Product not selling? Here's why:

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The next time you find yourself struggling to sell an info product, ask a very simple question: who are you?

For example, let's say you are selling an ebook (or, Lord help us, an entire course) on Project Management. Who are you to sell such a course? Are you:

a) an experienced, PMI-certified project manager with first-hand experience in managing projects and/or coordinating programmes with multi-million dollar budgets;
b) a voracious synthesizer who has spent the last three months reading and digesting project management literature and information and presenting them as an online course;
c) a talented entrepreneural who outsourced the writing and the information collection to focus on the marketing strategy.

If you are B or C, please do yourself, your customers, and the Internet in general an enormous favour and take your website offline - because you have absolutely no clue what you are doing.

There are no overnight experts. Reading a book - or five - on project management does not make you an expert on project management (and the same, by the way, goes for just about every single thing under the sun - from losing weight and quitting smoking to making money online and developing a social marketing strategy).

More often than not, the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks. And the reason it sucks is because either you or your ghostwriter produced meaningless, rehashed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons. You create absolutely no value, offer absolutely no insight, and bring absolutely no first-hand experience to the content you are copying (I say copying, because producing is too strong a word that implies originality in some form).

The bottom line - if your product isn't selling, ask yourself: who am I, and am I qualified to write on this topic?

And for 99% of marketers peddling anything from weight loss to online income schemes - the answer is a resounding "no".

July 11, 2011
Thanks to Joseph Then (see exchanges below), this thread articulated a major issue in IM - the fusion of content creation and content marketing in IM. Dividing these functions would result in content being produced by subject matter experts (SMEs), which, in turn, would increase its legitimacy and credibility while allowing marketers to concentrate on marketing the generated content.
#product #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Rob P
    You missed one:

    d) an ordinary person who has managed to solve a problem or successfully deal with a difficulty which others are currently struggling with.

    That, in my mind, makes you more qualified than any 'certification' ever could.

    Experience counts.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Robplevin View Post

      You missed one:

      d) an ordinary person who has managed to solve a problem or successfully deal with a difficulty which others are currently struggling with.

      That, in my mind, makes you more qualified than any 'certification' ever could.

      Experience counts.
      Actually, this is precisely what I am referring to: experience and qualification.

      Someone running their first-ever project is unlikely to have PMI certification, but this does not mean the project will fail as a result of their management.

      However, it is likely that, without the necessary theoretical knowledge, the newbie Project Manager, while still managing the project to a desired outcome, will have made a ton of mistakes along the way: mistakes that would have been avoided by a more experienced PM who has the requisite theoretical knowledge. This happens quite often as a result of learning-as-you-go which, while valuable, often misses out on the creation of requisite theoretical frameworks for the discipline in question (e.g., Project Lifecycle, the concept of Work Breakdown Structures, etc).

      So, if one were to construct a framework of requisite qualifications, it would probably go as follows:

      Level I: no first-hand experience of success or theoretical knowledge (99% of Internet Marketers fall into that same category);

      Level II: first-hand experience of success without theoretical knowledge (these are people who, as you have put it, solved a problem on their own, but not as a result of applying existing best practices); and

      Level III: first-hand experience of success with theoretical knowledge (these are people who understand both the practice of a discipline and the theoretical framework behind it).

      Clarification: in the framework above, certifications function as documented confirmations of a person's knowledge of the theoretical framework.

      A Level II writer may be qualified to write a book, but it is likely to come back with comments along the lines of "yes, but you could have done this here and there and saved 25% of resources as a result"). In other words, peer review of a Level II work would often identify enormous opportunities for improvement, even while acknowledging that the objective has been delivered.

      A Level I author, needless to say, would not, in the above framework, produce any valuable content.
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      • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
        I don't agree with the "certification" model at all. Look, the world is filled with self-made successful millionaires that never finished highschool much less got that college "certification".

        In general a certification just makes someone feel good that they have a shiny piece of paper to show for their "time" and "money" spend attaining said certification.

        Is there a lot of BS in the market? Absolutely. And I agree with much of what you said, but some sort of assertion that some arbitrary certification is somehow going to make the world of marketing a better place is something I completely disagree with.

        In the end, what's the problem? If someone's product sucks - as you put it - well, then they won't be selling much of it and it won't be doing much damage... The consumer ultimately votes with his/her pocket book and is the ultimate judge.
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

          I don't agree with the "certification" model at all. Look, the world is filled with self-made successful millionaires that never finished highschool much less got that college "certification".

          In general a certification just makes someone feel good that they have a shiny piece of paper to show for their "time" and "money" spend attaining said certification.
          First and foremost, your statement is that "the world is filled with self-made successful millionaires" is factually incorrect. Only 0.15% of the world's population are millionaires. To describe 0.15% - a tenth of a percent - as "filling" anything seems highly inaccurate to me.

          Statistically, in the United States, the median annual income of a Bachelor's degree holder is $82,197 a year; in other words, almost double that of someone who only completed high school ($43,165). This difference has also remained fairly constant in relative terms since 1990 for men and women. Equally, the median annual income of a Doctorate holder is $129,773.

          Since, statistically, you are unlikely to become a millionaire, education seems like a very logical choice based on the statistics presented above. While it is true that not everyone will be able to actualize the potential of their Doctorate, that does not, in itself, invalidate the aggregate.

          Sources:
          http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0883617.html
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million...s_in_the_world
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          • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
            Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

            First and foremost, your statement is that "the world is filled with self-made successful millionaires" is factually incorrect. Only 0.15% of the world's population are millionaires. To describe 0.15% - a tenth of a percent - as "filling" anything seems highly inaccurate to me.

            Statistically, in the United States, the median annual income of a Bachelor's degree holder is $82,197 a year; in other words, almost double that of someone who only completed high school ($43,165). This difference has also remained fairly constant in relative terms since 1990 for men and women. Equally, the median annual income of a Doctorate holder is $129,773.

            Since, statistically, you are unlikely to become a millionaire, education seems like a very logical choice based on the statistics presented above. While it is true that not everyone will be able to actualize the potential of their Doctorate, that does not, in itself, invalidate the aggregate.

            Sources:
            Median Annual Income, by Level of Education, 1990–2008 — Infoplease.com
            Millionaire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            Feel free to quote whatever statistics you want. "Education" comes in ALL FORMS and the best "education" for Internet Marketing comes from "experience" not some self-important certification.

            Those who love to quote these statistics are those who generally hold the certifications and feel entitled to success because of the certification. The unemployment lines today are filled with "certified" technicians of all types.

            Statistics mean absolutely nothing to me in this regard. I can name dozens of people I know with "certifications" and "degrees" that are not making anywhere near your "statistical average". And most of the people I know that have made it online share one common trait - determination....... not a "certification"...
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            • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
              Troy,

              Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

              Those who love to quote these statistics are those who generally hold the certifications and feel entitled to success because of the certification.
              Could substantiate that statement please? It seems to consist of two enormous generalizations with very little evidence to back them up. From what I can identify, you are drawing the following conclusions:

              a) people who love to quote statistics are generally people who are educated; and
              b) people who are educated feel entitled to success because of the certification

              I am somewhat prepared to agree with Conclusion A (even though you did not provide a premise), simply on the grounds that education generally fosters a more empirical approach towards research (by virtue of the countless papers you have to write and sources you have to cite). As a result, someone with a university degree is indeed more likely to cite statistics to substantiate their premises; however, this would occur due not to an unhealthy fascination with statistics, but, rather, to the realization that statements need to be substantiated by something empirical.

              In that vein, I would be very interested to see a premise or two for Conclusion B.

              Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

              The best "education" for Internet Marketing comes from "experience" not some self-important certification.
              I don't think you fully grasped the point the original thread was trying to make. The conclusion was not that Internet marketers require certifications for marketing-related activities, but that Internet marketers compromise the credibility of content (and, hence, the sales) when producing content which they are not qualified to produce (for example, a weight loss book produced by someone whose knowledge of weight loss consists solely of researching it on the Internet).

              Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

              The unemployment lines today are filled with "certified" technicians of all types.
              It is true that unemployment exists among all levels of education; however, in 2010 in the United States, there existed an inverse relationship between the level of education and the degree of unemployment. 14.9% of people without a high school diploma were unemployed, as compared to only 5.4% of people with a Bachelor degree, 4.0% with a Master degree, 2.4% with a technical degree, and 1.9% with a Doctorate. So while your statement is technically correct, it is fallacious conceptually (because I think you were arguing that unemployment hit everyone equally regardless of education - which is simply not true).

              Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

              Statistics mean absolutely nothing to me in this regard. I can name dozens of people I know with "certifications" and "degrees" that are not making anywhere near your "statistical average".
              How many people do you know, and is your sample statistically significant enough to extrapolate from it numbers relevant and accurate for the entire population? Remember, you are drawing a conclusion about a working age population of 237,000,000 (stratified by levels of educational attainment) - no inference based on a sample population of "dozens" would be significant to describe that.

              Besides, remember the law of averages? A coin has a 50/50 chance of turning up either heads or tails; however, if you flip it 10 or 20 times, you are unlikely to get the same distribution (in fact, you could even have eight or nine heads in a row). Does that mean that the coin is rigged? Not at all - it simply means that the law of averages need sufficient iterations to come into effect. Toss the coin a million times, and you will see the 50/50 distribution.

              Same goes for statistics sorted before - the "dozens" of people you are referring to do not, in an of themselves, invalidate the statistic because it relies on the law of averages.
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              • Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

                Internet marketers compromise the credibility of content (and, hence, the sales)
                If you believe, in any way, that the quality of your content equals to sales, then I'm afraid you have no idea how this business works... In fact, whether we like it or not, content (either its quality or lack of) is one of the least important variables in the sales equation.

