How I Left My Job To Start A $50K/Month Digital Advertising Agency Specialized In Facebook Ads

Published: November 29th, 2020
Brian Meert
Founder, Advertisemint
from Los Angeles
started January 2014
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, my name is Brian, and I started the company AdvertiseMint, a digital advertising agency that specializes in Facebook ads. A lot has changed over the last seven years, and my team and I have been very adamant about helping companies provide and receive the best results possible with the ads that they're running on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

I've started several other businesses in my career, and some of them have done very well and some have failed. I think starting a business is extremely tough, and it takes getting a lot of things right to be able to make it work in today's environment.

With my agency, AdvertiseMint, we’ve been blessed to work with hundreds of clients, helping them grow their results through paid social. Our clients include Coca-Cola, Newegg, Viacom, and Grant Cardone. The agency with one person — me — and has now grown to 25 employees, managing close to $100 million in digital media buys for our clients. Our team has grown, but we are continuing to look for amazing people who want to help our clients get amazing results with digital advertising. We're ranked as the number one Facebook advertising agency on Google, and I'm proud to be the number one Facebook ad consultant on, as well as the author of The Complete Guide for Facebook Advertising, a best-seller on Amazon.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I never really viewed myself as an entrepreneur. If you asked me as a young man the difference between me and Steve Jobs, I would have told you that he had a special ability or gift that I did not have. It wasn't until I got to MBA school that I realized how talented I was in the world of marketing.

When it comes to advertising and marketing, everyone wants the same thing: results. You have to be able to get results or else you'll just lose your clients when they see you can't perform.

In MBA school, I partnered with two friends to start a business called Pocket Goals, which printed clients’ personal goals onto their credit cards. I was in charge of driving traffic to our website, which is when I got started with Google Adwords. I used my cafeteria money to run ads, and during the days when the business made a lot of money, I thought I was the king of the world, and during the days when the business lost money with no conversions, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to eat anymore. I've always taken that mindset with me when I work with clients, making sure every dollar spent on advertising is essential and needed for the business to succeed. I never waste money, and my team always focuses on performance for the companies that we work with.

An experience that helped me become such a good entrepreneur is working at a young age. I was a paperboy at 10 years old, and I was also a janitor throughout high school, where my boss would allow me to get the job done earlier to play basketball with friends. While I made less money at the job, I got in the mindset of getting the job done as quickly as possible because there’s a lot of fun and excitement that can happen afterward. I've always taken that with me throughout my career, which is why I always try to accelerate to get a project done as quickly as possible, not waiting for things like a paycheck.

I came up with the idea for AdvertiseMint after seeing the launch of Facebook's advertising platform, working as digital marketing at a financial company. It was so incredible with all the targeting options. I realized it was going to be enormous in the world of advertising. About a month after its launch, I quit my full-time job and started AdvertiseMint because there weren't a lot of experts or companies that were specializing in the world of Facebook advertising. I wanted to make sure that I could be a leader in that, and we have continued to this day to be a leader in this industry.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

My first goal was to understand how the ad platform worked. When it comes to advertising and marketing, everyone wants the same thing: results. You have to be able to get results or else you'll just lose your clients when they see you can't perform. For the first 12 to 24 months of starting my agency, I worked between 10 to 14 hours a day in Santa Monica. This dedication to learning was what excelled me beyond my competitors. It’s what closed larger accounts because they wanted to work with someone smarter than them.

For AdvertiseMint, I wanted to keep things open and work with all clients. While this wasn't always the easiest, it kept me and my team on our toes regarding every possible campaign within the ad platform. This included campaigns with goals for app installs, e-commerce sales, lead generation, branding, etc. I wanted my team to be decathlon athletes for Facebook, not just good at one segment.

When I started AdvertiseMint, I had nearly 15 years of digital advertising experience. Although I was knowledgeable in Google ads, SEO, web design, blogging, e-commerce, social media, etc., I had to put all of those on hold and focus 100% on Facebook advertising. This is one of the reasons why I believe our agency did so well.

