If you do this you are NOT an Entreprenuer

Let me preface this conversation with a little anecdote. (My apologies for being so vague but I am redacting any names to protect those mentioned. So let’s refer to the person in question as Bartholomew.) This past weekend I was approached by a man who works for a “marketing agency” which also sells term life insurance. When I met Bartholomew he was very apprehensive to tell me exactly where he worked or what he specifically did, but Bartholomew repeated that they were in marketing, which we all know is extremely vague.

After digging up his Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn I come across the name of the actual company Bartholomew worked for and looked up this brand’s Facebook as well as their website. This company in question uses term life insurance policies as their product. The company’s recruitment video starts by explaining how much more money you could make by being an “entrepreneur” and how the president himself is an entrepreneur who has traveled the world and done all these amazing things thanks to the opportunities brought to him through the financial industry…

Further investigation led me to a half dozen stories or so of people who were approached to be a part of the company, or even signed up for it. They go on to explain how this company does their on-boarding process and start performing sales. Before starting, you must first purchase your own term life policy. The stories go on to explain how after they bought the policy they were left to their own accord and had no further training to perform their own sales. The main source of income for their sales people is actually at these recruitment meetings where people who were just brought on last week to sell the ones this week. Not only do I find that as a terrible business practice, but I get even angrier when someone tries to pass this business model as “being your own boss” or as being an “entrepreneur”. It’s a complete farce.

The amount of times I have been approached to “become an entrepreneur” or “own my own business” and sell someone’s BS product and then sign up others underneath me is way too high. If your business tells people to sign up with them and “be your own boss” you are not your own boss.

At the end of the day I have nothing but respect for anyone who puts in the hustle to reach their goals. If you are at the top of the pyramid you make amazing money, but I don’t see it as being a sustainable business model, nor do I find it terribly moral. There are a handful of companies that I have yet to find any complaints about when it comes to the authenticity of their business that I cannot complain about such as Primerica, but I have zero respect for the ones who thrive on individuals in financial rough spots to give the rest of their money in hopes to solve their problems.

“A real entrepreneur is one who takes chances, makes mistakes, puts their own skin in the game…”

A real entrepreneur should be trying to sell their product/service. A real entrepreneur shouldn’t be promoting how much money their employee’s make. A real entrepreneur is one who takes chances, makes mistakes, puts their own skin in the game to invest in a service or product to then bring to market. If you just signed a paper and paid some on-boarding fee of $600-$2500 to get started you are NOT an entrepreneur. You are in fact an employee to whomever you just signed your life away to. A common misconception from others is that being a business person is easy or simple which it really isn’t. I feel as though the general public doesn’t understand the stress and pressure brought on by investing your own hard earned money into an idea that may or may not work. They don’t see the hours and days put in networking with people to help make your ideas happen. They don’t realize the sheer amount of work going on behind the scenes beyond the obvious. Real entrepreneurs and business owners have to deal with staffing, payroll, inventory, HR, marketing, product and brand development, financial growth, social media, and of course sales.

There is so much more to being an entrepreneur and business owner rather than just paying an on-boarding fee and signing up others to do the same. I personally absolutely despise MLM, “network marketing”, or any other type of pyramid scheme. Keep your term life insurance and energy drinks…



Geofilters and You

Within the last month Snapchat has gone and opened the floodgates for anyone to submit a custom geo-filter for their venue or next event. Since launch we have gotten a ton of questions that we want to make sure are addressed and perhaps throw in a few little tips for you when planning your next campaign!

1. What is Snapchat

Custom Prom Geofilter
DJ MattW and Nick posing with their custom filter made by FilterGhost

Snapchat, for those who do not know, is a platform that started in 2011 as a way to send pictures and videos that would disappear in just a few moments. Sure it definitely had a somewhat “risque” past, but it has since grown up to become one of the top publishing and messaging platforms for people ages 12-23. You can send pictures of videos with text, emojis, lenses, and ridiculous “lenses” to people directly for up to 10 seconds before they vanish. Alternatively, you can post the same content to your story where it sits for 24 hours for all your friends to see.

