Monday, June 30, 2008

Creating A Viral Monster

Two days ago a new group was formed on Facebook. It's name is P.R.I.S.M., some of you might already have joined. I have been tracking the incredible growth of this Viral Monster.

Rapid Growth

Within 24 hours the group had over 200 members and over 100 posts on its wall. Such a rapid growth and so many impressions rippling through facebooks news feeds created a buzz that sucked people into the new group and motivated them to write blogposts, upload videos and share their experiences. At the time of writing this has grown to 422 members and 208 wall posts.

A brand new community has been formed out of nothing


The originator and creator of this group is Brian Campbell, who many of you know from the training videos he's been releasing. This is the place where the playing field is levelled as Brian announced that he will start giving away a further £15,000 on top of the $10,000 he gave to John Chow. So anyone no matter what their financial circumstance could get access to the same training if they showed they had the motivation and the qualities that are needed to become a member of P.R.I.S.M.

Social Proof

Social Proof is a powerful motivator because for most people because word of mouth recommendation is one of the best forms of advertising. Check out any sales letter on the Internet and you will see testimonials play a major part. If you are new to my blog you may not know that I went into great detail explaining the Power of Testimonials. You can also see all of the SMMS testimonials in one place on my Squidoo Lens. To find out more about using other peoples opinions to establish your reputation check out this insightful post by Stuart Tan. He explores in great detail why recomending people is so important.

Coming Soon

Over the coming days I will give you a behind the scenes look at how Brian made this rapid growth possible and to the conclusion he is ultimately driving towards. If you have read my blog post about scarcity tactics then you will know that there are only limited places available for the Social Media Marketing System. Brian already made a claim that he will make $100,000 from this launch and anyone who has taken advantage of his free training and put it into practice will already be waiting eagerly in anticipation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Secret Society or a Conspiracy Theory....?

Mastering Manipulative Magic - part 2.

Yesterday Brian Campbell wrote a shocking letter to of all those people who believe they can succeed in using social media but are not yet part of the secret alliance that has established itself on Facebook and other similar sites.

Dramatic Sales Letter

If you are reading this post and you don't know what I am talking about then I guess you should check out this link first, this is where Brian pulled out all the stops and went in everyone's face with a very dramatic sales letter

A Secret Society

Before I analyse what Brian is up to I would like to start with a story, one that dates back almost 1000 years it tells how a small group of people transformed the world forever. They were very secret and highly organised and no one really knew how they managed to get so successful so quickly and how they suddenly had the power to bring down kingdoms and left a legacy that still has people wondering even today. They are of course the Knights Templar. A secret brotherhood who exploded onto the scene in Europe and dominated the political and economic situation for nearly 200 years. They communicated through secret codes and symbols that only those who were initiated understood, they set up the foundations and structure for what later became the modern financial system known today as banking.

Threatening The Existing Structures of Power

How did they grow such a huge network starting from nothing? How did they become so powerful so quickly? Why is it that the Kings and Barons of the time were powerless to stop what they were doing and had no choice but to join forces? Why did they threaten the power of the Roman Catholic church so much and make the King of France conspire to have them arrested and killed? Why was it that they then continued to operate hidden and underground to this day and left a trail and legacy across several continents and their secrets still remain a mystery?

The Puppet or the Puppet Master

One thing about secret organisations is that they know something others don't, and they use that knowledge to their advantage. Stockbrokers call it insider trading. They act on information that is shared only in their network and this gives them a competitive edge over everyone else. Some people call these groups cartels or even mafia. They know how the system works and they play it like a puppet , pulling hidden strings and all you ever see are the effects you never know who the real puppet masters are.

Conspiracy Theory

Brian just released his modern day conspiracy theory, trying to motivate people into taking a certain action. Right now it is just to join his group and post on its wall. Do you know what the viral effects of 100 people posting on one wall does on facebook and how far that can spread? P.R.I.S.M. members are probably the only people who truly understand how to harness the power of viral marketing with social media, and are also the ones who know how to use it most effectively. "Prism is defined as a transparent glass that disperses light into a spectrum. Like prism, the knowledge we get from P.R.I.S.M. will be dispersed to help the many others succeed in Social Media. "(Ed. Tamondong Jr.)

Brians Communication

Lets take a look at the copy Brian uses in his letter and maybe we can learn what he is trying to communicate . He is using a very clever technique that amplifies the fear and pain of being the odd one out, the outsider, the one who struggles in vain, swimming against the tide.

They are many, you are only one.

They know the secrets, you hope to get lucky.

They control the social network, you react to it.

They are the lense through which opportunities pass.

They work effortlessly, while you constantly struggle.

You are powerless against them.

They exist, although you resist the truth.

They can't be matched, you're powerless to compete with them for any resources they want to control online.

Their secrets are so amazingly powerful, they aren't leaked out and taught anywhere else.

They exist and I can PROVE it!

