AWOL Academy Review: Scam or Legit? [An Honest Review]

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awol academy review

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Disclaimer:  How To Entrepreneur is not an affiliated with AWOL Academy.  This is a 3rd party AWOL Academy review that took hours to research and compile.  The facts have been compiled for you in effort to help you decide whether or not AWOL Academy is a good fit for you.

If you’ve attempted to learn internet marketing by going on Youtube and searching videos there, it’s likely, you may have run across an advertiser by the name of “Keala Kanae”.  He claims he was broke, living out of his parents’ house, and learned some secret internet marketing techniques.

He walks you thru his luxury home, shows you his luxury cars, and shows you a picture of himself in a “bed of checks” he claims he got from affiliate marketing.  After this brief walk-thru, he takes you into his office and does a lecture on what affiliate marketing is.  Look familiar?

 

awol academy review

Sidenote: His ad is quite long to be placed as an intro to videos or excerpts within the video.  When I’m researching on internet marketing, the length of the ad is bothersome, but I still went thru the AWOL academy sales funnel to see what it was about, and I’d love to share my review in the most unbiased way.

awol academy reviewA Little Background on Me

I’ve reviewed quite a few business training programs, Internet Marketing training programs, and business opportunities: sometimes as a third party reviewer and sometimes as an affiliate.  I enjoy reviewing opportunities objectively to help others make good decisions, avoid scams, and advance in their businesses and professions.

You can check out some of my other reviews to see that I’m not someone who bashes all opportunities that don’t work for me.  I’ve written many reviews on opportunities I have no affiliation with because I know they may be good for How To Entrepreneur readers.  In the rare cases that How To Entrepreneur is affiliated with a company, it’s only this way because the program sets itself apart in the market with the competitive advantages.

I understand that some things are good for some people and some are good for others, however, I’ve been on the side where I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on an opportunity that was highly inflated.  For this reason, I write reviews to help protect consumers from investing in inflated programs, and instead, give them options that could enable them to focus their money in other areas that might be important to them.

You can find all of my reviews on the blog.  I want to give you some background because I’ve seen Kanae’s rebuttal video on the overload of scam reviews…

Kanae’s Rebuttal on The Plethora of Bad Reviews and Scam Claims

There are quite a few mixed reviews about the AWOL Academy.  The BBB has a B+ rating, but when you search Google for reviews, several mixed reviews come up.  Here’s what Kanae had to say in response to the reviews online.

He’s right that many people write the reviews to promote an alternative product or service.  However, a monopoly of reviews written to refer you to an alternative program should be a red flag because AWOL Academy also has a very lucrative affiliate program.  The reviews referring customers to alternative offers may be signs that alternative programs may be better.

As a note from the video: Skip to about 22 minutes and listen to what he says about “Elite Push”.  He says it’s a customer of his, but the Elite Push promotional videos have Kameron George in the same house Kanae does his advertising videos inside of.  Added onto that, I’ve watched ElitePush review videos with the identical website as AWOL Academy with a different logo.  That seems like he’s either being dishonest or something is phishy.

Added onto that…in his rebuttal he portrayed that Wealthy Affiliate teaches people to make money by writing bad reviews on others.  That’s not true at all. The truth is Wealthy Affiliate teaches how to make money with your own passion in one path and how to make money thru their affiliate program as an alternative path.  

In the affiliate program, they teach how to write reviews: good and bad.  Honesty is the most important tenet of writing reviews and this is reiterated in the WA training.  For proof that good reviews are written by WA members, search for internet marketing training programs that have a good value for the price like Fizzle or Chris Farrell’s membership and you’ll find many WA members who have written good reviews. 

Added onto that, you can evaluate Wealthy Affiliate for Free and see if Kanae’s claims are true for yourself HERE.  They have a lifetime free trial with no credit card required and no upsells.  You can always purchase AWOL if you decide.

My Goal with this Review

I’m willing to purchase good training in the field and recommend it to others IF it’s a good value (meaning good time requirement and price in exchange for quality information). This review will be thorough and objective as my others.

If you’re here, I’m assuming that you’re trying to decide whether AWOL Academy is the best option to learn internet marketing in your situation.  I plan to deliver all of the facts and essential nitty gritty necessary to make that decision.  I’d wish I had someone to give a thorough review on some of the opportunities I tried before wasting my money, so I’ll do my best to be open and honest bringing with me a thorough understanding of what it takes to be successful online.

