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Whatever it is that you do and whatever it is you help people with, I’m going to be helping you think through and create an effective client acquisition machine using content marketing and Facebook ads strategies you’ll be able to go and implement and get results from after reading this.
Below is a visual breakdown of the first half of the customer journey. This is the portion of the customer journey we’ll be primarily focused on throughout the post. The above diagram will be a reference for later on in the post.
So, take a quick look at the 4 steps shown below and let’s get ready to dive into breaking this down and creating an effective strategy for you to start implementing within the next 24 hours to get you more leads, sales and revenue!
And just so you’re aware of what the the second half of this diagram would be about, it’s focus is the ascension, retention and profit maximization phases. You can read more in depth about all stages of the customer journey here.
Before getting too deep into client acquisition for your coaching business…
Before you start, I want to quickly mention and link some helpful content here so that if you need to, you can get a better and more holistic view of the digital marketing landscape so this all makes a bit more sense.
- If you havent read my other post about the basics of lead generation for coaches, I’d highly recommend checking that out before diving into this.
- If you’re not already somewhat familiar with the stages of conversion (aka the customer journey) check out this post so you have at least a basic understanding of why we’re going to be approaching lead generation using content (ideally video) the way we’ll be going over below.
- If you’re looking for a general strategy development process before you read this, check out this post that goes over all aspects of digital marketing and ends with how we sequentially develop a strategy for digital marketing based on your business and goals/objectives.
All of the above resources will help you understand the “why” behind the deeper and more tactical parts of this process / strategy a bit more. It’ll also help you understand why we’ll be doing the things we’re doing. in this deep dive into the strategy behind video content for lead generation and client acquisition.
So, let’s get into it.
I want to give you a heads up on what you’ll likely need to have success with this before you invest a ton of time reading and learning. This is a PAID strategy. Which means you’ll need to pay a social media channel (Facebook) to show your content to your target audience (we’ll go over how to target effective and accurate audience segments on facebook business manager that align with our customer avatar or buyer persona).
That doesn’t mean you need to spend an insane amount of money to find and scale what works and eliminate what doesn’t but you should be prepared to spend $500-$2000 initially without seeing results.
You’ll likely see results from this but I want to prepare you for the worst case scenario. I’m not saying you won’t get results (it’s likely going to turn out that you reach your business goals / hit KPIs sooner than you’d expect) but what I’m saying is that you should only spend what you’re prepared to lose JUST IN CASE.
The basic breakdown of this strategy for any kind of coach is as follows:
1. Create a high level digital marketing strategy for your business
this should include:
- Identify and understand your target audience and customer avatar(s)
- Your core offer(s)
- Your digital assets (website, blog posts, videos, images, case studies, etc.)
- A logical offer sequence that bring prospects down your funnel FASTER. In other words, you should know the steps people need to take before they’re prepared to talk with and consider being coached by you.
- What content should they consume before they get offered your lead magnet? What should they be doing before getting on your calendar? What should they or will they likely need to know to understand if the relationship will be aligned and create value for both parties?
- lead magnet (pdf, checklist, video series, webinar, e-book, etc.)
- tripwire offer (anything that shows an increase in commitment level (time or money spent on a resource of yours or maybe a 1 hour coaching session for cheap (possibly free since committing to spending time with you is a commitment level increase) to see if your coaching style fits their needs and wants and further the relationship and potential client.
- core offer or offers
- upsells (add ons / profit maximizers)
- anything else you can offer or charge for (additional resources, tools or value adds) that you think would help your target audience
- calls to action
- qualification steps (making sure you arent wasting time on people that don’t align with what you do as a coach while also ensuring they’re in the financial position to take advantage of your services)
2. Create more content to test target audience resonance with
This is probably the most important part of the strategy.
This is the meat and potatoes. You need to be prepared to create and test content resonance level with whoever it is you decide to target on Facebook. If your content doesnt resonate or “click” with your target audience, you need to change your content strategy up.
If you had $10K and 2 weeks to create a massive amount of video content, I can guarantee you’ll find what works and what content helps the most when it comes to conversion and building trust and credibility.
