If you’re a business coach, chances are that you’ve explored the world of Facebook ads to grow your leads and sales.

Business coaches must rely on paid traffic in order to scale. It’s as simple as that; eventually you’ll grow tired of networking events or you just won’t be able to spend one-on-one time with enough people in order to hit your growth targets.

Facebook ads have been, and remain, the fastest growing ads platform on the internet, and they offer you the quickest route to growth currently available.

One of the main reasons for the growth of Facebook as an ads platform is the ability for businesses like yours to target people based on their interests and behaviors.

In the past, paid traffic platforms such as AdWords only allowed for targeting based on keyword searches. While keywords are still a largely valid method of reaching leads, the world of targeting for business coaching clients has many subtleties. Keyword targeting doesn’t capture those subtleties as well as interest targeting, which makes Facebook a superior platform for services like yours.

We at Agency Golden have been fortunate to work with many coaching businesses over the years, specifically those who are at a large enough size to advertise on Facebook.

What we’ve found is that a certain combination of interests, behaviors, and demographics have arisen to create audiences which convert highly for coaching services. The rest of this post outlines how to put the basic structure in place so you can create one of these audiences, too!

The Business Coaching Audience

Ground Rule: In order to attract business coaching leads, you must focus on business owners.

This is a tricky thing to do in the world of targeting. Business owners are like all other people and have all sorts of interests. They live in all sorts of places and span all levels of demographics.

They do, however, have a few things in common. Their online behavior and a few of their self-identified traits allow us to pick them out from a crowd and advertise coaching services to them and no-one else.

Use the following targeting characteristics found within the Facebook Ads platform in order to pick your own business owners out from the crowd. Feel free to add your own interests and other behaviors ontop of this core “business owner” audience.

Behavior > Small business owner

This targeting characteristic, currently only available in the United States, allows you to use Facebook’s own internal algorithm to identify small business owners.

If you’re a business coach focused on only sales within the United States, this single behavior will be all you need to get your audience up and running. Add in final demographic information (see below) and you’re on your way!

Job Title > CEO/Founder/Principal/Co-Founder/Owner

This targeting characteristic uses an entrepreneur’s self-imposed job title as an identifying characteristic of a potential lead. Be sure to use multiple variants of job titles since the same “founder” position could be described in many ways.

A limitation of this job title targeting method is that you will pick up inauthentic people who are not actually founders or who are too early stage for your services. To get over this problem, use strict demographic information limiting to age and income so you weed out unqualified users.

Page admin

Any small business owner who is active on social media will be an admin of their own Facebook page. Use this targeting characteristic to reach them and serve them ads.

As with the other targeting methods, be sure to use this in combination with strict demographics, specifically age and income, as well as a secondary exclusion audience for those with titles of SMO, Marketing Manager, and the like. This will ensure that you’re not advertising to a business’s marketing agency instead of its owner.

Demographic Filtering

In addition to the “business owner” targeting traits that the above targeting categories are focused on, we also recommend using standard demographic targeting in order to reach the right people.

Demographics are the perfect filtering mechanims. They allow you to exclude whole groups of people who you know aren’t right for your services. That includes categories such as:

  • Gender
  • Age Range
  • Geographic Location
  • Language
  • Income/Net Worth
  • Family Size
  • Etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on, but it’s important that you focus on the most general of the demographic traits so you exclude people who are too young or too old, too affluent, too cash-scarce, male or female, or any number of other traits that you don’t want included in your targeting.

The Final Step: Facebook Audience Insights

Once you’ve identified your demographics, it’s time to introduce your new targeting set to Facebook Audience Insights.

This is a tool that you can use to refine your targeting. Open up the tool and you’ll see a left column with all sorts of filters. Use that to input the business owner targeting and demograhpic information we identified above, being sure to add in a few key “interests” that your target audience would like.

This could be an industry publication, a public figure, a product, or anything else that your target audience would have a high likelihood of “liking” on Facebook.

Once you’ve entered the first few interests, you’ll see the graphs and other information change in Audience Insights. Navigate to the “Page Likes” tab and you’ll see a list of pages that your core audience has a propensity to like.

If you see a few pages that catch your eye and you agree they should be in your targeting, add them as interest filters in the left column. Each time you add an interest or demographic item to the left column, the Audience Insights dashboard will refresh and you will see a more highly targeted audience.

Note: Not all pages will be available as interests to add in the left column. That’s okay if some of yours don’t add. This is a trial and error process to reach a more highly refined audience.

Once you’ve reached an audience size (you can see that in the top bar of the Audience Insights dashboard) of at least 500,000 people, click the button at the top of the dashboard to save your audience to your ads manager.

You now have a highly-targeted business coaching prospect audience that you can use in your next Facebook Ad campaign!