Today I want to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for a while.
I have studied under some of the most popular and well known online gurus that have taught over the last 15 years.
From copywriting geniuses to social media mavens to program development and launch masters to marketing masterminds…
I consider myself massively blessed to have been able to learn from all of them.
They have expanded my mind, broadened my viewpoint and allowed me to imagine successes I never thought possible.
I have learned, seriously from the best, how to run ads, write subject lines, share my knowledge, market a business, coach others to greatness, write engaging content, launch programs and offers, make funnels, build websites…
The list is endless because I have been very lucky.
I have invested in myself heavily with a clear picture of where I want to go.
And I’ve had the clarity to research and discover how to get there.
I have always prioritized learning, and leaning into trusting those who I choose to learn from.
I try very hard to live by the saying “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” and using that to be clear on who I choose to learn from.
I tell you all this so you can understand that what I’m about to say I am saying with all the love and respect in the world for online gurus.
I also work with a lot of people. Whether we are doing 1 on 1 coaching for their program build and launch or I am brought in to clean up/update/build out their technology, I talk to a lot of people about their goals and their plans to get there.
And there is one thing that I keep running across that irritates me beyond all that is reasonable.
That is when they go outside their lane to advise on things they don’t know about.
Specifically, you guessed it…
Ok, so, let’s talk about what I mean by that.
Have you ever signed up for a course only to find out that what you are getting isn’t everything you thought it was?
Maybe there were holes that weren’t covered. Or something you thought was included wasn’t.
Or, most often, the what and the how are addressed without enough, or any, thought given to the delivery.
What do I mean by that?
So, for years the big gurus didn’t share a lot about the technology required to make their systems work.
They would tell you what to do, the theory and practices behind their systems, and they would give you all the guides to follow.
And they might make recommendations about systems you need, but there wasn’t much else included.
Since then things have gotten a bit more comprehensive.
At least it seems so.
Marketing is really just about sharing your passion. — Michael Hyatt
Sales letters, challenges, videos and emails all tell you how inclusive the programs are.
Videos, PDFs, transcripts, weekly/monthly calls, testimonials, templates, worksheets, optional coaching…
They include all the stuff! Everything to make it sound comprehensive. Like there was no stone left unturned.
And while they didn’t directly say it, it sure sounds like your success is all but guaranteed.
I mean, they give you all the pieces you need to be successful!
Or do they?
Typically, once you start on one of their programs some questions will start to come up.
You put together your program or course. You film videos with your phone. You write sales letters in Google Docs. You set up your Facebook group.
You follow all the directions.
To. The. T.
You fill out the worksheets. You write the copy for your sales page. You even choose the most amazing and engaging pictures you can find to engage your visitors.
And then it happens.
You find your first knowledge gap.
Sadly, this is the first of a landslide of missing information that starts to cause a wave of insecurity and frustration.
Did you miss something? Did you skip a step?
Are you really ready to launch your product or service to your tribe?
So, you do what anyone would do. You reach out to their support team and ask them what to do.
They will usually respond with the answer “Get XYZ system, it’s great” and they go about their day.
Unsure of that response you may reach out to others in the Facebook group for the training. You ask others who are in training with you what they are doing.
And you get a whole host of choices.
ABC is the best option. No, nope, wait a minute. Someone else likes 123 platform better.
Now you are more confused than ever!
And herein lies the trouble I see so many people have.
There is very little qualified discussion of how to execute all this great stuff you are learning!
Which is, in my opinion, the worst thing these online gurus can do for you. Get you excited, give you the tools to create everything you need to launch and scale a successful business, and then not give you the tools to execute on what you have learned.
And as we all know, a recommendation from a trusted source means the world to us! Especially about something we are unsure of or insecure about!
So, I actually think they have a responsibility to do better. To be better. To take the issue of a qualified recommendation seriously and understand the impact an off the cuff recommendation can have.
They can, quite literally, cost someone thousands of dollars, or more, just by making a quick and poorly thought through tech recommendation.
It makes me crazy!
