Feb 5

Internet Law Firm: Marketer – Will You Sell Me Your Integrity?

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internet law firm marketing ethics

As the owner of an Internet law firm, let me play Devil’s Advocate…

Is the real “you” for sale? If so, how much do you want for your integrity?

Don’t take it personally. Almost every major Internet info product marketer sells themselves these days. I’m just playing the numbers by asking what your sales price happens to be.

Let’s call it “Hidden Continuity of the Soul.” With each dishonest transaction, you throw in a little piece of your ethics as a bonus.

If I buy your get-rich-quick product that doesn’t work, how much of you do I get with it? Frankly, it ought be worth at least 10 minutes of lost sleep. How about a deep sense of shame when you look at yourself in the mirror. You can still do that, right?

Or have you done it for so long that there’s simply nothing left to sell? There’s no “you” left.

If that’s the case, I guess that congratulations are in order. You’ve become a sociopath. You’re the dream defendant when an Internet law firm gets involved on behalf of someone you’ve screwed.

At that point, you’ll be able to justify any means to accomplish your ends in Internet marketing. Because there’s no substance left, like a chameleon you’ll be able to change your public face quickly to sell big ticket items of little value.

From “Good Christian” to “Rebel Stoner” the possibilities are endless because you know that there’s more than one sucker born per minute. When in Rome, you’re a Roman. The money, not the man behind the mask, is what counts.

Because everything comes with a price, ask yourself this question? Did I get a reasonable return on my investment? Has it really been worth it to you?

If not, you probably owe some apologies. Start with yourself. How could you sell your integrity so cheaply? Then apologize to your victims…and get out of Internet marketing.

Now if you haven’t sold your integrity, let me congratulate you.

What do you think of this issue?

You can drop me an e-mail through the contact form.

For the ethical entrepreneur reading this, to your success!

-Mike, Internet law firm owner

Internet Lawyer

Internet lawyer Mike Young helps business owners protect themselves. Whether you're wanting website legal help, ecommerce agreements, technology contracts, corporate formation, LLC formation, or want to buy or sell an Internet-related business, Mike may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.

  1. Sami 5 Feb 2009 |

    Words of wisdom indeed Michael

    I agree with every word but for as long as there are people wanting a fast ride to the top with no efforst and only using some (supposedly) magical technique, there will be people, a great many people, lining up to take their money.

    In the process some of these sellers of magical methods become known as gurus and they end up training a lot of otherwise honest marketers who did not set up to sell magic potions but they will if they instruction from those gurus.

    The case in point is that some otherwise decent names have been sending me mail and have been promoting Perry Belcher’s latest magical potion. For the benefit of the other readers, Michael has an excellent blog post about this man. It is well worth reading.

    Thanks Michael. Keep up the good work.

  2. Mike Young 5 Feb 2009 |


    Thanks for your insights.

    Without naming any names, my goal is to expose Internet marketing scammers until they quit or clean up their act.

    Best wishes,


  3. Lisa Preston 5 Feb 2009 |

    Hey Mike!
    Funny, I just had a conversation like this with someone who wanted me to promote something, sight unseen.
    I don’t do that.
    If someone wants me to promote their product, it better be worthwhile – and I need to review it thoroughly. It’s a shame more marketers don’t do that… they simply get caught up in the high commissions.
    Great post, Mike. There are too few marketers today who keep their integrity intact – and even less who speak their mind so frankly. It’s refreshing.

    Warmest regards,
    Lisa Preston

  4. Erwin Powell 5 Feb 2009 |

    Integrity is an ancient landmark standard. When you put “good Christian” to it then you have raised that standard to its highest level, but who knows what Christian standard means to integrity.
    May I suggest that the very fact of your article has raised your image to those who would embrace integrity.
    As a keeper and defender of the law in your niche, I would enjoy seeing more of your view (and its application) to how integrity could be applied and fortified. I would assume first in the individual and then in business.
    Thanks for your boldness in presenting this jewel called integrity.

  5. Sylvie Fortin 5 Feb 2009 |

    Excellent post, Mike! And Bravo to you for taking a stand along with those of us who still believe that there is no price, no amount of money, that is worth sacrificing our ethics!

