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Disclosure: This post was originally published in October 2015. It has been updated.
It seems like new courses for entrepreneurs are popping up every day. There are hundreds of thousands available and they can be as low as $50 or cost you upwards of $10,000.
The problem with it being so easy for anyone to create a course these days is that you don’t know which ones are going to benefit you and which ones will just be a waste of money.
I’ve been on my entrepreneur journey for 6 years now and over this time I have purchased a handful of courses for bloggers and entrepreneurs. However, out of the courses that I invested in, only about 2 or 3 of them provided me with valuable things to grow my business.
Therefore, today I wanted to share with you some things to consider before investing in an entrepreneur course because maybe you would be better off spending money on another aspect of your business instead.
Let’s get started.
How Does This Person Primarily Make Their Income?
The courses that I found to offer the most value, are the ones that come from people who make their income from doing what the course is supposed to teach.
During this day in age, people can purchase a course from an expert writer and market it as their own without having any actual experience being a full-time entrepreneur themselves.
For example, have you been seeing new courses pop up in the form of Facebook ads in your feeds lately? I know I’ve been seeing ads from Grace Lever and a few others lately. While I’m not in the market for a course at the moment, sometimes I do find that some of these new courses have a great copy and it makes me interested in knowing more about the entrepreneur behind the course.
I’ll first Google them to see what it is that they do outside of selling this course and see how long they have been an entrepreneur. If they are one of these overnight entrepreneurs popping up I’ll immediately lose interest. However, if they have been around for years, but just went unnoticed, I’ll then dig deeper to find out more about their entrepreneur journey and may even go as far as using their name and review in my Google search (for example Grace Lever review) to see if anyone has left some sort of review about them.
By doing a combination of these things I can see how they make the bulk of their money to determine if their course may be worth the money.
For instance, a couple of months back I was thinking of doing a copywriting course from someone who had been around for years, freelanced full time, and ran a successful Facebook group. However, after joining her subscription list she revealed that she only made $20,000 a year from writing and the rest came in from affiliate marketing and selling her digital products, I immediately, knew her course wasn’t for me.
How can you possibly tell someone how to make $100,000 per year copywriting when you’re only pulling in $20,000 from it yourself?
Is It a Marketing Scheme?
Everyone knows that to run a successful online business you must have excellent marketing skills. If a course is marketed correctly and has a well-written sales funnel, there’s a good chance potential buyers won’t think much of it.
While not all entrepreneurs try to play with the potential buyer’s emotions, a lot do when it comes to making a sale for their course. For example, they will give you a sob story (rags to riches story) that they have fabricated, or enhanced, to draw you in because you may relate to it.
For example, let’s say you’ve spent the last two years trying to get your business to turn into a full-time venture. You have a few good months, but you never can seem to keep up the momentum. You somehow stumble across a course that has the story line of a person finally being able to turn into a full-time entrepreneur after 3 years just when they were finally about to call it quits and go back to the corporate world.
If the copy is well written, it will suck you in and make you feel like the seller is going through the same thing you’re going through and if you purchase their course in a year you will be in the same position that they are in. You skip doing your research and purchase the course after follow up emails alert you of a limited time price, only to find out that the course if full of information that you read in free eBooks or maybe even information that’s already readily available on the web.
What You Could Be Doing Instead of Purchasing That Course
I just want to say not all courses are bad. However, when it comes to spending hundreds and thousands of dollars to take a course, it is very important to do your research. Therefore, before purchasing that course you have your eye on, do some research on the person who created the course, read other reviews of the course, and search online for free information on the course topic. You may find that you can find out everything you needed to know on the topic by looking past the first couple of pages on the search engine and even hanging around in specific Facebook groups. You could even spend some time investing in some other parts of your business that you are guaranteed to benefit from such as:
Starting Your Business
If you haven’t gotten your business started yet because you were depending on a course to walk you through the steps, go ahead and get started.
- Purchase your domain name from a site such as NameCheap, which has some great coupons on Groupon.
- Write your content up or hire a writer to do it for you.
- Build up your reader base.
- Start putting your business out there by marketing.
- Then, once you’ve started your business revisit the course and see if you still feel as though it can provide you with value.
Update Your Business Supplies
Maybe one of the reasons that your business isn’t performing well is because you’re not using the right type of software and tools. For example, if you’re trying to take off your graphic design career you could probably benefit from professional photography software or upgrading your camera equipment. If you’re trying to be a professional recipe blogger, you could benefit from having professional photography equipment such as a backdrop, lighting kit, and even Photoshop.
While updating your business supplies is another investment, you can always find deals for places such as Amazon on Groupon. Plus, you know that these business supplies will pay for themselves quickly because as you increase the quality of your work, you can charge more, and your work will begin marketing itself.
After you’ve recovered your costs and started profiting more then revisit the course to see if you still think it’s worth investing in.
Final Thoughts on Entrepreneur Courses
While it’s true that some people can become internet successes overnight, for most people this isn’t something that going to happen. There are a lot of good courses available for entrepreneurs but it is hard to pick them out from the thousands available. Therefore, before feeling like you have been scammed after purchasing a course it’s important to do your research and avoid making impulse purchases.
What are your thoughts on purchasing courses to help you with your entrepreneur journey?