Internet Marketers – How much Is your Soul Worth?

By Mark / February 11, 2011

Today I was going to write a post that follows up from last Mondays Post and talked about exactly how much my business has changed in the last year soley because of working on the part of my business that was profitable…but that can wait.

I am angry, really angry, you know that anger when you want to smash a cup off the wall or scream really loudly, that’s how angry I am and it’s been buIlding up for the past 12 hours. So hopefully this post will help me calm down.

I thought I’d seen it all in IM, unwritten products selling for $2000 then being rolled out over 10 weeks to give the outsourcers time to write it (happens more than you think!) Version 3 of a book selling for $197 when it’s the same as the original that sold for $37. As I said I thought I had seen it all but last night I saw a new low.

There was a product released last nIght that cost $2700 it was promoted by the usual suspects. Unfortunatly it was also promoted by people who should know better. One even had the cheek to point out all the considerable flaws and inaccuracies in the marketing and then still couldn’t resist adding a link to it.

So it seems the price of a marketers soul Is $1350 which Is probably less than a good escort for a night in San Diego, I know who I think has more class

So why have I got such a downer on this product, well it encompasses all that Is bad in IM. You see the product Is about creating software and it comes on the back of an Iphone app that was created by the marketer in question. it initially made him $2000 after his cousin sent details to his list (it’s a bIIIIIIggggg list), they also offered a bonus report about how they made the app to people who bought the product. it was 6 pages long (with lots of graphics!)

Of course they didn’t mention that in the $2000 they had to pay 30% (or 40%) to apple and the development costs were $1700

So we have an app that sold purely beacause it was promoted by a big marketer, that gave it momentum so it might have made more sales, Frankly I am not interested.

We have a 6 page report and we have 2 marketers .

I can Imagine the conversatIon,

Hey Dude, Your hair Is looking good today, long hair suits you.

Thanks Dude, I’m trying to look like you Cuz..

Cool.

yeah cool..

Know what we haven’t released anything for a while , it must be our turn soon..

Let me check the dIary… Holy S*** Dude we are supposed to release something in 10 days time..What are we going to do

I know, do you have that 6 page report you wrote last month, lets use that, we’ll add a load of videos , fill it full of fluff add a few webinars and market the bejazus out of it.

But we’ll never finIsh it in tIme…

No problem we’ll roll it out over 5 weeks that way we can get the money fIrst before we have to do any work

Good Idea Dude..

Right you go and make the launch series, remember to put the best stuff into the launch videos, I’ll get the guys… Let’s go to work (queue reservoir dogs music)

So what do you need to do to make software…

First rule is remember that you’ll need to support it…you will need a support desk

Find a good programmer who has experience.

Expect delays …programmers live it their own alternate reality

test, test test again, it needs to work on all sorts of different hardware configurations.

After that it’s just like releasing any products, you need JV partners and to build a buzz.

I am currently creating some software myself, it’s not an easy task despite outsourcing everything.

Finally everytime I write somethign like this I get comments along the lines of ” you are only jealous that you can’t sell products for so much” Part of that is probably right I’d love to be able to sell a product at $2000 or $3000 but i also like to be able to sleep at night and know i’ve given value in my products. So thanks very much but i’ll take a good nights sleep over a millionaire lifestyle any day.

However If you want to spend $2700 then i’ll happily fly to your home and sit beside you and walk you through the whole process…I might even buy you a beer… Now that that other product say that!

Ohh One other thing, it’s a 5 week course…the refund period is 30 days , they’ll save what they think is the best stuff until last.. Do The math!

Now having got that off my chest I actually feel less angry!

Normal service will be resumed on Monday have a great weekend.

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Mark

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20 comments
Tim@Internet Income Rant

Hi Mark,
That’s such a rant! Really…you’ve diagnosed a disease in IM that’s eating deep into our skins…for me, you can sell a $4500 product, be it software or apps or whatever if and only if you’ll provide corresponding value. I believe that value is key and I can’t trade that for anything. Provide value and people’ll pay for it…I’ve seen some persistent emails (sometimes twice a day) telling me to learn to create an iphone app and all such but for that amount? Guess I’ll rather market my blog and move on.
Thanks for making the world see where we’re headed. For me my soul is worth nothing and everything, at least, dollar cannot buy it! Enjoy your day.
Tim.

