How can I filter out fake gurus? was a question asked on a forum recently.
Why are guru sales videos and letters so "hard sell"? If they're so great, why do they have a program like this for sale at all? Do they really "take you by the hand" like they say?
I was waiting around on a Saturday night to go out in 15 degree weather and take someone somewhere. So I told them what the deal is. And I'll share it here with you.
The First Thing About How To Filter Out Fake Gurus
First, getting people to get off their butts and actually DO something, make a decision, buy...that's tough. People want to do nothing. I'm speaking in general terms here. Of course there are plenty of individuals who will go figure whatever it is out for themselves.
So to some degree the sales pitch HAS to be like that. A webinar is a one way conversation. There's no give and take, no personalization. Maybe that will change some day...there are websites now that will create dynamic content based on the user. But for now, it's a "one size fits all" approach. Hence the hard sell.
I get it, but I don't like it. The basis of the business I run is all about having genuine, 1-on-1 conversations with qualified prospects and if they have the problem our client fixes...and they will get real value from that solution...then it's an obvious fit to us all. IE. we don't sell that way.
But for lower ticket, the one way webinar conversation is a valid option. (Look at infomercials, though...even they'll send you to a live call for a $37 product...food for thought.)
How To Filter Out Fake Gurus By Getting What You Want
Second, a lot of why these gurus succeed with this kind of sales effort is that the newbie is looking for CERTAINTY.
Can I share an honest-to-goodness secret with you?
There are only two elements to making money.
Joe Blow's ecommerce success course?
All he's gonna tell you about is how to set up a flow of traffic, and a means of converting some of that traffic into sales.
And every other course will give you the same thing. Sure, there might be a lemon twist or a special traffic source or some cool copywriting conversion element this guru gives you the other doesn't have. And that tip might well be worth the $497 or whatever the course happens to be. It just might, if you see where it fits in and you implement it.
All the guru crap, the fancy cars, the mansions, the planes...most of them are rented for the shoot. It doesn't matter. If the imagery is all they have, then you know how to filter out fake gurus. Do they instead demonstrate a knowledge of traffic and conversion?
Most "business in a box" bizopps are marketing lies. Almost all of them. They are not complete. They will show you a piece of traffic or a piece of conversion if you're lucky. And then "...Profit!" Well that part's up to you, pardner.
So look for the elements of traffic and conversion. Look beyond the flashy images. Look at the methodology. Now they probably aren't going to reveal it all to you in the webinar--they might, and say, "OK you could do this yourself but wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if we showed you and held your hand?"--but you should see screenshots.
Instead of desperately seeking and trying to buy the certainty portrayed by the guru through the flashy lifestyle imagery, look for certainty in their traffic and conversion methods. Do you see them in their presentation? (Hint: you're a lead in their traffic flow right now.)
Learn to Use This Basic Tool to Protect Yourself from Fake Gurus
Third, newbies do not want to do math and this is the kiss of death to you.
Get used to doing math.
Simple math: addition and subtraction with a little multiplication thrown in. No algebra (I promise.) But you WILL have to do some math and start talking the language of marketing if you want to succeed.
If you don't, serious marketers will not take you seriously. You will not look, sound, or feel like them. Like recognizes like, and they will move away from you.
Look for the math in the guru's presentation.
Will they personally "hold you by the hand"? Unless you're paying 5 figures, probably not. It'll likely be a video series, maybe augmented by some group coaching where the guru is trotted out once a week to give some theory and do a little Q&A.
But this isn't rocket science. You need traffic to a conversion tool. Qualified leads to your ecommerce site.
Who Is the Source of Success?
Fourth, if you depend on the certainty you have in the guru for your success, you will fail.
The certainty needs to come from YOU.
You will walk the walk. The map is not the territory. The guru gives you a map. It may be a good map or it may be a terrible one not at all representative of the territory. But regardless you will have to walk the territory yourself. You will encounter problems that are not on the map ("Where'd this swamp come from?!"). And you will have to learn how to solve your own problems.
People, even experienced people, are always looking for The One Right Way to do something. The magic bullet. The easy solution. No! Complex problems have complex solutions. Get used to it. I cannot overstate the impact of this idea. There are a zillion ways to accomplish a thing, to be successful. One guru's way is not the only way. In fact, it may not even be the best way. Or it may not work for you. It's just "a" way.
How To Filter Out Fake Gurus: Real Gurus Can Do Things You Cannot
And finally, fifth, the guru can do things you cannot. Keep this in mind. They can do these things, and due to a little concept called The Curse of Knowledge they will have utterly forgotten that as a newbie these are not options for you. A guru can use cash to force their funnel to work, for instance. As long as their price point is high enough, say $497, they can push cash into leadgen and if they break even they're fine. Compare and contrast to the scared newbie, afraid of their own shadow and shivering at the thought of investing $100 in traffic. The guru probably even has a high ticket back end offer to make their real profit on--something the newbie hasn't even considered in their poverty mindset and low money tolerance.
So for the guru, "You just do it!" Not so for you. Even thinking of "it" is out of the question. It's just not an option right now.
I see a lot of offers on Facebook from IM "experts" who just popped up out of nowhere. I've never heard of them before and yet because they have some cash to drop on an ad spend they are now theoretically positioned as a guru. I tell FB I do not want to see that ad and mark it as not relevant to me. I've seen a lot of people come and go since starting in 2011. A lot of "lifetime" products (JV Zoo just halted sellers with that word in their copy) that were here for a short time and then gone. This is one way of how to filter out fake gurus. Look for that track record. Look for a course creator who remembers what it was like to be a newbie. Look for a guru who has a vision beyond fancy cars and planes and homes.