I love selling things on the internet – as companies like Google, Zynga and 37signals can attest to, selling virtual things on the web globally is an amazing business model.
But the whole internet marketing community (also know as MMO – Making Money Online) leaves me cold.
The criteria for me is: If people knew the truth, would they feel deceived?
The key moment for me came a bit over a year ago.
I’d done some “product launches” using the methods taught by Jeff Walker, and I’d helped others do similar launches.
I was at a private birthday party talking to a friend of a friend who was following someone else’s launch, which was during its so-called prelaunch. Knowing the insides of these operations, I told her what she’d experienced so far, and what she was going to experience in the following week or so.
It was pretty clear from her reaction that she was very unhappy. She felt deceived by this person doing his launch. She felt like her trust had been betrayed. She’d never listen to or trust this person again.
To me, this is a hard line.
If people will reasonably feel betrayed if they knew the truth, if they knew what was really going on here, that’s bad for business.
Your audience’s trust is your most valuable asset. Do not squander it.
So much of what’s happening in the internet marketing world is deceptive, disingenuous or outright lying. I despise it, and I’m absolutely convinced it’s bad for business.
And in particular in the whole self-help or teaching business, there’s so much dishonesty and crap. You have to have an air of “I have all the answers, and this product is going to make you rich and famous and get you laid and enlarge your penis – all overnight and guaranteed”.
I want to teach and train and inspire and work with people, but I want to do so in a way that’s completely honest and with integrity and transparent, and where if people learn the truth, they’ll generally respect me and what I’m doing more from learning the truth.
That’s my intention and my promise to you.