Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?

Image by JSCreationsZS
Image by JSCreationsZS
Are you an Internet Marketing Coach, Mentor or Teacher or Blogging Coach?  Coaches and mentors are popping up all over the Internet , yet I find a lack the basics of ‘how to teach, train or mentor.’

I’m writing this because I was one who came onto the Internet to learn blogging, but got frustrated trying to find someone who could ‘teach’ me what I needed to know…not sell me products, coaching services or eBooks.

The typical Internet Marketing Coach did not meet *my* criteria as a good instructor.  They knew the mechanics of internet marketing and even blogging, but could not relay the information to me in a manner I understood, nor have the required patience to help me.

Very few Internet Marketing Coaches have been trained to be coaches or mentors.  Just because a person knows the mechanics of a topic and may even be a leading expert in the field, doesn’t mean they can relay the information to people in an understandable way.

It’s one of the reasons why I believe, so many *follow* the bigwigs and *their* plan, but fail in the plan.  There’s more to mentoring than an eBook or a story!

So as someone who has gone through this process long process of learning trying to find my way and the right people to help me, here is what I see.

Image by Nokhoog Buchachon
Image by Nokhoog Buchachon

Problem 1:

The first problem is this ‘new breed of coaches” don’t understand that newbie Internet Marketers or new bloggers don’t know enough yet to understand what’s in those e-Books or what’s being said to them.  They are a blank slate!

For instance:  a student is French and wants to learn English.  The Coach is English but doesn’t understand that the student is French and starts talking in English instead of starting with the basics of French translated to English.

In our Internet world, the mentors are starting at an adult level, when the student needs to know the basics.  It’s like taking a first grader and throwing them in with the 6th graders. You may give them an eBook thinking the first grader will understand. Not!

The reality of the situation is, they will not understand until they learn to read and *that* takes time.

Real Life My Story Example:

For years, I’d heard “create an Aweber account and a list,” but no one ever told me how to do it. People ‘said’ the words, but they were just words and meant nothing because I was a first grader talking to 6th graders. The words just didn’t make sense.

They also told me to watch the videos, but if you don’t understand the process, it’s just a video – entertainment in a foreign language to me!

Conversations with my mentors went something like this – ALWAYS!

Mentor: You need to build a list. The money is in the list.
Me: How do I do that?
Mentor: Get a free offer and offer it to people.
Me: Where are you supposed to get it from?
Mentor: Create one or get PLR
Me: What’s a PLR? What am I supposed to create it with? How do I create something I know nothing about?
Mentor: (Like they didn’t hear me!) Create a landing page and a thank you page.
Me: Uh? How do they all connect? How do I do that?
Mentor: Go to Aweber, sign up and create a form and a list and connect to your free offer.
Me: Oh Boy! 🙁

Round and round I went. So I go to Aweber and I played around with the form and finally get one created. It took months!

I see a thing that says ‘create a list.’ I see something about Publish. I see html code but where do I put it? Since I didn’t know where any of this stuff goes in my blog, I was at a loss.

No one appeared to understand that in order to teach me, they needed to show me basics and draw me a picture that connected all if it.  Speak to me at a step-by-step introductory level! It would have taken 15-20 minutes!

So do you see? When you coach, teach or mentor just saying the words don’t make for understanding from the student!

If someone comes to you to learn how to blog and they need a website, don’t start talking about getting WordPress, downloading a theme, building a list, etc.

That person *will NOT* know what you are talking about and if you don’t find out where *they* are and what they need, then you are a poor mentor.

Make Sure The Student Understands The Lingo

Image by Sicha Pongjivanich
Image by Sicha Pongjivanich

Let’s take a ‘how to bake a cake’ example. If I teach my daughter to bake a cake and tell her to get the flour, sugar, eggs and water, it doesn’t help if she doesn’t know what flour or eggs are?  She’ll be frustrated if no one has ever told her ‘This is an egg…this is flour…, etc.

Instead, I get all the ingredients together laid out nice and simple and I make the cake with her as I instruct. Place in the flour, then the sugar, then the eggs…by the way…this is an egg! 🙂

When I’m done, she’ll have a good idea of how it’s put together even if I have to help her do it a few times in the future. But she will learn it way faster than just handing her the ingredients and saying make a cake.

So How To Fix It

If you are explaining blogging or internet marketing to newbies , it has be to explained the same way you explain how to make a cake – one step at a time explaining what each item is and how to use it.

It doesn’t matter if you have all the ingredients for the cake (blog) if you have no idea how the ingredients connect (WordPress, URL, Domain Name, C-Panel, Themes, etc!)  Mentors have to create a clear image!

You see I kept getting all the ingredients, but not how to mix the ingredients to give me a viable understanding of the process or a product.

