How to Avoid Coaching Scams and Find the Right Fit Coach for You [TFLP161]

First things first. You are totally justified in thinking coaching is a scam. Why is that? Because in the great big online world, there are a ton of “coaches” and coaching programs out there that are straight-up scams. 

That certainly doesn’t mean that all coaching is a scam. However, many people who present themselves as coaches are not legit. They engage in questionable practices and frankly do not have the best interests of their clients in mind.

In this article, a certified coach and coaching program creator, you’ll learn how you can avoid coaching scams to save time and money for something you’ll get value from. Let’s get right into it.  

Avoid Coaching Scams by Researching Coaches Carefully

Sarah’s approach to tiring coaches for anything related to the Former Lawyer programs involves rigorous research on all prospects. In other words, when you want to see if a coaching program is good, Google-stalk them. Find out everything there is to know. 

Do they have a blog or podcast where you can see some of their expert tips? What do they talk about? Who have they had on as a guest speaker or writer? Look at their about page to find out more. And don’t forget social networks. 

Do what you need to do to feel like you know that person to an extent. Legit coaches always put their information out there to help you understand who they are, what they do, and how they do it. 

Finding The Right Fit 

Ideally, your research also helps you gauge whether this coach is a good fit. You want to see if what the coach does and how they do it fits your working style. Is this someone you can see yourself working with? 

It’s super important to develop some knowledge of who the coach is, based on the information available when thinking about who to work with after you’ve proved it’s not a coaching scam. 

Because the truth is you really can get a good sense of who someone is from the information they provide, whether it’s posting on LinkedIn, a YouTube channel, or a podcast. Whatever it is. Getting that sense of who the person is, is crucial and can really help you if you think coaching is a scam. 

Getting Past Skepticism About Coaching 

If you want to find a good coach, you have to get past the point of blanket skepticism, where you think all coaching is a scam. Because, to be honest, finding a legit coach can be so beneficial, whether you need a life coach, career coach, business coach, or any kind of coach.

Just move past your skepticism about coaching and start looking into getting to know these coaches. Look into specifics, watch for red flags, and try to find out all you can. 

Your feelings about coaching scams are valid. It’s reasonable to think that coaching is a scam when it’s a self-regulated profession in an online world that s flooded with scams. And there is evidence that some of the coaches out there are very scammy.

That’s why Sarah offered her method of looking into and finding coaches to help her with her programs. Now you can use this in your search for the perfect non-scammy coach. And it’ll help you decipher whether or not the coach’s style is right for you. 

Coaching With Sarah

Are you a lawyer who’s looking to get out of practice, and you need a legit, non-scammy coach that will actually help you out of the law? Sarah is working with a handful of clients one-to-one to help them figure out what they want to do that doesn’t involve practicing law. 

When you work with Sarah, you’ll meet for 12 weeks and walk through the framework created to help lawyers find what they really want to do. On top of personalizing that and making individualized choices about which pieces of that you need to focus and spend more or less time on, Sarah also lends her own experienced brain to your situation for advice. 

During this time, you also get assessments that help you learn more about yourself, including your values, personality, strengths, and weaknesses, etc. Then, Sarah assists you in putting that information into figuring out a new career and life for yourself.

When you work with Sarah one-on-one, she also looks at cover letters, resumes, cold outreach emails, and other things you may be putting together for job searches. And she supports you in figuring out who you might want to reach out to for those jobs.

If that sounds like something that would be helpful to you, book a call to talk to Sarah, and find out whether or not working with her one-on-one is the right fit for you. You can also find more information on that page. 

Sarah onboard’s one new client every month, meaning this is a first-come-first-serve offer. So, schedule the call as soon as possible to reserve a spot if the fit is right.  

Connect With Sarah





Mentioned In How to Avoid Coaching Scams and Find the Right Fit Coach for You

1:1 Coaching With Sarah

Hi, and welcome to The Former Lawyer Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Cottrell. I practiced law for 10 years and now I help unhappy lawyers ditch their soul-sucking jobs. On this show, I share advice and strategies for aspiring former lawyers, and interviews with former lawyers who have left the law behind to find careers and lives that they love.

Today I want to talk about something that is very near and dear to my heart, which is the reality that you are completely justified if you think that career coaching or any other coaching is a scam. Why do I think that? Well, let me tell you, first of all, I think that because there are a lot of people who are holding themselves out as coaches who are being quite scammy. I mean, it's really that simple.

I'm going to speak from my own experience running this business, Former Lawyer, now for over three years at the time of this recording. In the online business space, there are all kinds of coaches and there are all kinds of coaching, and a lot of it is extremely scammy, or is someone who maybe did something one time and then they're holding themselves out as someone who is able to, without any other additional credentials or information, help someone else do what they did.

I'm not saying in every circumstance that that is illegitimate. I am saying, however, that there are lots of people who hold themselves out as coaches who are either not legit, or engage in questionable practices, or frankly, don't have the best interests of their clients in mind. I thought it would be helpful today to share a little bit about what I do if I'm thinking about hiring a coach. Now obviously, for me, I am typically not looking to hire a career coach, but I think that really these principles can apply to any type of coach you're trying to hire.