    Woot Woot and a Here Here! :)

  6. Leslie Mehana 5 Feb 2009 |

    I realize that when one is and is surrounded by a particular religious outlook, that religious outlook appears to be THE ONE. I have made the mistake of calling a Jew a Good Christian without realizing that at the other end of that discussion an insult was received. Why? The first thing Jews learn in the Christian world is that Christians do not necessarily practice what they preach, especially in their dealings with Jews. This might be because Christians do not realize that their high ideals of ethical behavior came directly from Judaism and because the early church set up Judaism as The Other in all things related to behavior.
    Yes, I want to be a good Jew. I suspect that being a good Buddhist and a good Muslim and a good Hindu would also qualify in this broad definition of ethical behavior.
    Do I go out of my way to avoid cheating anyone? You bet! To the point of losing money on the deal? Of course! Do I admire Christian ideals? Of course – they’re Jewish!!!

  7. jenny 6 Feb 2009 |

    I’ve the watched the evolution of several internet marketers as greed gets in the way of integrity and they turn into the internet shark who will say or promote anything for a buck.

    Perry Belcher is mentioned above he’s now teamed up with a woman, Carrie Wilkerson, who calls herself the “barefoot executive.” I was a member of her site, the barefoot executive, in the beginning when it catered to work at home moms primarily in the network marketing field.

    She was a former Mary Kay person who initially started with a newsletter service for Mary Kay and leveraged that into her Barefoot Executive site. She used that site as a steeping stone to the internet marketing world and now pounds her members with all kinds of little reports costing anywhere from $10 to coaching at $500 as well as headline offers showing free but with a credit card hook when you take a closer look.

    She hooked up with this – what the news called con man – Perry Belcher guy, who I guess has now “reinvented” himself as a social media guru since his arrest.

    I make the mistake of buying her Google promotion with him and then got these horrible hard sell phone calls from their call center afterward trying to sell me coaching and then monthly charges on my credit card that I did not sign up for. This cost me time having to dispute the charges.

    What’s really interesting is Carrie Wilkerson’s story is that she is a “preacher’s kid” and oh so religious, church goer. She’s turned into nothing more than a greedy internet scammer in my opinion and I suppose she’s getting her training from the best, Perry Belcher.

    Although it’s opened my eyes to the world of internet marketing and using the internet for network leads, it’s put a really bad taste in my mouth.

    I wish I knew who to trust and where to get good training.

  8. Mike Young 9 Feb 2009 |

    Thanks, Lisa, for your comment. It’s sad how many will promote (unlike you) for an affiliate commission for products that haven’t even been tested. At a minimum, a complimentary review copy should be looked at before telling others to go buy a product.
    A client of mine told me of a piece of software that’s a piece of garbage. Some of the major marketers piking it have never used the software. Some of them saw a demo that allegedly shows it working.
    This type of misconduct will continue until the FTC and the commission’s counterparts in other countries start cracking down on those who do it.
    Best wishes,

  9. Mike Young 9 Feb 2009 |

    I don’t know Carrie Wilkerson so can’t comment on what she’s done except to say that what you’ve described is typical of those who are desperate for sales now that the economy has taken a hit and online conversion rates have dropped.
    Best wishes,

  10. Mike Young 9 Feb 2009 |

    Not quite sure the point you’re trying to make. My reference to “Good Christian” refers to specific Internet marketers who are intentionally misusing Christianity to fleece the flock. I’m sure there are counterparts in each religion…but those who are being called on the carpet here are taking the typical televangelist schtick and applying it to online marketing.
    Best wishes,

  11. Mike Young 9 Feb 2009 |

    Thanks, Sylvie.

    Of course, anyone concerned about integrity in online marketing should take a look at what

    you offer at the Internet Marketing Sins website.

    Best wishes,


  12. Carrie Wilkerson 18 Feb 2009 |

    Wow – I am stunned.

    1) I am not partners with Perry Belcher at all. I thought his google marketing campaign was a smart process and he gave us a coupon code that said ‘free’ – we used it for our list and it required a cc even tho it was free. I was unaware of that and emailed my list to apologize for the confusion.

