Sometimes the Internet can be the wild west. There’s some amazing information out there but a ton of information that you should run far, far away from.
We were living paycheck to paycheck and even if my online business only made $100 a month that could have made an impact on our lives. I’m not going to lie, I was desperate.
Desperation made me do things that common sense should have steered me away from. It also made me consume more information than I could have possibly acted on.
At the height of the madness I was signed up for 87 different blogs. I would follow the SEO guys, the analytic guys, the MLM guys and so on. I read everything and tried a bunch of stuff but honestly I never reached that $100 a month mark.
If you’re starting out or haven’t seen any progress with your online business I know how you feel. You put your blood, sweat and tears into this thing and you just want to see results (I can help).
Even though it’s frustrating there are some marketing tactics that you should never turn to in an attempt to make a couple of dollars. Here are a few major ones.
If you told me you made $1,000 yesterday selling your book there’s really not a way to prove it. Online you can lie your teeth out. You should never lie or exaggerate the truth.
I’m a Christian and I firmly believe the truth always comes out. If you’re not you might believe in karma. If you’re faking it the truth will come out and especially if you’re a coach. If people hire you and don’t get results it won’t be long before your business dries up.
Life is too short to live a lie. Be you and be proud of who you are and the action you’re taking. If you’re not there yet that’s ok. You will get there but until then be honest about where you’re at.
2. Over promising
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Websites that claim this product will increase sales by 200% or get you “these” amazing results. Again, run far away.
Not every product or service will make millions or cure cancer. When you’re writing copy for your product or service clearly state what it does and the real life benefits.
I’m guessing if you release a product it’s something you have personal experience with. What results did your product or service get for you? Tell me about that. Get personal and tell me how it’s helped your life and I’ll buy it. Get some testimonials from people who have gotten value from it.
3. Not giving refunds
I’ve bought a few online products that weren’t as advertised. For legal reasons I can’t name them but when I asked for a refund I was given the run around. One of them I did get my money back but I pretty much had to send a letter to my congressman first.
If someone buys something from you and doesn’t get the value and asks for a refund give it to them. Our goal should be to deliver over the top value to anyone who buys our stuff. If we don’t then we shouldn’t try to keep someone’s money.
4. Promoting a product without reviewing it first
One way to make money online is through affiliate sales. You see a product or service from someone and you promote it on your websites. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income makes a ton of cash from affiliate sales. Pat’s a super honest guy and only promotes things he believes in.
There’s a temptation to look at his numbers and want to try the same thing. Hey it’s easy too! You take a product and just have to promote it. Don’t let the temptation to make easy money have you promote a product or service you haven’t directly experienced.
If you haven’t used it or someone you absolutely respect hasn’t used it don’t promote it. That’s a recipe for disaster and who knows what that product or service teaches. Don’t do it!
5. Holding back on all the good stuff
There’s a temptation to think you have to hold back on all your good content. If someone wants it they should pay for it. That kind of thinking will keep your thing from growing.
People have to see you actually know what you’re talking about before they buy from you. Putting your best stuff out there shows people you do know. People buy from someone they know, like, and trust. Giving them your good stuff helps accomplish all three.
6. Sneaky SEO tactics
There are a ton of things you can do to get your site high in Google. There’s also a ton of information online that can teach you how to do it in shady ways. I’ll keep this brief: don’t do any of them.
When Google finds out your site will be blacklisted and that’s it for you. It’s not worth the little bit of traffic. Just do things the right even though it’s a slower way.
7. Broken links
Sometimes the big bloggers will send out their post with broken links. They’ll then send out the same post will the “correct links.” They do this to increase open rates and it actually works.
It’s tempting but if you only have an email list of less than 500 people doing this tactic will get people unsubscribing like crazy. It’s not worth it in the long run and it’s not a good way to build trust.
8. Not offering a replay for your webinars
I’ve debated this one with a few people. My buddy Gene from Leaders in the Trenches brought up some good points. Those with bigger online presences tend to not offer a replay for their webinars.
I’m going to stay objective so I’ll say this CAN be for two reasons: They believe only people watching live will act on the information or they want you on the live video because they know you’re more likely to buy.
I’ll keep my opinion to myself. I will say that if you don’t have a huge audience it doesn’t make sense to not offer a replay. You want as many people as possible to see your stuff.
Someone could watch your video weeks later, like the content, and decide to buy. I’ve had this happen at least four times that I know of. It’s also a great way to build your online presence.
Don’t get sucked into all the information out there. Focus on what you need to do right now to grow your online presence. When you learn something new and relevant apply it right away and then learn some more. More action.
Follow advice from those you greatly respect and study them. Be honest, add value, and your dream will support you! If you need help figuring out what works check out my coaching program.
What are some sleazy marketing tactics you’ve seen online?