Herd Mentality And Market Saturation...

by sal64
21 replies
It's always interesting to take a break on here for a few months and then return to the main forum.

Talk about history repeating! The more things progress, the more they stay the same. This isn't a negative whinge about the WF so stay with me...

I am referring to the types of threads started and the type of problems encountered by members... the challenges they face in business.

There is a recurring cycle of the same challenges and problems on any given time period.

So it begs the question: With so much information, feedback, advice and access to resources, why do people have the same challenges as others who went before them a few years ago?

Ok, so that's a pretty big, open ended question because there are so many factors which I am sure you can list... mindset, procrastination and shiny new object syndrome just to name a few.

But I want to touch on one that is seldom mentioned: Herd Mentality.

First up, I define this is blindly doing what everyone else does because you think that if everyone else is doing it, then it must be working.

But here's the thing...

If this were the case, then why is there such a huge fail rate in the IM business? Surely if it works because everyone else is doing it, then everyone would be successful, yes?

And so the obvious downside to this approach is that if you follow the herd, and the herd is marching towards a cliff, then you are destined to fall off the cliff as well.

Another downside of the Herd Mentality - as I see it - is another topic which seems almost impossible online, and yet I believe that in certain areas, it does exist: Market saturation.

I would hazard a guess that the majority (my opinion only) follow the herd and jump blindly as they see the next, new money-making opportunity.

Let's take a look at a few obvious examples here... WSO's, Article writing, Fiverr gigs. Then you have SEo and beating Google.

Is this a case of everyone jumping on the band wagon and causing saturation to the point where it no longer becomes profitable? I think it does. In the event of Google, no matter what people come up with, Google shuts them down.

Maybe, just maybe, we have to stop following the herd and get back to basics?

You know... find a market, research it, and carve out a unique place for yourself. I suspect that the most successful Warriors have done just that.

Sheesh, but that takes work doesn't it? Sure does, but suck it up because chances are that if it takes work, effort and dedication, then the Herd won't be doing it. Are you catching my drift yet?

Can you see where the massive, real opportunities are for you?

For the more observant, it means that if you do the exact opposite of the Herd, then the chances are that you will make a ton of money.

The reality is that the MMO market relies on the influx of newbies. This means that every day there are more and more new competitors coming into your market. More Lemmings to the herd.

The trick is to be the market leader and not the herd follower.

Discuss.

Sal
#herd #market #mentality #saturation
  • Profile picture of the author fin
    I've noticed this too.

    It's the reason why I started a blog to help entrepreneurs improve creative thinking.

    All the Systems work for certain people: I just think people follow the crowd when the most successful people become creative and find a way to make a system work for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author payment proof
    Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

    Talk about history repeating! The more things progress, the more they stay the same.
    I so agree. Censoring an old quote: Same stuff, different day.
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  • Profile picture of the author DustonMcGroarty
    Sal - Great post! I agree 100%. Following the herd is something almost every internet marketer/entrepreneur does at one point in their career.

    Fear of being different overpowers your gut feeling and we surrender too easily.

    I agree with carving out your own unique sector and working it until you can't work it anymore. All this SEO garbage is gonna come back and bite us at some point. Why not make a change now?!
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  • Profile picture of the author Premier Plugins
    Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

    The reality is that the MMO market relies on the influx of newbies. This means that every day there are more and more new competitors coming into your market. More Lemmings to the herd.

    The trick is to be the market leader and not the herd follower.

    Discuss.

    Sal
    I think to the astute MMO marketer (mind you, I'm not directly in the MMO niche) they are seeing that the MMO niche itself, is still in a stage of infancy. This is probably one of the reasons so many people, even when first starting out, jump right into this niche and try to position themselves as an expert.

    The hunger in this niche is absolutely huge and it's only growing bigger by the day. Especially as the average joe finds it harder and harder to improve their income/career through the conventional means. With technology advancing as well, anyone who is paying attention knows that the MMO niche is preparing to hit a boom. To where it is as common to run your own business online as it is to have a facebook page.

    I do agree, the ones that set themselves apart from the herd are going to be the truly successful, but I don't think it's always a case of just blind following. I like to give general IM'ers more respect than that. I think people of the online-entrepreneurial-mindset can recognize things that are working, but probably not the finer aspects that truly separate you and make you a massive success, the latter part comes only with experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by Premier Plugins View Post

      I think to the astute MMO marketer (mind you, I'm not directly in the MMO niche) they are seeing that the MMO niche itself, is still in a stage of infancy. This is probably one of the reasons so many people, even when first starting out, jump right into this niche and try to position themselves as an expert.
      I tend to disagree. I think you are over stating the intelligence of the average newcomer.

