Coaching IM Entrepreneurs for Free: Need your input

39 replies
I coach people who want to do IM fulltime for free.

Sadly, I keep running into the same problem over and over again.

Indeed, I now know WHY coaches (even those who don't need the money) INSIST ON CHARGING MONEY.

The moment people learn that you're willing to train people to make money online for FREE, you get people who are NOT actually looking to become entrepreneurs.

Instead, you get people who WANT JOBS instead of actually wanting to become entrepreneurs.

I start teaching them then they drop out.

It's gotten so bad I now have a QUESTION FILTER stage. I've specifically set up my questions to quickly identify people looking for a JOB instead of looking to BUILD AN ONLINE BUSINESS.

Can anyone here share advice on how to attract people who actually WANT to be entrepreneurs instead of mere jobseekers for free coaching?

I want to help people for free and I have a lot of experiences to share but my time is very valuable. I don't want to waste it on people who SEEM all excited at first then drop out almost immediately. I'd love to see someone go from ZERO to SUBSTANTIAL with my guidance but I'm beginning to think that the truly SERIOUS people are few and far between.

I find this puzzling (and somewhat frustrating) considering the huge number of 'DESPERATE' threads on this IM forum and elsewhere.
#coaching #entrepreneurs #free #input
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    You are grossly misjudging your audience. The number of "desperate" threads are people who are desperate to make money with secret online schemes. They are not desperate to create and run businesses.
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    • Profile picture of the author stolf
      The first question that comes to my mind is: Why would anyone coach people for free?

      If you do make money online and your time is so valuble as you say, why not spend it with family and friends instead or help homeless people around your area? Or just make more money for your self instead?


      Or could it be that you actually do make money from newbies without they know it?

      Nothing is free in this world.
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      • Profile picture of the author writeaway
        Originally Posted by stolf View Post


        If you do make money online and your time is so valuble as you say, why not spend it with family and friends instead or help homeless people around your area?
        If you can help people locally, why not online?

        Originally Posted by stolf View Post


        Or could it be that you actually do make money from newbies without they know it?
        I just want to see someone go from ZERO to substantial through my guidance.

        Obviously, our values are not the same. You view rewards primarily in material terms. I value non-material rewards. A sense of accomplishment. A sense of pride.

        I learned a few things since 2000 (when I first started earning online) and would like to share it with people who would ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT IT.

        I don't send out affiliate links when coaching people. I don't pull that tired old schtick of 'coaching' people by giving them Bluehost/Hostgator/Aweber coupons so they can 'build' a system then ditch.

        No tricks. I am looking for people who actually expect to WORK and expect to be CHALLENGED. Changing one's CHARACTER is crucial.

        Ultimately, you're right though: there is SELF-INTEREST involved, it makes me happy to see people EXECUTE what I want them to execute. It is a massive EGO BOOST to see somebody succeed because of what I DID to help them. Feels awesome.

        Originally Posted by stolf View Post

        Nothing is free in this world.
        You are right but not all payments have to be related to money. The 'payment' can be a SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT and PRIDE.
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    • Profile picture of the author JosephC
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      You are grossly misjudging your audience. The number of "desperate" threads are people who are desperate to make money with secret online schemes. They are not desperate to create and run businesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    One thing to consider if you haven't, is this may not be a them problem but a you problem.

    How? (Don't take this personally - I'm just thinking out loud and have no reason to believe you are doing anything wrong or have done anything wrong)

    Your teaching style may not resonate with them.

    You may have no credibility (or not enough) for them to want to invest in listening to you. All the real gurus charge but you have plenty of time to waste (or don't have enough of your own work or customers to fill your day).

    You may have physical or personality traits that turn them off.

    You may seem untrustworthy in the sense that if you recommend a particular web hosting or whatever they know you are sticking them somewhere, somehow so you get your cut. No one else is doing it for free so how are you? You are getting commissions off them which means it's not free but part of your sales plan.

    You may come across as not knowing what you claim you know. Even many of the desperate ones have studied and lurked for many years and intellectually know how things work.

