Marketing Mistakes

Marketing Mistakes

  • Rich Coach Broke Coach by Bart SmithLetting the competition get to your self-confidence or ability to get out there. THERE IS NO COMPETITION, YOU HEAR? NONE. THERE IS ONLY YOU AND IF CLIENTS WANT SOMEONE LIKE YOU, A UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL WITH UNIQUE GIFTS AND A UNIQUE WAY OF LOOKING AT/SOLVING PROBLEMS, THEN THERE’S NO QUESTION, YOU WILL BE HIRED. HOWEVER, CLIENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU. WHY AREN’T YOU OUT THERE? BY NOT GETTING OUT THERE, IT IS #1 A PROBLEM AND #2 A WORRY ABOUT THE COMPETITION. Did the Rolling Stones worry about the Beatles? Did Elvis Presley worry about Frank Sinatra? Did Carl’s Jr. worry about McDonald’s? Then, why are you worrying about so and so and you know who? Stop that. No more! Get out there. The world is waiting to meet someone exactly like you!
  • Not attending enough events where you can network with others. Not finding a quiet space in the corner of the room, lobby or hotel, where you can have people come meet with you for 5-10 minutes each. These are quick power coaching sessions, where they tell you the one thing that’s on their mind (i.e., pain/problem/passion), of which you also got them fired up with a handout you gave them earlier to prepare for this 5-10 minute power coaching session. In doing this they get excited, get to try you out, you get to meet them, look them in the eye, etc. Let them talk 80% of the time, while you chyme in for the remaining 20%. It’s easy to RUN OUT OF TIME, and say, “Would you like to continue this during a real 1-hour free session? Talk about an already warm lead. Do this to 5-25 people at such an event and see how many warm leads you actually get. It might take you an hour or two to get those 5-25 leads, but it’s worth it. You know about rapid dating or speed dating? This is called “speed coaching!” Same concept!
  • Boring website, boring copy, boring photos, boring anything and everything, are more mistakes coaches make. Also, being cliche, using predictable phrases, general statements, etc. Not you. NEVER be this way.
  • Not donating time for charity work. Here’s why this is important. Are you only in it for the money or do you really want to help people? Chances are, if you’re not paid, you won’t coach. Sure, you have a burning desire to help others. Okay, put your money where you mouth is and do some charity work. For starters, this gets you away from the work-zone into a true helping others zone. Next, that photo of you dishing out those turkey legs at that homeless shelter really resonates with that corporate client who was looking for someone to hire for their personal coaching needs. Seeing you helping others is just the kind of big heart most clients need to know when they hire you. Are you all about the money? Or is there another side of you that really does care about people? You only have to donate an afternoon once or twice a year for this to have its affect. It could be for seniors, homeless, veterans, animals, children, half-way houses, domestic violence shelters, etc. Find ten different causes in your area, and participate in one of them every other month or so. Up to you, but I think you get where this can lead to. Besides, what a great way for you to get endorsements from those organizations for your website. “Susan Smith, Professional Coach at, donated her time to help _ [name of organization].” If your name goes on their website, look out for some great search engine back links to your website hopefully. The potential is unlimited.
  • Looking at marketing as work. It’s not. Marketing is FUN! Marketing is an excuse to PARTY! Why? Marketing gets you away from what’s boring to what’s exciting, which is interacting with people!
  • Make it easy for clients to give you testimonials. For starters, most people are not good at writing, let alone how they feel about what you did for them as your coach. So? Help them. Ask them these three very basic questions, and then YOU formulate their testimonial out of their own words. For example …

[Q#1] Without giving away too much detail, why did you hire _ [COACH’S NAME] as your coach. What problem were you facing that you needed help with. A1: __ [PAIN/PROBLEM/PASSION].

[Q#2] What was one thing that really stood out for you when it came to working with _ [COACH’S NAME]. A2: _ (This becomes a unique selling point for you, the coach.)

[Q#3] What was the result of working with _ [COACH’S NAME] , what was the outcome did you reach your goal and what exactly was accomplished.” A3: __.

Last question, [Q#4] Would you recommend __ [COACH’S NAME] to your friends and family? A4: “YES!!!”

That’s it, upload a photo of yourself, tell us how you’d like your name to be displayed (i.e., Joe S., Houston, TX), click the submit button and you’re done.