      In my case it all related back to the gold rush and how those selling picks and shovels to the miners made the real money.

      I also believe that there is one over riding factor that comes into play: Easy money.

      Sal
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      • Profile picture of the author Premier Plugins
        Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

        I tend to disagree. I think you are over stating the intelligence of the average newcomer.

        In my case it all related back to the gold rush and how those selling picks and shovels to the miners made the real money.

        I also believe that there is one over riding factor that comes into play: Easy money.

        Sal
        I don't think that easy money isn't the draw for many. But, if you do not believe that online marketing, as a whole, is still in infancy stages, then what stage is it in? Even the make money online niche, it's no where even close to being saturated. By it's very definition (make money online) it can never be saturated because technology is always improving, creating new and unique ways for people to make money online, and thus, teach others these methods.

        People were touting that MMO has been saturated for years, yet I see successful businesses popping up almost daily. Some smaller like Fiverr.com and all it's clones and other larger like Pinterest.com

        Also, the truth is, most people are lazy, uncreative, and lack follow-through. This is doubly true in the IM niche. I don't care if 10,000 other people are trying to run the same sites as I am, because they are missing the key ingredient, me. Most people who implement the smallest bit of quality and follow-through will dominate their market due to the reasons listed above. Mediocrity, in this day and age, has become acceptable. As long as you're unable to settle for being mediocre, you'll have no problem crushing the 1513515363443737 other sites in your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
    Originally Posted by sal64 View Post


    But I want to touch on one that is seldom mentioned: Herd Mentality.

    First up, I define this is blindly doing what everyone else does because you think that if everyone else is doing it, then it must be working.

    But here's the thing...

    If this were the case, then why is there such a huge fail rate in the IM business? Surely if it works because everyone else is doing it, then everyone would be successful, yes?

    And so the obvious downside to this approach is that if you follow the herd, and the herd is marching towards a cliff, then you are destined to fall off the cliff as well.

    Another downside of the Herd Mentality - as I see it - is another topic which seems almost impossible online, and yet I believe that in certain areas, it does exist: Market saturation.
    Sal
    Interesting you mention the herd mentality. Many people fall into that because of the safety in numbers mentality gone overboard.

    The need for testomonials, 3rd party endorsements and reccomendations can easily cross the line into heard mentality.
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  • Profile picture of the author AC21DJ
    Great post. Lots of people are feeding on the newbies and count on a consistent flow of them to make their money.

    No one really teaches them to carve out their own place in the world but instead show them how to mimic someone elses success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Sal, I think a lot of it is to do with the large turnover and constant influx of complete beginners. They have no history so aren't exposed to the cycles.

    The herd mentality is being orchestrated by the teachers. There are a few trend-setters who really make an impact and then you have the sheep following the lead. These sheep aren't necessarily the implementers though. They are taking the idea and buzz generated by the leaders and creating their own How To guides which are then sold onto the newcomer who knows no better.

    The few beginners who break free of the get rich quick schemes hopefully see the light and see what's happening. Some develop their own thoughts and business while others become part of the herd and try and teach the next wave how it's done.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Hansen
      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Sal, I think a lot of it is to do with the large turnover and constant influx of complete beginners. They have no history so aren't exposed to the cycles.

      The herd mentality is being orchestrated by the teachers. There are a few trend-setters who really make an impact and then you have the sheep following the lead. These sheep aren't necessarily the implementers though. They are taking the idea and buzz generated by the leaders and creating their own How To guides which are then sold onto the newcomer who knows no better.

      The few beginners who break free of the get rich quick schemes hopefully see the light and see what's happening. Some develop their own thoughts and business while others become part of the herd and try and teach the next wave how it's done.
      I think you hit the nail spot on here.

      Good post.

      Is it too hard to attract new Warriors with quality WSO's in stead of Get rich quick products?

      Let me know if I can help you Warrior to Warrior.

      Good luck
      Peter
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi sal64,

        Just create 'gateways' where you charge the herd tax to pass through, then stand on the other side of it waving a red rag next to a trough full of their favourite goodies.

        Once they've had a good feed, distract them with another rag and move the trough behind another gateway.

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        • Profile picture of the author sal64
          Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

          Hi sal64,

          Just create 'gateways' where you charge the herd tax to pass through, then stand on the other side of it waving a red rag next to a trough full of their favourite goodies.

          Once they've had a good feed, distract them with another rag and move the trough behind another gateway.


          lol... funny you should say that.

          watch this space, bro.
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  • Profile picture of the author azmanar
    Originally Posted by sal64 View Post


    Maybe, just maybe, we have to stop following the herd and get back to basics?

    Sal
    I AGREE 100%.

    Many people are racing to where everyone else are racing to - The Big Ranches.

