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Product Name: Marketing Impact Academy
Product Owner: Chalene Johnson
Advertised Price: $1,999
What is it?
Marketing Impact Academy is a membership site comprised of several video tutorials. It was created by Chalene Johnson, who also serves as the instructor for each course. The information inside is designed to help you build a larger following on social media.
When you break it down, this course isn't about marketing at all. It's about gaining new followers on social media platforms. Chalene never discusses any methods for converting those followers into paying customers, which is what really matters. In addition to that, the advice given for attracting new followers is basic, at best, and sometimes it's downright spammy. Even without factoring in the outrageous cost I would not recommend it. But when you add that in, there's absolutely no way I could.
Before You Buy
As a bonus when you buy Marketing Impact Academy, you get access to Chalene's instagram course, Instagram Impact. It comes as a free bonus, not an upsell, which is nice considering the cost of the Marketing Impact Academy.
You can get Instagram Impact for $99 — a fraction of what it costs you to buy this course. And since it's the best part of this course, I'd recommend buying it separately, if at all. Here's my full review of Instagram Impact 2.0.
What I Liked
All things considered, Marketing Impact Academy provides a great starting point for beginners. There's a lot of good information packed into this course that could be beneficial, depending on where you're at in your entrepreneurial journey.
Every part of this course is done with video. As I've said before in other reviews, anytime an info-product uses video it gives the buyer a better value. A lot of the videos are screen recordings, which means you get to see exactly how Chalene does what does. It gives you an “over-the-shoulder” view.
Even the videos where Chalene is just talking — the ones where she isn't recording her screen — are valuable, because she does a great job of explaining things in detail. The production quality of these videos is good too. You can tell she has put in time, effort and money to make these videos as good as possible.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media sites. It's notoriously difficult for marketers because Instagram doesn't allow links, unless you insert them manually. Chalene offers some great advice for anyone who wants to use instagram as a marketing platform.
This advice comes as a bonus offer, so it's not actually part of the main course. It is housed together, just in a separate tab.
What I Didn't Like
There are some good things about this course, which I mentioned above. However, the problems with this course are far more extreme. A couple good pieces of advice cannot undo an information product that is fundamentally broken.
This course contains several videos, each one is about 20 minutes long. Unfortunately, most of the videos are Chalene relaying generalized information you can find anywhere online. There's a whole lot of motivational talk, like you'd find in an MLM webinar and it doesn't really provide much value.
To make it worse, most of the things she talks about relate to social media. So she's giving you tips on how to post to different networks, what colors work best, what times work best etc…
The problem is, social media changes constantly. FaceBook is well known for completely changing things. The same can be said for every social media platform. It's just not a good idea to build a business based off of the current trends in social media.
Some of the advice Chalene gives is quite spammy. She talks about using third party tools to access social media, which a lot of people do. But it's typically frowned upon, outside of the marketing community.
She also talks about randomly searching out and liking a bunch of photos just to gain followers. She says this will make them want to follow you. The problem is, that's a one-time-thing. It's not likely she will ever go back to that person's account and like pictures again.
Not only is it unlikely, it's also incredibly difficult, especially when you do it a lot.
I find that to be deceptive and potentially damaging your business. Think about what would happen if people found out that's what you were doing. If you were (or are) currently one of Chalene's followers, imagine how you'd feel when she likes one of your photos.
Does this strategy work? Yeah, it does. But it's not a huge secret, and personally, I don't do it. ENGAGEMENT is key to growing your business and making sales. Without it, you're just growing your Instagram account. A huge Instagram account pays you exactly $0
Lack of Support
This course is like so many others when it comes to finding support. Marketers will often create courses, but very rarely do they provide the type of support needed to help the people they're marketing to.
Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about…
This is the type of comment real marketers would love to get, because it helps them create a better experience for future customers. However, Chalene has completely ignored it, and many others just like it.
The comment is more than two months old and still hasn't recieved any response. There's no excuse for that. I answer almost all my questions within 24 hours, many within the hour. Sometimes I answer in 10 minutes or less (if I'm online). In one part of the course, Chalene talks about hiring an outsourcer to post and comment on things for social media — Why couldn't she get someone to handle these questions?
The videos weren't bad but I really didn't like some of the growth strategies she outlined. I also think it's pretty lame that she doesn't answer questions from people that buy into her course. For $1999? That's just nuts.
Some people need a bit of extra help getting their first online business started, and most product creators just aren’t willing to give that extra support. Once a sale is done, it’s done, and you’re on your own. But I offer my continued support and assistance to all members of this online business community. Starter memberships are free, and you can even send me a message to see inside to see if I’m the real deal, or just another internet guru!
Growing your social media accounts can be a great way to drive traffic to a website or grow your brand. But it's not the only thing you could (or should) be doing. What else are you doing to grow your brand right now?