We’ve all been there – we think that running ads are going to do magical wonders for our business.
But if you’ve ever tried it… you know we’re not always guaranteed success with paid advertising. In fact, you can lose a whole lot of money if you don’t start it outright.
Kelly Sturtevant joins us to talk about the “before the ads happen” aspect of your business… so you can set yourself up for the best success you can.
Get Kelly’s Ultimate Ad Checklist with 11 Strategic Elements to have in place BEFORE you run a single ad.
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Alyson Lex 0:02
Did you know that the success of your paid traffic your advertising, it actually starts before you get into the ad builder before you write the creative or build the image. It all starts before you even think about running an ad. And that is what Kelly Sturtevant is here to talk to us about. Because she knows how to set yourself up for success. She's done this a lot. She's an expert. I'm so excited that she's here. Kelly, thanks for being with us today.
Kelly Sturtevant 0:36
Oh, thanks so much for having me today.
Alyson Lex 0:38
So I mentioned that you're an expert, would you just tell me what you're an expert in?
Kelly Sturtevant 0:44
I am a Facebook ads strategist. So I help businesses learn to understand Facebook ads, to help them grow in their businesses.
Alyson Lex 0:54
Awesome. And I just want to clarify that Facebook and Instagram ads, is that right? Because it's the same platform. Same company,
Kelly Sturtevant 1:01
correct? Yes. Different than both?
Alyson Lex 1:05
That's right. Different news feeds. Yeah. All right. So if the people listening are thinking, hey, ads might be fun. What is step number one that they need to take? As soon as they have those ads might be fun.
Kelly Sturtevant 1:20
Awesome. So this is a question I get quite a bit is how do I know it's time to kind of get started with running paid traffic? And there are actually three things that I always recommend businesses kind of work through in their mind as to what they need before they begin. The first one is, do you actually have an offer? Do you have a product or a service in which you can send traffic to? And now this seems like a no-brainer? Well, of course, I need an offer. But you'd be surprised at how many businesses are like, I just need to get website traffic, I need to get people to my site and things will happen. But if you don't actually have things in line to take that traffic, then it's not gonna do you any good to run traffic to it. So do we have an offer? Does it make sense to your business? Is it something that people want, because again, we always get into this mindset where we think we have the best things known demand, everyone wants to buy what we have to offer. And it's not always the case. So you really need to understand that it's one thing to have an offer, it's one thing to have an offer people want. So do you have an offer a product or service? Is it something people want? Second thing is do you actually have an audience in which you can sell this product or service to you? And again, seems like a no brainer. But the question a lot of people will say, or the answer a lot of people say I want to, I want to sell to whoever wants to buy from me, that's great. Everyone wants that, we would love to set up shop somewhere and just open the floodgates and let people walk through our doors, and buy everything that we have. That's not the case. So you need to be very specific on the types of people you're trying to reach. If your product or service is targeted towards moms with small children, then it doesn't do any good to be targeting moms with teenage children or dads with any children or senior citizens. So you really need to understand who that audience is, how are you going to get in front of them? And then the last question, the last one is, do you actually have a budget in whether to run ads, and this one gets a lot of people tripped up, because businesses thinks that Facebook ads or Instagram ads are going to be the end all be all of their business. If I just run an ad, I could, the door will open and everyone will buy what I have. And I'll start to make money and all that kind of stuff. And that's really not the case. Facebook ads is a fuel to your already burning fire. So you need to already kind of have things in place ready to go before you light the match and throw the kerosene onto that flame. So as much as we would love to be able to just throw money at a Facebook ad and hope things convert and we start to see sales, it's really not the case. So you need to have a budget for testing. This means I like to use Vegas as an analogy. If I were to go to Las Vegas, and I was going to take my ad budget and throw it on the roulette wheel, am I okay, walking away knowing that that money is gone. And all I'm getting is the data that that table has given me what number hit cetera, et cetera. So if you're at a point in your business, where you have, essentially liquid cash on the side, that if you were to just throw it down to provide data for your business going forward. Are you okay with that result? Is this a Is this a make or break decision in your business? And if so, then you really need to consider whether running paid traffic is the next logical step for you. So do you have an offer? Do you have an audience? Do you actually have a budget in order to revenues?
