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Passive Income Robot - Death of Gurus

Lex DeVille

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Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 6.09.58 AM.png

As someone who dabbles in coaching, both as a coach and a coach's writer, I pay attention to the industry. Every day a new coach pops up from out of nowhere to sell their digital course.

Facebook Ads lead to a webinar that shows the Simple 5-Step System to become a passive income coach earning $10,000+ per student. So they spend $10,000 and learn the system. How to sell their course using that exact system.

During the training they build a course they probably didn't have in mind when they started. It's based on passions, or for faster automation, dub yourself a "Business Coach" and call it a day. Hell, even use the material from the course you're in to build your course. You already know people want that..

Now it's done. Course ready. Webinar ready. Opt-in and Sales pages ready ready. Facebook Ads launch in t-minus 3..2..1..blastoff. Soon the new coach has a growing email list. Earns a few sales. Increases Facebook budget. Hires a copywriter. Sets up a 7-series email sequence for the next launch. This time it's virtually automated, and that's when things go sour..

Passive Income Robot

There's something nasty happening in the guru world. Most gurus haven't noticed. In mimicking each other, and creating these passive systems, they failed to consider one essential aspect of the human experience.

Humans want to connect.

As soon as you enter the coaching world you get the FB ads. They all look the same. They all use the same headlines and sob stories. The webinars are designed the same. The course material is virtually the same. The email sequences (because they don't want to stray from the knawledge of their $10,000 course) are the same.

At first it works. Some coaches make money. Some have made money for many years (even passively). But now it's backfiring, because what the coach actually cares about has become painfully obvious to the student on the other side of the screen.

Gurus care about building a passive
income for themselves with your
money.
Not all gurus are bad. Some have valuable insights, and some really are worth the price. Problem is, they're using the same "passive" system as everybody else, and people are starting to notice.

Recently a coach I know launched a passive income course. Her insights are worth the money, but the process was flawed. Same process as every other coach I've ever worked with.

She has a lot of credibility and a huge email list. But on launch.. the course fell flat. Barely any sales. Suddenly her passive income system wasn't so passive anymore. When you got bills to pay, and you make less sales than expected..you end up scrambling to keep your lights on.

So the guru turns back to their inner circle of gurus and asks, "what's gives?"
The responses they get are all over the place..

• Your passions weren't clear enough, people couldn't feel it
• Your spiritual vibes weren't high enough, you need to raise them
• Where are they dropping out in your funnel, look there..
• You didn't dig deep enough into their pain points
• You need to retarget your market
• You need to make your emails way shorter
• You need to spend more on Facebook Ads
• You need to take another course to help you learn X


What never gets addressed is the part about human connection.

In their attempts to automate the process, (a process they didn't create and don't fully understand) they've turned themselves into passive income robots who place higher value on money than people.

Problem is, their people notice.

As much as we sometimes disagree, humans are social animals. We long for relationships. We want to share with each other and be part of each other's lives. Even the deepest introvert seeks connection and relationships in some form.

But today all we get is more automation. When all you care about is automation, you start to look automated. You feel like a robot to your people. You lose the connection. When that happens, people go elsewhere, and that's why modern gurus are in big trouble.

Anyway, the purpose of this isn't to bask in the downfall of gurus. Quite the opposite. It's to reveal opportunity. The gurus who will rise and do well over the next decade are those who realize (now) it's time to find new ways to create deeper experiences of connection with their audience.

The reason I'm writing this on the Fastlane Forum is because it doesn't just apply to gurus. It applies in any industry where automation occurs. Today we can buy anything we want pretty much anytime anywhere. So why should I ( a customer) buy from someone who doesn't offer me a connected experience?

Passive income is a worthwhile goal, but it doesn't happen apart from people, and it's not just about delivering "value" anymore. In this internal world, a world where we seek to automate everything, a new challenge has arisen. How do you go beyond solving a simple problem..

..and how will you connect?


I don't have answers (beyond my own processes). Just noting an observation that might prove invaluable for your business very soon. There's the way business was done in the past, and the way it will be done tomorrow. What does that mean for you, how will you connect, and how will you survive? Something worth considering as our species marches on.

Thoughts?
 
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Fox

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This thread is pure Gold.

As someone who has been trying to build a great course I have been watching what others where up to so I see what systems are working.

I joined some groups of "top gurus" and was appalled.
Maybe the guru posts once or twice a week.
One line vague responses.
Courses with zero substance.

People are spending 90% of their time on marketing and the other 10% on content and helping people.

This thread covers it perfectly so not much more to add but this is a bubble that will definitely pop.
 
Last edited:

Lex DeVille

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This thread is pure Gold.

As someone who has been trying to build a great course I have been watching what others where up to so I see what systems are working.
I joined some groups of "top gurus" and was appalled. Maybe the guru posts once or twice a week. One line vague responses. Courses with zero substance.

This thread covers it perfectly so not much more to add but this is a bubble that will definitely pop.

The Facebook groups are the guru attempt at connection. The challenge with that is people sign up to groups and don't engage. The guru regurgitates motivational memes with an also regurgitated "value" post here and there. When people still don't engage, the guru stops engaging. Then nobody is engaged, there's no connection. Fail.
 