We became the best at what we did, while many of our competitors continued to offer everything. Because we were focused, other agencies began asking us to do work for their clients. Now that we have grown more, we now offer Google Ads management, Amazon Ads management, and TikTok advertising. We also started VideoMint, which helps produce the content we see working best on paid social.

It’s always important to be able to be the best at something. If you can't be the best Facebook ad agency in the world, shoot for the best Facebook ad agency in your city. Once people come to you for one thing and trust you for your services, the conversation about helping them with other areas will happen naturally. In fact, they will most likely ask you about the other areas where they need help. But all of that starts with performance and getting them results in one area, before moving onto other areas.

I realized content would be an important driver for quality leads, so I hired a blogger to help me get content on the site that was related to our area of business. This single aspect is probably the most important decision I made in business that has helped AdvertiseMint grow over the last seven years.

Describe the process of launching the business.

When I first started AdvertiseMint, the main problem was revenue versus expenses. It’s like a chicken-and-egg scenario. To generate more revenue, you need to take on more expenses. They don’t always balance out perfectly. I had previously started two businesses. One was sold and the other failed. For the failed business, the biggest issue was cash flow and revenue. You need to focus on this to keep the business alive. The other option is to reduce your expenses. I worked heavily on both. This means going the extra mile for our clients to ensure they’re happy, always working to close new accounts, and finding ways to keep expenses low while revenue was increasing. Some of these options included working in a shared office space rather than a dedicated office, selling my car to hire another employee, and making sure my priorities were optimized towards revenue.

I started AdvertiseMint on my own and without any partners. I self-funded the company and was confident that investing in myself would be a wise decision. I was smart with funds and eliminated any non-essential expenses. I hired people that were essential to get me to the next level. Many times I would only be able to hire people part-time at first and then bring them on as full time after revenues increased.

I realized content would be an important driver for quality leads, so I hired a blogger to help me get content on the site that was related to our area of business. This single aspect is probably the most important decision I made in business that has helped AdvertiseMint grow over the last seven years.

When it came to getting clients during the early days, I think knowledge helped me overcome most rejections. I knew the ad platform better than anyone else. I could answer every question, and if one came up that I couldn’t answer, I would find the answer before the next morning. You need to be the smartest person in the room when it comes to what you do.


Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

For our business, we focused heavily on content when we first started. This meant publishing blogs about topics in our industry so other people can learn and understand along the way. To start this, I hired a writer to begin growing our content. Then I grew the content department by hiring more writers and an editor who manages them and the blog.

Because we did this, we get a lot more traffic than any of our competitors, and when the traffic comes to our website, we were able to start having conversations with people early on about their needs and what they need help with. This helped us immensely not only in search engine ranking but also in having those early conversations with people who need our services.

When I first started AdvertiseMint, my very first client was the financial company I had worked for. I let the CEO know I was dedicated to his success, but I wanted to start this company and focus on one core area. I gave him plenty of notice and offered to find my replacement. I told him I wanted him to be my first client and would focus on ensuring his results were the best in my new role. He agreed, and I had client number one.

For the next 20 clients, I used IFTTT, which allows you to set up automatic emails when certain jobs have been posted on Craigslist, Upwork, or Indeed. Using IFTTT, I would often get small clients, but this gave me the experience to learn the ad platform better than anyone else, which allowed me to close larger clients down the road and also write a best-selling book on Facebook advertising.


When it comes to retaining our clients, focusing on performance really helped us succeed. This means going the extra mile and adding services that they need or will help them get better results and become more profitable. It doesn't always result immediately in more sales and more revenue for our agency, but a lot of times it works out over the long run.

As our clients become more successful, they eventually increase their ad spends, services, and sales, all of which come back to help us increase our results at our agency. By focusing on the customer first and going the extra mile for them, you will help build the long-term relationships that you need to grow the revenue for your company down the road. Focus on the long term not necessarily just the short term.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Right now I'm updating Facebook ad campaigns and working with my team to ensure our clients are going to be successful and profitable in the upcoming holiday season. So much has changed with COVID-19, especially with how it's affected our economy and consumers’ shopping habits, which are turning more and more online. Companies really need to make sure that they’re positioning themselves for digital consumers, that they’re making it easy for them to get information and purchase all online.

