Rich Jerk

Every once in a while, something so obnoxious comes along that makes you wonder why you’re even giving it human CPU cycles.

Along comes Kelly Felix (aka Kelly Summer), the Rich Jerk, and his anti-marketing messages.

I was all set to ignore him, until I noticed over 900 incoming search queries this month to this article: The Rich Jerk – A Study in Anti-Marketing, and then more articles on the same topic. And so forth

I put the rich jerk in the ‘get rich quick’ market and have no interest in that market niche, so for now we’ll just ignore the jerk.

It’s like he never left Junior High School, but he definintely touched a nerve in the marketplace with his arrogant copywriting.

Not the Schtick I’d have used, but seems to be a fun social experiment for him.

Lance Groom calls the Rich Jerk a “legitimate player.” huh? Did I miss something?

I’m not a fan of un-marketing or anti-marketing because of the old zen saying, “Whatever you are for, strengthens you; Whatever you are against, weakens you.” Therefore, I am *for* you not buying the rich jerk’s products.


Dina writes:

He’s just another marketer tapping an untapped market. He’s kowtowing to the rebels and doubters and naysayers and he’s using the same old marketing tactics everybody else uses, only he’s calling it something else – rebellion.

It’s that “follow me, I’m different!” mentality. So then he gets a bunch of followers, and the “anti-marketers” grow their own subgroup and they’re just like everybody else following the leader, only maybe their mantra is “meet my middle finger” instead of peace, love, and generosity.

At least he doesn’t pretend to be anything he isn’t.

Comment provided September 20, 2005 at 12:55 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

I hate sales letters that scream “huckster.”

Most of them do and they don’t pretend to hide that fact. The copywriter figures if they hit all the right “hotspots” they’ll get enough of their target market to sign up for whatever crappy item or service they are selling.

It’s the headline that usually gives the “huckster” sales letter away. A good example is this type: “Who else wants to…” and then add in whatever benefit you feel your target customer wants.

The sad fact of the matter is that just because I cringe at the sight of these obnoxious shout at the top of your lungs sale pieces, many people apparently don’t – or so many copywriters would have you beleive.

I just can’t figure out who would be stupid enough to exchange hard earned money for something sold with the style of a used car salesman.

Comment provided September 20, 2005 at 7:11 PM


Soni writes:

Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate, basically because I love adding alternative views to any serious discussion (and because it’s fun) –

We hate it. We loathe it. We know he’s not selling secrets direct from God. We think he’s just one of a million skanky car salesment. And yet…everybody needs a car, and few of us would be willing to do the work necessary to buy it factory direct without a middle-man handling the paperwork, the shipping, the ordering and all the other nit-picky, back-room stuff that sales people handle for us in exchange for their commission.

The fact is, this copy works. Even going into it completely cynical and negative, it had me sucked in by the third paragraph (no I didn’t buy – due to a raging confluence of pooh and fan this month, I don’t have two nickels to rub together). People don’t buy with their heads. They buy with their emotions, and this copy is nothing but emotion. We’ve all been so over-woo’d by sweetness and light spinmasters trying to convince us that their pooh is of the new odor-free variety that when we see direct and blunt copy like this, we feel we can put away our BS filter, because he’s not sugarcoating his stuff and therefore not BS’ing us.

Of course, he might be. We all know that’s a real possibility. But the second fact is, his techniques most likely do actually work for many people. They certainly work for him. And as a general rule, these sorts of techniques have worked for millions of people, in one form or another, all over the globe and throughout time. Even the gurus he talks about with the 90lbs info product door stops sell stuff that works. For some people, some of the time.

Of course, that is if the buyer is willing to do what it takes to make it work and that whatever economic situation or bubble that exists that lets these techniques work doesn’t pop before they get out. Yeah, no doubt some techniques he teaches are shady. Some are not. And some are probably (as he says in the letter) real “D’oh!” brain-smackers. But yeah, if you commit to them and work them, you’ll probably make some money. Millions? Eh, I wouldn’t bet the rent on that new luxury beachfront cottage on it, but hey…you never know.

The final fact is that in reality, loathesome or not, shady or not, these techniques (or at least the selling of them, if nothing else) do work if done right and applied with determination, direction and relentless attention to detail. I know people that make a pretty penney hosting affiliate links. Even I’ve made some nifty affiliate cash in my time. Some tips on maximizing that income would probably boost my income. We all know that re-selling ebooks works for some people – many of us have bought from them and not asked for our money back. Hell, even spam works (not that I’m advocating spam) and it works damn well, or people wouldn’t still be doing it.

We just don’t want it to work, because it doesn’t fit into our ideas of “nice” behavior. Most of us wouldn’t brag about having a car salesman in the family either. But we still buy cars from them, even though with (a lot of) work we could probably buy direct from the factory or just buy used from a private seller. But, like the Rich Jerk, car salesmen make our lives easier by doing all the work for us (and providing financing so we don’t have to be seen driving in what we can currently afford to pay for, in the latter case) so we’re willing to put up with the smarm so we don’t have to do the extra work. We just don’t want to sit next to them at lunch or (gasp) be seen approving of them and the service they provide. Bit of a double standard, that.

