Liam discusses the social media marketing strategy for coaches

Starting off in social media can feel like a minefield, but I’ve learned a lot about this over the years, and now I coach others on how to build a social following (my Instagram Success Summit, for example, generated 22,000 new leads for us.)

However, lead generation is only one benefit of social media. You can also use it to help with brand awareness, build community, and even assist you find new team members for your business.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to pick the right social media channels and build a social media marketing strategy for your coaching business.

Why Social Media Marketing is Important for Coaches

Social media marketing is crucial for coaches. A solid social media platform allows you to shape your brand, show off your expertise, and build a connection with clients.

Whether you’re focusing on Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, you can use your social media channel to not only grow your following and attract new clients, but also to create a more engaged audience who feel that they truly know you.

Best Social Media Platforms for Coaches

I’d recommend not spreading yourself too thin when it comes to social media. Trying to have a busy and engaged social media presence on each platform is time consuming, so choosing wisely is key for your content strategy.

Ideally, I’d say focus on no more than 3 channels. That’s not to say that you can’t have a presence on the others, but you shouldn’t focus intensely on all of them. It’ll start sucking time away from your other endeavors.

Let’s take a look at each one in a little more detail:

Instagram

Instagram is still going strong, with a current active monthly user base of 2 billion users. That’s a huge audience to reach out to, but it also means you can easily get lost in the crowd trying to find your target audience.

There are a few things you can do to stand out and build your personal brand, though. Here’s what I’d recommend:

  • Post regularly on the grid, but don’t feel you have to post every day. According to Later, you should post twice a week if you have 0-10k followers, three times a week if you have 10-100k followers, and 5 posts per week if you have 100-500k followers. (I’ll give you some examples of what to post later in this guide.)
  • Learn to make reels. Reels are pretty simple to make and can consist of snippets from webinars or workshops, podcasts, and so on. Reels are popular on Instagram and they’re a good way to showcase your expertise.
  • Post regular Stories. Stories are posts that only last for 24 hours, and they’re a good way to casually connect with your audience. Ideally, you should post a few times a day.
  • Learn to use hashtags. Hashtags are ideal for finding your audience. You can post up to 30 hashtags per grid post, and these will push your posts out to people looking for that particular topic.

TikTok

While the future of TikTok in the US is uncertain, if it does stick around, it’s the most popular platform of choice right now for coaches. TikTok has 1 billion active monthly users, so it widens your reach to a huge pool of people.

So, what should you do to get started as a coach on TikTok?

  • Post regularly. TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times a day to reach a broader audience.
  • Repurpose existing content. Podcasts, summits, and virtual workshops are ideal content to cut up and post in segments on TikTok, and it saves you from having to create new content every time.
  • Mix up your content. Don’t feel you have to stick to informative content each time. TikTok is ideal for impromptu chats and small, fun videos documenting your day. You can give clients a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your coaching business to build trust.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn remains the most popular social media platform for career-minded people and entrepreneurs. It’s the ideal place if you’re a business coach, because your key audience is more likely to be engaged on the platform.

Here’s what you should do to build a following on LinkedIn:

  • Post regularly, ideally at least twice a week.
  • Showcase your expertise. LinkedIn is one of the most natural places to do it, so create valuable content that your ideal client base will appreciate. Again, you can repurpose existing relevant content for this.
  • Post testimonials from current or previous clients, which will build trust with future clients.
  • Use a variety of different mediums. You can post PDFs, images, and text, so switch it up to keep things interesting for your followers.

Facebook

Facebook has a huge active monthly user base of 3.049 billion. There are advantages to that, but standing out can be difficult.

Here’s what I suggest you do on Facebook to market your online coaching business and create a community of people:

  • Join relevant groups. There will be groups and pages for your local community, as well as groups for business owners, and groups within your niche. Become an active participant in these groups – don’t just spam them with links to your own page. This is a good way to build authority and to be ‘seen’ in your niche by a greater number of people.
  • Be helpful. Chat with people in groups and on your posts, and engage as much as you can. This is a great way for people to see you as a trusted source and to see you as an active, current coach looking for clients.
  • Post a mixture of content on your own page. This can be behind-the-scenes glimpses of your working day, repurposed content from webinars, workshops, podcasts, inspirational quotes, and videos. The more variety, the more engaged your audience will be.

Twitter/X

Twitter/X is a great place for coaches. It has a current active monthly user base of 368 million, so it’s one of the smaller platforms, but many users are very engaged, so it’s worth investing time into depending on your niche.

