The IM Coaching Dilemma, or “Where’d My Money Go?”

Should you pay for an internet marketing coach?

There are lots of coaches in the IM space, and if you’re like me your Facebook news feed is full of ads for their services.

And coaching is a great way to accelerate your success.

So, should you hire one?

To answer that question, let me start by asking another question:


Have you ever had your favourite bakery shut down?

You know, the bakery you went to every Saturday morning?

Where they made the best danishes in town, and where the people behind the counter were really nice?

And then one day, maybe that nice employee had been laid off. And there’s not as much stock at the display counter.

And before you know it, they’re closed.

What the heck happened?

Well believe it or not, a lot of times it’s because of the baker.

In his book ‘The E-Myth’ Michael Gerber talks about why this sort of thing happens.

Many small business shut down because the business owners are ‘technicians’ – bakers, electricians, dog walkers – but not entrepreneurs.

If you’re a great baker or mechanic, that doesn’t necessarily make you a good business owner.

And the business fails because the baker loves baking but hates running a business, or maybe just can’t.

They’re great at one set of skills, but not another (completely different) set of skills.

Kind of like coaches in the internet marketing niche.

Let me explain…


At a certain point in an internet marketer’s career, they realize they need to make a change.

They’ve had 10-100 successful product launches. They’ve crushed the leaderboards of other launches. They earn a solid daily income.

And now they want to level up.

They’ve perfected a certain kind of sales process, and want to earn more per sale – maybe to escape the daily hamster wheel of continuous product launches.

So they open a coaching program.

They charge $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 to teach someone what they’ve perfected.

And their intentions are good, usually.

(There are some outright liars and bullshit artists out there of course.)

But even the ones who really want to help, the vast majority of their students… fail.


It’s kind of like the baker, ain’t it?

Because what our marketer-turned-coach knows isn’t coaching.

It’s selling.

And that’s why they can sell the heck out of the 2 or 5 or 10K coaching program.

But when it comes to helping you get over your doubts…

Helping you change your habits…

Helping you discover your strengths…

Helping to keep you on track and motivated…

Helping you tap into your creativity…

Helping you deal with stress and setbacks…

They either hate doing it, or just don’t know HOW to do it.

But unlike the baker, they don’t close their coaching program.

They just keep selling, and selling, and selling…

Because they think being a technician is enough.

But you’ve discovered that it’s not enough for YOU.

So you’re out 2, 5, or 10K, and stuck with someone who’s a great marketer but a lousy coach.

And of course there’s no refund policy, even though they can’t deliver on their promises.

And of course, more new self-appointed “IM Coaches” enter the market every week.


Now, I know some people are reading this and saying:

’Look Nathan, those students paid their money. They knew they would have to work, they just didn’t want it bad enough. That’s not on the coach, that’s on them.’

And there’s some truth to that. Some students buy the dream, and they give up when they realize it’s actually work.

But here’s something else:

What made John Wooden such a good basketball coach?

He was a good player, sure. But a much better coach.


Your son or daughter’s high-school track coach, the one who’s produced dozens of winning sprinters and middle-distance runners… what makes that coach so much better than all the others in the district?

And the music teacher who always wins the Jazz Band competitions, year after year?

Is it natural talent? Sure, some of it.

But it’s also dedication.

Dedication to the craft of coaching.

Dedication to learning how people can perform at their best, and learning how to bring the best out in their students and clients.

And those skills, coaching skills, are sorely lacking in the internet marketing space right now.

Now, it’s not hard to study, to acquire coaching skills, to get better at it.

The methods are out there for anyone who wants to learn.

But most of the people calling themselves “IM Coaches” haven’t discovered the methods, or they don’t care to learn.

Of course, if they did learn how to be better coaches, their clients’ success rates would go up.

They’d have more testimonials. They could charge more, leverage their time more effectively.

But for some reason, they haven’t figured that part out.

And as long as people keep paying “coaches” for not coaching, they probably never will.


So, should you pay for an internet marketing coach?

My answer is this:

If you really, REALLY want to succeed in this business, hire a coach.

Because with a good IM coach you’ll get there faster than you ever could on your own.

But make sure they’re not just a great marketer.

Make sure that beyond the sales copy, screenshots and posturing, there’s someone with real coaching abilities, and a real dedication to your personal success.

And a solid refund policy, or trial period, wouldn’t hurt either.


I write the words that make the whole blog sing. I can also eat a family sized bag of chips in one sitting. So yeah, I'm pretty rad.

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