Why Trust Agents Did So Well

Julien Smith and Chris Brogan Keynoting Affiliate Summit East 2009

I’m not fond of bragging. Though I can be as prideful as anyone, I just don’t see the point in it. So when I start my post with that title: Why Trust Agents Did So Well, I owe you an explanation fast.

I just finished watching this video, “Scamworld,” which goes with this huge post about bad internet marketing, false schemes, and all kinds of deception. I will first say that I didn’t read the entire post, but that I feel it’s an important one to dig into (so I’ll get it all read in the next few days). The video is a decent way to see the thrust of the concerns raised on the article:

Can’t see the video? Click Here

I very much liked Danny Sullivan’s article talking about it and adding his perspective. I respect and admire Danny a lot, and when he puts his thoughts onto something fiery like the world of internet marketing, I listen.

Why Trust Agents Did So Well

I make the same mistake that most marketers (most PEOPLE) do: I believe that the way I think is the way you think. I believe that you know exactly my motivation and my thinking. I believe that when I tell you that my goal is to help others conduct business in a more relationship-minded way, that you’re thinking, “Chris wants to help me conduct business in a more relationship-minded way.”

When I look at this video, and from what I’ve read in the article, the part that scares me is that there are SO MANY PEOPLE out there selling absolute garbage that says FOLLOW THIS AND YOU WILL BE RICH.

I believe Trust Agents sold so well because Julien and I said this, “be who you really are, connect with a community, learn how to take what you know and can do and make THAT serve you, connect people to each other, practice the art of being human, and band together to make your goals happen.”

I Love Making Money. I Love Business. I Am Not Rich. And I Didn’t Get Rich Quick.

I haven’t made millions for myself yet. I’ve helped clients and my companies do reasonably well. I think money is wonderful. It helps me eat food. It buys clothes for my kids. I have a really fun electric guitar and I drive a Camaro. I also get to give to charities that matter like Skip1 and Invisible People. I will never apologize for believing that money makes my life better.

I love business. I love helping companies grow. I love seeing companies and individuals do better at what they want to do. It’s the best feeling in the world to believe that something I’ve said helps someone else grow their business and feed their families.

I am not rich. I live in a 955 square foot loft in a very small town. My television (which is plugged into a Wii and a Blu Ray player) is about 26″ across, I think. I own one car. Most of my clothes come from the Men’s Wearhouse and Target. I eat well. I won’t deny that (as if my belly would suggest otherwise).

I didn’t get rich quick. Maybe some day after a few more years of working, I can get rich quick. That’d be cool. Like, you know, after 20 years of doing what I do, seeing a check with six zeroes once would be really cool. But that’s not what I do.

Trust Is So Fragile

When people debate where to spend their money, seeing a video like the Scamworld video and then reading some of the accompanying mega article and commentary just makes me feel so sad for people. People have to try and evaluate who is trying to rip them off. Everyone has a kind of “eyebrow raised and one foot ready to retreat” stance online, and it comes from all these kinds of experiences. It’s no wonder that people ask me some of the questions they do or assume some of the beliefs they have about me, about this space, about the potential to build business.

Even hearing the people use the term “affiliate marketing” in the video reminds me why so many people still have a very negative view of affiliate marketing: because there are still some people out there who abuse its potential and who use it for nefarious purposes. As a user of affiliate marketing programs for three years, I can tell you that I understand why people get tempted to go for it and make a gazillion dollars just pushing links to make cash. It just never seemed right for me and my business pursuits. If I’m going to sell you something, it’s because I believe it is an amazing product or service and I believe it’s going to benefit you.

Do you know that people still stop me in airports or at conferences and tell me that they bought this suitcase (affiliate link, naturally) based on my video review and on the word of others like Mitch Joel? That’s gratifying, because it’s a really great product, and I’m glad so many people have benefited from that video review and Mitch’s advice.

The Cult of Information vs The Agents of Trust

What’s most important from the Scamworld article and video isn’t that you get it. I’m going to assume something: you GET it. You know this isn’t how to get rich. What I believe, however, is that if you watch the video, and you listen to the woman on the phone being pressured into giving away $1000 for some program that will make her millions, I can imagine one of two things: you’ve done that and felt the sting before, or someone you know (most likely are related to) is about to fall into this because they didn’t know better. And that is the scariest part of the puzzle. It’s not whether you’re clever or not. It’s whether you can help those who might accidentally buy some kind of “you can make money starting TOMORROW” program from someone that’s less than reliable.

As an agent of trust (you’ve just been sworn in), it’s important to spread that gospel: that one doesn’t get rich overnight, and if they do, it’s related to someone else’s suffering most often. Money grown organically is money you can feel happy about. And if you’re not committed to the success of your customers and clients, then you’re on the wrong tack and likely headed for stormy weather.

I don’t agree with every single sentence in the article, and I don’t think that everyone the article singles out are evil or whatever. I think that the overall message and caution and concern should be that too many people are out there falling prey to the notion that you don’t have to work hard and you don’t have to build relationships of value to earn money.

Here, where’d this soapbox come from?

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  • http://www.slice-works.com krabil57

    “Money grown organically is money you can be happy about,”  and proud of, sure of, satisfied with. Yes, that says it all.  I hope it’s a lesson that I have taught my children well.

  • Jim Kukral

    Yeah. Ditto.

  • http://www.stevenwb.com swbuehler

    The problem with “get rich quick” is that while it might teach you the science of achievement, it can’t teach you the art of fulfillment.

  • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

    Wow… Chris, Thanks for pointing this out! 

