Six criteria to help you spot impostors (pretending they ‚re Star-Online-Trainers or Coaches)
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Why identifying fake coaches has become important to me
I enjoy investing in my education every year. Finance, marketing, coaching courses… If I find an expert, coach or trainer’s video/article on the web, I tend to watch more if it seems helpful and interesting.
But sometimes, I have second thoughts. „Can I really trust this person?“ Imposter coaches and would-be trainers are actually a dime a dozen.
A few days ago I saw the really impressive video by Anton Kreil (en) „Anton Kreil Annihilates Retail Brokers and Trading Educators“ – it has 3.8 million views. In a longer lecture, Kreil explains how corrupt the financial industry and financial training providers are. But then I found a video by the YouTuber „BestStockStrategy“, title: „Anton Kreil SCAM? Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management REVIEW “ Kreil, the savior of stock exchange traders and the smocker of the industry, is presented there as an impostor. 
Jan Böhmermann (ZDF) made a program in October 2021 about the case of false profilers. He reported critically on Susanne Grieger-Langer and Marc T Hofmann. According to Böhmermann, Grieger-Langer falsified references, among other things. Hofmann, like the others, does not have the experience that he claims to have.
Because I like to educate myself further, but I don’t like being taken in by fakers, I’ve collected exactly six points over the past few years that I use to expose imposters. Let’s get in:
🛡️ Criterion # 1: Their Content
The Mindset Excuse
It strikes me that many self-appointed trainers or coaches insist that „your attitude is the alpha and omega of the whole thing“. If in the end no results are visible for the client, it is very easy to blame the poor attitude of the coachee or the participants. „You haven’t worked on your mindset enough.“ My point of view is: Give people tools and they get to work. Give people experiences and they become experienced users. But just mindset?
Alternative approach: Flood of Information
I experienced the opposite in an on-demand video course. The focus here was not on mindset, as above, but on information overload. The finance trainer has over 200 videos in the members area (and one added every 2 days). Each video was 1.5 to 2 hours long. Didactically bad, full of technical foreign words. I had the feeling that you were hiding behind a wall of facts, false details and technical finesse. … and that was also the case for other participants.
When researching the topic, I found exactly the same scam described in forums and by YouTubers who deal with consumer protection in this area. (I would never have thought of that)
🛡️ Criterion # 2: Status Symbols
Display of Luxury Goods
With the video „Here in my Garage…“ Tai Lopez really caught the attention of the trashy advertising industry.
Image above: Tai Lopez in his video „Here in my garage …“
The video has 70 million views today – simply because it’s so flat and a classic for scammers. Tai was one of the first to present (his) Lamborghini in his garage. Many consider him a scammer as he consistently uses questionable marketing tactics and frequently twists the truth. There are online coaches who show a sports car in the background in their regular videos. So it’s actually filmed in the garage, just to show that they supposedly made it.
Presenting Their Jewelry
I noticed extremely eye-catching jewelry with online marketing trainers. I particularly remember a German consultant and coach for marketing. A Rolex or gold jewelery is repeatedly displayed in the picture. I also saw the protagonist on a grand piano in a paid promotional video. It looks like he’s playing a few notes, but the editing avoids focus on the hands. Apparently he couldn’t play it after all.
A common practice is self-expression in a luxury apartment by the sea. I saw this with a Scandinavian trainer, but there are countless examples here. The apartments are rented through Airbnb. In just under a week, the scammers shoot as much material as they possibly can. The videos are then broken up and published on YouTube and social media, usually for a whole year. Have you ever noticed that some super coaches, marketing gurus and top trainers on YouTube only seem to age in stages?
In fact, I’ve found apartments for rent online that imposters have claimed are my own. There are also such objects here on Madeira. Particularly unpleasant: some Sometimes the blenders hire a model who poses as a partner or employee in the videos.
🛡️ Criterion # 3: Missing Track Record
Is it Actually a Real Job?
„Profiler“, that’s what Ms. Grieger-Langer calls herself to this day. Does this job title actually exist in Germany?
Unfortunately, no. Among other things, Jan Böhmermann investigated where the speaker and trainer gained their alleged experience. It quickly became clear that the German authorities had a case analyst job description, but not a profiler job description. Training to become a case analyst takes up to five years. However, the boring-sounding title is anything but interesting for marketing. Böhmermann lets Grieger-Langer and other speakers / trainers such as B. Mark T. Hofmann got off badly.
The image damage for those affected is enormous. The arrogance, which was practiced here by the supposed experts, however, is over.
Proof via Employment Contract or a Certificate?
It doesn’t always have to be a great-sounding certificate. I recommend simply asking trainers, trainers for trainers or coaches for a point of reference on their experience. In my references z. B. called my coaching job. I have also received feedback on my coaching performance (e.g. as an NPS) from various intermediaries (coaching agencies). It is quite normal for such documents to accumulate.
Even if the coach or trainer cannot present an NPS for each individual „year of service“: It should be a matter of course to simply get a copy of an employment contract or a certificate where you as a customer can see: „aha, there she is for the first time held training courses as an employed trainer at XY-AG“ or „This academy has confirmed or evaluated the trainer activity“. It’s funny when there’s nothing there.
