Duped: The Dark Side of Online Business

Michelle Mazur and Maggie Patterson

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been duped by a celebrity entrepreneur or coach, or watched with wonderment while people do downright dirty things to grow their business, this is the show for you.

In Duped, your hosts Dr. Michelle Mazur and Maggie Patterson are going to dive into everything that's wrong with the online business world.

All Episodes

Stop us if you’ve heard these ones before — “You just need this one trick to get people to buy from you.” ”Use the power of language to make your copy impossible to resist.”  “Create raving fans who buy from you on autopilot.” These are just a few of the claims you see on the internet designed to get you buying whatever someone else is selling.  Now, selling isn’t inherently bad.  It’s the tactics used when selling that separate those with integrity from those willing to exploit sales psychology for their own gain.  So how can you figure out the difference? In this episode of Duped, we’re talking about what you need to know right now about sales psych and what to stay the hell away from. Learn more at duped.online

Nov 29

59 min 7 sec

Have you ever read a sales page and by the time you’ve gotten to the end you don’t even know what the person is actually selling you?Sure, it all sounded great, they used lots of keywords that appealed to you, and you’re even considering buying…. but what is or isn’t included is still kind of ambiguous.  This is called the word salad — and it’s just one of the shady sales practices running rampant in the world of online business. As a consumer, it’s not always easy to suss out these shady techniques, so that’s exactly why in this episode of Duped, we’re doing a deep dive into some of the sales practices you should watch for as a consumer and ones you should steer clear of as a business owner. Learn more at duped.online

Nov 22

1 hr 5 min

When you started your business, were you dreaming of freedom?Freedom from your boss, freedom with your time, freedom with your money, freedom to do things on your terms? That promise of freedom can be incredibly seductive, so it’s no wonder budding entrepreneurs run towards this idea.  But there’s a dark side to the promise of freedom where freedom comes at a high cost. That’s exactly what we are diving into this episode of Duped. We explore the freedom paradox and look at the right questions to ask when it comes to the freedom we’re being sold. Learn more at: duped.online

Nov 15

1 hr 2 min

Do you ever get the feeling that a lot of people think owning a business is easy?Or that owning a business is THE thing to do right now? If these thoughts have crossed your mind, it’s likely (in part) because there’s actually an entire industry devoted to selling us things that “help” us build an even bigger business.  We’re being sold the dream of entrepreneurship day in, day out. And like so many other things we’re sold in the world of online business, that dream is faaaaaaar from reality for many business owners.  So, what gives?  In this episode, we’re diving into the Entrepreneurial Industrial Complex, including why so much of entrepreneurship is about identity and consumption, not actually doing business. Learn more at: duped.online

Nov 8

52 min 36 sec

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced business FOMO at an event.You know how it goes… You’re taking it all in, starting to feel overwhelmed by everything being thrown at you and the next thing you know you’re being told that the X, Y or Z they are offering is only going to be available TODAY.  And of course, they tell you that you DESERVE to make this investment.Next thing you know people are lining up in droves to get the thing and you start to think that maybe you need it too. You don’t want to miss out, right?If this sounds at all familiar, then you’ve definitely found yourself caught up in the whirlwind known as speak to sell. So, how do you avoid getting sucked in? In this episode of Duped, we’re breaking down the speak-to-sell pressure cooker and how speak-to-sell leads to the same tactics being used in webinars and summits. Learn more at duped.online

Nov 1

1 hr 5 min

Have you ever assumed that just because something is high ticket, it must be good?We’ve certainly been there, but here’s the problem -  What exactly IS “high ticket”, anyway?  A certain dollar amount? A specific level of service? A high return on investment? The reality is that one person’s high ticket could be loose change for another, and the big price tag really means nothing in terms of actual value. It’s all subjective.  That’s why in this episode of Duped we’re digging into the high ticket economy of online business including WTF high ticket even means, its problems and why you probably shouldn’t believe the hype. Learn more at: duped.online

Oct 25

55 min 42 sec

Stop us if you’ve heard these ones before - “Make money while you sleep!” “Never trade dollars for hours again!” “Create it once and set it on autopilot!” We all know celebrity entrepreneurs make BIG promises when selling us a course that teaches us how to create… another course. But do courses actually live up to the hype? Are they the passive income dream they claim to be?  On this episode of Duped, we’re looking at whether courses are a magical moneymaking dream or a bonafide business nightmare. Learn more at: duped.online

Oct 18

1 hr

The online business world is rife with shenanigans — from cult tactics to bait and switch to bro marketing.  And while it’s important to identify and unpack these issues, you know what else we need to talk about?The very real cost to ALL of us. These tactics rob us of our time. Our energy. Our money. And that’s just the beginning.  In this episode, we’re wrapping up season one of Duped by breaking down the consequences to both business owners and the industry as a whole, as well as what we hope to see in the future as the tide begins to turn. Learn more at duped.online

