I realize that some of you are Howie fans so I'll warn you ahead of time that I'm going to have some fun at Howie's expense. However, this isn't really about Howie, it's about you, if you're interested and serious about Offline Marketing. There's a lot of people who have become overnight experts, gurus and consultants in the Offline Marketing arena. You have Maria with her $7 ebooks to Howie with his $1500 + courses. How do you know if they're legitimate or not? Especially when they claim to have anywhere from five years to fifteen years of experience. You can mostly tell by their sales letters and the hype. At the end of this posting I'll give you one question to ask them that will quickly separate the the real experts from the "johnny come lately wannabes" Code: http://www.imleadership.com/ Free Howie's IM Leadership... ...reality check review. I love Howie and others like him who suddenly show up on the scene and claim to be an expert. They do a lot to drive business to me and others like me who've been in the business and work it on a daily basis. Lately, thanks to Howie and Marie and others like them, their students find consultants like myself who can take them to where they thought the "gurus" were going to take them and failed. Let's take a look at Howie's new offer that he spent "9 years tweaking." 1. "Getting PAYING Clients To Beat A Path To Your Door And Throw Money At You..." Translation: Waste your clients time and money on useless SEO. Sounds good in theory but the reality it's a waste of money for your clients and a waste of time for you. May as well suggest that you waste your client's time and money advertising in the yellow pages. Howie is going to show you a way to get more "qualified leads ready to give you money..." Let's discuss these... 2. "Howie Seal Of Approval"/ Certification." Yes, this is extremely important to every consultant. Without it profitable consultants like myself, Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham would never have made a dime. We owe it all to Howie's approval and certification system. Although it is sometimes awkward when we must first take the time to educate our clients on who Howie is and why they should care. REALITY: If you must depend upon the validation of someone else then consulting is not for you. Consulting depends upon YOU having the confidence to build your client's business. Howie is not going to be making the phone calls for you or going with you to your meeting. 3. "You will be the recognized expert..." Because part of your package includes a custom web page built by my team. And on that page, YOU will be positioned as the expert. Wow, that's all it takes a really nice web page? I'll take two. No, I'll take five after all I'm going to make a gazzillion dollars because I'm a recognized expert who is certified by Howie. I think we all know that it takes much more than a web site or in this case a single web page to become an expert. Even if "Because it will show that you have been PERSONALLY TRAINED AND CERTIFIED BY ME as the best in the business." Russell B. told an interesting story about someone who came to visit him and to study under him. The person was astounded that no one in Russell's hometown knew who Russell B was. REALITY: Howie may be a big deal among IM junkies and have some good material. However, that does not translate into prospective clients knowing who he is or caring. You have to think, are you building YOUR business or has Howie simply figured out a way to access your clients and prospects? Have you just become a PR person for Howie and introducing him to business owners who never heard of him? 4. "You're even going to have a CUSTOM TESTIMONIAL FROM ME ENDORSING YOU! How much better can it possibly get? Imagine having a testimonial direct from Howie, someone that your prospective client has never heard of. Imagine, how impressed your prospective client will be! In fact so impressed that they'll wonder why he doesn't hire Howie instead. With Howie's "reputation" throughout the "brick and mortar" world I can't see how this could possibly miss. In fact, why don't you call a couple of local business owners and ask them what they think of Howie. Howie who? But wait.... ....there's MORE! 5. Look you can get clients on the first page of Google! The fact that he believes that is why clients are paying $5000 or more for consulting says he hasn't learned very much in his nine years of tweaking. That's like saying, you're on the front page of the USA Today. So what? How does this directly translate into profits for your client? I don't want to hear what it's "supposed to do" or "should do" -- let's see the numbers. Reality: Clients are paying for prospects not for rankings, positioning, or any other nonsense. Show me how your SE0 translated into a client making money directly from your efforts. That's impressive. Show me this proof of results and profits that are a direct result of the SEO to businesses in the industry that Howie recommends. It's not going to happen because as long as the client has other forms of advertising and doesn't track specific sales that you're NOT directly responsible for then there is no proof. EX: Many people refer to the Ford Modeling as social proof that "social marketing" works. However, they can't prove that it was only the youtube videos that contributed to the success. Youtube videos was only a small part of Ford's over all marketing plan. 6. "No BS, Nothing Hidden, Easy Terms... Guarantee" What is really hidden? In fact more than 90% of those who buy won't do anything AND 9% will fail when they try to implement. How does he know this? Because that's who he's targeting. People who won't do anything. People who need outside validation. Who are just curious. This is how he can offer his guarantee to return their money if only they will get a client who will pay them at least $1000 for a consultation. He knows in advance this is highly unlikely of those he's targeted. And those who just happen to make a sale and land a client will be too few to worry about. It's a no-lose situation because he'll use the three or four who make money to convince more people into his more expensive package. Kind of like a ponzi scheme. Not convinced? Ask him a few legitimate questions, "How many sales have you made of your course?" Then ask, "How many people have acquired five or more paying clients?" Then, "How many are still in business after six months