There is a dirty little secret that info marketers don’t like to talk about, particularly info marketers in the Internet marketing space. It deals with the success of their customers.
Many Internet marketing gurus will spew rhetoric about why they do what they do. They say they are only in this business to help people. This is not true. If it were true, then it wouldn’t be a business. It would be more like a hobby or a charitable service. The mere inclusion of the word business says that at least a part of them is in it to make money. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but let’s call it what it is.
Let’s talk about Steve, an imaginary Internet marketing whiz. He frequently writes and sells guides showing other marketers how to follow in his footsteps. Steve sells a lot of these guides and has built a huge mailing list of people that follow his every word. The material is well written and the advice he gives is sound. In fact, if you took any one of his reports, you could probably follow the instructions and create a viable income stream. However, most of his followers don’t do that. Instead, most buy his report and wait for the next one. Some will read what they bought, while others will just store it in a little file on their computer and save it for later. Only a small percentage of those buyers will actually take action and Steve likes it that way.
You see, Steve has realized that his followers are broken down into four different categories. Those categories are the Curious, the Joiners, the Addicts, and the Action Takers.
The Curious are the ones that seek knowledge. They want to see what is behind the curtain. They want to know how the magic trick is done, even if they have no intention of ever becoming a magician themself. This crowd usually has a nine to five job, but sees Internet marketing as a side interest and they want to become as knowledgable about it as possible. Many folks in this category probably have acquired enough know how to successfully start their own marketing business and do away with their J-O-B, but they won’t. Perhaps they have a spouse that is discouraging them from taking the leap or maybe they simply do not posess the entrepreneur spirit needed to take such a leap. Either way, Steve is doing them a service by providing information they are seeking, even if it is just for entertainment purposes.
The Joiners are people that love being a part of the marketing community, but rarely do anything to start or build upon their own business. They are usually very well versed in the subject of marketing and they spend a good bit of their day on various chat forums and FaceBook groups. Some are so well versed that they are able to give a great deal of good advice to other members of the community. Often times, these are the cockiest of Steve’s customers. They are so knowledgable that they arrogantly point out the errors of active marketers and, sometimes, even berate newbies seeking advice in the forums. A good number of Steve’s Joiners are well respected for the advice they give, so well respected that they could probably have a following of cash paying customers of their own, but they don’t and probably won’t.
The Addicts make up a big percentage of Steve’s business. I compare these people to addicted gamblers. They are constantly on the lookout for a winning lottery ticket or that lucky slot machine. Addicts will buy product after product, hoping the next one will be their ticket to fame and success. The truth is the folks in this group will never succeed and Steve knows it. They lack something that keeps them from taking action. Some are ignorant and just hoping the mere purchase of a hot marketing tutorial will somehow be all it takes to bring in the wealth. Others are lazy and are looking for some sort of fairy dust that will magically create a business for them. The human side of Steve would like to see these people get over whatever mental block is holding them back, but the business side of Steve is glad they exist, as they are.
The Action Takers are Steve’s pride and joy. They make up a small percentage of Steve’s customer base, but there are enough of them to show that Steve’s products produce results. These are the people that take Steve’s content and run like the wind with it. They create businesses, based on Steve’s instruction, and they make money hand over fist. They also do a great service for Steve; they endorse him. Steve’s successful students aren’t too proud to say where they received their knowledge. They blog about it. They talk in chat forums about it. They post positive reviews about it. The Action Takers are the people that allow Steve to sleep well at night. The success of this group is the proof Steve needs to know that he is truly offering something of value.
For every Steve on the Internet, there are millions of people that fall into one of the four customer categories. Which category do you fall into?