5 Expensive Mistakes Online Coaches Make With Their Facebook Ads

No one likes losing money.

We’ve all done it. Accidentally washed our jeans with a £10 note inside, overpaid on our car insurance, not used our supermarket points and discovered they’ve expired, etc.

Gah! It always makes us feel frustrated and cheated.

But what about your business, coach? Specifically your online traffic and Facebook Ads? Could you be losing money here? Or missing an opportunity?

Most probably.

Over the last few years, I’ve worked exclusively with online coaches who are DIY-ing their ads to high figure coaches with all the whistle and bells funnels. And I’ve noticed that they are all guilty of these 5 blunders at some stage.

#1 Not Retargeting Your Organic Traffic

I was auditing a potential client’s account recently. She explained that she gets great organic traffic from her SEO work and even organic sales. Fantastic!

But when I landed on her website, whilst she did have the Facebook Pixel installed, she had zero retargeting setup in her Ads Manager.

(This video shows you how to install the Facebook Pixel…)

What does this mean?

It means that all the free yummy traffic that was landing on her website, reading her blog, watching her videos, viewing her online courses was NOT being captured and nudged to sign up for her freebie or even like her Facebook Page or watch a video.

How To Fix This

Set up a simple retargeting ad which captures website hits over the last 7 days and shows them some content; either your freebie or value-driven content.

And make sure that as soon as they’ve landed on your website, the next time they log into Facebook or Instagram, they see YOU and continue their customer journey!

(This video shows you exactly how to retarget website visitors on Facebook…)

#2 Not Picking The Right Ad Objective

This step is all too often overlooked.

When you log into Ads Manager there are a number of objectives to choose from. It can feel overwhelming and confusing.

Facebook ad objective list

However, you need to make sure the ad you’re putting out there uses the best objective for your goal, to get the best results.


  • You want people to read your most recent blog post – Traffic
  • You want people to watch a Facebook Live – Video Views
  • You want people to opt-in for your webinar – Conversion

The other assumption people make is that as they want SALES they should always choose CONVERSION. Wrong.

There are several steps that happen before someone makes a decision to invest in your 121 services or online course – so use more awareness and nurturing objectives such as engagement, video views or traffic to warm them up.

#3 Overlayered Audiences

Picking the right audiences is definitely a pain point for most online coaches.

Do you go for the big gurus in your space and go broad? Or do you layer up the interests to make it super super specific? Do you chuck everything but the kitchen sink into these?

It’s super common for me to see audience layering like this in client accounts when I audit them…

But is there a better and more effective way to build cold audiences?

Yes! Here’s how.

Lookalike audiences, specifically based upon strong “source” audiences.

A lookalike audience is a cold audience that Facebook will create for you based upon your own data. You have to provide it with an audience first and it will build a lookalike audience based upon this data. This is called the “source” audience. 

The stronger the source audience, the stronger the Lookalike Audience.

For example, a lookalike audience based upon your recent purchaser email addresses will be much stronger data for Facebook to work from than your Facebook Engagement over the last 30 days. 

Note – Facebook generally recommends a source audience with between 1,000 and 50,000 people. However, I have built Lookalike Audiences when creating Facebook ads for online coaches before with lower numbers with great success – so try it out!

(Check out this video to see exactly how to create a Facebook lookalike audience…)

#4 Uninspiring Images

The image is what stops the scroll, so use images that grab attention and communicate what the ad is about.

Types of images are working:

  • Bright contrasting colours
  • Real photos that look like a normal post in the feed
  • “Movement’ in images such as someone jumping in the air
  • Shocking images (but make sure they relate to the subject in hand!)
  • Expressive photos such as those that show shock or surprise

What is no longer working:

  • Overly stock photo-y images. People just see them as “fake” and disingenuous with perfect people and it screams ad!

If your image doesn’t inspire the thumb stop, you will lose hard cold cash. Don’t forget to test what works best for your audience.

#5 Not Testing

I have yet to come across someone who can create a Facebook Ad and nail it the first time…every time!

Testing your ads is super important to find the utopia of what works and it doesn’t have to be that complicated. In fact, there is a super easy tool you can use within the Facebook Ad platform to help you.

For my clients, I’ve been using the “Dynamic Creative” method for testing several pieces of copy, images and headlines in one ad.

Facebook ads dynamic creative

Once you have some budget behind them, you can breakdown which combination has been getting you the best results and use this to fuel further campaigns.

You can read more about dynamic creative here —> https://www.facebook.com/business/help/170372403538781

I hope this helps you out today and I’d love to know which of these you’re going to implement first!