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Facebook Ads for Coaches: The Ultimate Guide in 2022

Want to learn how to use Facebook ads for coaches? 

You’re in the right place. Today, you’ll learn how to use ads and scale your high-ticket coaching program. 

Want to learn more? Read on. 

Do Facebook ads work for coaches?

Facebook ads are a great client acquisition channel for your coaching business for a few reasons. 

First, they offer deep engagement. People typically spend a lot of time on Facebook (73% of Facebook users use Facebook daily and the average time they spend during each visit is 6 minutes 23 seconds). 

And thanks to the amount of data Facebook has on its users, ads give you the ability to be very specific about who you show them to (your ideal clients). Most other platforms don’t have that same data specificity and so you have to buy more ads to make sales. 

Plus, you can run ads with relatively small budgets. Traditionally, advertising used to cost a lot of money (just think of those $7 million SuperBowl commercials). With this in mind, Facebook, when it started selling ads, was extremely transformative for a lot of small businesses. And it still is today. 

In short, Facebook is often one of the fastest ways to grow your coaching business.

But wait… Aren’t Facebook ads ‘dead’?

A persistent myth in the coaching world (and online business world) is that Facebook ads are dead. 

Sure, ad costs are increasing and your potential clients’ newsfeeds are getting more and more cluttered.

And yet, my clients — in various industries (we’re talking confidence, career coaching, business development, and health, just to name a few) — continue to enjoy profitable campaigns.

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How?

Because they’re not blindly using the same scripts and tactics that everyone else is.

Instead, they’re able to create their own tactics that work because they’ve mastered the underlying strategies:

Learning to grab your audience’s attention, find your audience, and speak to them. And doing it using their unique personalities, styles, and stories.

If you can use these underlying strategies, then heck yeah people are still going to pay attention to your ads and want to learn more. (I mean, to use our SuperBowl example again: is anyone saying SuperBowl ads are dead? Same principle.)

Another reason people shout, “Facebook ads don’t work” is that they rely on one traffic source (like Facebook ads). When ad costs increase, the profitability of their campaigns vary over time (which is normal), or their industry becomes more saturated, they aren’t able to adapt. 

Facebook ads aren’t a silver bullet. They’re one strategy to drive traffic, but they’re not the ONLY strategy you should use in your business. 

So yes, Facebook ads work. But when should you start using them? That’s what we’ll look at next. 

When should you start using Facebook ads? 

To use Facebook ads, you need to have a strong offer that other people are willing to pay for. You could either get potential clients to sign up for a sales call with you or sign up for your email list. If you don’t have one yet, take a look at this blog post or this quick YouTube video: 

Also, note that Facebook ads aren’t the best way to start if you haven’t sold your offer before. Get started with more organic sales strategies, like podcasts, your own network, and social media. I outline the steps in this video: 

But if you DO have a sales process in place and existing clients, then it’s time to focus on traffic, aka Facebook ads. 

With Facebook, you get more people to your sales process, and hence more sales. 

That’s what plenty of my own clients have done.

And as a result, they’ve gotten results like this:

How do Facebook ads work?

Before we look at how you can use Facebook ads for your coaching business, let’s explore Facebook ads terminology. You absolutely need to know these works to successfully set up your ads.

Facebook ad terminology 

Here is the most common Facebook ads terminology to know: 

Sales funnel

A sales funnel is the process of converting someone who visits your website/offer into a client. A common coaching business sales funnel will typically look like this:

Facebook ad → Email subscriber → Sales call → Sale 

Ad campaign

An ad campaign is the collection of ads you publish on Facebook to achieve your goal. Your campaigns can be time-limited and have a certain budget. I typically recommend that coaches (if you’re new to ads) spend around $50/day. (This is another one of the reasons why I don’t recommend using ads if you’re not already making sales in your business!) 

You’ll need to test your campaigns first but once you’ve built a converting campaign, you’ll continue running them every day. 

Target audience

A target audience is the specific audience you want to target with your ads; in other words, your clients. In terms of Facebook ads, you can target people based on different variables, such as their likes, age, if they’ve visited your website, and so on. 

Custom Audience

You can upload your own audience list for an ad campaign. This is called a custom audience. 

