While the number of people who claim to be dating coaches soars, so does the number of shady characters. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a competent coach who really cares and a marketer just trying to sell their products.
I’ve worked with clients of all ages and backgrounds, both in-person and remotely. My clients’ past experiences with so-called “coaches” have shown me that there is a dire need for screening qualified professionals.
I know what the telltale signs of an illegitimate coach are and how you can find someone who will truly try to help you achieve the results you are after.
Way #1: Are they using their real picture?
A genuine coach never uses a fake photo. So make sure you search any photos they have of themselves on Google Images to make sure it’s actually them and not someone they want you to believe they are.
Way #2: Are they using their real name?
Someone credible isn’t ashamed of what they do and thus doesn’t use a fake name. Coaches using pseudonyms hide their identity because they are afraid that the shady business they are running will impair any future careers they want to get into.
A good way of seeing if someone is using a fake name is looking at their real-name online profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Quora, to name only a few. Sure, they can also manipulate that, but most have two accounts: one for business and one for private.
Way #3: Do they heavily rely on new age principles like the law of attraction?
We aren’t here to tell you what to believe and what not. But we know that a lot of people out there preach stuff that simply preys on the hopes and frustration of emotionally vulnerable people. “Just manifest what woman you want and she will come into your life!”
The hard truth is that there is no easy way to make significant changes. It’s hard work and often painful. Anyone telling you otherwise is only after your money, or crazy. So please do yourself a favor and disregard anyone trying to coach you by hoping for a miracle rather than relying on scientifically proven psychological principles.
Way #4: Do they post free original content that relates to you?
Marketers hate writing free in-depth content because it is a lot of work and the effects can be hard to track. The content game is a long-term game and most online marketers hate long-term. So they either outsource it to someone else, or they rather work on ads or analytics.
A coach is passionately interested in changing people’s lives for the better. Therefore, creating content is fun to them and they will do it no matter the short-term financial rewards.
Way #5: Do they make you feel better or worse?
Unfortunately, this test requires you to already be a coaching client, but it is still critical.
The shadiest of coaches try to keep their clients in an endless purchasing loop by making them feel inadequate and then telling them they have the solution for them to feel better. First, they break you down, then they build you up, only to break you down again so you’ll also buy their next products.
Make sure your goals and your coach’s goals are aligned.
Way #6: Do they try to make you gullible?
Some coaches will react to critical questions with statements like, “Just trust the process.” or “Don’t worry about it. You’ll understand when you get there.”
Never follow someone blindly into believing something, no matter how convincing they may be. A credible coach is always willing to discuss any critique, doubts, or worries you might have about them or the coaching process.
Way #7: Do they offer some sort of free consultation before the first coaching session?
Not everyone is a great fit. Just as not every therapist is the right fit for you, not every coach is a good fit. So it’s critical that you get a chance to get to know the person you want to work with before spending a dime. “Coaches” who don’t offer this or something similar are highly shady.
Way #8: Do they use salesy design like endless sales pages with arrows, oversized buttons, ALL-CAPS, and ‘unpausable’ autoplay videos?
This is another classic sign you are dealing with a marketer and not with a coach.
Way #9: Do they promise you results that are too good to be true?
Someone telling you, “After just two sessions with me you’ll get laid like a rockstar,” is surely not legitimate. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is not true.