Few things are more frustrating than sitting on your hands.

Waiting on this, that or the other from a client so you can swoop in and work your Facebook magic.

That can mean waiting for graphics, videos, copy or tracking…

When I first got started, I would spend weeks being delayed by the client not delivering, or worse, being forced to use doomed-from-the-start graphics.

I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly frustrating when my results are impacted by something completely out of my control.

Or was it?

These days, I’m frank with my clients and let them know when their generic graphics won’t work. Back then I didn’t know any better.

With 5 years under my belt, I can confidently say that in this industry, RESOURCEFULNESS IS THE KEY.

The key to building a successful business without any prior knowledge, and absolutely the key to a killer campaign that produces the kind of results you can stand behind.

Here are all of the creative hacks I’ve used over the years to eliminate the need for a client to do much more than pay the invoice.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

The best place to source content for a new campaign is organic. There’s often some amazing hidden gems that can be repurposed from content already posted to Facebook or Instagram.

In some cases, the post itself can be turned into an ad just by adding a URL and produce far better results than some shitty stock image.

For example, I’m running a lead campaign to build a daily video mailing list — and for the creative? Why the daily videos that were posted on Facebook, of course! Using these organic posts is converting at almost 50%, which is a far cry from the stock graphics they provided.

Hack that is probably not legal: skip asking the client for the image file from Instagram and download using Gramsave… but obviously only use photos from the client who owns the images.

Canva is your new best friend

If we’re sourcing our own content (which we are), that means we’re dealing with a lot of plain, boring images.

Canva is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook advertisers who don’t have the luxury of graphic designers.

You’ll still need an eye for what looks good, but their drag and drop interface couldn’t be any easier. Their free version is pretty amazing, but I’m a sucker for the option to resize (Instagram to Stories mostly) and client brand kits (never hunt for colour codes again!).

Pro tip: always be sure to create copies instead of making changes to the original. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times I find myself making edits to the original and regretting it later.

GIFs are still cool (right?)

Every Facebook advertiser will tell you to test, test, test. My standard practice is always to use a static image, video and GIF in the rotation.

A GIF is just a series of static images stitched together into a looping video, but they can be oddly effective.

I use a free tool called gifmaker.me and it does everything I need it to — even convert a video file into a GIF! Sometimes, when the inspiration strikes, I make a series of images in Canva and turn them into a GIF — other times I just put a few photos together and call it a day. Trust me when I say that effort doesn’t always equal results.

When in doubt, try a video

Facebook’s native video creator tool is getting better all the time, and shouldn’t be overlooked by a bootstrapping advertiser like yourself.

If we’re being honest (and I always am), it’s really just a series of drag and drop templates — but I’m not kidding when I say that they can work.

I’m a video editor sometimes

Have you seen those Gary Vaynerchuk videos floating around social these days? We’ve all seen at least one video using this style on our feeds.

This viral video style started as a simple way to repurpose 9×6 (rectangular) videos into square for social and quickly turned into a whole style of its own.

And it’s all possible to do in Keynote yourself! Don’t have a Mac? Sorry, I don’t speak your language.

Some of my highest and longest converting ads came from square videos I created in Keynote myself!

Take an existing client video, add a killer headline, and you’ve got yourself what may be your next best creative!

Be scrappy — be confident

Becoming a self-employed Facebook advertiser doesn’t happen overnight, and the journey is anything but linear. But if you have the entrepreneurial spirit within, finding solutions to anything that stands in your way should become second nature.

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