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The Verge Exposes Frank Kern and Mike Filsaime

Calling internet gurus Frank Kern, Andy Jenkins, Mike Filsaime and Anthony Morrison, the Syndicate of a “Scam World,” the online magazine The Verge has written a huge expose of Internet Marking programs.

The Verge holds nothing back, calling claiming that guys like Frank Kern are nothing more than “modern snake oil salesmen.” The magazine links some of the top “IM” gurus with what they call a “vast criminal organization” that sells crap to consumers promising they will become millionaires.

 Unlike mainstream sales, where a product launch is an announcement, in Internet Marketing the product launch is a process. First, information about a new service or product trickles out slowly, among people in the IM community, creating hype and what marketers call social proof — essentially, “proof” that this is a quality product, not through actual evidence, but because the IM community’s echo chamber progressively reinforces the marketers’ claims. The product (again, there’s nothing of value here) is only available for a short period of time, creating a false scarcity that increases its perceived value. Affiliates in the IM community hammer their leads with ads for this “get rich quick” scheme, “magic bullet” business product, or whatever it is, hoping that a small percentage purchases it. The affiliate gets a small cut of the sale; the rest goes to the Internet Marketer selling the product.

Read the full article at http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/10/2984893/scamworld-get-rich-quick-schemes-mutate-into-an-online-monster

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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68 Comments

    1. I honestly think they are completely off. This is just slander by the verge. Frank Kern doesn’t even work with sales floors.

      1. Has Frank Kern ever promoted a product by Stephen Pierce, Mike Filsaime, or others that are known to use sales floors?

    2. I have never bought anything from Frank Kern but the FREE stuff he give I made money from.

      The only reason I did not buy his programs is he says he learned most of what he knows from Dan Kennedy so I bought all my stuff from Dan Kennedy.

      No everyone make money but either does everyone who buy fitness equipment lose weight most people never do the thing which is why Frank Kern charges so much he only want people to buy his stuff if they will do it and most will not!

      1. Amen Sister! The truth is most people will do nothing with the info they buy. When they are being pitched they have this unrealistic dream that all they have to do is get the products and push 3 buttons and walla money comes out.

    3. Well around 8 years back I got copied in to an email (No idea why to this day), which was clearly minutes from a meeting discussing how Mr X was going to be selling XYZ, except from the mail it was clear Mr X was actually a PR guy employed as the Guru face of a third party organization sat behind Mr X.
      I did not reply to the email but was horrified that Mr X wasn’t a major name but clearly just a marketing creation. Within 10 mins I got an email from a high end New York Lawyer with language that was so threatening it was untrue.
      They then tracked my home address down, along with my phone number, they took out injunctions to prevent the email from ever being released.
      I have NEVER trusted a Guru since. NONE OF THIS WAS MY FAULT – they copied me in by accident. You’d be stunned at who was the ‘Mr X’ name – stunned!

  1. I learned a lot from Kern and he has certainly helped with my success. I agree the article is nothing but slander by someone who likely tried at this biz and failed.

  2. Well, I have to say that they got it wrong. I say this because I know many of the guys they are “exposing” personally.

    I work with many of them so I’m speaking from experience–Now, I can also say, I’ve bought many of the products and have never gotten a boiler room calling me trying to sell coaching. The refund policies are more than liberal and yes, I do think there are some bad guys–but not the big marketers. This article was cutting and pasting certain pieces of into together to “paint a picture.” The picture was mainly untrue.

    I have spoken on Yaniks stage (no pitching allowed), am in a mastermind with Mike Filsaime-etc. (I also know people who have benefited from Kern’s mentoring although his style doesn’t appeal to me.)

    I will say this though. As someone who has released several products with one of these Syndicate members as a publisher, I find it hugely disappointing that despite coaching and hand holding–many won’t implement, refuse to work, etc. (Yes, you have to work, no you won’t make money in your underwear or sitting on the beach–come on we know that’s bullshit) BUT the students do need to make a commitment to success-I have hundreds who are and a percentage who actually won’t follow through.

    Just because these guys understand marketing and make healthy livings doesn’t mean they are scammers or suck.

    My .02

    Laura

      1. Pace said: “They really did paint the entire industry one way…”

        That’s exactly how the scammers want you to look at it, and anything else that reveals them to be unsavory characters.

        They want you to view this as an “insult” to you and your identity, and not for what it is: an indictment of the scammers themselves.

        +1 for the scammers.

        Subsequent FB quote from one of those highlighted in that video/article:

        “Mike Filsaime: Ron thanks. I am glad so many see this as not an attack on those in the article, but an attack on our entire industry.”

        See the manipulation? Don’t help!

        Incidentally, the sooner we stop accepting the vague, non-descriptive phrase “internet marketer” (or “internet marketing”) as a descriptor, the sooner many of these scammers will have no place to hide.

        That single, coined, say-nothing phrase enables scammers to present their non-viable non-opportunities without defining what it is they are actually hustling. It’s like wearing a modern-day Merlin jacket, and having nobody question it.

        Nobody is an “internet marketer” any more than someone who has their business phone number in the yellow pages is a “phone book marketer.” The internet is ONE medium, not an all-inclusive netherworld. THAT is the vague space where the charlatans hide.

        I’ve never been an “internet marketer.” I have, however, sold millions of dollars worth of hard goods via PPC advertising. But then, I’m not trying to sell you an ebook or “system” about how you can do it, too. If I were, maybe I’d call myself an “internet marketer,” and I’d hope that everyone would dig deep and question that.

