There are many programs for earning money online or internet marketing training programs. Unfortunately, many are outright ripoffs, others aren’t kept up to date, some might give you false information and just a few are very good.
I have read reviews saying Internet Selling For Newbies (ISFN) is a very good program. But as so often many of the reviews are from affiliates, so I thought I would take a look for myself to get a true picture. I paid the sign-up fee and got access to the program.
Product: Internet Selling For Newbies
Overall Ranking: 50 out of 100 or 2.5/5 stars
Owner: Omar and Melinda Martin
Internet Marketing For Newbies has been around since 2009, it was originally designed by Omar Martin and Mike Filsaime. The program was released as a CD which was free.
The current version of the program says they teach you how to make sales online and actually get you making money.
OK, now I’m on the inside of ISFN. After a short welcome video from Omar, you are instructed to join the “mandatory” training webinar.
There’s nothing wrong with webinars but a compulsory webinar with no replay and at 2 am where I live, they must be joking! If it’s so important why don’t they have a replay?
Anyway, I didn’t sign up for the webinar and I still had access to the member’s area.
Here is the table of contents.
This looks like there is a lot of training but really there is less than you imagine. Firstly My Unfair Advantage is part of an upsell which means you don’t have access.
What you actually get is the 7 Daily Guides and the Ebook “The Complete Training Course”. This course is presented in 3 different forms the Ebook, an audio version and a video version.
Another affiliate marketing training ebook with a similar price tag is the Super Affiliate Handbook (although not completely up to date)
The 7 Daily Guides
These are 7 short ebooks that you can read in pdf form or listen to as an audio file. Both of these are downloadable which is useful, you could listen while commuting. There is also a short introduction video by Omar for each book.
The main objective of this course is to understand the difference between marketing and selling. Omar teaches us we should market to create awareness before trying to sell, thus avoiding the hard sell. Then the book goes on to discuss the 4 fundamentals of a long-term online business. The first discussed is building your list. A very brief description of how to get subscribers and how to sell to them.
The course continues with the second fundamental, getting traffic. Omar doesn’t give us any actual ways of how to get traffic it’s more of an overview with a description of what traffic is and how you need to have traffic to build your list.
The next fundamental talked about is conversions. Again no concrete examples of what you need to do to get conversions but a general description of how other businesses are set up to maximize conversions.
The 4th fundamental is duplication. Some great advice here inciting would be marketers to follow one mentor or one course. No point in buying every new product, you will end up confused with information overload. You are recommended to follow a successful marketer, duplicate the process he uses and then repeat over and over again.
Once you know the 4 fundamentals the next step is to understand how to put them into effect. This is done by building a website with what Omar calls the “8 Critical Online Business Components”. The first components discussed in this book are web hosting and domain name.
This goes very loosely through the process of setting up your website using WordPress. Describing what is a theme or plugin. The next component is a payment processor which is only really needed if you sell your own products.
The following component, an affiliate processor, is only of interest if you’re selling you own digital products. Omer recommends using JVZoo. Component 6 is an autoresponder, here there is just a description of what they do and how they help in list building.
A membership plugin is the next up, as Omar recommends starting a membership site as soon as you can. The last of the 8 components is social media. The last part of this book is about building trust and value, there’s some good stuff here.
This describes the process of selling by building confidence, trust and offering value to your visitor’s or subscribers, instead of just selling to them.
The last day is just some descriptions of different terms that it’s useful to know for a newbie. For example, Omar gives a definition of an internet marketer and an affiliate marketer, a little description of affiliate networks and explains what are evergreen products.
Overview of the 7 Daily Guides
The content of these daily guides is pretty good but not earth shattering you wouldn’t be able to start a business after reading these guides. Omar covers things that as a newbie you should know.
This course is available for free (via an exit pop up) if you don’t purchase ISFN. It looks like this course was made with 2 purposes to obtain your email address and to funnel you into ISFN.
The Main Course (Video, Ebook and audio)
The ebook is 107 pages long and is split into 9 sections or chapters. The video and audio formats give the same content.
It’s nice to have different formats because although I prefer reading, there is a lot to read here. So it might be good to change from time to time or to go through the different sections a couple of times using the different formats.
The 9 chapters
1. Web Business Basics
How the web works – the first section of this course is definitions and explanations of some common terms used in simple computer speak such as URL, server, or IP address.