Lookalike Audience

A Lookalike Audience is an audience with similar characteristics as your customers. You set up a Lookalike Audience by using an existing Custom Audience. Typically, your source audience should be between 1,000 to 5,000 people

You can then use a percentage range to choose how closely your audience should match your existing audience.

CPC, CPM, CPA, CPE

Facebook’s different pricing options:

CPC (cost-per-click): With CPC, you set a budget and pay when someone clicks on your ad.

CPM (cost-per-mille): CPM means that you pay when Facebook has shown your ad 1,000 times. 

Optimized CPM: Facebook optimizes your ad so that it is shown to people who are more likely to take the action you want. You pay for impressions. 

CPA (cost-per-action): You pay when someone takes action on your website (for instance, by signing up for a webinar). 

CPE (cost-per-engagement): You pay for getting people to engage with your Facebook page. 

Facebook pixel

A Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website to measure, optimize, and build audiences for your ad campaigns. 

Facebook retargeting

Facebook retargeting lets you reach people who have already engaged with your business. For instance, they’ve read a blog post or visited your website.

Placements

Placements are the places where your ads can appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. 

A/B testing

A/B testing, or split testing, lets you test different variables, including ad creatives, placements, or audiences so that you can understand what strategy works best and use this for future campaigns. 

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Facebook ad objectives

When you set up your Facebook ads, you need to decide between different objectives. These are:

  • Awareness: With this objective, you increase brand awareness by generating interest for your business. For instance, you get likes or drive people to read your blog.
  • Consideration: You can use this objective to help people join your audience. For example, run a campaign to get them to join your email list or sign up for a webinar.
  • Conversions: This objective is all about getting people to buy your services. For example by re-engaging website visitors. 

I recommend that you focus on the consideration stage (to build an email audience). Once people have signed up for your email list, you can send them a link to book a call with you or buy your services. 

Facebook ad formats

You can use different ad formats to create your Facebook ads. These are: 

Image

Image ads are the most common ads where you show an image of your product, brand, or an image that illustrates your message. 

One of my own image ads.

Video

Video ads include video. This ad format can be highly engaging. After all, video gets 59% more engagement than other post types. 

Facebook video ad
One of my own video ads.

Carousel ads show up to ten images or videos in one ad with links to each image/video. 

Instant Experience

Instant Experience is a full-screen experience. It opens when a user taps your ad on a mobile device. 

Collection

A collection features multiple products. It opens as an Instant Experience when someone clicks on it. 

Stories

Stories ads are ads that are presented as stories across Meta’s platforms. 

Messenger

Messenger ads are shown in Messenger. People are able to interact with the ad business there. 

Slideshow

Slideshows are made of video, sound, and text.

Playables 

Playables are mainly relevant for apps. They offer an app preview to users.

Facebook ad types 

In addition to ad formats, you can choose between different Facebook ad types: 

Boosted posts

You can boost your Facebook posts and get more views and engagement that way. Click on Promote and choose Boosted Post. 

Page like ads

With page like ads, you get more likes on your Facebook page. Click on Promote my page in the Promote menu.

Website visitor ads

Website visitor ads help you promote your website by sending people to your landing pages and blog posts. To make an ad, click on Get More Website Visitors in the Promote menu.

Website purchase ads

Thanks to your Facebook pixel data, website purchase ads target people who’ve already shown interest in your business. To set them up, click on Get More Website Purchases in the Promote menu. 

Automated ads

Automated ads are an AI-powered tool that walks you through the process of setting up a campaign. Click on Get Started With Automated Ads in the Promote menu.

Lead ads

Leads ads include an Instant Form so that you can collect people’s information (such as their email address) right away. Set up lead ads in Ad Manager.

Event ads

You can promote your Facebook events with event ads. Event ads, just like lead ads, are set up in Ads Manager.

How do you market your coaching business on Facebook?

When used in the right way, Facebook ads can be a fantastic way to scale your business. That said, you need to know how to use them. That’s what you’ll learn next.

How do you find coaching clients on Facebook with Facebook ads?

One of the biggest mistakes new coaches make with their Facebook ads? 

They start too early and end up pouring money down the drain. Too many coaches don’t take the time to first learn about their audience before creating ads. Or they don’t learn enough about what it takes to create great ads.

They burn through their budget, don’t build enough traffic, or are too impatient to see results. 

That’s why I didn’t start marketing my first online business, a digital advertising consultancy, with the help of Facebook ads. (Yes, even though I was selling ads consulting, I didn’t start by selling my services using ads.)

