10 Self-promotion obstacles


10 self promotion obstacles

What you’ll find in this article are strategies to overcome self-promotion obstacles that often stand in the way of coaches and therapists.

Self-promotion obstacles are often (unconscious) attitudes that result in you not promoting yourself and your business.

When you are facing one of these obstacles, then you’re stuck and aren’t able to fully commit yourself to getting out there and promoting yourself.

However, when you are running your own coaching or therapy practice, self-promotion is essential to getting more clients. Becoming aware of those obstacles is the first step to overcoming them.

Self-promotion is vital to your business. Unless you resolve the underlying issues that keep you from promoting yourself, you’ll have difficulty staying in business.

And unless you know what exactly is holding you back from doing marketing, it’s difficult to resolve the issue.

Imagine how your life and business will be different once you’ve overcome those self-promotion obstacles!

You’ll be getting more clients, earning more money and truly experiencing the freedom of being your own boss while making a great living.

In my experience, there are ten major reasons why coaches and therapists avoid promoting themselves.

And here they are:

1. You Are Not Following Your Business North Star

Basically, if you aren’t following your Business North Star, you are in the wrong business.

Your Business North Star is the guiding star for your business. It’s the compass for your business, informed by your personal purpose.

Maybe you no longer want to do the work. Perhaps you realised after working in the field for a while that it’s not really who you are. But you’ve already invested a huge amount of time and money into pursuing this dream. So you don’t want to give it up so easily.

If you don’t have a strong WHY, you aren’t motivated and inspired enough to promote yourself.


  • Get honest with yourself and assess where you are at.
  • Explore what you really want to do. Find your Business North Star: a business and mission that is an authentic expression of who you are. One that delivers value and is a true expression of your gifts. It’s a business and career that you love.
  • Then create a plan to move in this new direction.

2. You Are Wrapped In A Cloak of Invisibility

A lot of people struggle with ‘being visible’. Being visible can be challenging and scary for a lot of coaches and therapists.

And so many choose to stay invisible.

However, the success of your business depends on you being noticed and seen. This fear of being visible seriously hurts your ability to connect with potential clients or business partners. You cannot attract clients if they aren’t aware of you and your offerings.

This fear often comes up when there is a need to show up on social media, share one’s website, reach out to prospective clients or associates, promote a workshop or connect with others at a networking event.


  • Find out what’s behind your fear of being visible. For example, if you don’t want your website to be visible because you’re not proud of it, remedy this. Get professional help with designing your website.
  • Practice and prepare. If the fear comes up when it’s about giving a talk or speaking on camera, for example, practice. The more confident you become, the more comfortable you’ll be being visible.
  • Start small and gradually go larger. Begin by practising sharing and speaking in a small group. Perhaps join a mastermind group. As you are growing in confidence, practice sharing in front of larger audiences.

3. You Don’t Know What You Need To Do

Perhaps you are just starting out, and you have not yet learnt what you need to do to promote yourself. And you don’t even know where to start.

It’s likely that you haven’t had any training in business, marketing or selling. And now you are stuck as you don’t know how to get started with it all.

We’ve all been there. All of us had to learn how to promote our coaching practice to get more clients. So let’s get started!


  • What are you stuck with at the moment? Write down a list of all your business and marketing questions. Get clarity on what you need to learn.
  • Seek out further training. It could be a book, an online course or sign up for a webinar.
  • Get help. Hire a business coach.

4. Self-Promotion Is New To You. And So You Are Uncertain

Similar, if you’re just starting out and have little experience with marketing and promoting yourself, then you might feel a little bit uncertain about it. And that’s completely normal.

Marketing and self-promotion is like any other skill. We have to learn and practice it. With practice and repetition, it becomes easier. We become more comfortable with it. And eventually, it becomes second nature and we can overcome this self-promotion obstacle.


  • Do you know the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (by Neale Donald Walsch)?
  • If you continue to stick to the things you’ve always done, then you won’t be able to grow and expand. It’s only when you venture outside your comfort zone that you can explore all that life has to offer.
  • Commit to doing a marketing task every single working day even if it feels uncomfortable.
  • Find a marketing buddy or accountability partner. We are much more likely to stick to our goals if we are accountable to someone.

5. You Are Lacking Self-Worth

But perhaps, you resonate with this issue.

You are very happy to offer your service for free. Therefore, you give it away easily as you love helping people. But when it comes to asking for money, things get very difficult.

If you are suffering from self-worth issues, then you’ll find it hard to earn money from your business.

The thing is, if you think you are not worth it, then you’ll find it challenging to ask people to pay for your service. And without enough money coming in, your business won’t survive for long.


  • Keep note of all your client reviews, testimonials and emails that past clients have sent you sharing how you have helped them.
  • Realise that charging for your services is a clear transaction. Energetically speaking. There is a clear exchange. If you don’t charge for your services, you are keeping the receivers of your work indebted to you.
  • Know that your clients want to pay you. They want you to succeed. And they will understand that you need to earn money from your work as you are a business. Every business needs to earn money.

