The ConnectedCoach Podcast

Beware of Lesson Marketplaces | If you're looking more leads, this is for you

At CoachNow, we believe in the power of the coach/athlete relationship. The last thing we want is to put it at risk.

Not all marketing opportunities are created equally, and some can actually take your customers away, hurting your brand in the process. 

This week's episode is all about a common question I get around the idea of "Lessons Marketplaces". If you are looking to gain new leads, I recommend steering clear of these platforms. 

I haven't heard others speak to this issue, so I hope you find the message here enlightening! Enjoy!

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Hey everyone. Spencer here, former burnt out coach and founder of coach now. And the connected coach academy today's mini episode is called beware of a coaching marketplace. Let's get to it

at coach. Now we place unparalleled value on coaching relationships. I know first hand how difficult it is to grow your business and keep your athletes coming. I know how long the hours can be and how exhausting it is to give your athletes all your effort and attention day in and day out. When I founded coach now, my singular goal was to develop products that enhance the coaching relationship and make your lives as coaches easier.

Part of that goal includes a commitment to you. I'll never do anything that could jeopardize your relationships. over the years, I've had quite a few coaches ask me about my thoughts on coaching marketplaces, AK lesson marketing places to be more specific. In other words, coaches ask me why they can't advertise their services and the coach now ecosystem to bring in potential new customers on the surface.

Sounds like a great idea. I get it doing so could establish a win-win for the business. You encourage users to sign up for coach now and make extra revenue from our existing members. sadly wrong. I know that a lead generation matchmaking tool, AKA lesson marketplace seems like an obvious opportunity, but early on, I made the conscious decision to never go that route with the coach now membership.

And while some may see the stance as boxing us out from potential customers, we see it very differently. We believe that a strength of our platform comes from our omission of features. Searching and connecting with other members, social feeds across the network, video content discovery, uh, or ads targeted at athletes inside and outside the marketplace.

That's because when you think about each of these features, they're actually just a distraction from your coaching at best, you might get a customer or two from the marketplace, but at worst, your athletes will end up confused, distracted, performing poorly, and ultimately leave you for another coach that they found in the same place they are being coached by.

I definitely take a hard stance on this issue to start. It's important to note that there are countless products in the so called instruction market and many well funded instruction. Marketplaces have failed miserably over the years, and I'm pretty confident. I know why. When you submit your information into a market, you forfeit control of the coaching relationship.

Put it another way your customers aren't really yours. They are the marketplace. remember the singular goal of a marketplace is to keep selling lessons. The company hosting the marketplace couldn't care less. If it's you or the coach next to you, who delivers them, those lessons. The last thing I want for you is to bring your athletes into our platform.

Only for them to be distracted or enticed by other coaching opportunities. If you ask me, that's how you can apply a network, I wanna keep the best coaches and coach now not give others a platform to steal their clients. and in my opinion, the worst offenders are the marketplaces that have some sort of coaching tech built into the feature set.

I E one that both acts as a marketplace for new coaches and as a coaching communication channel for your existing clientele in those marketplaces athletes go to the same place to find their coach and be coached. I've seen dozens of platforms like this fail miserably. And whether, you know, it or not, these platforms collect tons of information from your athletes.

And then they use that information to market other opportunities to them. They place cookies in their browser sign. 'em up for a bunch of newsletters and even use your interactions inside the app to keep them around. And remember when I say keep them around, I'm speaking simply about keeping them around in the marketplace, not keeping them as your client, because remember you aren't the customer, they care about the athletes.

plus the very format of the marketplace introduces risks. You don't have control over the discovery features of the marketplace, and that means you also forfeit control over your first impression. Many marketplaces don't even allow you to carry your brand with you. And the worst defenders won't even let you add your last name, which is nuts.

They do this outta fear that you'll use them to acquire a few customers and then leave. And when you do that, they can no longer charge you the 10 to 20% in some cases more. And. Just so you have the privilege of being on the feed. You know me, I want you to think like an entrepreneur, do you think 20% in fees will help you grow your business as fast as you want to in monetary terms, that's a full client lost for every five you acquire on the platform.

Think about your margins in today's world. It's easier than ever to reach your ideal customer on your own. Do you really need a marketplace like this to build your business? Do the benefits really outweigh the costs. look, I built coach now to be a space focus purely on you and your athlete's relat.

Focusing just on that is absolutely the key happy customers will find you more happy customers at coach. Now, my goal has always been to build the best private distraction-free digital space for you to focus on your athlete's progress. Having a purpose built coaching space that cuts out the noise and allows a higher level of focus advertising Laden over blo bloated social platforms at marketplaces simply can't.

We've been around for 10 plus years. And I've tried to explain this issue a bunch of times, but people still think, well, not many, but still think that coach now needs a marketplace. Hopefully I've convinced you that while that might seem like a good idea on the surface, it actually would go directly against the goals of what we've built and what you've hopefully come to love that could go on and on.

But let's recap. My thoughts so far here are the four things I hope you gained from this. You need to own your relationships. You need to control how you communicate with people, get their emails, message to them, work through DMS, control, your social media, whatever it takes. It's never been easier to reach that ideal client.

Number two, be mindful about how you promote and who you promote with. It's really, really important that you control your brand and that you have autonomy in doing that. That goes from your website to your checkout process and how you market. Make sure. You're very careful who you associate with. Number three, marketplaces can work in some cases, but you must understand their true customer.

Isn't you? It's the athlete, if that's okay. And you're just looking for, uh, a lesson treadmill where you're just exchanging time for money consistently, and you're always having to find new clients. Totally fine. If that's your business, go for it. But if you're looking to build a solid, scalable, repeatable level of.

I would highly avoid the marketplace. And if you want to keep your customers, number four, if you want to keep your customers, please don't use an online lesson tool slash marketplace. It will only cause unnecessary distraction, competition and turnover. So if you must use a marketplace, make sure that it doesn't have some sort of communication aspect built in because when you bring customers from offline online into that marketplace, they are no longer yours.

Be careful. All right. So in summary, please make decisions that set your business up for success. In the long term, in my opinion, marketplaces can be a major waste of time and effort. There's simply a quick fix hassle that reinforces the model of selling your time for money. Always stick to what we teach at the connected coach.

Dig into your niche, create your own funnel and own every step of the coaching relationship. It might be more work at first, but I promise it's worth it.

All right. I hope you enjoyed this mini episode or what we're calling the blog pod. Since these are all different takes on our growing database of articles. So if you like this format, please consider subscribing. So you get notifications when we drop new episodes. And remember, you can learn more about what we do at coach

And you can subscribe to our weekly slash blog. Here's to carving your own path talk soon.