So you have decided to work from home using your computer. Maybe you are blogging or maybe you sell stuff online. It is hard to start something new and often times you just wish you could jump from point A (have no clue) to point F (expert). Then as if by magic you see a sponsored ad on Facebook about this perfect online course that will help you grow your YouTube followers to over 1 million. Or maybe you have been blogging and you know how to make money but it seems as if all of the money you make goes right back out in bills and you need income now. Low and behold, you get an email about this limited time course that will solve all of your problems. What do you do? Read on to see some warning signs that should tip you off that this particular online course is not for you and could even be a scam.
The anatomy of the pitch for an online course.
1. Free gift – They usually start with a free gift (often an e-book) that you will receive in exchange for signing up to subscriptions to receive more awesome content.
2. Planting the seed – Your email address will be used to build your interest for the course and cultivate a “must have” if I am ever going to succeed frame of mind.The owner of the course will always be extremely nice and kind of a girl or guy next door type of
The owner of the course will always be extremely nice and kind of a girl or guy next door type of person. Then the emails will start coming outlining their success (either real or imagined)
3. Willing to share their system – At this point, you will want to learn what they did to succeed. I mean, after all, you know how to work hard and if you just knew that one piece of information or sequence of steps you could be just as successful or even more. Then this nice person with the good heart lets you know that they are willing to share this information with you.
Oh my gosh, how nice! This is just what you need to succeed. After all, this person is making thousands and sometimes even more and all you want to be able to do is clear one or two thousand dollars a month.
So far there is no link to sign up but you can always get on their waiting list. So, you do that.
4. Next, comes the testimonies from others – You are excited and pretty sure you will sign up when this course comes out. You think that it will probably be pretty expensive — maybe even a couple of hundred dollars. You are in this for the long haul and you know that you have to spend money to make money so bring it on.
5. Limited time only – Finally you get an email that the online course will be opening in three days but you need to pay attention because only x amount of people will be allowed. Or maybe the class is only offered one or two times a year.
They are building an urgency here. Your mind starts wondering what will happen if you miss this once in a lifetime chance.
6. The reveal – Today you get an email that says that only those on the wait list are receiving this offer but if you order today you will receive 40% off of the price of the online course but only if you order by midnight!
Holy cow that is amazing! If you just act right now you get to save all of that money.
You click the buy now link.
Oh wow, the price is much more than you thought it would be. It certainly isn’t $100 or even $200. If you sign up today you will get the price at $997.
Well, that leaves you out. You barely had the $200 that you thought it might cost.
7. Bonuses – Another email comes and oh my gosh if you sign up now you get a free Pinterest course, a course to teach you how to grow your email list, access to a private Facebook group AND drumroll…..a one-on-one coaching session with the course creator.
This might as well be $100 thousand dollars to you. How could you do this now? How could you not do this now? After all, this person now makes way more than enough money for those bills. This could be you! You will do all of the work and yes, this will be you in x number of months.
8. The promise that isn’t really – Now there is a video from the owner of the course. He/she will state something like “All of the people we have helped with this online course are now making $3,000 a month and it only took 4 months to get them to that point.”
Your mind hears: “If you take my course I guarantee you that you will be making $3,000 a month by four months from the start date.”
IMPORTANT: This is not what they just said. They are too smart for that.
9. Money back guarantees –Last the course will state that there is a money back guarantee, follow this link to read the conditions.
This is NOT an unconditional guarantee. It is not as simple as: Try the course and if it doesn’t work you will get your money back. Often, they will state that you have to show them every step of the way that you followed the course. This is justified by saying that this protects them from people who aren’t serious.
Not really, this is pretty much pulling the rug out from under you. Stay far away from these types of courses as they scream SCAM!
The end result is that you feel that you want this course no matter what you have to do to get it. You take drastic measures to be able to pay for this class.
