Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don’t Work Anymore

This post is for a friend who is just getting into internet marketing. She has been searching for help and came upon a number of different “ideas”. I REALLY want her to know what is and is not working working in the marketplace today, and if I want for that for my friend-friends, I thought I should also share it with my online friends!! Additionally, I have some great resources below for people I trust in the different marketing arenas. No affiliate links, just recommendations for good solid people who are providing good solid information!

Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don't WorkSo in my post, Keyword Marketing – Does Bad SEO Hurt I talked about old fashioned SEO tricks that used to work but no longer do. Today we are going to talk about Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks that have gotten old and stale and which you might want to take out of your repertoire.

The reason most of these tips and tricks are out there are they worked for someone, somewhere, sometime. The problem with chasing the “get rich quick” dragon is that the people selling you stuff are not selling you current ideas, they only share them after they are done working.

Think about it, if they could make TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS a day, why would they be selling you a thirty dollar a month membership? Now, I am not putting them down for the original use of a technique, what I am sad about is that they have to know that the time for using that technique has moved on, yet they are now going to make some more money but trotting it out to the masses as a NEW get rich quick, or game the search engines idea.

Onto the small business and internet marketing tricks that don’t work anymore…

Recurring income – in 2008 I found out about recurring income and the allure of signing someone up for something once and then charging them forever-ish. In this model you do one thing, like have a software product and then instead of selling it to someone outright, you simply charge them less but bill them each month. You could also do a subscription like we did, write a marketing letter and web content that they could share…

the basis for any of these is that after you make the first one, all the other ones are free because they are already made and are PURE profit! The problem with this is getting a critical mass. We never got over 38 people at one time to sign up at one time (and we put a lot of effort into it). Additionally, about 10 percent of credit card charges fail each month and you have admin tasks to content with. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t think you should do something like this, just that the pendulum has swung back around and many people now want to pay once up front (even if it is a little bit more).

Membership websites – a couple of years ago, building a membership site and getting reoccurring income was all the rage. People were looking for a place to be able to congregate and get updated information. Now-a-days people are tending to congregate on social media sites instead and are not so much interested in joining membership websites. Additionally, if you are going to have a membership site, you need to know that you will have to put A LOT of effort into growing it and maintaining the software. What I suggested to my friend instead was to do a private Facebook group, some private videos on YouTube and an email newsletter that she could charge for WITHOUT having to build a giant membership site.

Anything “just like” – So if you are a small business owner or just getting started in internet marketing and someone is convincing you that it is “just like Facebook but with”…or “it will be like Pinterest but”…run don’t walk away from them. If someone is interested in Pinterest, they are going to go there because they have a critical mass of people already. Your product that is just like something else will have to compete on an unlevel playing field (don’t forget, my readers are usually doing some other business than selling software or websites so they already HAVE a product or service and are using marketing to sell it!)

Overpriced anything – I have a really nice man I know who wanted me to promote an ebook for him. Unfortunately, it was obviously a beginner effort (although the content was great), but this still would not have caused me to decline to promote it, what made it impossible to share was that it was a hundred dollars. WOW. That is a LOT of money for an ebook, no matter how great the content is. Ebooks are on the internet and there is no cost (functionally) to distribute them. While I could see paying $30 or so for something AMAZING by an author and respected expert I knew, a hundred dollars is a lot for something from an unknown author.

This is a trap that a lot of new marketers fall into. Just today I signed up for a webinar that cost about fifty bucks. It is on time management and will be great I am sure BECAUSE it is from Chris Brogan, best selling author of numerous books, internet expert and generally amazing guy with a huge email list who produces great stuff. The last one of his I attended had about 300 people on it…300 times $50 equals…drum roll please…$15,000. Now that is good scratch and anyone would be happy to make 15 GRAND for one hour of work!

The problem is, new marketers see these types of numbers and think, well $50 is how much I should charge for a webinar…ummm…only if you ARE Chris Brogan!!! If you are an unknown, you might want to set the bar lower like at $5 or free. You have to EARN the right to get paid big money for your information!

False Scarcity or Upsells – For the last few years, a great trick was to create what is called false scarcity. This was when marketers would have a launch and then “close it down” in a certain number of days to get people to buy.

While this IS a good tactic, it doesn’t work when EVERYONE is doing it. I KNOW that they will open it up again sometime. I KNOW they aren’t just selling 100 copies of a $7 software, I KNOW that if I don’t buy on the first pitch, they will probably offer it to me for less later, or throw in some bonuses to buy or give it to me for free. I also know they will try to sell me something else that will make the first thing work better (these are called upsells).

As an internet marketer, you will need to make some decisions about what and who to promote. I won’t promote false scarcity offers as they mess up my SEO, if I had 100 offers that are all dead on my website, my rankings would drop like a stone. Instead, we look for offers that are ongoing (or evergreen) to promote.

So who ARE good roll models for new marketers? Here are some of the people that I follow and why…:)

  • Chris Brogan – Really great inspiration. He is down to earth and is very responsive to his tribes. I like his stuff on time management and working with people. Plus he emails back!!!
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – Tell it like it is, no BS advice on how to succeed…:)
  • Pat Flynn – LOVE his stuff. Great details about how to do affiliate marketing on his podcast and website.
  • Internet Business Mastery – More great info on how to get started with internet marketing.
  • Perry Marshall – Adwords genius BUT much of his stuff is about writing great content and sales copy.
  • Howie Jacobsen – another adwords guy but SOOOO good at getting to the heart of who you are talking to and why they would buy
  • Marketing and Media Monsters – the site I do with Rebekah Welch where we talk about more targeted affilate and internet marketing information

hmmmm…sad that there are not more chicks here….but I think the more cutthroat world of hard core internet marketing is dominated by men. That is why I am excited that more women are asking me about it!!!


  1. […] Date: 01/22/2013 Webmaster So in my post, Keyword Marketing – Does Bad SEO Hurt I talked about old fashioned SEO tricks that used to work but no longer do. Today we are going to talk about Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks that have …. Read more about Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don't Work … here: Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don't Work … […]

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