Instagram Marketing for Coaches: A Comprehensive Guide 

Instagram for coaches
June 26, 2023
Table of Contents

Instagram is a marketing machine; for it to perform optimally to serve the needs of a coach with a private practice or a coaching business, it needs a well-thought through strategy.  

But not all strategies are created equal. What may work for a consultant would not necessarily work for a coach. So, how does Instagram for coaches differ? How should you work out a strategy to market your coaching business effectively on the platform? 

To make it super simple to understand and execute, we’re breaking it down into three phases. 

Phase I: Build Your Base 

Phase I is all about preparing your strategy by truly understanding what it is you are offering, who you wish to serve, and being able to communicate your offer in a succinct manner. Let’s get into the details: 

1. Find your profitable niche 

There’s a popular phrase in the marketing world that goes, “The riches are in the niches”. This essentially means the more specific in your offering, the better it is for your business. Not niching down can lead to your audience not knowing what exactly you do and what you offer, which means they may not express interest in your services and instead go with your competitors who have a clearer offering. 

A few things you should be keeping in mind when finalizing your niche: 

  • Your niche should solve a specific problem for a specific customer and shouldn’t be an industry at large. For instance, instead of saying you’re just a health coach, you can say “I help people fix their gut and hormone issues so that they can reduce dependencies on pills”. 
  • You must ensure 3 things when finalising your niche: 1) your niche should connect with your own personal story, i.e., you must have some degree of connection with what you offer; 2) your niche should be searchable – that means it should be about real problems that real people are looking to fix; and 3) it should be profitable – you should have proof of concept or some relevant market research that indicates there is actual business potential in your idea. 

Now, if you’re a seasoned coach with an established practice, you can skip this step as well as the one that’s coming up next! 

2. Build your ideal client profile 

The markings of an ideal client are way beyond demographics like age, gender, income, ethnicity, geography; you must take the time to figure out the exact characteristics, pain points, goals, preferences, and more of that one individual you have in mind when you’re asked to think about your ideal client. Moreover, think about how they use Instagram and the kind of content they consume on the app. 

3. Build your niche statement! 

Once you’ve done all the bits above, it’s time to package it into one statement – your niche statement. Think of it like an elevator pitch; if someone were to ask you what you do and you had less than 10 seconds to explain it clearly, what would you say? A great niche statement is one that is specific, clear, doesn’t beat around the bush, and sells a result. 

A simple formula to help you craft your niche statement goes like this:  

I help ____ [target audience] with ____ [problem] get _____ [result] by/with ____ [process] 

An example of this: “I help adults diagnosed with ADHD get better at managing & excelling in their daily lives with neuroscience and psychological interventions.” 

Create an internal document listing all this down to refer to when you’re thinking about the type of content to post on Instagram. 

Phase II: Strategize 

As a new coach, the above steps will help you build a solid foundation for your business upon which you can lay the bricks essential to help grow and scale your business. 

Now it’s time to create your content plan, where the goal is to create content that will have a positive impact in attracting potential clients that are keen to work with you. 

Here are some attributes to focus on when you’re creating content for Instagram. Your content should: 

1. Build authority

Your content should be able to establish you as a clear expert in your field, so that your audience feels confident in following you. You can do this by debunking common myths in your industry/field and addressing mistakes that your audience is making. Additionally, you can also offer some valuable tips that your audience would find useful. 

2. Shift mindset & beliefs

Another thing your content should be able to do is address mindsets and beliefs by either a) removing limiting beliefs that are stopping your audience from moving forward, or b) instilling confidence in them that they can overcome their struggles/enhance their lives. 

3. Address objections

In the process of trying to market your offerings to your audience, you are bound to hear them object to taking you up on your offerings. A few examples of this could be “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t have the time”, “I’m not sure…I don’t know if you are legit.” You can prepare for such objections by speaking about them even before you are directly faced with them. Examples of things you can cover in your content: benefits of investing in oneself, the long-term risk of not addressing issues, helping them reflect on what is truly stopping them, or client testimonials and transformation stories or case studies to build trust with your audience. 

Phase III – Bring Your Instagram Profile to Life 

This brings us to the part people are most keen on – finally posting on Instagram! That’s not to say that this stage is not important, but if you give it too much weightage over the previous two phases, you may just end up with an Instagram content plan that has little to no logic or evidence behind it and will not have any impact on your business. 

So, do your due diligence in setting the foundation and coming up with a strategy that is aligned to your business goals. 

When it comes to executing your Instagram marketing strategy, here are the things you need to pay attention to: 

1. Instagram bio

A bio is the first place your prospect sees you and forms a first impression about you, so you must ensure it’s a good one! 

