Category Archives: Marketing

Why My Scam Meter Goes Up

This morning I woke up early to take my wife to the train station, as she’s going on a little jaunt for a few days. When I got home, unable to go to sleep, I turned on the TV.

Funny Get Rich Quick Scam
Scott Zeid via Compfight

There was this infomercial on, and it was touting this guy named Jeff Paul and his Shortcut To Internet Millions program (this is NOT a link to the program). In the commercial were numerous people telling their stories of how they got rich off the program, and all but one of them was purported to make more than $50,000 a month on the internet. Two of the sales people were young, “healthy” women, so of course eye candy was a big part of these commercials. 😉

My skeptic meter went up drastically because his course was selling for only $39.99, plus supposedly they gave you 10 “money making” websites off the bat, and if you joined his monthly program (they didn’t say for how much) you could earn as many as 120 free websites within the first year.

I thought about this commercial in relation to a seminar I got talked into; twice of all things! The first time by my wife, the second time by a friend of mine, and that second one was my fault because I hadn’t remembered the name of the company the first time around (and don’t remember the name now; isn’t that a shame?).

Both times the room was packed, as in way over 200 people, and the sales went through the roof as they offered immediate financing for everyone, no questions asked (at 18%; no wonder), at a very high price for 6 websites, monthly maintenance, and of course a support group (but no guarantees; everyone is sure to state that up front). As someone who’s purchased domain names and has a hosting package, plus someone who builds websites on the side, I can easily say that these folks were literally being robbed. I knew that because none of them, well, maybe one or two, were ever going to come close to recouping their investment.

It’s why I get skeptical with all the products that are out on the internet purporting that they’re going to teach me how to make millions. It seems many of these things have some good ideas, but not a single one of them actually ever answers the big questions that most of us have. Thus it leaves us dangling and still not understanding how to get it done correctly. Luckily, for most of us, it costs relatively little for us to give it a shot, outside of our time.

Today for instance, I was inundated by at least 7 websites offering to help me get wealthy on the internet. Three of those came through Twitter, so I guess it was my choice to read them, but only one of them even mentioned getting rich online, so they were sort of deceptive.

All of them had that same “scammy” looking template of big letters, seemingly “fast talk” language, standard testimonials, and the trick crossing out of one price so that, if I bought today, I’d be getting it for the low price of $_____, as long as I acted pretty fast since, after XXX number sold, they were taking it off the market. Yeah, right; almost all of them come back on the market after saying they weren’t if they made any kind of money.

You never really know who to believe anymore which is why, for the most part, I purchase few things. There are a few I have purchased that I’ve found pretty good, in that at least I learned something. One is called Rich Jerk. Another one some time back was Brad Callen’s Search Engine Optimization Made Easy. I also purchased 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, which was a very good read, and I got some pretty good ideas from there.

Anything I market won’t promise riches. I don’t over-promise, and there’s nothing on any of my sales page that someone is going to call me on later and say “hey, this didn’t do what you said it was going to do”. My products aren’t really that type (mostly books), but even if they were, I wouldn’t do it. It just feels and sounds icky; a guy’s got to have some ethics.

How do the rest of you view these types of things? Am I the only one who not only senses scams, but has their skeptic level as high as I have mine?
 

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Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool

Back in April, I launched my latest ebook, a short little thing called Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. The target audience for the book is mainly people who have their own business websites but have no idea how to use them to help market their businesses. It’s not a deep book, but it’s not supposed to be. Most people don’t need deep; they just need a little bit of information.

Friday night, my wife and I went to Barnes & Noble after dinner, and going in, I ran into one of the few people who actually bought the book on launch day. Scott, of Agile’ Marketing Services, helps businesses with all of their marketing issues, including helping them come up with creative names for their advertising purposes. So I asked him what he thought of the book, and he said that he thought it was written well and was perfect for the target audience I was shooting for. I thanked him for that, because one doesn’t always get feedback from things they create, let alone actually get to talk to someone in person.

Anyway, I could talk more about the book, but why not just click on the link above to read more about it, or click on the book itself and just buy it; I won’t be mad. 🙂

Using Your Website
As A Marketing Tool

by Mitch Mitchell



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Sean Branagan Talks About Marketing

I went to a presentation here in the Syracuse area today for a series called “Talking Business: A Conversation With…” Basically it’s a monthly interview series with local business people who’ve done well. They’re interviewed by a moderator, then questions are allowed to be asked by the audience.

Today’s presenter was a gentleman named J. Sean Branagan, president of a company called Communigration, which is a PR & marketing firm for technology companies.

I love going to things like this, but especially today I enjoyed it because he talked about his concepts of marketing for small businesses. This is what he does, but those small businesses have very expensive and specific technology, which of course means he’s competing against fewer people for very big dollars, and he has to find ways of standing out from the crowd while still addressing the potential clients needs.

He talked about his process for coming up with the right message to get across. He starts out by writing a 50 word statement of some kind. Then he whittles that down to 25 words. Next he whittles it down to 10 words, and finally he shoots for 3 or 4 words that fully capture just what a company does. His thought is that if you can come up with a way to tell people what you can do for them with a super short statement, and are ready to back it up with more information once you’ve hooked them, then you’ll succeed where other businesses that do what you do fail.