    1. I agree with you Laura, i’ve purchased Franks stuff before and felt this review took pieces of truth, and mixed it up with things that were simply not true (or their personal opinions about what they do … which not everyone shares) and painted a mostly not true picture of what is really happening out there. I have heard from Frank’s staff and people who know him well that, despite his “surfer” identity that he likes to portray himself as, he works tirelessly for his students and is a true businessman.

      I think this piece is to stir up news which isn’t fair to Frank and the others mentioned in the article.

  3. I’m on the fence here. The Verge is usually on top of their stuff. But I can only verify when it comes to technology articles.

    Definitely interesting. But I am personally biased as I am always wary of IM schemes and WSO’s.

    Anything that has the hyperbole of “Make Millions Following what this One Guy Did” – I usually stay far far away from them.

    1. Get rich schemes exist everywhere. I usually follow your rule of thumb, I stay away from “Make Millions Following what this One Guy Did” especially when there isn’t direct financial evidence for how they made their money. Also, I figure if my local library doesn’t have a book on that person – no matter how good it is – I stay away.

  4. It is obvious that the guy who led this story was only exposed to the inner workings of the internet marketing industry for a short period of time and really didn’t do his homework thoroughly.

    They make some good points about aggressive boiler rooms and email addresses being commodities, but to blast the top internet marketers for running a criminal organization is laughable.

    Towards the end of the article they even throw Oprah in the mix as to blame for all of this…wow

    This guy should have gone to a few more internet marketing conferences and rubbed elbows with a few more people if he really wanted to get a glimpse of the real shadiness that can potentially go on in internet marketing.

    1. Love it: “This guy should have gone to a few more internet marketing conferences and rubbed elbows with a few more people if he really wanted to get a glimpse of the real shadiness that can potentially go on in internet marketing.”

  5. Oh no I just had to give you my email address to post this comment. So based on my investigation this article must be a scam.

    Ok, for real though – there are a lot of scams out there, but I’ve bought from Frank Kern’s friends. (Ryan Deiss and John Ress) and they helped me make money with my membership site, affiliate sales and website building.

    I wish I could have heard your show live so I could have called in. I’ll be happy to come on your show next week to discuss as a caller.

    thanks,
    Pat

  6. Most people in the industry have been aware of these scammers for years who simply rehash basic business advice from $15 biz building books off Amazon into 2k coaching products. Making all your money from telling other people how you make money is tantamount to a criminal fraud at worst, or a pyramid scheme at the very best.

    And Laura, Ryan Deiss is one of the worst culprits of all with his endless frauducts that he has very little personal knowledge of. But hey, when you’re selling to the world’s most gullible, naive (american’s on the whole) people then it’s nothing but skillful marketing…

  7. Going to have to agree to disagree. Ryan is one of the smartest marketers I know. He’s not only my publisher but a client of my agency. His IM stuff is only a small part of his biz and I’ve found him to be ethical and a straight shooter. I say this from personal experience.

    Doesn’t seem to me you’re talking from that kind of experience. That said, everybody is entitled to an opinion. I do wish you all the best in your own endeavors.

    Laura

    1. Oh my god!

      Ryan knows nothing about what he preaches!

      One course I looked at of his he contradicted himself so many times it was laughable!

      He released a course on how to rank using SEO 2 months after publicly stating he “KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT SEO!”

      Snake oil salesman is one of the better phrases.

      Take note of the timing of their launches, they never overlap, they take it in turn and they always push each others shit!!

      It’s simply one big jerking circle!

      http://saltydroid.info/ryan-deiss-perpetual-traffic-accident/

      http://saltydroid.info/ryan-deiss-scam-ryan-diess-scams-ryan-deiss-scammer-seo/

      1. I wouldn’t use the Salty Droid as a source of correct info.

        Ryan is smart enough to hire people to help him put the products together on areas he doesn’t work on himself–SEO is a good example–I know this as I am one of the people he hired to help him— and I did all the coaching calls with him. When you get to have a large organization, you don’t do everything yourself, you have a team that does tests, etc.

        That said, you have made your own decision and that’s fine–I’m just telling you I have personal knowledge of how these things are done and as such am a better source of the truth than the Droid.

        On the timing of the launches, is it illegal to be an affiliate and to coordinate that sort of stuff if what you have is being sold into a community? I don’t think so.

        I surely don’t want to argue with you Jonathan–I travel in that world and also have my own agency. I’m just saying that it might not be what it seems to you.

        Truth be told, much of the stuff that is sold on that level is for more beginners who want to learn or get into business for themselves. Many of them do that and do well, some don’t.

        My best to you..
        Laura

        1. Laura Betterly said: “I wouldn’t use the Salty Droid as a source of correct info.”

          Wow. That is *absolutely* ridiculous.

          How utterly dismissive you are, but then you are clearly biased. You’re also defending someone who you receive MONEY from. How dubious.

          Despite the intentionally rough trappings of the “character” his blog portrays, I’ve found the information on Salty Droid to consistently be spot-on. I’ve also done plenty of homework to validate what I’ve read.

          The Salty Droid has actual recordings, court transcripts, and third party information that is easily verified. Not the conjecture and misinformation that you are spreading here.

          I have ZERO respect for your pal and boss, Ryan Deiss. Talk about selling pie in the sky, his operation is the “house of hype.” And that’s putting it mildly. Did you type your last comment with a straight face? Surely not!

          Deiss is also now providing a roost for fraudster and convicted felon Perry Belcher, who for years sold fake drugs to sick people. (And yes, I DO know the facts!) Belcher has a long and sordid history of hard core scamming. He is also currently on 10 years probation. (“But Belcher is so charming” you say, while I direct you to the Wikipedia article for “psychopathy.”)

