Not Naming Names :: Eric Graham

Graham  Cracker

Is Internet Marketing on Life Support? Ryan Healy thinks maybe it is :: But I fucking hope that it is NOT.  I’ve given clear instructions to the nursing staff that IM is to be strictly DNR.  Let it suffocate while we eat ice cream and giggle.

but but but :: says you {cries :: groans :: screeching}

Silence!  Get over yourselves already. “Internet Marketing” is just a useless us vs. them label that isn’t doing anyone any favors.  Are you individualist entrepreneurs?  Or are you group think :: huddled up :: fragile little posers?  Huh?  Ask yourself that :: ALL of you :: not just the bad guys.  Why the group? Why the emphasis on cross testimonials & promotionals :: back scratching :: networking :: and masterminding?  Are those things necessary to sell legit :: need satisfying :: products?  Because they are easily exploited by bad guys to do mega harm.

Anywayz …

Ryan Healy is brave :: he comments here using his real name {imagine that!} :: and he has linked to this rogue site in the past.  But his recent post seriously fanned the flames of the Fire/Shit Storm that those StomperNet documents had already started.  BrAndy were lying :: and stealing :: and conniving … and they left a trail of sworn statements to prove it.  Brilliant! I’m not sure Ryan understands how dangerous linking to The Droid is for one’s career ambitions inside this festering “industry” :: but it was pretty brave none the less.

Ryan also named a mo-fucking name {another very bad “career” move} :: calling out Eric Graham for non-delivery.  Eric Graham? :: scanning scanning :: SOLD!  Definite d-bag scammer :: and as an added bonus :: he’s awkwardly misshapen.

Eric {for some totally obvious reason} doesn’t accept credit cards for his “high end” services.  He explains

“Second, it helps me make sure that my clients can actually AFFORD my services. (If you have to borrow the money to hire me from your credit card, you probably are not ready for my help yet.)”

Fantastic! How virtuous :: an excellent example of the “good Mormon family man” Mr. Graham proclaims himself to be.  But when Fred Black was feeling desperate :: and approached Eric about trading his Taylor guitar for Eric’s $5,000 change-your-life consulting package :: BlockHead Eric jumped at the chance :: as he explained in his victim bashing comments on Ryan’s post …

“Since I don’t play the guitar, my initial reaction was to politely tell him “no”, but because I really did want to figure out a way I could help him out of his mess, and because my father plays the guitar (and since this was right before Christmas, I thought it would make a nice gift for my dad), I decided to accept his guitar …”

Using a credit card = not ready for Eric the Great’s help.  Trading away personal possessions = totally ready for Eric the Great.

WTF?

And David and Caramia Hartley were also NOT ready for $5,000 worth of epic fail consulting …

“PLEASE refund the money we sent you. That would see us through to January with a zero expenditure Christmas, which would buy us enough time for a fighting chance of generating income via MS.me. As we have said before, once we actually have a business again, and can eat, we would love to work with you. MS.me and the subsequent MS dating site can be a very good business, and help a lot of people, but right now our very basic survival is at stake. The return of the money we sent you is the best chance we have. Please return it.”

Holy sadness!

Eric’s basic operation pattern seems to be this ::

1. He takes your money.

2. There is no two.

Eric Graham’s “high end” “high demand” consulting doesn’t seem to come with any consulting.  He will ignore client emails for weeks or months at a time :: something he justified to the satisfaction of NO ONE on Ryan’s post …

“But something Fred IS right in being upset with me about is my poor email communication with him. I take full responsibility for that, and I admit that I’m probably one of the hardest people on earth to get in touch with via email or phone.

Originally the system was designed to simply help me protect my time and help me focus on my family and my high ROI activities.

But on occasion these intentional barriers and systems I have in place to protect my time, (and sanity) do a disservice to one of my clients (on in Fred’s case, someone I’m trying to help out.)”

Funny how little that sounds like the sales copy

“I’ll answer all your conversion, testing, traffic generation, marketing or other business questions personally. Just shoot me an email, and I’ll get back to you within 1 business day (often within a few hours) with my best advice.”

It’s not all bad though :: Cathi Adams of DivorceDefense.com gave him this glowing testimonial {which is on his YouTube account} …

Quoting from the last 10 seconds :: “He’s god in my eyes.”  Interesting sentiment :: I should think god would be less dumpy … and maybe have fuller {less hair sprayed} hair … but I don’t know for certain.  Eric has helped Cathi build a great site that is probably going to solve most of her financial problems.  Her sales page proclaims ::

“Who Else Wants to Discover The Secret Step-by-Step Plan a Happily Divorced Woman Used to Escape Her Unhappy Marriage Without Losing Her Home, Her Son or Her Lifestyle?”

…and She Shows You Step-By-Step How You Can Too!

Nope … nothing sad about that either.  Totally normal.

And Eric gives Cathi the courtesy of a reach around testimonial that is sure to propel this product to the top of the “plan your divorce before it’s time” niche …

“I have 3 daughters and Divorce Secrets will be required reading for them before getting married. Not because I want them to get a divorce, but simply because your book is the best resource I have ever seen for protecting women from the financial devastation they will face from a divorce.”

Also totally normal. “Honey, congratulations on your super secret, believers only, temple marriage … please accept this valuable PDF about plotting your divorce as a precautionary measure.  Mazel Tov!”

And now here is Cathi on the Complaints Board ::

“Do not do business with Eric Graham. I hurts me to have to say this but he is NOT someone you should do business with. I am shocked by his actions – or actually lack of action. Do not do business with Eric Graham!!”

Oops. “God” is dead. So much for that testimonial :: now it’s just as useless as this one that Fred Black gave to Eric BEFORE he’d seen any results.

Eric has been doing some “soul searching” about how to manifest better clients who don’t complain about his lack of service and ability.  He’d get a higher ROI by searching for his soul :: it seems to have been misplaced.

>>bleep bloop

146 thoughts on “Not Naming Names :: Eric Graham”

  1. Remind me not to solicit an endorsement from Cathi. This is why the FTC released new regulations about endorsements and testimonials. The whole “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” in fake endorsements is at an end.

    anybody who says that any human being, regardless of how talented he or she may be, should never be referred to as ‘god’ since it’s only a matter of time until that person drops the ball and falls from grace.

    $5,000 of consulting should never be paid by folks starting small businesses. That’s the kind of price a Fortune 500 company would pay for one-on-one time with somebody like Jay Abraham, who has a much more impressive track record than somebody like Graham.

    1. Good point, EVPStud. But I doubt seriously you could get a full day of Jay Abraham’s time for $5,000. The man doesn’t leave his office any more for less than $20,000.

      Yer point’s still valid, though. Mon-n-pop at-home or start-up entrepreneurs have no business spending money on credit.

      That being said — it’s tradition in brick-and-mortar business to borrow to launch…but the expense is so great few could ever launch a brick-and-mortar business without borrowing against their life savings, their homes, etc. It’s done all the time. Whether it’s advisable or not depends on the business plan but I do think it’s safe to say if you go to a bank, sit down with a business plan and walk out with a loan to launch your business — you probably have at least a good plan or the bank wouldn’t have loaned you the money.

      i.e. — you built a solid enough basis to launch from a disinterested party is willing to loan you money to make it happen.

      In these examples, you incorporate or form an LLC to protect your personal assets, borrow the money from the bank NOT based on your personal guarantee (a REAL test of whether the business is viable or not), or find partners willing to put up the funds…or find a different way to start.

      Online is that different way to start because the cost to start is sooooo minimal you can literally launch on a shoe-string.

      Then you work, you build, you re-invest every penny into growing for a while and VOILA! “Instant” overnight online success.

      Salty — you go WAY overboard sometimes but I have to admit that’s what makes reading your writings so much fun. Also the fact that, hidden in all your outrageous outrage are so many kernals of truth it’s impossible to discount what you say.

      Which is exactly why you’ve stirred the responses you have.

      I don’t agree with every point made here. God help anyone who agrees with every point made ANYWHERE…that’s one of the problems of the whole IM crowd today…there are people out there who, unfortunately, a lot of people have been led to believe you can trust everything they say.

      One bone of contention: businesses DO get together, joint venture and mastermind all the time. It’s just that, outside of the small circle-jerk in IM you’ve identified, they do it to better their products and offerings to their customers, lower prices or to provide better services, better support, etc., by swapping ideas that WORK in other businesses. They don’t get together to figure out the next big “whirlwind launch that’ll reem ’em all for another million bucks.”

      Folks — there is a whole WORLD out there beyond the IM “community.” Salty is a great wake-up call. Marketing? IM is a HUGE part of any entrepreneur’s startup efforts and should be. But marketing is about a LOT more than IM.

      When you go outside this circle, there are millions of opportunities just waiting to support your business if you are ethical, follow the rules and CARE about your customers.

