25 Mistakes to Avoid when starting your coaching business

25 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Coaching Business

Congratulations, you’ve decided to start your own coaching business! There are a lot of nitty-gritty details to think through, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Instead, let’s break down these 25 mistakes to avoid when starting a coaching business and how to overcome them!

1. Targeting Everybody as Your Perfect Client

When you are starting out, you need a niche. Otherwise, you will get lost in a crowded market, and your perfect client won’t find you. How do you define your perfect client? You may identify your “Perfect Person” by creating an avatar.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is his/her name and exact age?
  • What is his/her career?
  • What is important to him/her?
  • What is the biggest problem he/she is facing and wants a transformation?
  • How can your coaching help deliver results to him/her?
  • How can you make your coaching available out there?

Keep this “perfect person avatar” in mind whenever you create content or post. So when the “perfect person” finds you, he/she will think, “this coach knows exactly what I need,” and will turn to you for help and service.  

2. Not Getting Clarity on Your Coaching Topic

When you just get started, you need a niche coaching topic. Narrow down on one topic and serve that one “perfect client” first instead of trying to serve everyone.

For example, if you are a health coach, you might define your perfect client as a new mom who just gave birth and wants to lose weight. You can provide help by customizing a healthy diet plan with a specific set of exercises. “Health” is a general niche. You narrow down your niche as a “Health Coach” (title) who serves “new moms who just gave birth and want to lose weight” (your perfect person) by following a customized healthy diet plan along with a specific set of exercises (your niche).

What if you have more than one niche? That’s a great thing, but when you just begin, let’s focus on one first. You can always add other niches and services when your business is already established. 

3. Charging Prices Too High or Too Low

Charging prices too high or too low may sabotage your coaching business. There are many to consider when pricing your services.

  • What is an hour of your time worth?
  • The true value of your expertise
  • Where do you fit in the marketplace?
  • Can your perfect client afford you?
  • Consider the elements of your package – what are you including? What is the value of each element?

Want to learn more? Take this quiz: “What’s the Perfect Rate to Charge For Your Coaching Business?”

4. Avoiding Self Promotion

When talking about self-promotion, some of you may tend to shy away from it. In fact, self-promotion doesn’t have to be fake or flashy. It actually means letting people know about the services that you provide, helping clients get from point A to point B, and getting the results they desire. Just note that self-promotion gives other people a chance to know your services that may provide the life transformation they desire.

5. Thinking Your Perfect Client Will Come to You Automatically

Clients don’t fall from the sky. There will be a lot of sales and marketing behind the scenes. Put yourself out there through different channels/social media/collaborations to reach out to your perfect person.

6. Dreaming of Overnight Success

While there are many courses “promising” you to succeed in just 90 days or X months, here is the truth – it will take around 12 -24 months to build up your business. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme and great work will need strong foundations. Trust the process, build your foundations, and build trust and reputation among your perfect clients. 

7. Failing to Pitch Your Sales to Client During Discovery Call

You might say that you don’t want to pitch sales during a discovery call because you don’t want to look pushy or salesy. But it’s actually the fear of getting “no” as an answer. The truth is, your clients acknowledge you as a coach and already know you will be charging money by providing a service to them. 

A discovery call is a chance for both of you to discover if you are a good fit as coach and client. And selling means offering clients a chance to buy your service that can help them get from point A to point B to get the transformation they want. 

Be confident about pitching sales to clients, knowing you are offering them a chance to receive the transformation they deserve.

8. Thinking Rejection Equals Saying No to You

Rejection is not easy. The truth is, when people reject your offer, they are not rejecting you. Maybe their spouse got laid off and affected their family financially, or perhaps he/she is just not ready and needs time to consider. There may be other things going on behind the scenes that you don’t know. And when they say no to you now, it doesn’t mean they won’t say yes later. Let’s learn to take “No” as a chance to say “Yes” later.

9. Abandoning Potential Clients Who Say No to You

As mentioned above, when potential clients say no to you that doesn’t mean they reject you. They are just not ready for the commitment, especially when it will involve their time, money, and energy. It’s easy to feel tempted to abandon them since they have already said no. But the truth is, you will never know when they might say yes later. Keep in touch with them – send them an article that might help them, comment on their social media post, etc. Again, learn to take “No” as a chance to say “Yes” later.

10. Perceiving Yourself as a Failure When Things Go Wrong

Maybe you have created a coaching package that you thought was amazing and expected to sell like hot cakes, but no one buys it. Perhaps you have created some freebies, but the response is not as good as you expected. And you start to treat these experiences as failures. The truth is, many people aren’t afraid of failure but being perceived as a failure. 

Just know that, when you are just getting started, things might not go exactly as planned. Learn to make peace with “failures”. Reframe mistakes as an opportunity to gain wisdom and experience to succeed at the bigger things in the future.

11. Not Positioning Yourself as an Expert

Clients hire you because they trust you are the expert on the niche topic. You will need to become known as an expert people know, like, and trust. Here is the truth: No one starts out as an expert (there are exceptions, but they are very rare). Everyone has to get their “reps” in – practice, practice, practice. Take every chance you have to practice the art of coaching in every way possible. 

For example, if you are a marriage coach, you could write blog posts related to marriage topics (e.g., 5 Tips To Discuss Household Chores Effectively With Your Spouse; 50 Fun Date Ideas For Married Couples, etc.). On your social media channel, you may create short videos or reels giving tips about how to have a healthy marriage. Next, you might want to “go deep” by starting a podcast talking about marriage-related topics to your audience. 