ZF Lee

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This thread is pure Gold.

As someone who has been trying to build a great course I have been watching what others where up to so I see what systems are working.
I joined some groups of "top gurus" and was appalled. Maybe the guru posts once or twice a week. One line vague responses. Courses with zero substance.

This thread covers it perfectly so not much more to add but this is a bubble that will definitely pop.
I don't think the bubble will pop. The lack on interactions on the gurus' parts would lead to dead ends rather than bubble bursts....

But of course we can't expect the gurus to be there all day long. They would need help...similar-minded employees, assistant teachers or whatnot, those who share the gurus' vision. And that's where human resources came in.

I used to go to a study camp, a year before my high school final exams. It was run by Adam Khoo Learning Technologies, some business that takes after the Tony Buzan kind of studying (using NLP and mindmaps for study). Can't say I learned much, as the camp was mostly catered for students who were really lazy or demotivated in their studies....but I found myself audience to a whole system.

While the man himself, Adam Khoo, wasn't there (I found he himself was running an ads company, some marketing business and a stock trading education company), he did have things wrapped up. He had senior trainers to run the show, along with junior assistant trainers who would mentor each group of trainees. I was surprised to find that the junior assistants were unpaid folks, who went in just because they believed in Adam's passion for helping kids succeed.

At that time, I myself was the rebellious kind, so I asked them why they choose to work under the man rather than find their own route. I had hit some Fastlane motherlodes even before I read TMF lol...
But they stuck firm. They insisted they were there because they wanted to help as volunteers. They even had to go through earlier training camps before being eligible to become coaches. And mind you, some of the participants in that camp weren't exactly A-student material. They needed to be spanked rather than to be taught how to make mindmaps lol.

From observing the system in place that ran the entire franchise of edu camps, I think that eventually, any form of educational course, be it offline or online, needs a team who have the same aim. Same passion. As Fastlaners, as we know that we shouldn't do our passion for business, we do need passion in our employees, as of course, not everyone wants to be a Fastlaner.

But of course, most of the 'failed' guru syndicates tend to be one-man shows....and this might display a lack of relative value on the course products. My study camp franchise, the one I attended, had its band of loyal followers....thus it displayed more relative value although I may not have been its ideal customer lol. Higher relative value attracts not only more customers, but also more employees.

Think, if you were an employee, and you could join a company which was making world-changing robots or medicines, would you go for it? Money and Fastlane aside, most people would surely desire to do work that impacts a lot of people.
 
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Andy Black

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Timely post @SinisterLex. Rep+

I've been watching rather than listening. Watching what people do, not listening to what they say.

What's going on in Facebook groups is interesting. People who I liked the posts of (because their personality shone through) have taken "Facebook group engagement" courses and are now dropping memes and Agree/Disagree posts. To increase engagement and get rewarded by the FB algo, at the expense of the attention from the people who liked to hear what they had to say.

I've unfollowed many groups and then the person running the group.

"Appalled" is an apt word @Fox.



Everyone wants to automate the welcome emails when someone signs up to their course, or free trial of their course. I've refused and have emailed everyone by hand.

The flavour of the month appears to be marketing automation, online sales funnels, and bots.

Me? I want to get to a Skype call asap. In the least steps possible.

I want to have a 30 minute call with everyone who takes my course, and to welcome them into my world. It's not something I can do just yet, but that's the way my brain works.


I know this marketing automation works, but when I look at my client list, I can't imagine any of them falling for this sh*t.

My market doesn't want to sit through a one hour automated webinar that pretends to be live. ...And that doesn't say up front how long the video is. ...And disables the pause and fast-forward controls. (!*$@)

My market doesn't want to add their email address to download my free report and get on some automated auto-responder series where they're tagged, nurtured, and finally closed.

Too slick by half.

(I'll do it sometime though, once I work out how to without needing a shower afterwards.)



I'm so sick of hearing about "traffic" and "clicks". They're people who are visiting your website in the hopes of solving their problem.

People with a pulse, and real life dreams.

Warrior-forum antics seem to be moving to FB and LinkedIn, big time.


I find it hard to even construct an email that people will know was typed manually. So many people are using cr@p tactics to make their emails seem real when they've been sent by a bot.


I thought I was just being contrarian about not wanting to be an "online guy", even though you could argue I do online marketing.

Except I pride myself on connecting real people with real business owners. I drive phone calls.

I don't feel like an online dude. I don't want to be an online dude. I know I'm throwing the baby out with the bath water, but it's so hard to not do so.



I even posted this to LinkedIn today:

I don't "get" LinkedIn. I like Facebook groups and forums - communities of people with a common interest who help each other. I love helping people in those communities and this has lead to leads and business over the years. I can't see the same community aspect of LinkedIn though?

...

Anyway, I'm so glad to read your insight, and yours too @Fox.

I'm going to keep doing me. I'll keep going against what appears to be the grain as I think that's where the greener grass is anyway.

I want to connect with people and build relationships. I don't want to "build an audience", on auto-pilot.

