Authentic vs. Sleazy Separation

This is the second part of the guest post from my good friend Shawn Veltman of NoBSstrategy.com. Part one can be found here

Hi again!

Last time, we introduced the idea of identifying who you do not want joining your site.  Today, I want to look at two methods of doing this, and ensure you use the right one.

Now, we all know that there are really sleazy ways to do this.  You see them being used in marketing all the time.  It looks like this:

“If you fit any of the criteria below, you should leave this page:

1.       You’re super lazy

2.       You hate everybody

3.       You’re looking for a way to scam people

4.       You want a magic wand that’ll make you rich

But if you recognize that the best way to be successful is to provide value for others, then you need to join our site!”

That is blatant manipulation, and it always makes me pretty mad when I see it.  I’m not recommending that.  What I am recommending is being clear with your prospective audience on who will get the most out of your community.  It might look something like this for a membership site dedicated to SEO and Internet Marketing:

“Now, this site isn’t for everybody.  We have a pretty close, tight-knit community of people helping each other out, and it’s very important to all of us to keep that spirit alive.  So, with that in mind, if two or any of the following describe you, then this might not be the best resource for you:

1.       You are looking for ‘Black Hat’ methods and ideas.  Look, I recognize that there are a lot of people who do that, but there is no place on this board for those kinds of tactics.  I monitor the boards closely to make sure that methods that are illegal or unethical aren’t part of the discussion list.

2.       You are only considering joining to try to sell your affiliate products.  I’m not saying that members here don’t enter into joint ventures with each other, but it’s a small perk of the board, not the primary focus.  If you’re hoping to find an easy list of people to hawk your affiliate products, this probably isn’t the site for you.

3.       You haven’t learned how to be civil in online communication.  For some reason, many people lose their ability to have reasoned and civil discourses online.  Granted, this is more true on free sites, but even in paid communities there are often malcontents who can’t seem to get along with anybody.  If you often find yourself in ‘Flame Wars’ online, please pass on by – I’ll only be deleting your account & refunding your outstanding membership fees after a few posts anyway.

The difference in the 2nd version is that it legitimately excludes a portion of the population who may be looking at your site.  It then offers reasons why those people are being excluded.  Anybody who’s not in the groups described will feel better about being a part of the community, and be more likely to join when they get to the registration page.

Let me know what you think…