Social media can be a powerful tool for life coaches. It has the potential to make a significant impact, both for your business and those who follow you.   But there is also the possibility that it becomes frustrating and exhausting, leading to overwhelm and fatigue. Often it’s because of just a few simple mistakes that life coaches make on social media. That means, of course, that it is possible to avoid them and harness the power of social media without the pain.

First, though, if you are frustrated and fatigued, be reassured that you’re not alone. It is challenging for all micro-businesses, not only life coaches and counsellors.  Trying to do everything is exhausting and a sense of being ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is inevitable at some stage. Making mistakes is ok, as I shared in this blog post. It’s how we learn. The trick is to spot them or, if you’re starting out, avoid them in the first place (freeing you to make different mistakes).

Whether you’re new to it or have been on social media for a while as a coach, these mistakes may apply.  Social media can work effectively for your business if you take the right approach. It’s a great way of getting your brand known for little or no cost. But do it in a way that works.  It’s worth checking that you’re not shooting yourself in the foot. Take a look at this list of some of the mistakes that I see life coaches make on social media, why they’re a problem and how to fix them.


Mistake 1  – ‘I need to be all things to all people.’


common mistakes life coaches make on social media - sign on a pile of books

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This mistake is a biggie, but it’s not specific to social media.  It applies to everything you do in which you are communicating with your audience. That’s website copy, ads, social media and all your marketing activity.

The problem on social media is that your content fails to resonate with those you want to attract as clients. That means you’re putting time and effort into something that will have limited success.  Social media will be so much more effective for you if you know who your target customer is. When you’re clear on who that is you can aim all your messaging and content at that particular type of client.

Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


As Meredith Hill astutely puts it: ‘When you speak to everyone, you speak to no-one’. Hill is a Wall Street analyst turned travel industry entrepreneur and best-selling author. So she knows a thing or two about business and marketing.

Her quote about speaking to everyone is true for all sorts of businesses, as this explains. But it applies to life coaches’ messaging in a big way. If you’re taking a broad-brush approach, you can spend all day, every day, on social media and get nowhere fast. Your messaging won’t have the same impact because it’s vague.  And it has to be vague when you’re trying to talk to everyone.

When you are clear on who your target customer is, your content and messaging become more, well, targeted. All your messaging and content is aimed at those people and they feel like you’re talking directly to them. Their feeling is that you get them, you understand their frustrations, and you’re able to help.   It just can’t happen if you try to talk to everyone.

For example, you want to help people who are struggling with grief. That’s a lot of people in a variety of circumstances and you need to cover them all. It might include the death of an elderly parent or the loss of a pet. Or even grief for the end of a marriage. But what if you focused only on bereaved parents? The messaging would be much more specific to those individuals and their pain.


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What does a better approach look like?


Get clear on who your ideal clients are.  Like, really clear – be as specific as possible. It can be hard to do because in narrowing your focus, you’re inevitably leaving people out. But if you don’t niche, your social media won’t be as effective.

Social media is a gift for life coaches because you can talk to your prospective clients about their pain points. But to do that in a way that resonates, you need to understand their struggles. Then, once you have identified their needs, you are better placed to demonstrate how hiring you will help them.


Mistake 2 – ‘I need to be on all the platforms.’


multitasking mistakes life coaches make on social media

By AriadneS

This is an understandable mistake. There is a rationale behind it but it’s a mistake all the same. And it’s a time consuming one.

The thinking is: if you have a presence on all the social media networks, then you’ll reach the maximum number of potential clients. But that’s not how it works.

The trouble is that your prospective customers are unlikely to be on them all. And there’s no point in spending time and effort creating videos for TikTok when none of your target customers is there.

All that happens is that you do a lot of work for little gain. That’s not good for a solopreneur with limited time


Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


You spread yourself way too thin and do a mediocre job on multiple platforms.  And you waste time and energy on a platform that may not be a good fit for your business. That’s a quick route to frustration and feeling disheartened.


What does a better approach look like?


Choose one or two platforms and put your focus there. One platform is fine initially, especially if you’re new to using social media for business. So how do you choose the platform? You identify where your target customers hang out. That’s where you put your attention and let yourself off the hook with the other social networks.

However, one tip is to secure your business name on other platforms so that nobody else nabs it. Ideally, you’d have the same for each social media network – in my case, it’s @OhMyWordSocial across each main platform.  Why do that? It’s to save yourself a headache down the line. It’s infuriating to find someone has taken ‘your’ business name when you decide to become active on a new platform.

