I’ve tried getting re-invigorated about this site, but I just can’t. The original purpose of this site was to talk about and promote online marketing techniques. Basically, I wanted to talk about the things that I’ve learned over the years about SEO, PPC, website building and other things.
As an ancillary benefit, I wanted to get consulting gigs from this site. I did get some consulting gigs, but not nearly as many as I was hoping for.
The problem is, that there is a stench in online marketing. It’s a horrible stench that is perpetuated by “the big names” in the industry.
You see, a lot of the big name internet marketing people are into manipulation, cult of personality and control tactics. They don’t really care about marketing, or you, or your business.
They are in it for the cash and for the cash only.
I even fell in with a few of them for awhile. I was seduced by the dark side of the force, so to speak. I became focused on how much cash I could make but wasn’t making. Actually, I should say, I focused on how much cash the “big guys” said they were making and how much I knew I wasn’t making.
I ended up losing sight of what I really wanted to do, which was to help and educate people. I was never interested in fleecing people.
It’s a big circle jerk.
The fake gurus all cross promote or tout each other’s products, and get affiliates of theirs to cross promote each other’s products too.
The cherry on top, is that they sometimes steal their affiliate’s commissions, or just flat out don’t pay them. The gurus all provide each other fake testimonials for what they’re selling, but they don’t bother to tell you that they have a financial interest in what they are reviewing.
There’s nothing wrong with providing a product review or a product testimonial. There’s even nothing wrong with providing a product review for something that you are selling.
There is something very wrong with not telling people that you have a financial interest in what you are “reviewing.”
The FTC thinks it’s wrong too.
Fake it until you make it.
I also feel that there’s something very wrong with claiming that you’re making lots of money doing something when that’s not the truth. If you’re hardly making any money, you shouldn’t claim to be living the “lifestyle,” sitting on the beach sipping mojitos.
If you use your fake lifestyle to sell your alleged expertise or to inflate your credentials, well, that’s fraud as far as I’m concerned.
You gotta have faith
I think the tipping point (to borrow a phrase from Malcolm Gladwell aka sideshow bob) came when I attended SXSWi a couple of years back.
I met a lot of people, some of whom were legitimate business people. Some of these legitimate business people had employees, fancy offices and Fortune 500 clients. Other people that I met, had no such thing.
I came to realize that I could not compete with the legitimate business people. I was out manned and out gunned. I simply did not have the connections to get the consulting gigs with the Fortune 500s of the world. Even though none of the people with the cadre of clients that I wanted had my same level of knowledge, I knew I couldn’t compete against them because I’m just not a schmoozer, mover and shaker. At least, not at their level anyway.
Then, I got hit with this thought: how come none of the “big name” internet marketing gurus were present here? Where were all these people that claimed to be marketing experts making millions of dollars a year selling a “formula” or “magic bullet” of some kind?
Why weren’t these people at SXSWi, schmoozing the Fortune 500s and presenting with these other people that had actual viable, thriving businesses or these startups funded with VC money and these non-profits that were making a difference in the world?
The answer has two parts.
Read part 2 here