How To Tell If Something Is Real Or Online Marketing Bullshit

By Jamie McSloy / April 9, 2018
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How To Tell If Something Is Real Or Online Marketing Bullshit

I saw a guy the other day who’d run a webinar. In it he said that $2k – the price of his course – couldn’t even get you through a weekend out.

It’s like the “stop drinking your coffee and you’ll be rich” meme but completely stupid.

If you can’t have an interesting weekend for less than two thousand dollars, then you’re 100% an idiot with no imagination. Buy that guy’s course because at least he’ll do a better job with your money than you will.

Anyway, that’s a bit of a digression – but this is an important topic.

There are plenty of snake oil salesmen and fraudsters on the internet and people have asked me before how to spot them.

Here’s how…

The Only Real Way To Know Is To Do It Yourself

The best advice I can give you is to start and find out for yourself. A lot of the bullshit is found if you put in a little effort and have a little experience with how stuff works.

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Say you see a course about affiliate marketing. You see a headline that says, “You can make $1000 per day without buying traffic, without your own website and without a mailing list.

Now, that’s something that anyone who has done any business online will look at and think, “That sounds a bit unlikely.”

But a newbie might think that it sounds great, and before they know it, they’ve put down $1000 on a course that’ll teach them “write a blog and wait for the money to roll in” stuff that wouldn’t have worked ten years ago.

If you know about how affiliate marketing works, then you won’t fall for this. You know it relies on paid marketing to hit the big figures. You know that you need a list of some kind and it’s incredibly unlikely that you could think of a method that worked like my above example that wouldn’t be something totally short term and probably illegal.

Once you’ve created a website, a lot of these things fall away.

Once you’ve done some freelancing, a lot of the lies are revealed to you.

Pick a project and do it. This is the best education you can get and you can spot the fakers from a mile away.

Run The Numbers

Here’s a big thing that’s common all over internet business discussions:

“I made 10k today… here’s how.”

Now… the numbers aren’t normally that outrageous but if we’re honest, there are very few people who make say, ten thousand a month based on nothing but running a little blog or being a YouTube vlogger or whatever.

That means that to earn high amounts, a person has a lot of resources tied up in marketing of various sorts.

SEO, PPC, YouTube views, social media followers… all of these things are potential avenues that you can look at.

When people say, “I make $1000 a day” chances are they’re running paid ads to an offer.

There’s nothing wrog with that or nothing strange about that – but you can run the numbers on the figures.

So let’s say you follow a dropshipping model. Chances are you’ll have similar numbers to all the other people who run similar models.

Your advertising costs will be quite large. You might make 30%.

Here’s where you can spot the silvertongued among them: IF they say they’re making $10k a day in revenue, then they’re probably spending a few hundred a day in ad costs.

Again, there’s nothing suspicious about that; but someone who makes $100k a year dropshipping isn’t making a 99% profit – they might be making 35% profit.

So if that $100k is revenue, their earnings are $35k a year.

This is common when you see the “earnings screenshots” or Shopify reports-  they show revenue but they don’t take into account the fact that there’s a cost.

You could easily spend $1000 in a day on ads, make $1100 and then take a revenue screenshot and claim you make over $300k a year when you don’t.

Experience Trumps All

The more experience with different things you have, the more you see the lies behind stuff like:

  • Traffic to conversion rates
  • Cost to acquire customers
  • Profit per item

And so on.

Another good instance is with online publishing. There are people who sell the “make money with Amazon publishing” courses.

Now, I make money through publishing ebooks with Amazon. I do OK with that but I don’t make millions. I also know people who do make millions doing this.

You can tell they make millions a) because there’s proof and b) because they aren’t talking rubbish when it comes to the numbers.

Here are the facts as far as that is concerned: You can look at an author/pen name and see if their books rank well. If they rank well, you can accurately gauge the amount of copies they’re selling based on your own figures.

(This is exponential – Rank #1 in the Amazon bookstore sells thousands of copies a day, a book that’s 100,000 sells a copy or two a day, and a book that’s 1,000,000 sells every once in a while.)

You also know how many books they have under that name. You also know the profit they’re making because Amazon has fixed royalties.

So you can tell the fakers from the real deal quite easily. Yet still people sell courses that say, “You can write a 12-page book on the fine art of making home-made face masks and make $3000 a month from this.”

You can’t, and nobody making big money on Amazon follows this model. Release a few books and you’ll have all the info you need on this.

Final Thoughts

There’s the old adage that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The problem comes when you’re trying to decipher what’s good versus. What’s so good it’s fake.

And the truth is that in online business and business in general, you can make a lot of money. Some people strike it big and even do so quickly.

They aren’t scammers; they just get the pieces together.

Yet there are scammers too. People who’ll tell you that it’ll come easy with no money or effort.

I could write a list of stuff that you could check, but the honest answer is that if you do it yourself, then you’ll become “in the know” and you’ll be able to judge people based on their results and their content versus. Trusting a list or looking for clues like an amateur detective.

Also, if you do it all yourself you won’t need a guru anyway.