I’ll break this review down into portions answering:

  • What is AWOL Academy?
  • What’s included?
  • What’s the pricing like?
  • What others are saying
  • Whether it’s a legit program or a waste of time, and more

Let’s get started…

AWOL Academy Review | What is AWOL Academy?

I’ll be honest…

When I hear instructors for Internet marketing training or people who want to teach entrepreneurs how to start an online business who use the keywords “easy”, “simple”, or when I see what looks like showing off, it signals red flags.  On the flip side, I understand how these same terms and shows of a luxury lifestyle can serve as click bait, can cause some people to percieve you as an authority figure, and may even make conversions higher.

It’s a delicate balance..

Being completely honest about online business, it’s not easy or simple, and it takes a lot of work to build the business until you reach the point where you can leverage the previous work.  After a couple years of really committing, it can be some passive components, and a favorable lifestyle.

Many Internet scams are doing the same type of marketing as Keala is doing.  They paint a luxury scene and omit the work required to achieve those things in their marketing.  People who are new to internet marketing and don’t accurately understand the pros and cons of the lifestyle can be persuaded simply by assumptions and illusions related to their material possessions. I want to point out the advertising, but that doesn’t mean Kalea’s a scammer quite yet.  Let’s continue looking deeper…

AWOL Academy stands for “Another Way of Life” Academy.  Their program says it teaches you freelance marketing, however, the procedures seem to align more with Affiliate marketing than freelancing.

With the freelance business model, you post your resume and portfolio on gig boards like Upwork or Fiverr, you can also cold email and get customers from live networking, you send out proposals to potential clients, and you perform services.  For example, doctors with their own practices, attorneys with their own practices, or marketers with their own agency.

In the model AWOL Academy teaches, you are identifying companies with affiliate programs, signing up for them and driving traffic to the offers–this is not freelance marketing.  If you were looking for information on freelance marketing, I’d recommend you look into the Fizzle program or Udemy.

If affiliate marketing is what you’re looking to use to monetize your business online, let’s continue to look at what AWOL Academy offers you…

The Founders

The company AWOL Academy Inc. was founded by Keala Kanae and Kameron George in 2015.  Their headquarters is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The company originally started as a part of the MLM compay Empower Network (that recently filed bankruptcy).  Collectively, you can see the founders have maintained a steady infatuation with living a lifestyle outside of the normal 9-5 job, glass ceiling paycheck, and trading time for money.  Videos like this one by Kameron George show you that:

But, does their program offer you an alternative way of life or are you building theirs?

AWOL Academy Review | AWOL Products and Services

AWOL uses a funnel method of introducing their products or services where they’re not up front about how much the products or services will cost.  Instead, they have you sign up for their email list in exchange for a PDF ebook called “Freelance Digital Marketing Secrets”.

Again, the book titled “Freelance Digital Marketing Secrets” does not talk about Freelance Digital Marketing.  Instead, it seems like a transcription of the video in the ad verbatim.  Throughout the book, there’s reminders that the book doesn’t offer a paralleled experience with their free webinar, and continually requesting you sign up.

The free webinar leads you to a $99 course that has 4 additional upsells! On their website, AWOL Academy offers:

  • Pro Academy: Pro Academy teaches you how to set up a sales funnel on your website, how to make lead capture pages, how to use conversion tracking, email marketing, and more for $99.
  • Internet Income Explained: In Internet Income explained you learn the basics of how people monetize an online business for $49.
  • Inbox Academy: Inbox Academy teaches you how to sell thru email marketing, how to increase click-thru rates, and writing email copy for $447.
  • Conversion Academy: Conversion Academy teaches how to use persuasive writing to engage potential customers and get sales for $1797.
  • Traffic Academy: Traffic Academy teaches you how to get targeted traffic to your website and the price is $2997.
  • Master’s Academy: Master’s Academy tells you how to manage the money you acquire from your business (including: tax planning, investing, and money management.  The course is $5497.

Collectively, after all of the entry courses and upsells, you’d be paying $10,886.00 as the training investment in your business.

