Everyone’s A Guru
If you’re on Facebook, and you are, and Googling online marketing and how to make money online, then every website with a Pixel installed on it, will pick up on your visit and log the data with Facebook.
That’s how Facebook knows to show you all those ads for affiliate marketing, six figure high ticket consulting sales, drop shipping courses, and anything else vaguely related.
After a while you’ll start to notice that just about everyone’s selling the same thing, with the same marketing blurb, and making the same claims for themselves.
You’ll also notice how many of these geniuses are under thirty – if not twenty-five – and claim to have built the sort of online empires that would take decades off-line, on-world, with bricks-and-mortar businesses and face-to-face clients.
If you’re reasonably savvy, into marketing, read the general news, you may think you’re up on the business and its names. Sure, it’s a big world, and there’ll be legit success stories you’ve never heard of, and once you notice them, like as not, you’ll see those names popping up again.
You’ll also find other mentions of them if you go Googling, and not just on their own publicity or affiliate linked sites.
Except none of that applies to the internet marketing gurus of Facebook ads with a product to sell.
These are a special type of guru: one you have to take on trust. One you have to believe the Shopify sales page pic is theirs and not Photoshopped. Same with the bank account screenshot, unverifiable testimonials and claims of success… none of which you’ll be able to find mention of outwith their own press releases and marketing literature. And you know its theirs as it always says the same thing.
It seems these days, anyone who’s made a few quid in internet sales is a “guru.”
One thing of interest to me is the backdrop of many of the sales videos. Not to be elitist, but if you’re doing the inevitable “six figure” sales months, then I’d have expected to see slightly more salubrious surroundings for the home office. Something on a par with a guy laying claim to having built several of these businesses anyway, and therefore grossing several millions per annum.
Unless of course the net of the $100k month is $1k, and the other $99k went to ad spend and product cost. Because peeling wallpaper and curtains hanging off a broken rail don’t really inspire me that you’re a millionaire… I’m thinking that pointing that camcorder out the window will reveal a row of ordinary terraced houses, not the manicured grounds of the millionaire’s mansion.
That can be circumvented to a certain extent if you’re playing the laptop lifestyle entrepreneur, and then you can feature hotel rooms and airbnb spaces instead of your bedsit…
… but again, they never quite look to be residing in the sort of price level and luxury that I’d anticipate.
One of the biggest markets out there is the “become a consultant” product. At anything they’ll tell you. Just find a niche, you don’t even have to be expert at it. It helps, but not necessary.
Not necessary to buying into the guru’s course and products anyway.
You see, if you’re passionate about a subject, read up on it, watch all the youtube vids and partake in a group, it’s possible to sound knowledgeable by just regurgitating everyone else’s advice.
It’s like watching a sport. People who’ve never got off the sofa or hit the gym in years, can breakdown and critique boxers and other professional sports people, while not being able to tie the boots required to get onto the playing field.
I’ve been going to the gym for years. I know all the exercises, what they do, the medical names for the muscles, the food to eat, the diets to pursue, the routines and gym equipment… but if you saw me, you wouldn’t say that guy’s a bodybuilder.
I could write a book on it, though, easy.
It’s even easier with online money-making. A la early Tai Lopez I can just fake everything for a few hours rental time. I can Photoshop and green-screen, BS and bluster. Who’s to say different? Except in the comments section – that I control and decide what gets through or not.
You can sound knowledgeable about internet marketing and business with zero practical experience or achievements. Let that sink in.
Every one of these people allude to a secret-sauce too, that you’ll get a taste of all for the price of your email address on their landing page.
A secret-sauce that will taste suspiciously like everyone’s else’s.
After a while, of reading and watching Youtube and the free webinars, you realise it’s just the same info repeated over and over. It was all new and a revelation the first time you heard it, from the first guru, but once you heard it again, sometimes said in the exact same way or following the same bullet points, you start to wonder who’s BSing who here?
Some people are legit – surely? I mean, I hope they are, but identifying them gets harder and harder.
The info given, the free stuff is all of a sameness. Unfortunately, so is the paid for stuff too.
Like the gym, the process is easy, it is understandable in a very short time period, and will produce results if applied.
And you won’t see results in a fortnight.
So all those “how we built x-number of six figure businesses using our method in three months” are probably not going to be replicated by you. Or me. Or just about anyone. It’s just the fishing hook to get you in there. You know like the first day at a new job and you get the induction, and you get told that the sky’s the limit, and it’s up to you – except within a few months it becomes evident that’s BS.
Don’t get me wrong, you can get success, make some money, but it will be a process of endurance and dedication. You won’t be a millionaire in a month. Actually, probably never, but it is realistic to make the sort of money that means you can at least quit the day job.
But it’s possible to lose weight and gain muscle too, those gym programs do work.
So, what I’m really saying is beware of the insta-guru of which there are many. I highly doubt anyone has a secret formula, and everything you need to know is available online, and there to be found for free. There are free groups to join and discussions to read and partake in, all without paying for it.
Now, having said that it makes my usual sign off of recommending Wealthy Affiliate a little harder as the same applies, and I recognise that.
However, Wealthy Affiliate isn’t just a single product. In addition to the training, there’s a comprehensive article and knowledge base, keyword tool, and thriving discussion community. There’s also a very good WordPress service called SiteRubix that comes with your membership that means you can host up to 25 different live sites.
So, Wealthy Affiliate isn’t just a product or one-off training course, it’s a whole lot more. You can read my recommendation here.
It’s free to join, you get a week’s worth of full membership without having to plug in your credit card, and you can try it on for size and see how it fits you.
I came to Wealthy Affiliate after a while of bouncing around a few sites and found it centralised everything I was looking for as a marketer.
Check it out, or not, the choice is yours.
Recommended further reading:
A classic you should be aware of if you aren’t.
Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!
by M. J. DeMarco
Thank you so much for sharing your great insights on this topic. I was looking for income coming from passive activities instead of active ones and now I am facing some problem like traffic, links, time management etc. but after reading this information I get a lot of confidence, really you help me a lot. Keep doing this within work and updating me.
Hi there! I feel more clued up after reading your blog. I’m now quite cautious after reading your article. Can you please give me at least five people who can be trusted ?
I nearly got caught up in a scam a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks, Paul. I think there’s a lot of people whose advice can be trusted but it’s just not worth the several hundred, or more usually several thousand, dollars they want for it. I’ve seen quite a few of these programs now and never seen anything yet that warranted the price tag or was truly “secret sauce.” Doesn’t mean it’s not out there, just I’ve yet to encounter it. I’ll admit though that I still get caught up in the sales hype and join the free areas of certain programs, contribute, purchase the cheap stuff, and check it out hoping this’ll be the “one”… but eventually get disillusioned and drop out. Not because I’m not seeing results from the advice but because the advice is what everyone else is saying.
Also I find it hard to be a follower. A student – yes. A cult member – no. And you’ll notice the sort of cheer-leading and hero worship that goes on in the comments section of many a group is certainly cult-like. Just because you paid $$$$ for something doesn’t imbue it (or yourself) with magical powers.
Most everything you need can be found and learned with Google and some patience. There’s plenty free forums and groups to join and read from and ask questions. Not that every answer may be the right one or the person giving it ever tried it of course, so you need a little while in most communities to suss out who’s for real and who isn’t.
Out of interest though, what area of online entrepreneurship are looking for recommendations in?