I knew what a cake (blog) looked like but I couldn’t figure out how it was put together.  I knew some of the ingredients (WordPress, C-panel, Dashboard, etc.) but I had no idea how to mix and match to make it work into a cake (blog)!

Nothing made sense for me. It was just gobblety-gook and I felt so very lost trying to understand.

I knew what list building was and why.   I knew the ingredients…Aweber, how the confirmation page connected to the thank you page and the thank you page connected to a product….the hip bone connected to the thigh bone! Ugh!  But had no clue how it all came together to get ‘the list!’

So what to do? Internet mentors, coaches, teachers! No disrespect to anyone reading this, but we must all learn how to mentor before we take on that responsibility!  I do believe most of us really want to help people so here are some important tips to help us be good mentors.

Tips to effective teaching/mentoring:

  • Find out where the person is: Are they a Beginner? At an Intermediate level? How much do they know?
  • What else do they need to know? Just like in anything you sell, find out what they want and provide it.
  • Find out how they learn. Are they a visual learner or an auditory learner. Can they watch a video and learn (I’m one of them) or do they need a Google Hangout and step by step instructions
  • Keep It Simple. Know what you’re going to teach. Keep the lesson plain and easy until your student understands the basics and where you are going. Don’t try to include a lot of info. Break it down into knowledgeable learning parts.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself and don’t get frustrated if you have too. Learning takes time and repetition on the students part. Deal with it! Have patience with your student. Remember how long it took you to learn this stuff?
  • Don’t start if you can’t finish the job and get them to a comfortable level.  Remember it’s frustrating to the student too. 
  • Teach them what they want to learn, not what you want to teach.  Need I say more?!  It’s not about you!  It’s about the student, the new Internet Marketer or Blogger who is learning.
  • Make sure they understand. If you are a good mentor, coach, etc., you will feel good when your student feels good and accomplishes their goals!

I would have truly learned what I needed much faster and more thoroughly saving on time and money if my mentor knew some of these points. 

So if you’re a Internet marketing or blogging student, what has been your experience with coaches and mentors?

Have you had good mentors or so-so mentors? Have you learned what you needed and how long did it take? What do you think makes a good mentor?

Please leave a comment and share your experiences as we all become better students and mentors.





  1. says

    And this is exactly why it took me SO long to get to where I am today Barbara.

    NO ONE teaches you step 1, step 2, step 3… No, it’s exactly how you just explained it here. That’s how most coaches are which is why I did not want to be a coach every time someone approached me to do this. Everyone learns differently and the way I would show them is the only way I know how. For someone who is more into learning through audio that wouldn’t be me because I have to show you visually.

    I have to learn in simple English not through the owners manual version which is the way a lot of people teach. They expect you to already know the basics and then they’ll teach you the more advanced stuff. It took me forever to figure out the basics so no wonder so many people quit. They really have no one to help them learn.

    I know this will register with a lot of people. Will it change their teaching style? Time will only tell.

    Adrienne recently posted…Why Blogging Communities Are Big In 2013My Profile

    • says

      I know right Adrienne! It’s so sad and I was soooo frustrated. And other people *must* be feeling this way too. Got to be. When I first started teaching dance I learned these lessons right away. Now what’s dancing got to do with blogging or internet marketing. Nothing…but teaching is teaching. Some dance students, needed to hear the ‘right, left, right foot’ but some other students needed to hear the 1,2, 3 or beat out the pattern. *Every* one learns different. Sometimes I’d have beginners in with Intermediate and I’d have to adjust to the students. Either way we have to adjust to the student, teach them the basics and try to relieve the student’s frustration. I’ve had the same frustration as you Adrienne. Hopefully, we can educate people to truly listen to the students and provide the correct services to future bloggers and internet marketers. Thanks Adrienne for your input.
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  2. Karen Rose Smith says

    Great blog. There are good teachers out there but they are hard to find. It seems everyone has an agenda. So do-it-yourself is the name of the game. Or learn-it-yourself. I think that’s why authors are banding together to help each other.

    • says

      Hi Karen Rose,
      Yes good mentors are hard to find. Took me a long time to find someone with the patience and style I could feel comfortable with. Hopefully, people will come to understand find the good ones.


  3. says

    Hi Barbara,

    This article brilliantly spells out the inadequacies of so many internet marketing coaches and mentors. I’ve had mixed experiences myself and I’ve in fact just embarked on another course on affiliate marketing, which is pretty good so far, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve come across one or two trainers who are very good at explaining the VERY basics and make it seem really simple, but then as the course progresses, things get more and more complicated and you get less and less guidance and support as to how to proceed. I think trainers often under-state the amount and complexity of the skills you need to learn in order to succeed, make it sound much easier than it really is, and that’s why so many people end up getting demoralized. They also often give the impression that things will take a lot less time to grasp and implement than is actually the case.