                Remember the 80s? remember the Sony's Betamax vs. JVC's VHS vs. Phillips' 2000 video-tape war? VHS won, and it was the crappiest of all three. I could come up with dozens of similar examples. [Quality] is in no way the determining factor to [sales].
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                • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
                  Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                  Remember the 80s? remember the Sony's Betamax vs. JVC's VHS vs. Phillips' 2000 video-tape war? VHS won, and it was the crappiest of all three. I could come up with dozens of similar examples. [Quality] is in no way the determining factor to [sales].
                  Jinx...

                  I was just about to reply about the entire Betamax vs. VHS thread when I saw your post...

                  Well said.
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                • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                  Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                  If you believe, in any way, that the quality of your content equals to sales
                  He didn't say quality, he said credibility. If people do not believe you, they will not trust you, and if they do not trust you they will not buy.

                  That said, I don't believe he's accurate in his assessment of what does and does not constitute credibility.
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                  • Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                    He didn't say quality, he said credibility. If people do not believe you, they will not trust you, and if they do not trust you they will not buy.
                    Oh, ok, I understand. Thanks for the clarification. In that case, I agree: if people don't believe you they won't buy your product.

                    I agree with that.

                    However, I disagree with the whole You-Need-A-Certificate to become credible. In fact, I believe people relate and trust more the neighbor next door than a certified expert.

                    Who do you think an over-weighted woman would buy from: A) the neighbor next door who lost 20 kilos herself after giving birth or B) a certified nutritionist offering the next Diet Of The Century (tm)? I honestly think people are jaded from "experts" and they feel more inspired by the little guy next door sharing his small-scale success story.
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                    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                      In fact, I believe people relate and trust more the neighbor next door than a certified expert.
                      I thoroughly agree on this, but I think it's also simple dumbassitude. You look at reality, and you see someone who goes out and says "I am a fat pig. I need to get in shape."

                      They go see a doctor, who says "Diet and exercise."

                      They go see their mother, who says "Prunes and a bicycle."

                      They go see their neighbour, who says "Protein shakes and a gym."

                      They get on the crosstown bus and a homeless guy says "HOOBA PORKRIND! PEEPEE!"

                      So they go home and start a pork rind diet.

                      Most people are going around asking questions not because they want the answer, but because they want their answer. This person said "I want to lose weight, but I also want to sit on my arse eating salty fried crap."

                      So they just went around looking for someone to say they should do exactly what they already wanted to do. Everyone had some variation of "diet and exercise" until they got to the bus, and they didn't pay attention because they didn't like the answer.

                      I honestly think people are jaded from "experts" and they feel more inspired by the little guy next door sharing is (small scale) success story.
                      Well, there are a couple other ways to look at it.

                      The overweight woman next door has been on fifty different diets and still looks like Jabba the Hutt.

                      The nutritionist has looked like a damn swimsuit model since he was twelve, no matter what he ate or how he exercised.

                      It's perfectly normal for someone to say "well, that woman looks like Jabba the Hutt and obviously cannot tell me how to lose weight."

                      It's also perfectly normal for someone to say "well, that nutritionist has never needed to be on a diet in his life and obviously cannot tell me what diets are good or bad."

                      And the obvious response to both of those things is to say "well just because you haven't done it doesn't mean you don't know anything about it."

                      So there you go.
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                      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruby Rynne
    Seems a strange idea, that something isn't SELLING because 'it sucks'. It might be true that if your refund rate is high, it sucks, or it might be true that if your repeat sales to buyers were non-existent, the product sucks. But the quality of the product has little to no relationship to the amount of frontline sales it makes. That metric is all about demand, marketing, copy, persuasion, sales technique, etc.

    I also don't know many Project Managers who would do a good job of writing a product about project management (or any subject), since they are project managers, not teachers or writers.

    All in all, I'm going to disagree with you on several levels. Sorry.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Ruby Rynne View Post

      I also don't know many Project Managers who would do a good job of writing a product about project management (or any subject), since they are project managers, not teachers or writers.
      Correct - they would hire a ghostwriter to write the content for them, except that they would curate the content production process and validate the final work in a meaningful manner using their own combination of experience and qualifications.

      In contrast, an Internet Marketer with no experience and/or qualifications in a discipline would not be able to meaningfully curate content produced by a ghostwriter.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob P
      You've made it all sound too complicated for me. I wouldn't buy from a teacher who can't explain things succinctly.

      Maybe there should be an 'e)' - someone who can actually teach - as Ruby Rynne says.
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      • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
        Originally Posted by Robplevin View Post

        You've made it all sound too complicated for me. I wouldn't buy from a teacher who can't explain things succinctly.

        Maybe there should be an 'e)' - someone who can actually teach - as Ruby Rynne says.
        The problem with Ruby's statement is that there is no clear definition of "someone who can actually teach." And without such a definition, the statement becomes so ambiguous and opaque as to be completely meaningless. For example:

        a) "Sure enough, I can teach; I read a whooping 42 EZA articles on this subject."
        b) "Of course I can teach - I have a PhD in a totally unrelated field."
        c) "Hell yeah I can teach 'em - I've trained monkeys to jump on a pogo stick, how can that be any different?"
        d) "I can definitely teach - I may have zero teaching experience, but I have all the requisite qualifications in the discipline."

        To make Ruby's statement meaningful, you have to define what it means to be someone who can actually teach - and this is precisely what my posts before did.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ceri
          This is the kind of conversation that would have put me off internet marketing if it was the first one I'd come across - it makes it sound so complicated!
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          • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
            Originally Posted by Ceri View Post

            This is the kind of conversation that would have put me off internet marketing if it was the first one I'd come across - it makes it sound so complicated!
            Well, it's good that it wasn't the first one, then! Now you can comfortably go and take action. Remember to always think positively and avoid paralysis by analysis at all costs! Keep in mind that the Law of Attraction works - if you really want something and are ready to take it, the Universe will give it to you. Don't over-analyze or over-complicate - just start taking action today!
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Ruby Rynne View Post

      Seems a strange idea, that something isn't SELLING because 'it sucks'.
      How are you ever going to convince anyone with half a brain to buy from you if you have zero to limited experience in the discipline at hand? In fact, how are you ever going to produce an accurate product if you are not qualified to judge its accuracy?

      P.S. I agree with you the whole "sucks" thing, though - I was engaging in a bit of sophistry there, and shouldn't have.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ruby Rynne
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        How are you ever going to convince anyone with half a brain to buy from you if you have zero to limited experience in the discipline at hand?
        It's called 'marketing', it's what marketers do
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    • Profile picture of the author Alminc
      Originally Posted by Ruby Rynne View Post

      But the quality of the product has little to no relationship to the amount of frontline sales it makes. That metric is all about demand, marketing, copy, persuasion, sales technique, etc.
      That's correct. If there are no sales, your marketing sucks. If you are a very creative lier (read 'savvy marketer/copywriter') and have many friends who fall into same category, you can make way more money selling crappy products than someone who is selling quality product, but who lacks the above qualifications.

      But I agree with OP's feelings about that 'overnight expert' syndrom. It's ugly.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
        Originally Posted by Alminc View Post

        But I agree with OP's feelings about that 'overnight expert' syndrom. It's ugly.
        Marketers could overcome this and increase credibility for their offerings by outsourcing content creation and/or curation to a subject matter expert (SME). This would also enable marketers to focus on their own specialist role, instead of both creating content and marketing it. This is the conclusion that Joseph has helped articulate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    If the product is not selling, it's usually the fault of the salesletter, not the product. Even if you have a wonderful, one-of-a-kind product, without good marketing, you are also NOT making money.

    And, even if I am in group (b), (c), (d), (e).... (z), I should be monetarily rewarded for being able to research and put up a credible product that help solve the problem that people are facing.

    If you don't get this, you shouldn't be a marketer anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      And, even if I am in group (b), (c), (d), (e).... (z), I should be monetarily rewarded for being able to research and put up a credible product that help solve the problem that people are facing.
      "Should", in this context, is defined as an expression of "obligation, propriety, or expediency" to you. The next question is - who is obliged to provide the monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product?

      When you say "research", how much time are you referring to?
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      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        "Should", in this context, is defined as an expression of "obligation, propriety, or expediency" to you. The next question is - who is obliged to provide the monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product?

        When you say "research", how much time are you referring to?
        If you really understand what is marketing, you will understand about "monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product".
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

          If you really understand what is marketing, you will understand about "monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product".
          You are dodging my question.

          I never questioned the concept of a monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product (actually, there is a horrendous issue with that definition, but I am letting it slide for now).

          I simply asked you who is obliged to provide that reward to you (surely, for there to be a meaningful obligation, someone must be responsible for delivering upon that obligation); and how much time commitment you expect by the term "research".
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          • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
            Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

            You are dodging my question.

            I never questioned the concept of a monetary reward for the ability to produce research and put up a credible product (actually, there is a horrendous issue with that definition, but I am letting it slide for now).

            I simply asked you who is obliged to provide that reward to you (surely, for there to be a meaningful obligation, someone must be responsible for delivering upon that obligation); and how much time commitment you expect by the term "research".
            I never dodge the question. If you know what marketing is, you know who will provide the reward for my marketing job, and it's not about obligation, it's the willingness to part their money for my research.

            Obviously, gathering information to form a product within a day may not do justice to the product, but spending good amount of time to create a credible product is worth selling.

            Your proposition is: If you are not the expert in the niche, your product will not sell.

            My proposition is: If I can market a dung to a person and he is willing to pay for it, I AM a marketer.

            If your proposition stands, then it's very strange that how some top marketers actually sells thousands of products to people and they are thankful of the product sold to them, and the marketer is NOT the expert.
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            • Profile picture of the author techservice
              I always ask myself one question before I create a product: Does it bring original value or is it just rehashed *rap. In the long run rubbish will be seen for what it is.
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            • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              I never dodge the question. If you know what marketing is, you know who will provide the reward for my marketing job, and it's not about obligation, it's the willingness to part their money for my research.
              Please familiarize yourself with the meaning of the word "should" - it is indeed about obligation, and not about willingness.

