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Third Tribe Marketing - Review of Third Tribe Marketing

Updated on November 21, 2011

Third Tribe Marketing hit my inbox a little under a month ago - very soon there will be a lot of gushing "go buy it now" Third Tribe Marketing reviews, I'll explain why in a moment. It seemed like a good topic to write a hub on because I suspect the marketing pitch distinguishing themselves from traditional "obnoxious" Internet marketing would have a great number of hubbers who tend towards the social side of online marketing rather than the hard core "make money online" crowd. The Third Tribe Marketing program pitches to those who consider themselves somewhere in between the "obnoxious sales letter crowd" and the "kumbaya loving social media crowd". That would all be well and good - but they are also promising to teach you "Online Marketing Strategies That Work (Period)" - and I am concerned that they are not delivering value for money - read on to find out why.

If you want the short version - no I am not recommending Third Tribe Marketing and you won't find my affiliate link for it in this review - and here's why.

Third Tribe Marketing Review

Third Tribe Marketing has been launched as an expensive ($47/month) membership site. The people behind this read as the A-list of bloggers: Brian Clark (copyblogger), Darren Rowse (problogger), Chris Brogan (Thesis theme). Some of you will have heard those names. If any of you have actually made money by following their advice I'd love to hear from in the comments. I know that the advice I got from them pretty much made me quit Internet Marketing the first time.

You would have thought that these people who all have well-established blogs - would already have provided all the required information for free. And Darren Rowse already has a paid forum - so what value add are we seeing with the Third Tribe?

Third Tribe Marketing Promises

  • An online webinar or audio class each month.
  • The Quick Start Guide to Making Money Online.
  • Building a Business Around a Blog
  • Live Q&A
  • Interactive Forums
  • Special Deals

So lets go through each of these and see what I have seen already.

Online Audio

This has not really kicked off yet as in the first month the audios have been the ones I describe below - one can, I suppose hope for some structured instruction - but I am not holding my breath.

The Quick Start Guide to Making Money Online.

This one featured a hapless blogger who discovered he could make more money setting up blogs for other people in exchange for the affiliate company's hosting than earning Adsense income from "funny posts" - yeah like no kidding! As many hubbers have discovered - there is a real skill in writing pages for Adsense - and funny posts won't do it - keyword researched and focused ones will.

Here's my quick start guide to making money online:

  • sell the stuff in the back room you never use;
  • get some freelance writing work
  • use craiglist or gumtree to advertise some real services (dog walking, window washing) to your local community.

Yeah I know its not very sexy and will be hard work - but you did want to make some money didn't you?

Building a Business Around a Blog

This is the big item in the first month at Third Tribe Marketing.

  1. Brian (Clark) interviews Darren (Rowse)
  2. Sonia (Simone) interviews Chris (Brogan)
  3. Sonia interviews Brian

So yes you get over three hours on how Darren, Brian and Chris have made their money. That's nice - how does it apply to you the person new to the Internet trying to figure it out - not quite sure to be honest. There are some "work sheets" - but asking someone to identify their customers unmet needs is a bit of an ask when they don't yet have a blog or even a clue about what they are selling. This is very quickly turning into the whole Teaching Sells mantra (also by Brian Clark) Live Q&A

Well there was one last week and I have listen to it (its recorded if you can't make the time) - because there is no real focus on how to develop an online business the questions are all over the place and very general.

Interactive Forums

Oh yes the forums are very active - how long it will last I'm not quite sure. But as quite a number of people are very keen to "network" it may last for a while - whether the networking will be of any use - well yes exactly my point. I am not a huge fan of networking - a lot of it is so artificial as to be laughable - just like over-priced seminars off-line. The seriously scary thing is just how little the owners are active in the forums - I ran the figures on the first 23 days and a whopping 0.02% of the threads had been started by Chris, Darren, Sonia or Brian. One gets the distinct impression that they are reading the forums to see what add-on tool they can offer you next.

Special Deals.

Sounds good doesn't it? Special price for your loyalty for paying out your $47/month for the forum. In practice there has already one new product offered by one of the principals (at additional cost) and I expect to see more coming soon.

Third Tribe Marketing Won't Make You Money

Unless you already have a freelancing/consulting business running - then a bit of subtle forum marketing may well be worth the membership - the forum allows signatures and the readers are hungry for information and do tend to click through on my stats.

If you are new to making money online - then I will once again pimp The Keyword Academy -

  • yes it costs $33/month (first month is a $1/trial) - but for that price you get:
  • detailed videos (and transcripts) of how to do keyword research and setup WordPress sites;
  • weekly Q&A webinar
  • monthly content webinar
  • link building tools (which they couldn't easily pay $33 for these alone!)
  • an active form which stays on topic and is actively moderated and active selling is only allowed in one section; Check out the detailed review on the right!