Jennie Wright 4:51
Those are all really, really good. And I will say that most people probably if we were to look at that, as you know the three things you should consider Before you actually run paid traffic, I think most people have one, maybe two, but they struggled to get all three. And I think they probably come to you, I'm gonna guess I do lots of calls. And you're like, you're not ready. You have to, maybe you say you can get them ready or you refer to somebody who can. But you're probably my guess is is that you run into a lot of people who don't have all three is in the right.
Kelly Sturtevant 5:22
That's correct. Yeah. When it comes to my one on one services, I work with businesses that are already at that converted level. So they've already done ads, they already know things work. They just looking to kind of scale well. But when it comes to the small business side, that's where I offer a lot of consultations, a lot of coaching calls and small products to help them kind of figure out what exactly are the things that I'm missing? And how do I actually get those, in order to get the most out of my ad budget, because it's true, most will have, well, I have an offer, I have an audience, I don't have a budget, or I have a budget, I'm not quite sure who I'm speaking to. And we need to we need to kind of figure those things out for them.
Jennie Wright 6:03
Okay, so that leads me to my next question, which is like, how do we? How do we build a plan? You know, I know you're working with a lot of people who are already ready to go and that sort of thing. But how do we really build a plan to make sure we're all ready to go for ads?
Kelly Sturtevant 6:16
Good question. So the first things are is to kind of figure out what exactly is your end result. So let's say you're a, you're a coach of some sort, you have a high end mastermind or high ticket coaching program at the end of your value ladder, we know that we can't find people blind and cold to us and be able to sell them on 1000 or 2000, or $10,000. Offer just does not happen. I don't know about you. But if I see an ad in my Facebook feed, the first thing isn't going to be I'm going to hand over my credit card for $1,000 product. No one does that. So it's understanding this is my end result, how do I get people to the point where that is the next logical step. So we kind of have to reverse engineer back to the point where someone is, needs to be aware of whatever the problem you have, that they have, that your products and services actually solve. And a lot of times, it's just kind of backing out to see, okay, if this is the type of person I'm trying to get in front of, what are the problem aware situations that will help them to see that this is this is the path they need to be taking. If you had, if you had courses or programs that were under that that high ticket product, the same similar thing applies is kind of figuring out what are their next steps that need to get them to that point, but your cost to bring them in could be lower than that. So maybe you don't need as big of a value ladder to get them to that point. So it's really it's really mapping that out ahead of time. If I know this is my end result, what are the steps I need to backtrack to in order to get them into my ecosystem and keep them in my ecosystem? So for some people that could be figuring out, do I need a lead magnet? Or do I need to get someone onto my email list? Do I need to do a free training or a bootcamp or a webinar model? Do I have small products that kind of help solve this pain point, but we'll help them to see you know, the bigger pain points that are coming down the line? And it's really just kind of figuring out where those people are on those journey? How can you get in to get them into your ecosystem at those points, and really understanding your own business value ladder, and how that is going to affect not only your ads, but your organic methods as well.
Jennie Wright 8:45
I want to jump in here because you've been mentioning value ladders, Allison and I perked up both of us both of our ears just kind of went flip, you know, losing, right? Because we love value out ladders. My question for you. And you may I'm not sure if you're gonna be able to answer this directly, but I'm gonna try. How like some of the for the established people, right? How big are their value ladders? How many steps are in them for these established folks? And you know, like, Is it 10? Is it five is a three? Normally what does it give us a give us a range, for sure.
Kelly Sturtevant 9:13
So I've seen value letters as a shortest two steps, getting into the to a webinar or whatnot, and then sell them on a high ticket, high ticket course from there, most have at least three to five steps for those high ticket types of products. And I haven't seen many that actually go beyond that, because then it becomes it becomes a really long process to get there. Now, that said, a value ladder isn't one intrinsic ladder. There could be branches that come off that ladder at different different platforms. So for instance, the first step could actually be a series of 10 entry points that all pyramid up to whatever that that end result is and that's that's what we kind of helped to map out you You know, what, are those all those entry points into that value ladder? What are the other steps along the way? And then how can we kind of mix and match things to to see what is working and what is not working with our audiences to get them to that I
Alyson Lex 10:14
really like that you're diving into this because as we talked about, when we were first getting to know one another, this is stuff people don't think about, they think, Oh, I have a webinar. And I want people on the webinars. So I'm going to add people, I'm going to advertise to people to get them on the webinar, they don't think about they don't think things through and map it and plan it. And then it kind of just becomes a little bit of a huddled mess, right. I remember I had a client. This was a number of years ago, and she was doing a ton of television. And so this isn't, it's related, I promise. But so it was advertising. But it just didn't cost her money. And she would be able to offer a free something to the viewing audience. But she didn't have things in place that would match what she was speaking about. And so it was that disconnect. And so the thing that we did was created a ton of different entry points, those 10 I think we had five and they all pyramid it up to her main thing. So I love that you're talking about this when it comes to ads. I want to flip just a little bit. How do we how do we find the audience for that thing? How do we find those entry points? What do we do to kind of make that pyramid base happen?
