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Get rich quick - online business schemes and scams 

I'm on the mailing lists of many Internet marketing "gurus" as I'm always interested in what they are up to. It's not unheard of for these one man bands to come up with products, set trends or develop strategies that over time are polished and then adopted by the very large Fortune 500 companies. 

But perhaps only 1 out of 100 such emails I receive from them have something that's truly useful; and many really push the limits between scheme and scam.

There's a particular strategy some use in drumming up interest in get rich online schemes that people need to be very wary of. I've seen it time and time again over the years and it's usually in relation to sellling junk information products or some new method of gaming the search engines that's likely to have an effectiveness lifespan of around a week. 

Yet, they continue to use these methods - and why? Because they work. 

I receive emails every week from people who have signed up for a course or purchased products as a result of the strategy, with stars in their eyes about how much money they going to make; only to discover that what they have are outdated information, a pile of ebooks or similar trash that no-one will want to buy; unless of course they stoop to the same level as those who sold the package to them.

I'd like to make as many people aware of these schemes and scams as possible as those they target are usually the ones who can afford it the least; i.e. people new to online business who are eager for a magic solution and who don't have the time, cash or training behind them to really profit from the web or people with struggling online businesses who are at the point of desperation.

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The following is the sort of email announcing these scams and schemes.

--- start spiel ----

Hey, Michael,

This new product is going to go fast, so I'll get straight to the point. A video just leaked to youtube that you're going to want to see. Here's the link:

http://example.com

This method, called the "Super-fun-happy-go-riches" doesn't require you to start with:

-Money Up Front
-A Product or Service
-Business Experience
-A Product or Service
-A Web site
-Computer or technical savvy
-Copywriting experience

And what's so incredibly wonderful about this Super-fun-happy-go-riches strategy is you only have to work 5 minutes a day; it can be run pretty much entirely on auto pilot. Michael, we must be insane - we'll be sharing with you exactly how we made 25 million dollars last year using this exact method. Check out the video now before we change our minds!

Michael, this strategy proved to be an overnight success for us and we're sure it will be for you too! Watch the video now before the server gets bogged down with others wanting in!

---- end spiel ----

Translating the marketing spin

OK, so let's break the spin down into what it all actually means.


Hey, Michael,

This new product is going to go fast, so I'll get straight to the point

----
Translation: This is a rehashed information product or concept, but I need to do something that will get you interested; if I hit you with a speedy spiel, you may not remember you've seen this before - likely last week.
----

A video just leaked to YouTube that you're going to want to see.

----
Translation: We uploaded it last night for all to see; there was no leak, we say that to make you feel privvy to this information (this note has gone out to 200,000 people though). The video consists mainly of happy people spending money on boats, cars and big houses or a sincere looking guy talking about secrets, yet very little substance on the actual product. We want to get our hooks into you first before we show you that.
----

This method, called the "Super-fun-happy-go-riches" doesn't require you to start with:

-Money Up Front

----
Translation: Aside from the ridiculous amount of the money we're going to garner from you for buying into this and what you "choose" to spend in order to try and make a real go of it; something that we'll hint strongly to you to do. We'll even be kind enough to sell you the tools needed to optimize your earnings or refer you to a colleague whom we'll earn a commission from.
-----

-A Product or Service

----
Translation: You'll be selling the same concept we're peddling in this email (how to make money online), or another product or service we/a colleague is peddling; perhaps a pile of products past their useful life-cycle, or something via MLM where those few towards the top of the matrix have any hope of making decent cash. 
----

-Business Experience

-----
Translation: We're not targeting people with business experience as they'll know this likely won't work without perhaps engaging in some pretty shady stuff
-----

-A Web site

------
Translation: You'll be spamming forums and blogs, but we'll also convince you to build a site for better results, and we'll even sell you the tools to do so.
------

-Computer or technical savvy

------
Translation: You've got to be seriously silly if you really believe an online business of any sort doesn't require some sort of computer skills.
----

-Copywriting experience

----
Translation: We'll provide you with the same templates that thousands of other (we hope) will be using. Within weeks, the Internet is likely to be flooded with these though.
----

And what's so incredibly wonderful about this Super-fun-happy-go-riches strategy is you only have to work 5 minutes a day; it can be run pretty much entirely on auto pilot

---
Translation: Sure, you can work it only 5 minutes a day, but you won't make anything - we recommend at least 112 hours a week; after all, the more you put in, the more you'll get back, right?
----

Michael, we must be insane - we'll be sharing with you exactly how we made 25 million dollars last year using this exact method. 

----
Translation: We're banking on you being insane to believe such a statement. If we were making 25 million bucks profit with a solid and ethical strategy that incurs $0 in costs and only 5 minutes work a day; do you really think we'd be sharing it with you for the few hundred bucks we're going to charge you for it? We've milked it for all it's worth, now we're wringing out the last drops by selling it to you.
-----

Michael, this strategy proved to be an overnight success for us and we're sure it will be for you too! 

-----
Translation: It was an overnight success after 10 years of mistakes, research and investment
-----

Watch the video now before the server gets bogged down with others wanting in!

-----
Translation: Watch the video now before YouTube pulls it or the cheap server we have it on that can't handle any more than a few concurrent streams blows a fuse; or you get an identical email from one of our colleagues/partners/affiliates who's in on this with us and you start getting suspicious.
------

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In marketing, hooks are important. A hook is something that draws people in, grabs their attention. But when a spiel is all hooks and no substance; that's when your BS alert should go off. If you have to sift through hundreds of words of spin or minutes of shiny, happy people extolling the virtues of a mystery product or service - without them actually detailing what it is; back away and do something productive - you'll be wasting your time and money.

Related:

Network marketing and MLM - viable businesses or scams?
Marketing - the Inner Circle Strategy

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
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____________________________

In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.

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