Something Phishy I Noticed

When you go to the page with information on their affiliate program, you find out there are additional upsells including AWOL Community for $49/month (I think, you’ll see why), AWOL Elite Lite for $11,997 and AWOL Elite $17,997.

awol academy

Adding everything they sell together, you’re nearly spending $40,000 if you buy everything!

In AWOL Elite Lite, you get ongoing mentoring where you can bring your sales pages, langing pages, and components of your business to get actionable direction from the AWOL team.  In AWOL Elite, you get everything in AWOL Lite plus tickets to two live events.

For the AWOL Community, it seems like maybe there’s a typo with the pricing because the commission says $$49.95 monthly, but the pricing says $59.95 annually.  Can you guess how much this upsell is?

awol academy review

Considering the price, you should definitely make sure to do your business budget and decide whether you can afford $10,000+ on training.  Included with the training are no tools, therefore, if you wanted to implement the training by making landing pages, a sales funnel, a website, or other things you may need, you may still need to invest another $1000 or more following the plan set out by AWOL Academy.

Alot of people start businesses while on a job and with financial constraints.  I would not recommend this program to anyone with financial constraints.

There are other programs that provide identical outcomes with superior tools and combinations.  My #1 recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate, however, some other programs that also offer superior value to AWOL Academy are:

  • Fizzle.co
  • Billionaire Blog Club
  • and, Udemy

If you have $10,000+ in savings, and you’re okay with participating in this program simply for the relationships with Kalea, Kameron and their community, then take a look at this program.  Otherwise, I would not recommend this program because there are other alternatives that give you more value for the price.

Take a look at how this program compares with Wealthy Affiliate...

 

AWOL Academy Review | The Affiliate Program

awol academy review

Alot of times, affiliate programs can be sources of biased reviews.  People may promote a program simply because they are bribed or paid thru affiliate sales.

Recently, many people were misled by MOBE affiliates that had a comparable product offering.  They offered high-priced Internet Marketing training that was marketed very well.  Eventually, the FTC shut them down because they were deemed as a Pyramid Scheme.  They sold products that had little to no real value and people lost upwards of $20,000 (millions collectively).

As a result, I always look to see whether other reviews are written by affiliates, what the affiliate program is like, and if it could lead to biased information online.

With AWOL, there are very tempting incentives for promoting the program.  They offer 30% commissions on all sales and it’s a two-tiered affiliate program.  You get 30% from your direct referrals and 5% from their referrals.  For example, If affiliate A referred affiliate B, affiliate A would earn 30% of the purchase price as a commission.

If affiliate B went on to refer affiliate C, then affiliate B would earn 30% of the purchase price and affiliate A would earn 5%.  In settings like this, it incetivizes people to promote the program, and it also incentivizes the “upline” to monitor retention.

AWOL Academy accepts people who have and those who have not purchased their program to be affiliates, and earn thousands in commissions (depending on what’s being purchased).  When you’re looking at other reviews, keep this in mind that people could be earning thousands from affiliate sales, and see if they have a track record for being a person of integrity (regardless of what they’re promoting) before trusting their reviews.

You can even look at my track record.  

AWOL Academy Review | A Video Playlist of What others Are Saying…

Here’s a playlist I’ve compiled of various different reviews, so you can see what people are saying good and bad.  Some may be affiliates of AWOL, but it would be good to hear their experiences too if you want to make a decision based on facts:

AWOL Academy Review | Pros vs. Cons

Pros

  • A 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Other reviewers have said they honor the money-back guarantee and are very polite
  • A Facebook group for members
  • An Affiliate program with alot of earning potential
  • The courses contain information that’s necessary for running a successful online business

Cons

  • Lots of upsells
  • Very expensive in comparison to their competition
  • Not much talk of an engaged community component
  • Affiliates can inflate reviews because the earnings potential is so high
  • The advertising seems dishonest. The same house in his ad is used by other reviewers promoting similar products
  • Mixed reviews about the program online
  • No longstanding history (since they just started in 2015) — Difficult to assess credibility and reputation
  • It;s likely they’ll teach you their sales methods which seem deceptive by inflating claims and omitting important information up front
  • Their advertising seems to omit information: pricing, accurate information about competitors, etc.

What’s Better than AWOL Academy?

If you’re looking for a program that will:

  • Teach you internet marketing skills
  • Help you learn to build an online business
  • Give you mentorship, live training with Q&A’s and 1-on-1 coaching

Check out Wealthy Affiliate! Here’s a breakdown of the plan options, and THERE’S NO UPSELLS OR HIDDEN FEES!