    I just watched the entire video (haven’t read the post) and am blown away by the courage and sense of mission this guy has!

    Sadly, I’ve seen the Syndicate model proliferate more over the past two years (not naming names here).


    Chris …

    Wow … “I make the same mistake that most marketers (most PEOPLE) do: I believe that the way I think is the way you think. I believe that you know exactly my motivation and my thinking.” … I wish I had that world-view, as I probably would be a huge success if I was able to launch into something “authentically”, but even as a kid, when I’d hear a counselor say “other people think pretty much the same as you do”, I’d be incredulous, since 90% of my communications with folks might as well have been with fish for all the simpatico that was developed!

    This is why I’m real good at promoting other people’s projects, but abysmally bad at getting anything “of mine” up and running.  It’s like as soon as I reveal the “real me” people start backing out of the room!

    I need to block some time to get to this video and article … sounds fascinating.  I’ve been aghast at how many guys are out there pitching Social Media “consulting” with brass balls and no legitimacy … seems like more and more people are perfectly happy to lie, mis-represent (does it drive you nuts when you see a “squeeze page” with faked up DVDs and books pictured, where you know they’re just downloads?), and grossly over-price “because they can”. 

    Several years ago I got to the point where I couldn’t even listen to radio because I’d be mentally analyzing the commercials for the “deadly sins” they were using as emotional triggers … I got sick of having people trying to make me feel fear, lust, avarice, etc. in the pursuit of trying to sell me their crap!

    I used to be involved in a couple of network marketing companies (which, to their credit, had unique and helpful products), but it just killed me that the guys who succeeded in that model were the ones that would BLATANTLY play on people’s emotions, rather than pitching the products’ clear benefits.

    Obviously, in the midst of “the 2nd Great Depression”, the concept of “getting rich quick” has a deep resonance for a lot of folks, and it’s easy to see how many folks shut off their rational minds and let the lizard brain take over.  Heck, I’ve even found myself “researching” these sorts of “opportunities” more than once … it’s hard to fight well-crafted psyops that play to basic brain biology!

    Anyway, thanks for posting about this … I look forward to checking that stuff out!

    - B.T.

  • http://www.Chain-Cable.com/ Allan @ Aircraft Cables

    “I love money… It helps me eat food”. Favorite line of yours yet. I am in agreement with you. My take is money can’t buy happiness, it absolutely can’t. But money can buy me and my family new and interesting things that help us become happy. Money also lets people become smarter, healthier, more eco-friendly, cleaner, safer, and all around have a better quality of life. Happiness comes from interactions and experiences, but doing things costs money. 

    • Sheta Kaey

      It’s amazing what commentary I’m running into today; it has been extremely entertaining and dismally informative. But your comment, @Allan, is exactly what I tell people who’ve never had to be afraid. That fulfillment of our basest need on Maslow’s Hierarchy is essential before anything else can progress. So I don’t care how stressful it is to be wealthy — at least you aren’t in fear of your physical well-being or that of your child’s.

  • Owen Greaves

    Hmmmm…..I subscribe to the get rich slow model. Seth Godin said it best, there are millions of people selling mediocre products and services to mediocre people. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand a simple rule, if it sounds to good to be true…it is too good to be true, you are being sold down the river.

    Anyway, this video is just scratching the surface IMHO, the biggest take away for me is, the telling truth that the Governments (Globally) do not understand the Internet.

    These Internet Scammers are playing into the hands of the Pro NET Neutrality Groups, they will provide a case in which will be sold as protection for all of us. NET Neutrality would not be good for those outside the major Television Networks & ISP’s, it falls under the Industrial Age Business Model, and that keeps most of us poor.

    As you can see we have more than one problem than just the Internet Marketers.

    I’m not convinced it will ever go away unfortunately.

    Thanks again Chris,

    Many Blessings

  • E-Beth

    It’s especially discouraging when a trusted associate thinks the money grab is a necessary motivation. Even if they aren’t scamming, they perpetuate the message.

  • E-Beth

    I believed Chris Brogan and time is proving that he’s true blue. I AM thinking what you’re thinking, Chris. Stay true.

  • http://raulcolon.net/ Raul Colon

    Great picture of you and @julien:twitter !

    Its interesting how trust is so fragile and people easily forget that once you break it you probably will not get it back. 

  • http://www.davidpmariano.com/ Dave Mariano

    Wow, that was a heavy video and couple of articles. I have to admit, I’m with Danny Sullivan. I didn’t realize the good guys and the bad guys were both using the term internet marketing. Thanks for sharing, Chris.

  • http://twitter.com/SusanGiurleo Susan Giurleo

    Hm…this goes into educating ourselves about marketing, sales and come at everything we see in media from a ‘buyer beware’ stance. Of course, calling an ill man over 6 months and in his room at the ICU is just evil, but we need to educate those we know and especially our children, that if it sounds too good to be true, it is. My son is 8 and he’s at the age where he ‘buys in’ to advertising on TV and in the mail. We talk about the fact that people are asking us for money or making something seem better than it is to get our money.  Teach your children well….this is the reality out there and there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.

  • http://www.knealemann.com Kneale Mann

    The future of networking socially (something we’ve been trying to get right for a couple of hundred millennia) is smaller, powerful, trustworthy networks. Build trust, grow friendships, the rest is noise that is best ignored.

  • http://spake.com/ Joe Spake

    Chris, this is one of your best posts ever.  I am sure the Scamworld video rings true for so many of us who face the constant barrage of web pitches.  Whether it’s Amway, Publisher’s Clearing House, the lottery, or the magic bullet de jour, there will always be those who will be tempted to take action.  I have built my business and brand on integrity and trust, but thanks for swearing me in as a Trust Agent.  It will be top of mind as I share the post everywhere I can.

