There’s a whole online industry of self-proclaimed gurus and experts that’s entirely dedicated to telling online marketers how to become millionaires by marketing themselves online.
They offer courses, seminars & webinars, Skype consultations, books, DVDs — you name it — telling you their fool-proof, tried-and-tested, success-guaranteeing methods to sell.
Which is all well and good. The problem is that the majority of these gurus have never sold anything in their life apart from their own courses, seminars, webinars, Skype consultations, books and DVDs.
They all follow the same template. They tell you how incredibly rich they are and show you pictures of them standing by their exotic homes with their exotic other halves and their exotic cars.
And they promise that, if you follow their lead (ie buy their courses, seminars, Skype consultations, books and DVDs) you too could have the aforementioned exotic trappings of success.
Go online, go from rags to riches
Most creepily of all, they often have Youtube interviews with others in their field who are equally successful and equally gushing about their route from rags to riches. (It’s always rags to riches. They never start with a whopping great load from Dad and Mom.) They relentlessly pat each other on the back and flog each other’s courses, seminars, Skype consultations, books and DVDs. (Starting to see a pattern, here?)
The links and recommendations go round and round, from emails to websites to Youtube and Facebook and back again.
Affiliate Marketing is their big secret, here. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s where you automatically get a commission on something that’s bought online via a link from your site. So you can do it with Amazon. You can become an Amazon affiliate marketer and recommend a pair of gardening shears on your blog, with a helpful link. If your reader clicks through to Amazon and buys them, you get a small commission.
But with the gurus, they’re scratching each other’s backs to the extent that they can get up to 100% of the cost of the course that’s being promoted. And if the course costs hundreds of pounds or more, it’s well worth promoting for your chum. Your chum gets the customer who is then upsold to other courses and products (which you may get a cut on too). This all guarantees to make the punter rich as long as he just buys course 3/4/5 too.
But, actually, it’s only guru one and guru two who are actually getting rich. Along with guru three and guru four who also review and promote each other’s courses and teaching aids.
But out here in the real world, where most of us sadly reside, these gurus have never sold anything. They have no CV to speak of, no case studies to point you to, no client testimonials (other than the people who bought their courses, seminars etc etc). They have no authority as marketing experts whatsoever.
Yet, some of them seem genuinely, hugely, magnificently successful.
What a wonderful thing the internet can be!