      Now — if we could just educate more people that it takes WORK to build a REAL business. There are short-cuts — but nothing that will make any part of it INSTANT or DO NOTHING AND SUCCEED.

      Stop falling for that shit and your life will take a whole new turn while others brave enough work on taking the scum-bags out.

      1. I guess let me clarify what I meant:

        $5,000 of consulting should never be paid by folks starting small businesses TO SOMEBODY LIKE GRAHAM.

        I can see how paying that much for consulting for a well funded brick-and-mortar small business with real products (not ebooks or psychotic audio sessions for meditation) would make sense, as long as the consultant actually has real proof that he or she REALLY knows the business.

        1. @evpstud :: I liked the way you phrased it the first time better.

          “$5,000 of consulting should never be paid by folks starting small businesses.”

          There is too much glory is doing things cheap/free first … and paying later. DON’T spend money at first … that’s the beauty of the web.

          Additionally :: NEVER pay for $5,000 “package” of consulting. That’s just begging for it. Pay consultants per hour … for work they have ALREADY performed. Then you can tell them to bugger off whenever you want … and incentives are more correctly aligned.

          @PoopChute :: I don’t agree with every point made here either.

        1. SD —

          And I will stand proudly with you to stop those mega-corp bastards who meet in the dark to hatch such plots. We are in VIOLENT agreement.

          :)

          I was just pointing out that just because a business forms joint ventures and partnerships and masterminds doesn’t mean they are up to no good. I’ve been involved in masterminds where I’ve seen people actually turned TOWARD better service, better products and more ethical practices because of the peer pressure.

          You can buy a hammer to build a house or to sneak up on someone in the middle of the night, hit them over the head and steal their wallet. That doesn’t make hammers inherently bad or evil.

      2. “When you go outside this circle, there are millions of opportunities just waiting to support your business if you are ethical, follow the rules and CARE about your customers.”

        Major applause!!!

        And the key to this is to break outside the “circle” and do the work.

        The only way to succeed in business is to put your nose to the grindstone and come up with something people actually want and/or need. Anything else may temporarily make money, but in the long run, it is fleeting.

        That’s why there are so many “gurus” who disappear as fast as they appeared. They tried to teach nothing but “make money fast”, and killed their own careers after running off with the money

        Sad, really.

        1. Amen, brother NNI! I’m sure Salty will correct me if I’m wrong here but — this one sentence seems to me to be the entire gist.

          I went to a copywriting seminar one time taught by Ken McCarthy. He opened the seminar with an admonition that what he is about to teach has the power to change worlds and can be used for good or evil…but if anyone in the room had evil plans for what he was about to teach they should get a refund and leave now.

          “Just because you can use what I’m going to teach you to literally sell boxes of air doesn’t make that ethical, moral or legal,” Ken said.

          N-I-C-E!

          At first I was abhorred at Salty’s naming of the names…but I have to admit perhaps it’s come to that. Calling out the marketers’ “sins” and shedding light on what they are doing hasn’t slowed down the degradation of what is offered in the IM world. Now maybe some of the true scumbags will think twice about what they are doing as seen in the light of day Salty’s shining on them brightly…it COULD just work as a deterrant to slow down future buttfucks before they grow into full-bore circle-jerkers. Sorry. Couldn’t resist the pun. Did you catch it?

          Anyway — I only wish Salty would consider some journalistic tips for future publishing…

          I’m not an attorney but I do know a little about journalism. One thing I know is that, in the US, you are protected by the First Amendment. You have a right to your opinions. But — anything stated as FACT needs to be verifiable. OR it needs to be somehow clearly marked as opinion…the “get out of jail free card” of journalists.

          “In my opinion, so-and-so fucks stray puppies in his spare time,” or “If you ask me…”

          That sort of thing.

          I only bring it up because I feel Salty’s voice is needed today and I would hate to see the attorneys pull you out of your chair and shake you upside down in court over something that could be easily avoided.

  2. How much you wanna bet he doesn’t take credit cards because he can’t get a merchant account. He probably has a ton of chargebacks etc.

    It could also be something more nefarious too.

    When people pay him in cash or with a check, there’s no 3rd party with “brand damaging” exposure involved to fix things and chargeback for non-delivery of services.

    I’ll have to give this guy a douchebag award too.

    1. @Rafael :: His reasons for not taking CC’s are BS. And using a credit card is not necessarily an indicator that you are paying with debt anyway. Using a guitar on the other hand … a pretty clear signal.

      I have a really pretty Taylor too … and even though I almost never play it … if I had to trade it for something it would represent a very dark moment in my life.

      I find it absolutely unconscionable that he’d rub it in Fred’s face like he did on Ryan’s post.

      1. Absolutely agreed.

        The moment he was told “I can’t afford it”, the only ethical thing to do would be to strongly recommend that Fred immediately get a regular job, pay his bills, feed his family, and only after he was back on his feet, consider starting a business.

        Business Startups 1.01: Never ever ever start a business if you cannot afford the risk of losing your startup investment. Period.

        No matter how good your idea might be. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it.

        All businesses involve risk of financial losses. You need education to start a business, but you also need experience and capital.

        Too many people are trying new startups they are absolutely unfamiliar with, with zero clue about what comes next after the “action step” they are currently taking.

        I use air quotes on purpose. Typically, people are being told that the first “action step” to take is to buy someone’s product. But they are not being told how much the entire startup process is going to cost them, so they lose everything and still haven’t finished anything at all.

        So, after he said “I can’t afford it”, Eric was morally obligated to say “Then you shouldn’t be starting a business at this time, and I won’t be a party to you losing your shirt. Come back when you are financially stable”

        But no.

        He told himself he was “helping”. He would have been more helpful if he had said “you’re not ready for this”

    1. After all this, Eric Graham twitters these words of integrity:

      “Conversion Tip: Underpromising & overdelivering on the frontend, is the best way to sell more on the backend.”
      Feb 12th

      Sheesh!

  3. Here Eric says, “jobs are filthy habits that you should kick.” Seems he’s got that down pat. He’s talking about jobs, not checks. He still accepts checks, and he would like yours.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez3QWqxPK7E

    1. Is he BrAndy offspring?

      He has the same pudgy Andy look and he, evidently, wears a coat and tie for appearances.

      1. Damn it! I wish I had thought of that. That’s EXACTLY what he looks like in the suit :: He is the personification of BrAndy … ha ha!

        1. Their moms must have shopped at the same cut-rate sperm bank.

          Either that or they went to the same DB School of Broadcasting in Orlando, or was that La Jolla?

  4. something about this is sad and pitiful it is sad when a newbie gets a call from the filmsaimre boiler room and opens up the check book for thousands consulting. It is pitiful when they send this clown $5,000 for a low-budget version of Mikey/

    Reality says you are not going to make money in internet marketing without working. You have to work to make the money. IT seems like someone who pays money for consulting does not believe in themselves and is just writing a check to feel closer to the guru and hear them they can be successful when success equation depends on whether or not they are going to work at it and create real value for other people. Most newbiews hope for some trick when there is no trick in bulding a real business but providing real value for people. Othewrise you do not have a business but a trick or scam that is never going to last.

    I never heard of this Eric but I just think of the people listening to him and is is pathetic to think they take it seriously, I realized that when it came to mikey customers, but it is the hype better done that takes someone levle headed to fall for the tricks.

    HEY MIKEY WHERE ARE BUCK AND BROCK??????????????

    WHERE ARE THEY BRANDY? I KNOW YOU READ THIS WHERE ARE THEY?

    1. To clarify about testimonials: He gets the video testimonial at the conclusion of the 1-day on-site coaching session — but before the client has had a chance to take action or implement anything.

      This is done all the time in the seminar industry. People give testimonials about what they “will” do or what they’re “going to do,” how life-changing the event has been — even though the event isn’t even over yet.

      Personally, I find such testimonials are not persuasive at all. I want to see where a person is X days or X months after he’s received a service or specific guidance. The testimonial that comes long after the service has been rendered is far more meaningful and valuable.

      Ryan

      1. So — he doesn’t collect testimonials in advance…just shortly after the check’s been cashed but no real results could be seen yet either way.

        I would think under the new FTC laws testimonials have become so hard to use legally you probably won’t see ANY results-based testimonials on this sort of product in the future. You have to have them first, of course…but you now also have to document a LOT of stuff before you can use them if they are real.

        Will testimonials go away? Absolutely not. There are ways to include them legitimately.

        Most of the scammers of the earth are busy right now re-wording and re-writing all of theirs — even if they have to call their buddies up and re-do them altogether.

        1. The FCC says testimonials have to be both representative of the typical customer experience AND accurately reflect the testimonial provider’s experience/sentiments.