As another clear but more subtle example of this technique take a look at another email and see if you can spot the similarities this is one that Martin Allsop used on exactly the same day to his group members.

Coincidence or Collusion

Why are two of the major players on facebook coming out with Identical tactics on the same day?

Brian clearly stated that Martin was one of the people who helped him the most when he was first getting started on facebook. Here is what Martin wrote, I'll let you judge for yourself.

Remember when you were in school and there was always something you didn’t get told or some secrets you didn’t get to find out?

In those early years there was always someone who knew more who you could learn from and yet they didn’t think you should know what other people know.

Didn’t that make you feel curious?

The Same Message Repeated

Now Martins approach is a bit more subtle and softer that Brian's and is not as direct and in your face but it effectively says the same thing, i.e there are people who know things you don't and they are making you feel inferior, weak and left out. Of course each of them are offering a way out of the dilemma, being such kind hearted gents they wouldn't want you to suffer or be left out in the cold. Here they show that the doors are open, you can see the warm fire blazing in the hearth and the others who are already inside are enjoying the banquet. You are hesitant, not sure if you want to join them or if you want to keep on your lonely cold journey alone. Going inside might take you on a whole new direction . Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready for the success that is promised by crossing the threshold?

Ooops, I just caught myself doing the same thing, sorry about that I was supposed to be explaining how and why this technique works not testing it out on my unsuspecting readers. Back to the analysis….

Amplifying the Pain

Amplifying your pain is a marketing tactic that is hugely effective and is taught as standard to most sales people. First identify the prospects biggest problems and challenges. Now turn up the volume , increase the pain, amplify it by giving a lot of negative examples and place the prospect in the position of the person who is suffering. By doing this you tend to induce an unpleasant emotional response you are hitting them in their weakest spot, you are playing on all their fears and insecurities. Next the salesperson shows that there is a way out of this problem and offers you the solution. Now if you have a good salesperson they will recommend the solution that is in your best interests and not just their own. Because they know their reputation is at stake and they want customers coming back, satisfied customers give great referrals to their friends. Just check out a few of the testimonials if you don't believe me

Another Modern Day Example

I will give you a more modern day version that I experienced last year when I bought my girlfriend a new computer. The sales guy was great, he had manoeuvred us into buying the best laptop they had by some careful persuasion and we were just about to pay when he started trying to sell us insurance on top. Telling us about all the bad things that could happen like spilling a cup of coffee on the keyboard or dropping it etc,etc. I won't tell you the outcome but I was impressed with his persistence even when there was a long queue of people behind us.

An Old Strategy

This is not a new technique it has been practiced for centuries by all the influencer and persuaders throughout history. One of the earliest examples of this type of salesmanship was done by Guatama the Buddha when he stated his 4 noble truths. He Identified the nature of suffering , he showed the origin and cause of the suffering , he showed the cessation of suffering , and he showed the path to the cessation of suffering. I don't want to go into further details because you can follow the links if you want to know more, what I wanted to point out is that this technique is not good or bad in itself, it is just a very effective technique to get people motivated to take action. This is what Buddha wanted. He said you had to work for you own enlightenment, you didn't just get it wallowing in self pity and suffering. Equally Brian is making a call only to those individuals who feel they have what it takes and are willing to take the necessary steps.

Don't Sit on the Fence

He has promised me that he is not going to be subtle any more so if you are on one of his mailing lists, expect to be bombarded these next few days with all the powerful sales techniques he has in his arsenal. If you are sitting on the fence be prepared to get knocked off.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mastering Manipulative Magic - Email Persuasion at it's best

A Friendly Invitation

I got a letter a few days ago from Martin Allsop telling me about his new ezine that was coming out soon, at first glance it was just another email, and as I was already signed up for his ezine anyway I just skimmed over it. What struck me instantly though was the language patterns that he had used, take a look and see what you think.

A word of warning, don't click on his link until you have read the entire blog post or you will miss some valuable information that I reveal later on. You will be amazed when you discover what is hidden within it

Martin Allsop sent a message to the members of Social networking makes money for you. Too good to miss!.

Subject: "Unlock the secret formula for Web 2.0 success.”

Can you remember a time when all sorts of exciting possibilities seemed to be available to you? And how that felt?

You may not fully realize it yet – as there may be many things undreamed of that await your discovery – but such a time is upon us now.

As more and more people are beginning to appreciate – Web 2.0 presents us all with amazing opportunities.

In the second edition of my e-magazine (e-zine) which is due out shortly I unlock the secret formula for Web 2.0 success.
And there’s lots of other interesting stuff!

If you go to:

now you can sign up for the e-zine which is absolutely free.

You will then be one of the first to get access to the second edition – and you’ll also be able to read the first edition.

You’re intelligent enough to understand the value of this, so I hope you go to sign up now and enjoy all the benefits.