I haven't put my own finger on what's up with online at the moment, but your post certainly helped.


It's back to what @IceCreamKid preaches. If you loved your fellow man would you treat them as a click and a number in the first place?


This forum and @Fox's Facebook group are my only two safe havens online at the moment...
 

Andy Black

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The only reason I'm still trying to work my way through this is because I know there's people out there who I can help, if only I could get the right message in front of them. It's like a mission, and itch I can't scratch.

It keeps me swimming in an ocean full of sharks when part of me says to throw up my hands spend my time only dealing with established business owners with sales and a payroll, and who don't even know such bloody waters exist.
 

Lex DeVille

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The only reason I'm still trying to work my way through this is because I know there's people out there who I can help, if only I could get the right message in front of them. It's like a mission, and itch I can't scratch.

It keeps me swimming in an ocean full of sharks when part of me says to throw up my hands spend my time only dealing with established business owners with sales and a payroll, and who don't even know such bloody waters exist.

I'm not anti-automation or passive income. Those will both play key roles in my upcoming site. But there has to be a balance between automation and connection. Too much or too little of either can be a disaster. Lately it feels like a lot of digital entrepreneurs (and even a lot of people in general) lean too much on the side of automation.

Facebook is a cesspool of one-sided arguments and negativity. FB Groups are made of "inspired" reinterpretations of reinterpretations of someone's original content. Globally, people can engage each other faster than ever, but there's never been a larger disparity of connection.

It kinda makes you nostalgic for small business at a local level. You walk into a store and you're greeted by the owner. Maybe the two of you strike up a conversation. You talk about the weather, and tonight's high school football game. You bond. Form a relationship. Next thing you know you buy from them and two days later they buy from you, and send you referrals.

But how do you accomplish that online and is it possible to do it at scale?
(not specifically referring to any industry)
 
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I've had this internal conflict between automation/scale and providing value since a long time ago. Both of my parents have a small business - a shop in the street. I'm used to see them interact with all of their customers and take care of them. Forging relationships. I like that, but... they have no potential to scale their business. Zero.

For me that was always like a trap. In my mind that face-to-face relationships meaned a failure in business more than a success. I wanted to impact far more people, and still do. But now thanks to the forum and other resources I've figured out that you if you want to impact millions, you still need to start impacting one person. One at a time. Then dozens. then hundreds...

I'm not anti-automation or passive income. Those will both play key roles in my upcoming site. But there has to be a balance between automation and connection.
I like every time I suscribe to a newsletter o sing up for a free trial and the automated e-mail ask me to respond with something about me: my main problems, objectives, opinions, whatever. And then, real people reads my response and respond back to me. Maybe that's a way. You filter the people that are more responsive and interested in your service / product.

But how do you accomplish that online and is it possible to do it at scale?
As @ZF Lee told in his response, maybe to have people trained by you is one way to accomplish the scale with a "real human touch" feeling. You must be out of the equation if you want to be Fastlane, but it doesn't mean that your visitors have to talk with a robot.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Facebook Ads lead to a webinar that shows the Simple 5-Step System to become a passive income coach earning $10,000+ per student. So they spend $10,000 and learn the system. How to sell their course using that exact system.

So pay me $10K in coaching fees and I'll teach you how to be a coach selling $10K seminars? Is this seriously happening or just a metaphor?

When you got bills to pay, and you make less sales than expected..you end up scrambling to keep your lights on.

A guru who has bills to pay is no guru, just another person trying to get rich by teaching people how to get rich.

are those who realize (now) it's time to find new ways to create deeper experiences of connection with their audience.

The Facebook groups are the guru attempt at connection. The challenge with that is people sign up to groups and don't engage.

One must pick their battles. I engage at the Fastlane Forum daily. It's part of its success. However at Facebook, I have LITTLE engagement. If I post something, I might not return for weeks to look at comments.

This ultimately becomes a decision -- where do I invest my time for engagement and connection? At my forum which I own and control? Or do I invest my time at a venue owned, censored, and controlled by F*ckerberg? Easy decision.
 

Lex DeVille

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So pay me $10K in coaching fees and I'll teach you how to be a coach selling $10K seminars? Is this seriously happening or just a metaphor?

Yes, this is how it goes down. Not a metaphor. Digital Marketer at the top selling a digital marketing system that gets distributed to their clients who then rehash that info as a business system.

At level 2 the "Business Coach" frames the marketing training as a "business system" to fuel your passions. By doing so ANYONE of ANY BACKGROUND even if you've NEVER been an entrepreneur a day in your life and still work a corporate job, can suddenly become a "Passion-Based Coach."

By level 3 you've got people further distilling the same system, only now they call themselves "Spiritual Business Coach" or "Wholistic Money Coach" or "Mindset Coach." Usually they're still part-time (or full-time) employees who are trying to pull enough clients to finally break free from the 9-5. The only other difference at this level is they add in more of their own ideologies and training (because that's what level 2 told them to do.. add their passions).