          I can also tell you that Belcher has violated his probation terms numerous times SINCE hooking up with Deiss. Yes, he has. Want to see the terms? Well, guess what? The official court documents are on…get ready for it…the Salty Droid website. Imagine that! Real FACTS. Or, since you don’t like the truth because it’s there, you could also just ask Attorney Mike Young in Plano, Texas, who has elaborated on that saga as well.

          To put it bluntly: I would bet my stock and savings accounts on the validity of the information provided on the Salty Droid website, and I don’t gamble.

          Be sure to log your hours here, so you can bill Ryan Deiss for the p.r.

          1. Hey Bob,

            I’m just telling you that the boiler room stuff is just untrue– as well as some of the other “facts” int he story. I’ve been in the offices and I know that this information is untrue from seeing it with my own eyes. If when I read something and it starts out with untrue facts, then I find the whole thing suspect.

            That said, you are surely entitled to your opinion and yes, I do benefit from my association with him but I’m surely not getting paid for stating what I know.

            I won’t comment on the other stuff as I do not have direct knowledge on it.

            You don’t know me, but Pace who runs this site knows me for 10 plus years.

            I also have a ton of social proof from people I’ve helped.

            I will also tell you that after buying one of his courses and applying what I learned to my business model, it did improve my business.

            I’ll tell you something else–I got sick and pretty much lost everything because I didn’t have health insurance four years ago. Do you know who took a chance on me? Ryan did. He surely didn’t have to especially considering my situation. I have to say he helped me and was kind. I’m sorry you can’t see that. I also have the pleasure of working with many of the students and see many who are just doing great because of it.

            I’m not interested in getting into an argument on this but I hope you’d respect my opinion as I do yours.

            Laura

            1. Laura, There you go. You feel INDEBTED to Ryan Deiss. But that’s a dilemma, because now you are essentially promoting Deiss and Belcher because of it. That puts the uninitiated at a disadvantage and creates unfair risk.

              To be blunt, perhaps it would be more forthcoming to append a disclaimer to such comments: “My experience is based on warm, fuzzy feelings and a sense of obligation. Your experience, and your ultimate credit card debt, may be far, far different.”

              This is NOT about a “disagreement of opinion.” I’m focused only on the facts. You no doubt believe how you feel. This isn’t about you though, this is about THEM, and their activities.

              However, the one-sided dynamic at work here is just one of the many things that have helped aid the scammers that were exposed in that video. It enables these guys to cloak themselves in an undeserved wrapper of legitimacy, by hiding behind people such as yourself, when that impression could not be further from the truth!

              By the way, Ryan Deiss is a KEY member of the syndicate referred to in that video. Ask “Team Deiss” about the car they “won” from Frank Kern for hustling his frauducts. They have their hands in his pockets, and he theirs.

              You could also ask Deiss or Belcher about the fraudulent sales figures they gave out when they sold their list their bogus “social media marketing” get rich infocrap (to name just one frauduct). A number of us know the real truth behind that, and we’d all be more than happy to provide testimony (and proof) in any criminal court proceedings.

              They may have “nice smiles,” but those are shark teeth.

              1. Bob,

                I can only speak from what I experienced and actually see, so all of what I say is based on that. I do for a fact know that the boiler room stuff is just false and based on that makes all other “facts” suspect. I think all people judge based on experience. Indebtedness has nothing to do with it as I have no obligation whatsoever to comment on this.

                I think because of my connection to them I am more qualified to see what is true vs. what isn’t just based on that. You should know that I have my own agency, and my work with them is only part of my business so I’m not their “employee” or anything like that.

                Do I think that some of what is said is true? Probably, but I also know that the piece is one sided and has false info in it and was deliberately done that way to paint the picture it did. I know hundreds, if not thousands of ethical guys who market for living–some sell information, some sell products, some sell technology, but the process is the same. I also have seen some scum–I have refused to work with clients that I feel are such despite how much money they’ve offered me.

                I think that the IM market itself has flaws. It’s a very small niche compared to something like weight loss. I find that there are a lot of people who dream but do not implement. I’ve seen it with my own students–I spend hours each week making sure they work hard and implement but I’m different than most. I respond to emails from students. I have my own personal help desk to answer questions. I spend hours on coaching calls answering questions and I have a large Facebook community to make sure that they are not alone working on their businesses. I do make sure that the ones that shouldn’t have purchased get their money back and I actually care a lot on their well being.

                That said, I have no desire to argue the point Bob–I’m sure we’d agree on many things. If I felt there was anything criminal or not above board, I’d be the first person screaming about it.

                I do appreciate what you’re saying and please get that I just felt that the article could have been better written so that there were facts, not opinions, conjecture, etc.

                1. Laura said:

                  “I do for a fact know that the boiler room stuff is just false”

                  Laura: What is false? Be specific. There are recordings and documentation to prove the validity of what you dismiss as the “boiler room stuff.”

                  The “boiler room stuff” is absolutely NOT false. It is a very real, and very serious problem.

                  You also say:

                  “I think because of my connection to them I am more qualified to see what is true vs. what isn’t just based on that.”

                  So you’re claiming you are intimately familiar with Deiss’ and Belcher’s business activities? If you are, and any of that should ever go to trial, where would that place you? Are you sure you want to make that claim? Think about what you are saying.

                  You said:

                  “I find that there are a lot of people who dream but do not implement.”

