I regularly hear people saying to coaches that there’s ‘no need to be on social media’, and that ‘marketing can be done in 15 minutes a day’.

Let me say right here, I think that these statements are disingenuous. They are disingenuous because they are said to attract coaches who don’t know what marketing is. Specifically it’s to encourage coaches to buy client acquisition programmes.

Most coaches have a horror of making a show of themselves all over social media – we see other coaches humble-bragging and oversharing on various platforms and shudder.

Here’s the thing…

Humble bragging and oversharing are NOT marketing, they are just humble bragging (or not so humble in some cases!) and oversharing. Neither of these things is a marketing technique, they are simply some of the things that coaches do when they try to attract clients from a place of zero knowledge of what marketing is.

“You Don’t Need Social Media”

What happens when coaches join this kind of client acquisition programme is that the training provider will tell them that LinkedIn isn’t social media – that it’s a professional networking platform not a social media platform.

That feels a bit tricksy to me.

It feels tricksy because I know that coaches believe LinkedIn to be a social media platform, even though I’d probably agree that it’s not. It’s tricksy because it’s a half-truth.

We live in the 21st century and social media – including LinkedIn – is very important to our businesses. It would be unnecessary to be across every social media platform but we certainly have to be on LinkedIn. (We potentially need to be on other platforms too and this will depend entirely on who our target audience is, and where they hang out.)

Let’s Talk About LinkedIn

Having a well-optimised LinkedIn profile and a consistent presence on the platform does incredible things for you as a coach. It positions you as someone who is an authority within their niche, who is professional and who is also reliable.

Consistent, in the context of LinkedIn means consistent in your message and consistent in your visibility. Consistency in the context of your marketing equals professionalism.

Some coaches tell me they won’t post on LinkedIn, that it’s uncomfortable for them and they won’t do it. This is very interesting, because they expect their clients to take action even when it’s uncomfortable, but they won’t do that themselves. Isn’t that curious?

Refusing to become visible on LinkedIn is a crying shame is because coaches who are not on LinkedIn in a meaningful way* are missing out on the most important piece of ‘internet real-estate’ that it’s possible to have as a coach.

* What’s a meaningful way? By ‘meaningful’ I mean with a very focused message that speaks directly to their chose kind of client in a way that makes that kind of potential client prick up their ears and think ‘that coach is talking about me!’. That thought is the first step on the way to becoming a client.

LinkedIn is probably the first place you’ll show up in a Google search, and people will check you out if they meet you somewhere, or if someone recommends you. They’ll check out your LinkedIn content too, and it needs to be consistent – both in terms of what it’s talking about and its frequency.

Quality is not better than quantity (as one coach who posts once a month told me), quality and frequency are both important.

Do Not Humble Brag Or Overshare!

If you take only one thought with you from this article, can it be this one? Don’t humble brag, or overshare – it’s uncomfortable to read and it does nothing for your credibility as a coach.

I realise that it might do lots for your credibility with other coaches but that’s not what we want to achieve with our LinkedIn efforts, is it? Next time you see an oversharing post (I refer to this kind of post as ‘bleeding all over LinkedIn’) have a look at the engagement. It’s probably significant and is always made up of other coaches talking about how brave the writer is, and how authentic their vulnerability is.

What coaches want is to coach real clients – not just reciprocally coach other coaches. Oversharing and bragging (humble or otherwise) isn’t going to attract non-coaches.

Actual Marketing Isn’t About You

You know how one of the most frustrating things about being a coach is that no one knows what we do, but they think they do and they’re wrong? Well, it’s the same with coaches and marketing. They have no idea what marketing is, but they think they do and they’re wrong.

Actual marketing – by that I mean effective marketing – isn’t about the coach at all. Effective marketing is always focused and it always speaks to the people upon who it’s focused.

There will always be a personal element to our marketing and that’s because people need to know, like and trust you before they will engage you as their coach.

The know/like parts are about you sharing carefully curated glimpses into your life. No one wants to hear about your trauma, or see your operation scars. However, a glimpse of hobby, or your travels, demonstrates that you’re a real human being.

The trust part comes because your audience will recognise themselves in what you say. They will feel heard and understood – just from your marketing. Isn’t that wonderful?

So, to go back to the ‘you don’t have to be on social media’ point that I started with – you do have to be on LinkedIn.

As far as the idea that your marketing can be done in 15 minutes a day….. Well, if I tell you that we work with coaches who have taken this kind of programme and failed to achieve their objectives, does that answer your question?