This seems to be way more common that I would like for any MMO product, but it does seem to come with the territory.
While I understand that some internet marketers use them to back up their own success and lend themselves the credibility they deserve for the things they have accomplished themselves, I think that buyers have a responsibility to think for themselves and to recognize that one person’s success story is another person’s wasted money on a product that brings them no value.
Stating Verifiable Facts vs. Being Deceptive
I have no problem with a person sharing a figure like how much money they made last year, so long as they fully explain how the money was made and have the proof to back it up if questioned. There really isn’t anything morally wrong about choosing to share this information with others, the way I see it.
If you’re promoting a product that shows people how to use a particular method of making money online, then your own success is likely a selling point for said product. Why should people trust that the product is worth their investment unless they know you are successful yourself, right?
As long as you are fully transparent throughout your sales copy, I see no harm in disclosing your income so long as you are honest about whatever that number may be.
However, there is a huge difference between stating a fact about how much money YOU have personally made using a specific method and stating that OTHERS will make the same amount using the same method.
Assuming Joe had made a million dollars last year from Facebook ads, he could say something like: “My total profit from Facebook ad campaigns in 2012 was one million dollars!”
He should not, however, attempt to deceive people by instead saying: “Become a millionaire by posting ads to Facebook.”
I’m sure you see the difference and its significance.
Your Income Can’t Buy You Class
Maybe you made millions last year, but by plastering that all over your own products proves that you didn’t make enough to buy yourself some class. While within my moral boundaries, I think it’s pretty lame to go parading around like you’re now self-appointed royalty just because you’ve found something that happens to work for you.
Do we need to know how much Brad Pitt made last year to be certain that he’s successful and knows how to act? Obviously the answer is no.
We know he is a credible actor, we know he makes tons of money, and we know that whatever he is working on is probably a big freakin’ deal. We don’t need to know his income to arrive at any of those conclusions.
What’s my point?
Successful people have a radiance about them that is unmistakable and their lifestyles oftentimes reflect their income anyway. If someone owns a damn mansion, a couple of race cars and buys their favorite football team, then we can safely assume that they are making a lot of money. We can also assume they are worth listening to.
Buyers vs. Vendors Responsibilities
Unfortunately, people rarely question something when it sounds too good to be true. They tend to believe what they want to hear, whether it makes any sense or not. They get excited when internet marketers start making outlandish income claims because they are being conditioned to believe that they will make the same amount once they learn that person’s amazing secret.
As a buyer, you have a responsibility to take income claims with the appropriate grain of salt.
Vendors also have a responsibility to make it clear that their own success should not be considered average (or else everyone in the world would be doing it and would be rich, obviously) and that it is not indicative of how much buyers should expect to make as a result of buying the product.
What are your thoughts on making income claims in the IM world? Yay or nay?