    I really related to your analogy about teaching someone to bake a cake. I’ve been particularly frustrated by trainers, and some bloggers who write educational posts, who seem to assume a certain basic knowledge of coding and give infuriatingly incomprehensible guidance, with no apparent conception of what it’s like for someone for whom html might as well be Double Dutch.

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that no coach, mentor or course is going to give me all the answers – at the end of the day, I’m going to have to figure things out for myself – I’m just trying to be savvy about picking up the best tips and advice from people who really seem to know what they’re doing.

    Thanks for writing this great post, Barbara – it needed to be said 🙂

    Sue Neal recently posted…A Killer Strategy to Increase Productivity AND Keep You FitMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sue,
      You know I think the bottom line is about making money. Everyone wants to make money online so they target newbie marketers and bloggers. These people learn how to do it and then feel they are qualified to teach, coach, mentor other people. Many are not qualified teachers and just don’t know how to go about providing the required instruction at the level it is needed. It is a very frustrating experience for students. I know it was for me. And there is still so much I want to learn. I think it crazy that we ‘have to figure it out ourselves.” So sad for students who really want to lean this stuff and make real money online.

      You mentioned that as time goes on and things get more complicated you get less guidance and support. That is because truly the coach/mentor’s knowledge is only limited to what they have done and does not go beyond a real indepth knowledge themselves. It’s just repeating what they’ve heard. Some have not even implemented it themselves but get their money from being coaches and move on.

      Trainers I agree with you do often under-state the amount and complexity of the skills you need to learn in order to succeed, make it sound much easier than it really is, but it is their own lack of experience and real in-depth knowledge of the topics that cause the problem with our learning.

      Unfortunately, most of us don’t know any better until it’s too late and we’ve spent that money on the latest technology, eBook, affiliate program, etc. trying to learn. We do have to learn a lot of this ourselves, but one thing we’ve done is created a Mastermind group (only 7 of us) of various levels of experience in blogging and internet marketing where we can each go to each other and find the information we others needs. It’s working brilliantly. Because of the various levels of experience, one or two of us always has an answer for the other. This way we don’t feel alone and there is always someone to go to for advice and to help. Even the most experienced bloggers need help every now and then.

      Maybe this will help others in a way that narrows down what is needed and you can form your own group – not a huge group of people, just a few who are serious and all directed at the same goal. It has worked for us and has taken a lot of frustration out of our learning. Thanks for stopping by. We can only educate others and in that way help them too.
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  4. says


    This is an excellent article. Exactly what happened with me. There are so many times when I simply cannot put the pieces together and get the overall image. In many cases asking questions doesn’t help much. I get the same confusing answers you mentioned in the post.
    What’s even worse is that there is no guarantee you will get better advice if you pay for one-on-one sessions.
    It is very possible to cry for the wasted money.
    A good coach must offer a lot of quality stuff for free first. He or she must offer videos, ebooks and articles for free. You should study this material and see if and how easy you understand. Then you will know if that coach might be suitable for your needs or not and you can try one paid product.
    Most mentors lack what is called didactic abilities. Yes, they are not trained to teach and work with people.
    Thank you for this excellent post.

    Silviu recently posted…My First Experience with a Pinterest GroupMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Silviu,
      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you liked the article. I think I might disagree that gauging how effective a coach might be by his free videos or eBooks. The information that is in most eBooks is just the same old, same old information re-worded. Building relationships with these coaches and evaluating how much they know, how they interact with you is a better way. I know we all want to do it fast, but maybe taking our time to get to know people will help us better understand the person and see if they really know anything or just are spouting the same old stuff. Can they answer your questions in a simple, clear and concise way? This will help us determine who is a good coach or not.
      Good luck in your endeavors.
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  5. says

    Hey Barbara,

    You really broke it down to a level that people need to know when searching for a “coach” – The best part I like is that the coach needs to know HOW that person needs to learn. I remember the time we were on the phone and were discussing “the sales funnel” issue. You explained to David and I how you need to learn things – which we couldn’t do over the phone. You needed a “visual” understanding and more explanations.

    Clearly, If you were my “student” I would have had to compensate your learning process by coming up with a more visual way to explain the mechanics…not a picture of a funnel lol!

    Just one example of how a coach must listen to their student. We all learn differently. That has to be one of the questions you need to ask your student BEFORE you can work with them. Before I work with anyone they have to fill out a long list of questions. From how much time they have to give to their new business, to every last detail. Once you get that all into place, it becomes easier for both parties to work with each other.