    2) I do have a newsletter company. I used to be in direct sales. I am a preacher’s kid. And I am a Christian.

    I have never. Never done anything with less than the highest integrity. If selling information, reports, things I write, etc are illegal (by the way, the majority of them are $10 and $11, you can see my site for all FOUR that i offer) then I am guilty.

    I do have a 6 week BootCamp – there are 3 versions. 1 for Direct Sales. 1 for General Business and 1 for Internet Marketing.

    Other experts would charge 4x what I charge and I have a generous refund policy.

    I am shocked that i’m being blasted here. I’ve done nothing wrong except promote a free coupon code that required a cc # from Perry & Ryan and still had a zero charge.

    If Jenn had let me know she was unhappy – I’d have called Perry and Ryan about it personally.

    All I could do was apologize for the confusion.

    I don’t understand the hatred for honest people in business. I’ve never cheated anyone. Ever. And never would. Anyone that works with me, really works with me will tell you that err on the side of overdelivery.


    Carrie Wilkerson
    The Barefoot Executive

    Proud of my integrity and honor.

  13. Rick Butts 19 Feb 2009 |

    Hey Mike –

    I’m an expert on bad behavior among Internet marketers – I’ve been like John the Baptist for the last 2 years railing against the vile “fake-scarcity” product launch sins – and have had my hide blasted off by the Stomper Boys as well as people who used to be my buddies for their daily emailing of nothing but offers.


    Carrie Wilkerson is not in that group. Period.

    I stake my iffy reputation on that one.

    Carrie makes a very clear statement about her relationship with Perry – this stuff happens more than any of us wants to know.

    I’m on your side in the desire to out bad marketing – but as for your “not naming names” in the pursuit of that goal – I have to tell ya:

    If you DON’T name names you may as well not bother – you are wasting your time calling out behaviors – nothing will change.

    I’m not trying to be mean by saying this – it’s just my experience that a fat cat with a fat list will push the button no matter what you type in your blog… listen,

    they just don’t care.

    In my humble but accurate opinion,
    Rick Butts

  14. Andy Catsimanes 19 Feb 2009 |

    You’re absolutely right Rick.

    Calling out behavior is simply preaching to the echo chamber. I get where you’re coming from Mike, but no matter how good your intentions, you’re simply exercising indignation. No one will see themselves in your words.

    The only true repentance comes in a courtroom or jail cell.

  15. Mike Young 19 Feb 2009 |

    If you DON’T name names you may as well not bother – you are wasting your time calling out behaviors – nothing will change.


    That depends on the goal.

    Without naming names, one can put the general public on notice as to what (not who) to watch out for when dealing with dishonest Internet marketers.

    Most of my clients know who I’m talking about without disclosing the names. My hunch is that you could rattle off at least a dozen names that

    came to mind as you read the post.

    Nondisclosure permits the message to be delivered without distraction of garbage comments by any particular guru’s cult following that gets offended.

    Best wishes,


  16. Mike Young 19 Feb 2009 |


    Please see my response to Rick. It addresses your comment. I’d also be interested in your take on Sylvie Fortin’s Internet Marketing Sins. She describes bad behavior without identifying the “sinners.” Did she drop the ball too in your opinion?

    Best wishes,


  17. Mike Young 19 Feb 2009 |

    Carrie, Thank you for your response. Both your response and the initial post will remain intact and unedited so that readers can understand both the accusation and your reply to it. -Mike

  18. Rick Butts 19 Feb 2009 |

    Hey Mike,

    Funny you should mention “a dozen or so” examples, I am the guy who wrote The 12 Biggest Whores in Internet Marketing.

    That was written in exasperation at the pimp-fest surrounding the re-release of Traffic Secrets.

    You are right. Even naming names only brings more traffic to the worst offenders. (They have such slick marketing materials they will always be able to sign up the defenseless and hopeful).

    Your goal to warn the rest of us is both noble and needed.

    The real tragedy of the scorched earth guru operations – and the circle-jerk way they cross promote each others lame launches – is that people get burned and toss everyone into the “ripoff” pile.

