Matt Smith is a corporate office refugee who made a decision to take on the world of online advertising by the horns. He’s now the proud founder of Snapvertising – where he’s constantly teaching and pulling the curtain on Snapchat advertising secrets, tactics, and leveraging on a fairly “untouched” traffic source. Traveling all over the globe with his wife and daughter, we were recently able to catch up with Matt in Madrid for a short interview on how to leverage on the most stable platform today and generate consistent cash flow with ease.
<< On your website, you’ve mentioned your transformation from “a ‘sad’ corporate office worker to enjoying the stability of running ads on a virgin platform.” Where did you get started?
Yeah, what they call ‘The hero’s journey’ is what we need to talk about. I started off in a traditional 8-5 corporate job, and I had a baby like two years ago, and I kickstarted a lot of stuff and thinking more about where I want to be 40 years from now, how do I want my daughter to remember me, and how do I want to structure our family. Both my parents worked really hard and I didn’t get to see them a lot, to be honest.
I was working at a Human Resources type of role, really boring and not a lot of creative freedom to do what I wanted. I started seeing people with internet money and internet marketing and I was like “what is that?”.
People I saw on the beach, or something, typing away with their computer but are able to make money, and I just wrote it off as a scam, people out there are just scamming people, and that’s not for me. I’m the hard worker… and I just decided like what do I have to lose, you know? I don’t want to be in my office job for the next 30 or 40 years. I want more freedom to travel; I want more freedom to be with my daughter and for my wife to be with our daughter. I started listening and reading everything I could, watching YouTube videos, talking to friends I knew were doing this. I tried to absorb as much as I could. I’m a true sponge and that’s what made me successful. It just slowly led from Facebook to now Snapchat.
<< If you could put this in a time-frame, how long since you quit your job to where you are now?
It’s been like a year and a half, a year and 10 months since I quit, so I’m fairly new in this industry.
I would say it took me like a month where I was at my job and a month after I started looking for all this stuff. I made $1200 in one day while I was working on this UK funeral insurance lead generation campaign on Facebook and I was like “holy crap!”. It was an amazing feeling. All the stress went away, and I was like “oh, I can make a living doing this.” I could kind of see the new direction I’m going to be taking my life and it snowballed since then.
<< Why Snapchat to begin with?
Snapchat seemed the most similar to what I was doing on Facebook. They’re both social channels, both channels are in between people communicating with friends or trying to catch up with friends and just be social. I feel like my experience fits well with that.
I’m good at creating short videos and grabbing attention right away and grabbing attention away from pictures of friends out at a party or pictures of babies, you know? Whatever’s on your Facebook or Snapchat feed. I just look at them as very similar. They are similar, but there are a few differences.
There is somewhat of a learning curve with Snapchat. You can’t take the same ads on Facebook and make them successful on Snapchat. That is one reason. The second reason I would say was that I see the ‘writing on the wall’ with Facebook. It took me a little bit, but I saw where affiliate marketing was not going to be growing as much on Facebook as I feel like it would be growing on Snapchat. Snapchat is a newer platform with fewer regulations, and they really need money at this point. They want affiliate marketers’ money.
<< How long do you think Snapchat will remain a marketing “goldmine”? What happens when the competition grows?
Yeah, well then, it’s time to pack my bags and find the next one, right?
I mean, it could happen, and I still think that Snapchat is in its early years, circa Facebook in 2012 and 2014, and I think there is a lot of room for more users to join Snapchat. I think there are going to be plenty of eyeballs for advertisers to reach in the near future.
But, that’s a valid point. This is how networks tend to go. They accept a lot of the smaller guys and there’s a lot of easy money to be made by cheap traffic basically. As time goes on, they tighten up their controls and push some of the smarter guys out and the big players eat everybody up. I still think there’s, at the very least, a year and a half of real solid money to be made with Snapchat. I think that it’s so new and there’s so much room to grow. It’s such a new platform.
<< Are there any misconceptions about running ads on Snapchat nowadays?
