In all of my years doing online marketing, I follow what I like to think of as a “code” when it comes to what I recommend, sell and help people with. For the most part this code follows a guideline where I put myself into the other person’s shoes and wonder if they were recommending the same thing/s to me, how would I feel? If I have no issue with it, then I have a green light in my book. If not, it’s time to re-assess.
But now since this site has been up and I have been following those guidelines in the sense that I’ve only been recommending truly legitimate opportunities and warning against many potential scams, one thing I have missed is actually talking about my personal beliefs when it comes to online marketing.
Though I like to talk about being honest with people and that’s really the whole purpose of this site, there will be those who question what that really means. Fair point skeptics! Therefore, I will be addressing that in this post. Instead of going into an entire philosophical “rant”, I’ve just broken down my approach to honest online marketing into several guidelines.
The guidelines I follow:
Never recommend anything that would potentially hurt people/animals.
Let me give you 2 examples to illustrate this point. During my 8+ years in online marketing, one of the things I’ve become pretty good at is finding niche ideas rather quickly. If you don’t already know, a niche is & should always be your starting point in online marketing. In my years of doing this, I have come across many, but 2 in particular which had tremendous potential which I decided not to pursue because they would violate the first guidelines.
Example 1: Diets which was aimed at women who just had children. It fits all the rules of a good niche, but I couldn’t help but wonder if these diets would potentially hurt the baby/mother’s health. This doubt in my mind prevented me from ever going further with this.
Example 2: I watch an awesome show on TV which deals with zombies (hint hint zombie fanatics!) and one of the main characters there uses a crossbow. I discovered that many people were interested to know what exact crossbow that was and though about promoting it. Another example of a great niche idea.
However, after careful consideration, I figured this tool would probably be used to do a lot more than just “target training” and more likely be used for hunting. I love animals and just couldn’t bare the though of my promotion of this being used for that purpose so I decided against that niche as well.
Some may say what I did was a mistake and left money on the table, but I strongly believe in life there are FAR more important things than money. I specifically look for niches that HELP people and cannot be used to hurt others.
On a side note, if you’re unfamiliar with this whole “niche talk”, I’ve written up an entire tutorial on finding them and why they are SO important.
Never recommend anything that is unfairly priced.
This guideline sounds good but need explaining. After reviewing SO many products that teach people online marketing (I think we’re up to about 60+), there are very few I would ever recommend.
But one thing that I have developed is a sense of “fair” pricing. This means if the cost of a program/service is beyond what I consider fair, I will never recommend it.
As an example, if I see training advertised for free or cheap in one place and then in another for $1,000’s, and I see the expensive option allows me to promote it, yes I can technically make a lot of money doing this, but I will never do that because it’s simply unfair. The information can be attained elsewhere for less and benefit the customer. I gain more trust and credibility and it also helps my future reputation.
This is one of the reasons I am strongly opposed to MLM companies. I have reviewed more than a few which charge you $100’s and even $1,000’s for their training. And a lot of them give you the impression that this price is fair. I don’t believe that’s the case.
If you check out my reviews on places like MOBE or Empower Network which “encourage you” to buy their products which total to into the $1,000’s and even $10,000’s, you’ll notice how opposed I am to this form of pricing. It’s just wrong and there are much better places, like this where you can get that same kind of information (and even better) for MUCH less & even free.
Always promote something I personally believe in.
I don’t think I need to explain this, but in a nutshell, if it helps people, I believe in it, I will promote it, period.
Transparency is imperative!
If I am promoting something, I absolutely have to explain what it is. You’d be surprised to know just how many programs/services and even review sites which claim to give you honest reviews on make money online products say a lot, but it doesn’t mean anything! They sound like politicians and I’ve written an entire post on this.
Whenever I do reviews, I have to:
- Understand what the program actually is.
- I have to be able to explain it to other’s in simple terms.
- I have to give them a realistic/honest review on whether or not it would + if I can recommend it.
If people can truly understand what it is they’re getting before they get it from my site, then my job is done. It’s unfortunate however that so many people get fooled by places which never actually explain what the product is. In most cases, they just brag about how much money you can make and it really doesn’t go past that…
I strongly believe in these guidelines because without them I would be a sell out. You are certainly not “bound” by these rules I’ve set and can have your own opinions & points of views on this subject. In fact I’d love to hear your side of this.
I will admit that I am not perfect and have made ethical mistakes in the past which I feel I have rectified since. But at the same time, I do hope that if you intend on doing online/offline business, that you also have a code you follow. Credibility, trust & reputation mean much more in this world than money and fame, at least that’s how I see it.