How to Get Measurable Facebook Ads Results for a Dollar a Day

I was speaking at a conference in Kansas about Facebook ads, where I shared some tactical information and strategies with the audience on how they can use Facebook ads (Dollar-a-Day) to build their brand. I also shared how they can build inception, get more media, and how implied authority is more important than actual authority.

Me giving a session at Kansa


Have you seen the movie Inception? It’s about the dream inside the dream. At the very end, you have the scene with the ice caves, machine guns, and the cars falling off the bridge in slow motion.

I view it like I’m playing chess, where I’m already planning eight to ten steps ahead. You already know where you want that person to be, but they do not know that.

The key to success on Facebook is to have that kind of mindset.

Dennis Yu

I will show you an example of how this is done which may cause you to think, “Hmm, how do I do that?” It may also cause some of you to think, “Wow! That’s kind of Machiavellian. That’s kind of manipulative.”

Either way, I think it’s important for you to be aware of how some of these techniques work and how you can use them to manipulate anyone. You can manipulate the media or influence them if you don’t want to use a word that has a negative connotation.

Are you familiar with the story of how the Russians used Facebook Ads to manipulate the elections? They supposedly spent $100,000 to purchase millions of impressions.

USA Today asked my co-founder, Logan Young, to talk about how this happened.

Facebook is collecting more data than anyone else except the US government, said Logan Young, a vice president of strategy at BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on Facebook ads.

That’s in USA Today. Where did that come from? How does someone just get quoted by USA Today?

Ads Preferences in Google and Facebook

Imagine you’re playing a virtual car racing game where Jordan has a Ferrari, and I have a Lamborghini. Google will take that, and they will show Lamborghini and Ferrari’s ads which are not relevant. That is just what we happen to choose in the game.

What is more important is that he is a student at WSU and likes to do photography. He and his wife probably want to start a business. That is more relevant. The things in his profile are more relevant to what you would serve in an ad than whatever keyword there might be. There is no keyword in your posts.

Facebook is about who you are as a person.

Google and Facebook Ads?

Google is about what you’re searching for and not who you are. Facebook is about who you are and not about what you want. So, that is how you combine search and social. That is like great taste, and you need both for good results.

How We Built Ad Servers at Yahoo?

We built an ad server that sucked in all your data. We had over a hundred times more data than Cambridge Analytica. So, it’s funny that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are getting caught up because they got all this data. We had over a hundred times more data than those. None of us was going to jail.

Of course, they cannot track any of that because that was ten years ago. So, we took that data and injected it into ads. We had to build our ad server because no ad technology could pull in your information and inject it into the ad on the fly. So, every single ad was personalized to who you were. No ad server on the planet could do that back then. And we built it, and we learned so much about it. 

Do We Have Any Privacy Now?

Facebook can listen to what is on your phone, just like Google is listening. A friend of mine has a shirt that says,

“The NSA, the only government agency that is listening.”

But Facebook and Google are also listening. We are beyond the days of what will happen when they have all our data that occurred 20 years ago.

Using Media to Build Influence for Personal and Business Levels

We got into the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and all this stuff. Ten-plus years ago when we made all this money on Facebook.

When we made tons of money on Facebook, we did the whole media tour. We took those articles and those videos and then boosted that to other journalists, giving us more media attention. We have continued to boost that even up until today. We could do nothing like we discussed in the workshop and continue building a presence.

What is “Greatest Hit”?

Think about where you might have something from five or ten years ago. The idea is, “The greatest hits live forever.” What are your greatest hits? What is your experience that you can share? It could be a long time ago. Most people say, “This thing happened five years ago.” I would say, it is even better.

What Can I Do to Be Able to Use Facebook as a “Multiplier”?

Imagine that I gave you a machine, and whatever you put inside the machine, close the lid and press the button. It gives you ten times whatever you put in there. Would you like that kind of machine? What would you stick inside that machine? Money, jewelry, and valuable things, right?

Because you put a $10 bill inside the machine, press the button. And then suddenly, you get ten $10 bills. You would not put a piece of poop in there. That would be dumb. So, why does that matter? Because everything is becoming more competitive on Facebook. There is more content, exponentially competing for your attention.

Therefore, if you put out the same quality of content you’ve always been putting out, you are going to get hammered. People complain,

“Oh! My stuff is not being seen on Facebook. They’re forcing me to advertise. I cannot keep up.” It is a strategy of someone who’s going to lose or is already losing and is never going to be able to recover.

I am very optimistic about Facebook and Google becoming more and more competitive. The algorithms have to chew through more stuff, and fewer items make it to the top. So, what makes it to the top? Things that pass an even higher bar.

