Online Marketing Coaches Could Harm Your Business More than Help it

Since the beginning of modern civilization, life and business coaches have had a positive impact on peoples’ lives and businesses, including my own.

Several of my long-time friends, advisors, influencers, referrers and clients are coaches. So, why would I make such generalized claim that internet marketing coaching doesn’t work and probably would not work for you?

Because it’s so true!

Internet marketing coaching almost always simply does not work and I’ll share with you exactly why and the solution in just a moment. For now, a summary. Internet marketing coaches:

  1. Do not care about you at all until you pay them.
  2. Care more about getting their next coaching client than paying attention to you.
  3. Continue their interest in your project as long as you’re making big progress fast so they can ask for a video testimonial…to help get them more coaching clients.

My History with Coaching

No, I do not have some sort of bias against coaches as a whole when I say internet marketing coaching doesn’t work. I’m actually a huge advocate for coaching. In fact, I’ve been a competitive youth sports coach for baseball, softball, and basketball for more than a dozen years.


Youth coaching softball

So, not only am I very familiar with coaching technique and coaching systems, I also know how important coaches are to the success of almost any personal growth or project.

Everyone Needs a Coach

When you want to learn something new, you can buy a book written by a topical expert or attend a class led by an instructor. Only a coach can stand at your side and guide you through an implementation process so that the most favorable outcome can be assured over the most efficient (shortest) amount of time.

To say it another way, if you want the best possible results, faster, hire a coach to help get you there. Since everyone would agree to wanting the best and fastest result, logic says everyone needs a coach.

The Problem With People Seeking Coaching

The day after I served as a panelist for a Denver Startup Week session, I got a call from one of the audience members. The session topic was about Lean Content Strategy and there were a few hundred people in attendance.

The caller asked me if I offered one-on-one internet marketing coaching. My reply was, “Internet marketing coaching never works.”

Of course, there are the few success stories out there where an Internet marketing coach helped turn a failing website into a rags to riches story. But, let’s be realistic here…

People who hire Internet marketing coaches are doing so because they’re not very successful with their Internet strategy. Wouldn’t you agree?

Three Categories of Internet Marketing Coaching Students

I would even go so far to bet that if you’re in need of an Internet marketing coach, you’re in one of three categories:

  • Just starting out on the Internet and need extreme hand-holding to get going.
  • Dead broke yourself and are desperate for someone to tell you in under 30 minutes how to make money online.
  • Limited on funds preventing you from spending $300-$1,000 an hour (for a period of weeks or months) on a high-quality Internet marketing coach.

Careful Not to Confuse Coaching with Mentoring or Training

Granted, there are a few Internet marketing experts who are willing to, occasionally, take the time to coach for free or low-fee. This is sometimes called “mentoring.”

Mentors are usually rich beyond their means and work very few hours in the day while they sit back on their beach house porch and collect their residual income hand over fist. They have the time to give their time without expectation of financial return.

At least, that’s how mentees perceive their mentors! Right?

Coaches (or better said: Willing mentors) like that are few and far between.

The vast majority who call themselves internet marketing coaches offer internet marketing coaching at a surprisingly low hourly fee, usually sold in packages, such as $300 for three to five one hour sessions.

Coaching Can be Easily Confused with Training

Be ready to discover that this type of Internet marketing coach has more of a history of training than real coaching. You’ll learn how to add pages and posts to your WordPress website, perform better SEO, setup products on your shopping cart; functional topics.

Be very careful of administrative trainers holding themselves out as coaches.

What is True Internet Marketing Coaching?

True Internet marketing coaching is far different than mentoring or functional training.

An Internet marketing coach SHOULD have the following approach:

Current Status – Where is your business now on the measurement of success? What is going well and what needs work?

Skills Identification – What are you really good at, versus what you need to learn to be successful online, versus what you should pay to have done, versus what you should NEVER even try to learn or do.

Wants Assessment – A good Internet marketing coach should have a vested interest in what you WANT to achieve. You can’t create goals until you know what you truly want for your life and business.

Goals Identification – Establishing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals that are realistic is a skill all its own and does not come naturally to every coach.

