I recently read a tragic story about Bruce Serven who shot his 22 month old son in the chest, then himself in the head, after an argument with his wife (the link is here)
News coverage of Bruce Serven said:
On the internet, he portrayed himself as a maverick entrepreneur with his own motivational blog and Facebook fan page, but in real life, he was a man who had been unemployed for months and had recently taken a job as a forklift driver.
This story is in the minority, most struggling internet marketers don’t take their lives. But what is common is that MANY internet marketers are not making an income or if they are it’s a very small amount.
But like Bruce there are 1000’s of internet marketers who are portraying an image of a successful business and if you buy their products you too will be successful.
How do we know when someone is faking it? There are 1000’s of websites and ridiculous claims, even showing proof of earnings but let’s be honest, it’s not difficult to create one of these on Photoshop.
It’s well known in the industry that many people are taught to fake it till you make it.
Is this right? As a mentor myself I’m often asked “how do I get testimonials”, “how do I get my first clients if I don’t have any initially” “how do I show someone how to make money if I’m not doing it yet myself”.
Well what’s the answer to that? Fake it till you make it?
Is the whole of the internet marketing industry one big fat lie?
I had a conversation with someone recently on a forum. He wanted to know how he could provide social media management services and asked for my help. I’ll be honest here (it is my blog after all!). I was really insulted. This guy hadn’t got a clue, his skills and expertise were minimal in this area but he thought he could make some money from it. I sell social media management services on the back of 1. I know what I’m doing and 2. I practice what I preach and 3. I’ve been doing it a bloody long time!
So what will he do? He’ll fake it of course, will he make some money from it… who knows, possibly.
Okay here is where I hold my hands up a little as I have mixed feelings about the whole fake it till you make it business. On one side of the coin there are huge advantages. People buy from positive and credible people. Nobody likes a moaner and we all like to surround ourselves with successful people. But are we blinded by this?
The other side is that are we constantly perpetuating the situation by continuing to fake it. Are we confused and blinkered by what’s real and what’s not?
I know a few entrepreneurs who over the last couple of years “came out” and admitted they were struggling, in fact more than struggling they were desperate. I admired them for being so honest but what did it achieve? It completely ruined their credibility (for some people) and it opened the gates for gossipers. Did they get any help from it? Was it worth their while taking that giant step in being incredibly honest? I don’t know.
As business owners every day we are faced with challenges. And with the right amount of money you can buy anything to help your cause in faking it.
- You can buy fans on Facebook,
- you can buy followers on Twitter,
- you can buy reviews for your products,
- testimonials from Fiverr
- and you can even buy fake friends.
With all these new services does this mean that there is even more demand for people needing and wanting to fake it?
I welcome your comments
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