How To Protect Yourself Against Info-Product Launches

Even for those of us who have been dabbling in the Internet marketing arena for a decade or more, all these latest frenzied “Info-Product Launches” are downright scary. In recent months it is not only the product launches themselves that have become a little frightening, but also the rate at which these product launches keep bombarding all of us in the marketing world. It has become so relentless you feel like you’re an extra, ducking for cover in some war movie; Saving Private Ryan comes quickly to mind.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, you might get hit with one or two really major launches in a year. Now it seems like we are getting two or three a week. Those actively looking for good, solid marketing information will be totally drenched in the latest “How To” ebooks, videos and courses. Plus, throw in all those debuting membership sites, seminars, and private coaching sessions and even seasoned marketers are in serious danger of getting “Info Product Launch Burn-out.”

For the beginning wannabe online marketer it is a virtual mind field. One misstep and you can wake up, scratching your head: did I actually pay that much for a marketing product I can barely understand, let alone put into practice. Don’t get fooled by all the promises of instant wealth or quick riches. If getting rich was as easy as 123… we would all be sporting Donald Trump hairdos.

To make matters worst, all the latest marketing trends seem to be promoting the laziest ways possible to make a quick killing on the Internet. With this simple marketing tactic or that SEO trick, even the dimmest light bulb on the planet can have roaring online success without even breaking into a sweat or using up any of those precious brain cells. Heaven forbid.

The marketing hype has become so palpable and obnoxious it’s like a rich relative who won’t shut up about how much he’s earning while sitting in his pj’s and playing with his PDA.

“How I made 1 million in 52 minutes.” “How I made 100 grand with only a list of 45 subscribers…”

Who is to blame for all this “Info Product Feeding Frenzy”? Well we won’t mention names but these marketers are not shy about what they’re doing. Just the opposite, they brag and boast about how they can manipulate, control and whip prospective customers into such a buying frenzy just to see who can sell the largest amount of product in the shortest amount of time.

Some savvy and ruthless online marketers have turned this whole launch process into an art form, offering flashy videos with real valuable content in order to hook potential customers and capture their email contact information. The info-product launch flows out like a well-rehearsed opera:

  • Giving the specific date and countdown clock showing when the product goes live.
  • Incorporating a blog to keep everyone, including the search engines, informed.
  • Strictly limiting the product or buying time to increase demand.
  • Even manipulating you to buy the product before someone else beats you to it.
  • Having top-name JV partners whipping their devoted followers/subscribers with extra bonus offers.
  • Even enticing said affiliate partners with top prizes from ipods to sports cars.
  • Everything is in marketing sync for the big day.

Some of the top marketing pros and experts are now even offering courses on how to do exactly that: courses showing HOW you can warm up and psychologically cultivate a whole list of prospective buyers by giving away very valuable information in videos, reports and online calls… all to make that final sale.

There is nothing wrong with making a sale. There is nothing wrong with making a hundred sales, but there is something intrinsically wrong when you know in your heart of heart what you’re selling will never be used by half the people who are buying it.

How many of those sales are from naive or desperate buyers looking for a ‘quick fix’ or ‘easy ride’ to the good life? How many even if they have the money to buy your product will never have the will power and fortitude to carry out the marketing game plan in your product?

How many people are being fooled by all this marketing hype and rhetoric… how many will actually benefit from buying your product? Makes one wonder if that old saying is really true that in any gold rush, it is the people selling to the miners who make the most money.

All of these marketing products should not only come with an income disclaimer, which all the marketers prudently include, if only by some magical power we could see displayed on each product in big bold letters the tell-tell statistic: “How many buyers will actually read/view/use and ultimately benefit from the marketing info-product they have just purchased?”

That would be one statistic worth discovering. Of course, there’s no way of knowing, but one could argue this number is quite large. Otherwise, if you believe all the claims on these products, half the world would be Internet marketers and rolling in dough.

Online marketing is not easy. It can’t be done overnight. There is a learning curve and you must pay your dues. Be extra weary of any short cuts and anyone offering them. Magic formulas do exist and while buying the latest marketing product and information can definitely make the journey easier; always remember, no product can make that journey for you. No product or system can automatically make you rich. Don’t be fooled by flashy headlines, smart videos and the latest next big thing.

Nor can anyone say these info-products don’t have real value or merit. They do! They are of tremendous value to those who can benefit from them. If you’re marketing on the web and your sites/marketing are earning you $200-$300 a day or an hour — even just a small tidbit of information or advice can dramatically increase your income. Over time the amount paid for any info-product will be returned to you a hundred-fold. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the info-product itself; a marketer might mention a piece of software or program he/she uses in their work that when applied to your own can make a big difference in how much you earn. Been there, done that.

For everything is relative; even the large amounts charged for some of these seminars, coaching sessions or info-products can be justified if the buyer gets his money’s worth and then some. It all depends on the position/angle you’re coming from and how much the information impacts your online business, which will really determine if one benefits from a particular info-product or not.

So the next time you’re bombarded by the latest info-product by some of the world’s best online marketers… STOP, take a deep breath and step back from all the marketing hype and manipulation. Then honestly ask yourself: How can I use this information? Will I use this information? Perhaps, most importantly, can I really afford this product at this time or can it wait?

If you decide to buy, protect yourself by thoroughly checking out the marketer’s reputation beforehand. A money-back guarantee is only as good as the marketer’s word. If there is a payment option — take this route because you will lose less money if refunds are not honored.

