When you make a living coaching online, a lot of people won’t understand what it is you do.  Even after you’ve dropped your eloquently crafted elevator speech, people may still look at you with that glazy, “I don’t get it” look. Some of them will think you’re nothing more than an internet marketer or a blogger- just because you work on the Internet.  You might even run into people who automatically assume you’re into promoting crappy health products and MLM schemes, because they think that’s all the internet is used for!

You need to be prepared to deal with people like this.  Some of them may even be close friends and family members who are simply ignorant about the various uses for the internet.

Be Prepared

The first thing you need to explain to people is that very few people who work on the internet are Coaches. Wellness Consultants actually make up a very, very small minority of those who work exclusively online. 

If you do any sort of email marketing via your newsletter, you should explain that every single person you send email to has signed up specifically to receive your valuable information, and clicked a link to confirm that they really want to be on your list.

Explain to them that subscribing to your updates is a lot like signing up for delivery of the newspaper, or getting a magazine subscription.  People sign up to your newsletter, and then you send them valuable information, not just advertising. (So many coaches get this one wrong and only email you when they have something to sell.)

If you sell eCourses, and other materials online, you can explain to people that you’re like a college professor, but the courses you teach are in an online format, and your students attend from around the world.  Instead of getting in the car and driving to the university, people can learn from the comfort of their own home.

If you sell eBooks online, you can explain to people that you’re a bit like a book publisher, but all of the books you publish are in digital format.  You can tell them that instead of paying a lot of extra money for the printing, binding, marketing, and shipping of a physical book, you eliminate those costs by selling all of your books as downloadable products.

If people still don’t understand, you could even show them what an eBook is by letting them view one on your computer. If your main business is promoting other people’s health and wellness products, you can tell people you’re in health and wellness advertising.

Explain to them that you run a website (or a few websites) and you place advertising on that website.  Every time someone clicks an ad and purchases something, you receive a commission.

If you want to, you could show them some of your sites or blogs to illustrate the point. Some people feel more comfortable just telling people they design websites.  If you’re a decent website builder, this will probably really impress people, but be prepared to get requests from people asking if you’ll make them a site, too.

You could consider dropping some big name coaches as examples with verifiable “proof” in mainstream media to help people understand.

“I still don’t get it.”

Some people will just never understand what you do.  Try to explain it the best way you can, and if it doesn’t work, accept it.  Some people just won’t get it. If the in-laws or your spouse are nagging you because your money isn’t yet streaming in, and you feel pressured, consider putting together a simple presentation that answers all of their questions and puts their minds at ease.