Here’s what you can do to get started on Twitter/X:

  • Get into content curation. Twitter/X is a good place to share and boost other people’s content, as well as your own. This is a big part of the culture of Twitter/X, and it’s a great way to build on previous conversations.
  • Post regularly. Ideally, you should post 2-3 times per day to keep on top of the algorithm and stay visible to your followers.
  • Use hashtags. Like Instagram, Twitter/X’s users rely on hashtags to find topics and keep on top of industry trends, so make sure to use them in your posts. But don’t overdo it: too many hashtags in one post look spammy. Just one or two will do.
  • Try an AMA. AMA stands for Ask Me Anything, and these are very easy to do on Twitter/X. This allows your followers to ask you questions, and you can build your authority as a coach and get to know people this way.

YouTube

YouTube is still popular for longer-form video content, with a current active monthly userbase of 2.7 billion. It’s harder to be seen on YouTube now than it was in the early days, but you can still grow your following if you’re making useful content.

So, what should you post to advertise your coaching practice?

  • Repurpose content. I know I’ve said this a lot, but this is the smart thing to do to save you hours of hard work filming and editing new videos. Use your webinars, workshops, and podcasts to give your followers a ‘freebie’ and make sure to include a CTA at the beginning and end of the video.
  • Use a ‘hook’. If you’re making a new video, make sure you say something along the lines of ‘stick around to the end of the video for …’. The more people who make it to the end of your video, the more the algorithm will favor your videos, pushing them up the feed to your potential new subscribers.
  • Share personal stories. Informative content is important, but people really connect with others when they show their personality. So share funny stories, be honest about mistakes you’ve made, and don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Pinterest

Pinterest is still going strong, with a current active monthly user base of 463 million. Strong visuals are key here, so you’ll need to think about how you can translate your coaching tips to an image people will want to pin to their boards.

Here’s how I’d go about it:

  • Get to know Canva. Canva has a free plan and allows you to make an eye-catching graphic optimized for Pinterest, so spending a bit of time learning how to use it is worthwhile.
  • Post a mixture of inspirational quotes, infographics, and videos. This will switch up your content and keep things interesting.
  • Make your own boards. You can include your own pins here. Curating a strong collection of pins within your niche will attract more followers, and they’ll be more likely to click on your pins.
  • Create lead magnets. If you have an email newsletter, for example, you can create a lead magnet of useful information (like a PDF or an eBook) to encourage people to sign up. Pinterest makes this really easy, as you can make your lead magnet look super attractive and relevant to your followers using Canva.

How to Create Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Coaching Business

It’s important to have a strategy as a coach when it comes to social media. These platforms are notorious for being a drain on your free time, and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd if you don’t have a plan.

Setting Goals

What does success look like for you? Is it 10,000 followers? 100,000? A million? What is the end goal?

You need to set your goals up front, and you need to think about your ‘why’. Chances are, you want followers because you want to attract new clients to your coaching business. But you might have other reasons: there are a lot of benefits besides just amassing a big following online.

You also need to learn how to analyze your social media profiles and how well they are performing. It’s useful at this point to learn the difference between KPIs and metrics. Metrics look at specific things, like accounts reached, total likes, and total followers. KPIs, meanwhile, are set by you and are based on your goals and strategies for growth.

So, when you’re setting KPIs for your social media strategy, you might think about your end goals. Common KPIs are engagement, conversion rates, website traffic, or email subscribers. You can measure how your social media accounts are impacting these by analyzing metrics like click-through rates, traffic sources to your website, and more.

Understanding Your Audience

Like anything in business, you need to understand your audience to market your online coaching business.

So think about your niche and do some research. Each year at Entrepreneurs HQ, we do an annual survey, which gives us some key insights into our audience. However you do it, you need to get some info on who your customers are and what they’re looking for.

Then, you can also build your ICP, or an ideal client profile, which is a description of the perfect client you’d be looking for.

You can ask questions like: who is your ideal client? How old are they? What industry do they work in? What are their pain points and obstacles?

You need to have this in mind before you start planning your content calendar because it will help you stay focused and on target.

Choosing the Right Platforms For Your Coaching Business

You should be able to identify where your ideal coaching clients hang out. For example, if you’re a business coach, LinkedIn is a good call, as is Facebook (as the users here tend to skew slightly older: the highest percentage of users is in the 24-34 age bracket, so people are right in the thick of career building).

