I love having guests on my blog because you get to hear from a wide variety of experts on different topics.

My guest today is someone that I’ve know for a few years, and we became friends while we were attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition back in 2012.  Sean Flanagan and I became peer coaches for each other, and it was a great fit because we each had different strengths, so we helped each other out on a weekly basis. One of Sean’s strengths is marketing, and in particular, Facebook ads. 

Sean is going to share the most important thing you need to know BEFORE you run Facebook ads.  He gets questions about Facebook ads all the time, and the information he shares in this post is what most people are missing (and the reason why most Facebook ads flop).  We don’t want that to happen to you.

Check out the post, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at the end.

Here’s Sean…

You may have heard about how effective Facebook ads are for generating leads and clients. But you’ve probably also heard of people spending money on ads to get nothing in return. Hell, maybe you’ve experienced that yourself.

So it’s tempting to think that Facebook ads are just plain too complicated.

That you must either be a Jedi-level FB ads expert or you won’t get any results. Luckily, that’s not true. As a 5+ year veteran of an online health and fitness business, I can confidently say that there’s very little about being successful with Facebook ads that are particularly unique to Facebook ads.

Yes, there are certain ways of crafting messages and offers or targeting people…

But the main thing to understand is that Facebook ads, like all paid advertising, are just a way of applying psychology in an ultra-leveraged way. Your foundation for applying psychology comes down to the basics of your business, and what you must know BEFORE you fun Facebook ads…

Knowing your target market and understanding them better than they understand themselves.

Not (just) analyzing them…


Being in their shoes.

Knowing the pains they want to move away from.

You can’t get inside the head of the person reading and get them to schedule their free strategy session if you don’t know who they are.

Yes, they need to know who you are.

But more importantly, YOU need to know who THEY are.

And they need to feel that.

You can’t list benefits and advantages of your service that will move them to say “OH MY GOD…I NEED THIS SERVICE” if you don’t know what struggles they experience daily or what they are striving towards.

[For help with figuring out your target market, check out this post HERE]

If you’re hazy on who your target market is, what problems they have, and the specific outcome you can give them, all advertising becomes risky.

You end up talking to nobody in an attempt to talk to everybody. Or maybe even worse, you talk directly to somebody, but from the perspective of an outsider rather than somebody who really gets what they’re going through.

This has a huge potential to actively anger your target market.

Instead of saying things like “Hey busy moms, I know how difficult it is for you to get healthy eating into your busy schedule”, health coaches and trainers will often say things like “Hey busy moms, ready to stop making excuses and reach your goals?”

As a subject matter expert, YOU might see them as making excuses. But they probably don’t see it that way at all.

And to look at them and make such a far-off guess about what is going on with them internally, you risk them forming a very negative opinion of you.

To recap, Facebook ads are just a means of scaling up your business’s visibility and putting specific messages out into the marketplace. The stronger the fundamentals of your business are, the more effective your ads will be.

And most important of those fundamentals is knowing EXACTLY who you serve and what they’re going through.

THEN, and only then, should you worry about making the ad copy perfect.

Or test a free strategy session against some other kind of introductory offer.

Or whether you should be using lookalike audiences or some kind of other targeting on Facebook.

Luckily, health coaches and fitness professionals have an advantage in getting to know their target market that many other businesses don’t have.

You work with real people in a high-trust relationship.

People will bare their souls with you.

They’ll share their deepest fears.

Their hopes and aspirations.

You just need to listen, feel what they’re saying without judgment, and make notes to reference later (when it’s appropriate to take off your coach hat and shift into “marketer mode”)

The more you understand your clients and the more clients you understand, the stronger your foundation for Facebook ad success – or any kind of paid advertising success – will be.

– Sean Flanagan has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry and over 5 years of being nearly exclusively online. Sean now uses his experience and expertise to help other wellness professionals create effective marketing strategies and attract more clients in their local markets through Facebook ads. You can reach Sean via his Facebook page HERE