The 8 Best Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs
Today, entrepreneurship isn’t just a noun, it’s a lifestyle.
The mentality has spawned influencers, books, self-help guides, and publications. There's an entire industry that has been built up around entrepreneurs, catering to the training, the networking, the lifestyle, and more.
If your business is one that focuses on selling goods to business owners, be they Fortune 500 companies or Etsy stores, check out these Facebook ads for entrepreneurs.
The company: Entrepreneur is the number one name in entrepreneurship (quite literally). Entrepreneur was early to the game in catering to the world’s go-getters. Today, it’s an editorial powerhouse that also is a first stop for advertisers looking to reach business owners.
The product: A digital marketing course introducing students to the various major platforms and practices today.
What makes it work: This ad has multiple elements of sales psychology. Underneath a five star rating, the graphic is eye-catching, fun and emphasizes highly recognizable brands. The tone is positive and gives a sense of acceleration and forward movement.
Its description isn’t a written sales pitch, but a direct customer review, with the price included. Social proof like this is one of the most powerful methods of building trust (it’s likely that before people signed up to the course, they’d look for reviews - so you’ve already saved them a step!)
Additionally, next to the call to action button is the compelling statistic that over 10,500 other users have signed up. That’s a huge number!
Pro tip: Use multiple tools of persuasion in your ad. Don’t rely solely on a good graphic or great copy: rather, give your viewers several reasons to click and convert.
Harvard Business Review
The service: The Harvard Business Review is one of the industry’s most well-respected brands, and it doesn’t have to work too hard to sell itself; its reputation does a lot of the work.
The product: A subscription to the magazine (paywalled online).
What makes it work: Simple and bright, the ad also showcases a tantalizing perk for admirers of Harvard’s business leadership.
HBS stands for Harvard Business School, known as one of the top in the world, and their case studies are well known to be a cornerstone of their curriculum. A subscription to the magazine grants readers access to the coveted case studies (a small piece of HBS prestige for a low monthly price!)
Additionally, the graphic offers an actionable benefit from an HBR subscription that speaks directly to the target audience. Most people working in business - whether in sales, marketing, HR or otherwise - will have to put together a presentation deck. It doesn’t hurt to have Harvard giving you tips.
Pro tip: Understanding your audience is key. Think about what benefit in your offer might really hit home with them, what specific pain point in their lives it solves, and use that when crafting your message.
The company: AngelList -- which describes itself as, “where the world meets startups” -- is for a very specific type of entrepreneur: the early stage kind.
The product: Signing up to the job network.
Why it works: This ingenious type of ad works on multiple levels.
One: it’s great exposure for AngelList. The clean, colorful graphics are playful and eye-catching, and align perfectly with the brand. This entire ad series shows how great design can do a world of heavy lifting in an ad campaign.
Two: It’s aimed at job-seekers, and shows how it solves their pain points, while highlighting its unique offering. It makes it easy to find the job you want, the salary is clear up front -- and what other network offers you opportunities for equity in a company?
Three: Although it’s aimed at job-seekers, the design and copy will also appeal to startup founders and managers. After all, which company wouldn’t want to define itself as ‘The next great unicorn startup’? Moreover, they’re hitting a common need for both groups, job-seekers and job posters: great people need great jobs. But great startups also need great people. Here’s where they can go to find each other.
Pro tip: A great ad doesn’t need to be over-the-top! It needs to be smart and well-targeted. Less is sometimes more.
The company: Forbes is one of the oldest and most respected media publications about business and names and trends to follow in the media industry.
The product: Subscription to the Forbes8 network: “Curated video content and live streamed events to help grow and guide your success story.”
Why it works: If you’ve ever thought that you’re above testing your ads for color changes, remember that even Forbes takes the time to test their ads for color changes.
Here you see a company that has taken the time to design the exact same ad, with one crucial difference: the striking background color. And what a difference it makes! Each ad carries a distinctly different feel.
The first is abstract and futuristic. The second is clean and chic. The third is optimistic and playful. Each would resonate with a different mood and a different audience.
Pro-tip: Even the best companies can benefit from A/B tests.
The company: Invision is one of the most popular design and protyping tools on the market.
The product:: A free course.
Why it works: Here, Invision isn’t trying to sell its product - it’s selling its solution, its culture, its knowledge and build customer loyalty. By not exclusively focusing on their product, Invision has the space to highlight a diverse base, a breadth of expertise, demonstrate the ROI of their product, and also, a free masterclass!
Pro tip: Facebook ads can be like mini elevator pitches. Use them as such!
The company: Shopify is one of the biggest names in ecommerce, making its name as an online store builder.
The product: A downloadable checklist.
Why it works: E-Commerce is the main way to do business nowadays. It’s also fast-paced and overwhelming. Automation is one of the buzzwords thrown around by practitioners and business owners, but it's trickier to implement than it is to say.
Shopify’s downloadable checklist mimics solving this very big, and very real pain point with a clean black interface, a scrolling ad that mimics a checklist, and powerful concepts that business owners are likely worried about and thinking about.
The service: Upwork is a high-powered freelancer directory.
The product: Upwork itself.
Why it works: With other sites like Fiverr and Freelancer, Upwork has a lot of competition. However, it is also has a lot of opportunity, and it knows its market’s pain points.
Hiring the right fit is a time-intensive process. Even for one-offs, it is a major struggle for companies, especially ones that are strapped for resources.
It addresses both of these things in the copy, using different colors to highlight two distinct, but powerful, benefits. Including a photo of an actual person in the image is proven to boost conversion rates (it helps that Upwork gives him a name and a job).
The company: Microsoft may not need an introduction.
The product: The Surface Pro 6, a morphing tablet/laptop.
Why it works: This is a mini-masterclass in understanding that you need to evolve with your audience. The successful CEO of today is different from the successful CEO of 1993. Visionaries and innovators are often on the move and not only in suits and ties in business meetings, and they need tech that moves as fast as they do.
Microsoft took a hit a while back when Apple presented itself as the brand for free-thinking visionaries and creatives, in comparison to clunky, corporate Microsoft. They were quick on their feet to respond, and today's Microsoft customers are marketed to as equally committed to living fully as they are to building their businesses.
There’s no one right way to do a Facebook ad, but there are great ways to take advantage of the medium, even with the platform's restrictions and requirements. These companies highlight innovate takes on showcasing their products and reaching their audiences.
What about you? What’s the best Facebook ad you’ve seen? What’s the worst? Share it below in the comments! We’d love to hear.