6. You Don’t Believe In What You Are Offering

You won’t be able to sell your service if there is a part of you that is not 100% sure that what you are offering is truly valuable. If you don’t fully believe in what you are offering, then you won’t feel comfortable promoting it.

So ask yourself the following questions. Be totally honest with yourself.

Are you in integrity with every aspect of your service?

Do you know that your clients are benefitting from your service?

Does your service give your clients a good return on investment? (Ideally, it’s worth ten times more than what they pay). Do they get at least as much value back as they have invested?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of these, then you know that you need to work on your offering so that you can overcome this self-promotion obstacle.


  • Amend your service in such a way that you are 100% behind it.
  • Calculate the return on investment the client receives.
  • Adjust your offering so that your clients get at least a 10x return on investment.

7. You Are Not Being Yourself

Maybe you are just starting out and you have only recently qualified.

What keeps you back from promoting yourself is that what you are offering does not feel quite like it’s you.

Maybe you have trained in a specific system or you are teaching someone else’s model. So what you are teaching or sharing may feel a bit clunky. The words you use might not be your own yet.

The way you do things are the way your teachers have done things. You have not yet internalised the teachings, and you haven’t found your own way yet.

So it feels like you are not being yourself. It might feel like you are wearing a mask and are not being authentic. And this self-promotion obstacle stops you from promoting your offerings.


  • Know that what you are experiencing is part of the learning process. It’s normal to feel this way. As you are gaining experience, you will grow into doing things your own way. What you are sharing, practising or teaching will become yours with time.
  • Keep going despite it feeling a bit ‘off’ or despite feeling like a ‘parrot’. It’s important to have a full grounding in the modality that you specialise in before making it your own.

8. You Fall Into The Entitlement Trap

You fall into the entitlement trap when you think you don’t need to do any marketing. And so you think that what you are offering speaks for itself, and clients should just flock to you. You believe that you are doing such important work that it shouldn’t be necessary to promote yourself.

Believing that you should get clients without any effort or changes on your part is not going to work as a strategy for a successful coaching or therapy practice. It will result in disappointment.

And if things don’t work out, then it’s easy to blame others and step into the victim role.


  • You might be doing excellent work, but you still need to contribute from your side to make a thriving practice happen.
  • Make it easy for others to understand what you offer. Speak their language. Communicate in a way that people understand how you can help them.
  • Take responsibility for your communication, marketing and attracting clients.

9. You Fall Into The Fairy-Tale Trap

The fairy-tale trap is similar to the entitlement trap.

When you fall into the fairy tale trap, you expect clients to magically appear in your practice without any effort on your part.

You think that finding new clients will just happen. And you believe that the universe will just magically deliver clients to you.

This type of thinking is chronic amongst spiritual coaches.

Yes, the universe will bring clients your way BUT you will have to do your part in order to enable that.


  • Do you know the story of the drowning man and the boat? Well, a great website that speaks to your ideal clients, posts on social media or a phone to reach out – these are all
    examples of ‘boats’ that the universe sends to help you.
  • Take responsibility for your marketing. Initiate conversations, practice reaching out and be proactive in your approach.
  • Create your ideal client avatar so that you are not saying “yes” to everyone who comes your way and who often turns out not to be your ideal client.

10. You See Marketing As Sleazy, Pushy Or Unethical

Maybe your beliefs about marketing and selling are holding you back.

If you think marketing is sleazy, pushy or unethical, then you won’t be wanting to do any marketing. After all, you wouldn’t want to be associated with this.

The good news is that authentic marketing is not about pushing people into buying something they don’t need. It’s not about lying to them or manipulating them. Those marketing methods are old-school and outdated.

There are ways to market your coaching or therapy practice that are ethical and have integrity. If you choose these methods, you might even start to enjoy marketing!


  • Learn about marketing and sales methods such as Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing” or Ari Gelper’s “Unlock the Sales Game”.
  • Study the marketing approaches of those people you enjoy receiving communication from.
  • Get the help of a coach or NLP practitioner to reframe your beliefs around marketing.

That’s quite a list, isn’t it?

Are any of these self-promotion obstacles familiar to you? (Personally, I count eight obstacles that I had to overcome!)

The good news is that these obstacles CAN be overcome.

All the strategies that I’ve offered are simple but some are not always easy to implement without the support from colleagues, family, therapist, coach, etc.

Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Your success in getting an abundance of clients will depend a lot on your marketing and sales skills. My top recommendation would be to get the support you need to overcome these obstacles so you can finally go out there and market your practice with success.

So if you are looking to get help on your journey towards growing your coaching or therapy, get in touch with me.

I can further support you through:

Contact me today to arrange a call.

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