Warm regards



Hidden Hypnotic Commands

If you read the letter above it just looks like an ordinary email you might not notice anything untoward or devious about it. What you may not realise is that it's filled with hypnotic commands to get you make a certain response.

Brain Wipe

Before you read the rest of the article, see if you can even remember what the email talked about in the first 4 sentences. My guess is that it is totally blanked from your memory. Even if you go back and re-read it you still probably can't remember or explain it.

NLP gives a Secret Competive Edge

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming originated as an alternative approach to psychotherapy that was co-created by Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder in the 1970s. It was based on the subjective study of language, communication and personal change. It later evolved and was utilised in Business, particularly sales and advertising. If you are in any of Martin Allsop's groups you will know that he is a Personal development and NLP Trainer, management consultant and entrepreneur.It is clear to me from looking at this email that he is using his skills to best advantage and most people don't even realise it.

Grown Huge

Maybe this is one of the reasons why Martin has been able to amass such a huge following and create such a large list in such a short period of time and why he has high paying coaching clients seeking him out to help them repeat the same success in their own business. He grew a Facebook network of 5000 friends in under 2 months and now has a total Facebook network of over 9,000.


In this article I would like to explain just why these NLP techniques work by analysing his short email.

Which I think is a masterful example of persuasive writing

When you break it down you can easily learn the structure and elements that comprise this letter

The first line reads

"Can you remember a time when all sorts of exciting possibilities seemed to be available to you? And how that felt?"

This is asking you to look into your own memory and try to remember a time when you were excited about the future and the options that are open to you. He uses ambiguous language patterns so you can fill in the blanks. He doesn't specify when or where or with whom that is all left up to you. This type of ambiguous open structure makes it universally applicable to everyone.

The second sentence is getting you to connect that memory to an actual feeling. For many people who think in pictures, going to the feeling level amplifies the experience and also brings it into to the present moment. You can’t remember how it felt unless you reproduce the same internal experience again as you are reading the letter

"You may not fully realize it yet – as there may be many things undreamed of that await your discovery – but such a time is upon us now."

Feel Excitement Now

This second paragraph is telling you that you need to feel the excitement now. This is also confirming that you might not realise that you are getting excited and also acts as a way to pace and get rapport. These types of sentences talk straight to the unconscious mind. They have no real meaning thinking about something undreamed of that you have to wait to discover doesn't make sense and so the conscious mind ignores it and the other embedded command is delivered. "Such a time is upon us now", which links back to the first 2 sentences which were all about a feeling in the past and that feeling is being brought into the present moment reinforcing the effects.

So now you have a feeling of excitement and curiosity and you are "waiting to discover" something new.

"As more and more people are beginning to appreciate – Web 2.0 presents us all with amazing opportunities."

"In the second edition of my e-magazine (e-zine) which is due out shortly I unlock the secret formula for Web 2.0 success."


Now Martin introduces the amazing opportunities that are available in the world of WEB 2.0 and links this to his new ezine, where he promises to unlock the secrets. You are being forced to wait again, he won't tell you right now. What he has done is created a very real sense of desire. Secrets are enticing , you want to know what the secret formula to success is and that secret is only exposed in his Ezine

So now you have even more excitement and curiosity and anticipation.

Direct Commands

Martin now offers a way to fulfil your need to know, just go and sign up

"If you go to:

now you can sign up for the e-zine which is absolutely free."

He uses "if you" implying that you have a choice whether to go or not and then gives the link and below the first word is "now". When you take away the fluff this is a direct command and reads

"go to now"

It looks so sweet and innocent but is an extremely powerful way to get someone to click on a link and you don't even feel that you have been directly commanded. It all happens at the unconscious level. Which is the real power of NLP.

"You’re intelligent enough to understand the value of this, so I hope you go to sign up now and enjoy all the benefits."

Martin finishes off with another direct command embedded in the sentence, can you spot it?

"go to sign up now"

You miss it consciously because of the URL and because it is placed carefully between two lines and within a larger sentence that has another meaning. Be intelligent and enjoy all the benefits.

The Real Meaning

So below the surface you are being told directly to

Feel excited anticipation about discovering the web2.0 secret formula that Martin will reveal in his ezine, go to and sign up now.

Now you can click the link

Ok, now you can go and click the link, if you haven't done so already. I would suspect that at least half of you will have clicked the link before you even reached this point, I will report back in a few days when I analyse my blog stats and see if this post has an unusual number of click outs.


Please be aware that this is only one of many styles of hypnotic language patterns, if you want to find out more I would first suggest learning a bit about NLP from books before you try and repeat or copy what Martin has done. This is very powerful stuff and you really need to know exactly what you are doing or the effects that you achieve might not be what you expected. If you do it wrong then people will notice and might steer clear of what you have to offer or you might be unintentionally telling people the opposite of what you intended.

