Many Online Entrepreneurs Practice Sleazy and Predatory Marketing Tactics

I have a love/hate relationship with online marketing gurus and their funnels. Yes, the tactics work. I know this because I studied them and used them on a few of my projects long ago. It’s a great way to get someone, who is on the fence, to commit and break out the credit card.

Many Online Entrepreneurs Practice Sleazy and Predatory Marketing Tactics
Watch out for the scummy marketing funnels

I have a love/hate relationship with online marketing gurus and their funnels. Yes, the tactics work. I know this because I studied them and used them on a few of my projects long ago. It’s a great way to get someone, who is on the fence, to commit and break out the credit card. Sometimes the carefully-crafted sales copy is not working to close the sale.

Butt some of you take it too far.

You should know funnels are unfair to those who are cash and credit poor. I know we don’t fit your demographic if we are not willing to lay it all on the line financially and make a commitment at this exact time. Even though we need what you offer, we are not useful to you.

Some of us want the financial freedom you promise in your offer. But if we buy your product, even if it is 90% off for the next 7 hours, our children won’t eat for the next month.

There are a lot of us out there.

People Like Me

I don’t want to make it sound like I’m whining or looking for pity, but you should know the truth about the people you are selling to.

I’m a person for who entrepreneurship is a burning passion. Ever since I could remember, I’ve been putting my pennies together and starting businesses. I spend a lot of time looking for opportunities. Much of the time I can guarantee I’m looking at your offer but I don’t buy because I am so broke I can’t pay attention.

I’ve been mentally ill my entire life, and because of that, I lived under the poverty level since I was a kid. But even with a sick mind, I felt destined for something greater.

When I was young, I devoured every offer in the glossy Start Your Own Business magazines they always placed right next to the checkout counter. When AOL and Prodigy came around, I spent countless hours in forums with other entrepreneurs learning how to be successful. When the web started offering information about the new online passive income, I was hooked.

What I was looking for was free information that would help me create my own business. But what most often happened is I signed up for a free PDF about making money online and ended up in a never-ending marketing funnel from hell.

There have been a few times when I landed in a funnel for an online course and could afford the discounted price of $29.00 to start. But I had to promise I would pay $89.00 a month for the next 24 months. And a few times I did it because I needed the information they had even though they wanted money for me to see it.

I don’t want to say I was stupid. I like to think I was hopeful that the promises these salespeople made were real, and that I could pull myself out of poverty one day.

Wasn’t it what they were selling?

About 17 years ago, I suffered a massive mental breakdown and could no longer work. I had paid into Social Security my whole life, and disability was an option for me. When I came up for air, I still had those entrepreneurial dreams, and I felt it was the perfect situation for me since I couldn’t manage to keep a real job.

I started looking for information again, and lo and behold — the marketers were still using the same damn funnels. But I was not in a position to fork over hundreds of dollars for information I needed to pull myself out of the gutter.

I was stuck again and ashamed because I didn’t have the money to help myself.

The Mentality of the Marketer

Everyone likes to talk a big game about adding value before trying to sell. One of the reasons I have been such a huge proponent of content marketing is that so many people played the bait and switch game with their content before it came along.

They were putting up blog posts, promising to tell the truth about making money online. But they ended up only being vague and mysterious, and trying to pass off common knowledge as something groundbreaking. You could only access the real “secret and groundbreaking” stuff if you signed up for a free PDF, and when you did, guess what?

Marketing funnel hell!

They were throwing around the word value, but it was smoke and mirrors.

I Understand How This Works

I know, I know. You have to make a living.

I understand that, but your idea of a living makes Bezos look like Gandhi. I see you on Instagram flashing the wads of cash and driving the fine cars. You are drinking Dalmore 62 sitting in the living room of a mansion that may be yours, but more likely, the property of your mentor who taught you how to cheat, I mean, market to people a few years ago.

You are sleazy. You give all online marketers a bad name.

I know some out there are trying to add value and help people and use marketing funnels because they are valuable tools.

Case in point. I’ve been following Nick Wolny for years now, and I love the information he puts out on Medium. After reading a lot of his work in 2020, I signed up for a freebie he was offering, and guess what?

Funnel. Oh, Nick! But, when I saw the depth of the information he was offering and compared it to the value he had already added to my life, his offer was not unreasonable. Of course, when I fell into his funnel, I had maxed credit cards, and my debit had a balance of zero, so I had to wait until I had funds to take advantage of his offers.

The follow-up emails I got from Nick were the best part because he realized that not all people have the cash right now, so he tries to create a relationship. And he did, even giving me access to his course so I could evaluate it. He keeps pumping out content and hasn’t done what many online marketers do and spend his marketing time shaming a guy for having no money until he gives up and unsubscribes.

Nick is one of the good ones.

I’m Not a Marketer

I have no marketing expertise, but I have seen marketing professionals who make their living with class. They don’t try to take advantage of the little guy. I’ve seen people like Felicia Sullivan, who gives away 20 years of branding and marketing knowledge and expertise. She works with companies and brands that can afford the kind of help she can offer.

Felicia is an enigma, but I know myself and every other person she has touched would buy any course or product she offers. She has already given so much and has proven that she knows her stuff.

Be like Nick. Be like Felicia.

Remember to train your funnels not to shame people like me if we have no money right at that moment. Some of us may like your products but get turned off by your heavy-handed tactics and constant hard-sell.

Don’t offer us a 90% discount when stuck in your funnel and jack up the price if we want to buy your product in a week or two.

We need the information you have to offer, so give it. Please don’t be vague to draw us to your opt-in box when you could have given us the information Google promised you had.

Don’t be sleazy, and don’t fall into the same boat with the influencers and gurus who sell their products by promising you wealth, sports cars, and an unrealistic lifestyle., all along with passive income

Add value, real value. And don’t shame the little guy for escaping your marketing funnel without buying something.

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