Content Strategies for Coaches vs. Service Providers: Key Differences

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Creating effective content for your audience is crucial, whether you’re a coach or a service provider. Contrary to popular coaching programs and course advice online, coaches and service providers should have a very different approach to their marketing content. 

Unless your coach or course creator has been a service provider who actually DOES the service, they wouldn’t understand why the content needs to be different. Having been both a marketing coach selling coaching programs and selling done-for-you and done-with-you services, I wanted to share how I approach marketing content differently depending on what I’m selling.

In this article, I’ll share the key distinctions between content to sell services you do vs content that sells how you are as a coach, helping you tailor your strategy to better meet the needs of your audience.

Content Strategies in the Online Space: A Critical Distinction

In the online space, many content strategies taught to both coaches and service providers are unfortunately lumped together, often leading to confusion and ineffective marketing efforts. This miscommunication and misguidance stem from the abundance of content strategies designed primarily for coaches or educators, which don’t align with the goals of service providers who offer done-for-you solutions. 

Understanding the differences in content marketing for service providers versus coaches is essential for online business success. Too often, service providers find themselves creating educational content and tutorials, mimicking the approach of coaches. However, clients seeking high-ticket services are not looking for lessons on how to perform tasks themselves; they are looking to hire experts to handle these tasks efficiently and effectively. 

This misguided approach results from service providers adopting content strategies taught by coaches, who may not fully understand the unique needs and expectations of clients looking for done-for-you services. 

Service providers need to recognize the distinct differences between their role and that of a coach. While coaches aim to shift perspectives and foster independent thinking, service providers should focus on demonstrating their expertise and ability to deliver tangible results. 

By understanding these fundamental differences, both coaches and service providers can create more effective and targeted content that truly resonates with their respective audiences.

Coaching Content: Shifting Perspectives and Encouraging Independent Thought

As a coach, your primary goal is to help clients identify and bridge gaps in their thinking processes. As a coach, your content should focus on guiding clients toward independent thinking and perspective shifts. Here are some essential elements of coaching content:

  1. Identify Thought Process Gaps: Coaches need to understand where their clients’ thinking processes fall short. Your content should highlight these gaps and encourage clients to reflect on their thought patterns.
  2. Ask Provocative Questions: Rather than providing direct answers, coaching content should pose questions that stimulate critical thinking. This helps clients develop the skills to analyze and solve problems independently.
  3. Promote Perspective Shifts: One of the main goals of coaching content is to shift the client’s perspective. By presenting new viewpoints and challenging existing beliefs, you can help clients see their situations in a different light.
  4. Encourage Continuous Learning: Coaching content should emphasize the importance of ongoing learning and personal development. Highlight the benefits of thinking differently and continuously seeking knowledge.
  5. Avoid Giving Direct Answers: While it might be tempting to provide solutions, effective coaching content focuses on guiding clients to find their answers. This fosters independence and empowers clients to think critically.

Here’s an example of this in action:

In the above example, I’m talking about a gap my audience has in their thought process. The offer I’m selling is a marketing membership where I’m teaching them how to do things on their own and think differently. 

Don’t worry, I’ll share an example for service providers in the next section.

Service Provider Content: Addressing Process Gaps and Delivering Solutions

Service providers, on the other hand, focus on filling gaps in their clients’ processes and delivering tangible results. The content you create as a service provider should be more direct and solution-oriented. Here are some key aspects of service provider content:

  1. Identify Process Gaps: Service providers need to pinpoint specific process gaps that their services can address. Your content can clearly define these gaps and explain how your services fill them.
  2. Highlight Expertise and Efficiency: Clients hire service providers for their expertise and efficiency. Your content can showcase your skills, experience, and the effectiveness of your solutions.
  3. Provide Clear Solutions: Unlike coaching content, service provider content should offer clear, actionable solutions to the clients’ problems. Detail the steps you take to address process gaps and improve performance.
  4. Focus on Performance and Results: Clients hiring service providers are looking for performance and measurable results. Highlight case studies, testimonials, and success stories that demonstrate the impact of your services.
  5. Emphasize the Benefits of Outsourcing: Many clients turn to service providers because they don’t have the time or resources to handle certain tasks themselves. Your content can emphasize the convenience and advantages of outsourcing these tasks to you.

Here’s an example of this in action:


In the above example, I’m talking about the gap my potential clients have in their process. Compared to the example for the coaches, this post isn’t about teaching, it’s helping viewers see what’s wrong with their approach to what they are doing. 

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, the main distinction between coaching content and service provider content lies in the client’s expectations. Coaching clients seek knowledge and perspective shifts, while service provider clients look for performance and tangible results. Understanding these differences can help you create more effective content that meets the specific needs of your audience.

When crafting content, remember:

  • Coaches should focus on identifying thought process gaps, asking provocative questions, promoting perspective shifts, encouraging continuous learning, and avoiding giving direct answers.
  • Service providers should identify process gaps, highlight expertise and efficiency, provide clear solutions, focus on performance and results, and emphasize the benefits of outsourcing.

By tailoring your content to these distinct needs, you can better connect with your audience and provide the value they seek, whether through coaching or service delivery.

Get help coming up with content ideas that help you generate more leads, sales, and opportunities when you book your Content Clarity Scan.