2.Why should I care about it?

Great question, and frankly we don’t blame you for asking, but Snapchat (as cliche as it sounds) is the new frontier. You have a system in place that basically guarantees that your potential client/customer will see your content. You see, I am that guy who hates having notifications. I will always view a Facebook notification in order to make that little red number disappear, swipe away any card on my phone in order to keep my menu clean, and I will do the same to my Snapchat feed and stories. By posting consistently engaging content that portrays an entertaining or educational story, you will have your followers coming back often looking for more laughs, behind the scenes looks, and perhaps even deals on products or services.

3. What is a “geofilter”?

A geofilter is an image overlay that you can put over your “snap” depending on your geographical location. So if you are in downtown Chicago, you can put the name of the city over your snap to show that you are there, or (and this is where you as an advertiser come in) you can have a fence drawn around your next big event and whomever is snapping from inside it can use a filter featuring YOUR brand! Then when it is all said and done, Snapchat will email you helpful metrics telling you how many times the filter was used, and how many times it was seen.

4. Tell me more…

Let’s say you own a bbq restaurant and you have a big pig roast coming up that you want to . You can have a filter with a cute comical pig saying “Big Billy Bob’s Pig Roast 2016.” Anyone at the event can swipe to the left a couple times and use the filter to show their friends how much fun they are having. Alternatively let’s say you are DJing a high school prom. You can have the school’s name on a starry night sky filter with a dancing silhouette filter and “Prom 2016” below it and sell it back to the school for a small profit, or you can throw your logo on there for brand activation and give it away as a value added free add-on.

Metrics from a custom snapchat geofilter
With only 140 uses, this filter reached over 7,000 views.

5. So I should jump on this?

ABSOLUTELY! We have never seen an advertising platform this cheap before. You can spend $100 on design, $10 in getting the filter live, and (depending on the event/use) get somewhere around 200 uses of the filter and reach upwards of 10,000 people (Using round arbitrary numbers here…). For $110 that is insane! We have always been a fan of Facebook’s platform for its power and affordability, but Snapchat has something big on their hands. We already have been working with clients in using Snapchat for brand activation, and we cannot wait to see how this platform evolves!

Instagram is adding an algorithm and IT’S OKAY!

Instagram has not only added 60 second videos to their feeds and view counts to promote a more aggressive approach to the mobile video movement that Facebook started, but now has also gone the ways of their Facebook overlords to implement a *gasp* algorithm! On top of all that, you might have seen a lot of “Turn me on for Instagram notifications” posts in the last 48 hours, and that is the same sort of people who went to beg people to turn on notifications for their business’s pages on Facebook about a year or so ago.

But what is really going on here?

Instagram is avoiding the same problem that Facebook almost hit, and the same problem Twitter is now trying to fix (which might be too late, but we will see). We as social media users are pumping out more and more content each and every day, and there is so much content being pushed out that we as consumers don’t even pay attention as much anymore. We just keep on scrolling.

Twitter currently is toying with possible algorithms and other new features like events and user specific notifications, and honestly people are being too skeptical. While the popularity and importance of Twitter as a platform can be discussed in a whole different blog post, the fact of the matter is that information saturation is a real problem we face, and it is time to streamline what we want.

How Facebook does it… (In simple terms)

Facebook saw the writing on the wall early, and uses an algorithm that places what it believes is most important to you at the top of your feed. They take in information such as your searches, who you talk to the most, what sorts of posts you like/comment/share, and what pages you like. All this information is used to provide you with the most valuable posts possible.

Think about it, if you were to see every post from every friend and page you like on Facebook you would never use the site. You’d be bombarded with Uncle Fred’s political rants, Aunt Sue’s knitting fetish, and tons of crappy “BUY NOW! 10% off ads” from pages who don’t know how to make a proper ad… And at the end of the day Facebook is in business to make money off of ad sales. If you as a user were to leave because you didn’t see any value in returning to the website, they are out of business, and no more Facebook.

