Thursday, November 27, 2008

not really a post, more a community service announcement

My inbox today trumpeted a special offer. Through a mailing list aimed at supporting women in business, came the chance to get one of 50 free tickets to a three day marketing seminar. At five bucks shy of $1000 this was a very generous offer, however at short notice I didn’t have the required three days free in December (one of them being a fully booked work day). But I was curious to take a look at what I’d be missing out on.

The event is billed as an “entrepreneurs bootcamp” (the “ultimate” one in fact). The website required email registration to access the rundown of the event. Clever trick but web protocol usually requires you to tick a box first to give permission for your address going down on a mailing list. So I wont be giving the url to check out this truly nightmarish business “investment”.

Firstly the website, once access is gained, showcases the worst of net design. It is full of lots of shouty, caps lock, text. The page, approximately 30 pages in length, is cluttered and has no navigational assistance. The only way beyond the opening page is to press one of the eight buttons imploring you to “click here to register”.

The style is old-school DIY publishing; you know those self-help books churned out on cheap paper with cluttered pages mixing fonts, sizes, styles, colours and formats in a migraine producing way. The site subscribes to the more the merrier school of design – crammed page, no uniform fonts or sizes, liberal use of italics, bolding and lots of exclamation marks.

The “camp” itself involves three consecutive 9 hour days. There is no program guide at all, leading me to wonder if the organizers even have a format or are just going to wing it. Or is it really just a front for a cult that’s going to lock you in and relentlessly play mind tricks on you in the guise of personal improvement?

The closing letter from the entrepreneur leading the experience ends with a P.S, a P.P.S and a P.P.P.S, which leads me to wonder if he’s following the advice of one the supposed experts at the seminar who’s forte is "How to write Killer Copy & The Art of Persuasion"?

But that leads me to the “dream team”, the experts who are going to enable you to grow your business by at least 20% “guaranteed” or the organizer will give you $1000. Yes peoples. “SUCCESS. Your Earning Capacity Will SKY-ROCKET! Absolutely!” I admit, I am just a humble small business person, I consider myself more service provider than entrepreneur so that might be why I have never heard of a single member of the “dream team” but one thing I do know, its rather odd to receive an offer from a Women’s Business network to attend a seminar lead by a bloke and his 8 males disciples. Not a single successful female amongst them. What does that tell us about women in business I wonder?

Wishing to overcome my ignorance I took an endorsement (oh yes its one of those sites with testimonials galore) and decided to find out what I could about the endorsee.

"$50,000 Extra in my Bank Account in the Next 12 Months..."_"Aaron spent just 15 minutes with me and shared 1 idea with me that will put $50,000 in my bank account in the next 12 months. If you're thinking should I do business with Aaron, it's not should you, what you should be doing is picking up the phone or getting on his website and booking him now while you can still get hold of him and by the way he actually Guarantees his product, so guys call him now You've got nothing to lose !"_- Troy Patching, Head Business Coach, Personalized Chocolates for you

I found Troy’s site straight away and his most recent post was a youtube endorsement from his coach. Not Aaron of the entrepreneurial bootcamp, actually from Mal, another of Aaron’s endorsees. If the short video is to be believed Mal is the reason why Troy has such a successful business or perhaps Aaron got him his first extra $50,000 and Mal has helped him go gangbusters from there. I just can’t work out how Mal missed out on “dream team” membership after all he’s The Most Successful Coach in the the world. So if Mal also endorses Aaron, then he must be the best entrepreneur in like…the universe!

“Hello, my name is Mal Emery and I’m what’s known as a millionaire maker in this country. I help other people become millionaires…I’ve got the biggest coaching program probably…probably in…certainly in this country…maybe in the world who knows maybe a hundred people paying me $30-50,000 each a year another bunch of people paying me between 100… what is it? (looks at ceiling) 5,000 and 18,000 dollars each, about 150 of those. So this is not about me bragging but me having the right to say ah..what i..what I know about business is…”

I don’t know, would you buy a used car from Mal?

But as I said, he’s not made it to “dream team” status, unlike Garry Kewish who talk is “You, the Information Millionaire”. Garry has 3 facebook friends, so he knows a lot about new information, his wikepedia page has been deleted due to it being deemed “blatant advertising” so he can teach you a few tricks on getting your information out on the web for free.>
Or check out Andrew Clacy who’s the dream teamer talking about "Internet Marketing for BIG Money" – while he uses a few less fonts and formats that Aaron, its certainly the same school of web design. I’m seriously looking for some web development help (anyone want to do some trading then contact me) but for a guys who’s supposedly made gazillions in web design, well he’s WAY OUT of my league.

I could go on for hours but I will get a howler. I just needed some light relief and anyway why bother with the old book proposal when all I need is a lot of crazy formatting and do my own ebook telling YOU how to UNLOCK THE SECRETS of writing your own non-fiction BESTSELLER!!!!

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