if you’ve ever purchased a digital marketing course or service and you were let down, chances are you don’t want to make the same mistake twice!
Digital marketing has (and still is) working well for thousands of businesses around the world.
And I have seen how powerful digital marketing can be with my clients too.
Do results happen overnight? No.
Digital marketing & lead generation courses that work well take time and effort.
It involves strategic thought, skill, and knowledge of marketing fundamentals, just to name a few elements.
So, how can you make digital marketing work for you?
The key to avoiding a digital marketing scam is to know the difference between a good digital marketing course or service provider and a bad one.
In this article, I will cover how to avoid digital marketing scams by showing you what to avoid and what to look for before purchasing another online course.
The truth about “fast” results
All too often, I see ads that promise “$25k IN JUST ONE WEEK!” or “BUY MY ONLINE COURSE IF YOU WANT TO MAKE $100K IN A MONTH.”
While these results are sometimes possible, what you see with these ads is just the tip of the iceberg. What you don’t see behind these $25k weeks and $100k months is the true amount of hard work and time put into getting such results.
So just keep that in mind next time you see any type of digital marketing course promising BIG results.
With that out of the way, let’s dig into some of the most common types of digital marketing scams and how to avoid them.
Let’s dive in.
If you’re short on time, here are the questions to ask yourself to avoid digital marketing scams:
- Do they practice what they preach?
- Do they have proven results?
- Do they provide real value?
- Are they selling a dream?
- Do they offer direct support?
- Do they go the extra mile?
- Is their marketing strategy fake?
If you want to see how my online course is different from what else is out there, be sure to watch my free masterclass. You’ll quickly see that I practice what I preach, I’ve achieved real results for clients and I go above and beyond to help you be successful.
What are the signs of a digital marketing scam?
1. Do they practice what they preach?
One way to spot a digital marketing scam is by assessing whether or not they practice what they preach.
Often the people behind these digital marketing scams offering you overnight success are inexperienced when delivering real business results.
For example, some people behind these scams teaching lead generation will pay someone on Fiver to design a course. And, often, what they teach in that course, they don’t actually do for themselves or their clients.
But how can I determine whether or not they’re sharing tips that they use themselves?
Often in these sham courses, you will see that they are not present within the course themselves. They are not presenting the course. And the course is usually generic.
That’s why here at Skyline Social, we offer real-life knowledge that we have accumulated over 15 years of experience. Every bit of content you see in our business blog and masterclass comes from strategies we use and teach our clients.
We only teach what we do!
What to avoid: Marketing course from companies that don’t practice what they preach
What to look for: Are they actually doing what they teach for their own business?
2. Do they have proven results?
Any digital marketing business needs to have plenty of experience delivering results for real clients if it is legit.
This means that they should have client testimonials.
What digital marketing scammers usually do is buy an online course on online marketing or, as mentioned, pay someone on Fiver to design one, all to make a quick buck.
They then throw together a website and a few YouTube ads that target people desperately looking to make an overnight success.
Nowhere though, will you see evidence that what they are promising really works. No client testimonials whatsoever. Just loads of promises…
What to avoid: Digital marketing courses or services with no client testimonials
What to look for: Plenty of client testimonials, examples, and case studies
3. Do they provide you with real value?
The most significant sign of a digital marketing scam is that they try to get a sale out of you immediately without providing you with any value.
You will notice scam websites, blogs, and YouTube channels have no or little educational content for free.
What to avoid: Companies that do not offer any free educational content
What to look for: Plenty of free tips in videos, articles, or both!
4. Are they selling a dream?
Does it sound too good to be true? If so, trust your intuition.
Digital marketing scams target vulnerable people desperately looking for ways to make quick money.
The truth is you can see great success with the right digital marketing strategy.
I do not deny that.
However, it is important to recognize that such success only comes with skill, patience, understanding, and knowledge.
Not a quick-fix solution.
Looking for overnight success will only have you poorer by week’s end.
Instead, if you truly believe your business can solve big problems for people, invest your money and time in learning marketing best practices and stay true to implementing concrete, logical strategies.
What to avoid: Promises that sound too good to be true (e.g., get-rich-quick schemes)
What to look for: Promises that are balanced between both exciting and realistic
5. Do they offer direct support?
Digital marketing scams are not designed to give you actual results. They are designed to make a lot of money fast, and that is it.
So, that means that they do not provide direct support.
And, if they do provide support, it is minimal. For example, they may take weeks or months to respond.
Or perhaps they only offer limited support through group coaching calls or a Facebook group. This type of support can sometimes work, but for best results, it’s important to get more hands-on support where someone can look over your shoulder and actually tell you if what you’re implementing is what you’re learning correctly or not.
To reiterate, there is no overnight fix for a successful campaign.
Some strategies work differently from others. This is because not every business and service is the same. Each is unique and requires different amounts of support. There is no one size fits all approach to this.
That’s why it’s important to provide personalized 1-1 support.
This is what we do at Skyline Social.
And we don’t just provide support for a few weeks or months. We provide 1-1 private support for as long as it takes for our clients to see results.
What to avoid: Limited or no support after you purchase a course or service
What to look for: 1-to-1 private support to help you get results
6. Do they go that extra mile for you?
Likely, you will not see results with an online marketing scam.
And if things don’t go to plan, they will try to get you to pay extra for help, instead of helping you for free until you do get the results you signed up for.
Popular upsells for online courses that don’t work well will usually include paying extra for better support, paying extra for additional content, or needing to buy another online course.
That’s why if our clients don’t see results immediately, we keep working with them for free until they do – without needing to pay any extra.
What to avoid: Companies that are always trying to up-sell you additional products and services
What to look for: Companies that go above and beyond to help you get results
7. Is their marketing strategy fake?
You might wonder, “Well, they have hundreds of thousands of likes, followers, and comments; surely they are doing something right?”
However, likes, followers and engagement are not a good way to measure another digital marketing company’s reliability.
Digital marketing scams can pay for social media likes, follows, and comments. Behind this activity is not real humans. Instead, they are AI bots.
Looking closely, you will see that the comments don’t seem genuine. They all look the same and often sound robotic. The other thing is that you will see that they have 10k followers but not many comments. And again, if there are comments, they aren’t from clients they have helped.
Instead, they will look like this: “🔥🔥🔥🔥” or “This is fire!.”
Try and investigate a little further and check out some of the accounts behind the comments – before long, you will see that these are fake accounts.
The truth is, you don’t need 100k followers and a thousand comments in your digital marketing efforts. Just three comments from real people thanking you for solving a huge problem is far more valuable than a hundred fake ones, or any fake comments, for that matter.
What to avoid: Strategies that involve vanity metrics
What to look for: Strategies that focus on real-tangible results
If you want to improve your online marketing strategy to get more clients for your business online, you are on the right track.
With the right marketing strategy, you can see remarkable results.
However, it is important to remember that this takes time and requires your time and attention to ensure that you are putting in place best practices so that you can set your business up for success.
Using the tips mentioned in this article, you can determine which people are real digital marketers and which are digital marketing scammers. Keep an eye out for common digital marketing scams.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.