Side note: Something most coaches I help out and talk with don’t understand is that you need to transfer in person social skills to online social skills. You need to know how to develop relationships with your content ideally using video (quicker intimacy and trust build if done right) which I’ll dive more into later in the post.
3. Scale what works and quickly eliminate what doesn’t
This sounds obvious but when it gets down to the nitty gritty and you’re in the trenches running and testing ads, copy, content, CTAs/button text, targeting options, etc. we sometimes forget the objective of testing. And that is to find what works, do more of it, get rid of what isn’t, and if we can, find more combinations that work for reaching your business objectives.
I like to think of this phase as an ongoing science experiment.
Picture yourself in a brand a new home with nothing but a stove, an oven, raw meat, some leftover condiments (sauces and spices) that you haven’t used before and your job is to find what combination of heat, time, condiments, and pan / cooking material ends up with the best tasting and best cooked meat. In order for you to know though, you need to create a hypothesis about what you think would be best and correct / tweak the combination over and over till it’s just right.
You have to consider a lot of variables at one time and you need to get a combination of variables right before you see any consistent success. You’re basically looking at every part of your marketing strategy and your deep in the trench tactics and identifying the variables that are impacting your results the most. There could be a variety of reasons your strategy isn’t working initially. I’ll list a few common ones below:
- It could be that your services aren’t valued (no product market fit)
- It could be that your target audience isnt actually who you think it is (you could think that you serve a specific demographic well but you actually have a service that fits and adds more value to another demographic segment within the market)
- It could be the content (this is easier to rapid fire test and get feedback from since it’s a tangible and quantifiable metric we can use on facebook ad options (yes, you can see and target people that have watched x amount of your video content and retarget another piece of content or even a direct ad to those that watched up to a certain point of your video))
It’s like you’re looking at a bunch of levers but have no idea what combination of levers is the “right combination” to unlocking buckets of leads constantly pouring into your CRM that want to take advantage of your offer and use your services.
Hopefully you understand what point I’m trying to make but if not, just know you need to consider, test, and find what works and what doesnt so you can do more of the stuff that works.
And the last thing I’ll mention here is the fact that this is a phase of lots of activity that you’ll go through that compounds in value the more you do it. Because the more you refine your approaches, content, copy, etc. the better you’ll understand what does and doesnt work so you can replicate the success but using different variables. Once you hit this phase, growth and revenue increases become normal and you start to gamify it all and see how fast you can create and scale successful campaigns.
This is how I got started online and what’s kept me here for the years I’ve been doing this stuff. It’s really just a fun way to understand people better, increase revenue, add value to the market, and hone in your skills as a marketer.
So, if you’re a coach I’m going to be helping you basically get started on Facebook and start raking in clients through Facebook marketing with a heavy focus on video content generation and effective distribution/sequencing. This is going to be a paid ads strategy. You can obviously do free and organic social posts but you likely won’t get the volume you need to test and find successful content, ad placements, calls to action and targeting options available on facebook
What we’ll be discussing throughout the rest of this post:
- Identifying your target audience and their desired transformation
- Relationship development using content
- Sequencing paid video ads strategically to drive prospects from (step 1) awareness all the way to (step 4) conversion
- Creating a landing page and lead magnet
- Nurture sequences and retargeting
The first important thing to consider when selling anything is the relationship development aspect. No matter who you are or who you’re speaking to, you want to have an authentic relationship with the person that you’re trying to serve.
This whole strategy is centered around our tightly held philosophy that personal and authentic relationships are the starting point of any paid relationship.
We need to understand the needs of the individual we are trying to serve before pitching them anything even if its a free guide on how to improve something we think everyone needs to improve in their life (health, mindfulness, confidence, etc.). We dont want to waste others time or ours.
So what we do instead is create and distribute content that is likely to resonate with ideal clients. We want lots of top of funnel content which is content not intended to do anything but build relationships, rapport and trust with the people that the content is viewed by.
Just in case you want to go deeper into the broad overview of warming up a facebook audience from “cold” to “ready to buy”, here’s a post focused only on warming up audiences on FB to get them ready to do business with you.