Manipulation and Ethics

It also brings up the issue of manipulation. Some people think that using NLP in this way is unethical or manipulative. They maybe tend to forget that almost all communication is manipulative in some way or another. It's just that with NLP the effects are aimed at the unconscious mind. One of my favourite trainers Chris Howard addresses these issues and says that you must always create Win Win situations and he refuses to certify people unless they are clearly operating from an ethical standpoint. As with any powerful tool there is a danger that it can be abused. It is up to you to make the right choices and your reputation and long term success can depend on this.

Modeling Others

I want to make it very clear that I believe Martin to be a very ethical person and a respected pillar of the Facebook business community. You only have to check out the testimonials on his webpage to see this. The purpose of this article was to bring to light just how powerful NLP patterns can be. I have been impressed by his success on Facebook and it has always been my philosophy to examine and model what others are doing well so that I can emulate this and integrate it into my own business and personal life. I carefully examine what people do and also what they don't do as this can be just as revealing.

Communication to Increase Response

Communication from a marketing or sales perspective is always about persuading someone to take action. You need to know the secrets that the professionals adopt in order to increase the impact and effectiveness of your own efforts. By using NLP techniques you can dramatically increase your response rate and can create a rapport and connection to you customers that you might not have generated otherwise.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How Many Facebook Friend's Are Enough?

This post is in response to a discussion on JimTurners fan page, click here to view the original post How many facebook friends are enough?

Hi Jim

I would just like to add another opinion and explain a few of the reasons why someone would want a large network. Having a large friend list on its own isn't actually much use because facebook doesn’t allow you to mail more than 20 friends at a time and I guess it's clear from what others have posted it all depends what business you are in. I fully agree of the pointless nature of rushing to grow to 5000 friends just for the sake of it and without some end goal or reason for adopting this method

As a strategist I want to explore all areas without judgement to be able to asses the merits of each type of friending strategy. If you want to advise others you need to fully understand the pro's and cons and not condemn something you don't fully understand just because you haven't personally explored it. I guess with facebook this is a problem as you have to make a choice, you can’t do both, and this is all the more reason why sharing knowledge and information is important and why I think this discussion is so useful

Malcolm Gladwell in his book the tipping point said that researchers looked at many factors regarding human networks and even analysed the maximum size of tribal villages across all cultures throughout history and the number they came out with was 148. because this was the maximum number of people you could possibly maintain a relationship with. In modern times and by using technology to aid and speed communication I suspect that Mari is correct in her figure of 250 - 500 people

I myself have grown my network rapidly over the past 2 months, this is just how it happened and was due to the people I came in contact with. I think after about 400 friends I couldn't keep the same rigorous checking and personal messaging that I had until then. I was making a very targeted list with a specific objective in mind. As I grew larger my network has become infiltrated with more untargeted friends who added me just because I was quite visible in certain groups. After 700 friends I stopped adding any new ones and my friend list has grown on its own. What I have found is that the initial 400 friends have created a core of quality in my network that have attracted similar people so even though I am not targeting them they are attracted to me. Since most of the people who friend me are friends of friends and not random people who just stumbled on my profile. The people who I need to pay attention to naturally rise to the top. I just ignore all the background noise and concentrate on developing certain key relationships

The advantages of having a large network comes through the viral effects of the friend feed. If you have a product or service that you want to promote then under certain circumstances the further you can reach the better. Not everyone who uses facebook for business is looking for high end coaching clients or has a very small niche that they need to develop very personal relationships with. I think there is a very large area in between this and Macdonalds. And it is short sighted to infer that everyone who chooses to develop a large network is going to be a spammer. I also think that for many people one half of their business might need a small intimate network and the other a much larger less intimate network. Anyone who makes information products would always want to reach the widest audience possible. So I believe many people are split in their opinions because their businesses are not one dimensional and they might have different needs at different levels.

Having a large network means that if you want to launch a group on facebook and if you have targeted your friends carefully you will be able to grow your group quickly and the momentum of that growth can push your group to become viral. Take a look at the group "join the fight against cancer", it has 184,000+ members and the admin can fully control what is shown in the links, the videos and pictures, this could be used as a very powerful traffic generator and all those impressions are for free. The key is how to get your group to hit critical mass where it just grows on its own. Since facebook raised the limit from 1200 to 5000 this gives most group admins a lot of scope for developing a relationship with a large number of people. As long as you give valuable content people don't mind when you try and promote something and if they do they can always leave your group and join another one.

I think most people tend to forget that this is just a tiny corner of facebook that we inhabit and there is potential for many people to service different strata of the facebook population. The marketing tools for creating targeted lists in any niche are amazing and this has barely even been tapped. Too many are people trying to make a fast buck without thinking about the damage this does to their reputation. One friend likened it to a room full of car salesmen all trying to sell cars to each other.