I first had to learn who my audience was. 

How? By going onto social media and talking to entrepreneurs who needed help with their ads.

In fact, I didn’t start spending more on ads until I had made over $100,000 in my business. 

At that point, I was selling an online course and wanted to scale. 

Think I slapped up some ads and assumed they’d work just like that? 

No! I used some money to run my ads. But I was working hard to get people to my Facebook group so that I could engage them further. 

And that’s why I was able to first have an $8,000 launch, followed by a $100,000 launch, and an $800,000 launch.

Here I talk about my first launch, if you’re interested to learn more.

Facebook ads were a part of those launches, but they weren’t the only reason I was able to grow so fast. 

And I never used more money than I could afford. Sure, for my $800,000 launch, I had an $80,000 ad budget. But that was only because of how much cash I’d already saved up in my business, so I would have recovered even if worst case scenario, I had “lost” that money.

And it’s only now, many years later, that I have an “evergreen” funnel where I don’t actively need to do anything to bring in new clients to my business (and even today, I don’t rely on just Facebook ads). 

So while, yes, Facebook ads have helped me grow my business, I always had other things working for me. And that’s how you should think about ads, too.

Learn how to use them, be patient, and, simultaneously, use other strategies to acquire clients. 

Ultimately, Facebook ads can bring in great results. I share more in this video about how to scale from six to seven-figures:

How to create successful Facebook ads for coaches 

How do you create successful ads, then? 

The success of your ads depends on your ads… but also your funnel. Let’s take a look at both.

Facebook ads 

Your Facebook ads require a few things:

  • A visual (image or video)
  • A headline
  • Copy 
  • And a call to action (by adding a call to action button to your ads, clicks can increase by 2.85x

One of the best ways to get people interested in your ads is to evoke curiosity. And a good formula for this is AIDA, the classical marketing acronym:

  • Attention: Grab your audience’s attention. What would make your client interested in learning more?
  • Interest: Be interesting and show how you can help your audience. 
  • Desire: Make people understand why they want your service. 
  • Action: Have a specific call to action. What is it people should do next?

For instance, one of my best performing ads was a video where I talked about how all I got from the time I spent at college was a “lousy t-shirt”: 

Facebook video ad

You also need to target your ads so that they reach the right people. That usually includes a bit of testing upfront, so make sure you budget for that. 

But overall, look at the interests of your existing clients, the sites they follow, and so on. That’s how you start targeting your clients. 

Funnel

With “funnel,” I don’t mean an overly complicated funnel but just a few moving pieces: 

  • An email list with a few automated emails (use these to get people to watch your webinar and buy your services) 
  • A webinar 
  • A call link (you can use Calendly and promote your call link on your webinar so that people click on it and are directed to the call scheduling page)  

With your funnel, you convert people who find you through Facebook ads. But without a well-converting funnel, you could be throwing away all that money you spend on your ads. 

Take my client Emily, a career coach. The first time she ran a webinar, 20 people signed up.

4 people showed up live, which is not bad.

But…

No sales were made.

Here’s why…

Even though she gave great “value” on her webinar, it wasn’t enough. (Contrary to what most marketing “gurus” tell you.)

Her potential clients left the webinar appreciating what she’d taught, BUT not knowing how or if what she had to offer was different from other career coaches…or even from a dedicated Google session.

Using my advice, she made a few key updates that both gave incredible value AND showed her potential clients…

…Why SHE was the best career coach for them

…And why working with a career coach is a LOT more effective than trying to do it on your own

On her next webinar…

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She spent $208.67 on Facebook ads and got 29 sign-ups.

Out of those 29 people, she made 2 sales for $2,000.

In other words, she made $9.58 for every $1 that she spent on advertising.

Her next webinar after that? 

She spent $228.03 and made $3,000.

And then she started to make $10,000 to $20,000 every month. Today, she runs a multiple 6-figure business. Not just thanks to Facebook ads, but thanks to her funnel as well. 

That’s the power of Facebook ads, combined with a strategic funnel. Use both to get the best results. 

Over to you!

There you have it! Now you know how to use Facebook ads for coaches. 

What it comes down to is that you use a proven Facebook ads strategy and don’t think of ads—for any platform—as a “silver bullet.”

Have you already tried Facebook ads?

Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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