What signs should I watch out for to avoid online business coaching scams?

Business coaching can be a great way to obtain advice and guidance to help improve your company. Unfortunately, there are people out there who want to take advantage of you. How can you protect yourself from these scammers? Keep reading as a few business professionals share what signs to watch out for to avoid online business coaching scams.
David Walter

David Walter

Business Owner at .

No Money Back Guarantee, Suspicious Upselling Efforts, And Lack Of Specifics

    1. No Money Back Guarantee: Anyone offering an online business coaching program worth their salt will offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. If there’s anything less than that, stay away. I recently went through the process of trying to find one, and during those efforts found that many programs had no such offer. I would stay away from all of those.

    2. Suspicious Upselling Efforts: If you notice a basic program offered for a nominal price but a so-called premium one for much more, be very careful. Also, there are times when you might purchase a basic program, which turns out to be OK but rather simplistic. If the upsell appears at that point in time, it’s more than likely a scam. A reputable individual or organization will offer great value at every purchase point.

    3. Lack Of Specifics: If you’re looking for an online business coach (or coaching program), your target should be specific- how to improve social media marketing, be a better leader, hire top talent, etc. Never sign up for a course or program where the promise is “improve revenues,” “grow an online presence,” or anything else that is vague or non-specific.

Be Wary Of High-Pressure, Vague, And Unavailable Coaches

First, be wary of coaches who pressure you into making immediate financial commitments without giving you enough time to make an informed decision.

[Second], legitimate coaches will have a clear, well-defined coaching methodology. They will provide you with a structured plan or framework that outlines the steps and strategies they will use to help you achieve your business goals. If a coach cannot articulate their approach or relies on vague statements without providing tangible methods, it may indicate a lack of expertise or a potential scam.

Additionally, it’s important to assess the coach’s level of engagement and accessibility. Legitimate coaches will actively [participate] in your progress, offering regular check-ins, feedback, and support. They will be accessible for questions and concerns, providing guidance when needed. If a coach is consistently unavailable or unresponsive, it may indicate a lack of commitment or even a scam.

By being cautious and mindful of these signs, you can protect yourself from online business coaching scams and find a reputable coach who can genuinely support your business’s growth and success.

Jeff Mains

Jeff Mains

Vidya Soman

Vidya Soman

Lookout For These 5 Signs

    1. Unrealistic Promises: Be cautious of coaches who make extravagant claims without substantiating them. For example, a scammy coach might promise you’ll make six figures within a month with minimal effort. Or, [they’ll] guarantee overnight success without a solid plan or strategy.

    2. Lack Of Transparency: Legitimate coaches are transparent about their credentials, experience, and success stories. A red flag is when a coach refuses to provide references or testimonials from satisfied clients. Additionally, if a coach claims to have worked with renowned companies or influencers without proof, it’s worth investigating further.

    3. High-Pressure Sales Tactics: Watch out for coaches who employ high-pressure sales tactics or create a sense of urgency to force you into signing up for their services. A reputable coach will respect your decision-making process and provide all the necessary information for you to make an informed choice.

    4. [Vague] Coaching Methodology: Trustworthy coaches have a well-defined coaching methodology that they can explain to you. A scammer may lack clarity or provide vague answers when asked about their coaching process or how it will specifically benefit your business.

    5. Cookie-Cutter Solutions: Be cautious if a coach offers generic, one-size-fits-all solutions without taking the time to understand your unique business needs. A reputable coach will ask probing questions, listen attentively, and provide personalized guidance tailored to your goals and challenges.

Lookout for these signs and conduct thorough research before committing to an online business coach. Doing this can protect you against potential scams and help you find a trustworthy and effective coaching partner.

Remember, If Something Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

Online business coaching has become increasingly popular recently as entrepreneurs and small business owners seek guidance and support in growing their businesses. While many legitimate business coaches offer valuable services, many scam artists are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting clients.

Here are some signs to watch out for to avoid online business coaching scams:

    1. Promises Of Overnight Success: Any coach who promises that you will make a lot of money quickly is probably not being honest. Building a successful business takes time and effort, and any coach who claims otherwise may be trying to sell you something that sounds too good to be true.

    2. High-Pressure Sales Tactics: A legitimate coach will give you time to consider their services without pressuring you into signing up right away. If you feel like you’re being pushed into making a quick decision or pressured to sign up for a program before you’re ready, it’s best to walk away.

    3. Lack Of Transparency: Be wary of coaches who are vague about their qualifications or experience. A reputable coach should have a clear track record of success with previous clients and transparent pricing and policies.

    4. Unverifiable Claims: Some coaches may make claims that sound impressive but are difficult or impossible to verify. For example, claiming to have worked with high-profile clients without providing any evidence of those relationships is a red flag.

    5. One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Every business is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be wary of coaches offering cookie-cutter solutions rather than personalized strategies tailored to your specific needs.

In summary, always do your research before hiring an online business coach. Look for references from previous clients, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the coach’s qualifications and experience. Most importantly, trust your gut—if something seems off or too good to be true, it probably is.

Karan Tiwari

Karan Tiwari

Content Manager at .

Mercy Lilian

Financial Expert at .

Lack Of Qualifications And Experience

The coaching industry is not regulated. Scammers are out there prepared to drain your pockets in exchange for selling you a dream.

If you have to pay good money for your business coaching, they should have at least two qualifications to show that they are ethical in their practice and passionate and dedicated to what they do. This way, you can be assured of the quality of their services.

If the coach has no basic coaching qualifications or experience to showcase their expertise, that should be a red flag. When a business coach claims to be wildly broad and successful in the coaching business without having a specific niche, chances are high that they are scammers.

If the coach uses terms such as “sign up for my waiting list,” “the program will sell out in a few hours,” or “the slots are almost all taken,” keep an eye out. The coach wants you to sign up for their program impromptu without room to compare your options or [determine] if you need their services.

Having all their testimonials come from other coaches is a sign that shouts a lack of satisfied customers and positive reviews. Coaches easily turn to one another for good words in exchange for free coaching sessions, especially when they don’t have any clients worth bragging about.

When a business coach keeps selling you programs, that could be a warning sign that they are scamming you. Have a background check to see if they are who they say they are. Check their social platforms, LinkedIn profiles, workplace reviews, etc.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.