Use Facebook Lead Ads to Get Coaching Clients with Zach Spuckler

Mar 28, 2022

In today's episode, we're joined by Zach Spuckler for a conversation on how coaches can use Facebook Lead Ads to generate leads and get more coaching clients. In this episode, we talk about why Lead Ads perform better than the more "traditional" approach of sending users to a landing page to opt in, and dive into the four most important considerations when it comes to creating and launching an effective Lead Ad:

  1. Targeting: Get your ads in front of your ideal clients
  2. Creative:  Use effective graphics to increase conversion
  3. Copy: Write compelling ad copy to grab your audience's attention
  4. Followup Funnel: Get your new leads into your CRM and follow up to convert them to clients and generate revenue

Zach is the founder of Heart, Soul & Hustle and creator of The Not your Average Online Marketing Podcast. He's generated over 2.4 million dollars in online courses, consulting, agency & coaching sales since starting his business seven years ago. He's worked with six and seven figure businesses to multiple six-figure plus launches, automated funnels. He also coaches entrepreneurs inside his membership (Not Your Average Membership) to grow their leads, sales, and bottom line! You can learn more about him at

Mentioned in this Episode:

 JACOB RATLIFF: Hey there, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show, where we talk about concrete tactics and strategies that you can use to attract your dream clients. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, and I am here today with Zach Spuckler, who is the founder of Heart, Soul & Hustle and the creator of the Not Your Average Online Marketing Podcast. He has generated over $2.4 million in online courses, consulting agency, and coaching sales since starting his business seven years ago, and he's worked with six- and seven-figure businesses to multiply six-figure-plus launches within automated funnels. He also coaches entrepreneurs inside his membership, which we'll make sure to ask him about a little bit later on, so that they can grow their leads, sales and their bottom line. I am absolutely thrilled to have you with me today, Zack. I'm really looking forward to our conversation.

ZACH SPUCKLER: Yeah, I am stoked to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Absolutely. Today, we are going to be talking about how to use Facebook lead ads to generate leads for coaches. To go ahead and get started, let's dive into it and talk about what we are even talking about when we say Facebook lead ads. What are they, why are they important, and why should coaches consider using them as a lead source?

Absolutely. So, a lead ad: If you've dabbled in advertising or you conceptually understand Facebook advertising, you know that you drive traffic to a landing page or an opt-in page, where people put in their name and email, and they go into your your email software or a funnel or something of that nature. Most people are now familiar with that, conceptually. You may not have advertised, and that's okay, but when we're talking about lead ads, what we're really talking about is collecting the name and email on the Facebook platform through what's called a lead form. 

With traditional marketing, funnel advertising, people click on an ad or a Facebook post, they go off of Facebook onto your website, and that's where they enter their name and email. With a lead ad, people enter their name and email in Facebook on an in-Facebook form, they agree to your privacy policy, and then on the last page of the form, you can send them to another website, you can send them somewhere else. 

Number one, Facebook loves keeping people on the platform. So we found that they reward us by keeping people on the platform by lowering the cost of the ads. The second thing we found is that we get a much higher conversion rate on these ads; we have an ad running right now that gets about an 85 to 90% conversion rate, meaning 85 to 90% of the people who click on the ad actually give us their name and email. When you put those two things together—a lower cost and a higher conversion rate—it ultimately drives down your cost per lead. So we're in a highly competitive space generating leads for $1 all day long for online businesses. If you've ever advertised in the online space before, you'll know that this is one of the more competitive spaces, and it's not uncommon to pay $6 a lead, and we've been able to really bring that cost down. So super quick summation is people enter their name and email on Facebook, it costs less to advertise, it converts at a higher rate, and you pay less per lead.

JR: Yes, thank you for that. Thank you so much. One of the questions I have, listening to your introduction of Facebook lead ads, is obviously we love the lower cost, and we love the higher conversion rates; those two things make a huge, huge difference. So, talking to a person who may have never done any Facebook advertising at all, what are the things they need to be thinking about in order to create a successful lead ad? Not necessarily like all the steps that they need to go through, Because we only have a limited amount of time here, but what are just the general things they need to be thinking about if they're considering this tactic?