Final Words on AWOL Academy Review

The goal of this article was to show you all of the necessary facts you’d need to decide whether AWOL Academy is a good Internet Marketing training program for you. Although, AWOL Academy is not a scam per se, I still would not recommend it to others.

I only recommend programs that clearly present a good return on investment for the target audience, and I can’t say that about AWOL Academy.  Added onto that, it seems like there’s too much phishy omissions of information for me to recommend the program in good faith.

It seems that AWOL Academy is targeting startup and pre-startup entrepreneurs with training that could cost them $40,000+. to learn internet marketing.  While everyone can choose their own comfort levels with courses, value propositions, and competitive advantages, I haven’t found any reason to believe this course has a better value proposition or competitive advantages when compared against other programs of it’s type.

Instead, I have found every reason to believe my #1 recommendation is an amazing offer in comparison.  If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!

If you would like to learn internet marketing to start or scale your business, check out Wealthy Affiliate, my #1 recommendation CLICK HERE AND CREATE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT!

Internet marketing skills can carry with you into your business or professional like in multiple ways.   When you create your account, you’ll get two free websites, ten free training lessons, and access to a community of 1 million+ entrepreneurs (many who are making major things happen online!).  CREATE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT NOW!

Now, it’s Your Turn…

Have you heard of AWOL Academy?  Have you enrolled in the program?  What are your thoughts on the program?  Is it worth the price?  Can the target audience typically afford the price tag, or are they digging too deep into the average startup entrepreneur’s pockets with less value than the price deserves?

AWOL Academy

1.8

Honest Advertising

0.0/10

Ease of Use

3.0/10

Opportunity for Good Pay

3.0/10

Good Training

0.0/10

Good Support

3.0/10

Pros

  • Affiliate marketing is an effective method of earning income
  • Digital Marketing is an effective way to earn money

Cons

  • Deceptive advertising
  • Lots of upsells
  • You're taught to promote AWOL
  • Lots of information is omitted in their ads
  • They won't teach you exhaustively about affiliate marketing or digital marketing--other programs (like Wealthy Affiliate) are more exhaustive
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16 thoughts on “AWOL Academy Review: Scam or Legit? [An Honest Review]”

  1. Tiffany Denise

    Hey this was a really good article and had good use of videos. I actually did a review on them myself. I was going to join that program before i found WA. but i found out there were many expensive upsells after you spend the 99 dollars and they were dishonest about a lot.

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hey Justin! You made a good move by choosing WA instead. This one may work for a few but its quite pricey for the offer and alot of questionable advertising practices.

  2. Tiffany Denise

    Thanks for this review. I came across AWOL academy on youtube and thought that it sounded amazing. I am so gad that I did a bit more research before parting with my cash. There is no way I could afford all the upsells that are required so I will keep looking for a more affordable altrentaive. Thanks again!

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hey Chris! I’m also glad you came by this review! For an affordbable alternative, you should definitely check out Wealthy Affiliate. They have a free trial, and teach everything AWOL academy promises plus TONS more. Try it out!

  3. Tiffany Denise

    I personally think that this cannot be true. I was scammed by this type of programs so many times and I now know what is legit and what no. When someone start to show some luxury cars and houses that can’t be legit for sure. You did an excellent review on this one because its good that people see the truth behind all and not spend hundreds of dollars on such scams.

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Daniel! Thanks for sharing your experience with internet scams. Their scenery definitely seemed like a red flag to me because they appear to be “showing off”. I’ve seen other successful people with lots of wealth, but they don’t feel the need to flaunt it on a Youtube ad as these guys do. Looks very suspicious to me.

  4. Tiffany Denise

    Thank you for this great review on AWOL Academy.  I am in the affiliate marketing industry and I have actually heard of them before.  I thought they were just affiliate marketing, thank you for pointing out they are actually trying to be closer to freelance marketing than affiliate marketing. I appreciate the distinction.  Their sales funnel seems pretty busy with x4 different upsells ranging from $99 to $5497.  That is a lot of money for many people to spend on education training. 

    It’s good to know that it is not a straight up scam. It is simply a really expensive training program with lots of upsells. Thanks for sharing. I was just wondering what are the top one or two things that you want from every training program to make sure that it is worth the money that you spend on the program?