                  That’s one of the most classic excuses that the scammers themselves use to absolve themselves of responsibility for selling frauducts based on lies and misrepresentation. It’s cavalier to give scammers a free pass and put the onus on the victim.

                  You said:

                  “I just felt that the article could have been better written so that there were facts, not opinions, conjecture, etc.”

                  There were signficant verifiable FACTS in that article. What precisely was false? Be specific. Otherwise, YOU are employing “opinions, conjecture, etc.” here.

                  Laura, I get the impression that your personal intentions are good, but I also believe you’ve consumed too much Kool-Aid. Maybe you don’t want to be confronted with the reality that some of those you may know are actually bad apples.

                  Regardless, it is that same general line of thinking that actually helps perpetuate and insulate the scammers in our society.

                  It’s one thing to practice what YOU preach, but here, you are also preaching FOR others, and they are NOT practicing what you are preaching.

                  1. Bob,

                    I can’t speak of all the inner workings of all these organizations, but I have bought products from several of these guys (Deiss included) I have never been approached to buy anything other than the courses I paid for at that time. What I implemented worked.

                    It looks to me that that the whole point of the article is to say that the products are sold in order to get into these boiler rooms. I’m just saying I haven’t seen that. I can only tell you what I’ve experienced and observed so in that case the info is false.

                    I also do help on some technical issues and I do understand those inner workings.

                    On the dream but can’t implement, that’s a true statement. I’ve bought diet books and not implemented, and I think that can be an issue for some. For me, I want people to implement what I teach–I push that which is why I do have a good rep.

                    My personal intentions are good as they always have been. Again, I am just stating what I’ve observed and still stand that the piece was slanted.

                    Anyway, let’s leave this for now. I’m waiting for a server to come back up so I can get back to work.

                    My best to you Bob.

                    Laura

                    1. Laura said:

                      “I have bought products from several of these guys…What I implemented worked.”

                      Then everybody can expect those “products” to “work” then, right? Unless of course it was pure luck, connections, unusually fortunate timing, or other variables not privy to or available to all customers alike.

                      I suppose it might be said of other customers that they “didn’t implement hard enough,” or some such excuse, but then, that doesn’t really overcome the problem of fraudulent inducement to purchase.

                      “It looks to me that that the whole point of the article is to say that the products are sold in order to get into these boiler rooms.”

                      No, that is not the “whole point of the article.” There were multiple points made, and boiler room activities happens to be one of them.

                      Furthermore, when one member of a tight cartel (which collectively trades off customers like cattle) uses a boiler room, it effectively means they ALL do, because now any one of those syndicate customers could end up getting a boiler room shakedown.

                      You said you “do understand those inner workings.” I suspect you aren’t fully aware, because if you were, you would know that it could bring you, yourself, into question. That’s a wide-ranging statement.

                    2. Feel free to ignore the “Bobs” of the world Laura. People who argue from the fringe refuse to be convinced to change their minds via a logical argument.

                      Their borderline personality disorder will drive anyone crazy who tries to reason with them.

                      It’s frustrating, to say the least. Reasonable people believe a reasonable debate can change a “Bob” mind. Unfortunately, that’s never the case so save your breath.

                  2. Bob is just a cynical downer who is jealous of others success and validates himself by dragging others down. He is a cancer that is best avoided.

        2. YIKES !

          Laura knows her stuff here.

          I’d like to comment on launches. No one complains when a movie comes out and McDonalds, and every other place you can think of has toys, meals, and even video games related to the movie hit at the same time.

          That is a Launch folks, mainstream does it and it’s fine, but do it on the internet and you are a scam, I don’t think so.

          Same for a Book Launch, TV, Radio, etc…

          It’s all Just Marketing folks, I built a $60 million a year Apple division in a $200 million company with Hard Drive products, we always, and I mean ALWAYS, planned our launches.

          When you spend $200K on advertising, you should be thinking about as many ways to maximize your effort as possible.

          OK enough ranting and raving…

          Yes there are scamers out there, heck I’ve paid for a few things and not been able to get a refund as promised. Those are the folks we should focus on.

          Now on to the sales floors:

          I took a tour of PMI once, they have a complete curriculum department, building some of the best training in the industry.

          Same with Prosper, sure these companies have to fire some over zealous sales guys at times, but if someone actually called them for an interview and went to meet them, like I have, You’d find that they do their level best to make the opportunity to succeed in EBay, Internet Marketing, Real Estate, Forex, or whatever they are promoting work for folks that sign up.

          Like Laura mentions, the folks that sign up will have to work.

          Here is some insider scoop, every one of the sales floors has a “compliance” department, that talks to the prospective client BEFORE their credit card is charged and reads and RECORDS exactly what they are getting.

          If some sales person promises something that is not covered in compliance, then the prospective client can ask questions and get their questions answered BEFORE they are charged. (then they go through compliance again on last time to be clear)

          We’d all love some “magic beans” but the problem is, folks only hear what they want to hear, and some gunslinger sales folks make it bad for a few with wild promises.

          OK I think I’ve ranted enough.

          You might have noticed that pacelattin
          did not make any judgments, here, just a link, so we’d all comment.

          He’s probably not making any money at all on all the ads on the site. Cough Cough… LOL

          Have a good one.

          Rick

          1. Rick is actually comparing a conspiratorial scam network to the “launching” of “Happy Meals, toys, and video games.”

            That deserves a “WOW.”

            I can’t recall the last time anyone affiliated with McDonald’s called me at home asking me how I liked that lead-in cheeseburger, and then how much available credit I had on my mastercard for the “opportunity of a lifetime.” All conveniently priced at my available credit balance, and the verbal “promise” that I couldn’t lose a penny.

