Have you heard the phrase fake it until you make it? It’s something which is increasingly common among business owners, especially on the internet or in direct mail. The basic idea is someone sells you a program or course teaching you how they made millions- only they haven’t yet made the millions, they hope to do so by selling thousands of copies of the course they sold you. They were lying about being rich to begin with, but if all goes to plan they’ll get rich in the end. Odd huh? These tactics are on the rise, so we’re going to try and explode some of the myths in this area.
What’s The Point?
What is the point of this kind of business? After all would you take flying lessons from someone who couldn’t fly a plane? In one word, the point is laziness! The ‘fake it until you make it’ guys are typically internet or direct marketers who are possibly new to the whole thing, or just the more experienced kind that are plain lazy. They find a web page or direct mail ad that is very convincing, promising millions of dollars just by following these few simple steps, working just a few hours each day from home. Is there anyone that wouldn’t want that lifestyle?
So they part with their money, and are sent a course explaining how to set up a very similar website, selling an almost identical product. They will make money if they can make some sales from this site, the end result hopefully being that they make enough money to take care of the ‘make it’ part. And then the cycle repeats and repeats, until there are thousands of people selling products, making a few hundred dollars, but claiming to make millions from it on their web pages. A truly strange phenomena, but somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy.
The Legal Standpoint
Is it legal for advertisers to work on a ‘fake it until you make it’ basis? I don’t know what the FTA would make of it, but I would guess it’s some kind of grey area, as it’s very difficult to prove how much anyone is or isn’t earning from their website. Most often they will provide screenshots of proof of earnings etc on the sites that they sell their courses from. They can look pretty convincing, but these days it’s pretty easy to swipe such images from another site, or just create them yourself with Photoshop or some similar program.
Do Any Of Them Make it?
Very few if any. You can make millions from the internet and other direct marketing methods, but it takes consistent effort and skills that are built up over time. If the ‘fake it until you make it’ guys are too lazy to find their own manner of working and too dishonest to be bothered about telling lies, the chances are most of them are not going to apply the consistent efforts required to learn the ropes or make any money at all. Those new to internet marketing are pretty susceptible to these schemes, and many people do start there before getting their own (better) ideas and becoming successful doing something else.
Is It On The Increase?
Yes, unfortunately so. Modern web technology makes it possible for complete amateurs to create or acquire tremendously impressive websites, sites which can really snare and captivate a viewer. The casual web browser has no way of knowing how old the site is or if the proof of incomes are real or fake or even just stolen from another site. The only remedy is to be extra vigilant.
How To Tell?
It’s very tough to tell if any person is being honest about the claims of their product. Thankfully there are a few tricks we can keep up our sleeve.
Visit whois.net – This site will give you details of any website, the name of the owner, when it was first registered etc etc. Very useful, as it’s unlikely that a website registered 6 weeks ago is making millions for its owner!
Visit Alexa.com – This site keeps traffic stats for virtually every page on the web. A profitable webpage will usually have hundreds or thousands of daily visitors, especially if the site is making the owner millions. It’s very easy to see if this is true by using the graphs here.
Google the site owner’s name. You can find out many useful things with a simple Google search, and if there are bad reports or reports of the site being a scam, you can usually find them with some smart searching.
Look for a guarantee – Many online payment processors, Clickbank.com for example, will have a guarantee, so that if you aren’t happy with your purchase you can get an instant refund.
Hopefully you’ve found this useful. Remember, if you avoid ‘faking it’ you’ll have a better chance of ‘making it!’