The Top 5 Mistakes Coaches Make With Their Branding

Top 5 mistakes coaches make with their branding

It can be all too easy to make mistakes in branding as a coach. Focusing your work and energy on your clients can often mean the face of your personal brand suffers. Juggling too many faces at once can be distracting – you need to be really, really clear about who you are as a business and what you offer (this can often be a little confusing, so if you’re stuck I can certainly help you in this area).

If you’re starting out or looking to grow your branding as a coach, you want to make sure you’re hitting the right notes in all the right areas. It’s easy to think that branding is just a fancy logo and a slogan, but there’s so much to a great brand that things can really start to get overwhelming as you go deeper into it.

A brand gives a business its unique identity — from the way content looks and feels to how it sounds and resonates (Hubspot). If I asked you right now to think of a well-known brand, I bet it would be super-clear in your mind who they are, what they do and what they stand for. 

If you’re struggling with branding, I just want you to know that I’ve been there myself and you’re absolutely not alone. I’ve learned through mistakes and trial and error over the years, which I’m now sharing with you as a handy list of the top five mistakes I see in branding yourself as a coach (so you don’t have to make the same mistakes).

Branding Mistake 1: Not Having Brand Consistency 

Top 5 mistakes coaches make with their branding

This is a real niggler. And it’s something you never see large corporations do – because they pay the big bucks for the top designers and consultants to avoid it.

If you’ve had a logo designed for example – great. It should be on everything. If you have a great logo but only have it on your Instagram, not your website, email, business card – that’s a problem. People only start to remember something when they’ve seen it several times. Not just once.

Visuals matter.

Colours representing good visuals for coaching branding

Notice how when you buy something from huge companies like Adidas or Microsoft, their logo is on literally everything. You can’t get a napkin or a sachet of salt from McDonald’s without having their branding slapped onto it.

It’s maddening to see a beautiful website but everything else is just a bit…well, crap. And it’s so, so common. There’s so much focus on a great logo but then consistency is forgotten about with the rest of it.

Desktop computer showing good brand visuals

You need to make sure there is design and visual consistency in all of your marketing, be it online or not. So especially if visuals is not your expertise – outsource it. Check with someone that you’re optimising your brand and not letting yourself down in any area. Tell them to be as honest with you about your branding as they can be. 

Trust me, you might be surprised. 

Branding Mistake 2: An Ad-Hoc Content Approach

Posting social media content from a phone

Do you know what marketing content is going out and when? Is your publishing cadence a little ad-hoc? Are you focusing on one thing too much, and forgetting everything else you can offer people?

This is an avoidable problem by sitting down and taking a look at your marketing plan. Having a marketing plan means scheduling posts or newsletters. Making sure you are covering your areas of expertise as a coach consistently – and posting consistently. 

Social media like button

Don’t have a surge of posts in the middle of summer and then nothing for weeks at a time in winter because you didn’t feel like it. By having a marketing plan or working content calendar, you can make sure you’re covering all the topics you need to and all the channels that are relevant. 

Over time, you can test what channels are working, what formats get the most engagement and what times of day/week are most effective for different types of content.

This will help you refine a high-performing content marketing calendar that’s consistent and gets results.

Branding Mistake 3: Just Shoddy Content

Coach logging into Instagram on mobile

Make sure what your posting is palatable. If you’re not great with words – hire an editor. If you need better shots – hire a photographer.

Look at your favourite coaches out there and take inspiration from them. What is captivating for you as you scroll through their social feeds or website? What is it about their branding that really sets them apart? 

What appeals to you is most likely similar to what you want to put out there yourself. Don’t copy, but do take inspiration. You’ll soon start to learn what it is about their branding that you want to convey in yours, too (in your own unique way, of course). 

Sky with clouds representing coaching purpose

Remember, you want to focus on a high quality brand experience through every touchpoint you have with a potential client – be that your website, your Instagram, your video content, newsletters or events.

If someone is paying you to coach them, then of course they want the best. They expect high quality. So brush up on any shoddy areas in what you’re putting out there and make sure your content looks good, so that you ultimately look good too.

Remember: why should people choose you over other coaches? Make sure your branding is strong enough to stand out. 

Branding Mistake 4: Lack of Clarity

Coach typing on phone

It can be hard to get your message across sometimes, especially if you’re not used to communicating in the digital sphere. 

And there are so many ways to bring your message to people. But what is your message?

You’re a coach, but what kind of coach? Let’s say you coach people in ‘wellness.’ That is a huge term. What does that specifically mean? Nutritional wellness? Physical wellness? Spiritual wellness? Career wellness?

What does your coaching mean to potential clients? Get really specific here. Finding your niche is a strength, and people love specificity (especially if they feel they have a very specific issue they need help with).

Coach taking selfie as part of good branding

Speak in layman’s terms for the most part and go into detail in certain areas when you’ve explained the basics clearly. Ostracising clients is way too common if your message is too broad, vague or they simply don’t understand it. And naturally, they’ll move on.

Narrow it down, get their attention and keep them engaged.

Branding Mistake 5: Not Knowing Your Strengths 

Female coach by sea on her phone, reflecting on her branding

Now, not knowing your strengths is just as harmful to your business as not knowing your weaknesses. As a coach, you really need to live in reality and keep striving towards continuous improvement.

If something’s not working for you – you need to face it and look at ways to get better. This will serve you so much better than simply sticking your head in the sand. 

Woman looking into fishtank

This is something that will affect every area of your work and personal branding as a coach if you don’t recognise it. You need to know when you’re falling short to avoid falling short with your clients.

Take a good look at your branding and see if there are any areas that could be improved, then make that your priority for this week. And remember, I’m always here to help if you need a bit of support; get in touch and I’d love to see how we can transform your coaching brand into something amazing together.