And on another front, many of us want to think that boring, hard work at a steady pace will one day make us rich because that’s the pony we’ve bet our lunch money on. And, just like with The Rich Jerk’s techniques, it will. For some of us. But for others it won’t. And for them, maybe The Rich Jerk’s alternative will suit their temperment and skills better. Or maybe not. But I don’t think we should degrade someone who sells an alternative (as long as it’s legal and at least reasonably ethical) to those for whom our way is not the right way.

Who knows? Maybe when I get the pooh cleared off the fan blades around here I’ll give his ebook a spin, just to see what happens. Worst case scenario – I’m out $100 and maybe get some insight on doing what I already do a little better. But hey…maybe (given my hyperactive attention span and love of the ‘many fingers, many pies’ approach to life) I’ll find one or two techniques I like and can stand behind ethically, and learn how to make a nifty living off of them.

All in the name of fun, adventure and having a good time, whether it pans out wealth-wise or not. Because that’s the pony I put my money on.

Comment provided September 20, 2005 at 8:11 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

My hunch is you can find most (if not all) of what is taught in this course for free right here on the net. Or, if your were gullible, play into this guy’s fantasy and let him take $97 from you.

It’s hucksterism pure and simple. And it’s rampant across the web. Those who are drawn into it prove the famous saying “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

If I never run across one of these sales letters again, it will be too soon.

Comment provided September 20, 2005 at 10:32 PM


Soni writes:

Sure, I could find it – if I knew what I was looking for.

That’s the point of these types of sales letters – they hint enough to pique your interest, but not enough to let you know what they’re talking about. As I mentioned in my post, above, the price someone pays for the book isn’t so much for “never before seen information” or the like. The price is for him to do the work of finding it, testing it, sorting the chaff from the grain and making it easy for the reader to understand. Just like we pay elevated prices to car salesmen for not having to go through all the pooh to deal with the factory directly and to get financing to support the vehicle we want to drive rather than the one we can afford to pay cash for (which the factory would no doubt demand from a private buyer).

Yeah, I know it’s probably out there, somewhere, unless he’s come up with something so unique it hasn’t hit the net yet – unlikely, but arguably possible for at least a small percentage of his techniques. I mean, you’d think someone would have thought of Fed Ex before that guy wrote his school project essay, but no one did. All the pieces were there – airline hubs, the efficiency rating of centralizing, sorting and reshipping, etc. But no one put it together before he did and I’m not so sure that anyone would have for quite some time after, despite all the pieces being readily availabe.

And that’s why what he’s offering has some value. No doubt, it’s not nearly the value the letter exhorts. I know hype when I see it. I am a copywriter. But, and here’s the hard-to-swallow kicker for most people, at the core of it all is the fact that for some people (possibly even myself) the price is worth not having to go dig all that stuff up myself from bowels of the Internet even if I did know what I was looking for.

People who want something have to make a choice in priorities – is it worth more to them to spend the time to do it, or the money to avoid doing it. I know that for me, it would take me substantially less time to earn $100 than it would to dig up enough info on even one of these techniques to make it work for me (again, assuming I knew what I was looking for, which I don’t). Add to it the (probably) weeks if not months it would take me, working around my current life and work, to hunt around enough to even be sure of what I was supposed to be hunting for and, quite frankly, I’m willing to see two coaching clients for a total of 90 minutes (or track down a quick copy job) and use the proceeds to pay him for avoiding cleaning that Augean stable.

Not that I’m pimping for the guy. I do think that quite likely 80% of what he has in that book is probably worthless to me. Still not entirely convinced that I want to pay $100 to take a peek at the rest. But it’s something to think about, because if even 5% of his hyperbolic promises is reachable (which even most would agree is a stingy number, given that, as you say, the ideas are out there and are so available because they are working for some people), then that’s more than enough return to pay for the outlay of the book and still have enough left over for a downpayment on a house.

Is he obnoxious. Duh. Is he a huckster? Double Duh. Do his techniques work? Undoubtedly, to some lesser extent than extolled in his advertisement. Why would someone bother? Same reason people buy lotto tickets, play the slots at Vegas and stay up til 3am playing online poker. For some, because it’s an addiction. For some, because they’re silly enough to believe all the hype. And for some because it’s fun, it’s cheap (if you’re not a complete idiot or an addict, that is), all your friends are playing too (and you can enjoy playing together or against each other) and for pure gravy you may just come out of it with some pocket change you didn’t have before.

But don’t worry. If I do decide to get his book, it won’t be because I’m expecting him to make me rich. It’ll be because I’m expecting him to give me the rules to a cool, fun game I haven’t had the chance to get around to playing yet – one that is certainly no more expensive than one of those computer or Playstation games and, from my outlook anyway, much more fun to spend hours playing because the stakes are real and the game itself is more to my geeky tastes (websites, copywriting and sales – oh my!).

