Will Your Coach Be Worth The Investment?

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Have you had any of these experiences? Not as in, have you invested in them, but have you ever read “marketing”(?) like this? Also, I feel like they all deserve the exclamation point, because that’s the tone many of these seem to take. They are yelling at you, while also sort of asking a question, one that you both already know the answer to.

Maybe I’m telling on myself here. I walk a fine line between the honorable commitment to self-improvement and obssesing over growth, achievement, and becoming my best. Because of this, much of what I read is in the space occupied by coaches, but also creators who are offering their courses, consulting, downloads and programming.

Let’s be very clear. This is not a piece knocking the coaching or creator industry. I’m in that field myself, on a very, very small scale, and would love for my scale to be larger. If you claimed that I was writing this out of jealousy, I wouldn’t blame you. I don’t agree. But I wouldn’t blame you.

This is also not to say that everyone who offers a program or newsletter or email list is doing it this way or is doing it wrong.

However, these things are everywhere, and it seems like everyone has a program or list or some incredible way to make your life/career/body/mind/bank account 10x into something 10x greater than where you are today. I think maybe it’s gotten a little out of hand.

Here’s what I’ve been wondering about a lot lately, as I’ve made a commitment over the next year to invest some money not only on my own personal growth, but also on improving some as a writer, communicator, and coach.

Will The Investment Be Worth It?

One of the big pitches on many of these programs, is a money back guarantee.

Sweet!

I like guarantees, especially when I’m investing my money. But if you look closer, in many of these programs, you’ll see there is some fine print.

If you do everything I say, just like I say to do it, right when I say to do it, and you don’t make your money back in the first 90 days, we’ll give you your money back, no questions asked. Just prove to us that you did everything in your power to be successful by answering a few questions.

Now, there is some merit to this, and I’m of course, exaggerating a bit. My point is not to knock the money back guarantee, but to prove that there is no guarantee. They are assuming that you will believe in the program enough to go all in, or that you believe that if you go all in, you will get the results you want.

I understand it, but I also think it’s a bit of a cop out on the side of the creator. It sounds a bit like, If this doesn’t work, it’s your fault. The curriculum/content is great. I know because I created it. So, if you’ll only follow my instructions as I have laid them out, you’ll be successful.

That’s an awful lot of confidence, and if the program is pre-recorded like many of them are, there is little room for individual flexibility or change based on the needs and personality of each participant.

So, now we know that the creator (and salesman) is very confident in their program and its ability to deliver success. But can we trust them?

You are still left with the question: Is this worth the investment?

How Can You Figure Out If It’s Worth It?

Easy!

Just watch or read the 10 testimonials they have posted on their landing page. Or, take a half hour and scroll through the entire landing page, because that’s how long it will take for you to get from beginning to end.

I just had my first $8,000 month and I’ve never written anything before in my life!!! -J.B. new copywriter

I would love to have an $8,000 month writing. And I hope J.B. did. I hope J.B. is still out there crushing it. But I don’t know if J.B is real or not, and I’m skeptical that J.B. was able to do this.

Sometimes I’ll Google the people from the testimonials. But that doesn’t really answer my question. Sometimes I can’t find them. Sometimes I realize quickly that Googling, “J.B. copywriter” isn’t going to get me anywhere. Sometimes I find them, and I don’t feel any better than I did before. They have a site, and pictures, and a landing page of their own selling something that will 10x my face off, but nothing that will help me determine if my investment will be worth it.

Can You Make It Worth It?

I think there is something to the, “If you do the work and it doesn’t work” money back guarantee. In some ways, we can decide to make it worth it. If we are willing to commit to the coaching, or the consulting, or the dieting, or whatever else we sign up for then we are likely to get something out of it.

Whether or not you get your money’s worth would be up to your individual perspective, based on how much you paid and how you will measure value. But you could certainly be sure to get something out of it, if you were willing to make a commitment and put in the work.

But would it be worth it?

Some of these programs are very expensive, and investing in them is a considerable financial risk for some people. If you are anything like me, you want to figure out if you’ll be able to make your money back, and then some, by investing in the program. Or if you are choosing coaching, will it lead to change, improve your life, make you better (again, understanding that you must do the work as well).

The Final Answer

I don’t know.

I don’t know how to get to a place of assuredness with these types of things. I don’t know how to be certain that the money you choose to invest will be earned back.

Despite my sarcasm and over exaggeration, many of these steps mentioned here are ones that I think are good ones. Doing research, reading and listening to testimonials, and understanding that if you are going to make an investment with your money, then you should also make an investment with your time and commitment to make sure it works as best you can.

For now, I haven’t figured out a better way. But here’s a good start.

For Those Looking To Invest In These Types of Things

Understand that you probably can’t get all of your fears relieved or your skepticism answered. It does make sense to reach out to the creator/coach and ask questions.

If they brush you off because they are too busy with too many other people, well, for me they wouldn’t be someone I’d want to invest in. But that’s for you to decide. I’ve had great responses from people who are excited to tell me about their program or their coaching, and have answered my questions patiently and thoroughly.

It also makes sense to reach out to people who have been through the program, and the testimonials page is a good place to start your research. Again, I’ve had some success in tracking people down, and they have usually given me really good insight that is much more detailed and less over the top than the testimonial.

Understand that nothing will work unless you do.

