I’ve been coaching for ten years, it’s my purpose and my passion. As a result of being in the business for so long, there are some things that I’ve noticed which coaches do that sabotage their success. I wanted to help you out and share these really cool game changing tips with you today:

1.    Selling Processes Instead of Outcomes

Instead of trying to convince clients they need your skill-set, tools, models, or knowledge to achieve their goal; focus on educating them on what specific outcomes they will receive from your coaching. Concentrate on selling outcomes, not processes.

2.     Instead of Seeking and Providing Quality, Trying to Cut Corners

When I started coaching, the internet had just started to boom. I took my business online, I wanted it to succeed, but I didn’t want to pay a fortune for things like logo design, graphics and support. So I invested in sites that offer cheap and lost cost solutions. I was trying to cut corners, and as a result, it backfired. While cheap may be attractive for the wallet, it’s not going give you the highest value for your company. My recommendation for coaches is always think about the value something, or someone, can give above cost.

3.     Studying Coaching and Not Understanding Business or Salesshutterstock_310072547

This should be a no-brainer. You can be the best coach who has devoted a ton of time – not to mention money – working on yourself. You’ve might also have an incredible coaching tool-kit but if you don’t know how to sell or build a profitable business, coaching may as well be a hobby. It’s important as a coach that you know how to run a successful business as well as how to coach like a pro. Never stop learning.

4.    Studying Business and Sales and Not Understanding How to Coach Well

See above.

5.    Not Caring or Investing in Your Brand

Your brand identity is important, it’s what separates you from the crowd or not. It’s vital that you invest in your brand so that you can show YOUrself off, your best self in the marketplace. If there is any inconsistency with your brand, people will pick that up. If your branding doesn’t pop, your business may not stand out. Invest in your brand and you’ll attract more potential clients, plain and simple. Invest in a branding strategist to help you spruce up your brand and make it memorable.

6.    Not Investing in an Excellent Website for Yourself

I have reviewed hundreds of coaches’ websites in my business and in the Coaches community Facebook group. I like to think of a coaches’ site as their shop: imagine having a physical shop on the street that is run down and derelict. Will people stop by? Will people stay a while and take a look around your shop? If your website isn’t receiving the love it needs or if it’s run down, not cared for and shabby your potential customers won’t stay around long. Invest in a proper website.

7.    Not Investing in a Coachshutterstock_252008518

I’m a firm believer that you have to invest in yourself. Otherwise, who will want to invest in you? Invest in coaching for yourself so you can understand how a good coach works, what doesn’t work, and what it feels like to be in the client’s seat. If you want people to pay you for coaching but you won’t pay for it yourself, then how are you expected to receive clients?

8.    Using Scripts Non-Stop for Discovery Calls and Coaching Sessions

Using scripts can be great and super helpful when you’re first starting out. The problem is that coaches can become reliant on them, and clients can pick up on when you’re reading from a script. Instead, become familiar with scripts but don’t hold onto them so tightly in your coaching and discovery sessions that you forget to be fully present in the moment and dive deep with your client. After all, isn’t that what coaching is all about?

9.    Not Being Yourselfphoto-1421986527537-888d998adb74

It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be like a particular coach or person, but it poses so many problems. Clients not only come to you for the results that you can give them, but who you are as a person. If you’re not being yourself, clients will pick up on that. Be yourself, you’re unique as you are. Showcase your good, bad and totally quirky sides. I’m a great example of this and I showcase the fact that I live in a bus, off the grid, and I’m into vintage and rockabilly. That’s me; I won’t be someone I’m not. I won’t pretend that I desire to own a billion-dollar mansion one day. It should be so simple, right?

10.    Not Sharing Your Story in an Honest Light

Chances are, you’ll be told to share your story with the world. That’s great but what I find amusing is when someone shares a story that’s totally not who they are, or it’s been fabricated and put in a different context than what happened in order to gain more publicity. You don’t need to lie about who you are. Or how you got to where you are today. You are good enough, your life is good enough, remember to showcase your stories in a direct light. No matter how positive – or negative – they are.

11.    Thinking Short Term

For example, thinking that getting discovery calls on social media (Facebook groups, hint, hint) is a strategy. A good strategy involves getting more than clients in your door today; it involves setting up the systems and structures in place so you’ll keep getting customers through the door one, two, or ten years from now.

