Are You Always When Truthful Marketing your Business

42 replies
I know that when I first started marketing many years ago I used to use pre written sales letters for products I was selling, you know the one I mean how I lost 22 lbs in four weeks etc. Now I have never had a weight problem, my weight has been constant for 40 years, so it is right to market in this way.

Generally speaking I avoid making these statements because I no longer try to sell my products but just present information relating to the products, so in the case of the example above I would write an article about the benefits of losing weight.

I have built a reputation for always been truthful, but now have a little bit of a dilemma, in a new business I have started, I need to tell a white lie which could earn me money and at the same time mislead someone to take action which will help them and cost them nothing.

My everyday tag line is

Helping people to help themselves

so perhaps there is nothing wrong with marketing this way, what do you think
#business #david ogden #marketing #marketing your business #truthful
  • Profile picture of the author tahoecale
    I think it is wrong to mislead people but if theres no money loss to the person i dont see much harm..
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    • Profile picture of the author ronaldmd
      Originally Posted by tahoecale View Post

      I think it is wrong to mislead people but if theres no money loss to the person i dont see much harm..
      Morality is UNIVERSAL, not relative / depends on the situation. It's wrong to mislead people, it doesn't matter there's or there's no money loss.
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      • Profile picture of the author Trafficsniper
        Originally Posted by ronaldmd View Post

        Morality is UNIVERSAL, not relative / depends on the situation. It's wrong to mislead people, it doesn't matter there's or there's no money loss.
        Very true! Nice one! this is something everyone should know.
        "Never call yourself Internet Marketing Gurus or expert or whatever if you're just misleading someone".
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  • Profile picture of the author whatihave
    Banned
    I only market products to my list that have at least a handful of good reviews, most I try out myself just to affirm the quality. I feel like people will naturally trust you if you only offer them quality information and products. It also helps you in the long run for clicks and conversions.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
      Originally Posted by whatihave View Post

      I only market products to my list that have at least a handful of good reviews, most I try out myself just to affirm the quality. I feel like people will naturally trust you if you only offer them quality information and products. It also helps you in the long run for clicks and conversions.
      You have not really answered the question although you do admit that you sell products that you appear to have no knowledge about relying on other peoples reviews, so maybe you are not truthful.

      Thanks Ronald it seems you are the first honest person to reply, I had hoped to see more but maybe the truth is that the majority of the people on the internet tell lies and deceive people as a way on try to make a living on the internet
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      David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

        Thanks Ronald it seems you are the first honest person to reply, I had hoped to see more but maybe the truth is that the majority of the people on the internet tell lies and deceive people as a way on try to make a living on the internet
        I don't review products as a business model and wouldn't lie about a product to sell it. I don't like being lied to as a customer, so I don't do that to my customers. I sell my own products though rather than push other people's stuff, with just a very few exceptions ... and those exceptions are a few people's stuff that I have purchased and love.
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        • Profile picture of the author Bentley74
          Cool thread!

          I've always felt like I'm "too honest" to be a good marketer (lol) - heck, my wife calls me that (and she's very honest)! There are just so many things I don't feel very comfortable with (even things as common-place as using a pen name for a given product/niche). I have no sense of being on moral high ground or anything like that, I'm just going on gut feelings. To each his/her own.

          Over the years I've been amazed (and rather dismayed at times) by what many regular, seemingly honest folks are willing to do for the sake of generating sales - but as this thread reminds me, there are certainly LOTS of people who prefer an honest approach.

          I won't claim there is never the least bit of bias when promoting something I'm excited about - but I've always felt that it's important to offer a balanced review (pros/cons), and in cases where I haven't tested something out myself, to be honest about it and work extra hard to make sure it's a high quality product.
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          • Profile picture of the author Bentley74
            A few minutes after posting my honesty meter kicked in! (are you dishonest if you conveniently forget some things?? haha)

            I should mention that my own philosophy has "matured" and solidified over the years - I won't claim to never have done dumb things (in hindsight), made some mistakes etc.

            I got my big break with Adwords affiliate marketing (specifically the "GoogleCash" method) back in 2005. That's a prime example of a time period where I was promoting stuff I hadn't tried out myself. I certainly wasn't knowingly deceiving anyone or anything like that - but looking back now, I can see I was pretty naive in a lot of ways. For example - getting someone to give up their email address for a CPA offer probably WASN'T really helping to add value to their life (haha) - not that I'm slamming CPA offers.

            Anyway, I'm sure we've all made mistakes over the years, right?

