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"The House of Smoke & Mirrors"
Written by Sam Payne on March 06 th, 2018
One of  the biggest Facebook™️ billers in the UK's view on the guru generation, and how it's turned your newsfeed into a minefield of shit ads and diabolical sales and lead generation processes!

Every so often we see a shift in the market place, some good and some bad. What we've now embarked on is the generation of "me too" marketers and business owners. As a marketer I've studied the art of sales, influence and persuasion for years. There's nothing easier than selling the dream to broke, run down people looking for an easy way to success. 
"7 Steps to 6 figures in the next 12 weeks"
This was the headline of an ad I saw not too long ago. The creator of this ad was moaning to the group that he wasn't making any money and needed help with his ads and sales funnel. 

Are you fucking kidding me! Here's a guy positioning himself as the man with the answers, and here he was crying to other "marketers" that no one was buying his shit! This single scenario highlights the problem we're facing RIGHT NOW.  

After seeing this issue get bigger over the past 3 years I decided to do some digging. I wanted to understand why this keeps happening. Why desperate people are sucked into paying thousands for courses and training programs that just don't work. It's all smoke and mirrors!

I've personally invested over £75,000 over the past 3 years on mentors, coaches, courses, books and seminars, all in the sales and marketing space. 

Over the past 12 months I have sat back and watched, studied and researched the era of the marketing guru and the effects it has had on the market place. And now i've decided to publish my findings.

Read on if you want to see how we go against 99% of the bullshit you see in your newsfeed to generate thousands of leads a day and £1m + every month in sales revenue in some of the toughest markets on the planet...
Sam Payne, Co Founder of No Nonsense Marketing
"The House of Smoke & Mirrors"
Written by Sam Payne on March 06 th, 2018
One of  the biggest Facebook™️ billers in the UK's view on the guru generation, and how it's turned your newsfeed into a minefield of shit ads and diabolical sales and lead generation processes!

Every so often we see a shift in the market place, some good and some bad. What we've now embarked on is the generation of "me too" marketers and business owners. As a marketer I've studied the art of sales, influence and persuasion for years. There's nothing easier than selling the dream to broke, run down people looking for an easy way to success. 

"7 Steps to 6 figures in the next 12 weeks"

This was the headline of an ad I saw not too long ago. The creator of this ad was moaning to the group that he wasn't making any money and needed help with his ads and sales funnel. 

Are you fucking kidding me! Here's a guy positioning himself as the man with the answers, and here he was crying to other "marketers" that no one was buying his shit! This single scenario highlights the problem we're facing RIGHT NOW.  

After seeing this issue get bigger over the past 3 years I decided to do some digging. I wanted to understand why this keeps happening. Why desperate people are sucked into paying thousands for courses and training programs that just don't work. It's all smoke and mirrors!

I've personally invested over £75,000 over the past 3 years on mentors, coaches, courses, books and seminars, all in the sales and marketing space. 

Over the past 12 months I have sat back and watched, studied and researched the era of the marketing guru and the effects it has had on the market place. And now i've decided to publish my findings.

Read on if you want to see how we go against 99% of the bullshit you see in your newsfeed to generate thousands of leads a day and £1m + every month in sales revenue in some of the toughest markets on the planet...
Sam Payne, Co Founder of No Nonsense Marketing
This Report is Bull Shit!
Written by Sam Payne on March 06th, 2018
Part #1: The Modern Day Highway Billboard Ad
JUST IN...A goldfish has a longer attention span than you! 
You may have read this in the news or heard it from a friend. The fact that goldfish have the attention span of 9 seconds and the modern day human falls behind that with 8.5. This originally came from a study conducted by Microsoft in 2015 where they ‘tested the attention span’ of humans and discovered that from 2000 - 2015, we have lost the ability to remain focussed by a further 4 seconds.

But is this true? Let’s entertain the fact that it is for the next few paragraphs…

If indeed us humans can only focus for 8.5 seconds, what hope do we have in carrying out any task that lasts longer than 10 seconds? The world would fall apart. If you’ve watched Disney's Finding Nemo or Finding Dory you will be familiar with Dory. The Blue Surgeonfish that has a short term memory of only 9 seconds and has to introduce herself to everyone at each 9 second interval, even during a conversation…

“Hi i’m Dory, what’s your name? Nemo, hey Nemo can you tell me how to get to…………………..Hi i’m Dory, what’s your name!”

