Today’s podcast is going to directly focus on one pillar of this show…building a business you’re proud of. It’s a warning to consumers and a call to other entrepreneurs to step up and stop doing a deceptive practice that’s grown in popularity. Here we go.
I’ve put a lot of work into preparing for this episode. I’ve looked through hundreds of comments on this topic, spoke to several friends in the industry I’m going to discuss, and pull content from the very services people use to run this scummy practice. So this episode will be a bit longer than most but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the most entertaining episode you’ve ever heard on this show.
If you’ve listened to the show before you know that I’ve created several free guides for you to download the correspond to different topics I talk about on show. The guide that best relates to today’s topic is the “Is it legit?” online course guide” You can get that at TakePermission.com/FreeGuides or by finding your way to this episode to TakePermission.com/Show007.
Customer: I need help learning how to use my new computer.
- – Is the expert going to be there?
- – Does the customer expect the expert to be there?
- – Does it matter?
- Marketers know that they can pretend or imply being there and people will believe them because it makes them more money than saying it’s a recording.
- You sign up for a free webinar featuring (insert name of the person you trust here). The description implies that person is holding the webinar at a specific time. Except sometimes even when they start is a lie. This clip pisses me off the most.
- The wording of the webinar implies the person leading it is present (that’s deceptive by inclusion) or makes no mention of the person being present live. This is deception by omission.
- The presentation starts on time with the person you came to hear welcoming you and asking you to state where you’re listening from. Everything implies this is a live presentation. There is no implication or mention that you’re watching a recording. This is deceptive.
- Comments pop up in the chat area of during the presentation from what you think are other attendees.
- These chat comments are from past webinars and are strategically placed into the chat area to position trust in the presenter and the product. The questions asked are legitimate, but the timing and origin of the questions are not legitimate. These people are not present. These questions are cut and pasted to manipulate your emotions. This is deceptive.
- They encourage you to type in questions but explain that not all questions can be answered. Your comments and the comments of others attending live go unanswered because no one is there to answer them. This is deceptive.
- Specific offers are made to you as an attendee that expire in a specific period of time. Those offers do expire because they are tied to your email address. You could sign up with a different email address and get the same offer the next day, though. Deceptive? No. False scarcity? Yes.
This is deception because the provider knows that the attendee thinks one thing is happening, that the presenter is present, and the comments are from fellow live attendees. Something else is happening. The presenter is not present. The comments are harvested and placed strategically.
Why They Do It
Is There A Better Way?
Here’s how recorded webinars could be done in an honest way.
1. Tell attendees there’s a presentation available to view at a specific time.
That’s true. It’s not a live webinar, though. A live webinar is about the presenter being present, not a webinar recording playing. This is not a gray area. There’s live television, and there’s recorded television. There are live webinars and webinar recordings. The technology being used allows for the presentation to play at a specific time. That can continue.
Lindsey Hartz – I’d say recorded live instead of live just to be above the board if I am not going to be present at beginning and end to answer live questions.
2. Stop planting comments.
There’s no place for planting comments that imply the person is present. Planting comments is emotionally manipulative. It is deceptive. Testimonials aren’t deceptive but inserting them and implying they’re coming from an another live attendee is deceptive.
3. Stop putting the responsibility on the consumer to figure out if you’re there or not.
Tell them this is a recorded presentation at the beginning. Pay a staff member to attend the meeting and answer any questions attendees have (more on that in #4). Not saying whether you’re there or not is deception by omission. Creators know that attendees think they’re there. I understand entrepreneurs want freedom, which means they don’t want to be presenting the same webinar 28 times a week. Implying or simply omitting whether or not you’re present is deception, pure and simple.
4. Have a staff member present to answer questions live.
Pay a knowledgable employee to be present during the webinar to answer any questions that attendees have. This might cost $20-$50 per webinar. That’s a small price to pay for conducting an honest transaction instead of a deceptive one.
Webinars work because the presenter builds trust with the attendees. That can happen with a recorded webinar with real comments. I believe those webinars will be less profitable. If profit is the only goal, then the same people running deceptive webinars will keep doing the same deceptive practices.
There’s a better way to do business
I’ve created a guide for you to use when you’re trying to find out if the course you’re looking to buy is legit or not. It’s appropriately titled The “Is it legit?” On-line Course Checklist.