    Again, I'm just giving another perspective that you may want to consider if everyone is dropping out.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post


      Your teaching style may not resonate with them.
      Well, first of all, I get people who contact me and say, "Hey you offer free coaching! Awesome! I need to make $500 3 days from now. Teach me, dude!"

      Then I tell them that they actually have to learn and WORK, I hear crickets.

      Also when I finally walk them through the process (and I spoonfeed), the feedback starts dwindling until it reaches zero and I don't hear from them again.

      That's why I am FILTERING HARD.

      I hit people with lots of questions first so I can have a higher assurance that I'll end up with people who will PERSIST with their project until it GENERATES INCOME for them and they scale up.

      I can see why most other coaches charge money. They're doing it not because they need the money but because they want to filter people and protect their time.

      I view myself as no different than that neighborhood coach who helps neighbors for free.

      I get paid in terms of pride and other non-tangible benefits.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
        Dude, why not take yourself out of the equation.

        Instead of coaching each person individually, why not create a free information product that you can give away.

        Start a blog, do podcasts.

        It will become really stressful if you are volunteering your time and getting no thanks in return.

        Your time is very valuable, if you don't value it, neither will other people.

        This is why most people charge, their time is valuable.
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        • Profile picture of the author writeaway
          Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post


          Instead of coaching each person individually, why not create a free information product that you can give away.

          Start a blog, do podcasts.
          I like guiding people through the nitty-gritty challenges they face. Different people have different ways of doing things and one-on-one coaching delivers CUSTOMIZED learning experiences and more TARGETED value.

          Simply posting a blog and using a one-to-many model doesn't address the customized learning environment and guidance issue.
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          • Profile picture of the author @tjr
            Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

            I like guiding people through the nitty-gritty challenges they face. Different people have different ways of doing things and one-on-one coaching delivers CUSTOMIZED learning experiences and more TARGETED value.

            Simply posting a blog and using a one-to-many model doesn't address the customized learning environment and guidance issue.
            Combine Zodiax idea with Niche Man's though and suddenly a blog can start to make sense, while serving your (stated) altruistic appetite.

            A blog, outlining the basics of what you're going to teach (and let's be real, there aren't many ways you're teaching someone to skin this cat) gives a base for absolute newbs to work off of. They can then come to you with specific, actionable issues. You in turn know they're already putting in the work.

            Anybody looking to just suck your time/energy with nothing to show? You can tell them to kick rocks with a clear conscience.
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            • Profile picture of the author iharman
              How are you presenting yourself to them? Are you teaching specific business models i.e. make money from affiliate marketing, YouTube, arbitrage, etc? Narrowing down your niche will add an additional filter.

              If you insist on not charging money, at least charge a modest amount and have 100% of the proceeds go to a charity or a cause.
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              • Profile picture of the author writeaway
                Originally Posted by iharman View Post

                How are you presenting yourself to them? Are you teaching specific business models i.e. make money from affiliate marketing, YouTube, arbitrage, etc? Narrowing down your niche will add an additional filter.

                If you insist on not charging money, at least charge a modest amount and have 100% of the proceeds go to a charity or a cause.
                I start with niche filtration then traffic cultivation then conversion devices and then CRO. All depends on what they can build based on their skill level.

                Good idea re charity. I'm a big PETA fan so that might be a good charity. I'll think about it some more though re setting it up properly.
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            • Profile picture of the author writeaway
              Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

              Combine Zodiax idea with Niche Man's though and suddenly a blog can start to make sense, while serving your (stated) altruistic appetite.

              A blog, outlining the basics of what you're going to teach (and let's be real, there aren't many ways you're teaching someone to skin this cat) gives a base for absolute newbs to work off of. They can then come to you with specific, actionable issues. You in turn know they're already putting in the work.
              This is a good idea. Let people work off the same framework and then HAND HOLD them through the specifics of their sub-niches and particular challenges.

              Good feedback. I see this reducing a lot of the repetitive work on my end and helps me focus on the progress of the people I'm coaching.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      You may have to go up a little further on the food chain (so-to-speak) to find people who are willing to do the work. Maybe instead of looking for people who "want to be entrepreneurs" as you say. Find people who are actually doing it and help them get better.