            Nor have I heard of McDonald’s employing price fixing, or bouncing their customers amongst their competitors on a fixed schedule, while simultaneously lying about each other’s offerings.

            I also can’t remember McDonald’s, as part of such a cartel, teasing small mom and pop competitors with the offer of unlikely big commissions if they would participate in a coordinated disinformation campaign. A campaign designed to induce sales of hamburgers to the mom and pop’s own trusting customers, who have actually been led to believe they are purchasing steaks.

            No Rick, there is no comparison. It is not as you’ve called it, “just marketing.”

            You’ve repeatedly fixated on common use of the word, “launch” as if that extends legitimacy. However, legitimate businesses do NOT employ the fraudulent practices outed in this article.

            You said:

            “I took a tour of PMI once…”

            Then, you went on, extolling PMI’s purported “virtues” and extending that glowing endorsement on to Prosper.

            That was after, as you yourself stated, taking a “TOUR” of PMI *ONCE*.

            You concluded with the classic putting the burden on the victim, because “folks hear what they want to hear.”

            No, Rick, they often hear exactly what is said, and what is said are LIES.

            1. Quite a battle going on here, especially between you and Laura.

              Please don’t expand my agreement too far, but I do agree that the argument “folks hear what they want to hear” is a thin one. The whole problem is people with sensitive antennae for WHAT people want to hear who then tailor their output accordingly.

              I read in one article about the Japanese language that it is very nuanced and flexible and allows businessmen to carefully watch the listener and adjust what they say – to the extent that they may aim in one direction at the start of a sentence and be quite distant from that target when it ends.

              This problem is even addressed in the Bible, where it warns of people who “will heap unto themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Telling the truth to people who don’t want to hear it can make one unpopular. I have a friend I always trust to tell me the truth and even I have been known to say he has “an annoying tendency to be right.”

            2. I’ll double that Wow. I think Mr. Dearr might want to go read the FTC’s Policy Statement On Deception. Even if you hate the FTC, what they say in their statement makes a great deal of sense – you know things like a McDonalds Happy Meal Toy isn’t the same as a $1997 frauduct.

        3. Besides Laura, the movie industry uses the practice of scheduling launches so as to avoid one potentially big movie from creeping on the potential income of a smaller movie.

          Same goes for the music industry and paper-book publishing industry.

          Y not refuse to see the latest Avengers movie or the Spiderman movie because they scheduled release dates so they dont conflict. They must be scammers!

          Just avoid these trolls Laura, u can’t win an argument with them and u’ll only end up wasting ur time and burning much needed energy

    2. Laura of course u will be biased youre making money from those rehashed programs hes always offering,and you personally know that his scams are always paying alot out for refunds cause once the person gets his garbage they have seen this shit before…..

  8. I joined one of these guys group(not mentioned so far). But I think he had an ofer called build your website quick or something like that. Anyway I joined his membership site and he had lots of training videos in the membership. At a later time he recommended an offer for pre-built mini-sites(I think) and said it was not his offer but someone elses and he was not an affiliate,but when I clicked on the offer and began to pay through clickbank there his name was as the payee. Also my computer crashed and I lost my password to his membership site, but could not get a response from his support group for another password nor could I get a response from his email address, he also gave a phone number that he said any member could call him personnally when they had a problem, but he never responded. Needless to say I went to paypal and cancelled my membership of $30.00 per month.

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  10. My 2c,

    Ryan, Frank and other “Syndicate” members are just smart marketers. And they know which strings to pull.

    I had a chance to review some materials from them. They just curate public info and organize it nicely for newbies, adding a few “golden nuggets” in the mix.

    Some people like it, some not.

    It’s purely your choice: to search all the information spending your time, or to buy it spending your money.

    About Salty Droid: it’s a horrible community of real whiners and losers. If you like negativity you should visit Salty every day. Or better spend this time with your family.

    1. Nick you are spot on there. I checked out this salty droid website after following a lead to a negative book review. These guys are a joke. I would not trust anything they say. You know it’s going to be negative anyway so their opinion is of no real value. They are negative for no reason.

      It’s actually quite funny. I listed to this apparently “setup” interview with them and an author they thought was like the devil or something. They thought it was so funny because the author thought it was a real interview and yet at no time did the author say anything negative or anything to suggest any wrong doing at all. I read this whole page about how much they hated this guy but could not figure out why. Just because I guess.

      It’s like they just hate anyone that thinks differently to them or who has a different opinion.

  11. It’s funny reading Kern denying using boiler rooms even though he set up a boiler room operation with convicted fraudster Jordan Belfort…Otherwise known as the ‘wolf of wall street’ and the inspiration behind the film…’Boiler room’. That’s just too funny.

  12. Laura – here’s a book recommendation for you: “Logic for dummies”

    Oh wait, scratch that. I don’t see it, so it must not exist.

  13. I must agree what said about Ryan Deiss. He is a very clever copy cat and often sell products after a newsworthy item. But does that make him a bad guy? No but it makes him into a smart cat. He doesn’t have to spend money doing product research just piggy back other people findings.

    As far as making money online. Yes I’ve seen people make shit load of money and it requires you to be less than honest. Also follow me and you will succeed is and can’t be true as success online requires three unknown factors.

    1- choose the right niche
    2- go to where the people will want your niche and spend time to make false friends
    3- write great sales copy that convert.

    Now — you can have lots and lots of traffic but if your sales copy sucks — it won’t convert and who can teach a person to write a sales copy that convert?