ZS: So when it comes to using Lead ads, there are a few things to consider, and the first one is going to be targeting. Targeting is basically who you're running the ads to. For example, if you're in the online marketing space, you may run ads to Amy Porterfield. If you're in the health and wellness space, you may run ads to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. If you're in the relationship space, you might run ads to things like Oprah or Create the Love. And what I want people to understand is that with Facebook ads is that you're not necessarily targeting someone's page; you're targeting a broad interest. So when I target, say, Amy Porterfield, I'm not targeting her page likes, I'm targeting people who have interacted with or are similar to people who interact with her brand. So that's number one: you want to think about who am I going to be running these ads to? And we call that targeting in the ads world. 

ZS: The second thing you want to think about is your creative. What imagery are you going to use? We find that if you're doing a freebie, a workbook, a checklist, that imagery that shows off what people are downloading does the best. So if you've created, like, a workbook for new coaching clients, or a workbook that would attract new coaching clients, take those pages and kind of fan them out in an individual image. That absolutely crushes it for us, every time we have run so many ads that way. I mean, I can confidently say over 5000 opt-ins to ads with those types of images; they work really, really well. Other images to consider are testing stock photos, testing brand photos that maybe are a view in your branded setting or you working, depending on what your avatar is. Then, the other thing we consider is highly text-based images. So images that are really just a text that is a strong hook or a call-out that gets people's attention. 

Now, the one thing that comes up for people who have advertised before is they say, “Well, I can only have 20% of my image be text, so how do I really utilize that 20% tech space?” and I've got great news: Facebook got rid of that, so you can now have as much text on a photo as you want. I recommend having a photo that's a combination of text and imagery, because imagery grabs attention, and text conveys intention. Those two things together are really going to help you push your ads out. That's the second thing to consider. 

The third thing you want to consider is your copy, and copy is really a fancy way of saying the text that goes around the ad. You want to have a strong flow to your copy that actually moves people through wanting to opt-in for your thing. One of the things that we do is we always start with a hook, right? We want people to have their attention on the ad, and that's what gets them to keep reading. We always start with a hook, then we like to ask a question. “Are you struggling with X, Y, and Z?” “Would you like to learn ABC?” Then, we move into the credibility factor. So something like “Hey, I'm Zack Spuckler, and I've taught over 10,000 students how to run Facebook ads for lead generation.” Then, we get into content, which is the core content of your ad. “When you opt in for this freebie, you're going to get 123.” And then a call to action: “Click to get your freebie now.” That is the most simple explanation that I have: we go hook, question, credibility, content, call to action. Okay, so that's the third thing. You want to write really great copy for your ad text. 

ZS: Then, the headline is usually just a strong hook. And headline, if you've ever seen a Facebook ad, is the image that shows up under the image. Generally, the way our AI works is we first see the image, then we read the headline, then we read the text. That little walkthrough I just gave you is for the text above the image, but below the image, you also want to have a strong hook that grabs people's attention and encourages them to read the text above. That's the third thing you want to consider: copy. 

ZS: The fourth thing you want to consider with lead ads is that you have a way to connect Facebook to your CRM, and there's a million software's that do this. You can use Zapier, you can use Save My Leads, you can use Integrately. There's a million of them, but because people enter their name and email on Facebook, you want to make sure that you have a piece of software that grabs the name and email from Facebook and moves it into your CRM. The blanket software I recommend is Zapier. It’s a little complex at first; it does have a learning curve, but once you get in there, their support is pretty good, and they'll get you set up relatively easily. Really quick recap on the four things that I recommend—Number one: know your targeting. Number two: have good imagery. Number three: have good copy. Number four: have an integration from Facebook to your CRM, which is also known as email autoresponder software.

JR: Perfect, thank you. So we have these big four things to be considering with Facebook lead ads. I want to start with digging a little bit into the targeting. So you mentioned that someone might be targeting people who've shown an interest or similar to people who've shown an interest in Amy Porterfield. And then we also have a million other similar names we could be targeting by. We have Russell Brunson, Marie Forleo, Seth Godin, the list goes on and on. So how do you tell which one to start with? Or do you recommend starting with more than one audience to begin with?

