Effective marketing is about joining the conversation going on in your prospect's mind and some (perhaps even many of the people seeing iLearning Global as a business opportunity) will be asking "Is iLearning Global a scam?"
It is a question that needs to be asked and answered since, if iLearningGlobal.tv is a scam you would stand much more chance of losing money and getting nothing in return.
If you have just found this page by typing in "iLearning Global scam" then you are not alone in asking the question about whether iLearning Global is too good to be true.
This page is receiving about five hits per day from people checking if the promises (and hype from iLearning Global marketers) is over done.
Why Would Anyone Think iLearning Global Is A Scam or Rip-off?
The problem is that iLearning Global - no matter how good the product, and it is great - is sold through network marketing (also known as multi-level marketing).
If you play word association games with network marketing, multi-level marketing and MLM schemes, the idea of "scam" comes up very quickly.
People have been ripped off too often by dishonest MLM operators promoting stuff that sounds great but doesn't deliver as buyers are encouraged to believe.
Before explaining why I believe iLearning Global is not a scam - even though I tried promoting it, lost money and closed my iLearning Global account - let us have a look at the entire topic of multi-level marketing scams.
Network Marketing Scams & MLM Scams
Looking at the Google keyword research 590 searches per month on average are made for "network marketing scams" and another 320 for "network marketing scam" but those numbers are small.
1,900 searches are made for "MLM scams" and another 1,300 for "MLM scam".
Then you have even more who are prepared to do a bit more typing, "multi level marketing scams" average 260 and "multi level marketing scam" is 170.
That adds up to big numbers who distrust the basic multi level marketing model and these searches may represent a small number who have been ripped off.
The numbers will be much bigger if you search for and add up up the totals for individual MLM schemes.
This blog post is getting three or four hits per day when people search for "iLearning Global scam" or variations so you are not alone in thinking that you need to check it out.
For an expose on multi level marketing see Easy Money: Buying Into The Pitch To Be Rich - it acts as a stark warning against some multi-level marketing schemes although I would have liked the show to go further.
So What Is A Scam?
Wikipedia re-directs from scam to confidence trick which it defines as:
""A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, scam, scheme, or swindle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence."
Wordnet gives us two definitions
- victimize: deprive of by deceit;
- a fraudulent business scheme
UK Skeptics website defines scam as
"A scheme which purposely distorts the truth in order to get someone to part with something of value."
So it seems that deceit and distortion are important concepts in considering something to be a scam.
Multi Level Marketing vs Pyramid Selling Scheme Scams
Multi-level marketing is exactly as it is described.
People sell from one level to the next.
As the top is small and each person wants to sell to a number, the lower levels multiply and provided marketers are successful, it naturally forms a pyramid.
It may be lop-sided as some marketers are much more successful at selling than others but network marketing still creates a pyramid.
But illegal pyramid schemes are different from network marketing.
Pyramid scheme scams don't provide something of fair value along the way.
An example of a pyramid scheme is a list of six names and you send money to the person at the top, take their name off it and pass it on. So the people at the top get lots of money and those at bottom discover that there is no one left who wants to play.
In a pyramid scheme it is impossible for those at the bottom to get rich as it is just taking money from the needy and passing it to the greedy.
Hardly the stuff of the Robin Hood legend but the desperate are taken in by the dream of big, easy money.
Prospective customers see the big potential gain without realising the consequences or understanding the mathematics.
Network Marketing Is A Very Well Established Business Growth Technique
The most powerful marketing technique that exists is word of mouth and personal recommendations and it works both ways.
You try a new restaurant and you have a great meal and service, there is a lovely friendly atmosphere and the price is very reasonable so what do you do?
You start telling other people about the restaurant and create positive word of mouth.
The next Saturday you go to one of your old favourites which you haven't visited for about six months. But you find that it has been sold and bought by someone who doesn't know what they are doing. The service is rude, the place is virtually empty and the food disappointing.
So again you make sure that your friends know and create negative word of mouth.
The following week a friend tells you about a great place to eat and you decide to give it a try.