May 31

1 hr

Have you ever seen something online and felt like it looked awfully familiar?  Then comes the sinking feeling that you’ve been copied. Without citation or credit.  The unfortunate reality is that in an industry that rewards people for simply being one step ahead, it’s zero percent surprising that people would engage in some shady practices. That said, knowing it happens all the time doesn’t make you feel any less frustrated that your hard work is being used as “inspiration”. In this episode, we’re diving into the predatory culture of plagiarized content — what forms this takes, how it makes us feel when it happens, and why the culture of online business that’s built on plagiarized ideas is fundamentally messed up. Learn more at duped.online

May 24

51 min 52 sec

Want to buy a Ferrari? Use a private jet? Stay in 5-star hotels?  According to the aspirational luxury lifestyle we’re constantly being sold in the online business world, “you too can easily have these things if you just do X, Y or Z!”. But after running your biz for a hot minute, it’s probably become increasingly clear that attaining these things is not anywhere as easy as the people selling us these dreams make it sound.  How do we avoid falling into this trap and chasing a dream that’s usually built on total BS?  In this episode of Duped, we’re looking at the luxury lifestyle that’s inescapable if you work in the online business world. Learn more at duped.online

May 17

57 min 18 sec

The seven-figure income. The passive income dream. You have to spend money to make money. If I can do it, so can you! Any of those sound familiar?You’ve probably heard all of those and more when it comes to the world of online business, and most of us can probably agree on one thing:I’m totally over it, and I bet you are too! These tired internet marketing tropes are pushed in our faces repeatedly, yet it’s actually pretty rare that they actually ring true.  Which is exactly why we need to know how to spot them when we see them.  On this episode of Duped, we’re breaking down these internet marketing tropes so you can avoid them both in and out of your business. Learn more here: https://duped.online/  

May 10

1 hr 2 min

If you’ve ever looked closely at the tactics used in the online business world, you may have been shocked to notice some parallels with something completely unexpected — a cult. The power dynamics. The focus on mindset. The endless investing in yourself. The worry that if you speak up against the status quo you may find yourself completely ostracized. But then you think….that will never happen to ME. Well guess what? Nobody is immune to these tactics, Which is exactly why we need to know how to spot them when doing business online.  In this episode, we’re exploring the cult-like side of online business, and what you need to know to protect yourself. Learn more at: https://duped.online/      

May 3

59 min 23 sec

If you’ve been in the online biz world for a hot minute, you’ve probably experienced what’s called bro marketing. Bro marketing is the use of psychological triggers and other persuasive hacks to shut down critical thinking without our consent. The goal is to sell more products through manipulation and coercion.  Sounds pretty shady, right? Even if you don’t look like a bro, or think you’re doing any bro marketing, it doesn’t mean bro marketing hasn’t found its way into your biz. It is everywhere…..which is why on this episode of Duped we’re diving in.  We’re breaking down the bro marketing binary — what it is, how to recognize it, and what you can do to keep it out of your biz for good. Find out more at https://duped.online/    

Apr 26

40 min 58 sec

Remember when the word expert next to someone’s name actually meant that they were, in fact, an expert in their field?Yeah, so do we.Now, in a world where people can literally create any persona they want on the internet, the designation of “expert” can be incredibly misleading. These self-declared experts are out there, giving advice, selling you products and in many cases, they’re influencers — NOT experts. So how do you parse out the real from the fake?  In this episode of Duped, we’re breaking down the difference between influencers and actual experts, and talking about the dirty truth of what we’re seeing on social media. More details at duped.online.

Apr 19

46 min 22 sec

Have you noticed that “ethical” has become the buzzword-du-jour in the 2021 online business world? This is the newest way celebrity entrepreneurs are duping their customers, and that’s what we're breaking down on this episode of Duped. More details at duped.online.


Apr 9

46 min 2 sec

  If you’ve worked in the online biz world for more than a hot minute, you’ve probably noticed something — nothing is quite like it seems. You buy a template, a course, mastermind or hire a coach, and once you’ve handed over your money you quickly realize you are definitely NOT getting what you thought you paid for. Turns out you’ve fallen prey to the old “bait and switch”. And trust us when we say, so have we.  It was with these sorts of questionable tactics in mind that we decided to do this limited series podcast as a way to explore some of the most pressing and concerning issues we see in online business. In our inaugural episode, we’re tackling the massive bait and switch problem that’s rampant in this industry and sharing ideas on how you can protect yourself.  Learn more at duped.online.


Apr 8

43 min 58 sec