Webinars Are For Opportunity Seekers

What’s an optimistic skeptic supposed to write about?

I guess you could say that I’ve upgraded my marketing friends. I attended a conference a few weeks ago that was filled with wonderful people. Only a couple of “buy my crap and get rich” people were on the stage. I bought some stuff but am going to get a refund on some of it (some of the some?).

Anyway, most of the people there were great. They had legit businesses, businesses that were designed to help people with their business. They offered services, workshops, stuff like that. Stuff people could buy, use, and get ahead in their business.

Then I come home, let my enthusiasm wane (it’s not quite working like it used to because a lot of the people I met there are now my Facebook friends — and they really are awesome), and waited for something to complain about.

I finally found it.

The Expensive (Waste of) Time Suck

As I write this, there’s a product for sale — for the fourth time — that costs about 3-4 thousand dollars. I’m not sure which because all of the offers I’ve seen for the thing have been disguised as “the next best thing” webinar.

Here’s how it works:

  • Some big name guru gets you to sign up for a webinar.
  • Said marketer is very vague about what the webinar is going to be about.
  • Said marketer says you can make a lot of money with it.
    • While presumably not reading FTC guidelines that require them to state what the average person will earn, which is nothing.
  • Said marketer wants to you to attend the Webinar From Heck that lasts forever.
  • Said marketer tries to entice you to give away 2-3 hours of your life in exchange for the possibility of winning some kind of prize (usually cash).
  • Said marketer then fills your inbox and Facebook / Twitter feed admonishing you to “watch the replay before it’s taken down.”
  • Said marketer offers you some huge-mongous bonus that consists of about 4 gigabytes of resale rights crap that didn’t work when it was written in 2002, much less now.

Yawn.

If I were to watch all those webinars, it would keep me busy for a day. An entire work day.

Who has time for that? I’ve almost always got at least 12 hours of work to cram into 8 hours. And you probably feel the same way.

That’s when it hit me.

Webinars as a sales vehicle aren’t for people who already have a business. They are for opportunity seekers, for people who don’t have a business but are looking to build one.

And once you’re on one of these lists, you’ll keep on getting more and more “invitations” to attend these webinars (most likely at least once a week), each of which will last a couple of hours and will be for something totally unrelated to the previous one.

And they’ll say they’re making money from the system when, if you stop to think about it, can’t be true because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. If it’s making money for them, it’s from promoting the product, not from actually implementing the system.

Now I’m not saying it’s intentional, but since they keep on doing it, it must be profitable. For them.

It’s Really A Good Thing

It’s horrible for you. You need to decide on a business model and focus on implementing it like there’s no tomorrow.

And if you’re grinding it out, day after day, making your idea a reality, you’re going to get those emails and say, “Huh? Who has time for that?”

THAT’S when you’ve crossed the line from being an opportunity seeker to actually owning a business (or at least being close to it). And that’s a good thing.

Now I’m not saying it’s predatory, at least not intentionally, and in many ways they may be providing a good service in that they introduce many different ways to make money on the Internet. But if all you do is attend webinars, buy stuff, then watch a webinar and buy something else, then you don’t have a business. All you are is a profit center for somebody else.

That’s why I don’t like those webinars. Give me something to read (I can scan something and know in a minute or two if it’s something I want to buy; 90% of sales letters are the same rehashed copywriting crap you find in all the sales letters). If I want to watch something, that’s why I subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

If I can use it, I’ll buy it (and I ain’t allergic to affiliate links. Neither should you be; if somebody introduces you to something that enables you to earn some money, don’t begrudge them their commission.

If I can’t use it, I’ve only wasted a minute or two (and actually, it wasn’t wasted time because I now know what the product is about), no harm done.

I know, I know… Persuasion is part of the deal. You’re supposed to go through the webinar / sales letter process so that you can be persuaded to buy crap.

Uh-uh.

That stuff might be good for new marketers who aren’t aware of what’s possible, but after a month or two of honest research, you have a pretty good idea of what’s available and all of those new “opportunities” are simply faster / better / cheaper (and sometimes “costlier”) versions of what’s already available.

I read something once that said there’s only 12 ways to make money on the Internet (or something like that). I’ll try to find it and write about it at some point in the future.

For now, though, keep in mind that most pre-sales webinars are for opportunity seekers. Don’t waste your time on them if you know what you want to do.

The Gratuitous Money Link

I’ve decided to start something new, called the Gratuitous Money Link. I’m going to offer something for sale in every post I write.

It could be an affiliate product or it could be one of my own products.

It’ll be at the bottom of the post so it’s easy to ignore.

Of course, this is the part where I warn you that you ignore this life-changing product and your own risk and peril, yada-yada…

But it’s not going to happen here.

Read it, buy it, ignore it… Whatever you want to do. I’m just going to try to make it fun and interesting.

So here’s the product for this post: Blueprint Pro. (That’s an affiliate link)

Why did I choose this one?

Because it seems too good to be true.