Level 1 - Digital Marketer
Level 2 - Passion-Based Business Coach
Level 3 - [Insert random passion] + the word "Coach"

By level 3 the system is completely broken. Copy/paste memes, emails, webinars etc. Build a FB group, launch $10,000 program. The worst ones are the spiritual woo woos who add "you must align your energies" to make money. Usually these people and their students are totally lost.
 
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Lex DeVille

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Selling Services

Off-topic but if you sell services, here's some you can definitely sell to high-ticket coaches:

1. Email copywriting
2. Social media management
3. Web design
4. Web development
5. Virtual assistant
6. FB Ad management
7. Publicity outreach
8. Sales training or sales scripts
9. Funnel design & setup

Coaches pay a lot of money out of pocket for all of these because the level above says it's what they need. Usually it's more to refer them to another course or program where the higher level gets a cut of the cash from the referral. But a lot of coaches go straight to Upwork to find a freelancer to help instead of buying another course.
 

GMSI7D

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Humans want to connect.


What never gets addressed is the part about human connection.

?


wait a minute

if i have a problem to solve, i don't care about human connections

at all


i just want the damn thing fixed. end of the deal


if i want some human connection, it seems to me i should go make friends in social place


not in business situations
 

Lex DeVille

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wait a minute

if i have a problem to solve, i don't care about human connections

at all


i just want the damn thing fixed. end of the deal


if i want some human connection, it seems to me i should go make friends in social place


not in business situations

Maybe that's true for you. It isn't true for most people.

If my car breaks down I no longer open a phonebook and call the first tow truck. Today I pull out my phone, browse Google, look at reviews, then decide who I feel most comfortable calling. Just because a guy with a chain pulls up and asks if I want help, I won't say yes.

If I'm hungry I won't eat at just any restaurant or buy groceries from any store. I search for specific restaurants that offer a specific kind of experience, and grocery stores that care about the kind of food they sell, and how the animals that food came from were treated.

If I need an ebook cover designed, I'll go to Upwork, post a job, let 50 freelancers apply, then decide which one I like the most. That's the one I hire. Not the guy who applied first. Not the guy with the most credentials. The one I like and connect with is who gets hired.

Like I said earlier, people are overlooking connection in favor of automation. Looking at the world as though solving for X is all there is to it. What I'm saying is when people have choices, they choose based on the experience they want to have, and how connected they feel to the solution.

---

You need to fly from Texas to Missouri..

You can fly Delta and they'll assign you a seat (probably next to a guy with a cold) and a flight attendant will read the typical boring safety spiel in a monotone voice.

Or you can fly Southwest for the same price, but choose your own seat, and the flight attendant will tell a joke and make you smile while reading the safety spiel.

I stopped flying Delta after the first time I flew Southwest.
 
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Almantas

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One baldie sends a bag of respect to another baldie - for providing so much value in a single thread!

I see Gurus everywhere I look. I know couple of them who have no real knowledge of what they teach, they just happen to be very persuasive and good at attracting ignorant audience that rarely questions garbage that flows from a Guru's mouth.
 

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Yes, this is how it goes down. Not a metaphor. Digital Marketer at the top selling a digital marketing system that gets distributed to their clients who then rehash that info as a business system.

At level 2 the "Business Coach" frames the marketing training as a "business system" to fuel your passions. By doing so ANYONE of ANY BACKGROUND even if you've NEVER been an entrepreneur a day in your life and still work a corporate job, can suddenly become a "Passion-Based Coach."

By level 3 you've got people further distilling the same system, only now they call themselves "Spiritual Business Coach" or "Wholistic Money Coach" or "Mindset Coach." Usually they're still part-time (or full-time) employees who are trying to pull enough clients to finally break free from the 9-5. The only other difference at this level is they add in more of their own ideologies and training (because that's what level 2 told them to do.. add their passions).

Level 1 - Digital Marketer
Level 2 - Passion-Based Business Coach
Level 3 - [Insert random passion] + the word "Coach"

By level 3 the system is completely broken. Copy/paste memes, emails, webinars etc. Build a FB group, launch $10,000 program. The worst ones are the spiritual woo woos who add "you must align your energies" to make money. Usually these people and their students are totally lost.
Eugh. I've seen them on my Facebook travels. Coaches to align your energies and help you make more money.

@MJ DeMarco ... it really is the Wild Wild West out there. I've ventured out to have a look and the noise and BS is mind-boggling. Everyone wants that laptop-and-hammock, digital-nomad, location-independence lifestyle. Working 4 hours a week of course.

Everyone's a FB ads consultant, a click-funnels consultant, or a holistic money success coach.

Where's that Gold Rush thread? Coaching should definitely be on it.
 
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Get Right

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is it possible to do it at scale?

This is the inherent problem (especially with service based business). I had this arrangement in my architecture firm. When we added project managers, the "small shop" idea started to suffer. The customers wanted me.

So how do you transcend this? Not sure but my instinct tells me to build something that is not overly tied to one person.

Unfortunately this means starting a larger company with a level of "managers" already in place. This would require "design" of the culture rather than exploiting access to the owner. I assume this is how Southwest did it.
 

