Monday, November 9, 2009

The Medium is the Message: What "Free" Means to an Internet Marketer

Well, Mr. Fire took a solo trip up to New York City where he twitted away like he was in the lap of luxury that he's never experienced before. He even ate at the same restaurant movie stars do! Wow! The innocent, child-like schtick goes far, though, as at least one of his fellow twits wrote that he was so down to earth.

I guess she isn't aware of his extensive car collection or his lavish Rolls Royce, his first class flights, etc.

Don't know which planet earth she referred to, as it most certainly isn't the one I'm walking on.

Vitale was the last segment of the Fox and Friends morning show, encompassing all of 4 minutes. His primary focus was selling his latest book, Attract Money Now. The book is available as a free download or for $30 if you want a hardcover.

Across every single page of this book is a mention of his miracles coaching program. The back is chock full of mentions of his products. Well, no wonder he's giving it away. No wonder he's got infomercials airing across the country promoting the book.

We're led to believe he's giving you a gift, a gift of precious information he's learned over 30 years of building the Vitale Marketing Empire, a gift he's giving away out of the goodness of his heart. But any rational person would have to be suspicious of someone who would spend so much time and energy to give away a book, especially someone who performs as much conspicuous consumption as Joe Vitale.

I don't discount that there may be valuable information in the book. I don't discount that there may be some value in some of his products.

The problem happens when we begin to associate the value of the information with the values of the individual. These things are mutually exclusive. Just because he's giving away information, information that is pretty much available many other places, this does not mean he's a good person doing this out of the goodness of his heart.

The INTENT is what is important here.

Vitale is a businessman, a businessman whose present and past behavior points towards one thing and one thing only: making a profit at all costs. The profit comes first and foremost in his intent.

You only have to look towards some of his products and services to understand this.

So, say you read the book and decide to purchase products or spend thousands on his miracle coaching program.

Does Joe Vitale himself become your "miracle" coach? Far from it. He's got a staff of many individuals who will provide this service, and upsell you on other services. Their job is also primarily to turn a profit, a profit for the miracle program. Vitale himself does not oversee this individuals. In fact, you're not even working with a company he owns. He's outsourced it. These miracles coaches are going to do their best to turn a profit for THEIR company and employer, too.

Look, Vitale started out as an internet marketer. Do people forget this? He likes to call himself the buddha of the internet, whatever the hell that means. His fortunes started because he was good at writing copy, writing copy that encouraged people to buy. He sold this skill to corporations for a large sum, and then he began to turn that skill towards making his own corporation financially successful.

The message may be altruistic, but the medium is the message in this case, too. The medium of a "free" book, conspicuously given away, should be your foundational message about what the book means. Take whatever information from it that helps you, but make sure you realize that the information that helps you is cloaked in a sales letter intent upon upselling you much more expensive products and services.