The Death of Crap was written in December of 2006. With a few minor edits (references to my own products), the words stand as valid today (August 2011) as they did then. And it will likely stand just as valid 5 years from now. Pay special notice to this: In August 2011 Mike Filsaime is now launching his Evergreen Business System. And Ryan Deiss has just released "The Death of the Web". I'm sure I don't need to point out the redundancy, or irony.
The Death of Crap
This could be professional suicide.
But I'm willing to take that chance because this is an important message and I'm not here to polish the brass on the Titanic.
First, this is not intended as a personal attack on any single individual - it could be seen that way and that would be inaccurate.
Warning: I am going to name names.
It's not an attack - it's a wake up call.
Second, being a part of the forest I am about to write on, I could be blinded by the trees.
But I don't think so.
I wrote in my Adwords Black Book salesletter "I'm not a part of the crap clique club".
In fact, I'm doing the unthinkable. I do not seek out any "big name, big list" JV partners.
If that happens, great. But I won't be selling my soul and I won't ask anyone to sell their soul for me.
I'm grass roots.
Adwords Black Book
The only clique I'm a part of is the one I share with my customers.
I'm here for them, to show them what I've PROVEN to work for me.
Like everyone else, I like to be liked. But maintaining integrity and speaking my truth is more important.
And I want to know this - are you with me?
Is Jeff Walker to Blame for This Mess?
The current launch overload isn't Jeff Walker's fault. In fact the launch overload isn't even the problem here.
From "The Death of Internet Marketing" . . .
I disagree Mike.
Here's the REAL problem - crap.
Piles and piles of crap all promising to be the overnight answer to wealth and the easy life.
Don't read another word. Just stop at that advice and you've been well-served.
But, of course, if you read on somebody is going to offer you $12,000 worth of useless Master Resell Rights products for buying today's "big ticket" answer.
My own hard drive is so full of crap I wouldn't even know where to begin if I wanted to sort through and delete it.
It would take me a month.
It will be easier to just buy a new computer and start over. Instead of spending more money on more crap, save that money and buy a new computer free of crap.
That, my friend, will probably bring you closer to the success you seek than 80% of the "latest and greatest" solutions being sold to you.
If you're on the list of people like Cody Moya and twenty-dozen others telling you to buy everything that comes out, you should do yourself a grand favor and unsubscribe.
If you're an alcholic, your friend isn't the one stopping by with a six-pack of Budweiser every day [and offering to throw in a bag of chips if you'll drink].
Don't get me wrong; Cody is obviously a very smart guy making a lot of money.
But is that the whole picture?
The "Death of Internet Marketing" is the result of people who will hop on the the buzz word bandwagon - like the current "Long Tail" buzz word, but not, at the same time, walk their talk - if they even understand fully what the hell they're talking about.
Don't be fooled; is Mike Filsaime spending $50,000 to build a list to tell you about the problems of Internet marketers marketing to Internet marketers?
This isn't a public service announcement folks.
Although it is possible Mike is leaving the Internet marketing realm, I doubt it. Maybe he's suggesting everyone else leave, but I don't think it includes him.
He might like to leave, I don't doubt that. I think some of us would - but at the end of the day, it's in our blood.
And again, listen to my words - this is not about Mike. Mike wrote the report and that's why his name is predominant here.
I expect criticism of my take here, praise too. I'm sure Mike expected and prepared for the same.
Mike already has lists and though it's possible I'm dead wrong, you and I ain't stupid. If Mike just wanted to get the message out, it would have happened on its own without needing to pay anyone to spread the word.
The Death of Crap
Are we surprised by "The Death of Internet Marketing"?
I'm not. In fact, I hope this version of it dies sooner than later.
The number of product launches is not the problem - it's the low quality and the empty promises that people are sick of.
And to be clear and fair, most of the above could be accepted to a certain degree if there was good communication that acknowledged the problems and a true effort to make good.
But that is rarely the case. Instead . . .
Prices are climbing while integrity is plummeting. The simple belief that "I'm a good guy" doesn't make one a good guy.
This week it's Butterfly Marketing, next week it's Adsense, the next week it's some clever page generator, the next it's "Templates", then a boatload of source code, SEO, PLR, blogging, how to be an affiliate millionaire, etc, etc, etc - like most - if any - of those have anything to do with being successful as a marketer.
I know plenty of truly great marketer's who do none of the above (yet, more than a few of them advise you buy that crap even though they don't use it - or understand it - themselves).
People are overloaded, overwhelmed and pulled in too many different directions every day to have a shot at real success.