Above all, if you’re buying the product because you believe it will solve all your problems and will virtually give you the path to the easy life, just remember this… you have to do some work. You have to put in some sweat equity. You have to do your own homework; no one else can do it for you. It doesn’t work that way. Sure some smart, successful marketer can sell you the answers, but you still have to write the test yourself.

Like most things in life, there are shortcuts; but you have to take them yourself in order to get to where you want to go. Online marketing is no different.

Public Speaking: How to Deliver Your Presentation Without Using Notes

Imagine walking on into a room to give an important public speaking presentation with your hands totally free. No notes, no loose papers – just a pleasant smile and a confident stride. Your audience would be impressed as soon as you stepped onto the platform and took the microphone. You would instantly have credibility among the members of the audience.

With a little public speaking know-how and intensive practice, you can deliver your presentation without using notes. The trick is to learn your material applying a technique called bits. A bit is a slice of material so closely related that it naturally flows from one point to the next. It lets you easily remember the points and deliver the material without notes. You may be surprised to learn that public speakers don’t memorize long speeches. They use bits to learn their speech and then memorize a few key words to trigger their thoughts.

Another advantage of using bits is you don’t have to carve out long blocks of time to practice your entire speech. You can use little short chunks of time to practice one bit, learn it well and then move on to another bit. Practice each bit repeatedly until you know it backwards and forwards. By the time the day of the event rolls around, you will have learned your entire speech.

In addition to making it easier for you to learn the parts of your speech, bits work especially well when giving a humorous presentation. They allow you to fire off funny stories back-to-back, with each one funnier than the one before. Test your humorous stories before you use them and rate them according to how much laughter you expect them to bring. Tell the least funny story first and then end with the funniest joke to build the intensity of laughter to its highest level.

One of the best things about using bits is that since you aren’t encumbered by notes, you can get much closer to your audience. Anytime you can walk out into your audience, you build rapport and increase your connection with them. That makes it more fun for them and for you.

Leave the notes at home. Your audience will be convinced you are an expert and head to the back of the room to buy your books and DVDs.

Mobile Advertising Presents a Multitude of Marketing Opportunities

According to the internet research firm, eMarketer, there are over 405-million mobile internet users worldwide. Projections see this figure reading over 800-million in four years. Staggering indeed, and an exciting opportunity for internet marketers, especially in Africa where mobile represents a much larger penetration than fixed line Internet connections.

It’s also an exciting opportunity to engage with customers because it enables marketers to interact with them right at their touch-point with the internet, right in the palm of their hand.

Handheld devices are becoming more and more enabled, and this combination of PDA, camera, email, MP3 player, internet browser and so forth is only serving to make the penetration and dependency on these devices more and more prolific.

Clearly, with mobile and WAP sites, the mobile internet brings a new dimension to ecommerce and the way transactions are done.

How WAP differs from traditional web

WAP sites need to be simple and suitable for the smaller screen size. In addition to the design and technical considerations when putting together a WAP site, marketers need to consider that the purposes or intent of a mobile internet user are potentially different to a person sitting in front of a computer.

WAP users tend to prefer goal-driven services that provide quick answers to specific problems. Examples include finding the nearest hotel, a towing service or weather forecasts. Other uses for WAP include entertainment-focused services for users who are looking to kill time.

Overall, WAP services should target users with immediate context-driven content.

Mobile services now include everything from SMS to podcasting and video-on-the-go, so the opportunities to advertise are virtually limitless.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) released a whitepaper in April 2008 which presents an overview of mobile advertising as it stands.

The mobile channels that are defined include the mobile web, downloadable applications, mobile messaging and mobile video. Each channel presents a number of advertising opportunities.

Mobile Web

The most obvious channel is perhaps the mobile web. On the mobile web, advertising opportunities include banner advertising, text ads and branded mobile websites.

Here, ads are primarily sold on a CPC or CPM basis. It is possible to set up ads in a number of formats in the mobile web channel, but these are most commonly banner and text ads.

Mobile Messaging

These days virtually every single handset, no matter how rudimentary, is able to send and receive Short Message Service (SMS) and to a certain but more limited extent, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). These form the basis of mobile messaging.

SMS is limited to only text characters, while MMS can include images, sound and video content. There are a number of opportunities for advertisers through the mobile messaging channel – these include text advertisements, branding though splash pages and animated images.

Downloadable Applications

Downloadable applications refers to software or specific content that users download to their mobile device, that then remains on the phone – these services can include games, ringtones and lifestyle tool applications. These types of application downloads are only available to those users with compatible devices and data plans.

Advertising opportunities within the downloadable application channel include ad placement within the apps, and branded applications.

Mobile Video

The final channel is mobile video. This refers to video that is sent via a cell phone operator network to a handset’s embedded media player.

Mobile videos are either streamed live or downloaded either from the mobile web, or as part of an MMS.

Ad placement here can be as pre-, post- or mid-roll adverts. Marketers could incorporate static images or produce branded videos specifically for this channel.

What are the expected results?

These advertising opportunities can be useful as part of a broader CRM strategy, for branding, direct sales and for driving users to a mobile or WAP site.

Many mobile advertisers report response rates of between 10 and 30 percent, meaning that targeted mobile advertising is a powerful tool. With the forecasts indicating a high adoption rate and rapid expansion in this area, the mobile arena is certainly one that should not be neglected when it comes to broader internet marketing strategies.