wear tank-tops in public.

So instead I recommitted to doing it like Sinatra, my way, by flexing my digits against the keyboard of my laptop.  And aren’t you glad I do…

(Newsflash: no one really wants to see gym change room selfies anyway – unless you’re 1. a Jersey Shore reject, 2. a major creeper, or 3. Mark Zuckerberg…see #2).

Not hashing Lazar’s gig.  It works for him.  And the audience he appeals to would rather watch his body talk than read his emails – which I can vouch for having read his emails.

Here’s the point:

Prize poodle though he be on social media’s hierarchy of “hotness”, he still needs to pull people off Facebook (and get their email addy) to sell to them.  And he does.  His posts often include a link to his free report with a call to action.

Unless I miss my guess, based on the size of his following he’s doing a pretty penny selling e-books with badly written emails.  Now if he had good copy…

Here’s point #2:

If you’ve got any kind of consistent traffic, whether it’s a social media following or a physical location that gets foot traffic, it’s quick and easy to build an email list you can nurture to create more loyal customers and a near instant surge in cash flow.  A list that can’t be de-platformed, de-ranked, banished or otherwise taken away from you.

For help with the above, sail the cyber seas to request your Free Brainstorm Call here:

I have but one rule…

No mirror-selfies allowed.

Happy Ab-Checking-In-Private,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a  The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle