A reader writes:
In Melbourne we have been observing small white hand-written signs popping up on the sides of roads affixed to all sorts of posts and street signs.
The signs are all similar and say:
The site never describes exactly what the business is.
Is there a name for these things? Are they common? This is the first I have come across.
Yes, they’re common.
The deal is, there’s some company like Herbalife or something with a bunch of “distributors” who, even when they strenuously protest that they aren’t in the multi-level marketing business, do seem to chiefly be selling the opportunity to sell the opportunity to sell the opportunity to sell, et cetera, whatever nominal product is hiding somewhere within that vast sky-scraping trapezoid.
It’s normal for all of the “distributors” to never mention the name of the particular trapezoid they’re part of, but those classic endless “squeeze pages” often contain a subtle clue or two that the offer they’re presenting is not quite as extraordinary as they say.
Just paste a phrase or three from such a page into Google, and see how many other people are offering the same amazing opportunity!
(It’s easy to find duplicated testimonials, but you should also search for excerpts of the text allegedly written by the person who’s making this particular never-to-be-repeated offer.)
"I ran my previous business for a little over 4 years and pretty much lost all my money." ("About 8,510 results" as I write this, but that’s a huge over-estimate, because Google doesn’t actually give accurate figures for string searches like this. Paging on through the results ends up with exactly 293 results, at the moment. Remember to click the "repeat the search with the omitted results included" link at the end of the original results, if you want to see how many pages Google actually indexes with your search string on ‘em, including ones that’re so similar to others that Google doesn’t bother displaying them by default.)
"not afraid to try new things, I also had a willingness to learn" (This one actually seems to be unique to katrinamurray.com!)
"Imagine not having to beg for time off to do something so simple" (374 results, with a couple of differing opinions about what sport your putative son will be playing.)
"such a great group of people who are willingly assisting me" (Only two hits, again with variation of the words on either side; there’ll be three hits when Google indexes this post. Few-hits searches like this one may be helpful in tightening the Venn-diagram intersection of all these get-rich-quick squeeze pages to figure out which of them, if any, are not trying to sell the same product.)
"further, I’d like to tell you what to watch out for. Too many" (228 results)
"This is a real, legitimate, Internet marketing system. The system works perfectly as long as you follow it exactly" (Well, obviously! Why would there be five thousand, one hundred and ninety copies of this text on the Web, if it weren’t real and legitimate!?)
And, finally, "The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others." Wise words to live by - so very wise, in fact, that 346 Web pages contain them!
I’m absolutely 100% sure, of course, that katrinamurray.com is completely on the level and offering a real opportunity to sell worthwhile products that everybody needs.
But if you sign up for this particular incredible home business opportunity, you’ll still have a problem, because there are obviously a large number of other people in the same damn business. Unless you have a scroll of genocide that allows you to annihilate all of the other functionally, and often literally, identical such opportunities floating around down in the noise floor of our wonderful capitalist world, you’re likely to find that no matter how much you hassle your friends, relatives and employees, it’s just mathematically impossible to get enough customers to make the big bucks you’ve been promised.
Perhaps the reason why the actual product is never mentioned on the squeeze page is that it’s an amazing new discovery with a whole new wide-open market, and the sellers don’t want to give away the secret.
When hundreds of other squeeze pages say the exact same thing, though, this theory seems a little shaky to me.