Facebook has changed in a big way and continues to change.
Many fitness business (and other) owners are complaining about the changes but in reality all Facebook is doing is constantly working on creating a better experience for the user. If you’re still running ads like you could in 2014 and earlier in 2015 you’re not only most likely losing a lot of money and throwing your hands up in the air frustrated but you’re also risking getting your account shut down.
I created this 8-Step Facebook Ads Checklist so that you can generate more traffic, leads, goodwill, and customers – and also keep your account long term; not to mention not coming of as a douche online (this will have it’s own separate article). I use this system at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance as well as teaching it to our Pack Fitness Business Mentorship program. I’m not going to pretend like I invented any of it as I’m a part of many marketing groups and invest heavily in coaching to always stay ahead of the game (and I actually implement this in my own businesses). You can easily start implementing this in your own fitness business now!
But before we go there…
Are you “That Fitness Guy”?
The fitness guy that is pretty much just throwing out “buy my shit” type ads without anyone even knowing you or knowing what you can do for them. Whether its shirtles pictures, you lifting, meme’s that tell everyone that their leg day wasn’t hard enough if they aren’t rolling around in a wheelchair…..and other dumb shit of that nature.
This brings me back to the 3 levels of influence we can employ:
1. What we say about ourselves
How we tell our story is important but in the grand scheme of things it becomes white noise when everyone is saying “work with me because I’m the man and I can get you results.” No one is handing you over money just because you say you can get them results. So this level of influence is the least important.
2. What others say about us
This is social proof, case studies, testimonials, before and after pictures. This is VERY important and you should have it anywhere you can to show your results through the stories of your clients. BUT nowadays even that can be a lot of white noise online where everyone is showing only their best before and after’s and informercial’s have thousands of them even though 80% of the people trying the program may never achieve any result.
So what I’m saying is make sure you constantly ask for before and after pictures testimonials and invest in video work to get case studies, but also make sure you crush the competition by doing this…
3. What we demonstrate about our service/product
(the most underutilized) → This triggers an internal decision
This is what we demonstrate through content whether its blogs, e-mails, videos, webinar’s, seminar’s, etc.
We not only educate people but we instill belief in them that they can do it -and as they apply the knowledge and inch away towards their goals, they also start creating an internal trigger to work with you.
Ok, I had to explain that because it will lead into the 8-Steps.
Facebook is social, we all know that. So think of a coffee shop, an event, a conference, a place you hang out with “friends”, so just like no one likes “that guy” at the party or gathering, no one will like the 30 second pitch, buy my shit person, on Facebook either. What do you think about when someone tries to pitch you something instantly without you even knowing them, without even knowing its what you want, without demonstrating that it works and that they have had success stories?
You want to ninja kick them in the throat.
Or do this…
Ok, maybe I took it over-board, I just like Samurai’s so I wanted to throw in there.
When you think about it some of the biggest deals and sales were made at coffee shops, parties (it’s how Steve and I started the Pack), events (it’s how we decided to do Changing The Game and even hired our event planner)…
But the reason WHY sales were made was because of the natural process; two people that had something in common met, got to know and trust each other, helped each other, became friends, etc. After a few times they set up a meeting that led to a new client relationship, project, co-operation,… and the deal was sealed.
With this 8-Step System what you’re able to do is show up at multiple parties, events, coffee shops, conferences, etc and sit down with many people all over the world (I you have an online product) or in your local community (if you have brick and mortar fitness business) and build relationships, make friends, then smoothly transitioning some of those people into the tribe and clients. That is the power of social media (when done right and authentically).
Step 1: Create And Put Out Amazing (Facebook Compliant) Content
The first step is to create some amazing content which we’ll call “unlocked” since I’d like to relate to video games and it means people can access and consume this content without giving you their email. This creates goodwill and positions you.
Why do this? Because it shows you that the person who clicked on the content is interested in it and it’s a solution to a problem they are trying to solve and it’s effective because even if the visitor doesn’t take action (subscribe or buy anything) while reading or viewing your content, you’ll still be able to track the visitors and add them to your Facebook Custom Audience (magic list).
What If You Don’t Have A Blog?
You should get one. Really, you should!
