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Make $177,566 With No Experience in 3 Months: A Popular Online 'Side Hustle' Course Is Under Investigation After Customers Complain About Its Deceptive Claims "All you need is a phone, a laptop, wi-fi and one to three hours a day," one affiliate marketer said in a video posted to social media.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Affiliate marketing is a $20 billion global industry, according to an industry report from Astute Analytics.
  • Legendary Marketer is a company that offers online courses in affiliate marketing for those who want a career change or a second income stream.
  • The company is facing scrutiny from the Better Business Bureau after drawing potential affiliate marketers in with a $7-turned-$2,500 course.
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Affiliate marketing business Legendary Marketer has recently come under scrutiny after customers complained that its advertisements about a $7-turned-$2,500 online course were deceptive.

Customers told NBC News that the 15-day online business builder challenge course they saw on social media actually cost more than the $7 advertised price. The course teaches people how to become affiliate marketers, or someone who earns a commission for promoting and selling a company's products.

Within the first few days of the course, customers had to meet with a business plan advisor, who tried to sell them an additional $2,500 Business Blueprint course and went as far as to say that it was worth selling their car to purchase, according to one NBC News source.

According to Better Business Bureau complaints, if the customer said no to the $2,500 Business Blueprint, they weren't able to continue the 15-day course. Three customers who did buy it stated to NBC News that although the course was informative, it mainly taught them that the fastest way to earn money was to sell the same $2,500 course to other people.

Related: A Side Hustle Consultant Shares the Most Lucrative Gigs Right Now

"I made one sale and I felt very bad about it," Dana Gunning told NBC News, "promoting a $7 course when that's not the goal."

On its About page, Legendary Marketer pitches its courses for those who "desire a career change or second income stream." Its Income Disclaimer page states that "any and all earning and income claims heard as part of Legendary Marketer programs are not to be considered 'average' and testimonials are not representative of what you may expect" and that "the average person who buys any "how-to" information gets little to no results."

"Never have to worry about money again"

The customers who spoke to NBC News found Legendary Marketer through social media ads.

Chelsea Ouimet, a stay-at-home mom who advertised the $7 course to her hundreds of thousands of social media followers across platforms like TikTok and Instagram, touted the low startup costs and high returns she had experienced with Legendary Marketer.

"I saw some girl on TikTok talking about a side hustle that I thought was a scam and I said 'Hey, you know what, why not me?'" Ouimet said in a TikTok, before later adding that she used "educational tools" to grow her business, help her husband retire and "never have to worry about money again."

Related: This Gen Zer's Stylish Side Hustle Earns About $20,000 a Month and Paid Off His Parents' $200,000 Debt: 'I Enjoy the Hands-Off Nature'

In another TikTok, Ouimet stated that the average salary of a digital marketer with no experience is $177,566 a year, or $14,798 per month. She added that she made that salary in her first 11 weeks.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for an affiliate marketer in the U.S. is $82,015 per year.

@chelstheaaffiliate

Digital marketing is the BEST beginner friendly side hustle for many reasons but here's a few: ?. ✅don't need any experience to start having $1,000 days . ✅ You don't need a large following on social media . ✅You don't have to create your own products . ✅You don't have to deal with customer service ( You don't have to recruit people (mlm) . ✅You are your own boss and work when you want (1-3 hours a day, anywhere you have wifi) . It's the exact side hustle that took me from broke, struggling SAHM, to a multi millionaire making multi six figures a month!. ‼️COMMENT "GUIDE" and I'll send you all the information to get started ?

♬ original sound - Make Money With Chelsea

BBB Review

According to NBC News, the Better Business Bureau removed Legendary Marketer's A rating and started an investigation after NBC News reporters contacted it about customer complaints.

The BBB page for Legendary Marketer currently has an alert posted about the matter that outlines the complaints and states that Legendary Marketer's claims about its course and business model are under review.

Affiliate marketing is a $20 billion global industry, according to an industry report from Astute Analytics.

Legendary Marketer isn't the only company to offer courses on affiliate marketing, with hundreds of learning materials available on Udemy, Class Central and other platforms.

Related: The Remote Side Hustle a 43-Year-Old Musician Works on for 1 Hour a Day Earns Nearly $3,000 a Month: 'All From the Comfort of Home'

Companies like Amazon, Nike and eBay also have affiliate referral programs that let influencers earn commissions when followers buy products using their links.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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