Because word of mouth recommendations are much more believable than the restaurant spending a lot of money on advertising say "we are great".
Network marketing taps into this desire to tell people about things that are good and provides a reward for doing so.
That makes the referrer more eager for the potential customer to try the service.
Why Some MLMs and Networking Marketing Gets A Bad Name
The commission structure means that people are rewarded for selling - but then every business earns its profits by selling.
In network marketing, some of the word of mouth recommendations appear to be independent while the recommender gains if the other buys. However it can be more difficult if the prospective customer believes the recommendation is based purely on the referrers desire to earn money.
The income and sometimes the commission levels get better as more people are recruited into the network marketing scheme, creating pressure to recruit extra marketers further down the chain.
So why do some MLM schemes get a bad name?
First the product may not be very good - it may not do what it says on the tin.
Second, the product is good but it is vastly overpriced. A quick search can reveal that you can get a similar product or service for much less cost. The friendship or existing relationship is used to cover up rip-off pricing.
Third, the commission structure may offer big rewards for the initial sale. This used to be common in the financial service industry where the first year premiums were mainly paid over to the salesperson as commission and not invested in underlying securities.
This can lead to inappropriate selling and aggressive selling.
Fourth, some MLM schemes require a physical product and the network marketer may have to buy large stocks to get the best prices. Fine if it sells but if the network marketer over extends themselves financially, they become desperate to make a sale leading to more underhand tactics.
Fifth, the MLM scheme may be sold aggressively as a business opportunity promising big income to those who succeed in recruiting a small army of marketers in their network.
Sixth, the MLM scheme may be run by people of dubious integrity who take the money and run rather than paying it out to the network.
Is iLearning Global A Scam? Look at the iLearningGlobal.tv website
www.ilearningglobal.tv - the main training portal - presents iLearning Global as the new way of learning as it brings together many of the top trainers and speakers.
Nothing about the business opportunity to "get rich quick" is screaming out at you from the home page.
The iLearning Global FAQs page (5-Feb-09) makes it clear that you can join as a customer or marketer but the price difference is negligible.
The iLearning Global Join Now page (5-Feb-09) says "Members have the opportunity to participate in an exciting income opportunity as they invite their friends, family, and colleagues to join this exciting community of like minded individuals seeking success through continued learning."
No wild promises, deceit or deception coming from the main ilearningglobal.tv website.
But you can't join iLearning Global from that website.
You must go to the commercial iLearning Global website from one of the marketers - it is the same content automatically generated by iLearning Global so take a look at this iLG website.
The ILearning Global Commercial Website - iLearningGlobal.biz
Again at the time of writing (5-Feb-09), the copy of the home page presents iLearning Global as a learning opportunity.
But there are a number of videos which start to introduce the iLearning Global income opportunity and the network marketing aspects.
Brian Tracy in the Five Rights video talks about introducing iLearning Global to five people who do the same down seven levels and says that you could increase your income by hundreds and thousands of dollars per year.
That's not "hundreds of thousands of dollars". iLearning Global isn't being presented as a get rich quick scheme from iLearning Global's perspective.
The iLearning Global Opportunity page isn't full of mass hysteria and hype to manipulate you.
It just says - here is a potential income opportunity and here are the details.
Two pdfs give you the details of the commission arrangement at each level and the conditions for how it works - yes there are conditions but these are explained.
No crazy numbers.
You just have to have a maximum of five level 1 marketers to qualify for some of the higher level commissions that come from further down the tier - although five is a common number used since the numbers are huge at the bottom - 5, 25, 125, 625, 3,125, 15,625 (get the idea?)
The numbers look great and MLM recruitment relies on that fact but ask yourself how valid is the assumption that everyone is going to sell to five other people who will stay as members and sell to their own five.
The iLearning Global commission structure is complicated but the scheme has been designed to reward those who generate big numbers of members. I would prefer more commission for the seller and less for the upstream but that reflects my belief that the greatest value is created when you sell to a new customer.
iLearning Global does reward recruiting marketers who recruit more marketers but it is very open about it.