But that doesn’t mean there is no solution. You can do it without a blog with call to action content video like the one below.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a blog as you can still use this strategy by creating a content rich Facebook Video Ad. The main purpose of this ad is to create goodwill and deliver value, position you as the _________ (whatever you want to position yourself as). This can be longer than a video that is focused solely on conversions, so it can be from 3 minutes to well, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or even more (I’ve seen engaging content go for over 30 minutes and people still consume it). Depends on the content.
Above I’m doing an 11 minute video which is a preview of a live seminar I did and recorded (and gave away in a…..drum roll…..blog post!)
You can and should still have a call-to-action in the video, but the main focus is to deliver valuable content, bring awareness, build trust, position, knowing that you’ll be following up this ad with more direct marketing link post image ad or short video focused on sales.
Think about it as jab, jab, jab, right hook (I’m referring to Gary V.’s book) – which means, give, give, give, ASK!
So we’re giving first then asking. The one-two punch.
One of the new features of Facebook Video Ads that is pretty ninja is you can create Custom Audiences through your “video views” objective, meaning that you can retarget people that have already viewed your content (this means they are not cold prospects who don’t know you – it turn them into warm prospects that you have built goodwill with and value your content) à basically you’re showing people you know your stuff and that you can help them with their problem.
This function is only possible, like I mentioned earlier with “Video Views” campaign objective. But since Facebook is ninja they also recently updated this to include other Campaign Objectives in “Website Conversions” and “Clicks to Website”. Facebook automatically creates two new audiences inside your Audiences section…
The first one tracks all people that have watched your video for at least 10 seconds. The second one is people that watched over 95% of your video (these folks have really loved the content since they saw it all the way through and are more susceptible to buy).
In your custom audiences these will start with “Video engagement” so you’ll be able to recognize them by that and the title of the video you named.
Step 2: Set Up Conversion Pixels And Website Custom Audiences
Setting up Custom Audiences and Conversion Pixels is smart, well kind essential really, so you can track performance and utilize Facebook’s targeting software, which can do some pretty amazing things to a degree of “targeting” someone that likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
So to keep it simple, we have Conversion Pixels which either TRACKS important actions on your website like visitors, buys, opt-ins, etc. and measures the performance of your marketing. They also OPTIMIZE your ads. Whenever you start a campaign and people sign in, opt-in, etc. Facebook will take the data and start showing ads to similar people so that you have a better chance of it working. So they are helping you target more people like the one’s that already opted in.
Pretty crazy if you think about it but I’m not complaining about these ninja like functions.
Then you have Custom Audiences, which we use for RETARGETING. When people visit your website or specific blogs or landing pages, you can now track them as Facebook will create audiences around them.
Why is this so powerful?
Because you can put ads in front of people that already know you and have read or consumed your information. There is a big difference in what type of ads you put in front of each of these:
- COLD prospects (they don’t know you at all and may not even care what you do)
- WARM (they have read your blogs, read your emails, watched your webinar, been to your seminar, etc.)
- HOT (these are most likely clients or past clients, people that love you)
Facebook is becoming more and more based on experience of user (like Google) and they are shutting down accounts that don’t provide value and “annoy” people. If your ads add value and engage the user, then Facebook loves that and you end up putting ads in front of people that you have already provided value to.
This means that people that are putting up “buy my shit” ads in front of a cold audience will get slapped by Facebook.
Why is this great?
Because it means lazy business owners and ones that are not willing to provide content, value and goodwill will no longer be competitive. SO if you’re willing to do what I’m outlining then you’ll be ahead of the game!
You can see how this looks like when creating a custom audience in Power Editor.
And here are just some custom audiences from my page to get an idea.
It also means that if someone doesn’t buy or opt-in right now that you can still retarget them in the future as you know that they were interested in what you were selling.
Pretty powerful shizz wouldn’t you say?
Ok, moving on to…
Step 3: Research Your Avatar/Prospective Client (Target Audience)
Step 1 and Step 3 go hand in hand since you’ll want to figure out what content you will be putting out there along with who you will be putting it in front of.