Kelly Sturtevant 11:43
For sure, the best thing you can do is utilize your organic traffic. So everyone has an organic traffic, it's your Facebook page, it's your Instagram profile, it's your email list. It's your friends and family when you're just starting out, it's really just that that that baseline of people that know who you are already and they have an idea of what it is you do what you offer, et cetera et cetera. So starting point is always check with your organic traffic so if you're trying to figure out who exactly is my target audience because I mean we all start we think we have these great products and services again, we want to sell to everyone who wants to buy that's not the case when it comes to who we're selling to. So it's asking the questions that can really help you to determine who those people really are. And I love using organic traffic even when it comes to paid marketing to be able to help fill the gaps with a lot of those questions. So for instance, if I had a Facebook group where my ideal client is essentially supposed to be I can pull them and see what are their pain points what are the things that are frustrating them right now in XYZ that that I know I can help solve for them What are its simple questions like what are their age demographics? If you've ever been in large groups and you see the the creator post questions like you know roundup check Where's everyone from? They're posting those things because they want to know what their country demographics are. Are you from the US? Are you from Canada? Are you from overseas? Like what is the majority of people coming because that'll help them to to figure out who they need to target. So look at your questions on your ganic level as a way to help figure out those questions. I love polls because they're at no one can say no to a poll, let's be honest. No One No one likes to walk away from from polar opposite questions. Um, so things as simple as you know, beach vacation and mountain vacation if this relates to your business in some way, this can help you to determine the types of people that you need to hit certain television shows you can pull on on what those kinds of things are to help figure out those little nuances that your audience has the majority of interest in that can help you really define who they are. And I've I've done with with myself and with clients as well is blanket ask questions. What exactly is your pain point? What can you What do you want me to help solve? What are you hoping to get out of x, y, z? And those can help you to determine what are the missing pieces of your value ladder that you can fill in order to achieve the results that you want to get because if they're saying they need it, and you build it, guess what? You've already got a buyer now for it.
Jennie Wright 14:38
Yeah, I I agree with organic traffic in a million of ways because I'm an organic traffic person myself. And the only reason I'm an organic traffic person and I've said this a million times, is I cannot for the life of me figure out paid traffic. It is it is like calculus, algebra, and I don't know what other mathematical Because I'm not a math person, it's all of that put into one big pocket. And I'm just not a person of that that ilk. So it's just not my thing. So I leave those things to you. But organic, I love the fact that you're, you're leveraging organic to help base decisions for paid. I love that, especially because, you know, we've seen a lot of people try and I do get clients talking about paid traffic, and I refer them to my experts. But we've had another, you know, we've had other experts on here, other Facebook ads experts, we've talked to them and whatnot. And they always talk about validating the offer organically before they run any traffic to it in terms of paid. And so I kind of want to ask you like, how are we validating it? How does that happen? What steps need to be in place to validate the offer before you'll consider putting paid traffic to it?
