Over the last couple of years, as part of my research into a book I’m writing, I’ve forced myself to attend seminars and webinars, run by those who claim to want to share their get-rich-quick secrets.
You are probably aware dear reader, there is a whole digital marketing industry dedicated to this practice. I call it:
The “how to get rich online by telling others how to get rich online” industry.
The formula is simple – offer a FREE seminar, webinar or event, that promises amazing instant wealth or life change. They are usually one-day events, but some can run to three or four days. Some even advertise tickets at a range of prices to manufacture false value into the free tickets.
The registration landing page is usually a mile long with all sorts of testimonials, videos, extra freebies and lots of calls to action. And there is always the use of terms like “new blueprint“, “new rules“, “new web paradigms“, “insider secrets” and buzzwords such as “Linkfluencer” or “lead magnets” or even the outlandish phrases like “turbo cash generators” or “home business money makers“.
The promoters also imply that media channels which always worked prior to the internet, have suddenly stopped working. According to these spruikers, all humans have miraculously changed their behaviour just because of a new technology.
But have no fear – they have the secret formulas to help you exploit that technology (the internet) to get rich beyond your wildest dreams.
Each event has the compulsory before-and-after storytellers. It’s a formula lifted straight from the weight loss industry. “I was poor, now I’m really rich – and I want to share my secrets with you.” They’ll use images to support their claims. “Here’s me in front of a busted caravan when I was poor – and here’s me in front of my Learjet now.”
I even attended one event where the poor-now-rich testimonial speaker, had more than 30 credit cards in a long plastic card holder draped around his neck like a snake. This was how poor and debt-ridden he was, before he found the miracle online marketing cure. It was great theatre. Though the snake imagery did conjure up the image of snake oil.
They also have a network of preferred suppliers – cue Deliverance music – as they are basically one big mutual-admiration society hiding under the guise of affiliates. They all have the same patter. At each of their events they cross-promote each other with claims they are the world’s highest paid copywriter, or SEO expert, etc. I heard one spruiker claim a mate of his, was “on the speed-dial of all Australia’s marketing directors“.
I’d never heard of him, so I did what we all do now – I googled his name. His website demonstrated he had never worked with any major brands, just a handful of SMEs and other entrepreneurs. He spent much of his time speaking at seminars telling people how to get rich and flogging his copywriting services.
While you attend the “event”, you are encouraged to subscribe to their get-rich-quick Plan/System/Blueprint. They even offer tiers of “membership”. This helps capture more of those whose antenna is telling them something’s not quite right. By offering a low entry point, these delegates might take the cheaper option as there is less to lose.
The presenter throws in some bright shiny digi-objects like websites to get royalty-free images, virtual assistants in third world countries that save you $thousands, customer-generating headline tools, $million dollar keyword secrets, email templates, landing page templates, ebooks, DVDs, blah, blah…
They build unbelievably false value into each of these products, so the total value of the package is more than the cost of a modest investment property in Queensland.
“But just today folks – we are offering these amazo products for just the cost of a discount bus ticket to Queensland – but only if you buy now.”
And immediately the shills in the audience leap to their feet and rush to be the first to sign up. FOMO kicks in and before you know it a bunch of sods have signed their life away. They now live in the false hope of retiring, by sitting on their butts doing nothing but using the amazing turnkey money-making machines they’ve just bought.
Sad really – but to quote David Hannum – P.T. Barnum’s competitor – “there’s a sucker born every minute“.
So the market will always be there. And an emotional appeal to people’s innate laziness – get rich while lying on the beach – will continue to resonate.
My aim is to publish the definitive book on how to get rich online by telling others how to get rich online. Hopefully this will eliminate these scammers and help the poor punters realise they actually need to work to make a living.
I wonder how will I launch the book? I know – I’ll run a free seminar…