  • Desiree Scales

    We can all blame ourselves for allowing these shysters to exist. People want a quick fix and don’t want to have to work hard for it. This is intrinsic in the animal DNA. Yes, animals look for quick fixes or shortcuts too out there in nature. When we feed the beast, we can only look at ourselves in the mirror when it comes back to bite us.

    Chris, I know you’re an honest guy. I’ve looked you in the eye across a dinner table and knew you were the real deal. You called myself and my husband good people. (Yes, I kept that email because it was awesome and I knew you’d be moving on to bigger things in the future.) We feel the same about you no matter where you buy your clothes. Thanks for your honesty then, now and always. 

  • http://www.quietlyfabulous.com/ Susan M Steele

    The sad thing is (as someone pointed out in The Verge article’s comments section) the people who need to know this information won’t ever see it or read it.  I recently taught an intro social media class for the local community ed program and was simply astounded about what my students DIDN’T know.  We spend all day in the online world so we know what to look for — people who don’t are so susceptible to quacks.  

    The article is long but do read the whole things; it’s fascinating.

  • http://socialweblearning.com/ Sheila Hensley

    Once again, what I needed to hear at the right moment.  Many thanks to Danny Sullivan for his in-depth work.  Most valuable.  My pleasure to be sworn in and I accept the challenge.  Thanks Chris for a timely and informative post.  Sharing this will help a bunch of people.  

    • Justsayin

      After all the replies on this thread, I’m sure Chris would rather you NOT share this post. >_<

  • Hugh O’Donnell

    Hey Chris, not to worry. I trust you.  You walk your talk. And believe me, I have a well-developed BS detector. 

    Not only that, but you answered an email I sent you on the same day.

    Stay the course.



    • Justsayin

      You might want to get your detector checked out, mate!
      And yes, Chris answers emails the same day… unless he’s avoiding making a payment, he doesn’t like you (in which case he tends to ignore you), or he wants to make it seem he’s busier than he really is. Scarcity, B!tches!

  • http://www.danieldecker.net/ Daniel Decker

    Totally agree. 

  • http://blog.momekh.com/ Momekh

    So much to agree with. But I won’t. 

    In fact, I’ll tell you a story. 

    A million years ago, you made fun of me. I remember that. You definitely wont. It was on Twitter. Something to do with the hat I was wearing (on my DP), and we had some disagreement or something something. It was pre-dinosaur times so I can’t remember exactly. But we had a disagreement. On Twitter. 

    I’ve trusted you since. 

    Because scam artists won’t talk to people on Twitter. They definitely won’t disagree. And definitely won’t poke. 

    And I recently recorded a Skype call with Julien. It was my first ever attempt at having an interview of sorts – I probably made an ass out of myself (that’s what firstimers usually do). But Julien have always been helpful. He in fact initiated contact sometime back, actually went on to review a post I was writing at the time, came over to my blog to comment etc etc. All that leading up to me talking to him over the ‘phone’. 

    And I am of course a nobody. Julien was helping me out. A trust agent if you may. 

    Just a simple reply-back on Twitter can earn a reader/tribe-member/whatever for life. Trust is fragile, yes. But it works both ways I think. Easier to build. Easier to break. It is my understanding that a ‘good person’ always gives the benefit of doubt and helps build the trust. I want to be a good person. Like you. Like everyone I guess.

    O please, take this soapbox awaayyyyy…. :/

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I probably still don’t like your hat. : ) 

      Secret about me: I only tease people I like. If I don’t like you, I tend to ignore you.

      Loved your thoughts. 

  • http://www.9thsphere.com/ Alex Young

    “…if you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. The only way I have found for overcoming this is to focus on the goal.” 

    This statement is so rich with wisdom!  Keeping your eyes on the prize is so key.  (To apply this to another subject, I suspect  it’s  better to support a “Pro Peace” movement than an “Anti-War” movement.)

  • http://philgerbyshak.com Phil Gerbyshak

    Preach on brother!!! Nothing else much to add as you eloquently hit all the high notes.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    The syndicate model… it isn’t necessarily bad when it’s a force for good. Almost like nothing beats government by a good king: efficient, benevolent, everybody’s happy. The problem is the bad king.  There seem to be so many syndicates out there, some for good, some for personal gain, all using the word ‘value’ so much that I’m starting to despise it.  For instance, a bunch of folks I trust all are supporting Michael Hyatt’s book this week. I’m fine with that, but it’s kind of syndicate-like. For a while, there were a bunch of folks  pimping Thesis… now everybody’s going Genesis. From neutral third parties, I understand a little why, but it felt a little syndicate-y.

    The lesson, I think, is to pull back and take a breather: What are my goals? Do these items help or hinder my goals? What are these products or lessons tapping into with me? Is it fear of having no money? Is it encouragement to do better work (see also you, Hyatt, Iannarino, etc.)?  Sometimes the packaging can look similar, but what’s inside is vastly different. 

    • Justsayin

      You’re right, we all love a good tyrant.

      • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

        First, I will probably contradict something in my last post due to kids all over the place when I try to type out these responses.

        Second, I really knew nothing of this ‘syndicate’ or the players that your reference above (Kern, Filsaime, etc.). I’ve read some droid stuff, but mostly just following the soap opera of the Dave Navarro stuff.

        Third, I have no intention or desire to be c-team, b-team, a-team. If you visited my site, you’ll see I have no intention of making money online.

