This post is nothing more than a rant…
… a rant about ethics, a rant about gurus and a rant regarding congruency.
There are a lot of people out there peddling their ‘marketing advice’ and the only real substance they have to their credibility, is the fact they where able to sell you.
“Well you found out about me, so I must be good at lead generation (and marketing) … so buy my shit.”
And as true and self evident of a statement as that is … is it really congruent with the type of expert, advisor or mentor you want (or want to be)?
If you’re an “online marketer” then find someone who has sold real stuff, to real people online.
If you’re a small “real world” business, find someone who marketed (successfully) a “real world business”
If you’re looking for a business coach, make sure they have run multiple businesses (successfully), and not just bought a franchise
Don’t get me wrong, I really do encourage people to do a ‘Marketing Apprenticeship’ 1
Go out and ‘learn by doing” – Find a small business who needs traffic, and work on their Google Places listing /// Help a friend raise some awareness for their new book with some SEO /// Help get donations for the local animal hospital via Facebook or Publicity.
BUT the idea of an Apprenticeship is that
- Every party involved knows you are still learning
- Your compensation level is linked with the point above
- You don’t position yourself as a guru
- Did I mention an apprentice is still learning and not paid like a pro.
Just don’t start selling your advice, until you’ve got some actual real-world runs on the board.
Just because you’ve made some money in the stock market, doesn’t allow you to become a broker.
Just because you helped your niece with her long division, doesn’t mean you get to teach astro physics.
Just because you’ve built your Ikea TV stand, doesn’t make you a site manager on a Trumps next 80 floor skyscraper.
Just because you put a Wiggle Band-Aid on your 4year olds knee after soccer, doesn’t give you the right to oversee a triple-by-pass.
… all these professions require accreditation before you can educate others.
But when it comes to marketing and general business building advice, it seems everyone and their VA Ghostwriter can bottle something up and charge an arm and a leg.
When my first book was released, my good friend, mentor and best-selling author Steve McKnight gave me a piece of advise that continues to resinate (and drive me)
OK, so you’ve done it for yourself… but you have to do it for others now.
I had to go out and prove that what I’d done was replicable.
Until you get testimonials, case-studies and a track record of others implementing your processes, system and frameworks – you’re just lucky.
And it’s in these third party endorsements and successful “students” that your tribe will be born.
But, there is no congruency or ethics in charging others a fortune, while you get that track record.
Hang on a second
They say1; Teaching is the best way to learn
Does this age-old adage contradict everything I’ve just said ?
Well yes and no…
I agree that as I’ve (sporadically) written this blog and given numerous public presentations at no charge I’ve been able to refine my own thinking, mould my frameworks and improve on my ideas.
So with a resounding yes, the best way to learn is to teach.
.. but this “learning disguised teaching” shouldn’t have a price tag.
It should be given away in the form of stories, opinions, case-studies, test results, podcasts, presentation and blog posts.
Let these disguised teachings, build an audience, develop testimonials and third-party endorsements.
… and from that you can build a proven platform you can sell.
Have I personally been consistent with this philosophy ?
I hope so, but in hindsight properly not… like everyone I’ve slipped off the apple cart a few times. (and that’s just part of learning too)
I do know marketing, lead generation and conversion though. I’ve sold millions in everything; from sports memorabilia, to B2B products, to a range of tangible consumer goods and a full gamut of service offerings.
… and the latest intangible? AIR2.
And that’s where I attempt to focus my “advice” & teaching” (read: sharing of experience)
I do my best to try and limit my writing + speaking on topics such as financial management, HR and the legalities of business – because I haven’t come close to mastering those things yet.
… and when/if I do, I try as best I can to frame those as opinion pieces; just like this post you’re reading now….
Because I know and admit, I’m still in my apprenticeship in those areas of business