We are constantly bombarded by internet marketing programs advertisement with some internet scams that tells us how we can make money online in a short period of time etc. While it is unavoidable to encounter some unethical and internet scams, why not protect yourself from falling into costly mistake?
Here, I will give you 4 tips of how you can protect yourself should you want to decide whether to purchase any product/service or making money online program.
Tips No. 1 Marketing Tactics
Let me give you three illustrations of a deception methods unethical online marketers may be using in their business.
Proof of earnings advertisement
When I say proof of earning advertisement, what I mean is a screen shot of what the marketer are earning. At this time, many people may feel excited and wonder how they did it to achieve that result. Curiosity kills the cat, many jump in to their site to see what they are promoting and because a trust is build way before they enter the sales page, the quicker they are to hand over their email address.
It is true that this type of “Marketing tactics” works very well because the proof builds a trust between the marketer and the potential buyer quickly and a connection is made. Although the sales earning may hold true, but it is questionable as it does not reflect the net income.
Sales – Expenses = Net income
It does not show you the marketing expenses (Banner ads or email ads etc) spent. So their net income (ACTUAL) generated might be lesser than you think. I don’t mean this marketing tactics is unethical but what I mean is it is questionable.
This is why before you even want to seal a trust with them, you must run through all 4 tips.
As seen on TV versus Feature on
More and more marketers are using media logo on their website or advertisement. This is another marketing tactics businesses like to use as it will increase your credibility which allows them to have a higher conversion rate; closing a deal. But there is a different between “As seen on versus feature on” which consumer are not aware of.
As seen on: is when you pay the media company to have your product or service to be appeared on the television.
Feature on: is when the media company approach you to have you interviewed or to get your product feature on their television.
Same thing, I don’t mean to say that this tactics is unethical, it is a vague marketing gimmicks marketers like to use which I feel is political okay to use but ultimately you should go through all 4 tips and use your own judgement to conclude whether the marketer is ethical since there are still many other elements to look out for.
Some marketers especially in the slimming product industry likes to use celebrities as an endorsement in their product. Some are paid celebrities but some celebrities are not even aware of that their pictures are taken to promote the slimming product. One easy way to check this is to look for social proof and website credibility. I am sure a company would use the celebrities’ image in their company website since they pay for it; read more below on Tips no. 3 and 4.
Tips No. 2 Business Model
It is unavoidable that in the making money online industry, you will encounter multi level marketing (MLM) and pyramid scheme companies. Sadly, we have the not so smart and careful crowd who are bought over by these companies.
Are they legal and is their business model sustainable?
Here I will explain to you the different between a MLM and a pyramid scheme.
Pyramid Scheme: The program involves with money in exchange only, there is no physical product exchange. It started when you pay the company a membership fee to be recruited so you can recruit others to join you as a member, thus you make money. This means that you are selling nothing to the new member; you only earn a percentage when you recruit a new member to join you while the other percentage
belongs to the company. This business model is illegal and will not survive for long as there is no value in exchange. It is just a money game as the money is just exchanging hand. Ultimately, the company earns the most since the members are helping the company to build their illegal business.
MLM: In MLM company, the program involves recruiting people to join as a member. Member gets to earn money by selling product and also by recruiting others to join them to sell the product. Yes, there is a physical product or value in exchange. This type of business is legal but usually the latter members who join earn the less and call it quit because the pioneer members has already dominate the niche since they have more members recruited under them; which means they will be paid when the people they hired sell a product. It may seems a bit grey in MLM companies but ultimately it depends on how the marketer promote for the MLM companies in an ethical way.
In the modern day pyramid program, the companies have included a product that is clearly seen to just disguise the money game. This is especially so when they are trying to sell high ticket sale program; high price item.
To tell you the truth, I was one of those who had fall into modern pyramid scam program. But thanks to my husband, I got some great advice from him and end up following my integrity instead of those chasing after the money. I was not dishearten, I learn something about integrity and money, it is only time that I have wasted on the dishonest online platform but I clearly understand that I have to move forward to find my own passion.
“Integrity is telling myself the truth, And honesty is telling the truth to other people” – Spenser Johnson
So what this company does is, they sell high ticket sale item. Although their front end selling price ($2,497) is cheaper than the back end product, but I would say that it is still consider expensive for a middle class salaried.
Their funnel looks like this… the front end commission is $1,625 when they recruit someone. Next, they will upsell another product to the member they recruited, the commission is $4,800. Next $8,000… and next, the back end higher ticket sale commission is $13,500. The lifetime customer value they get from a value customer is as close to US$28,000 but that is only when they are a full member of the company.
Although there is digital product in exchange when someone become a member on the first 2 level, the other backend product they got by joining is a paid flight and accommodation to attend wealth training. But clearly, it is an overpriced program and the product they get can be cheaper elsewhere. They are just hiding from the fact that it is a money exchange program.
I couldn’t agree more that the founder is a very good marketer in using powerful mental trigger tactic and that is why I mentioned earlier that I did learn something from him. What I am sad of are those people who have become a member by following the dishonest leader to sell the unethical program.
If these people had reflect themselves against their own emotion and character, I believe that the world will be a better place.
You see, for a person to whether work for integrity or for the money will be much dependant on whether they are character driven or emotion driven.
Character driven people make decision base on their belief and they feel good when they do the right thing.
Emotion driven people make decision based on popularity as they are follower and they do things only if they feel good about it.
It’s their own discipline or action that can only bring in to their success.
Tips No 3. Social Proof
When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.
A smart and careful person know that they can’t believe everything a marketer says. It is just another marketing approach and that is why many of them rely on online reviews because they don’t lie; they are from real people, the good, the bad, and the ugly … all the truth are letting loose”
Which means before you hit on the purchase button, do your research. Goggle online and type in either “Product or Company review” or “Product or Company scam” and you will find that there are always people reviewing on the product or company.
Another place you can try searching for reviews is Facebook. Facebook is where you can get social proof from people around the world.
I would say that social proof is the best in finding out whether the company is doing ethical business.
Tips No. 4 Website Credibility
I always like to find out about the company history. How long they have been in business, their mission, vision and empathy in helping their customer… Other than that, it is wise to evaluate based on the company website design, message and images. Because for a company that is making money, they will definitely spent time and money on their website to look reliable and trustworthy.
Not to forget, more and more companies especially in the making money online industry likes to use landing page or squeeze page to capture customer’s email address. This is where you need to do your research on the company or product since a landing page or squeeze page does not provide about their company information.
I hope this guide will help you along the way if you came across any business that looks suspicious to you.