Kelly Sturtevant 15:44
Awesome. So this is actually twofold. One, validating your office's organic level is, is putting it out to your organic traffic and seeing whether they're converting or not. Now there's a whole bunch of different metrics when it comes to whether something should be converting and whether it's a good number, etc, etc. But essentially speaking, if you put it out to your audience, and people are buying it, that's a good indication that they that they are open to what it is you have, and you are more likely to sell it cold. Again, price point can be in a factor in that and all that kind of stuff. But again, really utilizing that organic level to to get in front of them. Now, a lot of times people have products and services before they've actually built an organic traffic. And that's usually a question I get well, I can't validate it organically because I don't have an organic level, this is the first thing I'm trying to put out. And that's where you need to look at whether paid traffic is in fact, a next step you may need to take in order to help you to validate. Now, I kind of contradict myself, because I say you need to have an offer in place in order to test in order to sell. But if you actually have budget aside, and and are willing to test that budget to find your audience, that's where using your budget to do basically your your market research right off the bat can really help you to determine whether those things are actually validated. This stems from a lot of people that I've worked with over the years that come to me to have great ideas like this, especially high ticket coaching programs, I have a webinar, I'm going to convert, everything's great. Well, the goal is to actually get people onto the webinar, that job of the app, but the conversion on that webinars actually you as the person, so it helps people to determine where the ads can help you find the right people. But it can also help, the ultimate decision comes down to you being able to sell when it comes to that webinar. So for a lot of people without that organic level, they're kind of sitting blind, like, well, I can't get in front of people, because I don't, I don't have people to get in front of. And that's where you'll hear a lot of people talk about $1,000 method, which just is essentially investing up to $1,000 into figuring out who your audience is online. Again, I only recommend this method, if you have that budget to spend, you're willing to invest to help you essentially shortcut that system to building organic traffic. If not, it's really, really getting creative with who, what platforms you should be on organically. It's figuring out, you know, where where people are that you need to hit up. So if you're saying I don't have an audience, but you're only sitting on a Facebook page, you're not really utilizing YouTube, or Instagram or TED Talk, or, God help me Snapchat. These are the things that that you have to be willing to do the work in order to find it. So if you don't have the budget to play around with ads, even at that testing level, you have to be willing to invest your time and your energy in getting to that audience. And that can mean you have to be on Tick tock, you have to start building a YouTube channel, you have to start emailing and getting people onto your email list and really doing everything you can to build that organic level for you first,
Alyson Lex 19:11
you are speaking our language Jenny and I say all the time, you can either pay for it, or you can work for it. That's exactly why your way in or work your way in. And so I really liked the way that you broke that down that it is possible to use ads to build that part two, launch yourself in there. It's just going to cost you money to do it. And I really appreciate that you talked about metrics. Because I love looking at the data and the metrics and understanding what numbers I need to know to see if this is something I should keep pursuing. So that leads me to my next question, which is what numbers do I need to know and I recognize that Facebook has numbers and my Landing Page software might have numbers and my shopping carts gonna have numbers and my CRM is gonna, everything's gonna have numbers. What numbers do I need? How do I put them together?
Kelly Sturtevant 20:11
Good question. So on a base level when you start running traffic, for paid marketing, and you have to know what your goals are. So for instance, let's keep this bare bare basic minimum, we have a lead magnet, we're trying to get people onto our email list. So this is the standard list building, we're gonna pay money to get people into our organic method. Generally speaking, it can cost you anywhere between $1 and up to $25. An email, depending on what it is you're offering. Most lead magnets, so a free PDF, a free video training a free, whatever small small entry point for someone to, to take you there to give you your email, these should cost you less than about seven $8. On average, between one and $7, you should be willing to spend to bring someone into your email list. So the first thing you always look at is your cost per result. If your cost per result is higher than this, you need to consider whether you're willing to spend that money knowing you know whether they're converting in the back end, or whether you just want to build your list as fast as you can that you willing to pay for that. When it comes to things like webinars or boot camps, or you know, two day trainings at Facebook groups, notice the cost goes up. And this can be I actually a client right now we're running ads to a five day challenge. And we're getting leads right now at 25 and $35, for a free challenge. So it's understanding that, again, whatever that end point is, you have to reverse engineer back to see what it's worth to you. And a lot of times, one of the biggest metrics people don't realize, and again, we all think, well, I just got to get traffic to whatever it is I'm going to sell and then people are going to convert. The truth of the matter is a standard e commerce business converts at one to 3%. That means one to 3% of people who land on any given page on our website is going to buy from them. So you can imagine how much traffic you actually need to get to that page in order to make the sale. The same goes true when it comes to things like your lead magnets, your webinars, your small ticket products and all this kind of thing. The rate of conversion is low, a standard webinar. And we're talking probably in that, you know that 297 to 997 range where you can just make a sale after the webinar. It converts roughly between one and 3%. So if you reverse engineer back, okay, I know I want to make 10 sales 10 sales is let's say 1%. Because my math, I think I know that I don't what 10 people is 1% which means we now need to get 1000 people to watch my webinar, we know that people who show up in a webinars maybe 20 to 40%. So now we need I don't even know where I'm at now 100,000 people to get to that sale point. So it helps you to kind of reverse engineer back what that math is in order to determine if it makes sense to you. The same goes with any products and if you have things like trip wires or low ticket fruit after an opt in that can help you to reduce your ad costs and essentially bring people in for free which is the best thing to do. Um, but again, those convert on standard averages I think a tripwire is between five and 20% of people who who hit your lead magnet. So it's really understanding what again, what your end results are, what you're willing to pay to bring someone into your ecosystem what is their life value to you, and whether it makes sense for you at the beginning parts to continue that process.
