Top 5 Online Marketing Mistakes Coaches Make (And How To Fix Them)

September 10, 2020

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-entrepreneur and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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Are you confused and overwhelmed by online marketing? Are you wondering if you’re doing it right? Have your results been somewhat disappointing … but you have no idea why?

In this episode, I talk about 5 common mistakes I see coaches making all the time that stop them from having really great results when it comes to marketing online.

If you would love to know how to optimize your use of the marketing tools and platforms available to you online, let’s do a little troubleshooting, and see if you’re making any of these 5 mistakes when it comes to marketing your coaching business.

By the way, if you’d rather listen than read, here’s where you can tune in to this episode:

Before we get started, if you haven’t watched my free online training yet — what are you waiting for? Inside The 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love, I teach you my exact system for building an online business that gives you freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment — plus the ability to work from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Top 5 Online Marketing Mistakes

I’m excited to dive into this topic here because it’s such a big source of confusion and overwhelm for coaches, so I’m hoping to give you some useful tips and actionable things you can do.

Of course we’re going to be talking about online marketing strategy, and that’s because it’s so important that you learn how to market your programs and services online when you’re building a coaching business. 

But at the same time, I completely get it. It’s a lot to figure out.

Most of the women I talk to, coaches who are trying to build an online business, are completely on board with the idea of marketing and building their business online …. they just don’t really know exactly how to do it. And they’re afraid of doing it wrong.

And if that’s you, you’re definitely going to want to keep reading, because I’m going to give you 5 common mistakes I see coaches making all the time that are stopping them from having really great results when it comes to marketing online. 

And there’s a lot at stake. Because if you don’t get this right, if you don’t crack the code to online marketing, not only are you leaving money on the table, you’ll also really struggle to grow. And eventually, that means you’re going to fall behind, give up, and unfortunately, you’ll be replaced by your competition who are mastering online marketing. 

It’s so important for your business, no matter how big or how small, for you to really leverage the online ecosystem, and master online marketing, and do it right. 

Online marketing has been the absolute lifeblood of my own business, especially in recent years.

Through marketing my services online — and I run my business entirely virtually — I have been able to not only work with people all over the world, and I have clients in New Zealand, in Dubai, in England, in all 4 corners of the US and Canada … but I have also been able to grow my coaching income to not only match the income I was making as a full-time physician, but to far, far exceed it. And I have accomplished all of that through online marketing. And of couse it’s what I help all my clients do, too.

So let’s get into it, let’s look at the five key reasons why online marketing hasn’t worked for you in the past, and how to fix it.

Mistake #1: Not Fully Executing

The first mistake I want to make you aware of is that you might not be following through on your marketing, and fully executing the customer journey.

Let me explain that more fully. 

When people think about what they’re doing online to market their businesses, they think of social media, how to “get out there” and be visible, but then it kind of stops there. Most coaches actually don’t follow through. They stop when it actually gets important. 

But all those things that you’re doing — posting on Instagram, and posting on Facebook, and writing content for your website so that the search engines can find it, and all the things like that — they are only accomplishing one thing, and that’s raising awareness. It’s what I call the Attract stage of the customer journey. It’s like building a garden with flowers that are colorful and smell great so you can attract the bees and the butterflies, but it’s not going any further than that. 

And in order for someone to actually become a paying client, your relationship needs to go much further than that. It needs to be about more than just you showing up and being visible — although, believe me, that’s important too, and a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with just that piece alone — but, again, that visibility is not quite enough. 

The stuff you’re doing online gets attention, sure, and people may glance at it, or consume your content, but it’s fleeting, and then they’re on to the next thing. 

So if your online marketing system is not set up to move people beyond that initial ATTRACT stage, beyond awareness, and then move into deepening layers of interest, and trust, and really knowing you, and learning how your work can help them, and basically developing into a real relationship, then it won’t work. 

So there’s a whole strategy behind how to move a prospect through that client journey, and it’s something I teach all my clients and students how to do inside my programs, but one of the key strategies brings me to mistake #2, and that is…

Mistake #2: Not Using Video Content

So, so many new coaches are uncomfortable with video. So if that’s you, please know that you are not alone. If it’s NOT you, then bravo! Honestly, I’m always impressed when I’m working with someone who is not afraid of video and is willing to jump in and just do it. 

But if you do have some fears about video, then don’t beat yourself up, because it’s incredibly common. Most people really dislike seeing themselves on video. Some people can’t even stand watching themselves. Your voice sounds funny to your ears, your face looks different than you think it does, we feel super awkward. Also there are other legitimate barriers, like not knowing which equipment to use, how to make all the tech work, what mic do you need, and so many other questions, that many coaches just avoid it altogether. 

But truly, that’s a big mistake. Because video content accomplishes exactly what you may be missing in your online marketing strategy.

It moves you beyond just creating awareness and actually building interest. It builds connection and a real relationship between you and your potential clients. 

Through video, people can begin to learn more about your style, your personality, your energy, and that helps them to feel like they know you. 

There’s nothing quite like video for creating that instant bond and connection, and that really accelerates the customer journey.

