Every day it seems like a new course or consultant pops up on our social media feed or in our inbox (and yes, I’m probably one of them!) In a sea of online learning with endless options HOW do we determine which option is the best investment for our business?
Let me start off by saying, I’m not a huge fan of the word expert. Every one of us has a different level of experience and expertise but nobody truly knows it all! There will always be someone with a little more experience out there in the world. While the word expert is definitely attention-getting, it, unfortunately, gets thrown around a little too often. Your ideal “expert” should be someone who has already walked the walk which allows them to bring a specific level of knowledge to the table. Don’t be afraid to ask what makes he/she qualified to do what they do! A great coach or consultant will welcome your questions and happily give you an answer.
With all the “experts” out there it can be a bit daunting to find one that is worthy of our hard earned money. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard at least one horror story about a coach or consultant that promised one thing and delivered something totally different (or didn’t deliver at all!) So, in the sea of coaches, consultants and courses how do you decide not only WHO you’d like to work with but IF they would be the best investment for your biz?? Well m’dear, I’m breaking down some key points for you to consider before taking the next step to hire someone to help you with your business.
DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF INVESTMENT YOU ARE CONSIDERING
Two of the most popular (and common) options are to work with someone in person (typically in a 1:1 or group format) or to take a course. Some people will swear by online courses while others thrive with one on one accountability + support that coaches and consultants provide. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s totally based on how you process information and prefer to work. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
The Benefits of Taking an Online Course
- It may be better suited to your schedule (especially if you have another job)
- You can re-watch videos
- Typically more cost effective
- Less Pressure
- Most courses include private facebook groups or forums to connect with others taking the course
- You can take the course anywhere
- Yoga Pants: no need to dress up for an inperson meeting or throw on some makeup for a skype chat.
The Drawbacks to taking an online course
- Even with the best intentions courses can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. (I’m willing to bet you’ve got a video course or two that is still on the list to finish--I know I do!)
- It’s so much easier to procrastinate, which means you may not get the results you’re looking for.
- You miss out on the level of 1:1 accountability
- You may have specific questions that aren’t answered or that need additional clarification.
The Benefits of working with a coach or consultant one on one
A good coach or strategist is going to give you a plan of action and deadlines, help you through your pain points and add that personal touch to your experience. Sometimes you simply want someone to talk to about your business because not everybody understands the highs and lows of entrepreneurship! In addition:
- You’ll have an accountability partner: Some of us thrive on deadlines. Working with someone one on one will help to keep you on track so you do the work it takes to grow.
- You’ll get customized strategy for your biz: No reading between the lines here and figuring out how to apply a lesson to your situation. Working with someone one on one means everything is tailored specifically to you, your needs + your business.
- You’ll get to pick their brain: Chances are, you chose your coach or consultant for a very specific reason so take the opportunity to ask the most specific questions on your list.
The drawbacks to working with a coach or consultant one on one
- Working 1:1 typically requires more of a financial investment.
- Their availability may not work with your schedule (especially if you have a full-time job)
Regardless of which direction you choose, you want to pick the course, consultant or coach that will help you get specific results. Before you whip out that credit card I want you to think about a few things:
WHERE DOES THIS FALL ON YOUR LIST OF PRIORITIES?
Investing in an expert or online course can be expensive. Take a hard look at all the things on your plate. With your coach/strategist/course help, you cross some major tasks off your list? If the answer is yes then dive on in! If you can’t quantify and justify the investment it may be worth waiting for a bit.
DOES THE COACH/COURSE CREATOR PROVIDE ANY VALUE FOR FREE?
A good coach or course creator will provide valuable tips + information free of charge. Most commonly this info will be shared on their blog, via a webinar, social media or as a free checklist, ebook or worksheets that you can download. When everything you’re seeing is strictly about the sale you will probably want to pause for a moment and see where their heart lies. As a consumer, I’m much more likely to invest in someone else if I can go to their website and see examples of what the person behind the business can bring to the table. If what they are offering is in line with my vision, needs + wants I’m MUCH more inclined to open my wallet because I’ve already gained a ton of value from their free content. Their heart centered approach leaves me wanting more and confident that the value they provide to paying clients will be amazing!
DOES THE COACH/CONSULTANT OFFER FREE DISCOVERY CALLS?
As a consultant, I would NEVER expect you to just cut me a check without having a conversation to get to know each other first. You need to hit it off with whoever you decide to partner with because you are going to be spending a lot of time working together. Not everyone is going to be a perfect match and that’s OK!
No matter what, investing in your business is always a difficult decision. We work so hard for those dollars and in the beginning, we have so many needs it can be difficult to prioritize which should be focused on first. While it’s easy to get hung up on pricing consider this: If you’re not willing to invest in your business can you expect others to invest in you? Really take a look at your budget, the risks and rewards and the value to your bottom line before making your decision!