Coaches on Social Media: A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Coaching Career

May 29, 2020

“Sonal, would you be interested in hosting a session for coaches on the topic of ‘leveraging the power of social media’ for their coaching business?”

This was what you would call a ‘pinch me’ moment.

What do I know about leveraging social media? I’m only active on LinkedIn, and there too, I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers, unlike some ‘real’ LinkedIn thought leaders.

Heck, I’m not even a certified Coach yet. I’m still working towards my hundred hours of the ACC certification. What am I going to be teaching other ‘real coaches’ what they don’t already know?

Oh dear! This was worse than a ‘pinch me’ moment. This really was an imposter syndrome moment.

Ok, fine.

We breathe in, and we breathe out.

I told my ‘self 1’ to calm the fudge down, and listen to that quiet, reassuring, always present voice of ‘self 2’:
“This isn’t about you. It’s about sharing what you have learnt on this Career Coaching journey with others. You can and you will help them”

Ok, good, thank goodness for Self 2. Well, thank goodness to Tim Gallaway who explains The Inner Game very well in his eponymous book, which is a bible for sports stars to enhance performance.

So here I am, the owner of a fledgling coaching business, sharing what I’ve learnt about leveraging the power of social media through my lens:

Firstly, remove your ego:

Yes, I know, I know. It feels great to be liked and respected, it sort of validates what you do. And of course, I will be the first to admit, I absolutely loved the feeling when a post of mine hit 60,000 views and received hundreds of likes and comments on LinkedIn a few months ago. Such a rarity. I was on cloud nine for days.

But what does it say about my other posts that barely stay relevant according to the ruthless algorithm? Are those posts less good? Not at all. The beauty of social media is you share what you want to share. The algo is a strange creature, sometimes a dear, helpful friend and other times your worst mortal enemy. But once you remove your ego, the fear of judgment, the fear of lack of engagement, nothing much really bothers you anymore. Or rather, it bothers you a lot less. And you are unstoppable.

Secondly, beware of the SOS:

Save our Souls? Not quite. It’s Shiny Object Syndrome, and we’ve all been there. Whether you’re starting out on your social media journey or are miles ahead of the rest of us, it’s worth thinking about which social media platform you want to go deep in. And I mean, deep. Understand it’s ins and outs and experiment while you learn. For some of us, Facebook is the place where we like hanging out. For others, it’s Instagram. I like LinkedIn. Is there a right or wrong platform. Well, kind of.

How do you know which social media platform is right for you? Use the Who-How-Why Model:

a. Who do I want to serve? (the type of audience, the more specific, the better).

b. How do I want to serve them? (the type of content creation, whether blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.)

c. Why do I want to help them? (define your goals clearly and why they matter to you)

Now the answer to point ‘a’ above not only helps to clarify your niche and ideal customer avatar, but it also helps you to understand what they are like, and where they spend the most time. For me, it’s clear that ‘my people’ hang out on LinkedIn.

The danger of SOS is everything may look attractive: a bit of LinkedIn and  Facebook, with a dash of Instagram and what about TikTok – there’s so much organic growth, and Pinterest works for you while you sleep. Endless scope for SOS, see what I mean? Focus on one platform and go all in.

Thirdly, consistency pays off:

And how. It’s closely related to persistence too. Those who persist, exist. And then thrive. Like the other day, a client of mine proclaimed:

“I don’t want to spend too much time on LinkedIn. Frankly, it’s been a sheer waste of time.”

I replied, hmm, ok. So what had he done on LinkedIn so far?

I could see his face, he was prepared with a fitting response:

“I wrote two articles. They didn’t get ANY traction. Do you know how long it took me to write them?”

Me: “Ok. When was the last time you posted anything here?”

Client: “Let me check…. hmmmm… July 2018.”

Me: “Ok listen to me. You can NOT plant seeds of an apple tree and expect the tree to grow. Without the sun, without water. For nearly two years. Not only are you expecting the tree to be fully grown now, but you also expect some apples to appear miraculously.”

Whether it’s once a day or once a week: make a promise to yourself about how frequently you will show up, and check yourself.

The ironic thing is Coaches accomplish life-changing results for their clients by helping them shatter their SLBs: Self Limiting Beliefs.

But it’s always a good idea, for all of us coaches, to have a coach, a confidante, who can help shatter those same SLB’s about us. And how we approach and harness the power of social media.

I know when I spoke with my own coach about this, everything changed. And my relationship status with social media went from ‘Love-Hate’, to ‘It’s Complicated’ to ‘Happily Married’.

If I can show up regularly on social media and bring value to others, despite my innumerable self-limiting beliefs, so can you.

Webinar on 3 LinkedIn myths that are holding back your business


Sonal Bahl
Sonal Bahl

Sonal Bahl

Sonal is an experienced HR Director and Career Strategist, living in Belgium. Originally from India, she has lived and worked in India, Uruguay, Chile, France, and Belgium. After nearly 2 decades in HR, screening over 250,000 resumes, and conducting over 5000 interviews in 3 continents – she has helped recruit, build and evolve highly talented teams. She has experience working with large companies like GE & PwC, midsize family-owned firms & startups. Her career-boosting strategies give people the competitive edge to land their dream job, get promoted, and lead a richer, happier & more purposeful life. Sonal has an MBA from INSEAD, currently ranked number one program in Europe and top 2 globally, and serves as an official interviewer for INSEAD MBA applicants in Belgium. She speaks English, Hindi, Spanish and French fluently and speaks basic Dutch.

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