Can You Trust a Marketing Guru?

“The Secret to Online Marketing Success”

“Turn Every Prospect Into a Customer, Guaranteed!”

“If You’re Not Doing This One Thing, You’ll Never Find Marketing Success”

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing

If you’ve spent much time in the world of online marketing, you’ve likely come across a marketing guru selling a program with a tagline similar to one of these. It’s easy to get sucked in by the promise of greatness, not to mention a flashy landing page, but if you’ve ever actually made the purchase, you’ve likely found yourself disappointed. Behind all of those lofty promises, in many cases, is nothing more than re-hashed marketing tactics that you can find on your own, for free, on many blogs.

So what does this mean? Can you ever trust a marketing “guru”? Is there ever a time when you should invest your money in the information provided by a marketer? Here are some considerations to make as you are looking for help with your marketing plan.

Do They Have Proven Results?

First, look for someone with proven, measurable results. That means more than just a screenshot of one amazing payout or traffic surge. Rather, its proof of satisfied customers who’ve seen results month after month and actual conversions for the marketer’s own sites.

How do They Make Money?

Before you invest in any product offered by a guru, consider where that guru makes his money. Is their money made by selling you the product, or by using the product? In most cases, online marketing gurus are making money by selling a product to you, not doing what the product says to do. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance your profits aren’t going to be what is claimed.

What Does Google Say?

If you’re interested in following a particular marketer, one of the easiest ways to determine if they’re legitimate is to go to the ultimate authority, at least online – Google. Are people happy with the program they offer? Are they followed by a range of “sheeple,” or can you find legitimate reviews and honest opinions? Google the so-called guru’s name, and you should be able to quickly see if they’re worthy of your trust – not to mention your money.google-plus

As you do this simple search, see who’s talking about them. If proven marketers with a good reputation are promoting their product, you are probably in good shape to trust them. If not, be wary of parting with any of your hard-earned money.

Does the Newsletter Offer Value?

Most online marketing gurus will offer a newsletter. Newsletters are used to help lure in potential customers, but they can also be a valuable source of information. Subscribe to the newsletter for a set period of time, such as six weeks, and see what sort of information they are offering for free. If a guru is willing to offer something of vale for nothing, then it’s more likely that the information they want you to pay for is going to be valuable to you.

Remember, anyone can call himself a marketing guru. Before you pay for any system or information, do your homework. Some of these so-called gurus can be trusted, but many are full of … uh… baloney, and you need to learn to tell the difference between the two.

About Sheldon Campbell

Doc Sheldon is co-founder of Top Shelf Copy – a content strategy and SEO services firm with offices in San Diego, California, and Albany, New York – where he specializes in technical SEO and Content Strategy. Doc has over 30 years experience in marketing and professional journalism bolstering his 9 years online marketing background. In addition to his primary interest – the Semantic Web and the technologies to achieve that end – Doc also performs organic search optimization services for Top Shelf’s clients worldwide, specializing in content strategy services.

Comments

  1. Hey Doc,

    The point is to find out how do these “Marketing Guru” make money, if they’re using same technique what they’re offering then you’re more likely to get value for your money. Otherwise you would end up with other BAD LUCK thing.

  2. Some Marketing companies use different techniques to promote a business which are no where near the ones they promise the customers. All Marketing Gurus mustn’t be trusted.

  3. I am wary of people who claim to be online gurus as well. Not to say there aren’t some good ones out there, but it’s easy, and probably worthwhile, to have some health concern. I like the fact that you mentioned to do research on the person. The last thing we need is people who require a service, others who can legitimately provide the service, but no connection between them do to a lack of trust. If someone can deliver on what they say, the only thing left to negotiate on is the price.

  4. I HAD to share this photoTed Rubin Philosophy … VALUE who and what you do and move on from those that don’t value it. Life’s too short to waste on those that you can’t help anyway! Ted Rubin @tedrubin

  5. There are two ways
    Either trust no one
    Trust everyone but keep your eyes open
    I have chosen the later one.

  6. Google someones names you should not only do for checking out marketing guru’s. It is perfect for checking out people for any kind of reason :)

  7. Indeed, if you need to know about my digital career… Google me :-)

  8. Hi, Aasma-
    There are a lot of things that can come into play there. The fact that they’re making money with it themselves is a good thing to look for. But it’s important to remember that what works well for one person may not work nearly as well for someone else in a different location, culture or niche. Some “gurus” peddle their goods as a panacea… there’s no such thing! So we just have to be careful and analytical and not get taken in by false hopes.
    Thanks for the comment.

  9. Hello, Thejas. You’re right, all “gurus” can’t be trusted. But then, they’re not all charlatans, either. Personally, when I see someone call THEMSELVES an expert, guru or ninja, I tend to doubt their value to me. If they’re THAT good, I’d expect to be hearing OTHER people talk about how wonderful they are.
    Thanks for leaving the comment.

  10. Well put. Unfortunately, it is easy to get caught up in what so-called gurus say and then you suddenly have loads of worthless emails filling your inbox, sometimes several from single “gurus” As you say, check them out and research their products before you buy. There are plenty of forums for that too.

  11. The particular marketing gurus love the traffic niche because it appeals to almost everybody who would like to make a living on the web. Incidentally, people who don’t understand how to generate traffic usually are clueless about marketing techniques.

  12. We can all become an online successful marketers at the same time because we are not all interested in the same products. You have seen that “Gurus” also buy other “Gurus” products and services they trust. I would trust somebody who comes highly recommended to advise me about dogs and I would also advise them about selling their products.

  13. Hi Doc
    I think you highlight some good points, anyone can call themselves a “guru” but the proof is in the results they can demonstrate, I wouldnt trust online recommendations or testimonials because half the time they are faked anyway so simply ask for real proof of success stories, if the guru really is worth an investment in a product they will be happy to provide this.

    Thanks

    David Henry

  14. When I first started my Internet quest, my first fledgling steps towards making a living online, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on in order to get a good start. In fact, I told my wife I was going to pursue it as if I were pursuing a second doctorate, this one in Internet marketing. I had a lot of time on my hands and I was intrigued. And, I didn’t want to work for anyone else ever again…on that point I was dead certain.

  15. Hey Kristina, so are you in the throws of an online Internet marketer…or? :-)

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