Will I be kicked out of Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge?

*** Rant Alert ***

This post may be considered a rant (and get me kicked out of Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge)

*** End of Rant Alert ***

I have learned a lot from Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge but not from the “content” being delivered. The content of the 4 weeks course is very basic and has to do more with motivation to take action than with actual content. You see, all we actually learned was: Build a personal blog and blog about yourself (How to build the blog? Search for it… What to blog about? Why not about the Quick Start Challenge? You may win a prize if you do…) Drive traffic with blog and forum commenting (and why don’t you comment on each other’s blogs? That way you will see immediate responses… And as far as forums are concerned, the Warrior forum is recommended 😉  You want to know how to comment effectively?… Go out and find out for yourself). Bonus assignment – create a video (about… you guessed it – Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge…). How to do this? Go out and search for it…

Rant within a rant – those basic traffic tactics are only useful when you are starting up as they require a lot of time and effort on your part. Once you stop actively posting, traffic will die out. This is just one example of how the whole program was geared for the short term and not really showing people how to build their business for the long term.

Build a list – create a product to giveaway, setup an autoresponder and a signup form on the blog. How to do all this? … go out and search for it… (This was actually named: “Push Button Income & Automation” if you can believe it…) Really, this has been one big disappointment as far as content is considered. Only the very basic concepts were covered, none of the strategies, tactics, tips and trick you would have wanted to learn were even mentioned. So what did I learn from Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge? Brilliant marketing. I did not learn anything from the course itself but learned a lot from the way it was constructed. Let me lay it all out for you… Let’s say you have a high end coaching program (which sells for $5,000) that you want to promote. Of course you can do the hard work of advertising it all over the place while spending a lot of money in the process. You could recruit affiliates you may say, and you’ll be right in thinking so, however there is one little snag – why would big name affiliates want to promote your coaching program when they have their own to promote? So what do you do? Let me tell you what Dean Holland has done. The very basic approach to marketing says you build a funnel which sorts out your prospects and turn them into customers. You start out with a low end (or even free) item which in turn promotes your high end product and build your brand in the process. So where is that “brilliant marketing” you were talking about, I hear you asking… Hold on to your pants, it’s coming 🙂 You start out by advertising the entry level product as being a newbies dream of quickly starting a true Internet business. With some name dropping and the following list of topics you say it will cover:
  • The Big Beginning
  • The free Traffic Tap
  • On demand Income and Automation
  • Instant Internet Lifestyle
it’s an easy sell (you really need to see the sales letter… it’s very enticing 🙂 ). Next, you promote it on the warrior forum as a WSO (lot’s of newbies looking for their breakthrough and eager affiliates ready to promote it for you) and start a 4 week process of building the marketing monster. On week one (“The Big Beginning”), getting everyone excited on what’s to come, you tell them that building a personal blog IS the only way to properly build your brand and your online business. You motivate the participants to go out and build their blogs by offering a prize with high perceived value (which for you, is no out of pocket money). If you do a good job with motivating them, you will have a lot of people entering your “build my marketing machine” funnel. Oh, and don’t forget to suggest they blog about their experience with your coaching program… On week two (“The free Traffic Tap”), you need to keep the motivation up by providing instant tangible results so you tell them how to drive free traffic to their blogs and get some social engagement (social markers are the hot thing with SEO these days). You set it up so they will visit each other’s blog, leaving a comment and thus creating a complex net of links among the blogs. This is brilliant strategy number one – build a network of connected blogs which are all owned, operated and hosted by others. This massive Internet presence, of course, is focused on your low end product, building your brand. Drop a hint about how this will benefit them in the future 🙂 Brilliant step number two – suggest creating a youtube video (about your program, of course) asking them to name the file with the name of your product. In case you did not know, Google pays close attention to the name of the video file you upload to youtube. Week three (“On demand Income and Automation”) is all about getting them to start building a list (did you notice how this is all basic affiliate training? I’ll get to that in a moment). You teach them they need a free offer to get people to signup and setup an autoresponder sequence where they can then go and promote products to make money. They don’t have a product to give away? Point them back at your OTO for the training (we did say on demand income, right? LOL) Week four (“Instant Internet Lifestyle”) is where you tell them how building a real business is hard work but the “Internet Lifestyle” is all about not working so hard but enjoying life, while making money. This is where you revile a small part of your marketing funnel and suggest for them to be affiliates for your products, as part of their newly discovered Internet Lifestyle of working less while making money. You tell them how you are going to turn the training they just had to a product and how they are situated to benefit from all the traffic your new product is going to receive. Now the full master plan is in the open for everyone to see (Check out this post on the Warrior forum I did a few weeks back). The so called “Quick Start Challenge” is nothing but a cultivation program for affiliates while building a massive marketing funnel. And this is the brilliance behind it all. You build yourself:
  • An army of highly motivated, trained affiliates which have nothing but rave reviews for your teachings.
  • A monster of a marketing funnel.
  • A lot of buzz around your brand and product.
  • A huge amount of positive feedback and rave reviews.
all while getting paid to do so! What did you learn?