  • Clickbank says I can make a lot of money with each sale. Because others have.
  • Clickbank says I can make a lot of recurring income. Because others have.
  • “You Will Turbo Charge Your Results.” Oooh, love me some turbo!
  • “If you are a newbie…” Awww, save the newbies!
    • Sorry, I was thinking about “Save The Whales”…
  • I didn’t see it on the web site, so to keep the FTC bureautards off my back, I’m saying that you won’t make any money using this system regardless of the time and money you sink into it. But ask the product owners for the exact numbers ‘cuz I don’t really know…

Oh, heck, just click on the link and buy the thing already. I’m missing the Dallas Cowboys – New York Giants football game and need the affiliate commission to buy more beer and pretzels.

But if you buy it, come back and leave a comment. I’m wondering if the system involves webinars…

Losing My Cynicism?

In reality, I’m becoming a kinder, gentler person. I’m becoming more positive and really do want to help people.

I’m also noticing that a lot of marketers are either waking up to the fact that they gotz to treat people nicely or they won’t have a business. Good. It’s all because of the five posts I’ve put on this blog to date, to be certain.

The problem is that these new character traits aren’t exactly copacetic with the goals of this blog, are they?

Eh, the heck with it…

I’ll be helpful. That’s why I created this blog in the first place. But deep down, there will always be something that I don’t like and that I need to get off of my chest. This blog will be great for that.

And while the smart people are doing the right thing and treating their people well, there will always be plenty of jerks out there. Like the people who think they can sell your email address. Or the people who buy it and bombard you with endless spam for crap products that aren’t worth the paper they aren’t printed on.

Or the people who still write emails like it’s 2003 and insult your intelligence (“Hey, I just got off the phone with God and twisted his arm and he’s agreed to give my list a special discount for the next 24 eternities, so hurry!”).

Blowhards. Get a life. If you want dishonest money, go shake down first graders at your local school for lunch money. Hope you get run over by a soccer mom driving an urban assault vehicle (more commonly known as an SUV). Scumbags.

Yeah, there will be plenty to write about here. Looking forward to it.

Squeeze The Revenue, Annoy Your Customers

Ah, I need some copywriting help. There must be some good past interviews on Blog Talk Radio.

So I go there. And an annoying ad for some kind of cleaner starts playing.

A video ad. With grayed out controls. I can’t pause it, I can’t mute it. So I have to turn off my speakers.

What the blank does kitchen cleanser have to do with Internet Marketing? Everything, if you’re one of them who has to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of your site.

Maybe I’ll change my mind some day, but if my interview were on Blog Talk Radio, I wouldn’t send my clients there if I knew they were going to be treated like this.

So maybe you can figure out who I am by my conspicuous absence from that site, ha-ha…

Treat people with respect. Opt-in popups? Annoying, but at least you’re trying to build your business. And if you know what you’re doing, you’ll give some value in the emails you send to your subscribers.

Ads for affiliate products? Maybe. Put what you want in your blog’s sidebar. I can ignore it and it’s there if I really need it. Or want it.

You have to make money with your web site. I do it. You do it. But just like there’s a line between persuasion and manipulation in copywriting, there’s also a line between making money and squeezing every last drop of possible revenue out of a site. And both are wrong.

Gratuitous, random ads for kitchen cleanser on an Internet Marketing site? Yeah, when I really stop to think about it, that’s about what I’d expect from any “make money online” racket. But I wouldn’t expect it on the site of a business that gives a rat’s backside about their customers.

Bugs, Rodents, And Other Internet Marketing Pests

Ant This. Hamster That. Cockroach Marketing.

OK, I made that last one up. But I’m sure somebody will soon be using it. Can’t wait ’til they do so I can send a DMCA Notice once they get it going well.

Is that how you want to be branded? What in the world does an “Ant” or a “Cockroach” have to do with an Internet marketing product?

Take one that I’m looking at now. Ant Something-or-other. Helps you uncover “hidden” keywords so you can increase your traffic by about 1,703% per month and take care of tobacco stains on your teeth. Or something like that.

Who cares about traffic? I only care about it if that traffic buys stuff. Send me a zillion traffic hits a month where each one buys something and I might care. I don’t care about traffic that doesn’t convert.

Neither should you.

And you certainly don’t need a bunch of “vermin” on your computer… Might be time to call in an exterminator?

 

New Site Tagline

There’s a new tagline on this site. I just came across this quote while searching for “cynical expression”.

So am I lacking something? Yeah. The ability to watch nonsense being sold as the gospel marketing truth.

So you’re wrong, Georgie Porgie Pumpkin Pie.

Sometimes cynicism is a good thing.

Thank You Stephanie For That Great Post

Geesh. Comment spam. I forgot to turn off comments and pingbacks.

“But how are you going to get ranked in the search engines if you do that?”

Geesh. Again.

See the subject line? That was one of the spam comments to my last post that I just deleted. Guess that means my name is “Stephanie”.

Hey, I’m OK with that. Stephanie. My new pseudonym for this blog. Six foot tall, 300 pounds, beard to my navel. And my name is Stephanie.