12. Not Being Focused and Consistent on Your Platforms

When creating content for the website or social media, focus and consistency go hand in hand. Consistency builds trust, and trust drives sales. Review your website content or social media feed, are you focused? Are you consistent? 

For example, if you are a health coach: Do you post health-related topics on your social media that bring value to your perfect client? Or do you constantly post content unrelated to health? 

Be focused and consistent on creating content related to your niche that brings value to your perfect person. 

13. Not Setting Boundaries with Clients

As a coach, you want to be nice to people. You might feel obligated to reply to every email you receive in a short time, say “yes” to every request, etc. The truth is that you will serve your clients better if you can protect your sacred time and know how to take good care of yourself.

Let’s start by setting boundaries in place. Learn how to create a system that works for you.

14. Not Building Systems In Place

Systems might sound complicated and boring. In fact, a system is a combination of tools and techniques that work together to help you get things done or to be more productive. Building good systems may increase productivity and eliminate stress. Below are some steps that help build good systems:

  • Create a “stop doing list”. Identify the things that don’t bring productivity, and you should “say no to” and stop doing.
  • Identify your most important tasks. Ask yourself: What are the most 2-3 important things I need to do today? Your most important tasks should help you achieve your goals. 
  • Automating common processes such as client scheduling, payments, and email could save you a lot of time in the long run. 

15. Not Organizing Time Properly

Our time and energy are not limitless. We need to prioritize our most important tasks first:

  • Block your time as if you are making a doctor’s appointment for your most important tasks. 
  • Identify time leaks (time wasters) – For example, scrolling social media for too long, doing household tasks when you should be focused on work, etc.
  • Learn to hire help or get help from your family. Let go of perfectionism and be a bit more flexible in household chores in daily lives.

16. Trying to be Someone Other than Yourself

Personal branding is communicating who you are repetitively and consistently. People are drawn to coaches who are authentic, honest, and real. What makes you “you”? Ask yourself these questions to begin developing and fine-tuning your brand:

  • What are your abilities and strengths as a coach?
  • What is your unique service position (USP)?
  • Clearly define who exactly you help and how you can help them
  • Write your personal brand statement.
  • Work on your visual brand.

17. Not Using Social Media to Showcase Your Brand

Social media is a norm, and you might already be on Social Media. For now, your social media will be used to showcase your brand in a strategic way, not just you as a person. Every post you create serves the purpose of engaging your perfect person and growing your business. Utilize Social Media to build connection, trust, and momentum around your work.

18. Not Being Clear and Straightforward Enough on Your Website.

You might be a very creative person. But when it comes to your website, this is the time to be clear, not clever. Be plain and simple about who you are, who you serve, what you offer, and how they can contact you if they need your services.

19. Communicating to Your Clients Using Complicated Words

Remember, instead of being clever, be clear. When communicating with your audience, keep the words simple enough a child could understand what you are saying. Confused people don’t buy, they click away. Communicate to your clients as if you are talking to a family member. Avoid using sentences full of jargon. Instead, use clear and concise sentences.

20. Not Building Your Email List

In the online world, email is your direct link to your perfect person. Studies have shown that 40% of people are more likely to purchase a product through email than through social media. Email communication is where you build the -“Know, Like, and Trust” factor. You might want to creating freebies and valuable content in exchange for email addresses.

21. Forgetting to Track What’s Working and What Isn’t

The analytics don’t lie. Do consistently measure your conversion rate from opt-in to sales. Take notice of the ones (freebies, opt-in sales, social media posts) that work, and repeat.

22. Making it All About You

Keep in mind that this whole coaching business isn’t about you. It’s about serving your perfect person. Consider what your perfect person needs and wants before creating or posting anything.

23. Not Connecting Through Story 

Stories allow us to learn from another person’s experience and can shape, strengthen, or challenge our opinions and values. Great stories can create empathy and engage emotions. Often, people make their buying decision based on emotion. 

Not sharing stories will likely cause you to lose the chance to build rapport and establish trust and likeability. So how do we connect through story?

  • Hook: You get people’s attention.
  • Story: You tell them a story that builds belief, emotion, and trust.
  • Close: You make the offer so solid that they decide to work with you. 

Remember, clients, buy your story, not just products. 

24. Thinking That You are Not Good Enough

Impostor Syndrome is not uncommon. You might ask: “Who am I to do this?”, “What if I don’t have the right answers?” The fact is, you don’t have to be perfect and know 100% of everything. You just need to know better than the clients you are serving in your area of expertise. There may be times you might feel uncomfortable or realize you need to learn more. See it as an opportunity for growth and a chance to expand your comfort zone. Remember, your goal is to help people.

25. Putting Off Your Launch Date

It is important to get yourself educated and do research before getting started. However, do give yourself a timeframe, and don’t fall into the trap of procrastination – which mostly comes from fear and perfectionism. 

Remember, you are a coach who has something unique to offer that enables clients to experience transformation. When you first start, there will be ups and downs, things that you will do well and not so well. Anything worth doing is worth doing “badly” at first.

Are you someone who always wanted to start a coaching business but is just too afraid to get started? Procrastinate no more and join The Coach School. The course is designed to show you the step-by-step process of how to build a thriving coaching business. Imagine the transformation you can provide to people if you have the right tools and guidance from expert coaches.

Want to know how much you should be charging as a coach? Take the quiz now – “What’s the Perfect Rate to Charge For Your Coaching Business?”