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How To Filter Out Fake Gurus

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.)

pinocchio liar how to filter out fake gurus

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.

Just two.

Traffic

and

Conversion.

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.

That's it.

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.

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Two Things To Make Money

You Only Need Two Things To Make Money...

In well over half a decade in online marketing I've seen newbie hopefuls be convinced into needing a never-ending stream of things to make money.

"You need a website," the gurus say.

OK, the newbie responds. I've got a website.

"Now you need a designer to make it look nice."

Done, the newbie says.

"Next you need a copywriter so the words sell."

All right, but this is getting expensive.

"An autoresponder is absolutely necessary."

OK...at least I can get one at low or no cost...

"And get that writer back so they can pen you some emails."

Ah, crap. All right, I guess.

"Everybody's using this whiteboard video maker now. You need that."

Oh, everybody's using it? I definitely need that!

"If you don't use browser popup notifications you'll be left behind."

"AAAAAAA!"

...and the list goes on forever. It never ends. There's always something new that you absolutely must get because you can't make money without it.

Or so the gurus say.

two things to make money overdone window dressing ornaments flashy

You Need Just Two Things To Make Money

That's funny, because:

> I made my first offline consultant sales without a website. Made many, many times the dollars of what beginners in my field were making, too.

> I sold my first info product without an autoresponder series. Or much of a funnel, come to think about it.

> I never needed fancy gimmicks to make money, either. Probably because I never bought into the idea that they were necessary. And while I observed advice and experiences from other people, I didn't follow them as if they were the Pied Piper.

Nope, I made money from the beginning and I did it without any of these things the gurus insist you must have.

What I did have was the two things you do need to make money.

All you need are this pair of factors. Everything else is just window dressing.

Here they are:

1. Traffic

Yup, you need a group of people who admit they have a specific problem. This is also called a niche, a target market, a market segment. It's made up of the eyeballs and brains of real people. Figure out where they are; get them to flow to you.

And...

2. Conversion

You need a solution to that specific problem your qualified traffic admits to having. When you put the offer for that solution in front of your traffic, you do that in the form of a conversion tool. It could be a sales letter, a VSL (video sales letter), a live closing call.

That's it.

You don't need anything else.

How You Can Use The Two Things To Make Money

Your conversion tool can be ugly. My first one was. (So was my solution fulfillment method, initially. No one cared. The content was great, so they loved it.)

But I had qualified traffic running to that conversion tool. Those people needed my solution...and they knew it.

All I used was a simple sales letter.

I'll never forget my first online info product sale: it was a Friday night in December 2011. Someone in Australia needed help with sales. They'd never talked with me, but the sales letter (my conversion tool, remember) demonstrated enough proof that I could solve their problem. So they clicked the Buy button and sent me $20 over Paypal.

Was it a lot of money? Certainly not, especially considering my offline sales volume. But it proved to me that it could happen, that people would buy online.

Traffic...and Conversion. Those two things are all you need to make money.

Is your focus on the right two things to make money? Or have you been distracted by the window dressing?

If you know all of this already and have been nodding your head vigorously, and you're great at the Traffic side but have had a struggle with scaling the Conversion, talk with us at The Closing Engine.

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Comparing Yourself to the IM Greats

comparing yourselfComparing yourself to the IM greats is an exercise in self-torture.

And yet newbie internet marketers do it all the time.

It's not entirely their fault--they're encouraged to do it by the greats themselves. "Just buy this program; I walk you through it step by step."

OK. But there are some missing things we need to talk about.

Things that will make you cry, if you're an impressionable newbie.

Comparing Yourself On Traffic

Let's talk about traffic.

The market leader will tell you, with all sincerity, all you must do is get people to see your offer.

After all, they do this every day. They have experience with it. They can even afford to pay someone to manage the traffic process for them.

The newbie can't.

In fact, without being previously informed, the newbie has likely invested their last dime in the leader's program without knowing a further financial investment in traffic will be necessary.

The leader doesn't make any money from this, so why talk about it on the sales page? Often the newbie has bought something that is already incomplete and they are unable to get working.

But let's say our newbie does have the additional cash. They can make the traffic investment. All right. Now what?

Despite how easy the leader makes it sound, crafting a winning ad is laborious work.

It takes trial and error. Time. And cash.

You're unlikely to succeed on your first attempts.

What's this? Another opportunity for the newbie to give up. Trying to emulate the leader...but not having the resources of the leader.

Comparing Yourself On Conversion

Now to conversion.

The leader gives good technical advice on how to take visitors and turn them into buyers.

Nothing sinister here.

Except the same trial and error requirement is back in play.

It takes EFFORT to develop a converting sales page.

And again, the newbie is dangerously unaware of this as they listen to the leader confidently prattle on about what has worked for them.

Now let's say a leader has put out a new product.

Accompanying that new product is a new funnel, right?

Except that it's not "new."

The leader has built into it everything he or she knows works...and many resources the newbie simply does not have access to.

Comparing Yourself On Cash

Let's talk cash.

Just one factor...money. And how it makes all the difference in a campaign.

So our leader launches the funnel.

First of all, they get testimonials, feedback, buzz, and hype from friends, enemies, and the lay brethren waiting below for dropped alms with outstretched arms.

Leaders 1, Newbies 0.

Now the advertising appears. Paid ads on Facebook, let's imagine. Ah, the leader has a recognized face. Good for them. And the newbie trying to emulate?

Leaders 2, Newbies 0.

Comparing Yourself On Price

Even if the ad performance sucks--the targeting is way off, the message is a complete mismatch--the leader can force it to work.

Because the leader has guts.

The leader knows they can charge $297 or $497 or $2114 for their product.

The Chicken Little newbie does not have this confidence, and is busy clucking at the ground for a few pennies here and there.

Leaders 3, Newbies 0.

See, the newbie says, "I'll take what I can get," and prices at $47.

And the ad budget runs up against that price point very fast.

Say it's $1/FB click.

Our newbie has to make it work within 47 clicks just to barely break even--in fact, with other costs they're losing money here.

But our leader?

They have all the way to 497 or TWO THOUSAND clicks--two thousand chances, one right after another, that they can well afford--to get that sale and break even.

While the newbie runs out of ad money, ROI room, and "at bats" to convert almost instantly, the leader can keep throwing cash at it UNTIL IT WORKS.

So it takes 1,050 clicks to get a sale? At a $2114 price tag, who cares?

For our cash-rich leader, what's a thousand bucks?

But our poor newbie has taken their bat and ball and gone home long ago.

Leaders 4, Newbies 0.

Game Over.

Comparing Yourself On Mindset

The herd mind really likes easy, free, proven, guaranteed. But the plain truth is that none of these apply to internet marketing.

I'm sure nearly all leaders are genuine in their belief that they can help others. And they can. But the road will not be bump-free as they make it out to be.

So if you're a newbie, stop comparing yourself to the IM greats.

They can do more than you, act faster than you, take the road they know works that you don't know, and much more.

Can you get there?

Do they have much to teach you?

Yes.

But it's not going to be a bump-free ride.

The only way you can compete is on mindset. Get to work on that.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist concentrating on conversion. For a $0 no-nonsense guide to marketing, containing all the things a newbie can put into action today, click here. <<