              Should - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

              Therefore, your statement ("I should be monetarily rewarded for being able to research and put up a credible product that help solve the problem that people are facing") is inconsistent with your latter statement (that it is about willingness, not obligation).

              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              Obviously, gathering information to form a product within a day may not do justice to the product, but spending good amount of time to create a credible product is worth selling.
              And did I ever dispute that? This is precisely the reason I asked what time investment you imply in the term "research" (which you still haven't answered, by the way). Consider history, for example: by definition, history books differ mostly in what information they choose to present (as opposed to producing genuinely new, non-rehashed information). However, as you said, spending a day on a product (in this case, a history book) would not do justice to it.

              If, however, someone were to produce a peer-reviewed product thoroughly compiling available IM knowledge including proven methods for generating income (and, by proven, I mean actual demonstrated proof, with people willing to go on record that can be critically analyzed - not a Fiverr testimonial or a comment on what a great guy the author is), it would probably be one of the most valuable things to ever hit the IM scene. But surely you will agree that most IM offerings fall way below that standard?


              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              Your proposition is: If you are not the expert in the niche, your product will not sell.
              This is not, strictly speaking, true - my proposition is that the content creators's expertise in the niche is a major factor impacting the sales of the product. In other words, you can be an expert in marketing, and you can be selling a course on Project Management - and that's fine, as long as the content on Project Management was produced by an expert on Project Management. Incidentally, the above is a classic example of the specialist - manager distinction that forms the foundation of Project Management.

              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              My proposition is: If I can market a dung to a person and he is willing to pay for it, I AM a marketer.
              Our two propositions aren't mutually exclusive, nor was the definition of what constitutes a marketer ever an objective of this discussion.

              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              If your proposition stands, then it's very strange that how some top marketers actually sells thousands of products to people and they are thankful of the product sold to them, and the marketer is NOT the expert.
              Who are the "some top marketers" you are referring to, please?
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              • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
                Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

                Please familiarize yourself with the meaning of the word "should" - it is indeed about obligation, and not about willingness.

                Should - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

                Therefore, your statement ("I should be monetarily rewarded for being able to research and put up a credible product that help solve the problem that people are facing") is inconsistent with your latter statement (that it is about willingness, not obligation).

                And did I ever dispute that? This is precisely the reason I asked what time investment you imply in the term "research" (which you still haven't answered, by the way). Consider history, for example: by definition, history books differ mostly in what information they choose to present (as opposed to producing genuinely new, non-rehashed information). However, as you said, spending a day on a product (in this case, a history book) would not do justice to it.

                If, however, someone were to produce a peer-reviewed product thoroughly compiling available IM knowledge including proven methods for generating income (and, by proven, I mean actual demonstrated proof, with people willing to go on record that can be critically analyzed - not a Fiverr testimonial or a comment on what a great guy the author is), it would probably be one of the most valuable things to ever hit the IM scene. But surely you will agree that most IM offerings fall way below that standard?

                This is not, strictly speaking, true - my proposition is that the content creators's expertise in the niche is a major factor impacting the sales of the product. In other words, you can be an expert in marketing, and you can be selling a course on Project Management - and that's fine, as long as the content on Project Management was produced by an expert on Project Management. Incidentally, the above is a classic example of the specialist - manager distinction that forms the foundation of Project Management.

                Our two propositions aren't mutually exclusive, nor was the definition of what constitutes a marketer ever an objective of this discussion.

                Who are the "some top marketers" you are referring to, please?
                There are many top marketers... Stick around this forum and you will see... I don't know why you want to go to definition and playing around with words...


                OK, let's take a look about what you have said...

                Suppose I know a professional personal groomer. She has 10+ years of experience. I took an interview, transcript and form an ebook from her interview.

                Then, I create a salesletter and sell it. And suppose I didn't make a single sale.

                From your first post:
                "More often than not, the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks. And the reason it sucks is because either you or your ghostwriter produced meaningless, rehashed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons. You create absolutely no value, offer absolutely no insight, and bring absolutely no first-hand experience to the content you are copying (I say copying, because producing is too strong a word that implies originality in some form)."

                Looks like this product is a failure because my 'ghostwriter', who is an expert, produced meaningless, rehasfed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons.

                That means, even if I have a great product, it cannot sell because it sucks?!?!?!? Or is it because the salesletter sucks, that's why I cannot sell it?

                Looks like you have blurred the line between product creation and marketing.
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                • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
                  What are some ways that you can stand out from the crowd, and convey experience and knowledge subtly in your sales copy? The truth is....there are ALOT of people out there with loads of experience, however, articulating it, and proving it, can be very difficult for them.
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                • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
                  Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                  There are many top marketers... Stick around this forum and you will see... I don't know why you want to go to definition and playing around with words...
                  Again, who are they? Because, once we have the names, we can then go and ask them to confirm that they are not experts in their field. Your argument has no merit if it cannot be validated, and it cannot be validating without examining whether these "some top marketers" are indeed not experts.

                  The same, by the way, goes for definitions; I'm fairly laid back about them in general, but when you make a statement as blatantly fallacious as "the world has an obligation to pay me for my ability to synthesize content" - which is what you said - I could not help calling you out on it.

                  Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                  OK, let's take a look about what you have said...

                  Suppose I know a professional personal groomer. She has 10+ years of experience. I took an interview, transcript and form an ebook from her interview.

                  Then, I create a salesletter and sell it. And suppose I didn't make a single sale.

                  From your first post:
                  "More often than not, the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks. And the reason it sucks is because either you or your ghostwriter produced meaningless, rehashed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons. You create absolutely no value, offer absolutely no insight, and bring absolutely no first-hand experience to the content you are copying (I say copying, because producing is too strong a word that implies originality in some form)."

                  Looks like this product is a failure because my 'ghostwriter', who is an expert, produced meaningless, rehasfed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons.

                  That means, even if I have a great product, it cannot sell because it sucks?!?!?!? Or is it because the salesletter sucks, that's why I cannot sell it?
                  Errr...

                  I did not state that products fail solely because they suck (and "suck" describes a product that consists of meaningless, rehashed drive that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reason). Therefore, a product can still fail without "sucking" (ouch, how I regret using that word now - serves me right for indulging in sophistry). Therefore, your refutation above is invalid.

                  Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                  Looks like you have blurred the line between product creation and marketing.
                  Actually, you are right; hence why I attempted to clarify the distinction in http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...l#post4231415;

                  But I admit, too little, too late. On the other hand, in the context of IM, the distinction between content creation and marketing is often blurry to begin with, as both are usually done by the same person (which is part of the problem).
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                  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
                    Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

                    I did not state that products fail solely because they suck (and "suck" describes a product that consists of meaningless, rehashed drive that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reason). Therefore, a product can still fail without "sucking" (ouch, how I regret using that word now - serves me right for indulging in sophistry). Therefore, your refutation above is invalid.

                    Actually, you are right; hence why I attempted to clarify the distinction in http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...l#post4231415;

                    But I admit, too little, too late. On the other hand, in the context of IM, the distinction between content creation and marketing is often blurry to begin with, as both are usually done by the same person (which is part of the problem).
                    That's the point that I have been trying to make all the time. Your very first post gives me the impression: "the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks."

                    With this statement, you cause a lot of refute from people who knows the distinction between product creation and marketing.

                    Your first post somehow discredit the marketers who are able to bring quality product out to solve a problem. You have made a blanket statement saying that if you do not create the product, it doesn't sell. Not only you have discredit the marketers, you also discredit the ghostwriters who KNOWS how to create quality product, with or without the Internet.

                    Yes, it's too late to explain yourself now.

                    However, what I do appreciate from your post is that as marketers, we do not create nor promote products that are crappy. Put in the effort to create the product either by:

                    1) Getting first hand information from the real expert
                    2) Spending the time to experience the niche itself
                    3) Spending time reading 3-4 books to get yourself knowledgeable in the niche
                    4) Getting the top-notch writer to create quality product

                    Sell them using our marketing skills, and we do ourselves the credit in ethical marketing.

                    In case you are asking who are the top marketers, I'll just give you one. Frank Kern making millions in a particular dog niche and if I'm not wrong, Frank doesn't like dogs. (Correct me if I'm wrong)
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                    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      That's the point that I have been trying to make all the time. Your very first post gives me the impression: "the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks."
                      I appreciate that this is the impression that you receive; however, that impression has no factual basis, as stated in the first very post.

                      With this statement, you cause a lot of refute from people who knows the distinction between product creation and marketing.

                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      Your first post somehow discredit the marketers who are able to bring quality product out to solve a problem.
                      Could you please explain the premises of that conclusion?

                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      You have made a blanket statement saying that if you do not create the product, it doesn't sell.
                      Again, could you please explain the premises of that conclusion? I do not recall either stating that or having an intention to state that; if this is what I inadvertedly ended up arguing, thanks for pointing it out. I am sure you are not taking issue with an assertion that a product needs to be created before it can be sold, either :-)

                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      Not only you have discredit the marketers, you also discredit the ghostwriters who KNOWS how to create quality product, with or without the Internet.
                      I do not discredit the ability to ghostwriters to deliver a well-written product. I do, however, discredit the ability of a ghostwriter with Level I experience to produce an information product without curation or validation from a Level II / Level III person.


                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      However, what I do appreciate from your post is that as marketers, we do not create nor promote products that are crappy. Put in the effort to create the product either by:

                      1) Getting first hand information from the real expert
                      2) Spending the time to experience the niche itself
                      3) Spending time reading 3-4 books to get yourself knowledgeable in the niche
                      4) Getting the top-notch writer to create quality product
                      Point 1, I can fully agree with - in fact, this is the classic marketing approach.

