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The buyers and sellers of "how to"

NuclearPuma

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This is the story people are profiting by selling easy money, and the many people spending huge sums of money on "education" products and seemingly random inventory. The article specifically covers Amazon seller education products.

How to Lose Tens of Thousands of Dollars on Amazon

I'm shocked by this fact:

...their podcast about earning a passive income on Amazon reached No. 3 on Apple’s charts.
That a podcast dedicated to Amazon selling could reach number 3 means the number of people pursuing this must be truely massive.

Learn from the mistakes of those chasing the gold rush. Don't go all in without validating and testing the market and your methods first.

These people are driving off of the road into a ditch.

And here is an insight, all of these internet marketers are networked and all selling the same thing, some form of "how to get rich," and they are taking their most expensive coaching classes from each other so they can network in order to better sell expensive coaching to you.

Notice the pattern, the "how to" sellers are on mountain tops and most of "how to" buyers end up in a ditch.

And before the subjects in the article were selling Amazon education, one of them was selling real estate education, can you believe it?

Behdjou is no stranger to coaching businesses. In October 2015, he paid $25,000 to attend a seminar put on by Russell Brunson, an author, an entrepreneur, and a self-described marketing expert. There, he met a few people who were making thousands of dollars selling stuff on Amazon, so he decided to try it out. He and Gazzola, who previously coached people on how to make money investing in real estate, started selling supplements on Amazon. In their first 90 days, they had $60,000 in sales, Behdjou told me. They launched their coaching program in 2016.
Who is Russel Brunson? He is a sales funnel and marketing expert who sells sales funnel and marketing education and software.

It is evident the demand for "how to" far exceeds the demand for any conceivable product that could be sold on Amazon, except a "how to" book (which are best sellers).

So the question is how to sell how to? How to rise above the rest of the crowded how to space (like fitness). And, how to do it without violating your own values, as many how to sellers clearly lack ethics.

And if you find yourself buying a "how to" product, only buy it if you can afford the cost, do not buy it if "you can't afford not to" because no "how to" product works for 100% of buyers.
 

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RazorCut

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And if you find yourself buying a "how to" product, only buy it if you can afford the cost, do not buy it if "you can't afford not to" because no "how to" product works for 100% of buyers.
There is an old saying that goes "Those that can, do. Those that can't teach."

If you see a "how to" course ask yourself why they are selling a course on creating a golden goose rather than keep quiet and gather all the golden eggs for themselves?

It's usually due to market saturation so they get out as it's becoming too hard to make a living at it. So they sell shovels to the hordes of new prospectors instead.

Even today a fool and their money are soon parted.
 

Andy Black

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So the question is how to sell how to? How to rise above the rest of the crowded how to space (like fitness). And, how to do it without violating your own values, as many how to sellers clearly lack ethics.
Carefully.

I’ve a how-to course and I’m careful I don’t get sidetracked from using my shovel.

The people who buy how-to courses are DIY folks. By definition they’re not DFY folks (my main market). I currently choose to build a business serving the DFY market.

I kinda disagree with the line @RazorCut quoted. Not everyone can or should teach. I think teaching is a whole different skill, and I have utmost respect for most teachers. They have a calling to help others. I do agree this isn’t the case for much of the MMO garbage out there.


Yes, I find it hard to rise above the noise selling courses, so I don’t bother. Mine’s there if someone wants it.
 

rogue synthetic

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So the question is how to sell how to? How to rise above the rest of the crowded how to space (like fitness). And, how to do it without violating your own values, as many how to sellers clearly lack ethics.
I struggled with this, a long time ago when I was coaching in the fitness space.

It always felt like I was walking a line between two bad options. Do I 'stick to my principles' -- and have hardly any clients, because I'm not using the big-gun marketing tools? Or do I go out and hustle -- and become part of the background noise by doing what everyone else is doing?

It makes you feel like you're either a broke martyr or a dancing clown on a stage packed full of dancing clowns.

I never came up with an answer back then. If you asked me now, I think the answer would be something like "positioning". The Al Ries and Jack Trout book of that name is worth a read.

Also, Seth Godin's recently relesed This is Marketing has some interesting thoughts on this. Nothing I've yet to put into practice, so take this with a grain of salt...

...but if I had it to do over again, I'd work on finding a small group of people who I could help...get them to put their hands up...and grow from there by leveraging that tribe. That seems like the most reasonable ground between the monk and the how-to hustler.
 

Walter Hay

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It makes you feel like you're either a broke martyr or a dancing clown on a stage packed full of dancing clowns.
I encountered much the same problem when I began selling franchises of my importing business.

