Gurus Gone Bad

Having been in interactive marketing for more than a decade, I think I’ve seen just about every promotion there is. I’m a very skeptical buyer of interactive marketing products. Usually, I have to use a tool for a while before I decide if it will be efficient and effective for me. I learned a long time ago that neat-o factors wear off on all tools.

But I look at everything. That’s how I was introduced to the “Gurus”. These are the guys who claim to have the solution to all your traffic needs. They send out hundreds of e-mails a month, pushing their latest “fool-proof” plan or video. They sell each other’s crap. They basically sell empty dreams of cash and financial peace to those who don’t know any better. These guys are snake oil salesmen. And I’m sick of them.

There is even one here in Dallas who invited me to his house for a get together. I went, as a client I have was enamored with this guy’s claims. I got to the house and found a lot of people who were sick of their non-internet marketing day jobs that had bought into his scheme. It was like multi-level marketing but without any of that shady field’s upside. This stuff is evil – but the guys who sell it are, I’ll begrudgingly admit, good at getting your attention and selling their crappy wares.

The problem is the tools they are selling are for the most part sub-par. The programs that they ask you to join are full of copy that is meant to inspire, but basically teaches you NOTHING.

Here is an e-mail I received from the guy in Dallas (whose house I went to and saw how sparsely furnished it was and ate chips and drank cokes supplied by the attendees – who does this?)

Hi Tony,

If you are just getting started online,

wouldn’t you agree having a road map

for a successful online business

would be valuable?

If you agree too, good news.

My neighbor (well actually he moved out to the middle of no-where Texas!, about 90 minutes outside of Dallas) Stephen Pierce is giving you his new print book on online business.

In it he not only gives you his entire

formula. He also loads it up with

real live examples. Including a cool

story how he first got started online

in the 1990’s in a cool niche market

making some serious money.

Instead of the normal $19.95 price at

book stores. He will send it to you

for just the price of shipping.

What a cool deal.

He has this special page set up for you here:

I have a copy, read it and it does an

excellent job walking you through all

the fundamentals of having an online


I think you will love it too.

To your success,

Kevin Wilke

Nitro Marketing

If you click through on the link, you are taken to a page full of persuasive copy that, frankly, doesn’t ever get to a point. If you leave the page without signing up for the “free” book, you are treated to a pop-up window once again trying to get you sign up. All fluff, no content.

This stuff needs to stop. If you are doing it, please quit scamming people. I wish I had more time to deal with kind of crap, but for now blog posts like this will have to do.


  1. Hi Tony.

    I always find that people who claim to be gurus often aren’t.

    However, people that are RECOMMENDED as gurus are the ones that normally have something really worthwhile offering. That doesn’t include spamming… ;-)

  2. Jozef Foerch says:

    Agreed….anyone who uses the term “Guru” when describing themselves is obviously overegotistical to say it nicely. Who really has the sheer gaul to portray themselves as a Guru of anything? Word of mouth and referrals of happy clients is enough to portray you in a light that you are in fact good at what you do. Unfortunately this industry….has too many of the “Guru” types…who truly wind up being the laughing stock of those who practice sane and ethical SEM.

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