In my last post I talked about how if you wanted to start up an online business the barriers to entry have never been lower. However if you’re going to seriously get involved in setting up an online business there’s a barrier that YOU need to set up, and you need to set it high.
That barrier is your bullshit filter.
So What Is Your Bullshit Filter?
Your bullshit filter is an active and healthy cynicism that you need to cultivate if you are looking online for information on strategies and tactics to promote your own online business.
And online is the best place to find the information you need to build your own online business, so having a healthy bullshit filter in place will allow you to filter through the masses of deceitful and delusional crap that’s out there and unearth the nuggets that will assist you to grow your business.
Why Is Raising Your Bullshit Filter Necessary?
If you’re looking to start an online business the chances are you’re looking to either top up an existing off line income, or you’re looking to replace that off line income completely (and maybe incorporate a lifestyle change too).
If that’s the case then that places you squarely in the ‘Make Money Online’ niche.
And the ‘Make Money Online’ niche is a 21st Century Gold Rush – and there are plenty of people and products out there waiting to take advantage of the unwary and unsophisticated fortune hunters.
But if you’ve got a healthy bullshit filter in place there’s a good chance that you won’t fall prey to people who are only interested in making money for themselves, and treat their customers as victims, not clients. (Here’s a clue, if you look in the dictionary you’ll find that a ‘client’ is someone who is under the care and guidance of another.)
There are some specific steps you can take to raise the levels of your bullshit filter, so you can avoid wasting both money and time on scams schemes that just won’t bring the Return On Investment that they claim.
3 Steps You Can Take To Raise Your Bullshit Filter
(i) Due Diligence The first step you can take is to do what’s called ‘due diligence.’ This means if you see an eBook, or a Training Course or a Product that you think might help the growth of your online business don’t just blindly get out your credit card.
Do some research first. See if you can find some info about the person selling the eBook, Course or Product that you’re interested in. If you know their main website address a quick check on Alexa.com will tell you how long the site has been online, and also what the site’s Alexa ranking is. The higher the Alexa ranking, plus a reasonable domain age (say 2 years plus) are god signs that the person you are researching is probably OK.
Look for testimonials on the seller’s web page too. And look for specific testimonials – testimonials that are specific to the product you’re interested in, and are not just full of bland and non-specific praise.
Another good way of researching the product you are interested in is to visit the most popular Forum in your particular market and see if anyone has reviewed that product. Often you’ll find valuable and honest feedback on not just the product, but the after sales service too.
(ii)If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you came across a product that claims to show you a method that will help you make millions whilst working an hour a day, take a time out. Ask yourself the following question: if this mystery method makes millions for an hour’s work a day, why would the ‘author’ bother going to the effort of creating an eBook or a Course and selling it for $100? Or $200? Seriously, what would be the point?
I’d love to tell you that I didn’t buy some of these products and eBooks in my early explorations in online business – sadly I bought two or three. Fortunately I never spent more than $20 or $30 (these days THIS bar is set higher as well, I’ve seen 2000 dollar products launched recently that had that pungent ‘eau de merde’ about them).
(iii) Change the details and put it in another market and see how it sounds
When you see the hype for a product, a quick and easy way to tell if it’s legitimate or not is to change the details from ‘Making Money’ to something else.
E.g. let’s suppose you saw an eBook for sale called: ‘How I Made $100,000 Working One Hour A Week.’ Now imagine it was a weight loss book entitled ‘How I Lost 30Lbs In Weight Dieting One Hour A Week.’ Or imagine it was a book for people who wanted to play piano: ‘How I Reached Concert Standard Piano Playing Practicing One Hour A Week.’
Hmm, suddenly that’s starting to sound unlikely…
The bottom line is that the mentality of people selling crappy products is to hype up the titles in a cheap attempt to attract custom by being sensationalist. These days if I see anything that promises you can achieve great results with little or no work I instantly know it’s a dud, and is being sold by someone who only cares about making money for himself. That’s not the kind of person I want to be dealing with – what about you?
Becoming a victim of one of these products that doesn’t work is an annoying diversion that you don’t need. It costs you money for one thing. But the main cost is the cost in lost time.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, you need to consciously cultivate your bullshit filter. And set the level high. That way you can really search for the nuggets of information that will help your business grow.
Although there is a truckload of crap out there on the old Interwebz, there are good guys too. In my next post I’ll talk about the importance of Mentors. And introduce you to mine, who is definitely one of the Good Guys.