15 Coaching Mistakes In Different Phases & How To Avoid

Article by Nelli Gevorgyan / Updated at .30 Aug 2023
10 min read
15 Coaching Mistakes In Different Phases & How To Avoid

Even professionals make mistakes, and it is fine. The vital part is to acknowledge those and grow as a professional. Even better is to be aware of the most common ones and simply avoid those.

Therefore, this article will review the Top 15 Coaching Mistakes Coaches make in different phases and how they can be avoided. 


How will mistakes make me grow?

No one can ever avoid making mistakes. They are an inseparable part of the learning & growing journey. The most important thing is how you can turn them in your favor. 

Mistakes can help you become more self-aware by highlighting areas where you may need to improve. By recognizing your limitations and taking steps to address them, you can become more effective and confident. 

Do not hesitate to seek feedback from clients or turn to your colleagues for help whenever needed. 

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5 mistakes when creating a coaching program

So, let’s take a look at the Top 5 mistakes people make when creating a coaching program. 

#1 Not defining the objectives of the Program 

If you offer a coaching program without knowing what it is for, how will you convince clients to purchase it?

Or, if you get a client for personal coaching but fail to identify the program’s end goal, how do you plan to help the client achieve their objectives?

At the start of every coaching program, you should get clear on the client’s goals & expectations to set the goal for the program.

Or, once again, if it is a program that is ready with an outline and tools, and you just want to find clients for group coaching, then you need to have a goal for the program because it is the ultimate solution you will be selling to clients. They do not want a package. They want the solution it offers. 


#2 Not having a clear outline & taking the profession as a hobby

Coaching is not a hobby but a profession, and the coaching business is just as serious as any other business. Yes, an online coaching business comes in handy with many benefits, e.g., flexibility & saves time, but you still have to take it seriously if you want to get clients. 

There are lots of aspects to it, including marketing; you should be able to come up with USP and marketing strategy both long & short-term, plus be prepared for possible challenges that may arise along the way. 

Besides taking coaching as a hobby, one more mistake that comes from this mindset is that your coaching program does not have a clear outline. Yes, it is supposed to be flexible, but you also have to know what you are doing and why. 

So, you need:

  • Take your coaching business seriously and constantly learn 
  • Come up with a clear outline for your program to market it better and give efficient results 

To have a clear outline, decide the goal of your coaching program. 

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#3 Not assessing available tools

Now knowing the coaching tools that will help to make the sessions way more effective is a huge mistake. Various tools and exercises can help the client better understand themselves, where they are in life, and what they truly desire. 

However, do not focus too much on the tools, exercises, and tests. You do not necessarily have to do every exercise you planned; go with the flow, and stay present with the client to understand what they need and what will work best. 

#4 Choosing the wrong style 

There are more than 11 primary coaching styles you can choose from; those include:

All of them vary in philosophies and methodologies implemented. Keep in mind that what works for one client may not work for another. So, as a professional, you should be aware of these styles as well as be able to implement them. 

Know your client to be able to choose the style that will be the most efficient for them. 

#5 Not having clear schedules 

Another mistake that results in a less effective program is not having a schedule for this program. The sessions must be regular if you want to see your client’s progress. So, come up with a schedule for the sessions, e.g., once or twice a week. 

Coaching program mistakes

5 mistakes when selling coaching programs

Besides mistakes that you can make while creating a coaching program, there are common mistakes that many beginner coaches make when selling those programs. 

So, let’s take a look at those as well.

#1 Underestimating the power of organic marketing 

Organic marketing is a long-term strategy. Many underestimate its power because it does not give instant results. Well, that is a huge mistake because it is one of the best marketing methods. 

Organic marketing is about building up the audience, engaging them and keeping the old clients, growing visibility, and gaining new ones. 

Here are examples of organic marketing:

  • Blogs - you can open a blog on your coaching website and write about your experience, share an expert opinion on a subject matter, discuss cases, and writing tips & tricks articles. This will build trust in you and grow your audience and general brand visibility. If correctly SEO optimized, you will rank higher in SERPs, and the potential to find new clients will increase even more.
  • Unpaid social media posts - through having a good content plan & regularly posting on social media, you can also improve your brand’s visibility. It is vital to establish an online presence nowadays.
  • Email Marketing campaigns or newsletters where you let the audience/registered users know about the updates, deals, etc. 

#2 Wrong targeting in paid marketing 

Paid Marketing is a fantastic tool to generate leads and have prospects to work with to turn them into real-time clients. 

But it is not as easy as it sounds. Creating a social media ad or google ad expecting it will drive sales is not a good assumption, and rather will result in disappointment. 

