the problem with masterclass overuse and hype

Masterclass Overuse and Hype: All Classes Can’t Be Masterclasses

Let’s dive right into my beef with the word “masterclass” overuse and hype.

Masterclass offerings are everywhere. Who can scroll for a few minutes on Instagram or Facebook without seeing a masterclass up for sale?

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Or a business coach offering a limited time only masterclass?

In the yoga space alone, every SINGLE day, I see dozens of masterclass offerings. Many noting they are “sold out” or have a “waitlist.”

FYI, that’s good ol’ marketing at its finest, my friends. It’s a hook, and it makes you want that class. It makes you crave it, ’til you’re drooling over it.

‘Til you’re obsessively thinking it’s the only ticket to quick or certain business success. And, the only way that you, too, will become a master.

The Masterclass Problem: The Word is Overused and Abused

If you want to grow your business fast, it’s easy to get lured into registering for unbelievably well marketed masterclasses.

And, if you’re a business owner or coach selling a course, what better way to get sign-ups quickly than to market your class as a “masterclass.”

After all, master class sounds so damn fancy and serious. It sounds so freakin’ expert, especially when the marketing experts lather on the buying pressure. Sign up for this masterclass now. This masterclass will get you making six-figures in X months.

The problem: the use of masterclass is overused.

There’s simply a lot of hype around the word. And it’s exaggerated.

Not Every Class is a Masterclass

I’m sorry to break the news to you, but not EVERY class is a masterclass. So many classes are labeled or advertised as masterclasses now, that it has become difficult to sort out the real value of a course.

What happened to normal classes? Where’d they all go?

Or are these ‘masterclasses’ actually normal, regular classes packaged in fancy marketing hype? But with a masterclass price tag.

What is a masterclass?

The first masterclass offering I remember seeing online was a photography class by legendary photographer, Annie Liebovitz. I’ve loved Annie’s work for as long as I can remember. I’ve loved photography for even longer.

When I saw the class advertised, I almost immediately signed up. An opportunity to learn from a true master and expert in her field. How could I resist?

But fast forward a bit. Masterclasses are now practically trendy. They are definitely trending in coach and online education circles.

An Overused Name Designed to Sell

Originally, the meaning of masterclass was a class offering taught by a true pro. A leading industry professional. An expert in their field. A true masterclass guided by a gifted legend. A seasoned professional. People who have spent decades learning every aspect about the subject.

This is no longer the case. The meaning of masterclass has changed.

It’s now overused and drenched in hype, especially now with the explosion of business coaching and online classes.

An Exaggerated Course Description

I know this will probably be uncomfortable for some to hear, but I think the market is flooded with masterclass offerings taught by people and coaches who probably aren’t truly masters.

I think a lot of the courses you see are just regular courses with a fancy name. Sure, some may offer more one-on-one mentoring or personal attention. However, I think many classes are dressed up to sound or look like master courses, and insinuate that it’s the place where you’ll get everything you need to know for biz success.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s totally inspirational to see people out there with confidence to sell and market–to push their courses. It’s awesome and brave. Selling is hard work. And, there’s usually a big investment and learning curve that goes into course content creation and selling well.

Also, I strongly believe that sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. This is often especially so when you’re first starting out or re-inventing yourself.

It’s not always easy to launch a biz or set yourself apart. Plus, let’s not forget the hustle that goes into making something out of nothing. Or the magic of following a dream and making it happen.

Let’s Get Real with This masterclass Word

But the reality is that some of these masterclasses being pushed aren’t necessarily being taught by masters of the subject itself. That doesn’t mean the classes aren’t incredible. That doesn’t mean that you won’t learn a ton or make 6-figures with your business after taking the course.

However, I’m saying that’s get real for a quick minute and call a spade a spade. The term masterclass is overused. Some say it’s tedious at this point.

It’s hype designed to sell. To get you to buy.

The content of the course may or may not be master-level. It might have low standards. The teaching quality might be so-so at best. It might even be the first time teaching for the teacher or coach.

However, it may also be good. Or totally amazing. Maybe even the best freakin’ class you’ve ever taken.

But still, many of the masterclasses out there are offered by people growing their own businesses. People looking to build their own empires and followers. And people looking to develop their own niche expertise. They might not even be well known (or known!) in their field.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that these people, teachers, or coaches are doing anything wrong. They may be doing everything right! They also may also be incredible coaches.

However, chances are, they might not be true masters in the original sense intended when the masterclass concept debuted.

When Ordinary Works

The word masterclass makes classes without the word in the course title somehow seem lesser. Or lacking value or educational richness or vigor.

However, don’t be mislead. There are so many course offerings out there that can teach you what you need to know to grow and thrive with your business.

Why You Might Want to Take Pause Before Committing to a Masterclass

The next time you find yourself eyeing a masterclass, take a moment to step back. Take pause.

Do your homework before plunking down cash or commitment on a masterclass, and ask questions.

Questions you might ask before signing up for a masterclass:

  • Who is teaching this master class?
  • What are their credentials? Or experience?
  • How long have they been teaching this masterclass?
  • Are they subject matter experts in their field?
  • What are other students saying about their classes?
  • What does the community say about their offerings?
  • How is their reputation?
  • Do they offer any type of refund or release from a course contract or commitment?
  • Are you feeling pressured to buy this course?
  • Will the price tag be worth it — or might you be better off taking a less expensive course and investing the difference into your business, such as marketing your biz and buying Google Ads?

You’re Turn

Okay. It’s your turn now. I want to hear from you. What do you think of this post? Do you think “masterclass” is overused? Overpriced? Do you call your classes masterclasses? Or will you now?

Drop a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Masterclass Overuse and Hype: All Classes Can’t Be Masterclasses”

  1. I agree, I do see a lot of this out there. For some reason I see a ton of classes being offered to become either a life coach or a yoga teacher? (Instagram algorithm anyone?) I am not really qualified to do either of those things. I have no idea how they screen people for these offers.

    I get what you are saying about the credentials of the coaches giving these courses, but what about the credentials of people taking the courses? How do they qualify someone to take this? Like the yoga example. For a masterclass to be a yoga instructor, wouldn’t I have to be either a yoga teacher already, or at least an expert in yoga? I’m not either one of those. I am intermediate at best. Yet I could sign up for the class without having the necessary qualifications to even be in the class in the first place.

    You are totally right, some of these courses are being hyped too much, and marketed too widely. Thank you for bringing attention to this, so that people aren’t taking classes where they aren’t going to benefit.

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