    I’m gonna keep an eye on you. We may be able to actually shout enough to help a few folks.

    Rick Butts

    • Mike Young 19 Feb 2009 |

      That’s a riot, Rick. Keep up the good work.

  19. Andy Catsimanes 20 Feb 2009 |

    That’s a fair question, Mike. I’d answer by saying Sylvie explicitly states at the beginning of IM Sins that:

    “This is not about the people who commit these grievous errors in online marketing. This is about very bad ideas that have permeated the internet marketing community and have become so commonplace that people actually have become desensitized to it. Remember, this is about bad ideas, not about bad people!”

    And she goes on to identify those bad ideas.

    Whereas your post is specifically about the “bad people,” yet you don’t identify them.

    Not that I expect you to, that would be extremely problematic, to say the least.

    And it may just be that I object to your style, (and full disclosure, I work closely with Sylvie’s husband and partner, Michel, but I also know Sylvie would have no problem if I were to disagree publicly with a post of hers)…

    It seems to me, though, that your post above doesn’t actually accomplish your stated purpose of putting people on notice.

    The difference to me is that IM Sins is akin to describing what a wolf looks like to those who may be potential prey – Telling the prey “here’s how you know a wolf” is helpful – whereas your post is simply telling the wolves how evil they are for being wolves.

    But the wolves don’t care, nor will they change. And if the wolves are identical in appearance to and are commingling with their prey, then merely standing up in the middle of the crowd and telling the wolves they’re evil doesn’t necessarily help the prey.

    Not that it’s wrong to do so. I kind of enjoy a good bit of righteous anger myself, and Sylvie applauded you for it herself, so perhaps I’m just failing to see the value, but I have doubts that your comments, while true, will make any difference.

  20. Widodo 4 Dec 2009 |

    Hi everyone,

    I am glad I discovered this forum. I am a newbie. In the past, I have bought such products hoping that I, too, will make an extra income from the internet (I wasn’t really aware about the real practices of these internet marketing gurus). I never really practiced what I bought from these so called internet gurus because of other activities that consumed my time. By the way, I still am interested to earn extra income through online business.

    Anyone here could suggest/enlighten me on the place where I can learn a good and honest affiliate marketing business the affordable way? I assume being an affiliate of Amazon or any other real products are not one of those Internet Marketing sins.

  21. MrWordpress 3 Sep 2010 |

    Mike Young you are on my hero list. Thanks for taking a stand against IM scams. “Hidden Continuity of the Soul.”- hilarious Mike!

    Yes I know exactly who you are talking about, I have a list. I call it the zero list. They are a sorry bunch of scammers and sociopaths. God, karma, the FTC, or their own customer's outrage will catch up with them eventually.

    I have bought and tested over a hundred IM products, and I could only in good conscience recommend 5 of them. But I don't miss the money I could have made promoting junk at all, I will have no part in scamming anyone or promoting junk. Being able to look myself in the mirror and sleep at night with a clear conscious: Priceless.

    Message to Widodo above-check out easy paycheck formula by sara young. It will show you how to make money promoting physical products using amazon, its one of the 5 out of a hundred products I have tested and would recommend for newbies. There is no affiliate link in this message, just trying to be helpful and prevent people from buying junk. Sara is no guru. Her product is not expensive and you don't need to buy the membership which is offered after you buy- just get the basic program. Yes there are some good IM products, but these days most are pretty useless. So stay away from all the junk- anything with pictures of fancy cars or mansions is bound to be overpriced rubbish.

    • internetlawfirm 3 Sep 2010 |

      Thanks for weighing in on the issue. Many (not all) of the top info product marketers (like the top of the food chain in MLMs/network marketing companies) are either sociopaths or psychopaths. Until they're forced out of business, they taint ethical marketers by association. It is easy to mistakenly lump in the good with the rotten apples.
      As for the Sara Young you mention, I want to make it clear here that she is not related to me and your post isn't piking any products on behalf of my wife. For our business ventures, my wife Sara plays an integral role in each of them as Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the exception of the law firm itself.