Are we just selling people dreams?

by Ron Douglas 22 replies
There seems to be a debate going on between people who think Internet Business is difficult and most people can't do it and those who believe it's not hard if you have the right plan and mindset.

Ironically, there seems to be no representation from people who won't take money from newbies because they believe that they can't help them succeed.

I once had lunch with a well known Internet Marketer who was doing $50k to $75k per month selling IM information. I told him that I was eventually looking to get into the IM niche because I had great success in outside markets and I think I can really help some people.

He almost propelled diet coke through his nose from unexpected laughter.

He told me that thinking you can really teach people to make money is foolish. Don't get your hopes up to high. He said he's made millions teaching people to make money online and only a handful of them ever made anything - less than a fraction of 1%.

It was clear that he was only in it for the money. I found that kinda depressing.

I'd like to know what people think about this. Especially those who think that most people aren't cut out for this but still sell those people Internet Marketing information.

Is this niche really all about selling people dreams?

If that's what they want to buy, does it really matter?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #dreams #people #selling
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Ron,

    When I joined the WF around a year and a half ago, I shared my story. I owned TMG Computers, Inc. and was selling high end computers. I was spending over $10,000/month in advertising to build a brand. Did you ever hear of TMG Computers? I didn't think so. Anyway, after I spent everything I made as an ecommerce developer, I looked for better ways of making money. Turned out that selling the parts of a pc and accessories using adwords turned the tide. I was making over $4,000/month in profits and lots and lots of hassle. I finally closed the doors and shifted to IM full time. With my consulting and various methods, I finally am approaching the income I need to survive. Why am I posting this? I am posting this because even though I can write, am a software developer, technical whiz, and work many hours a day, it took years to start seeing the light. It really is hard, especially without a mentor. There aren't many people out there willing to put the time and effort in to make it work. Most gurus sell information and most people put it on their shelves. That is the sad truth. That is why I posted a recent experiment of mine to show people actual progress and actual verifiable success (or failure) to hopefully get some people motivated.

    TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Cornish
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    It was clear that he was only in it for the money. I found that kinda depressing.

    Why else do people devote large amounts of their lives to working?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
      Originally Posted by Dave Cornish View Post

      Why else do people devote large amounts of their lives to working?
      That's a good comment. I love having money- but there are some jobs I've done that have had very little fiscal return- but have returned alot in other areas.
      For example, at themoment I am currently devoting alot of time to work as an advisor to a new magazine. There isn't any money in it. But I am working very hard at it because I know it is something that needs to be done by the best- and I'm one of them.
      I may see a return on it at some stage,but the rewards from it aren't about money. It's about experience, networking, building relationships and the pure joy of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Keith
    After hearing that from someone I respected as not only a reputable online marketer, but someone who should be basing his/her business around helping others, that would be depressing to hear for me too. Actually, I think sickening is the word.

    I firmly believe anyone can do anything if they spend the time to properly learn how to do it from someone that is actually there to help them succeed, and not just in a marketing standpoint either. I mean anything.

    I also believe that, yes, it can be hard. You do need the right mindset and you do need to work at it... sometimes it can even take years. There are no leprechauns at the end of the rainbow waiting for you with a pot of gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emailrevealer
    There is a type of person that will go from one get rich quick scheme to another. They will never be sucessful.
    When I statred this business I had a partner. He dropped out the first year because money did not rain from heaven into his lap. He's been drifting from MLM to IM to M&Ms .
    Other people can make money selling ice to VP candidates...
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
      Ron,

      My thought is that it's more like people are looking for dreams...not so much we are trying to sell them dreams.

      In other words, we are catering to an already existing market.

      It's no different then selling a product on achieving the perfect golf swing that cuts 20 strokes off your game, guaranteed. There are people already looking for such products.

      From your story, what this guy said may or may not have bummed me out - hard to tell without sitting across from him. But as someone who has tried very hard to teach people, with very few ever making anything (and no, it's not the teaching - in most cases it's the lack of effort by the people I have tried to teach) I can also see how you get to a point where you get a dose of reality, THEN figure, well, it's good money.

      You can lead a horse to water, and all that.

      There have been times where I have given my products to people who SWEAR they just needed a break, have given one on one personal time and so on, just to have those people do nothing, then get mad when nothing is what they get.

