Remind yourself, if you can, what it was like to experience Nov. 8, 2016, the night Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Regardless of where you stand politically, it was one of the strangest nights in American history: Donald Trump, the man from The Apprentice and Home Alone: Lost in New York, the man who had been the punchline of every “rich person” joke for twenty-plus years, had just won the presidency against all odds, beating a seasoned politician, former First Lady, and seemingly unbeatable Hillary Clinton in the process. It is one of the oddest nights we can remember, and for many, one of the most difficult.
Now, imagine that you were experiencing all of that, and on top of everything else, you had just spent months setting up a campaign to sell coins with President elect Hillary Clinton on them.
That’s where Maxwell Finn, an expert in Facebook marketing and paid traffic, found himself on Nov. 8, 2016. Not only was his brain racing with the news that Trump was now the President, he was realizing he had a long night of work ahead of him redesigning every funnel, every graphic, every image associated with the Clinton Coins he planned to sell.
“we saw the election results, and I was like… I’m gonna be up all night redoing everything, redoing everything,” Finn told us. “The landing pages, the screenshots, the ads, I just did that for nothing.”
He and his business partner, Jeremy Adams, who has been featured in Buzzfeed, Forbes, and CNBC, knew they had a chaotic night ahead of them.
But, where there is chaos, there is opportunity, and the company worked hard to get the pages transitioned and make everything up to date to roll out the “Trump Coin.” Chief among them was Finn himself, who burned the midnight oil and then some to usher out Clinton coins and usher in Trump coins.
Once he got “Trump Coin” up and running, Finn realized that he was better off. Trump’s supporters were significantly more passionate than Clinton fans would have been, and that meant a dramatic success for their sales numbers.
“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Trump’s fan base [is] way more energized, loves this type of collectible stuff. And we sold about $4.5 million of coins. We took dollar coins, sold them for $20, we did about $4.5 million of that in about a three and a half or four month window.”
They sold $650,000 worth of Trump Coins on Inauguration Day alone.
The sales weren’t without their drawbacks, of course. They faced the same challenges almost any online business faces: high-risk payments, chargebacks, merchant processing. One morning, they found $65,000 missing from their bank account, and learned that their payment processing service had held it back in reserve in case the banks penalized them for chargebacks.
“It was a learning experience. It put us on the map. And we built a really good relationship with clickfunnels.”
There was another ally on Finn’s road to make $4.5 million on Trump coins: Facebook. All his success in marketing the coins came through the careful use of social media advertising, and in that sphere, Zuckerberg is king.
“Facebook played a critical role in the success of our Trump coin offer,” Finn told us. “It allowed us to quickly gather a significant amount of data, get the traction and momentum we needed and identify winning angles. This in turn allowed us to get some truly massive affiliates excited about the offer who helped us scale even faster, which was vital given the short time window we had to really make money. Still to this day I don’t think there is another ad platform that we could have used to get us from a cold start to almost $5M in sales in just 3 months.”
That was the key to success for Finn, building an audience large enough to support $4.5 million. He didn’t buy leads from some big firm or some political wonk. He didn’t need to. The audience came to him. And now, with the 2020 election coming closer and closer, he’s hoping to do it all over again.