3 Ways to Spot Online Marketing Scams

online marketing scams

Marketing a small business online is not only time consuming, but it can be expensive too. As a business owner you get dozens of calls from marketing companies promising to deliver results. The problem is only a small percentage of these companies are in the game to make you money. Let’s explore how to spot scammers.

1) Scammers lock you into contracts you can’t get out of

Some of my clients have been suckered into “contracts from hell” over the years. No matter how poorly the marketing company performed, the client had to shell out the money every month, no questions asked.

Solution: Make sure the marketing company gives you a chance to try their service before you buy it. Also realize that long-term marketing contracts aren’t just outdated now, they are foolish. You should be evaluating your marketing services every month. New opportunities to reach your audience are created every day.

2) Scammers don’t track site performance and metrics

Here’s another one I see all the time. Think about it, you create a web or mobile site to collect data. Then you don’t implement a way of collecting that data. Every visit to your website that doesn’t convert becomes a wasted opportunity.

Solution: Companies that don’t implement analytics hope you never ask about it. Don’t let them sit around and collect a paycheck. Make them show you numbers.

3) Scammers make excuses and hold information hostage

A client of mine recently asked his web design company for the FTP password for his website so he could upload some files. They claimed that he couldn’t have it because they do not give that information out to their clients. I was ready to yell through the phone. In my 15 years of website work I have never experienced a web hosting and design company that refused to give out the FTP password.

Next we asked this company why there were no meta description tags in the pages they created. “You didn’t pay for it, you have the basic plan,” they said. Apparently the most basic webpage code is not included in their “basic” package.

Solution: Find a reliable web designer or developer you can trust and run your questions by them before you talk to your provider. A lot of times lousy providers count on you going at it alone.

Best of luck in your marketing endeavors.




Get a Direct Link to Your Google+ Review Page

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 10.21.43 PM


This is a nice little trick.

Just copy your google plus url and add “?review=1” to the end of the url like so.


Then when you send the link, it will pop open the review dialog box.


Export Linkedin Connection Email Addresses

In less than two minutes you’ll be able to export your LinkedIn Connection email addresses to a CSV file..

These Managers are the Worst

Have you ever sat in a meeting and wondered, “What the hell are all these people doing here?” Especially when you know that you’re one of the few people who is actually doing the work? Chances are there are a lot of micro managers sitting in that room. We all know it, but here’s why micro managers are bad for business:

1) Rather than managing, they’re constantly protecting themselves.
Micro managers could train you to become independent and do your job with little guidance. The simple fact is – they won’t. In their tiny brains they think that if they train you, they become unnecessary. That’s not the case, but that is the reason they keep you struggling. If you are struggling, they have something to do. Their only goal is to protect “their job.” It’s not to help you achieve your goals.

2) They focus more on politics than doing great work.
The power of a micro manager comes from working somewhere for a long time. They spend most of their day figuring out which people in power can get them the things they want. They can do this because you are doing all the work. They have plenty of time to mingle around the office and make friends. They are getting paid to figure out how to get a raise, while you are getting paid to get them that raise.

3) They make promises they can’t keep.
Sometimes timelines really suck and there’s nothing you can do. Most of these times the deadlines come from managers who don’t understand what it takes to do your job. They want to be seen as the hero, who has a team that comes through in crunch-time. The reason they do this is because it’s a win-win for them. If they succeed, they look great to upper management. If they fail, they can blame it on you for not doing your job fast enough. If this is happening to you, speak up for yourself. The micro managers are hoping you fear for your job and never speak up.

4) The people they hire, will not be allowed to innovate.
A micro manager will never hire someone who is smarter than him. If he does, he will make life a living hell for that person until that person resigns. Talented people like to be challenged and learn new things everyday. Micro managers hate that. They are comfortable collecting a check and when you start making them look bad, they want you out. It’s a simple as that.

5) Losing talented people is the same as losing revenue.
When a talented person walks out the door, they take their innovations and ideas with them. Those ideas and thoughts are more valuable than any micro manager can ever be.

When you are a strong-minded person and you aren’t allowed to live up to your full potential, realize that other people cannot stop you. For every one person who wants to hold you back, there are 9 more willing to help you grow. You have an ability to make money doing the things that you love, but the first step is to cut out the people who tell you “no.”