Internet Marketing: Successes or Scams?

5 Jun 2007 (Tue)

DO INTERNET MARKETERS MAKE MORE MONEY on the Internet or off the Internet? This is one of the many questions that came to mind at the end of the recent World Internet Mega Summit (WIMS 2007) at the Singapore Expo. My ex-boss, now a corporate client, had given me a complimentary ticket to the mega seminar. At the end of the four-day event on May 26-29 (Saturday to Tuesday), I was glad to have learnt a number of marketing techniques. I was also troubled by some of the things that I saw and heard.

There were 10 speakers: Brett McFall, Tom Hua, Jay Abraham, Mark Joyner, Armand Morin, David Cavanagh, Ewen Chia, Stephen Peirce, Mike Filsaime, and John Childers. Each internet marketing guru on the stage spoke persuasively of having a simple easy-to-follow system which guaranteed success. Some qualified by adding, “lots of hard work over a period of time”. Somehow though, with the possible exception of Jay Abraham and Mark Joyner, their systems all looked and sounded the same:

Basically, each guru suggested offering a freebie to lure prospects to a site and into giving their email addresses. Then the hardsell process begins in earnest: A one-time irresistible offer is made online and the specially designed website starts to sell in almost all possible ways (upsell, downsell, cross-sell, etc.) until the prospect yields to temptation and pays up.

AT THE END OF EACH GURU’S TALK during the WIMS 2007 seminar was invariably a sales pitch, whereby the guru would show what looked like an endless list of over-priced products/services. Then he would slash the prices to about a tenth or more, and tell the audience to buy NOW. Many people actually did as told.

I did a quick estimation. Some of the speakers charge each attendee $5,000++ for attending his program which includes one day of training, two days of coaching and monthly meetings for one year. If 100 people sign up for the program, he’d have made $500,000 (half a million!) per program.

I also ran some checks on the PageRanks (using the multiple PageRank checker) and the estimated traffic (using AttentionMeter.com) on the speakers’ websites and found the following:

Fig. 1: Google PageRanks for the 10 speakers.PageRanks of Internet Marketers’ sites

Fig. 2: Google PageRank for some of the speakers’ sitesPageRanks of Internet Marketers’ sites II

Fig. 3: Compete.com Graph for ArmandMorin.com, BizSuccessOnline.com, BrettMcFall.com & StephenLive.cominternetmarketers-1.gif

Fig. 4: Compete.com Graph for Abraham.com, Aesop.com, EwenChia.com, MarkJoyner.name, MikeFilsaime.comCompete.com graphs

Fig. 5: Compete.com Graph for Aesop.com, ArticleCity.com, AutoPilotProfits.com, eBookWholesaler.net, Simpleology.cominternetmarketers-3.gif

Notes:

  • AutoPilotProfits.com belongs to Ewen Chia, Aesop.com and Simple-ology.com belongs to Mark Joyner, ebookwholesaler.net belongs to Tom Hua.
  • With rampant link exchanges on the Net, PageRanks are increasingly being manipulated.
  • Traffick, a search engine blog, wrote (”On Alexa, Compete.com, Quantcast, et al.”, February 06, 2007):

“People who don’t know too much about web stats love to quote Alexa ranks way too much… that’s seen as a silly thing to do by those “in the know”. But still, darned tempting. You can buy better data, but Alexa is free.

“More recently, upstarts that don’t seem too dissimilar to Alexa have come along: Compete.com, Quantcast, etc…. Based on the evidence I’ve sifted through, there’s not a shred to suggest that Compete.com is better at this stage, and some to suggest it’s actually worse.”

I remember from experience that hardsell also happens in face-to-face sessions. And how I hate being subject to it! These guys are shrewd marketers. These techniques probably really work well. Perhaps consumers need to beware! How many times have we bought things that we don’t need but thought we need at that moment of buying? Still, what are the right things to do when one really needs to make a living and so sell well on the Net (or elsewhere)? And just who (if any) have achieved real successes?

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Posted by J.K. in *Insights, Business, Marketing, Possibilities, Problems | Comments Off |

  • http://uzyn.com uzyn

    Screw the scammers. They do not even worth a plug here.

  • http://www.internetfamous.net Paul

    Most IM started off as ‘guru’ or ‘master’ or something in selling online, etc. They have loads of websites to spam their message, newspapers too. Do it long enough pple will start to believe it. Lol…

    Then they charge premium dollars for talks and ’silly’ bosses will sign up for them. :P

    It would definitely be better to get a 14 years kid from US to do it for you, they are the best marketers if you asked me!

  • http://www.NETCoachAsia.com J.K.

    Uzyn, this is not a plug. :-) I’m just stating the facts and asking quite pointed questions.