WHO you are targeting as your prospective client is extremely important because you can have a great offer or content but if you put it in front of the wrong person then it won’t matter (for example if you put a fitness ad in front of someone that cares about cars – it’s the right message to the wrong marker/person).
Even though this post isn’t going in depth about finding out about your dream client, I’m still going to give you some powerful questions that will help you create/find out who your perfect client is.
These are Dan Kennedy’s 10 questions and they will really help you find out more about who you’re selling to (more about this in a separate post though).
Dan Kennedy’s “10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions.”
- What keeps them awake at night, indigestion boiling up their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling
- What are they afraid of?
- What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
- What are their top three daily frustrations?
- What trends are occurring and will occur in their business or lives?
- What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
- Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: engineers = exceptionally analytical.)
- Do they have their own language?
- Who else is selling something similar to them, and how?
- Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?
The above is fundamental for ANY business when it comes to finding out who you are focusing on serving.
Another great tip I got from my buddy Mark Fisher who recommended this for finding your “perfect client” is writing out 10 pages on the following:
- Marital Status
- Goals occupation
- What they read
- Where they hang out
You get the point. This makes it a lot more CLEAR on who you are talking to.
I admit that as I’m writing this post I’m going a lot deeper than just Facebook marketing, but fuck it, my goal is to deliver the goods (…not those goods though you feel me)
Let’s continue back to the Facebook Research for your client.
There are 4 tools that are great to use in Target Research:
1. FACEBOOK AUDIENCE INSIGHTS
(Inside The Ads Manager)
In here you can find tons of details about your audiences whether it’s people that like your page, your e-mail lists, your custom audiences, etc. Pretty much this shows where people that like you and follow you shop, how old they are, income, etc. Information that could almost be illegal to use.
2. FACEBOOK SEARCH BAR
With this tool you can check what your direct and indirect competition people “like.” You do this by typing “pages liked by people who like __________ (example: in the above pic its people who like Vigor Ground).
This shows what else your fans like as well what else fans of other pages like.
3. GOOGLE TRENDS & GOOGLE ADWORDS
A very underutilized tool for Facebook ads is… Google.
I know you may be going “oh shit, he went there, it’s a gang war.”
Truth is Google is still (by far) the most used search engine on planet earth and thus has amazing data on what people are searching for.
Google Trends is great to see what is trending and related terms while Google Adwords “Keyword Planner” will not only show you subcategories of certain key words but it will also show you suggested bids for words and which ones are used more or less (knowing how much some one is willing to pay and finding words that are still powerful but cheaper – do you think that could help you with your ads on FB? Exactly!)
Don’t have enough time to dig into this but all I can say is USE IT!
4. ADS MANAGER SUGGESTED INTERESTS
When you go into the Ads Manger in Power Editor and create any type of ad it will then give you Audience Targeting options. Based on your research in the previous three options you can start targeting your “Ideal Client” and when you get to interests and enter something (like in my case P90X), the ads manager will then suggest similar interests.
A smart thing to do is to create a spreadsheet and start saving all the data that Facebook supplies in it; as the more names you enter the more you’ll come up with and be able to target the audience that is most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Step 4: Create A “Like” Campaign For Your Fitness Business
For a while I couldn’t care less about “like” campaigns since I believe that likes will not put dollars into your bank account. Even though they are definitely not my main focus I have realized that they have 3 big benefits that have helped scale my business since I implemented this strategy.
1. Increased Social Proof
Let’s be honest, if you come to someone’s page and they have few likes you automatically don’t believe that they are “legit.” The more likes and fans you have the more credibility you have.
2. Allowed me to re-market to my fans
When you have a fan base, they are warm or hot prospects (as I mentioned in the above examples) and you can run more promotional offers to them without pissing them off (which is how you get complaints from cold prospects when you keep sending them “buy my shit” ads).
3. I was able to increase my target reach with “Friends of Fans” connections
This is best demonstrated in an example. You can target someone who not only likes P90X but has a friend who likes Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance. This is Connection Targeting. This is powerful as is gives you social proof instantly – which in turn gets you higher relevant scores (if these are low your ads wont do well and can get your account shut down over time), higher click through rates, and…wait for it… more SALES!