    I have taken many courses and some of the more expensive ones left me in the dark. Too vague and I had too many questions. This is why, if you want to get into the coaching business, you really have to do your homework. You need to know how to listen! (took a course on that one years back lol) You need to break things down, and never assume people know what a C panel is for instance (I still can’t figure that one out he he)

    OK I’ll stop my novella, but I have so much to say on this subject because I’ve been left with a question mark above my head so many times with various coaches too.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…11 Limiting BeliefsMy Profile

    • says

      You are too funny. I remember that conversation with David and thinking he heard the words, but still wasn’t getting it. You on the other hand, heard the words, and understood exactly what I was saying. Whoop! Whoop for Donna! Exactly as I noted. David was doing the same thing as the others. He was imparting knowledge that he knew but wasn’t quite hearing what the student was saying which was ‘I need something more than your words.’ But it didn’t surprise me, and you’re right…I didn’t need a picture of a funnel – I knew that!

      But I appreciate that you understood and you know how to look at the student and get what they need first, then provide. You are excellent momma! Love ya for that.

      I love the things you have done (all in the name of your profession) in order to provide valuable info to students.
      Thanks for sharing. And one day, you’ll be comfortable with that C-panel. I’m working on it too! 🙂
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  6. says

    Hey Barbara,

    I am so familiar with what you’re talking about here. First as an internet marketing student where I read tons of ebooks and paid money to some programs that were supposed to teach me what I needed to know, but a lot of times it was just way above my head.

    Then, when I started to get the hang out of this, I was helping people who would approach me in the program I used to belong to saying that they were just lost. And they were paying $30 a month to learn what I was trying to teach them.

    So, yes, there is a lot to be desired about those so called internet marketing coaches. They forget how much newbies don’t even know what they don’t know.

    Thanks for this great post!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

    • says

      Hey Sylviane,

      Most of us have gone through what you’ve gone through. I know I spent a year spending a monthly cost in MLSP and earning nothing. Way to complicated for newbies to begin with. And that was just one of the programs. Before there is an MLSP, there needs to be the basics. And for people like me who hate video learning, this was just not my cup of tea. Anyway, eBooks, programs, etc. there is nothing better than one to one with people who are invested in you and want what you want. Maybe internet coaches will get more savvy as people get more educated about what they want.
      Take care,
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  7. says

    This blog post needs to be all over the internet. When I first started I use to get generic answers on what to do in order to start a blog, get leads, and so on and so forth. It took me a really long time to get going with my blog and internet market. And as a matter of fact I’m still learning, but I’m more established and a lot more knowledge than before.

    I like your list of how to coach beginners. I plan on writing an ebook myself and this gives me some ideas of what I can put so that beginners can have a really good understanding of how to get start. Thanks for these tips Barbara!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why List Building Should Be Important To YouMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sherman,
      Sorry for the delay on this comment. Been out of sorts. I think we all experience the same thing and that’s why we have to guide others and help them get along. If our goal is to get leads what better way than to help others who need help. Feel free to share. 🙂
      Stay blessed.
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Are You A Good Internet Marketing Coach?My Profile

  8. says

    Good article on a difficult / ongoing topic…
    As a Internet Marketing Consultant / Coach my view (of course, somewhat bias) is to be a good coach in the new Digital Media opportunities, the “expert” should have a verified experience in traditional marketing skills.
    The new media, are new tools and methods to reach your target audience more efficiently but the underlying principles of marketing still apply.
    For me it starts with the Basics of Marketing
    – Brand product or service Positioning and Competitive Advantage
    – Select Target Market / Audience
    – The Goal and Metrics for Success
    – Selecting the Marketing Mix including Social Media / Website / Blog
    Knowing what your audience, the goal and the metrics help set the mind set, of what and how you want to use Digital Media.
    I use my Blog to provide Free Advice on Internet Marketing
    can you suggest the most common topics people have the most frustration in understanding, and I will add them to my work list….
    Thank you again for the post and highlighting the issue

    • says

      Hello John,

      And that is my point of my article. Newbies coming in to Internet Marketing and blogging will not understand a word you said above. They don’t know ‘what’ you’re talking about. What you teach above is for a more practiced internet marketing. Someone who understands the lingo. A new enterepreneur has no clue what branding is or how to select a target marketing and then you talk about mindset.

      My point is you have to start before that, but if your target market is not newbie bloggers or internet marketers then you’re fine.

      Truly, any new internet marketer would read your article and bounced off your page because you are not giving them the ‘break down’ as I explained.

      Teaching them new tools – that’s fine, but they got to know the language first. They’ve got to know what they’re doing by starting at the beginning.


  9. says

    Now that I rebranded my blog and changed my direction I can honestly say I know exactly what you mean. I had so-called “coaches” tell me the same thing, without really giving me the real answer. That is so frustrating when they want you to pay, but then don’t deliver. People want real answers and not dig around through BS to get the right answer. If you want to help people, be a resource and someone that will give it to you straight and give you a run around as if you have to solve some mystery.

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