As a copywriter specializing in online marketing, I am well aware that there are many different types of people who choose to do business primarily on the internet.
Some people want the independence to work from home. Some want to sell a type of product (e.g. e-books or digital downloads) that is usually sold over the internet. Others have unique skills and advantages that are conducive to working online.
Most people who choose to make a living online do so for the right reasons. However, as in every other field, in internet marketing, there are a minority of people who get into it for the wrong reasons. These people, too, can be sorted into a few basic types:
1. Bandwagon Riders.
Bandwagon riders are people who heard a story about how some guy in florida made xxx$ by selling an information product about y, and now think they should do the same. Bandwagon riders do not know anything about the products they’re selling, but they have a template in the form of another product they want to copy. A bandwagon rider’s mindset is marked by a lack of real knowledge on the subject they’re supposed to be an expert in, and their products are typified by total their eerie similarity to a more popular product in the same field.
2. Dollar Chasers.
Dollar chasers are like bandwagon riders, but without the intelligence. Your typical dollar chaser knows there’s money to be made in internet marketing, but doesn’t really know anything in particular to sell online. In their attempt to make money, they may discover the “health, wealth, relationships” triad of profitable niches, and try to come up with an weight loss e-book or stock tips newsletter to make a quick buck. The better dollar chasers may have a measure of success, but in general, the haphazard approach of these types tends to preclude any major success, at least early on.
3. Cult Leaders.
Now we’re starting to get into the seedy side. Cult leaders are people who get into internet marketing not to help people, not to learn about their favorite subject, and not even necessarily to make money, but to exercise control over other people. Cult leaders are motivated by power, and they see the power of their chosen niche to simultaneously trigger insecurity and instill hope as a way of exercising profound influence over their customers and ultimately building a cult of personality.
4. Con Artists.
Con artists are like cult leaders, except instead of just using unethical tactics, they also use fraudulent tactics. At the extreme end, con artists may be involved in pyramid schemes and other fraudulent operations. However, certain tactics, like selling “250 page e-books” that only really have 40 pages of content when you account for the enormous font and double spaced typeset, are arguably con artist behaviors as well. Con artistry refers to the whole set of behaviors whereby deception, manipulation and coercion are used to extract profits from unsuspecting customers. In the worst cases, these behaviors are illegal. In the best, they are dishonest.
Obviously, you should avoid these behaviors at all costs if you want to make it as an internet marketer. However, it is not enough to simply avoid doing these things yourself. You also need to avoid buying products, taking advice from, and above all, becoming a busienss associate (or affiliate) of people who use them. Remember, your ultimate success or failure in business primarily on 3 things:
- The quality of your products and services.
- Keeping your finances balanced.
- You reputation.
Business success is like a three legged stool in that if you knock off one of the three crucial prongs, the whole thing collapses. Do not put your reputation at risk by doing business with amateurs, dollar chasers or charlatans, no matter how much you think can be gained from it.