Fake gurus are annoying. They claim to make millions with little work and for just a few hundred bucks, you can do it, too. The thing is, they’re phonies and their numbers don’t mean shit.
I’m pissed. Every time I try to watch some Coffeezilla on YouTube, some con man too young for his suit tries to tell me how I can make a million dollars with “just a laptop” and “the hustle.”
I just have to join the webinar. There I learn all about their life story and how they were “just where you are” today. Then I can get their course for the incredible price of $17 instead of the “usual” $977.
But it’s worth it, right? They flash their Shopify screen with thousands of dollars in revenue each day.
Your numbers don’t mean shit.
There are very few people on the internet I actually buy from. Those are the ones I know have accomplished what they’re saying. They also don’t promise me the moon and the stars and immeasurable wealth.
But me knowing that they can deliver predicates that they provided proof. There are two problems with proof.
First, it’s easy to fake it. Second, and this is what people who aren’t in the business of marketing, sales, and copywriting might not know that the numbers don’t mean shit.
The kid holding the phone up to the camera, showing off his 100k/month revenue on Shopify, could be spending 200k on social media ads. The Gary Halbert incarnate email marketer showing off his 500% increase in click rate might have gone from 1 click per 100 sends to 5 clicks.
The way you phrase your accomplishments can make them seem like miracles. Just leave out some details and state your most favorable numbers.
I’ll make you some promises:
- Learn how I achieved 1000x ROI in my first three months of freelancing!
- Hire me to boost your store conversion rate by 350%!
- With a little tweak to your eCommerce campaign emails, I will triple your open rate!
And here’s the whole truth:
- I spent $12 on Upwork to send dozens of pitches, got copywriting gigs, worked my ass off for some months, and made 12k from that.
- Instead of sending cold traffic from social media to the page, I funneled people from social media to an email series, and only those who were really interested in the product clicked the link. It’s more expensive traffic, less traffic, but the best traffic—no wonder the conversion rate is higher.
- I segmented the people in a large email list into different categories based on interest. When we send people only what they’re interested in and not the whole palette of products, they naturally open those emails more often.
I wouldn’t have lied if I made just the promises. But I’m sure your expectations after reading those didn’t match the reality.
The promises sound like witchcraft. In reality, it’s simple, old-school marketing and copywriting.
Be wary, fellow traveler.
One of my favorite phrases I frequently use to advertise my copywriting service is: “Copy that’s human and sells like witchcraft.” You can also catch me writing that “I improved a landing page’s conversion rate by 60%” in one of my case studies.
I’m not actually a witch. But those are great attention grabbers.
I always explain my numbers to the reader—or business partner. I make my promises with veracity. I don’t want anyone to expect more than what is possible and then be disappointed.
Managing expectations is one of the most important aspects of being a successful freelancer.
Everyone fights for your attention. Once they have it, respectable marketers make a solid promise they know they’ll keep—and they’ll back it up. Internet gurus keep telling you whatever you need to hear to put your cash on the table.
Maybe I should just get YouTube premium.
That’s it. I’m out.