          If the person who provided the testimonial has re-considered, or no longer has those sentiments, then the testimonial is obviously NOT accurate.

          Furthermore, Fred Black ASKED Eric Graham to STOP USING HIS TESTIMONIAL. Not only did Eric disregard that request, he tried to use the testimonial (specifically linking to it) to support his so-called “rebuttal” comment on Ryan Healy’s blog! Pretty outrageous.

      2. Ryan is exactly right.

        What Eric Graham has done would be like carpet cleaners coming to your house, and asking you to provide a testimonial after they clean just one spot on your floor. Then, what happens if the rest of their work turns out to be bad or they just don’t finish? They now have a “testimonial” that isn’t a true reflection on the real quality or completeness of their work.

        Clearly Eric Graham knows very well how to play that game.

        The point is, he has collected money in advance, not performed as promised/expected, and uses “premature” testimonials that do not ultimately reflect what those customers currently think of his work.

        1. John —

          Not being a stickler here or anything but I think you mean the FTC rules…right?

          The FCC really doesn’t have much to do with all this.

      3. @Ryan :: It’s true that the pre-testimonial is done in the seminar “industry” all the time. It’s not like the BS testimonials make Eric stand out … because EVERYONE is doing the equivalent. For example :: Kilstein making people give a testimonial in order to receive the DVD of the useless program that they already paid for …

        http://saltydroid.info/iron-klad-kilstein/

        … and notice that just like Eric did :: Kilstein used the compelled testimonial as “evidence” to claim he wasn’t running a useless scam.

        Your endorsement of someone is not something you should hand out as part of some other paid opportunity. That’s bullshit … and all ya’ll know it.

        Ryan has paid for multiple things I consider a useless rip-off {cough}Kilstein Coaching{cough}. I wonder if that would have happened if Kilstein had NO testimonials from more respectable people? If it was every man for himself … Kilstein would have failed long before I arrived.

        Fraudulent Testimonials as an industry standard :: one of the many reasons this “industry” still needs the fucking air quotes.

        1. I’ve given out very few testimonials, partially because I regretted giving out a couple back when I first started in 2005.

          Yep, I gave a testimonial to Harlan in 2005, long before I knew much about Internet marketing or even who he really was.

          In 2005, I didn’t have a reputation in the industry at all. Nobody knew who I was — so my testimonial carried very little weight back then.

          For the record, I’m not justifying “pre-testimonials,” just pointing out the technique that’s being used.

          Ryan

          1. I was actually implying that maybe you wouldn’t have been sold on CrapStein without the BS of others … but I suppose it works both ways. If he whipped that testimonial out now it might be useful to him … but harmful to you.

            Advantage badguys. Is it up somewhere?

        2. I remember this “technique”. Was on a paid telesminar once. Then in order to listen to a “free” teleseminar, I had to give a testimonial about the first one.

          Didn’t think anything of it at the time. Though I was seriously NOT interested in the high-priced “mentoring” program…pitched on the “free” teleseminar (was rookie enough NOT to see that coming)

  5. SD,

    Please forgive my ignorance, but is the graphic of the breakdown at the top of the page some of your handiwork, or is it something produced by Graham? This article is the first I’ve heard of this little fella.

    Assuming the latter, what real businessperson with any measure of experience could be duped by that farce?

    Having worked in domains and online businesses for over a decade, the promise of “8+ hours of 1 on 1 coaching by a self-made online millionaire” would send me running FAST in the other direction. And I live in high heels, so that’s serious.

    The first thing that “self-made internet millionaire” brings to mind (besides “I live in my mother’s basement”) is porn, spambots, online pharmacies and Cheep V!ag#@ e-mails. And, well, more porn. That seems to be where the many early internet “self-made millionaires” got their starts.

    The $25,000 valuation on the “Right to record and sell” is utterly pathetic and, I thought, impossible to top. Until this:

    “Chance to JV with me as my PARTNER”

    Holy crap. Who would want to do a joint venture with this idiot? Just that one marketing piece alone (if it isn’t a Droid spoof) is so painfully bad, it just screams RUN AWAY BECAUSE I’M A FREAKIN’ IDIOT.

    I feel for anyone who got caught up with this strange, strange little man.

    As always, SD, thanks for the education.

    1. That graphic is right off Eric Graham’s “offer” page (although Salty obviously stamped it with the Droid logo). Other than that, sounds like some kinda “deal,” huh?!! Looks like more than a few people went for it though, if you look at all the complaints online. Really brings home the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true…”

    2. @rwr :: I think it’s safe to say that you aren’t in the target demo … and neither am I. These people are exploiting web naivete. Some of us jacked into the web at the beginning :: and never looked up. We aren’t the sort of customers “people” like Eric are trying to manifest.

      But if you are new around here … it’s very confusing. And if you are in a somewhat desperate situation {which most of the people I talk to are} :: it is hard to think clearly … and it’s easy to be tricked.

      The web looks like the real world {I mean Eric here is wearing a suit} :: so you expect real world rules to apply. Like: no lying straight to someones face, knowing that your lying, and profiting from it. But alas :: there are no rules here. It’s more like Deadwood … without the Shakespearean language.

  6. Fucking Christ, Salty-super lib. Cut the dose because your posts are becoming more and more incoherant by the day. If you’re not up to staying sober or lucid long enough to write a post that doesn’t need to be deciphered, then hand the task to someone more able…like a two year old blind retarded toddler.

    And oh yeah, knob gobbler salty droid sycophants…let the “dislike” votes begin. Mindless sheeps.

  7. From David and Caramia Hartley’s site:

    * hit cash in hand by November of $5,000 per month (with at least $2,500 of that by the end of October), growing to $100,000 gross per month within six months
    * reach $1 million a month gross within 18 months

    Those are some realistic goals for a 5000 usd investment! Some people beg to be scammed!

    The guy is a scammer but some people just go all out with spending their last savings on a business they know nothing about!

    1. While that’s certainly an observation, it is not relevant here. Their exuberance absolutely does NOT excuse Eric Graham from TAKING THEIR MONEY and NOT PROVIDING SERVICES or HONORING HIS SO-CALLED “GUARANTEE.” That’s the bottom line.

    2. @Pedro :: it is true though that every one of the “clients” here are sitting on bad ideas … with unreasonable expectations. What a USEFUL consultant would tell them … for a reasonable price … is “don’t get too excited about this just yet … you are kind of hoping for a miracle here. Keep trying … but don’t quit your day job just yet.” And if they had paid for that advice … maybe they’d be like “oh fucking fuck hell … that could be true.” But instead what they do is fan the flames of these bad ideas to foster dependency. That’s unfair.

      The business idea Fred seemed to be pursing at the time was a series of DVD’s that featured interviews with various “experts” like Eric. That’s not a winning idea either … and even if it worked it would just make you a whore to one of the worst batches of people imaginable. A batch of people :: btw :: that Eric pretends to have access to … but DOESN’T. Just like Fred was paying to make it look like he had access to Eric … when he clearly didn’t.

      But like @BottomLine said :: that’s not the point. You can’t do what Eric is doing … and if do … you should get shit smeared in your face.

  8. From My InBox ::

    “Fuck you and your bullshit.

    I’ll send you bitter toe-jam cookies when they finally bust your lying, spamming bullshit ass.

    Must really suck trying to get to sleep at night knowing how fucked and worthless your life is, while trying to convince yourself otherwise with desperately “positive” thoughts and plans that amount to nothing.

    A bullet in your mouth isn’t noble, but given the complete lack of anything noble in your life, you might as well.”

    >> I forwarded it on to Hallmark

    1. Oh my. I wonder who this could have been who would write such venom? Toe Jam cookies? Really? That’s the best they could do?

    2. Note to scammers: when you email something like that to someone with a fully intact self-esteem (unlike your usual, targeted victims), you’re providing both confirmation and encouragement. And the mentally-challenged, ingrained profanity is like an extra mint on a pillow. Job well done, Salty!

  9. Eric posted a mind-numbingly long and rambling “excuse” comment on Ryan Healy’s blog, but it sure didn’t make him look any better. (Note: blaming other people almost NEVER works!) Ryan pretty much ripped right through it and tore him apart, given that what he said had more holes than swiss cheese.

    From Eric’s comment there, you might get the idea that he has his finger in many pies and that the “conversion” stuff is just a small piece of what he does. He mentioned his “publishing” business, whatever that is.

