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"The Gurus" Are NOT My Friends

…or what I learned from the so-called internet marketing gurus.

Warning: I’m naming names, and taking no prisoners in this missive, so take it for what it’s worth. I’d be glad to hear your comments.

On with the post…

A fellow blogger recently made a post about the latest trend in big ticket “guru” product launches.

You know the kind.

“Starting in 2 weeks, you only have three days to pony up $10k for my exclusive product launch, and after that it’s too late to ever learn all the secrets to exploding your income online.”

*yawn*

Then, each day your in-box is pounded with JV/partner/affiliate promotions for the same launch:

“Use my link and I’ll give you an extra bonus”
“Oooh! Oooh! Pick me, and I’ll give you one of my products FREE!”
“No wait! Pick ME and I’ll give you my shirt, my first born, a new car, and a bunch of other stuff that’s really cool I swear.”

At least Frank Kern is honest. He says things like “Here’s my link. But if you’re not ready for this, don’t use it. Let someone else spend their money, it’ll always come back in some other form.” But then he adds that sales teaser: “But do you really want to miss out?”

What we have here is a classic example of finding a niche and filling it.
Only in this case, the niche is people with “shiny object syndrome”.

We get so caught up in trying to grow our business using the latest internet marketing tactics that we float from one new product to another, without ever fully implementing the strategies we learned in the last product we purchased. We’re stuck on having “the latest and greatest” so that we’re not left out in the cold. Heaven forbid we might miss out on a couple of dollars, when in reality, we’re probably “dropping dollars to pick up dimes” as my momma would say.

The solution to our problem? Mad guru disease.
And as long as the gurus are raking in the cash, they’ll keep serving the market. Why not? It’s lucrative for everyone who owns a “company store”. Selling picks and shovels to the internet marketing miners.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to be learned here. As a Network Marketer, I came online to grow my business using tools and strategies I learned from the Internet. I have created a successful niche and career for myself selling those same picks and shovels to network marketing miners.

You’ve heard it said before “sell the dream, not the deal.” And on it goes in the wild wild Web.

It’s painful and shameful to admit, but I’m a recovering “shine-ob-ite” myself.

I think I was subscribed to something like 40 different mailing lists – probably more, but I lost count.

When I went away for 4 days and came home to over 1400 unread messages in my inbox, it hit me. Look at how much time I was WASTING reading the same jv promotion from 10 different self-proclaimed gurus. Somewhere along the line, because of a product purchase, I was subscribed to 5 different lists for Russ Brunson – and yeah, I got multiple emails almost every day when there was a product launch he was eager to cash in on. Daegan Smith was emailing me daily – sometimes 2 or 3 times daily!

So, I got VERY selective. My time is more valuable to me now.

But more importantly, it taught me a lesson. As I was culling my inbox I counted MAYBE 20 value added messages that weren’t blatant affiliate/jv promotions. Those subscriptions, I kept. Guys like Mark Joyner, Chris Haddad, Jeffrey Gitomer, Alexandria Brown, and a handful of others. I’m down to about 10 subscriptions now that I read regularly – and a handful more that I archive immediately and only review when I’m looking for sales letter or marketing ideas.

It really got me to thinking about MY newsletter, my mailing lists, and what I was sending them. Was I over promoting and under-delivering? I serve a network marketing community where every penny (and second) is precious. To waste the time (or money) of a stay-at-home soccer mom of 4 that’s trying to keep “the ends” together, juggle multiple family schedules, and have a little free time for her family is ludicrous!

Frankly, I would have trouble sleeping at night if I pulled this same kind of shenanigans. Call me nuts, but I’d feel guilty sending out that much email to my list!

Add to that these ultra pricey events, and you can see why people are pulling their hair out! For guys like Russ Brunson, Mike Filsaime (and now even Mike Dillard), there’s a bigger push to promote these events because HALF (or more) of the ticket price is being paid out in commissions to affiliates!

The commission on three sales on products like the Guru Mastermind would pay your house payment – for a year.

Ghastly, to say the least.

But I’m not ANTI-affiliate marketing. I’m not Anti-Internet Marketing. I’m not even ANTI-guru. I participate in affiliate programs, I sell products and offers to my list. But I also believe in providing substantial value for the return on investment.

My live teleclasses are free. My weekly newsletter is free – with at least one substantial article – not a sales pitch. And you can even call me on the phone from time to time and actually talk with me – not some automated system.

Now, my list isn’t huge, only about 1700 people, but I’ve personally communicated to nearly every one of them. I’ve built relationships with my readers and am proud of the speed at which my list has grown in only 4 months.

The secret is no secret. Build relationships, be friendly, and stop selling everything that isn’t nailed down to your list.

I was reading somewhere that Mike Filsaime was complaining that conversions are down even though his list is massive. Go figure!

Jeffrey Gitomer says that you need to be friendly in sales (and all of life is sales, folks). People want to do business with their friends.

But you’re NOT my friend just because (insert big name guru here) gave you a hot tip about his latest product launch and you’re going to get me a discount on it (and you’ll collect a tidy little sum to boot).

Ugh.

Focus. Mark Joyner talks about that. See your target. Stay focused on your target without distraction, and hit it until you hit it.

If only those shiny little gurus would stop moving into my field of view….