Everything that’s wrong with “Internet Marketing”

Right, rant-time.

Might as well go hyper-bole:

“EVERYTHING” that’s wrong with Internet Marketing.

Let’s look at the reality of “Internet Marketing”:

about 3% of people (and this statistic is completely made-up) use Internet Marketing for what it really is:

direct response marketing (although, you’ll find that 73% (again, totally made up number) of those then use it incorrectly, as illustrated in the ‘direct response marketing is broken‘ post)

the other 97% of people who get into “Internet Marketing” see it as an opportunity to make money from the comfort of their home (or laptop on the Bahamas)

And that’s precisely where the trouble starts:

The products sold to budding IMers are typically of the kind “leadgen” (yeah, the offline fraternity laps those up), “more traffic”, or of course “product launches” … everything from Product Launch Formula through Product Launch Academy and a whole raft of “how to do your first launch” (starting from a low-ticket $7 WSO all the way to the $5k ‘coaching’)

Right then, let’s see if you paid attention in ‘direct response marketing 101’:

Q: What’s the hardest sales?

A: The first one. Getting a prospect to put aside all their concerns, worries and objections, and whip out their credit card and buy from YOU for the first time.


Q: where do you make the bulk of the profit?

A: in the follow-up. It’s called Life-time-value (LTV), not One-and-Only-First-Transaction-Value.

Yet …

almost all the stuff you’re being sold is focused on the FRONT-END!


list-building …

traffic …

popups …

sales-videos …

signup-form generators …

… the ‘launch’ that’ll sure get thousands and thousands to buy your product.

Don’t get me wrong, some of those courses are good and useful…

… for generating tens, sometimes hundreds, or even thousands of first-time-buyers.

But, in 98% of all cases (again, totally made-up, but probably ball-park spot-on) should you succeed with your ‘launch’, 2 things happen:

  1. your guru who sold you the ‘launch’-course/blueprint/coaching is going to pat themselves on the back, and use your testimonial to sell more ‘launch’ products & services (see below for “how come there are always some ‘poster-boy’ clients who immediately succeed with the gurus’ advice“)
  2. YOU are going to find out the hard way that:
    1. the purpose of the first sales is to ACQUIRE a customer at (nearly) break-even or possibly a small profit (aka: you’re extremely unlikely to get ‘rich’ on the proceeds of a launch),  and
    2. you have NO idea what to do next with your new buyers (aka: what the heck do I email them, or sell them now), and consequently,
    3. you jump to the next launch, rinse and repeat until you’re burnt out and still not rich.

You see, the problem isn’t acquiring customers (whether it’s through a launch-model) or otherwise, …

… the real problem is building a business around a core-offer for a core-audience that provides massive value for a long time to come…

… and hence gives you massive LTV.

Are you suffering from ‘launch-infatuation’?

If you’re building a list BEFORE you’ve actually written the follow-up sequences, you know you’re suffering from launch-infatuation.

If you’re creating a product BEFORE building out the backend, you know you’re suffering from launch-infatuation.

But of course, you can only do those follow-up sequences, those back-ends AFTER you’ve figured out what core product you’re going to offer to what core audience.

Here’s how to fix the “EVERYTHING that’s wrong” model

Now, …

… wouldn’t it be nice to use a launch to figure out exactly those things? (who’s going to argue with acquiring a bunch of customers at break-even?)

And in a way you can with as long as you [***] figure out the What, the Who and the How:


notice how I inserted the [***]:

at that point most people tell you to figure that out “FIRST”!

Do your market research FIRST.

Well, good luck with that.

Doing market research in isolation just doesn’t work – especially when you’re one of the 97% who came to IM in order to make money

(in which case you probably do NOT have a background in marketing/market research, but it’s more likely that

… you’re fed up with your corporate job (like me leaving the Siemens corporate monster in 2007), …

… you have kids and want to do something on the side without having to commit to a full-on or even part-time job – heck, we have 4 kids and you don’t need that many fingers to count the days without some major ‘drama’…

… or you want to supplement your pension (not there yet;-)

Good news:

you can say good-bye to those stupid “create your avatar” exercises for good;-)

Fact: when you get your What, Who and How right, you’ve got yourself plenty of traction.

Get it wrong, and it’s friction all the way.

Homework for today:

  1. Figure out WHAT your core offer is (not only what you’re ‘selling’, but really what value you bring to the table, how you HELP your prospects solve their problems)
  2. Figure out WHO your core audience is (ignore ‘demographics’, ‘technographics’ and ‘psychographics’. This is about finding the audience where you can make a meaningful impact)
  3. Figure out HOW you’re going to communicate your value – this is NOT about ‘social media’ vs ‘PPC’, but instead about connecting in a way that’s authentic for you, and meaningful for your audience.

And if you’d like some help with that, you’ll enjoy our upcoming core-offer-core-audience training.


PS: to answer “how come there are always some ‘post-boy’ clients who immediately succeed with the gurus’ advice“:

it’s a bit like the good ol’ saying: “when the student is ready, the teacher appears“:

there are some people who plod along, work out most of the details by themselves, picking up bits of information here, there and everywhere, maybe even have some coaching.

But, at some point it ‘clicks’ … meaning: they are now in a position to write an autoresponder sequence before building a list. BECAUSE they’ve figured out that ‘backend, core-offer-to-core-audience’ stuff.

They are now in a position to ‘barely break even’ on the first transaction, BECAUSE they’ve figured out that ‘core offer, core audience’ thing.

So, for them it’s easy to take whatever information the guru provides, apply it and SUCCEED with it!

Ask yourself: are you ready? Are you ready for a TEACHER to appear, or does ANY guru who offers to get you out of your overwhelm look like a great choice?


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