    And so … to blame the marketers who sell you their products is not cool either …

    I guess the Internet marketers sell people ‘dreams’ … and majority of people who buys are newbies .. my gosh i bought loads of craps myself — and they network with each other and endorse each other stuffs to their list.

  14. I would rather gouge my eyes out with a “ground-breaking, money making, bank-shaking” lazer targeted, list-building and traffic system that makes five-six figures a day, on auto-pilot.

    Laura – are you “making money” or revenue? When people say they have had “success” with these “marketers” “systems” I laugh because the money is not profit and if it is profit, it’s the low end of two-three figures /day (in extreme/best case scenarios) – your better off going on Wickedfire, reading a $0-$xxx diary and try replicate that instead or buy a WSO (LOL).

    I am completely sceptical and judge any online marketers “products” based on the fact, the only positive reviews are from delusional suckers who buy into the convincing sales pages that are a mile long and have more text than the bible, in their merits, this is the only thing they can actually do but they know nothing about the “systems” – the truth is, as Laura illustrated herself, only a handful of people take action and in the spirit of being diplomatic, the “systems” these BS gurus promote aren’t new concepts, many “push-button” tactics to gain “penny clicks” are just rehashed PPV guides with a “it’s all in the list-building” thrown in for good measure. So you seeing success is actually indicative of the concepts because the concepts aren’t the gurus inventions.

    This^ plus the fact there is another BS side to the industry, the MLM networking groups like “six figure mentors” – I am yet to meet someone who got rich from any of these methods, but I am never shocked any more – if one person does come out of the woodwork (Laura, who is obviously ballin’) – find me 100 more who also did it.

    The only people I know that make money online, would never be caught dead vouching for people like Ryan Deiss or the like. Frank Kern is borderline but they all fit in the same category!

  15. Lets get the disclaimers out of the way, I am an internet marketer, affiliate, pc guy and make my money online. But I have no affiliation with any of these guys and must live in a hole because I have never heard of the Verge before this article.

    I will say that who ever wrote this for the Verge would make a great internet marketer. They were able to come up with a hot controversial topic that drew people in like moths to a bright light. Very well done.

    I do think that the names mentioned in this article are pretty much all guilty of one thing. They sell to a hungry market by convincing them how easy it is to make money online. It is not that easy as we all know and if you want to make any money at it, you are going to have to study and learn. When people ask me about my limited success I attribute it to the 10,000 hours rule. Buy anything from any of these guys and if you are ready to devote your next 6 months to it and you have a shot at it. If not, then be prepared to be on of the countless many who have tried and failed. But – this also makes them guilty of exactly what every other television, radio, print marketer is also guilty of. Does anyone really think by wearing a certain body spray will make the hot chicks forget the dude weighs 400 pounds and will go home with them? Where is their disclaimer??

    I do feel sorry for the guy who thought he was dying and spent all of that money. I feel sorry for him because of his health and was that easy to be sold a river of dreams. Who else wants to by my course for $100 that will show you how to be a millionaire by next Friday – just by clicking your mouse 3 times? Before you say yes, ask yourself – when have I ever heard this or known anyone this has actually worked out for?

    Lastly, I do agree that the Verge used a very large paintbrush to attack an entire industry. I do have issues with some of the names listed in the article and question some of their tactics. But again, just because you allowed yourself to be oversold that does not mean you now get a pass on personal responsibility. “I’m sorry your Honor. I need to file bankruptcy and hose my creditors – but it was a real good story”..

  16. Well, these comments are really revealing. How much our own moral perspectives affect our sense of what is right and what is wrong. Very interesting. Perhaps if I made enough money from a system, even if it is manipulative and dishonest, I might tend to justify it as well.

    I have received boiler room calls and have enough experience to know a “con” when I hear one. In one call, the guy kept trying to get me to tell him how much money I had. It wasn’t about a program or product with a fixed price, it was about how much can we get for whatever…

    We all reap what we sow and they will reap in due time. If not in this life, then in the one to come.

    In the meantime, I stay away from any mega-marketers. If they are selling “information” or products for thousands, then run Forest run. The money they say you can make they make from you. Who are you going to make if from?

    One guy was selling a website builder for thousands of dollars that did not really work, when for $100 dollars a person could buy one that did work and did a better job. This guy was taking advantage of the ignorance and needs of the average person, perhaps recently losing their job, just trying to earn an honest living. Over the years, I have seem most of the mega-marketers hype and over charge for half-truths, and repackage the same stuff to manipulate buyers.

    I paid $2500 to go to an ebay bootcamp for 5 days. The basic information I received, I now know I could have gotten by spending about $100 for a couple of books or online courses. Is it dishonest for someone to charge you $2500 for information he KNOWS you can get for the cost of a book? If you say no, then your really need help.

    This is not to mention the amount time he spent selling other products and “coaching”. $20,000 if you really want to be successful. Even though the pitch for the bootcamp was how to make millions on ebay.

    The amount of deception in this industry is mind boggling. That some think it is okay only shows how they have become corrupted by their associations in the industry.

    Do you think the FTC had to pass laws and sue IMers because they were all honest folk?

    Never pay thousands for anything in the internet marketing world! There are no secrets, only what you don’t know yet. If you do more research, you can usually find the same material from a more decent person who doesn’t have to gouge you to make a good living.

    The fact that they play to your own greed should tell you something about them and yourself.

    I appreciate the reporting from the Verge and can verify what they say from personal observation and experience.

    Thank you guys for finally reporting what we, through expensive and hard lessons, have learned. Perhaps it will help someone less experienced be taken.

