I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Fake it til you make it” before. Sadly it’s an all too common trait in marketing, and often in life.
During a broadcast on Ustream the other day I had a viewer actually recommend that people fake their success until they’ve achieved some level of notoriety on the internet. He claimed that you had to fake it when starting out or no one would take you seriously. Shockingly, lots of people agree with him.
I beg to differ.
Throughout my career online I’ve always done my best to represent the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In fact, the first info product I ever made showed me in a 150 square foot shack with no plumbing, bathroom, or kitchen. There was no mansion, no yachts, no Ferrari’s.
Of course as advertisers, we are always toeing the edge with a bit of hype and slight embellishments (but still true) that work in our favor. But flat out lying and “faking it til you make it” is just plain dumb in my mind.
Fakers almost always live in fear. Fear that someone will find out they are lying. Fear that they are not worthy. And fear that they are not as good as the next guy.
Fakers are liars. And liars live a very dismal existence. Liars never get ahead. Even if they do make the money, fakers don’t all of the sudden become upstanding citizens. The level of lies just continues to grow.
And don’t be fooled and think that the “Fake It Til You Make It” motto is just for the broke and upcoming marketers. You’d be shocked at some of the well known guru’s who are continuing to fake it even after they’ve supposedly made it. It’s more prevalent then you might think.
Here’s a hint… If you are faking anything, you can’t be successful. If your foundation is based on lies and deceit, you’ll eventually reap what you sow. Sure, you can pocket a few bucks here and there by swindling some gullible people, but in the end you still lose the karma game.
Of course sociopaths don’t give a shit about karma. It doesn’t even register in their mind. The only thing they care about are themselves.
There’s another saying that I’m sure you’ve heard as well. It goes like this… “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”
One of the reasons I’ve done so well online is because my prospects and customers truly believe I stand up for them. They like the fact that I call bullshit when I see it. And they appreciate when I’m willing to go to bat for the little guy.
Having the reputation of a honest marketer will do wonders for your business. I dare the fakers to give honesty a valid attempt and compare the results. You may be shocked.
PS: I added a PS to address Donnie’s question in the comments section, and it’s a good question. He posts…
“Karma is a bitch, I agree. But i also contest that if someone doesnt appear successful, The masses normally will not buy, especially educational/information products. “
I agree that the masses will likely be tough to convert into buyers if the seller doesn’t appear successful. And rightfully so. That’s the way it should be. I think the vendor has to “earn” that right, not fabricate it.
This is also why I tend to think that marketers shouldn’t be so quick to create their own products while posing as the expert. Instead, I encourage people to either interview an expert and leverage their skills and success, or market as an affiliate for a product they believe in and know works. Once they’ve attained some success with that, then it’s okay to leverage that in their favor.
Unfortunately many are too eager to run before they learn to walk.
Also, I’m not here to pretend I’m holier then thou. I too have made some mistakes in my marketing that I’d like to take back. And considering my roots as a child are deep in lies and deceit it’s an extra sensitive issue with me. As marketers it’s a bit too easy to fudge the truth, and this post is just a reminder to my readers and myself that while it may seem like a shortcut at the time, it’s often like a Supertramp song that “Takes the long way home”.