🛡️ Criterion # 4: Target Group: Too Broad
Broad Target Group
Blender-Coaches und Angeber-Trainer:innen haben einen verdächtig breite Zielgruppe. I think this is partly due to the greed of the impostor who wants to take everything he can with him. On the other hand, I sometimes have the feeling that Blender coaches just don’t really know who should actually belong to their own target group. Many end up simply copying a business model they learned from another impostor.
Example Seen on YouTube a Week Ago
„Are you an entrepreneur or do you want to become an entrepreneur? Stop, then don’t click away now.“ Wait a minute:
Which entrepreneurs is the expert addressing? Anyone who works and is not a civil servant or employee will probably belong to the „guild“ of entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur can have a fortune of many millions or be broke, he can be in the pharmaceutical industry or the hairdressing business …. uh, what does the trainer mean now jenau?
In addition to the hardly limited target group, something else stands out:
„Within a short time“ or „little effort“
A YouTube promotional video:
„Are you a coach, trainer or consultant? Then I’ll show you how you can increase your sales by at least €20,000 in just three months without putting in a lot of effort.“
Sound familiar? Not only that training, coaching and consulting are three completely different job profiles. It’s also a really strong achievement to increase your sales by a five-figure amount in just 90 days. Fake providers almost always introduce an element that indirectly implies a short period of time or extremely little effort. …or it’s just said flatly: „In 30 days I’ll make you big without it costing you sweat or effort“.
🛡️ Criterion # 5: Fake Comments on Social Media
Here we have the quickest criterion to test for
Is there only one human soul that can be reached somehow (telephone, e-mail, carrier pigeon) who is among the numerous commentators. Or am I trying in vain to somehow identify just one of the YouTube commenters. In Facebook it is hardly possible to personally locate even 10% of the comments or followers? You will laugh, but this is not uncommon.
Attention: Fake ratings almost always violate the terms and conditions of the social media operator. So you can fly octagonally from an important platform.
Even more critical: The deception with false references (fake reviews) also violates § 4 of the UWG (law against unfair competition), because it is a concealment of „the advertising character of a commercial activity“.
🛡️ Criterion # 6: Finding No One Who Actually Went Through It
Almost all blenders have one thing in common with their programs. There is simply no one personally available who has participated in the program. Important: Known and economically dependent (such as affiliates) of the provider do not count.
If I ask, can I get some email addresses from customers who have taken part in the program? What about a list of references if the coach or trainer does not have individual but rather corporate clients?
I personally think it’s good when you can actually hear a client’s voice (e.g. on the website) or there is a video of the client evaluating the participant experience / coaching interaction.
(der Name der Person stehen The name of the person should be here so that I can find them and, if necessary, contact them before I decide to take training or coaching from a provider. .
🌴 What Inspired Me To Write About This Topic?
I live on a Portuguese island.
In my hometown, Funchal, there are lots of decent people. Da wohnen lauter anständige Leute. The dentist around the corner is outright rich because he places implants from morning to night (till 8 p.m.!!). The restaurant owners and pharmacists also belong to the category „the millionaire next door“.
But what about, for example, Ponta do Sol, where all these digital nomads dwell? …and who lives in the countless Airbnb apartments when I look up the mountain in Funchal (where living is immediately cheaper)?
To put it briefly: There are many bohemians on Madeira who seem to be magically attracted to island life.
Many will tell you with a big heart: „Yes, I live here.“ Translated, this means something like „I rented an Airbnb for two months until my employer called me back. That’s all still OK. But what I don’t find OK is when someone films this kind of life and pretends it’s a permanent one Having a residency permit: „My life in the Caribbean“.
I’ve seen stunning vacation homes here that are also rented by YouTubers. In addition, every second nomad here is also a coach. A live coach. …chronically looking for coaching clients.
Unfortunately, the typical course for some survivors here is tragic
- Some money saved: Let’s go to Madeira for three months .
- As soon as it gets too expensive: off to Mallorca.
- After holding yoga lessons in Mallorca for two months: Mallorca also too expensive.
- Let’s go to Egypt.
- I’m not quite sure where they all go after this station. I live so far away from Egypt that usually they won’t get in touch any more.
That’s why I’m avoiding tourists.
I’ve learned one thing: not everyone is as modest as we Germans are and immediately describes their legal status on an island. Anyone who has saved four thousand euros and can afford a few weeks here and is a globetrotter „lives here“. Why not use the whole thing in the media as well.
Everything I show on our channel is filmed from my neighborhood or my rental home (or up on our roof). Why pretend something that doesn’t exist.
What does not say that someone is a fake coach?
A word on the claim that a free PDF or the „free e-book“ is a sign of scammers.
I have read excellent free content and used it with great success for my finances, internal planning or marketing. A free book for which you only pay postage is a marketing necessity today.
It gives us participants the opportunity to check the content before we go deeper and get involved with a trainer or coach. I hope my list here will help you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to trainers and coaches.
I hope you ‚re putting as much love into your career as we do with our content.