Your Involvement In the iLearning Global Multi-Level Marketing Is Your Choice
If you want to gain access to the iLearning Global materials you have the choice - join as a customer or pay an extra $20 (at the time of writing) to join as a marketer.
No big jump in cost - no profit gouging or ripping you off for the privilege of promoting iLearning Global.
Personally I would like the price and the condition that you can cancel at any time to be clearer on the iLearningGlobal.biz website. In fact I wish iLearning Global wasn't a multi-level marketing scheme but offered straight affiliate commissions as I would still be happy to promote it and confident that I could cover my costs.
But don't let the MLM aspect of iLearning Global to put you off if you are looking for a top business training product.
If you don't see yourself promoting it, stay as a customer but if you think you could recommend it to others in your network, consider being a marketer.
What About iLearning Global Sales And Marketing Support?
I have seen some multi level marketing or network marketing schemes criticised for their lack of marketing support. The same applies to some franchises as well and probably business opportunities in general.
But have you seen the iLearning Global faculty?
Can you imagine having a better group of people to teach you how to sell anything, let alone five copies of iLearning Global to people who are interested in the idea of becoming marketers, recommending the iLearning Global portal and making some passive income for themselves.
There is even a special iLearning Global marketing website which provides the resources on how to sell iLearning Global.
So if you don't sell your five memberships to people you know and who want to market it as well, is iLearning Global to blame? I don't think so.
How About The iLearning Global Marketers?
It is true that some iLearning Global marketers will hype up the business opportunity and that does worry me.
It is easy for the less scrupulous to exaggerate the income opportunities and they may even be able to prove they earn a substantial income from iLearning Global themselves.
I believe iLearning Global will be a big success in the small business community and to me, it is an easy purchase to be convinced to try.
It is a product I desired before it was conceived - I just didn't know that it was called iLearning Global.
Some people will get rich from iLearning Global commissions. And those will be the people who manage to build big networks but many won't sell memberships.
How I See The iLearning Global Opportunity
I see iLearning Global as an interesting opportunity for me but I have connections in the small business community on the Internet and a lot of relevant traffic coming to my websites each day.
For the average small business owner I see the iLearning Global training portal as the big benefit. The right information delivered at the right time in the right way. When it is used to improve the business, membership of iLearning Global is a good investment.
The income opportunity is secondary and for the vast majority it may help offset the monthly cost. Some may even earn a small profit.
Worth having but nothing to get too excited about.
Using the information in the iLearning Global training portal will have a much bigger impact on your income by making your business more profitable.
For others prepared to work hard promoting the iLearning Global concept and helping their downline, big incomes are possible. You just have to play with the numbers to see that.
Update - Why I Quit iLearning Global & Still Don't Think iLearning Global Is A Scam
I tried promoting iLearning Global for three months although my heart wasn't it in for most of the third month. The training videos are very good but for some reason I never went out to my email list to promote iLearning Global as training or a business opportunity.
I don't really understand why although it came along at the wrong time in my life when I wasn't able to give it much push.
You can read more about my thoughts at How to Cancel iLearning Global
Interestingly I have since learnt that the average membership of a continuity membership site like iLearning Global is three months.
This churn will make it very difficult to earn money from iLearning Global as any chain will keep collapsing. Hopefully iLearning Global members will stay longer.
Once marketers are covering their subscription costs with income, they will stay as members but before then, the fees will be a drain and will lead to them considering their membership every month.
I believe marketers who are interested in the income opportunity will be monitoring iLearning Global much more than those members who join it for the training. Each month where there are no sales or low sales is likely to be another month closer to the termination decision.
Is iLearning Global a scam?
Certainly not as a training product.
I do believe it will be hard to earn significant money from iLearning Global.
A combination of hard work promoting iLearning Global, a winning strategy promoting to people and businesses who can open up big channels - that's what I tried and failed - and luck is required.
How To Stop Yourself Being Scammed
Go into iLearning Global with your eyes open about the opportunity and what you want and you won't be scammed. You will see iLearning Global for what it can really be in your life.
