Okay Folks, I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here. It’s about ethics, legality and respect. It has to do with my novice experiences in the world of internet marketing. I’m finding a lot of examples where product creators tell me that what they have developed is legal and ethical. Sometimes it’s from promoters parroting the creators.
First though I want to state that there are many ethical internet marketers. They do provide good value for money and promote their products with integrity and honesty. That being said there are those who have questionable ethics, stretch the legal limits and consequently lose my respect. Here are a few examples:
Not too long ago I purchased a product that from my point of view was unethical and a scam. In essence the product was an e-mail gathering process whereby the creator knew full well that anyone who clicked the button on his squeeze page would not get what the promotion said he would receive. He knowingly sent unsuspecting people to a place where they received nothing for their effort. However, he gained with his effort. He got email addresses for his list. Looking at it objectively it was legal (or maybe bordering legality), but again from my vantage point unethical and a scam.
Another example is when a product developer devises a way to get commissions through the so-called underground. You get emails and commissions by under cutting established rules, for example accessing emails on YouTube without the owner's permission. I am told this is legal; but is it ethical? Whenever I see the word “underground” on the sales page now, red flags go up.
You see, I think ethical standards suggest getting permission before underhandly building a business on the back of someone else’s hard efforts. This is bit tricky though because new products are most often fashioned after someone else’s idea. For example, shoes are shoes, but factory x constructs shoes better and have greater value than its competitors. That is factory x’s competitive advantage. And that is legal, ethical and allowed in today’s marketplace.
In the internet marketing world we often see something different. The difference relates to not adding value but using someone else’s product, service, or copy without adding value – just piggy backing on it for one’s own gain. However, you can do this if developers give you a license to take their stuff which allows you to put it out there for public consumption. Even then it’s still best practice to reference where the work came from, unless otherwise indicated.
I’m not talking about PLR or to use Trevor Carr’s concept of “Pimping”. With PLR the creator has given permission to use or change the product. Trevor’s concept is about using the idea then adding to the concept to make the PLR your own – to change and add value. Another example is when writers let you use their copy for your blog with their permission. All perfectly legal, ethical and respectful. But, even in the latter case you should always change and make it your own.
By the way, I highly recommend Trevor Carr IM. He is strong on ethics, respectfulness, and gives you the straight goods. His program “Breakthrough” Training Program is jammed packed with training, resources, coaching and weekly mentoring to help novices become successful internet marketers.
Then there are promoters who essentially steal another promoter’s review copy. They add a few words to make it look like their own, but in reality, it is almost verbatim from another source. They do this I think out of speed in order to meet a deadline. I recognize that there is not much one can say about the workings of a product that is much different from another reviewer’s comments. The workings of the product is what makes the product and there is basically one way to describe it. But I think there could be a bit more creativity and personal touch to the review. In other words make the review your own. Add some value to your review. Just adding your own bonuses doesn’t necessarily cut it. Ask yourself: Is copying someone else’s review ethical?
Finally I have experienced situations where vendors have a way to “Get Support” attached to their product. This is for purchasers who have difficulty implementing their product. The problem occurs when, after several attempts, their “Support Team” doesn’t respond to the query. An oversite? Too busy to respond? Don’t care? A problem with their Support Team? Unethical? Or, what? You decide.
To wrap up, be careful out there and be a leader in raising the bar in ethical, legal and respectful internet marketing with what and how you produce, promote and review products and services.
Enough ranting for now.
Take Care. Be Safe. Be Well.
Thank you for reading,