Alyson Lex 24:04
I love I wanted to jump in I know Jenny probably has questions because she is the list build master. And so I know you said challenge her ears perked up. And she might want to ask you about cost for leads on summit's, but before she does. Totally just lost track of my question. Jenny go and I'm gonna
Jennie Wright 24:27
do it. Yeah. So okay. You talked about 3d PDFs. And that would be like 780 dollars on average webinars and boot camps. You were talking about 25 to $35 per lead. How about online summits? What's the What do you think is the average Have you been running ads for online summit? Do you have any experience with that because that's my realm.
Kelly Sturtevant 24:47
That would be pretty similar to the webinar or boot camp model is about people, getting people to that. Now again, that is that is very broad, very generic types of numbers. The more you know your own Obviously, the goal would be to reduce those costs, especially right now with the changes with iOS in the spring and everything that's been happening since then, costs have just increased. We used to even last year we could get people into summits, and to webinars and all that kind of stuff about $10. So you can see just even in a year, how much that cost has actually increased to people.
Jennie Wright 25:21
It really feels like the beginner, the person starting out even the person in their early stages or even, you know, have just been in business for a couple of years and never run ads, it feels like they're getting priced out. And that's all I think that's a problem.
Kelly Sturtevant 25:37
Yeah, this is where a lot of people will will say things like, well, Facebook ads don't work for businesses, it's too expensive, I can't, I can't generate those kind of leads. And a lot of times, it's because they don't understand exactly what ads can really do for your business. And with the changes with iOS right now, advertisers have actually had to kind of take a step back, because for years, it's just been handed to us, you know, with it with the data that Facebook provides us in terms of Facebook, pixel, and cookies, and all this stuff that are put on websites, we've been able to get very intimate with our, with our customers to know exactly everything that they do. I mean, I've seen people who have asked Facebook for their entire data records, and they have folder upon folder upon folder, every possible thing you can think of that they they've touched. But when it comes to ads, now advertisers have had to get back to basics. And it's understanding you need brand awareness. People don't buy from businesses they buy from people, and it's putting your message out there and providing that value to people free and and, and freely giving it that really makes a difference for it. So for those businesses that, that feel that they're out priced into running any kind of paid marketing, whether it is Facebook or any other platform, it's really understanding that you have to have brand awareness. And it's getting people into that ecosystem for as low of a point as you can and converting them organically. So for instance, if if I had a business that came to me, and they're like, I want to start running ads, I don't have a large budget, I'm working with me or maybe a couple $100, what is the best thing I can do? My answer is always going to be whatever you can do to make your brand aware to them. So that's video content. Video is exploding all over the place and increase in every level of engagement. So video is always the first thing to do video views is the only ad you can run, where you can actually build an audience off of people who have watched that video, the only app. So you can have videos, or you can have ads that come to your website, or they take specific action or whatnot. And especially with all the iOS changes, you can't track them. But you can track who's watched portions of your video. Because it doesn't take them off of Facebook. Facebook owns that data. It's not selling it to anybody. It's not, you know, there's no cookies or anything for it. So you can build that audience. So that's the first thing I do, then it's how do I get people into my email list. So that's why I say everyone should have a, an entry point or more to get people into your list because no matter what people say, email marketing is never going to be dead. It may go through ebbs and flows, we may see like right now we see an insurgence of like text marketing and messenger marketing. But the core of all of that is still your email list. And email is the only list you own 100% outright. So no one can take that away from you. As we saw just recently, Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp completely shut down for several hours. And businesses were scrambling because they have not figured out other methods to get in front of their audience. And that's where your email list comes up. Because guess what, I could still email my list, I could still sell to them through my list. So when you look at your paid marketing, we may not have big budgets to sell them directly, our our webinars or high ticket products or even our small products, but we can run ads at a low level to build our list. So if all we're doing is putting five and $10 in a day to bring people into our email list, isn't that worth it? I mean, $5 a day. Well, my math, we're looking at about $150 a month if we were acquiring 150 people onto our email list every month. Isn't that worth it? Just my god yeah,
Jennie Wright 29:38
I take that all day long and twice on Sunday. totally
Alyson Lex 29:41
right. Especially if you have that ladder. To then I'm really really, um, you know what I'm gonna say it now it's one of my takeaways. I love how you said, get people into your ecosystem for as low an investment as possible, and then convert them organically. That's a very cool way to think of I can't thank you enough for getting up on your soapbox. teaching us about prepping for ads not even the running, which I'm sure we could have another 12 hour conversation about, where can our listeners get in touch with you?