Macro and Micro Planning – A good coach needs to see the big picture of where you are wanting to get to and help you produce a plan to get there. At the same time, your coach needs to be watching for the tiniest of details where improvements can be made. Most coaches tend to focus on one or the other.

Accountability – A good coach holds the coaching client accountable and gives that, sometimes not so gentle, nudge to get tasks completed.

Who am "I" to Make These Claims?

Over the past 20+ years, I’ve served all possible roles discussed so far in this post, including coach, mentor, trainer.

I’ll add a few more to that list such as consultant, services provider, and project manager too.

What I will say is this: If you’ve been looking for an internet marketing coach, and NOT a mentor, and NOT a functional trainer, what should you know about why internet coaching doesn’t work?

Why Internet Marketing Coaching Programs Fail

Practically All Internet Marketing Coaching Programs Fail When:

  1. The Internet marketing coach is not experienced. Most Internet marketing coaching programs are inspired by a world-renowned speaker but the coaching sessions are implemented by a second or third-hand employee making $10-$20/hr. The helpers might be experienced with Internet processes but very rarely will they be experienced with a wide variety of industries, products, and audiences.
  2. The Internet marketing coach doesn’t have time for you. Many Internet marketing coaches get paid by a combination of by-the-hour rate and how many coaching sessions they can get through in a day or week. Their interest is call volume…rather than your sales volume.
  3. The Internet marketing coach loses interest if you don’t display positive results quickly. Make no mistake. Owners of Internet marketing coaching businesses care about one thing—getting through as many coaching clients as possible until that one lucky star makes a few bucks within 30 days and offers a testimonial. An Internet marketing coach wants only more coaching clients. And, they get those by wowing you at Internet marketing conferences with their occasional testimonials.
  4. The Internet marketing coach won’t tell you exactly what to do. Many Internet marketing techniques that are suggested during coaching sessions never produce the expected results. Why? Because coaches are very afraid of liability. They legally can’t tell you to “try changing your headline to this…” They’ll instead tell you to “try a more captivating headline.” As a result, most suggested techniques never even get implemented because the coach is too vague in his instruction for a layperson to carry out the task.
  5. The Internet marketing coach doesn’t care if you use your sessions or not. All of the previous four reasons for why Internet strategy coaching doesn’t work leads up to one result; the client stops calling for more coaching. The client gets intimidated that they’re not able to produce the results even with the coaching. The client is not able to implement the vague suggestions and lets time pass. Then, when contact is made, the coach is on to other projects…looking for those quick-hit testimonials.

What's the Internet Marketing Coaching Solution?

Community and accountability is the only method I’ve heard of, and been a part of, to bring a positive result consistently. Find a group to hang out with regularly where the members are already doing what you want to do.

Become friends with people in the group. Become accountability partners for others within the group. Form a mastermind group that meets away from the regular meeting times of the group as a whole.

Look for one of those people to emerge as a person you connect with; that person who’s willing to invest their time one-on-one with you to help your business accelerate.

You can do that for free on your own. 

The A.C.T.I.O.N. Alternative

You are welcome to join OUR community at Here Next Year. Become an A.C.T.I.O.N. Starter. There is no charge to join, and you will be a LIFETIME free member. Also, you will get  introduced to what I call:

The A.C.T.I.O.N. System: 6 Steps to Starting or Expanding any Business.

Think of it as a free marketing training overview and an introduction to the areas we focus on with our book writing, speaking mentoring, and internet marketing services

From there, you can decide if you want to become part of our more interactive group sessions and accountability partners called A.C.T.I.O.N. TAKERS. Yep, there is a monthly charge for the A.C.T.I.O.N. TAKERS level to assure you Take Action. I mean, be honest with yourself…if it was free would you really show up?

After you and I get to know each other for a while in the A.C.T.I.O.N. Takers, then we can together decide if you are a good fit to become an A.C.T.I.O.N. MASTER. In that level, you and I would work very closely together for as many months or years as you would need.

What to Do Next

No need to decide on money yet or levels of my involvement. Join as an A.C.T.I.O.N. Starter now and take a few minutes to go through the free mini-course.

Break out of that rut you’ve been in and do something different! One small step gets you started with some real ACTION!