            B
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    • I agree. Trust Building = Traffic Building
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      • Profile picture of the author larrydcook
        I love this observation in philosophical morality so I have a little story to tell:

        Three young boys standing on a corner of the street holding a leash with this ugly dog on the end of it! When a preacher walked up & asked them what they were doing.

        One of the boys said well we found this dog & we all decided we wanted him so who ever tells the biggest lie gets to take the dog home with them! Well the preacher went right in to a long dissertation on scriptures on how that lying is a sin, how that it always comes back to bite you in the but & that if you lie you will go to hell & that no one that lies will go to heaven!

        He went on to say that when he was a young boy that he wouldn't even think about telling a lie for he knew the consequences of the matter, after all was said the boys looked at one another & they handed over the leash to the preacher & said Ok you win you get the dog!

        The bottom line is everyone lies sometime but all your ever going to get from it is an ugly dog! have a great day & sell something you love!
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        • Profile picture of the author davehva
          Don't lie. As has been noted above, we all do from time to time, mostly to spare someone else's feelings:

          Wrong:

          Her: Does this dress make my ass look fat?
          Him: No, your fat ass makes your ass look fat.

          Right:

          Her: Does this dress make my ass look fat?
          Him: Not at all. I have to say I like the blue one a lot better through. There's something about the way it sets off your eyes...

          This is really different from mis-representing a product. At the least, your customers will be one time customers, which is the most expensive kind.

          At the most, they will spread the word. happy customers tell a few people, unhappy customers tell everyone they know.

          We always tell the truth about our products, even when it may cost us a sale. Even more, if we can direct the prospect to another company that can do a better job of helping him, we do that too.

          I've lost count of the times someone called us back or emailed months later with an order because of this.

          I wish I could say I am always honest because I am such a nice guy - but the truth is that I am honest because I think you make more money in the long run that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeanne Lovely
    I think that if you are selling a product that you are endorsing "that this worked for you" to keep your credibility you really need to be truthful.

    If however, you are selling physical products, ie: flower pots, I do not think that the same applies - beautiful flower pots are in the eyes of the beholder.

    Dave, it seems that since you are asking the question, it is something that is bothering you - go with your GUT
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    • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
      There is lots of misleading... over exaggerated... unrealistic commercials on TV every day. Talking animals... birds flying into sliding glass doors... kids running faster than a car... drains opening in less than a second and you name it... it's there. Un-truthful for sure... but that's marketing. If it helps fulfill someone's burning needs and desires... people pay attention.

      The marketing companies that put together these marketing campaigns that produce and sell products and help generate more sales... probably will be hired to do more work for that business or company in the future, so a lot of research is needed to market products and busineses.

      I think there is a newer trend shifting to more realistic marketing strategies. One that comes to mind is Ford, where Mike Rowe is just himself and goes around talking to everyday people. Personally I prefer that kind of marketing myself, but there is still a lot of old school marketing out there that just sells hype.

      Great Thread... it's important to think your marketing through and figure out what kind of marketing your audience will like. Obviously little kids will probably love the hype and over-exaggeration, but people in my age group don't like the hype so much.
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      • Profile picture of the author abundantlife
        This is quite a thread and obviously getting attention because the subject is so relevant in today's market place. One of the comments was,"go with your gut". I thought that about says it. There was another one about why was it even a question unless it was bothering you. From the quote "helping people to help themselves" I can't see anything wrong with that unless it is in fact misleading. I mean if what you do as a service or product does exactly that, what's the problem? On the other hand if it really doesn't do that well...that's another story.

        The popularity of an untruth is dependent of what the reader or listener wants to hear or read. Often the diet food ads show pictures of before and after and say it can happen to you...in the bold print. Then in the smaller print it says something about eating your veggies and drinking water and walking a lot more than you want to. In the fine print it might even tell you the stuff shouldn't be used if you have a heart condition or breathing problems, etc.

        But if you really want to believe it will work you will only read the bold print and see yourself as a slimmer you. So much advertising and promotion appeals to our vanity and throws any truth out the window. In fact this has become so prevalent we hardly even notice anymore.

        Bottom line, in order to stand out from the crowd and be uniquely different the honest truth is the only way to go. That means not even something that is truthful but is somewhat misleading, My attitude is, would I be okay if grandma knew what I did or said. If not, better to not say it or write it.
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        David Tampien
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  • Profile picture of the author NancyAnderson
    I believe marketers should try every product they promote, know the reliability of the company they are promoting, and be as accurate as possible in representing both the product and the company. If a marketer is not truthful in representing his or her business, I believe that the false statements will at some time come back to bite them. It never pays to make false claims; if you make money at the start, it will cost you your reputation later.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Huang
    You know, I am half way developing my own health based products right now. I do experiment them and actually do that before and after picture as proof (I mean if it's applicable but if not then nevermind) but the best thing I think would be to give them a big sneak peak of what you are about to offer them in your sales letter by listing down the table of contents you have in your book and pointers as to what each page will explain to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Wilhite
    Deception, for whatever purpose or however you do it is no good.