If it doesn’t work out, for myself like most people, it’s no big deal. Few people who buy into these things have overly false expectations, despite the hype. We know it’s probably not all spangles and confetti. I certainly don’t. But that’s not the point – it’s the game itself that draws, not the get-rich-quick part. And if I do make money at it? Pure (vegetarian) gravy.

Comment provided September 21, 2005 at 12:48 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

Soni, it’s one thing if you’re only paying between $10. It’s another thing when you shell out close to a $100 for something that looks less than professional – my impression of what’s being sold here.

Like I said before, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Comment provided September 21, 2005 at 2:04 PM


Soni writes:

Eh, you’re only a sucker if you lose. :-D

Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel better. I do love a good debate. Thanks for playing along and letting me have some grown-up fun for a change.

Working at home with no one else in the house but gran, and with hubs out at work all day, the biggest discussions I’m involved in on a regular basis involve trying to disabuse the old dear of the notion that the house will spontaneously burst into flames if you leave the microwave plugged in during a thunderstorm and trying to convince the cats not to poke holes in my gel wrist rest. :-)

Comment provided September 22, 2005 at 1:55 AM


Roger writes:

Is the Rich Jerk a scam? The public at large may never know many details about this man, such as his real name and address. But regardless, the important question for us to ask is how good is the product we’re buying?

I bought the book and I must say I was not disappointed at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the book itself. It’s just the way I like things – short and to the point. An executive summary so to speak for making money online. I absolutely hate sifting through hundreds of pages in a pdf file trying to pull out the meat. Who has time for that? This concise 47-page road map cuts out the fluff and outlines the very specifics that will actually make you money. It helped me make over thousand dollars in the first week after buying the book. So the choice is yours.

Comment provided September 27, 2005 at 3:09 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

Roger, how interesting that you find the book a great deal – especially since when you clck on your name, it leads directly to the Rich Jerk website.

Next time you try to endorse your own product, you might want to try a different URL.

Comment provided September 27, 2005 at 6:51 PM


Dina writes:

Umm, I would just like to point out the amount of attention this “jerk” has brought onto himself as evidenced by this thread alone.

“Jerk,” maybe. Marketing genius… yeah, maybe that too.


Comment provided September 28, 2005 at 9:21 PM


Bazaa writes:

He is now selling his book for $199, my jaw almost dropped…. I originally purchased it for $97 and liked it, got some good info out of it..good poison

Comment provided October 4, 2005 at 2:21 PM


Perino writes:

If Mr Knight is so against this type of marketing why did he include his affiliate link? Appears Mr Knight is against this type of marketing but not against making money from it?

Comment provided October 4, 2005 at 4:53 PM


Mr. Knight writes:

Hi Perino,

Call it ‘bloggers perogative’…


Comment provided October 4, 2005 at 7:42 PM


Perino writes:

Mr Knight, call it bloggers prerogative if you want. But don’t you think your article lost credibility and yourself as a writer, too? And to set the record straight this isn’t called “anti-marketing” or “un-marketing”.Those 2 terms would refer to some one that is either against marketing or doesn’t market at all. This is called attitude marketing.

Comment provided October 5, 2005 at 9:36 AM


Dina writes:

Would that be “perblogative?”

Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

Comment provided October 5, 2005 at 12:52 PM


Adrian writes:

I have reviewed the book. And you can pretty much learn most of it from other sources on the net. But I gotta give it to the guy, his book is the number one ebook from click bank right now… Maybe his book won’t make you rich, but doing the things he does ( like writing such a book ) just might. Call it “meta-marketing”.

Comment provided October 10, 2005 at 1:28 PM


richjerk2 writes:


you can even find his book for just 12 $ if you search properly. and dont ask for a url.

I dont think someone else is selling it for that less , I believe he himself is selling with a different name because if someone else does it he has enough money to sue the person, which isnt happening.

( what kind of marketing strategy is that? )

That guy knows his book is good enough to sell for sometime but not forever , and he is marketing it in a way that he is having some consistent cash flow.

If he is actually doing what I think he is doing then he should be TAG NAMED as a genius.

Comment provided October 11, 2005 at 7:00 PM


Will writes:

Well I am amazed at the varied reactions to P's book The Rich Jerk. Some
people love it and some people hate it – it seems. Well you know all I can say
is that he has certainly provided me with all the help and inspiration I needed
to get my own blog going – and he has persoanally challenged me to emulate his
success – and that’s exactly what I am doing. You can see how his ideas work out
here if
you like BUT don’t visit if you don’t want the insider’s scoop.

Comment provided December 3, 2005 at 8:37 AM


John Stafford writes:


It’s a classic example of intimidation copy, basically saying he doesn’t need you or even
care if you buy…

It’s good copy in pretty clothes and that’s about all.


Comment provided January 13, 2006 at 5:48 PM



I launched my Rich Jerk Review wesite using the strategies outlined in his ebook.

10 days later it is ranking near the top of all the major search engines for just about every “Rich Jerk” related search query I can think of.

I’d say…The proof is in the pudding!

Comment provided March 6, 2006 at 12:58 PM


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