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Some Home Staging Resources or Trainers May Not Offer What They Claim

As you know, the internet is an unregulated entity. This means webmasters can make any claim they wish to make, whether true or not. Often times claims are outright lies. At other times they s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth to make the visitor believe something is true without actually saying so.

So a person must use due diligence to separate the truly legitimate offers from all the puffing going on in the industry.

Here are some ways where consumers are being misled:

Myth #1 - Comprehensive Training Claims

1) Claims of having the "most comprehensive training". We legitimately claim that because, in fact, it is true in our case. In our Diamond program, the student receives 3 electronic books and 7 manuals, totally over 1500 pages of concrete, bona fide training material, supported by on-going training in the form of 3 monthly newsletters, blogs and membership site with videos (coming).

No other website in the industry, no other trainer in the industry can claim to have the most comprehensive. It just isn't true in their case. Yet there are webmasters claiming to have the best training with handouts or a single book. Don't be misled.

Myth #2 - High Traffic Claims

2) Claims of having the most highly "traffic'd" website.  Well, here again, one has to look closely at the claim. There is "traffic" and there is "meaningful traffic". If a website claims to have tons of traffic, that might be true or not. If it is true, however, the traffic just may be other students coming to the membership site for training - not consumers looking to hire someone.

If the webmaster tries to make you believe that their traffic is the biggest and best, beware, because unless the traffic is due to consumers visiting the site looking for a professional (such as you), that traffic will only help the webmaster, not you.

Myth #3 - Cookie Cutter Websites

3) Yes, it is important to have an online presence. Most searching these days is done on the internet. But I would be lying to you if I made you believe that a small semi-custom website, especially one that looks like hundreds of other sites in a directory, was going to really generate a lot of business for you.

These sites will only serve you if someone lands on them from the directory link, but they will probably not be found in search engines, no matter what the webmaster claims. It's because they are too small, have duplicate copy to other websites and are competing with millions of websites of higher caliber and size and original content who work very hard on their sites to make them competitive.

So make sure you understand what you're getting and don't be fooled into believing they are more than they are.

We offer in our Diamond Program to create a semi-custom website for you, with a domain name of your choosing. We will periodically change the whole look and feel of the websites we create so that we minimize the "cookie cutter" look - something other webmasters don't do. For current examples of what we offer, please see Examples.

Myth #4 - Trademarks

4) Some people believe that the term "home staging" is a federal trademark. It is not. At one time the word "stage" was trademarked, but it has not been renewed.

Myth #5 - Use of Terminology

5) Some webmasters are now using words such as "university", "institute", "college", "institution", "graduate" and so forth as their domain name or to describe their businesses and are trying to appear as if their company is a fully-accredited 4-year university or college. Buyer beware.

Some will use the misleading term "accredited". Some will use the misleading term "graduate".

Graduate of what? Accredited by whom?

These are terms that should be reserved for legitimate universities and 4 year colleges, not some individual who set up a website or paid a webmaster to create the "aura" of being a real educational institution. That's just plain deceitful.

If you can buy your way into a seminar or membership site, of what real value is that? Shouldn't you have to pass an exam and submit a portfolio of some kind to prove you have the talent and knowledge FIRST before you use credentials behind your name?

You can't get certified by our organization unless you pass an exam and submit a portfolio of your work. No exceptions.  As a consumer yourself, wouldn't you have more faith in someone who met specific qualifications over someone who just "bought in". It's an unregulated industry so there are a lot of misleading terms and claims being thrown about. Buyer beware.

Some of the websites out there aren't even selling training material they wrote themselves. They are "affiliates" not experts.

An affiliate is someone who goes and signs up for some other website's affiliate program and earns a commission from the trainer whenever a visitor purchases the product. There's nothing wrong with being an affiliate unless they claim to be the expert themselves. If you're an affiliate you should sell the product by telling the consumer who the real expert is, not trying to peddle yourself as the author or expert.

If they mislead you in their domain name or terminology or claim to be experts when they are merely reselling someone else's material, you should take note. You can often spot them by how few pages they have on their site and there is usually no information whatsoever on who they are, where they are located and no proof they are legitimately experts. You're lucky if you get a working email address.  I've seen several lately where the entire website consists of 1-4 pages max and no identifying information of who the person truly is or where they are located. This makes me very nervous.

Myth #6 - Celebrity Endorsements

Some websites claim that their program/course/book is endorsed by a TV or Radio personality, implying directly or indirectly that the endorsement means their training is superior to all others. It's just a claim, usually unsubstantiated. But you should know that any celebrity that endorses a product is generally paid to do so. That makes the endorsement a "conflict of interest" and the type of thing we don't participate in. We've earned the right to claim ours is the most comprehensive in the industry because we have written prolifically on the subject from a wide variety of approaches - way more than any single competitor.

Then there are the faux pas endorsements. Not that long ago, Oprah Winfrey endorsed a book by a man making certain claims about his recovery from awful circumstances of some sort. I haven't read the book (so I don't know the particulars), but I've certainly heard about the embarrassment to Oprah in the news and her apology for endorsing something that turned out to be total falsehood. Now Oprah only endorses books by well known individuals, her latest endorsement being for Harry Belafonte, I believe.

Years ago William Shatner of Star Wars fame was the spokesman for a vitamin company with "USA" in the name. The company claimed their product was endorsed by several "heavy hitting" scientists from all over the globe. Some of the endorsements were paid for and others were actually false. Not long after the company had misled hundreds of thousands of consumers all over the country (maybe millions of consumers), the owner sneaked out the country with millions of dollars, leaving the company bankrupt and embarrassed.

So one should take celebrity endorsements for what they are: paid advertising.


For Legitimate, Expert and Comprehensive Training

These warnings are issued in hopes of protecting the consumer from deceptive marketing practices.

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