    1. These are true words. Stay away from “mega marketers” who try to sell you “internet marketing” products.

      I would make the following points.

      Firstly, most of these people have not worked in sales of anything other than their own internet marketing product.

      Their earnings statements that they plaster on their websites for all to see (in itself a dubious action that no serious business ever does) are neither here or there. They make their money by selling information about how to make money in internet marketing to the people who buy internet marketing information products.

      Unless you are planning to do the same then they are not relevant to your situation.

      Secondly, a lot of what these “internet marketing gurus” teach is not about the real marketing involved in real business.

      It’s about “internet” marketing. This is a variant of the old “make money from home by direct response mail order”. This is only one aspect of business and marketing.

      Direct response is actually a very difficult area to build a business in for most people. If you understand it then it can be very profitable. But the Internet is only another direct response marketing channel.

      Because the Internet and the Web is so new, people allow themselves to be bedazzled by all that is going on. They think that this means that on the Web it is all somehow different and much easier.

      They forget that what they are trying to learn is direct response marketing. The only difference is that it is online.

      There IS money to be made “online”, but the skills of marketing online are not something most people can “pick up” simply by buying an “internet marketing” product.

      And as you also say, there are no real “secrets” in marketing of any kind. Only knowledge that you haven’t yet learned. “Secrets” is just another little device from the IM-ers box of tricks.

  17. Guys, the article is a color by number piece supplied by the Salty Droid.

    Here is the blueprint of the Droid argument to allow it to stand on all fours…

    1. MMO is the only niche taught by Internet Marketing trainers
    2. Digital product creation does not exist
    3. The “four minute” product costs $4000 when in reality it would be a $0.10 mp3 file
    4. Frank Kern’s FTC experiences did not include the reality the FTC thought he was much bigger
    5. Iphone apps, Kindle Ebooks and other quality product creation are not the prescribed method in the seminars you see in the documentary
    6. Some of the videos featured in the article were for FREE courses
    7. Leads are shared by all marketers
    8. Kern is not B2B (Business to business) but he robbed old ladies (Check BBB stupid)

    These points are all bogus.

    You could buy a domain name from Godaddy based on a keyword (This is if they haven’t bought it first and are selling it for $10,000 LOL) and turn around and sell it for 4 times as much on Flippa. You can make money immediately on the Internet.

    You can write a 10 page Kindle Ebook like Joseph Flatley did, write a sensationalist article and sell them for $1.00.

    You can sell your guitar lessons online and your dog training info like Frank Kern did.

    or you can publish a Iphone App called “Jump Pack” like Frank Kern’s cousin did and make $1,000 a day with it.

    If you have a problem with any of these things, please move to IRAN or fly back in time to the former Soviet Union you COMMUNIST.

    it goes on & on. Stop beating around the bush and tell someone about this. You will have your merchant account shut down and your auto responders cancelled if you mess around.

    We all know they went after American marketers who are deathly concerned of the FTC and watch their ass, meanwhile international marketers go unchecked.

    The ambition of the Droid is fame, nothing more. Plenty of insiders have offered information that if contradictory to Droid’s story is not published.

    He is clinging to dear life using things that happened 5 years ago that he doesn’t even understand. It is driven by obvious jealous people.

    It is outdated information as the boiler rooms were hit with huge regulation in February 2011.

    Wake up

  18. Everything is a scam except college right? Where does that leave you when your 75? I’ll tell you most likely out of the 5% who actually have enough to live on. Also you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink is what 98% of the people who buy this stuff suffer from and then they rationalize it as a scam or it doesn’t work in my area B.S.

  19. I’ve bought stuff from Frank Kern and Brendon Burchard and they’ve helped me to grow my business and improve on my professionalism.

    They encourage content creators to make world class products. I take pride in all the information products I’ve created. Just wanted to add my two cents.

  20. That article was not well researched. I also watched the accompanying video of the studio taking the phone calls and was struck by the ignorance of the Verge team on the subject.

    On the other hand it was interesting because it probably demonstrates how the general public feel about “internet marketing” in general.

    I’d like to make a few specific points which I feel need clearing up.

    Re: product launches.

    These techniques are used by many companies who are NOT primarily based in the “internet marketing” space. Like Apple for instance.

    Snippets of information and rumours are allowed to slowly build in advance of the real launch so that mass media and niche bloggers can talk about the upcoming product and generate interest.

    Re: “sales of lists to boiler rooms”…
    Few marketers who have any sense will sell their lists to anyone else, boiler room or not. It’s far too valuable an asset to them to throw away for a one-time payment.

    Finally, the assertion that “the affiliate marketer receives only a small cut, the rest goes to the internet marketer selling the product”.

    In many or even most cases this is not true. Affiliates receive considerable cuts in commission. Often
    20, 30 or 50%.

    This is one of the reasons why prices for some of these internet marketing products are so high. By the way, even a commission rate of only 20 or 30% is considered too low by many affiliates. This would be a respectable commission for some door to door salesmen.

    Finally, a lot of these “internet marketing” coaches are showmen first and foremost. People get dazzled by the on-stage and before the camera techniques of these showmen.

    Showmanship is probably an asset when you are a teacher, but it doesn’t guarantee that what you are taught is going to be of use to you, or the knowledge is worth the price you are being asked, or that you are going to act on the knowledge – and build on the knowledge as well.

  21. What can I say, it is said. I mean if you make money, if you’re successful than you’re a scammer…. ehhh…right…. So if that is true than you are an honest person because you’re broke!! Get real, instead of bitching about other peoples businesses learn something from them, they have what you want!