You have to know your target clients and do the proper targeting to ensure that the post, deal, or landing page reaches out to the people potentially interested in it. It will help you to generate more leads. 

Then, you have to have an optimal strategy to turn those leads into clients. 

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#3 Not knowing who your target audience is

You have to know your audience to do the right targeting and generalize a marketing strategy that works. 

Knowing who your clients are and what their needs & wants are, you will gain powerful knowledge that can be used to sell your product to them. 

Many coaches fail to find clients because they do not know their target clients. To identify them, you can create buyer personas, do market research, and choose your niche to ease the process. 

#4 Too high or too low pricing

Too high prices, especially as a beginner when you have not established your name on the market, will result in almost no sales. Meanwhile, if the prices are too low, clients will associate your program with “too available,” and products available for the masses are associated with less value. 

The psychology of consumers nowadays works this way; if it is too cheap, it is like getting a bag from Walmart. And what is a bag from Walmart compared to Calvin Klein? 

So, set average prices on the market for beginner or more established coaches. Do not go low. 

#5 Forgetting about the USP

Coaching is indeed on demand, but if you offer the same thing as everyone else, you won’t be able to stand out from the rest. You will lose a competitive advantage. 

Consider what sets you apart as a coach, or come up with a completely new USP (Unique Selling Point) for the services that will differentiate you from others. 

Coaching selling mistakes

5 mistakes during coaching sessions

Also, another vital aspect you should be aware of is coaching sessions and the mistakes that most coaches make throughout those. 

#1 Not defining the outcome of the session 

Besides clarifying the program’s end goal, each session should have a specific objective. E.g., the first can be identifying the current reality and desired results. The second one can be identifying problems, the third one options & solutions, and so on. 

Not defining these objectives for each session will result in messy and ineffective sessions with your coachee. 

#2 Not having a focus for the session 

Another common mistake coaches make throughout the coaching sessions is not being able to maintain the session’s focus. Because of that, conversations may go round and round, and you will still get nowhere. 

You should be clear on the session’s goal and focus on it, to keep the conversations on point and efficient. Of course, this does not mean that it has to feel forced. Go with the flow, but as a professional, also be aware of methods to bring the focus back.

#3 Asking close-ended questions 

Go for it if you want to finish the conversation and sit in awkward silence. 

Coaching aims to guide and transform; for transformation, the client needs to be well aware of oneself. Therefore, ask open-ended questions that give food for thought. 

#4 Not being a good listener 

One of the most vital elements of coaching is “listening.” A coach must have listening & questioning skills to ensure the effectiveness of the sessions. 

However, some beginner coaches take the approach of “I know better, as you came to me” and forget to listen, which results in ineffective solutions. 

So, as a coach, you must be able to listen to your clients. One way to improve listening skills is to take note of what the client is saying. 

#5 Not asking or giving feedback 

Not asking for feedback or being unable to accept constructive criticism won’t push you forward, 

You must be able to listen, accept, evaluate and learn from your mistake to grow as a professional.

Also, do not forget to give your coachees some feedback to motivate them further. 

Coaching is one of the most self-fulfilling professions out there, as you not only help others grow & evolve and grow within every single client. So, enjoy your sessions and give people value. 

So, these were the Top 5 most common mistakes coaches make throughout the creation, sales, or coaching sessions. Now that you know these mistakes, you can be extra attentive and simply avoid those. 

Coaching session mistakes

Fix mistakes with the right platform

Remember, if you make any of these mistakes, it is not the end. We can always learn, grow, evolve from those, and become the best version of ourselves. 

A well-designed and feature-rich platform can be a solution to many of the above-mentioned mistakes. If you want to make your experience as an online coach lighter, better, and smoother, then the best platform option for you is Uteach. Due to it, you can not only hold coaching sessions but also build your own customizable website in a blink.  

SEO, email marketing, and many other tools Uteach offers will help you better position yourself in the market and reach out to new prospects. 

So, it is your time to start your online coaching journey and become one of the best coaches in today’s market.

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  ? Too Long; Didn't Read

Coaching mistakes are little missteps you may be making as a coach that may impact the efficiency of your coaching program and the selling process in and out itself. Some of the most common mistakes include not setting clear goals or outcomes, choosing a not suitable style & technique, and not paying enough attention to marketing.

The good news? You can always correct & solve these mistakes. First, identify the mistake and analyze what might have caused it. Choose a coaching approach that will better meet the goals of your clients. You can rely on customer feedback, which may tell you a lot about the areas needing improvement.

Some other strategies helping to undo the mistake is creating an action plan that will ensure you are making progress or improving. If there is a need, you can always take coaching training.