Imagine this happening with every encounter you have throughout the day! Or every time you sit down with a coffee to start some work and……….wait what am I doing? You would go out of your mind. 

So it would seem to me that this can’t be true. When people relate back to this statistic, they refer to things like social media giving us shorter attention spans. Or that emails and notifications are constantly popping up which takes our attention away from the task at hand! And this got me thinking...when i’m putting together marketing campaigns for my clients, how can I grab the attention of the user if i’ve only got 8.5 seconds in any given attention window?

After doing some digging I realised that goldfish are smart and have great memories (I could elaborate on this point but I fear I will digress and turn this report into a crap version of David Attenboroughs Blue Ocean...More like Sam Payne's green algae old vase!) , this led to research that highlighted humans have indeed got great attention spans which goes against the popular 8.5 second myth.

You see, attention span time will vary from task to task. It is completely task dependant. If we break down how the brain reacts to information, attention is actually the result of a series of reactions to sensory stimuli.

If you are looking at something that’s not stimulating you, you won’t give it any attention, if you’re onto something that gets you excited, hey presto, you’ll give it as much attention as it requires. All that’s changed from the pre internet era to 2018 is the landscape in which we access information.

I started Jiu Jitsu 3 months ago and I love it! We hit the gym for a minimum of 90 minutes at a time, going over new techniques and drills, then putting them to the test with 5 x 5 minute sparring rounds at the end. Do you think I focus ALL my attention the entire time i’m in the gym to avoid being tied up like a prezil? You bet I do! I can give Jiu Jitsu 100% of my attention for 90 minutes with ease. However, ask me to give balet a go and you’ve got me for 5 seconds max. 

Google, Wikipedia, Social Media, Online Publications, Email, Messaging and any and every other means of accessing information online have provided the ultimate platform to consume content. As of writing, 211,000,000 pieces of content are published EVERY MINUTE on the internet. With the introduction of smartphones and tablets, companies like Facebook have intuitive user interfaces that allow users to seamlessly scroll past content they do not wish to consume, and pause and ponder at content that grabs their attention. 

But I wanted to understand how the brain takes this information and prioritises it. Now i’m no brain surgeon, and only looking at this from a marketing perspective. But what reaction happens in the human brain that allows for the decision making process of;

Yes this looks good, i'm going to give this a chance, or…

No, this isn't relevant, keep scrolling! 
It's not attention...It's Multitasking.
When my wife and I were last on holiday we were sitting on the balcony overlooking the sea having breakfast. The conversation led to what we were getting up to that day. Then all of a sudden my phone flashes with an email alert. I look at the phone for a few seconds, put it down and carry on with the conversation. At this point my wife is still talking and I realise I didn’t hear anything she said for the few seconds the phone flashed…

“Sorry babe, I missed that. You don’t mind repeating what you just said do you?”

When something as insignificant as looking at your phone for a few seconds when it flashes can have this effect, what chance do we stand as marketers to sell anything to anyone! Do humans really only focus on anything for a few seconds at a time, or is there something else?

One very compelling argument, and one that I agree with, is switching the focus of human attention span away from ONLY BEING ABLE to focus for 8.5 seconds at a time to giving something a MAXIMUM of 8.5 seconds to decide whether it's worth further investigation or not.

Humans adapt with the times. There’s evidence of this dating back thousands of years. 4000 years ago in the stone age cavemen would move from place to place on a regular basis without setting down roots to be in environments rich with food and resources. They made axe’s out of stone and used sticks as hunting spears.

In the bronze age, man dropped the hunting spears and created a means to write and communicate. They swapped the stone in their tools for bronze and provided a vital stepping stone for what was to come in the Iron age. With every stage of evolution, man has innovated and adapted to where we are now.

It was only 75 years ago Hitler built concentration camps to wipe out an entire generation of Jews. People in the Jewish community would get on a train to leave the Ghetto and go to what they thought was safe refuge while the Germans occupied Poland.
They were none the wiser innocent people were being executed on the other side when they got off the train! The papers didn’t publish anything and communication channels were sparse and hard to access. Could you imagine that now! 

