Closing your eyes and hoping for the best has never helped anyone succeed in business. Yet, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you use some of the marketing strategies advertised on the internet. There’s no doubt heavy hitters like Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern, and Gary Vaynerchuck achieved their success with dedication and hard work. They wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have valid strategies. However, don’t be quick to believe the strategies they sell are the same ones they use to achieve success. Many factors that Don’t be convinced that strategies sold by successful marketers are going to bring you success. Sometimes their strategies are useful, but often they’re watered down. Sometimes they’re designed to give you just enough success to string you along. When you don’t get massive results out of the box, it’s easy to believe you’re doing it wrong. It won’t cross your mind that the strategy itself is flawed. It’s time to peel away the layers and start from the beginning. Once you’ve let go of what you think you know, you can identify the brands, strategies, and people you should really be following. Here are the steps you can take to get started today: #1. Stop following successful internet marketers (for now) Stop following people like Frank Kern, Brendon Burchard, Richard Branson, and Tony Robbins. Until you unlearn the “flawed” strategies you’ve collected, you’ll never be able to discern who or what you should listen to. You don’t need to cut them out of your life forever. You just need to step away from them long enough to peel away the layers and learn discernment. Even the most successful entrepreneurs can give flawed advice. Unless your business is experiencing wild success, take a break from listening to everyone you’ve been following. #2. Understand that marketers will be marketers Once upon a time, products were invented to make life easier and more enjoyable. They were sold for profit and marketed well, but served a distinct purpose. If two companies sold the same type of product, like a vacuum cleaner, they offered different features but the vacuum cleaners always did the job. It didn’t matter which vacuum cleaner you bought – Hoover or Oreck – they both cleaned your carpet. Today, hundreds of internet marketers sell the same product: systems advertised to rake in leads, conversions, and cash. Whether these systems live up to their claims, however, is debatable. Unlike a vacuum cleaner, there’s no accurate way to quantify their efficacy. Most internet marketing techniques are impossible to accurately isolate and verify. Keep this in mind and approach all systems with a discerning eye. #3. Understand that you’re always being manipulated Sleight of hand is a magician’s best friend. It’s also a marketer’s biggest asset. Nir Eyal, author of best seller Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products puts it bluntly, “We build products meant to persuade people to do what we want them to do. We call these people “users” and even if we don’t say it aloud, we secretly wish every one of them would become fiendishly addicted.” You can’t escape being manipulated by marketers. Their job is to make products irresistible to you. Those systems you buy from internet marketers to generate leads and sales are no exception. #4. Recognize authentic success Take a moment to recognize that most internet marketers rely on screen shots and data with sections blacked out for “privacy reasons” to prove results to you. This only proves they’re good at making sales. It doesn’t mean their systems are generating income for the people who buy them. For some corporations, their success stands alone: Kellogg’s was founded in 1906 by two brothers: John and W.K. Kellogg. They believed eating grains led to a long, healthy life. Both brothers lived to be 91 years old.Battling competitors General Mills and Post, the Kellogg company ended up being the world’s leading cereal company. Their success can be seen by walking down the cereal aisle in any grocery store. Nutrisystem, founded in the 1970s by Harold Katz, is one of the oldest and most successful weight loss businesses in the US. After watching his mother struggle with weight loss, Katz was determined to create a solution that would empower people to be successful. He created weight loss centers that integrated behavioral counseling, medical supervision, and low-calorie meals.Katz emptied his savings account and took out a second mortgage on his home to fund his business. By 1989, the company had reached $800 million in revenue.When a company created nearly four decades ago is still thriving, that’s all the proof you need of its success. Amway was the first network marketing company founded in 1959 by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel. They started out selling only one product: Liquid Organic Cleaner. Today, they have a catalog of over 2,500 products.Amway doesn’t need to use screen shots of bank account deposits to prove the company knows what they’re doing. They’re operating in 80 countries around the world. That’s proof enough. #5. Stop buying traffic Hopefully, most people understand that traffic is overrated, but if you’re still buying traffic to get more sales, here’s why you should stop: Let’s say you sell a product for $100 and you’re generating 10,000 unique visitors resulting in 100 sales each month. Your conversion rate is 1% and your sales are $10,000. Marketers will tell you to get more traffic to increase your sales. They’ll tell you it’s a numbers game. So you’ll buy 10,000 more visitors and double your sales. You’ll be happy with $20,000/month in sales but your conversion rate will still be 1%. In this case, doubling your sales doesn’t indicate success at all. A 1% conversion rate means you’re failing to reach 99% of your visitors and they’re leaving empty-handed. Drop the idea that getting traffic is a strategy to increase your sales; it’s not. If you have visitors that aren’t converting to sales, traffic is not your problem. You’re either targeting the wrong traffic, or your conversion methods need improvement. You shouldn’t even think about generating more traffic until you’re converting the majority of your existing traffic. #6. Cancel your membership to expert networks This sounds harsh, but if you’re paying a hefty monthly fee for access to experts and entrepreneurs, and you haven’t recovered your membership costs in the last few months, stop. The people who run these networks are marketers, and you’re just making them rich. There is potential value in joining these programs, but it’s like network marketing. If you’re not going all-in, you’ll never get results. Yes, it takes time to build a business and reach new heights of success, but how much money are you willing to sink into a program before you see tangible results? Know what strategies to look for Stop looking for the strategies companies use to generate X amount of dollars in revenue, and start looking for the strategies that expanded their business around the world. Strategies that support expansion are the strategies that generate financial success. Take everything marketers say with a grain of salt. Don’t qualify their products by their personal success. Learn discernment for who you trust. Marketers want your money, so be careful who you listen to.