    Paul, hahaha! I half-suspect that. Still, if that’s so, why hasn’t anyone come up to expose them yet?

    Afternote: There is apparently an audience of over 5,000 at each summit. Some of the speakers said they give talks as many as 25 times a year. The “World Internet Summit” seminar has been (and still is) held in many places worldwide, sometimes more than once a year in the same place. Notice the spikes in the People Count of the sites shown above.

  • http://nayminthu.blogspot.com nay min thu

    ClappingTrees,

    didn’t know you were at WIMS. i was there too.

    from the experience that i get from the summit, i would say, they are making more money offline than online..

    i also made an estimate of half a million dollars per program like u did..

    it was interesting to see how naive some people can be.. no wonder most of them are retirees or “senior executives” who know nothing about the internet.

    nevertheless, it was a good experience to attend such an event, since i got a free ticket too.

    thanks for the great post!

    =)

  • http://cobaltpaladin.blogspot.com Cobalt Paladin

    How do you define success? If enough gullible people buy a product and make the business owner rich, is he successful or just another hustler?

    With the convenience and powerful connection of the Internet, it sure is easy to reach many many innocent and gullible people on this planet.

  • http://www.NETCoachAsia.com J.K.

    Precisely!

  • http://www.markchoon.com Mark

    Willing buyer, willing seller. It boils down to that. Of course it takes some skills to persuade people to buy and that’s where they come in. What is really good value and what is really crap is debatable. If the person buying feels that he has learnt a lot, the money paid is worth it. Of course and vice versa. So what point is there to expose? I think people are entitled to a refund if they’re not happy. At least if they bought it online, they can :P

    That said, i know of a site where one can get those pricey internet marketing books, those written by GURUS for free hehe. Anyone interested?

  • http://decayonnet.blogspot.com DK

    I think the reason why they agreed to be speaker is because they can sell their products to you at the end of the talk. (plus maybe the pay is quite good)

    Seriously, these people are trying to make themselves rich by telling you they want to make you rich.

  • http://cobaltpaladin.blogspot.com Cobalt Paladin

    If a drug lord says their business exist because of “willing buyer, willing seller”, does that make them right?

  • http://www.kersson.com/ Kersson

    I think, if you can see, hear and touch a particular product, you are more probably to buy it than if you just look at it or read about it on the Internet. So, my idea is that Internet marketers make more money off the Internet.

  • http://businesscoaching.typepad.com Paul

    I follow Jay Abraham and he is an advocate of building multiple pillars in a process called the partheneon.

    Now the thing is that each pillar generates its own leads but also supports the sucess of the others so it becomes mopre difficult to separate the results.

    You read about someone on line and the go and see them live – which made the sale?

  • http://www.googleassassin.us bill

    I agree with Paul, Jay Abraham is deffinately a internet marketer that you can listen to what it says and not think that it’s the same things that every other guru is saying. I’m following the partheneon process with very good results so far.

  • http://www.NETCoachAsia.com J.K.

    NOTE: This post is now closed to comments which do not give any new useful information, e.g. merely repeating what has already been said, or worse, descending into personal attacks.

  • bob

    I purchased a$3000.00 program from Abraham. He preaches risk reversal but doesn’t practice it. He gave me 30 days to cancel out of a 13 month program that met online once a month. Now he is sending collections after me cause I dropped out after the 30 days. He is just all about making and keeping himself rich!

  • http://www.justblogging.net Renan Corbes

    I will answer this based on my experience. I myself is internet marketer but Im not buying any gurus or blackhats that telling 5k$ a month using our methods. Any internet gurus will not tell their real secrets unless you are close friends? Because if they do so they will have many competition and probably their business will fall.

  • http://www.imwebsite.com Tianyi

    Most Gurus offer real content, the only draw drawback is that they overhype their content, but it is really possible to earn that kind of income over years of hard work and learning.

  • http://www.newfoundlandbusinesses.ca Barry

    Real content is what’s required to draw visitors and traffic. Hard work is what will pay off in the long run.

  • http://markbakerint.com mark baker

    i was at a brighton bootcamp and saw armand and tom hua earn over 2.5 million sterling in an hour each, very slick, what do any of the readers think of huas 227 website in a box biz

  • http://www.excessivesweatinginfo.com Mikel

    I am betting that they make more money online than their offline ventures. Had it been the contrary, then they would not have been where they are, and yet up to now, they remain marketing online.

  • http://www.pagerankd.com patrickd

    a lot of them are scams.
    need to be careful.

  • http://winsonyeung.com Winson Yeung

    Well,
    I actually have attended Ewen Chia 3 Day Workshop in Singapore on 2008.
    He did show us his proof of income/clickbank/account upon our request.

    And we cant simply belivie it’s fake right ? because he show us on the spot, so i think Ewen Chia is a real guru

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