The Difference Between Sharing, Teaching and Coaching

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of debate (or on X, maybe even hate) on people that learn new things, share what they learn and in doing so, effectively teach people. 

A lot of the pro’s say that you can’t or even should teach others if you’re not well rounded on the subject. 

But does it matter? Should you refrain from teaching if you’re new to the subject? Why? 

What’s the difference between coaching, sharing and teaching then? 

Should you coach people on subjects you don’t have any experience with?

Coaching does not equal teaching. Teaching does not equal sharing.

It’s not like every time you’re sharing something, you’re teaching someone.

Neither are you coaching someone when you teach them, or share something. These three things have overlap, but aren’t the same.

So lets take a look at all three of these elements and find out if you should or shouldn’t do any of them.

Share and Help People See Something

If you look at the Latin translation of “sharing”, it’s the exact same as the translation for “communicating”: Communicare.

It means “to make common”. In other words, sharing means that you show other people what you’ve found interesting so that they can be inspired by it.

Through sharing you help people see something.

Sharing builds connection and trust. And that’s what community is about right?

Common advice on social media is to build authority through sharing insightful information. I think that’s helpful but it’s also wrong.

You build community through sharing, you build authority through teaching.

If you share insightful information on a regular basis, you’ll build trust. Building trust helps in building community.

Teach and Help People Understand Something

Through teaching, you transfer specific information towards others. So that means that teaching, in effect, is showing expertise. You help people understand something.

It’s the act of showing expertise that positions you as an authority.

Sharing insights isn’t the same as teaching because teaching involves elaborating on specific subjects in depth, while sharing insights provides valuable information without detailed instruction.

So that’s where sharing and teaching differ.

When you’re posting something interesting on social media but don’t provide actionable steps to make something happen or gather a deeper understanding of some subject, you’re sharing. If you do include actionable steps, you’re teaching.

There is a fine line, and it makes a lot of sense to do both when you’re building a personal brand right?

You don’t only want to build community, but you also want to establish yourself as an authority because it helps you in building your business or get a new (or better) job. Or helps you make something happen.

For example, I really want to join some polar expedition as a photographer. That’s one of my dream goals. But up until now, I’ve never talked about it. I’ve never really shown nature or environmental photography even though I do shoot that kind of pictures as a hobby.

It would make sense to start doing so because its more likely that I’ll be invited at some point of people know I’m interested in such a thing, and show that I’m capable as a photographer.

Coach and Help People Achieve Something

Through coaching you help people achieve something. I like to frame it that way. And that means that anybody can coach, really. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody is a great coach automatically but we all do it regularly.

Interesting enough, most professional sports coaches have never done the thing they’re coaching people on. Most never have played professionally. And yet, they’re highly effective sports coaches. They might understand the game but lack the experience of playing it profesionally on a high level. What makes them effective then? 

So here’s someone I regard highly but fully disagree with on this statement:

If you’d ask me, coaching is listening. Reflecting. Helping people achieve something. And preferably, have them say something because the minute it comes out of their mouth, it’s their voice.

It’s their words. Now, they can put it into action.

I reckon you don’t even have to have done something for 6 months in order to coach someone. You don’t even have to have experience with it. 


That’s the whole point of coaching no? You want to help people take action. Take action towards solving a problem they have. You can tell them whatever you want but as long as it is you telling them something, it’s your action.

The minute they say it themselves, its transformative. It makes them accountable. It removes them from being the victim. It enables them to take action. You don’t need any experience in any field in order to do so.

You need skill, yes. And it helps if you have done it before, but at some point you’d have to do it anyway.

Putting It All Together

When you’re building your personal brand, it makes sense to be doing all three: sharing, teaching and coaching.

Sharing helps people to be inspired. To follow you. Create a community.

Teaching helps others understand something. It creates authority. This makes it more likely that good things will happen for you. It doesn’t even have to mean that you’re generating more sales, you can get a better job. A different job. Land that awesome opportunity.

Coaching helps others achieve something. You can have real impact there. Of course you can have real impact through teaching too but most teaching nowadays (in the context of personal branding at least) is done through online courses. They work, but most people don’t complete them anyway.

If you start coaching people, you can have real impact on someone and you get to see that impact.

So it makes sense to do all three when you’re building your personal brand.

Build a personal brand that really suits you.


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