In less than 100 years humans have gone from not having any means to communicate and warn each other of such dangers like being murdered if you get on this train to being able to publish their entire life on social media to thousands with one click!

So with such advances in technology, and the increased rate at which information can be passed on to us by so many channels, we have adapted the capability to siv through the things we don't want to look at, and only focus on the things we do want to look at with relative ease.

This forces us to look at the other side of the coin. Instead of only highlighting what we want to look at, we can deliberately ignore the things that don’t interest us with little to no thought at all. As marketers we have to be aware of this fact. We have to be mindful of not only what will get the attention of our perfect customer, but what you need to avoid to prevent them from subconsciously ignoring your offer all together!

This would explain such things as never seeing a certain type of car on the road when you didn’t own one, but the second you start looking at a particular model to upgrade to it shows up all over the place. You now have an active interest in this new car, and you brain has opened up the door to let in that information.

There was an incredible study with children that monitored their attention span, and how this affected the amount of information they consumed during episodes of Sesame Street. The creators of Sesame Street have a team of researchers working full time, all year long trying discover how to make their episodes more appealing to children. A large part of this research is dedicated to increasing the amount of attention children will give each episode and get them coming back time and time again.

One study had a group of children split into 2. One half were put in a room with no distractions and just a T.V with an episode of Sesame Street playing. The other half were put in a room with the same episode playing on a T.V, but in the room were toys, puzzles, books and games. The researchers observed that the children who had access to toys spent 40% less time looking at the T.V screen than the children with no distractions.

That seems like an obvious outcome however, the real discovery came when the researchers quizzed the children on the key teachings in the episode. The children that watched 40% less of the show retained EXACTLY the same amount of information as the children that had no distractions and watched 40% more! 

This demonstrates that from an early age we have this innate ability to subconsciously pay attention to the things that concern us, ignore the rest and still retain the information we need to progress in whatever interests us at the time.

When we multitask, our brains will only focus on one task at a time, and effortlessly shut the door on one activity to then open the door on another. So when you’re marketing on any online platform, the reality is the person seeing your ad is only there as a result of losing interest in what they were doing and having a scroll through Facebook or checking their email.

If this is the case we need to do something extra special as marketers to grab their attention. And this brings me onto my next point…
Treat The Facebook™️ Newsfeed Like The German Autobahn!
In Germany the Autobahn is a stretch of motorway, or highway with no speed limits! People can drive as fast as they please with no legal repercussions. Yet the Autobahn still has billboards. With people driving 100 mph + on a consistent basis, how is the advertiser supposed to grab their attention? 

We’ve established that attention is merely the brain multitasking priorities based on their relevance. When someone is in charge of 2 tons of multiple controls, buttons and distractions travelling at 100 mph, what have you got to do to get them looking at your ads?

This is the same principle we have to apply to the Facebook newsfeed! People dip in and out of Facebook, scrolling at 100 mph trying to find something, anything to escape from what they’re doing at the time.

The speed at which users dismiss or accept information on Facebook has caused changes like text over video so you don’t have to click on the link. Or visual prompts to turn on the sound in the first few seconds before someone speaks. People don’t have time to give your content a go. You have to grab them instantly, within that first 8.5 seconds or they’re gone. It’s getting to the point where even well known influencers, with loyal followings have to up their game to keep their audience engaged with every piece of content.

I can see a change coming in how we use platforms like Facebook. When a platform is so young (as of writing facebook is only 11 years old), but changing and adapting so fast, it’s no wonder people are struggling to market effectively on them without pissing off the users!

The funny thing is, as advanced as we are as a society with regards to online communication, we have to apply the age old principles of billboard marketing to keep up with the users on these platforms. 

When I think back to my childhood, we didn’t have ipads or smartphones. On car journeys, my brother and I would play games to pass the time. We would be in the back of the car pretending we’re flying a spaceship, firing missiles at other ‘spaceships’ with a very loud and annoying… “ping, ping, poing, poing” noises. Why my brother is honing in on the target giving detailed instructions, “slight left, engage...FIRE! Ping, ping, poing poing!” our poor dad was trying to concentrate on driving. As we were getting louder and louder, and my dad was getting more and more agitated by the journey he would see a billboard with 5 words plastered across the middle of it…

“McDonalds, 500 yards, next exit”

“Thank god! Boys, who fancies McDonalds?“...Spaceship game over, my dad can concentrate again!