I haven't even mentioned the power of working together with other people with large networks and leveraging each other for mutual benefit. Or the benefits of having an integrated network where all your friends are friends with each other and what benefits that can give. That will be explored in later blog posts

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Facebook Spam Slam

Spam has become a menace on Facebook here is your chance to become proactive, to stop complaining and take some action......join Facebook Spam Slam today and get it going viral by inviting all your friends.

"If a complete stranger came and knocked on your front door and demanded that you go with them to look at their new car or dragged you out of you house and forced you to go inside their new shop, don't you think you might get a bit upset. Why is it then that so many people act that way on facebook" Attention Grabbers - click here to see full post

Following the huge interest that came from my last post, I would like to test the waters and see if anyone would actually like to do something about this situation. And help me start a campaign to reduce the amount of spam and unsolicited mail that we receive on Facebook

Self Policing

Other areas of the internet police themselves, especially some of the more technical forums and hacker communities. A person who spams these places could very well face a serious reprisal from people who know how to hit back where it hurts.


I remember a story John Reese told about when he had crossed the line in his younger days on one particular site which took offence to his promotional activities . He was punished by having himself subscribed to every gay porn membership site and magazine over the whole internet and his personal and business email accounts flooded with mail so that his inbox ground to a halt. He laughs now but this gives out a reminder to all those who may be tempted along this route.

Positive Action

While I am not suggesting anything so drastic, I would like to see if there are any people who want to take some positive action to send a message to those thoughtless group masters and self centred individuals who bombard our inboxes with offers and invitations we have no interest in.

Facebook Groups - We gave them our permision

Firstly, these people can do this because we have signed up to their group, so the first thing I suggest is to start a systematic campaign to remove yourself from all groups that don't offer any value. I would also suggest writing a message to the admin to inform them why you have chosen to leave. This strategy becomes effective when lots of people are doing it at the same time so the group owner can see that droves of people are leaving because of how they treat their members, they might start to change their behaviour and adopt a different strategy.

Here is a sample message I would suggest

Dear Group Admin

I would like to inform you that I am leaving your group, the promises that you made when I joined have not materialised and I am tired of receiving your promotional offers that offer me no real value.

Please read this blog post which I hope might offer you some inspiration to improve your relationship with your group in the future.


Ian Chapman


Rick Butts started quite a controversial post on his blog where he suggested that

If you unsubscribe from every email list that pounded you, you can free up your inbox and become less distracted . Here he was describing what happens when you opt in to lots of Internet Marketing lists, and you end up getting bombarded with email from lots of affiliates promoting the same product.

Facebook doesn't warn you clearly that when you sign up for a group that you are effectively giving the group admin permission to email you as often as they like. Maybe a bit more checking into the background of group admins might be a useful exercise, and see If they are running multiple groups in the same niche. It is your own responsibility if you join a load of groups all run by the same person and then get flooded with the same offers again and again.

What to do if you are a Group Admin

I have a no spam policy in all my groups, and as they are still growing it is a manageable task to go each day and moderate the comments and remove any offending or unsuitable posts. I like what Trevor 'Toecracker' Crook says regarding spam in his group Pay It Forward For Entrepreneurs


I am deleting your crap and removing you from the group. Post this crap at your own risk as you will discover exactly why they call me 'Toe Cracker!

To my genuine members, feel free to message me should you be concerned about any posts or discussion which violate what your group is about, after all I set it up for you and NOT wankers who are clueless.


PS. If anyone has a problem with this, contact me if you have the balls to do so where I will 100% guarantee you will discover why they call me 'Toe Cracker' so go ahead, make my day if you are game.

Don't be Intimidated

I guess this direct method is effective if you have the personality and reputation that Trevor has. The problem I have discovered is that many group admins are intimidated by the people who post spam in their group and as they haven't made a clear policy from the beginning are hesitant in case they offend some of their members who like to use the group as an advertising billboard. I believe there is a place for such groups and probably some people who want to keep their group organised this way, but it can create a real problem as one spammer can often attract more due to the Broken window effect( check out The Tipping Point by Malcolm Glaldwell if you want the background theory). So in order to keep a group clean and functioning the admins have to regularly go and remove any unsuitable and irrelevant posts.

When a group gets too big

When a group reaches a certain size the group Admin is often forced to restrict the groups functions by controlling what links can be added and videos posted and in extreme cases disabling the wall. This basically restricts and sometimes kills the ability of the members to interact with each other and the group reverts to just an archive where you can read all the old posts and discussion threads and a place to find like minded people in the members list. This doesn't have to become the accepted norm if the group members take action and police themselves.

New Friends

Next we need to address all those who send us unsolicited messages when they have only just become our friend; we need to carefully distinguish between those messages that are made out of ignorance and those that are made as a carefully planned and orchestrated spam campaign.

