A Message for Agencies: What Are You Scared Of?

Agencies, consultants, and advertisers: This message is for you…

I know you’re territorial. You have a system. You think that the way that you set up campaigns is special. This is your secret sauce and what makes you valuable. You will protect it, even from your client’s eyes.

Stop it. Your basic campaign setup does not make you unique. Anyone can do that.

While overvaluing your most basic functions, you are overlooking what should actually make you a valued partner.

Sharing The Goods

The proper way to manage a client’s Meta advertising is to have the client…

  1. Create their own Business Manager
  2. Add you as a partner
  3. Share their ad account with you
  4. Share their pixels, pages, custom conversions, audiences, and other assets with you

Some agencies and consultants, who know better, will do everything they can to avoid this. They will keep the client out of it. They use their own ad account and create their own pixel. And they build all of the events, custom conversions, and audiences from scratch.

They do this even if all of these assets already exist. And when the relationship with this client comes to an end (and it will), the agency retains ownership of the ad account, pixel, conversion events, and audiences.

Why? For one very stupid reason…

They’re Scared

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this. The thought of sharing these things with the client terrifies them.

“But I don’t want them to see how I set up their campaigns.”

That’s weird. Why not?

“Because then they’ll know how to do it.”


“They could fire us and manage the ads themselves or have someone else do it for them.”

Serious? This is what you’re worried about?

It’s Not Your Secret Sauce

I can tell you right now that the way you set up your campaigns isn’t unique. Chances are pretty darn good that your strategy and general approach are nearly identical to thousands of other advertisers.

And really, if you did something unique, I’d actually be worried about you. Campaign creation isn’t complicated these days. None of the crazy stuff we did five years ago is necessary anymore.

Is your super secret process that you go broad and don’t use targeting? That you optimize for conversions instead of clicks? That you use Advantage+ Shopping for ecommerce clients? And that you understand the targeting is in your ad copy and creative?

Well, that’s good. But that just shows a basic understanding of how you should create campaigns these days.

I mean, I’m glad you’re not screwing it up with a bunch of unnecessary ad sets or trying to outsmart the algorithm with empty clicks. But this isn’t rocket science.

Why Your Client Needs You

For argument’s sake, let’s say your worst fear happens. Your client sees how you set up their campaigns. They fire you and just keep running those campaigns.

If we know anything about Meta advertising, it’s that what works today won’t work tomorrow. It’s one of the few guarantees in life.

What will your client do then?

You’re valuable because you know what metrics to monitor. You aren’t obsessed with CTR and CPC. You care most about your Cost Per Desired Action, and you know how to troubleshoot when your costs go up.

You’re valuable because you understand how the learning phase works, and the roles of budget, time, and results. You know not to react too quickly or to make unnecessary changes when things are working.

You’re valuable because you understand the complexity of conversion events. You create standard events, custom events, and custom conversions. You implemented the Conversions API and know what to monitor to be sure it’s all working properly.

You’re valuable because you are a master of attribution. You understand that 7-day click and 1-day view are the defaults, but you know about 1-day engaged view and 28-day click if you want. You know that numbers won’t ever match up completely, that Meta uses modeling that can be imperfect, and that you should use UTMs and third-party tools for back-up.

You’re valuable because you know the rules. There are certain things that you cannot do or you put your client’s business account, ad account, and other assets at risk.

You’re valuable because the one constant in Meta advertising is that everything is changing. Whether it’s iOS 14, Beneficiary and Payer, or the latest in privacy rules, you will know what it means, why it matters, and what you should do.

You’re valuable because new features are always rolling out. You know how to test out Advantage+ Shopping and which clients are the best fit. You know how Advantage targeting expansion impacts your ad sets, when you should turn it off, and when it’s always on.

You’re valuable because the way you create campaigns is such a small part of what you actually do.

The Signal You Send

If you are actually afraid of your client seeing how you set up your campaigns, you’re actually sending a very loud signal: You provide very little value.

You’re scared of giving away your secrets. Your secret may be that you don’t actually know what you’re doing. Or maybe the client can do everything you do because what you do is very little.

Giving your clients access to this information is a necessary level of transparency for a trusting partnership. They can see what you’ve done, but they also fully understand that there is so much that they don’t understand that goes into these results.

Because you are the expert.

Hiding your work and taking it with you when your partnership ends is also a good way to burn bridges. The next advertiser will want access to the client’s pixel, events, audiences, and more. But you won’t let them have it.

Because you’re scared.

They’ll have to start over because of you. But they’ll build that partnership the right way. Your former client will set up a Business Manager and share their ad account and assets with the new advertiser. And that advertiser will build a history and trust with that client.

That could have been you.

Watch Video

I recorded a video about this, too…

Your Turn

Do you set up your partnership with clients the right way? Or do you hide your work?

Let me know in the comments below!