If these other people are complaining, if your content is stronger, it will eliminate everybody else’s. It is fantastic. We see the reach increasing. We see engagement and profit increasing for people making one-minute videos and boosting them for a dollar a day. Are you doing that?

Whenever I hear someone complain,

“Oh! I cannot generate leads on Facebook.”

I smile. I am like, “Stay away from Facebook.” I do not want more competition, which is good for us. The more you think that it’s not possible to drive sales on Facebook, the more I smile about that, and the way to do it is through inception.

Personal Branding: Let the People Work for You.

I do not believe we should work on our personal brands. People would say,

“What, Dennis? I thought it was all about personal branding. You’re supposed to be like going live all the time.”

Chris Strub and these other people said you are supposed to be like some social media person with a phone on all the time. I said, “No, you should not be working on your own personal brand. You must get other people to talk about you.”

What is more powerful than me saying I’m good at Facebook ads or someone saying,

“Dennis is really good at Facebook ads.”

Actual Authority and Implied Authority

There’s a difference between actual authority and implied authority. Actual authority is you have the expertise to get something done. You have a checklist. You know how to build websites, do photography, bake chocolate chip cookies, or whatever knowledge you have. You are the real deal.

Implied authority is people think that you’re good. You have the microphone because you’re on CNN, whatever these kinds of things. So, I believe it’s more important to have the perception of authority because if people do not think you are the real deal, it does not matter what you can do.

Dollar a Day, Facebook Ads
Implied Authority

You will need both, but you must first start with the implied authority. When people perceive you to be good at what you do, which drives inbound marketing. They trust you, and then they can hire you. And then it’s about whether you can deliver, whether your product does what it says it is. Then it generates word-of-mouth, and it generates all these other things.

I believe implied authority comes before actual authority. It is more important, which then encourages fraudulent people. So, you see someone speaking on a big stage, and they are with other famous people. They have some case study that is shown in a format that looks like it is on CNN or the American Marketing Association is sharing it; that is all the perceived authority.

You have got to do all the necessary things. That is why I like perceived authority. There’s Logan on CNN and all these kinds of things. All those things are perceived authority, even though we are probably not the types who are constantly taking selfies here.

Logan Young on CNN
Logan Young

You have to be willing to have. If you’re not doing it, you have to have other people handling your PR for you because you do not want to feel like you are the type where you’re self-promoting and chef speeding and trying to be like a motivational speaker. Look, I am not trying to be one of those.

I’m only telling you this from an inception standpoint to show you, behind the scenes, what it looks like when you want to build up other people’s brands.

What is a Personal Brand?

It’s the sum of what you stand for encapsulated in your why, how, and what videos. Different stories that show what you believe in, how to demonstrate expertise and the things you sell. So, you can make money to afford to pay for all the promotions you need for everything else.

When you take your WHY, HOW, and WHAT videos, you can make nine one-minute videos to shoot them all at once. Just put that stuff out there and boost it daily for a dollar a day.

Target the people that you know are going to resonate with your videos. So, you can generate the perceived authority. You’ve got to have the perceived authority first, not just tons of fake likes.

If you want to reach someone, you want to build inception, and you do not know them, you can retweet their stuff. Therefore, their authority becomes your authority on the topics you care about. That sequences into what you’re selling. Everyone here has to sell something to make money. If you do not make money, you cannot afford to fund the rest of this machine.

As you start making better videos and interviewing more people, as you go from a B-list celebrity to an A-list celebrity, how do you leverage up? How do you keep things going?

You start boosting the interviews where you’re not even talking about yourself. You’re acting like a journalist. So, the best way to get on CNN or the LA Times is to act like a reporter.

Instead of talking about myself, I will interview Nora and ask her about her expertise because then she will share that, and I will share her stuff, and I will boost it to her audience. So, what can I do to uplift other people? To interview them and to incept their audience.

The Best Marketing is “Thank You”

The best marketing we can do is to elevate other people because word-of-mouth marketing starts with you saying thank you, which is the most powerful thing you can do in business. Find a way to do that systematically. We hire young adults, who are way cheaper than hiring other folks.

Our entire marketing strategy is to take care of other people. Phil said that I am a giver. I am a very selfish giver. Because I know that if we invest in people like Christian, these people are not like spies or double agents, they eventually make their way into these other companies and bring you along. That is the ultimate word-of-mouth. It is not getting rich quickly. It is a get-rich-slow strategy that I’ve shared with you.

Learn more about Dollar a Day and How To Run Facebook Ads Effectively

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.

You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.

You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.