What does an Internet Marketer have to do to get some respect around here?

When a lawyer reveals his profession, it’s hard not to be impressed. You can almost taste the blood, sweat and tears that have gone in to his degree. No matter how slippery he may seem, you can at least appreciate the hard road travelled to get where he is.

However, when an Internet Marketer reveals his profession, you can forget the acknowledgement of his endless hard work. No way, dude. You won the lottery, got lucky with some data entry, and now you owe it to the world to show them your secrets.

Oh so you’re one of those Internet guys? I’ve been looking to do that stuff too. Wanna show me how?

It would be easy to mock the intelligence of industry outsiders, until you realise that much of our industry actually consists of industry outsiders. Nobody seems to know shit about what they’re alleged to be working on, but everybody is content that they’ll one day make money from it.

I am one of the biggest cynics of the Internet Marketing ecosystem in all of it’s circle jerk glory. It’s clear that a select few individuals have the right idea, and that’s why they’re rich. But most people fail to understand the real workings of the driving force behind success.

This can be through ignorance, through a lack of application or because so many people wanting to make money online are absolute freeloaders who are prepared to offer nothing of substance in return.

Yes, Internet Marketing has a rather severe case of freeloaders hanging from it’s balls. There are those who “get it” and make great money, and those who quite clearly don’t. They view the industry as one gigantic get rich quick scheme, and treat it as such, which ruins the reputation for the rest of us.

If you spend your fledgling marketing career bumsurfing every last blog in the pursuit of a magic success formula, I could personally care less. That is, after all, your own choice to waste time. But what really gets on my nerves is the attitude of expectancy from those who pursue not just a pointer here or there, but fully fledged personal consultancy in the form of constant emails, IM questions and even chatter on a Friday night out.

I’m not sure which of these drones I would rather spend my time with, but I have met an abundance of both:

The really bad marketer with lots of obvious questions that he’s quite capable of answering himself.

Well hurrdurr, you want to know how I think that offer will perform? Shut up and go find out.

Or the guy who sees your flash car, fancies a slice of the high life and demands to hear the inside scoop on this new money making craze…despite having never touched a website in his life.

So what shall I teach you first, oh future millionaire? How to build a landing page, or how to switch off the capslock?

If it sounds like I’m lambasting every poor marketer who ever had to start from scratch, that’s not my intention at all. We all have to learn, and we all have questions along the way. But the most important quality you can develop right here and now is intuition. The ability to think on your feet without requiring seventeen second opinions and a dedicated thread on Digital Point.

Intuition is everything to an Internet Marketer. Why? Because clues to success are all around you. Everything you could possibly need to make a living online is right in front of your fucking eyes in the form of successful websites, services and products you use every day. These did not fall from trees and spout in to glorious profits overnight. They all required intuition, vision and a lot of lessons learnt along the way.

My problem with the Internet Marketing industry has always been the assumption of entitlement. Those in the know are perfectly enlightened to the fact that success in this business is typically just as hard fought as any other.

But then you have a sizable majority of freeloaders. Those who wince at the thought of investing in good services, who expect secrets drip-fed to them in the form of multiple ebook purchases when business knowledge can only truly be accumulated by actually doing. They like to ride goodwill, and their “right to free information”, all the way to the bank.

I don’t know which bank these mopes belong to. But it’s probably blessed with very quiet paying in queues.

I had a perfect example of this freeloading culture delivered to my inbox last week. A typically enthusiastic (and fairly successful) affiliate asking for a few tips and pointers to drive his business to the next level, which I was happy to provide. But one of his questions was this:

I don’t really want to pay for a dedicated server. Can I scale my websites profitably using shared hosting?

Well, of course, you may be able to, but just how serious are you about succeeding in this industry if you’re not prepared to invest in some of the basic “business upgrades” along the way?

It’s not the server that causes the problem, but the complete disregard for value. This guy is shooting himself in the foot by making budget business choices (when he was quite capable of paying the premium), presumably because he falls in to the common category of Internet Marketers who believe that…

Cheap is always best, free is always better. Whatever I don’t have to pay is money saved.

It’s an attitude that manifests and rears it’s ugly head so often that I’m almost tired of talking about it.

Investing in your business, through acquiring the help of suitable services, is a very small price to pay if it gives you a direct competitive advantage over the average Johnny Nobody entering the industry on a hope and a prayer.

I guess a freeloading mindset can be forgiven if we’re talking about investments alone. Most people place great value on their bank funds, and rightly so. But where it cannot be forgiven is in the freeloading attitude that Johnny Nobody somehow has a right to the tricks and secrets of other more experienced marketers.

Does this same guy go up to lawyers and ask for their best legal advice so he can share the glory of jumping in to their professions many years down the line when it actually looks prosperous? No, because this is different. This is Internet Marketing, where it seems perfectly fine to jump in at the deep end and enjoy a modicum of success. Well have fun drowning, Johnny Nobody.

If you’ve been burned by an ebook that failed to deliver on it’s promises, shame on the author. If you’ve been burned by several ebooks that failed to deliver on their promises, shame on you. You’re probably an information freeloader. A marketer who could be making much better use of his time by showing some intuition and taking action to produce something…anything…just something to show for his time!

I hate telling people I’m an Internet Marketer because it presents two very obvious problems.

1. Most people are overly keen to hear how this can work as a profession. So keen, in fact, they’ll badger you all night in the pursuit of their own day job exit strategy.

2. The industry has become a joke upon itself. So much misinformation and so many false income claims have made the titles “Internet Marketer” and “Professional Scam Artist” interchangeable. It’s becoming very difficult for a newbie to succeed when so much bullshit exists that is only ever a single Google search away.

Nine times out of 10, Bullshit is the first result for Internet Marketing related searches.

I would dearly love to see all beginners attacking the industry with intuition, honesty and a desire to learn for themselves. To not expect overnight results, but to treat it like any other business where money is made through hard work. Maybe then the rest of us would be perceived as actual businessmen rather than lottery winning freakshows.

But isn’t that a paradox?

Those of us who are already successful can’t be too keen on seeing such a growth in healthy competition. It would affect our own businesses. Which leaves you having to ask, “Where is the sense in trusting the judgment of others and their secrets and tricks, over your own initiative?

And the answer is that there is none!

Test your own theories, make your mistakes and carve your own success. It may turn in to a painful learning experience with many lost dollars along the way, but so is the path of all true businesses. You are only entitled to great riches if you have something great to offer.

About The Author

Finch is a direct response marketer and blogs on Finch Sells. He writes advice for the “working class” affiliate, helping individuals to be more creative.