The internet revolutionized network marketing and spawned affiliate marketing. Many have been lured into believing that they’d be able to automate their marketing, thus creating automated income. A couch-potato’s dream come true! They’d be instant millionaires!
The Rise of Automated Marketing Systems
Sometime in 2008, I came across these names: Mike Dillard, Ann Sieg, Mike Klingler, and a few other “lesser-knowns.” I bet you could name a few more. They popularized the notions that:
- Other marketers are a lucrative target market. This is true. Because 98% are failing. As Dillard will say, this industry is like the blind leading the blind. Many companies (mine included) have been slow to realize, much less adopt the massive possibilities that the internet offers. Therefore, too many of that 98% don’t know HOW to make money in this industry and certainly can’t teach their team what they, themselves, don’t know. If the company doesn’t offer it, they turn to the internet to learn – either from the Gurus directly or from their minions.
- You need a product or service to market to these other marketers “on the front-end” to make your fast cash, and then market your primary business on the back end for the long-term residual income. This is partially true. Such “front-end” products and services can be tools, training, and/or systems that fill in the holes left by those companies that still haven’t figured out how to put the internet to work for them and their representatives.
- You’re the next guru millionaire if you can create your own “plug & play” system(s) for your team. The key concept is making your team “system-dependent” instead of “you-dependent.” This is true, too. And you’d be ever better off if you market your system to the masses, instead of reserving it for your team or company – like these gurus did.
Out of these concepts came Carbon Copy Pro, Lead Net Pro and similar programs. All of these programs promised to teach the masses their “fool-proof” methodology, promising that you’d be the next MLM and internet millionaire. Anyone who enrolled and requested more help or complained that things weren’t working, were advised to plug in, learn the materials, and put it to work – take ACTION!
As if you weren’t doing that.
The Fall of Automated Marketing Systems
This leads me to the first big lie that these gurus based everything on, and used to milk everyone:
these “plug-and-play” systems are NOT fool-proof.
Not everyone has the same skill set, nor the same innate abilities, nor learn in the same manner. Any teacher will tell you that there are different modes of learning and not everyone can read instructions or watch a video and understand the material well enough to successfully imitate it. Even if they “learn it”, that doesn’t mean they can “do it.”
For instance, there are a lot of folks out there who’d be forced to walk around in rags if they were forced to make their own clothes. Many would be walking instead of driving if they were forced to be their own mechanic. In this day and age of technology, there are too many who can barely turn on an electronic device and use it as intended, but certainly wouldn’t be able to do anything more – EVEN if “taught” how.
That’s right. They expected the Average Joe to be able to create these complicated sales funnels and automated marketing systems, AND learn how to successfully promote them, so that masses of Average Toms, Dicks, Harrys, and Sues who stumbled on the site(s) would automatically
- believe that this anonymous Joe could actually help them be successful, and
- open up their wallet and get out their credit card – sometimes repeatedly to purchase whatever “magic key” was being sold next.
These gurus had so many people convinced about these “magic keys” in spite of one key component that even they often mentioned:
People will only buy from those they know, like and trust.
It can take a LONG time to create website traffic, turn viewers into leads, and leads into sales. Just because they come to your site and see the “copy & paste” content that you and everyone else in your company is using, doesn’t mean they’ll believe you and trust you enough to pull out the credit card. In other words it takes a long time to build trust via the internet and automation. And because too many people have gotten burned by these empty promises, it’s only gotten harder.
Sure it works for the guru! They’ve got their in-your-face success to point to and say, “See! It works!” Until the Average Joe has such irrefutable evidence of success, though, he’ll have to find other means to convince his visitors that he’s real. AND that he can help.
So, what can Joe do to cut through all the white noise of internet marketing?
Here’s the second lie the gurus taught:
you should never pick up the phone.
Certainly not until your leads had already bought your product, maybe not until they plugged into your system, and sometimes not even unless they upgraded to a certain level – sometimes “all the way in!”
The fastest way to earn trust is to pick up the phone!
When someone visits your squeeze page and actually fills in the form, get in touch with them. It doesn’t make you look desperate, but it does fulfill your visitors need for actual communication. Our population is tired of the “press 1″ automated system we live in and is craving some human interaction!
Do NOT depend on your drip email system to do all the communicating.
Not only is that all one-sided so you don’t know what your visitor’s needs are, but they’ll stop opening your messages within a week. Because they’ve already forgotten whatever your promise was that you failed to deliver on. Next thing you know, they don’t even remember how they got on your list, so they either unsubscribe or report you for spamming.
There are way too many people who want to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, and way too many of those are knowingly running scams for the Toms and Sues to be very trusting anymore. How can you tell if the person behind the website is genuine and operating a legitimate business, or offering a legitimate product or service anymore? And how can you tell if that person really is running a prosperous business (as they claim) and can teach you the same?
Contact them. If they’re not willing to talk to you – or better yet, do a screen share or video chat with you – and show some proof of legitimacy, they don’t deserve your trust. Nor your business.
And a word for those of you who aren’t making the big bucks yet and feel like you don’t have a story to share, share your teammates stories until you have your own. That’s what teams are for.
This is a People Business!
No matter what your company or team’s product or service is, you better remember that your real product is PEOPLE! You have to build relationships to build trust. Treat them with honor and respect. Better yet, treat everyone as if they’re the most important person in the world. Because
- To them they are.
- To God they are. Enough that He sent His Son to die for them.
The bottom line is:
Automation works, but not for everyone.
Anyone who tries to sell you their program to automate your business and tells you “it’s fool-proof, anyone can do it,” yet their system doesn’t include any other methods, RUN the other way, fast! The only thing that’s fool-proof is picking up the phone and communicating with your prospect. You’ll quickly learn their needs, and their innate strengths and weaknesses to help steer them to the method that will work best for them. Even if your preferences are opposites, you and your mentor should always be able to help anyone on your team to implement the method of choice successfully.
Keep in mind, though, that even if you are going the automation route, you still gotta be willing to pick up the phone and talk to people!