Beware of Predatory Marketing Gurus

I’m just going to say it: There are marketing gurus out there who are just out to make a buck, will say anything to get your money, and prey upon your emotions to close a sale.

And I hate it every time a Lightworker or purpose-driven entrepreneur hires one of these types of marketing gurus because I know the energies are not aligned.

In this week’s marketing strategy, I outline the six things you should watch out for when you’re thinking about hiring a marketing expert. Yes, get the marketing help you need – but not from these Predatory Marketing Gurus. You deserve better than that.

Beware Of Predatory Marketing Gurus


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Some claims made by marketing gurus are false promises. - Jill Celeste,

Honest, authentic marketing experts don't have to tell you they are marketing authentically. They just do it.Honest, authentic marketing experts don't have to tell you they are marketing authentically. They just do it.

When I hear the guilt-laden sales pitch, I have to wonder if my mom wrote it


When I was thinking about this post, I had originally titled it (in my head), “I am Tired of Marketing Guru Assholes.”

Ahem, that’s not a very Lightworker thing to say.

Then I went to “I am tired of Snake Oil Salespeople who claim they are marketing experts,” but that’s not quite right either. They do know marketing.

And that’s when I settled on this thought:

I am tired of marketing gurus who prey on potential clients just so they can get these clients’ money.

Predatory Marketing Gurus –  that’s the term I am looking for.

These are the types of “marketing gurus” who make my skin crawl. I don’t like their marketing philosophies – the things they say about marketing, their beliefs on what works, how they market themselves, and how they prey upon people’s emotions.

And I would like you, as Lightworkers and purpose-driven entrepreneurs, to stay clear of them.

How do you know if you stumbled upon a Predatory Marketing Guru? Here are some warning signs:

#1: He claims if you follow his method, you will get <insert unreasonable result>

Get 10,000 new Facebook fans in 30 days! Triple your list with my sure-fire formula! Increase your income by $10,000 this month! Get 10 new clients in 10 days!

Oh for fuck’s sake – no one can promise these results!

These claims are false promises. They are written to get your attention and to get into your wallet. Please do not believe any of them.

#2: Use “shock and awe” headlines and subject lines constantly

A famous and successful marketing guru once started a Facebook ad with a sentence about getting kicked out of a strip club on a weekday lunch hour. Shock! Awe!

Another marketing guru always uses subject lines that have nothing to do with the email content – and they sound incredible, usually with your name inserted in there. “Jill, don’t get mad at me!” This email was about a program this guru was selling, and he was contending that I would get mad at him if he didn’t remind me about it. Umm, no.

Shock and awe is fine once in a while – maybe – but please be leery of marketing gurus who use it all the time. They have something up their sleeves, and it’s usually not something that will help you.

#3: Takes forever to tell you how much something is

This comes up during webinars usually. Listen, we all know most webinars have an offer at the end. Why is it necessary to take me through 20 slides about the offer before telling me how much it is?

That’s like me going to Target, finding a pair of shoes that are missing its price tag, and having to talk to 20 people before I can get the price. Would you put up with that as a consumer? I know I wouldn’t.

They are delaying the price reveal for a reason – it’s all about the psychology of buying. They want to get you in a “yes” mindset.

If you find yourself in the middle of this kind of sales pitch, do yourself a favor and exit the webinar. Don’t worry – the marketing guru will send you an email about the offer anyway (you won’t miss a thing).

#3: Uses guilt as an emotional trigger

“Don’t you want to succeed in your business, Jill? You are a smart person. Surely, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to double your income.”

When I hear the guilt-laden sales pitch, I have to wonder if my mom wrote it. Because some are just that good.

You should never be guilted into anything, much less some guru’s program. Just walk away. Not for you.

#4: Says your business will fail if you don’t jump on this opportunity

Does the marketing guru have a crystal ball she’s not telling you about? How can she predict the fate of your business as it relates to the program she’s selling?

She can’t. It’s just another emotional trigger to get you to buy. Please don’t fall for it. Your business will not fail if you don’t invest in someone else’s program.

#5: Tells you all the time that she is a straight-shooting, tell-it-like-it-is person

In my experience, if a marketing guru repeatedly says she is telling you the truth, she is covering up something. Look past the words and at her actions.

Honest, authentic marketing experts don’t have to tell you they are marketing authentically. They just do it.

#6: Leaves you with an icky feeling

Do you feel icky when dealing with this marketing guru? If so, your energy and this marketing guru’s energy do not match. The test I like to give myself is this: If I feel like I need a shower to wipe off the YUCK I feel, then the person is not the right healer for me.

Listen, if you need marketing help, please get marketing help. But I don’t want you to get the wrong kind of marketing help. Unfortunately, Predatory Marketing Gurus are very successful business people, which is why you might see their Facebook ads, webinars, or free books – all the time.

Just like when you invest in a house or a car, take time to do some research. Just because you see someone’s Facebook ad all the time doesn’t mean he is the right marketing expert for you. Find the right energy.

For every one Predatory Marketing Guru, there are 10 fantastic, heart-centered marketing experts ready to help you.

Find one that makes your heart sing, who makes you feel like you’re deeply important to her, who welcomes you in her tribe and doesn’t make empty promises just to get your money. Those are the marketing experts who will help you – and make you feel fulfilled, loved and delighted.

Jill Celeste - Marketing CoachABOUT JILL

Jill Celeste, MA is a bestselling author, marketing teacher and founder of the Celestial Marketing Academy. Jill teaches purpose-driven entrepreneurs everything they need to know about marketing so they can become the Directors of Marketing for their businesses.

Jill is the author of the Amazon Top 25 Bestselling Marketing Book, That First Client, as well as the co-author of the bestseller, Cultivating Joy, and international bestseller, Gratitude and Grace.

Jill graduated with a B.A. in English from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She obtained her master’s degree in history from the State University of Georgia in Carrollton. Prior to becoming a marketing coach, Jill worked for 14 years in the private sector, and has experience in marketing and public relations in healthcare, IT and small business.

Jill lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, two sons, three guinea pigs and a basset hound named Emma.

For more information about Jill’s programs, please visit To get a free copy of Jill’s Amazon Bestselling book, That First Client, please go to

That First Client by Jill Celeste

3 thoughts on “Beware of Predatory Marketing Gurus

  1. Maria

    Excellent article, Jill – thanks for shedding light on these types of marketing gurus and the warning signs to watch for ; very much appreciated.


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