Watch out for the low flying pigs

I’m not a mechanic, so when I want my car serviced I take it to a garage as I can trust a qualified mechanic to do the job properly.

Unfortunately when you move into the wonderful realm of the internet real qualifications are few and far between. Sure, they do exist, but there aren’t as many real ones out there.

If you get an offer that sounds unbelievable then there’s probably a very good reason – it is unbelievable!

SEO (search engine optimisation) attracts a lot of “chancers” who over promise and underdeliver. You’ll also find that there are plenty of reputable companies offering SEO services, but how can you tell the difference?

If you don’t know a whole lot about SEO then you might fall into the trap and believe their lies.

“We guarantee your site will be on the first page of Google”

Sure you do.

“We guarantee that Google will index your site instantly”

I don’t think even Google would offer that kind of guarantee…

One company I know of is currently selling their “services” as “resellers” of Google. Neat trick! Use a well known name beside your own and only a small number of people will dare question you.

I might try that.

If you buy my services women will swoon before you!


I didn’t think so.

How about this one?

We can get you on the front page of  Google in the most prominent position in the sponsored links area (without paying per click)

The rest of their “wonderful offer” makes you wonder if people are that gullible:

GUARANTEED 1st page listings on your 5 most important key Phrases within 48 hours
No Contract / No Direct Debit / Pay As You Go / Results Only Marketing

Watch out for the low flying pigs!

Anyone who offers you “easy” success is not being completely honest with you.

If it was that easy we’d all be millionaires!

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Watch And Learn

Every society has its rules. Every group within society has its own subset of rules.

While it would be wonderful if all these rules were written down somewhere, the reality is that they aren’t.

So how can you learn about them?


Watch what others are doing and learn. Learn from the good examples (and from the silly mistakes).

If you “dive in” you can easily upset other members of the community, so they’ll be less likely to want to listen to you.

If, on the other hand, you hang around a bit and watch how people interact within the community you’ll have a much better chance of success.

Watch, listen, learn.

And if you’re still not sure .. watch, listen and learn some more.

If you were building a house you’d expect it to have solid foundations. Why should your online interactions be any different?

How To (Ab)use Twitter

So you heard on the “grapevine” that lots of business were using Twitter to promote themselves. You read a couple of articles on well known sites or maybe in your favourite newspaper.

Armed with your new knowledge you signed up for a Twitter account.

30 seconds later you entered the fray.

You had a “Twitter page”! Success!

Now to start making money…

So you “followed” Scoble, cos he’s visible and then you followed another 1000 more Twitter users. Some of them even followed you back!

Now you had an audience!

Maybe you’d even read about using Twitter’s search tools, so you keyed in a few terms related to your business and found even more people to follow.

And now you start blasting your sales message at everyone.

Your product was amazing, so you simply had to tell everyone about it, so you kept shouting about it to all and sundry.

Days go by and you’re following more and more people, but nobody is following you back…

You had failed!


Let’s Play Buzzword Bingo

Do you ever read website copy and die a little inside?

Just because other people’s websites are full of meaningless “buzzwords” does not mean that yours has to be as well.

Sure. We all fall into the traps of using jargon instead of plain English from time to time, but the web 2.0 / social media guru types really take linguistic abuse to new levels.

You too can play the game.

Try this generator out for a bit of fun.

Now pick up a copy of your favourite business magazine or simply check out the company news section on most “web 2.0” sites. Anything look familiar?

Or how about the reinvention of language?

Ten years ago most people probably wouldn’t have associated the word “viral” with marketing. We’d have been thinking about physical ailments and infections. Along came “viral marketing” and the term took on a whole new meaning.

But wait! How can you “produce a viral” or “launch a viral”? Check the definition.

You can try to produce a “viral”, but you can’t guarantee that it will “go viral”, so why call it a “viral” in the first place?

Social Media Is Not A Checklist

A lot of companies and organisations have been attempting to use “social media” as part of their “marketing mix”.

I say “attempting” and not “using”.


Put simply, you get the distinct impression that a lot of organisations are working from a checklist.

  • Setup website
  • Setup blog
  • Create Facebook page (or group)
  • Create Twitter account

If they’re really “advanced” they’ll connect a couple of them together, so that their Twitter updates appear on their blog.

They then pat themselves on the back and sit back.

But what about the various elements they’ve put online?

The blog posts are mainly pure marketing and sales pitches ….

The Facebook presence isn’t pushed or used, so it lies dormant gathering “virtual dust”

And the Twitter account is used for blasting more marketing messages into an empty space.

End result. Their online venture probably underperforms, even though they’ve probably paid a silly amount of money to a “consultant” whose credentials were probably incredibly thin..

So what should they be doing?

How should they be doing it?

Should they even do it?

How can they be shown that doing it properly may pay dividends?

Sick Of SnakeOil Salesmen? Self-appointed Experts?

The internet is a wonderful thing. It’s a great leveller. The CEO of a multinational corporation can “talk” to a startup and vice-versa..

Unfortunately it’s also far too easy for people to take advantage of others. The “web” is full of self-appointed “experts” and “gurus” who charge stupid amounts of money.

Enough already!

Just because you’ve read a couple of articles about marketing doesn’t make you a “professional marketer”

So what if you can record your own voice on your laptop. You’re still not a “professional podcaster”

And as for Twitter, Facebook and the plethora of other “social media” sites .. they act as magnets for the vocal yet inept.



The reality is that there are a lot of very talented people out there who know what they are doing. Who really “get” online business, marketing and social media.

Let’s cut through some of the “bull” and the rubbish and help people without assaulting their bank accounts

Want to help? Let us know by sending an email to ninja (at)

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