Hey there, ADHD entrepreneurs! In this episode we're diving headfirst into the shady world of business gurus and their sneaky-ass marketing moves. Ew!
Hi! I'm Katie McManus, ADHD entrepreneur business strategist and money mindset coach.
And welcome to "The Weeniecast."
Ethics, Testimonials, and Business Gurus Like Grant Cardone: How to Legally Showcase Client Results!
Ever seen those ads promising you'll be swimming in cash faster than you can say "squirrel"?
Yeah, we're talking about those guys in this episode.
I'm gonna rip the curtain back on these so-called 'business gurus' like Grant Cardone and their high-pressure sales crap, flashy promises of making you rich overnight, and their parade of cherry-picked testimonials.
It's like a freakin' circus out there, and we're catch those juggling balls.
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The New FTC Ruling - Get It In Writing Or You Could Go To Jail!
We're also diving into the juicy stuff about the recent FTC ruling.
This is big news, folks!
It's all about making sure these gurus can't just pull testimonials out of their asses, which is what they apparently have been doing.
If they say their program turns you into a business rockstar, they better have the cold, hard evidence to back it up.
And no, "My cousin Vinnie said it was great" doesn't count hahaha!
And let's chat about those video testimonials – are they real deal or just another trick up their sleeves?
Sidebar - we're gonna get real about impulsive decisions.
You know the drill – something shiny comes along promising the world, and suddenly your credit card is out.
I'm here to say, "Hold up, think it through!"
So, if you're feeling the itch to join a business program after a guru's spiel, take a breath.
We're gonna learn how to spot the B.S. and find the real McCoy in the business mentorship jungle.
I'm here to arm you with the smarts and sass to navigate through these murky waters.
Get ready to laugh, learn, and maybe swear a little (because that's how we roll) as we explore the wild world of business coaching and mentorship.
Identifying Fake Business Gurus
Alright, let's get real about these so-called 'business gurus' out there.
I mean, holy smokes, the internet's swarming with them like bees round a glass of Coke!
And let me tell ya, not all of them are the real deal.
Here's the kicker: some of these gurus are selling dreams that don't exist.
They promise you the moon, the stars, and a private island if you just follow their "simple steps to success."
Puh-lease! If it smells like BS, it probably is.
We're calling them out on their inflated success stories and too-good-to-be-true guarantees.
It's like exposing a street magician who's using a little too much sleight of hand.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning and growing, but you gotta do your homework.
Don't just jump on the bandwagon because someone flashes a shiny Rolex and a rented Lamborghini.
Nixing 90 days gurus
We got into the dirty waters of how some business people use high-pressure tactics to persuade you into making rash financial decisions.
They'll make empty promises about "we'll get you X in 90 days" just to add expectation and excitement on top of the pressure.
The urgency and pressure can lead people to make impulsive decisions that aren't in their best interest.
It's important to take your time, do your research, and not let impulsive behavior guide your financial decisions.
The new FTC rulings
Oh man, you gotta hear this wild story about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) laying the smackdown on this company.
Picture this: a company, all puffed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, making these grandiose claims about how freakin' awesome they are at skyrocketing their clients' success.
But guess what? It's all smoke and mirrors, weenies!
No real data, no proof, just a bunch of hot air.
Then, in comes the FTC, like a superhero in a business suit, and BAM!
They hit 'em where it hurts – right in the wallet.
This company had to cough up a small fortune to settle.
It's like a warning siren: be honest, be transparent, and for the love of all things holy, don't make stuff up!
If you're gonna talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.
Nobody likes a fibber, especially not the FTC.
So, keep it real with your marketing, and don't try to sell snow to Eskimos!
By the way, if you need my help with figuring out how to do that, book a strategy call with me.
Sharing testimonials and client wins The RIGHT way
We dove into the importance of testimonials and how to utilize them ethically.
It was intriguing to learn about the significance of having written proof of client success, and how video testimonials can be a powerful tool.
00:00 Identifying fake business gurus.
05:22 Golf skills don't guarantee coaching ability.
09:05 Being pressured into uncertain financial decisions is wrong.
12:28 Results not guaranteed, so seek professional financial advice.
15:21 Ensure client testimonials are documented for credibility!
18:55 Video testimonials help show who clients really are.
