What To Watch Out For Before Buying VA Training Or Hiring A VA Coach

This isn’t my standard blog post, it’s more of a rant. Thought I’d warn you now <grin>.

It seems that everyone is now either a Virtual Assistant Coach or Trainer. I think it’s great that the industry is growing BUT, do these new coaches and trainers have the experience to really teach others how to be successful?

There are so many newbies jumping on the Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training bandwagon when many of them haven’t been in business long enough to be considered successful. I’m sorry but you’re not qualified to be a coach or trainer if you’ve not run a successful VA business for at least 3 years (the bare minimum in my opinion).

According to the Small Business Association (SBA) and many others, 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year alone. After the first year, the number falls but only about 50% of businesses make it to five years. Those are some pretty sobering statistics huh?

Here’s the thing, how can someone who has been in business less than a year really understand what it takes to run a successful business? They’ve not been in business long enough to know! Not only that, but they’re also teaching people stuff that is just plain wrong.

The Lies You’ll Come Across

Like a contract is not necessary – WRONG. They are very necessary; in fact, don’t work without a signed contract. It’s protection for both you and your clients.

I’ve seen things like:

  • You don’t really need any experience… except know how to use the Internet. You’ll have a hard time finding clients if you don’t have the skills they want.
  • People guaranteeing that you’ll make 5k or 10k a month if you buy their coaching or training. Sorry folks, no one can guarantee how much anyone else will make. It’s just a marketing ploy.
  • If you read or hear something saying that it’s easy to be a Virtual Assistant, that you can make thousands of dollars only working 4 hours a day… it’s hogwash.

You have to put in the time and effort especially when you’re just starting out. On a side note – it’s definitely possible to make 10k a month but there is a whole lot more to it than just being a Virtual Assistant.

I’m passionate about this industry and I’m seeing more and more people who are new to the industry get taken advantage of by slick marketing. Some of these newbies are teaching crappy methods, and it brings down the entire VA industry.

I know when I first started I didn’t know what to ask or to look for when thinking about investing in training and/or coaching. And… I ended up buying a LOT of crap. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Do Your Homework

Please, I ask you to do your homework when it comes to hiring a coach or buying a course. Find out:

  • If the person really is/was successful.
  • If they’ve been in business for more than a couple of years.
  • If they have a refund policy.

Ask for testimonials, ask for proof of success – it’s important since you’re trusting this person with your potential livelihood, business and your hard-earned $$.

The VA Industry is NOT standardized which means there is no certification for trainers or coaches like in other industries.

A Few Tips To Get You Started

Here are a few more tips that you might find helpful:

  • You can use a program like Who.Is to see how long they’ve owned their domain name. It can give you an idea of how long they’ve been in business. For example, if you go to this website and type in thetechiementor.com you’ll see when I first registered this domain back in 2011. (I would still ask this question directly to the coach or trainer – they could have rebranded and changed their business name).
  • Award-Winning Virtual Assistant or Best VA Trainer, what does that even mean? Who voted for them? How many people voted? Is it even a real award?
  • If you’re in the UK, check to see if they’re VAT registered (you have to be VAT registered if you earn £85k+). Anyone who isn’t is definitely not earning 6 figures, whatever their marketing says.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s your time and money that you’re investing.

Oh and one more thing. Yes, I know… I’m what you would call a VA Coach or Trainer. But I’m starting my 10th year in this industry and ran a successful VA business for 5 years before I started The Techie Mentor. I’m not asking you to buy my stuff or hire me unless we’re a good fit.

Ok, rant over. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. All comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for reading – Susan


P.S. If you’re thinking about investing in a training program, please also read my blog post The Ultimate VA Success Guide: How To Choose The Right Virtual Assistant Training Course For You! It will give you an excellent overview of all the things you should consider.

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants her no-fluff approach to the systems and skills they need to build and automate a successful business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught over 5,000 students her unique systems and strategies that focus on offering high-end skills that give you the freedom to work when and where you want.

To learn more about The Techie Mentor™ and the systems and skills she teaches without all the fluff or hype go to The Techie Mentor website.

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  1. Kat

    Thanks for this rant lol. I have been a VA since 2007 and I thought I was the only one being a cynic. I have been wondering about all these VA coaches popping up all over my newsfeed. Some of them look like they are fresh out of college. Surely they can’t have had extensive experience to be in a position to coach.

    I have been following you for about a month now. I find the knowledge you share truly valuable. Keep it up and all the best!

    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Kat, thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it! I so agree with you – seems they think they can coach without either being a VA or being a successful one! Happy new year to you!

  2. Carol Bogere

    Thanks Susan, this is a great post. Due dilligence is really important especially with the influx of online businesses now.

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you Carol – much appreciated.

  3. Kathie Thomas

    Great post Susan, as you know I’m of the same mindset and feel we just can’t say it enough.

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you Kathie, I feel like we need to put our posts on a loop to be sure people are seeing them daily. Maybe it will make a difference.

  4. Yolanda Crowley (@CrowleyAsst)

    Thank you so much for saying this! It amazes me how many newbie “coaches” there are popping up and they have no business teaching anything.

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you for taking the time to comment Yolanda – I think we need to be shouting this from the rooftops daily!

  5. Dawn

    Susan, I totally am on Board with your advice and I have followed you for awhile now and trust what you have shared. I am fairly new to VA industry, but I have ran my own business for nearly 30 years. So Thank you for sharing this valuable “SOS” warning!
    As much as I want to jump on so many Great trainings… I have committed myself to balance it out with just 2 commitments per time period of months/weeks. Helps me stay focused and not overwhelmed.
    Thank you for always being transparent and with Great Techie Mentor wisdom! ? Dawn

    • Susan Mershon

      Hey Dawn, thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. It is a “SOS” warning… love that! And good for you on working on balance, I know that is something I struggle with myself.

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