I'm going to tell you what I do when I'm thinking about hiring a business coach or someone who is going to help me with something related to Former Lawyer. Really, it honestly comes down to one major thing which is I Google stalk the crap out of them. Do they have a podcast? I definitely will listen to the podcast. I will listen to multiple episodes of the podcast. I will see who they've had on the podcast. I will see what kinds of episodes they've done where it's just them, what they talk about.

I have certain topics or ideas that I don't love or don't necessarily want to implement in my own business so I'll see is that something they're talking about? Or even if it's not something that they are explicitly talking about, is that coming through in their conversations? I also look at their website. I look at their about page, I look at their LinkedIn, I Google and see if there are articles. Basically I do what I need to do to feel like I know that person, to some extent, to the extent one can know people on the internet which, as we know, is limited.

But I do think now, based on my experience over these past couple years, and having hired a number of different coaches for a number of different things of really just my business, I will say that every time I ignored some, maybe not even red flag, but just like a yellow flag from looking through someone's social media, reading something they wrote on their blog, or listening to conversations with their podcast, anytime I have been like, “Well, there's this thing,” but a true yellow, red flag and not just me being like, “But do I deserve to have a business coach or whatever?” that kind of stuff, which can definitely get in the mix.

It's a bit of a sidebar. Anyway, back to the yellow, red flag. Anytime I have ignored that or thought, “Oh, I'm probably just being whatever,” generally speaking, and ultimately I'm like, “Yeah, I should have gone with my gut.” On the other hand, there are a lot of people who I've worked with where I really did get a good sense of who they are, what kind of work they're doing. People who are doing good work as coaches will be putting out into the world information that helps you understand who they are, what it is that they do, how they do it.

Ideally, what you want to do and what your goal is and what my experience has been is you essentially see, “This is the kind of thing that they're doing, this is how they're doing it,” and the question becomes “Does that seem like something that would be a good fit for me? Do I want to work with this person?”

I think that experience, that experience of developing some knowledge of who the person is based on the information that they are making available to you is super important when you're thinking about who you want to work with when you're talking about a coach, and super important and helping you determine is this person super scammy or not? Also just determining whether you want to work with them.

Because the truth is, you really can get a good sense of who someone is often from the information that they have provided, that they provide, whether it's posting on LinkedIn, whether it's a YouTube channel, whether it's a podcast, whatever it is, obviously I'm partial to podcast, but who can blame me? Getting that sense of who the person is, is so key and I think can really help you if you're in that position like me, of being quite skeptical of people who hold themselves out as coaches.

But getting yourself past that point of just having a blanket skepticism, moving beyond that to like, “What do I know about this person? Does this person, this specific person, do I feel those red or yellow flags knowing now all the things that I know about this person?” as opposed to just letting your legitimate concern about the fact that there are some scammy coaches out there influence how you see all coaches, including someone who might be really helpful for you to work with.

I know for me, I have worked with, like I said, a number of coaches in my business that have been incredibly helpful in terms of figuring out how to make the podcast better, how to help more lawyers, all kinds of things that as an international studies and leadership studies double major/former lawyer, I did not know.

Hey, it's Sarah. I want to remind you that I am now working with a very limited number of lawyers one-on-one who are trying to figure out what it is that they want to do that isn't practicing law. What we'll do when we work together one-on-one is we will meet for 12 weeks and you and I will walk through the framework that I've created to help lawyers do exactly that. On top of personalizing that and making individualized choices about which pieces of that you need to focus on, spend more time on, spend less time on, I also have the capacity to lend my brain to your situation.

When we're working together one-on-one, I'm able to look at cover letters, resumes, and other things that you may be putting together, cold outreach emails, figuring out who you might want to reach out to, figuring out, “Okay, I have all this information about who I am, values, personality, strengths, etc., from these various assessments, but how do I put that together into a picture of what it is that I actually want to be doing? How do I figure out what I actually want my life and career to look like?” all of those things.

If that sounds like something that would be helpful to you, I would love to talk with you about whether or not working with me one-on-one is the right fit for you. Go to the website, the Work With Me drop-down, there's a link to information about working with me one-on-one. You can see more details and the price as well as the button to book a free consult with me so that we can talk through whether working with me in this capacity would be the right fit for you. I onboard one new one-on-one client per month so if this is something that you're interested in, definitely schedule that call as soon as you can because I fill the spots on a first-come-first-served basis. I look forward to talking with you about whether working together one-on-one could be a good fit.

One, I wanted to validate your feeling if your feeling is that coaching seems scammy, I think that is a reasonable way to feel because I think that there's a lot of evidence that there are some coaches out there that are very scammy and I wanted to offer this way that I personally vet coaches and think through whether someone is really someone that I want to work with, so that hopefully, if you're someone who's thinking about hiring a coach, you can use some of these methods to figure out whether the person you're thinking about working with is the right person for you. Thanks so much for listening. I'll talk to you next week.

Thanks so much for listening. I absolutely love getting to share this podcast with you. If you haven't yet, I invite you to download my free guide: First Steps to Leaving the Law at Until next time, have a great week.