22:08 Guard against impulsivity in decision-making, especially purchases.
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In this episode, I'm going to tell you why you need to rethink how you get your client testimonials so you can avoid going to jail. Hi, I'm Katie McManus, business strategist and money mindset coach. And welcome to the Weenie cast Squirrel. It's a new year and if you scroll on social media like I do, then you're probably seeing every single business guru who's trying to convince you to buy their program, gram their course, sign up for their free challenge, so on and so forth. Some of them are going to be legit. Some of them are genuine business coaches like myself, who really care about helping you. They're good at what they do and the content that they have to give you if you sign up for their thing can genuinely help you. Unfortunately, there are also some business gurus out there who aren't as scrupulous, who have some snake oil and they're very good at marketing it and selling it.
I know I've done an episode before about how to identify and kind of call bs on these fake business gurus and how easy it is to fake success. And if you want to check it out, we have it linked in the show notes. It's Weeniecast.com 49 like the San Francisco 49 ers. See, I can make sports references that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic because we're starting this new year and it's the time that people really feel inspired to invest in themselves and in their business and get really serious about doing the work. I always think it's a good idea to refresh this conversation so that you know exactly what to look for to identify people who want to sell you their bill of goods. I also want to talk about the latest FTC ruling. The Federal Trade Commission, which is starting to pay attention to these fake business gurus and is starting to bust them. And there's a lesson for us all to learn here about how we utilize our testimonials and our client wins in our own marketing so that we can remain safe.
So let's cover the things that you need to look for when you're seeing their marketing, when you're seeing their social media posts, their advertisements. First and foremost, no one can guarantee you results. It's just not possible for you to get results in any system, in any program that's designed to help you grow your business, you have to do the work. Likewise, it's highly unlikely. I don't care how hard of a worker you are, I don't care how smart you are, I don't care how good you are at providing your service. You're not going to make $100,000 in 90 days. You're not going to make a million dollars in 90 days. Okay? If you do, please let me know.
I'm so proud of you. I would love to send you a basket of muffins. I will eat my words for that one person who accomplishes that when they first start their business, but it's not likely. And anyone who is saying, hey, listen, my program is designed to get you to x results in 90 days is full of shit. Unless, of course, you're paying them $100,000, and then they're just paying it back to you. Congratulations. You got your $100,000. Count that as income.
It's a wash because you spent $100,000 on the program. No one's going to run their business that way, by the way. And also, if you have $100,000 to invest, you can invest it in far safer things. Anyway, back to my point. Business gurus who are promising those 90 day results are ones that you want to pretty much immediately rule out. Also the business gurus who are pointing to their own income and saying, look at what I did and suggesting that you might be able to do the same if you do their exact step by step system. There are some of them that are legit, but the vast majority of them are inflating their own numbers. And just because they did it does not actually mean that they're good at teaching other people how to do it.
You know that saying, those who can do and those who can't teach? That's not necessarily true. There are a lot of people who can do, but they're not good teachers. And there are a lot of people who are really, really good teachers, but they can't do. A great example of this is Tiger woods. In the world of golf. Wow, we're getting really sporty today. Tiger woods has won 82 official PGA tournaments. Okay, that is a big fucking deal.
Tiger woods also has only worked with four coaches throughout his career. And amongst those four coaches, do you know how many tournament wins they have between the four of them? One. They have one tournament win. Only one of them won a tournament in their entire professional career. And yet those four teachers, those four coaches supported Tiger woods to 82 wins. Now, if any of those guys went onto social media to try to get a coaching gig and were trying to point to their own successes, they would flop. I've never met Tiger Woods. I also don't golf.
So I would have no opportunity to golf with the however, like, just because he's good at playing golf does not necessarily mean that he would be a good coach. So unless someone is really pointing to, here are my clients, here are the wins that they're saying out of their own mouths that they have accomplished through working with me, it is not a logical jump to look at what they've accomplished in their own business and say, oh, wow, they've done that. I'll be able to do that, too. A lot of these people are really good at marketing. They're really good at selling, but they're really good at marketing and selling a dream. They're not good at marketing and selling actual quality coaching and training. If you're wanting to grow a business and you've never done it before, you can't expect yourself to know it all. And also, if you try to figure it all out on your own, you're going to spend a ton of time and energy and money spinning your wheels because you don't know what you don't know.
