I have a friend who's an antique dealer. She buys a lot of her stock at auction, but she also spends time every week going round antique fairs and exploring other people's shops. And sometimes she finds some amazing bargains. When she first told me about some of the things she'd bought from other dealers - and about the profits she'd made - I was astonished. How come, I asked, that the people she'd bought from had priced the items at so much less than they were worth? Simple, she replied - antiques is an enormous area and nobody can know everything about it.
It's the same, these days, with internet marketing. Time was that you could buy one person's course on how to make money online and it would be much the same as everybody else's course. It would teach the fundamentals - how to write a sales page, how to create a product, and how to drive traffic to your website by exchanging links with similar sites. Then there came a point when not only was it getting much harder to exchange links but the links themselves no longer had the SEO value that they once had. So along came the courses on article marketing and press releases. And how to use Google adwords and other pay-per-click advertising. Then backlinking became the thing to do - until recently when Google started to crack down on what it called 'unnatural linking' (see my post of April 7th). And, of course, in recent times we've had the development of bookmarking and blogging and social networking - and while there are a lot of gurus out there who know a huge amount about how to make money online, I don't believe that any of them knows it all. And they freely admit that they don't go to each others' seminars just because they're good friends . . . they go to learn from each other.
Now, if you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I'm an enormous fan of Armand Morin. His products range from the amazingly comprehensive Internet Marketing Explained down to his free Internet Marketing Newsletter. And I have learned stuff from him that I've never heard mentioned anywhere else. But there are gaps - I don't think he yet has a course on how to use Twitter, Pinterest and other forms of social networking. And it's possible that he may never produce one because it's not an area that he uses very much himself. However, there are other people who are experts in the field, such as Melanie Duncan, whose 'Power of Pinning' course is based on her own successes using Pinterest, and Mili Ponce who has been called 'the Queen of Twitter'.
But it's not just to fill in the gaps that we need a multiplicity of mentors. Sometimes they don't get it right. For example, Armand Morin's FAST (Facebook Ad Secret Training) course works. I've tried it and I have no doubt whatsoever that he is teaching here the best way to use Facebook advertising. But recently I heard another guru talking about how to use Facebook ads. And several of the things that he recommended were things that Armand had said NOT to do (and had explained why). I'm sure that, if I had followed the suggestions of the second guru, it would not have been disastrous but I'm equally sure that I would not have got the excellent results I achieved from following FAST. So it's not that they get it wrong, exactly, just that they don't get it right. And the only way we can know this is by listening to several people on the same subject.
This is where 'bootcamps' can be so valuable. I remember with great pleasure a couple that I went to that were organised by Andrew Reynolds, where we heard some twenty or so speakers over the course of three days. And for each person in the audience there were some speakers who were outstanding, and some who were less so. For me, the stars were Armand Morin and Derek Gehl and Simon Coulson - and I've since learned a great deal from all three of them. So I remain very grateful to Andrew Reynolds for giving me the opportunity to listen to so many gurus and to be able to pick out those whose teaching spoke to me personally.