I have shown above that iLearning Global are not making huge promises so you can only think you have been scammed or ripped-off it you don't take personal responsibility.
There are four types of people who will be attracted to iLearning Global
- Business owners and managers who want to learn and have access to many of the finest teachers in the world.
This is the heart of iLearning Global and it can only be a scam or rip-off if you let it be.
If you sign up to iLearning Global and you don't log in every day or few days then you won't benefit. If you watch the videos (and it is find to have a questioning attitude) and you don't change anything you do, you won't benefit. You will not get value from iLearning Global and while you may feel it is a scam, you will have lacked commitment.
My advice if you want the training, try it for a month as a customer and make a note in your diary for a few days before the next instalment is due. You will risk the monthly payment but if you use iLearning Global regularly then you will see the value for yourself.
If you don't log in regularly, cancel your membership
- Business owners who want the training and like the idea of deferring the cost or earning a bit of extra cash from recommending iLearning Global to others.
The same comments apply above. If you use the training, you should be getting more value back so any income you make from recommending iLearning Global should be seen as a bonus.
If you want your iLearning Global membership for free, then you need to be clear how you are going to recommend it. While the pyramid suggests multiple levels of income, I wouldn't count on it but instead rely on what you think you can sell. Anything that comes from your downline is a bonus.
- Business opportunity seekers who want an easy way of making money and with few connections into the business community.
Be very careful. You don't have a strong position to sell iLearning Global and you are likely to be paying more than you receive unless you hit it lucky.
Hope can make you look at the multi-levels and see the big numbers but your recommendations are not likely to be credible.
The statistics from other MLM schemes indicates that you will probably not succeed and you will see iLearning Global as a scam that has taken your money and not given back.
- Business opportunity seekers with strong links into the business community, established authority and a strategy for exploiting the iLearning Global opportunity.
I thought I was in this category and any one of the deals I was talking to could have made much more than my subscription.
But I was wary about the MLM aspect of iLearning Global and never really moved past the stigma of network marketing. I made up my mind that I would try it - because iLearning Global is a top quality training product - but I would have a stop-loss policy.
That said that I was prepared to try it for two or three months and if I wasn't covering most of my costs, I would stop.
What I hadn't expected was that my downline had an even shorter stop-loss so I didn't build momentum.
My experience of iLearning Global cost me $260 and quite a lot of time writing this blog and talking to other people about it. I don't feel scammed because I take the view that you have to speculate to accumulate but I am glad I cancelled.
Which category do you fit into?
What do you think about iLearning Global?
Do you think iLearning Global is a scam?
I will be very interested to read your thoughts if
- you are thinking about joining iLearning Global,
- you have decided against joining iLearning Global
- you have joined iLearning Global as a marketer and you are earning good money from promoting iLearning Global
- you have joined iLearning Global but then quit like I did?
Do you believe that iLearning Global is a scam or a rip-off either as a training product or a business opportunity?
Let me and my readers know by leaving a comment below. I don't publish spam but I am happy to publish both pro and anti iLearning Global comments in the interest of building up the debate.
Alternative Training to iLearning Global
I withdrew from iLearning Global but I have been a member of Simpleology for about three years. There is some excellent training.
The website undersells the benefits. Joining Simpleology is strongly recommended for anyone with a business. Start with the Simpleology 101 course and the excellent best selling marketing book The Irresistible Offer now available FREE.
Alternative Business Opportunity to iLearning Global
If you are looking for a business opportunity and you have computer skills then I earn a nice income from affiliate marketing.
There are plenty of products around to teach you how to succeed in affiliate marketing although you do have to be careful. Look for reputable names and/or strong guarantees.
You will need training
Probably the best available and the most respected source in the Internet marketing, make money online niche is Opportunity.com from John Reese. He was the first Internet marketer to have a $1 million day product launch with Traffic Secrets and has an excellent reputation.
Like iLearning Global, it is an a monthly membership site but the cost is less. Try it and see what you think. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can work in just about any niche you want.