For the first category I suggest adopting an educative approach. Many people who are new to social media marketing have no idea about etiquette and what is or is not acceptable. This is definitely a grey area as everyone has different standards and tolerance levels, and I know that there are some people who actually like to receive junk mail. I suggest that you send this person a message similar to the one below, feel free to use this one or you can make up your own.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for the request that you made to look at your promotional offer. As I hardly know you and I have only just accepted your friend request I though I should inform you that I don't like being propositioned in this way before we have even begun to develop our relationship. Your behaviour makes me conclude that you are only interested in my friendship in order to promote your own business.

This type of self centred attitude is frowned upon in many circles and is considered to be spam which is becoming a serious problem here on facebook. It not only damages your reputation it also makes me seriously consider whether I want to have you as a friend. Please read this Blog post so you are better informed about this issue

I hope that this may inspire you to adopt a different approach to social media marketing

Kindest regards

Ian chapman

Profesional Spammers

For the next category where it is clear that it is a business or a person who are blatantly flouting Facebook's terms and conditions then I would suggest a more hard lined approach. Often these Users have set up multiple profiles that often have a company name or logo or have images of flashy cars or beautiful models.

If you accepted friendship with these people then you may be partly to blame, but since many spammers are getting more cunning at setting up dodgy profiles and then changing the image at a later date to promote their company or product they may have slipped in the back door without your notice.

So first go and check to see if you are actually friends with them and if you are go and look at their mini feed, this will give you a clear indication of their recent activity and you can decide what action to take, if you see they have just posted in 30 groups in the last 10 minutes then you can conclude that they are strategically spamming and are aware of the possible consequences , you can also quote this when you write to them

Next send them a message telling them that you have removed them from your friend list, explain why and tell them that you have reported them to facebook. Whether you do this or not is entirely up to you. So far I have only done this once to one company after they repeatedly spammed my group by posting 4 videos, 1 link, about 20 photographs and starting one discussion post. I believe everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt and reporting someone should always be a last resort. The threat is maybe enough to get them to change their ways so I would suggest to include it anyway.

Here is a sample letter that you could use

Dear Friend/Business Owner

I have adopted a zero tolerance to spam so I would like to inform you that I have removed you from my friend list and reported you to facebook for breach of their terms and conditions. I would strongly suggest that you rethink your approach to Social Media Marketing as you are damaging your companies reputation and also annoying innocent people with your activities. Please read this blog post as it gives some useful advice that I think you would do well to follow


Ian Chapman

Warning : give people the benefit of the doubt

One word of caution, before you go sending these messages to anyone who annoys you. What you consider spam might be considered innocent advertising to other people, so opening a dialogue first is often a good approach. There are a couple of people who I thought were spamming my groups who ended up becoming good friends after I told them how I felt about it. They were both professional internet marketers so they fully understood my situation.

If you take this proactive approach you must be prepared for some Flak. When you make this kind of stand you are going to upset some people. You can't avoid it, so if you don't like to rock the boat or create waves then I suggest you just quietly remove yourself from the offending groups and remove the offending people from your list of friends.

In the eyes of some people I may also be considered a spammer, I have to accept this as the price I pay for being an active group leader, not everyone is going to resonate with my messages and my style of communication, this is just a fact of life.

Or Give them the Boot?

Mari Smith talks about this in one of her blog posts Where she suggests giving certain friends the boot, I fully support her in her freedom to choose who is in her friend network and who is not. She has every right to make her friend list as exclusive as she wants. That is the beauty of Social Media, If someone is spamming you or doesn't resonate with your values or share your point of view you can exclude them from your community.

Naming and Shaming - pros and cons

Another word of warning before you hit the remove friend button, some people might get offended and wonder why you chose to pick on them or target their particular group. It would be detrimental to adopt a name and shame policy as there is no way a person or group would have any way to redeem themselves once you have tarred them with the label of Spammer. Everyone should be given the option to improve and adopt a more respectful approach. I would suspect that most people who spam do so only out of ignorance because they have not had the training or education to know any better, and see this approach as the easiest, least effort way to build their business. People who have purchased out of date ebooks or have been signed up by less than reputable MLM and network marketing companies can only be partly to blame for this plague that is sweeping the social media platforms. Myspace, the biggest social networking site has been dubbed SpamSpace by many of its user because of their failure to tackle this problem effectively. Facebook must take some action soon or risk losing all its members to private membership sites.

Hit them in their pocket

I myself am a member of a really amazing private membership site that is just opening its doors , The Master Business Builders Club, built in response to the spamming problems on the public sites like Facebook and also as the next step into using Web3.0 technology. Its like Facebook on Steroids and is a place where business people can come and network without the annoyance of spam and unsolicited emails, They have a very interesting anti spam policy that you can only see when you sign up for membership and you will only find if you study the small print, It reads as follows

MBBC reserves the right to restrict the number of emails which a Member may send to other Members in any 24-hour period to a number which MBBC deems appropriate in its sole discretion. If you breach this Agreement and send unsolicited bulk email, instant messages or other unsolicited communications of any kind through the MBBC Services, you acknowledge that you will have caused substantial harm to MBBC , but that the amount of such harm would be extremely difficult to ascertain. As a reasonable estimation of such harm, you agree to pay MBBC $50 for each such unsolicited email or other unsolicited communication you send through the MBBC Services;

Lets Spread the Word

I would like to hear from any group leaders who would like to support this and ask any everyone else to join the new group I have started Facebook Spam Slam and then to invite all their friends. If we get enough members then our self policing policy will have a strong effect and we can also investigate ways to get Facebook to help in dealing with this issue by adding mail filtering and spam protection on or inboxes.

