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When to invest in paid ads as a small business ft. That Marketing Girl

Mia from That Marking Girl serves the tea on when is the right time for a small business to invest in paid advertising channels.

We’re chuffed to introduce Mia from The Marketing Girl — welcome to the Stairway blog, Mia!


For our readers who may not have heard of you (yet) could you tell us who you are and what you do?


Hi!! 👋 I’m Mia, I’m the Managing Director at That Marketing Girl (TMG). We are a boutique social media marketing agency that focuses on Facebook and Instagram advertising. We provide management, strategy and consultation services for those wanting support with their Facebook/Instagram marketing.

We have a great team of Social Media experts (Mel and Shaylie) and myself as our Ad Manager. I love being knee deep in ad accounts and up in BDM work as well.

When did you start That Marketing Girl and why?


I started TMG a little over three years ago as a “side hustle”. I helped out family and friends with their social media content – capturing photos, coming up with content calendars, managing accounts and helping with Shopify set ups. 

I bloody loved it! 

It got to the point where I enjoyed working on my “side hustle” clients over that of my full time marketing role, so I bit the bullet, quit my full time marketing gig and started my own business.

The timing was also perfect too as I was really out growing the role I was in and not prepared to commute into the city for work [hahahaha].

I always thought when starting my business that in the worst case scenario, I could pick up a casual role in retail to make ends meet while growing the biz. I am sooo thankful that I didn’t have to — things picked up straight away! #blessed

As a marketer yourself, how have you gone about marketing your own business? Has your approach to marketing changed as your business has grown?


It really has — but to be brutally honest, it’s all been organic and word of mouth. Ironically, I’ve never spent a dollar on ad spend promoting the brand or generating leads. 

Most of our advertising budget has gone to content shoots and time spent internally on our team managing socials to generate more awareness, trust and conversions.

From day one I’ve had a human first approach, putting my face forward as the brand lead and it’s done wonders in building business relationships. 

It’s been a total inbound approach too — I’ve focused on providing value, taking my audience behind the scenes and a ton of authenticity (ughhh I hate that buzz word but you know what I mean!!) and in turn it built a solid community and a bountiful amount of leads. 

I’m not big on harsh advertising – I prefer more subtle, inbound and ethical methods over harsh in your face tactics.

As my team grew however, I had to transition from being “the” marketing girl and face of the brand, to “one of” the marketing girls in our team. This has meant a big change in our social strategy — ensuring we have visual and written comms that convey this, along with updating all comms across the website, proposals; you name it. Things change as you grow a team and this has been the latest evolution of our branding + marketing strategy.

We are actually working on a biiiiiig project to convey this with a bit more of a professional touch — I won’t share details just yet as it’s in the works, but you can expect to hear more about it next year.

Bottom line is, humanising your brand so you’re approachable and relatable, building relationships and fostering networks has been the pillar of our success in terms of marketing. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and how you make others feel. 

That’s why I’m big on our client experience, as it’s often through clients we get word of mouth referrals, or people who’ve followed on Insta and are ready to outsource their efforts after following us.

I know this is like choosing between children BUT if you had to choose…(deep breath) would you only do organic or paid marketing for the rest of your life? 


Oh god, that is a hard question! I would say paid!

It’s a lot more results driven in terms of conversions and this is generally where the majority of our clients want to improve their efforts and grow their businesses. But that’s just me — I’m sure the gals on our team would beg to differ! 

I just love the thrill of throwing an ad budget at something and watching it convert — or the grind behind finding solutions to make something convert! It’s challenging, rewarding and oh so gratifying seeing the big difference you can make in a businesses revenue with their Ads.

One of the things I love about That Marketing Girl is how clearly defined your offerings are. What made you decide to focus on Facebook and Instagram in particular?


NAWWW thank you!! Easy – you can’t be the master of everything — that makes you a generalist, not a specialist. We focus on our zone of genius (FB + Insta marketing) and it gives clients peace of mind that THIS is our expertise and it’s not clouded by 238473285 other marketing platforms in which we have some knowledge in. We’d rather pick our thang and nail it, than be a generalist at everything.

I’m super curious to know more about advertising through Facebook. What do you dig about Facebook and how can people leverage their business through advertising on this particular platform?  


Yasss of course! It’s advertising potential is cray-zayyyy! Firstly it’s the targeting capabilities — it’s wild. You can cater targeting options to everyone in whatever point of the customer journey they’re in. 

That’s how we get granular in our audiences and stellar ROAS (return on ad spend) — by tailoring target, creative, copywriting, offer and landing pages to wherever this person is in the purchase journey. You don’t really get this level of robust targeting in traditional formats like radio, TVC and so on.

I also love how when done correctly, it can be transformative to people’s businesses by providing the option to scale and grow revenue. This is where we see a big impact for our clientele. By scaling campaigns, we generate them more $$$ to spend in other areas of business. 

It doesn’t happen by chance though, it happens by strategy and a BUNCH of other variables like your website performance, eDM automations, social content, offers, product range, payment opinions, gosh you name it – there are a TON of variables. 

Nail them all, and we can get some pretty fab FB ad results (your ads only reflect the overall performance of your sales funnel). I like to be honest and transparent in disclaiming that.

How can a business know when it’s “time” to start investing in paid ads? And (I feel like this one would get asked a lot, so hey ho, here we go) how can a biz owner know whether it’s going to be “worth it” for them? 


No seriously, SUCH a great question! It’s exactly why we have a client criteria on our website before clients enquire about paid ads. You know it’s time to invest in paid ads when…

1. You already have a website that converts at 2-3%

2. You have solid KPIs being met in terms of your websites bounce rate, add to cart rate and cart abandonment rate

3. You already have set up all email automations and regular list send outs

4. You are willing to spend around $50~ a day and cover the cost of the agency’s mgmt fee as well

5. You are willing to continually test

6. You have a great product with lots of social proof and it converts

7. You’re ready to outsource it to an agency that is transparent and can come up with a strategy that includes testing and strategy development — it’s an essential component to the success of your funnel — and be honest when things aren’t working and are willing to tweak and optimise.

With Christmas coming up, I feel like there’s going to be a lot of ads out there to compete with if you’re in the business of eCommerce. How can people capture the attention of their audience and get that conversion process underway? 


Pretty much have EVERYTHING above before you even think about running any offers. Then it comes down to the offer and your site’s user experience. You can send high quality traffic to a website, but if your site sucks, it will not convert. 

So you need all of your foundations rolling then get together a stellar offer, punchy ad creative and short + sharp copy to capture attention.

Also, your warm audiences are KEY! These are your audiences that already have trust in you/it’s underway in terms of development, so they’ll be more likely to convert before your cold does.

You’ve spoken about engagement being the greatest marker of success, so how can a small biz owner with not a lot of time up their sleeve start stirring the engagement pot? 


YAS absolutely! It all starts with understanding your audience. The more you understand them, the more you can tailor a piece of content to hook their attention.

Few tips:

1. Understand your audience inside and out. Think of their pain points, what they would relate to, what would make them laugh or what would pull their heart strings.

2. Come up with content pillars that bait engagement. Then copywriting/graphics that resonate with that audience persona. And accompanying creative. Think about relevant themes, trends or check out your big player competitors for inspo.

3. Make sure you include calls to action that evoke engagement on your feed posts. For example, asking questions, inviting people to comment below, tagging a friend, sharing with someone who can relate, save this for later, share stories etc.

4. On your stories utilising all the features on hand – the polls, sliders, Q&A box, quiz options etc. 

Think your biz could be ready to go the paid advertising route? You can visit Mia over here. Or, take a scroll through TMG’s socials for more tips. 

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