Snake Oil Spammy – Pack Up and Go Home!

snakeBoy, do I ever love the internet! The wealth of truly interesting information is amazing. Just when I needed a little inspiration for a blog post, along comes Jennifer Leggio over at ZD Net who writes a great blog called Social Business. Over the last few months, I have learned quite a bit from Jennifer about social media and well…business.

Today, her post touched a nerve for me! Who isn’t sick of spam? Yes, that’s a trick question…all of us are I’m sure, and like Jennifer I admit that I peruse my spam folder and marvel at some of the crazy headlines that are used to draw people in. Crazier still are the people who actually believe in so many of the “get rich quick” schemes that are promised. Do you really think that if you spend $49 you will become a millionaire in 90 days? You might wish it to be so, but wishing gets you nowhere…that’s just not how it works.

When it comes to marketing ourselves in the online world, I admit that I can be quite a zealot about the approach I believe is required to be viewed as credible, authentic and ethical when building business online. The old adage that people buy from people that they know, like and trust is as true today as it ever was AND even more so online.

It is interesting to watch the lengths people will go to in defense of their position if you challenge them on their sales/marketing approach. Case in point – in my Business Coaching LinkedIn group a question was posed about whether or not when people hire a coach they realize they are at the heart of the problem. Sounded intriguing. I checked it out.The individual who kicked off the discussion had some good introductory comments and then included a link to a video that they had created about their beliefs. (Disclosure…I hate that…it’s a signal to me that a sell job is impending). Still, I clicked on the link and watched. Not bad stuff. What I thought was interesting is that the first 1.5 minutes was about the topic and the rest of the video promoted the guy and his services. When challenged (another guy in the group gave him grief) he accused the guy of judging and went on to justify his position. When I weighed in and said that while his message and intent were good, the fact that he promoted himself and his services for half the clip created a perception that he wasn’t being totally transparent. You can guess what happened next…he totally justified what he did. I wanted to SCREAM – dude, listen up. You pushed your agenda and you know it, but it wasn’t worth the time. People either get it or they don’t. Many don’t!

Back to Jennifer’s post…really good read and supports what I’m talking about here. Thanks, Jennifer – you rock!


  1. says

    Great insights Barbara!

    There are really two different take away messages that I get from your posting.

    The first has to do with caution and the ability to identify misrepresentation which preys on the vulnerable, greedy and/or blindly trustworthy. This of course involves a criminal act and a con job which is as old as time and it still works. If you don’t mind this link, it explains part of the personality/psychological make-up that it preys upon:

    The second part is the over zealous self promotion that people who do this, fail to recognize in themselves. Most people understand that in a social setting certain behaviors such as this, are unacceptable and will achieve the exact opposite result of what is desired. For instance, a man walks into a room and announces his entrance like he is God’s greatest gift to the world, “Hey ladies, get a load of me, I’m sex on a stick, who wants me, who I ask, who’s gonna be the lucky lady, huh, who?” Most of us understand how stupid and ridiculous this is, this scene is played out in many comedies, however, this idiot doesn’t get it! He thinks it will get him results, however the only results he is likely to generate is being laughed at, snickered at and talked about in an unfavorable manner. There is a basic principle that applies here, “The same rules that apply socially also apply in business.”

    Show me what you can do for me by first listening and attempting to understand, prove to me that you are worthy of my trust by building my confidence in you, give me reason and justification for wanting to hear from you and bide your time for your opportunity to speak!


  2. Nicole VJ Allen says

    Hey Barbara! It’s been a little while since I’ve been on. I’ve missed your blog! I went to your linkedin profile just because of this post :)

    I think that all of this effort in writing can easily be summed up in two short phrases: “provide value and be valuable” and “listen FIRST.” It’s a shame how many people just don’t get those simple fundamental concepts.

    On a separate note, it looks like you’ve changed your blog up a bit! Looks great!


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