ZS: I love this question. Because when it comes to Facebook advertising, the name of the game is to test things. So I tell people all the time, I've been doing this for years, and sometimes I'll target something on a hunch, but a hunch is not data. I work with clients where I'm like, “I just feel like this is going to do well,” and sometimes I'm right, and sometimes it crashes and burns. That's how we have to operate; trust your intuition that, like, if you are teaching health and wellness for entrepreneurs, that you should consider targeting Amy Porterfield, maybe because her audience is entrepreneurs. But that's a hunch, because we don't know if those entrepreneurs are going to resonate with a health and wellness message. They might be more focused on the business skills, hard skills, soft skills side of things.

ZS: So what I actually do is when I set up a campaign, I'm going to test in this example that you gave. I'm going to test Amy Porterfield with my ads, and then I'm separately going to test Seth Godin with my ads. I'm separately going to test Russell Brunson with my ads. I'm separately going to test Marie Forleo with my ads. And what I really do is I spend five to $10 a day on each of these interests that I think might work, and I give it two or three days, which I get at about $5 per target. It can add up pretty quickly, but what I'm doing is I'm spending a couple $100 to find my winning audience. And especially for coaches who have higher-end or premium packages, you have to think about this as yeah, it costs you $200 or $300 to get the data, but then you can use that data to lower your cost to get more leads to get more clients. 

ZS: I know that coaches listen to this. With coaching, even if you have a $1,000 package that you can offer, think about it: is it worth 10% or 20% of one client to find ads that are going to keep moving you forward? So as far as interest goes, there's no quick answer that's like, “Choose these pages or choose those pages.” It's “Think about what works, think about who you would want to target, do a search and see if they come up in the ads manager, and if they do, test it to see if it converts with your copy and creative using the formulas and the testing creatives that we talked about a little earlier.”

JR: Yes. So testing is definitely the name of the game it sounds like. I'm curious, kind of similarly, when it comes to the ad itself—so that's the creative, copy, content, headline that you mentioned—do you recommend starting with just one ad? Or do you recommend starting with multiple different combinations of copy and creative? What have you found to work best there in terms of just getting started?

ZS: So we work on a two-by-two model—this is what we call it—two sets of copy, two sets of creative anytime we're doing lead generation, and you can do more than that, but at a $5-to-10-day budget, you're not really going to get the testing that you need. So if you do more than two copy and two creative, you're going to want to increase your budget beyond five to $10 a day. Now just to clarify what I mean by two-by-two: if you were to draw a square and break it into four sections, right, you have four squares. And above the two squares on top, you put copy one, copy two, and on the two squares on the left next to them, you put creative one and creative two. And you look at the squares in the middle as a combination of the things on the outside. You would have one set of copy with one set of creative, a second set of copy with one set of creative, a first set of copy with the second creative, and the second set of copy with a second creative. 

ZS: Okay, so it's a two-by-two grid that has four potential combinations. We do this because you never, like we said earlier, the name of the game is testing; you never want to bank that this angle and this copy is the winner. I know it before I test it. We've done things where the stuff that I think is going to crush it does terrible. We've done things where the stuff I think is gonna crush it does amazing. And we've done stuff where it all just performs average, and we have to write new copy and creative to test. So you never want to bank on "Oh, I know this is going to work," because you want to say, "I'm testing this to see if it works, so that the data can point me in the right direction." So we work on the two-by-two model—two copy, two creative—for potential combinations, all running to that one ad set or target, like Amy Porterfield

JR: Perfect. Yeah, I was working with a client a couple of months ago, and I did a five-by-five breakdown, and let me tell you, that was way too much, and got overwhelming really, really quickly. So I definitely like that two-by-two approach a lot better, and I'm curious: in terms of the ad copy, what goes above the image, have you generally found that simpler and shorter copy works better than longer copy, or the other way around?