And I work for the government, for all you know.

Haven’t you been reading the stuff that Google and the other search engines put out? Their algorithm has improved. They don’t need stuff like inbound links and trackbacks and comments to figure out which blogs are popular or which web sites are popular.

This may come as a shock to you, but Google has figgered out how to tell if a web site has content that people want to read. If it does, it gets ranked well. If it doesn’t, you might as well slave away for 27 cents an hour doing backlinks.

Serves you right for listening to some guru who’s partying like it’s 2005. Or who looks like he’s partying like it’s 2005 while he does something completely different. Like actually focus on running a customer-oriented business.

And that’s why he’s telling you that backlinks still work in 2013. Because it’s what you want to hear. You’re happy ‘cuz your brainal cavity is filled with the cotton candy fluff you crave; he’s happy ‘cuz he gots your money.

And that’s the truth. Or my name isn’t Stephanie.

Love & Kisses,
Stephanie (Blech!)

The Cynical Marketer

Hi there. You found my blog. Good.

Or not good. Whatever.

I call myself The Cynical Marketer. My real name is… not important. OK, you can probably figure it out if you try hard enough, but you probably have better things to do with your life. But go for it if you want. And good luck getting me to admit it.

I’m an Internet Marketer. I sell stuff on the Internet. I promote other people’s stuff on the Internet. I make 4 figures a month, more than most, not enough to quit my day job because I like my comfortable life.

I smile and say happy, cheerful things in most of my online marketing efforts. But this blog is for the cynical side of me. I know that behind the cheerful smiles and persuasive copy lies a crock full of stuff the southern end of a north-bound cow produces.

Internet Marketing is full of people who sell you what you want. Most of it is worthless when it comes to building a business. People rip you off every day because you don’t want to listen to the truth, and then they use the money they make off you to attend conferences, get drunk, and make outrageous deals so they can rip you off even more. Crack the code and you get to join the club.

But not all marketers are like that. Maybe some day I’ll tell you about an obscure group that prefers to work hard to build a successful business.

That’s right. Internet Marketing is hard work.

Internet Marketing requires long hours of work.

Internet Marketing doesn’t have a “push here for easy money” button.

But if you read the “stuff” this crowd sells long enough, you start to see commonalities. Everybody gives you a little bit of what it takes to really build a business on the Internet but very few give you the whole picture. They have to give you a little bit so you’ll keep coming back, looking for more.

And that’s what I’m going to talk about.

Don’t believe me? That’s your business. If you want to be persuaded, go read some happy-happy sales letter that promises the cure for genital warts if you buy a $7 ebook (OK, the cure is probably sold in the upsell, but hey; you get resell rights with that — rights that you’ll never use to sell even a single copy. In other words, you just paid triple the price for the same product. Smart business move. Wish I had your cash flow…).

And you’re part of the problem too. You’ve bought 100 ebooks from the special offers section of some forum and haven’t found success yet, but you think that maybe Ebook 101 will have the answer. Or maybe Ebook 102. And while you buy, everybody else laughs all the way to the bank to deposit your money because you’re so gullible.

Ain’t gonna be no fancy site. This is basic WordPress. TwentyTwelve theme. Probably isn’t search engine friendly. Whoopee. You want pretty or cute, go look at cat pictures on Facebook (or some of the other stuff; whatever suits your fancy).

And I plan on making money off of you. I’m going to stuff this site full of affiliate links. I’m going to sell you stuff. And I’m going to make money from it. Again, if you don’t like it, go somewhere else where they’ll tell you things that make you feel good while they make and take money off you. Your choice.

And I’m going to build a mailing list. My goal is to keep you off it. I’m not going to be rude, but I will tell why stuff sucks and you shouldn’t buy it. I’m going to tell you how you get manipulated 9 ways to Sunday by sales copy that crosses the line from persuasion to manipulation.

And if you want to talk to me, the only way to do it is to sign up for the list and hit “reply” to the latest email I sent. I want to talk to you but I’m not going to set up a contact form, help desk, and all that nonsense. You want to talk to me, you get on my list first and hit “reply” to my latest email. If you can’t follow those instructions, I’ll delete your email because you’re too “whatever” to follow simple instructions.

Oh, and I’ll set up the list when I’m good and ready. And I’m not ready yet. You’ll know when I’m ready because a sign-up box will appear somewhere on the site.

And if you stick around, learn, and prove to me you’re not some wanna-be crybaby marketer, I might even tell you who I really am. But you’ll first have to sign up for a recurring membership site that I’ll recommend to you. Don’t worry; you’ll be ready for it by then if you visit this blog regularly, sign up for my email list (once I get around to creating it), and agree with what I write about here, for the most part.

And I need paying customers to pay my bills, so don’t count on being “friends”. I can be very friendly but that doesn’t mean we’re friends. My friends are willing to watch my kids for free and I trust them enough to watch them. Get the message?

Enough for now. Time to put on my happy face and go do some work.