Enough of the effin’ BS already …

[WARNING: plenty of ‘salt in wound’, ‘uncomfortable truths’ and ‘advice you didn’t ask for’]

ready for some pretty disturbing survey results?

(from yesterday’s “what’s stopping you from doing video-marketing RIGHT NOW?” survey)

the VAST majority responded along these lines:

no REAL reason, I just don’t know where/how to get started … I guess I just need a kick up my backside

Which brings us oh-so-subtly to the 2 realms of “Internet Marketing BS”:

  1. ‘newbies’ going for style over substance
  2. ‘gurus’ giving you their opinion

Internet Marketing BS #1: ‘newbies’ focusing/being focused on style

You’d think with all the different models out there, all the different ways of making this Internet Marketing thing work, there’d be one that’s simple enough for anyone to ‘get started’, right?

Well, here’s the main problem:

Most people focus on entirely the WRONG aspect of marketing.

(hint: “if only I had more traffic, all my problems would go away…“)

(and if you now feel ever so slightly ‘guilty’, don’t put the blame entirely on your shoulders, the market-place keeps telling you that ‘more traffic is going to make ALL your problems go away’ after all….)

Anyway, let me ask you this:

Out in the ‘real’ world, every business owner understands that LEADGEN is ESSENTIAL to the survival of their business.

the whole concept of “advertising” is built around it!

You generate a lead, you follow up, you turn a lead into customer.


it’s literally like a funnel:

example of a typical marketing funnel

leads in at top, customers out at bottom.

Typically more in at the top than out at the bottom, because not everybody is going to become a customer.

Plus (in most cases), this is true as well:

The more go in at the top, the more come out at the bottom.

Now, at this point you might be justified in thinking:

ha, I knew it, more traffic is better, gimme that $0.01 a click course NOW

Well, not quite:

Leadgen is really MOST of that funnel up there, not just the traffic going into the top.

In other words:

Leadgen is MARKETING, not just ADVERTISING.

With this in mind (and this is not a trick-question):

Would you agree that leadgen is probably THE most important activity you can do in ANY business?

(let’s not get too pedantic: yes, conversion from prospect to buyer is important, but we’re building this into leadgen: we attract the RIGHT prospects in the first place)

(if your answer is still ‘no’, stop reading, have a pancake instead…)

Well, here’s another question for you:

What is the equivalent of LEADGEN online?

Here it is: The equivalent of ‘Leadgen’ Online is *LIST-building*.

You connect, you follow-up, you start a dialogue, overcome objections and eventually get to the ‘sale’.

List-building and email-marketing is the mechanism where you control the multiple touch-points that are necessary to move someone from being a prospect to being a customer.

“but Veit, what about social media?”

you may ask.

Well, let me put it this way:

EVERY single Facebook guru out there will tell you this one thing:

the MAIN objective you have on FB is to move prospects onto your email list as quickly as possible.

FB is NOT for selling, it’s NOT for entertaining the crowds (yes, you can do SOME of that), but really it’s all about LEADGEN … from FB onto email list.

Now, get ready for some ‘salt in wound’:

Are you ACTIVELY building a LIST?

Shockingly, 95% of online markerters do not.

(heck, I could kick myself up the backside for ‘wasting’ the first couple of years of my online career not building a list – and I had ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER for wasting all that time and money)

To make matters worse, let’s turn this around:

If list-building is the equivalent of leadgen …

… then WHAT specifically are those subscribers (leads) for?

Real world business owners typically have a product and service, and then want to get as many eyeballs as possible to that offer.

So they structure their advertising/leadgen around their core offer.

In the Online-parallel-Universe however, 95% of the few (the 5%) who actually DO build a list, only have the top of the funnel in place:

I’ll build a list …

… and then I’ll have a think how I’ll monetize those subscribers…

Sooooo (uncomfortable truth, I know;-):

are you actively building a list?

and if so:

is your entire list-building built around the ONE core offer you REALLY, REALLY want to sell?

(in productivity speak: “are you beginning with the end in mind?”)

If the answer to either of those questions was ‘no’, er, may I suggest you revisit the ‘fundamentals’ (and lol, I know that ‘fundamentals’ really aren’t very sexy at all…)

all of which brings us to

Internet Marketing BS #2: ‘gurus’ giving you their opinion

Here’s are 2 fundamental truths of Internet Marketing:

  1. there are a TON of different business models out there, tons of different ways of building a list, tons of different ways of generating leads … and even when you copy your favourite guru’s EXACT model, the likelihood of it working for you are pretty slim.
  2. the biggest truth of all: Internet Marketing is DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING.

Which can be summed up like this:

Your (or your favourite guru’s) OPINION counts for NOTHING!

The ONLY thing that matters is hard facts.

And you get these by TESTING and MEASURING the response from your market.