It makes a lot of sense, especially if you pay attention to TV commercials. Nike’s “Just Do It” is probably one of the best known 3-word phrases in the world today. “Coke Adds Life” was one of my favorites from way back in the day. One of our local community colleges has the phrase “We Build Futures” that’s very popular. Remember State Farm Insurance, “Like A Good Neighbor”? And even Mazda’s “Zoom Zoom” stands out; you know what the commercial is about as soon as you hear that, even if you never hear the name of the product.

Can this same model work with an online business? Unfortunately, no one thought to ask this question, including me, while he was up there. I tend to believe that branding of some fashion is imperative to helping one establish an identity of some sort, though. Google’s first page is unique with only their name; so is Yahoo’s. YouTube might have been as popular a site if it had been called “Upload Your Movies”, but it might have been overlooked also. Trying to find a way to capture the eyes and attention of a visitor to your site just may help them stay for a little while, and if it does, you’ll have the opportunity to make money in some fashion, and that’s never a bad thing.

It was a wonderful presentation, and it got me thinking more and more about what I can possibly do to make my sites visually more interesting, as well as finding something more to captivate their eyes. I’m Just Sharing,… heck, I still like that!

George Nelson 1547Color Wooden Ball Wall Clock








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Trying An Adwords Campaign

Trying to build upon my attempt at marketing my new ebook, I’ve decided to try to run an Adwords campaign for it. I’ve set myself up with the starter program, rather than the standard package, mainly because I’m not ready to deal with all the extras that the standard package gives you. I wanted to start slow, see what happens, and then see how I feel about it all.

This isn’t my first attempt at using Adwords. I first used this same program to market my first book, Embrace The Lead, where I had many clicks but didn’t make a single sale. Then I tried to use it to market my Evaluation Module, but got very few clicks. I ran each of those for three weeks, then discontinued it.

This time around, I’m not sure how long I’ll be running it. My first thought is that this may be more useful to more people, and therefore I might get more clicks on it. The second thought is that it looks like I’m being hit for $1.05 for each click, and with what I’ve budgeted, that’s not going to get me all that far. I know the ad is showing up because it tells you how many impressions there are, which means how many times the ad is showing up on their advertiser pages, so I know it’s showing up. And one of the difficulties you have is that you get three lines, the first line 25 characters, the next two 35 characters each. One really has to be creative about this sort of thing.

So, we’ll see how effective this all turns out to be. I’ll keep you posted.

La Jolla: 2501 Multi Rug

Price: $374.25






Even The Big Time Marketers Make Mistakes Sometimes

It would seem that, sometimes, even the big boys, the ones who really know what they’re doing, might make a misstep.

I subscribe to a weekly newsletter written by a lady named Lynn Terry called Self Starter Weekly Tips, which gives tips on internet marketing; I’m always trying to learn more from someone who’s already there.

A couple of days ago, she sent out a newsletter promoting the new book by Joel Comm (perfect name for an internet marketer, don’t you think?), a big time internet marketer who’s knows as the “Adsense Guy”. He’s known by this name because he is probably the first guy to become a millionaire by using Adsense.

Anyway, in one of her emails, she mentioned that he had a new book out, and that, instead of charging what he normally does, which is around $97, he was having a major league sale and only charging $9.95. Heck, this sounded like a great deal to me, so I clicked on the link and went to the page so I could check it out. And it looked pretty good, I have to say.

However, I’d had an experience with something else I’d purchased from his site many months ago, where I had inadvertently been signed up for something on a monthly basis, and didn’t notice it on my bill until I couple of months later. Seems you get automatically enrolled in one of his special programs that they don’t charge you for in the first 30 days, then hit you up with the fee afterwards. So I went looking through all the add-on deals, and there it was, plain as day.

I decided to pass on the deal. Sure, you can cancel at any time, but I have all sorts of things going on, and I didn’t want to take any chances of something happening like it did the last time.

Yesterday Lynn sends out a follow up email mentioning this very thing, which she indicates that she herself had missed. And she had a link to her blog so that we could all read more about it. I decided to go there, and saw how some people had commented on the topic. I also noticed that Joel himself has joined in the fray, which I think is kind of neat because one wouldn’t expect a big time internet marketer to pop onto someone else’s blog to defend himself.

Still, he’s having to defend himself, and he’s taking a lot of heat because of the way he’s set this thing up. And I’m kind of surprised by it; not that people are complaining, but that this interaction keeps occurring, and that someone who’s supposedly as savvy as Joel wouldn’t just think about pulling that particular “offer” after seeing how many people are angry about it. Of course he has a defenders, people who have purchased other products and services from him, but they’re in the minority, and they’re also missing the part.

People don’t like add-ons that could possibly cost them money later on, especially when they don’t know about it. We don’t mind joining membership sites, but we really like it to be our choice. Also, the sales page is extremely long, and if you’re not someone who regularly reads all of the copy on pages like that, you’d have missed it because it was almost all the way at the bottom, the very last thing mentioned as a “giveaway”. It’s not in small print, but it might as well have been.

So, even the big boys make a misstep every once in awhile; I feel a little bit better this evening.