ZS: This is such an interesting question because I do get asked this a lot. And, you know, we haven't found that there's one common thread recently, we have found that shorter form copies sometimes perform better, but it depends on the offer. So, like, when we're doing a masterclass or a challenge, our long-form always outperforms our short-form, because people want all the information. When we're doing freebies or workbooks, sometimes people don't need all that information, that visual mock-up, and that good headline is enough to offset really short copy. So the short answer is, hey, short copy is doing really well for freebies and long copy is doing really well for like events or launches. But there's always an exception. So sometimes we work with clients where short-form crushes it for their webinars and long-form tanks, and vice versa. So if you're not sure, what we say in the two-by-two model is we like to do one short-form and one long-form to see if one is getting better engagement than the other. And then if we want to keep testing, we can say, "Well, hey, the short-form works better, so let's hypothesize that short-form is doing better, and try a different short-form set of copy." And for further record, short-form per Facebook is 280 characters or less. That's what they consider short-form copy. So I might do another set of short-form copy to see if it performs well, too. And I'm  always just hypothesizing with data. So I'm making educated assumptions and then testing those assumptions to see if they hold true.

JR: Perfect. Yeah, I have been, like I said, running some ads for a client. And I'm actually seeing kind of exactly what you mentioned as a generalization in terms of short-form working better for, like a freebie or an ebook or workbook or something like that. We've just done, like, a stupid, simple question, you know, "Read this if you want to blank," and that's what we found his work best for that particular ad set. And then with another campaign doing, you know, an event or a webinar, we have not found the same to be true. And again, that is just kind of what I've experienced with this client, as we keep coming back to testing and hypothesizing is the way to go. And I'm curious, because, you know, when we're talking about getting started with Facebook advertising, the first big thing that always comes up, the biggest thing that people ask is about budget, what should my daily budget be? And where should I start with that? And not long after that, the question becomes, what should I be shooting for in terms of cost per lead? And the extension of that is, okay, my cost per lead was $1 last week, and now it's $2. Like, what's going on there? Why is it fluctuating so much? So I'm curious what insight you might have on those pieces of the process.

ZS: Yeah. So I love this question because it's so common we actually did a whole podcast episode on it because people are constantly saying, "How much should I spend?" or, "How do I actually budget?" and this is what I tell people, first and foremost: you've got to have a testing budget. So I recommend that you say, "I'm willing to spend $200, at least on testing just to get started." Okay. And that's just an investment in the data, like we talked about earlier. It's that initial test to find out what's working. Well, within that initial test, you're going to figure out what your average cost per lead is. Based on that number, you can say, "Look, I'm willing to spend $300 a month and (let's say you averaged $2 per lead) if I spend $300 a month, $2 a lead would be $150 leads." Then you look at your goals and you say, "Is that enough? Do I hit my goal for less growth? If my funnel's converting, how many calls will I book, or how many leads do I need to book the number of calls I want?" 

ZS: So I tell people, don't look at budget emotionally or as what you want to spend; look at it analytically, what you have to spend to achieve your goals. And for us, we will sometimes, when we're doing a promotion, we'll build a full-on spreadsheet? We'll be like, "Okay, what happens if our lead cost goes up $2? What if it comes down $2? What if our conversion rate goes up a percent? What if it goes down a percent?" I like to tell people, don't get so tied to that initial data, because your cost will generally go up over time. That's not uncommon. But just give yourself a tolerance of, like, 20%. So if at that example of $300 is 150 leads, give or take 20%, maybe it's closer to 120 leads, maybe it's closer to 180. But you have this range you can work with so that you got a little room to improve and a little room for what we call ad fatigue. 

ZS: So this is kind of a two-part answer because you had asked, "Why do my costs go up?" Well, there's something called ad fatigue, and that is that eventually, your ad will start showing to the same people multiple times. They're going to see it more than once; they're going to see it multiple times. And after the third, fourth, fifth, six, seven, eighth time, they're numbing out to it. They're not seeing it anymore. They might be seeing it, but they're thinking, Well, I've already seen this, so I don't need to click on it. They've already made up their mind at that point. And you might be thinking, well, if I'm targeting somebody who's got like a million in their audience, why would the ad fatigue? Why isn't it hitting all million people? Well, because let's say you choose Amy Porterfield, and she's got an audience of half a million in the ads manager...'re not actually targeting half a million people, you're targeting the segment of your audience that the Facebook AI and algorithm believe are most likely to sign up to your leads your lead form. So that might only be 30 to 50,000 people. And so as you spend more money, and as you spend more time in there, you're going to see that what we call frequency tends to go up. And frequency is basically how many times someone has seen the ad, on average. So we've got an ad running right now our costs have gone up about 25%, maybe 20%. It's been running for just about a month, but our frequency is at two and a half. So that makes sense; our frequency is going up, so our cost is going to go up because people have seen the ad multiple times, so they're not going to engage with it. So just to bring it all together, the budget should be based on what you want to achieve after your initial testing period and the intangible of, like, what am I willing to spend? So I tell people, you have to be willing to look at this, like, what are the metrics I need to hit to achieve my goal and translate that to budget? And how much am I willing to spend and stretch, because I'll be the first one to admit, when I'm spending $20 a day on ads—like it's for me personally—because of where I'm at in my business, it's like, oh, it's just 20 bucks a day. When I get up to like $120 a day, I'm like, whew, this is a stretch. $4,000 or $5,000 a month in between launches, they might not even be major revenue-generating ads, that's stressful. 

