Should you use social media for your coaching business?

As a new coach, you may be wondering: Should I use social media for my business?

After all, social media offers many opportunities to get known, build your brand, expand your network, and connect with coaching clients. And you’ve probably seen many of your coaching peers on Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok.

But is being on social media the right decision for you as a coach? Let’s examine the issue so you can make the best decision for your coaching business.

Social media is one of many ways to market your business

It’s easy to think that social media = marketing. But in fact, there are MANY ways to market your business that don’t involve social media.(In fact, you can find 21 ways right here!)

For example, you might decide to be a a guest on a podcast, to blog or guest blog, to run summits and events, to focus on partnerships and collaborations, or to focus on online or offline networking , or most likely — some combination of all of the above.

Whichever ways you choose to market your business, marketing activities take strategy, time, and effort. So you want to create a marketing strategy and a marketing plan that’s customized to your coaching business — and stick to it.

Should that marketing strategy include social media? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

The benefits of using social media marketing for coaches

Social media marketing is unique in that allows you to reach hundreds of thousands of people around the world — potential clients, collaborators, and partners — as well as share your message and your impact.

There is a lot of opportunity for coaches social media, and just like anything else, it requires you to find a way to use it that works best for you.

Using social media strategically can offer numerous benefits for life, health, relationship, and career coaches. Here are key advantages:

Audience Reach and Visibility

Social media platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube, and Pinterest allow you to reach a wide audience, increasing your visibility and brand awareness. It allows you to connect with potential clients, industry peers, and collaborators on a global scale.

Community Building

Building a community is a goal of many coaches, especially as they scale their business. Platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Facebook groups can help you foster a sense of community by giving you the opportunity to share engaging content, discussions, and group conversations.

Brand Building and Credibility

 Establishing a strong presence on social media helps you build your coaching brand. Regularly sharing valuable content, insights, and success stories enhances your credibility as a coach, positioning you as an authority in your niche.

Networking Opportunities

Social media platforms facilitate networking with peers, potential clients, and industry influencers. Building these connections can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and a broader professional network. For example, doing an Instagram live with another coach who serves your target audience can help you network and grow your business.

Sharing Valuable Content

Coaches can leverage social media to share inspirational and educational content for your audience. Whether you use posts, videos, or live sessions, you can provide valuable insights, tips, and resources to your ideal clients, that pique their interest in working with you.

Real Time Conversations

Social media enables direct communication with followers. You can engage in real-time conversations, address questions, and provide support, building relationships with your audience and when the time is right, inviting them to work with you.

Market Research and Feedback

Coaches can gather valuable insights through social media. Feedback, comments, and engagement metrics offer a glimpse into the preferences and needs of your target audience, aiding in refining your content. For example, if you’re deciding on a webinar topic or a new offer, you can poll your audience and ask for feedback.

Promotion of Events and Services

Social media can be an effective way to promote and launch your coaching services, as well as webinars, workshops, events, and new offers. Announcements, teasers, and registration details can be shared to attract a larger audience.

Showcasing Success Stories

Sharing your client success stories and testimonials on social media can inspire confidence in potential clients. It serves as a powerful way to showcase the positive impact of your coaching services, while further establishing your credibility with your audience.

Stay Updated on Industry Trends

Being active on social media allows coaches to stay informed about industry trends, emerging practices, and the latest research. This continuous learning supports professional development and enhances the value you provide to your clients.

When used thoughtfully and aligned with your brand voice and values, social media can be a powerful tool for coaches, offering a opportunities for growth, engagement, and impact.

That said, social media (and every social media platform) has its own rules, regulations, and algorithms, so it’s important to be aware that social media marketing also has its downfalls.

The downfalls of using social media marketing for coaches

While using social media to promote your coaching business offers several advantages (as mentioned above), there are also potential cons, including:

Time and Resource Intensity

Managing social media demands a significant investment of time and resources. For solopreneur coaches who don’t have a team, the creation of content, consistent engagement, and staying on top of trends and algorithms can take a lot of your resources that might be better better suited for other marketing and business development activities.

Negative Impact on Mental Health

The reported negative impact on mental health has become a compelling reason for people, including coaches, to distance themselves from social media. The stress, comparison culture, and exposure to negative feedback prevalent on these platforms can adversely affect personal well-being, prompting a reevaluation of the platform’s role in one’s business strategy.

Privacy Concerns

Rising awareness of data privacy issues and controversies associated with social media platforms has led some brands to prioritize customer privacy and data protection. (For example: Lush.) For coaches and healers, whose brand values often include trust and integrity, the concern about privacy and ethics may lead them to leave social media.