    Lets imagine that they were all scams (they’re not but) how did they got there? What’s wrong with being a salesman? I was a salesman and you know what I was proud of it! No one makes money by being a mamma’s boy. This is the real world dude, get out of comfy sofa and get to work, learn what you have to learn from the people that you are bitching about it and build your “honest business”.

    1. Well Said,Mario! Started to apply some of Dan Kennedy’s Techniques recently, with Great Results. i’m gonna follow your advice & learn something from them, because they have what you want!

  22. Even if everything the article said were true, it still ignores the primary problem: the audience, which rewards internet marketing when it could just as easily apply critical thinking (where needed).

    It’s like women who wind up with the wrong men. It’s more profitable to exploit them by behaving badly than to try to educate them into not repeating their “mistakes.”

    Even if one accepts that they are scam artists, it’s like someone with a regular job complaining about the money made by a criminal. Virtue really is its own reward; the money is there for anyone willing to play the game.

  23. People who believe in their products enough will sell it better than anyone else. You have to lie to yourself and tell yourself the product is the best or you aren’t going to be able to sell it the same. This guy is awesome whatever tactics he uses and is a success. It’s just selling something, much worse stuff goes on in this world.

  24. I like Frank kern and going through his coaching series helped me realize what I was doing wrong in my business. Once I made some adjustments my profits increased by 50%. Sure there are a lot of scams out there but lets be truthful, most people who fall for them are people who are unrealistic in there dreams. While being pitched they have this unrealistic expectation that once they buy the product, all they have to do is push 3 buttons and Walla they become millionaires. I have a mother-in-law who has over the years spent over $2k chasing from 1 opportunity to the next without fully working through the program. I’ve sat her down and talked to her about it, I offered to give her this same stuff for free. I explained all she was buying is the same info I have, it’s just been rewritten and packaged differently.

    But she got an attitude and wouldn’t listen, it was almost as if I was trying to stop her from making money. She told me she trusts the lady who she was buying from, yada yada yada.. And she, yet again got burned. So really it’s the people fault who are buying the products. I got started back in 1995, I was up late watching a infomercial by a guy name Brad Richdale on how to make money with wholesale. I purchased the material for $29.95 and I didn’t make money directly from it, but it lead me in the right direction. It was over 1 year before I was able to make money. It wasn’t a scam or his fault, it was my fault. I was advertising the wrong products to the wrong people. I was a newbie at marketing, once I made a few adjustments I started making money. So I know this thing works by experience, but people have to be willing to put in the time, nothing happens over night.

    But honestly, I’m glad most people think this online stuff doesn’t work, because it allows us who do know it works make a heck of a lot more money doing it. Plus It weeds out a lot of would be competition.

  25. I have both purchased and recommended the products that Frank Kern, Andy Jenkins and Mike Filsaime have produced.

    I have also been on their email lists and unlike most people who buy their stuff, I’ve taken action and have created a real business using some of their advice and information.

    Having said that, the article referenced is largely biased and untrue. Frank Kern treats his email list like ROYALTY (you’ll hardly ever see him promoting someone else).

    As for Mike and Andy, those two now work together and have provided very REAL value in the form of SAAS applications to, what I believe is, a number well into the hundreds of thousands of people.

    I’m not saying these dudes are perfect – we all make mistakes and learn from them – then we move on and apply those lessons to our business. It’s the same way about life.

    These guys deserve to make a boatload of money for helping ACTION TAKERS *legitimately* make a boatload of money. Anyone does.

    As for the “snake oil” reference, I’m glad they’ve learned to just ignore this crap and carry on. There’s a lesson in and of itself. 🙂

    John Dennis

  26. I love Frank Kern. The problem is that I watched Kern years ago give a presentation where he was clearly teaching attendees the easiest and best ways to strip consumers of their money, and how to suck people into the “funnels” which will eventually lead them to purchase BIG Ticket packages, which inevitably are the 10 to 20K Coaching programs where you don’t really have to provide anything other than access to your Personality. He gave the blueprints which virtually all modern marketers follow, of providing a Story, Social Proof, endorsements, how to manipulate via upsells and downsells, and so forth. Immensely charismatic, witty, intelligent affable guy who provides his own version Neurolinguistic Programming techniques to manipulate what people will think and do.

    Frank was one of the first to promote what I call the Tom Sawyer approach to marketing; let other people sell your product and they will pay you for the right to do it.

    Can’t argue that it has been a very successful approach for many people.

    One of the things which I liked about Frank that he used what he himself was doing with the audience as examples of how to manipulate people. He would use videos of him and his nice home, and his nice car, and then explain why he was implanting these memes of wealth and success into consumers’ minds. He was not shy about admitting what he was up to.

    It is totally true that much of these guys’ early products was just recycled NLP crap and motivational hype. Guys like Filsaime and Jenkins, however, really *have* started creating SAAS products which have real value, like Webinar Jam, which I found quite useful. After all, the Kennedy family started out as bootleggers and rum-runners…and went on to make some real contributions.

    The guys at the TOP definitely DO coordinate launches and Joint Venture products, and it does have the flavor of MLM. The fact is that SOME of their products really ARE useful…for a while, until the next fad or code enhancement.

    But, really, how stupid do you have to be not to realize that the Exclusive Product which you paid $397 because sales would be closed next week continually shows up a couple of months later as a FREE Bonus for a reason?

  27. Frank Kern is selling Nothing New… he just adds his charisma and personality, and he presents the same stuff in a different manner. Then he simply Charges More for his shit (as he calls it). .

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