[typography font=”Amaranth” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#961627″]Some Internet Gurus Are Legitimate[/typography]
You have come a long way. You are now deep into the heart of the Internet Jungle. You are doing great, but, don’t let your guard down. You have encountered, or at least become aware of the lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! You know about the sneaky snakes, cannibals, and poisonous plants. You are learning to live and thrive in this jungle, but there is one more group, possibly the most dangerous group of all, the tribal leaders– AKA the Internet Gurus who profess to have found the secrets of Internet success and the accumulation of great wealth.
You may have met some of them already. They seem to be nice, polite, educated, well-spoken, helpful people. You may even have begun developing relationships with some of them. They are very likeable and offer hope to anyone seeking successful ventures on the Internet.
Some of the Internet Gurus that you meet are legitimate and offer quality products. There are experts in the area of writing, publishing and marketing e-books. There are experts in viral marketing techniques, social media marketing, copywriting, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), affiliate marketing, article writing, FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and Website building and monetization. The list goes on and on.
They offer seminars, teleseminars and Webinars (usually free) as an introduction to their money-generating offers. For those who can (and will) pay for their books, online training, and one-on-one coaching, there are opportunities to learn a lot – but they are expensive. The challenge is figuring out which ones are the REAL experts and which ones are just really good sales people. I don’t know what the actual ratio of real experts to professed experts is, but my guess is that it could be as low as 1:100.
[typography font=”Amaranth” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#961627″]Learn to Recognize the Fake Internet Gurus[/typography]
Depending on how long you have been trekking through the Internet Jungle, the number of products you have purchased from “Internet Marketing Experts” will vary. But, whatever the number, they are all weighing down your hard drive and you probably have yet to make a single penny from any of it.
If you are brand new in the jungle, hopefully, the following information will help you avoid being a member of the group described in the above paragraph.
Claiming to be an expert does not make it so. The majority of these “gurus” are nothing more than intelligent and clever scam artists who have found a way to make millions by convincing others that they have the product or system to make dreams come true.
Some of their material may be original, but often they are using material that they have collected from free sources on the internet (information available to anyone, if you just knew where to look); they package it in a saleable format (books, DVD’s, training courses, videos, etc.) and develop a marketing/sales strategy.
Those who have the money, hire talented copy writers to carefully craft sales pages that will convince you that you may actually have a chance at hitting it big – their product may be the one that finally works for you.
They use emotional triggers to exploit you. They prey on your intense desire to succeed and to make “loads of money” Online. They know how to use “squeeze pages” to squeeze every possible penny from your bank account. The most successful of the Internet Gurus have done their homework and have become very adept at psychological warfare.
They do not care whether their systems work or not – whether you are successful or not. Their only goal is to take your money to fill their own pockets.
A common strategy for presenting their product to the world is offering a free Webinar, which is designed to seduce you into to buying before you leave the Webinar – before you have time to think about it.
It is a little like going fishing with a shotgun as the attendees at the Webinar quickly sign up for the “magic bullet” product and pay anywhere from $97 to $997. If you can believe the gurus, there are as many as 1,000 people who attend these seminars.
Let’s do the math. If only 10% buy at the lowest price – that is 100 sales at $97 = $9,700. Not bad for a 60-minute presentation. And, they almost always provide a “recorded session” for anyone who happened to miss the live session, from which they glean a few thousand dollars more.
This strategy is particularly effective if the originators can get someone (or several someone’s) who are already established as a guru, to sponsor (and introduce) them or just send out emails to their substantial list announcing the webinar – for a percentage of the “take.” I have fallen prey to this marketing tactic more than once.
I am sure you have heard the saying, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” I would amend that slightly and say, “The Internet makes for even stranger bedfellows!” You will see joint venture agreements between fierce competitors who sell the same products to the same market.
It happens frequently when such an agreement financially benefits both parties and together they are more powerful than they are working separately. Joint venture agreements between competitors are not all that uncommon. The problem is that together they are a more formidable threat to newbies because it muddies the line between value-added products being offered by experts and junk being offered by experts in name only.
The majority of offers made through free webinars provide a 30-day money-back guarantee – some even give a 60- or 90-day guarantee. (Be sure to take a screen shot of their guarantee, just in case you decide to buy.)
Guarantees are a good thing and most are honored – but not always. They can refuse your refund request and say that there was a disclaimer that you missed, which will make it difficult, if not impossible to get your money back – even if what you received was a pile of junk or information that you already had. I lost a $1,000 because of this scenario – so I know it happens.
Be smart! Don’t fall for the “Bonus Trap.” Most of the bonuses are worthless because you either do not need them, and/or you will probably never use them (or you may never get the bonus – such as free coaching).
Also – ignore the time limit they put on the offer (and there is always a time limit) – do not get sucked into the vortex and spend money without checking out the product and the people selling it. Believe me . . . the offer will be available tomorrow!
At the very least, take the time to run the presenter(s) name through Google. This will not tell you everything you need to know, but it is a place to start. Ask other marketers or even your friends on Facebook, Google+, or any other social media platforms you use. Find out if anyone knows these experts or gurus – and if they have taken a course or purchased a product from them. Do some digging and get as much information as possible.
Warning: NEVER, NEVER, EVER buy anything that does not have a guarantee.
If you decide to purchase after waiting at least a day and checking everything out – and you really believe the product will help you reach your specific goals, take the following steps.
- Put the screen shot of the guarantee and a copy of your invoice in a file where you can find them quickly. Also be sure to keep all the contact information (name, physical address, phone number, and email address) of the company or individual who sold you the product.
- Mark your calendar with a reminder of when the guarantee period is over, so you can request a refund within the allotted time, if you choose.
- Carve out an adequate amount of time to use the materials so you can make an informed decision about whether there is enough value for you – given your specific goals – to keep the product.
WORD of WARNING: They are counting on the fact that most people will not be able to fully test their system within the 30 days they allow for refunds. They also know that most people will miss the refund deadline or be too embarrassed to request a refund. DO NOT let any of those things happen to you.
[typography font=”Amaranth” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#961627″]Other Scam Artists Disguised as Internet Gurus[/typography]
Write Articles for Cash
If someone promises to teach you how to write 300- to 400-word articles that you can sell for $1,000/each, run away as fast as you can (don’t walk). This person is not a wise and kind tribal leader!
If you bite, you will pay a lot of money for a secret that doesn’t exist. Even if you are a good writer, you would have to write 200 articles at $5.00/each in order to make a $1,000 . . . and that is if you know the rules of Internet article writing and are very lucky.
Make $100,000 a MONTH with a fool-proof money-making system.
The story these “Internet Gurus” tell is that they started with nothing. Then, after years of work and research they finally found the secret or developed the system that has made them rich and now they want to share it with you. Remember….anybody can CLAIM anything as a fact. It is easy to slip past the Truth in Advertising Act in the Internet Marketing Jungle.
Stop and think for a minute. If someone were making $100,000 each and every month with their fool-proof, money-making system, why would they be willing to teach you (and anyone else who is willing to pay) how to compete with them? If you had found out how to find the pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, would you sell that information at any price? I don’t think so.
Claim to Fame by Association
These individuals do not claim that they actually have the credentials that make them gurus. They claim to be associated with people who are gurus, which puts them in a position to open doors or influence people on your behalf.
We all know that personal relationships with influential people can be a valuable asset. However, it should also be clear that knowing someone who knows someone is not an asset – and certainly not one worth paying for.
Stay tuned – The next article, Part II, continues with more unfriendly Internet Gurus who offer nothing more than to happily take your money without giving anything of value in return.