I had a stand at 3 different franchise expo's. I felt a little disquiet at the first, at the second I began to feel very much out of place, and by the time I found myself among hordes of con men at an expo in the UK, I knew this was not for me.

That last one was a turning point for me. I researched some of the franchises on offer, and while most were buy a job systems that could give non-entrepreneurs at least a reasonable income, I also found some franchises that were designed to fail.

In effect I was selling "How To", but with a difference in that my fees were moderate and for them to be earned, the franchisees had to succeed, for which my continuing help was necessary, at least until they became very well established. Although I sold out a long time ago, I am aware that the franchise network is still alive and well.

Now I sell "How To" in the form of my importing book, based on the sourcing and importing sections of the Operations Manual I supplied to my franchisees, but many who have bought my book have written to say that it is worth a lot more than what they paid. One Fastlane member wrote that I had saved him $3,000, and others refer to lesser amounts.

That's not bad for something someone paid only $97 for (if they paid full price), and that includes unlimited support from the paid support team at PAC, who give my book free as part of PAC.

I no longer "do", but I continue to "teach". My teaching is not only in the form of the book, but much of it can be found in my 1800+ post on this forum.

All this explains why I don't take kindly to the oft quoted myth: "Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach."

Walter
P.S. I despise many of the predatory sellers of "How To" courses.
 
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mikey3times

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I kinda disagree with the line @RazorCut quoted. Not everyone can or should teach. I think teaching is a whole different skill, and I have utmost respect for most teachers. They have a calling to help others. I do agree this isn’t the case for much of the MMO garbage out there.
All this explains why I don't take kindly to the oft quoted myth: "Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach."
I agree 100% with you guys. That quote is offensive and misguided. It usually comes from someone’s who is young and arrogant.

I like the feeling I get when I see someone learn something. Nothing beats when you see that lightbulb go on as they figure it out. It is also amazing to hear how someone I’ve mentored (usually informally) is doing in their career.

While doing is usually more lucrative, teaching is way more satisfying.

I spend a lot of time in my day job helping the younger people learn the ropes. I have websites that also help people learn. This is all on the side while I am still doing, much like Andy.

I hope to continue running those sites when I get to the point where I’m done doing, much like Walter.

But, yeah, there are a lot of gurus out there who try to make a buck off their limited knowledge. I’d stay away from anything that is overhyped.
 

Andy Black

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predatory
Ooo. Good word. That’s literally how it feels.

It used to be newbie dreamers got slowly bled to death at $7.69 a pop (I’m thinking Warrior Forum here).

Now it seems bigger chucks are getting taken out of them with all the automated funnels and value ladders.
 

RazorCut

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I kinda disagree with the line @RazorCut quoted. Not everyone can or should teach. I think teaching is a whole different skill, and I have utmost respect for most teachers. They have a calling to help others. I do agree this isn’t the case for much of the MMO garbage out there.
I think you have taken it out of context. My point is to ask yourself why are they teaching? In a saturated marketplace, where they find they can't make the profits they once did, they turn to selling courses to teach other hopefuls how to do it knowing fully well that they will in all probability fail.

There is no sincere intention of helping others (as in real teaching). Their primary concern is in helping themselves.

FYI two of my all time hero's are my former teachers.
 

Andy Black

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I think you have taken it out of context. My point is to ask yourself why are they teaching? In a saturated marketplace, where they find they can't make the profits they once did, they turn to selling courses to teach other hopefuls how to do it knowing fully well that they will in all probability fail.

There is no sincere intention of helping others (as in real teaching). Their primary concern is in helping themselves.

FYI two of my all time hero's are my former teachers.
I know you didn’t mean anything against teachers. I just see that line bandied about too often and I just wanted to clarify that teaching is often harder to do than doing, and a calling to some.

Totally agree that the new selling shovels is teaching people to use (and sell!) shovels.
 

RazorCut

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I knew what you meant and I know you didn’t mean anything against teachers. I just see that line bandied about too often and I just wanted to clarify that teaching is often harder to do than doing, and a calling to some.
My fault, I should have made it clearer. It was just a quick way of saying ask yourself why they are teaching and not doing it for themselves.

I am getting back into the FB ads market place and so I've naturally been doing a lot of research in this area. I have come across a number of so called 'experts' that sell seminars and courses and my natural scepticism was to consider them 'predators' (thanks @Walter Hay).

However, although some were, I have been amazed at two or three that provide so much value it is insane.