    The reason I see that some marketers do it is to make money
    even without actually being an expert in their niche or actually
    experiencing the thing they're "peddling".
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    • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
      Originally Posted by Mary Wilhite View Post

      Deception, for whatever purpose or however you do it is no good.

      The reason I see that some marketers do it is to make money
      even without actually being an expert in their niche or actually
      experiencing the thing they're "peddling".
      You mean like snake oil in the old west, I used to do door to door sales which is also referred to as peddling but I was very knowledgeable on my products and in fact earn t good money so I am not sure peddling is the right word.

      so it seems at the moment the moral high ground is ahead and the snake oil sellers are not wanting to expose themselves
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      David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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  • Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

    I know that when I first started marketing many years ago I used to use pre written sales letters for products I was selling, you know the one I mean how I lost 22 lbs in four weeks etc. Now I have never had a weight problem, my weight has been constant for 40 years, so it is right to market in this way.

    Generally speaking I avoid making these statements because I no longer try to sell my products but just present information relating to the products, so in the case of the example above I would write an article about the benefits of losing weight.

    I have built a reputation for always been truthful, but now have a little bit of a dilemma, in a new business I have started, I need to tell a white lie which could earn me money and at the same time mislead someone to take action which will help them and cost them nothing.

    My everyday tag line is

    Helping people to help themselves

    so perhaps there is nothing wrong with marketing this way, what do you think
    I did this once. I got burned. Never again.

    It's dishonest and it doesn't help anyone else.

    My advice? Create free reports that have links to your websites in them that people have the option to explore if they're interested and then only promote products you have used and love. That's what I do now and it works 10x better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Riggs
    Seems like more of a moral question to me. I tend to present most of my business from a neutral standing offering a positive approach. I feel my customers/clients better value the authenticity of my statements that way.

    I think it depends entirely on what you're marketing though, rather than your moral motives.
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  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

    I know that when I first started marketing many years ago I used to use pre written sales letters for products I was selling, you know the one I mean how I lost 22 lbs in four weeks etc. Now I have never had a weight problem, my weight has been constant for 40 years, so it is right to market in this way.

    Generally speaking I avoid making these statements because I no longer try to sell my products but just present information relating to the products, so in the case of the example above I would write an article about the benefits of losing weight.

    I have built a reputation for always been truthful, but now have a little bit of a dilemma, in a new business I have started, I need to tell a white lie which could earn me money and at the same time mislead someone to take action which will help them and cost them nothing.

    My everyday tag line is

    Helping people to help themselves

    so perhaps there is nothing wrong with marketing this way, what do you think
    David my tip is that you should never lie, why you don't tell about other people success who had great result with that product!

    In this way you don't lie and you don't destroy the trust and your name. Use other people testimony how the product had help them! you can say " I don't know, but _____ had great result and she lost ____ lbs, and so and so had ...........
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    Gudrun Marquardt
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      My opinion is that subjects like this demand plenty of philosophical consideration in order to avoid any kind of bias-influenced, automatic response, as much as is possible. No offence intended. Have some of you studied certian Asian business philosophies (please excuse the possible generalisation) or Art of War type thinking to add to the mix when considering these things, in order to try and balance out the perspective a little?

      Sometimes, when you have an opinion on something that is very one-sided, it's helpful to examine things from the opposite perspective in order to check yourself and establish if your current opinion is based on logical thought and empirical evidence, rather than something less considered.

      'Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing.' Chanakya.

      Just some food for thought and hopefully not too much of an incendiary device.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi,

        My opinion is that subjects like this demand plenty of philosophical consideration in order to avoid any kind of bias-influenced, automatic response, as much as is possible. No offence intended. Have some of you studied certian Asian business philosophies (please excuse the possible generalisation) or Art of War type thinking to add to the mix when considering these things, in order to try and balance out the perspective a little?

        Sometimes, when you have an opinion on something that is very one-sided, it's helpful to examine things from the opposite perspective in order to check yourself and establish if your current opinion is based on logical thought and empirical evidence, rather than something less considered.

        'Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing.' Chanakya.

