Product Name: Coffee Shop Millionaire
Product Owner: Anthony Trister, Fabricio Cruz
Advertised Price: $37
Upsells: $297 ($147), $197
What Is It?
Start a local marketing business, and outsource a the word to automate the process. (see below to find out more about what local marketing is).
A legitimate business model with a decent overview, but in the training is simply not enough to teach you how to actually make money.
Before You Buy:
This product would have scored a lot higher if there were so many upsells and hyped videos to sort through. Reviewing the product took me about 30 minutes total, but sitting through those intro videos took me over an hour.
Basically, they are selling a product that teaches you how to do local marketing. Local marketing is the business of getting small businesses ranked in search engines so that they can attract more customers.
In a nutshell, the training was OK, and what they teach are legitimate marketing techniques. However, these are just a few pieces to the puzzle, and they do not provide you with a way to put the puzzle pieces together.
Imagine if you had all the parts to an engine. Yes, together in the right way you can build a real, working, powerful engine. But without the proper training and guidance, it's almost guaranteed you will get lost along the way. This is why I gave it such a low final score.
What I Liked:
There are some really good principles taught here. Anthony Trister talks about ‘money machines' and acquiring private label rights; two ways to automate your business an essentially make passive income. It's too bad that these ‘systems' are guarded by an extra $200 cost to you.
What they teach in the basic level of Coffee Shop Millionaire is a totally legitimate business. This is very different from many of the products I review, both in the type of business model, and the fact that it's actually something that REAL business owners do. I know some people who do local marketing professionally, full time, and do make lots of money doing it.
In the training videos inside the membership area of Coffee Shop Millionaire, Fabricio Cruz talks a lot about outsourcing, and this is another legit, proven business model. Outsourcing can be a good way to automate your business, and make less work for yourself.
And I can't say the training videos were ‘bad'. They did, in fact, provide a decent overview of what a local marketer does (please see “What I Didn't Like” for more details). These include things like Local SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Video Marketing.
What I Didn't Like:
Hype & Misleading Advertising
I already mentioned the super long, hyped, and non-informative videos you have to sit though to get to the actual product. It reminded me of the book/movie 1984 or A Clockwork Orange where they peel back your eyelids and force you to watch horrible videos while they brainwash you.
And though the intro videos are not the actual ‘product' per se, I found them to be extremely condescending, saying things to the tune of ‘people with jobs are stupid', and if you don't take action that you are somehow bad. They also really push in the attempt to play you for a fool, saying things like this is an ‘exclusive product' and it ‘won't be around forever', and there's only X amount of spots available. This one has been around for several years; I remember it from back in the day when I first started with online marketing.
No Step By Step Training
First off, the most important thing to know about this product is that they DO NOT give you the steps you need to take to start making money. They give you a general overview of what a local marketer does, tell you to outsource it, and end of story.
And continuing with the engine analogy from above, would you buy all those parts to an engine without the instruction manual? I don't care how fast it's supposed to be, it just won't work if you don't know how to put it together.
Then, there are two things they cover which seem very easy because they only mention it briefly, but they are in fact really, really hard parts of online business.
One is getting clients. Local business owners get sold things all the time, and they are very savvy when it comes to marketing. They might not know how to set up an online business, but they do know how to politely tell you ‘no', and then ask you to walk away. Getting clients is hard, and without any experience, it's likely that you will struggle in this are. I don't mean you shouldn't try, but you need more of a strategy that cold-calling.
In fact, I attended a 1 hour webinar last week (July 2013) and just scratched the surface. How is it that Coffee Shop Millionaire covered it in about 20 minutes?
The other thing they make sound easy even though it's not is outsourcing. He talk about how cheap he can hire someone for on oDesk ($3.33 per hour). This is true, but the quality of work they do is usually crappy. Really. For a person with a decent level of English, with experience in marketing, and a good work ethic, you will probably pay closer to $10 per hour.
This is still cheaper than hiring someone from the Western world, but it's certainly not as cheap as they make it seem. Also, if YOU are not sure how to properly run the business, then the person you hire will likely not know either. You need some confidence and experience before you can effectively and economically outsource work. I know this from wasting lots of money at oDesk.
One last thing to mention is that working from a cafe isn't as comfortable or convenient as you may think. I discuss why in this post. Hint: Try having a conversation with a business client in a super-noisy place or in a super-quiet place (where everyone can hear what you say).
Who Is This Product For:
This product could be useful for someone that is interested in local marketing, and is happy paying $37 for a few videos to kick start their brain with some ideas.
Most products like this last just a few short months then disappear. That's the nature of hype in the business of making money online.
The only system I've seen last more than a decade is the same place where I learned how to start an online business. They've been around teaching newbies to make money online since 2006. You can join for free and start your first website in the next couple minutes
Update: If you request a refund, all ‘upgrade' products are available for offered for free. So is the value of CSM $37, $500, or something else? They seem to not know.
Also, they make getting a refund very difficult. The first try, they offered me the above package. The second try, they send me this message “Please send us your phone number and the best time to call you and one of our phone support agents will call you and process the refund.” Sending a phone number has NEVER been part of the refund process, and it's my guess that they want to chat to convince me to stay on.