If you really want to find out how the Third Tribe Marketing founders made their money - then pay out the $47 /month to find out. Me I'd keep my dollars in my pocket. Learn SEO and keyword research and you can dominate most niches and make money without having to have the book deal or the speaking. Oh and the reson for the expected avalanch of gushing Third Tribe reviews - they are paying affiliates 33% for each sign up … how very old-style, first tribe of them!

How much would you pay for an online forum where you can talk about making money online?

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    • Madurai profile image

      Madurai 7 years ago from Online

      It seems from the poll that people never want ot pay but want more tips for earning online...

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Yeah Barbara - its the time of the year that they open Teaching Sells probably because the owners needs some Xmas cash :-) It sounds like 3T didn't improve then! Sitting around talking about making money never made anyone rich - but it seems more appealing to many people than actually doing the work

    • profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago

      I was one of the gullible ones who signed up for Third Tribe, because I like Darren, and Sonia lives in my city. I know, pretty lame, but I bought into their mission. After paying them the special introductory price of $27 per month, I canceled the subscription 6 months in because I still couldn't find any real value there. The interviews were poorly produced, and didn't contain any information I hadn't already read on problogger, or elsewhere online. The forums are inhabited by people trying to sell to each other, and I never saw one of the principals getting involved in a thread they didn't start themselves.

      Now they're pitching the launch of "Teaching Sells" AGAIN. It's obviously a business model that works for them, but as someone who believes in enabling quality connections, and actually helping others First, I'm not going to waste time and money buying into that.

      Interesting update on Teaching Sells - if you go to any of their old pages and read the testimonials, you'll find a lot of people who either: said they couldn't make it work for them (and said it was their own fault) or link to a community they built after going through the program. When you click the link, the communities are gone.

      I'll bet we start finding the same type of testimonials for Third Tribe.

    • profile image

      sector3report 7 years ago

      well here is something Third Tribe did for me - led me to read reviews which gave me yours, Lissie. thanks for the honest review. I will look and see what else you've got!

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 7 years ago from Kansas

      Hey Lissie as usual great advice for everyone. Just doing the rounds of hubs and I notice I had not read your in a while. How could I have missed that one.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 7 years ago

      I have heard so many good things about the keyword academy, I will have to give it a try. Thanks again.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks Lissie. I am no way near being tempted to try any of these schemes. Actually I am no way near being motivated to do all of the things I DO understand.

      Nice to see you around-- you were my first, ever, commenter and encourager over two years ago. Luv the HubPages. Hope you are well.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      thanks Tony - I've had people slam me for writing negative reviews - but I know for a fact that I have stopped people wasting their money - that works for me!

      Hi seakay - yup that's what makes me mad - and your friend got off lightly I know people who have lost thousands! Hopefully next time she'll be a little more cautious - there are way to make money online - but its a lot of time and effort

    • Seakay profile image

      Seakay 7 years ago from Florida

      Lissie, I've not read your hubs before but enjoyed this one. Very informative and understand completely about the traps new bloggers encountered. Had a friend who paid $99 to sign up for a class. Never saw her money or her class. Very sad as she's a single mom and thought this would be her ticket to financial freedom.

    • Tony the writer profile image

      Tony the writer 7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      For a rather negative article you have managed to include so much posative advice, well done.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting isn't it that Kersten sees thru the self-promotional content and qatarvisitor does not? QV you really have to get more critical - no system on the internet is a traditional school - all of these programs have an agenda - you just have to figure it out and discount as required.

      Kersten I'm no longer a blogger - Brian Clark threw me out for comments I made on my *own* blog LOL - and not even about third tribe marketing! How very un third tribe was that!

      I'd look long and hard at the value you are getting from the program.

    • profile image

      Kersten Kloss 7 years ago

      I am a member of Third Tribe as well. I listened to the interview with Jeff Walker and I have to say, I was not impressed. It came accross as a big self promotion pitch... Made me think, "Why am I paying for this subscription to just listen to someone promoting his own Make Money on the Internet spiel" All talk no detail.

      This kind of material makes me want to cancel my subscription from Third Tribe.

      Where's the beef?

    • qatarvisitor profile image

      qatarvisitor 7 years ago from Qatar

      I joined up like you right at the start. The main reason I joined was that I have been reading Problogger for years: I really like Darren Rowse, not least because he has the time to answer your emails when you know he is extremely busy. I first emailed him when a few months after I started on the net my blog disappeared from the indexes and he took the time to email me back at a time when I was really upset.

