I know I said that I was going to be squashing my inner hater, but I gotta just get a few more things out.
The internet has done some amazing things for human beings. Seriously, we have 24/7 access to a vast majority of the world’s information. But we’ve also created some monsters…
Monsters of Mimicry: Online Courses
Have you ever looked into an online course. Have you noticed how each and every one of them seem to have an arbitrary enrollment window? Or how each follow the same email drip sequence, telling similar stories, and using the same formulaic copywriting formats?
I recently came upon an online course for growing a Youtube channel. I subscribed to their free video series. I watched the first one with the promise of three more coming over the next three days.
I received 2 emails per day for about 5 days before informing me that this was my “last chance to sign up.”
- They tried to tug on my fear of missing out.
- They tried to poke at my insecurities.
- They tried to challenge me.
And the joke of it is, I never even saw these emails until the “enrollment” was closed. You know why? Because I have other shit to do. I didn’t have time in my day to read 2 emails per day from them. I don’t make $1,000 decisions in 5 days. It may actually take me longer.
Let’s review the elephant in the room: this is the internet.
- It never closes.
- There is no enrollment window.
The scarcity is artificial. It’s contrived to get you to take action.
And why do so many courses do this?
Because this is how it is done…
Somewhere along the way, that became the standard, so now, that’s how you run a course, even if you don’t need to. Cheap tricks, obvious to those of us in the business, but still effective for those that aren’t.
Monsters of Mimicry: How to grow an Instagram account
Have you ever seen a meme? What about a motivational quote?
Well, if you’ve ever been on Instagram, not only have you seen it, but some of your biggest “influencers” do nothing but repost other people’s memes and quotes. Sometimes they add attribution, often they don’t. On rare occasion, they add a thought or perspective to it, most of the time, they don’t…they just beg for likes, or ask you whether or not you agree.
In less than 5 minutes I found a dozen instagram accounts with more than 100,000 followers, and not a single original post or thought. Just an aggregation of other people’s memes.
So the truth is, you’ve been lied to.
- The sage advice is: provide value
- The real advice is: reshare other people’s memes or take your clothes off
And why do so many Instagrammers do this?
Because this is what actually works…
We’re still being fooled by big numbers. We’re still an internet full of copycats.
But it’s not all bad…
You can still win without cheap tactics. You can still pour your heart into doing great work. The only thing is , you have to shift your expectations. The real shit doesn’t generate cheap shares, because it requires hard work, like reading, and thinking.
You can still put out an online course, and do it without the same tired tactics that everyone else is using. You just have to expect that it won’t close as many sales.
We’ve seen popularity trends come and go. We’ve seen people have their 15 minutes of fame and fade into obscurity. When you sell your soul for attention, at any cost, there is always a cost. Typically, it costs you legitimacy and trust.
I don’t think it’s worth the price.
But what do I know? I don’t have 100,000 followers.