Why most internet marketers are full of crap

Don’t let the appeal of quick money ruin your appreciation of the unique things you have to offer the world.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Save your money and invest in yourself instead.

The more time you spend online, the more you’ll come across a special type of lying and pretending that goes on with so many marketers online. It’s a big contrast to what I thought of as marketing.

Before I joined the online world I had been reading material by people like Jay Abraham, Stephen Covey (self-help), Bryce Courtenay, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Allan Pease and Michael E Gerber. These are old-school marketing teachers that cut their teeth in the real world of face to face selling, copywriting and communication.

People that emphasized testing, research, honest appraisal of the current marketplace, asking questions, utilizing untapped resources, and creative ways of finding people that want what you have to offer.

Online though everyone (ok not everyone) seem to be looking for the quick fix.

Especially when it comes to SEO.

Listen to what Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google has to say about this:

The internet has created a mad rush of “entrepreneurs” with dollar signs in their eyes and only one aim:

To get more followers and/or subscribers that they can fleece for cash.

As a result of this get-rich-quick thinking, we see:

  1. Outright lying – If every sales page out there is for real then there are thousands of millionaires sharing their “secrets” just because they want to give something back to society. If they work so damn well, why are they selling a program that shows me how to do it?
  2. Selling to everybody – Spamming is one example, but at least spam stands out. The bulk of pretend marketers fit into this category and typically don’t care who you are but only whther you’ve seen their sales page. Which leads me to…
  3. Long drawn out sales pages – You know the ones. Three miles of sales copy, loads of really over-ripe testimonials and lots of guarantees with motivating phrases like, “This price will only last today” and “You will not see this offer ever again” and on and on. Sure a lot of these sales pages do work, but does the product? And would you recommend it?
  4. Over promise, under deliver – Building something up to be “the turnkey solution to all your money worries” should set off alarm bells for any sane person. More like Turkey!
  5. More is better – Giving someone a lot of information is less and less being seen as a great thing. But wait… If you buy now I’ll throw in these three other products you’ll have to sift through to find useful stuff. Thanks but no thanks.
  6. No follow up – The second you buy a product you get absolutely zero follow-up or support. Wouldn’t it be a novel idea to use an auto-responder to follow up and spread the program out into digestible pieces instead of to try to sell you the next thing?

Don’t let them do it!

As I see it there are six different categories of marketers online:

The Real Deal

These people are the right stuff. These are the astronauts of Marketing that blaze the trail and continually try to teach us that there is no “secret” but rather, only principles that can be learned. They give out unbelievable value for free and even better value in their products.

Humble Learners

Honest people like you (hopefully!) and me that are in the process of understanding and applying the real principles of marketing and selling. They apply themselves in a sequential manner and are constantly open to new information. Hopefully imparted by the first group.

The Big Deceivers

Most of these are the early adopters that managed to get in early enough to build a big enough list that they can make enough money to make some genuine promises, but their products are sub-standard and as a result they have to keep bringing them out and pushing them on to you and me.

Either that or they are people that stumbled on a quick way to make cash that only lasts on the short-term.

The Positive Self-Helper

These people essentially repackage the works of the new-age or self-help crowd (some of which do the same!) in conjunction with some product or service.

They rely on the fact that most people are pretty uneducated and think that being positive alone or using “The Secret” is going to suddenly make you buy their stuff. Yes, it’s better to be positive but in most cases these people sell the illusion of transformation instead of a consistent learning process.

Lowly Pretenders

These people setup shop and will do anything to appear to be successful in order to sell you something. These people may appear to be pros, but reality they’ll probably be paying off that Porsche for another 10 years.

The Rank Amateur

These people don’t even attempt to hide their lack of understanding and instead of admitting their ignorance they go on as if we can’t tell. Need I say more?

People in the last four on this list are mostly well meaning, but, at every step you should exercise critical awareness and use it as a chance to observe what works and what doesn’t work in the real world.

Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.

Stephen Covey

12 Things you can do to start being a marketer (for real)

  1. Get real with yourself and engage some self-awareness.
  2. Admit when you don’t know something – admission of ignorance is the first step in your education.
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Share what you do know in a real, caring way
  5. Draw on your untapped or unrecognized skills and resources. Write them down and start developing them.
  6. Associate with greatness and quality. Have a strong standard for what that means.
  7. Don’t settle for less.
  8. It’s easier to sell something with integrity if you really believe in it. Remove anything that does not make you feel proud.
  9. Tell your story honestly.
  10. Survey your followers and or subscribers and ask them what their concerns and fears are. Be interested in them and their world.
  11. Develop multiple pillars of success. Smart business people know that you need many different ways to attract customers. When one fails, the others become critical.
  12. Articulate or at least develop a USP or Unique Sales Proposition.
  13. Develop a mission statement that drives you emotionally to tap into your best performance.

I’m sure there are more but the underlying shift here is from quick-fix to a principle centered awareness.

As long as you have a desire to rush the process and fast-track or control success, the more ineffective you become and the less you are able to respond feedback.

So take the time to discover the needs and desires of your audience/customers, then engage with them.

They will thank you for it!

You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence and success. The problem is, you just don’t see them.

Jay Abraham

The key here is to not get distracted by other peoples story, and in the process, forget to build your own.

Marketing then, is the like a dating game. A meeting of two parties that mutually benefit from the interaction. From that point of view, marketing is a beautiful thing that for me, can never be tainted. And you shouldn’t let it either.


Thanks for reading this far and I welcome any feedback on this article, whether supportive or critical.

Even more interesting to me is if you could share some real world experiences of marketing, whichever category it may fit into.

photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pomax/5155867462/
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