Even with all the distractions, the one thing that my dad’s brain done automatically was multitask. He recognised he wanted to find something that would get him away from this situation, driving the car went to autopilot and the door closed on the gunfire and space battle. Another door opened on the big golden M on the billboard he passed at 75mph!

With that, McDonald's was offered as the perfect distraction, we shut up and he could relax again. All in less than 8.5 seconds.

How can you market like this? How can you give someone a reason to not only click on your ad, but opt in to your lead magnet or purchase a product with a simple, direct call to action in less than 8.5 seconds? Remember you haven’t got to sell them in 8.5 seconds, just get them to the next step in your marketing funnel. 

And yet, with the fast pace market we’re trying to attract, so many marketers and business owners are still trying to get someone to prioritise their content over anyone else's with 1000 word FB posts, rubbish stock images that have been used hundreds of times over and cliche headlines that have become the norm!

“My simple 6 step system to unlocking your full potential and living a fulfilled life!”

...Please! it’s time for a change. It’s time to get creative! 

It’s time to go back to the good old days, when you only had a few seconds to grab someone's attention with a 6m x 3m poster. Fortunately, social media is now the highway, the newsfeed is the traffic. All you have to do is get a little creative.

To understand how we can best do this, we first need to understand what the issues is and where this wave of advertising dross has come from.
Part #2: The Creation Of the "Guru"
You only have to be one step ahead of the person you’re teaching! 
This one line depicts why we have a generation of experts in every niche or industry imaginable. I first heard this advice from a very well respected marketer, and although I agree with 99.99% of what he teaches, I don’t agree with this. 

Technology and software has advanced so much over the past 5 -10 years it has given us business owners easy to use, cheap tools that make creating platforms which propel your guru status into the marketplace an easy task. The barrier to entry to become an expert has become so low, any idiot with a red nose and clown suit can teach you how to become the next Ronald McDonald!

Now before the haters jump in, this is also a good thing. Never before has it been easier to learn from real experts in an industry at the fraction of the cost of a traditional business coach. I’ve personally invested in bad, good and incredible courses and mentors through online mediums, some of which have given me the foundation i’ve built on to succeed today. I’ve spent over £75,000 in the past 3 years alone on business coaches, and each time i’ve invested, my career has taken huge leaps through hoops I once thought impossible to even reach!
HOWEVER there is an ugly side to this…
I had just got my first business off the ground, was dirt broke, overworked and struggling to make ends meet. Then out of nowhere my saviour appeared in the form of a young, millionaire entrepreneur. It was like the Facebook heavens opened, a beam of light shone down and then he appeared, this god like figure!

“Sam if you’re struggling in your business i’m here to does $1m dollars sound?”

I remember turning to my wife…

“Shona, you wouldn’t believe it. This guy gets it, he knows were broke but can help us become millionaires...

All for a one off payment of £1997!

As you can imagine Shona didn’t share my enthusiasm and kindly pointed out we didn’t have a spare £2k for anything right now. That didn’t matter though, this guy clearly knew what he was doing. I could tell as his Facebook cover photo depicted him in front of a large manor house and his £140k Mercedes Benz and £250k Rolls Royce. I mean that’s all the social proof I needed right!

With that, he was kind enough to split my payment into 4 (which I still couldn’t afford), set up the payment schedule and hey presto...I was about to become a millionaire!

Fast forward 3 months...I had consumed over 100 hours of irrelevant shit, hadn’t made a single penny as a result of implementing the teachings and struggled to make the £500 monthly payments.

One thing did happen though...I started to build relationships with ‘super successful entrepreneurs’ who had also parted with their hard earned cash. One in particular was a salesman from Australia. He documented his journey from rags to riches with the community. One day he put a post out about how he just purchased his dream car, posted a pic of him in front of it on Facebook.

I sent him a private message congratulating him on his achievement which he gracefully accepted and then outlined how happy he was. And I was genuinely happy for the guy. I saw he was working his ass off and started reaping the benefits...good on you pal!