Implementing Change

No one individual can do this task alone, It requires many people to take the time and the effort to send this message to the required places. Social Media has such a huge potential for implementing change but it needs people who are ready and willing to take action. Even if you just devote 2 minutes each day you can help to make a difference

I look forward to hearing your comments and reactions to this post

Monday, June 16, 2008

Attention Grabbers!!

If a complete stranger came and knocked on your front door and demanded that you go with them to look at their new car or dragged you out of your house and forced you to go inside their new shop, don't you think you might get a bit upset. Why is it then that so many people act that way on facebook

Why should I give you my attention?

How many times have you had someone send you a friend request on Facebook and then straight away before you've had time to take a second breath they have asked you for something, demanding your atention, whether its to check out their group, look at their website, join their MLM program or Get rich Quick scheme. What these people maybe fail to realise is their approach is getting them entirely the opposite results than they might expect. The reason being is they fail to see the message they are sending from the other side or think a little bit about who they are sending to. Without having this view you assume that the whole world will naturally be interested in everything you are doing and you demand that they give you attention.

Relationships first - deals second

Trying to sell yourself or your products without first taking the time to build some sort of relationship is not going to be the most effective strategy in today's web 2.0 world.

Serve others first and you will be rewarded

When you friend someone don’t ask them for something straight away, take the time to send a personal message and ask what you can do to help them. If you want to get your self really noticed then you are going to have to learn to give before you receive. This will instantly set you apart from everyone else and will show that you are actually interested in them and not just in serving yourself or your business. Serving others is one of the highest virtues you can adopt and is one of the quickest ways to have your own needs met as well. People will always remember you in a positive light and that is what can influence them to open your emails, listen to your sales messages and buy your products or services in the future. Attention is one of the most valuable commodities that all businesses are competing for.

Don't be too aggressive

Once you have their attention and you have started a conversation you can decide if you want to mention what It is you are promoting. If you are too aggressive in your marketing or sales approach you can turn people off very quickly It's easy to spot people who are not genuine so be very careful here and make sure you do this in a skilful way, a casual mention of what you have to offer can be much more powerful than the direct approach. People hate being sold to but they do like to buy. If you position yourself in the right way, you can be the person they choose to go to when they are ready.

Consider Starting you own group

If you want to get a targeted group of people all in one place then consider forming your own group, you can invite all your friends and in this way, only the people who are interested will be subjected to your marketing messages and they have the option of leaving the group at any time. Selling directly to new friends via their profile, instant messenger or wall is one of the quickest ways to start losing friends and as spam becomes more widespread more people are becoming less tolerant of unsolicited messages in their inbox.

I join a lot of groups to see what they have to offer, one thing I have noticed is the difference between how some of the group leaders treat their members.

The Trusted Friend

Some Facebook groups send me a continual stream of messages promoting this product or that service, I have to admit that I tend to ignore most of them, Its like I almost don't see or hear anything of what they are communicating, I filter it out and it just goes in the noise and distraction file. There are however a few group leaders who have adopted a different strategy, they keep sending me useful information and good links to things I am interested in, and they have a totally different way of communicating. It's not that they never try and sell me something its just they do it in a different way so I don't mind because I have placed them in a different file, that of the trusted friend. If you are networking, planning on using facebook to promote your business or you would like to start your own Facebook group in the future, I think there is an important lesson to learn here.

Share a Part of Your Life

Take Travis Greenlee as a good example, he was the person who inspired me to start the Facebook Made Easy group, His videos impressed me so much that I wanted to share them with as many people as possible. He has carefully positioned himself as a thought leader, and highly respected businessman here on Facebook, a person to look up to and one who sets the standards for others to follow. Notice how he is also sharing a part of his personal life too, uploading his home videos. This is a great relationship building strategy and allows you to connect in a way that you could never do personally to so many people.

Another person who always sends interesting content is Russell Birtwistle, He runs his business from Thailand , I look forward to his network marketing group emails because he shares a lot and tries to educate you to understand how he approaches his business and what tools he uses to stay successful and to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Just today he sent an enticing email describing his lifestyle and his love of fine food and golf. This style of marketing is very effective, how many people do you think there are who would like to trade places and live a similar life in paradise. These are all his potential customers who are being reeled in by his interesting stories, his direct honesty and transparent openness.

