How to decide if a guru is worth following…or…more importantly…if they are worth giving MONEY to.
Does the guru help you without charging you money?
In other words, is their free content like breadcrumbs and stale leftovers or a hot loaf of steamy delicious french bread from the oven? Look at their posts, free content, videos, and low-cost offers. If they are fluffy, steer clear.
Does the guru practice bait ‘n switch marketing?
For example, when I promote Create Your Laptop Life, bait ‘n switch would be using my coaching revenue as an example for what a freelancer can do (which is misleading – I need to show FREELANCE revenue).
Another example is a guru who says, “I only spent $100 a day on ads and made $1,000,000” when really it was referral and affiliate marketing that were driving sales after the first several ad campaigns. Numbers DO lie and context is everything…yes, even with screenshots.
Does the guru give you helpful resources — even if it isn’t them?
Do they promote other experts, do collaborations with other people, and give away resource lists and helpful documents?
Are they constantly promoting something new, or do they consistently have a similar and streamlined marketing message?
Meaning one day do they tell you that you need to Periscope and the next day they are all up in your face about Snapchat? Experimenters have their place, but if your guru is talking about social media and then funnels and then Amazon and then real estate and then investing and then crypto and always bounces from one opportunity to the other, that’s a warning sign.
Is everything they push out “perfectly coiffed”?
Perfect clothes, perfect message, perfect life, perfect perfect perfect? Warning, warning. Over compensation happening. The only thing that’s really perfect in their world is the desire to look perfect.
Does the guru use sleazy marketing tactics that pressure you into the sale?
Do they seem desperate for your money? What do their followers say? Look for referrals and recommendations. How many people are buying from them — a second time? That’s the clincher. Repeat customers are one of the surest signs that the guru is legit.
Some gurus I recommend you follow…
- Russell Brunson (for Sales Funnels + Marketing)
- Jon Loomer (for Facebook Ads)
- Hubspot (for Social Media Marketing)
- The SOFTWARE itself (Instagram, Facebook, etc. for updates on their policies and systems)
- Neil Patel (SEO and Google)
- By Regina (Content Marketing and Publishing)
- Me (for Digital Marketing and Online Business)
There’s a difference between inspiration and investment
Some people I follow just to see what they’re doing. I would NOT however, give them my money.
Someone may inspire you but may not be up on the latest and greatest or out there working in the field.
For example, you may love someone like Marie Forleo, but you don’t want to model yourself and your business after hers because her business exploded in …oh I don’t know… 2013. When the INTERNET was a VASTLY different place.
This is what makes online marketing so hard. If someone isn’t in the field and the trenches, then you can derive inspiration from them, but what to do right now in this moment? Might not be the greatest option.
Even if they have massive success, it could be because of factors that aren’t real right now, in this landscape.
Whatever you do, whoever you follow, look at your own self before and after. If you’re finding that comparisonitis is constantly creeping in, you’re stalling, have shiny object syndrome…it might be time to stop following!