It was only later when speaking to a mutual friend I discovered he rented the car for a day, took some pics, shot some videos and claimed he bought it as a result of his hard work and expertise. #twat

He even started his own sales training academy with the car as ammo for social proof of his success, which at one point I considered paying for! See I really was a gullible mug back then!

And this is just one example of how the “fake it till you make it” generation of guru’s have conned vulnerable people into paying them for their useless crap! 

You have to be so careful what or who you chose to invest your time and money in. I was part of another mastermind group a short time after this where again, I made the sound investment of…..£1997! This time I was a little better off than before, but not much. 

So after the guru’s right hand man spent 2 hours on the phone with me, he paused the call for 10 minutes to consider my application and establish if I was qualified enough to part with my hard earned cash. Low and behold I was good enough to pay them. We negotiated a 2 payment deal where the £1997 would be split over 2 months. 

Then I decided to reach out to a few of the successful mentees in the inner circle and got on a skype call with one of them. This guy is a hugely successful eCommerce man. I’m not here to name names but if you want to know how to set up and run a successful eCommerce store hit me up via email and i’ll pass his details on.

After a brief chat we discovered we had paid different fees to join the program. I was barely making 2k per month at the time where he was making upwards of 50k per month. This is the kicker…

I had paid £1997 over 2 monthly payments and he had paid £10k upfront! On the initial skype call to apply to get into the program, the right hand man probes you to find out how much you’re earning. Then based off that they take you for what you can afford to pay and deliver the same content and service regardless of your level of investment!

This rip off guru was in it to drive his revenue up, not deliver value and results for the mentees he was taking money from. And he would swear blind that this was not the case, however actions speak way louder than words. This guru was a true rip off artist….I’m now 4k down and been fed over 200 hours of useless shit! 

And I’m not the only one, so many people have fallen victim to this type of guru scam. However, have no fear...there is still hope. You see, like everything in life, there is a good and bad side to this issue. This leaves me asking the question...
What happens when someone who actually knows what they’re doing emerges?
Despite my first 2 experiences of paying a guru for his advice, there are some people out there who position themselves as experts who know what they're talking about. I’ve found these people prove their worth with a lot of great free content and proof of their claims that do not include pictures of them in front of rented cars and mansions.

I’ve paid coaches and mentors a lot of money who were great (were talking $10k per month programs and the like), however there lies a deeper issue here that comes with a small number of thought leaders influencing the market. 

This stems from people taking one system or process that has worked for the guru, and trying to use that same system or create a version of that system which will work for them. Either way, the fundamental teachings are trying to be applied no matter what the businesses individual needs. 

The argument against this statement is the guru does not have the time to help everyone on an individual level, and therefore has to charge a premium for close, one to few or one to one training that most can’t afford. When this is the case there is always a free or cheaper training available for the masses that does not include the one to one time premium members get.

This leads to another issue. When most can’t afford the luxury of the close one to one or one to few programs, we’re left with 99% of the community trying to apply the same process to their marketing efforts and expect a different result for their own business!

I can say from first hand experience, the only way a guru can truly help a business and scale it up to the 7 figure + mark is with the premium ‘inner circle’ type products. I previously mentioned that some programs have had a huge positive influence on my success. But none of the cheaper (around the £2k mark) programs did! It was only when I had that valuable one on one time with the coach/mentor I started seeing real advances. 

Every business has individual needs that won’t be the same as the needs of others. There may be certain tactics that can be applied to multiple industries that can get a business started, but that’s it. They can only get you started. They can lay a good foundation to launch, but when the traffic starts hitting your pages and the data’s coming in, each businesses needs are so individual no single approach will do the job.

To truly scale a business to higher levels you have to get granular. You have to apply strategies that may only work for certain business models, and even then each individual business that could use that model will have to make tweaks that could be the difference between £1k, £100k or £1m.
What does this mean for the 99% that cannot afford premium coaching products?
In a nutshell, we have a large group of business owners and marketers all competing for the same digital real estate, applying the same tactics and strategies ALL trying to get a different result. This brings me onto the next part of this report...
Part #3: The Birth of The ‘Me Too’ Generation
The Facebook Newsfeed...Entertainment or The Listings For Shit Ads?
With so many marketers and business owners all taking advice from the same few influencers, our news feeds have been polluted with the same, watered down, uncreative dross that some call advertising.