Another Facebook Leader who I admire is the copywriterr Jim Turner. Last week I was reading an article in his blog , Pit Bull Marketing where here he was talking about these same issues. I asked Jim if I could quote directly from his article and he agreed

"First off, your group or JV opportunity has to be focused on something that I’m interested in. If you can’t get past that hurdle, forget it! "

"People in general are very self-centred. So when you put together your pitches or group invitations you need to make sure you let the reader know what’s in it for them… and it has to be believable.

Once you get me in your group – the real work starts. You see, now you’ve got to keep me there. The best way to do that is keep feeding me information that I can use and benefit from… not more and more pitches."

"I would like to hear from you no more than a couple of times per week. Anything above that and you run the risk of annoying your members. Annoyed members hit the remove link real fast."

"it’s important that you know that I’m not against offering a product or service to me or your group members. I realize most of us are in business – that means that at some point a financial transaction must take place, or we won’t be around very long.

But be willing to provide training and educational resources pertaining to how to be successful with what you’re promoting."

To read the whole article you can follow this link - or you can joins Jims group Social Media Marketing Mastermind

Don't be a Spammer

So remember don't keep messaging your group 3 times a day. Most people find it annoying and if you are not giving any value or content and only self promoting what you are doing is Spam and not only will Facebook flag your account and send you a warning but you will also damage your reputation with all your friends. Spend the time to develop relationships with your group and your friends. Be respectful, these are real people so treat them that way.

Build Solid Foundations

Don't think of Facebook and social networking only as a way to make a quick buck. Think about it as a long term business strategy , lay the foundations in the right way and you will have people visiting your house every day. Ignore this vital stage and whatever you build will likely come crashing down around you and all your hard work wasted.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take Away Tactics - part 2

This is part two of a two part article, to read part 1 click here

A two stage Take Away

Another way to use the take away close that I saw recently was on a website by Mike Filsaime, he was offering his latest product and was giving a one time offer, and as an incentive he had thrown in loads of bonuses and gave you the option to buy right now. He was using time scarcity tactics but when you chose not to buy he made a second attempt at closing the sale, by taking you to a second landing page and offering you the same product but without so many bonuses and giving it to you at a lower price. This was a two stage take away and I was impressed with the slickness of it all. I bet it increased his conversion rates by at least 20%.

here is a testimonial he put in his sales letter that has a take away built into it.

"I would encourage anyone, at any cost, to work with these guys. It's not how much the event costs, it's how much you stand to loose by not being there!" —Adam Ginsberg

Give Value and Develop Relationships

Take aways really work best when you have already given value to a customer, and have established a good relationship. The marketers who adopt the tactic of moving the free line like Eben Pagan, Frank Kern, Stompernet and Brian Campbell establish their reputation and credibility first by giving away so much great content you already trust them and want to buy from then so when they pull the take away on you, you don't react in the same way you would if a stranger did it to you. You know you are being manipulated but you allow them to do it because you know it will be for your own benefit.

Tiered Membership

If I analyse what Brian has done you can see that most tiered membership programs have some form of takeaway built in. His Gold program has pretty much everything you would need to start your own business and has an ongoing training to make sure you succeed, as you move down to the Silver you lose the personal coaching and webinars so it is up to each individual to organize themselves and to carry out all the steps needed. They still have access to the video trainings and conference calls and the community. At the Bronze level, the conference calls and the community are available and this is where people can put into practice Brian's techniques and see the results for themselves, It requires less commitment and there are unlimited number of spaces at this level of membership.

Become an Affiliate and earn while you learn

I foresee that once all the places are taken the Bronze membership will become a training ground for the next up and coming stars, a place that prospective Gold and Silver members will have to wait until a space becomes available. As a Bronze members you can still earn while you learn, you can become affiliate partners for the smms and the gold and silver members. You will definitley become a valued part of the team. You will find that as you see more people succeed the desire to access the premium memberships will increase

Benefits and features

Most people determine what the are going to purchase based on the price, their needs and the benefits available. If you buy a top of the range car you will get lots of features that you might desire but often don't actually need. Car manufacturers realise this and make a range of cars at different prices and with different features. This is exactly what Brian has done with the Social Media Marketing System, he knows that not everyone is at the same stage in their business development or wants to make the same level of commitment, so a range of options and features offers the most value to the maximum number of people

The Best Training Yet

Brian will be releasing his 3.5 hour video very soon, This is one of his best ever trainings and you really have to watch it all the way through. Many people complained the first time around that they didn't have enough time and when they came back to finish viewing he had taken it down from his website. So do whatever you have to do to find the time, you don't want to miss any of this. Remember that your future business success is at stake here.

For a limited time only

Brian hasn't told me how long he will make it available, but I suspect he will set a deadline and stick to it. Get a pad and paper, take lots of notes and play it all the way through. You won't be disappointed. And by the end you will have enough information to start your own business regardless of whether you choose to join the Social Media Marketing System or not.