So Instagram is doing this for you!

Don’t freak out here. All you will see is more things that you actually want to see at the top of your feeds, and the rest of it near the bottom. No need to freak out and set notifications for all your friends when they post their next Starbucks selfie.

If anything this promotes people to put more thought and effort into their photos and videos. Maybe we will start to see more natural beauty and less sushi pics, more street art and less duck faces, more real people and less latte art. Instagram knows that if they didn’t do something soon, they would be in the same position Twitter is in trying to fight for users to stay, and I can promise you this is for the greater good for all of us.

TL;DR: Watch this video from a good friend of mine Erik Zachary

For those who don’t have the time to deal with my lackluster writing, or would rather watch a video check this out:

The closest thing we’ll get to a Dislike Button

This morning Facebook rolled out “Reactions” to all users worldwide on desktop and mobile. Beginning last October, Facebook was testing hundreds of different extensions of the like button, and then they settled on the six reactions you see today. After many focus groups, and months of testing Mark Zuckerburg seems to be pleased with the results. “Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!”(Mark Zuckerburg).  Think of these as the like button, but with more context. Now user’s can give a more detailed reaction to any post and not worry about “liking” a post about your friend getting a bad score on a test, or being worried that simply liking that status that your roommate got engaged wasn’t enough.

To use the feature on desktop, hover over the “like” button on any post. When hovering, six emoji will pop up and be animated. Available emoji are Like, Love, Haha, Sad, Angry, and Wow. On mobile, long press the like button and the same options will hover and animate themselves.

It will be very interesting to see how these can be used in a business sense. Now, rather than looking at raw engagement numbers, we can see sentiment towards each post. (Not yet really, but I can only imaging they will report these numbers soon to pages.) Suddenly it will be much more evident seeing if your following isn’t liking your direction of post. We for sure will love experimenting with this new feature as it matures, and we hope to see you too!

Facebook HATES it when you do this…

If you found this post on our Facebook page, consider yourself part of a lucky few! Facebook in the last week have been showing less link posts in feeds and pushing more people to video… Let me explain.

When you post to your business page on Facebook there are a few different types of posts, and believe it or not, Facebook also prefers certain types of posts over others.

Facebook Post Types

  • Text Post – Text posts are pretty self explanatory. Whenever you simply type into the status box (or just enter plain text into the Power Editor because you are cool) with no links, pictures, or any other types of media, it is a text post. On pages these rank the lowest by far as they simply are not intriguing. Please post in a bit more effort than a text post!
  • Picture Post – These posts are identical to a text post, except you are embedding an image directly into the post. This is NOT a link to any other site or image host. You uploaded the photo directly to Facebook.
  • Video Post – Videos are KILLING it right now. Facebook has its sights set on YouTube and are pushing videos to your feed like crazy in effort to keep people on their site longer. Keep in mind that these posts are NOT links to a YouTube video, but uploading the video directly to Facebook. Definitely jump on this if you haven’t already!
  • Link Post – That leaves us with link posts. If you ever link out to a video, picture, gif, article, blog (like how this article was on Facebook), or anything else. It is categorized as a “link post”, but Facebook for some reason doesn’t like these anymore lately.

Facebook obviously wants to keep people on their website, and constantly monitor usage and other analytics to make educated decisions when moderating their user’s news feeds. They absolutely do not show every post your business page posts to all of your followers every time. (Please stop making discount and “BUY NOW!” posts…) They want the user to see just what they want, and reward brands that do so. This is why the more people engage with your posts, the more of your followers will see it.

Right now people are simply highly engaged with videos, and so now they are pushing content creators and brand pages to start posting more of them to help all users on the site longer. Now while a good portion of you reading this right now might be fuming and feeling like ?, if you think about it, this is a great thing for everyone. The more value people find on Facebook, and the more time they spend on it, the more opportunities you have to sell your brand.

Because of this huge push for videos, link posts now suffer. They have been the most utilized post of any page, and this will be a hard pill to swallow, but it is time to think outside the box…

So what should I do?

