Ardeshir Kohnouri of GoBeRewarded: did you know that fake reviews hurt you, not the client?

Ardeshir Kohnouri of GoBeRewarded: did you know that fake reviews hurt you, not the client?

This PPC manager at GoBeRewarded, lashed out a former client. The client was mad at having spend $12,500 with this agency, getting no sales, and being locked into a 12 month contract.

So he left this review:

But what he doesn’t know is that’s against the Google Terms of Service to leave a fake review. He’s not a customer and had zero involvement with Philippe Coudoux of Balanced Body Massage.

He probably thought, “If I leave a one star review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other places, I can hurt this former client.”

But anyone who does a Google search can see that this guy works for the agency that got fired:

Ardeshir is a Google Ads Manager by profession, so he certainly should understand how easy it is for anyone to Google him and see he’s attacked a client that the agency mistreated.

Anyone who was looking to hire a marketing agency in North San Diego will probably think twice after seeing this misplaced behavior of one of their employees.

Ardeshir, you’re hurting your boss, Aaron Gobidas, who is also the sales guy for your agency. Now he has to try to clean this up, in addition to fixing the original problem of too much selling and not enough delivery– which is how Philippe’s livelihood got destroyed in the first place at your hands.

Aaron Gobidas of GoBeRewarded is better at selling than making his clients money

Aaron Gobidas of GoBeRewarded is better at selling than making his clients money

Aaron Gobidas of GoBeRewarded is great at sales, no doubt.

But delivering results he doesn’t care about.

I flew in to help Aaron work out an issue with a client, Philippe Coudoux, a massage therapist who paid him $12,500 and got no customers.

We were able to finally get to see the Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager to confirm what we had suspected all along.

You can see the video recording of the meeting and how Aaron dipped out after 5 minutes, never coming back.

His employees were left there wondering what to do– they didn’t know what Aaron, the salesperson, had promised the client. Nor was there anyone to take care of the client, which Aaron’s team complained about.

But they were trying to hire a project manager, so that someone could clean up after Aaron, so he could continue selling.

I don’t think Aaron is evil– what’s wrong with wanting to make a lot of money?

We tried giving him multiple chances to make things right, but he proudly and stubbornly insisted he did a great job. Let the actual results speak for themselves.

I make a living coaching digital marketing agencies– and I wish what happened with Aaron and Philippe was not so common.

This poor client trusted Aaron Gobidas with his last dollars, after COVD nearly destroyed his business. It’s just him and his wife.

Here’s what Philippe, his client, has to say about what happened.

And here’s what we said to the Better Business Bureau:

Aaron Gobidas, the salesman and owner of GoBeRewarded, likes to talk about my genitals and issue legal threats.

We worked with Philippe Coudoux, a Vista-based massage therapist, to figure out what happened to the $12,500 that we gave Aaron.

When we finally got access, we found that 6 months of paying GoBeRewarded yielded zero new patients.

Aaron’s team was highly cooperative in giving us access to be able to investigate and the whole audit was even filmed for anyone to be able to inspect.

If you Google “Aaron Gobidas”, you’ll be able to see for yourself– what GoBeRewarded did (or didn’t do), our website stats, our social media stats, and how Aaron himself dipped out after the first 5 minutes, leaving his staff to wonder.

To be fair, Aaron Gobidas is a good salesman– and he openly says he doesn’t care about what happens after the sale, since he’s on to the next sale. He admitted that he has never had a massage therapist as a client before, but didn’t see a problem with taking Philippe’s money anyway.

I hope any small business will see this review— not because GoBeRewarded is a typical sales-oriented agency preying upon local businesses– but to know that there are agencies who specialize just in what you do.

If you’re a chiropractor, then hire an agency that specializes in chiropractors only.

Our hope was the Aaron Gobidas would put in some effort to fix the situation. But he decided to make jokes about my genitals instead and use foul language.

UPDATE: They’re now running a smear campaign against Philippe’s business.

Why testing and knowing your target audience are key before you pay to play

Why testing and knowing your target audience are key before you pay to play

Social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other network, is a pay-to-play game, and you don’t want to waste money. Let’s cover four points on how you’re able to test and home in on your target audience, so that when you’re spending money, you’re doing it in an efficient way.

Number one: Organic drives paid.

When you are posting, as you see Mary does on LinkedIn organically, the algorithm is watching to see what drives the most likes, comments, and shares. Whatever does the best organically is also what will do the best on paid, because it’s the same algorithm. On Facebook, this is especially true, because EdgeRank, which is looking at the intersection of engagement, similar audiences, and time decay, is awarding traffic to you on the paid side, using the same criteria.

In other words, when the algorithm knows who is engaging with your content organically, it will use that signal on the paid side to seek similar people. In advertising, most networks allow you to run lookalike audiences, which are similar audiences to the people who have bought from you or who have engaged with you. If you’re running an ad without the signal of existing organic engagement, it’s more work for the algorithm to figure out what’s going on. We think of paid as throwing fuel on the fire and amplifying what’s already working. When you try to run ads without organic proof in advance, it’s like you’re driving your car with the emergency brake on. When you encounter resistance, you may decide that you want to floor it, instead of figuring out what’s wrong before releasing the emergency brake.

Number two: Constant content production allows us to learn from our audiences.

You know, from watching Mary’s posts, I see how consistent she is, but more important, I see that she is getting the heartbeat of her audience. She’s learning the words they use. She knows her tribe of coaches so well that are digitalising their expertise to launch programs, to monetise their knowledge. Her words are unique and so distinct that other people can’t copy them. When you are spending time in the trenches creating content, you’re able to learn what topics are working and who is attracted to the message. When you zero in on this audience, that tribe of a hundred fervent followers, as opposed to a million random people who might sort of care about you on LinkedIn, you have the necessary ingredients for your paid efforts to work.