                      Point 2, I can fully agree with if you mean sufficient years of first-hand experience (e.g., the newbie Project Manager example stated in the first post)

                      Point 3, No; if you are simply rehashing theoretical knowledge gleaned from books without practical experience to back it up, you are no better than a copywriter who gets paid to write 10 EZA articles about FOREX without any experience in FOREX.

                      Point 4, I can agree with, providing that the writer's deliverable is curated and validated a corresponding Level II / Level III person.

                      Sell them using our marketing skills, and we do ourselves the credit in ethical marketing.

                      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

                      In case you are asking who are the top marketers, I'll just give you one. Frank Kern making millions in a particular dog niche and if I'm not wrong, Frank doesn't like dogs. (Correct me if I'm wrong)
                      Frank Kern not liking dogs has nothing to do with Frank Kern either knowing about dogs OR having had his content produced and/or reviewed by an expert in this field. But if Frank Kern is selling dog-related content that consists of Frank Kern's research about dogs without any SME feedback, I would love to hear from him to that effect. I am sure it will do wonders for his marketing effort.
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                      • Profile picture of the author blueboy9
                        Does this mean "TAKE ACTION NOW!!!" is now redefined as:

                        TAKE ACTION NOW (as long as you have the proper qualifications) !!!

                        The newbies aren't going to like that one bit. :rolleyes:
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                      • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
                        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

                        Frank Kern not liking dogs has nothing to do with Frank Kern either knowing about dogs OR having had his content produced and/or reviewed by an expert in this field. But if Frank Kern is selling dog-related content that consists of Frank Kern's research about dogs without any SME feedback, I would love to hear from him to that effect. I am sure it will do wonders for his marketing effort.
                        Frank hired someone at Elance for the "Teaching the Parrot to Talk" product. Not too sure about the dogs, but he does have a dog.
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                        • Profile picture of the author celente
                          Originally Posted by Laurie Rogers View Post

                          Frank hired someone at Elance for the "Teaching the Parrot to Talk" product. Not too sure about the dogs, but he does have a dog.
                          he often refers to his kids as dogs.

                          lol.

                          But you make a very very valid point about product creation. You can get other to create it, and they can be very experienced at this. You do not have to know or even like your niche. Sometimes the niche you are in, is not a niche where people are spending money. That is set for your failure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hardy Chou
      It can also be the traffic quality.

      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      If the product is not selling, it's usually the fault of the salesletter, not the product. Even if you have a wonderful, one-of-a-kind product, without good marketing, you are also NOT making money.
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  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi George,

    Is this an about turn in your approach to making money?

    I thought you were in the 'anything goes, as long as it's profitable' camp?

    do yourself, your customers, and the Internet in general an enormous favour
    Is this the new, re-born, caring/sharing George?



    You do realise that 'giving a s***' isn't the best way to get invited to the most hedonistic Marbella champagne spray parties?

    Just busting chops
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

      Hi George,

      Is this an about turn in your approach to making money?

      I thought you were in the 'anything goes, as long as it's profitable' camp?

      Is this the new, re-born, caring/sharing George?



      You do realise that 'giving a s***' isn't the best way to get invited to the most hedonistic Marbella champagne spray parties?

      Hahaha!

      Believe it or not, this thread was partially inspired by many of my friends in the financial services sector, who are offering a product / service that offers absolutely no value and then wonder why they cannot sell it (the truly sad thing is that the service actually is valuable - but they keep insisting on trying to sell it to the wrong people, to whom it, indeed, offers no value).

      The second part of the inspirtation grew from my reflection on Internet Marketing as a discipline - and, specifically, at the lack of critical thought that often surrounds it. Platitudes and abstract notions are often given instead of concrete, actionable advice. "Systems" - which, by their very definition, should take inputs and turn it into outputs - often turn out to be little more than a collection of vague, generic steps that are sufficiently clear and concrete to be actionable.

      In the end, I think I can live with someone saying "my product offers no value to people, but I'll keep trying to sell it anyway"; what truly drives me up the wall is people who pull together information from X different sources and somehow think that the product has value.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        what truly drives me up the wall is people who pull together information from X different sources and somehow think that the product has value.
        Everything you have said in this thread I have heard before - does that mean we should not be listening to you then since it's just rehashed information?
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Everything you have said in this thread I have heard before - does that mean we should not be listening to you then since it's just rehashed information?
          Your conclusion ("we should not be listening to you") is based on two premises:

          a) that what I wrote above is rehashed information;
          b) that rehashed information should not be listened to; and
          c) that reading a entry made in a public and freely accessible forum is equivalent to paying money to read that entry.

          Assuming that Premise A is correct (which I am willing to agree it is, although not in the way you defined it), and accepting, for the sake of the argument, Premise B (which is manifestly not true, but it's not the point here), Premise C is logically flawed. If it is not, then either you owe me money simply for having read my post (which is manifestly absurd), or you should never pay for any information you collect (which is equally absurd and violates every conceivable copyright law).
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        what truly drives me up the wall is people who pull together information from X different sources and somehow think that the product has value.
        Isn't that what pretty much every single IM product is though? Just a compilation of information? EVERYTHING can be found on the internet for free. EVERYTHING.

        Here's a few examples;

        All the data Market Samurai complies can be found manually using Google's keyword tool and SEOQuake.

        Everything in Bring The Fresh, Google Sniper and Niche Profits Classroom can be found, freely, on any internet marketing blog or forum. The benchmarks they use for keyword research can be found on Yaro's blog. The formula for choosing the correct Clickbank product can be found on the other WF.

        People pay for that information to be complied in a way that is easy to read and quantified with earnings so they know the information is correct and works.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

      Hi George,

      Is this an about turn in your approach to making money?

      I thought you were in the 'anything goes, as long as it's profitable' camp?

      Is this the new, re-born, caring/sharing George?



      You do realise that 'giving a s***' isn't the best way to get invited to the most hedonistic Marbella champagne spray parties?

      Just busting chops
      He was and probably still is.
      Just busting chops
      Take it all with a grain of salt.
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  • Profile picture of the author RAGolko
    There are too many coipy and paste product creators nowadays. Buy a PLR and repurpose it. That means make a video out of a pdf; make a pdf out of a video; take sales copy and rearrange it... etc. etc. I suppose if the content is good in the first place, and you have the rights to modifiy it, the outcome should be as good as the original. In that case, you are not adding value, you are just repurposing content. The problem with it is there is so much duplicate content around.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    There goes the entire profession of journalism out the window.

    Writers research and report.

    Think a little.
    No, you think a little; I'll stick with thinking a lot, thank you very much.

    Equating Internet Marketers with journalists is a gross oversimplification, as you are - hopefully - well aware. For example:

    a) the work of a journalist is reviewed for accuracy prior to publication and follows self-regulating rules (for example, a minimum number of sources);
    b) the work of a journalist does not make a recommendation to the reader; and
    c) the work of a journalist is often, though not always, empirically verifiable (e.g., if a journalist states that the President of the United States is Barack Obama, this is a fact that can be easily verified).

    In contrast:

    a) the work of Internet Marketers is not subject to review; content can be produced and published without any validation process;
    b) the work of Internet Marketers makes a recommendation to the readers ("using the information contained in this document, you can make money"); and
    c) the work of Internet Marketers is often not empirically verifiable; income claims are notoriously difficult to substantiate and their validity has been the subject of disputes in the past.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      That would be the part where I said he bought the rights to it.

      Um, no. When C bought the rights, B dropped out of the picture and doesn't do squat.
      Fair enough; everything appears to hinge on whether the output of B can be accepted as equivalent to that of an expert content creator. The expertise of C follows directly from B since it is produced with no adaptation and based upon acquisition of full rights.

      Note that we are making one important assumption: that the expertise of A is a given. Since, by your own definition, A helps frame the expertise of B, failure of A to be an expert would logically mean the same failure of B. Based on your later definition, I can only infer that you hold A to be a top project manager.

      The expertise of B hinges on the question of: does synthesis of X number of books constitute expertise and, if yes, what is the number of books (or, in more generic terms, the amount of research required), how valid the research sources need to be to constitute an expert research output, and the degree of attribution to the source. The premises for that are as follows:
      • taking a book and rewriting all of its contents in a different arguably creates no value and may constitute plagiarism;
      • a “book” can different in validity and accuracy depending on the publishing house, and certainly we needn’t restrict ourselves to book-related criteria alone to remain, in the long run, consistent with the more generic proposition of research resources; however, we do know that researching using erroneous and non-credible sources will compromise the validity of the outcome;
      • while C does not need to cite B, B needs to cite A as well as the other 20 As; this ensures not only respect of copyright, but enables the user to validate the accuracy and credibility of sources if they wish to do so.

      We also need to answer the following question: does synthesis of sufficient sources constitute expertise in the absence of first-hand experience? Here, we have two extremes to help frame the debate:
      • on the one hand, we have the historian, who, by definition, acquires expertise through meticulous research of sources; first-hand experience is, for all intents and purposes, impossible;
      • on the other hand, almost every student from any accredited university would be called upon to research and synthesize sources as part of producing a research paper of their own; first-hand experience would not be required, but neither would most consider them to be “experts”;
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      My position is that it is not the determining factor. My position has never been that it is not a factor at all.
      Setting the two extremes aside, many non-entry level jobs require corresponding relevant first-hand experience with or without a relevant degree; if sufficient research is a substitute for practical experience, it would be recognized as equivalent to such – which is usually not the case.

      Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

      On second thought, don't think.
      It's ok to disagree, but at least scroll up and look at the correct way of doing it (Caliban's). If you can't or wouldn't refute an argument logically, why make an input at all?
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        Note that we are making one important assumption: that the expertise of A is a given.
        This is actually not necessary.

        Since, by your own definition, A helps frame the expertise of B, failure of A to be an expert would logically mean the same failure of B.
        However, B has also assimilated the works of 20 top project managers, so the failure of A to be an expert is a 100% failure with A... but forms less than 5% of B's results.