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Bryan Thompson

Mark,

I wasn’t in cup-throwing mode as I watched this most recent roll out because I’ve come to expect this from these folks…. However I was very let-down and dismayed when I saw the email from the individual who had the ‘cheek’ to trash it and then promote it. I’m guessing we are talking about the same guy (fellow Brit named Paul). I’ve been using his software for over 5 years. As I read the email, I really thought he was going to use it to promote his own traffic course as an alternative. When he revealed his soul-selling intentions, my reaction wasn’t to throw yell or throw something, however, I did feel the urge to take a shower.
I still have several clients whose sites are built on xSitepro. As a result of that email, I’m seriously considering some pro bono work for them to migrate their sites to WordPress.

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Mark
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Bryan, Hit the nail on the head… I suppose in his defence he must have been doing something right up to now that we were both shocked by it!

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Brad Gosse

Lucky for me, I don’t subscribe to very many lists so I didn’t get this e-mail.

I think there is a real lack of innovation out there which is why most people try to pawn off their garbage. The other problem I see is that very few people actually do the work outlined in these courses. Giving the product creator and opportunity to sell garbage and not have anyone notice the holes.

It’s often funny how all it takes is someone like you to do the basic math and see there is little money to be made.

I would also agree with you about software creation. It takes patience and a few dollars to get the wheels turning. I have been lucky in some cases where I’ve had programmers who deliver on time but that’s the exception not the rule.

Have a great weekend 🙂

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Roy

You always make me laugh, Mark. lol

I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s scary what people are willing to do for a quick buck these days.

Have you noticed how they keep pushing the price points on these launches up, too? I wonder if it’s a sign of a shrinking customer base.

Can’t wait for the deluge of other software development courses coming out over the next 6 months. 2010 was the year of outsourcing and providing IM services to local businesses.

Roy

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Dean Martin

Nice Rant! Loved your ‘inside the conversation’.

The good thing about this product is it’s been easy to pare down my list subscriptions – automatic unsubscribe to anyone promoting it.

The bad thing is it’s just another notch of disenchantment for the people who buy times 10-20 of their family and friends causing them to miss out on legitimate products that could turn their finances and life around.

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Justin Wheeler

Personally I just think you are jealous of the hair….. But with your new caricature I can’t remember if I am remembering your follicle challenges correctly.

I think you can learn some great stuff from these product launches and the subsequent blog posts. Wasn’t aware of the maths behind the iphone apps, but still I got some neat ideas from the videos.

Worth $2,700 almost certainly not and I would take the free beer from you anytime and get the two days of your time for the same price. However does it give me the genesis of an idea and the production of a $47 or $97 course…. Quite possibly. My brother was talking to me about an idea for an iphone app which sounded clever, may go back to it and develop it. A lot of bright software guys out there who don’t know the first thing about marketing…. GIves a good profit share opportunity.

Great post Mr Thompson…. Probably why I am subscribed to you and not to that many other people!

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Melody

The interesting part to me was the email that I received this am from another well-known marketer, who I assume has a huge list as well, admitting that he only made two sales, but that a lot of people wanted to but his bonus so he flipped the bonuses over to a couple of other MUCH lower priced up coming launches (the two combined were $137, if I remember correctly).

And with software – it’s not just about the creation – it’s also about support after the sale, and believe me, there is a LOT. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt, and I can’t believe anyone could possibly talk about it as an ‘easy’ business to start or run. Yes, it can be very lucrative but as Brad stated above – it takes patience and dollars to do it right, and it is without a doubt one of the riskiest businesses that you can launch online, unless you are the programmer yourself! Launch a WP plugin? Wait until the next update comes along and you have 400 screaming customers that have a useless plugin they paid for – and your programmer has gone ghost on you. Yeah, that sounds like fun…..

I work with cutting edge technology every day, and we have our own in-house team of top notch programmers, yet we still have to work our tails off to support our clients correctly, and stay on top of all of the possible changes/bugs/gremlins that happen all the time just because…well….it’s SOFTWARE!!!

