“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin.
We’ve all heard the story before of friends who get excited over the next ‘Get-Rich-Quick-With-Internet-Marketing' secret that was supposed to turn their life around – only for the fanfare to fade into silence. As it turns out the excitement had given way to disappointment as the plans fall through. And not only did they not gain anything from their venture but had wasted money and, more importantly, precious time.
Ironically, perhaps the only truth in these get-rich-quick seminars is that the only people getting rich are the ones running them. No less off the broken hopes (and life savings) of their victims. Trump University, founded by American presidential Republican Candidate Donald Trump, is an example of just how far non-accredited trainers would go to make a profit. Trump University is currently under two ongoing class action lawsuits in US federal court; one for misleading students and the other for illegal business practices, including pressuring students to give the ‘university’ programmes favourable reviews in order to obtain graduation certificates.
You can’t help but pity your friend for falling for the time-old folly, but as we step back to take in the situation we realize that these false promises of ‘rags-to-riches for anyone and everyone’ have become an epidemic which has created a lot of ‘noise' around the industry. The effect is not only detrimental to their participants but also blinds them to genuine educators.
No Internet Marketing Programme has a 100% success rate.
As far as we know, there are no Internet Marketing (IM) seminars/programmes where a hundred percent of its student body had achieved the level of success advertised by their trainers.
And when students fail (which is most of them) these trainers are quick to blame their failure on incompetence and pointing to the success stories of those who had ‘done it right'. However, it makes no rational sense to establish the correlation of a small portion of successes to the efficacy of the training itself. Other factors were probably at play – like hard work, creativity… or just luck.
Perhaps it is prudent to acknowledge this lack of consistency (of success) is due to the ever-evolving landscape of Internet marketing. However, it is imperative to point out that the issue still does remain unaddressed, which leads us to understand that the problem goes deeper than we suspect.
Navigating the Noise: Scammers prey on the unenlightened.
In the industry for quick-riches seminars, scammers, unaccredited trainers and shady profiteers commonly employ the following to bait. They:
- Prey on people’s desire for quick riches and one-click overnight niches.
- Create programmes that cut corners in the way that learners are trained.
- Overwhelm learners with techniques and technical jargon but not critical strategies to apply to businesses.
- Give little time to practice and clarify their doubts.
- Over-emphasise the ‘make-a-million-overnight’ mindset with little to no regard for individual learning styles or the strengths of the participants.
- Ignore the impact of teamwork and leadership in building success.
- Spend too much time learning things that they should be outsourcing instead as business owners.
Click here to watch our video on “Why most attendees of Internet Marketing seminars don't earn their money back because of one critical MISTAKE”. Some did not even make a dollar for their efforts.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to pin-point exactly what works in Internet Marketing.
The element of a fast-changing landscape makes it difficult to establish proper authoritative channels regarding Internet marketing, which contributes to the free-reign of unaccredited trainers and their claims. This authoritative credibility is further undermined by the vastness of the Internet, which goes largely (and frighteningly) unsupervised. If Plymouth Rock was the cultural divergence from the Old World then the Internet, with its borderless cultural reach, is an enigmatic chimera of epic proportions.
The dynamic nature of social and market trends, changing technology, government policy or international relations are just a few factors that can affect marketing in general. Changing supply and demand can a create vacuum for new needs or render long-established ones irrelevant. Shifting concepts of gender roles and status quo create new ways of life, which in turn cause new niches form. Take this, multiply it by a few factors and you have the Internet – a realm where almost anybody and everybody has some level of power to affect in their own way.
To quote Richard Geasey, e-marketing Lecturer of University of Washington, Bothell campus, “Most schools are staffed by instructors who know nothing of internet marketing. The field is so fast and quickly changing they have no chance to learn anything useful and present it to students. Secondarily, they don't know where to find people in the field who can, or are willing to, part-time teach this field.”
There’s no shortcut to getting to the top.
More likely that the Pareto Principle (Law of the vital few) of 80/20 power law distribution will hold true. That is, 80% of effects are governed by 20% factors – that the top 20% of players will control 80% of the game. And it's those who work hard and smart (and lucky enough to be in the right position) who comprise that 20%. In addition: while the science of marketing psychology will always be a solid go-to foundation for serious in learning the art of marketing – the details of actual social and market trends are far more difficult (and fast moving) to firmly find a grounding in. Nor does it cover the intricacies of Internet culture, mood or technology or market trends.
That said, there are a few universal pointers that seem to work, and that is Internet marketing should not be treated as a business unto itself, but rather as a skill and an ongoing learning process. ‘Mastering' Internet Marketing is the discipline of learning and relearning needed skills. And, while it is possible to follow certain tenets like those described in the psychology and the business logistics for the initial footing, the constant need to keep up-to-date is ever-present. Therefore, there are no one-trick ponies that can promise consistent IM success.
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