      I was talking to a well-known marketer once who did an email mentoring course (which was not cheap). The way it worked was, they paid, they got lesson 1, and was basically told do the lessons, turn in your work and you get the next lesson.

      Not a single person turned in lesson 1. And not a single person asked for a refund.

      I'm not saying that all marketers do the right thing all the time. But it does get disheartening when you give a lot of yourself trying to help people and so few do anything with what you teach them.

      Ron, if YOU believe in what you're doing, don't let what others may think keep you from it.

      My 2c
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
        Hi Ron,
        I think it's people that want the dream but fail to do what it takes to make it reality. In fact I was speaking to a very successful offline marketeer recently. He runs high end weekend coaching seminars where he basically sets up a business for attendees and explains how to make it successful once they leave by working it for the next year. He sets them up with a furfilment company to do a lot of the 'hard work' for them. He had 120 people attend 4 seminars last year each paying £10k ($18k) each. Of these 120 - 97 people had stopped working the business with 3 months, with another 20 stopping so close to making big money within 6 months. The other 3 all made at least mid 6 figure incomes. So is this the marketeers fault or the attendees? By the way he offered all of the attendees unlimited email support and telephone support once a month.
        Got to say I was shocked at these facts!

        Rich
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        • Profile picture of the author Tim Whiston
          Ron I know where you are coming from. I was once told by a mentor - a well-known figure in IM - the following...

          "Tim you could put s**t in a bag and sell it to these people if you understand marketing."

          He was referring to "selling the dream".

          It's just a fact: 90% of the people who buy any sort of "how to make money" product are not going to apply themselves to really leveraging the product. Heck many times people won't even open the box/zip file!

          I truly believe it's the act of making the purchase that gives most of these buyers their rush. Deep down they know they won't even try to make anything happen but they get a little consumer therapy and the thrill of swiping that credit card one more time.

          This is not your fault. And I firmly believe that as long as you really want to help others you will connect with those few individuals who truly do want to learn and succeed.

          I don't make my living solely from the sale of IM products. I also promote cell phones, info on how to quit caffeine, and other things online. But I do love the IM niche for a variety of reasons.

          Some things about it are less than wonderful. Such as the issues at the core of this post.

          And frankly I find it incredibly frustrating that most of the people we'd like to help have ZERO real drive and flat out refuse to look at their potential ventures as a business.

          But I can't change the fact that most people who buy my IM products don't really care about their own success. I can only focus on those folks who really do want a thriving online business and be sure I am giving them rock-solid value and insight for their money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Is this niche really all about selling people dreams?

    If that's what they want to buy, does it really matter?
    You're selling them information. Whether they use that information to achieve their dreams or not is up to them.

    Your obligation is to deliver what you promise. Are you selling them quality information? Can that information be put to use to make someone successful? If you sell a quality product, if you are selling a product that delivers (or over delivers) on its promises, if you are selling a product full of useful information, you've done your job, haven't you?

    Your own motivation is beside the point. If your goal is making money, but you are achieving that goal by providing a quality product, is there anything wrong with that?

    What if your motivation was to help people, but you did so by selling or even giving away useless information? You're not helping anyone, are you? But, are you a better person because your motivation was helping people instead of getting rich?

    Motivation isn't the issue. The quality of the product is what's at stake. Some products sell people nothing more than hopes and dreams. Other products deliver valuable information. It's what your product does that makes the difference.

    I think the niche is about selling people valuable information they can use to become successful online. Maybe 90% of people are only looking for hopes and dreams--and some marketers cater to that crowd--and they'll never use that information. But, you need to focus on the 10% that are looking for what your product is promising. The 90%, they'll read your eBook and file it away on their hard drive and never do anything with it again. The other 10% are the ones that will be posting "So-and-so is a SCAM!" in forums if you don't deliver on your promises.

    Therefore, the marketer interested in building a good reputation will cater to that 10%. The other 90% won't care one way or the other, because they're never going to do anything anyway. Whether you're in it for the money or to help people really doesn't matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    Our job (IMO) is to serve it up.

    They decide what to eat, how much to eat, etc...

    I firmly believe in what I'm doing.
    I completely believe that I can help.
    I am absolutely committed to teaching our members how to succeed.

    I wich I could find a way to force them to learn but until that happens, I'll keep on helping the ones I can and encouraging the rest to wake up and start digging in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Sol
    I think that TRULY wanting to help people is the key. People have this inbuilt "B.S. Alert" and often they will feel that you're only in it fr the money. If you are honest and want to HELP these people (whatever the niche might be) - they feel that too and actually will buy more from you.

