Ep. 211 Jeff Lerner: Giving away millionaire secrets

How to Use Retargeting Ads as a Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Jeff Lerner is the epitome of the entrepreneur who simply won’t quit. During his interview with Luke and Josh, he explains that he:

Dropped out of high school to become a jazz musician …

Got fired from his first job after only three weeks …

Took 10 years to get his college degree …

Started 10 businesses and lost them all …

Ended up owing the government half a million dollars …

And was living with his soon-to-be ex-wife’s parents …

And despite his numerous ups and downs, he makes clear that all through his journey, he was “living the way humans are supposed to live.”

But after 10 years of being “dirt poor,” Jeff turned in his piano keyboard for a computer keyboard. He became an expert in Internet marketing when it was new, and now runs the highly profitable Entre Institute, which is devoted to educating people about living and thriving in a digital economy.

His advice to entrepreneurs:

  • Become a master at digital marketing.
  • Engage in aggressive retargeting.
  • Commit to serving others without any expectation of results.

Digital Marketing 101

Sometimes called online marketing or Internet marketing, digital marketing refers to marketing and engagement activities conducted through online media channels. Digital marketing is used “to help you get found, get noticed, get leads, and then turn those leads into returning customers.”[i]

The adoption and widespread use of mobile technology has been a huge boon to digital marketing.

According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own a smartphone. About 20% of them are “‘smartphone-only’ internet users—meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.”[ii]

Additionally, the amount of time spent on our phones is far more than you probably think. And that time has increased since the pandemic.

ZDNet reports that Americans use their phones, on average, 5.4 hours a day. [iii]

Millennials are using their phones a little more (5.7 hours) with baby boomers using them a little less (5 hours).

It’s almost frightening the number of people who report spending more than 12 hours every day using their phones (13% of millennials and 5% of baby boomers).

The bulk of all that screen time is spent on social media—64.5 minutes on Facebook and 48 minutes on Instagram.

Consider the widespread use of mobile smartphones with the rapid pace of change in online advertising. In the last 10 years we’ve experienced more changes in marketing technology than in the previous hundred.[iv]

This is the digital age, and it makes savvy digital marketing a necessity for any small business.

Savvy digital marketers use retargeting ads

Luke and Josh repeatedly say that marketing isn’t something you do once. Instead, your attempts to get and stay in touch with your audience require consistent effort. Jeff applies this same thinking to retargeting.

As Jeff explains during the interview, you might spend $1,000 on Facebook ads and only make one $400 sale. At that point, many people give up because they think they’re losing money—it’s not working. But what they fail to realize is that in addition to that one sale, they also added 200 names to their mailing list.

Instead of giving up, if you spent $4 a day for 30 days ($120) on Facebook retargeting ads and followed those 200 people everywhere they go online, you could easily win another two sales.

Your options are to spend $1,000 and make $400 or spend $1,120 and make $1,200.

Here’s the point: Don’t think about your digital marketing spending as paying for leads. Instead, think about it as paying for data, like the kind of data that allows you to follow and get in front of those new names. How you use that data will make the difference between success and failure.

Savvy digital marketers use “pre-suasion”

There’s persuasion and then there’s “pre-suasion,” a concept developed by social psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book, Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

In the book, Cialdini writes about “the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.” With regard to marketing, pre-suasion is the process of strategically guiding preliminary attention to move prospects into an agreement with the marketing message before they ever experience it. [v]

Jeff Lerner takes full advantage of pre-suasion when he routinely gives away high-value content.

He explains that he spends 80% of his time creating free content that lets his audience know who he is, what he knows, and how much he wants to serve. His secret is using this free content in his retargeting ads.

You’ve heard it here many times—if you lead with service and value, then your audience has the opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you. Only then will they be ready to buy. Jeff uses his free content retargeting ads to pre-suade his audience—allowing them to know, like, and trust him—before he tries to sell to them.

It’s a strategy that works. Founded in 2018, Entre Institute has more than 60,000 students and boasts $60M in sales.

Key Points

  • Take extreme ownership of your life and invest in your most valuable asset—you.
  • Learn everything you can about digital marketing and using the Internet as a lead generation tool.
  • When you advertise online you aren’t paying for leads; you’re paying for data. Learn to understand and use the data.
  • Retargeting your audience is a necessary strategy that pays off.

Action Item

Implement retargeting in your Facebook ads.

Connect | Resources



[i] Digital Marketing 101: Core Components You Should Know, Blue Corona, August 26, 2019, https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/digital-marketing-101/#:~:text=In%20a%20nutshell%2C%20digital%20marketing,those%20leads%20into%20returning%20customers.

[ii] Mobile Fact Sheet, Pew Research Center, June 12, 2019,  https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/.

[iii] Eileen Brown, Americans Spend Far More Time on Their Smartphhttps://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/ones Than They Think, April 28, 2019, https://www.zdnet.com/article/americans-spend-far-more-time-on-their-smartphones-than-they-think/.

[iv] Digital Marketing 101: Core Components You Should Know, Blue Corona, August 26, 2019, https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/digital-marketing-101/#:~:text=In%20a%20nutshell%2C%20digital%20marketing,those%20leads%20into%20returning%20customers.

[v] Robert Cialdini, Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016), 4.


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