And when I say real success, I'm not just talking about making a decent income - I'm talking about making a GREAT income while work much less hard than they are.
In the "Death of Internet Marketing" Mike Filsaime writes about a $1497 product a friend of his created that didn't sell as well as it could have.
Let me offer the wake up call as a customer of that product.
The information contained was of true value - it was some of the best information I've seen this year.
But it was also a poorly put together project.
The program contains over 30 hours of audio that could have been boiled down to 15 hours by simply editing out the word "awesome" - who the hell has time to listen to this?
Good information does not always equate to good product. It's a poor customer experience. I want the wheat - keep the chaf. You disrespect my time and THAT pisses me off.
I went through another product that followed the same "I hope you have time to waste 'cuz I sure like talking".
Contrast that with the brilliant 30-minute product Paul Kleinmeulman put out on the same subject. Simple, straightforward and to-the-point information that I used the next day - effectively.
NOTE: Paul is now on my shit list after buying a product of mine (with his own affiliate link, no less) cloning it and then selling PLR to it. Nobody is above compromising their integrity for the almight dollar.
Back to that $1497 program . . .
I paid for the program five months ago and major components of the offer STILL are not delivered. And based on the track record of so many gurus, do I really believe I ever will? This guy is already preparing for his next product launch and has not yet delivered on the promises of his last.
Poor customer service, shoddy product, overhyped pitches and promotions
all adds up to the "Death of Internet Marketing".
What It Means to Be a Guru
Most people specify the word "guru" to mean "teacher".
The literal translation given to me is "from dark to light".
Gu = Dark, Ru = Light.
That means a guru is someone who helps others from the dark - from ignorance to enlightenment.
How can you lead one out of the dark when you continue leading them down different paths?
I don't care what the reason is for people promoting anything and everything that comes down the crap clique pike.
It's wrong, and the cumulative effect of this is now hurting THEIR results.
I only promote what fits the system I have shared with my people.
If I take them off the path, I dilute their focus. In time they become disillusioned and the trust they have in me is eroded.
And even more than the trust in me, the trust in Internet marketing as a viable route to success is eroded - conclusion:
"The Death of Internet Marketing"
Then, when that big promotion I had planned bombs and all those dollars I was counting on don't come in, then what?
It's because there are too many launches?
No, there are too many duds. And, too many bucks have been taken from the same people that just don't pay off.
What do you expect?
One Path to Success
Frankly, there are many paths to success. But you can't try to walk them all and get anywhere.
It is not just my goal to "monetize my list"; it is my goal to help my people remain focused - the most difficult task any of us faces online.
Most Internet marketers know little of marketing and even less of business.
I'll admit to my own shortcomings there.
Adsense is not marketing. Nor are page generators, arbitrage schemes, or even the typical ebook based business online.
There is TOO LITTLE information provided on these subjects. And the same bad, overused cliches and box shaped paradigms are written about over and over on the forums - mind poison is what those places are.
Am I concerned how the norm of this industry is going to hurt my sales?
I'd be a liar to say "no".
But what I'm more concerned about is that the waters have been illed to the point that the person who needs what I have to offer most may not take advantage of the opportunity because they're "MANY times bitten, twice shy".
I brought up the Long Tail concept earlier and I won't go into great detail except to say that it is very possible the Internet marketing orgy IS over.
And that's good news. It's good news because the potential exists that more marketers will be more selective about what they offer to their people instead of "milking them" into the poor house every chance they get.
If It Sounds Too Good to Be True . . .
I will soon be starting my nineth year in online marketing.
I didn't begin with a solid education in marketing or business (though I thought I was a genius in the-making at that time). If I'd fully realized how clueless I was then, I might have chosen a different path.
The dangerous thing with Internet marketing WAS - I'm stressing the word WAS because it's changed and it's not going back - the dangerous thing was that many of the get-rich-quick schemes actually worked.
I'm talking about Google Cash.
I'm talking about Traffic Equalizer.
I'm talking about Google Arbritrage.
I've made mentionable chunks of money with all of them (and wasted considerable time I could have invested into building a better business, and better skills, too).
This past June (of 2007) I spoke at my first conference. The speaker before me did a great job of selling his Google Arbitrage system. A masterful job.
And while people ranted about this great new arbitrage system that was so easy to make money with, I bit my tongue (and kicked myself for not selling my long-term, hard-word approach better) because anything that easy WILL NEVER LAST.
And sure enough, before he was even able to fulfill the orders from the event, Google slapped his system down and that was that for everyone involved.
Thousands of dollars lost - and a lot of dreams too.
The only way to ensure your long-term success as a marketer is to develop real marketing skills.
