4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Joining a Coaching Program
The internet is FULL of coaches to help with every part of your life. Ask yourself these 4 questions before you spend your next dollar!
You should never join any program without asking yourself WHY first. But don't just stop at the "why"; go a little further and answer these three questions before committing to a coaching program, paid or free, because time is money!
Has this expert helped someone with a similar idea or style like mine?
There are thousands of coaches available, but not everyone has the teachings, style, or expertise you need. You might find a personal brand coach and think, "this is the one," but there are many personal brand coaches; you have to find the one that finds your exact needs.
When reviewing a coaching program, look at the clients they have worked with previously. Do you see any similarities, or are there differences?
Major clients [think Fortune 500] does not mean this coach is the best for you!
If you are not a Fortune 500 company, why do you need a coach whose client list consists of nothing but major companies? Would you seek out a yoga fitness coach to help you with long-distance running? Probably not.
Get specific on the type of learning you need.
It's also important to think about their teaching style and how they maneuver once you join their program. Is it database-driven, or are things done via email? Will you receive a workbook or guided materials, or are teachings done via PowerPoint, and you take your own notes?
How you will learn this expert’s system is extremely important to know before you decide to invest your time and money into their program. If this information is nowhere on their website or within their marketing materials, send them an email to learn more. It's better to ask now than get into a non-refundable program and be dissatisfied.
Is this a show-tell-teach program or template-driven?
There's a template for everything — captions, tweets, emails, lead magnets, blog posts. I mean, everything has a template.
If your dollars are going only to give you access to templates with video-led (or some form of audio) instructions, don't waste your money. That is not a coaching program, even if there is some form of "coaching" in the videos being shared. You are paying for access to a database, which could be what some need, but it's not a coaching program.
Being handed a template labeled "cold email" with video instructions (or tutorial) is not the same as the expert talking about the why behind the template, what parts of the template are most important, and how it can work for your sales pitch. Details matter when you are trying to learn something new. Details help you remember what you are supposed to do with that one template you saw three months ago but haven't touched since.
What is the response time in between coaching sessions?
This is a crucial question to know before handing over your coin.
How often are you going to hear from your coach in between sessions? What if there is a business or branding emergency? Will you have access to your coach or be able to ask them a question? What will their response time be?
Most coaches are already overwhelmed because they teach people to do something they've never done before, and some folks joined the program that shouldn't be there in the first place. So a good coach will have strict boundaries in place for when they are not "in session."
How important is access to your learning? Are you someone that will wait until the next time you meet to get your question answered, or will you try and figure it out on your own in the interim?
Most coaching programs have how much access you will have to the expert spelled out somewhere in the "here's what you get when you enroll" section. Some will list 1:1 calls, but what does that mean, how often do those occur. Do automatically assume that you will get a handful of these with your purchase.
Ask these questions beforehand. A good coach will have a concierge service or an admin that can answer your pre-sales questions.
Who else is involved in the program?
This is a big one that gets missed all the time. A lot of coaching programs are group coaching. Meaning the 1-2 hours you get each week are shared amongst others. You may only get 15-20 minutes, depending on group size, to have your specific questions answered. This isn't the case for all programs, but most operate like this.
Could the questions being asked also benefit you? 1000% yes! I actually prefer group coaching programs because it helps me think of things that I wouldn't have ever considered before. And I learn better in teaching settings when others are around versus 1:1. But this is me, and not you.
What is your learning style?
Your learning style needs to match the program that you are entering. If you are a visual learner, you need to look for a coach that includes imagery and graphics in their teachings. Are you a reader? Hire a coach that sends you workbooks, guidebooks, and specific and detailed articles to read. Love watching videos and listening to podcasts? Get a coach that delivers teachings and additional learning via webinars and follow-ups on podcasts.
Your learning journey is at your fingertips. There is a coach specifically out there for what you need; it just takes time and effort to find that person.