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I personally believe it's a lack of consideration. These gurus value their time more than their clients' time. That's a cardinal sin in my book.

There is room for marketing automation in a small business. But when everyone is trying to do it the same way, it gets crowded out and people start to value those who actually will put their time and energy into answering questions and having real human conversations.

This is the inherent problem (especially with service based business). I had this arrangement in my architecture firm. When we added project managers, the "small shop" idea started to suffer. The customers wanted me.

So how do you transcend this? Not sure but my instinct tells me to build something that is not overly tied to one person.

Unfortunately this means starting a larger company with a level of "managers" already in place. This would require "design" of the culture rather than exploiting access to the owner. I assume this is how Southwest did it.

I think the problem is that some things simply cannot be outsourced. The human connection can't be outsourced.

There are some businesses that simply don't require it, and there are some approaches that take it away. Think landing page builders and accounting software. Despite the fact that these exist, web designers and accountants are still around. Firms that use the human element still exist, but there are other firms that are fully automated in the same industry. I imagine it's a personal choice with tradeoffs.

Internet people tend to prefer businesses that have no human elements but I know you're not an Internet people, which probably led you to build the business that you did.

The happy medium would be a human resource system where everyone builds their own relationships with their clients (think middle market investment banking, or big real estate brokerages) and those who can't do this effectively fail.
 

carlos_

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So what I'm hearing is that coaching is a type of product/service that is more valuable with a certain degree of human connection/interaction.

Most wanna-be gurus are trying to sell the product at the same high price while minimizing their involvement - to the point where the product loses value and people stop buying. The wanna-be guru struggles with this because he's followed the exact steps to automate the product - he doesn't understand where value is generated in his own product and therefore doesn't know which steps to take to realign with market needs. Wheels will spin until he gives up or learns

Sucks to be him

In contrast - people here learn to always think in terms of value to the customer. If your customer doesn't value a human connection in your product, don't waste effort trying to create one... (unless you think it's never been done in your market and you want to test if your customers will really buy more because of it). But if connection has value to your customers, it's your job to integrate it or live with the consequences of customer loss and losing to superior competitors.
 
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rogue synthetic

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The physicist Richard Feynman once gave a talk called Cargo Cult Science. Here's the short parable that gave it the name:
In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas--he's the controller--and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land.

Feynman's point was made in a very different context -- he was speaking about certain scientific studies which looked like science, because they did all the right things yet completely failed to deliver any practical results -- but that already suggests a useful analogy with Lex's point.

I've been a long-time skeptic about trendy online marketing. One day I'll tell the story of my attempt to carve out a business in the online fitness world back in the early to mid Noughts. This was long before I had any sense for entrepreneurship, but even 10-15 years ago that space was largely overrun by the same sort of "me too!" tactics that Lex is describing here.

Then, like now, there was a lot of "sizzle" but not a single steak inside 20 miles. They're doing all the "right things" and failing to deliver.

The copycatting and bandwagon-jumping is part of the problem. But I think Lex and Andy have hit on the real core of the matter: it's the attempt to impersonalize the personal.

We've all seen the gurus pushing "the latest brain science!" or "the 7 WEIRD TRICKS to hack your customer's mind". That's the flip side of seeing your customers as revenue. Customers are push-button dolls that you can manipulate if you just get the right tricks from this $2,997 course or maybe fine-tune the shade of green on that CTA button.

What's funny (ironic funny, not "haha" funny) is that the gurus hawking their own wares get this point. It's like Andy says: watch what they do rather than listening to what they say. They get the psychology that matters: you understand the people in your market. Understand what drives them, what they really want, what will make them buy. You give them something that gets them to say "yes!"

It's a human connection, in a way, and from one way of looking at it, it's even providing a kind of value.

But that's not what they are selling.

Interesting thread, Lex. Thanks for posting it.
 

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The physicist Richard Feynman once gave a talk called Cargo Cult Science. Here's the short parable that gave it the name:


Feynman's point was made in a very different context -- he was speaking about certain scientific studies which looked like science, because they did all the right things yet completely failed to deliver any practical results -- but that already suggests a useful analogy with Lex's point.

I've been a long-time skeptic about trendy online marketing. One day I'll tell the story of my attempt to carve out a business in the online fitness world back in the early to mid Noughts. This was long before I had any sense for entrepreneurship, but even 10-15 years ago that space was largely overrun by the same sort of "me too!" tactics that Lex is describing here.

Then, like now, there was a lot of "sizzle" but not a single steak inside 20 miles. They're doing all the "right things" and failing to deliver.

The copycatting and bandwagon-jumping is part of the problem. But I think Lex and Andy have hit on the real core of the matter: it's the attempt to impersonalize the personal.

We've all seen the gurus pushing "the latest brain science!" or "the 7 WEIRD TRICKS to hack your customer's mind". That's the flip side of seeing your customers as revenue. Customers are push-button dolls that you can manipulate if you just get the right tricks from this $2,997 course or maybe fine-tune the shade of green on that CTA button.