Google Arbitrage involves no marketing skill to speak of. It was a clever gimmick that made some money - and now, it's virtually dead.
I'm sure that someone smart will come along after investing a bunch of time and figure out a way to make it work again - for a short time. But we must all learn to recognize these are not long-term solutions to building a future on.
If it helps you to get from point A to point B, great. But move on from it as soon as possible.
I know more than a few people - friends - who did great with building page generator sites and building a great income.
They quit their jobs, bought homes . . . life looked great.
But now? They're in financial chaos.
And what's worse, is they didn't bother to develop marketing skills or assets along the way.
And now what?
They cling to the industry they love, even though many don't have what is necessary to make a solid and reliable living in it.
Don't Try to Be a Guru
I received advice, probably good, from a number of people advising me not to try to compete in the Internet marketing niche.
Of course, these are people selling IM goods and services every day.
You should get into the niche - and offer good information - on the subject matter you love.
That's the story.
If you don't have something unique, creative and worthwhile to offer, your chances of succeeding are small to nil.
I know this - I've been there.
Ironically, my initial success as an Internet marketer came when I STOPPED trying to be a guru and started promoting people's products who really were gurus.
And in time, I became a guru in an entirely different niche - Internet marketing. I didn't start with that end it mind - it's what I became through doing.
Here's what I hope you gain from this extended rant.
The people who will remain in the game long-term are not jumping on the hot tricks or trends of today.
The survivors are people who can market and build a business. The survivors are the people with the skills necessary to adapt - and THRIVE on change.
The Millionaire Playboy Party
As a younger man, I asked a millionaire (at a Playboy fundraising party for Big Brothers and Sisters of L.A.) what advice he had for a young man who wants to be rich.
His answer was quick, short and . . . . surprisingly dull. But I recognize the wisdom of it now.
He said, "Young man, have a skill that people value."
The next time you receive an offer, ask yourself this question . . .
"Will this product help me to develop a skill people are going to value five or ten years from now?"
If the answer is anything but a definite "Yes", then delete that offer as fast as you can before your pants, with your wallet in it, are seduced right off you.
Online, there's a short list of skills I feel confident will be of value today, tomorrow, next decade - even next century.
Those are marketing fundamentals - copy writing - testing and tracking - business building - people skills - the ability to research and develop new, VALUABLE information and product that people want and need.
Turn out the lights, the party's over . . .
That's not my understanding of "The Long Tail". The long tail is about selling "less of more" - instead of one big book on Internet marketing, many books on the specifics of Internet marketing - written by people who are truly expert on the subject.
The "niche within the niche" is what the Long Tail is all about.
And for that to work to the favor of the customer (who can identify and maintain a focus), it must be direct and to the point. I don't have time to read novels - I want the Cliff Notes. The front-end is for do-it-yourselfers and the back-end is for those who want it done for them.
It's about taking "Internet Marketing" and breaking it down into specific areas of expertise that are being continually subdivided.
And all of these "niches within the niche" of Internet marketing have sub-niches too.
It's about staking a unique claim in the "niche within the niche" that one is truly an expert in. And if you're operating in a "niche within a niche" - it's not OK to promote everything else under the sun within that niche.
That's the death of Internet marketing as we know it.
You don't come to X to learn about Adwords or affiliate marketing.
You come to X to learn how to use Adwords combined with affiliate marketing in unique and creative ways to dominate and annhilate the competition.
I teach proven marketing tactics and strategies that utilize two of the many ways people can go. It is that focus, combined with powerful paradigm shifts that produces huge results for me and others.
You don't come to X to get the same information about Adwords that you go to Perry Marshall for.
You don't come to me to learn Adwords basics. You come to me to learn the advanced, specialized stuff that the killer's employ.
THAT is a niche within a niche - that's the "Long Tail".
The problem with Internet marketers creating information and products and selling to other Internet marketers is that there is no focus - no continuity - no discipline to remain in the niche within the niche.
Want an example?
If Mike - and every other Internet marketer selling to Internet marketer's approached this from a well-conceived angle - Mike would promote NOTHING to his list that did not have a direct and obvious correlation to his Butterfly Marketing system.
But he does. Most everybody does. And it erodes the potential for success of his people.
Beyond the personal relationship Mike - or any other marketer with a big list has with the people they promote, there is no way they can be expert enough on all of the subjects to know good from bad on the breadth of topics they promote.
The result is they promote, knowingly or not, a lot of crap. Because the focus is on their profits - not your's.
THAT is the cause of "The Death of Internet Marketing".
And let's hope that also signals . . .
The Death of Crap
See Also: .X.