But if you’re a fitness coach, you will probably find that your ideal clients are looking for motivation on video and image-based platforms like Instagram or TikTok, where they can easily see useful tips and before and after videos.

To give you an example: one of the most popular TikTok fitness influencers, Demi Bagby, gives her audience exactly what they want to see: feats of strength, stunts, adventures, and tough workout routines.

Fitness coach utilizing TikTok as an excellent platform for sharing content

In comparison, one of my clients, Sara Artemisia, worked with us to grow her email list:

“Working with Liam allowed me to grow my email list by 5,000 people, to generate $1,000s and pivot to a completely new niche in just a few short weeks. It’s the best decision I’ve made yet. It was amazing! I’m still getting emails from people all over the world saying how much the summit has changed their life. So awesome.”

I love how she uses her Instagram account to reach out to people in her niche:

Coach using Instagram to expand their customer base

People who are interested in herbalism are interested in a mixture of image and text content, and Instagram, along with Pinterest, is perfect for this. This is her Pinterest profile:

Various content pieces showcased on Pinterest

Again, this mix of visuals and text is perfect for Sara’s audience, which is why she invests in these platforms.

How to Create Your Social Media Content Calendar

So, once you’ve settled on the platforms you’ll be using, it’s time to plan the types of content you’ll be posting and how often you will post.

How Often Should You Post New Content on Social Media?

I know that opinions on this vary, but as a general guideline, I’d recommend the following:

  • Instagram Grid: 3-5 times a week
  • Instagram Stories: multiple times a day
  • TikTok: 1-4 times a day
  • LinkedIn: 2-4 times a week
  • Facebook: 1-2 times a day
  • Twitter/X: 3-4 times a day
  • YouTube: Once a week
  • YouTube Shorts: 3-4 times a week
  • Pinterest: 5-15 times a day (includes repinning other people’s content)

However, I’d take this with a grain of salt, as opinions do vary, and the algorithm for each platform shifts, which can move the goalposts a little.

The key thing is consistency. You don’t want to go for a week without posting anything, and then post several times in one day. Most algorithms favor regular posts, and you tend to drop off slightly if you allow long gaps between posts.

Types of Social Content for Coaches

There’s a lot of different content you can post as a coach. If you don’t know where to begin, this list should get you started:

Educational Videos

Educational content is always going to pull in new followers, people love to look for this kind of content on social media.

To give an example, we could look at Joe Wicks, one of the most successful online fitness coaches. His social media presence is packed with educational videos. For example, he’ll post quick, easy workouts and recipes:

Coach sharing an educational video on social platforms

Think about what your ideal client would want to know, and create short, informational videos. These can be posted across all your platforms.

Reels

Instagram reels are short videos, up to 90 seconds long. These can be anything from snapshots of your day to snippets from previously recorded podcasts.

Marketing coach utilizing reels on social media to enhance audience growth

Shelby Leigh is a marketing coach, and her niche is aimed at authors looking to promote their work. Her reels include content ideas for writers, audience building, and how to create an author website. You can repurpose old content for reels, or just shoot a simple video using your phone.

Educational Long Form Guides

Educational long form guides are over ten minutes in length. They’re detailed guides on a specific topic. For example, if you’re a business coach like Professor Heather Austin, you might create a video on how to create a resume:

Using educational long form guide as a relevant content on social media

Creating a piece of content like this takes more work upfront, but you can share it for years to come, depending on the information you include, and people seek out this kind of content on YouTube often. It’s a good way of building authority for your coaching business.

Virtual Summits

Social media platforms are the best place to market your virtual summits. I’m passionate about them, having seen success with virtual summits myself. I made $50,000 in revenue on my first summit launch, and we put a lot of thought into the marketing behind that.

We’ll use the example of one of my clients, Michael Morgan, an Alzheimer’s and longevity coach. Michael has had success with summits after working with us, generating 11,000 new leads from one summit in 2023 and over 6-figures in sales. Here he is using Facebook to promote a summit:

Promotion of a virtual summit on Facebook as a marketing strategy for coaches

Facebook’s ability to combine text, images, videos, and embedded links makes it the ideal place to promote an event or summit, but you can post your virtual summit across all your platforms. You can also use clips from previous summits across all platforms. This is a great way of repurposing content, but make sure you don’t give too much of it away for free.

Virtual Workshops

Like virtual summits, virtual workshops are a great way of showcasing your expertise and creating another stream of income. They’re also excellent for using as content across your social media channels.