    It is not herding in IM techniques only. They are also herding to the same hosting providers, the same domain registrars, the same search engines and the same significant others.

    One typical mantra is Hostgator, hostgator, hostgator x xxxxx
    Another mantra is Godaddy ...Godaddy ...Godaddy .....xx
    One more mantra is .... Google ....Google .... Google..... xxxx
    Also .... Amazon ...Amazon .... Amazon ....xxx
    Plus .... PayPal .... Paypal ... Paypal .....

    And then there are other mantras for CPA agencies, PPC, CPV and etc.

    After all that huffing and pushing, then comes the big SLAP or foreclosure or TOS changes or the suspension of accounts.

    Part blame in failures would go to the trendsetters, who campaigned relentlessly on behalf of big corp for free, in order to sell their enabling products.

    But major part of the blame for failures would go to myself and the herd for failure in fully using our brains in decision-making.

    I also give credit to the drive-by cheerleaders and cowboys who gave encouragement for the herd to follow the same route to the slaughterhouse ... ... lol
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by Premier Plugins View Post

      I don't think that easy money isn't the draw for many. But, if you do not believe that online marketing, as a whole, is still in infancy stages, then what stage is it in? Even the make money online niche, it's no where even close to being saturated. By it's very definition (make money online) it can never be saturated because technology is always improving, creating new and unique ways for people to make money online, and thus, teach others these methods.

      People were touting that MMO has been saturated for years, yet I see successful businesses popping up almost daily. Some smaller like Fiverr.com and all it's clones and other larger like Pinterest.com

      Also, the truth is, most people are lazy, uncreative, and lack follow-through. This is doubly true in the IM niche. I don't care if 10,000 other people are trying to run the same sites as I am, because they are missing the key ingredient, me. Most people who implement the smallest bit of quality and follow-through will dominate their market due to the reasons listed above. Mediocrity, in this day and age, has become acceptable. As long as you're unable to settle for being mediocre, you'll have no problem crushing the 1513515363443737 other sites in your niche.
      I do not disagree about the market being in its infancy.

      However, I highly doubt that the average Joe will sit down and research potential markets, metrics etc and form this conclusion.

      I certainly did not.

      Take a look at the marketing...

      almost 99% is about making a ton of money with little work. Successful copy converts because it sells the dream.

      Granted that there is an element which suggests that you can be one of the first, but this has to do with specific products, such as being the first to exploit Fiverr... as an example.

      It's all about quick money and making money from nothing... low entry costs etc. That's the hook.

      Now, MMO is just one example and it encompasses a broad church.

      What I am talking about is more about people discovering a method then everyone copies it. The end result is saturation whereby competition makes it harder to make money.

      This isn't a thread about market saturation.

      Over 8 years, here are a few examples...

      eBooks: The old method of having an ebook ghost written for a few hundred bucks then buying ppc @ 1c per click.

      What happened? Rates on elance and rent a coder when through the roof and a $200 ebook quickly became a $600+ ebook to create.

      Demand for PPC wen crazy and all those 1c keywords soon went up to 10c+ some ven more.

      Wesbite design: Killer covers and a few others owned the market starting at $97, then came the cost cutters from Asia. The rest is history.

      Affiliate marketing: see above for PPC costs.

      WSO: enough said.

      These are but a few examples. Hence my point that you have to carve out something unique. Short term, following the herd might - and I stress might - make you a few bucks. Whereas doing the opposite will be more profitable in the long run.

      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Sal, I think a lot of it is to do with the large turnover and constant influx of complete beginners. They have no history so aren't exposed to the cycles.

      The herd mentality is being orchestrated by the teachers. There are a few trend-setters who really make an impact and then you have the sheep following the lead. These sheep aren't necessarily the implementers though. They are taking the idea and buzz generated by the leaders and creating their own How To guides which are then sold onto the newcomer who knows no better.

      The few beginners who break free of the get rich quick schemes hopefully see the light and see what's happening. Some develop their own thoughts and business while others become part of the herd and try and teach the next wave how it's done.
      I agree about the teachers. It suits them to a large degree. When you have a room with 300 people and they tell you that their way is the best way, then everyone will follow. It's human nature.

      Human nature is also a factor. Be it from greed, laziness, insecurity, looking for short cuts, procrastination or all of the above. It happens.

      Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

      I AGREE 100%.

      Many people are racing to where everyone else are racing to - The Big Ranches.

      It is not herding in IM techniques only. They are also herding to the same hosting providers, the same domain registrars, the same search engines and the same significant others.

      One typical mantra is Hostgator, hostgator, hostgator x xxxxx
      Another mantra is Godaddy ...Godaddy ...Godaddy .....xx
      One more mantra is .... Google ....Google .... Google..... xxxx
      Also .... Amazon ...Amazon .... Amazon ....xxx
      Plus .... PayPal .... Paypal ... Paypal .....