I hear about all these misconceptions as I’m starting to teach more about Snapchat and speak about it. I try to remember what my misconceptions were because I had heard about Snapchat years ago and I didn’t go on it because I was like “that’s only teenagers and they don’t have any money and they’re not going to be applicable to my offers.” I found the complete opposite. I’m targeting people ages 25+ – 35+ and there are so many older people joining Snapchat that it’s just not a fair comparison anymore.
Another misconception that I get a lot is that people don’t convert, or they don’t buy. I don’t think people have realized how much Snapchat has really improved their pixel, their targeting, and their overall ad tools. Their ad platform has grown so much more to be like Facebook, AdWords, and these more advanced platforms. Those are two big misconceptions. I guess I have heard about it costs so much and it’s expensive and that’s the falsest statement I’ve ever heard. I’ve never been on a platform that brings a better bang for your buck. CPMs right now for me is like $2 to $3 and I’m running one campaign in a country where it costs 90 cents for a CPM to reach a thousand people basically. It’s really just one of the cheapest platforms you can get on and the people that are on there are engaged and they really enjoy the platform. There’s a core group of Snapchatters that that’s their home, their base and it’s so cheap to get in that home right now. I don’t know why more people aren’t’ taking advantage of it.
<< Tell us about your Snapvertising training course. Where can people find it?
The course is a combination of everything that I’ve used to make over $400,000 on the platform in the past. It’s just for people that really want the most premium information they can get on Snapchat.
I’d say the easiest way to get initiative if you’re not familiar with Snapchat is not to get the course right away. Go over to our Snapvertising group on Facebook. Just a free group that we run with a lot of free information and a great community of Snapchat media buyers. If you do want to get the course and you’re ready to learn the targeting and the bidding I use and all that, go to snapvertising.io. I’ve had a great response from it so far, and it felt great. There are so many people that are benefiting from it right now.
<< What do you think the trends are for 2019?
I’m not an oracle by any means. I’m a marketer. I give people what they want. I react to the marketplace and trying to place ads and use whatever system is good for me right now. I don’t try to look too much in the future. But if I did, I really do think that Facebook is going to continue to contract and I feel like advertising on there is going to become more and more difficult for affiliate marketers.
It’s going to be a constant cat-and-mouse game where they try to police more advertisers and make them tougher and shut down more accounts. And it’s just going to become more frustrating. I really think that’s going to drive a lot of people in our sub-side of affiliate marketers and e-commerce to other platforms like Snapchat and Quora and Pinterest. These kind of mid-tier ones right now are going to continue to grow. I really think the golden age of Facebook advertising is passing right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter to be broken up in the future and be more regulated heavily.
<< What is the best tip or tactic you would give marketers in general?
I would say, try to be creative.
We can always get better at the media-buying and data and stuff and machines are going to help a lot with that in the future, but if you can always be thinking of new angles, go left where everyone else is going right, that’s going to give you a huge advantage. It’s something that I’ve used throughout my short career to being successful.
<< And what is the biggest mistake they should avoid?
I think the biggest mistake is to follow blind tips of like “this is a hot offer…” and I’m just going to copy someone else creative and run basically. I think that is a huge mistake!
I also think there are a lot of mistakes within Snapchat where people take the creative that has worked on Facebook or that they have seen on Facebook, Google, and these other networks and try to put them into Snapchat; they’re going to lose money doing it that way. People aren’t going to wipe up; it’s not going to connect with Snappers. It’s a different culture on the ad platform.
There’s also so much in the course about choosing the right targeting, and this is how you can bid and not blow through your budget, but also outbid a lot of people, everything from being compliant so you don’t waste your time. Those are just a few small mistakes a lot of people make when they jump on Snapchat.
<< You have spoken at different events, including GeekWeek TLV. Where can we expect to see you speaking next?
I’m still planning my public speaking schedule. My public information is out there for people that want to get it. I’m really addicted to these small masterminds and small get-togethers of people because there have such high-quality people and it’s great to get their information. And that’s not to say that I’ll never speak at an affiliate summit or affiliate world conferences, I’ll do that. Right now, I’m more focused on the private training that I’m doing.