42 Replies to “Will I be kicked out of Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge?”

  1. Hi Ely

    Yes it was a rant! The whole idea was having a mentor to see you through and give you the encouragement and motivation to get going! If you stop blog commenting traffic will die – then dont stop!

    Sometimes we need a mentor to get us to take action. It will be interesting to see who survives now the end has come.

    1. Hi Kay,

      I have no argument with you there, but was that really what you got? I will not try to explain myself again (I think I did a pretty good job of it at the post itself).

      I wish you lots of success – you are one of the more impressive people I have met in the QSC.


  2. Hello Ely, Can’t say you are wrong about your assessment of the quick start challenge. But then again it is a great marketing plan at work. Worth the $10 to get a front row seat to learn how it’s done yes?

  3. One last closing remark: I call things as I see them. Several weeks ago I started seeing a pattern in the way the QSC was leading people. I did some checking around and found out it’s not uncommon for people to use these methods.

    I think, as far as marketing goes, it’s smart (kudos to Alex Jeffreys) but I did not like the way leveraging was used in this case.

    Ok. I said all I had to say about this matter. We all choose our paths and I wish you (my reader) much success with whatever you choose to do.

  4. I have absolutely no problem at all with the fact that Dean got a ton of publicity out of the students on QSC. It’s called marketing, it was quite transparent (nothing underhanded about it and I think you’d have to be extraordinarily dense not to realise Dean was getting something out of it too), and it doesn’t negate what he promised and what he delivered. Yes, it was basic, but for the absolute beginners it needed to be, and for those of us who have been round a bit longer it was a kick in the pants to get back to basics and take action.
    All the way through it has been stressed that it takes work and that we will need to keep up that level of work for after the challenge ends. I liked the fact we weren’t spoon fed, and pretty much had to find our own tools. A lot of “educators” in IM are more than happy to insist you buy certain tools and submit entries for challenges only with content created with those tools, which of course they get commission from. I got to use tools I already had and had never investigated (like stuff that came free with Windows), and I think for a lot of us getting to grips with those tools and just getting something done in the timeframe was enough of a challenge without having to come up with our own subjects too, though there was nothing stopping anyone who wanted to from doing that instead/as well. Along the way, we’ve faced some demons and learned some skills we can continue to use. As far as I’m concerned, everyone wins, and I got more than I paid for. I’m puzzled that you would be surprised that a marketer, teaching you how to be a marketer, would use that opportunity to market himself too. Marketing is all about leverage, or are you not planning to market anything to the people who opt in for your “freebie”?

    1. Janie,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I have no argument with you that that’s the way things work – if it was nothing more than that.

      My issue with the QSC goes beyond that. In the past few weeks I’ve come to realize the QSC was formed (the same way other of Alex Jeffreys students are doing) in the soul purpose of building Dean’s marketing system for his coaching program.

      I’m saying (and they, of course deny) that it was a well devised plan.
      I’m saying the QSC does not set anyone up as a marketer except for marketing Dean’s program.

      Yes, you could use the drive of the QSC to build your business but for that you need to take other actions and follow a different plan (hey, you could buy his high level coaching and learn, right?).

      I know you may still be a little star-struck, but do try to open your mind to what I’m trying to say here. They promised the moon and gave you a photo of it.

      Do you really think commenting on each other’s blogs, slaving away on forum commenting or even uploading a testimonial video (did anyone ever showed you how to construct a video so people will not leave after 5 seconds?) can be “The free Traffic Tap”?

      Do you really believe telling you to place a signup form on a blog (that no one sees) without guiding you how to construct your offer, the sign-up form, the follow up sequence, etc. could be called: “On demand Income and Automation”?

      I could go on and on but then I already said all that in the post above.

      As far as I’m concerned, this episode is over and done with. I have no intention of going on a crusade against the way Dean (and the like of him) are conducting their businesses. I haven’t got the time and energy to try and open people’s eyes.

      I do hope you are able to get your business going and have lots of success, as I do for the other participants in the QSC.