  • Pick a catchy, professional photo 
  • Use keywords in your name that your ideal client is likely to search for. Eg: mindset coach 
  • Condense and put down your niche statement in your actual bio section. Alongside that, consider adding some credentials that help further build authority (Forbes 30 Under 30, for instance!) 
  • Include a link in your bio to divert traffic to and help you gain leads. This could lead to your website homepage, a lead magnet (free guide for download), free training or webinar, your other content offerings (YouTube, podcast links), etc. 
  • Save your best ‘Stories’ into different categories of Story Highlights that give a first-time visitor a glimpse into what they can expect from you 

2. Shareable content

The content that you put out there should provide value to the audience, should be easy to consume, and be visually attractive in nature (as much as possible, since Instagram is a visual-based platform. So even if you are not posting actual photos, think of using graphic elements like pie charts, bar comparisons, Venn diagrams, etc.) 

3. Caption strategy

Captions are a great way to elaborate on your visuals. In the first statement, you must try to hook your audience so that they feel compelled to read what you have to say next. When writing out the rest of the body copy, you can dabble with a few formats: 

  • Future pacing your audience to picture themselves in their desired state or situation. 
  • Copy that makes your audience want to achieve their desired results by bringing in positive association towards achieving them 
  • Paint a picture of everything that your ideal client will be losing out on if they don’t take the required action to fulfil their desired goals. This works brilliantly because most people are more likely to avoid pain than to seek pleasure. 
  • Get into the habit of adding a CTA (Call To Action) in every caption, giving clear instructions to the reader as to how they can interact with your post (click on link in bio, check out my amazon storefront, etc.); nudging them towards your offers and lead magnets. 

4. Be active in DMs

Most attention gets spent on creating content for the feed of Instagram and in doing so, many business owners miss out on the incredible opportunity that lies in the messenger! The people who come into your DMs usually need your help or assistance with something specific, and thus, could also be great candidates for your service. Think about it – compared to someone simply liking your posts or commenting under them, someone in your DMs in likely to be a much warmer lead, more likely to convert into a paying client. 

5. Stories

Stories are a great way to drive traffic to your other content to nurture your followers. You can also use Stories to create micro trainings or share daily updates and advice. 

Another great thing about IG Stories is that while it may not bring in new followers, it can definitely help you build a relationship with your existing ones by actively nurturing them. Be sure to give some glimpses into your personal life to help your audience relate to you and humanise your account. 

6. IG Live

For any business, IG Live is a useful resource as your followers get a notification when you start a live video, plus it gets prioritised on the IG Story feed and can be repurposed into videos for your feed. 

Your live video should essentially comprise the following:  

  • an introduction of what the viewer can expect to takeaway and learn 
  • the ‘why’ behind the live stream 
  • highlighting the mistakes your audience is making that are preventing them from achieving their results, 
  • the outcomes they can expect when they stop making those mistakes, and  
  • one action step for your audience to implement.  

Once you finish going live, make sure to save or download it and repurpose it as permanent content on your feed.  

7. Make the most of Reels

While on the face of it Reels may seem superficial, they are actually a great way to gain more visibility on the platform and potentially gain more relevant followers. The Instagram algorithm pushes Reels exponentially on the Explore page where people discover accounts closest to the content they’ve interacted with recently.  

You can use Reels to address myths and misconceptions, talk about relatable pains of the audience, provide tips and tutorials, share transformation, motivate, and even entertain (within the boundaries of your content pillars). Bonus points if you can get in front of the camera to create this content, which helps be more relatable and humanizes your brand. 

These three phases encompass the basics of Instagram marketing for coaches. Whether you are a newly certified coach or a seasoned one, you can use these strategies to develop your Instagram game and build a marketing plan that can take your business to new heights! 

Sources: Taplink, LinkedIn, Luisa Zhou, Vanessa Lau


1. How do I grow my coaching business on Instagram? 

To grow your coaching business on Instagram, you need to focus on three key elements: content, engagement, and strategy. Start by creating valuable and visually appealing content that speaks directly to your target audience’s needs and desires. Pick the mediums most relevant to you and your audience. Engage with your followers by responding to comments and direct messages – building relationships is going to be key.  

Additionally, you can collaborate with influencers or host live sessions to expand your reach. To ensure all your efforts are worthwhile, stay consistent with your posting schedule and track your progress using analytics. Above all, be authentic and build genuine connections with your audience. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively grow your coaching business on Instagram and attract potential clients. 

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author
Content Marketing Manager @ Simply.Coach

Ipsita Nayak is a full-time writer-editor-content strategist and a part-time NLP coach and yoga teacher. She believes conventions are overrated, has a disproportionate need for solo time over social time, and loves a good mix of sci-fi and trashy TV in her free time!

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