Finally, you’ll need to know how you’ll measure success before you make the investment. It’s not fair to you or to the program if you don’t know what a win will look like for you at the end. Only you can decide that, and that will help determine if the investment was worth it when you are done.

For Course Creators, Ebook Sellers, Coaches, etc.:

Don’t Over Promise

Don’t say that your program will help people make $8,000 a month if you can’t be sure you can do that, not even under the guise of, “If you’ll just do exactly what I’ll say, it will work, and if it doesn’t work, it’s only because you didn’t do exactly what I said.”

Also, the title, How TO Make Money on Medium, for example, is different than, How I Make Money on Medium, particularly when talking about selling results. Don’t title your course the first way, to attract visitors, but only be able to talk about the second way. They may sound similar, and they are, but if you haven’t taken the time to figure out how to teach others, then don’t sell people on that idea.

People are making a decision with their money and time and putting some of their hope in you when they purchase your course, materials, or coaching. Don’t make bold promises that you can’t come close to delivering.

Be Specific About Your Offer and Don’t Mislead

It’s important that you are clear on what your program/offer is, what it will do for the client, and what they are getting from their investment. Recently I paid for a consultation/coaching call that I thought was about one thing, but once the call started, it went in a completely different direction. Of course, I could have spoken up and said something, but I didn’t. They did a good enough job with what they were doing, and I hadn’t invested a ton of money, but what they advertised, and what they gave, were two different things.

I don’t think it was malicious or intentional. And I don’t think you’d do that either. But don’t write a juicy headline that you know will reel them in, without being specific when it comes to the offer.

Be crystal clear to your client and to yourself about the agreement the two of you are making.

The client needs to know what success will look like for them when they are done with your program, but so do you. How will you know YOU have done a good job?

Don’t Write Phony Copy

I understand that as your business grows, or perhaps at the encouragement of a coach, or maybe because of your own skillset, you’ll use an email campaign or landing page that will include copy about your product or offer.

But please, for all that is good and right, don’t write phony copy, oozing with attempts to convince people how bad off they are, how much they need you, and how much better they’ll be if they pay for your program.

I get it, and it’s part of it for some people. I also understand that many people may disagree with me on this. In general, we have to point out the problem or pain point, explain your solution, and help them see the benefits of using your product or service. If you are writing copy or hiring someone to write copy for you, you are trying to make a sale. Just don’t be slimy about it. Please.

Do a Good Job

There is a concept that I’m sure you’ve heard of, called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that encourages people to get their product or offer to a point that they can be satisfied with and that will serve their customers and get it out into the world. The logic behind this is to keep people from pursuing perfection and never getting their content out into the real world.

It’s a great concept and one that I know is one that I need to pay attention to. But getting to your MVP doesn’t mean you compromise your integrity, cheat your customers, and put crap out into the world.

Just do a good job.

I remember years ago when I was trying to make a decision, and I went to my dad for advice. I kept using the word, “right” when discussing the choice I was trying to make.

I just want to make the right choice.

The wisdom of my father pointed out that many times, there were no right choices, but we could almost always make a good choice.

Arguably, if we are getting to our MVP, it might mean that we aren’t doing our best job. We could take more time, spend more money, run more tests, and get more experience before we hit send, and create something that’s better. But that can sometimes be a trap, so we’ve decided to get it out there, share it, help some people, learn from it, and do better the next time. A worthy approach.

So, as we let go of better or best, let us not lose site of doing a good job.

My encouragement is to make sure your pursuit of “done” (Seth Godin’s version of my dad’s, good vs. right), doesn’t become a pursuit of, “let me get something out there so I can make some money”.

Don’t Forget the “Little People”

Perhaps there are some content creators, digital product folks, coaches, and course creators out there who were born with a million followers and thousands of people virtually clapping for them as they emerged from the womb.

For the rest of the world, Including myself, I’d like to offer some encouragement.

Once you hit the big time, don’t forget about the little people, and the fact that you were once one of us.

There are a lot of good, genuine, hardworking people out here who are looking to learn and grow and could use some of the expertise that’s out in the world.

There are also a lot of good, genuine, hardworking people who are looking to learn and grow who are discouraged by the sleazy copy, the empty promises, and the extremely high price tags (the ones, combined with the sleazy copy that make people feel like they aren’t committed if they aren’t willing to take out a second mortgage).

These people don’t know who to trust and where to invest in order to get the return they are looking for.

I’m not advocating for cheap products, lowering standards, or that you shouldn’t make what your worth based on your own personal investment.

Many people do a great job with their content, free stuff, and offerings, in a way that helps the up and coming. When you get to that point, I’m sure you’ll do a great job.

Just don’t forget, unless you were one of those born into greatness, that you were once one of us.

I’m pulling for you.

For the coaches and creators out there, I’m pulling for you. I know how hard it is to put yourself out there and hope it resonates with enough people that you can both make a difference and make a living.

For the growers, doers, and investors in themselves, I’m pulling for you. I know how hard it is to put your money into something or someone that you aren’t quite certain you can trust.

Stay humble. Work Hard.

Much Love,

Bryan

Writing that encourages.

If you want to learn more about me or follow along, check me out here.

You can listen to my podcast here.

Check out my book of encouragements, Be Kind, It Might Be Their Birthday, here.

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Bryan Hendley

Bryan Hendley

Coach, Teacher, Author, Encourager. - I write words of encouragement focused on personal growth, parenting, and leadership. www.bryanhendley.com