The advertising no-no I see all the time: Why it’s bad & How to avoid it!


My wife had an ad pop up on her Facebook newsfeed yesterday and showed it to me, and I couldn’t help but cringe.

But I see so many coaches make the same mistake all the time!

This is exactly why we created Jumpstart – to help coaches avoid mistakes and launch growing, thriving practices.

I show you the ad in the video and share why the strategy is off.

If you prefer to read, the transcript is just below the video!

NOTE: This freebie is from a weekly resource added to our online community in Jumpstart Your Coaching Practice.


I’m not putting this coach on blast, and I’ve blurred out their identity, but I see this sort of thing coming from coaches a lot, and it’s a good teaching moment for what NOT to do as a coach.

Here are some of the main reasons why you don’t want to do this tactic:

  • It’s social media. Most people aren’t going to think this is legit.

First off, this “Master Professional Coach,” is giving away a $3,000 program for no good reason. It’s not explained in the ad (it is sort of explained in the link, I’ll get to that in a moment). At any rate, it’s immediately a red flag for the vast majority of people that will see it on their newsfeed. Most will believe it’s really not free, and, if it is, there must be some kind of catch.

  • You are lowering your perceived value by devaluing yourself.

But let’s say it is free. Why would a coach devalue themselves and a product they’ve worked so hard to produce?

If you would give your work away for free, a person would be a fool to pay for it. Right?

This is a big one that drives me crazy. If you don’t value yourself, then you’re teaching others not to value yourself and what you bring to the table.

Value has to begin with yourself. You teach others what you’re worth.

  • The people who want free coaching are NOT your ideal clients.

This goes back to value. If people don’t value something enough, they aren’t going to pay for it.

Having an individual who doesn’t value this coach sharing the post further devalues the coach.

A strategy like this might be fine with winning a ticket, a $15 book, etc. – you know cheap products – but it does nothing for an unknown coach.

Would Tony Robbins run an ad to give away free coaching? You know he wouldn’t. Because he values himself.

And, as I’ve said before, people who get free coaching don’t change because they don’t have skin in the game.

A coach who does these kinds of freebies is just going to be frustrated with the people they said were the “winners,” because they won’t change and they also will never become paying clients.

  • The people who might have paid probably won’t now because you devalued the potential client.

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but have you ever paid full price for something only for the price to drop drastically? In many cases, current customers will call companies expressing their disappointment that their loyalty isn’t rewarded, but a new customer (who doesn’t value them) got a big discount.

That company was getting extra marketing or they were trying to add a bunch of customers in bulk. They do NOT want to offer that discount to everyone. So customers walk or become disgruntled.

Let’s say this $3,000 coaching program is given away to 3 people as advertised. Let’s also say that a handful of people genuinely did want this coaching program and would pay for it. Realistically, how can that coach say, “Sorry, you weren’t one of the winners. You’ll have to pay the full $3,000.” It’s not going to happen. At best the coach is going to give a ridiculous discount. At worst, the potential client will just walk away like a devalued customer.

Lastly, in the link they described that the reason they were giving away the $3,000 program is that it is a new program and they want to get 3 testimonials in return.

I don’t have a problem doing free to leverage them for testimonials. That makes sense to people. Just don’t do it in a Facebook ad.

A Facebook ad costs you a bunch of money to run and there will be zero return on investment.

You can get a testimonial much cheaper by just using your network of relationships.

Which, to me, if this person is a master coach I would hope they know a few people by now who would take them up on a personal offer so that they can get testimonials.

But my guess is that this is a brand new coach who is not really trying to get testimonials, but is trying to harvest info from potential clients. It’s an uphill climb. And this strategy is going to fail.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

Author Details
Paul Dabdoub is a master coach trainer & mentor, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur, and an executive coach who’s literally helped 1000’s of people take practical steps towards their future.Paul is the founder of Life Coach Training Institute – the largest life coach training school in North America and the #1 life coach certification online program.