    A quick glance at his web sites seems to indicate that the “conversion” stuff is probably his MAIN focus. Sure, there’s the “be a better dad” website, and “aces pilot shop” (don’t let the amateurish appearance throw you ‘cuz you know it CONVERTS, right?). Other than that, it’s pretty much focused on the “conversion” schtick using a variety of flavors, textures, and payment-in-advance requests:

    (Take out the $$ to get the actual domain address.)

    graham$$publishing.com
    headline$$testingsecrets.com
    ultimate$$conversionbooster.com
    aces$$pilotshop.com
    be$$abetterdad.com
    christina$$graham.com
    conversion$$doctor.com
    conversiond$$octorletter.com
    conversion$$doctormembers.com
    conversion$$doctorsupport.com
    headline$$testingsecrets.com
    optin$$ratesecrets.com
    top$$newsblogs.com
    ultimate$$conversionbooster.com
    web$$-site-evaluations.com
    zero$$to500.com

    1. Everybody should look at the ‘acespilotshop’ domain – specifically because I remember hearing Eric talk (1-2 years ago) about ‘being a self-made millionaire.’ He claimed that this site did that for him.

      Quantcast estimates 2.8K monthly visitors; Compete a little less; and Alexa puts him a little under the 1m mark in its’ rankings.

      Alexa also estimates the bounce rate ranges from 60-75% (leaving 700-1120 visitors per month)

      Now, I know none of these services are perfect – but looking at the site, it’s fair to say they’re closer to the mark than ‘millionaire’ Eric.

      Also – quite funny to see Compete’s figures indicating that the droid receives at least 1000 more visitors a month than Eric. Ever thought about Adsense, Salty? Maybe an Amazon store? You’ll be a ‘self-made millionaire’ (quotes included) in no time!

      (The Thawte certificate doesn’t work either – must be some sort of ‘conversion booster’)

      1. Good observations. I can’t imagine that acespilotshop site making any significant money. If I had a choice between depending on that site for income, or walking around with a “will work for food” sign, I’d go with the sign.

      2. Looks like “Aces Pilot Shop” is no longer taking orders, and who knows how long that has been the case. If you try to “buy” something, you then see this message:

        ——————————————–

        Thank you for visiting
        Ace’s Pilot Shop.

        Due to an extended family illness,
        Ace’s Pilot Shop is temporarily closed.

        We hope to re-open our pilot shop soon.

        ——————————————–

        Is “Due to an extended family illness” a euphemism for “unable to accept credit cards?”

        If so, he could still offer these payment options:

        __Cash __Check __Guitars

        The last time the copyright notice was even updated was 2007. With that much oversite, it must be a real “income producer.”

        Furthermore, the site is hideously plastered with google ads for dating, chat, and herpes. If the trivial amount of money those ads generate is that important to him, you just have to wonder.

        Eric CLAIMS that web site made him a millionaire? Anyone here believe that? Pick one: __No (or) __No.

    2. “Don’t take off ‘til you do a walkaround of our site and see for yourself! You’ll be so glad you landed here at our pilot shop.”

      Gag me with a pun!

      @Research-A-Tron :: Why gimp the links? Please don’t tell me it’s because you don’t want him “getting credit” or whatever … cause you know I don’t believe in that religion. I’m inclined to override you.

      1. Ok, I confess, it was to neutralize the possibility of “link love.” If you don’t want to believe in that, then just look at the dollar signs as fashion embellishments… :)

  10. Hey, what about Jeff “Herschy” Schwerdt (what a name) giving you a Cash Flow Supercharger, he’s handed you the keys to his Viral Submitter software, helping drive traffic to your own Cash Flow Funnel?

    Can’t wait.

    Or “Bob” Serling: “30% boost in porofits for just 5 minutes work”.

    A Flying Pig a day keeps the sanity away

      1. Seconded. It is certainly an honor having Drayton Bird here.

        Salty is without a doubt a breath of fresh air.

        This is one of those “must visit daily” blogs. Salty seems to get ALL the best “inside scoops” in internet marketing.

        1. Who you kidding? I can’t get away from him. Everywhere I turn, there’s he is.

          Just kidding :-)

          Drayton’s alright. He’s a dude.

  11. Somebody mentioned this Salty Site to me a while ago and I never looked at it properly. My mistake. This site is a public service, wonderfully combining mirth and warning to the unwary.

    There must be an astonishing number of people out there (i.e. everyone who’s ever been ripped off by these scamsters) who should be reading it. Besides the thoughtful, low-key comments, ho-ho-ho, one or two of the analyses of these rogues are really excellent.

    More strength to the Droid!

    1. @DraytonBird {DB? no … that means something else around here}

      Did ya’ll know that Drayton was on Twitter :: http://twitter.com/DraytonBird {I guess he’s not as edgy with the words as I}

      And has a blog :: http://drayton-bird-droppings.blogspot.com/

      Thanks for the comments Sir Drayton {wink} :: and the compliments. It’s a fucking honor.

      Many of your would-be sycophants linger around this blog waiting to read of my suicide. Your commenting here has brought them great suffering … and for that I cannot thank you enough.

      And as for Jeffrey “Defiling the Uniform” Schwerdt {who mailed for Kilstein in defiance of my tyranny} :: consider it done.

      1. The late, great David Ogilvy (the king of Madison Avenue) once said this about Drayton Bird:

        “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone else in the World.”

  12. Here’s another touch of hilarity from “Herschy” Schwerdt.

    Don’t be the one person who
    wishes six months from now
    that they had joined.

    (Be one of the hundreds who wish they never fell for this crap)

    Let’s be honest here…

    (Er … WHAT???)

    If you haven’t had that major
    breakthrough or reached your
    goals, watch this video before
    it’s too late. It can make a HUGE
    difference for you.

    (Yes indeed!)

    http://CashFlowFunnel.com

    I’m basically giving you access to
    my six figure a year business and
    backing it up with Guaranteed Success.

    (“Basically” an ingenious new use of the words “Guaranteed” and “Success”)

    Give me a good porn site any old time: you’ll learn a lot more about marketing and enjoy it.

    This stuff is keeping me amused between writing my usual dire copy. I’ve also decided I want a “next day diploma”. After 50 odd years I can make up for my BA (Hons) Manchester – failed.

    1. My cat has a next-day/diploma mill diploma. Apparently, they saw his potential (and a valid credit card number!)

      It hangs over the litter box.

    2. I was supposed to be one of his original affiliates, but I changed my mind after watching some of his promo videos.

      The guy’s an idiot.

      Don’t receive anything from him anymore as I opted out ages ago, soon after he started.

  13. Thanks for this post on Eric… hopefully between all our efforts will put a stop to his “activities”.

    Just a note… His long, rambling comment on Ryan’s blog made it sound like I was homeless and living in a cardboard box when I took him up on his coaching deal. This was not the case. He also said I was not making any money online, which is not true either… just not much and not enough to replace a full-time income. I had been following Eric’s blog and had tried several of the things he suggested to improve conversion – they seemed to work. We had exchanged a few comments and private emails as well, all seemed on the up and up with him. I wanted to conserve cash and thought the trade idea would be a good way to do that (I had 3 Taylor guitars – I still have 2).

    Salty – it was not a dark day… the dark day came later when I realized I had been taken.

    So yes, I plead naïve and gullible for falling for his scam… but at the time I did, there was not anything bad about him to be found online that would have tipped me off… obviously that has changed.

    I’ve learned a few very valuable lessons!

    Opening up about this whole experience has not been fun but I think it’s been worthwhile.

    1. Fred, I didn’t for a second buy into Eric’s version of events, and I really don’t think anyone else did, either. You have as much smarts and capability as Eric, if not more so. He just momentarily convinced you that he could add something to the equation, and that unfortunately turned out to be a mistake. Life goes on and you came out on top in public opinion.

    2. Hey Fred :: Thanks for the comment. He did really try to paint you as charity case {using a cowards number one tool :: passive aggression}. I especially liked this bit from his lame and cowardly response …

      “I even paid for his lunch when we went out to a local restaurant.”

      Fuck you guy! What a raging asshole!

  14. @poopchute you really are new here. Salty’s a lawyer and well aware of what you’re advising him of. I can’t (and don’t) speak for Salty, but if you look around the site, I’m sure you’ll find an explanation for why he uses the style that he uses.

    1. I am indeed new here. That doesn’t change our country’s history of rulings regarding libel. Right now — in my opinion — Salty will indeed be losing everything he or she owns in lawsuits the moment he or she is outted.

      He — or she — has walked right into a huge trap that will forever force him (or her) to stay in hiding and hand his (or her) enemies the bullets they need to put him (or her) away when found.

      I am only aware that Salty (whoever Salty is) SAYS he or she is a lawyer. Lawyers violate the law all the time — knowingly and unknowingly. Is Salty an attorney specializing in the laws of libel and slander? I wouldn’t go to a family law practitioner to form a corporation or fight the IRS.

      I didn’t find Salty’s “explanation” for why it’s all written this way but I have to say that doesn’t change the law any more than when the scammers Salty is unveiling try to explain away their illegal actions. It’s STILL illegal, explanation or not.