Potentially lucrative? Yes. For the faint hearted? Definitely not!

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Teresa Miller

Well, Mark, you just got yourself added to my “do-watch” list. I found a link to this post on the WF, and so much of what you are saying echoes my feelings about marketing. (My personal marketing motto is Internet Marketing with Heart.) I think it was this paragraph that sealed the deal for me:

“Finally everytime I write somethign like this I get comments along the lines of ” you are only jealous that you can’t sell products for so much” Part of that is probably right I’d love to be able to sell a product at $2000 or $3000 but i also like to be able to sleep at night and know i’ve given value in my products. So thanks very much but i’ll take a good nights sleep over a millionaire lifestyle any day.”

Of course we all want to be successful. I want to do well financially in this business as much as anyone, but I won’t sacrifice my principles to do so. A lot of people in the IM world start to scoff the minute you start using words like “principles” and “ethics.” But I go back to something that a very smart man used to tell me: “We do well, by first doing good.”

I’m subscribing to your newsletter, and adding you to my Traffic Sponge list of blogs to watch.

Thank you!

Teresa Miller

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Mark

Looks like I hit a nerve with this post , thanks for the comments I really appreciate them

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Jeremy Kelsall

Hey Mark,

Good Post!

I didn’t really pay attention to the marketing of this product…I only got 2 or 3 emails in total about it From Ed Dale I believe. I think that just about everyone and anyone out there knows that there is money to be made developing and selling software, but the question of the day is…

Could this particular marketer have sold 2K worth of software if he wasn’t relying on his list…If he had to try and do it the same way 99% of the people buying his product would have to do it?

I don’t think I’m ready to lump “this guy” into the same group as many of these “crooks” that are running around out there, because a lot of his information is useful, but the way products are marketed in the Internet Marketing niche right now SUCKS as a whole, and it would be “cool” if one of these guys that actually has a little bit of pull would start setting a good example to all the nameless clickbank morons that are running around out there.

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Mark

3 days after the Launch and Frank and Trey are still adding bonus’s , this tells me one thing..This product isn’t selling very well.

As a result of the original post I was sent details (in confidence unfortunately) of some of the affiliate sales numbers that were made on another similar launch recently. You could count some of the highest sales numbers on your fingers.

Hopefully people have started to catch to the actual value of these products. It will be interesting to see if the upcoming syndicated launches are actually priced lower.

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Ethan Semmel

Hi Mark, I had to check out your stuff after you commented on my blog.

http://www.iwebdigest.com/death-of-product-launches/

You bring up good points in this post about problems that arise with software creation. And, because you have experience with marketing, you also understand the in’s and outs of the promotions. What things are emphasized to appeal to the emotions of a possible buyer as well as what things are left out of the promotions because they may hurt sales.

Where we seem to differ is that I wasn’t expressing any anger over the product launch. I have no idea of the quality of the product. I even assume it is a good product. The decline of the high ticket product launch was bound to start happening because of a number of factors that I wrote about.

I found it very interesting and refreshing to hear someone on the inside give hard numbers and actually admit that the launch was not going well. In my experience, with the close knit group who promote the High Ticket product launches, this is never done. Everything is always great, business is always the best it has ever been, etc. To hear someone mention the disappointment of this launch and another recent high ticket launch was fascinating and I wanted to comment on it.

I wouldn’t get angry over it as it’s a waste of energy, but that said…I can understand your anger.

There was a launch this past year that made me laugh because it was being promoted as a new way to execute a business model. There was a lot of talk in the promotional content about old strategies of the business model that just don’t work anymore. What was needed was to use these new strategies of the business model the launch was teaching. And then when the launch ended, one of the people running the launch just continued doing things the “old way” himself.

It seems you have a different audience than the high ticket guru’s, even though you are in the same market. Which is great so you can focus in on what your particular audience wants.

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Alan Petersen

As a non-programmer/techie type using oDesk, I’ve been working on my first software product and it sure isn’t as easy as stated in the sales copy.

The sad part is the folks who bought the pitch, would have been better off spending that money on hiring a quality programmer to develop your software vs. getting more information overwhelmed thrown at you. 🙂

Alan

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Mark
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Alan,

I went through the same process a month ago, finding a programmer at odesk is certainly not like finding an article writer.