    Here is a short e-mail I received recently:

    Hi, Alex,

    I bought your One Month Affiliate video last week. I like it very much.
    I joined knowing nothing about IM or Affiliate Marketing at all. I have learned a great deal. I have finally! made 5 sales the past 4 weeks, using only Ezine Articles and Squidoo. I am going to start promoting a skin care cream and after listening to your videos, I will start using all the techniques, (i.e. blogging, hubpages, weebly, etc) Being a mother of 5 kids, I only have about 2-3 hrs a day to do this, but I really want to succeed. I like reading your posts, and I feel like I know you. It was trust that made me buy your e-book.

    Goldie


    ..... to be honest, receiving this kind of e-mail makes me HAPPIER than getting a sale.

    Anyways... just my $0.02
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    • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
      A very successful Off-line Marketer (in the real estate education field) told me some years ago:

      "Most customers never even open the wrapper on the product"

      At that time it was cassettes and a workbook. I asked why and this was his theory: He felt that by NOT opening it, they were able to maintain the dream.

      If they opened it and tried it, and it didn't work, then their dream would die.
      Better to have their dream be alive but not realized, than to try and fail.

      All I could think was,... what self-destructive behavior!

      ________
      Bruce
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      • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
        I should have but did not think of that. That statement is very insightful. Don't try and the dream remains a possibility. Sounds like the corollary to being afraid of success.

        TomG.

        Originally Posted by brucerby View Post

        A very successful Off-line Marketer (in the real estate education field) told me some years ago:

        "Most customers never even open the wrapper on the product"

        At that time it was cassettes and a workbook. I asked why and this was his theory: He felt that by NOT opening it, they were able to maintain the dream.

        If they opened it and tried it, and it didn't work, then their dream would die.
        Better to have their dream be alive but not realized, than to try and fail.

        All I could think was,... what self-destructive behavior!

        ________
        Bruce
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        • Profile picture of the author marcanthony
          Not at all!

          People just fall short when it comes to turning their dreams into a reality. Most people don't have any dedication.

          It doesn't take being Benjamin Einstein to write or outsource the creation of informational ebooks. And, it doesn't take much to learn how to market them.

          As long as our intentions aren't laced with too much greed, we are not doing anything wrong.

          The real dream salespeople are the ones that own McDonalds'... They know that their food is unhealthy but they've served it to well over a billion people.

          And don't get me started on cigarette companies... eventually I may drift completely off topic.
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        • Profile picture of the author zortag
          I think the ethical problems start to come in two ways. First, if you are selling information about making money online and you present it in such a way as to make it sound really easy when in fact it isn't, then I believe you're starting to tread on ethically slippery ground. I wouldn't go so far as to say unethical in this case, because marketing of anything involves a certain amount of highlighting the positives while downplaying the negatives. But I do think one has an ethical responsibility to not exaggerate beyond a certain point. i also believe far too many make money marketers are just like the guy you describe - they know they are selling hype and that few if any will be able to actually successfully make money with that information.

          The real ethical problem I see is the marketing that either verges on, or is, outright fraud. For example, I recently took a look at some videos on making money selling Clickbank products using Adwords. The person in the video started talking about landing page design and used an acne site as an example. He told the audience to assume a persona for the ad, as in pretend to be a teenage girl talking about acne. It quickly became clear to me that he was talking about creating a "social proof" site for this CB acne affiliate product where the social proof was entirely fictional. There is no teenage girl, and the person writing the site has no idea whether this product does anything or not, even though the site claims that it saved this girl's social life blah blah blah.

          I believe this crosses an ethical line. I don't know how many affiliate marketers come up with fake social proof sites like this, or fake their earnings for making money information sites, or use similar tactics. I do know that there was a case several years ago of a get-rich-in-real-estate guru name WJ McCorkle and his wife Chantal who made lots of commercials and lots of money hawking their system. Turns out that all their real estate earnings were totally made up, they just lied through their teeth about how successful their techniques were. They hired actors for their testimonials. Sounds alot like the fake social proof sites doesn't it? Well, the McCorkles were eventually convicted of fraud and money laundering. They are now serving 18 year prison terms.

          Food for thought.

