Is Internet Marketing Africa or Social Biz Connect (SBC) a Scam, Legit, or just another waste of time? In the past I decided to find out what this new ‘internet venture’ is all about. IMA is just the company name, whereas Social Biz Connect is the ‘social network, through which the company operates. After Patrick Kihara over at Blogscheme exposed how Social Biz Connect is conning Kenyans, the company started advising their agents to point out that they are working for IMA and not the former.
Internet Marketing Africa is a pretty common name nowadays, especially on social media. You will always find one of their ‘agents’ on every corner – just like those pestering GNLD guys in town. I always scroll past their spammy posts on Facebook, but on Tuesday February 3rd they finally got to my phone and I had t find out more about the company. Here is the message that I received, and I am certain that most of you have come across the same.
Hello .I’m Ms. S*** ***** from INTERNET MARKETING AFRICA LTD. We have Part Time Online Work for youth who are social media savvy to Earn Kshs. 5,000 – Ksh. 10,000 Per Week. You were Recommended by ***** ***** to attend a 3-hours Training Session about skills required and Business Openings available at our head office in Nairobi. Work and Earning guaranteed after the Training. DAY & TIME Thursday 05/02/2015 at 11.00AM VENUE: Commerce House (Next to Kenya Cinema, Moi Avenue), 4th Flr, Rm 4. REQUIREMENTS -Pen & Note Book -Ksh. 200 for Training. For any enquiries,kindly contact me. Kind regards, ***** *****
One thing that I have always been sure of is that IMA is a scam, but I have never had the urge to find out what really goes on behind Internet marketing Africa. I decided that I will have to unravel the truth behind such an obvious online scam. What really stirred me up was the fact that very many Kenyans are continuously falling into this trap.
To prevent most of you from being scammed, I decided to take an investigative journalist approach to find out what Internet Marketing Africa is all about.
To get the best outlook on Internet Marketing Africa, I decided to make an assumption that I barely knew the company. I responded to the message that I receive with pretentious interest with the ‘hope of joining this rewarding internet venture’.
Furthermore, I attended one of their meetings and I was shocked to find out the real truth behind this scam. In this post I will expose all that went on during this period and the shocking discoveries that I made.
I woke up early and dressed on the next day, ready to attend a ‘very important training session’. Being the timely African I am I arrived for the 11am meeting at 12pm. Their offices are at Commerce house in town, next to Kenya Cinema.They have a small desk at the entrance where you are expected to pay the 200/ training fee, without it you are denied entrance. ‘OK’ I thought ‘what is 200/ when I will learn how to make ‘1000/ to 5000/’ per week.’ 😉
I was left speechless for a few minutes after entering the training hall. It was a small room, but it was filled to capacity with eager trainees – about 300 people in total. The audience was made up of young people, mostly fresh graduates.
I was able to find a seat somewhere at the back. The session had not even started, and we had to watch another one of those motivational videos that made me start dozing off barely ten minutes into the session.
As an answer to my prayer, one of their agents stood and the session was about to start. He was Kevin, a former graphic designer and Freelancer, who did not even point out what his role in IMA is. To prevent boring you, like I was at the meeting, with the details of all that he talked about; let me offer a short and simple summary.
He talked a lot about the importance of money and wealth and all that crap just to feed the hunger of the audience. Additionally, he introduced Internet Marketing Africa and their brainchild – Social Biz Connect. Social Biz Connect is a social network where you are paid for membership. He did not explain clearly whether you share ad revenue with the site or any clear monetization strategy. Obviously, he had no idea what he was talking about, and to make it worse he took a whole hour to explain this.
Moses, the second speaker, took over. I expected him to do better than Kevin, but as ever, however, I was disappointed in the end. He wasted another 30 minutes bad-mouthing office jobs and poverty. Then, he let us watch another video on Internet marketing that was obviously downloaded from YouTube due to the poor quality – Yawn.
After that, he got to the interesting part which was on the Social Biz Connect Business Club. This is the product that the members are expected to market. It includes an Autoresponder, Contact List Builder, Broadcast Manager, and Lead Capture Pages. All very good products, but with absolutely no market in Kenya. At least GNLD products can find a few buyers here and there. Very few Kenyans understand the need for such products. In fact, the speaker had zero knowledge on how any of these work. The only thing that he knew was that it required ($40) Ksh.3600 per month to get access. I had to hold back my laughter after hearing this.
He also pointed out how network marketing comes in. You are expected to upgrade to the Business Club, and refer others to join in. When they join under you, you earn $10 each month from their $40 monthly subscription. Then you will receive $5 from those who join below them and so on. I had heard enough, and I was bored and tired of their poor presentations – I left at this point hoping that those that I had left behind will realize that Internet Marketing Africa is a waste of time.
The Truth Behind Internet Marketing Africa
After the session I was able to make a few conclusions about Social Biz Connect and the Company.
IMA and Social Biz Connect are poorly organized network marketing schemes. The products on offer have no market locally. Furthermore, the sales persons have no idea how they can use the products.
They are only after your ksh.200 training money and ksh.3600 monthly subscription. Don’t waste your money or time attending one of their training sessions. If you receive an invite message or come across their spammy Facebook posts, delete and block the person and show them this post.