      They should already have businesses, projects, or launches. They're already working, grinding and hustling. Your' sweet spot is probably someone whose already grinding/hustling but humble enough to accept your free help though. Most seasoned marketers would probably be suspicious of "free" initially, so you may have to overcome that.

      A lot of times you can tell the grinder's, hustler's and shakers in this forum by the questions they ask, the answers they give and even by their signatures/landing pages. In fact, they'll probably interview you as much as you interview them if they've never worked with or heard of you. But get past that, you know they'll do the work, at least more than the dreamers you've encountered.

      The wanna bee's who are looking for a money making scheme, secret, or secret short-cut stand out like a sore thumb from the serious marketers. They both leave clues.
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      • Profile picture of the author writeaway
        Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

        Maybe instead of looking for people who "want to be entrepreneurs" as you say. Find people who are actually doing it and help them get better.
        SOLID suggestion. NicheMan, thank you SO much. This makes so much sense and SAVES so much time and effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    I'm not one of those that say that anyone that does free coaching is a scammer or doesn't know what they are talking about. I understand the wanting to give back - I do and have too.

    But it only took one major case of wasted time and effort to quickly cure my desire to help for free (or for future commissions or similar arrangements). I just gave up on it at the time. I wasn't going to let myself be abused like that. For example, I would be on Skype waiting and they never show up till the next day with an excuse.

    So I'm with you - want to help those that need it, have the skills and knowledge to help, but can't waste any more time going in circles. It seems like there is not a good solution for this type of scenario.

    I do appreciate those that try to selflessly give back though.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post


      But it only took one major case of wasted time and effort to quickly cure my desire to help for free (or for future commissions or similar arrangements). I just gave up on it at the time. I wasn't going to let myself be abused like that. For example, I would be on Skype waiting and they never show up till the next day with an excuse.
      Mark,

      I feel you and I am getting to that point.

      Gene
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  • Profile picture of the author ksummers
    Zodiax beat me to it. Maybe make an ebook for the war forum, that way you filter out some people who wouldn't invest a small amount for war forum membership.
    I'd certainly be interested in reading what you have to say
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    I'm not sure if you caught my "Making My First Million" post earlier this year, but I essentially said the exact same thing- only 1-2% would stick it out and make something of themselves. The only difference was that I was giving them jobs while I trained them, and that could possibly be where you're going wrong. People do have to eat and it's just not practical to expect inexperienced people to stick with something without any cash-flow.

    So let me ask you this- why can't you do like I did, hop on Elance and grab some assignments to let newcomers work on? You make a little bit of money, they get feedback and eventually they're where they can start making cash on their own.

    Then again, it sounds like you just want to be a mentor. So throw out a few Craigslist ads and get some folks locally to work with. If you already have a set course then great, but don't be upset if most people don't finish before vanishing.

    It's not you though- it's them. Trust me on this, I did the exact same thing for almost five years straight...and I'd honestly say that I FULLY trained six writers for internet marketing. But I helped hundreds, and that's the part you need to focus on. If they drop out and do something else, then they probably wouldn't have made it on their own anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    There have been many people on this forum post their stories about working hard and coming up empty. Plenty of people looking for a mentor also.

    Unless you're in a rush, stick around, wait for the right people to show up here (gauge their responses to advice they get here) and send them a pm. Simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I think you're on the right track with filtering people by making them do certain things first. Make them go through a questionnaire, and ensure they actually read and perform what you ask them to do in order to be considered for your coaching.

    Action speaks a lot louder than words here, and since you're not wanting to charge anything for your coaching (which I find very admirable and noble, by the way), I think the best way to weed out the tire-kickers is to require a decent amount of predetermined action as the prerequisite to getting coached by you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Riki Stein
    Free is the new expensive.

    No one attributes any real value to things they got for free, or very cheap.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you have to stop saying "free."

    Oh, it's can be "free" - but with a "price."
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    Most people are going to be unwilling to put in the work required for this industry for free. I wouldn't even bother unless you are charging and weeding out the get-rich-quick seekers who aren't serious. Questions alone aren't going to be enough of a filter, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    It's not just IM. Same in Offline. Giving people the training and then letting them get to work, with daily coaching, has never worked for me. People will happily take what you give them...and then flake away.

