This is a touchy subject for a lot of people, and very controversial, but I figured it was time to post my take on what coaching is, who should do it, the difference between delivering results and delivering nothing.

In internet marketing, it’s common that people who want to fast-track hire someone to consult with them one on one to basically model their success for the exact steps they are doing. It makes perfect sense, after all, if you read any list of what many millionaires say to do in order to get there, they say, “get a mentor”. You do exactly as they do and eventually mirror their success.

To date, I have had five internet marketing coaches. I’ve been very, very happy with the coaching and mentor-ship that I’ve gotten out of almost everyone of those coaches. They provided me with the knowledge of things they were ACTUALLY doing to earn online, so that I could model their success.

However, what we have in this industry (and I believe, it’s more so here than other industries) is a group of what I like to call, “phony coaches”. These are people whose only income they are making online is through coaching. And I’m not talking about the people who have had tons of success making money other ways and now are “retired” or just simply want to help others, I’m talking about people who never really had success to begin with, or who don’t actually reveal their true money earning methods in their coaching.

If you look at what coaching really is, you can say, “anyone can coach”. And you’re right. Anyone CAN coach. I could get hired as a dance coach (I have no idea how to dance), if my sales pitch to the potential client was really good. However, would I be able to deliver results, or at least, deliver results as good as a real dancer? Probably not. And it’s in the potential student’s best interests to make sure they hire someone for the job who is actually qualified.

So anyways, this is basically how a “phony coach” makes money, anywhere from part time money to a full living online:

1) They give off authority as you’re supposed to (basic marketing skills 101) to “newbies” who never made money online before and get these newbies to look up to them.

2) They elude to the “potential success” you can have by working with them, usually ridiculous income numbers, then many will try to bully you into signing up with them right then and there.

3) The phony coach delivers very basic information of things they don’t actually do to earn online, but tell the student to do them.

4) The phony coach does the bare minimum to actively give the student a roadmap to success, and when the client doesn’t get results because the coaching sucks, the coach puts it back on the client/student saying “well you aren’t trying hard enough” or “success takes a long time”, basically what SHOULD have been made clear to the student up front. In my opinion, borderline theft.

5) The student feels bad and doesn’t understand why he or she still hasn’t seen success after paying all that money for coaching and applying the coaching step by step. They remember the phony coach saying it was still somehow their fault, so they give up on internet marketing altogether.

It’s important, especially as a newbie, to avoid phony coaches. Here’s how I recommend going about avoiding the phony coaches and choosing a good coach to lead you to success:

  • Make sure they practice what they preach. If you’re getting product creation coaching, make sure they have had at least a few big launches. This means they know the game and have figured out how to recruit affiliates or know what they are doing to drive serious traffic some other way. If they have had at least two 500+ sale launches (one could have been a fluke) then you can most likely get massive value out of the coaching, especially as a newbie.
    • My lesson learned: One of my coaches was earning money in ways other than what he taught me (I figured that out some time after the coaching ended), which means I wasn’t being given steps that actually worked to apply myself. He was mostly earning his money from coaching, and the coaching covered things he wasn’t doing that I know now just about don’t work, if they even ever did.
  • Do your research. Google them, see what people are saying about them, ask them for testimonials and referrals. A real coach will have nothing to hide. If people have truly benefited from his coaching, they will gladly refer you to ask those people personally if they recommend the coach.
    • If they are just getting to a point where they started coaching and you are one of the first few people they are coaching, they should be honest and tell you that, but show you their credentials of why they are qualified to teach you in the first place, like success actually doing something OTHER then coaching (unless the coaching is about how to be a phony coach) 🙂
  • Avoid the bully. If they are trying to bully you into signing up with their coaching, guess what, 9 times out of 10 they are desperate for your money. Is that really who you want to pay to “coach” you? This should be a big red flag.
    • Multiple people have tried doing this to me, how did they not see how big of a turnoff to hire them it was?
  • Just because they charge more doesn’t mean the coaching is worth it. It’s a common marketing technique (I learned about it in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion) that many people assume because something is more expensive, that it’s worth more. SO MANY people charge $3000 to $5000 for coaching that is NOT effective in actually helping someone become successful.
    • People have the right to charge whatever they want, but make sure you follow my suggestion above to make sure the $3000 you’re paying is actually worth it.


It’s important to ask the question, “why do they need to coach me to earn money if they already  know how to earn online”. This answer breaks down into three categories

  • They need to coach you because coaching is actually their only income source and they rely on your money. (Non-legitimate reason)
  • They incorporate coaching as merely part of their business, usually finding some way to make the coachig “automated” or “group coaching” because businesses should strive to earn as much as they can (Legitimate reason)
  • They genuinely want to help people and get big value out of coaching others and seeing them succeed, but are busy people, so bit of cash makes it worth their time. (Legitimate reason)

I’m all for getting out there and finding a coach. In fact, without coaching I wouldn’t have found myself succeeding. However, you need to be careful. DO YOUR RESEARCH and make sure you hire the best person for the job. If you’re going to pay several thousand, at least make it worth your while by learning from a true coach and not a phony one.




    2 replies to "How To Avoid the “Phony Coaches” of Internet Marketing"

    • Greg Kononenko

      Great advice Stefan! I can relate to it in many ways, because the best coaching I have ever paid for was also the cheapest… Funny, right?

    • Gary Fulreader

      Very well said, Stefan!

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