        Just some food for thought and hopefully not too much of an incendiary device.
        Living is Asia, it is apparent that they do look at life and business from a different perceptive and my partner often scolds me for being to honest, but that is the way I was brought up. On a couple times at least my trust in others to do what they agree has been severely tested.
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        David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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  • Profile picture of the author anthonyb
    There is a great saying I believe resolves most issues and that is "Do on to others as you want done on to you". If you have a problem being misled, then you are most obliged not to mislead others. However, I must also add that some who consistently fall victim of misrepresentation of facts, need to go through a self reflective process. Usually there is something within them that consistently want the easy no pain option in life. In reality in most instances, the blatantly misled and the people misleading are actually both at fault, and not just the one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Azarna
      I was very entertained by a radio article the other day.

      Some guy had been advertising a 'How I made squilions of dollars in just a month' type product.

      And the taxman was now wanting his share :-)

      Sadly I assume that most IM is lies. I have seen far too many that are duplicated, often word for word, over and over.

      Plus I was a member of a monthly 'club' where you got PLR etc. They included sales letters, with how 'I' did this and that. Two minutes with Google showed that many people were using these letters as they were - personal declarations and all.

      You only have to be caught out once to have your reputation ruined, why do that? Be honest and you have nothing to fear.
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  • Profile picture of the author go4wealth
    I stand with those who say we should never lie. Even white lies should not be done. At what point is money worth your integrity. I mean if money is your God then you may say anything maybe do anything just to obtain it. It is written somewhere that "the Love of Money is the root of all evil" Somethings are just not worth it and for me intentionally lying is one of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

    I have built a reputation for always been truthful, but now have a little bit of a dilemma, in a new business I have started, I need to tell a white lie which could earn me money and at the same time mislead someone to take action which will help them and cost them nothing.
    You don't need to tell a 'white lie' at all.

    You have a choice and every choice has consequences.

    A reputation takes a lot of time to build and only seconds
    to destroy if/when people find out.

    And even if your market don't find out - YOU know that
    you've deceived your market.

    I wouldn't give a flying feck what extra money could
    come my way by telling a 'white lie' here and there.

    A lie is a lie is a LIE.

    Plus the fact is that it's possible to make money by being
    honest. Sure, you may not make as much in the short-term
    but at least it doesn't cost you something a lot more valuable
    than the extra money - your INTEGRITY and peace of mind.

    Tell the truth because it's the right thing to do and it's a lot
    easier to remember.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    .

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  • Profile picture of the author reimer
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi reimer,

      Originally Posted by reimer View Post

      This is incredible...

      I mean the absence of gurus, WSOs sellers (only one or two I see...), that could only mean that they arenĀ“t truthful when marketing... jijijij I better stop or I will receive the ban hammer..
      If you'd said something like, 'that tends to make me think that some here aren't being truthful when marketing', then I think that your point would come across as more sensible and much less of a wildly inaccurate, all-encompassing assumption, than saying -

      'that could only mean'.

      Are you suggesting that in your opinion, every warrior who posts here MUST also be running WSOs?

      That's incredible.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author reimer
        Banned
        [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi reimer,

          Originally Posted by reimer View Post

          Nope you just understood everything backwards...

          Cheers
          Two posts that are difficult to make any sense of. Have you got any more?
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          Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author scsheldon33
    Like some of the other people here, I do not and will not market any product that I have not used or tried out myself. This way, the copy I write for each product will be as truthful as can be. Misleading or telling a lie just to earn a buck is bad juju.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

    I have built a reputation for always been truthful, but now have a little bit of a dilemma, in a new business I have started, I need to tell a white lie which could earn me money and at the same time mislead someone to take action which will help them and cost them nothing.

    My everyday tag line is

    Helping people to help themselves

    so perhaps there is nothing wrong with marketing this way, what do you think
    You want honesty? I can be blunt.

    Sounds like very narcissistic reasoning - stop that.
    It's not right to crank someone's reality around because you think you know what is good for them. I've divorced men for that jive. I might be tempted to sue a salesperson for it.

    Tell the truth and let other adults decide for themselves what is good for them........if they can't figure it out for themselves, leave em in the pasture.
    Do not sell your soul for a wallet full of cash. You will regret it in the longrun.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeMartin
    Everything is based on your reputation in the IM game. Telling the truth is a necessity to maintain a respectable business. If you mislead your clients on this one little thing, then what's to stop you from misleading them on a slightly bigger thing next time? In my opinion, a lie is a lie. If something might help them, tell them but do not lie to them. Hopefully you will be thanked for being truthful. If not, you'll still be able to sleep at night. Good luck with your problem and I admire your honest approach.