        Fourth, my reference to ‘syndicate’ model probably was naive because I wasn’t aware of any of this stuff outside of the Navarro/ittybiz stuff and the video.

        I simply meant that I am a guy in sales. I try to get better at letting people know what I do and why I do it and what problems I can solve. The folks like Michael Hyatt and Mr. Brogan and some others who do, admittedly, encourage folks toward their products, have been helpful to me. 

        And I’m thankful that some of them help lead me to other resources that are helpful. I dont’ buy much outside of a book. I don’t sign up for $497 module-laden programs. I just read and try to learn here and there.

        I’m glad I gave you an opportunity to get a Droid Jr. on us.

        • Justsayin

          Cool. Calm. Logical Response. Thank you!

          And that’s the point. To have enough situational awareness to make as educated a decision as possible. When we discover that our previous perceptions were false, to own it and move on. Perpetually refining our skillset of determining, learning, and increasing our capabilities (and likewise earning potential).

          Where this gets hairy is when some -or even most- of the content that someone provides is legit and worth using… because then it becomes harder to separate the wheat from the tares. Both on individual and market wide scales. 

          For example. Take Mike Koenigs (the guy who Tony Robbins took advise from on how to lie in order to better position a product. Unicorns! Sales!). He created traffic geyser, which was a very legitimate product once upon a time. He has also produced a number of training programs that many would say were totally worth the money.

          Those products or any “value” his content brings can negate the fact that he has been documented lying and coaching others on how to lie to better sell products, regardless of the claims. How can we at all accept that behavior as acceptable and continue to promote these kind of people? (Looking at you, Chris?)

          And that’s just the beginning. And it’s not just 1 guy either.

          This whole market has been contaminated to varying degrees. 

          Turns out rotten apples do spoil a bunch.

          Especially when those apples have conspired to position themselves as the experts. 

          Chris Brogan may have the best of intentions. His content and advice may be sound in most cases. I am not disputing or arguing that.

          The point is that ultimately Chris Brogan is complicit in his involvement with supporting, promoting, and leveraging people -and by default many practices- that may SEEM legit, but on further inspection we’ll find are corrupt and harmful.

          • Jerry Alexander

             The (poor) point you are making is guilt by association – a proxy argument that lays blame on channels, platforms, and associations of those that do wrong.  The technical term is an association fallacy, a sorry inductive informal fallacy used by unemployed and failed lawyers everywhere.

            You – and Jason Jones – are using this non-logic with Chris.  It goes like this:

            Chris hangs with people Jones doesn’t like.  Jones doesn’t like those people because they are  scammers.  Chris is, therefore, a scammer.


            Ironically enough, Jones is using the same cult-syndicate tactics that he is condemning.  Go leave a disstenting comment on his blog, and watch the rush of deluded true believers to his defense. 

            And you, sir/madam, are demonstrating your own fanatic delusion, a true believer committed to the cause, the kind of belief that allows the blindest, highest hypocrisy.  +1 bro.

          • Justsayin


            On 2 points.

            1) Chris Brogan’s scamful existence goes beyond mere ‘guilt by association’ which somehow you took to be the only thing we have against the guy. Did you not bother to read the whole post or my other comments either? Sheesh!

            Chris’ main problem is that he has created marginal success by selling others on how successful he’s been. But he wasn’t. He still isn’t.

            He an his entire third tribe all conspired to make each other look like experts to the outside world… But they weren’t. And they’re not.

            Chris and his clan do more than associate with the felons listed in scamworld… He promotes them! The third tribe is basically Frank Kern’s B-team.

            Chris’ and his best buds have themselves sold countless people on the idea that the idea that they can make money online… Like they did, but they really don’t -even openly admitted to by Chris earlier in the comments. One such sad case is the saga of Dave Navarro being convinced to leave a great job, and eventually to abandon his wife and kids.

            There’s more, but I get the sense you wouldn’t read it anyways. You’d probably just skim it and write a blog post on it as if you were the authority. Like Chris just did.

            If you take the time to look past the Salty Droid’s colorful language and look at the facts he has revealed… I think you would quickly change your tune – or your ‘career’ as an Internet Marketer.

            2) I’m not your ‘bro’ … Save your frat boy pleasantries for the FTC and the third tribe clowns.

    • Justsayin

      Ps. The lesson here is NOT to ‘take a breather and reassess your goals’ … that’s a natural response to realizing your world is filled with liars and fraudsters.

      The point is that Frank Kern has bragged about how he lied and had made money on the internet so he could make money the internet… and now you can too!

      The point is that the syndicate model which you extolled as a good thing when used as a force for ‘good’…

      First: whose good? Are you an A-teamer? Are you on the B-team? C-team? Which level of the pyramid are you hoping to claw your way up to on the backs of others?

      Second: No it’s not. It is a methodology built to create false perception of value and celebrity in order to charge more money for a product than anyone in their right mind would pay for it. That’s not cool.

      Third: This is the same reason why socialism will never work, I don’t care how ‘good’ your intentions are… when you take a select group of  and give them the power to influence, control…

       (as in mass control, which by the way was the same naming convention attached to Hitlers propaganda and mass control tactics… just sayin),

      …and they manage the perceptions of an otherwise ignorant majority, you invite corruption.

      Frank Kern, Mike Filsaime and his Convicted Child Molesting partner Paulie Sobal, Mike Koenigs, Jeff Walker, Brendon Douche-hard and his fake ‘ethics mastermind’, and the their whole A-team and B-team pyramid shceme are willfully fixing prices, misrepresenting products, conspiring on how to reduce refund rates (not satisfaction rates mind you… refund rates!) through intimidation and group thuggery…


      It is a horrible model that you fell for. 