(side-truth and good news in one: ANYBODY, no matter what skill-set can TEST their way to success! Yes, that’s YOU!)

To illustrate how ‘opinion’ sells so much better than ‘the real (uncomfortable) truth’, here’s a screenshot of part of the sales-page for a list-building product currently sold by a fellow well-known marketer:



which optin offer does the BEST job?

Well, I can pretty much guarantee, that ‘BEST’ is relative. It’s all based on context. May well work for this particular marketer, may possibly work for you, most likely it isn’t …

The “definitive” answer?


The “best optin page”?

The “shocking truth”….?

All good starting points, no doubt.

But, at the end of the day, if you don’t TEST, meaning: measure the results of at least 2 different options, you’ll continue to rely on other people’s OPINION…

… and like I said: you’re very unlikely to be able to replicate their specific results.

[just as a side-note: the example above is GOOD marketing!

The vendor is giving his prospects exactly what they WANT!

They want ‘magic’ solutions, all the work done for them … even when deep-down they already know that it’s unlikely to work for them…

as Walt’s dad says: “I keep buying those lottery tickets because for a whole week I have that feeling that I MIGHT be a winner….”]

So, “grumpy old man” style advice you didn’t even ask for:

  1. if you are, stop looking at shiny s**t, and revisit the fundamentals. “Hoping I might be a winner” doesn’t get you results, solid fundamentals are.
  2. whenever a guru tells you they have the truth, and nothing but the truth, ignore it. (it’s a bit like parenting, at most it’s well-intended (and usually annoying) advice, every child is different) (*)
  3. TEST, TEST and TEST. Real experience beats ‘information’ EVERY SINGLE TIME! That’s how 6 and 7-figure (and more) businesses are built.

So, if you’re into the whole “fundamentals” thing, but not quite sure where to start, I’m *THINKING* about putting on a “list-building fundamentals” LBF program.

A big chunk of it will be focused on the whole ‘tracking, conversion, split-testing, optimizing’ bit so you can actually get hard facts, instead of opinions.

If that sounds like your cuppa tea, enter your email on this LBF notification list here – make sure to dig out the welcome email so you can make sure you’ll actually see the ‘LBF’ notification if/when it comes out:

[thrive_leads id=’2088′]

oh, I guess case-in-point: you’ve just seen one way of building a list.

No optin-bribe in sight.

Ugly optin-form.

No promise of riches, fame or pancakes.

Heck, you even need to jump through a hoop and confirm your email address.

And the only ‘short-term’ gain is an ugly ‘default’ thank-you page.

Is this approach the ‘best’?

in 99% of situations it’s NOT!

Does it help weed out those who are not committed, but looking for the quick fix?


So, *FOR MY PURPOSES*, it’s a pretty useful model.

And that’s what it is all about:

figuring out what model fits YOUR purpose best.

All I can do is help you get there faster – pretending I have “the best” is only likely to send you down yet another dead-end.

Over ‘n out


(*) lol, a bit of a catch-22: I may have just told you to ignore everything I said …. ok, the above is my opinion, it may or may not be ‘the truth’;-)

PS: Mark “How I built a Consulting Business Almost By Accident” Lockley and I were talking the other day, and he suggested ThriveLeads for list-building/optimizing the entire optin process.

So I had a look, and I like what I see (in fact, I do have an older version of ThriveLeads …  UPDATE: and I liked it so much that I got the new version … see the giant green optin-box above;-)

Well, here’s a quick intro-video in case you’re interested – well worth checking out if you’re into building a list the ‘proper’ (TESTING) way (the first half is more of a ‘general overview’, the 2nd half dives into the split-testing options, very cool stuff):


 Click here to find out more about ThriveLeads


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  1. Mark Lockley says:

    Thanks for the mention Veit, brilliant post BTW, writing the book should be an interesting experience!
    With regards to Thrive Leads, I think what you say is spot on – the split testing feature is pretty epic, It’s almost like having a mini CRM platform at a very cool product launch price!
    For those who are giving purchasing Thrive Leads, may I suggest that you give some serious consideration to complimentary offer, that being membership of Thrive Themes.
    I been a member of this for over a year, and it has just made everything I do with websites so much simpler – the Thrive Content Builder just saves hours of time.
    And for me, that is really important, as my focus has to be on sales and marketing – NOT spending ages on tech stuff.
    Also, when the earlier version on Thrive Leads was released, I think it was just Shane and his business Partner doing all of the coding and sales. Now they appear to have a rather brilliant in-house team of Developers working along side them.
    This means that the products within the Membership are always up to date, the tech support just plain works (v.important!), and new products are automatically included – As a member I received Thrive Leads in advance of the Launch, and at no additional cost.
    One final point: I have no affiliate or business relationship with Thrive Themes/Shane Melaugh. I simply think it is superb, and may help your business to run in a more efficient manner……………..And get more Leads!

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