    -Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
    Just an update partly as a result of the positive responses I have re-examined that way I was thinking of marketing my new business so as to avoid even telling a white lie. Maybe it will result in producing less income but I will be able to sleep easier at night, knowing that I have done my best to help others.

    You see everyone has a choice in life with what they do and I have have always told people that if they don't like what they are doing rather than moan it is better to take action.

    So I will continue to be honest honest and truthful
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    David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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  • Profile picture of the author ronaldmd
    Why it's wrong to tell lies and mislead people? Because your buyers will ask for refund later. So what's the point of making 100 sales per day if you get 99 refunds? You will also lose your credibility. Your previous buyers won't buy anything from you anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author BennyTheWriter
    Interestingly enough, I've been thinking about starting a thread on this same topic. I don't believe in lying with marketing--yet almost every sales letter I come across (the "good ones", anyway) tells this amazing story about how the person's life has been completely transformed by the product.

    It's sad to think I have to completely fabricate a story in order to make money. I don't want to do it. As far as I know--and I'm a newbie when it comes to marketing--I don't think it's entirely necessary, either.
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  • Profile picture of the author MattVit
    I have a list of Warriors who are entirely untruthful about their business. With evidence.

    Without naming names, there's one who claims to make X per day (a LOT) and it couldn't be further from the truth, given that they struggle with money...

    Another sells a WSO which claims to make X per day. Bull****. They showed 'PayPal' evidence, and when you zoom in on the picture, you can see clearly how it was edited.

    So many more. And these are only the ones I have very concrete evidence on.
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  • Profile picture of the author rgc2005
    "Due Diligence Investigations"
    They have pretty much killed lying about performance or success on the internet. Anytime I do business with anyone I check their credentials, SN, CR and legal filings. Thanks to the search engines, Facebook and open records laws just about any fib can be fact checked almost instantly. People who used to be terrified of Better Business Bureau complaints now have to hire "Reputation Consultants". The impact of the transparent nature of the WWW on society should make for some great Doctoral thesis in a few years.
    BTW, I try not to lie regardless of what Google says.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
    I was doing a quick check on advertising material on quickbank and see that they have have recentently updated their advertsing guidelines.

    "All use of testimonials and endorsements must comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines. This means that vendors cannot use false and deceptive statements in their written promotions or their video promotions. All specific advertising claims about a product’s performance or quality must be capable of substantiation—that is they must be real examples based on actual experiences. A statement that not all consumers will get the same results is not enough to qualify a claim. Testimonials and endorsements can’t be used to make a claim that the advertiser itself cannot substantiate.

    Connections between an endorser and the vendor that are unclear or unexpected to a customer also must be disclosed, whether they have to do with a financial arrangement for a favorable endorsement, a position with the vendor, or stock ownership. Expert endorsements must be based on appropriate tests or evaluations performed by people that have mastered the subject matter. This means vendors cannot have actors (paid or unpaid) pretending to be someone they are not as part of a product endorsement. Also, affiliates cannot pose as neutral third parties evaluating two products so they make a commission on selling one of them."

    I think that this can only be a good thing, hope fully vendors will remove some of the misplaced advertising that used to be commonplace in Clickbank. I have used Clickbank on a few occasions, but never really liked the promotional material.

    Perhaps someone that uses Clickbank on a regular basis would care to comment.
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    David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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  • Profile picture of the author adampowers
    I believe in beneficial marketing. Not beneficial to the person trying to make the sale, but beneficial to the person buying. With that said, you could never benefit the person buying by fibbing to them. If you need to fib to them, then the product isn't worth it. Even if no money is exchanged, it could send your prospect down a path where someone else could take advantage of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    How about this... Ask yourself, "Do I want a long-term or short-term business?"

    Most people out there that are looking to create a fast buck or two, they do not
    care or even think about the long-term effect that it might occur when doing things
    dishonestly or inappropriately. After you have decided whether or not you'd like a
    long-term or short-term business, decide how you will run your business...

    No-one can tell you how to run a business or how to act to a person. I have every
    piece of faith in you that you are able to do what is right... Remember... We are all
    big-boys here... Regardless if times are rough or you can make an extra buck or two,
    do NOT screw someone over or lead them in a dishonest way.

    Think about it...

    Jake Gray
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    You need to be MUCH more specific on what you're talking about.

    Are you talking about exaggerating or lying? Even then, because the meaning of the two words are so subjective, there is a very, very fine line.

    Sal can probably tell you better than I can, but just one word can exaggerate, or over-amplify an emotion, yet be completely truthful of how good something is or isn't.
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