Didn’t you just hear something about getting a couple of thousand dollars in PayPal credit? You could do this. You will be killing it after you take this course and easily be able to pay the bill. Or you can always use the money back guarantee.
You did it! You paid for the course and you are in.
Good luck and I wish you great success. I hope you truly do make it.
Red flags that should make you think twice before ordering that course.
Limited time offer – bologna! That course isn’t going anywhere. It might only be offered a couple times a year but that course WILL be available again at some point and time. How do I know? They are making money and they will be back for more.
The price is going up – Sure the price is going up. After all, they will tell you stories of all of those people who actually commented to them that they should charge more for the course. They will raise the price and then usually offer a discount for the “early birds”.
Auto-responder email service – Notice that your emails are coming from email services designed to send out automatic emails at regular intervals. You are not special. That email is NOT just to you. It is part of a series.
No price given until time to order – They want to hook you before you hear the price otherwise you would close your mind to this before it got off the ground very far at all.
No 100% money back guarantee – Run, don’t walk away from this course. The reason there is no 100% money back guarantee isn’t that they are protecting themselves from people who change their mind. The reason is that this course doesn’t provide any content that isn’t readily available on the internet if you just search. Having hoops to jump through to get your money back is their protection when you finish the course and think to yourself, “Where was that secret I was supposed to learn? What was the new earth shattering information that was supposed to sky rocket me to the top?”
Access to the course is not forever – Sometimes a course will say you only have access to it for x amount of time. This is totally unacceptable. You paid for this course and it should be yours forever. If the platform they are using to present the course does not allow them this then they need to find a to get you what you paid for after all so that you always have it. I really don’t care if they have to rework the course into a book or send you every video for each lesson, you paid for it and you should have access to it always.
Memberships, advanced training fees, selling you something else – Where does it end? The owner of the course becomes just a course seller and that is all they focus on because they are raking in the profits.
Things keep changing – Many things will change. Sometimes it will be the link to the course. Other times it will be your affiliate links to help sell their courses. They will change Facebook groups. They will hand over the Facebook private group to someone else or they will spend hardly any time in there at all. By the way, another Facebook group might be available to you for an extra fee. Wow, did they really just try that?
Don’t be surprised if your name information is shared – I kid you not, I took one course where the name of all participants was available for everyone to see (all 6,577 people!) and therefore use how they saw fit. It feels like I have been pitched every course out there since. Think about it, if you had a course or just got done being taught that you should have a product (possibly a course), who better to try to sell your product to than someone who was just foolish enough to spend hundreds of dollars on a course?
Food for thought….
If these people are making such a high income then why are they teaching courses and charging you more than the price of your first car?
The course is not limited. The creator of the course didn’t do all of that work to discontinue it. This course will likely live on forever and you could take it at any time.
Ask people in non-related Facebook groups if they have found ANY course to truly be helpful. Make sure that when they are answering they aren’t providing you with an affiliate link to that particular course. Get statistics from them. How much did they increase their profit? How long did it take? Were they asked to pay additional fees? Were the things they had to implement to follow the advice of the course expensive? How expensive? Were the things suggested related to what the course was about? This may seem silly but many blogging courses are not even about blogging. They are about other entrepreneurial ventures.
If the person is selling online and making ten thousand dollars every day do you really think they would need to make a course and sell it to you? If they are making courses, rest assured it is to make money and possibly more money than they even make doing what they teach.
Signing up for an online course is a gamble. Most often you will never recoup your money. I am not talking about the $10 Udemy courses here. I am talking about courses over $100 and some even a couple thousand dollars.
Yes, it takes spending money to make money but my personal recommendation would be to spend that money on tools of the trade and not one more course. Go ahead and take the free courses but know that most likely those are just a way to either collect your name and email address or to try to up sell you that $2,000 course after they give you one little useful nugget of information to get you interested in hearing more.
What is your experience with online courses? (If you are an affiliate for a course please indicate that in your comment so we can understand if there is a conflict of interest)