Moving on with a very short description of how e-commerce works. Then finishing the first lesson with some tips on running your own business.
There is a good quote from Omar at the end of the chapter, that lets newbies know they will have to work and they will need determination. Many people enter into internet marketing thinking it will be easy!
All the tools and training I’ve ever purchased combined only added up to 10% of my success. The other 90% came from the stuff you can’t buy like work ethic, determination and conviction.
2. Marketing Versus Selling
Here Omar deals with the difference between marketing and selling with some very useful information on how to market and how to sell.
The content is aimed more at people who are creating a digital product and I won’t go through everything but here are just a few points Omar makes are:
- The most important part of marketing is finding your audience before producing your product.
- The masters of online selling, understand and use psychological selling triggers known as the F.I.G.S. For an explanation see the images below.
- People are much more likely to buy when they see recommendations or testimonials from your customers.
3. Branding and List Building
The first part of the lesson is about building your own brand. This is done by building trust and giving value. One of the most important points Omar makes is that your goal should be to help people.
The next part is about building an email list. This is an overall look at what is a list, how to build your list, why it’s important and how to profit from your list. Some good insights that would benefit a newbie.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Omar explains what affiliate marketing is and makes sure that any newbies reading his training know they will have to put in the work and write content. He then goes on to explain how he makes a lot of money from product launches with products promoted on the affiliate networks.
I receive a lot of emails about product launches and quite frankly when I check out the products often I find that it’s something I wouldn’t buy because I’m not impressed with the quality. If you wouldn’t buy a product, I don’t think you should promote it.
In my opinion, product launches go against the advice given in the previous chapter, to build trust and give value to your visitors or subscribers.
I have only just started receiving emails from Omar and Melinda so I don’t know what they promote. Maybe Omar is different, he does go on to say that you should buy and test any product you promote yourself. If you do this you will know the sales funnel works, if there are upsells and if the product will provide value to your list.
Although I’m not a fan of product launches, in general, there are a lot of very useful tips here that describe how Omar has become a super affiliate. A super affiliate is an affiliate marketer who wins a product launch competition.
5. Vendor Marketing
This means selling your own digital products. Omar explains in simple terms how to set everything up, how to create an ebook, what you will need on your website to promote your product and how to split your product up into different blocks to use as upsells.
6. Driving Traffic
Getting traffic to our sites is a problem most of us have when we start online. And without traffic, we won’t have a business.
Omar covers 3 ways to get traffic.
- Paid traffic – buying ads on platforms like Facebook
- Borrowed traffic – recruiting affiliates and getting them to send you traffic
- Creating traffic – at first, I thought Omar meant organic traffic but no, he’s talking about going out to find your audience. This is his preferred way of getting traffic.
To find your audience Omar suggests creating a Facebook group and using Facebook ads to encourage people to join your group. The big point he makes here that it’s best to get your audience first before your make your product.
Omar doesn’t believe in creating organic traffic as he says it’s too much work and takes too long. Yes, it is a long process in the beginning but once you understand what’s needed and Google trusts your website getting your posts to rank isn’t that hard.
He also says after an algorithm change you might lose all your rankings, but if you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines you shouldn’t suffer from a loss of your rankings.
7. Sales Funnels
Here Omar goes through building your sales funnels. Starting with a description of what is a sales funnel, then going on to describe the different types of funnel he uses.
It’s interesting to see how a successful affiliate marketer builds his funnels.
- Viral Lead Funnel – the goal is to obtain targeted leads. This is like a normal funnel with an opt-in page, but when the visitor opts-in he is sent to an Inviter Page.
On the Inviter Page, they are presented with an additional offer for a download. To obtain the additional offer they will have to share this offer on social media. Some of their Facebook friends may opt-in. They, in turn, will then receive the same offer, share it and in the end, the funnel goes viral.
- Viral Trust Funnel – like the Viral Lead Funnel but with added offers, upsell and downsells. You create a video thanking your visitor for signing up and offer them a very special deal for a low price.
If they buy the special (low-ticket) offer they are then taken to an upsell page with a high ticket offer.
If they don’t buy the high ticket offer they are moved to the mid-ticket offer which is a “lite version” of the high ticket offer. The idea of this is to build trust.
Personally, I can see how this works but I wonder if it really builds trust. I’m so used to seeing upsells I automatically reject them!