You could take a swipe file of all the ads on your newsfeed over a 24 hour period, and instead if being inspired, it feels like reading an obituary of dead ads. By dead ads, I mean ads that don’t stand out, with poor offers that just make the Facebook newsfeed a very boring and demotivating place to be.

There are some little golden gems that stand out, and are great examples of how to market. On the whole though, 95% of everything I see is crap. Let’s take an example of a typical ad I see every time I log in.

“PERFORMANCE BASED FB ADS: We don’t get paid until you get results!”

I see multiple variations of this ad from different agencies every time I login. I won’t mention names, but there are 2 main players teaching this method, and it shows. Same targeting, same copy, same offer. Nothing about it makes me want to click. 

Here's some more:

“My 6 Step Blueprint to your first 6 figures online”

“Get out of overwhelm and onto the path if success”

“The 6 figure business blueprint: FREE Download”

Looks familiar right. In every industry there are common headline variations used. This is normal as to be completely original is very rare these days. But with so many people jumping on the marketing bandwagon, you have to get a little creative with your advertising.
Keeping within the lines...
The issue I have with guru’s selling systems is people take every word they preach as gospel. It's like the guru has given the everyday business owner and aspiring marketer a colouring in book and a set of crayons, then told them to stay within the lines….but be original at the same time! 

What we're left with is the same picture repeated again and again, just with slightly different color variations! On the rare occasion when someone does come along and do something new and exciting, someone else picks it up, teaches it in a course and BOOM! More ‘me too’ bullshit advertising. 

This is a vicious cycle. Most people that take these courses will just mimic. There are some that will take concepts that are already working and create new, genius variations of them, but they’re a rare breed. And so the cycle repeats itself! Most take these systems and think by applying steps 1-9 to the tee, there guaranteed to get results.

When 99% of courses are one dimensional, i.e following video content where there’s no interaction with the teacher and you just listen and apply, it’s no wonder so many people are wasting thousands of pounds on content that won’t actually get them to their desired result. Let’s think back to how things were done 10 years ago…

Step 1: Student. Go to college, get an apprenticeship or go to university to learn the theoretical and practical side of a trade/profession.

Step 2: Low paid training. Where the inexperienced student takes their teachings and applies them to the task in real time on a daily basis. At this stage the pay is low as they offer zero to minimal benefit to the company in terms of profitable outcomes as a direct result of their work.

Step 3: A few Years of experience. Slowly and steadily take what you learnt in theory. Forget 90% of what you were taught in college/university and start applying 90% of what you’ve learnt over the years in the real time role of the job.

Step 4: Promotion/line management. Start taking on roles of responsibility that enable you to teach, mentor and coach others to do what you’ve done. Pay is increased as you are now having as direct impact on the businesses profitability as a result of your work.

Step 5: Boss. Lead the entire business to more profits, growth and expansion based on your years of experience in that given niche or industry.

Step 6: Consultant. A recognised authority on your industry who independently consults with other companies, helping them grow and getting paid large sums in return for their service.

Step 7: Expert. You’re the guy! The one with so much insight into an industry you can warrant large paychecks for minimal work which produces extremely high returns for the companies involved.

This entire process may take 10-20 years. 10 years of being immersed in a particular industry and learning everything you can along the way to sharpen your sword! The guy at number 7 is the go to man who can get a better outcome with a single tap of a hammer than the guy at number 1 can with entire tool chest.

Yet when it comes to marketing courses, people enter the process at number 1, qualify to number 2 but jump straight to number 7! 

“No experience needed mate, just read one chapter ahead of the business your helping at the time, and your the guy!”

People take these systematic approaches and try to turn what’s an art into a science. They think another course, system or step by step strategy can get them out of hot water, when in reality the only thing that’s going to save them is years of experience and training. No amount of money will buy you that. That takes time. 

Marketing isn’t a science. There’s no set formula that will achieve a desired result. I would argue that no course with pre recorded video footage alone can make you a successful marketer. Yes, they may lay a solid foundation for you to start from, but the real magic happens when you run traffic. When you take your research and put it into the newsfeed. 

I would recommend doing this with your own company first. At least then when you fuck up your wasting your own money and not the money of a client. Get some experience running traffic for your own business before claiming to be the guy who can help others.