      BTW – I did not say I got nothing out of it… I did enjoy watching the master at work and I did use the challenge to get me going on something I was meaning to do for a long time.

  5. Far from being starstruck (how patronising was that?) I think I had a more realistic expectation of what I was buying (as did pretty much everyone else I’ve spoken to) than you seem to have had, and then I was surprised when it delivered more. I didn’t buy the OTO or the coaching program, and I still think Dean overdelivered on what was a sub $20 product. Did it create a demand for his higher level program? You bet. And that is clever marketing. Did he deceive anyone? No.

    Remember that there are two sides to that level of publicity. His name is now all over the internet (not that it wasn’t before) and he encouraged us to put our blog links on the videos on youtube. Even if we were all “starstruck” at the stage we made the videos it will in future be very easy for anyone to follow the trail and see who went on to success and at what level. If no one does, the trail is there with Dean’s name on it. There is a saying that “success leaves clues”. Well, so does failure.

    Dean has always been quite upfront about the fact that it will take work beyond the challenge, that it wasn’t a magic bullet, and also that he was getting publicity from it. The only bit I found slightly disingenuous was when he said that everyone had begged him to open the coaching program at a discount. I’ve no doubt that they DID, but I’m quite sure it wasn’t a surprise to Dean. Of course, he didn’t have to discount it. I’m pretty certain he could have filled the course at full price.

    It’s quite easy to question people’s motives in business. I find it amusing that you’re acting like you are the only one who has this stunning insight into some shady dealings when actually most other people accepted it for what it was and got tons out of it, even those for whom none of it was really new information. Then again, the cynical part of me could wonder if this is all part of that old trick of driving traffic through controversy and negative posting 😉

    1. Hi Janie,

      Far from it. I give people all the credit in the world (even if they make huge unrealistic claims) until it’s proven wrong. When I first realized what’s going on, I posted on the Warrior forum regarding the marketing strategy I saw emerging and the replies I got were most about how common practice this is.

      I then said nothing and went on listening to Dean as he was revealing the next steps in the QSC, waiting to see when he will be giving that single tip that would make it all worthwhile.

      When it was all over and done with, I wrote this post and did not promote it. It was only after chatting with someone on the QSC Skype group that I decided to let people know about this post. Only after I started getting responses from people who have experienced the same thing with other marketers that I started talking about my post. And again, I did not push it hard at all (and could easily have done so).

      BTW, did you see the response I got from Craig? They needed to kick me out so he claimed I was negative (how negative have I been when I said it was brilliant marketing and called Dean a master at what he does?) to justify it.

      And as far as the people on the QSC, those that took action, I have the utmost admiration and was never intended to sound patronizing (could be a poor choice of words, seeing that English is not my first language) and I appologize if I did.

  6. No apology necessary. And it certainly doesn’t show that English isn’t your first language, but of course sometimes the nuances get lost. I wasn’t seriously accusing you of controversial posting to drive traffic, merely demonstrating that it’s easy to put a negative spin on things if you want to. I hoped you’d pick that up from the winking smiley, but I’m spelling it out for the avoidance of doubt. Though actually, the title of your post does seem to betray a bit of an agenda, given that you were framing your experience as being kicked out before you were refunded. You weren’t satisfied (you can’t please all of the people all of the time), you were refunded. That’s how it’s supposed to work (the warrior who I’ve asked for a refund twice now without the dignity of a response should take note). I know you didn’t ASK for a refund, but when someone is clearly as dis-satisfied as you a swift refund is the best course of action.

    1. Hi Janie,

      You are right about me not asking for a refund but you are wrong about me being dis-satisfied with the QSC. I do think I got my money’s worth and learned a valuable lesson (although not from the content provided as it was old news for me). I have no problem asking for a refund when I think I get the short end of the stick, but this is not one of those occasions.

      The refund was forced on me due to “you are so unhappy and do not wish to be part of this AMAZING community” which is totally not true. They needed the refund so they can kick me out (and I don’t blame them, after all I was expecting this). I also bought the gold package and that part was not refunded 🙂

      P.S. Thanks for the complement on my English 🙂

  7. Ely, I’m so sorry I didn’t find your post back in the days of Quick Start Challenge.
    I see most of the commenters here are somehow against you, that’s why I decided to enter my opinion also.

    Well… What I got from this training was purely a “go and take action” push. That’s all. During the training I was feeling like the webinars were 90% waste of time and blah blah blah. But I thought I’m too demanding… Seeing so many people so excited made me doubt my judgement.

