How to Make Money Managing Facebook Ads for Local Small Businesses

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Tens of millions of businesses in the United States need marketing help but can't afford someone full time. From fresh "leads" to boosted revenue, see why running Facebook Ads for small businesses can be a lucrative side hustle.

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There’s this amazing coffee shop in my city just off the beaten path. If you weren’t looking for it, you’d never find it. But somehow it always has just enough people inside to keep the place feeling lively without being crowded.

That’s not an accident.

I see its Facebook ads all the time. It’s like the company knows I love it there so it seeks me out to let me know about its specials and events.

And it does.

Facebook ads allow local businesses to advertise to customers, fans, and neighbors in unique and targeted ways to encourage them to become repeat customers. But not all small businesses take advantage of Facebook ads, making this a great side hustle for you.

Why Managing Facebook Ads is a Good Side Hustle

Since Facebook ads are still a relatively new way to advertise, it’s not that difficult to get paid to post ads on Facebook for local businesses. You don’t need a specialized degree, it’s not a huge time commitment, and you can even use some of the social media skills and knowledge you already have to give your services an edge over the competition.

How Small Businesses Advertise 2

Josh Eberly of 717 Home Buyers said that he started offering Facebook ads as a service after using it for himself to generate leads.

“I have now been able to offer the same service to other investors who have had great success generating off-market property leads for cheap on Facebook,” he explains. “These leads have been as cheap as $5 on the platform, much lower than a direct mail or lead from Adwords.”

Even without specialized expertise, there are plenty of businesses with the budget to pay you $1,000 to $2,000 per month to manage Facebook ads for them. You just have to know which niches to target and how to find them.

Related: 5 Realistic Ways to Make Money on Facebook

What is Facebook Ad Management?

Facebook ad management means just that — managing Facebook ad campaigns for clients. A Facebook ad manager creates and executes a Facebook ad strategy that attracts new customers, leads, and traffic that they want for their business.

The ad manager listens to a client’s goals and creates graphics, ad copy, target audiences, and tests campaigns to try to meet those objectives at the lowest cost per conversion possible. They might also create images, sales copy, and oversee the advertising budget.

Related: 16 Low-Cost Online Business Ideas You Can Start Today

How to Get Started Managing Facebook Ads for Local Businesses

There are over 30 million small businesses in the US, making up 99.9% of all businesses in America.[1] That means ample opportunity for someone looking to start a side business helping people grow their businesses.

Percent of small businesses in US
Source: Fundera

Before you dive headfirst into managing ads or even taking a Facebook ads course, you should understand what goes into creating a Facebook ad management side hustle. There are several components you’ll need to learn and details you’ll have perfect so you get the right clients at the right prices.

1. Learn the basics of running a Facebook ad campaign.

How Facebook ad is built

First, you need to be familiar with the Facebook Ads Manager and the terms used in it. However, if you find it too overwhelming or confusing to understand on your own, you should consider taking a Facebook ads course rather than going at it alone.

The FB Side Hustle course created by Bobby Hoyt and Mike Yanda teaches you everything you need to know in nine modules about creating ads, finding clients, and convincing those clients to sign contracts with you for consistent income.


facebook ad objective types
Campaign objective types can be chosen to fit the needs of the business you’re running ads for.

The objective is the type of ad you’re running. It’s important to pick the right one because the ad is optimized based on your choice. An ad whose objective is “Engagement” will be shown to people who have a history of liking and commenting on posts. while a “Traffic” ad is shown to people more likely to click links.

Knowing the ultimate goal for your ad and selecting your objective based on it will get your client (and you) a bigger return at a lower cost.

Target audience

inside look at Facebook's ad targeting options
Facebook offers robust targeting options allowing advertisers the ability to effectively reach their target audience. 

You’ll need to determine your intended audience, and you have the option of creating different types of audiences. For instance, Custom or Lookalike audiences allow a business to target past customers or people who have similar interests to past customers.

Local businesses typically use demographic or location targeting, and you can also narrow down your audience based on interests, behaviors, and more. Every time you make a change, Facebook will show you your potential reach to help you determine whether your audience is too broad, too narrow, or just right for your objective.

Ad placement

Facebook Ad placement options
Advertisers aren’t just limited to the Facebook News Feed. Choose from any Facebook-owned property when finding your target audience.

Placement of your ads isn’t limited to Facebook. You can use the ad on Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook’s Audience Network. But not all ads work well on all platforms.

Knowing what works best on each and customizing images and messages for the different platforms can be important to get the return on investment (ROI) your client is looking for.


flexible ad budget options with Facebook Ads
Facebook allows for flexible ad budget options. Advertisers can choose the budget and bid price that fits their needs.

You’ll also need to know how ad budgets work and which one is best for your client and their campaign. You can choose a lifetime budget or a daily budget, and you can set your ads to run indefinitely or be scheduled to start and end on certain dates.

The nuances around managing Facebook ads can make them seem intimidating, but it also keeps people away from running them professionally. If you take the time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook ads, you have the opportunity to create a reliable side income.

2. Learn how to design an effective ad.

You’ve probably seen hundreds of Facebook ads, but can you remember any that stand out? If you can, there was probably something unique about it. Maybe it had a colorful picture, a rare limited-time offer, or a funny line of text.

You’ll need to learn to craft your own effective ad visuals to get the highest return on your work and your client’s ad budget.

If this is starting to sound a little overwhelming, pause for a minute. You can find much of this information for free on the internet, or you can pay to take a Facebook ads course and get all this information in one place.

