Staff writer: Kate Kishel
If you are new to the wide world of internet marketing, hiring one (or more) internet marketing experts might sound like the right way to go. Who wouldn’t want someone with the title “expert” working for them?
The problem with online marketing experts is that there are many more scams than experts. Below are the 5 best and easiest red flags to look out for when avoiding scams:
- You cannot find the expert on Google
If this expert is really an internet marketing guru, it would be logical to think that this person would be able to market his or her own services online. If you type in the person’s name and some keyword like “marketing” and nothing comes up, be suspicious.
2. The expert seems desperate
A true scam artist knows how to flatter people. If you ever hear an internet marketing expert say something like, “Your business is so special I will drop everything I am doing and dedicate myself to it like it was my own,” or, “I’ve been in this business for ages. I can always tell the person who can make it rich. You’re definitely that type of person”, it is typically not a good sign. A true expert will understand the needs of your business, but will not generally attempt to gain favor through excessive flattery.
3. So about the money issue
True internet marketing experts will probably not be concerned with a startup. Regardless, it is not a good sign if the web marketing expert does not have a payment system in place. No good business person would tell you that they will bill you when they get the work done depending on how long it takes, to pay them what you think is fair, or to pay them a cut of the profits – from your business that does not exist yet.
4. The expert cannot provide references
Occasionally, confidentiality agreements exist. If this expert really turned a bunch of people into millionaires with his or her ingenious marketing plans and execution, you should be able to find someone to provide a positive reference on their behalf. Also, be extremely cautious if the expert says he or she has never had any past employers to provide as a reference.
5. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
If a stranger approached you on the street promised you millions of dollars if you pay them $2,000 upfront right then, would you be more likely to take out your checkbook and cut them a check, or call the police? Why should it be any different if this person approaches you in a different venue and introduces him or herself as an internet marketing expert? It should not.
People want to believe the best in others. But, sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. Do your homework before giving out any money or online business sensitive information (e.g. patented product information or administrative passwords). Always be ready to walk away from a possible disaster and find a legit person to get the job done right.