ZS: And I don't even want to say stressful; it stretches you. And that's where you want to be; you want to find this happy medium of like, this is a stretch, but I know it's helping me achieve my metrics. But you never want to spend your money on ads, banking on a return. So when it comes to budget—I know this is a long-winded answer—you want to be saying, how much can I spend, but really, how much can I lose? Because nothing is guaranteed in the ads world. Now there are things and systems and processes like we're talking about today that increase your odds, but you never want to go, "Oh, I'm going to spend $10,000 on Facebook ads this month, even though I've never tested, even though I've never done this before, because I know I'm going to double my money." 

ZS: A lot of people like to use the slot machine analogy, like "Oh, if you were going to put $1 into the slot machine and $2 comes out, how many dollars would you put in?" Well, that's not really accurate because, over time, it's going to take $1.50 to make that $2. And sometimes the slot machine is gonna pay out $3. And sometimes it's gonna pay out one-to-one dollars. And there's the back end of your business. So even if your slot machine is one-to-one, or even $1 into a half $1 out, but you have a big launch coming up, you could 3-to-4x what you spend down the road. So your budget is really this combination of all these factors—the analytical, the emotional, the statistical analysis of everything—and then know that your ad costs are going to go up over time because the ads do fatigue. So if you start at $1.50, and you run it for 30, 60, 90 days, it's not going to end at $1.50. It is going to go up over time.

JR: Certainly and you know, kind of it's all about ROI in this conversation. And so I'm curious: once you've gotten the lead from a campaign, once you have a campaign running that is generating leads, you still haven't made that financial ROI yet, right? It still depends on the follow-up, the funnel that comes after that email opt-in. And what do you generally recommend in terms of what that could look like? I know it can look a lot of different ways, but what could that look like in this context of a lead ad for, say, a coaching offer?

ZS: Yeah, I think that it's better to keep it simple and get complicated over time. So, people, a lot of times, like automated webinars, mini-courses are the best, seven-day challenges are the best, right? And I personally am a huge advocate for challenges. So I want you to know that I'm not dogging on any of these strategies. Where I like to start is a simple 5-10-email follow-up sequence. That's it. Perfect, right, a series of emails that do three core things: promote your content, talk about your offer, and make an invitation. So promote good content that would make people go, "Oh, my gosh, this guy is an expert in his field. I need to learn more." Talk about your offer, so they know what you do professionally, and they can connect you to the offer. And three, make the invitation. 

ZS: I think that's where a lot of people kind of fall short. They're like, "Oh my gosh, this is who I am, and this is what I do, and here's my content, and this is amazing, and I'd love to help you." But they never explicitly say "Click here to apply now. Click here to book a call." That to me is the vital piece of the process. Because once people start clicking, you can then look at the more advanced side of the funnel of like, well, if people are clicking, but not booking a call, what's missing on my call page, or if people are clicking and booking a call, but not showing up, what's missing in my follow-up process, right? If you say if you don't get the clicks, you know, your ads work, but you never know if your offer is gonna work. And so for me, ads are about really collecting enough data in terms of leads to drive traffic to an offer to test the offer to see how it converts. And then there's this like, unspoken byproduct, which is like your live lunches, your mini promotions, your flash sales, your offers that you can promote at any time. 