Once you, the coach, receive their answers, you can formulate their own words into a testimonial, which you’ll run past them for approval. Sometimes, clients don’t always remember key points working with you. So, remind them.

“I came to see [COACH’S NAME] because I wanted to achieve [DESIRED OUTCOME]. It seems I just wasn’t able to because of [PAIN/PROBLEM/PASSION], until I started working with [COACH’S NAME]. What I really like about working with [COACH’S NAME] is that he/she _ [unique selling point], and I just can’t thank my coach enough. I definitely would recommend anyone wanting to [REPEAT DESIRED OUTCOME] and having troubles with [PAIN/PROBLEM/PASSION], book an appointment to speak to [COACH’S NAME]. Thank you, [COACH’S NAME].”  — Mary D., Chicago, IL

  • NOT writing a book. Then, NOT getting interviews about you and your book. Minimum 20 interviews the first 6 months its out!
  • Not FILLING UP their calendar with marketing activities to bring in new business.
  • Not disqualifying the (wrong) candidates for coaching and turning them away before you get hooked into working with them only to let them go later, and possibly at a higher price.
  • NOT telling people what you do NOT do. You’re quick to tell people what you DO do, but you neglect to tell them you don’t do this or that, you’re not that or this …
  • Not following-up with clients you’ve come in contact with. Do not assume they’ll call you or they’re reading over your material and need more time. Reach out to them after 1-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks, 1-2 months.
  • Not getting prospects initially by offering something free. They come to you, or you go to them, unprepared in the sense that they don’t really know much about you or have experienced you. Increase your odds at closing the sale by offering them an inside peek to a sample coaching session. This can be a simple 15-30 minute audio recording outlining a specific problem and how you would go about handling it.
  • Not providing for, asking, inserting, or remembering to give a call-to-action at every turn of your world as a coach. That means, at the end of every article, chapter, video, podcast, audio track … CALLS-TO-ACTION EVERYWHERE!
  • Not using autoresponders to follow-up with potential clients via email to help schedule a complimentary session.
  • Not utilizing mobile phone (and other portable devices) and mobile apps to help promote their coaching services and service their clients at the same time. Using Smartphone apps, or developing your own, you could acquire more leads, increase client engagement, build brand awareness/loyalty, promote/sell your products, deliver your coaching messages to your clients on these portable devices building greater client-retention, and above all add more revenue to your current coaching business stream of income.
  • Not writing articles, and working with reporters to help boost your own credibility in the media (=exposure) which trickles down to generating leads then into sales.
  • Relying on you, personally and manually, to follow-up with, check in, and remind coaching clients about sessions, to sign-up, take action, etc. Automate these tasks with the right online system/software or hire someone to make calls for you.
  • Starting with the one marketing activity you love most, and not the ones that will really generate the results you need. Doing the uncomfortable (marketing tasks) will make your LIFE comfortable. Do the comfortable, and your life will be uncomfortable. Simple formula.
  • Not continuing to market and brand themselves to get their name out there. Think of actors and actresses back a few years ago who we haven’t seen since? Where are they? What are they up to? NO ONE KNOWS. NO ONE CARES. Out of sight, out of mind. You never know when you’ll have a dip in client sign ups. It will be great to still have your marketing machine running out there for your benefit in securing new clients.
  • Thinking that you don’t need a book to promote your coaching business.
  • Thinking that you’re selling coaching services. You’re not selling coaching services, you are selling solutions. Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes and look at their world from their perspective. Brainstorm with your client and talk in terms of results, dreams, desired outcome, ambitions, accomplished goals, etc.
  • Waiting until all your marketing materials are perfected to start marketing. All a client really needs is to see and hear you. Marketing materials are an enhancement; a bonus.
  • Worrying that you aren’t that engaged or using social media, or you don’t have enough likes, fans, posts or activities to build a personal bond with total strangers. Should you even use social media to promote your business? Yes, but you must have a social media strategy to expand your business and engage in innovative and meaningful ways. Focus on the fundamentals of marketing and devote your time up front to nurturing other marketing tactics.

About Bart Smith

Bart Smith is the author of several books, professional marketer and self-publishing consultant, a personal coach, and a dynamite, motivational speaker. A self-starting, life-affirming, renaissance man, Bart is an entrepreneur at heart, who also bakes the world's best chocolate chip cookies at He shares his insights, skills, training and knowledge here, on his training website,, and helps people make money online with his online marketing shopping cart software,

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