At some point, things will go back to normal, but until then, it's very critical that businesses make sure they’re reaching consumers in the way that they would want to be reached today.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I always tell people that starting a business is really difficult. I also tell people that a lot of times, finding customers is like finding your soulmate. There's a lot that needs to go into it. You need to have something to offer to that person and at the same time, you need to be interesting and engaging and have elements that make them want to choose you.

I think if you start your business, focusing on who is the customer and how you can help them move further in their lives, you will generally do very well in business. Of course, you have to keep in mind competitors and financials, but generally, if you can help consumers solve their problems, you have already achieved the core of the business.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use a lot of different platforms and tools for our business. One is Google Suite, which hosts all of our emails and all of our team documents so that they're easily accessible. We also utilize tools like Facebook Business Manager and Google MCC to help us oversee and manage all the clients that are currently advertising.

We work with a lot of technology partners to ensure our clients get the very best results. Some of these include ManyChat for creating automated conversations through Messenger bots. These amazing tools help walk consumers through a process in a fun and engaging way. Instead of a long-form, people are asked questions in a conversation. The results are often better quality leads and happier customers.

Another tool we use is Zapier, which allows us to connect multiple systems without writing code. This can include running Lead Ads on Facebook, and once they are submitted, sending an email to the sales team while adding the data to our CRM or Google drive. There are endless possibilities for connecting systems which helps ensure you can move quickly and efficiently.

Internally, our team uses tools such as Google Workspace to manage emails, Google Drive for all documentation, Zoom for meetings, Slack for daily communication, and Grasshopper for our corporate phone line.

I remember when we moved into our Hollywood office, the building owner asked if I wanted phone lines installed and quoted me a number that was thousands of dollars. I laughed and said we use Grasshopper, which is linked to our employees’ cell phones and can cost less than $50 a month. He was shocked and said, “I guess technology changes.” Business owners need to stay on top of new tools that are coming out because, with more efficient tools, you’re able to grow your business faster and reduce waste.


What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It tells a story of a boy searching for his personal treasure and everything that goes into him finding it. It's full of little nuggets that always help me remember what is most important in life and then sometimes the journey won't always go as planned.

I also like the book The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne, which is a short story about a man who is applying for a job and given an impossible task. He goes through countless options to try to solve it, and in the end, the lesson of being a go-getter is explained to the reader. This is something that has helped me immensely in my career, which is to always keep searching and striving for a solution even if it seems like all doors are closed. When it comes to podcasts, I'm a little impartial, but I love the Duke of Digital, which is my podcast, where I interview some of the top business leaders to get advice on marketing, advertising, and just running a digital website.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

My advice for other entrepreneurs is always to just keep going. It's like a jungle, and you're trying to walk through and figure your way to find the treasure. There's not always one pass or one way to go. Some countless traps and pitfalls could be detrimental to your business. But the only way for you to find the treasure is for you to keep moving forward. If you hit a dead-end, try something else.

If you're tired and worn out, take time to rest. If you think it's going to be a long journey, make sure that you have other people that will come along with you or enough money to hire the people that you need to make it through to the end. It's almost always impossible to fully predict what will happen because there are so many variables, but the one thing that I've seen again and again from successful people is that no matter what, they keep moving forward.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yeah, we're always looking for great people to join our team. We hire a lot of entry-level and experienced advertising managers or media buyers who have worked with or want more experience on Facebook, Google, TikTok, Snapchat, or Pinterest.

We are also hiring more creative people, which include video creators, video editors, and graphic designers. Our industry is really expanding, and we are continually looking to hire great people who are really focused on providing amazing results to our clients. If you're interested or looking for a job, please reach out to us on our website.


Where can we go to learn more?

I love to connect with people so please reach out. You can connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, or via email. Our social media handle is @advertisemint, and my personal one is @brianmeert. You can also check out DukeOfDigital or AdvertiseMint for some of the latest news and articles on digital advertising, marketing, and social media.

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!