    Don't waste your time, energy and emotion offering free coaching.

    And no questionnaire, test, set of Herculean tasks to overcome will find you the right person. The FIRST chance they get to bolt back to apparent safety--even if it means moving halfway across the country to go to work for a parent at a job they don't really like--they'll go.

    What these people are really looking for is a magic solution to their problems. One where they don't have to do any work.

    If someone pays something, even well below market value, for what you offer, they at least are indicating they know it should cost them SOMETHING. And I mean in terms of an investment. Not just financial.

    The freebie-seekers want it EASY. As soon as anything resembling the shape of W-O-R-K shows up, they're gone in a flash.

    Don't waste yourself.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Can anyone here share advice on how to attract people who actually WANT to be entrepreneurs instead of mere jobseekers for free coaching?
      Sure - don't offer FREE coaching. People with no skin in the game have nothing to lose.

      Alternative - set up a written course where you link to tutorials - provide examples and advice (in writing) - and then require the student to complete an assignment on the topic and submit it to you within a set amount of time.

      Once they submit the work - you send them the NEXT lesson. Chances are very few will complete the second 'lesson'. Those few that DO complete 5 lessons or so - have EARNED coaching.

      OR - take on interns. Let them work for you - content writing, link building, various tasks - in exchange for learning to stand on their own in an online business.
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Sure - don't offer FREE coaching. People with no skin in the game have nothing to lose.
        I agree with this !

        And its almost with anything in Life...whether it a product, service, etc... when it is FREE people just do not take it serious enough and there can be a lack of motivation because it is...well FREE.


        I think charging even a minute amount would be better than FREE. Then you have the
        commitment factor involved

        Human nature dictates that people will put less value on something that is free.
        That has been true for quite sometime now


        - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    Because people take different understanding on the word "FREE". Your coaching/course is FREE, but then people realize that to be an entrepreneur is factually not free. When you just even tell them to buy a domain name... you just lost them away. Simply as that.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by stolf View Post

      The first question that comes to my mind is: Why would anyone coach people for free?

      If you do make money online and your time is so valuble as you say, why not spend it with family and friends instead or help homeless people around your area? Or just make more money for your self instead?


      Or could it be that you actually do make money from newbies without they know it?

      Nothing is free in this world.
      The US Small Business Administration has a group called SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, who all volunteer their time. Some do it to keep their hand in, some because retirement never really took. Most do it for the same reason writeaway gave - there is tremendous satisfaction and a huge ego boost when a student "gets it".
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  • You have to charge! If you don't you do a bad service to those who you are coaching, they will not listen or implement etc.. It's better for them if you take their money then if you don't even that this is counter intuitive! It's also better for you or you will loose will to coach!
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    You want to help people make money online but you are not making money online. You draw job seekers because you are a job seeker. An entrepreneur will always charge something because the value is part of what they teach.

    You give free stuff then upgrade to account then upgrade to one on one. Its a process which you should do yourself.

    Q
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  • Profile picture of the author Craigcmatthew
    You can understand how given the state of things, free coaching seems dodgy. It could also be because people have so many options that they just drift from one thing to another without committing to one project.
    One of the reasons I'd give up on a free coach would be if I felt he was making me do too much work for too little earnings. But it's not exact science and it's hard to predict the income. If you are still looking for students, I could give you 6 months of my time and follow your lead religiously during this period. That's enough to gauge the potential of the projects you are making me do.

    My only skillsets are writing, knowledge of SEO, basic wordpress and research.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

    I coach people who want to do IM fulltime for free.

    Sadly, I keep running into the same problem over and over again.

    Indeed, I now know WHY coaches (even those who don't need the money) INSIST ON CHARGING MONEY.
    Yeah, you're really not helping anyone by not charging them a premium price...

    Or at least a price in the first place.

    If you don't value your time, why should anyone else?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Originally Posted by jamescanz View Post

      If you don't value your time, why should anyone else?
      Especially if someone else (ahem) will teach them how to Go From $0 to $4321.40 in 31 days FREE[/b]
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

    Can anyone here share advice on how to attract people who actually WANT to be entrepreneurs instead of mere jobseekers for free coaching?
    People are either entrepreneurial or they aren't. The ones that are will be self starters. They'll be out there learning on the fly. Experience is the best teacher.