Once you’ve got your page or account, put a holding post to redirect people to the platform you use most.  For example, if you decide to focus on Twitter, set up your Facebook page with a post telling people. Something along the lines of:

“I’m most active on Twitter – come and say hello to me there (and include a link to your Twitter account).  Having said that, if you message me here, it’ll still reach me, and I’ll get back to you quickly.”

You get the idea.

Mistake 3 – ‘I don’t like myself in photos so I’ll use a random

cat as a bio pic is mistake life coaches make on social media

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bio pic.’


Don’t use a pet or a flower or the moon. Don’t use anything apart from a pic of your face. Even a logo should be vetoed.  As a life coach, you need to be seen because you are your brand. You are at the heart of it all yet not showing a face is a big mistake life coaches make on social media. It’s not just life coaches, of course – others do it too. Hell, I’ve done it myself. But if any job requires you to be authentic and approachable and very obviously a person on social media, then it’s that of life coach.


Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


You are shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t use a photo of yourself in your profile pic.  As a coach, you want people to connect with you. And it’s hard to connect with an image of a cloud or a cat or a plant. I get that you might dislike how you look in photos because I’m the same, but it’s not about you. It’s about your clients-to-be. And, for that reason, the human connection needs to be in all your content, including your bio pic.


What’s a better approach?


Use a photo where they can see your face. As a coach, you ask people to be vulnerable and open with you, and that requires trust. It’s hard to build trust if you’re not showing who you are. If you have the marketing budget to spare, it’s a good idea to invest in some professional photos. But any photo where your face can be seen is better than anything else if the budget is too tight for now.


Mistake 4 – ‘I should only post about my own business.’


Don’t do it. It’s really off-putting to people.  Nobody scrolls social media to have services or products pushed upon them. It’s likely to turn them off rather than turn them into customers. Instead, focus on adding value to people who follow you.

Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


pushy salesman - mistake life coaches make on social media

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It comes across as spammy. It can feel like an aggressive sales pitch on repeat, and most people respond poorly to that. Yet it’s a social media mistake that I’ve seen many life coaches make, probably because of a lack of time. After all, creating a few posts and putting them on a loop is fast and easy. But if you only post about your own services, your social media content feels like it’s all about the next sale. Rather than developing relationships and trust, it makes it all about you without consideration for your audience. That’s not a good vibe for a life coach or counsellor.


What’s a better approach?


Add value. By sharing content that is interesting and relevant to them, you show your audience that you care. It develops trust and builds a relationship. One of the best ways to do this is to share third-party content because it’s clearly not selling. It’s like saying to your audience: ‘Hey, I know you’re interested in how to stay motivated when you’re working from home. I found this great article all about it, and when I read it, I thought of you.’

Sharing relevant is valuable and helpful to your target customer since there is no gain for you whatsoever. Except, of course, there is. Your target customer has now bookmarked you as someone who shares interesting and relevant content. And they start to see you as someone who gets them, understands their struggles and can help them.

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The downside is that it can take a while to find and read suitable articles to share. That’s why Sixty Second Social is so valuable for busy life coaches. The right content is found for you – all of it handpicked because it will work well for your audience.  You don’t even need to write the posts to accompany the content. The wording for each post comes too, telling your audience why the article is worth reading. Then, all you have to do is publish it on your social media.


Mistake 5 – ‘I need a lot of followers’


Growing your followers is a good thing, of course. But there is no end-of-the-rainbow pot of gold once you hit whatever magic number you have in your head.  It is much better to have 1,000 followers, engaged and keen, than 10,000 who are silent.  And if 1,000 followers feel like a long way off, know that the same applies to smaller numbers too. Maybe you’ve got 100 people following you. If they like, share and comment on your content, that’s preferable to 1,000 sleepy accounts.


Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


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An obsession with follower numbers will do you no good. Anyone can bring on an account fast, but it’s harder to grow one with followers who are genuinely interested in you. The way you grow your followers also matters because getting it wrong might land you in social media jail. If you use bots or buy followers, you’ll have acquired people who are probably not even people. They’re fake accounts. Or worse – accounts you really don’t want to be associated with your business.