      Because you’re human.

      You’re their prey.

  • http://youtube.com/user/tommyisastrategist Tommy Walker

    I’ve been kind of going back and forth on this for a while….
    As a student of Kern’s, I can say with complete honesty that the material I’ve learned from him has been awesome for my business. 

    However, the way that “the syndicate” is being shown in the model from the video (and yes I’ve seen the original too) it’s basically a group of people surrounding one person and “delivering value” by punching them in the face with their offer over the launch period. 

    Which… if you track your email… seems to never, ever, end. 

    Now I don’t think there’s a problems with “having friends” right? A group of people that you can go to where you trade ideas and from time to time promote each other’s stuff… (books you’ve all actually read, software you actually use…)

    …but there’s a fine line between having a friend network and collusion. 

    From Wikipedia: 

    Collusion is an agreement between two or more persons, sometimes illegal and therefore secretive, to limit open competition… It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production.[1] It can involve “wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties”

    Now tell me, does creating a “syndicate” sound an awful lot like “collusion?” 

    I’ve been around long enough now to see some of the different “camps” in the space, and some are worse than others. 

    It really is why I enjoy the concepts of Trust Agents though, because it’s more about creating trust and friend networks, rather than syndicates. 

    It’s like the light side and dark side of the force. 

    • WyrdestGeek

       It probably is a bit like the light side and the dark side of the force.

  • Pingback: Are you a Trust Agent? | Social Web Learning

  • http://www.kevinbehringer.com/ Kevin Behringer


    Eye opening and slightly depressing (as a marketer)
    When you said, “I make the same mistake that most marketers (most PEOPLE) do: I believe that the way I think is the way you think. I believe that you know exactly my motivation and my thinking,” I agreed, but I think there’s more to it. 

    I think you, like many others (myself included) not only think that people think the same way as you, but that they, like you, have others’ best interest at heart. We assume that people aren’t “out to get” someone else. Sadly, far too often, this just isn’t true.

    Thanks for being one of the good guys on the Internet and keep up the great work!


    • Mxh_16888


  • Heads Up Guy

    Chris, we’re you aware that the Salty Droid (Jason from the video) has mentioned you in a few of his posts?

    Just wanted to give you a heads up.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Oh I know.

      • Lerato Setoabe

        hi my name is lerato setoaba from south africa.i have this idea of business that i strongly believe iam going to bbenefit out of it and aswell the people will benefit.the business is the means of subscribe.i will be happy if you may give me advise on how to go about,i can be reachable on lerato.setoabe@gmail.com or on 084 351 8781.thank u

  • http://saltydroid.info/ SaltyDroid

    So you were just going to pretend that it wasn’t me in that video … and that I hadn’t repeatedly called you and your little “circle of friends” out for similar bullshit?

    Very strange choice … let me know how it works out for you. 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Point to a scam of mine. You might not like some of the people I spend time with, but if you’re against get rich quick types, you and I have no disagreement there.

      If you don’t like motivational speakers, we disagree. I like the messages they give sometimes.

      I speak on business and marketing tactics and strategy mostly. Not a lot of getting rich quick there.

      And oddly, I was finding myself agreeing with you.

      Where we might not agree is how broadly you paint and also maybe how you choose to attack. But that’s a choice.

      • http://saltydroid.info/ SaltyDroid

        Point to a scam of yours? ha!

        Your whole fucking existence is a scam.  But yeah :: okay … challenge accepted. 

        Tell Dave and Naomi that I said hello … okay Mr. TrustAgent?

        • Mxh_16888


        • Lisa McCoy

          Why do you have to be such a jerk all the time? You’d get your point across better if you weren’t such an asshole.  I think you’re as bad as everyone who you write about. You’ve appointed yourself the all mighty savior when you’re off base about more than a few of the people you write about. You hide behind a picture of a robot and a fake name and turn around and bitch about other fake people. (We only have your real name because Brian Clark outed you  in the first place.) The people who follow you and comment on your blog all the time are just as sheep like as the people you belittle for following the social media crowd. As more people read your blog, your Jesus complex and ego grow.

          If you want to help people stop being such as ass. 

           If you weren’t such a coward you would have come out from behind your online identity a long time ago. Oh right. You’re supposed to be this ever so clever robot with a trash mouth. Whatever. You were, and still are, calling people out using a  fake name. That spells coward no matter how you look at it.

          You’re just as big an asshole as the people you call out and I’m not afraid to tell you.

          • RandomStuff

            Hi Lisa – read the blog. It is not about people following the social media crowd; it is about unpleasant methods used to con often vulnerable people. If it were not for the swearing and the humour the blog would be unreadable – the blog makes sleazy con artists a riveting story – and for good reason. Generally the people who attack the blog are the assholes. I am sure you are not. I am sure you have some fantastic business ‘helping people’.

        • http://blog.momekh.com/ Momekh

          So you first call a person ‘a scam’ and then, as an afterthought, go and find proof?

      • Marty Johnson

        The Google+ For Business webinar – one solitary business tip and not a very good one.

        Your 501 charity thing where you were keeping 90% of membership fees – how many charities did you give 10% to and do you have receipts?

        • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

          501 wasn’t a not for profit. It’s a for-profit helping nonprofits. Fairly straightforward. 

          So you didn’t like my webinar. That wouldn’t be a scam. That’d be your dislike of a product. 

          • Justsayin

            Let’s Make Money From Those Who Aren’t Out For Making Money!! 