ZS: So perfect example: last month, we spent a lot on advertising, and we said, "This is great. We have generated a ton of leads for our upcoming promotion, but we spent a lot of money. Let's generate some of that back." And we did a three-day flash promotion. It might have been five days. I take it back: five-day flash promotion, for $297 offer. And with all the leads we had been bringing in, we generated $10,000 on that offer, no webinar, no video series, no challenge, a really simple sales page built in one piece of software that included the checkout right on the page. And it was easy, and it was light. And it was simple, right? That's the unspoken benefit of ads that we don't always think about, we think oh my gosh, I don't get that ROI. Today, I've done something wrong. And for me, it's like I'm really building up a database of people who want to hear from me that when I have a great offer, I can promote it to them.

JR: I love that answer so, so much, because you're entirely right. It's not just about like that initial ROI from the, you know, sequence or funnel or campaign that you're running directly after the opt-in. But you are getting them on your email list. And that is a huge asset. And you can continue to generate revenue from that well, well into the future beyond this ad campaign. And I'll be I'll be honest, one of the things that I personally, one of the big mistakes that I've personally made a while back was having this mindset of okay, right, like if I generate 1000 leads, like someone's gonna buy it right, like, that'll be fine. And that's that's not generally how it turns out. 

JR: So that that follow up process, what in kind of what you said about the right, a super simple 10 email sequence to follow that opt in, right, that does a lot of that work for you. And that's like you said, when you can start getting a little bit more complicated in are looking at the more complicated pieces of the funnel, like, like you said, you know, okay, people are clicking to book a call, but they're not booking a call. Okay, how can we fix this one specific piece of the funnel? So I'm really, really grateful for having had this awesome conversation on Facebook lead ads. And I'm curious, could you tell us a little bit more about how listeners could learn more about what it's like to work with you? I know you have this membership, and I'd love for you to share a little bit more about that.

ZS: Absolutely. So if you like this content and you want to just stay connected, you can always follow me over on Instagram, at Heart Soul Hustle. And then our primary offer right now is a $49-a-month membership called the Not Your Average Membership. And it's really founded on this belief that not everything has to be skeezy spammy hard, or really, that you don't have to do things that don't feel good or comfortable to you to be successful in business. You know, a perfect example for me is like, I don't like the automated webinars where it's like starting in 15 minutes. But it's a replay like I know, like, as in the zeitgeist of online marketing, we know that webinar’s just sitting behind a fake timer, and that doesn't feel good to me. And some people say you have to do that. 

ZS: And our membership is you don't have to do anything, you can do what feels good. And we have a 90 day onboarding path that is basically number one, we teach you how to run these lead generation ads. So we're going to talk about what we talked today, but with like over the shoulder walkthroughs, and trainings. And then in your next 30 days, we teach you how to write that five email follow up sequence that we alluded to here. And then in the third 90 days, we teach you how to create a low ticket product that you can integrate into your automated email funnel to start turning new customers into low ticket buyers who are more likely to book a call, buy a high end products, join a high ticket course. And all of that is just in your first 90 days. 

ZS: And then we have a monthly flow where every month you get a new training designed to help you generate leads and sales, a live training that's supplemental to that action plan drop a five day implementation week, where every day for five days, we give you a micro action that moves you towards taking that big step in your business for the month. And then we wrap up with a live coaching call where you can come on ask any questions, comments, concerns, and we coach you through that together. So that is the entirety of the program in hopefully 60 seconds or so. Not your average membership, it's $49 a month and you can check it out at

JR: Thank you so much. And I will definitely put all those links down below in the show notes. And I want to highlight one of the things you said early on, which is about right, like the best strategies are the ones that feel good to you. And that is really kind of what attracted me to your work in the first place is because part of my philosophy is that the best tactics, the best strategies are the ones that feel good, the ones that you can do well, and the ones that get results. And I really, really love your focus on Well, there's nothing that you have to do, because it has to feel good to you in order for it to work and for you to feel good about it and about your business. 

So thank you so much, Zach, for joining us here today. I really appreciate this conversation. And I know it's gonna be really helpful for a lot of the coaches out there listening. This is the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff. Thank you so, so much for joining us here today, and we'll see you tomorrow for our next episode. Take care.

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