Hey, I'm Walter Voronovic
I help SaaS & DTC e-commerce companies acquire more customers with paid advertising (Facebook ads, Google ads, etc.)
If you’d like to work with me directly, feel free to reach out here, and I’ll get back to you.
If you’re interested in learning more about my life & experience, continue reading…
I was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1993 – two years after Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union.
I had a good upbringing, considering the uncertain times.
I believe entrepreneurial tendencies started manifesting early in my life due to my personality type & my dad.
He had success in real estate and other business ventures.
But I guess what I loved the most was the lifestyle – having the ability to manage & direct your own time.
My first successful hustle was in the fifth grade.
It was selling firecrackers to kids during school breaks.
Since there were no pyrotechnics stores in my hometown, the older kids would buy the firecrackers in Riga and sell them to kids at my school for three times the price.
I figured I could do the same thing because the demand was so high the older kids would often run out of merchandise to sell.
So I convinced my mom to take me to the store and bought two huge shopping bags filled with firecrackers for about 20 lats (about 50 euros in today’s money).
It was a lot of money back then. For a kid like me, anyways…
The next day, I opened up my shop and started selling firecrackers for three times the price.
One box at the store was 20 cents/santims.
I sold the same box for 60 and made 40 cents of profit.
I still remember to this day, looking at my drawer and seeing about half of the merchandise left while having a piggy bank full of money.
I had doubled my money and still had stuff to sell.
It was a feeling of utmost excitement and joy.
From that moment on, I knew I wanted to become an entrepreneur.
How I Got My Start In Digital Marketing.
I started researching “How to make money online” circa 2012.
At around the same time, I graduated from high school and had to pick a career I’d pursue for the next forty-plus years.
I picked physical therapy and started my studies at Riga Stradins University.
After all the exams in my sophomore winter session, I studied a course by an internet marketing guru.
Since I studied physical therapy and had severe back pain, I designed a campaign for a back pain relief info product I found on ClickBank.
I set up all the landing pages, wrote the email copy, and designed Facebook conversion ads.
Then I spent about one hundred and twenty euros of saved-up money on ads, got about a hundred plus email leads, and made zero sales.
Turns out selling a $37 back pain info product/course via automated email messages to strangers on the internet isn’t as they said.
Who would have thought? 🙂
Even though I was disappointed I didn’t make sales, I learned how to generate leads via Facebook ads and landing pages with signup forms.
I started working as a physical therapist at a private practice.
To make a long story short, I wasn’t making enough money to sustain myself (about 400 euros a month for six months straight) and got very tired and depressed.
To make the 800 euros (a reasonable salary during that time), I’d have to spend ~160 hours with patients in a room one-on-one with three to five-minute breaks between patients.
So, technically, I could be at the office, but If I didn’t have a patient scheduled for that hour – I didn’t get paid.
Also, dealing with the patients (mostly very depressed & anxious middle-aged women with neck/back pain problems) wasn’t my cup of tea either.
So after about six months, I burned out and quit.
It was a tough time for me due to my family being disappointed for not pursuing the career path I had chosen, and for the first time in my life, I had to figure out how to support myself while living with my girlfriend.
I survived by doing odd jobs and the support of my family and girlfriend, and even though it was a tough time, I studied 50+ books & 100+ courses on copywriting, direct marketing, landing pages, tech setup, business & entrepreneurship, e.t.c.
And in one of the courses, I discovered I could do lead-generation campaigns for local businesses with FB ads, landing pages & phone funnels.
Since I already had experience with lead generation campaigns, I instantly pursued this opportunity.
I followed the outline in the course and got my first few clients.
The offer was simple – I’ll design a lead generation campaign for your business and do the technical setup – landing pages, ads, images, pixels, e.t.c.
The client would have to invest 100 euros in ads and make sales calls to the leads they received in their email inbox.
Pretty simple, right?
And it worked!
I even got my first testimonial.
I was super excited after seeing my first success.
And what’s more important, I gained some extra needed confidence.
