It’s hard to share just how sick to my stomach I was when my Facebook business manager was permanently disabled.
At every level, we were shut down. And somehow, our backups were shut down, too.
Devastating doesn’t even describe it.
90% of our leads were coming to us that way & we were extremely profitable.
Things had been easy & good.
And then, just like that, everything crashed to a halt, two days before Jan 1, 2021.
It was bleak. And I knew I had f*cked up, as a business owner, because I had allowed all my eggs to sit in one basket.
The very next Monday, I laid off half my team, which broke my heart even further. But I knew we were in a for a couple of lean months as we fought to rebuild.
I woke every day with a sick feeling in my stomach, mildly depressed. I knew how much work was ahead of me as I fought to get the ads back running (or find a better way to pull in leads, more on that later.)
We aren’t fully on the other side of this huge hit, but I wanted to share eleven lessons that have carried me through this hard time.
These are pieces of hard-earned wisdom that would have helped me.
If your Facebook business manager is shut down, please feel a virtual hug from me. It sucks right now, I know.
I hope these insights help you!
Lesson One: Some things in business are not in your control.
To this day, we still don’t know exactly why our ads were shut down. I am sure, in some way, we broke policy, but we can’t pinpoint it. It could have been an incorrectly-linked Terms of Service page or old content on my organic profile they didn’t like. (That’s right, the AI scans your organic content from years back, so do a cleanup there!)
All I know is one day, I had ads running and $180k cash months, the next day, nothing.
This taught me that some things in business aren’t in my control.
Accept that. Lean into that. And then pay attention to what is in your control.
Lesson Two: Become a better risk manager.
Getting our Facebook business manager shut down was particularly hard for us because we hadn’t managed our risks properly.
We had allowed the entire source of our revenue to come from one place. Any good risk manager will tell you that’s a bad idea.
Now we have weekly team meetings where we go big-picture with my business, and we assess our risks.
Once we have a good list of potential risks (team members leaving, lead source drying up, etc.), we make an action plan to mitigate that risk.
This keeps us proactive (rather than reactive) when it comes to handling any potential threats to my business.
Lesson Three: Diversify your leads.
This was the biggest lesson of all.
If you’re reading this, let this be your wake-up call: diversify your leads.
Right now, we have leads coming to me from my Facebook group, my email list, Pinterest, text messaging & Instagram.
This is very different than how it was before.
Before my Facebook business manager got shut down, my primary lead source was just Facebook.
Now, if I get removed from one platform, I will be in a much better position because I have fought hard to diversify where my leads come from.
Don’t sleep on this lesson; make an action plan today to map out what you will do to bring more diversification into your lead generation setup.
Lesson Four: Do not let The Zuck have the final say in your success.
I cannot even tell you how much I cursed out he who shall not be named. How dare he take me off the platform? How dare he shut down my ads?
But, really, it was all just an emotional exercise in futility.
I had to snap myself out of it. I learned that I had to take total responsibility for the success of my business.
“I will not allow one man to have a say in my success or failure,” I resolved.
And I got to work.
Lesson Five: Be willing to ride the lows.
“I have to be willing to accept the lows if I am willing to accept the highs.”
This was a phrase that I repeated to myself over and over again as I got through this difficult time.
I had just had the most profitable month in my business to date, which was a real high. Of course, I loved that high. I celebrated, I felt good about myself, I took total ownership of that win.
But I shrank from taking responsibility from the low, at first. I resented the setback. I emotionally seethed against it.
But eventually, I surrendered. I knew that all businesses have ups and downs, and I needed to embrace that.
The obstacle is the way.
Lesson Six: Channel your frustration into action.
Manic is probably the best term to describe the action my team, and I took in the month following our ad shut down.
We were all pissed off and ready to get to work to fix the problem. We knew all of our income relied on us getting this figured out.
So we rolled up our sleeves and started kicking ass and taking names. In one month, we collected over 15,000 email addresses for free from Facebook groups by offering various freebies to groups that allowed us to promote ourselves.
We got our Pinterest ads up and eventually profitable. We started pumping out content like a machine.
We got to work, plain and simple—no messing around.
We were a tight, small team on a mission.
Lesson Seven: Get support from this Facebook group.
A Facebook group we relied heavily on during this time was Facebook Ad Hacks. You may already be familiar with this community, but we found a lot of solace, knowing we weren’t the only ones dealing with this.
We had support; we could ask questions and get a sense of community.
If anything, it was nice to read all the relatable bitching and moaning. You can check out the community here.
Lesson Eight: Think long-term.
This is a short term setback.
Hear me again: even though it might not feel like it now, this is a temporary setback.
You will recover.
So, now is a really good time to think about the long-term vision of your business. What do you want your business to look like in five years?
Big setbacks like this usually cause us to pause and re-evaluate certain things. How can you use this challenge and turn it into an opportunity to solidify even more growth five years from now?
This short-term setback will not last forever, and it’s important you get excited about some long-term goals to jump start your momentum and motivation during this difficult time.
Lesson Nine: Be careful with random sites that sell business managers.
We have had no luck getting back on Facebook as of the time of this publishing.
We did try a company that has so far been unsuccessful. I am sure there are some out there that do work and can get you back on Facebook.
We tried it, and it was a total waste of time, energy, and money. But, honestly, we are actually thriving without Facebook.
It has pushed us to expand on less-volatile platforms, which has been huge for our business from both a financial and stability standpoint.
I just wanted to give you a head’s up that we personally have had no success with those companies that sell business managers.
Lesson Ten: Allow this to permanently change the way you run your business.
My Facebook Business Manager getting shut down has forever changed my approach as a business owner. I am a more resilient leader because of this. I am a better strategic thinker. I am a more proactive risk manager.
My business will never, ever be the same because of what I went through.
My guess is your business will never be the same, either.
This is something to be really grateful for. The obstacle is the way.
We are becoming better business owners because of these challenges, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity.
I want to be around for the long haul, and I have to learn how to take the knocks and get back up.
Lesson Eleven: Your recovery is closer than you think (if you fight for it).
We pretty much bounced back within a month, thanks to aggressive work by myself and my team.
If you had told me one month ago that I would be almost recovered by now, I would not have believed you.
At the time, it felt it would take at least three months to recover, if not more.
If, and only if, you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work, you can recover more quickly than you think you can.
Be encouraged. Your recovery is closer than you think.
My guess is this will be a chapter in your life you will never forget.
But, if you do it right, it can be the best thing for your business.
Please accept my virtual hug from my computer screen to yours.