            What a great scheme!Maybe I should tune in more to your advice about being an agent of trust.

          • http://twitter.com/blogworld BlogWorld CEO

             You mean like ebay?

          • Justsayin

            Last time I checked, eBay was an auction site where people go to make money from selling products, and eBay takes a commission or listing fee?

            BTW… Why did you invited Salty Droid to come speak as a keynote speaker, but then renig? Did you not do your due diligence up front or did you get silenced by ‘them’?

    • JeremyGuterriez

      Have you done a credit check on this guy? He is barely making it. Rob Hatch hired so he could get credit- as his sucked so badly. He constantly talks about barely getting by— who would want to hire someone who doesn’t even open his bills? 40 something, I think and rents. Is he divorced yet? Or is he with someone else and seeing his kids in between. What’s up with all this relationship marketing? This business person doesn’t even return valid paid business opportunity calls. Screened by google? I don’t get this business acumen.

      • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

        I have crappy credit. 
        I hired Rob because I needed help in operational matters. He has CEO experience. I tend to work more on the creation side, not the “process” side.
        I don’t open my bills or many pieces of paper. Thank goodness most will come electronically these days. 
        I don’t rent, but I keep a modest condo. 
        I’m not divorced yet. It’s a longish process. 
        I have a girlfriend.
        I see my kids quite regularly.
        I sometimes don’t respond to business opportunities. 
        I don’t know what screened by google means, but maybe. 
        None of what you talked about had much to do with business acumen and lots to do with personal matters.

        • Justsayin

          The logic is this:

          You and a bunch of friends get together and pretend you’re all rich so you can sell other people on how much of an expert you are so,they buy your books and ish.

          But… it’s not true.
          You’re Unique Selling Proposition sits on a throne of lies. Perpetuated by you, Frank Kern, Naomi Dunford and the rest of your third-tribe, A-Team, B-Team, C-Team ilk. I thought honesty -truth- was the single tool an agent of trust always has to keep in their fanny pack?

        • http://blog.momekh.com/ Momekh

          Rejoice! People take the time out to find out about you. You’re a celebrity. :) …

          And from what I figure, reading the comments here, I hardly see the likes of SaltyDroid et al call any business legitimate.

          Making money by telling people on how to make money is filled with scam artists. And other niches, industries, businesses are not!? Of course, scammers will scam. No matter where they are.

          And haters, unfortunately, will hate.

          Keep doing what you doing, Chris. Rock on.

  • http://www.jackbewildered.com/ Jack

    I think it’s the great post too, but I didn’t read it really.

  • johnmurphyinternational

    Not sure I would call everyone in the video a scammer – people like Tony Robbins and others have done some great work. But, yes, the promise of millions just by getting up in the morning with the right attitude and pressing a few buttons on your computer is sickening. It preys on the innocent and the desperate.
    You “earn” trust, you do not get it automatically and how some of these people can look at themselves in the mirror peddling false promises really bugs me!

  • Sun

    Hey Chris!  You spend a lot of effort talking about conducting business, but what, exactly, is it that you do (besided ‘practicing the art of being human’, of course)?

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I sell strategic advisory services to mid and larger sized businesses and speak at conferences and corporate events on developing the digital channel for business processes.

  • http://propertyagents.co/real-estate-lead-generation-course Muhammad Ayaz

    I really surprise to hear about “Money grow organically” and certainly every business man wants to make money overnight but certainly building long term relationships and helping customer’s in their issues that’s certainly crucial to do  long term business.

  • http://phpdevhead.com/ K.O.

    I think it’s the great post too, but I didn’t read it really.

  • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

    Trust Agents did well because it was needed.

    You succeeded in convincing others that it’s okay to share. And…more importantly, it’s okay to do the right thing.

     The Franchise King®

    • Justsayin

      You are absolutely right.

      Chris totally needed this book to deflect the truth about how his business, his oft-promoted peers and the third tribe actually operates. Cause people don’t like that stuffs… they like the trust stuff.

      Good point, The Franchise King®!

      It was needed, especially considering all the FTC attention coming down the pipe. The best defense is offense! 

  • http://twitter.com/schulte95 Scott Schulte

    Im glad people are being straight now. Check out my response to Scamworld on Kindle tomorrow. Titled. Scamworld: Truth and Ignorance

    • Justsayin

      Scott… You seem like a smashing success with lots of experience helping other people get their businesses off the ground, and definitely not trying to figure out how wordpress works or going to other peoples blogs to promote your eBook designed to shield your smashing success from all the bad men out there who tell the truth in the form of run-on sentences and bad grammars. I like your site. Please, tell me more about how you can help me get a business off the ground.

  • http://twitter.com/ProfitLabs Profit Lab

    Personally, I thought that article was a crappy attempt at investigative reporting and it’s main goal was to push one guys opinion about an entire industry.

    In itself not a big deal but when you use one of the biggest tech sites on the web as your platform that changes everything.

    I totally agree with Chris in that we have a responsibility to our customers and even other “trust agents” because at least in the public’s eye, one bad apple ruins the bunch.

    Focus on your customers success and you’ll eventually have to turn away business, it’s really that simple. Con men will never understand this.

    • Justsayin

      “Focus on your customers success and you’ll eventually have to turn away business, it’s really that simple. Con men will never understand this.”
      Actually con-men do understand this. In fact, some write books about it. Because that’s what the sheeple want to hear. They want to hear the things that make them feel good. It also acts as a great ‘buffer’ for the con-man who is able to hold it up as a shield and say “See!! This is what I was warning you about… Quick look over there at that -other- scammer!”