Besides working on producing some video content, the easiest work around is to link to articles and other pages in the comments of the post. Try your best to use a video clip of some sort, or a picture in the main post, and then direct the viewer to look for the full link in the comments. This seems a little odd and messy, especially considering that highly commented threads now show posts based on “top comments” versus chronological order, but it is the best that we can recommend at the time of this post.

Don’t worry, we are monitoring this heavily and will let you all know how to best overcome this soon. If you have any creative ideas share them in the comments and let us know!

10 February Marketing Ideas

It’s the start of a new month and we’ve got some fresh marketing ideas for you to promote your business. There’s more to February than just hearts and candy! Here’s a list of 10 marketing and blog ideas for February.


1. Valentine’s Day Promotions

There are countless Valentine’s Day promotions that you can do this month:

  • Fitness centers: Host a special Valentine’s Day class for couples or a post-Valentine’s Day workout to burn off calories from candy and chocolate!
  • Massage Therapists and Spas: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to run a special offer on massage services. Couples massages, a day at the spa, and a chocolate facial can all be used for Valentine’s Day promotions.
  • Restaurants: Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this month and is the perfect time for a couples cooking class! Come up with a special menu of aphrodisiacs foods to ignite some romance in your budding chefs!
  • Flower shops: This is your time to shine! Think outside of the bouquet and offer customers something other than overpriced, out of season roses.
  • Gift and retail stores: Come up with a Valentine’s Day gift guide – it’s the perfect time to promote some new merchandise. Post gift guides on your blog or in an email blast to give customers ideas for what to buy their sweetheart.

2. Valentine’s Day Graphics

February 14 is Valentine’s Day – show your social media and email marketing some love with Valentine’s Day themed graphics. Hearts, candy, and love are good things to use to catch attention from customers! Use holiday graphics to spruce up your Facebook marketing and Twitter profiles but they’re even more useful when combined with Valentine’s Day promotions.


Need some help with graphics? Contact us for help!

3. Heart Disease Awareness Month

It makes sense that the month of Valentine’s Day is also Heart Disease Awareness Month. If your business is focused on health and wellness, this is a great marketing opportunity for you. Fitness centers and gyms can partner with a local health center for heart disease awareness or screenings.

Host special classes focusing on cardiovascular activity or write informative blog posts about heart health and risk factors. Use this time to market your business by educating your customers to help them lead healthy lives. Any business can sponsor a Valentine’s Day race – there are usually fun runs or 5Ks going on around the holiday and sponsoring one will get your business name out in the community.

4. Black History Month

February is Black History Month and the perfect opportunity to highlight prominent leaders in your industry. Black lawyers, politicians, scientists, artists, educators, and athletes have shaped American society. Take some time to reflect on those who have shaped the your business industry.

5. Children’s Dental Health Month

Children’s Dental Health may sound like a boring topic but it can be a great month for marketing your small business. Dentists can certainly have a field day with this one, but other businesses can use this opportunity to teach parents and students about the importance of dental health. Daycares, fitness centers, and churches can host special classes with families about the importance of going to the dentist. Perhaps one of the parents is a dentist and would like to come to answer questions for kids.

This not only helps your business interact with the community, but it helps local dentists market themselves all while educating parents and children about dentistry. This is a word of mouth referral marketing technique that will give you something to smile about!

6. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – February 7, 2016

In the middle of Children’s Dental Health Month is Ice Cream for Breakfast day! Everyone loves ice cream! Use this quirky holiday to market your business. Held on the first Saturday of February, this Ice Cream for Breakfast Day can be a fun marketing promotion for your bakery, ice cream shop, or restaurant! Although it is supposed to be on a Saturday, you can do this any day of the week. Invite customers to come in to eat ice cream for breakfast – it’s a fun way to interact with families and do something new to promote your business.

7. Grammy Awards – February 15, 2016

The 57th annual Grammy Awards will be held in February. This is a great opportunity for engaging with your customers on social media. You’ve seen the video of a police officer singing Taylor Swift – get your employees together for your favorite Grammy nominated song and share it on social media!