What's funny (ironic funny, not "haha" funny) is that the gurus hawking their own wares get this point. It's like Andy says: watch what they do rather than listening to what they say. They get the psychology that matters: you understand the people in your market. Understand what drives them, what they really want, what will make them buy. You give them something that gets them to say "yes!"

It's a human connection, in a way, and from one way of looking at it, it's even providing a kind of value.

But that's not what they are selling.

Interesting thread, Lex. Thanks for posting it.
That parable really drives home how stupid it can be to copy someone's HOW without understanding WHAT they are doing, and WHY.

You've just reminded me of something I wrote in @Fox's Facebook group this week in reply to a comment that escapes me. I think it's apt for this thread:

...

>> If you follow the herd you meet a lot of assholes and come across a lot of BS <<

If you're an entrepreneur there's a high chance you don't like following instructions, or following the herd.

I'm contrarian as f*ck.

My first thought when you say it can't be done is to wonder how it *can* be done.

Tell me I "need" to do something and I'll automatically do the exact opposite. I dunno what it is. I'm wired that way I guess.

I don't like blueprints, and I don't like courses.

I can tell Rob's course is good though.

You know why?

Rob's a leader.

He's not following other people. He's not regurgitating other people's canned advice.

I've quoted Doberman Dan before: "People listen to experts, they follow leaders."

I'll rephrase it for one interpretation: "Don't listen to "experts". Watch what leaders do."

See who's a leader.

See who's in motion and doesn't gaf whether people are following or not.

The ones *trying* to get you to follow aren't leaders. They're not in motion. They're stood there waving at you to try and get you to follow them.

Watch the journey people in motion make.

A sure sign of someone in motion is that they aren't in the same place they were a month ago.

Some leaders leave bread-crumbs.

Some leaders are generous enough to create courses to help you short-cut some of their own trial and error.

Some get a buzz out of helping people get to where they are. They love having more people to share a whiskey and cigar with whilst swapping war stories and enjoying the views.

If you're going to follow someone then try and make it the head of the herd.

There's way less BS up there.

...

So my question is, who's in motion and doesn't gaf whether you follow or not? Typically that person right there is a leader. Someone to follow, not necessarily imitate.

Who can I think of from the forum who fits that description?

MJ DeMarco, Vigilante, AllenCrawley, biophase, IceCreamKid, Fox, SinisterLex, MTF, ZCP, million$$$smile, GlobalWealth, eliquid, and many many more.
 

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holistic money success coach.

wait... you mean this is a real thing? people seriously pay money for this? im just.. wow!

on the other hand it sounds like it could be a pretty fun gig

i think of gurus as digital snake oil salesman, its pretty good entertainment but if your life depends on it you are in real trouble.
 
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As @ZF Lee told in his response, maybe to have people trained by you is one way to accomplish the scale with a "real human touch" feeling. You must be out of the equation if you want to be Fastlane, but it doesn't mean that your visitors have to talk with a robot.
Again, easier said than done.
I used to teach juniors in band as well as in uniformed groups, and to put up with their difference, as well as they weaknesses in attitude or others was HARD.
I don't expect managing adults in real life to be any more different.
But yes, having a real human teacher connect with students builds up the confidence in them to increase their confidence in order to prove themselves to the teacher.
That parable really drives home how stupid it can be to copy someone's HOW without understanding WHAT they are doing, and WHY.

You've just reminded me of something I wrote in @Fox's Facebook group this week in reply to a comment that escapes me. I think it's apt for this thread:

...

>> If you follow the herd you meet a lot of assholes and come across a lot of BS <<

If you're an entrepreneur there's a high chance you don't like following instructions, or following the herd.

I'm contrarian as f*ck.

My first thought when you say it can't be done is to wonder how it *can* be done.

Tell me I "need" to do something and I'll automatically do the exact opposite. I dunno what it is. I'm wired that way I guess.

I don't like blueprints, and I don't like courses.

I can tell Rob's course is good though.

You know why?

Rob's a leader.

He's not following other people. He's not regurgitating other people's canned advice.

I've quoted Doberman Dan before: "People listen to experts, they follow leaders."

I'll rephrase it for one interpretation: "Don't listen to "experts". Watch what leaders do."

See who's a leader.

See who's in motion and doesn't gaf whether people are following or not.

The ones *trying* to get you to follow aren't leaders. They're not in motion. They're stood there waving at you to try and get you to follow them.

Watch the journey people in motion make.

A sure sign of someone in motion is that they aren't in the same place they were a month ago.

Some leaders leave bread-crumbs.

Some leaders are generous enough to create courses to help you short-cut some of their own trial and error.

Some get a buzz out of helping people get to where they are. They love having more people to share a whiskey and cigar with whilst swapping war stories and enjoying the views.

If you're going to follow someone then try and make it the head of the herd.

There's way less BS up there.

...

So my question is, who's in motion and doesn't gaf whether you follow or not? Typically that person right there is a leader. Someone to follow, not necessarily imitate.

Who can I think of from the forum who fits that description?