At this same time, I saw an ad (on Instagram, by the way) about a business incubator in Silicon Valley called Draper University.
I didn’t even have a strong product idea I’d feel confident enough to pitch to VCs in Silicon Valley, but some bug bit me, and I applied without hesitation or forethought.
And much to my surprise, I was admitted, so…
I went to Draper University in Silicon Valley.
(Picture of Tim Draper and I)
This was a five-week program in San Mateo, California, with 80 people from 22 countries.
I knew I was way over my head when I had to get up on the stage and pitch my idea to 80+ people with a camera rolling.
Public speaking has always been an anxiety-inducing activity for me, and…
Once I got up there, I completely forgot whatever I had practiced.
I said the first sentence, then forgot the next one, pulled out the piece of paper, and tried to read it with my voice shaking and trembling.
Did I mention English isn’t my first language?
It was a total disaster. At least, it felt like it at that moment.
Not at all. I kept chugging along, listening to feedback, and working with the mentors.
Then I realized my idea wasn’t very investable as a silicon valley startup, so I had to pivot.
On the final pitch day to investors, I pitched an idea about a back pain relief app.
It would feature posture diagnosis using your phone’s camera, sensors placed on the body & a self-performed physical exam.
Then it would prescribe specific exercises to the user with live feedback & corrections, stretches, cold/warm applications, and other suggestions for at-home pain relief.
Mind I say, this was 2018 (timing matters), and I didn’t have any experience in app design & development, so I wasn’t very confident I would succeed.
Even though I felt I made a compelling pitch when I saw the excited faces of my buddies there, I didn’t provide specific & definitive answers to the questions from the jury and kinda blew it there.
After pitching the idea and not getting any initial traction, I scratched it and moved on.
My return to Latvia
When I returned home, I did freelance work for one of the startups and had a few projects here and there, but I hadn’t yet figured out how to get new clients consistently.
And after cold emailing and pitching my services to 1200+ chiropractors, physical therapy & massage therapy practices in the U.S. without any significant results, I realized I have to improve my skills and learn how a successful business operates.
Coincidentally, at around the same time, I saw an ad about a Facebook marketer/customer acquisition specialist position at a health tech company.
Without hesitation, I applied for the position and landed the job.
Full-time employee – Facebook marketer.
Now, I’d be lying if I told you it was easy or I was an instant success.
Before this, I had theoretical direct-marketing knowledge and some experience running small-scale campaigns on Facebook (maybe $700 max.)
But this was a different ball game. Within three months, I had to learn how to design and write compelling, profitable ad campaigns at scale and manage ad budgets of 15 – 20 thousand euros a month.
I was learning from a successful entrepreneur with 2.5 million in revenue & 1 million in profit per year from a 9.95 Euro a month subscription info product in the weight loss market.
The company’s practices by then were to pretty much disregard the ad policies and design campaigns that brought maximum profits.
But when I joined, Facebook started heavily cracking down on these practices – clickbait, misleading claims, personal attributes violations, e.t.c.
And all of a sudden, the successful ad campaigns from the top marketers were irrelevant because they were non-compliant.
In my first month there, I dealt with 22 disabled ad accounts and 5+ disabled business manager accounts.
My personal access to the ad platform was restricted and reinstated many times.
It was a hectic and fast-paced environment, and I learned about crisis management.
But after a while, it was clear I won’t get ahead in this company due to my lack of interpersonal skills with the management, comprehension of office politics, and, quite frankly, not knowing when to keep my mouth shut.
What led to my downfall was a simple yet deadly mistake.
I scheduled an ad campaign featuring an image of a bikini-wearing female brand ambassador/influencer on our Facebook partner agency ad account.
The business manager and ad account were supposedly “Whitelisted” – meaning the ad account can’t & won’t be disabled.
Nonetheless, the suggestive image was rejected by the AI review process, and in an instant, the account was disabled.
The campaign I scheduled was planned to launch on the eve of December 31st. (It was late November when it happened.)
Since January is the most profitable month in the weight loss space (New Year, New ME!), and with the tensions running high, I got booted from the company that same day.