      To be clear, here the definition of a scammer IS NOT someone who tells people they will get rich over night. It is a marginally successful person who has reached that marginal success by passing themselves off as an extremely successful person… and you can too! *Cough* *Chris Brogan*So bottom line… you’re wrong. Wolves understand sheep. They get together in masterminds and talk about the sheep and the finery of their costumes. How they can work better together to “deliver value” … It makes me sick. 
      A wolf in sheep’s clothing doesn’t growl like a wolf. Baaaa’s like a lamb and tells you what you want to hear. I just wish someone could write a book about being an agent, or something… like trust!

  • http://www.zoealexanderuk.com/blog Zoe

    Chris, Ihave never believed in get rich quick philosophies, they are always a scam. Hard work and honesty are the only ways you can enrichen your life both physically and mentally. Thanks for reminding us  about these scams.

  • Lerato Setoabe

    People must give those who ask for advise so that we do better

  • http://www.oakleysunglassesales.net/ oakley sunglasses cheap

    Yeah,it is…

    • Justsayin

      You bring up a good point, Oakley Sunglasses Cheap… 

      a very good point.  

      That even scammers, spammer, shammers and slanderers agree: Trust is Fragile… so put extra care into your market manipulation and false claims of success through your French for Trade Union. Or Third Tribe. Whatevs. Hi Chris!

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  • WyrdestGeek

     First of all, thank you for allowing all of these negative posts to post.  That’s very decent of you.

    You wrote
    “Point to a scam of mine.  You might not like some of the people I spend time with,”

    Yeah.  See that’s kind of the problem is “the people I spend time with” part.  You either are, or were, part of an “inner circle” of most-trusted, most-well-known within the “blogosphere”.  The whole point was that you and Brian Clark and various and sundry others cornered the market on the niche of being an expert about blogging and online communities.  Except that you couldn’t really be an expert on blogging because blogging is–as  you say–just journaling on the Internet; as for online communities?  I imagine that you’re on Facebook somewhere, but I didn’t see you having a hand in its development.  And, since you’ve been on the Internet oh-so-long, you may have been on IRC and Usenet back in the day, but I don’t remember us needing an online community expert.

    But once you and others have themselves established as experts, then that wants the guru to teach them about blogging would have to go to you or one of your other inner circle members.  And anyone that wants their page to ever receive more than a few hits per year would have to get an honorable mention from you or Brian Clark or one of the other members of that inner circle aka “A-team” aka syndicate.  (Not the same syndicate as Frank Kern’s–but a syndicate nonetheless.)

    Is that a scam?  Is that fraudulent?  Well it is if you and/or your syndicate fellows make it appear as if just *anyone* can get that same quantity of hits *on their own* without a special mention from you or the luck of the gods.

    When you endorse other members of the inner circle, you are implicitly or explicitly vouching for their not being a scam either.  If it turns out that they were scammy after all, that has a tendency to tarnish your own reputation.  Or at least it should.

    Furry cows moo and decompress.

    • Lisa McCoy

      Also it’s hard to buy the argument that it’s all a big scam when you’re all reviewing each others’ products. It’s the same people reviewing the same shit all the time.  It’s gotten to the point where I know that everything CopyBlogger sells is going to have testimonials from Chris Brogan, Johnny B. Truant and Chris Garrett. I want to hear from people who aren’t part of the clique. I want to hear from people who actually use the products.

      • Lisa McCoy

        Forgive my incoherent session. First line should read “It’s hard to buy the argument that it’s *not* all a big scam.

  • Lisa McCoy

    I’ll be honest. I don’t always agree with you, Chris. I think it’s kind of bullshit that your community built you up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, and now you’re pretty much severing the ties with all of them. Yeah, you have the blog and you’re still on board the sinking ship called Google+ but there was a time when a follow back from you on Twitter or a friending back on Facebook made us feel kind of special. Lately you make us feel like you don’t need us anymore. At conferences are you at the parties where all the people are? No, you’re hanging with your clique of the same people you hang with at every conference. I don’t want to have to buy your book to shake your hand. So I’m not always buying your bit on how it’s all about your community. I get that you probably want more privacy, the masses do create a lot of noise now and then, but you have to understand that there were people who followed you since day one and now you cut them off.

    With that said, I think you’re super smart and dead on balls accurate with what you teach. I may feel you’re a jerk, but that jerkiness doesn’t mean I don’t respect as a professional. Above all, I don’t believe you’re a scammer. I just think you don’t always make good decisions.

    I think Salty Droid is the real scammer when you come down to it. I might listen to the Jason Jones we saw in the video. He came off as honest and sincere about his desire to help people avoid the scams. He wasn’t trashy. He wasn’t mean. He wasn’t vulgar and he didn’t make cracks about anyone’s weight.  On the other hand, Salty Droid is kind of a jerk. I’m sure he has good points about scammers but I can’t get past the fat jokes and frat boy humor. So who is the real Jason Jones? Why should I believe Salty Droid when it’s clear it’s just an online persona? You can’t have it both ways, Salty? If you want people to be honest and true, you have to do the same.

  • http://twitter.com/KRLRose Kenny Rose

    You know this is some sad hateful shit. Why are you so bitter. I have read plenty of articles on this site. They make sense to me from a business perspective and from a human one. 

    I know a scammer when I see one. Yes not everybody is going to be able to make money using internet marketing techniques. But is that down to the techniques or the idea and business acumen of the person using them. I think the latter. People have to be real about their skills and abilities. It is not easy and the lessons are hard. Just get a job. Pay the bills be happy with what you have where you are. 