For example, one of my clients, Jennifer Regular, is a life coach. She had success with her Confidence Builder Workshop after working with us:

“16 people signed up to my ‘Confidence Builder Workshop’. I’m new to virtual workshops and only recently started my business so this was an exciting start for me.”

She uses her LinkedIn to effectively advertise all of her events and services in the featured section:

Promoting virtual workshops for social media content creation for coaches

Podcast Episodes

You can post podcast episodes straight onto your social media accounts. You can clip them for TikTok or Instagram Reels, or you can post them in full on YouTube. This gives your listeners another avenue to find you.

For example, I’ve been a guest on several podcasts, and one of them, The Savvy Podcast, put their podcasts onto YouTube as well as podcast platforms:

Uploading a podcast episode to YouTube as part of a social media strategy

If you’ve been a guest on a podcast, you can ask if you can share some of that content on your social media platforms, too.

Newsletters

You can also advertise your email newsletters on social media. You can do this by offering a lead magnet or similar. Using the example of a fitness coach, Emma Fit:

Fitness coach promoting their coaching services on social media platforms

She advertises her free eBook on her Instagram account, and when you follow the link in her Instagram bio, you can get the book by signing up for her newsletter. You can use sections of your newsletter on Instagram by taking screenshots, too, which advertises the kind of wisdom you’ll be sharing.

Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational quotes do well on specific platforms, particularly LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Inspirational quotes as an example of a compelling content for social media

For example, linking to my client Sara Artemisia again, you can see her Pinterest board is a mixture of facts about plants, and inspirational quotes about nature. On Pinterest, aesthetically pleasing, meaningful quotes are very shareable.

Personal Stories

Personal stories work well, too. My client I mentioned earlier, Jennifer Regular, shares personal stories about her own life in blog posts and podcasts, and advertises these on her Instagram:

Coach promoting a personal story on social media to target audiences

Your clients want to know more about your background, particularly if you’re a life coach or a health coach. Personal stories are a great way for your audience to connect with you.

Day-in-the-Life Content

Day-in-the-life content is super easy to do, and it offers your potential clients a good way to get to know you. For example, fitness coach Charlie Johnson shares his daily routine:

Coach sharing updates on social media for potential clients to view

This is both inspirational and gives clients a slice of your daily routine. Regular updates will keep them coming back to check and boost your presence in the algorithm.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a great way to quickly give your clients a behind-the-scenes look at you and your coaching style. You can just pick up your phone and shoot a casual video, which takes just minutes.

You can also use Instagram Stories to introduce your team, if that is applicable to you. My client, Carl Cincinnato, worked with us to build a platform for his Migraine World Summit:

“Before working with Liam Austin I had a small community. Today I have over 100,000 email subscribers. Liam provided the roadmap and support I needed to get to where I am today.”

They use their Instagram Stories to introduce team members, giving followers a chance to get to know them. This helps to build trust and familiarity.

Company utilizing Instagram Stories to showcase their coaching style

Building Your Social Following

Building a social following is important. The higher your follower count, and the more people like, share, and comment on your posts, the better chance you’ll have of reaching someone looking to invest in your services.

Plus, the higher your following, the more authority you’ll have. People tend to trust advice coming from larger accounts. And, on top of that, you’ll end up building connections with people you’d like to collaborate with. So it’s worth pursuing that follower count.

But of course, everyone wants more followers on their chosen platform. How do you actually do it?

Hosting Q&A Sessions and Live Streams

People enjoy having live back-and-forth Q&A sessions. Live streams on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn are great for this. It encourages engagement, and gives you a chance to share more about yourself and your expertise.

If someone thinks they can get free advice from someone they consider to have authority, they’ll follow and engage with you. So it’s a great way to get new people on board.

Hosting Virtual Workshops

Virtual workshops are incredible for building a following. One of my clients, Philip Duncan, is an author and business coach. After working with us to create a workshop, he brought in $6.5k in revenue and booked so many appointments that he secured another $10k the following week.

So virtual summits are useful for getting new clients. But it’s also great for building a social following. Hosting a workshop and posting snippets is a great way to collect content all at once and then use it for weeks (or months) to continue building and engaging your audience.

Hosting A Virtual Summit

Virtual summits do really well on social media, because they have a huge perceived value. You’re offering something useful, and that always attracts followers, no matter what niche you’re in.