Even though I was disappointed because I wanted to see how the scheduled campaigns would have played out – we had to set up 700 each.
I felt a sense of relief because I knew I wouldn’t get offered a better position there & by then, I had already maximized my learnings.
(Three years later, the company has the same ads as when I was there.)
So, what’s next?
Only one thing to do…
Set up shop.
After going through this new corporate experience, I leveled up my skills & gained much-needed confidence.
But I also felt extreme anxiety – I had about two months of living expenses.
So I started hustling on freelance sites and got my first client from the U.S.
The money was about the same, but half the hours – a better deal overall than the previous job.
But the tangible results manifested after I studied yet another course.
This time on consulting.
And after adjusting my offer, pricing & marketing – I got a lot of referrals and business from my social circle.
The times were good, but I was doing everything myself – meetings, sales, onboarding, account audit, strategy consulting, ad copywriting & designs, tech setup, campaign setup, ad performance reporting & optimization.
My max capacity was four clients at this level of service.
With the complexity of managing four projects simultaneously (e-commerce – skincare products, clothing, paper planners, to real estate) and all at different stages, I knew scaling a business model like this would be difficult, if not impossible.
And to be frank, I knew my biggest strengths were campaign planning, setup, optimization, and scaling.
Dealing with the creative part of the ad campaign can be remarkably frustrating.
In my experience, it’s not uncommon to evaluate advertisements based on a gut-level feeling or emotions disregarding the strategic objective – to elicit a response from the intended recipient.
To put it in plain terms, the client either likes or dislikes the ad.
Whereas media buying & campaign management is relatively straightforward once you understand how it works.
What’s the Vision for the future?
My vision is to build a sustainable digital business asset that will support a lifestyle I can enjoy & share with my family.
What is a Sustainable Digital Business Asset, in my view:
- The foundations are built on a personal brand – a person, not a faceless logo. Adapts and changes to market conditions & business development stages.
- Starts with a more active form of monetization (Services, Consulting/Coaching) and progresses into a more passive form of monetization (Affiliate commissions, sponsorships, ad placements)
- Heavy focus on organic content & traffic – slower initial results & takes longer to build, but more sustainable long-term.
How Can I Help You?
My mission is to help other entrepreneurs & marketers succeed at their own version of success.
Most of my experience is in performance marketing, direct customer acquisition strategies, media planning & buying on ad platforms, and creative development/ad design.
I mainly work with Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger) and Google (YouTube) ad platforms.
At some point in my career, I worked with Outbrain, Bing, and even Bidvertiser way back in the day.
The overall ad spend I’ve managed over the years is approximately 150,000 Euros, most of it on Facebook.
If you’d like to work with me, take a look at my services page here.
Right now, I’m investing in content & SEO to increase my organic traffic & domain authority.
Why a performance marketer invests in organic?
After working with 15+ companies in all kinds of industries, verticals business models, and stages of development (from the first offer to a multimillion-euro corporation), my belief is that a successful and sustainable long-term business starts with:
- A solid brand strategy;
- A market-tested business model;
- An irresistible offer;
- Organic customer acquisition channels.
And once there’s proof of concept (at least three sales), it can be scaled with paid ads, content marketing at scale, email marketing, conversion rate optimization strategies, and all of the other fancy stuff.
But it has to start with organic customer acquisition & it should be at least 40 to 60% of gross revenue even once the business grows.
When I worked with the weight loss product, 80 to 90% of our traffic was from direct Facebook ads.
One day Facebook started to disable business managers, personal account ad access, and ad accounts at scale.
No active ads = no revenue.
Now Imagine how the owners of this company felt?
If they hadn’t figured out how to fix this, they’d be out of business.
It took three to four months of pain-staking, anxiety-inducing 10 to 12-hour workdays to get back to previous revenue levels.
So that’s the reason why.
Long-term, sustainable digital business assets.
Not a money-making scheme.
Interested in learning more? Check out some of my blog posts & case studies.