Over the past few months I’ve been hearing fellow consultants and coaches complain about how they’ve been screwed over by some very visible high-end gurus. You know the ones I am talking about (heck, you may even know them by name!)…
* The gurus who switches their niche or focus because they have a ‘higher calling’. (The reality is the calling is about cash… they had tapped out the market they were already in.)
* The high-end coach who won’t even stop to say hello to you at an event and actually has a ‘handler’ to keep you away. (If the customer is king, why are you treating them like peons?)
* The rock star Internet marketer who claims to be making a high six or seven figure income but can’t pay the money they owe to the outsourced people who created the programs that supposedly made them that money.
* The ‘How-To-Get-Rich-Like-Me’ guy who flashes a wad of money around to prove himself then calls you “retarded” if you don’t buy his $5000 package. (Name calling aside, what’s really insulting is that if you look at that stack of $100 bills you see that a majority of it is singles sandwiched between a couple of hundreds!)
* The high-profile guru who tells you the reason why their product/program/coaching isn’t working for you isn’t because their teaching isn’t good, but because you are not thinking positively/using the Law of Attraction/have a barrier deep inside your mindset. (This ‘it’s-not-me; it’s-you’ approach is the ultimate Catch 22: if your lack of faith is causing the program to fail, then every question you have can be thrown back in your face as “part of your problem”. How can you argue that?)
One (obviously) disgruntled person said this to me, “Internet marketing has become one giant incestuous circle of marketer selling hype to marketers so that they can sell hype to marketers.”
Basically some Internet marketers out there are in a sense in multi-level marketing. They make money by selling a product that tells you how to make money by selling a product that tells people how to make money selling a product that tells people…. Well, you get the picture.
They only make money because they are at the apex of the marketing pyramid, and as with all pyramid schemes, the people lower down the pyramid will lose the money they invest.
You may even notice that many of them ‘steal’ each other’s work, make it their own and sell it with a new label. (Is there anything original from them at all?)
Most just sell a formula, and if your business or niche doesn’t quite fit into that formula… oh well, that’s your fault.
Yet, I believe there’s a new ‘breed’ of marketer online – one that has not only seen this, but been burned by these people in one way or another. They are honest about their lives (the good, the bad and even sometimes the ugly!).
They know they aren’t perfect nor lead a perfect life. They understand that a business relationship is more than just taking, but giving as well. They are about their customers. They aren’t pretending to be gurus. They just do what they are good at. They will show you how to get the best results from their programs.
That’s what I want from one of my mentors and how I hope to be for you when you work with me in any capacity.
So let me be real here:
I own a public relations and marketing communications firm that happens to be a virtual firm. I’m not the biggest firm on the block, but I have had some great results. I get people into major magazines, newspapers, tv and radio where they are able to attract lots more clients and customers and really boost their bottom lines.
I also love teaching, and realized that I could teach others how to do what I do. So I created another company to do just that.
But I don’t consider myself a “guru.” I’m a marketing professional. In my view, “gurus” are people who demand unquestioning faith from their followers. I want clients not followers, and I expect my clients to rely on reason and evidence, not faith.
I’m a mom. And I’ll admit, sometimes I’m not such a great mom. My four-year old girls have autism. And although they are not high on the spectrum, I get frustrated sometimes. I am jealous of moms with typical kids who can bake cookies with their families. I am jealous of moms who can bring their kids out for neighborhood party and not have to keep an eye on them for every minute. I know I shouldn’t be jealous – and don’t get me wrong, I love my girls – but I want more.
I’ve had great successes and I’ve failed miserably. I’ve made tons of money on programs (tons meaning thousands) and I’ve made zip on others. (I didn’t sell one seat on a telecourse I offered.)
I have a decent list, but not tens of thousands of subscribers.
There are times my husband flips out (and rightfully so) that I give too much away and don’t value my work more. (I’m working on that!)
I’m afraid to ask for help. I find it a sign of weakness or failure.
So there you have it…complete transparency from me.
What do you think? Are you tired of the Internet marketing rock stars who aren’t as transparent? What qualities are you looking for in a mentor or teacher? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.