I’m a fan of virtual summits and other virtual events, because I think they provide incredible results. One of my clients, mindfulness coach Bill Free, said:

“This is the best money I have ever spent on a training course. The success of this summit is 10 times better than prior to meeting Liam.”

I think summits are a game-changer for a lot of coaches, and they’re worth the effort to build your social following.

Encouraging User-Generated Content

User-generated content reduces the pressure on you to create unique content. When you’re pressed for time, this is key. But also, user-generated content builds trust and engagement, and makes your followers feel connected to you. If you want to build a genuine community, sharing content from your followers or clients is a great way to do it.

Brands do this all the time. For example, ASOS’s hashtag #AsSeenOnMe creates a constant stream of content for ASOS to share.

You can get creative here. If you’re a fitness coach, for example, you might ask your followers to share their biggest fitness ‘win’ for the week. You can share these to create a stream of content, and the more you post, the more followers you’ll attract.

Building a Sense of Community

Related to the above point, building a sense of community is key. Encourage your followers to respond to each other; this can happen organically over time. You can help by responding to comments and sparking conversation. Building relationships with people can make a big difference.

If people see a thriving, happy community, they’ll want to join it, so it’s a good way to encourage new people to follow.

Creating Private Groups or Forums

Private groups or forums are a great way to attract new followers. Our own Facebook group is a good example of this. Private groups or forums allow you to talk to people who are specifically engaged with your community, and it encourages regular participation.

It also attracts new followers, because if they think people are sharing advice, tips, and real-life examples, they’ll want to hop on board.

Partnerships

Partnering with a brand is a good way to encourage new followers, but I’d advise caution here. Always choose a brand you’d genuinely want to work with and whose products or services you actually use. People can tell if you’re being disingenuous.

Choosing to partner with a brand you use and enjoy is a great way to build a following. Everything you post about their services, they’ll want to share, which widens your potential pool of followers.

On a similar note, you can co-create content with influencers. Influencers are very good at social media, for obvious reasons, and they’ll be able to share your content and social media handles with a wider audience.

Comarketing

Comarketing is a way of collaborating with others. It’s a little like partnering with a brand, but you’ll have an agreement to promote each other’s services. So you can use comarketing to promote each other’s social media platforms. It’s a good way to increase your following while helping out another company or brand.

How to Measure Success

Measuring success on social media can be tricky because the goalposts can shift and change as time goes on. Here are some key things to look out for when trying to determine how your social media platforms are performing:

Tracking Key Metrics

The most important social media KPIs are:

  • Follower Growth – the number of followers you have gained
  • Engagement Rate – this is calculated by dividing your total engagement per post by reach per post, and then multiplying that by 100. This gives you a numerical score you can track
  • Lead Generation – the number of leads generated from your social media platforms
  • Conversion Rate – the percentage of users who followed a certain action after clicking on a link in a social media post. This number is calculated by dividing conversions with total clicks and multiplying this by 100
  • Click-Through Rate – how often people click the call-to-action link on your social media posts
  • Brand Mentions – the number of mentions your social media account has had by brands
  • Hashtags – How your posts under a certain hashtag have performed
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of people who click on a link in a post and then immediately leave
  • Engagement – Engagement is an umbrella term for how people interact with a single piece of content, including likes, comments, shares, saves, DMs, replies, profile visits, and so on. All of these interactions are engagement.

How to Analyze Data and Make Adjustments

I’d recommend gathering data from all your platforms and making a spreadsheet if you want to get a true picture of growth over time. You can track performance month by month.

Then you can look over your increases and decreases over time. For example, your brand mentions may have increased because you’re partnered with a brand, and subsequently your follower growth has gone up, which is great. But your bounce rate may have increased.

So you may determine from this that working with brands is worth your time, but something isn’t clicking with people. In that case, it’s worth working on your landing page to make it more attractive to clients, and then checking the same metric again next month to see if the bounce rate has decreased.

Tools for Social Media Analytics

If you want to build a genuine community, sharing content is a great way to do it.

  • HubSpot – this presents easy-to-read visual stats for all your social media platforms, including metrics like impressions and session lengths
  • Sprout Social – this allows you to see results from all your social media platforms in one place, with lots of reporting options
  • IZEA – this allows you to track specific campaigns on your social accounts
  • Audisense – this is perfect to analyze your performance on X/Twitter

Key Takeaways

Building a social media following is crucial for marketing your coaching business and putting yourself on the radar of your ideal audience.

If you want to know more, you can watch our free training on how to get coaching clients and build your coaching business.