This will do more than just build up trust and all that fun stuff. It’ll also give you an opportunity to show your knowledge and value before asking for anything in return. So we need to be doing things like putting out videos, blogs, or podcasts about common problems you see clients of yours having and how you help clients navigate those issues.
You can also check out one of my favorite resources on digital marketing (digital marketer) for more content ideas.
So once you have an understanding as to who you serve how you serve them, what differentiates you from other coaches out there, and other things that will help seperate you from other individuals in your industry with the same target audience, then ideally what you want to be doing is creating and effectively distributing videos to build up your authority like I mentioned above.
Get Good With/On Video | Mass Produce / Distribute Video Content
By 2022, video viewing will account for 82% of all internet traffic
SIDE NOTE: There are so many benefits to video, if you’re not good at being on video right now, I highly suggest just getting on video pushing stuff out there just getting good at being on camera because that’s going to serve you well even outside of the digital marketing space.
If you do speaking gigs or anything that builds authority, ideally, that’s what you want to record and distribute. We want to have at least 1-3 solid high authority / trust building videos that we can go out and push to cold audiences on Facebook.
To see if there’s a dramatic difference in the video consumption for each impression y based on the type of videoideally you should start out with creating and testing with these video types listed below
- High authority video (displaying yourself speaking, coaching, consulting, or doing any kind of instructing publicly or in a group setting)
- Here’s an (old) example by one of my favorite digital marketers Jeremy Haynes
- High emotion/transparency video where the goal is to create a real, authentic, deep bond with the person consuming the video (ideally telling your story, your struggles, your mission, why you do what you do, and anything else that helps the target audience trust you more through authenticity and transparency)
- Here’s an example again by one of my favorite marketers
- High curiosity video this should have the goal of intriguing the viewer and getting them to want to watch more or continue consuming content of yours. You may have to be a little more strategic with this kind of video so if you can’t think of a good way to deploy this kind of video, just test with the two video types above. Unfortunately I don’t have a great example to show you.
One of the most effective first videos to show to a cold audience (audiences that dont know you, your brand, or what you’re about) is a life story like I mentioned above. Just really
Targeting and Sequencing Your Ads
Some of you may already know this but you can go and pay for those video ads to be placed in front of very specific people.
Check out the targeting options here specific targeting on ads for cold audiences to show your videos to. Shown above is a small sample of what you can do with cold audience targeting.
I’m sure a majority of you reading this right now have been targeted with very specific ads based off of your interests, the groups that you’re in, Google searches, websites you visited and a ton of other third party data sharing. With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that Facebook has about an 85% accuracy when it comes to ad targeting.
Using facebook to identify and target your video ads to people that fit your ideal demographics, interests, financial situation and other key ICP (ideal customer profile) criteria is probably one of the smartest ways to use your money.
You’re essentially paying to make sure you’re not wasting your time or money on people that arent qualified or probably wouldnt be a good fit for what you have to offer.
So, when you have videos out there you want to take that video and target that video to ideal cold audiences / prospects without asking for anything in return. But the goal of the video is to, again, develop relationships, develop authority and develop rapport with people so they even take time to consider buying from you later on down the road when they see your face on an ad again.
So, when people are scrolling on Facebook, you want to try your hardest to make sure that the video isn’t being scrolled past, you want the people to consume the video, at least 50% of the video. But ideally, 75 to 100%.
This isnt just for the heck of it, it’s a vital part of the overall strategy because the percentage of the video that is watched is actually tracked by Facebook and can be used to create something called a custom audience.
You can create a custom audience based on the percentage of the video that was watched like I mentioned above. So getting people to watch your first video 75% or more is the first qualifying factor before audiences move to the next step of the ad sequence / funnel (1. awareness > 2. engagement > 3. conversion) and before it triggers the next ad.
“enter the number of days people will remain in your audience after they engage with your video(s). People are removed from your audience after the set time period unless they engage with the video(s) again.
For example, if you tell Facebook to go back 30 days and a person engaged 29 days ago, they’ll be in your audience. However, if they fail to engage the next day, they’ll be removed from the audience. Anyone new who engages within the time period you choose will be added to the audience. This means that the audience is constantly being refreshed, so you don’t need to edit or create a new Engagement Custom Audience unless you want to change the time period or the type of engagement.“
So essentially what you’ll be setting up is an automated machine on Facebook that you set up prequalifiying factors for and then you let it sit and push money into the machine and test over and over again till you have an efficient acquisiton machine.
