Facebook Advertising – is it worth it?

by | May 26, 2014 | Marketing for Coaches | 7 comments

Experimenting with Facebook Ads

In April 2014, I did some training on how to advertise my coaching business using Facebook.

I turned this into a timed, 2-week experiment to see what I could do. The goal was to grow my email subscription list as much as a could just using Facebook advertising.

In this article I tell you what steps I took, what I spent, and what I gained from the experiment. I’ll also share with you the decisions I’ve made about the place of Facbook advertising in my coaching business.


Here’s What I Did…

My experiement involved a few steps. So, here’s a breif recap of what I did.

I’d love to know if you’ve taken any or all of the steps listed below and what results you foud (just leave a note in the comments below).


STEP 1 – New Banner

I updated the Facebook banner on my business page to make it more appealing and useful.


STEP 2 – Start Here Button

I added a Start Here Button to my Facebook buttons – i.e. the row of rectangles just under your banner.

The button links to a subscription page that I created with Leadpages and linked with my email list in Aweber (both services cost me over 37$ a month – EACH). NOTE: By the time you read this article, my Start Here Button may have been removed – you’ll see why a bit later.


STEP 3 – Ran Ad

Once my Start Here Button and Facebook subscription page was live, I ran a Facebook ad with the aim of gaining new coach subscribers to my email list.


STEP 4 – Monitored Results

As the ad ran, I monitored results. I tweaked the ad and the subscription page in an attempt to get better results. This last step was iterative – a constant loop of trial and error.


What I Spent and What I Gained…


What I Spent

  • I spent $100 in Facebook advertising
  • I spent $37 for a subscription to Leadpages


What I Gained

  • 77 new page likes
  • 3 new email subscribers (that’s a 12% conversion rate for the number of people who viewed my sign up page. Not bad but not great either)
  • Some solid conclusions about Facebook advertising and it’s place in my business


Three Important Things I Learned


1. Without good tracking, you can’t prove anything.

Google Analytics_logo Even though this campaign was aimed at attracting new email subscribers (which I tracked well), I ended up selling several Coach Kick Start Packs while I ran the Facebook ad. But, because I had not set up a sales funnel, with end-to-end tracking, I’m not sure how many of those sales were actually from our Facebook ads verses the other marking activities we were doing at the same time.

So, I’m pretty sure, that on top of the likes and subscribers we got from our Facebook ads, we also made money! But I can’t prove it because I didn’t link the ad into our sales tracking.

Ultimately, you want to know:
1) How many subscribers you got from your ad
2) How many visits to key pages you got from your ad
3) And if you sell products, how many sales you made from your ad


2. LeadPages is a cool tool.

Until last month, I had never heard of LeadPages which is an online lead generation platform.

This basically means that it gives you pre designed, high converting web page templates to use for your business’s online sign-up pages and subscription pages. It is also one of the few ways a non-technical person can easily publish an email subscription signup page to Facebook!

Leadpages_logo_2Based on my interest in online business systems, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to try out Lead Pages. It’s nice and easy to use.

However, in my current situation, it’s just one more online service for me to have to manage and pay for. Right now, the costs (in time and money) to keep Leadpages running outweigh the benefit it’s bringing to my business. So, I’ll be cancelling my subscription soon.

Maybe, I’ll have another go in the future if/when I have a requirement for that type of capability again.


3. I’m just not a sales writer.

iStock_000021621315XSmallFor me to get high converting Facebook ads (i.e. lots of people click on the ad AND sign up to my email list), I really need to be a shit hot sales writer.

I’m not.

I do my best to write honest, realistic offers that I find compelling – I’d click on it. But…my language just does not appeal to the masses.

My 12% conversion rate is not bad but when you know that the template you are using should be getting a 75% conversion rate or higher, you know something is not right with your offer and/or your wording…

Am I sad or disappointed by this?

No. Not really.

And here is why…

I am me, and my business is a reflection of me.

I must write offers that I like and believe in. If I attract less visitors, so be it.

My hunch (and I have some evidence to support this) is that even though I may be attracting less people to my email list, I am attracting a special type of discerning coach.

For me, one discerning coach, is worth 1,000 non-discerning ones. This is because if you like my ad enough to click on it and then also give me your email address, you are probably going to like the other things I do (my products, articles, and services).

That is who I want on my list. That is who I want to connect with.

More is not necessarily better.


Is Facebook advertising worth it?

For Universal Coaching Systems, no, I don’t think Facebook advertising is the best use of my marketing dollars. I get a much higher return on investment with Google Adwords and also from simply writing articles for you guys and emailing them to you.

(FYI – as a side note, I will keep my Facebook business page up and going – it does not do much for me but it does not cost much eigther.)

However, I think Facebook advertising could be a good fit for Life Coach Office (our platform for managing your coaching business online). As a product, Life Coach Office has a wider appeal which could work better for the Facebook audience.


In Closing

Fortunately, my Facebook training taught me a solid, repeatable process. I now know the steps and pretty much what I need to do for a different angle of my coaching business.

I’m pleased that I got out of my comfort zone and tried out some new ideas. As a result, I can now speak on the matter with a fair amount of understanding, certainty, and confidence, which is a nice bonus.

Even though I still have heaps to learn, I’ve moved forward, if even a little bit. And it’s those types of baby-steps that keep our coaching businesses growing and thriving!

Have you tried Facebook advertising? Are you considering it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.




  1. Cassandra

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve definitely thought about Facebook advertising but have wondered if it was worth the cost and now you’ve given me something to consider.Thanks.

  2. Adrian George

    Thank you for an honest assessment of Facebook Advertising. I introduced it for my business after listening to the glowing recommendations of several “guru’s” and I have found it a complete waste of time. There has been zero business generated by Facebook. I use Facebook now only as a means to congratulate my pupils on their success at passing their driving test. I have purchased your Coaching Triple Pack and Life Coach Office and would like to thank you for sharing these fantastic products!

  3. Chris

    Thanks Benay. Really helpful for those of us who have no experience of the world of Facebook advertising. Good to know the sorts of issues we should be thinking about.

  4. Chantal Thibert

    How timely is your article! I have Facebook advertising on my to do list. I will try it out but will certainly benefit from your experience. Thank you Benay!

  5. James Mitchell

    When I received the e-mail with the link to the post, I thought you would share what most of the social media “gurus and experts” always say: that Facebook ads are an investment we all should be making, and the wonderful results we can expect when we do.

    Thank you for sharing your experience–and, more importantly, the honesty in your thoughts about it. It’s refreshing to find someone who says, “That’s something that doesn’t work for me.”

    I tried Facebook ads awhile back for my business, and I had a similar result–I received a lot of likes, but not a lot of e-mail subscribers. It could’ve been the ad. It could’ve been my opt-in offer. Who knows? In the end, I dropped the ad, and haven’t tried it again since.

    While it’s nice to have “likes” on a Facebook page (social proof), I’ll take prospects, leads, and clients over that any day. And if that’s all I’ll get from running an ad on Facebook–then I might decide that’s not enough.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

  6. Ellen Moody

    Thank you for sharing your experience in Facebook advertising. Very helpful.

  7. Benay

    Thnaks for all the comments! Thinking I should do another experiment, on another topic, soon – any suggestions? -B

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