Having gotten to know their back stories and spent some time within their tribe I have come to respect them for what they are, people who really want to make a difference. People who want to help others to achieve what they have achieved. Do I expect them to do this for nothing? Hell no, but I know that money is not their primary motive.

One said he gotten to a point where he had earned so much money that adding more was not a motivator anymore. However the joy of seeing others succeed through his help and influence had a profound effect on him. Helping people is like a drug. The dopamine hits keep coming one after another.

It's why many of us hang out here. We love to soak up knowledge but we also love to help others as best we can. And we are not in isolation. The need to help others is how sites like TripAdvisor and Wikipedia came into existence.

Most of us know that @MJ DeMarco hasn't created this forum or written his books in an effort to add to his riches or become some kind of internet business guru but out of the selfless act of wanting to help others. That really brings its own rewards.
 

Andy Black

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My fault, I should have made it clearer. It was just a quick way of saying ask yourself why they are teaching and not doing it for themselves.

I am getting back into the FB ads market place and so I've naturally been doing a lot of research in this area. I have come across a number of so called 'experts' that sell seminars and courses and my natural scepticism was to consider them 'predators' (thanks @Walter Hay).

However, although some were, I have been amazed at two or three that provide so much value it is insane.

Having gotten to know their back stories and spent some time within their tribe I have come to respect them for what they are, people who really want to make a difference. People who want to help others to achieve what they have achieved. Do I expect them to do this for nothing? Hell no, but I know that money is not their primary motive.

One said he gotten to a point where he had earned so much money that adding more was not a motivator anymore. However the joy of seeing others succeed through his help and influence had a profound effect on him. Helping people is like a drug. The dopamine hits keep coming one after another.

It's why many of us hang out here. We love to soak up knowledge but we also love to help others as best we can. And we are not in isolation. The need to help others is how sites like TripAdvisor and Wikipedia came into existence.

Most of us know that @MJ DeMarco hasn't created this forum or written his books in an effort to add to his riches or become some kind of internet business guru but out of the selfless act of wanting to help others. That really brings its own rewards.
Yes, and it’s a shame that so many predators wear those sheep’s clothing that many of us are super skeptical by default.

I think you’ve described a good way how to sell how. If that person is active in a community then their values, expertise, and sincerity is more obvious, and harder to fake.


I’ve commented before that I sold my course to people in TFLF who already know, like, and trust me. (Know and trust is probably what’s needed. I don’t think the Like part is necessary.)

I know that particular sales page works, and just have to get people to know, like, and trust me before showing that sales page to them.

That’s as far as I’ve got figuring this out. One day I’ll come back to courses and education. It’s significantly different from my main business that I consider it a distraction from what I need to focus on at the moment. The time I’ll focus on it may well be the point where extra money makes no difference.
 

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RazorCut

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I’ve commented before that I sold my course to people in TFLF who already know, like, and trust me. (Know and trust is probably what’s needed. I don’t think the Like part is necessary.)
Well we have history. We have spent time together offline and I know, like, and trust you. You have given exceptional value here over the years and your generosity cannot be doubted.

It is that generosity that provides the social proof (if any where needed) that whatever offer you put out to the marketplace, (if people take action on it) they will reap the benefits many times over the cost of admission.
 

Andy Black

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Well we have history. We have spent time together offline and I know, like, and trust you. You have given exceptional value here over the years and your generosity cannot be doubted.

It is that generosity that provides the social proof (if any where needed) that whatever offer you put out to the marketplace, (if people take action on it) they will reap the benefits many times over the cost of admission.
Actually, now I think about it, I have made a few sales of my course (at $399 so not a throwaway amount) to people who saw it recommended in some Facebook group I rarely visit.

One of the buyers didn’t know the person who’d recommended the course, but respected that person based on their posting history. Which just goes to show the power of referrals from people you respect and trust, even if you don’t know them.


Back to that 3 day workshop we did in Dublin a few years ago. In your opinion would I be better using that skillset rather than training folks in that skillset? AKA using my shovel instead of selling it?

I think that people can legit be doing the work, and training people how to do the work. I think they’re separate businesses, and I’d say it’s a missed opportunity not to capture your skillset so that others can use it, and pay for it.
 

RazorCut

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Back to that 3 day workshop we did in Dublin a few years ago. In your opinion would I be better using that skillset rather than training folks in that skillset? AKA using my shovel instead of selling it?
Most definitely. I think you should be teaching your skills more than using them. Notice I say ‘more’ than ‘instead of’. I think you still need to have a hand in what you do otherwise you lose touch.

I could easily see you running regular seminars in say Dublin, Manchester, London, Bristol and Edinburgh. Even further afield but as a family man I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be away more than a few days at a time.

