I’ve reached a breaking point and have to put it in words: there are too many charlatans advertising their process as a product.
Process as a Product (or PaaP) is where a self-proclaimed expert offers to let you in on their secret for a fee. With that secret, you’ll be able to accomplish X like never before!“I make people rich and if you watch my webinars and subscribe to my service, I’ll make you rich, too!”
“Get the 15 secrets to making money while you sleep.”
“Business not growing? Get my growth hacking secrets to 10x your revenue!”
Hopefully these ads from the BIZGODS only sound familiar and you haven’t been fleeced into a purchase.
Frustrating as they are to see, I get why they work – critical thinking is all but gone in today’s world. People need to be told what to do, how to do it, etc. A lack of skepticism leads people to believe that by charging their card, the hard work of knowledge and skill acquisition will be done for them! With that, let’s examine why PaaP is not a real offering.
PaaP is bullshit for consumers. If you require further explanation, you’re either a sucker or you haven’t thought through this type of offer. For instance…
While Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market worked towards a crescendo in December 2017 there were innumerable BIZGOD offers to learn how to trade crypto, get rich, and buy that Lambo you’ve always wanted. Of course, the offers were for some secret knowledge that would take you “to the moon!” In exchange for your hard earned (fiat) money. If this “expert” did have a unique skill set, what would make more sense: that they were busy trading to fund their super car addiction OR that they would let you in on the secret by selling a mastermind for $250 per student?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an easy vertical for BIZGODS to pray on because there is a non-zero amount of uncertainty with regard to resources expended, content created, and that content’s organic search ranking. It should be noted that the more expertise someone actually has with SEO the less of a black box the search engine becomes. Let’s ask the same question as before: would someone with a blend of creative (writing) and technical (HTML / literal SEO practices) skills sell their hard-earned knowledge in a series of webinars OR would they be busy crafting content that ranks well to fulfill an order? If you’re not sure, take a look at the average price of SEO services in 2018 vs the pricing you see in an Instagram ad.
What about those digital marketers promising to 10x revenue by using their “1 simple sales funnel”? I doubt their claim and their ability to execute but at least this group is putting their money where their mouth is. Hopefully this brand of charlatan is getting a 0% return on their ad spend.
People who want to learn new things should be applauded, not shamed, but come on. You, the fool, will soon be parted from your money if you view this type of learning as A) valuable and B) an actual solution to your knowledge problem.
For Those Selling
There’s not much more to say than “those who can’t do teach.” More concerning, though, are the BIZGODS that view suckers as a vertical to be sold in to.
There are certain motivational speakers who fit into that latter category. Think critically about the actual value they provide to their consumer- is it aspirational or is it practical? If aspirational, how different is that from the crypto “expert” selling a way to get you rich? The difference seems to be the delta between a twenty dollar book and a thousand dollar mastermind class. At the end of the day both are a pure cost to the consumer who is not thinking critically.
*Taking a Step Back
There are perfectly legitimate paid offers for learning and there are real experts out there offering their knowledge and process for a fee. There is a huge difference, though, between an expert providing their best practices and a no name BIZGOD looking for a payday. Learners should seek out the experts and, if there is a fee for the knowledge they want, carefully consider the financial outlay.
When seeing this type of ad there is an obvious textural difference between an expert and a no name; if you’re paying attention it’s hard to miss.
Create a process. Don’t acquire a process.
Even though I’d reached my breaking point seeing these PaaP ads, I’d never thought to screen grab the offending creative. As luck would have it, this crossed my Instagram feed during final editing of the post and is a prime example.
From left to right you have
- The initial offer
- Splash screen
- Meet the BIZGOD
- Seeking videography help on Craigslist
I make no claim on the accuracy of any of the statements in the shared content but doesn’t it all sound too good to be true?