Have you evey been invited to a free event hosted by an Internet marketer who promises you’ll walk away a lot smarter, and then you get to the event and find out it’s nothing but a sleazy pitchfest for a $2,000 product?
What about those expensive “systems” pushed by Internet marketers who claim they will make you so successful, you can spend hours at the pool, just like they do, while your business runs on autopilot? Or too-good-to-be-true promises from publicity “experts” who say that just one appearance on TV can be your ticket to fame and fortune?
Ever been pitched by an SEO firm that promises you “Number 1 ranking” on Google?
PR expert Dan Janal finally got tired of attending those events, seeing those scams, and hearing from many of his clients who were ripped off by them. His new book Internet Marketing Confidential—How to Spot the Lies And Scams Internet Marketers Use To Rip Off Speakers, Authors, Consultants, And Coaches is the safety net you need to avoid being rolled. The 120-page paperback is $24.95.
It’s a fast, entertaining read.
Dan divides the rip-offs into four chapter topics: Stop Lying to Yourself, Scams, Lies, and What They “Forgot” to Tell You About Marketing Tactics. You can quickly find the scam you’re looking for in the index, and read his one- to three-page explanation of each. If you’re in a real hurry, you’ll appreciate his “Truth-o-meter” which rates the truth of some of the marketing messages, as well as his “Bottom Line” assessment at the end of each.
Here are three chapters, reprinted with permission.
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What They “Forgot” to Tell You About Publicity
Premise: They claim, “If you get your name in the newspaper or on TV, people will buy your products by the boatloads.”
Definition: Media articles that talk about you and your products.
Truth-o-meter: Not true.
Discussion: People think that getting their name in the paper, or being seen on TV will change their lives.
But it could be true if you work it the right way.
Full disclosure: I’m a publicity guy. And I was a reporter and business news editor. And I have two degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University’s famed Medill School of Journalism. So I know how things work from both sides of the journalism fence.
I tell my clients that publicity is part of the marketing program; it is not the be all and end all.
That’s because – at best – publicity helps create awareness, credibility and visibility. These are important tools that can be used in your marketing campaign, on your website, in your proposals, and in your book proposals as well as any other kind of sales situation.
All that is worth a lot of money!
But people have the misguided impression that if you get your name in the media, then hordes of people will buy your stuff.
It doesn’t work like that.
I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say you hear an author interviewed on morning drive radio as you drive to do errands. It’s a fascinating interview. You resolve to buy the book. But you can’t do it in the car. By the time you get to the office, you’ve completely forgotten about the book.
Let’s say you are watching a TV talk show and you hear a great comedian do her bit. Do you run out and buy her book? Or her CD? Or find out if she’s playing at your local comedy club?
Let’s say you get the Wall Street Journal or Business Week, or the New York Times. Do you read every article on every page? Of course not. So you might have missed the great article about a consultant who has a service that you could use.
What does this all prove?
“The next time you hear of that person, you might remember and say, “Oh yeah, I heard her on Conan. Let’s buy tickets.”
“The next time you see an ad for that book, you might say, “I’ve been meaning to take a look at that.”
“The next time you need a consultant you might say, “I think I read about some guy who did something like this.”
And if those people are smart marketers, they will have included copies of those media mentions in their marketing kits, websites and ad campaigns so you are more likely to buy.
One of the truths about marketing is repetition works. Most people don’t buy when they hear about something for the first time. They need time to get familiar with the brand, do research and have a need. When all those factors come together, publicity has done its job to build credibility and trust to convert a prospect into a customer.
Bottom Line: Publicity is part of the marketing mix; it is not a direct link between advertising and sales. Once you realize that, you will have more realistic expectations.
The “Pitch Fest Masquerading as Educational Seminar” Lie
Premise: They claim, “Come to this seminar and learn everything you need to get started in info marketing from 12 experts.”
Definition: A seminar that promises to teach you about a topic but really is choreographed to sell you expensive info products or expensive coaching/consulting programs.
Reality: The presenters whet your appetite about the topic and the riches it could provide. Then they offer to spill the beans when you buy their stuff.
They say, “I can’t go into great detail in the 45 minutes they’ve given me to speak.”
And they are right. Most speakers tell you about the dream you want to hear and the opportunities to reach that dream. But they don’t tell you how to get there. It’s like reading chapter one of a book. They establish the need in your mind and in your heart.
You pay a hefty fee to register for the event, fly to the site, stay in a hotel and eat hotel food. You deserve a world-class education. Instead, you are treated like a captive audience that must buy anything and everything. I’ve seen presenters use vicious intimidation, subtle wordplay and psychological tricks to get people to buy.
I went to a seminar just to hear one speaker, a famous info marketer. He spoke for 45 minutes and said, “They really didn’t give much time to talk, so I can share only a little bit of info with you.” He then gave a very little bit of info. He got a nice applause. Then the seminar promoter asked him to come back and talk about his new program. He spoke about that new program for two hours! I timed it! It was a brilliant sales job. But I felt abused.
Bottom Line: You’re better off buying a book on that topic for $24.95.
What They “Forgot” to Tell You About Distributing Video on Hundreds of Video Sites
Premise: They claim, “If you post your videos on hundreds of video sharing sites you’ll get zillions of views and lots of business.”
Definition: You pay a company to post your video to dozens of video sites so you get wide distribution.
Name four sites that host video.
There’s YouTube, Vimeo and your site and maybe a guest blogging site a site hosted by your professional association or trade group.
But did you know there are hundreds of video sites on the Internet that will host your video for free? And some companies will accept your money to post your video to all of them.
Is this a wise move?
I’m sure some people will disagree with me, but I’d opt for the top two sites and call it a day.
Just because there are hundreds of sites doesn’t mean your prospects know about them or visit them, or that they would see your video there. Most people can’t name four video sites.
This tactic could be like the proverbial tree falling in the forest. If no one’s there, did it make a sound?
Another key point: Google owns YouTube. Guess where YouTube videos appear on search results.
Answer: High, Very High.
Final point: Make sure you pay attention to keywords and SEO tactics in the headline and description so your video is indexed properly on Google so more prospects can find your video.
Bottom Line: Create videos. Post them on website and video sites where your prospects are most likely to see them.
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Have you run into any lies, scams or rip-offs not mentioned here? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the Comments section below. So would Dan, perhaps for a second edition of this book.
Your friends, followers and fans should know about Internet Marketing Confidential. Please share it on the social media sites. They’ll thank you!