Step 5: Create Your Facebook Ads (That Deliver Content And Create Trust)
This step includes creating a post and boosting it. You can boost it to the people that are fans and their friends or you can get more specific and target your ideal audience (the more you know about them the more specific you can get – like we discussed in the previous points). Below is an example of a post that lead to a blog with a whole seminar video which also had some opt-ins inside. So with it we:
- Created value and goodwill (a LOT!)
- Created a custom audience of everyone that clicked and read the blog (warm prospects)
- Gave people an opportunity to opt-in and get even more value with a free e-book → so we can communicate with them through email marketing
Step 6: Create A Focused Campaign For Sales And/Or Opt Ins
Now you’re going to repeat what you did in step 5 except that you are going to design the ad specifically to get sales or generate leads. You can have your ad link to:
- A low barrier offer or front end offer
- A landing page to give something away (e-book, video course, infographic, webinar sign up, etc.)
- A high end program page with application form
- A physical product
Below is an example of an ad that leads to one of our low barrier offers.
The key here is something I already mentioned earlier. You must understand what frame of mind your audience has, what do they think, feel and know about you – and how much do they trust you at this point. Although you can put offers in front of a cold audience, if you’re not trying to waste money I would recommend building custom audiences and putting your offers in front of people that know you and have consumed your content.
Right message to right market.
Make your campaign strategic and not just throw something out there because someone said it worked for them (just the ad). Build rapport, likeability, trust, goodwill, just like you would in the real world face to face.
With that said I’d recommend (if you’re just starting or haven’t had success) to start by only targeting your “warm” traffic – people that have already been introduced to your fitness business in some way, whether that is being a fan, have been to your website, are on your email list, have read your blogs, attended a webinar, etc.
That doesn’t mean you should not run ads to cold traffic but they are going to be quite different than the ones you would for warm or hot traffic. This is a discussion that can go much deeper and we’ll leave for another day.
Step 7: Assess And Adjust Course
Just like assessing your client’s performance and nutrition on the regular to then make the necessary adjustments, you must do the same with your Facebook ads or you can start burning up your investment pretty damn fast. The great thing is that inside Facebook’s reports you can see things such as reach, clicks, cost per click, video views, cost per video view, cost per conversion, etc.
You can also split test multiple ads, target markets, and much more. When you analyze you can see which picture is working best or which audience, and easily eliminate the ones that aren’t and/or scale the ads that are producing.
You can pick and choose where to place the ads (right column, newsfeed, mobile,…hint: mobile is growing and most people are watching your videos seeing your ads on their cell phone!).
There is so much you can do in there that it’s like a marketers wonderland. And because you can assess statistics and results immediately it means that you can learn from smaller mistakes and apply and scale the winners.
There is so much functionality and Ninja stuff you can do with this and it’s things we simplify in the Pack Fitness Business Mentorship.
But to get to the last step… which is THE most important step after you gain knowledge from anything, and that is…
Step 8: DO the damn thing!
Don’t be an information gatherer and say you “know” this now and feel good about it. If you don’t apply it and take action then its all worthless and in the next 30 days instead of having 50 new leads you’ll have the same stress, frustration and anxiety about your fitness business.
“To know and not to do, is not to know.” – not sure who said that, it wasn’t me but it’s powerful!
You may fail and make a mistake but it’s really just a lesson and if you learn and apply the lesson then you are closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be. This doesn’t go just for Facebook ads but for every area of business and life.
If you are tired of being where you are and are ready to stop being stressed out by not having a predictable and sustainable fitness business that you love and are looking for the highest level…
Knowledge (strategies, tactics, systems, programs…)
Association (with other bad asses who are crushing it in their gyms)
Access (to coaches that are there for you and not unreachable most of the time)
In the areas of Marketing, Sales, Fulfillment, and Systems so that you can finally build the business and lifestyle you want and give yourself and your family the life they deserve, then fill out the application form (by clicking on the banner below) to find out if The Pack Fitness Business Mentorship is the right fit for you.
Imagine it’s a year from now and you have multiplied your business, take more time off, have more profits (take home money, not gross!), have more meaning with a team and business you love, and get to spend more time with your family.
How does it feel?
The first step to getting that is to commit to it. It’s a choice you can make right now…