I speak from experience. A while back, I experimented with this for myself to see what would happen. My advice to clients has always been to avoid it but when I was asked why I realised that I hadn’t actually put it to the test. So I thought I would in a ‘safe’ way. I spent a tiny amount of money – $20 or so, I think – and bought Twitter followers. I now can’t remember how many – maybe 500? – but I do remember how quickly I emailed the company to tell them to stop. I told them to keep the money but to put an immediate stop to any other accounts following me.

The reason? They were sending me followers who were clearly bots or fake accounts. Even worse than that, though, they were sending me porn accounts. The conclusion to my experiment was to never EVER buy followers. Although no damage was done, I spent the best part of two days blocking account after dodgy account from following me. If I hadn’t blocked them, all my real followers would have seen the porn accounts, which wasn’t how I wanted my business to be perceived.

It’s also a bad idea to take it upon yourself to follow/unfollow in an aggressive manner. The platform may see it as ‘churn’ and suspend you.  Even if you avoid that, the ‘prize’ is that you have followers who have little or no interest in you. What’s the point of that? Big followings become a vanity metric that means very little.


What’s a better approach?

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Steady growth is the way to go. That happens when you post the right content regularly and show up. By showing up, I mean getting involved.  That might be replying to comments that people have made on your posts or adding your own views to others’ posts.  It could be retweeting or sharing content that others have posted.  In short, it’s engaging with other people in real-time.

Your follower numbers will grow by focusing on the quality of your content and interactions with others. And they’ll do so in a way that is helpful to your business. Why? Because those who are following you are likely to have a genuine interest in you. That sets the foundations for building a relationship and converting followers into clients.  When you post authentic content and choose to help your audience, you’re solving problems and serving people.


Mistake 6 – ‘Asking for the moon on a stick’


Unrealistic expectations are common.  And, again, it’s not only life coaches; plenty others have this particular burden too.  Be honest with yourself. Are you harbouring hopes that within a few short months of social media activity, lots of new clients will be knocking on your door?

It is a fast path to disappointment and frustration. Better to avoid that rocky road. Social media is a brilliant tool for marketing, but it’s not a get-rich-quick device. It works when you show people what you do and who you are.


Why is this on a list of mistakes life coaches make on social media?


mistakes life coaches make on social media shown by keyboard with the word oops on a key

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If the expectation is that flinging up a few posts will net you lots of new clients almost immediately, then heartache beckons. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong when new clients don’t materialise overnight. Social media is a long game, that’s all. Better to revise your expectations than feel disheartened and give up. If you give up, one thing is certain – you definitely won’t get new clients through social media.


What’s a better approach?


Reframe your expectation.  Think of social media as a tool for serving rather than selling. By helping people, you are selling – just in a subtle way.   On social media, you can share expertise and tips with people who are not your clients. In reality, the majority of people who follow you won’t ever pick up the phone to hire you.  Some will, though it’s unlikely to be straightaway. It might be years down the line.

A few of the people who follow you might be open to hiring a life coach today. But most of them won’t be. No matter how good your content is, they’re simply not in that space right now.

However, if you have helped them with the content you put out, they stay in your world. When the day comes that they do want to find a life coach, your name comes to mind. Or you share something that resonates with them as they struggle with a specific issue. To return to the first mistake on this list, that’s why there is such a need to understand your target customers’ pain points.

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Or they may have a friend who confides in them. And, when they hear what the problem is, remember an article you shared the other day on the topic. So they recommend checking you out.  And then you’re on the radar of someone who may be open to paying for professional help.


A few tweaks


In conclusion, by being aware of a few of the mistakes that life coaches make on social media, you can hopefully avoid them. You’ll have noticed that some of them are about mindset rather than getting specific aspects of social media wrong.  All it takes is a few tweaks, and you’re on your way.

The upshot is that a focus on serving and connecting is the best way forward for life coaches on social media.  Perhaps that’s not such a bad ethos for life beyond social media too?



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Need more help with your social media? Take a look at Sixty Second Social

Sixty Second Social is tailor-made for coaches, counsellors, psychotherapists, and anyone working in the mental health sphere. It provides you with fresh content, curated from around the globe, each month. For £27 per month, you get links to relevant articles, together with the ready-written posts. All you have to do is upload it. In under 30 minutes each month – or 60 seconds a day, hence the name – you’ll schedule content on your social media accounts for the month ahead.  Or, if you prefer, I can do it for you, saving you even more time.