      And then there are other mantras for CPA agencies, PPC, CPV and etc.

      After all that huffing and pushing, then comes the big SLAP or foreclosure or TOS changes or the suspension of accounts.

      Part blame in failures would go to the trendsetters, who campaigned relentlessly on behalf of big corp for free, in order to sell their enabling products.

      But major part of the blame for failures would go to myself and the herd for failure in fully using our brains in decision-making.

      I also give credit to the drive-by cheerleaders and cowboys who gave encouragement for the herd to follow the same route to the slaughterhouse ... ... lol
      Fair comments and well stated my friend.

      It amuses me for how long people have been trying to buck the system, only to be shut down when it comes to SEO and Google.

      But we digress.

      If you look at the big players on here, they all have one thing in common... they have carved a niche for themselves and done so in a way that establishes them as authorities.
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  • Profile picture of the author shoucang2012
    Fear of being different overpowers your gut feeling and we surrender too easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    For what it's worth, I believe that the Im and MMO niches are probably the best ones to be in.

    Your market does not come any hungrier.

    But once again, I come back to my point about the herd mentality. In this instance I see too many people following the herd by jumping from one project to another. The chase the next big thing believing they will hit the jackpot... then give up before they do. But that's a discussion for another day.

    Back on topic and the MMO niche.

    Once again it's about being unique as opposed to following the herd. Tiffany Dow once posted these words: Compliment but don't compete. Thanks Tiffany because that one sentence had a profound impact as to how I look at my business.

    The MMO niche is massive, but if you follow the herd and churn out the same old cr@p, you are destined to struggle.

    Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    I think a lot of the above is true, but I'd like to add that the primary way humans (and many species) learn is by copying each other. It's how we all learned to speak, for example.

    Language is a great example of how much better our brains are than we realize, and of how imitation is our most basic, primary mode of learning; the rules of grammar are incredibly complex, (not to mention the intricate physical act of making the right sounds in the right order), and yet, average toddlers learn to use them by osmosis.

    In my first few years of guitar playing, I got the idea from many other players that it is bad to copy, and one should strive to "find your own voice", which I think is roughly analogous to carving out your unique place in the IM marketplace.

    Eventually, I learned that almost every great, unique player that I loved, learned to play by copying others, often for years before "finding their voice" and I put myself at a big disadvantage by trying to be unique too soon.

    Not that I disagree with anyone, but just wanted to add that there is a flip side, and nobody should be hesitant to be mentored by someone they like and admire, who has achieved the mastery they aspire to, even if it means following a step by step plan the first time out, without adding any of their own creative twists. "Don't reinvent the wheel" is still good advice, at least for beginners.
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  • Profile picture of the author HN
    Banned
    That was a very good post. I have been thinking for quite some time to release my book and video to break many SEO and IM myths created by people who control the herd. I've been doing the exact opposite to what everyone else is doing since the beginning, but I have this big problem now. What will happen if everyone else start doing the exact same thing after I show that 'the opposite' does actually work? I'd better keep quiet. For now.

    Opinions are the cheapest commodity on earth - Napoleon Hill
    50,000 Frenchman CAN be wrong - Peter Lynch
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by HN View Post

      That was a very good post. I have been thinking for quite some time to release my book and video to break many SEO and IM myths created by people who control the herd. I've been doing the exact opposite to what everyone else is doing since the beginning, but I have this big problem now. What will happen if everyone else start doing the exact same thing after I show that 'the opposite' does actually work? I'd better keep quiet. For now.

      Opinions are the cheapest commodity on earth - Napoleon Hill
      50,000 Frenchman CAN be wrong - Peter Lynch
      It depends an what you want to do with your knowledge.

      If you really want to share it then you do so in a way that stamps you as the authority. You become the innovator and handled correctly, you will sit at the top of the tree and make the most money from it.

      Sal
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

        It depends an what you want to do with your knowledge.

        If you really want to share it then you do so in a way that stamps you as the authority. You become the innovator and handled correctly, you will sit at the top of the tree and make the most money from it.

        Sal

        I agree, and the concern over everyone else following in that direction and changing the status quo needs reframing: if his teaching goes viral to the point where the methods become less effective due to so many people using them, it will mean he's made an obscene amount of money causing that sea change.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Sneen
    Following the herd is such a human tendency. Have you ever been at a table and the first person orders and everyone else says, "I'll have that." My response to that..."Baa." Follow the other sheep.

    But, on another level it is understandable. If something is not done, it may not have been done because it was too kooky.

    As a blogger/marketer I want to be an innovator, without being too far from the beaten path.
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