      Now — if Salty really has drawers full of verifiable documentation for everything he (or she) says just waiting for the day there is a courtroom brawl — more power to him (or her).

      Hey — I love Salty’s writing style. It’s what drew me in. I was only suggestion a TINY corrective move that would literally make what Salty writes truly protected under First Amendment.

      And I brought it up because I would sure as hell not want to see some of the retard suck-holes Salty’s ragging on succeed in pulling him down and making him pay.

      1. Nice little summary that applies to slander and libel as well. Copied from: http://www.expertlaw.com/library/personal_injury/defamation.html#4

        “Why Commencing A Defamation Action Is Not Aways A Good Idea

        While people who are targeted by lies may well be angry enough to file a lawsuit, there are some very good reasons why actions for defamation may not be a good idea.

        The publicity that results from a defamation lawsuit can create a greater audience for the false statements than they previously enjoyed. For example, if a newspaper or news show picks up the story of the lawsuit, false accusations that were previously known to only a small number of people may suddenly become known to the entire community, nation, or even to the world. As the media is much more apt to cover a lawsuit than to cover its ultimate resolution, the net effect may be that large numbers of people hear the false allegations, but never learn how the litigation was resolved.

        Another big issue is that defamation cases tend to be difficult to win, and damage awards tend to be small. As a result, it is unusual for attorneys to be willing to take defamation cases on a contingent fee basis, and the fees expended in litigating even a successful defamation action can exceed the total recovery.

        Another significant concern is that, even where the statements made by the defendant are entirely false, it may not be possible for a plaintiff to prove all of the elements of defamation. Most people will respond to news that a plaintiff lost a defamation lawsuit by concluding that the allegations were true.

        In other words, the plaintiff in a defamation action may be required to expend a considerable amount of money to bring the action, may experience significant negative publicity which repeats the false accusations, and if unsuccessful in the litigation may cement into the public consciousness the belief that the defamatory accusations were true. While many plaintiffs will be able to successfully prosecute defamation actions, the possible downside should be considered when deciding whether or not such litigation should be attempted.”

        The people the Droid goes after DO NOT want the Droid to get discovery on them. Salty has been begging them to sue him from Day One. Go ahead bitches – throw Salty in the briar patch. The fallout is going to be Hee-Larious!!!

        1. Sorry — the people Salty is going after have MILLIONS. They plan to make MILLIONS more and I’d be willing to bet they wouldn’t really care about the cost to bring him (or her) down.

          Salty’s already proven these are not ordinary folk. I believe that.

          The “legal” opinion you quoted above also does NOT sound like it’s rooted in the journalistic world but aimed at individuals who feel defamed by another. As a journalist, you MUST prove your statements of fact. If you don’t, you can be sued and lose.

          The judgement in this case would be for multiple millions — all those “potential” sales Salty is causing the poor selfish bastards to lose.

          And I would have to disagree that you have to prove it’s a lie. Countless cases against journalist put the JOURNALIST SUED on the defensive, making him or her the one who must prove what they wrote about someone is TRUE.

          I’m not saying Salty doesn’t have a plan I’m unaware of. I hope so. And I don’t want to be accused of popping on here just to cause a distraction — because my concerns are real.

          And — again at the risk of sounding like a distraction, how on earth do you say “sue me,” then hide behind a pseudonym and remain anonymous? It seems to me, if the REAL intent is to pull lawsuits out, you would put your name up there for the world to see.

          I won’t be continuing this discussion. There is too much important stuff to cover here that’s more important. Suffice to say that it was never our founding fathers’ intention to provide a way for anyone to say anything about anyone, regardless of the consequences. That’s why you have free speech but still can’t holler “fire” in a crowded auditorium without ramifications. Even if your “explanation” is that no one was coming by to buy popcorn until you did it.

          1. @PoopChute :: My name –> http://saltydroid.info/jason-and-the-droid-part-2/

            And chillax about defamation :: you are a little mixed up. Actually the press {in most states including mine} has more protection than the average Joe. And the people I’m talking about are holding themselves out as Public Figures :: and I’m talking about a subject that is of Public Concern :: So it’s a non-starter.

            The “in my opinion” thing is an okay idea for n00bs :: and I sometimes give that advice to others. But I know EXACTLY what I’m doing here … I don’t need to do shit like that … and I refuse to because it ruins the art.

            If you have millions :: and you want to keep them :: suing me is not advised. Nor is torting me {Ryan, Harlan, Schirmer}

        2. Seriously hoss, those people aren’t going to do anything. They may (claim to) have millions, but that won’t matter. Discovery is a female dog in heat, and those folks don’t want the exposure.

          Fulbright and Jaworski couldn’t intimidate Salty. Besides if any of these gooroos wanted to sue, they would have already and Salty hasn’t done anything “actionable.”

          Your advice is very good advice for the rest of us tho. I side with you in that the mission is the more important than any one operative and that discretion is the better side of valor. Salty has some big brass cojones tho, so more power to him.

          Oh, and he has put his name out there for the world to see, check out this post:

          http://saltydroid.info/jason-and-the-droid-part-2/

          Welcome to the neighborhood!

      2. @poopshoot Salty has been doing this just fine without you douchebag. I take it you must be one of the fucks featured on this site but your hiding your name. RIGHT? Don’t lie dick. I KNOW.

  15. “Poop Chute” – You are not aware of the big picture here. First, as has been mentioned, Salty is a lawyer. He knows his stuff, he’s aggressive, and he’s more than capable. Secondly, there is actually a surprising number of pro-Salty lawyers floating around here. Salty is not alone and he has some serious backup. It is really quite a force to be reckoned with – more than you could know. The first scammer who tries to take Salty on will be the last, and it will be a painful, income-draining, scorched earth experience for them – you can count on that.

    1. Hey — I AM new here and I do see Salty’s name right there. Totally hadn’t read back that far.

      That changes a LOT. I also agree with Salty that the scumbags do hold themselves up (wow…they really hold EVERYBODY up) to be public figures. In fact much of what they do is totally orchestrated to create that illusion so…GREAT POINTS.

      Thanks for taking time to bring me up to speed, folks — and especially Salty. I mean it! Eases my mind a lot. Now I can sit back and watch it all unfold cause it sure is interesting without doubt!

      Will chip in when I can…

  16. When there IS a fire the one who yells the loudest is a hero. Salty sees the smoke being blown up people’s arses and alerts through this blog. Good analogy,PC.

    1. Whoa, Jean D.! I just got a chill. “When there IS a fire the one who yells the loudest is a hero.” A valid twist on the viewpoint that brings up a whole new scenario. As I said before — it’s sure going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.

  17. This one from Scwherdt defies parody. The next will be “Alive and Stupid? I’ll make you rich in 5 seconds flat”

    Subject: I’m giving Free Money Plus Copy Paste Success

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    Not only are we working with you
    over the next 8 weeks, providing
    Live Webinar Training, but I’m
    also giving you Turn Key Success.

    With Unlimited Direct Access!

    Here’s How:

    We’re handing you a proven business
    model, live support, training, and we’ll
    do all the work on the back end to
    fulfill your orders. It can’t get any easier.

    This is literally copy/paste money

    http://CashFlowFunnel.com

    If you can read an email, you’re
    qualified. It’s that simple.

    ===========
    Don’t Delay
    ===========

    The doors to the Cash Flow Funnel
    will be closing soon, likely before the
    end of the week.

    http://CashFlowFunnel.com

    Catch You on the First Webinar!

    Herschy

    1. And to think I’ve been getting by with a regular funnel for these many years.

      I’m afraid you are right – that defies parody. However, I am quite sure based on his comment elsewhere that Salty will be taking on the challenge. Perhaps Salty will instead show how the oft-overlooked “inverted cash flow funnel” works.

      Seems rather amazing (and generous) that someone such as this Herschy would provide the training, ‘free’ money, and fulfill the orders for us. I suppose he must simply have a soft spot for middlemen and appreciates our value in that role, even if we do nothing but stand off to the side and wait for the money.

      I think I’ll go pinch myself.

    2. I met Jeff Scwherdt at a seminar. He was walking around at 11am with a bottle of Jack Daniels, which normally, hey, it’s a weekend. I don’t judge.

      But he just looked like a schlumpy annoying idiot trying to get attention more than anything. “Look at me! I drink!”

      I wouldn’t give that turd a dime.

      1. Drinking Jack from the bottle at 11 AM? Who does he think he is? Frank Kern?

        That’s for graduates of the ADVANCED program only.

        1. I love the thing that says “fakes are fine” since that’s mostly what you write about … which brings me to Scwherdt the Swiller of other people’s money. Whilst most of these scamps appeal to the gullible, he seems to aiming at a new segment: the clinically insane.