- Viral Sales Funnel – apparently these are the most profitable funnels. Omar uses these to optimize profits for affiliates. By increasing the EPC (earning per click) you will get more affiliate to promote your products.
Getting affiliates to promote his products is vital to Omar’s business. He pays affiliates 100% commission for a product and then makes his money with further upsells. There is also a social sharing component to this funnel and retargeting pixels but this gets a little complicated.
Some good advice but a little complex for newbies.
8. Product Launches
A chapter on how to launch your own digital product. When Omar does a product launch it takes him 60 days – 30 days creating the product, the funnel and the website and 30 days recruiting affiliates and building interest.
It seems to be that recruiting affiliates is the most important point. Attract affiliates via your affiliate network page or by having a competition that pays prizes to the affiliates that sell the most products.
Some affiliates seem to make a good living from these launches. But often I get the impression they are only interested in one thing, the money! They send out several emails a day for a product that is not top quality. They may make sales but it’s not a way I want to do business.
9. Making It All Work
There are 4 steps to put all this together.
- Find your traffic
- Find a high-ticket offer that solves a problem your traffic has
- Create a product to get traffic to your high-ticket offer
- Launch the product.
This last chapter seems to be mainly for promoting the Higher Level Strategies training program. Omar tells you if you join them in their training program you will see results. Is Internet Selling For Newbies just to funnel people into their high ticket training? Probably!
There is no publicized price for the Higher Level Strategies training program you have to fill out an application form. On the form, there are questions such as your current monthly income, you income goals, how much capital can you invest, do you have a website or the size of your list.
The reason according to Omar, is they are looking for the right kind of people.
I would want to know the price of the program before filling out a form like this. If not I would have the impression the price was set in relation to what I could afford.
Pros and Cons of ISFN
- Low-cost one off payment
- Good content with useful tips for newbies and more experienced marketers
- Different formats for the training
- Not step by step training – after following this course a newbie wouldn’t be able to build their own business
- Not actionable content more an overview
- Reading the content is hard work
- Upsells – yes, it’s part of the sales funnel but I find upsells annoying
- Misleading sales page with hyped up earnings
When you join, the first thing you are recommended to watch is a video about an upsell. This is for coaching from Omar and Melinda Martin, under their flagship product My Unfair Advantage. Included in this program are weekly webinars, support from the MUA members and training videos.
A special offer with a timer telling you that you only have a few minutes to get the program for a reduced price of $37 per month or one payment of $297. I let the timer run out and re-actualize the page. The timer starts again at 20 minutes. So it looks like this is just a pressure tactic!
I find it a shame that what I thought was a legitimate program starts like this. I’m also a little surprised that it’s necessary to buy further programs. From the ISFN sales page, I was under the impression that I had purchased a course that would teach me to make sales and earn money online. Why do I need further training?
When you refuse the first upsell there is another. This offers some of the training included with the My Unfair Advantage upsell for product creation, list building, sales pages, membership sites and making money with JVZoo for a one-off payment of $27. After going through these two upsells I’m ready to start ISFN.
Of course, after going through the training you understand this is all part of the sales funnel. Nonetheless still annoying!
My Final Opinion
There is definitely some good information included in ISFN and the cheap price makes this a product I recommend. Although I feel the sales page is a little misleading because at the end of the course you will not have an online business generating thousand of dollars per month. In fact, you won’t have anything at all except a little more knowledge!
The course is aimed at people who want to launch their own digital products, build a list and then market to their list. There is some information on list building, sales funnels and other subjects that could be useful to all marketers.
By reading the content or watching the videos you may understand how Omar sells his products but to set this up for yourself you will need to purchase other training courses. Building a website, choosing a domain name, setting up an autoresponder, writing an email sequence, setting up a sales page… aren’t things you would know how to do after going through ISFN.
Omar knows this and that’s why he promotes his training program at the end of this course.
Overall, some useful information although no training that actually shows you how to do something. A little general stuff that might help a newbie but to get started they would still need some good step by step training. I did find it a little hard going through the course, with so much information it’s sometimes difficult to keep focused.
For me, this is definitely not the most complete training course!
If you’re searching for a training course that provides:
- Quality step by step, easy to follow and regularly updated training
- A complete guide to creating an online business
- A community that will give you ideas, provide help and support
- A proven blueprint that has helped many to success online
- Then please take a look at my #1 recommended training platform for learning internet marketing.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.