MJ DeMarco, Vigilante, AllenCrawley, biophase, IceCreamKid, Fox, SinisterLex, MTF, ZCP, million$$$smile, GlobalWealth, eliquid, and many many more.
Or, 'there is no F*cking list'. hehehe
 

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wait... you mean this is a real thing? people seriously pay money for this? im just.. wow!

on the other hand it sounds like it could be a pretty fun gig

i think of gurus as digital snake oil salesman, its pretty good entertainment but if your life depends on it you are in real trouble.
I've seen people introduce themselves to Facebook groups as coaches helping people align their internal spiritual (or cosmic?) energies with their careers etc etc (I can't remember any specific titles as they don't seem to stick in my brain).

Maybe there's a market, maybe not. I suspect it's as @SinisterLex says and it's the lost leading the lost.
 

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I'm going to keep doing me. I'll keep going against what appears to be the grain as I think that's where the greener grass is anyway.

I want to connect with people and build relationships. I don't want to "build an audience", on auto-pilot.

I haven't put my own finger on what's up with online at the moment, but your post certainly helped.


It's back to what @IceCreamKid preaches. If you loved your fellow man would you treat them as a click and a number in the first place?


This forum and @Fox's Facebook group are my only two safe havens online at the moment...
Keep going! We are with you!
Same thing here!
I used to join Wealthy Affliate, but I quit because of some dark feeling in me. After reading TMF and discovering the entire fracas was just another bro-marketing operation, pushing on 'clicks' and 'traffic' instead of genuine human contact, I went 'oh....that was why my gut felt that way.'

I've seen people introduce themselves to Facebook groups as coaches helping people align their internal spiritual (or cosmic?) energies with their careers etc etc (I can't remember any specific titles as they don't seem to stick in my brain).

Maybe there's a market, maybe not. I suspect it's as @SinisterLex says and it's the lost leading the lost.
Where I come from, it's not cosmic energies, but 'sexual enchancment medicines'.
I was very tempted to ring the Facebook Report bell.....but of course it's not that it would be the end to all wars...
 
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I had someone come on my group with "psychic ability" coaching.

I asked them if they felt like they would get banned. They said no. I banned them.

:shit:
 

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Excellent thread. Spot on observations.

Why is everyone becoming a coach these days? According to the average FB ad, someone managed to make millions of $ in sales per year, yet somehow really cares about teaching me how to do the same.

I don't know about you, but if I made that much money passively I would probably:
  1. Spend a few months in the basement playing Call of Duty and passing out on sugar comas.
  2. Travel the world till I got bored
  3. Get back to doing something productive and go into biotech innovation or something of the like
And no, spending my time setting up a system of FB ads, landing pages, e-mail marketing and sales funnels would be nowhere in my list of things to do.

Therefore my reaction to all these people is a sense of dishonesty -> sense that they are trying to trick me -> outright refusal to engage in that model in any way.

I am fairly certain that some of these people actually have valuable things to share and their courses might be well worth it. But why should I spend my time finding out which one of these people using the same system is the honest one?

I am ranting to make the point that all this FB ad bullshit may drive everyone away from the online coaching/courses system in the end.

MJ's first book showed us a few ways to rise above the noise when it comes to marketing.

However, by tremendously raising the overall level of noise, it becomes that much more difficult for anyone to rise above the noise.

Thus, maybe in this case people will find out that creating that passive income is not anywhere near as easy as it used to be. The people that rode the wave struck gold and then left a barren wasteland behind them.

Or maybe an innovative mind will find a new way to spread his message and attract people. By not engaging in the same game someone can "break the rules" and create a new system that will work fantastically for a while (at least until everyone rushes in and saturates it).

Which brings me back to Lex's post. Maybe that new way will be showing that you actually care and connecting with people like noone has done before...
 

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Why is everyone becoming a coach these days? According to the average FB ad, someone managed to make millions of $ in sales per year, yet somehow really cares about teaching me how to do the same.

I don't know about you, but if I made that much money passively I would probably:
  1. Spend a few months in the basement playing Call of Duty and passing out on sugar comas.
  2. Travel the world till I got bored
  3. Get back to doing something productive and go into biotech innovation or something of the like
And no, spending my time setting up a system of FB ads, landing pages, e-mail marketing and sales funnels would be nowhere in my list of things to do.

You know the answer. It's because coaches are selling coaching systems!

Every fit bro is now a personal trainer. Every positive thinking woman is now a life coach. Every man who studied an Eckhart Tolle book is now a spiritual teacher. Everyone who had one successful Facebook campaign is now a Facebook Ads expert.

Who are the real experts? @Andy Black hit it on the head: you follow the leaders. Who is actually DOING? Watch them, do what they do, adjust, repeat.

If anyone is reading this thread and I hope people do cuz Lex deserves GOLD or at least Notable for this one, but please heed my words.

DO NOT BUY THOSE OVERPRICED COACHING PACKAGES. Unless what is being provided is by someone you know that DOES, don't buy it. Even then, it could be a wash because people who DO are very busy DOING.

Spend your money on a $10 book written by a billionaire instead. Spend your time reading the blog of someone who DOES, rather than TEACHES. Spend your money on trying it out yourself. You know $1000 that is spent on a coaching thing can be spent on Facebook or Google ads instead? It could be spent on diesel and coffee.