Number Three: Engagement drives follow-on messaging.

Listen carefully to the comments on your posts. Look carefully at the replies on your tweets. Look at what your customers tell you on Zoom, in podcasts, and in testimonials. When you use those exact words, you’re unlocking the key to driving further engagement. When we use the exact words of our best customers, we’re able to drive more of that type of customer to our content.

Number Four: Content targeting combinations.

Most people are mystified by social media advertising because of the account structure of account-to-campaign, to ad-set-to-ad. They wonder why campaigns don’t just have ads in them, and why there’s this middle layer of that ad set. The ad set is there as a testing vehicle to try different combinations of content and targeting. This is true on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The ad set, also known as the ad group, measures the relevancy also known as the quality score between content and targeting.

You may have multiple pieces of content. You may have multiple audiences, whether they’re explicitly defined by you or by the algorithm. On the paid side, the algorithm is finding combinations of that content and targeting pieces. And when there’s alignment, then the quality score, the relevance score, is high, and they award you by giving you a lower cost for that traffic. No matter what bid objective you choose, whether it be leads, video, views, conversions, or engagement, the price you pay on the traffic is directly proportionate to your quality score. 

For example, if you’re running ads on Google and your quality score is a three, and your competitor is also running ads on Google and they have a quality score of six, then all else being equal, you will have to pay twice as much for the traffic for those same ads, because the quality score is a direct variable that impacts what you pay. For those who are math-inclined, your ad rank, which is how you were positioned in the auction, is your quality score times your bid. So, getting more exposure and an advertising system means you either increase your quality score, known as relevant score on Facebook, or you increase your bid. 

Advertisers who are not very efficient or not very intelligent in their advertising efforts will increase their bid and budget when they’re not getting traffic, instead of being smart enough to figure out how to increase their relevance score. For example, if I’m running an ad and I’m in the same coaching space as you going after the same keywords or the same targets, and I have a relevance score of four, but you have a relevance score of eight, you’re going to be paying half as much for that traffic. Your cost per click and therefore your cost per conversation are going to be half as much. Therefore, you can afford to pay twice as much for that same traffic and put me out of business because I have to pay twice as much. If you haven’t looked at your relevance or your quality scores and your advertising, that might be your check engine light signal to determine when something is broken.


We’ve talked about why testing and knowing your target audience are key before you start advertising. We know that organic is what drives paid, because it’s the same algorithm that the social network is using to determine who is having a good experience with your content. We know that when you use the right words, meaning the exact words that your most fervent fans are using, you’re going to increase your relevancy. 

We know that consistently producing content on topics that your audience cares about because you’re listening to them is what builds trust in the community and also increases your quality score. We know that the mechanics of being able to test lots of pieces of content against lots of different targets helps you home in on exactly who your tribe is. Mary Henderson is successful because she knows exactly who her audience is. And I encourage you to do testing to figure out exactly who your audience is, so that by the time you have something that’s working, when you spend money for ads on it, it’s a foregone conclusion that you’re going to be successful.

We call this the social amplification engine, which amplifies something that’s already working. Think of advertising as a multiplier. If you have a product that isn’t proven to work, putting more money against is just going to waste money. If you have content targeting combinations that are working that drive sales organically, you’re going to get a lot more of the same when you throw fuel on the fire. 

I’m Dennis Yu, founder of the 9 Triangles framework. And I would love to hear your feedback on what you’re doing to home in on your target audience and to drive more sales for your coaching programs and courses.

Digital marketing is a scary place– not for the faint of heart.

Digital marketing is a scary place– not for the faint of heart.

Imagine we hire some new nurses who pass out every time they have to draw blood from a patient or see a new patient wheeled into the emergency room– in bad shape.

Our patients are local service companies that are trusting us to heal them– not just to make them feel good.

If you’re a digital marketing agency who is promising results, you better have a clearly published set of procedures– not hide behind witchcraft (it’s proprietary, so I can’t tell you) or take advantage of the trust clients place in you.

It’s easy to freak out when you realize how complicated the entire field of modern medicine is– so much to learn, so many areas of expertise, so many checklists, so many tools.

But instead of being overwhelmed and freezing up, focus on learning how to do just one thing.

Then another thing, and another thing.

And that way, you can competently and confidently fix the digital marketing problems your clients face.

This gets around the common problem of marketing consultants eagerly promising they can do X, Y, and Z– since they want the business and truly want to help, too.

But increasingly, you’re going to see the power of legitimate certifications come into play in modern marketing.

Did you know that modern medicine came from the Royal College of Barber Surgeons? The same people that cut your hair were the same people that did brain surgery.

But when surgery became sufficiently advanced, it broke out into a new field. And that’s what you’re about to see– where there will be a separation from motivation speakers and those folks who have the technical skill to implement digital marketing procedures against well-accepted checklists.

Go here — and welcome!

Go here — and welcome!

We’ve been working SO HARD to put this program together for everyone who wants to start their digital agency.

After all, why not be productive and learn digital marketing while you’re cooped up?

Help grow your business and other local businesses around you.

Employ your wife or friends who have been laid off, while making an impact in your community.

This training is step-by-step on how to start your digital agency. We will go through the exercises together in live weekly calls.

No cost for at least the month of April– maybe we will extend it.

No credit required or anything like that– just join us and let’s start taking advantage of how cheap traffic is and how easy it is to connect with others online.

Go here– and welcome!

Start Your Digital Agency With Dennis Yu