        The expertise of B hinges on...
        B's expertise in the subject is not relevant. His expertise on the subject is.

        taking a book and rewriting all of its contents
        If you'll recall, B has read 21 books and written one. It should be pretty obvious that he is not rewriting their contents, which basically kicks your next few arguments in the balls and drops them in the canal.

        Setting the two extremes aside, many non-entry level jobs
        Being a project manager and teaching project management are two extremely different things.

        Let's be a little more clear about this, so we know exactly what we're talking about.

        Alice has been working as a professional project manager for several years. One day, she decides she should write a book so she will be seen as more of an expert and make more money. She spends one year writing the book, and puts it out on store shelves.

        Bob has been working as a professional writer for several years. One day, he decides he should write a book on project management because people pay upwards of $60 for books on project management. He joins a project management forum, asks several hundred project managers what books he should read, and get a list of the top twenty. At the bookstore, he buys those twenty books, then on an impulse buys Alice's as well. He spends six months reading these books, then six more months writing the book.

        Chuck is a professional marketer. He sees Bob releasing a book on project management, and says "that looks like a market with money in it." He goes to Bob and waves a lot of money in his face, asking for a perpetual nonexclusive royalty-free licence to the manuscript with the right to create derivative works. Bob likes money, and agrees.

        Now all three of these people have a book, but the book is not the final product. The final product is a video course in project management.

        Alice makes hers herself, because she's the expert.

        Bob makes his himself, because he's a writer and loves to hear himself talk.

        Chuck hires a professional video guy, because he's too busy doing hookers and blow out by the pool to be arsed making videos.

        So what we're really talking about here is a video course, not a book. Because that's where I think things get interesting.

        The project manager is not a teacher.

        The writer is closer, but still not a teacher.

        The marketer isn't, so he hired one.

        There is only one video course in this collection which has been produced by an actual teacher from written material by an actual writer. And I think that matters a lot more than having the material produced by an actual project manager, because the project manager is naturally biased to a single point of view.

        The writer, and especially the video coach, have specific expertise in evaluating points of view for accuracy and communicating those points of view to others. The project manager quite likely doesn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    George! George! George!

    I understand your point, and it's a good one, but not in all cases.

    For example, let's say you are selling an ebook (or, Lord help us, an entire course) on Project Management.
    For something more advanced like that, I think you're correct. How many IMers write about that stuff though?

    How much certification do you need to create the products that most IMers create? While I think most marketers would say they create products in certain categories because they sell; I also believe that some of it has to do with how much they know about certain topics. If you follow.

    Either way, I see your point, but I think it only applies to the minority.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      George! George! George!

      I understand your point, and it's a good one, but not in all cases.

      For something more advanced like that, I think you're correct. How many IMers write about that stuff though?

      How much certification do you need to create the products that most IMers create? While I think most marketers would say they create products in certain categories because they sell; I also believe that some of it has to do with how much they know about certain topics. If you follow.

      Either way, I see your point, but I think it only applies to the minority.

      All the best,
      Michael
      Michael!

      Long time, no see.

      I must ask - how is project management any less advanced than weight loss? If anything, it seems to me that weight loss - which involves tinkering with human health and potential for some serious damage if done wrong - is at least as serious a project management. :-)

      Now, ask yourself: how many marketers have a background in Health, Nutrition, and actually understand the science they are happily copying and pasting into the latest and greatest weight loss product?

      Your turn, Mr. Ethical Marketer
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        Michael!

        Long time, no see.

        I must ask - how is project management any less advanced than weight loss? If anything, it seems to me that weight loss - which involves tinkering with human health and potential for some serious damage if done wrong - is at least as serious a project management. :-)

        Now, ask yourself: how many marketers have a background in Health, Nutrition, and actually understand the science they are happily copying and pasting into the latest and greatest weight loss product?

        Your turn, Mr. Ethical Marketer
        '

        LOL

        I actually thought of that point as I was making the post. However, I believe most people have some personal experience with weight loss, and can share that knowledge.

        Hmm...

        Let's see if I can sum it up in a few words.

        More people are at Level II (personally solving a problem) for weight loss, than for project management.

        IMers tend to gravitate toward the things most people want to know about...and because most people want to know about them, there is a better chance that IMers already have experience in those topics.

        As long as you're not claiming to be an expert (in this case a nutritionist), say it's based on your experience, and add a good disclaimer, then I say it qualifies as ethical.

        I guess my overall point is that not all topics are equal in their need for Level III qulifications. I could write an article on how to save money on a wedding dress (though I never bought one), but I wouldn't touch Forex with a ten-foot pole.

        All the best,
        Michael
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

          '

          LOL

          I actually thought of that point as I was making the post. However, I believe most people have some personal experience with weight loss, and can share that knowledge.

          Hmm...

          Let's see if I can sum it up in a few words.

          More people are at Level II (personally solving a problem) for weight loss, than for project management.

          IMers tend to gravitate toward the things most people want to know about...and because most people want to know about them, there is a better chance that IMers already have experience in those topics.

          As long as you're not claiming to be an expert (in this case a nutritionist), say it's based on your experience, and add a good disclaimer, then I say it qualifies as ethical.

          I guess my overall point is that not all topics are equal in their need for Level III qulifications. I could write an article on how to save money on a wedding dress (though I never bought one), but I wouldn't touch Forex with a ten-foot pole.

          All the best,
          Michael
          Fair enough; and I can - grudgingly - accept that IM is more geared towards Level II qualifications, rather than Level III ones.

          The problem, however, is that, in my opinion, the reality of IM is that most content is produced by Level I content creators; that is, people who are writing about topics they have neither theoretical nor practical knowledge of. For example, a basic prerequisite for writing and selling an ebook about making money online is logically a demonstrated record of making money online.

          But when ebooks about making money online are produced by people who have never made money online in an attempt to make money online, this creates a Level I loop of the worst kind that erodes the credibility of IM as an industry.

          However, I must also ask - if you're not claiming to be an expert, how would that affect your sales? E.g., if you decide to be honest and not describe yourself - or the content creator - as a world-renowned specalist with 25 years of industry experience in the field of Nutrition (clarification: being alive and eating for 25 years does not make you a nutrition expert) - how would that affect sales?

          Glad to see that I'm not completely mad though
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
            Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

            Fair enough; and I can - grudgingly - accept that IM is more geared towards Level II qualifications, rather than Level III ones.

            The problem, however, is that, in my opinion, the reality of IM is that most content is produced by Level I content creators; that is, people who are writing about topics they have neither theoretical nor practical knowledge of. For example, a basic prerequisite for writing and selling an ebook about making money online is logically a demonstrated record of making money online.

            But when ebooks about making money online are produced by people who have never made money online in an attempt to make money online, this creates a Level I loop of the worst kind that erodes the credibility of IM as an industry.

            However, I must also ask - if you're not claiming to be an expert, how would that affect your sales? E.g., if you decide to be honest and not describe yourself - or the content creator - as a world-renowned specalist with 25 years of industry experience in the field of Nutrition (clarification: being alive and eating for 25 years does not make you a nutrition expert) - how would that affect sales?

            Glad to see that I'm not completely mad though
            Like I said, I see where you're coming from. I agree that there are far too many Level I people trying to pass themselves off as Level II or III, and that doing so creates problems.

            Also, as you mentioned, even if the product creation were to be outsourced, the seller isn't qualified to verify any information above their Level.

            As to "not claiming to be an expert, how would that affect your sales?"

            That's where copywriting comes in.



            Off the top of my head, I could play up the angle that "while the experts may know their stuff, a lot of them don't have real-world experience with being overweight. I don't claim to be an expert, but I did lose 53 pounds..."

            So, I never say the experts are wrong, I simply say they may not have the real-world experience (keyword 'may'). Then I make NOT having the professional qualifications a selling point. "Hey I'm not an expert, I'm a regular guy who found something that worked for me".

            All the best,
            Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author highrank
    I was about to have a tantrum George, as I have dissagreed with almost everything you have declared as fact up until now.

    However, you seem to be bringing the argument back around now. I agree that info products created by the 'clueless' do impact negatively on the IM industry. Unfortunatly, that is about all I agree with.

    Depending on the niche, claiming not to be an expert can help improve sales. For example, have you ever seen those teeth whitening ads?

    "New secret teeth whitening solution, discovered by a single mom".

    I really doubt this would appeal to the masses if the tagline was:

    "New teeth whitening solution, discovered by someone much smarter than you, who has a million qualifications in things you would never understand"

    You're argument that products created by the un-qualified will result in less sales, applies to only a tiny segment of the market. The vast majority of IM info products are created by the clueless, for the clueless. Only individuals who have the qualifications themselves, would seek to purchase products from other individuals who have those qualifications.

    On top of that, the actual quality of the product is often irrelavant, it's the power of the copywriting that determines how well a product sells (if we forget about refunds and negative reviews for the moment).

    I could point out a million crap products that have sold in their thousands, surely this negates your point that products that suck don't sell?
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  • Profile picture of the author bertranddo
    Hi George,

    This is a very thoughtful and provoking discussion. I do not agree with your main point that products dont sell because the person who wrote it sucks, I instead would side with Joseph who mentioned that products don't sell not because they suck, but because of poor marketing.

    Following your logic, if a product is not selling because it sucks, an excellent product should sell by itself, just because of the professionalism/experience of the product creator. I know countless stories of brilliant minds, inventors and even writers who have finished their lives broke and homeless because they didnt know how to put their creations in front of the right public.

    Example: McDonalds have no idea how to do a good burger (try home-made burgers with real beef), still they sell like hot cakes because they have 1)excellent city-centre locations and 2)an amazing marketing machine behind each and every single burger that is sold over the counter.

    Poor products do sell.

    Now, Should they sell at all? That's another question!

