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Shopping online can be one of the most overwhelming things to do. Going from site to site comparing prices and reviews can leave your mind in knots. There are thousands of internet marketing products available on the web, all promising to produce millions for customers. You have to come up with a vetting process to minimize time-intensive decision-making – and maximize your time spent purchasing and producing.

How to tell which products or consultants are legitimate

There are a few different red flags you have to train yourself to spot. The first, and most obvious, is anyone promoting a “get-rich-quick” method or product. I still haven’t found any millionaire who got rich quick (other than winners of the lottery or people who inherited their family’s fortune). Hit the back button on your web browser to move away from gurus who claim that they’re going to make you money overnight. It’s just not possible.

Another red flag to watch for is the “four-hour workweek” methodology. As a big fan of Tim Ferris, I know he works over 60-70 hours a week. Automation is something that I absolutely believe in, but it takes far more than four hours a week to stay innovative and ahead of your competition. The internet is a fast-paced market, and working only four hours a week is a quick way to get blown away by the guys who are working 80 hours per week and want it more. I believe in outsourcing and I believe in delegating, but in order to be financially free, it takes hard work.

Communicate your legitimacy in an authentic way online

I believe the guys who are worth checking out are the ones who are the most authentic with people. They aren’t flashy. They don’t overpromise. They believe that if you build an awesome product, you’re going to win in the long run. Too many marketers spend all their time building an awesome sales funnel and no time building a great product.

One great way to be authentic is to deliver a lot of great content for free in the beginning. Before you ask someone to drop money on your program, let them have a sample of your teaching style and a deeper understanding of what they’re getting themselves into. You would never buy a car without test-driving it, so don’t expect customers to buy into your methods without a sampling first.

Some telltale signs that a product is not worth buying

The first sign of a true guru is where the guru made his money (if he truly even made anything worth mentioning). If he isn’t clear on how he made his riches, can’t show true proof of his income, or shows meager earnings, then you’re following the wrong person. The reality is that most gurus had mild success with one way of earning money, and then truly made their millions off selling products that teach others how to make millions. Even so, when they launch a product, they share 80% of the most basic techniques, but they don’t share the secret 20% that actually made them money.

Also, hit the forums and do a lot of research on the product. If there’s enough dirt about the product, it’s definitely worth second-guessing. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How customers can figure out whether the product will work for them

If the marketer isn’t specific on whom the product is for, then that’s definitely a red flag. I tend to gravitate toward gurus who teach timeless principles, not fads. The principles just need to be specific and actionable.

The best way to figure out if a product will work for a customer is to gauge whether the customer truly believes in himself and believes that he will actually do something with his life. When I give public speeches, I give the same message to everyone in the room. The reality is that everyone will hear the same message, hear the same tone and inflection, but only a few will ever do anything. The ones who do will do incredible things.

There are two questions that a customer should ask himself before he buys his next internet marketing product:

1) Will I actually go through the course and commit time and effort to do something? and

2) Do I resonate with, and have a connection with, the expert’s message? If the answer is yes to both questions, it’s time to move forward.

The internet marketing world has definitely evolved over the past years, and it will continue to do so. The guys who made it to the top years ago, who were just going after the quick buck, are slowly starting to reveal themselves. People are getting smarter and realizing that they are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing. Eventually, it will catch up to them; in the meantime, don’t become one of their victims.