Tag Archives: Mike Dillard

The Myth of Automated Marketing Systems

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Complicated Sales Funnels

Complicated Sales Funnels

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

  1. believe that this anonymous Joe could actually help them be successful, and
  2. 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

  1. To them they are.
  2. 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!

I’m so confused!

Text Component of Video:

That was the subject line of an email I recently got from a colleague. She & I are in the same network marketing company and she’s been struggling to build her business.

If you’re in one, you know the drill. Start a names list & harass everyone you’ve ever met since birth, purchase opportunity leads and spend HOURS on the phone trying to call people who are magically never home to take your call, go to the mall and put fliers on cars, and/or strike up conversations with strangers in the hopes that you’ll find someone who’s looking for what you’re offering.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard there’s a better way. Mike Dillard and Anne Sieg turned the network marketing industry on its ears a few years ago with the Magnetic Sponsoring and Renegade systems. Well, my colleague had also heard of them, and had studied all the “free” materials she could by and on both of them and their systems. (I know, I know… I know what you’re thinking! But I’ll address the unrealistic expectations from what you can get “for free” on a later post.)

What was so confusing?

She wrote, “It seems to me that if you join their program—you are selling their material–not your business. I would really like to chat with someone who has actually used this stuff and see what they say–is it all hype?”

First let’s address the hype.

While the MLM industry is rife with it, what good does it do? It only hurts in the long run. It either backfires immediately because everyone can see through it, or it backfires later when people ask for refunds because they realize that what you’ve said isn’t true.

Secondly, there are way too many people who are having success building their own businesses with these products and systems for this to be just about making money for Mike & Ann.

The Magnetic Sponsoring & Renegade systems are:

  1. training systems for you & your new enrollees
  2. to learn internet marketing,
  3. to learn how to market YOUR business online,
  4. to generate your own high quality prospects,
  5. and to provide a means to monetize (meaning to make money from) your prospects whether or not they ever join you in your network marketing business (by being an affiliate for Dillard & Sieg).

According to the law of averages when working with purchased opportunity leads (some people do better and some people do worse, this is the “Average”), you will need to dial 200 numbers just to get one enrollment!


Why not find a way to have your lead generation system pay for itself on the front end while generating leads for your business on the back end? Sure beats that “200 to 1″ ratio!

Success in network marketing really depends on each person finding out which method works best for them, and working THAT method primarily. That’s why I started looking into other methodologies.

Sure some people are very successful with warm market strategies, opportunity leads, or the “walk & talk” method. But most aren’t. Besides, why ignore the entire online world and the great resource that it is?

What I got out of the Mike Dillard & Anne Sieg materials:

  • How to apply the geeky side of internet marketing to my network marketing business. It works great! It just takes a while to start getting the financial results when you start it from scratch. What it really is, though, is generating your own opportunity leads. So you’re still working leads, it’s just a more powerful method because when you call the prospects, you’re saying, “Hi, you visitied my xyz.com website and requested more information…”
  • Another big thing I’ve gotten out of the Dillard & Sieg methods is the self-growth. It’s embarrassing how backwards and poverty-minded my thinking has been over the past few years.

Ok, all that said, it is my opinion, and I’m hearing this more from the gurus now, that the whole “marketing your MLM via internet marketing” niche is becoming more & more saturated and more and more competitive. It requires SOOO much content creation, and what hasn’t already been said by everyone else yet? How do you market yourself as a leader that others want to work with in the face of all that competition for attention?

You create your own system, that’s how!

But who has the time and resources to do that? More importantly, who has the WILL to do that? Why reinvent the tools that already exist?

That’s one of the reasons there’s such a huge movement away from the “geeky online marketing” methodology toward social networking.

Not only is social networking SOOOOO much simpler to do, it’s much simpler to teach!!! For a vast majority of the population, we’re already on the social networks. We’re having fun, but wasting a lot of time. What if we could network socially, but with purpose? (I guess you could say that it’s “old school walk & talk” applied to the internet.) Most of us have no problem striking up conversation and socializing online. Speaking for myself, since 1996 I’ve made more friends online than I have off line!!! lol

The best part is that we don’t have to teach the methodology ourselves!!! You don’t have to be an expert at this. Just direct yourself and your serious biz builders to the training source. Max Steingart has been teaching what is now called “attraction marketing” via social networks for about 12 years already. His classes are extremely affordable. And once you learn the method, it’s applicable to ALL social networks.

Oh, another word about all this training that’s available. Pick a skill or system, learn it and MASTER it before moving on to another!!!!! Take if from an ex-teacher: you learn by doing. So…

Train then DO!

Let me add a few more exclamation points to that…


I cannot stress this enough. Jumping around from method to method accomplishes nothing. You get confused with all the trainings, then you start confusing “training” with “working,” and never build your business.

You MUST pick the method that’s most appealing to YOU. If you’re more of a geek, then go the online marketing route. But if you’re more social than geeky, then go the social networking route. Which ever you choose, though: Learn it. Master it. Start earning from it. Then you can add other skills to diversify and increase your earnings. But at that point, you still focus on the method that already works for you – don’t stop working it. You’re just adding another skill on top of it.

So, I’ve been studying and using the Max Steingart method and LOVE it! I’m just socializing on the internet, getting to know people, making new friends, reconnecting with old friends. By asking the right questions at the right time and paying attention to what people say and how they say it, I can determine if someone is a prospect (qualify them) before I EVER bring up business! So, there’s no rejection, and once I’ve qualified them and know what it is that they want to accomplish, helping them accomplish that is a breeze!!!

Training use to be a hassle. Now it’s just fun – because we’re just playing around on the internet!!!