    Thanks again for this discussion, its always good to debate between us about our different opinions,

    All the best,
    Bertrand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    Totally agree George.

    I come from this exact same school of thought. I've seen many people research a topic and feel as though they are now a qualified expert on the subject, its the syndrome of people who "know just enough to get themselves into trouble."
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    On this forum "product creator" and "internet marketer" seem to get blended together. Although they are two completely different jobs/tasks. Usually should be completed by two very different persons (or teams of persons).

    Just like in the "real world" when I market a company or product, I don't help or even direct the product creation aspect. In fact, its usually way outside my area of expertise (sometimes I don't even fully understand the mechanics of said product). Driving prospects and getting sales? That's what I'm good at as a marketer (and I bet if you asked the product creators: the welders, CAD designers, and engineers about marketing? They wouldn't have the slightest clue).
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  • Profile picture of the author jcruz
    I think just like in any field, if you have specialized knowlege in that field you will obviously know more about the topic than someone who is just researching the topic, and putting a product together, obiously.
    But at the same time, just like anything else in life, speacilized knowlege in a specific field, say like weight loss by experience of being a personal trainer AND ACTUALLY TRAINING PEOPLE AND HELPING THEM LOSE WEIGHT, thats all great.
    But just because joe smoe the personal trainer is good at what he does, that does not mean he can put a product together and sell it. So in his best intrest, it would be smart to outsource someone that is good with words and is more organized with his thoughts. There's too many variable involved.

    And another thing, as far as your product selling there are too many variables to say that it is only because you don;t have first hand knowlege in that field. Thats ridicoulous, i'm pretty sure that there are people that don't have first hand experience with the products that they are selling, ex with affiliate marketing, but are doing well in sales.

    I would gladly outsource a component of my business if i knew if someone else would do it better. Its not possible to do everything yourself. Do you think a ceo is worrying about micromanaging the finite details of say, the mail room. Know there's a chain of command and he has to think about the big picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    I'm all about the self-made-millionaire. I'm going to be one someday!

    But I think George has a point- for the vast majority of the world (not necessarily IMers), getting an education means more $$$
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  • Profile picture of the author Gordon Taylor
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Gordon Taylor View Post

      It's all about the niche! You need a hot niche first, then sell in that niche. Simple marketing 101.
      ...And if it was as simple as that, everyone with a basic grasp of marketing would be a self-made millionaire.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    All that is just dandy except for the fact that
    statistics have nothing to do with who will, or
    won't, become wealthy.

    Volumes of books are filled with the stories of
    those who beat all the odds to become successful.

    I believe your odds of becoming successful are 50/50.
    You will either learn what needs to be done, and do it or
    you won't. Simple as that...

    And... if my products weren't selling I wouldn't ask myself
    who I am. I'd ask myself who my customers are and what
    might motivate them to buy my products.

    Tsnyder
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      I believe your odds of becoming successful are 50/50.
      You will either learn what needs to be done, and do it or
      you won't. Simple as that...
      You are confusing binary choice with 50/50 probability. If a man is falling from the roof of a tall building, he can survive or he can die, but the odds of that are decidedly not 50/50.

      If the odds of becoming successful were 50/50 then, logically, in a population of over six billion, the law of averages would kick in and 50% of people would be "successful" (however you choose to define that). I think we can agree that this is simply not true.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Armstrong
      I'll get in my time machine and tell Napolean Hill not to sell 'Think and Grow Rich' since all he did was research and interview successful businessmen.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeyBoyTaco
    Sometimes your niche doesn't really require much effort or brains to figure out. Some people are lazy and will pay you so that they don't have to spend 1-2 hours figuring out how something works.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by MikeyBoyTaco View Post

      Sometimes your niche doesn't really require much effort or brains to figure out. Some people are lazy and will pay you so that they don't have to spend 1-2 hours figuring out how something works.
      I guess so, except that every hot niche I can think of (for example, weight loss, dating, making money online, getting your ex back) is not one of them.

      Seriously, if weight loss didn't require effort or brains to figure out, obesity would not be a problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi George,

        Sometimes your niche doesn't really require much effort or brains to figure out. Some people are lazy and will pay you so that they don't have to spend 1-2 hours figuring out how something works.
        I guess so, except that every hot niche I can think of (for example, weight loss, dating, making money online, getting your ex back) is not one of them.

        Seriously, if weight loss didn't require effort or brains to figure out, obesity would not be a problem.
        You're confusing theory and practical.

        Weight loss isn't complicated. The buyers are (mainly) buying the theory. They get stuck on the practical, because they don't have the willpower to consistently apply the theory.

        Of course some weight loss products try and tackle the practical and help them to develop willpower. But many of them also find new and interesting ways to spin the theory, while only touching on the practical and often have a disclaimer - 'if you don't consistently apply this you will fail - I can't make you apply this- etc.'

        Therefore your statement isn't accurate -

        if weight loss didn't require effort or brains to figure out, obesity would not be a problem
        Even people who know how to lose weight, stay obese. Not because they didn't buy a product, not because they don't know how, but because they can't stop over-eating, failing to exercise, eating a poor diet etc.

        They may be able to make an initial effort, but once the cravings kick in, they fail. But it's not the 'figuring out' that's the problem, it's the applied continual implementation.
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

          Hi George,Therefore your statement isn't accurate -

          Even people who know how to lose weight, stay obese. Not because they didn't buy a product, not because they don't know how, but because they can't stop over-eating, failing to exercise, eating a poor diet etc.

          They may be able to make an initial effort, but once the cravings kick in, they fail. But it's not the 'figuring out' that's the problem, it's the applied continual implementation.
          I think this is the moment where I count my blessing for not being specific enough with the term "weight loss" to distinguish between theory and practice.

          The theory behind weight loss is enormously complicated - to really understand it and all its various implications, you need sound knowledge of biology and anatomy, as a starting point. Granted, you can reduce the theory to a simple "burn more calories than you eat" or its inverse "eat less calories than you burn", but it is a gross oversimplifcation. In much the same way, you can simplify Internet marketing to "sell stuff online for less than what it cost you to make" and quitting smoking to "just don't put that cigarette in your mouth" - but these oversimplifications are unlikely to ever be of use.

          Weight loss, quitting smoking, making money online - these are all processes, and to write on these topics, one requires knowledge of the process in addition to theory. The expertise - and the real value - comes from detailing the process, not providing the oversimplified theory.
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          • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
            George

            No actually you are missing my point and feel compelled to continue down the rabbit hole of statistics. Statistics are generalizations and I take zero comfort in them.

            Statistics and certifications will not make you a better marketer or improve marketing as a whole, but I'm sure you've got a statistic to quote to debate that and I've got more to do than debate with someone who clearly already has all the answers.

            So I'll agree only to disagree and move on...
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            • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
              Originally Posted by Troy Broussard View Post

              George

              No actually you are missing my point and feel compelled to continue down the rabbit hole of statistics. Statistics are generalizations and I take zero comfort in them.

              Statistics and certifications will not make you a better marketer or improve marketing as a whole, but I'm sure you've got a statistic to quote to debate that and I've got more to do than debate with someone who clearly already has all the answers.

              So I'll agree only to disagree and move on...
              I presented you with clear conclusions backed by premises substantiated by empirical facts. If you are unable or unwilling to refute these in an equally logical manner (which, by the way, is essential in a "debate"), then, logically, I have the upper hand is the argument. Simply saying "I don't agree!" doesn't cut it.

              Fun recommended reading:
              A Rulebook for Arguments (Fourth Edition) eBook:...A Rulebook for Arguments (Fourth Edition) eBook:...
              Does wonders for critical thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

    a) an experienced, PMI-certified project manager with first-hand experience in managing projects and/or coordinating programmes with multi-million dollar budgets;
    b) a voracious synthesizer who has spent the last three months reading and digesting project management literature and information and presenting them as an online course;
    c) a talented entrepreneural who outsourced the writing and the information collection to focus on the marketing strategy.
    Let's put this into real terms.

    a) has just written a book on project management based on his own experience. He takes his own book and makes a video course.

    b) has just written a book on project management based on reading the book written by (a) and the top twenty books written by people like him. He takes his own book and makes a video course.

    c) has just bought the rights to the book written by (b) so he can sell it. He sends this book to a video coaching expert and pays that expert to make a video course.

    Which course is likely to be the best?

    Is it (a), the video course produced by a working project manager from his own experience?

    Is it (b), the video course produced by a writer that researched the experience of twenty top project managers?

    Or is it (c), the video course produced by a video coaching expert from the book based on the experience of twenty top project managers?

    Chances are that not only is (c) the best product, but it is likely to have a lower price.

    Now, granted, (b) might have just read Wikipedia, instead of anything by real project managers.

    And (c) might have hired some jerk off fiverr, instead of a video coaching expert.

    But it's entirely possible to do a good job of those two things, as well. And in general, most people do not really understand what they do. Whatever you personally do for a living, chances are very high that you are among the least qualified people on the planet to explain it to anyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Let's put this into real terms.

      a) has just written a book on project management based on his own experience. He takes his own book and makes a video course.

      b) has just written a book on project management based on reading the book written by (a) and the top twenty books written by people like him. He takes his own book and makes a video course.

      c) has just bought the rights to the book written by (b) so he can sell it. He sends this book to a video coaching expert and pays that expert to make a video course.

      Which course is likely to be the best?

