It’s tough enough as it is for life coaches in a brutally competitive industry without making errors that are easy to avoid.
To follow are five of the biggest mistakes life coaches make on social media that I see on a daily basis and that prevent them from succeeding.
1. Being Active On Too Many Platforms
I mentioned in my last blog post Should Life Coaches Join Clubhouse?
I much prefer the coaches who hire me to help them grow their practice to be active on one, perhaps two, platforms at a push.
The reality is that they are all different and all require different approaches to make them work effectively.
Of course, you can and should have a broad strategy for social media and map that over to each platform, but that isn’t where the gold lies.
The best results come from understanding the nuances each platform has to offer.
That takes time and patience.
I have an Instagram account but I have never posted to it and have no plans to do so.
I have over 5,000 followers on Twitter but almost never follow anybody back and tend to use only use it for personal stuff rather than work. I don’t even have a link in my bio anymore.
And I have a YouTube channel with over 1,000 subscribers and videos that have been watched over 20k times but I haven’t posted anything new in over 7 years.
For me to make those 3 platforms effective from a client attraction perspective would take a mountain of work, especially YouTube.
So, I could do that, or I could put the hours needed to be successful into growing and adding more value to the Fully Booked Coach Group which has over 6,000 coaches in it.
I prefer the latter option because there are enough potential clients on Facebook to keep me, and a hundred clones of me, busy until the end of time.
There’s nothing wrong with registering your name on a platform just in case you want to use it at a future date, in fact, you should do that.
Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with having accounts for entertainment, learning, and connecting with like-minded people outside of work.
Nonetheless, from a client attraction perspective, concentrate your efforts on getting established on one platform, nailing it, and perhaps then looking to expand.
I am toying with diving back into LinkedIn as I have 2.5k connections and I’m pretty familiar with what I need to do to make it work.
However, I won’t do it to the detriment of my Facebook group.
Similarly, I’m putting my toe into the water with Clubhouse to see if that may be a good fit.
If it is, great, I’ll do more than just play about like I am now.
If not, I will bail.
BTW, if you’re on Clubhouse, do say hello at @timbrownson
You don’t succeed on social media by throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping it sticks because it won’t, especially if you haven’t even cooked it yet.
Grab one platform by the balls and don’t let go until it spills all its secrets.
Note: If you hire somebody to help you on other platforms, then, by all means, go for it. Just make sure your message is consistent.
2. Being A Consumer And Not A Creator
You cannot be a successful chef if you just eat food and don’t cook it.
You cannot be a successful movie director who watches films but never makes them.
And you cannot succeed as a coach on social media if you just consume content and don’t create it.
Just lurking by reading, watching, or listening, is not creating content.
Liking posts is not creating content.
And sharing posts is not really creating content.
Creating content means adding real value to your potential clients and peers.
Creating content requires you to engage your brain and think about what it is people are looking for.
You create content by writing posts/articles that answer specific concerns/worries your prospects may have.
You create content by diving into a group thread to add something new, or to expand the conversation.
And you create content by starting a group and (ironically) encouraging others to create content.
Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a consumer of content, in fact, we all are and it can be awesome.
But if you’re just surfing and scrolling on autopilot then it’s unlikely to help you gain clients.
And that is why we are here, right?
3. Having An Avatar of Something Other Than Themselves
You need an avatar of YOU no matter what platform you’re on.
Not a blue outline created by Facebook, not your business logo, not a picture of a beach, or sunset, or even a cute puppy dog.
I’m 60 next year and I look more like an oil spill than an oil painting, but I still use images of me.
I don’t particularly like it and I rarely pose for photographs socially that will just remind me of the advancing years and what a huge mistake my wife made.
However, we are in the connection business and we connect with other people, not logos or pretty pictures. So I do it anyway.
I don’t give a shit how shy you or what you look like, if you want to use social media for client attraction then you MUST have your image follow you around.
4. Using A Scheduling Tool….Badly
A growing number of coaches use social media networking tools like Planable, Buffer, and Hoot Suite because they enable you to schedule posting.
Also, they allow you to post to multiple platforms at the same time.
I confess that I go back and forth on this because they can, and do, have real value.
As well as cross-posting they can also let you queue your posts over a period of time.
This allows you to batch a load of content by say, writing it all on a Sunday evening, and then drip-feeding it over the following week without any further intervention by you.
They can also offer you valuable analytics to allow you to see what is and isn’t gaining traction.
Even so, they encourage coaches to use multiple platforms, and as I’ve already pointed out, I really don’t think that’s a good idea.
Scheduling tools are almost exclusively used by social media agencies and businesses.
As such, most of your clients won’t know what they do, or even that they exist.
They may think it’s weird that you’re always on social media and never with paying clients.
And if thinking you have no clients is bad enough, thinking you’re ignorant or aloof because you never replied to them is even worse.
Most social media platforms are fast-moving environments.
Facebook posts that gain little traction slide down your timeline.
And even tweets that do gain traction still slide down your timeline.
So you need to be there to respond to people who respond to you.
One of the 10 rules of the Fully Booked Coach Facebook Group is:
‘Don’t post and run’
If you ask for help, do not then leave and not come back for days on end. If people have been good enough to try and help, please acknowledge it.
This transfers beautifully to coaches sharing content.
It’s all well and good to share great content, but you need to be there to follow up and deepen the connections you make.
5. Falling Down The Rabbit Hole
Have you ever popped on to Facebook for 5 minutes only to find yourself there 3 days later arguing with some dude from Paraguay about the meaning to the end of the movie, Inception?
No, probably not.
Me neither if I’m being honest.
But I have lost a fair few hours to Quora, Twitter, and Pinterest though when I’ve been less than disciplined.
If you’re like most social media users you will have slipped down your own particular rabbit hole only to emerge blinking in the bright sun wondering where the last 3 hours went.
It’s ok to dick about on social media, I do it all the time.
However, I now know when I’m doing it.
Equally, I know when I’m working.
All social media platforms are designed to suck you in and keep you in, that is their sole purpose.
So remind yourself of that once in a while and allocate your time carefully and if necessary, use a timer.
What mistakes do you see coaches making on social media? And what mistakes have you made that others can learn from? Be a creator and leave a comment!