We have attended a conference on internet marketing over the course of three days from 9am to 6pm. Here are seven lessons that we learnt.
1. You Pay To Listen To Them Selling Their Products To You
The seminar was not free – it was about $300 per person. Over the three days, different speakers continuously attempted to introduce their products and drill it into you that you will get rich with their offers.
Instead of an educational seminar focused on the technicalities and theories of internet marketing, most of the time was spent on enticing participants into the idea that it is easy to become a millionaire with their programmes.
2. There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch In The World
Internet marketers are sly. Notice that whenever a free product such as a guide book is promised, the website always asks for your email and/or phone number before they send it to you? Why can’t you just download straight from the website?
You actually pay for the ‘free’ product – not with money, but with your personal information. By giving them your contact details, they are able to follow up with more emails and phone calls that can convince you to purchase other products that cost money.
What online businesses value very much are their subscriber lists. The greater the number of people on the lists, the higher the conversions i.e. more people are likely to end up spending money.
3. Guilt-Tripping Works
On the first day of the seminar, a speaker spent what felt like an hour talking about the differences between someone who has a positive attitude and someone who has a negative influence. A green light person is a go-getter who is hardworking, optimistic, never says no, etc. Meanwhile, a red light person is sceptical (How can it be so easy to earn a million dollars?), full of excuses (I don’t have enough money to invest in their programme…), discourages others (Don’t sign up, this is a scam!), and the list goes on.
Sitting there in the conference room, even some of us started questioning ourselves. Are we being too cynical? Maybe if we stop doubting and start believing, we can earn a decent side-income through online marketing. Heck, we can even become millionaires! But of course, our sceptical side prevailed and the illusion crumbled as the brainwashing session went on for too long.
Though their guilt-tripping method did not work for us, some other participants were not so lucky. Some who were initially unresponsive to the speaker started nodding along and agreeing with everything he said towards the end of his segment.
4. You Will Not Get Helpful Answers To Your Legit Questions
Speakers after speakers talked about their positive experiences with the programme without going into detail. When asked questions about internet marketing, they are unwilling to give a proper answer.
This is because of their marketing model. $300 is not going to give you any proper solution to your problems – if you want customised help, sign up for the $20,000 programme. If you want to be able to speak to the legendary online business maker himself, all you have to do is add on another $20,000!
Another reason is probably that they themselves have no idea what the answer is. The organisers of such events usually do not come from Singapore, hence they are not familiar with Singapore’s markets and the characteristics of locals, even less so what works here and what doesn’t.
5. No Matter How Little Money You Have, They Want It
Can’t afford to fork out more than ten grand for their cheapest listed programme? “Just talk to any of the guys about your budget, we will work something out for you,” was the response we got when we gave the excuse of budget constraints.
That’s a nice way of saying that they want our money no matter what, we guess.
6. Success Stories Are The Exception, Not The Norm
Of all the speakers there, only 1/3 managed to make more than a million dollars from the programme. Of all the speakers there, only two are Singaporean. If the programme is so successful, why are there so few local success stories?
Granted that only investing money into internet marketing will not guarantee you riches, it is still unfair that the company sells the idea of becoming a millionaire easily. One has to invest time and effort into internet marketing too, in order to grow his or her online business.
Furthermore, with more and more people joining internet marketing, the online market is definitely going to get more saturated. This means that it will get progressively harder to make a fortune off the internet through advertisements.
7. Singaporeans Are Not That Easy To Cheat
We were glad to see that many of the high-pressure tactics employed by the company did not work on most of us. In one instance, the speaker claimed that only seven people in the room will get a special offer where they bundled products together for the price of one. Only the first seven to register at the back of the room will be able to enjoy the exclusive promotion.
This resulted in a whole bunch of people rushing to the back, but we found out that most of them just wanted to know more and were not actually planning to sign up for a package.
Conversations over lunch on the last day also indicated that many Singaporeans were generally mistrustful of the programme. One even cited how a speaker kept talking to him in order to steer him towards investing in their internet marketing products.
All in all, the three days felt like a complete waste of time because you would expect to learn all about setting up an online business for $300, but that is not the case. Our suggestion for everyone is this: Use the money to sign up for an investment course instead of putting $10,000 into something that will not reap you any significant amount of money. At least you can monitor your money and see where it is going.
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.