12.   Not Having Proper Boundaries in Place

It’s easy to want to help people out, I get it. I’m super giving, super kind and super loyal myself, but you need to set boundaries so you don’t end up crossing roles or your client doesn’t end up taking advantage of you. Do you accept tickets from a client to join them to go watch a movie on Saturday night? Do you work over time because the client has more they wish to talk about? Do you share facts about your client with your partner? You need to have boundaries in place in order to excel as a coach, and take care – health and legal wise – of yourself.

13.   Not Having a Legal Contract in Placecoaching model

Again, this should be a no-brainer. Don’t just think you can buy a template or copy a template from doing a google search. See your lawyer and have them check over your agreement to make sure it’s relevant to your location and your services. Think law fees are too expensive? Just imagine how much a would lawsuit cost!

14.   Thinking That Serving Women between 20-40 Is a Niche

I know it’s hard, the fear of missing out if you segment your niche ‘too small’. But guess what? There are over 7 billion people in the world. The chances of segmenting your niche too small is slim. Be specific when it comes to creating a niche, the more specific you can be the better. Here’s a free worksheet to get specific on your niche.

15.   Not Outsourcing, Trying to Do Everything Yourself

I’m guilty of this one early on, it can be super easy to want to do everything yourself, to want to have the control, authority – not to mention saving money – but you know? It’s just not worth it. You won’t show up as your best self to your coaching sessions when you are running around like a headless chicken. You want to hire complimentary people to help you with maintaining and growing your business.

16.   Following the Crowd Instead of Thinking for Yourself

This one I cannot stress enough, it’s so important not just for your own business to think for yourself and chart your course, but for the expansion of the coaching industry as a whole. Think daily about how you can improve your business, by growing yourself and helping others.

17.    Not Having a Newsletter List

Your success as a coach will not be dependent on people you meet just once, but the relationships that you build up continuously. Having a newsletter list allows you to grow and nurture relationships with potential customers.

18.   Not Building Credibility & Social Proof in the Marketplace

It can be easy to forget about the position that you have online when you’re trying to build your list and grow your client base. Everything that you do online either adds up or takes away from your credibility as a coach. It’s important to build credibility as a coach, this is done by creating social proof, showcasing your expertise and allowing your online presence to reflect just how wonderful you are.

19.    Not Having a Strategy

A strategy for your business is vital if you are going to grow it and reach your goals. Keep in mind a strategy in business must be well rounded and unique to you and your goals. An approach would entail including a plan for improving your education, practical skills, growing your list, improving your branding and marketing and widening your position as a coach in the marketplace.

20.    Using Facebook 24/7 as your only medium for gaining clients


I’ve had a lot of coaches swear that all you need is Facebook to build your client base. This may well be the case for the short term, meaning now; however, things change. I’ve been in 

business for ten years, and one thing I know for sure is that change is the only constant. Don’t become dependent on Facebook for being the only source where you gain clients, have a broad range of places that you can meet potential customers. I know coaches that are incredibly great at attracting clients on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and even face to face. Don’t pigeon hole your business into only finding your clients on Facebook. Widen your circle, and seek to be known in a few different social media platforms.

21.    Thinking That Competition Is a Bad Thing

Competition isn’t a bad thing. If there’s another coach that’s coaching in the same niche, and in the same circles as you, it doesn’t mean you need to stop. It doesn’t mean that you’ve now got to changes circles or change your niche. Use competition to drive you forward, to make you a better person. Lastly, pay close attention to yourself when you’re feeling competitive, or comparing yourself.  Try to identify if the feelings you’re having are there because it’s something that you want to pursue actively in your business, or in some cases something you wish to avoid doing entirely.
Hope this article can be very useful for you while taking your next steps building your coaching business. Just be mindful of them so, even if you take a risk, you know how to pull it off successfully!

Sarah Liddle

Sarah Liddle is the founder of Coach School. She brings you everything you need to know to become a professional coach. Your goal is to change the world, one flap of your gorgeous butterfly wings at a time. Sarah's is to create passionate coaches like you, who have that same fire. Since 2007 Sarah has been training coaches. Sarah Liddle’s street cred is impressive. You gain an unfair advantage over your competition when you complete your coach training with Sarah – because you’ll be recognized as an international coach, trained by the best-of-the-best with colleagues who are as amazing as you to connect with when you’re finished. To learn more about Sarah visit:

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