8. It’s a Leap Year! – February 29, 2016

Every four years is a leap year, and 2016 is one of those. February has an extra day in it, which makes it a great time to remind your followers to do something new and exciting since they have another day they didn’t plan on having…

9. President’s Day – February 15, 2016

President’s Day is famous for sales so use it to your advantage. Most schools are off for President’s Day which makes it a great day to hold a family friendly activity at your fitness center.

10. Mardi Gras – February 9, 2016

Mardi Gras marks the beginning of Lent but down in New Orleans it’s party time! Host a Fat Tuesday party or sale at your business. Get customers in on the fun by giving a discount to anyone who comes in wearing a mask or beads!

Do you have any other good marketing ideas for February? Share them in the comments below!

I hate the word ‘Potential’

*Warning rant ahead*

Hear me out on this, but I personally hate the word “potential.” I have heard this term thrown around countless times to various people and organizations. Singers, businesses, DJs, incubator groups, artists, and more. They have all said/heard the word and I cringe every time I hear it.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.01.30 PM
Google is just so convenient.

According to Google potential means, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.” Key word here is ‘future’ because 99.9% of the time I hear someone throw around this diabolical word, nothing every becomes of the idea that was once praised for having ‘potential’. No one does anything to make that something happen in the future.

Every time someone uses the word to describe their business model, their career, or their future they just bask in the rays of the term’s power and leave it at that. They think that potential automatically leads to success without the need to put in any of the work that real success requires. Entitlement is running rampant in today’s society.

Success comes to those who work for it

The team here at Eliix has been extremely fortunate to work with some of the hardest working business owners we’ve ever met. From the tenacity of Tony and Mona at Top Gear Powersports, to the straight hustle of Drew over at MDi-co, to the pure dedication of Lisa at Fields of Gold Farms, we have met some incredible people who not only were once told that their ideas have potential, but they worked to materialize that potential into success.

Lisa Black of Fields of Gold Farm with her amazing goat’s milk gelato. (It is nothing short of amazing btw)

Lisa really believes in her business, and despite all odds, when she was told she has ‘potential’ she will stop at nothing to achieve success. She has been shot down multiple times by investors yet she still perseveres and keeps hustling putting in countless hours on the farm to keep it running and then more time at night marketing and doing paperwork. She is the true embodiment of the word hustle and more people should be like her.

I love the word hustle

Hustle is a word that often gets laughed at or pushed to the side for being too casual of a word, but in honesty, it is something incredibly vital to staying in business. Hustle is when someone doesn’t have a 9-5, but a 6AM till 2AM. Hustle is when someone doesn’t just stop when they achieve their sales goals, they crush them. Hustle is when someone ends up working a temporary part time job in order to make capital to fund their start-up that they work on at night because they couldn’t afford it otherwise. Hustle is working damn hard, and more people need to stop saying the word potential, because without the hustle and putting in work you will never succeed and fulfill that potential you thought you had.

[/end rant]

How to make $60k in two weeks with Facebook Ads

People always ask me, “Do Facebook Ads actually work?” and I always reply with a resounding “YES!” But it requires proper strategy, implementation, and testing. Facebook has the best advertising platform out there right now at the time of this writing. But let’s face it you want to know how to make $60k in two weeks through Facebook because you clicked that link said you can do it, and want to see how this works.


This past spring Eliix was contacted by a bull riding event who was stopping in Chicago for a show at a large 7000 person venue. So there was quite a bit of work to be done. Tickets for the event were about $20-60 per ticket, and throughout the entire campaign we had to be in constant contact with the box office to double check out numbers with actual ticket sales. It was found that ~75% of people who clicked the ads on Facebook went through and bought a ticket, and at the end of this campaign we helped to sell 3000 tickets through Facebook ads (Hence the $60k).

How we did it

Before attempting to push out a large campaign like this you must plan everything out. Don’t just boost some random posts or promote an event page by throwing some money behind it. Facebook has a full arsenal of tools and a pile of information that is just waiting to be tapped into that most people do not even realize!