So if you’re not using video — and I totally get that there are a lot of barriers to jumping into video — but if you’re not using it yet, I encourage to really look at what those obstacles are, both inner and outer, and do what you have to do to overcome those barriers. 

Mistake #3: Focusing On “Selling” Instead Of “Serving”

Mistake number three with online marketing is focusing too much on “selling” and not enough on “serving”. The marketing message becomes too heavily promotional, and that’s a real turnoff for most people.

When it comes to effective marketing, remember to always focus on your ideal client. On your audience. Your objective is to create that know-like-trust factor. And the best way to do that is  by educating them, by helping them, and by really serving them. 

It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Think about what they need. What are they struggling with? What do they desire? What are their goals? What do they need help with? What are their frustrations? What would they love to know?

If you can show up and help people, serve them in some way, give them something they can use, your audience will begin to trust you. They’ll see that you can help them, you have what they need, and that will draw them to you even more. 

And eventually, some of them will want to know how they can get more. How they can work with you.

Always focus on your audience and your ideal client. Solve their problems, help them move toward their goals, and take the focus off of you … and instead focus on them.

That’s the best approach for making your marketing efforts truly magnetic to your ideal clients. 

Mistake #4: Not Automating

The fourth mistake that many coaches make is not automating at least some element of their online marketing.

I’m not saying you have to set everything up in a hyper-complicated online funnel, but there are so many ways that you can take advantage of the tools and platforms that are available to you … with the goal of automating some of your work, leveraging your time, and really systematizing things. 

Now, this may not be something you’re quite ready for, if you are very, very new to online marketing. But once you get your basic system in place, you are going to want to quickly move out of doing everything manually, and starting to take advantage of automation to some degree. 

Because that’s one of the beautiful things about online marketing. You can automate elements of your social media, your email marketing, your list-building, your education and training, with webinars … there are so many ways. And these are things you may be shying away from, because let’s face it, tech can be daunting for a lot of us. 

But it’s important to know that you don’t have to do everything manually. Marketing can be very time-consuming, and it can take you away from doing things that only you can do — like coaching your clients, for example.

So embrace automation. Embrace the tools. Learn them and put together in an overall ecosystem that automates your online marketing, so that you can do what you’re best at, and focus on the most important areas in your business. 

Mistake #5: Not Tracking Your Results

The final mistake I’m going to cover today, Mistake #5, is not tracking your results. Most people avoid tracking their stats and their numbers. 

I get it — it’s probably a holdover from bad memories of high school math or statistics. I totally understand. 

But when it comes to your business, I would love for you to embrace your metrics, find a way to enjoy it and maybe even have fun with it.

Because it’s incredibly important.

If you don’t track your results, how can you possibly know what’s working and what’s not working?

Once you understand your numbers, you’ll be empowered to make the right decisions. And then your online marketing becomes really fun: you know what worked and what didn’t work, and you can scale back on the things that didn’t work, or refine them, or change them, and double down on the things that didn’t work. 

You can improve and refine and optimize your marketing, and that’s a really good thing, because then you’ll start to really gain traction in your business.

To get started with tracking, just ease yourself in. It’s really easy to get totally overwhelmed because many tracking platforms, like Google Analytics, give you a ton of numbers and a ton of data. So just ease in. Spend a little bit of time looking at some of the analytics on your website, for example. Or maybe your Facebook analytics. Or maybe the metrics for your email newsletters — open rates, click rates, things like that.

Just start taking a look at the numbers in one small area of your business, and start geeking out on what it all means, and then expand from there.

Okay, those are my 5 biggest mistakes that I see coaches making when it comes to online marketing.


  1. Not fully executing or having a plan to follow through beyond that initial attract phase.
  2. Not using video
  3. Focusing too much on “selling” and not enough on “serving”
  4. Not automating.
  5. Not tracking your results.

Now if you’re not making any of these mistakes then bravo to you, my friend! You can give yourself a pat on the back, because that’s awesome.

However, if you found any of these sounding familiar, and you know you’re making some of them, my advice to you is to just choose one to work on.

Don’t try and overhaul your entire online marketing strategy right now. Just choose one thing to improve and change, and work on that. And then keep moving forward from there.

Now, if you’re not exactly sure where to start — or if, in fact, online marketing is a huge beast that you’re completely daunted by, and would love to get started with but really don’t know where to begin, then let’s get on the phone and talk about it!

This is one of the main things I help my clients to do. Once we’ve built the foundation for their business, with the right niche and the right offers, we then turn our attention to creating a total marketing gameplan. And if you would like to talk to me about how I could help you put together YOUR marketing gameplan, then let’s get on the phone.

You can book a free call with me, a 30-minute strategy session, and you can tell me about your business, or even just your business idea, and let’s figure out what your obstacles are, what’s standing in your way, and what you need to do next to properly market your business and get more clients. 

And now I’d love to hear from you! Go ahead and let me know: which mistake have you been making that you are committed to no longer making? Which element of your online marketing strategy are you going to work on next? I can’t wait to hear from you.

Resources & Links:

N.B. some links are affiliate links.

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