Being able to teach people to successfully increase traffic while reducing their conversion costs is a highly valuable skill that I’m sure many would pay 4 figures for. I’ve never understood why you haven’t capitalised on this apart from the fact you’ve been in a comfortable place and happy doing what you’re doing. Making such a switch would be a big move outside your comfort zone after all.

One FB expert who runs such seminars charges $4-5k per person and some people report making a return on that investment by the end of the first day.
 

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It's true, There are people who sell dream of getting rich disguised in how to. But I like the balance in this thread so far, because not all teachers are predatory and scammers. There are people who make money and teach others tactics on how to do it.

I saw videos of people taking about starting a marketing agency, I took a course from someone I trusted @$199 and I got results from the info and from taking action and learning constantly.

One niche I see tons of new gurus popping up in is Shopify dropshipping and amazon. Every other ad on my facebook feed is someone trying to sell a course. And dont forget some of the youtube gurus.
 

Andy Black

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I could easily see you running regular seminars in say Dublin, Manchester, London, Bristol and Edinburgh. Even further afield but as a family man I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be away more than a few days at a time.
Thanks, but it’s not going to happen.

I live 30km outside Dublin and didn’t drive in once last year.

I do fly to the UK every 3 weeks, but it’s to visit my mum.

And giving live courses to high paying delegates has zero appeal to me.

A free workshop to local business owners as a way of helping and building relationships? Sure, that would be great fun.

A four figure workshop or course for people who want to learn the advanced stuff I do? No thanks. I’m not in the education business. I’d rather use my shovel digging for gold.

But thanks for bringing it up so folks can see what goes on in the mind of at least one person who could build an education business but chooses not to.
 

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Thanks, but it’s not going to happen.
lol Well you did ask. With your skill set and seeing you in action it's how I see you could maximise that talent (both for you and for business owners). You wanting to run free workshops for local business owners is 1000% you though. lol

As an abstract do you think what you could teach people in a few days is worth £1000 a seat to the right people? How long do you think it would take them to see a return on that investment?

One niche I see tons of new gurus popping up in is Shopify dropshipping and amazon. Every other ad on my facebook feed is someone trying to sell a course. And dont forget some of the youtube gurus.
Yes these are exactly the people I was referring to earlier. Sam Ovens et al. In fact I just typed Amazon FBA into YouTube and Sam is stalking me again now. :rofl:
 

Andy Black

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Yeah, I did ask. Lol. I was genuinely surprised you thought teaching others would be a better use of my technical skillset.

With your skill set and seeing you in action it's how I see you could maximise that talent (both for you and for business owners).
The best way I can generate leads for a business is to do it for them. I’ve seen them try to do it themselves, even after extensive training, and they’d have been better just hiring me. It takes up less of my time to just do it for them too (rather than do an intensive training for them).
 

Andy Black

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As an abstract do you think what you could teach people in a few days is worth £1000 a seat to the right people? How long do you think it would take them to see a return on that investment?
People who want to learn are the DIY market. I prefer to serve the DFY market. By definition they don’t overlap.


I think of it this way: booking dot com is focused on building a marketing channel for hotels.

They don’t do training courses teaching hotels how to use Google or Facebook Ads to make more bookings for themselves. They use that knowledge to build and grow their business.

I think they’re using their shovel and digging out gold, rather than selling shovels.

I have always had issue with that shovel selling quote. If everyone is selling shovels then who’s using them?

And when people start selling courses on how to make courses then the new selling shovels is selling how to sell shovels... and I wonder who’s left in the mines.


So yeah, we’re circling back to what you asked earlier about “why would someone sell the training when they could be using that knowledge?”

Some do it because it’s a different business model serving a different market.

Some do it because they enjoy it and have a calling.

Some do it because that’s their way of building a scalable business from their technical skill.

And among the above are some who don’t do a good job of it and/or who’s heart is in the wrong place.
 

Andy Black

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Noooo!!!! How did this get onto my sponsored feed?!?

upload_2019-1-7_11-12-24.png
 

RazorCut

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Noooo!!!! How did this get onto my sponsored feed?!?
I sent him over. Alex Becker will join him in your feed shortly. :devil:

Happy New Year Bro. :rofl:
 

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James Klymus

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Yes these are exactly the people I was referring to earlier. Sam Ovens et al. In fact I just typed Amazon FBA into YouTube and Sam is stalking me again now. :rofl:
Sam ovens is more into consulting, He has some really good videos on youtube. I wouldnt pay $2000 for his course, but he has some good insights on his channel.
 

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