We first discussed the target market. Not only those who currently attends the shows, but also who they WANTED to attend the shows? Our client had two tiers of tickets. One for VIP and one for general admission, but when we learned that there is a high latino attendance for the event we broke down the target into three target markets. Higher income people who live in more affluent suburbs in the area who are horse people, frequently attend events like this, and have higher than average spending habits will see an ad for the VIP passes. Middle class income from broader neighborhoods, who have an interest in horses, rodeo, country music, who speak US english (There is a difference in Facebook targeting over UK english!), and a few other things saw the general admission ads. And finally we took the general admission ads and switched out the language to Spanish, moved the target location to a different area where this audience frequently came from, as well as replace some of the terms with their Spanish counterpart to target the latino audience for general admission sales.

One of the biggest things that discourages people who run Facebook ads is they never see the return they want. “I put $20 behind an ad and nothing happened!” Well Mr./Mrs. Theoretical, you only ran one ad for the campaign? You must ALWAYS be testing!

Here are all the ads we ran just for the VIP tickets:


Notice that for just this one ad set (audience) we ran 23 individual ads. Throughout the entire campaign we were switching out photos, titles, descriptions, locations, and call to action buttons in a ton of different combinations to test and see what worked and what didn’t. If something wasn’t working (you can see quite a few didn’t receive any clicks) we stopped giving that particular ad money and tried something new. Here are the results of the 15 other ads we used for both Spanish and General admission.

Spanish Ad Results


General Admission Ad Results


[Quick Review!]

Reach = Number of individuals who view ad
Frequency = How many times those individuals viewed that ad
Impressions = Total number of views on ad
Clicks = Clicks on the ad in total (includes multiple clicks by one person)
Unique clicks = Clicks on ad (excludes multiple clicks by one person)
Click Through Rate (CTR) = Clicks/Impressions*100
Unique Click Through Rate (uCTR) = Unique Clicks/Reach*100
Spent = Total spent on ad
CPC = Cost per click
CPuC = Cost per unique click

But wait… you ran more ads for VIP than GA and Spanish combined?!

If you notice there were a lot of iteration of the VIP ad that failed and returned no results, so we had to run more iterations of the ad to ensure success whereas the GA and Spanish ads performed just fine on their own.

How to I make this work for my business?

When running Facebook ad campaigns there are a things you should always remember…

  • Know your customer! Facebook sits on one of the largest piles of information on the public and you should not be afraid to use it. Know where your customer lives, know their age, know their marital situation, know their occupation, education, income, food preferences, drink preferences, vacationing habits, etc…
  • Don’t be a used car salesman. Facebook is a place people go to to check up on their friend’s and family’s day. They don’t plan on going there to buy something. So your ads should never say “BUY NOW!” or “SALE THIS WEEKEND ONLY!” Generate some sort of value, and give people a reason to follow through with your goal. For the rodeo, we ran ads promoting a family fun weekend, and a unique experience. Something beyond “BUY TICKETS!”
  • Build a funnel of value! Pull your customers through your brand by beginning with an ad and ending with a sale. Provide humor, emotion, or education on your Facebook wall, Twitter feed, and other channels to keep people coming back to your brand.
  • Be consistent. You cannot just launch a campaign and expect it to work without any extra effort. Be sure to engage with your fans on all channels at all times.
  • Use ads to reach outside your audience. So many people use ads for just their followers on their page and don’t realize that ads can reach anyone on Facebook. Use that to your advantage.
  • Research! Look at how much it would cost to reach your goals. For the rodeo we worked with a $2000 ad budget.
  • TARGET! Do not be afraid to break your target market into smaller ad sets. We broke the rodeo target into three ad sets and I wouldn’t doubt you couldn’t do the same for your product/service.
  • Test… test… and test some more! Be sure that your money is being used effectively and do not be afraid to run as many as 14 ads for something as simple as gaining likes on your page!