    And they'll almost certainly feel like a leech if they take you up on your time & expertise at no charge. Of course, as John said there are organizations like SCORE that were built on helping entrepreneurs for free. But that's their purpose for existence. You're a single person.

    If SCORE helps them, maybe they feel like their repayment is building a business that brings value to their community through goods, services, job creation, etc. Or perhaps that they'll pay it forward some day. If you help them, maybe they'll feel like they owe you one.

    As an aside, the reason the tire kickers & "job seekers" as you call them keep flaming out is because as long as they never really start, the dream is still alive.
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  • Profile picture of the author robertjones88
    To put it simply there is a reason most internet marketing coaches make their clients pay for their advice other than money – it helps to weed out the people that aren’t serious about it.

    The truth is most of the people that come on this forum and any other make money forum are looking for some quick way to make a million dollars and we all know that doesn’t exist. There simply not looking to learn how to build a business but how to just make money fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author tiffanymika
    Yes.. alot of interesting information left here for you by many members.

    I think you have to identify who your target market actually is. There are some people out there in the world that are just plan lazy so it won't matter what you do... they won't do anything anyway. So don't work with them, - they are the wrong crowd.

    I agree with some of the others. Set up a blog site.. do videos and create lots of content and coach that way. Plus work on building a community of people who want what you are willing to give.

    It's called attraction marketing.

    Identify your target market... and only work with them. There are people out there who want an online business, who want to work from home.... but you want those who are professional and are willing to do the work.

    If people are looking for success in life they do have to work at it. There are no freebies in the world.

    Look at professional athletes, they work hard until they get to where they want to go. They have vision, focus and discipline... those are the people whom you want to work with.

    Those with vision, focus and discipline... not the freebie people they will never do anything.

    Happy to discuss further if you like.

    Send me a message to connect

    Cheers

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author lanecoe68
    There is no value is free. I agree it's human nature to put zero value on something that is free. And even more true in today's world. Free can be seen a something to question heavily and ignore.

    Charge a modest amount that will attract people who are serious about making a business online and they will appreciate your coaching expertise more and actually listen to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I should mention that working with SCORE isn't as simple as calling them up and asking for free coaching. There is a vetting process, part of which is explaining what you've done on your own.

      There are so many people who can make the leap with the right help, even the government doesn't have time for slackers and time wasters (unless they've been duly elected, that is. )
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
        Good point John.

        I've pointed out several times that in the real world of real coaching, coaching is a totally different animal than in the MMO arena.

        Two important differences:

        1. Most/many real coaches don't "teach" as much as they guide. For example, here people jump to answer a question like "what business should I start?" or "do you think I should write an ebook on losing weight?"

        The answer many coaches would give is to not answer the question at all but to help the client to make his/her own decisions by asking questions. Of course, there is guidance and help and "teaching" involved but the focus is on the coachee and not the coach and what he/she knows. This is why someone can coach a Fortune 100 CEO that has never been a Fortune 100 CEO before. The coach is there to mainly guide not teach, not tell, not prove, etc.

        This approach relies wholly on the second big difference.

        2. Real coaches don't take people that are broke mentally/spiritually/financially. They take clients that already have some success and just need some guidance. They take clients that are emotionally prepared to do the work. They take people that can stick to a project and if SOO kicks in the coach drops them if the client can't refocus quickly.

        I'd say that most of the people asking for the best coach or saying they need a coach because they've tried and failed for 7 years would NOT be accepted as a client by a "real" coach until they could prove they have a snowball's chance of succeeding by sticking to something, making decisions on their own, etc.

        So, my point is, while money is a good vetting mechanism there are others if you still wish to help others without payment.

        Mark

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I should mention that working with SCORE isn't as simple as calling them up and asking for free coaching. There is a vetting process, part of which is explaining what you've done on your own.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Why do you bother?

    what is in it for you? My guess there is something in it for you.....

    are you doing MLM?
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