Free web-based design sites like Canva or Buffer can help you make high-quality ads with little investment. You might need to purchase photos or vector images, but these programs do have free ones. You can also check out a site like Shutterstock for high-quality stock photos.

Related: How to Become a Graphic Designer in 8 Easy Steps

3. Find local businesses.

Find businesses who need Facebook ads

There are several ways you can find local businesses that are a good fit for offering your services. Many people start with networking.

“I found many job leads through referrals, on LinkedIn, and in some freelancer and/or social media professional Facebook groups,” said Stephanie Riel, owner of RielDeal Marketing. “I’ve been able to help brands run up to 30 successful campaigns in unique markets across the United States.”

Don’t forget about in-person networking. You might also want to consider asking friends who own local businesses or joining your local chamber of commerce to find clients.

Remember that not all local businesses can afford to pay $1,000 per month to manage ads. But some can. Make sure you’re targeting local businesses that can benefit from Facebook ads and can afford to pay you well long term.

One way you can find these local businesses, show off your skills, and display the effectiveness of Facebook ads is to run Facebook ads targeting specific types of local business owners. This not only shows business owners you know what you’re doing, but it also helps you practice running ad campaigns while you find clients.

4. Get potential clients to sign paying contracts.

You don’t need to be a salesperson to convince businesses of the effectiveness of Facebook ads. They’re affordable, highly-trafficked, and versatile. But you do want to be selective with the businesses you choose to get the most out of this side hustle.

You’ll want to start by selecting a business that can afford to pay you at least $1,000 per month to manage its ads. Not all small businesses can make the investment. Lawyers, realtors, landscapers, and pool installers are some of the businesses that only need to land a few jobs every year to recoup their ad spending and the $12,000 they’re paying you.

To ensure that they don’t make their money and fire you or don’t give up on your services before you’ve had a chance to show some results, sign a contract for at least six months.

Related: 150+ Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in Your Spare Time

5. Track and measure ROI.

Reil emphasized that though this may be a side hustle, Facebook ads still require daily check-ins and optimizations. She explained that she made it part of her daily routine to check in on her lunch break and at the end of the workday.

“It definitely made my days a bit longer, but the hustle paid off in the long term,” she said.

One thing you’ll want to track is conversions, or which ads are attracting paying customers. You’ll also want to see which platforms are performing better. You’ll need to monitor the ad budget, as some ads may start to increase in Cost Per Click after they’ve been running for too long. Others may start out with a higher cost than you anticipated.

As the ads manager, it’s your job to adjust the variables to get the performance your client wants.

Don’t “set and forget” your client’s ads. Remember, when you work hard, you’re not just ensuring you have extra income, you’re helping another small business succeed. This could lead to a repeat customer or encourage the owners to refer your services to others.

6. Raise your rates and scale up.

You may have to take a few clients at lower rates when you’re starting out to build your portfolio and experience, but don’t keep those rates or clients long-term. Raise your rates and client work every month until you get to a rate and workload you’re comfortable with.

“Be willing to work for cheap, but not for free,” said Kaleb Baker, Digital Marketing Strategist at Market Hoot Agency. “If they won’t take a chance on you for a minimum of $100 dollars, stop wasting your time. If they won’t pay $100 they will never pay $1-2k per month, which is where you need to be at per client to make a realistic living.”

Eventually, you may get to a point where you have more clients than time. At that point, you can hire an assistant or another ad manager to scale your business. Many people running Facebook ad agencies and making a full-time income from them started out managing Facebook ads as a side hustle.

Related: 47 Small Scale Business Ideas Perfect for the Beginner Entrepreneur 

Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet

You can make money managing Facebook ads for local businesses without sacrificing your day job or much of your free time. And it can be completely free to get started. Check out marketing blogs and Facebook’s Advertising Help Center for advice and walk-throughs of all the Facebook ad basics.

If you need more or want to skip straight to a Facebook advertising course, then check out The FB Side Hustle Course. It’s specifically designed for people who want to work with Facebook ads as a side hustle or even full time. In fact, many of their students have turned managing Facebook ads into their full-time jobs.

Related: 6 Ways You Can Make Money Advertising for Companies

Jen Smith

Hi, I'm Jen! As a best-selling Amazon author writing about minimalism, spending less, and making more money, my work has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2017 my husband and I finished paying off $78,000 of debt and that's what I help others do here.

Marcus Brooks
Marcus Brooks

Great post on how to turn Facebook ads into a side hustle. Right now I’m taking the Facebook Certification Blueprint course through Coursera. This would be a great side hustle to go with my marathon training business.

This is the dream!


I took simplified notes on most of the tips provided here.

Nonetheless, I have a question: When I went to Facebook (I’m already logged in) directly from a link via Google, I ended up on my settings page for my account.

I was sent to an area that told me to create a Business Profile if I wanted to run ads. I tried to do some research regarding this entire ordeal.

Do I have to create a business page/profile if I am only running ads for other businesses? Will it be considered a “business” since I will hopefully profit from said ad campaigning?

If I create this business page will I be expected to have a business that I’m selling physical items at? Or is this for my ad sharing strictly? I am utterly confuzzled on this point.

I did read somewhere that you must have a business page in order to run ads for any business, and that Facebook will not allow you to use only your personal Facebook account to run these ads.

Thankfully the two profiles will be linked together, which I am hoping means I can use the friends I have in some of the ad sharing… I have almost 4000 friends on Facebook, so that would be a shame if I couldn’t.

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