But let me tell you, I would rather you waste all that time, energy and money trying to figure it out on your own than spend money on a fake business guru. Because the only thing that will happen is you will feel resentful for them taking your money. You'll feel stupid for falling for it. And you may also start telling yourself that story, that things don't work for you. You're just not meant to succeed at this because it worked for everyone else, but it didn't work for you. And that's bullshit. You are smart and capable and you're a hard worker. I know that those are the kinds of people that I tend to attract in my world, and I love that about my listenership.
I love how driven and ambitious you all are. What you need is someone who's good at teaching you how to do this business in a real way. So we're mixing the people who are, quote unquote, guaranteeing. We are nixing the people who are making way unrealistic, extraordinary claims about what you're going to be able to accomplish in 90 days or even six months. It takes a long time to build a business. We're mixing the people who, yeah, the most of the people who point to their own income results as proof that you're going to be successful in their program. There's no logical correlation between their success and your success. And just to check all the boxes, we're mixing anyone who has testimonials that for the vast majority don't have last names.
If you can't cyberstock, the people who are giving the testimonials for the thing you want to sign up for, trust your gut. It is not valid. I pre apologize to all my clients who are about to get cyberstocked. This is also one of the best things about things like LinkedIn recommendations is like everything that someone writes for you on a recommendation on a LinkedIn page is linked directly to their LinkedIn profile. So you can go and verify that they are a legitimate person, because not only are you going to be able to go and check out their LinkedIn profile, but you're going to be able to go and see what their activity is like, you're going to be able to see what they're posting and what their commenting on, and you'll be able to discern reels from a bot so easily with someone who's legit. Okay. Some other things that you want to look for when you're shopping around for your new year, new you, business guru who's going to help you make $100,000 in 90 days. High pressure tactics.
If you get on a sales call with someone and they're really pushing you to make a decision and they're saying things like, oh, well, it's $50,000 now, but if you make that $50,000 back in two months, then it'll be worth it, right? No, that is a hard no. There's no guarantee that you're going to make $50,000 back in two months. And they can't count on that. They're pressuring you to make a big financial decision without any guarantee that you're going to make it back because they can't guarantee that you're going to do the work. Also, even if you do do the work, sometimes the results take a long time to come to you. I've had clients who have worked with me for nine months, and in our 9th and final months of working together, they signed their first client. And of course they went on to sign other clients after that, doing the work that we did together throughout those nine months. But you cannot guarantee results and getting you to make a massive financial decision on the hope and a dream that they want you to interpret as a promise, as a guarantee.
No, we're not going for that. If they pressure you to take a high interest loan or open a new credit card to invest in their program, you are running for the hills. That is not an ethical way to get someone to sign up for your program. If your program doesn't sell itself, isn't compelling enough to get someone to decide to choose to find that money somehow to sign up on their own. And you have to pressure someone into doing any one of these measures to be able to afford to work with you. I'm sorry, your program's not good enough. If in their marketing material, they're also really flashy, they have photo shoots or video shoots from a private jet. If they're literally holding bags of money, which there was recently an ad by grant Cardone which made me want to barf, where he's holding all these bags of money and he's suggesting that with no investment, really no time, you can make a million dollars, no kidding, in 90 days.
It's funny, with the recent FTC ruling, which I'll get to in a second, there are a lot of these business gurus who are panicking right now. They are freaking out because they are the next on the chopping block. The FTC is looking really hard at these guys. And so this advertising, we'll play it in a second. Had a disclaimer at the end which basically says, all the implications that we've made in this whole ad are not guarantees. We can't say anything like, this is just an educational program, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Which, I mean, if you see a disclaimer like that in any of these business, quote unquote, business gurus advertisements in their marketing, that's a big sign that they know that their program doesn't work and that they are open to litigation. They are super liable because they've been selling snake oil and the FTC is coming for them.
So here's that disclaimer right here. And notice how fast they have this robot voice reading.
