This not going to be your typical list of top Internet marketers. That’s because at least some of the names on here may not be the “household names” that most of us are familiar with (in truth, I don’t think there is any Internet marketer who is truly a household name but there are some who are household names in Internet marketing circles).
Now, the criteria I chose for being on this list was simple – the person has to provide real value to his or her readers before you lay out a dime of your money. I’ve seen too many Internet marketers who sell expensive courses at webinars where they claim you’ll learn lots of useful things.
In reality, the webinars have about two minutes of content and around 50 minutes of sell time. The good stuff is always reserved for the course.
For example, one webinar where I was told I’d learn about selling on Kindle and where I was told I should be taking copious notes offered up how to register for Amazon Kindle publishing as the free bit of information. In other words, they showed you how to fill out a web form and claimed that the webinar was really useful information.
The way I figure it, if you have something genuinely useful to offer in your course, you can offer real, actionable information for free as an enticement to go for additional training, but few people do that.
Of the 5 people I’ve listed here, three are definitely favorites of mine even though they may not be the absolute top of the line people that everyone has heard of. Two others, I had mixed feelings about – I felt they did offer some real value in their blogs or webinars, but their sells were much harder than I’d like to see.
John Chow – Blogging
John ChowThe man I always listen to and who I consider my personal guru is John Chow. Now John may not be the wealthiest Internet marketer around – he grosses around half a million dollars a year. However, what I love about him is that he seems to be such a “real” person. He’s very down to earth and really tries to provide real value for his readers and fans.
John has also organized a number of webinars which I’ve attended and I have to say, his webinars are the only ones I come away from thinking to myself, wow – I learned really useful information here. Even when he does try to sell something to you, it’s a sell where he’s also providing real value so John is definitely my number one pick of gurus to follow.
Kim Roach – Traffic Building
Kim RoachKim is an interesting person who focuses almost exclusively on traffic building strategies. She offers an ebook with some truly innovative traffic strategies for free on her site.
You may or may not have heard of her, but what I love about her is that, like John, she offers plenty of genuinely useful information for free. You’re not required to sit through a huge sales presentation in order to get the information either. She sends out videos and runs a blog where she has genuine value to offer to people.
Kim is currently in the process of starting up an executive coaching program, though she has yet to announce how many people she’ll take or what it will cost to attend the program.
Eric Holmlund—Website Building
Eric HolmlundEric ran a program together with a couple of friends of his recently called “The Real Guys” and while I didn’t sign up for it myself, I did feel like he was trying to offer real value to people instead of just trying to grab money from people and run.
However, the reason I recommend Eric so highly is not because of that course. It’s because he offers a free course which comes every week and which offers useful information on setting up a new website. The program is called Eric’s Tips and while there is nothing revolutionary in what he has to say, the information is solid and great for newbies who need step by step instructions.
Mike Filsaime – Physical Information Products
Mike FilsaimeOkay, now we get into two heavyweights in the world of Internet Marketing, people that everyone has heard of and people that, while I believe they have something to offer, are not on the top of my list only because I’d prefer to see more value offered for free (as I said above, my theory is that if you don’t offer much value for free then you probably don’t have much to offer in your paid program either).
That having been said, Mike does have some real valuable material to offer. He runs a professional service where he provides a weekly newsletter for people with real, actionable information. I was also impressed by a webinar he ran recently. While it was heavy on the sell ( a big turnoff for me), it also provided real value even without purchasing the product he was offering.
Also, unlike most people who work in the Internet marketing world, Mike tends to focus on sending out physical products rather than just e-mailing something. His theory is that by doing this you get a person’s address and you know they have a credit card which they’ll make a real purchase.
Rich Schefren – “Guru to the Gurus”
Rich SchefrenI debated about whether to include Rich on this list. On the one hand, if you’ve heard of someone in Internet marketing, you’ve probably heard of Rich (or Mike Filsaime). On the other hand, I felt like there was a very hard sell for his product, more so than I felt from the first three gurus I mentioned, which put me off a bit (truth be told, I was put off a bit for the same reason by Mike).
Over-all, I’d have to say that Rich has what to say and he has some great ideas about starting up a business. He’s also a very high powered person who seems to really have a lot to say and a lot to offer.  By the way, the title here was his title for himself. He refers to himself as the “guru to the gurus.”