Effectiveness and ROI

Effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) are critical considerations for anyone building a business, including coaches and healers. Many solopreneurs who don’t have time and energy to invest in creating and sharing content find that social media isn’t worth the time and effort. Instead, they may choose other marketing activities that are more effective for reaching and engaging their ideal coaching clients.

Algorithm Changes

The dynamic nature of social media algorithms presents a challenge for brands aiming to maintain consistent visibility. Frequent changes can impact the reach of content, making it difficult for brands, including those in coaching, to adapt and sustain visibility, prompting a reassessment of the platform’s value in their overall strategy.

Lack of Authenticity

Coaches and healers who are focused on authenticity may feel constrained by the “popularity content” feel of social media platforms. Those of us in the world of personal development often desire more direct, personal communication with our audience. When social media doesn’t necessarily reward authentic and unique voices, other marketing channels allow more freedom (and control) to be our true selves.

Alternative Marketing Channels

Exploring alternative marketing channels is especially important in fields like coaching and healing where establishing trust is key to building a client base. Using marketing channels like email newsletters, podcasts, or in-person events can offer better opportunities for sharing their brand voice and facilitating more meaningful connections with their audience.

Focus on Owned Platforms

As you may have heard before, when you use social media, you don’t really “own” your content. You don’t own the platform or the algorithm, which means your account could be canceled or removed at any time, and poof! There goes your content. (This has happened to many people I know!) Instead of building your brand on borrowed land, many coaches and helpers choose to focus on “owned” platforms (like your website and email newsletter), where you have more control over content, communication, and the overall user experience.

Need for Strong Boundaries 

If there’s one thing it takes to use social media for your coaching business, it’s strong boundaries and a high sense of self-esteem! It’s very easy to get consumed by social media, loosing track of time scrolling in the apps themselves, or getting distracted or even triggered by other content (that is usually, quite frankly, created to trigger and get a response.) This is often hard to tolerate for highly sensitive entrepreneurs, whereas other marketing platforms can provide a greater sense of control and safety.

What to consider when deciding to use social media for your coaching business

Use this checklist to make a powerful decision about whether or not to use social media marketing for your coaching business.

1. Does it match your wants, needs, and preferences. Do you want to use social media? Do you enjoy it? Are there any platforms that you like, are already active on, or are curious about? If so, those are the platforms to consider for your business. 

2. Does it align with your values?. Think of a specific social media platform, say Instagram, for example. Does it align with your values? This is a very personal decision. For one person who values community and learning, she may choose to be active on Instagram. For another person, Instagram may conflict with their values around privacy and owning their content. 

3. Are your ideal clients on social media? And more specifically, are they on the channel you want to use, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube? If you don’t know, it might be time to do some informal market research or even just ask them. But it’s not just about if they’re on social media, the better question is: Are they using social media to find information / providers like you?

4. Are you willing to invest your time and energy into social media? There is an opportunity cost to everything. The opportunity cost is the potential benefit that you could have gained from choosing an alternative marketing channel instead of social media. The opportunity cost of being on social media for say 5 hours per week means you aren’t doing other things that could fill that time. You could also choose to use that time for other marketing activities

5. Do you have strong boundaries? It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex that is social media. Some people struggle with the atmosphere on social, and are prone to depression and anxiety. If this is you, there’s no shame. However, you may think about whether you can and are willing to put energetic boundaries around your social media usage. If social media is costing you your mental health, it’s definitely not worth it!

6. Are you on board with the terms and conditions? We’ve all clicked “I agree” without reading the fine print. But it’s important to understand how a platform uses your information. Increasing awareness of data privacy issues and controversies surrounding social media platforms has led some brands to prioritize customer privacy and data protection.

7. Is it something you can automate or outsource? If you want to be on social media, but don’t want to post regularly, is this something you are willing to outsource? Hiring a social media manager or even a social media savvy VA can take the workload off your plate. If you want to use social, but can’t afford a social media manager, you might want to automate your posts and schedule them in advance.

social media for coaches

Ready to market your coaching business — with or without social media?

If you’ve decided to use social media to market your coaching business, you need a content strategy and plan. Content Planning 101 can show you how to create that strategy and plan.

If you’ve decided social media is not for you, you still need to find ways to market your coaching business effectively. You might check out this training “How to Market Your Business Without Social Media.”

The best way to market yourself in your business is to use your superpowers. If you’re not sure what those are, you can take my free quiz here.