In the end i found someone local i could deal with

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Ankur

I usually try to follow product launches, especially those are marketed by lots of big IMs, just to check their sales and marketing process, video quality etc.

This product launch in question has actually made me curious. I was checking one of the videos when I scrolled down to FB comments (they have embedded FB comments in the page), on the first look almost 80% of the comments looked like bogus/paid-for-comments. I even pointed the same thing to the IMer who sent the email (and is normally quick to flame people on his blog, but never heard back from him)

Now Just go to the corresponding posts of those big marketers who are announcing the “product is LIVE” and check the comments there, you “ll notice similar fake comments.

I think we need to be more careful in trusting big name marketers.

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Brian

Mark,

Frankly, you and a small handful of other internet marketers redeem my faith in humanity, and keep me from thinking that I am in a boat with the only others being snakes.

Frankly, I practically vomit in my mouth when I get more and more crap offers from trendy scammers.

Frankly, I’d like to thank you and your many commenters for reminding me that I’m not the only one who is annoyed that even though I’ve opted out of the scammer’s list, I still receive his offers via his thoughtless affiliates.

Frankly, you are doing an important service. I’m sure there are people who aren’t jaded enough to those kind of scams who will now be forewarned since you have given them a heads-up to the problem.

Thanks again,

Frankly,

Brian

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Gail

I’ve unsubscribed to most email lists precisely because they turn my stomach (although of course you’re on my “A” list, Mark). While I don’t think I’ve paid more than $150 for anything (and that was for mainstream IM software), I can’t imagine what kind of course or software or anything would be worth that kind of money!

Years and years ago, when I was first breaking into ebay, hubby and I got a call from someone who wanted to sell us a “business” where we could make thousands and thousands of dollars…if we bought their course for $6,000 (which, to give them credit, did come with personal coaching…or so they said).

We said thank you no, and proceeded to make lots of money anyway, by following one simple rule: price your product fairly and then over-deliver. When you do that, you’ll always have customers.

OK, end of my rant! Mark, thanks so much for writing your post — people new to IM get “shiney-itis” and actually fall for the story about a magic system that will earn them thousands overnight. It doesn’t work that way, or we’d all be rich.

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PuGuang Chen

Mark,

Actually I didn’t want to reply because that’s how I tend to work. But in this case, I felt such a strong urge to leave a word or two in reply to your blog post.

I highly salute you for what you are and what you dare to kick wide open. Yes, in this age and time, not too many a soul does have a soul, let alone integrity.

You’re my hero and I shall look up to you as someone who has more integrity than all these filthy IM gurus have gathered together.

Screw them all, I’d say. The world has already too much of this messy situation that one can hardly finds one’s way to success amongst all this BS.

We, therefore, need someone like yourself to stand up and stand out to air your opinion in a loud and clear manner.

You sure have the guts, I’d say. But that’s something I highly salute you for because this kind of situation is getting to be very much a “hard-to-find” nowadays due to the fact that no one is willing to claim responsibility regardless.

We need more hot-blooded soul like yourself, indeed. 🙂

Please keep up the good work.

God bless you and all yours indeed.

Best regards,
PuGuang Chen

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Travis

Mark:

Great post as always! I subscribe to many lists only to stay on top of what all these supposed “gurus” are doing. I respect Frank for his marketing prowess and his ability to connect with his audience but it’s sickening how he’ll promote just about anything to make a buck. I bought one of his products a couple years ago and it was totally worthless. I vowed to never buy anything from him or anything he promotes (but I stay on his list because I admire his marketing abilities).

Who is this Trey guy anyway? He seemed to come out of no where – and it’s interesting how he tries to have that same look and laid back vibe as Frank. I don’t even know how I got on Trey’s list. I thought maybe he was a “good guru” until he started bombarding me with email promotion after email promotion.

What I want to know is how these guys can get away charging such outrageous prices for these products – especially given the economy right now. It seems like every major launch now is for a $1,500+ product. I miss the $97 – $147 product launches of yesteryear:)

Travis

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