      Is it (a), the video course produced by a working project manager from his own experience?
      No argument so far.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Is it (b), the video course produced by a writer that researched the experience of twenty top project managers?
      Only if it is clearly presented as research into the work of twenty top project managers, as opposed to the writer going off on a wild tangent and describing his own experience of managing multi-billion dollar projects. In other words, as long as it is being presented as a documentary, rather than as a step-by-step guide to managing projects.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Or is it (c), the video course produced by a video coaching expert from the book based on the experience of twenty top project managers?
      Only if his work is actually reviewed by project managers before publication. If not, then here you have someone with no understanding of or experience in the discipline trying to select, present, and answer question on that very discipline.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Chances are that not only is (c) the best product, but it is likely to have a lower price.
      As long as he has a subject matter expert who takes a look at it and confirms that it makes sense - and is confident enough to put his name of the package - then sure, I agree with you. This also follows the logic referenced earlier - namely, that it's ok to be a marketer who doesn't understand the first thing about the subject matter he is marketing, as long as it was produced by someone who does.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Now, granted, (b) might have just read Wikipedia, instead of anything by real project managers.
      Then the chain of expertise breaks down there and then.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      And (c) might have hired some jerk off fiverr, instead of a video coaching expert.
      Then by that same logic, the product is being produced by people who have no idea about coaching skills, based on project management information produced by someone with no idea of project management.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      But it's entirely possible to do a good job of those two things, as well.
      I'm not sure what you mean by "good" here. If you mean a product produced to the best of your ability, then sure. But if you mean a product that's even remotely credible - I just don't see how it's possible.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      And in general, most people do not really understand what they do.
      Would you care to substantiate this claim?

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Whatever you personally do for a living, chances are very high that you are among the least qualified people on the planet to explain it to anyone.
      Again, could you please substantiate this?
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        Only if it is clearly presented as research into the work of twenty top project managers, as opposed to the writer going off on a wild tangent and describing his own experience of managing multi-billion dollar projects.
        Well, see, that would be a case of the author BEING A LYING ******* which is rather a different thing than where he got his material.

        Only if his work is actually reviewed by project managers before publication. If not, then here you have someone with no understanding of or experience in the discipline trying to select, present, and answer question on that very discipline.
        You seem to have missed the part where the material has been written by person (b) who studied twenty top project managers. The video coaching expert is ONLY presenting the material - and doesn't need to understand it. He just needs a pleasant voice and a professional presentation style.

        I'm not sure what you mean by "good" here.
        I mean that you can do good research, and you can outsource effectively. Like I pointed out up top.

        Would you care to substantiate this claim?
        Sure.

        #1. Most professional athletes never become competent coaches

        #2. Most award-winning coaches were never professional athletes

        Understanding how to coach a professional sports team is not the same as being a good player. The top of either field rarely reaches the middle of the other.

        Again, could you please substantiate this?
        See above.

        Most people are good at what they do by accident. They don't know why they are good at it. They don't know why other people are bad at it. They are far too concerned with going out and doing it to pay much attention to that, because they don't get paid to know why. They get paid to know how. But if they don't know "why," they're incapable of identifying the important parts of the "how," so they either teach irrelevant crap or they leave out critical elements.
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Well, see, that would be a case of the author BEING A LYING ******* which is rather a different thing than where he got his material.
          Right, but the problem is that being able to document such expertise arguably helps drive sales. For example, when I'm looking for a book on project management, I am far more likely to buy from someone who has extensive first-hand experience in it, rather than someone who states that they did extensive research on the subject.

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          You seem to have missed the part where the material has been written by person (b) who studied twenty top project managers. The video coaching expert is ONLY presenting the material - and doesn't need to understand it. He just needs a pleasant voice and a professional presentation style.
          In this case, I agree with you - I assumed you meant the video coach would interpret and adapt the material, rather than present it visually. Of course, you're completely correct - as long as all the presenter is doing is "presenting" the content word to word, instead of adapting it and making a recommendation based on it.

          However, the above also implies that there would have to be a copyright agreement between the person doing C and the person doing B. The person doing B would normally be very clearly associated with the outcome of C.

          In such an instance, it would be highly likely that the person who did B would validate the accuracy of the work done in C (certainly, if I decided to make a video presenting content you produced, surely you'd want to review the work before it hits the world?)

          That being said, we are still down to point B - that what the person is presenting is a video course documenting the work of twenty top project managers, not a guide on how to be a good project manager yourself.

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          I mean that you can do good research, and you can outsource effectively. Like I pointed out up top.
          Yes, of course you can do good research - and, as pointed earlier in this thread, this is what a historian does. And, of course, you can effectively outsource - although, in this case, this isn't so much outsourcing as input from a different function - content is turned into new format and provided to marketing for, well, marketing. Again, this is very consistent with the distinction between content creation and marketing. Creators create, marketers market; it's when marketers start creating that trouble begins.

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Sure.

          #1. Most professional athletes never become competent coaches
          Actually, your implicit premise that the sole reason athleters do not become competent coaches is that they do not understand what they do. I would ask you to substantiate this premise, as one can suggest many reasons why someone does not become a competent coach (lack of desire, lack of teaching skills, lack of patience, etc).[/quote]

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          #2. Most award-winning coaches were never professional athletes
          You are correct in that most of them were never professional athletes; they did, however, have some first-hand experience with the sport (at least looking at the list here - would be happy to look at an alternative list if you were referring to one)

          BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          But, fair enough, I'm happy to concede point 2. However, I still fail to see how either Point 1 or Point 2 proves that people don't understand what they do. Would you please clarify the logical connection (bearing in mind that Point 1 is still unproven)?

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Understanding how to coach a professional sports team is not the same as being a good player. The top of either field rarely reaches the middle of the other.
          I agree; however, can one become a good coach by reading about this on Wikipedia? Or does one become a good coach by a) obtaining the appropriate education (either by pouring over books or by taking the right classes) and b) acquiring first-hand coaching experience?

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Most people are good at what they do by accident. They don't know why they are good at it. They don't know why other people are bad at it. They are far too concerned with going out and doing it to pay much attention to that, because they don't get paid to know why. They get paid to know how.
          Again, these are premises that require substantiation (though they sound like something fun if substantiated).

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          But if they don't know "why," they're incapable of identifying the important parts of the "how," so they either teach irrelevant crap or they leave out critical elements.
          I agree with this conclusion - but you still need to substantiate the premise (see above).
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

            Right, but the problem is that being able to document such expertise arguably helps drive sales.
            I am not interested in who gets more sales. I am interested in who has the superior product.

            However, the above also implies that there would have to be a copyright agreement between the person doing C and the person doing B.
            That would be the part where I said he bought the rights to it.

            In such an instance, it would be highly likely that the person who did B would validate the accuracy of the work done in C
            Um, no. When C bought the rights, B dropped out of the picture and doesn't do squat.

            That being said, we are still down to point B - that what the person is presenting is a video course documenting the work of twenty top project managers, not a guide on how to be a good project manager yourself.
            That is not point B. Point B is that he has produced a course in project management. When I agreed he should not lie and claim to have been a project manager, that did not change the nature of what he produced, and it is not a documentation of other project managers' work. It is a course in how to be a project manager based on the commonalities of top project managers.

            This is more likely to be broadly applicable than any treatment based on the work and philosophy of a single project manager. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of statistics would know this. B has almost certainly produced a higher quality product than A.

            Creators create, marketers market; it's when marketers start creating that trouble begins.
            Bear in mind that I am a software project manager with several years experience managing multi-million dollar projects, that I am also a rather well-regarded writer and product creator, and that I was a software developer working within multi-million dollar projects for well over a decade. And, yes, I am also a marketer.

            The problem is not that marketers cannot create, but that people are creating without knowing the subject. This is not because they didn't do that for a living, or that they don't have first-hand experience, but because they simply do not bother to learn anything. There are many more ways to learn than doing something for a living.

            Actually, your implicit premise that the sole reason athleters do not become competent coaches is that they do not understand what they do.
            No. My premise is that if athletes understood what they did, they would be more likely to become competent coaches than non-athletes. This is quite patently not the case.

            You are correct in that most of them were never professional athletes; they did, however, have some first-hand experience with the sport
            You are missing the point. We are not talking about coaches. We are talking about athletes. Since professional athletes have more first-hand experience with the sport than anyone else, they should overwhelmingly dominate the coaching ranks if first-hand experience is the determining factor.

            My position is that it is not the determining factor. My position has never been that it is not a factor at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nikhil V Nair
    Hi George,

    First of all I highly appreciate you for starting this topic and carefully answering the comments.

    I agree with most of the points you say. Majority of the info products sold online are just old information in a systematic way. They all have a good sales copy generally in the form of a story(fake )

    I really believe it's better to sell your knowledge and experience that can make a positive change in someone else's life.

    I have a question for you

    What if the buyer is completely satisfied with what he got?

    irrespective of whether the creator has any personal experience or not

    In that case, I believe it is ethical
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Nikhil V Nair View Post

      Hi George,

      First of all I highly appreciate you for starting this topic and carefully answering the comments.

      I agree with most of the points you say. Majority of the info products sold online are just old information in a systematic way. They all have a good sales copy generally in the form of a story(fake )

      I really believe it's better to sell your knowledge and experience that can make a positive change in someone else's life.

      I have a question for you

      What if the buyer is completely satisfied with what he got?

      irrespective of whether the creator has any personal experience or not

      In that case, I believe it is ethical
      ExRat would have a fit when he reads this but: I think it's a matter of honesty.

      If someone produces a report saying "Here I have thoroughly researched and gathered X ways to lose weight" and if you are willing to state the sources that you used in the research (which would be a requirement for such a report) - then sure, I don't have a problem it.

      But if someone takes random scraps of information available on the Internet without even bothering to confirm their validity (not every source is a valid source - hello, EzineArticles) and then pass it off as a life story of someone who has first hand experience in this area - then this is basically blatantly lying their customers in the face.

      I will let others debate the ethics of marketing; I suppose the two questions one wants to answer are as follows:

      a) am I prepared to agree that I am lying to my customers?
      b) is it ok to lie to my customers as long as I think I'm making a positive change in their lives?
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  • Profile picture of the author imlogic
    the products that sell the most on infomercials, direct response, etc... are some of the crappiest products you could ever buy.

