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09: 11 Mistakes I made when I started my health coaching business (and what I should have done instead!)

by | Dec 27, 2021 | Podcast

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When I was first starting out I made alllllll the mistakes! I was literally starting from scratch in the online business world and I didn’t have a sales or marketing background (I was a corporate software engineer, hello!). There was a lot of trial and error (mostly error!) in my journey but I finally figured out how to get my business up and running and making money. I hope this list helps you avoid some of the mistakes I made!

Mistake #1 – Focusing on busy work that kept me busy without making me money. I stayed busy with a lot of unimportant tasks that felt important at the time but didn’t make me any money!

What I wish I’d done instead: Go straight to working with clients, building relationships, and getting feedback on my services so I could start making money asap!

Mistake #2 – trying to go it alone! The online business space can be lonely and feel very competitive when you’re first getting started. When you join a lot of FB groups or other online spaces that are full of other coaches trying to get started online, it can make it seem like the space is saturated and there’s a lot of competition.


What I wish I’d done instead: Found a supportive squad of fellow entrepreneurs to support each other and create collaborative opportunities. A rising tide lifts all boats!


Mistake #3 – Using the spaghetti strategy. I was so confused by the listening to all the podcasts, reading all the blog posts that I jumped from tactic to tactic without giving any single one enough time to be effective. Without a ton of sales or marketing experience I had no idea what the ‘best’ thing was for a newbie coach so I bounced all around, trying ALL. THE. THINGS.


What I wish I’d done instead: Focused on an action plan proven to leverage the assets I already had (my personal network!) and stuck to it consistently!


Mistake # 4 – Not mapping out the client journey so the content I created was all over the place and didn’t solve the problems or answer specific questions my potential clients had before they came to me.

What I wish I’d done instead:
Spent time doing research on my ideal client to understand exactly what they needed to know, and when, on their way to searching for a solution to their problem. This would have helped me create a cohesive content plan that build trust in my audience and established my expertise.


Mistake # 5 – Spending too much time comparing a million different tools looking for the BEST one.

What I wish I’d done instead: Created a system of great tools (even good enough tools!) for where I was in my business and upgraded as my business grew and my needs changed. The truth is there are a ton of great products out there.. but a ‘perfect’ single tool doesn’t exist. As your business grows, how you deliver programs and work with clients will change. So what is ‘perfect’ now won’t be perfect in a year or 2.

Mistake #6 -Spent a lot of time building a website that I thought I needed. I thought clients wouldn’t hire me without a fancy website!

What I wish I’d done instead: Focused on getting results collecting testimonials, and asking happy clients for referrals to establish myself as a ‘good coach’ instead of wasting time on tools I simply did not yet need! Clients care most about GETTING RESU


Mistake # 7 – Overpaying for business tools before I was profitable.


What I wish I’d done instead: You’ve heard “you need to spend money to make money” but the truth is, in the online coaching space, you really don’t! There are plenty of tools that are free or low cost to establish your business that will work in those beginning stages to establish and grow my business bank account before spending all the coins. Calendly, Mailerlite, Google Docs and social media – all free!!!


Mistake # 8 -overpromising and under-delivering.


What I wish I’d done instead: Underpromised and overdelivered I was so excited to book new clients I would promise them way more than I was able to deliver. But I was so afraid they wouldn’t hire me unless I promised them workbooks, videos, a fancy app to message me all hours of the day.

My clients would have been so much more excited about getting MORE than they had paid for and expected rather than being disappointed when I was late with all the bells and whistles were that I’d promised them.

Mistake #9 – trying to help everyone instead of choosing one ideal client.


What I wish I’d done instead: Niched down and identified one type of client, one outcome, and a set of strategies I knew would be effective at getting that type of client the results they wanted.

I was afraid I’d hear the dreaded NO if I turned anyone away so I was willing to help anyone and everyone, even if their situation wasn’t my jam. Unfortunately this led to me being miserable and slowed down my business growth as I wasn’t able to focus on becoming an established expert at ONE thing.

Mistake # 10 – Not realizing that online marketing and sales require me to show up consistently for my audience.


What I wish I’d done instead: Created and stuck to a consistent marketing plan with a strategic focus on capturing and nurturing leads until they were ready to buy. I assumed that a FB post here or an IG Story there talking about my business and how I could help would be enough for people to hire me. NOPE!

Mistake #11 – Spending months and months (and months!!) trying to build an audience from scratch.

What I wish I’d done instead: Collaborated with other service providers who had a similar ideal client. I thought I needed 10k of my own Instagram followers and my own built-from-scratch Facebook group of thousands to start making money but I should have leveraged the power of pre-built audiences in order ‘borrow’ the trust that already existed and fast-track my sales process!

Have you made any of these mistakes?

Laurie Mallon

Podcast Host

Creator of  The Profitable Health Coach Framework

Data Privacy Specialist

Web Designer & Conversion Strategist