Magic Bullets, Messiahs, and Online Marketing

When things aren't going well, it's very easy to fall for honey coated marketing promises. Stop for a second, and read this.

I don't know who needs to hear this, but here we go:

Stop looking for the "magic bullet" to fix your business. Stop looking for someone to make it all better for you. There is no secret formula. There is no "magic process" to make things start working.

Every business has fundamentals that it needs in order to run successfully. If it’s not going well, it usually means you’re missing something fundamental. 

This is something that’s bothered me for a long time. I continually see people who aren’t doing so well “invest” into course after course, program after program, and don’t actually end up fixing anything. 

The problem isn’t always the course or program itself (although they very often aren’t that good). The problem is that rather than figuring out what they’re missing, they bought into a dream.

And that dream is great, but we live in reality. And the reality needs a lot more than hopes and well wishes to get anywhere.

The Victims

The kinds of people that keep getting caught by this stuff usually have some similar traits.

First, they’re almost always feeling desperate. Things aren’t going well. Either money is getting tight, or they’re just dissatisfied with where things are.

Second, they keep jumping on the hype train. New shiny object? Ooooh, buy it! Lifetime deal? Better not miss out! Everyone switching to a new tool? Better jump on board too! The FOMO is strong

And finally, they’ve started looking to fix things. They’re researching content online, reading more blog posts, consuming more YouTube videos. They’re starting to get introduced to the world of online marketing.

The Messiah

And this is where the “messiah” steps in. Your saviour. Your guide. Your hero. The one person that can fix all the problems you have.

When you start getting into online marketing, you’ll encounter a wide variety of different people. Some are amazing, some are not, and it’s really hard (at first) to figure out which are which.

When you’re inexperienced, even the most basic of blog posts can give you MASSIVE value. You’re getting these light bulbs go off as new ideas flood your brain, and you start to understand some new concepts. And that person that gives you the light bulbs? Well, they have to be smart - right?

You’re consuming their knowledge, amazed at how brilliant they are, and then you learn about their unique, ground-breaking Secret Method™ that no one else knows about.

This is how you can solve all your problems, and live that lifestyle that people seem to always talk about.

And so many other people are gushing over how amazing the product is, and how it changed their lives. But the offer is ending soon! You really really really need the help. You can’t miss out on this!!

So… you buy it!

Some Misgivings

You get access to whatever it is that you bought, you start implementing what they say, and get moving.

Initially, before you even start, you feel amazing. You’re making things happen. You’re taking steps to improve things.

But, as time goes on and you learn more and more, you start to feel a bit… weird.

While heaps of other people who bought the same thing you did are talking about these results they’re getting, you’re not really getting any traction.

Things just don’t seem to be working for you. 

And the more you research, the more you realise that the content isn’t really as groundbreaking as the marketing promised it would be. In fact, this exact process seems to be very similar to what you’ve read about on a bunch of different blogs.

Heart sinking moment time. Could you have been ripped off? Did you just get suckered by their marketing?

Well, maybe and maybe not. It depends who you actually encountered.

The Contrepreneur

A contrepreneur is a con artist who makes their fortune by fooling wantprepreneurs (aka wannabe entrepreneurs) into thinking they’re getting a great deal or coming into some easy money, when the reality is, it’s the contrepreneur making the real money. They WANT you to see them as your hero, so it's even easier to get you to give them your money.

And it isn’t that their processes are necessarily scams (although sometimes they are). It’s often that these people are selling processes and ideas that used to work really well. But the market changes over time and those processes aren’t really as effective as they used to be. And they would barely know, because they haven’t actually tried to use any of those methods in years. And even if they did, they probably wouldn’t care anyway because this is their gravy train.

I mean, I have friends who’ve spent thousands of dollars learning how to run facebook ads. They’ve completed a course, and even been given templates on specific ads that “work” - only to have those ads get zero return.

If you’ve encountered a contrepreneur, you’ve usually bought into the dream that they’re selling, without understanding anything about what they were teaching. They spoke about their “secret” formula that no one else has. They spoke about the money, time, power, etc that taking their course would give you. They spoke about all the thousands of people that they’ve helped. They maybe even showed you a glimpse of their lifestyle, that YOU could also get! Basically, they sold you the dream. 

What they forget about is reality. In reality, so much of what they’re telling you to do has already been done to death. They’ll sell you tactics that are in no way unique, and the tactics no longer even work. It’s not just you, they won’t work for anyone (especially people with a moral compass).

Usually they’ve taken some outdated tactics they learned from someone else, reworked it a little, gave it a special name with a trademark symbol, and then put all their time and energy into marketing the crap out of it.

You can learn a bit more about the tactics they use by watching the Contrepreneur’s Formula Exposed:

With these people, yes - you were scammed.

Ethical Marketers

On the completely other side of the coin, we have some really genuine and ethical people. They have courses or programs that truly do work. And they usually don't want you to see them as your hero, just as someone who's potentially a bit further along in their journey than you are.

They aren’t doing any of the dodgy stuff to scam you. They aren’t charging you an arm and a leg for some secret formula. They’re giving you knowledge they have, that you could build up over time. You just get it a bit quicker and without the hard lessons along the way. And people you TRUST are telling you they’re the real deal.

But, even then…. it’s still not working? How can this be?

Well, there’s a really good reason for this!

The Mistake

Rather than trying to figure out what’s wrong with your business, and where your gaps are, you looked instead for a knight in shining armor who would save you.

It’s not that they don’t have a great system or process for people to follow, it’s that you don’t need that system or process right now.

If you’ve got a problem generating leads, you don’t need a method of learning how to scale your team. If you’ve got a problem finishing projects, you don’t need a method of learning how to sell better.

You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what it is, and even a course or program from the best intentioned person won't help you if it's not fixing the problem you actually have.

The Fix

If you're struggling and getting desperate; instead of seeking a new messiah, or buying that new course, or joining that new program - try spending some time mapping out how your business works.

What you really need is to find out what's going wrong. If you don't know, your desperation will get you suckered by the fancy marketing promises of sipping cocktails by the beach, working 4 hours a week, and buying a fancy car. 

I can promise you there is no secret method out there. Just because someone gives their process a unique name and adds a TM at the end, it doesn't make their process unique. Just because they used to do what they teach 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it’s going to work today. 

And most importantly, even if it’s an amazing process - it doesn’t mean it’s what you need in your business right now.

Stop for a second. 

Breathe.

Think about things for a while.

Everything comes back to basics and fundamentals. Look at those first. Find your gaps. 

Don’t buy courses and programs because you know something is wrong. Stop looking for someone to save you. Figure out what’s wrong first, and then look at what you need to fix it.

You already have enough knowledge and enough tools to figure out where your weaknesses are, all you need to do is use it.

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