AI voice [00:12:28]:
We do not promise or guarantee t that you will receive any professional, personal, or financial results from the ten X marketing program. These methods are for informational and educational purpose only, and you will have to put in the time, effort, and energy to make these methods work for you. We do not guarantee that you will experience any results at all. When we say ten X your results, we are indicating that you should apply the ten X rule of effort as described in Grant Cardone's New York Times bestseller, the ten X rule. And we do not mean that you will have ten times the results from the use of this program. We are not attorneys, investment advisors, accountants, tax professionals, or financial advisors, and any of the content presented should not be taken as professional advice. We recommend seeking the advice of a financial professional before you invest in any educational or informational program, and we accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage you may incur. Any opinions expressed by any of the participants are not the opinion of CTTI or grant Cardone.
AI voice [00:13:05]:
And we do not endorse any of the data or opinions given by others.
Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel.
Okay, so let's talk about this FTC ruling, because it's really interesting, and this actually has implications for anyone who runs a business where you are going to get testimonials about results that your clients have gotten with you. And it's something that we could all learn from, even those of us who are legit and actually help people. So this company was selling a money making program, and they were saying that their clients made hundreds of thousands of dollars. They had this success rate, and they were sharing all these metrics and testimonials and case studies. They were very convincing. And I think it was thousands of people have signed up for this program. Their program was teaching people how to cold call and how to cold DM. And they never in their entire history of running their program, even asked a single one of their clients if they got a result.
They had zero data to go on. They had no way of even knowing if their program was successful. And I would hazard a guess they didn't ask because they knew that their program was garbage. They made tens of millions of dollars from this. Now, the FTC went after them, and they very quickly settled for $16 million. The fact that they settled so quickly is a major sign that they were guilty af. And the big thing here is that they couldn't even quantify how they got to their testimonial numbers. They couldn't even point to.
Here's an email that we got with so and so telling us that this is the result that they got from our program. For those of us who are actually good at what we do, who actually help people get real results, and then we get excited and we want to share those testimonials. What we need to make sure when we're sharing testimonials and client wins is. What am I going to say next? Well, you'll have to keep listening to find out.
But first, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel.
So for those of us who are actually good at what we do, who actually help people get real results, and then we get excited and we want to share those testimonials, what we need to make sure when we're sharing testimonials and client wins is that we have it in writing from our client. If you're a career coach, and you helped a new client get a new job where they got a $20,000 raise and get to work 10 hours less a week and get to see their kids more, and all this stuff, and you're making those kinds of claims and saying, oh my God, I'm so excited for this one client I had. This is the result they got from working with me. If you also want that kind of result, this is what I help people do. You want to make sure that you have a text message with them saying that those are the results, that they got an email. If they want to write you a proper testimonial, you can also ask them to do that with those success metrics. If you're a copywriter and you write email campaigns or landing pages for your clients, and you say, oh, my landing pages and my email campaigns made x amount of dollars for my clients. Again, your client telling you that on a phone call will not be enough for the FTC unless you have it recorded.
You want to get in writing from your client that they say that your work got them x amount of results because heaven forbid someone gets cranky with you. Heaven forbid someone goes to the FTC and says, I don't think this person is legit. They want to cause trouble for you or whatever. You want to be able to say, no. Here's what I based that off of. You need to be able to quantify what your claims are. Now. One of the things that I do is anytime a client emails me a win, texts me a win.
If they email me a win, I put it in a file that is testimonials wins. Whenever a client texts me a win, I screenshot it. And of course the text messages are always there. They live on forever in the clouds above us. Just kidding. I know how the cloud works. Another beautiful way that you can record your clients testimonials is through video. I personally work with this really talented fellow who lives in Malta, Tommy merched Parish, who we will actually link his LinkedIn profile in the show notes.
If you want to go to.
Slash to m I. He does these really beautiful video testimonials for me. And what he does is he'll sit down on a Zoom call with my clients. He'll interview them for 30 minutes to an hour, asking them all the questions about where they started from, what they were struggling with, the results that they've gotten, like what they're happy about, what they wish I had done differently also, which is really helpful information for me. And he cuts it into a really beautiful testimonial, like this one that Crystal Simmons did for me when I had.
My first big client, I was excited and surprised. I was like, oh, it's happening. This is really happening. It just keeps growing. It doesn't end. I was able to land two clients within my first month of coaching with her. That's huge. It was cool because me landing those clients was helping me to actually help my household.
It's been amazing. It's been good, empowering. I really enjoy it. I really do.