        2. Well, the clinically insane is the last great, untapped niche market out there. It’s also unfortunate that you mentioned it, because now there will most likely be a tremendous new influx there. On a positive note, perhaps it will help bring down the cost of ancillary goods, such as straightjackets.

  18. I meant that as a compliment to Salty Droid! Normal, rational people want to be alerted when there is danger. I am completely in favor of his writings and he is doing so much to stop these crazy people from taking advantage of people. I disagree with you @PoopChute to think he could be sued. I’m in my 5th decade of life and have seen way too much mind control, financial scamming and cult destruction and death. Not only Salty but others are doing a great deal of good to INFORM the world in way that can PROTECT the unknowing. Do you expect someone not to yell fire in an auditorium? I don’t understand where you’re coming from.

    1. Jean D —

      I was agreeing you made a great point. If there’s a fire in the theater the game changes.

      I just don’t follow anything blindly. I’m new here and asked some basic questions I could have gotten answers to by simply reading a bit deeper into the blog. But no — lazy-assed me just blurted ’em right out on the jetstream.

      And a lot of you were kind enough to direct me to answers.

      Anyone can sue anyone for anything. I believe now Salty wants to be sued and is doing a pretty damned fine job of hanging out the carrot.

      S’all good.

  19. Just as a serious aside on the matter of stupidity/inteligence:

    Last year someone I know said to one of the big guns in the get-rich-by-osmosis-with-your-mystic-guru game said, “Why don’t you offer them some of Drayton Bird’s stuff?”

    He got the reply, “It’d be wasted on them.”

    None of this old-fashioned stuf about treating your customer as intelligent – just appeal to the lowest common denominator. Depressing, really

  20. So true, and it really defines the mindset out there.

    There really is no such thing as “internet marketing,” anyway. “Internet marketing” is a contrivance to make people think that they simply must go out and purchase supposedly “all new” (repackaged) sales methods and ideas for hefty prices. (As if technology also changed all aspects of human behavior as well.) The internet is just a medium, with some of its own unique characteristics of course. The basics of marketing to people, as well as human nature, remain much the same as they have for years.

    For a fraction of the ridiculous prices of the “products” offered by many of these recently-arrived “gooroos,” one can get a real marketing education by reading Drayton Bird’s excellent books:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Drayton+Bird

  21. Calm your jets there, Jack.

    I think your trembling, post orgasmic fingers clicked “submit comment”, twice there..

  22. Here’s some ho-hum advice from the Conversion Dictator. He says you need to really understand your targets. Obviously he’s got HIS targets figured out. By the way, what’s with that cartoonish, salesy voice? He never got around to telling the interviewer to be sure to drink her milk and listen to mommy and daddy.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUAdrhPaDD0

    1. Why are all of these internet marketers giving off this condescending get in the van I have candy pedo vibe?

      I mean, fuck… I’ve read their bible: Cialdini’s “Influence”, and I didn’t read anywhere in there that you have to talk on video like a total ass kiss cocksucker.

      It’s like “internet marketer” is a persona in itself now. It’s unique. It’s this very cheap car salesman, but less skilled, and more annoying, more amateur.

      I’d like to see Billy May’s beat the shit out of a lot of these guys.

  23. I love “calm your jets. What a phrase.

    Anyhow:

    1. Is that man in a bar? Maybe he’s meeting Hirschy there to Jack off.

    2. I think an inverted cash funnel is one where the cash flows away from you and towards the crook.

    1. Drayton, have you ever heard of the beard with a man attached to it known as “Harlan Kilstein?”

      He’s an “internutionally recugnized” former ‘girl’s school employee’ who in a few short years somehow became a “6 figure copywriter,” yoga nut, nlp master, hypnosis expert, and legend in his own mind. Oh, and he’s a “finger healer.” In addition, he’s got your internet marketing needs covered (or perhaps that’s cornered). Although I could go on and on, he could go on and on, and then on some more.

      Kilstein is a favorite topic of Salty and a few other rational minds. You’ll find him one of the most chronicled ‘people’ on this site. (I hope the word “people” is not offended; if so, I will retract its use here.)

      Perhaps you might be interested in aligning your fingers with the “power of the universe?” Behold:

      http://www.fingerhealing.com/index2.html

      And here’s an elaborate, sophisticated promo video with advanced production values and a timeless ‘massage.’ Enjoy!

      httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6PDgA80ATg

      1. Well for “universal power alignment” one should call in a person with expertease….exsqueeze me bimbecile, do you have a few minutes for a universal rotation and alignment?

        Interesting shower…it looks like a plastic insert..no doubt the “exact” kind of shower you would find in a thornhill “estate” $750K custom built home (like he showed while driving “his” lexus in his above “movie”)….unless of course Maria Andros “online invester” & real estate typhoon (that’s a business person with exceptional wealth and power…for you inglish naives) built it…she’s brilliant…way to maximize prophets…

    1. or clean the sidewalks with a toothbrush. Well that’s not funny. Not at all. The best weapon the droid can use or any of us to fight back is pure humor. To laugh them into oblivion. That is much better than nasty attacks. Sidewalks not funny. I need a better angle. You see if you laugh at them and mock them they will wither away.

  24. “Eric’s basic operation pattern seems to be this ::

    1. He takes your money.

    2. There is no two.”

    Just thinkin that I know someone who operates like this and he claims to be an expert (oh while you are at it make that world expert) at everything he wants to make money out of. Its become so bloody obvious that hes strapped for cash its makes amusing viewing. Oh and this is the same guy who claims to be a world expert at trading the stock market yet he cant even pay his bills. Yeh yeh I know he probably rapes and pillages through various companies and wets his bed but in the end he aint got any more than what he started with and I have even heard he had to start with other peoples money pft pft so progress has been bloody slow except for the old ego its grown to mockery level.

    I’ll mock these dudes until they wither away because I think they are deadshits who are just parasites on society.

  25. This may be one big reason those people gave their money to Eric Graham:

    “When Eric Graham Speaks, I Not Only Listen. I Take Notes.”

    “There are few people who fully understand the intricate process of converting more browsers into buyers, and the in’s and out’s of turning more people into profits. Eric Graham is one such person.

    When he speaks, I not only listen. I take notes. I learn from Eric. Always. And if you want to learn how to take your web business to the next level and beyond, you should, too.”

    – Michel Fortin

    From: http://www.ultimateconversionbooster.com

    That’s one stellar endorsement!

    1. Michel Fortin’s testimonial for Eric Graham is still prominently featured right there on the front page of that web site. Is Fortin continuing to recommend Eric Graham to everybody? Is there some affiliate commission involved? I’m just a bit surprised.

      1. Sometimes there’s friendship involved, which makes it painful to ask that person to stop using your testimonial. Personally, I find it difficult to confront friends and family members.

        Ryan

        1. That’s one possible explanation, but (and I could be wrong) I don’t get the impression that Michel Fortin and Eric Graham are super close pals or play guitar hero together.

          Still, that’s a heck of an endorsement. It reads like Michel worships Eric Graham.

          According to a comment on Michel’s blog, one of the customers who felt cheated by Graham said that Michel’s endorsement of him had motivated her to trust him.

          If Michel does nothing about it, I would assume that he still stands behind his endorsement. That of course means people may be very upset with him if they have a bad experience. (Especially since he is aware of the recent complaints.)

        2. Maybe Michel Fortin has tried desperately to get the endorsement removed but can’t get through to Eric Graham because of Graham’s:

          “intentional barriers and systems I have in place to protect my time (and sanity)”

          What if those “barriers” are only permeable by inbound cash or checks? (Or the occasional very nice guitar.)

      2. It’s a very old endorsement… when I wrote my original blog post, I emailed a link to it to the Fortin’s contact email on his web site… along with the link to Eric’s sales page with this testimonial… who knows if Michel ever received my email. I think he inferred, in the comments he left on Ryan’s blog, that he knew about it…

    2. As some have stated above, this is an old endorsement. At the time, this person wasn’t just a friend or a colleague. He was a client and a student in my coaching program.

      Similarly, I’ve worked closely with him on some projects and listened to his advice. And I did consider his content and expertise at the time to be exceptional. So my testimonial did reflect this. It was, based on my knowledge, appropriate and true.

      However, as I said in a reply to Salty’s comment on my post about not naming names on my own blog, I am in the process of removing endorsements from people I have lost respect for, because they no longer reflect my current opinion.

      I’m doing this for three reasons.

      1) Embarassement.

      I admit that I am terribly embarrassed. And in some cases, I’m also deeply hurt and offended by what I’ve seen these days, including by what some of the people I once highly regarded have done.

      In fact, I’m downright insulted.

      Retractions are definitely in order. I will try several avenues first before resorting to a more public form of retraction, where I am forced to name names — something, as you already know, I try to avoid as much as I can for the same reasons I expressed in my post on not naming names.

