Today I received one of these invites again: “Join the biggest list building event of the year.” Hundreds of personal development coaching people group together to collect as many email addresses as they can. While it is understandable that we want the chance to speak to YOU, it should always be done in style. And with style, I mean: from the point of a Coach who wants to help people – not from the point of a marketing ninja who wants to sell as many products as possible.
Coach or Marketing expert?Every coach can tell you that this event doesn’t have any benefit for participants. It works as follows: all of the hundreds of Coaches who participate in the event promote it. Every Coach offers a freebie. To access the freebie you have to sign up for his newsletter. I believe that our job is not to exploit the weaknesses of people. Obviously, as it’s human nature, people will sign up to as many freebies as they can. They will store all of the files on their computer, perhaps briefly open one or two, but not gain knowledge. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the free content is – if we collect information instead of learning skills we will not benefit from it. When it comes to establishing a relationship with a potential client, I can hardly think of worse scenario than someone who just signed up for 60 newsletters. This and a few other things that bugged me caused me to write this article about personal development coaching BS for you. So here it goes:
Signs your coach might be incompetent
Email bombsAs soon as you signed up for a newsletter or purchased a training, you start to receive one email after the next. Each email promotes a wonderful training from “friends” of your Coach. While there is nothing wrong with recommending a good training of a partner or friend, it all has to be done in moderation, in good taste, and with nothing but the client’s best in mind. The art is not to provide good information. Everyone already has great books on their bookshelves. The art and our legitimization to exist is to help people to turn information into knowledge and knowledge into skills. As Coaches, we know that it takes about nine weeks to implement new habits. That is approximately how long it takes for the brain to remove neural pathways that do not serve us and form new ones. The biggest challenge in personal development coaching is to help people to stay motivated and keep training and repeating until they have mastered a skill. If we try to sell clients training after training before they achieved the goals from the first one, we either don’t know what we’re doing or we don’t care that we are doing it wrong. Let’s suppose that these Coaches have attended all of the training they recommend to their subscribers and clients. Everything else would be shady.
Unrealistic promisesA Coach cannot promise more or less than that his personal development coaching material is suited to give you the results you’re looking for. He cannot promise you will achieve the results. If you burn the training material or refuse to even communicate with your coach, you will not achieve your goal. Therefore, a good Coach will not guarantee any results.
More marketing than substanceIt’s certainly a wonderful thing if you are able to write great email copy. Heck, I wish my own emails were better. What they are, though, is they are authentic and my aim is to provide value to my subscribers. There is a certain type of Coach who is more focused on selling and marketing than helping. They have perfect copies with all of the words proven to influence a person to buy. Ohhhhh and if you click, you’ll enter the perfect “funnel.” A funnel optimized to get you to buy — no matter if you need the service or not. They make
- unrealistic claims (you become Clint Eastwood in 2 weeks),
- create a false sense of urgency (ONLY today) or,
- mark regular parts of their training as time-limited gifts.