      However, when I first joined Third Tribe I thought: "How the hell did they persuade me to join this!" There was so little on to start with - but, as they pointed out, there was just as much as they had promised. However there is more material on now, and some of it has been very useful - especially the interview with Jeff Walker.

      Anwyay, just my thoughts. Perhaps they have shot themselves in the foot a bit by providing so much for free that there is not so much left they can dole out for a price.

    • nick247 profile image

      nick247 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I heard a lot of hype about this, nice to see some straight-to-the-point truth telling!

    • ActiveCampaign profile image

      ActiveCampaign 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Another great review, Lissie!

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 7 years ago

      Lissie this is really amazing thanks you rock

    • Paul Powell profile image

      Paul Powell 7 years ago

      Marketing program pitches to those who consider themselves somewhere in between the "obnoxious sales letter crowd" and the "kumbaya loving social media crowd".

      Priceless that's so funny....

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 7 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Thanks Lissie, I've just become a fan - I like the sense that you make!

    • Jenna May Swan profile image

      Jenna May Swan 7 years ago

      Good one again Lissie...

      With a name like Third Tribe Marketing its not something I was every likely to go for anyway - what a lot of old tosh!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the comments everyone - CMHypno - yes thats true Ive never seen a negative review of the keyword academy - and I'm certainly not going to write one - its because those guys so over deliver - they keep adding more functioanlity for the same price

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thanks for the heads up Lissie. The problem is that you can end up spending a fortune on these schemes, but gain very little from them. The only one I have never heard being disparaged is the Keyword Academy - and it was reading about Court's Hub challenge that led me to HubPages!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very intering hub and a great eye-opener. I found that they all talk about you got this and that but never how to do it. Even on hub I found some like that. I am a computer dummy and if I don't get told which button to press I don't know how to get this information or that programme. Thank you for a great advice.

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image

      LoneWolfMuskoka 7 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      The thing that I like about the founders of Third Tribe is that they do provide a lot of free content that is more than just fluff. Granted, it isn't the whole store either, but I've learned a lot from Darren and Sonia as I've begun blogging.

      I looked at Third Tribe, but didn't think the $47/month was within my budget for the amount of time that I would have to put in it. (Actually, it wouldn't fit in my budget right now even if I did 8=) I'm not sure it would be of much benefit to me at this stage of the game.

      The other thing that I like about these guys is that they aren't the hard sell, email every day about some limited time offer. Plus Darren let me guest post at TwiTips once so he can't be all bad 8=)

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Nice :-)

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Yeah ddalgleish - I have generally found doing work rather than reading about doing work - produces better results :-)

    • ddalgleish profile image

      ddalgleish 7 years ago from Canada

      Lissie, thanks for this article. I've tried a couple of other MMO forums (low cost or free) and found them to be a waste of time. There's probably some valuable information in the forums, but it takes too much time and effort to wade through all the garbage to find it. I'll keep my money in my pocket too. ;-)

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks everyone for their kind comments.

      @boomer - I've done a fair few more than that - I have serveral IDs here!

      @thelma - marketing well to others who want to learn how to make money online is a huge cesspit of crap products (and the third tribe isn't that bad compared to some) - its very much caveat emptor land!

      @Mike - I should check out webmaster forums more often - thanks for the reminder

    • retireyoung profile image

      retireyoung 7 years ago from Bali

      Great information. I don't spend much time on MMO forums anymore, but occasionally take a peak at webmasterworld. It's a great forum, no links, no signatures.

      The other great resource is webmasterradio. I listen to different shows everyday on my ipod while at the gym or walking my dog. Great information, no selling and entertaining.

    • profile image

      thelma harcum 7 years ago

      What a great Hub Lissie,

      There seems to be a marketing frenzy to oversell marketing products that most people can learn on their own.

      I suggest that many of us need to go on vacation somewhere and get away from all of this for a while and come back

      with your own programs and to focus on making money for you!

      Enough is enough already. Self-educate!


    • Leandraluv profile image

      Leandraluv 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      thanks for the heads up Lissie!

    • uakoko profile image

      uakoko 7 years ago

      Once again, Lissie, you've hit the nail on the head. You have also, in the past, opened my eyes to SBI, for which I'm very grateful to you. Keep up the good work!

    • Boomer60 profile image

      Boomer60 7 years ago

      Just found your hub. Very interesting! I don't know anything about the Third Tribe but I like how well your hub is laid out. I just made my first hub and I see you have almost 130. WOW!

      I will be looking at your hubs and see what people on HubPages make hubs about.

      Lissie, thanks for sharing this information.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I love your truth-telling!