If you don’t own your own company, go and work for an agency, run traffic with people around you that can help you when you get stuck, like the good old days! 

(SIDE NOTE: I realise this goes against the American dream, but no man is self made. Every one who's ever reached superior levels of success has had help on the way up. For some this means embedding yourself in a reputable company for a small period of time to learn the ropes. To perfect your trade in real time. Something a course cant teach you).

When people take online courses and emerge the expert, the go to guy in the industry, you get a lot of the same issues arising. I’m part of many inner circle type facebook groups specifically for digital marketing. You know when a fresh new wave of people have invested as you start seeing the same questions appear...

“I’ve got a new client in the real estate industry, anyone ran traffic for this before?”

“I’ve been running my ads for 2 days now and only got 1 conversion, any ideas whats wrong?”

“I can’t seem to get any engagement on my ads, any pointers?”

These people aren’t looking for pointers, they want it all.What targeting did you use? What offers workled well? Can I see your landing page….

How about you do one!

This may sound harsh, but hear me out. I have outlined complete, proven marketing strategies before to a gym owners group. I gave them everything, the ads, the campaign set up, the funnels, the lot! The reason I done this was a large percentage of members in the group said they were struggling to get the returns they wanted from advertising. I opened pandora's box for free.

The 20 minute video showed from start to finish how to set up a completely automated sales and lead generation machine! Not one person acted on it, very few people understood it and the group admin removed me for spamming! And this highlights the problem further. I can give an inexperienced marketer the complete ins and outs of some of our marketing strategies and they still wouldn’t be able to do anything with it.

But this is not the fault of the man that asked the question. No, this is the fault of the guru that tells the man to just do what has worked for others, why reinvent the wheel! Lets re visit my previous point...I'm yet to find ONE strategy that can be applied to multiple businesses and it works every time! 

Now, before I go on, there is a distinct difference between modelling what works and mirroring what works (more on this later). Unfortunately people are in such a rush to make more money, they fail to distinguish the difference between the two.

What business owners and marketers need to understand is what works for one person, may not (most probably will not) work for others. Sometimes I have 4-5 separate ad accounts for the same client, same offer and going to the same landing page, and yet I still have to make tweaks in each individual ad account to get it working.

I will give you a perfect real life example that happened to me. 
The nail in the coffin!
When I was selling my first business, I offered the new buyers 6 months free marketing consultancy work as a sign of good will. At this time I was charging a minimum of £3,500 per month management fee or revenue share models if the figure was greater than this for my services.

Up to this point I had set up the sales and lead generation funnels. Tested multiple strategies and over a period of 3 months got the ads converting at £15.00 cost per acquisitions for 12 month memberships worth £900+. All on auto pilot.

Then as the sale was going through, the new to be owner announced that he’d found an agency to build a new website and take over all marketing efforts for £3k per month, and that was without any ad spend. (To this day I don’t know why he done this but whatever, i'm over it now.)

This flash new marketing company reviewed the funnels I was running traffic to and told the new owner to be that it wasn’t doing anything for the business and all needed changing. They kindly offered to do this for an additional £2k, which he paid. 

So with that, I politely refused to offer my services for free considering this new agency had it all covered. Then, and this was the nail in the coffin, I got an email form the new owner to be…

“ Hey Sam,

I’ve been speaking with the [shithouse agency] and they have asked for access to the gym Facebook ads account so they can see what’s worked and to give them a kickstart with their campaigns.

Can you let me know how they can access this please? Thanks,

New owner to be.”

Well muck fe!

Not only did this agency convince the new owner that the website isn't working, when in fact it was giving the gym 6000%+ ROI! They claimed to be “The Facebook Guys” but wanted my intel to carry on marketing for the gym!

And the CEO of this agency was a best selling author with a social media marketing book! I read his fucking book!

This is exactly why you have to be careful who you listen to. A real marketer wouldn't have touched a proven system like this, even if it meant turning down business. They wanted to see what was working for me so they could use it in their own campaigns. How about that for expertise and originality!

This also highlights a huge issue in any market right now. People can take short courses where an outrageous promise is made at the end…

“Charge your clients £2,500 per month with this video course and Facebook group in less than 2 weeks!”