But it requires avoiding the temptation of buying into a 'proven system', of getting the 'shortcut to wealth' (or, commonly seen, a shortcut to $10k/mo). Until people break out of this temptation, coaches are still going to be able to sell their crap systems while the DOers are giving it away for free on the Fastlane Forum.
 
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Timely post @SinisterLex. Rep+

I've been watching rather than listening. Watching what people do, not listening to what they say.

What's going on in Facebook groups is interesting. People who I liked the posts of (because their personality shone through) have taken "Facebook group engagement" courses and are now dropping memes and Agree/Disagree posts. To increase engagement and get rewarded by the FB algo, at the expense of the attention from the people who liked to hear what they had to say.

I've unfollowed many groups and then the person running the group.

"Appalled" is an apt word @Fox.



Everyone wants to automate the welcome emails when someone signs up to their course, or free trial of their course. I've refused and have emailed everyone by hand.

The flavour of the month appears to be marketing automation, online sales funnels, and bots.

Me? I want to get to a Skype call asap. In the least steps possible.

I want to have a 30 minute call with everyone who takes my course, and to welcome them into my world. It's not something I can do just yet, but that's the way my brain works.


I know this marketing automation works, but when I look at my client list, I can't imagine any of them falling for this sh*t.

My market doesn't want to sit through a one hour automated webinar that pretends to be live. ...And that doesn't say up front how long the video is. ...And disables the pause and fast-forward controls. (!*$@)

My market doesn't want to add their email address to download my free report and get on some automated auto-responder series where they're tagged, nurtured, and finally closed.

Too slick by half.

(I'll do it sometime though, once I work out how to without needing a shower afterwards.)



I'm so sick of hearing about "traffic" and "clicks". They're people who are visiting your website in the hopes of solving their problem.

People with a pulse, and real life dreams.

Warrior-forum antics seem to be moving to FB and LinkedIn, big time.


I find it hard to even construct an email that people will know was typed manually. So many people are using cr@p tactics to make their emails seem real when they've been sent by a bot.


I thought I was just being contrarian about not wanting to be an "online guy", even though you could argue I do online marketing.

Except I pride myself on connecting real people with real business owners. I drive phone calls.

I don't feel like an online dude. I don't want to be an online dude. I know I'm throwing the baby out with the bath water, but it's so hard to not do so.



I even posted this to LinkedIn today:

I don't "get" LinkedIn. I like Facebook groups and forums - communities of people with a common interest who help each other. I love helping people in those communities and this has lead to leads and business over the years. I can't see the same community aspect of LinkedIn though?

...

Anyway, I'm so glad to read your insight, and yours too @Fox.

I'm going to keep doing me. I'll keep going against what appears to be the grain as I think that's where the greener grass is anyway.

I want to connect with people and build relationships. I don't want to "build an audience", on auto-pilot.

I haven't put my own finger on what's up with online at the moment, but your post certainly helped.


It's back to what @IceCreamKid preaches. If you loved your fellow man would you treat them as a click and a number in the first place?


This forum and @Fox's Facebook group are my only two safe havens online at the moment...
I've only enrolled in one online course before, high ticket and pretty popular. Getting to Skype with the main guy, the creator of it, made a difference. Yeah it was only scheduled for half an hour, but if I wanted to talk longer it would have been no problem, and was constantly reminded throughout the year he is always available to jump in on any or all of the calls with my coach. It makes a difference. He has also shied away from a Facebook group for marketing purposes or otherwise, and just uses his business page with industry updates and nuggets of info and a personal profile which is exactly that. I really like the difference, and I say that as a huge fan of Facebook groups.
 

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Usually these people and their students are totally lost.
I see Gurus everywhere I look. I know couple of them who have no real knowledge of what they teach, they just happen to be very persuasive and good at attracting ignorant audience that rarely questions garbage that flows from a Guru's mouth.

I was one of them years ago. My first year studing coaching (real coaching with some coaching legends, btw) was also a year looking for ways to share it and monetize it. Always sorrounded by people trying to do the same. After meet a lot of people working on it who was really, really lost (80% I could say), I give up. I stopped enjoying it, because I saw that most people who thrived in that business were really incongruous with what they taught.

But hey, coaching itself changed my life for better, so I'm grateful for been there.

Where's that Gold Rush thread? Coaching should definitely be on it.
Totally. At least the coaching+marketing combination that is only focused in selling with a system in which providing real value is not in the equation.

Most wanna-be gurus are trying to sell the product at the same high price while minimizing their involvement - to the point where the product loses value and people stop buying. The wanna-be guru struggles with this because he's followed the exact steps to automate the product - he doesn't understand where value is generated in his own product and therefore doesn't know which steps to take to realign with market needs. Wheels will spin until he gives up or learns
No guru is teaching them how to provide value to solve market's needs. They've been teached only how to sell. How to automatize themselves and regurgitate a lot of content.

Until people break out of this temptation, coaches are still going to be able to sell their crap systems while the DOers are giving it away for free on the Fastlane Forum.
That's why I love this forum :)
 

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