      But if I must, I will.

      2) Reputation.

      Visa and MasterCard have clamped down on questionable and unethical merchants, not just because some are unethical or even illegal, but also because, according to them, these merchants are engaged in “brand damaging” practices.

      When it comes to endorsements, the same applies. Such testimonials, while they may once reflect a genuine opinion, may no longer be applicable and may even cause irreparable harm to our businesses.

      I think this is important for all marketers to seriously consider. If abused, such endorsements can more than just sully our reputation.

      It’s not just about protecting one’s reputation or credibility. It’s also about protecting one’s business and, above all, customers. Which brings up my next point…

      3) Legality.

      The new FTC rules are clear. In their revised guidelines, as with their subsequent interviews, the FTC made it clear that testimonials must reflect a valid and current opinion of what or who is being endorsed.

      Granted, the FTC was referring to performance-based claims and testimonials. They were not as clear when it comes to character-based endorsements. However, I wouldn’t take any chances and definitely include them in the mix.

      A final comment.

      Salty makes an excellent point about “reciprocal endorsements.” Aside from the fact that such a practice can be misleading, this is definitely something we must consider as marketers, as it now falls under the “material connections disclosure” under the new FTC guidelines.

      Is the testimonial paid for? Maybe not, but if you gave one in exchange for another, then you are, indirectly, getting paid for it. Therefore, the testimonial must reveal this material connection, according to the revised guidelines.

      Just as doing joint ventures these days has become a bastardized form of reciprocal marketing (I hate to call them true “joint ventures” anyways), we tend to forget the most important element in all of this: our clients.

      Perception is powerful. And it’s key. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re guilty or not. The perception alone is enough to boost you. Or kill you. The adage, “guilt by association,” applies, here.

      That’s why I no longer give out endorsements without very careful consideration, including potential conflicts of interest, a marketer’s current standing, and future ramifications.

      True, we are not psychics and can’t predict how a marketer will turn out. But I think we need to err on the side of caution. That’s why my wife and I no longer do joint ventures, for fear of stuff just like this happening in the future.

      If one marketer’s reputation, quality of service, and integrity become questionable at any point, it does affect more than just that person’s business. It affects us. All of us in our industry. It is true that it only takes a few bad apples to rot the entire basket.

      I appreciate you, and thank you for bringing it up.

      Michel Fortin

      P.S.: There is a flip-side to this issue some people don’t think about as readily. It’s the abuse of endorsements or testimonials.

      Some people who are lesser known in their industry will use testimonials from industry leaders or people who have considerable clout in order to prop themselves up.

      The problem is when someone who has engaged in questionable practices, or is the target of scrutiny, may attempt to address this by using such testimonials in order to shield themselves from the negativity.

      But again, perception alone is all that’s needed to cause a lot of damage. Even just the slightest perception of impropriety can kill a business.

      While some folks do this to ride the coattails of someone’s established brand, integrity, or client-base, by the same token the negativity they recieve may bleed over onto the testimonial giver.

      So my lesson is, before you give out a testimonial, be very, very careful. Sure, be truthful and genuine, as you should and must be. But also, think long-term, if possible. Can this testimonial ever be used against you? Can it backfire if this person turns out to be less than ethical?

      As the saying goes, “When in doubt, leave it out.”

      A hard lesson to learn. It certainly was for me.

      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michel. You’ve earned my respect, and I’m sure the respect of others as well.

      2. Here’s a sidenote to my comment, and very well in line with my P.S. above.

        Recently, a famous (or shall we say, infamous) marketer has touted that he considers me as a friend. The feeling is certainly not mutual. But after some digging, I realized why. This marketer was listed in my list of “friends” on a popular social network.

        This person used my “friendship” on these social media sites as a way to prop themselves up. It’s not a testimonial per se, but as it is with testimonials, these things can be misperceived, and come back and haunt you.

        I think the term “friend” has been bastardized on these social sites, too. So now I’m very careful who I accept as a friend or follower on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.

        I just spent the better part of the last few days removing many of these people from my friends’ lists, for fear they will use our “digital relationship” to their advantage, as this one person did. I’m sure I missed a few, but I will certainly keep a sharp eye on this from here on end.

        Bottom line, just as with testimonials, I think we also need to be careful who we “friend,” “follow,” or “connect” with on these social media sites. If a person with questionable motives is any way connected with you, believe me, they will use it against you.

        Something to watch out for, for sure.

        1. A couple of months ago I “unfriended” nearly all of my business connections on Facebook. Now I keep it to just friends, family, and people I actually know. Most of my updates are about family and fun stuff. Since I made these changes, Facebook is actually useful. (Imagine that!)

      3. Curious Michel… what inspired you to come here to defend yourself? What did Eric Graham do to make you insist on removing your glowing endorsement? That wasn’t really clear to me.

        And do you still endorse Armand Morin? I gotta tell you, I couldn’t believe your email touting this guy. It was like you punched me in the nuts when you glowed about him a few weeks ago. I was going to email you back about this, but got distracted.

        And how about king supreme douchebag John Reese. This guy continues to throw you under a bus… are you still okay with this?

        Many of your past clients are listed here as douchebags. I’d bet there’s many more to come. What’s your take on this? Coincidence? Are you concerned? Why do all of these losers have ties to you, Yanik Silver and Ken McCarthy?

        You’re way too talented to mess around with these turds.

        Do the right thing, Michel. Repent. Add names to your sins report. Not adding names is like describing a pedophile in our neighborhood instead of naming names. It offers very little value.

        1. For the record, Ken McCarthy should not be included alongside the usual suspects. He broke off all ties with Reese, Kern, Silver, etc. a LONG time ago as soon as he caught on to what they were doing.

          The last time any of them spoke at one of Ken’s seminars was 2003. In my opinion, Ken has been one of the most ethical and outspoken voices against Internet marketing gurus.

          Ryan

      4. Amen, and bravo, Michel. In an industry that has become seedier and seedier in recent years, the Fortin name stands as a beacon of ethical integrity. Thanks to you and Sylvie for being such wonderful teachers and exemplary role models & mentors.

        ~JP

        1. Thank you, Julie. We truly appreciate this. It isn’t easy trying to change things for the better, but it has been well worth the uphill battle.

          It’s good to know that people who know us, know us well. :)

          So far, the biggest fault we’ve been accused of is that once upon a time we trusted some of these guys. Were we naive? Perhaps. But we were as shocked and surprised as anyone else.

          And the second fault is that we didn’t, and won’t, name names. We’ve explained this as much as we can, and cannot do more.

          I can only challenge all who insist that we call people out by name to go ahead and create your own sins report, and name names all you like.

          We aren’t journalists, and we cannot be objective enough to make a Santa’s Naughty and Nice list.

  26. What kind of a scam are the Fortin’s running? Sylvie Fortin is Miss High & Mighty Ethical Bull Shitter but she makes her money running the sites for all the fucking scammers. Her company is Workaholics provides the services behind the scenes to some of the biggest scammer fuckers. Yep her company worked for Surfer Dude Kern, Fat Slob Kilstein and dozens of other scammers. In fact, Sylvie has made millions of dollars doing the back end programming scamming the lambs. And Mr Ethical Fortin wrote for Reese several times and Kern and so on. But his biggest gay lover is Armand who if you remember tried to scam everyone into making him a country singer. Fortin speaks at ALL Big Seminars selling big bundles of shit and inflated prices. The same old shit selling from the same website is sold at a huge MARK UP during Armand’s Bitch Seminar. The Fortin’s made ALL their money from the Gurus. Now they turn around and become Mr and Mrs Integrity. If Fortin wants to name names, all he has to do is look at his client list. Look at the shit they peddle today. Same old shit you can buy on Amazon for a buck. Fuck Fortin and his client list.

  27. Thanks to @Fortins for their interesting comments. I guess you guys haven’t seen the memo about responding to criticisms on this blog … standard procedure would involve signing into a proxy server and then saying something about genital mutilation.

    I’m calling bullshit on both @2b1ask1 and @DidTheDroidGetScammed. I put up with the anonymous chirping of the demon choir :: because I’m the KING … but I don’t see why anyone else should have to. Fortins answered some reasonable criticism here by using their real names and addressing the substance. If you don’t like the answers :: then exit your proxy server :: man up :: and do something other than throw rocks from your glass house.

    The Droid doesn’t endorse people or business inside the “industries” that are being discussed here :: because that would be totally lame. But I give you this warning :: talk shit about Sylvie to my face at your fucking peril.

    http://www.internetmarketingsins.com/

    No one tried harder :: or was braver :: before I arrived than she.