“Become the leading authority in [niche] in less than 6 weeks with this mastermind accelerator program!”

“Start taking on 10K per month clients with this simple lead generation system”

So your marketer or business owner takes the course and starts putting himself out there as the guy. Poor bastards are marching into boardrooms and getting ripped apart by the CEO/CMO as it’s obvious they have no real world experience in their new role. Even worse than this is these courses give birth to a whole new generation of… guessed it…...Guru’s! 

People with no real experience regurgitating the same shit they learned on a course that hundreds and sometimes thousands of others have learnt and are applying in every niche imaginable. It spreads like wildfire. No matter how many firefighters we throw at the problem, the flames just get bigger and bigger, then spread to new territory when the next guru comes along and blows the flames in another direction. 
So are we just supposed to NOT learn from others?
No, despite my (albeit HUGE) rant, learning from others is the cheapest and fastest way to get your hands on a proven system. However there are some considerations you must make before investing your time and money.

Has the guru achieved a level of success you aspire to achieve?

Can they prove it? Not just with sports cars and houses, I mean are they actually any good. Check reviews/testimonials, income claims, businesses they’ve built etc. Dig deep!

Is the guru teaching specific trainings that apply to you and your business?

Will the guru teach me something of value, or just take my cash and leave me on the pile with the other poor bastards that took his/her course?

Then outline your main objective with the course. Why are you taking it? Do you want to become an influencer or actually build a business? 

If you motive for taking a course is to become an influencer, I’d strongly advise not investing

Most influencers I’ve met and know who are any good started by being incredibly talented at something. They spent years investing their time and money on perfecting their craft. When they KNOW they’re good, and can offer real value to others with the experience to back it up, they offer their services.  

People start to ask how they do it, and they realised they’re in a position where they know more than most and can actually help others build successful businesses and live better lives. In fact most good influencers do not even consider themselves guru’s as they’re busy building a business and helping others. 

A clear indicator of this is if they appear every 2 seconds on your feed screaming about something that will divert attention from your life on to theirs...All the time! The self proclaimers of the guru world! They have little evidence of their claims and can only talk the talk.

One sure fire way to understand what’s working or not in your market is to see what others are doing well. People have been doing this for years. But don’t get confused between modelling and mirroring! I thought it would be a good idea to break down the difference between the two below...
Modelling vs. Mirroring 
Mirroring: to mimic or imitate (something) accurately.

Modelling: a standard or example for imitation or comparison.

That’s the dictionaries explanation for the two terms. You will see a distinctive difference in the two. One is to mimic or imitate accurately, the other is to use as a standard or example. 

There is a great law you may of heard of that can be applied to pretty much anything in the world. Pareto's Law. You may also know it by its more common name, the 80/20 principle. Where 80% of the outcome is a result of 20% of the input. 

This applies here. If you were to mirror something, the scales would tip towards 80% of the content being exactly the same on the mirrored object. In this case, an ad or landing page. There is not much room left (only 20%) for creativity or originality here, certainly not enough to make you stand out in the market.

Where as if you was to take the same principle and apply it to modelling, the scales would tip the other way. The 20% you took form the proven concept would be something as simple as the layout for example. Then the 80% would be the content, messaging, positioning etc… All the elements that would make your ad or landing page original.

So when you’re doing your research, don’t get the two confused. You know you’re mirroring if you’re copying 80% of what your competitor is doing and only adding 20% of your own spark. What you really want is to be modelling 20% of what’s working for others, the injecting 80% of your own spark!

Don’t mirror, don’t become one of the ‘me too’ marketers and businesses out there putting out the same crap that we’re all getting bored of. See what’s working, take elements of that and add your own personality. Be different, be exciting, be entertaining, but for fuck sake, don’t be the same!

Copyright 2018 - Sam Payne, No Nonsense Marketing- All Rights Reserved
What is No Nonsense Marketing?
Sam & Mark are 2 ex squaddies who started learning this marketing thing themselves.  With over 30 years experience between them, they now spend over £1m every month driving leads into their clients businesses, all with online marketing. This is a place where they share what they learn in real time for free. No catches, no gimmicks. No nonsense marketing is the no bells and whistles, stripped back style platform where Sam & Mark show you how they're growing their clients businesses every day with paid traffic.
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