These days it seems as if you can find Internet gurus everywhere. They’re as common as cat videos on YouTube and often, just as trustworthy. After all, Internet gurus are not like doctors or architects, where there is a central agency that licenses them.
Anybody can call themselves an Internet marketing guru, make up some qualifications and show their photos sitting inside a Ferrari. This is why you have to be very careful when you’re one. Here are some few characteristics of wolves-hiding-in-sheep’s-clothing.
- They won’t teach you the skills that you signed up for. When you turn to an Internet guru, you want a complete system that will teach you how to effectively market online. Instead, the so-called guru might teach you a few tips and tricks and then leave you on your own after having taken your money.
- They give you false expectations. Filipinos are often victimized with such schemes. You should never expect to get rich ‘overnight’ from your Internet marketing efforts. Like anything else that is worth doing, it takes time and effort, as well as a lot of patience. If your Internet marketing guru does not drum this basic lesson into your head, then they’re just deceiving you.
- They teach you how to make money the wrong way. It is actually not that hard to make money online if you are willing to take shortcuts and resort to unscrupulous and even illegal means. For example, they’ll teach you how to sell get-rich quick systems to the unwary that are really worthless. Is this how you want to make money on the Internet? I don’t think so.
- They sell you useless information. For example, they might offer to sell you e-books that promise you valuable techniques on social media – only for you to find that the so-called information is nothing more than the same generic advice that you can get for free on the Internet. Even worse, when you try to apply for the ‘risk-free’ money-back guarantee that they touted so heavily, they give you a hard time.
- Their website has no contact information. They make it hard for you to contact them. When you visit their site, you notice that they don’t include basic contact information and if you have to get in touch with them, you can only do so through their website.
- They use a lot of hype and jargons. The best Internet marketers will not use a lot of technical terms because they want to communicate their expertise. If these marketers use hype and jargons, it’s usually when they’re with other marketers, since they know they’ll be understood. A ‘guru’ who does this is probably just trying to impress you with ‘expertise’ that he probably does not really possess.
- They have over-praise testimonials. Don’t get deceived of the pool of testimonials displayed in their website. It would be better if you can contact the guru’s clients themselves.
On the bright side…
Now that you know what to look out for when it comes to fake Internet gurus, here are some characteristics of the real thing, so that you’ll know who to sign up with:
- They stress that making money takes hard work. No Internet guru worth his salt would ever tell you that you can get rich overnight. They would stress the examples of people like Colonel Sanders (founder of KFC) or Bill Gates, who failed in their initial efforts before finally succeeding after a lot of persistence.
- They are upfront about what they charge. They might not tell you their exact fees, but they will stress that if you sign up with them, it will not be cheap because they are sharing their hard-earned expertise with you and, understandably, they are putting a price on it.
- They have good qualifications that can be validated. They’ll be clear about where they graduated and what their past work experience is. They won’t give you some vague story about being a recognized Internet guru or that they have been working in the industry for a decade to show that they are qualified to teach online marketing.
- They include a clear set of contact information on their website. This will usually include a toll-free number, a street address and an e-mail address. This is a way of being transparent and showing to clients that they have nothing to hide since they are legitimate. Of course, you should still check the contact information out.
- They don’t rely on fake testimonials to convince you about their expertise. Virtually anybody can put a series of fake testimonials on their websites and match them with random pictures, or hire someone from Fiverr to do a video testimonial, and you would have no way of knowing if these are real or not. A real Internet marketing guru would not bother with testimonials unless they come from people who are generally known and recognized as experts in their field.
- They offer you proof of their results, by identifying people who have benefited from their teaching. You should be familiar with the individuals they’re naming.
Paul’s Last Words: A Warning
Make sure to look out for obvious signs. Check out their credentials. Any Internet guru can set up shop and give himself a set of phony but impressive-sounding qualifications. Make sure that you check these out thoroughly before you sign up with them. Google for reviews, ask industry contacts or check the whois record.