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How to Recognize a Genuine Online Marketer and How You Can Be One

  • Joy ColladoJoy Collado

If you, like me, have been around the online world for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the salesy marketers who promise thousands, if not millions of income. They give a glimpse of something ethereal in exchange not only for your attention, but for your money.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with sales. In fact, sales are the life blood of a business. But as online marketers, should we always be salesy or sleazy to make a sale?

A lot of online marketers go for the traditional sleazy campaigns just to succeed. They have no other way to execute their game plan but to abuse the system and take advantage of new marketers who are trying to thrive.

I happen to think that it’s not supposed to be this way, and I know that Danny and the rest of the Mirasee agree. We also agree that marketing – in a non-sleezy way – is absolutely essential.

Why We Market Ourselves

We market our products or services because we believe in our message and how it can make a difference in the lives of other people. That should be the reason for every sales email, landing page, and webinar out there. An exchange of money has to take place for a sale to complete, but the value should be given and conveyed first.

There’s a reason copywriting is one of the most lucrative writing gigs. The ability to persuade customers is highly expected from a sales person. But a responsible entrepreneur knows how to use copywriting not only to persuade, but to show the value of his product.

Compare that to someone who would rather use it to make their customers buy. There’s a difference between going for a sale to deliver value, and going for a sale for the sake of sales.

How To Spot a Genuine Online Marketer

Given that the internet is a huge place, and expanding every day, how can you spot a genuine marketer from one of these sleezy, salesy types? And, perhaps more importantly, how can you emulate these genuine online marketers?

Sign #1: Gives More Value Than Money Received

Pricing is a crucial part in business. But the truth is, no matter where and how  you price your product, as long as you deliver a value that far exceeds the amount of money you receive, you are a genuine online marketer.

But a lot of marketers price their products at a premium price because they know they can get people to buy at that price, regardless of the value of the product. Just because you nailed your buyer’s pains, doesn’t mean they can – or should – pay premium prices at all times for your product or service.

The trick is to always ask the question: does the product or receive exceeds the value of the money I receive?  This way, your customers will always get value from their money.

Which leads me to the next sign of a genuine online marketer: value.

Sign #2: Over-Delivers on Value

As I mentioned in the last section, value and price are intimately related. In addition to pricing your product for what your clients can afford, it’s also important that you always over-deliver on the value that you provide in exchange for that purchase.

One way to do this is to offer bonuses. Or better yet, give them a surprise bonus aside from the initial bonus you promised. You might lose some sales when you don’t mention the extra bonus on your sales page. But in the end, you get to keep loyal customers and connect with quality new ones because of word of mouth.

One of my favorite examples of someone who over-delivers is Sophie Lizard from Be a Freelance Blogger. If you look at her blog, you’ll notice a tab that says “Need a Blogger?”

If you click on the tab, you’ll see she’s not only promoting herself on her blog, but she’s also promoting other bloggers that she knows. On her free forum, she posts paid blogging gigs that members can check out.

Sign #3: Authenticity & Honesty

You don’t always have to be nice. In fact, you can rock the boat. But only do so if you have an honest purpose.

You can also spot if a marketer is being authentic by going through his or her sales pages. Ask questions like:

  • Do they offer actionable and reasonable no-hype expectations?
  • Is the offer realistic enough for you?
  • Does he or she take time to explain what can you expect, knowing that you’re different from other clients?

I love how Peter Sandeen demonstrated both authenticity and honesty on his Rapid List Building with Guest Blogging course sales page.

realistic expectations

Instead of the usual Buy Now! Buy Now! messaging, he carefully took the time to write realistic no-hype expectations.

And here’s one from Mirasee’s Audience Business Masterclass:


Notice that if you sign up to work with Mirasee, the whole team is available to help you out. “We’ll get started right away” puts it in a perspective that after you sign up, you won’t be left alone.

Sign #4: Doesn’t Use False Scarcity as a Selling Tactic

If you’ve ever been on a webinar, or part of an email launch, you’ve received a message that went something like this: “Buy now or your life will be miserable forever.”

But only a couple of months later, they’re re-offering the exact product they said wouldn’t go live again, at a much cheaper price.