    People like Chris Brogan don’t make massive amounts of money from what I can see. But he makes sense. I have the qualifications and experience to know what is bullshit and what ain’t Yes there is a clique and yes their is an inside circle of people who do business together. That is how business works offline. Human beings work together. Does that make all their products and services crap. No absolutely not.  I have not bought one single product of Chris Brogans. I have bought some good stuff through affiliate links But I tell you I have seen him promote a lot of inspirational projects people are developing all over the world. and I have supported them.  

    So Chris is large. So he likes to eat and has a so called problem with weight. This is bullshit, ignorance, making personal comments does not make your argument any stronger. How many people are in relationships that don;t work out plenty. It is nobodies business what he does in his personal life. So people buy something and it does not work for them. Why is that his fault. He is selling something he believes will help. There are definitely plenty of people who are scammers and who sell the IM get rich quick dream but I don;t see this here. The one thing I do see is a lot hate in this comment section. Tell me how you are helping anybody avoid losing money by making sad pathetic comments. 

    For the record I am not part of the clique. I don’t sell IM stuff. But I do see and read plenty of intelligent posts by some of the so called clique that are really valuable to me. I also don’t like some of the bullshit that gets pushed but I can exercise my free will and choose not to read it. I have come across plenty of really negative, derogatory, offensive vitriol on a regular basis and not one bit of it makes any difference to me. Why because it comes from a perspective that is hate driven

    I feel sorry for the people who have lost out. I wish they had not lost out. But business ain’t easy and that is a theme that runs through most of the stuff I read here. I like Chris Brogan. I like his openness do i believe every word that comes out of his mouth or believe I can use every thing. No. But I do believe fundamentally he is a good person and cares. He is trying to make a living just like everybody else.  And trying to live the best way he can.

    Just do your thing Chris. Ignore the hate. 

    • JustSayin

      Once again, Kenny, the point is NOT that he doesn’t have any good advice or whether or not he is intentionally trying to help or hurt people.

      The point is NOT that he has a clique, which is inherently human.

      The point is NOT that he has problems with his weight. Salty is just a prick like that. I wish he weren’t, but I also doubt he would have made it this far if his writing weren’t so off-color and oft-hilarious.

      The point IS that Chris AND his friends have lied and conspired to game the system to achieve what little success they have. That is inexcusable and indefensible.

      Now, I doubt Chris, in his naive mind honestly knows that it’s wrong. To him, playing yourself off as ‘all that’ in order to earn the credibility others need to feel comfortable buying is not ‘lying’ … It’ marketing.

      And THIS is why I am both an entrepreneur AND on salty’s side on this: somewhere along the line in the evolution of sales and marketing it became acceptable behavior to inflate the figures of who you are, what you have accomplished, or how much money you have made. But I don’t care how ‘normal’ it’s become… It’s lying… And it needs to stop. Poor Chris is merely a pawn -some might say victim- of this sick machine.

      THAT is why we are targeting Chris Brogan. I am glad that he is being honest now and is allowing for this dialogue to take place on his site and on his dime.

      That is a testament to Chris’ more authentic nature. I believe he could be a genuinely good guy, caught up like so many others in a world of smoke and mirrors.

      But his content and his honesty now do not negate the reality that brought us here and the documented fraudulent people he has supported along the way.

      I hope this dialogue gives him good cause to think about all of this as well as start the trend towards punishing (through lack of financial attention) those who espouse the tactics that Chris used to help him get where he’s at.

      • http://twitter.com/KRLRose Kenny Rose

        Now this is better. This is what I am talking about honest, opinion not hate filled drivel. And you hit the point straight Salty would not got where is without the style he has. So in all honestly  he is just as much a part of the marketing machine as everybody else. The truth is we are all pawns in an economic system that forces us to scramble to eat. And people get hurt in that process, either because the lack education and good judgement or whatever we could go on for ever about the reasons. I absolutely agree that honest and integrity are key to doing human business. And yes if there is proof real proof it is not good he has supported that type of marketing. 
        I also think that nobody on this earth is perfect and we all get caught up, make mistakes and do things that don’t do us any favours. I just dislike the holy than thou stuff and the negativity of personal attacks. I don’t think it is helpful and in truth confuses people who may be looking for a balanced opinion. Whilst entertaining at times as Salty Droid is I have trouble with his style but hey he has a right to do his thing. Just as much as you and I have a right to disagree on certain aspects of how we see Chris doing business. But like I said I don’t believe he is a bad guy or a scammer and no amount of expletives will make me think anything different. 

  • http://owengreaves.com/ owengreaves

    One of the challenges I have found over my 54 years of living on this earth, people…most people want consequences. The Industrial Age has taught us that there has to be a winner and a loser, you don’t forgive and move on, you just make sure someone gets hurt in the name of expressing yourself.

    Being human, truly being human, means you want to be treated with respect, to be loved, and you want to help the person next to you. This thread has shown that people are at best hurtful, and believe what they were taught in an Industrial Age Educational System.

    We are the only creatures on the earth that have the ability to stop and think about how we will respond to stimuli, we mostly choose the wrong response.

    There are three things yet to be solved in the world of people and this thread proves it they still haven’t been solved.

    1.) Human Evil – where does it come from – PEOPLE!

    2.) Human Suffering – where does it come from – PEOPLE!

    3.) Death – it is what it is, and it’s the ultimate judge in the end.

    Let’s move on kids, if you keep looking, you will always find something to complain about, you will always speak your mind so there is a winner and a loser.

    You can carry on with this line of thinking and mud slinging, it only shows one thing, you are not part of the solution. 

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