    I also did the video in week 2, and now I’m kind of regretting the content I put in it, because my impression about QSC changed completely.
    But I didn’t do any review or testimonial for QSC, because I decided to take the following approach at that time: “shut up when in doubt” 😉

    It’s not about the few dollars paid, about getting just a picture of the moon as you nicely said, it’s not even about feeling used.

    It’s about using the word “honesty”. Dean said to QSC members: “be honest just like me” (not exact words). I don’t consider honest someone who tells only the part of the truth people like to hear and hides the other part of the truth that people will not like.

    I really hate it when people use big words that they will probably never understand the meaning of in marketing techniques… I consider that lame.

    And now, after reading your post, and getting some proof this is a marketing schema used by others also, what can I say… I can’t even admire Dean for being a good marketer since the idea was not original.

    1. Hi Sorina,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, even if it is long after the fact.

      I agree with your assessment of Dean’s behavior, however I do give him credit for being good at what he does. He is a master at motivating people and getting them to take action.

      Wishing you lots of success,

  8. Looks like Ely knocked it out of the park is what I can quite confidently say after reading from top to bottom here, in fact after reading through the posts above I am unable to pull Ely up on absolutely anything as he has told it exactly as it is in the IM game…

    A marketer that has cracked it has normally done so by gathering a ‘tribe’ together around themselves to promote his/her products, affiliated programs, coaching programs etc. We have all fallen into this institution somewhere or other as part of our online learning experience…

    Here is how you get your head around it and see the common pattern: Firstly take your present mentor, dig pretty deep and find out which other successful ‘gurus’ they roll with, mention, praise on a regular basis etc…Now find out who your present mentor’s online coaches have been in the past/present and you will more than likely find that a few of them were trained by the same mentors in a lot of cases, and that their own products and mentoring programs follow the same or else very similar strategies and game-plan…

    I attended one of Dean’s webinars around 12 hrs ago and agree that his method of selling is brilliant, and even without buying into it I did gain a few pointers that will be of use to me in my business earlier on in the call prior to the sales pitch, and because of this I will continue to keep an eye on the methods that he is using…

    The moral of the story is not to do what they want you to do but rather what they are actually doing..:-)

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head Ely. There is sort of an emptiness in the aforementioned marketing strategy. It doesn’t really feed the soul… rather it takes from it.

  10. Hi Ely,

    Great to see people out in the IM community who are brave enough to say it as they see it.

    I personally haven’t been on the QSC, but bought a WSO by Dean to examine his sales funnel and marketing.

    Alex Jeffreys and Dean Holland are successful because of their well constructed and designed sales funnel and marketing model, and as you said they are geniuses is marketing and funnel design. 🙂

    What we can do is look at it from the outside and build such funnels for business ideas we have got.

    I’m not a big fan of Apple products, but having disected their marketing, they have a fantastic funnel with great marketing strategy that they use to ease people into the Apple ‘walled garden’. Which in some ways is like creating a strong ‘tribe’. 🙂

    As I’ve heard from some very intelligent people, do as they do, rather than doing as they preach. 😉

  11. Thank you for your honest review. Most reviews, in my experience, are not to be trusted, they’re just trying to make a sale. It is refreshing when you come across an honest review. Thank you so much for your integrity.

    1. Thank you Sue for taking the time to comment on this post. I highly appreciate your feedback as it encourages me (and others) to “tell it as it is”.

  12. Hi Ely,
    Great Post Ely
    – and we need people in our industry who just tell as it is. There are far to many newbies, – and its hard when getting started to figure out left from right.
    good job posting,…

    1. Hi Fred,
      Thank you so much for commenting on this post. It’s encouraging to know it’s appreciated and accepted in the spirit it was written at.

  13. Ely, I have just found your post or “rant” as you call it. I am on the Challenge myself but a bit behind everyone as I was away for 2 weeks and no sight of a pc. What you have said about your perspective on Deans approach is not necessarily news to me in that I expect someone in that position to try to get me to buy something, its what others do and I would do it myself. So no fault to Dean on any of that. But good luck with your marketing for the future.