          Bottom line: if you have something that you think is good, an affiliate product you use yourself, then market it and sell it. Extoll its virtues all you want. But if you completely make stuff up just to sell products and make money, that's sleazy in my book. And it may well even be sufficiently illegal to land you in jail.
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  • Profile picture of the author pjs
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    There seems to be a debate going on between people who think Internet Business is difficult and most people can't do it and those who believe it's not hard if you have the right plan and mindset.

    Ironically, there seems to be no representation from people who won't take money from newbies because they believe that they can't help them succeed.

    I once had lunch with a well known Internet Marketer who was doing $50k to $75k per month selling IM information. I told him that I was eventually looking to get into the IM niche because I had great success in outside markets and I think I can really help some people.

    He almost propelled diet coke through his nose from unexpected laughter.

    He told me that thinking you can really teach people to make money is foolish. Don't get your hopes up to high. He said he's made millions teaching people to make money online and only a handful of them ever made anything - less than a fraction of 1%.

    It was clear that he was only in it for the money. I found that kinda depressing.

    I'd like to know what people think about this. Especially those who think that most people aren't cut out for this but still sell those people Internet Marketing information.

    Is this niche really all about selling people dreams?

    If that's what they want to buy, does it really matter?
    Here's the bottom line. Most people buy IM products FOR the dream. Those who have the ambition will put their new knowledge to work and start making money. MOST people, probably around 99%, will not take action when they realize that it actually is work and that alone will discourage them.

    A buddy of mine IRL and a member of WF (maybe he will pipe up) generates a little over 2M in sales per year in "internet marketing" coaching. Most of his clients get discouraged when they realize that they actually have to spend time building THEIR business. They quit after 6-9 weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Bass
    This is exactly why I set up my course to practically force people to make money. It is a step 1, step 2, etc... No dreams in my book, action... action... action!
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  • Profile picture of the author Aldian Prakoso
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post


    Is this niche really all about selling people dreams?
    No. We're giving people hope.

    That's why no matter what kind of information or courses we offer, we must start with the mindset first. Teach people that nothing is gained if they don't take action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrianne_
    You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. IM is no different. Offering people good, quality products or information is not going to determine their success with it. They have to take that info and apply. No action, equals no results. That's really all what it boils down to.

    Taking people by the hand and showing them what they need to do to make money online is an awesome goal to have. But you have to keep in mind that not everyone is going to do the work even tho you are providing the answer to their financial problems. You just have to except it as a part of IM and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Muir
    A mentor of mine, one of the leading direct marketing gurus down under sells millions of dollars from the stage at seminars. Knowing that more then 80% will never get used and that is cool. For those small moments those people open themselves up to the possibilities of what is truly possible.

    But the problem is that the majority of the population no longer want to be taught how to fish they want the fish cut up into bite size pieces and fed to them.

    And when they get home and look at the packs and realize that Oh I do need to do something, the law of diminishing intent kicks in and they move back to the location "someday isle"
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Yes there are a stack of people selling internet marketing products who couldn't care less if their customers make money.

      Also there are a good percentage of people who won't make money simply because they won't take action on what is often very good information.

      But speaking for myself and most of the internet marketers I know we actually get enormous satisfaction helping regular people make good money.

      It is the one thing that makes this business truly worthwhile.

      Many people selling products in the internet marketing niche (myself included) could make just as much or more money doing other kinds of work.

      But we choose to spend a significant portion of our time in this niche because it is very fulfilling to genuinely help people.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author jensrsa
    Yes, we are selling dreams and provided your product can deliver on what you promise there's nothing wrong with that.

    There are so many opportunities, both online and offline, for average people to make money with but the percentage of people who actually do it is small.

    Why? Because they are not prepared to do what is required to succeed.

    Consider all the commission based programs out there:
    - insurance
    - real estate
    - cars
    - timeshare
    - MLM
    - travel
    - forex
    etc.

    and the majority of people in these programs don't really make money

    Is it the program's fault?

    I think it was Rockefeller who said that if all the wealth in the world was divided equally among all the people, within a year you will have rich people and you will have poor people.

    Fact of life.

    So, shouldn't you be selling your latest "secret to success"?

    Of course you must, if you can help a percentage of your clients achieve more success than before you've done a good job, if some of these achieve rel success you've done well.

    And those who don't will go on and buy someone else's dream.

    Jens
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