    1. So, so true. Sylvie Fortin was one of the first to address all the scammy, shyster, “snake oil” b.s. that was becoming more and more prevalent in the IM space, and she was incredibly brave to step up to that plate — ESPECIALLY since many of the main culprits were former clients, students, and even personal friends.

      Brava, Sylvie!

  28. I am relatively new to all the shenanagans, but will now look into Sylvie’s awareness based on the comments here.

    I am curious why some othe other million-dollar babies are not mentioned anywhere on this site. Could it be that there are just too many pretenders out there to be on the Droid’s radar? Is the Droid just too busy lasering the evil ones in his immediate vicinity?

    The guys I’m thinking of include Steve Clayton/Tim Godfrey, and Anik Singal. They seem like genuine guys but are probably just more guys blowing 7 different kinds of smoke. Both are selling packages recently in the $500-550 range, but Anik seems to be looking for an exit strategy, and has recently offered a $20,000 (“just 5 grand now, till you make $150,000”) coaching program that will include your first three clients who are clammering for his special knowledge.

    Maybe the Droid will scan these entities into his databank?

  29. The latest, funniest and least credible is get everything Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham did worth $200,000 (to whom, I wonder) FREEEEEEE. This is what I call F***wit marketing. Golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

  30. Salty,
    Did The Droid Get Scammed? speaks volumes of truth. The Fortins
    have been providing, and are providing the back end muscle that
    supports just about every single one of your targets, with the
    exception of James Ray.For every dollar scammed the Fortins probably
    receive about 20 cents. They promoted countless IM people, cashed
    there checks and went on to the next victims. They are using the
    site for the SEO value and so they look like ethical gurus.
    It’s the ego filled gurus that seem to be the center of the issue.
    I’ll hit you up with the evidence via email Salty.

    1. @JimJones

      Well? Where’s this evidence? Should I hold my breath while I wait? Cause it looks to me like you bitches are just pissed that they commented here. But I don’t think commenting here makes you a scammer. In fact :: I think this is an awesome place to comment.

  31. Michael Fortin, where are you?

    You said “retractions are in order,” but your sweeping endorsement of Eric Graham still appears on ultimateconversionbooster.com even after ALL this. Graham has also since tweeted some of your blog posts, so he can’t be unaware of all the discussion. You also said if you had to, you’d “name names.”

    Did you two “work something out?” What gives?!

    Wonder how much business Graham has gotten in the past few weeks due to that continuing endorsement?

    Here’s how Eric Graham enjoys the “rich life” (note his own caption under the pic):

    http://twitpic.com/xsa8

    1. Michel Fortin probably doesn’t want to rock the boat. He’s got a fence to straddle, you know. On the one side, there are sleazy internet marketers who are willing to pay for copywriting services. On the other side, there are sleazy internet marketers who are willing to pay for copywriting services. Which side do you choose? It’s a tough call.

  32. @ Talk is Cheap : Thank you for your concern for our reputation. We take this seriously as well.

    Michel has done exactly what he said he would do and is awaiting a response. Hopefully, that request will be acted upon. We are dealing with this issue in a calm and professional manner, preferring to make a courteous request first.

    @ Janus : For the record, Michel does not personally solicit any copywriting projects, and has not for many years. You seem to be implying otherwise. You are incorrect.

    He has a copywriting agency, and the manager is highly selective about which jobs it accepts.

    In fact, the Sins report pretty much ensured that he would never again be hired to write copy for anyone who is less than appropriate in their business dealings. Which was fine with us.

    1. Sylvie… does your “Sins” report include Michel himself… selling an $800.00 AdSense product from the back of the room at Armand Morin’s seminar that never got finished and no refunds have been offered?

      If it’s not going to get finished, where do we get our refund?

      1. Are you referring to Big Seminar 8, when both Michel and I spoke? And if so, are you referring to the software we developed, and the accompanying training that went with it? That’s the only time we’ve ever discussed Adsense as one means of earning money on a website, so that must be what you mean.

        If so, you are referring to a product we did, in fact, complete, even though shortly after that seminar I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through months of treatments. It took everything we had, but we did what we promised we would do, throughout the entire year of membership.

        However, if you were a customer of that product, and have issues you would like to discuss, please contact our support desk and I will personally be very interested in talking with you.

      2. Maybe he could just refund you with a testimonial. Obviously, that is worth more than $800. Just add up the Eric Graham complaints.

    2. Hi, I hope you able follow me. Hi, you say Michel not solicit copywriting projects. How do he make the living? Is it from sell he course then like “how making money on internet” and chef success course? I ask because I much interest in make money on internet in my poor country (Zimbabwe, national of happiness). I never make money sell on the internet yet but, since reading Michel blog it seem I purchase the advice course and much money come in fast. Right? Please say how fast for urgent need. I hope so for buy mother amputation surgery need and joy before she pass. Bless upon Michel Fortin and thanks to him from the heart sincerely Duprae. P.S. Can internet business be work from rented cafe computer with small money? It seem so since study on Michel blog. I hopeful.

    3. What will win? “Diplomacy” or “profits?” Graham 1, Fortin 0. Let’s see a new play in the second half, team.

    4. Michel hasn’t “personally solicited copywriting projects” in many years? I guess the words currently at the top of his blog which read, “Direct Response Copywriting” must actually mean something else entirely. Oil and gas exploration maybe? Color me confused. I guess when it comes to the magical powers of copywriting, “yes” can also mean “no.”

      1. Janus,

        Did you actually read *all* of Silvie’s reply to you? It appears you only read part of it and somehow missed:

        “He has a copywriting agency, and the manager is highly selective about which jobs it accepts.”

        Let me ask you, what, specifically, is unclear about that part of her response?

        1. @MazeMan ::

          Agreed. I was satisfied with their response :: especially because they are one of the only parties to ever leave a reasoned response here. Reasonable response to criticism is usually a sign of sound underlying ethics … just like wildly unreasonable responses tend to indicate crime and corruption just beneath the “I love Jesus” veneer.

        2. @Mazeman: That response was just semantics of course. It doesn’t matter WHO “technically” accepts copywriting assignents for him. It’s HIS business, and HIS business does, in fact, take on copywriting assignments. That’s easily confirmed by the phrase, “Direct Response COPYWRITING” at the top of his blog. But it doesn’t really matter either way, because that wasn’t the point.

          The point was about the problems associated with focusing on any customer base which has a high propensity to get you dirty from servicing them. That is not specific to Michel of course. It applies to anyone in the field of IM.

          I actually think Michel’s a good guy. I also think it reaffirms and builds him up immensely when he states a position and takes a stand here. If more marketers did that, they would really come out ahead.

  33. Newsflash…Eric Graham FINALLY complied and removed Michel Fortin’s retracted testimonial from his conversion web site. Thanks, Michel! :)

    Now…if Graham would just REFUND all the people who requested refunds!

    1. @Talk Is Cheap: It seems Eric partially complied.

      He did remove Michel’s testimony from his sales page. However, he is still using Michel Fortin testimonials on other pages:

      One:
      http://www.conversiondoctor.com/conversion-blog/what-michel-fortin-just-called-me-a-fanatic-and-he-says-you-should-give-your-visitors-the-finger

      Two:
      http://www.conversiondoctor.com/conversion-blog/everyone-needs-mentors

      @Eric Graham: Please… get a clue! I mean that in all sincerity. It isn’t to late to begin being ethical. Any step in that direction is a *good* step. Show some personal integrity (FOR REAL!).

      1. @MazeMan: Good catch. Graham is surely well aware of those other testimonials, since it’s his own web site and he’s supposedly the testing freak. Seems like intentional foot dragging.

        Hopefully Michel will stay on top of this and insist Graham FULLY comply and remove EVERY duplicate instance of his retracted testimonial. It seems a shame and ridiculous that Michel should even have to keep after him to do that.

        I don’t get this guy Graham. But I know I’d never, ever do business with him or anyone in any way associated with him based on what I’ve seen and read.

  34. Lucky for me that PayPal was able to refund my up front payment to E.Graham.
    If I see him at the next marketing conference, I’m going to give him a knuckle sandwich!

  35. How’s this for pretend posturing?

    Graham now says:

    “I wanted to let you know that due to the EXTREME demand for my time and services, I have no choice but to raise the price of one of my most popular services.”

    Extreme demand? He just had to capitalize that word, “extreme.” EXTREME! Yeah, right, Eric.

    And how about this from his sales copy:

    “For the past 8 years I’ve offered my Website Evaluation Service, and over 1,200 smart business owners just like you have dramatically increased their sales and conversion rates by taking me up on the incredible offer.”

    Is that 1,200 “evaluations” at $1,997 each? Then, that would be $2,396,400.00.

    If so, why put all those unsatisfied people who’ve asked for their money back through non-refund hell over a tiny fraction of that?

    Odd, huh?

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