Obviously here’s more to this than just wads which we’ll get into in a second but know that the ads are vital and where the most volume of people will be. So making sure that your videos you’re pushing out are good and targeted to the right people along with having compelling copy, is essential.
After that, you’ll want to set up a second campaign retargeting the people that have viewed at 75% or more of that video this, in this is where it gets kind of tricky depending on what your objective is and what you’re trying to do. You want to have content that starts to answer questions that starts to basically provide value for who it is that you’re targeting/retargeting.
And you want to start pushing out those videos that help solve problems you deal with a lot. I would even (depending on your budget), push out 5-10 and find out which pieces of content are doing the best and start to get feedback on what is resonating most with the people that you’re targeting.
This is an iterative process that requires testing and optimization. You’ll either want to manage this yourself manually, outsource it to someone or use some AI tech that auto-optimizes for you based on objectives and specific metrics you want to base your decisions off of (CPM, CPL, CPA, etc.)
And those pieces of content you’re pushing out should be leading to a landing page with your lead magnet (which should be mentioned at the end of your vides you pushed out along with a “learn more” CTA (call to action) on the video ad.
So when you’re on Facebook, if you were the target audience, you want to have people viewing the content, and then clicking on the “Learn more” or “download now” on each of these video ads, there should be an invitation for you to get the free lead magnet you’ve created for your target audience.
Below is an example of what call to action options there are on video ads that you can choose from. But again, if you’re driving traffic to a landing page where people get their lead magnet, I’ve seen “download now” and “learn more” work best.
And if you dont know what a lead magnet is, it’s basically something you create before someone does business with you at all. It’s really just a qualifier / filter to make sure you aren’t wasting your time with someone thats not quite ready to work with you. The prospect views it as a high value item that they can use to help them to progress in some way but to you it’s mostly another phase in the process of conversion and acquisition.
So this is basically to get them into a nurture sequence and into a retargeting campaign as well. The goal is to give them some free value up front in exchange for their email address along with their consent to communicate with them in the future.
You have their email now, you gave them a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. You gave them something of value in exchange for something you can use to have free and direct communication with them without paying for it or relaying on other platforms to deliver your message.
Now you push out emails and retargeting campaigns to those specific emails on Facebook. I won’t dive into the specifics of retargeting or using custom audiences using CSV files here but here’s a link to a page about using your email list for targeting on facebooks platform if you want to dive in and read more about it.
So, just to be clear, those videos that you push out after your awareness and engagement campaigns, should be inviting them to get their free lead magnet at the end of the video(s). And the content that you push out should be related to the lead magnet in some way. Or you should be able to go from the content and somehow tie the lead magnet into the end of the content somehow.
Creating a Landing Page and Lead Magnet for Your Coaching Offers/Services
For example, this company shows free fitness videos on facebook and other social platforms, then gets people to come and watch more videos on their site as a little “teaser” to get them to want to watch the rest of them in exchange for their email address. Then those people that give their email to watch the rest of the videos are likely targeted with email campaigns to convert them into paid programs.
This is the same flow you should be following for acquiring clients for your coaching business efficiently.
Lead magnets can be a checklist to help prospects get to a certain goal, it can be a “how to” guide, it can really be anything but it has to be very focused on what it is that your target audience is trying to accomplish.
You again, need to know what their desired state and transformation is. Now this lead magnet needs to help them at least to get a part of the way towards that transformation.
I don’t want to say you should be doing this for your first lead magnet, but you could be creating video trainings like above, on how to do some of the stuff you’re coaching people on. These things take time to create so take that into account when you’re making these. Even a pdf can be time consuming to create and set up the system to deliver it along with setting up forms and automations and stuff like that along with it.
Side note: Lot’s of people I talk to worry about the fact that if they get free stuff then what will happen if thats all they want and they dont pay?
I tell them “so what”. You don’t want to waste your time with them anyways. You want to be working with people that value your coaching services and are willing to pay for your services. And you also don’t know if they’ll come around some other time when they really need a coach.
