All The Glitters Is Not Gold…
In this somewhat lengthy article, I will give you my tips on How To Avoid Internet Marketing Product SCAMS and how to decide if a product is worth your investment.
If you’ve been involved in affiliate marketing for any length of time you are probably familiar with Clickbank.com and PayDotcom.com as well as other digital product sites.
Recently, Clickbank.com has come under fire as a result of so many products that failed to produce the results claimed by their creators. As a result that have made several changes to address the matter. In my opinion this is a good thing.
With all the challenges we as online marketers face daily, becoming the victim of some unscrupulous “guru” pitching a SCAM Internet marketing product is the last thing we need.
Here are my tips for avoiding scams that waste your money.
1. Self Evaluation – Know your strengths and weaknesses. By performing a self inventory you will discover that you probably do not need to purchase every new shiny object that promises instant success.
Get a blank piece of page and draw a line down the center. In the left hand column, write down all the things you see as necessary for building your online business. They might include:
- Traffic Generation
- List Building
- WordPress Blogs
- Keyword Research
- and so on…
In the right hand column, rate your ability using A-B-C-D, you get the picture. This is a quick way to determine areas that you already have skills in as opposed to those for which an eBook or training course would be helpful.
Before you spend a dime, ask yourself – Do I Really Need This?
2. Learn the Basics – I talk to folks all the time who cannot perform the most basic tasks related to marketing online.
There are fundamental skills that every online marketer should possess. These are tasks related to your business that you can do without the use of software, a training guide or a coaching program.
Basic skills should include:
- How to perform Keyword Research using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool
- How to set-up a WordPress blog
- How to do basic on-page SEO
- How to write a basic 500 word product review
- How to post on Web 2.0 properties, i.e. Squidoo, HubPages, Blogger, WordPress.com, Weebly, etc.
- How to use Social Media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
- How to set-up a Squeeze-Page for list building.
- How to use an autoresponder service such as Aweber, GetResponse, etc.
These are the core elements of marketing online. A lot of new marketers skip past these basics, drawn in by the allure of 1-2-3 click software like a butterfly to the flame.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the leverage that software provides and I use software daily. However, I do not want to be like so many of the kids working in retail today who cannot count change without the help of the computerized cash register.
Okay, you’ve done your self-evaluation and determined your basic skill set. What’s next?
3. Performing Your Due Diligence
“Due diligence” is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for acquisition. Wikipedia
There is a HUGE difference between promoting a product as an affiliate and choosing a product for personal use; although there can be overlap.
Don’t forget, the goal of product creators is to sell products and generate profits. They employ affiliates to accomplish this.
This is why most review sites are little more than “pre-sell” pages. This is often masked in the headline of the product review with phrases such as: “Don’t Buy”, “Is It A Scam”, “I’m About To Get A Refund and Here’s Why”.
However, you soon discover that the “review” is simply a veiled sales pitch.
And review sites work for sure. Suffice it to say that it is the nature of the industry. Skilled sales people know how to push psychological buttons and trigger emotions that cause us to buy their products. More on that later.
Here is what I look for when choosing an internet marketing product…
- Do I really need the product? How will the product impact my bottom line.
- Who is the product creator? (This is not always a positive factor.)
- Does the product creator have a good reputation in the marketplace.
- Check forums like the Warriors forum. Read all the responses.
- Have they released other products? What are people saying about them?
- Have I purchased a product from them in the past? Was it of value? Did it perform as promised?
- Do they provide product support?
- Is there a money back guarantee?
- Does the product creator have a good reputation in the marketplace.
- What is the learning curve? How long will it take me to master this strategy, technique, or software?
- Does the product provide a step-by-step guide or video tutorials?
- Are there additional costs? Will I need to purchase the upgraded version to really see results or can I achieve them with the basic version? (this is the Catch 22 with many software products)
- If the product is software or a WordPress plugin, will the product creator provide free updates? (WordPress upgrades almost monthly and often plugins become obsolete)
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Internet Marketing Product Scams
Avoid the “herd” mentality. There is a tendency for humans to get caught up in the frenzy of “group” thinking. Well, everybody is buying it, it must work!
Most successful product launches rely on “BUZZ” created by the product creator and their JV Affiliates who promote the product. You may receive email boasting about the GRAVITY a product has achieved on Clickbank. Know that gravity is merely a metric that measures the number of affiliate that have made a sale of a given product that month. It is not a true indication of whether or not a product is any good. I can tell you that I have fallen victim to the hype myself many times, until I started implementing these steps.
If you decide to purchase a product; especially if it is a marketing system, work that system until you see results. Do everything outlined in the course. Generally you will have 30-60 days to evaluate the product for free. Use that time wisely. If the product fails to perform, you can legitimately ask for a refund. If it worked for you as promised, you can provide a meaningful testimonial and promote the product yourself if you like with confidence and proof that it works.
Lastly, my recommendation. I use the principles taught in Bring The Fresh daily. It has been an invaluable resource and has paid for itself over and over again. And no, it is not a new product. Moreover, it teaches fundamental as well as advanced techniques for making money online quickly and there is no additional software required. If you decide to join Bring the Fresh, you’ll automatically gain access to the BTF forum where you can discuss successes and challenges with other marketer and get advice which is pretty cool.
If you are just starting out, or even if you have been marketing online for a while – you will benefit from this course.
The product creators (Mike Long & Kelly Felix) are well known and credible – check it out, Bring The Fresh.