    End of discusssion.

    Quality product magnifies the marketing (because then you have word of mouth, etc...). The marketing is what sells it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    I am always perplexed by threads like this... I have been working in many different fields, have read and written about many things, used to be a teacher etc.

    Never ever, except this IM - more exactly MMO (make money online) - narrow field, have I seen this crazy requirement that the teachers/trainers must be the most successful practitioners of this trade.

    Are the teachers of the future geniuses also in that league? Will the best players become the best coaches? Are the professors of Nobel prize winners Nobel laureates themselves, too?
    - No and no and no. The answer is always NO.

    Yes, I am familiar with Murphy's aphorism: Those who can - do. Those who cannot - teach.

    However, doing something well and teaching it well... rarely can be found in the same person.

    Back to our small IM backyard: I have seen quite a number of presentations/seminars/webinars by excellent and very successful (read: wealthy) marketers... who simply suck at teaching.

    Therefore, IMNSHO - this theory of "the best doer is the best teacher" sucks
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Those who can - do. Those who cannot - teach.
      This saying is frequently misinterpreted.

      The actual meaning is more like this:

      When you are young and healthy and virile, build gorgeous cathedrals.

      When you are old and decrepit and cannot walk, teach other people to build gorgeous cathedrals.

      The basic idea here is that when you can still build gorgeous cathedrals, you are robbing the world of those gorgeous cathedrals if you spend all your time teaching others. Build gorgeous cathedrals of your own for as long as you can, because there will come a day when you cannot, and you will regret not having built the ones you didn't have time to build.

      But when you can no longer build cathedrals of your own, it's selfish and pointless to sit around crying "oh, woe, woe is me; I cannot build the cathedral I wish to carry my name and legacy to future generations!" Instead, go teach other people to build cathedrals, and while the world may never see your cathedrals... at least there will still be cathedrals.

      So no, that saying does not mean and has never meant "LOL teachers are retarded."
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        So no, that saying does not mean and has never meant "LOL teachers are retarded."
        I hope so... since I used to be a teacher at the beginning of my career And I quoted because I expected somebody would reply with it.

        And to make it more interesting for George: I used to teach (among others) Russian language for foreigners. Did that make me a better speaker than a native Russian? Hell, no!
        However, I was a way better teacher than any native speaker lacking the knowledge in methodology, grammar, pedagogy, child psychology etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

          I used to teach (among others) Russian language for foreigners.
          If you had a product on this, I would probably buy it. My Russian sucks.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
          Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

          I hope so... since I used to be a teacher at the beginning of my career And I quoted because I expected somebody would reply with it.

          And to make it more interesting for George: I used to teach (among others) Russian language for foreigners. Did that make me a better speaker than a native Russian? Hell, no!
          However, I was a way better teacher than any native speaker lacking the knowledge in methodology, grammar, pedagogy, child psychology etc.
          Fair enough; English is not my Mother Tongue either, and it was taught to me - initially, at least - by a Russian-born and educated ESL teacher. Russian is my Mother Tongue, by the way.

          But the difference was - she could speak English. And that's fine.

          The problem is if she tells you she's going to teach you English based on what she has read about English on Wikipedia (which is available in Russian)
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          • Profile picture of the author ExRat
            Hi Suzanne,

            He was and probably still is.
            Just busting chops
            Take it all with a grain of salt.
            Thanks Suzanne, I do

            George is just flattering himself when says things like -

            ExRat would have a fit when he reads this
            LOL.

            Hi George,

            Originally Posted by CDarklock
            Well, see, that would be a case of the author BEING A LYING ******* which is rather a different thing than where he got his material.
            Right, but the problem is that being able to document such expertise arguably helps drive sales. For example, when I'm looking for a book on project management, I am far more likely to buy from someone who has extensive first-hand experience in it, rather than someone who states that they did extensive research on the subject.
            Right, but you are not the market, George....thank goodness
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Therefore, IMNSHO - this theory of "the best doer is the best teacher" sucks
      This is actually a very effective way of condensing the argument; and, while I would not necessary state it is fully correct (mostly to protect myself from subsequent arguments deriving from this), let me rephrase it:

      The argument not that theb est doer is the best teacher, the argument is that the teacher needs to have been at least somewhat of a doer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post


      However, doing something well and teaching it well... rarely can be found in the same person.

      Back to our small IM backyard: I have seen quite a number of presentations/seminars/webinars by excellent and very successful (read: wealthy) marketers... who simply suck at teaching.

      Therefore, IMNSHO - this theory of "the best doer is the best teacher" sucks
      Well said Istvan - couldn't agree more...
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  • Profile picture of the author mllnsgrl
    Caring is half of the equation (for your customers, for information, for the outcome), or in for some - the battle. There are just too many variables here to make a product successful, or not.

    Having an open mind helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author waywrite
    One of my favorite self descriptions to create credibility by a product marketer on clickbank is that they are an "expert researcher" on the subject, lol Regardless, they are highly successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author friendfeed
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    • Profile picture of the author rickfrazier1
      Originally Posted by friendfeed View Post

      Good and Clear contents with quality Backlinks from white hat technique gives you a good selling rate.
      Given what seems to be selling really well the past few months, a halfway decent procuct (so the refunds are low) with an over-hyped long form sales page does the trick.

      Tell the absolute truth about the product, use a short form sales page, or ad copy that doesn't leave the customer wondering what they are actually buying (a solution to their problem, or a dream) and you end up with mediocre sales.

      --color me cynical, but I haven't had really good results with short form or fully honest white-hat sales pages for a while now... Longer form is working better, but I just can't get myself to feel right about a "blind ad" page, even if it would increase sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
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    • Profile picture of the author George Chernikov
      Hi Caliban,

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Originally Posted by George Chernikov

      Note that we are making one important assumption: that the expertise of A is a given.
      This is actually not necessary.
      Originally Posted by George Chernikov

      Since, by your own definition, A helps frame the expertise of B, failure of A to be an expert would logically mean the same failure of B.
      However, B has also assimilated the works of 20 top project managers, so the failure of A to be an expert is a 100% failure with A... but forms less than 5% of B's results.
      The reason the expertise of Alice has to be a given is because you previously defined that the twenty books that Bob had consulted are written by people like Alice:

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      b) has just written a book on project management based on reading the book written by (a) and the top twenty books written by people like him. He takes his own book and makes a video course.
      Therefore, Alice must have sufficient expertise to be a credible source, because you are defining the credibility of the top twenty books in B by equating them with A. If B = A, and if A = not credible, it therefore follows that B = not credible.

      Considering the following statement you made:

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      B has also assimilated the works of 20 top project managers, so the failure of A to be an expert is a 100% failure with A... but forms less than 5% of B's results.
      Once again, can we agree that Alice is a "top project manager", because, by your own definition, the credibility of work produced by Alice is equivalent to the credibility of the other top twenty books, and the other top twenty books are produced by "20 top project managers" (therefore, Alice is a top project manager)?

      The reason I am dwelling on this is because we need to be crystal clear on whether the sources that B works with - and, therefore, that C presents - are credible. If they are, then the argument indeed is purely a question of:

      a) at what point and under what circumstances does synthesis of existing credible sources without first-hand experience become a credible source (it clearly does at some point - we just can't agree on when);

      b) what the definition of a credible source is;

      c) what, if any, qualifications and/or experience(s) the presenter in C needs to have to produce effective material based on the purchased rights Bob's work (and here I am quite happy to agree that they need not have first-hand experience in the subject matter).
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by George Chernikov View Post

        The reason the expertise of Alice has to be a given is because you previously defined that the twenty books that Bob had consulted are written by people like Alice
        The qualifier "like" was to avoid any complaint that those top twenty books might not be by the same kind of project managers. Managing a software project is very different from managing a construction project, after all.


        But only those twenty books not written by A are the top books in the field. While I am a project manager on software projects like Edward Brooks Jr., I would not consider my expertise comparable to his, nor would I suggest any book I might write about project management was comparable to The Mythical Man-Month.

        Just because we are "like" one another does not imply we have similar levels of expertise.

        you are defining the credibility of the top twenty books in B by equating them with A.
        No, I am not. The credibility of the top twenty books is established by the long-term consensus of a community, and we are adding A's book simply to make it part of the pool.

        This, again, is to avoid a potential complaint: that B is by definition unable to say what A can say because A was not in his collection of books.

        by your own definition, the credibility of work produced by Alice is equivalent to the credibility of the other top twenty books
        That has never been part of the definition. Alice's book is in Bob's pile of books simply to ensure that Bob has the same access to new ideas that Alice has in her book, just like Chuck bought the rights to Bob's book (instead of some other random book) to ensure that his video coach has that same access.

        Basically, all three examples have the same access to whatever of Alice's ideas might end up in the book. The quality of those ideas is irrelevant.

        The reason I am dwelling on this is because we need to be crystal clear on whether the sources that B works with - and, therefore, that C presents - are credible
        You are dwelling on this because you want to make A as credible as the top twenty project managers, which I have not said for a reason. A is not necessarily a top project manager. It is irrelevant whether A is a top project manager.

        I keep pointing out to you that your argument depends on the acceptance of A, as someone who has managed projects, is a credible expert on project management. You continually insist that I accept this as a fundamental premise, so you can argue that the writer B and the video coach employed by C are not credible experts on project management.

        However, A is a credible expert neither on writing nor on video lessons.
        A is a professional project manager who has written a book and made video lessons. Note there are no commonalities.

        B is a professional writer who has written a book and made video lessons. Note the commonality there.

        C hired a professional video coach who has used B's book to create video lessons. Note the commonality... and that it is in the end product.

        While all three are professionals, only B and C have expertise relevant to this process. A's expertise is in another unrelated field. And only in case C has the end result passed through a professional writer and a professional video coach.

        See, unlike the average person arguing with you on the internet, I actually know what my position is.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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