and making money?" Then the follow up question is, "How many paying "brick and mortar" clients do YOU have and how long have you had them?" In this way, you have some idea what your chances are of making your business work based upon his model. If he sold 1000 units of his course and can only point to 12 people who have made more than five paying clients and are still in business after six months. Then that's about a 1% chance of you making a profit with his course. (or any guru's course) btw: That six month question is very important. Consulting is an "evergreen" business. It can continue forever and gets easier the longer you're in it. If after six months there's no one still in the business then that's a huge red flag for you. Let's have a bit of reality check, shall we? If you need someone like Howie or Marie to validate you then you're not cut out to be a consultant. You will learn more from your mistakes than you will ever learn from your successes. What you're going to discover, after all the hype is removed and the excitement is gone, is that they don't provide you with the complete picture. They only provide you with the part of the picture that will continue to stuff money into their pockets month after month. Nothing wrong with that... ...as long as you understand up front that what they're offering has limited value. Howie's offer sounds a lot like the offer of a seminar I attended which featured a Utah hosting company selling a $5/mo hosting service for $3000/yr. They made it sound like they were offering you real value for your money but in reality they were only offering you a $5/mo hosting plan for one domain. Probably one of the better products out there and less expensive one since it can be found here is Local Business Money Machine. It's not nearly as complicated and self-indulgent as Howie's program and most beginners will learn the basics they need to be both successful and profitable. One thing I would mention to all prospective offline marketers aka consultants is that any "guru" or "expert" who is recommending SEO for local small business owners is guiding you down the wrong and very short path. And, if they suggest that you can make money "guaranteeing" an increase in your clients sales then run, don't walk away from them. You're a consultant not a sales trainer. Consultants create and drive qualified traffic. They don't get involved in the sales end of the business. That's the business of the client not the consultant. I'm just having fun at Howie's expense. I don't think he'll mind because the gullible will be compelled to check out his site after reading this and will buy his course. But the reality is that when you see things like this it should be a red flag telling you that "expert" is searching for the "low hanging fruit" who is gullible enough to believe any of this is important. If you've read my sales letters you'll note that they're very poorly written, has no hype, not formatted professionally, doesn't offer guarantees or incentives. I don't do any of that because I'm not looking for "low hanging fruit" or the gullible. I'm specifically searching for people who are serious about building a business. My "sales" material is designed to weed out the curious and leave me only with the serious. Unlike others who will be selling something different in a month or two -- I'm seeking people so I can duplicate myself and have residual income. I'm not seeking to re-invent the wheel every 30 days -- that requires too much time and effort. QUESTION: I promised that I would provide you with one question that you can ask a wannabe that will help you decide whether they really know what they're talking about or not. Here it is: "Exactly, which small businesses (or businesses) have you identified as the perfect market niche for the business model you're wanting to teach?" If you're wannabe is claiming more than a year of experience they should know EXACTLY who their market niche is. After all that is what they are supposed to be teaching you. That's really what you're paying them for how to get clients. If they can't answer that question then guess what -- their course, ebook, video, etc... is not going to work. Now I suspect that you'll start seeing sales letters which try to address this question. They'll try to elude that they know. But don't be afraid to pin them down to EXACTLY which businesses. Don't be surprised if you get answers like "It depends..." or "everyone" or other vague answers. They should be able to be very specific. For example, one of the niches I train my consultants in is Holistic Health. I can point them directly at twenty SPECIFIC businesses in their area who will hire them. No guessing to it because that is what the business and marketing model is designed for. BONUS QUESTION: Next question to ask them is how do they quickly gain 15 or more paying clients within 45 days? This should be a super easy question for them if they really have the experience they claim to. Again, if they don't know then chances are their business model is not going to work. It may sound good, have good ideas and theories even some great scripts and forms but in the end it's not designed to make you money. It's designed to take your money. You'll be like a lot of other consultants out there who are always chasing after their next client. If you really know your market then there's no chasing after them because they chase you. Keep in mind that I'm not against Howie or Marie or any other guru. They serve their purpose. They're like infomercials who although the quality of their products are suspect, they build interest and drive sales for others in the market. We call them "Judas Goats". The point of this is not to ridicule Howie but to get you to stop "researching" and getting ready for the perfect moment. To realize that you don't need Howie or anyone else. What you need is the courage to Take Action! BHW has much more valuable information. If you'll take the time to really study the material available on BHW you'll quickly discover that you don't have to follow any Guru to get to where you want to go. It only takes you to research and then create a business and marketing model based upon what you've learn and then have the courage to Take Action! Think about it, Talk to you soon.... Citadel Media Solutions P.S. If you've learned anything important in this posting, please feel free to say THANKS by clicking on the THANKS button!