Squirrel, squirrel, squirrel.
The thing I love about working with someone like Tommy is that a lot of people, video testimonials are incredible because you really get to see who this person is, what they care about, what they were struggling with, and then you get a sense of who they are. They like you. People feel comfortable signing up for stuff if they feel like other people who are like them are also signing up for it. If you have clients that you really enjoyed working with, it's really nice to ask them to do a video testimonial. The only problem with it is that a lot of people are shy. They get nervous on camera. They're not really sure what to say. And then, of course, they say they're going to do a video testimonial, and then they just really never get to it.
Like, there's three people I want to do a video testimonial for that. I've been saying I'm going to do it for years now. And it's not like I'm shy on camera. It's just I keep forgetting to do it. But the beautiful thing about working with Tommy is he coordinates it. He does the whole recording, he edits it, he puts it all together, and he makes sure that everything's on brand. And no, I do not get any kickbacks if you go and sign up with him. One of the things that I struggle most with with my ADHD is impulsivity and my patience.
If I want something, I want it right now. When I order something online and the package is supposed to arrive the next day, I'm constantly checking the front stoop. Where is it? Where is it? I want it now. When I sign up for stuff like working with a personal trainer or working with a business coach or a crochet class, I want to be good at it as soon as possible. I want results immediately. I want to be 20 pounds lighter. I want to have crocheted a whole blanket, and I want a half a million dollar business tomorrow. And I know I'm not alone.
This is a very common thing for people with ADHD. And part of it is because we are so used to learning fast, we're so used to starting something that we're passionate about and becoming an expert basically by that afternoon. And so when we see different offers, when we see different business gurus saying, you can get this result in this amount of time, we think, oh, my God, yes, I want that. Immediate results. We get that immediate dopamine hit. It feels so, so good. But this can get us into trouble. This can make us waste a lot of money with people who do not deserve any of our dollars.
And it can lead to us feeling frustrated, disappointed in ourselves, like we make bad decisions, like we can't trust ourselves. And we start making up stories that we're just not the kind of person who sees things through. We make up stories that there is a reason why their program that worked for so many other people didn't work for us. And the problem is us. When genuinely the problem is not you. Well, the problem is a little bit you if you let your impulsivity and your impatience win out and let you sign up for one of these guys. But the beauty of this is you've now listened to this episode and you're now aware of the problem. We can't fix the problem unless we know that there is a problem first.
So as we delve into this new year and as you start working on your goals and as you start looking for your mentors, for your coaches, for whoever it is that you want to help you, I want you to be hyper aware of your impulsivity. If you're on a sales call with someone or if you're at the checkout and you're about to hit buy now, give yourself a couple of days. Anyone who's on a sales call with you, who pressures you into making a decision in that moment does not have your best interest at heart. And just because you're at the checkout right now doesn't mean you can't also buy it in a couple of days. And I know there are a lot of like, oh, well, the cart's closing in 12 hours. Oftentimes when you go back to that link, it's still working. Don't worry. And anyone who has a program for sale, if the link no longer works, if you email them and say, oh, my God, I really wanted in, can I sign up? They're going to let you in.
The only exception here is Jeff Walker. He's very strict about his closed cart policy, but most people will let you in. They want your money. Take your time and do not let your hope for an immediate result get confused for a guarantee for a promise. There's no way to guarantee an immediate result in growing a business. I know you're impatient to start making money from your business right now so that you can quit your nine to five and do work that you actually love doing and help people and have some freedom and flexibility and control over your life. And it's coming, I promise. If you do the work and you're smart about it and you're patient and you keep at it, it is coming for you, but it's not going to happen overnight.
Here's a fun fact. So when the California gold rush know, all these men traveled to California and they were mining in Sacramento and they were living in San Francisco, because obviously San Francisco is the port. If you were going to be selling your gold like you had to sell it to someone, that's kind of where it happened. But there were too many men. And so France actually shipped a whole ship full of ladies of the night to San Francisco because they had a need for that service. And these women, who had previously know a less than reputable existence in France, set up shop in San Francisco, and they actually became San Francisco society because the really wealthy men, of course, there were no other women to marry, took a liking to them, and they became the socialites of California. And that, of course, the 49 ers are based on the California gold rush because it happened in 1849.