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Glenys! My outcomes for training has changed over the years. When I was in the concept phase of my business, I was studying potential business models to see which I like best. Now, I’m looking for training I take to deliver returns on investment in my business by way of increasing key performance indicators I currently see. If the training can increase sales, traffic, conversions, retention, or something like that, it’s worth more than training that’s on a tactic. 

  5. Tiffany Denise

    Very enlightening blog post.  I don’t know about anyone else but when I start getting upsell after upsell after I join a program, it is an immediate turn off.  I feel like I was sold the starter program and will not get anything out of the program unless I spend more.  Because of this tactic I always develop buyer’s remorse and look for the refund button. 

    Like you state there are programs out there that don’t do the whole upsell thing that also offer valuable learning experiences.  Thank you for taking the time to write about this.

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hey Tom! I agree about the turnoff of receiving upsell after upsell. For me, I’m familiar with the McDonald’s process. When you’re ordering a burger, I’m okay with being asked would I like a fry and a drink too, but for AWOL Academy, they are starting less than $50, and asking for customers to spend an additional $6000 or more?!!! I think that’s a big jump.

      In contrast, it would be different if you were buying an ebook and they asked if you’d like the audio read along version. Wouldn’t you say? I think the big problem is when it seems they’re selling very fragmented information and requiring you to buy the next step up to get the full information. I think that’s wrong.

  6. Tiffany Denise

    Great article, i enjoyed reading every bit of it. very much needed as people out there are trying to figure out the better affiliate program out of the two.

    Honestly, i can’t understand why he would insinuate that WA teaches people to make money by writing bad reviews on others. i know for a  fact that this simply is not true.”Honesty is the most important tenet of writing reviews and this is reiterated in the WA training.” You nailed it right on the head with this statement.

    A friend of mine not to long ago recommended Wealthy Affiliate to me and i am so glad that they did, because it has changed my life for the better. if anyone is looking to make a nice passive income they should definitely go with WA.

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Stacy! I’m glad you pointed this out and agreed with the spirit of the WA training. I’ve never heard a training at WA that tells people to post unethical or misleading reviews, but I think he feels the heat of WA members who are sharing his business disadvantages, and who are revealing WA as a better alternative.

  7. Tiffany Denise

    Hi Tiffany

    I really appreciate this honest review, there seems to be a new trend with these over priced course creators where they like to blame Wealthy Affiliate for bad reviews.

    I honestly believe that they never peruse beyond the negative reviews of their own companies to come to such conclusion.

    As for AWOL Academy, I would personally never pay for such over-priced products but unfortunately, there is a huge market for people in the business opportunity niche who think everything will be easy if you pay more money for it. All the information you need can be found for free, you just a need a coupe of tools and services that can get you started and they shouldn’t cost you more than $50 pm. 

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Minhaj! I agree with what you’re saying. People looking for an easy route to success can lose alot of money because people will take their money and sell them a false dream. As you said, there are higher value alternatives that cost much less.

  8. Tiffany Denise

    Thank you for this review.  The moment a program starts with asking for money when they have not offered a trial, I run away very first!  I saw this awol program and I was like, this must be for people who have already made it in life and just want to add more to their pocket change.  Imagine some of us just want to earn at least $1000 and someone is asking for $40000, so how much are those members there making then?  The comparison with WA is shocking!  It seems as if they are practically offering nothing but extorting members. I am not moving a muscle from here period!

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Niley! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I think you’re right. For college, the costs are comparable to this program, but at least you know at the end what types of careers you’re being prepared for, and approximately how much the pay is. For this program, they teach you one method of “freelance digital marketing” (when they demonstrate affiliate marketing), but there are other methods. 

      If you’re starting out with a job, it’s likely, you’re making less than $100,000 per year, and paying for this program can range up to high percentages of your annual income.  Then, after spending a high percentage of your annual income, you’d get one method of affiliate marketing: the paid advertising method, but, what if you want a different method?  WA teaches affiliate marketing using the paid advertising method, but they also teach SEO which is a more sustainable path for people who are just starting out. The best part of the deal when comparing AWOL Academy and WA is that WA offers a free lifetime trial, so you can have access to the community and upgrade to premium for extra features.

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