    1. Hi Jo,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment on the post. I was on the challenge 2 years ago so I’m not sure how it is run now.
      I have no problem with people trying to sell me something. My issue with Dean was the fact he was using the people on the so called challenge to promote his own business under the pretense of teaching them how to build an Interment business of their own.
      Wishing you lots of success,

  14. I have to agree with you on MANY things… yet I also have to differ on some things. I completely understand your approach on this guy´s program. Honestly, _I bought it just to see what you were talking about. I am not a person that´s aching for money…however, as an Italian guy I will ALWAYS increase my income. I am an airline pilot…but part of my income comes from investing with different things…everything from buying gold, stocks, whatever it takes to make a dollar out of 15cents. … Now, BS out… dude, I hear what you´re saying…The way I see it… he has this type of things that´s like a “How To”…for newbies… but an experienced marketer won´t get anything from it… I´d rather spend a C-note on Flippa and get something out of it…. Your review is very good..however, please take it a lil bit easier on the newbies… they could grab something out of this… If you take it REALLY 100% it´s like if you took the 4Hr Work Week up to mind (with all due respect…I loved this book)… True… there are some things that are really worth looking at…but people must not take things 100% direct,…know what I mean? I honestly think it´s a good “basic” guide…if you stop yourself at sending them your traffic…(kwIm?)…

    1. Hi Don,
      Thanks for sharing (and sorry for the long delay in replying… I was out of the scene fro a while).
      Reading your comment, it looks like he changed things a bit (there was no guide when I joined his “challenge”).
      Have an awesome day 🙂

  15. Hmm, I never took the challenge myself and was considering it. Actually seeing if it were still available? But you know how you just feel an instinct sometimes about someone? Well my friend, you’ve just corroborated that instinct. In the bits I’ve read about his offers, they always seemed to loop back to him. I’m a stark newbie, but I still thought, while that marketer approach no doubt, should be accepted ‘to a degree’, it always seemed the endgame on every level with Dean. I think theres a point where you should break away from that, and focus on the giving without recieving aspect, when the general thought of the mission, after all, is to help others. Obviously being a newbie, I was still questioning myself, which is why I was still looking into him, but this has convinced me, that my original thoughts have substance. Thanks for the thoroughness of your review.

    1. Thank you for sharing David. It’s great to see others can benefit from my post.
      I do apologize for the long delay in replying. I was out of the scene for a while.
      I do hope you are finding your way in the IM jungle 🙂
      Lots of success!

  16. I two was starstruck joined the coaching programme spent a fortune $250 dollars on advertising got $17.00 asked for a refund ….now being shafted

    1. Sorry to hear about your bad experience Graham. From what you are saying, it looks like you have joined a different program then I did (or maybe he updated it since then…).
      I do hope you find what you are looking for!

  17. Hello Ely.
    I wasn’t going to comment, seing the age of the original post.. However, it looks like there is a new version of QSC out now.
    Not sure what Graham is speaking about…unless it is part of the new improved programs of marketing his high ticket products.
    I must say that you broke it down quite well in what the challenge was really about: the QSC is a challenge Dean made to see if he could get a lot of people to promote his sites and coaching within a four week period of time.. Brilliant.

    I can name at least four other marketers who use similar approaches in their coaching programs… Think I have probably bought most of them at one time or another.
    Good news is that you are ranked number two for Quick start challenge on the big G.

    Great to see people who tell it like it is. Keep up the Good work.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words Jimmy!

      Yes, I know my post is showing up for people searching for more information on the QSC – once a year I get some traffic to my post… Not a bad thing 🙂

  18. Thanks for your blog Ely. Before I found it I was very, very close to taking the course. I am a 70 year old retired veteran and have been studying Internet marketing for a few years now but cannot seem to motivate myself to take action except on my small business of providing digital business cards and mobile websites to small businesses. I do that simply by knocking on doors and not by online marketing.

    Perhaps I should take it just for the “kick in the a** to get started with the online sales part of my business. But your blog has opened up questions for me.

    Question 1: I understand that they want us to blog about them and make testimonial videos about them, but do they also encourage us to use our own product to blog about instead, or do they prohibit that? I am thinking that if I could do that it would be a great start for the online part of my business that I have not gotten off the ground with yet.

    Question 2: Do they talk about how to get traffic and a following for free or very little money beyond just sharing your blog with other participants and posting on each other’s blog?

    The QSC is closing at the end of today so I am hoping you see this and answer it before it does. And thank you Ely and everyone else for your honest comments!

    1. Hi Kenny,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post.

      This post is from 3 years ago and in it I talk about my experiences back then. With the program they had then.

      I do not know the syllabus and content of the current program and therefor can not comment on it. However, I do believe they do not (and actually can not) restrict your activity on your own blog.

      I wish you a lot of success in whatever you decide to do!

  19. Hi Ely ,

    So, in a nutshell, you buy this product to improve your online marketing but in the process (of learning how to do it) you are promoting the product you bought?


    1. In a nutshell Luna, that was my experience with it. Only there was not so much learning involved… (at least back then)

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