I talk to so many people who are at their wits end because they don’t know what direction to go. How to choose their systems, how to set them up, how to make them do what they want them to do, and how to actually bring their visions from paper to the real world.
And let me be clear. I would say a good 50% of our business comes from people who are struggling with this very question.
This is not a small problem.
And it is not a contained problem.
Meaning it doesn't stop there.
This is actually a root problem. Which simply means it’s at the base of other problems. It’s often the start of years of tech headaches and hassles.
Because how often, when you have asked a guru or their team what system they recommend, have they ever asked you what platforms you already use?
Or what your goals are with your business beyond completing their program?
Or how tech savvy you are?
Or if you have a team?
You have likely never been asked those questions.
Even though, without the answers to those questions, I don’t know how anyone could make an educated, or responsible, recommendation about what platform to use.
You see, just like taking one piece of their program by itself to learn it does not give you the full picture, neither does looking at a single piece of tech give you the complete answer.
If you are using a specific learning management system, for example, that should absolutely impact what email system and sales platform you use.
Because you need them to talk to each other.
Otherwise you will get partially down the road of building your course or program and then, only once you’ve begun, will you find out that you aren’t ready to launch.
You can’t release your program because all the parts and pieces aren’t working right.
The connections aren’t clear, things aren’t working as expected, and you aren’t ready.
And to top it all off, you are now stuck with a bunch of damn systems that you don’t know what to do with!
You’ve built out some things, didn’t know about others, and still have others that don’t make sense.
And you’ve paid for all of them!
Or, if you are in a trial, you’ve lost all that time building things inside that platform unless you decide to stay there, because most platforms don’t make it easy for you to take your content with you if you go.
And the list goes on...
And this is why the gurus piss me off.
Now, I understand, they are not tech experts. I mean, let’s face it, who is?
But what I wish they would do is admit what they are not good at, make recommendations or partnerships with people who are tech experts, and direct people to them when they have questions.
Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed. — Seth Godin
Imagine if the biggest names in online marketing could direct you to someone who could help their members truly understand the decisions they are making when it comes to technology…
Someone who would listen to their goals, find out what their current situation is, and make objective recommendations on where they should go next.
Wouldn’t that be an amazing added level of support that you would happily pay a little extra for?
What would it be worth to you to be able to execute on your ideas and hard work after you take a training so you could actually make your investment back?
How grateful would you be if you really could build out your “thing,” soup to nuts, and fully launch your product into greatness?
What would it mean to you to keep your word to your family, friends and most importantly, yourself, and launch your program when you say you will…
Without being held up by tech snafus and incomplete set up?
Ok, enough from me.
If you take one thing from this, please take this…
Online gurus are awesome. At what they do. In their lane.
They are not the all knowing. In fact, most of them have tech teams who do the techy stuff for them.
Their knowledge is probably limited, probably outdated, and as discussed previously, probably incomplete.
Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. — Mark Zuckerberg
Do your homework. Talk to other experts about the areas you need support in. Find out what is really going to be needed from you.
Make sure the people you take advice from are the people doing the things you are asking about.
Ask social media questions of people who have active social media accounts. Ask launch questions of people who actively launch products and programs. Ask course creation questions of people who create courses.
You get the idea.
It’s about asking the right questions of the right people.
And knowing how to know if they are asking the right questions in return.
Anyone giving you advice on what platforms to use should be, at minimum, asking you for this information before offering any answers:
What systems are you currently using?
What is your level of tech ability?
Do you have a team who will be executing this, or are you a one person show?
What email system do you use?
What is your budget for tech?
If they are asking you these questions you can feel better that they are giving you information that is based on your situation.
Generalized info won’t do you much good. If it did you could do a quick Google search, pick the first answer, and call it a recommendation.
Remember, a recommendation should be informed, based on knowledge and experience, and presented in a way that you will know what to do with it.
It should give you context and, if you’re lucky, a way to know when it’s time to consider making a new decision.
Because I promise you...the $10 or $20 you save by cutting corners now and not getting an informed recommendation, will cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands, in lost revenue and new build expenses in the years to come.