Sure, you can strategically use scarcity. But be careful not to offer the same product again, if you’ve already mentioned before that you won’t. Be true to your words and always keep your promises, especially to your customers.

Genuine marketers give incentive to fast movers but they don’t push the sale. The perfect example of this is Marie Forleo. Below is a screenshot of Marie’s e-mail during the 2014 launch of B-School.


I love the last two sentences. It tells me that she’s not pushing any sale if I think it’s not the right time for me. But she won’t stop giving valuable free content to those who doesn’t sign up.

Sign #5: Always Gives Value

I recently attended a webinar that claimed it was about helping attendees create a LinkedIn profile that attracts clients. All throughout the webinar, the speaker repeatedly said, “Hang on tight, I’m going to tell you the secret on how you can do this.” But nothing she said during the webinar was very valuable – she merely repeated some helpful tips that are published in LinkedIn’s help guide.

Now, I may be subjective on this particular subject. But, I’ve recently stopped attending most webinars precisely because the hour-long presentation is nothing more than a drawn-out sales pitch for the “good stuff” at the end.

However, when they’re done correctly, webinars are great tools for connecting with your audience and growing your list. The trick is to offer a lot of value during the presentation, so that even if you don’t buy the product, you still feel as though it was a valuable use of your time.

In other words, wouldn’t it be nice to offer a value at first point of contact, and then deliver a larger value during the sale? If an online marketer can give me a true value from a free webinar alone, I’m sure they can give me much more value with their paid product.

Sign #6: Extends Genuine Offers to Help

For the sleezy marketer, the acting of marketing and sales is all about how they can get their customers to part with their money. On the other hand, a genuine marketer will extend an offer to help, even if there’s no monetary value involved.

For example, Mirasee answers questions from its readers every day in their daily Q & A emails. There’s no money changing hands, and no sales push – just a genuine desire to help people by answering their online marketing questions.

An act of kindness you offer to your peers may not directly impact your business, but it can impact the whole industry. Ask questions on how you can help. And then truly help them. Answer questions for free. Refer people. Review products you love even if there are no affiliate links involve.

By being a genuine marketer, everything else will fall into place.

Connect. Engage. Inspire.

These are what a genuine marketer aspires to convey with their audience. And that is not an impossible goal, as long as you’re genuine. The fake ones will always have a problem achieving these, and they’re usually the ones who will fade in the background. As long as you’ve been giving, genuine and helpful, you will attract better clients and as a result, more sales.

Putting your clients’ needs first, before counting the sales, is what matters. Wouldn’t it be great if online marketing becomes the next big thing (if it isn’t yet) because of the genuine marketers like you?

In your online business, how can you contribute to the online marketing industry as one of the genuine marketers? Let me know in the comments below!

8 thoughts on How to Recognize a Genuine Online Marketer and How You Can Be One

Harlan West

Very well done Joy. I especially agree with you that I hate webinars that are sales pitches and don’t add value to the person who bothered to attend. A person who is on a webinar gives up an hour or more of their valuable time. The speaker should understand that point.


Yes!! 🙂 Thanks Harlan!


Hi Joy,
I enjoyed your article this morning.

I resonate with you and Harlan about webinars that are nothing but an obvious sales pitch. I get quite turned off when the push for sales comes right from the beginning with I made this amount of money. Money is great but give the goods first!

You words, connect, engage and inspire, ring so true as I am finding my real internet voice. Being genuine and honest is a real key and it soon becomes clear. I have noticed this in some of the interaction with clients. Thank you for this encouraging read.


Thanks Carolynne!

I think it’s a challenge to find your internet voice at first, but being genuine and honest will lead you there. I’m glad you did. 🙂

Marcy McKay

Great info, Joy. To me, the bottom line of your post is our two strongest attributes are VALUE and SINCERITY. If we do those, success will fall into place (in due time). Thanks.


Thanks Mary! I agree. Value is the first thing I look for. Some marketers could mask their sincerity, but I think it’s gets easier to discover when you read between their lines.


How true Joy. When I attend a webinar (a lot less often than I used to) if I don’t feel like I am getting great information I click off. I have far better things to do with my time.
Thanks . . .


Another point: The overpricing of a lot of these online products is frankly disgusting especially when so many people are having a hard time.

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