If I had a dollar for everytime I’ve been asked :  “Davith, I’m a struggling coach, I need more clients. Should I do more facebook Ads? What is missing? Why don’t they work?” I would probably have enough to buy a 2018 BMW M3 for everybody in my immediate family (That’s 13 People!).

Here’s my typical response : it depends.

Seldom do I or we at Sai.Coach ever recommend any coach to do paid advertisements through facebook or any social media platform (linkedin, twitter, youtube, instagram). On the occasions we do, the coach is generating over 250k/year in revenue already. 

Let me explain why.

In capitalist societies, small and medium businesses are the backbone to the economy. The most common question from entrepreneurs looking to grow their business is therefore: how do I attract a bigger audience?

It comes as no surprise the market for advertising agencies has reached an all time high in levels of saturation. This includes freelancers and digital marketing agencies. The saturation is so high that it almost seems everybody is calling themselves a digital marketing “expert.”

Everybody is screaming : Put more ADS! More more more more ADS! Spend more on ADS! Retarget better! Hire me! Learn how I took my client to 6 figures using facebook ADS. 

It’s no wonder coaches are misguided to believe the solution to all their problems is marketing- that is until they actually spend money on them.

Why Ads Don’t Work – Part 1

On average it takes a person with 2 eyes, and 7 advertisement impressions before even considering to click on any of your stuff. ‘Impressions’ is the fancy term used by marketing gurus to refer to having your marketing shown to your target audience online. This means if you only put out advertisements once, people will look over them.

Clever multinationals have teams of people creating systems to retarget people who have seen the advertisement previously to increase their exposure to their brand. Once a person sees your advertisement a minimum of 7 times, they connect two and two together and see you as a trusting partner because they ‘see you everywhere’.

What this means is that coaches are doomed to fail even before they start with advertising online.

Of course nobody tells them because it is good money for social media corporations. If you don’t have intelligent systems to retarget your target audience into paying attention, then expect to fail when it comes to assessing the results obtained.

When the person clicks on your advertisement is when the fun begins. Most coaches believe it is a direct sale but that is not the case. It just means you have placed your brand on their radar and now they will begin their due diligence to assess whether you are worth what you say you do.

Now you understand why very little coaches (it at all) succeed without the proper tools.

Why Ads Don’t Work – Part 2

Data from this chart indicates, over a quarter of internet users (increasing year after year) have installed some sort of ad blocker. One question that comes to mind when reviewing this data :

What is the reasoning behind the upward trend of the installation of ad blockers?

Ads are disruptive to our experience.

Imagine, you’re scrolling down your facebook feed, trying to stay in the know about what Uncle Bob and Aunty Sue did for thanksgiving. Or it’s post new years and you’re checking out the photos/videos of all the parties your friends have attended. Or you’re checking out who’s the unlucky woman responsible for the status change from single to relationship with your ex boyfriend.

Then you see an Ad.

How likely is it that you jump out of your seat and say “ oh, wow. Let me watch this advertisement all the way through, it must be so important.” Slap me silly and call me a donkey if you answered yes. I believe the majority of you readers would agree when i say: I have more important objectives on facebook, like seeing who my ex boyfriend’s new flame is.

Let’s bring this over to youtube. When the prevideo advertisement appears. Instinctively, where is your mouse cursor? Personally, my mouse cursor is on the imaginary skip button before it even appears.

It becomes clear why the installation of ad blockers is increasing.

With the constant bombardment of advertisements, from companies who simply want our attention (and are paying top dollars for it). It’s a clear indication that advertisers are fighting an uphill battle. It begs the question: with our own experiences of annoyance of Ads, why do we feel or think social media marketing is the most effective way to solve our lead problems?

Why do coaches continue investing in ads?

I have come to realize from years of exposure that coaches spend on marketing because it offers a sense of delusion that they are moving the company forward, and it is what their idols do, so logically they should hop on the wagon as well, but they don’t realize their business it at a completely different growth stage to that of those whom they admire.

Marketing works by convincing you wearing Michael Jordan’s pair of shoes is going to make you a better player or help you reach that level quicker. Even though we know, logically, this is far from the truth, we still buy the shoes. I’m guilty of it personally, and I have come to accept I bought an emotion, not the shoes.

Tying it back to the coaching industry, we admire top coaches who put out content and advertisement on social media. Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Deepak Chopra, Brene Brown etc. all use social media advertising – so a coach starting out would safely assume, if they’re using it to get their message out, shouldn’t I?

I always challenge the coaches who ask me about this, by asking them: have you considered how much celebrities spend to make their advertisements work? It is a numbers game and so long as the ROI (Return On Investment) is lucrative, they keep on pumping money into their systems. There is not a single coach I mentioned early that spends less than $60,000 on a monthly basis on advertisement, and that’s EXTREMELY conservative.

If they spend $60,000 on advertisements every month. Guess how much they are making?

o you understand why we don’t advise our clients to go into advertisements before getting to $250,000?

Can you see the lost battle coaches and small businesses try to go into, trying to compete with large corporations, hundreds of times their size? Who has more resources to ‘win’ the attention of the people? It is a game of who has more cash to throw into to buy people’s attention. It is a battle you will not win before scaling your business first. It is a business you can not afford to play.

So What Can You Do?

You have to learn how small businesses can earn the trust of consumers without going bankrupt battling against opponents hundreds of times their size.

It is a classical example of David & Goliath strategy.

It is a case of successful Joint Venture development.

And this is something I talk about in 

If you enjoyed this case study, consider dropping by LinkedIn and Say Hi to Davith Meng. Davith is available for pro-bono consultations and coaching for charitable causes and NGOs.

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