Your videos they watched a year ago could lead to sale today. So go into this with a give, give, give mindset and then take when they’re ready to give you their hard earned money in exchange for your services.
A majority of people will want your coaching even more after they consume that lead magnet along with other content of yours that you push out and they realize how great your free stuff is and how valuable your paid stuff must be.
And when they go through and consume your lead magnet and get at least a little bit of what they’re trying to achieve, or progress in some way, it will qualify them and develop a relationship, even more, and increase the chances of them actually becoming a paying client of yours. They’ll get a taste of something and want more of what you push out
Technicality: If you’re sending a pdf or a doc of any sort for your lead magnet, you should follow this process if you’re just getting started. You’ll be walked through a set up to make sure your lead magnet gets delivered and you verify emails that are entered into forms on your site (or in lead forms on facebook if you choose to use those in your marketing campaigns). And here are some lead magnet ideas for you to ideate with.
Nurture Sequences and Retargeting
I’m not going to write a whole lot about the nurturing here but its a vital part of increasing your conversion rate (increasing the number of leads that turn into paying clients). Here’s a deeper dive into lead nurturing if you’d like to get a better idea as to how to go about navigating the process of lead nurturing.
After they get your lead magnet, they’re going to go into an email nurture sequence which should be triggered when someone which has a sequence of templated emails that have links to other other pieces of content that you’ve put out that you want them to consume or is trying to entice them to consider your paid product or service until they go and book a time on your calendar for you to “close” them on your coaching services.
Unless you’re in the very beginning stages of your coaching and just starting out, you don’t want anyone on your calendar, that doesn’t have a high likelihood of becoming a paying client.
So you want to have them basically develop a relationship with you scalably and primarily through online content, not your precious time.
You want booked meetings with those people really ready to come on board be coached by you for whatever it is that you’re coaching them for.
You shouldn’t be getting anyone on your calendar, until they’ve consumed your lead magnet and gotten value from that along with hopefully having a solid relationship developed through your online content that they’ve viewed.
And then, are ready to do one on one sessions with you or booking to some of your coaching groups or anything paid really.
The Feedback Loop
There’s a lot of information here to digest and implement. You may be a little overwhelmed and maybe a little confused if this is your first time diving into technical digital marketing approaches.
But know that there’s no end to learning and that you’ll learn what you need to as time passes and as you try things out and find what does and doesnt work for you and your business. This is a system that will need tweaking over time and the sooner you start implementing and taking action the sooner you’ll get the results you want.
So you need to make sure that imperfect action is the primary goal over perfecting this whole process and knowing everything about it immediately.
So to synthesize and walk you through the basic steps of setting this all up, here’s what you need to do:
- Create landing page(s) for your paid coaching offer(s)
- Create lead magnets that somewhat relate to the desired outcome your offers usually help solve for clients (checklist, how to guide, help videos, etc.)
- Create landing pages for your lead magnet(s) that you can drive traffic to from other pieces of content you distribute
- Set up email software (mailchimp, mailgun, hubspot, ontraport, etc.) and prepare an audience list for when forms are filled out so that verification emails are automatically sent when forms are filled along with the lead magnet after email is verified
- Create content that revolves around issues that clients often have and offer a lead magnet in the end of videos or blog posts to help solve part of that problem without your 1 on 1 help
- Set up your Facebook business manager and create a page and pixels for your account
- Set up pixels on your pages so you can track conversions off the Facebook app
- Set up your video ad(s) and custom audience in facebook to start gaining awareness and driving traffic to your lead magnets and getting email addresses
- Set up email drip campaigns / nurture sequences that will be sent to your email list once email is verified
- Refine and improve this whole process over and over till you have created an efficient machine that can generate clients as soon as you turn on your campaigns.
If you’d like help with this rather than setting it up yourself, you can set up a time with me here to see if we’re a good fit and if I can help you reach your objectives and goals as a coach.
And if you’d like to read more about digital marketing in general and understand it more fully, you can check out my brief post here that breaks down the different parts of digital marketing. It’s unfinished but it at least breaks everything down for you into organized components of the digital marketing ecosystem.