Further to my previous blogs on constantly watching webinars and attending workshops, what do you do when you finally come across one and think that maybe you would actually like to sign up for an online coaching course?
The obvious answer is to go ahead and sign up, but this could turn out to be an expensive mistake! What if after all the hype they don’t live up to their promises? It really is a minefield out there to know who to trust and spend your hard earned money with (and I have had my fingers burnt in the past so I am talking from personal experience)
To help you decide what is best for you, here are my tops tips for choosing the best online coaching course for you.
How is the course delivered?
Is the course delivered just by pre-recorded video? Are you happy with this or do you prefer to learn by reading? If so, does the course also offer transcripts?
How often do you receive new material? Is it all sent out at once and you are left to work at your own pace or will you receive new content on a weekly basis? If weekly, does this fit with you or do you want to work at a faster pace?
Check any dial in call costs
If part of the programme is delivered by a dial-in call, check out what the call cost per minute is, particularly if you will need to make international calls. A 90-minute coaching session by phone with Q&A session afterwards can soon add up.
What level of personal support is offered?
This will likely depend on the cost of the course but if you feel you need someone to turn to if you stuck or have a specific question, is this on offer? If the facility to ask questions is just in a group, are you comfortable with this or is better to find an online coaching course where you can ask a direct question in confidence?
Is there a group element?
If yes, you may want to ask how big the group is. Sometimes a group can be so large that it is difficult to connect, especially, if you are on the shy side or it could be too small that there isn’t much interaction. Is there a limit to how many people can join the course so it will be small and intimate or is it an open-ended course where anyone can keep joining and members are left to support each other? If you are wanting support from a group, consider the size and if it’s right for you. Also, ask how active the group is and how often the moderator is present.
Send an email
Following on from the above, email the course provider a question relative to your business and see what response you get. If you get ignored, then expect the same level of service if you sign up. You are likely to be just a number and will get lost in the masses, or alternatively, once they have your money, they stop caring.
If you get a vague response that doesn’t clearly and simply answer your question, I would look elsewhere for support. It may that you are not a good fit for each other and they don’t understand or connect with you and your business, or it could well be that the front person hands over enquiries to a team who do not possess the knowledge your require.
If you get a response and a follow up with all your questions answered, this could well be the right online course for you. If someone takes the time to respond and gives you access to their direct email and phone number, you know they are taking you seriously and are likely to provide you with the support you need.
What time zone is the course provider in?
This may not matter if everything is pre-recorded and you contact them via email for support, but if the course offers live coaching calls which you want to be part of are you seriously going to sit up until 2am in the morning to listen in? And as the earlier point, what will the cost be if you need to contact the course provider by phone in another country?
Check out their testimonials
I don’t mean simply read the testimonials on their site, I mean check out who these people are and contact them to get their real feedback.
If you discover that there is no link back to a website or contact details for the person leaving the testimonial, be a little suspicious. If you do find a way to contact them and get no response, again be a little suspicious as to how much that person really rates the course or its provider.
If however, you contact someone who has left a testimonial and they are full of enthusiasm and give great feedback, you could well be on to a winner.
Ask in forums
If you are in a group on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn or in an industry forum, ask the question if anyone has had personal experience from joining this course and what their thoughts are. You can gain some really valuable insight here and may just be pointed towards something that is a better fit for your needs (as happened to me).
Check for a money back guarantee
Any online course provider worth their salt should be happy to provide you with a money back guarantee if you find the course isn’t for you. This doesn’t mean that if you sign up and then just take notes and don’t implement any of the work you should expect to get repaid, but if promises aren’t kept and you have put in all the work as instructed with no results, you should be entitled to that refund.
So there you have it. A few tips for choosing an online coaching course that is right for you.
If you would like to know more about my own online coaching course for small business owners, get in touch now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you know of a particular online course that you would happily recommend to others, leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page or post on the Facebook page