Kelly Sturtevant 30:15
You can find me on every single social media platform with the handle at Cal stirred amount. Or you can find me on my website, blue page social calm.
Jennie Wright 30:26
Oh my gosh, okay, Kelly, this was too much fun. And again, just like Allison said, we could keep going and going and going, but we're gonna, we're gonna transition we're going to do our takeaways, we're going to wrap this up. Absolutely go check out Kelly on all of her things. Definitely worth your time and effort to do that. So my first takeaway is making sure that before you run paid traffic to anything, that you have something to run the paid traffic to which I completely agree with what Kelly was saying, Do you have an offer? Do you have an audience to sell to like, figure out all those types of things right? Before you start doing ads?
Alyson Lex 31:00
I really wanted to call out the idea that when we, when you ask if you have an ads budget, it doesn't mean a budget, that's gonna lead to profit. It's Do you have a an ad testing budget? Are you okay, walking away knowing that the money you're spending is gone. And all you have to show for it is data. If not, you don't have an ads budget, I thought that was really cool.
Jennie Wright 31:30
I love that one, it's easy to look at that. And because we tie those, we tie our ads budget in directly to the result. And I think people are like, if I spent $350, like, I could make $3,000 and all this kind of stuff. And we you know, no, but there's been no testing all those different kinds of things. So there's a lot, there's a lot on the line there, you know, and when it comes to the value ladder, which we were also talking about, which I've totally got into today, we need to understand what that value letter is going to be. And we also need to be okay with the fact that it might change that if it doesn't work, you can let out the bath you know the the I hate this phrase, but it's the baby with the bathwater. It's a very old phrase, but it's making sure that you're okay letting go of the thing that's not working and then putting into something that actually does work. So you know, please DM me a better phrase to say so that I don't sound like I'm not being it's
Alyson Lex 32:22
so funny, because the word nerd in me was just like, I knew where that comes from.
Jennie Wright 32:27
Yeah, the etymology I love, I love knowing the love phrases, and I love the etymology of the English language, we could have a whole conversation about that
Alyson Lex 32:33
we could. Alright, and I just want to reiterate that your goal with ads is to get them into your world, and then follow up organically. So don't think that ads are just going to be your profit center. They're the way to get them into your profit center. So I think that's a really important distinction. And that's why I said, This is my takeaway.
Jennie Wright 32:55
Ellie, thanks so much for spending time with us today. We really appreciate everything that you said, it's been wonderful having you on the podcast, thank you so much.
Kelly Sturtevant 33:02
Oh, I'm so glad it was wonderful to be with you guys. And I like that I love chatting and sharing all of my knowledge so
Jennie Wright 33:08
and quite the knowledge base you have, you would like Alison and i, you could probably talk about the thing for ever. So I really appreciate that. Thanks so much, everybody for listening to this particular podcast. Make sure you check the show notes to get all of Kelly's links and all the information that she shared today, so that you don't miss a thing. And we really appreciate you listening. Make sure you're following us wherever it is that you listen to your favorite podcasts, and hopefully we're one of them. Thanks so much for being on and we'll be back again soon with another great guest and more awesome questions.