How To Start a Cult… Or A Shady Online Marketing Business
Have you ever noticed how various gurus all tend to follow similar patterns?
Have you ever wondered why your favourite online gurus occasionally say something that seems really out of character with seemingly no reason behind it?
Have you ever wondered how people can be duped by obviously fraudulent schemes?
This is going to be either a really fun or really terrifying article, depending on your particular psychology.
How To Start a Cult… Or An Online Marketing Business
I don’t begrudge anyone trying to make a living online. Sometimes, I’ll read a terrible e-book and feel a bit irritated. Other times, I’ll go to the comments section of some websites and feel ever-so-slightly nauseous when I read sycophantic comments, and wonder if they can possibly be real.
More times than I can count, I’ve quit reading a person’s blog because they go full-guru, recommending weird stuff and banning dissenters and gradually becoming self-congratulatory as opposed to useful.
Like I say though, I don’t begrudge anyone. It’s just not my cup of tea.
But still, there’s a lot of weird stuff that goes on across the internet – and off the internet as well.
People read an e-book about starting an internet marketing business, and suddenly they’re converts to “the one true way” and everyone with a “real job” is an idiot sheeple whatever. It is religious behaviour marketed as business advice.
Anyway, today I was goofing off, browsing Wikipedia and reading into weird subjects, when I found this gem of a video from 2006. It’s called How To Start a Cult, and seems to be a not-so-subtle mockery of Scientology. However, check out some of the stuff that is listed as “cult behaviour”:
This video could practically be a beginner’s guide to online marketing. It literally begins with a headline that could be on Copyblogger, but it quickly gets dark.
Then it goes on to giving free stuff, providing value in exchange for kinship, all the things that you would put into a sales funnel.
I’m not going to break it down for you, watch the whole thing. It’s pretty spooky, to be honest, but it’ll make you better at online sales and stuff. (I can’t guarantee your immortal soul, however.)
Why You Shouldn’t Try Black Hat Internet Marketing Tricks
After a couple of minutes watching this video, you’ll realise how weak the average black hat marketing technique is. Black hat internet marketers will have you believe that they’re the ultimate in edgy business practices, but buying a few Twitter followers is nothing compared to the average pyramid scheme – like the sort described by the video above.
Of course, you should always work on being good at business based on actual, tangible value. It’s better for your mental and physical health.
This topic is more a public service on my part, because I watched the video and realised that the cult behaviour is everywhere on the internet, and I’m doing my bit to save the poor people who get caught up in it.
Sales Can Get Dark
I was recently working for a client who told me to, “Stop providing so much information and concentrate more on the reader’s weaknesses.”
Indirectly that’s led to this topic. When you’re working in sales, you shouldn’t tread the line between being an evil salesman and a person providing value, because ultimately shady online marketers and cult leaders end up in sticky situations eventually.
However, the episode above showed me that there’s a ton of shady stuff in the world of money making.
As a consumer of information and products, you need to watch out for shady people and internet marketing cults that have an eye on your wallet and your brain.
Anyway, I’ll stop with being a morality policeman now.
Some of you evil geniuses probably watched that video and are already using the information to build your next diabolical scheme. (Remember me when you’re an Evil Emperor.)
Some of you are probably paranoid about every little thing you’ve ever read or watched online. (Sorry about that.)
Hopefully, the majority of you are going to watch the video, say, “That’s cool” and be a bit more aware of sales and how you can tread the line between right and wrong.
For those of you who are thinking “Are you on drugs Jamie? What the hell is this topic about?!” I’ll have to apologise once again for the weird detour, and say I’ll probably be back to regular writing about writing tomorrow!