Purple KoolAid, Social Proof and the Marketing WizKids

Linda Caroll

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On November 18, 1978, in the middle of a South American Jungle, 913 people lifted a glass of purple Kool-Aid mixed with cyanide, sedatives and tranquilizers to their lips - and drank willingly.

It was dubbed “The Jonestown Massacre" by the media, but it was no massacre. The truly horrifying part was that over 900 people drank that poison willingly. The whispers started almost immediately.

Mind control.

Most people associate mind control with cults and “follow the leader" zombie people; with flowers sold in airports, flowing robes, offbeat religions and perhaps even secret ceremonies in the dark of night.

Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

What is mind control?

The roots of mind control stem from an arm of psychology known as social psychology. Social pyschology is the science of how people behave in groups and when they are interacting with others. We humans act quite differently when we interact with others than we do individually.

What is social proof? It's forming an opinion based on what other people are doing. We see a lineup at the same restaurant every night, so it must be good. All our friends are raving about that new movie, so we want to see it, too.

Mind control, through social proof, is alive and well in the Internet Marketing Community. It works something like this;

A new product or new guru appears. Suddenly, there are hundreds or thousands of people promoting it. A lot of buzz is created. More people see it and jump on the bandwagon. If that many people promote it, it must be good, right? Social proof.

More often than not, the product is garbage. Bogus traffic or yet another “how to make money" program that isn't earning money for anyone except the person that created it - and perhaps a few of their cronies. Often, it's created by someone that doesn't know how to sell anything but “how to make money" programs.

So why are so many people promoting lousy products?

Because of the commission, usually. The lure of money for nothing is stronger than most people can resist. Throw social proof into the mix (ie; everyone else is saying. . . ) and it's a combination too potent for many to resist. It promises good pay and “everyone" is promoting it - why not you, too?

Taking a Step Back

The price of cult thinking and bogus social proof is a diminished grasp on reality. It gets harder and harder to know what's right.

Take a step back. Walk away from your computer briefly. Go for a walk, even. You will think differently. Ask yourself a reality check question;

Are you promoting products that have actually enhanced your life or improved your financial status? Or are you telling unintentional lies because you fell for bogus social proof?

Then, decide if you want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

If this article makes even one person take a long hard look at what they are promoting, it will have served it's purpose.

Need a little website magic? Get it, free, at LindaCaroll.com .


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