Jake Paul’s “Bait and Switch” scheme “Edfluence”

YouTuber/Vlogger Jake Paul recently announced a new online course called “Edfluence” which is a online course that will help you to become “Social Media Famous” in this post I will look at how Jake has used a $7 course to get users to pay another $57 to access the rest of the content within the portal.

So right from that start, I would like to lay out some information that will become very useful in this post. First, there is the definition of “Bait and Switch”


mass noun

  • The action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods.

Source:  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bait-and-switch

The art of bait and switch is to make the customer/mark think that they are signing up to a service or buying a product however when they find out more they find that this is an inferior product/service but don’t worry because the seller offers something better!

This is evident in this new scheme by YouTuber Jake Paul who has launched a programme called “Influence” which is marketed as a kit to make you “Social Media Famous”. When you first go to the website you are greeted with a quiz this is step one.

Step 1

Greet the user with engaging content that they will want to complete, the target audience for this is kids and Jake knows this. The language on the page is made for children and comes across somewhat immature compared to other “Learning Portals” online. Users will take the quiz when first visiting to see which YouTuber they are most like.


Step 2

Get there email address, this will come in handy for all those newsletters you didn’t sign up for.  Just to point out I have no way of knowing if Jake will use these for that purpose it is a guess purely based on other websites that collect your emails.

Step 3

Tell the user they are gonna make it and be famous just like who they have been compared to from the quiz. I got Nick Crompton, someone I know literally nothing about!

Step 4

Payment time! So you’ve completed your quiz now its time for your first payment. When you land on the payment screen you are greeted with:

“YES! I want to learn how to become a social media influencer from the fastest-growing YouTuber in history, Jake Paul! By making a small investment, I’m making a commitment to follow the lessons in TEAM 1000 and implement them to the best of my ability.”

And after you see the total of $7 you may be thinking, why complain? Well here is what it says after that:

“You’re almost done! My goal with TEAM 1000 is to show you what took me more than 5 years of figuring out myself. You’re about to get the resources, training, and step-by-step tutorials for becoming a powerful social media influencer!

Click the “Make Purchase” button below to start my TEAM 1000 program!

– Jake Paul”

Still not sure whats going on here? Let me explain users have been taken to a payment screen asking them to purchase a “Roadmap” which will allow them to start the “Team 1000 program”. Remember that wording it is key for the next part…

Part 5

Log on and see your new online courses or at least some of them… What Jake fails to mention is that the $7 people are paying isn’t actually to start the “roadmap” its to view the first segment of the courses available.

If you want to watch the rest of the tutorials/content you have to be in Jakes “Inner Circle” see where this is going? Yup! Another $57, please!

When you click on one of the other segments a page pops up with a button that says “Join Now for $57” which is a lot higher than the original $7 you paid at the start.

Most people would look at what the “Inner Circle” offers and notice it is a better package than the $7 one. It even promises to work personally with Jake.

Now the nail in the coffin, a pop-up. If your on the page for a certain amount of time a small pop-up will appear and tell you “the inner circle is the only place to be” with two options one to buy the access and the other that reads

“No thanks, I dont want to become social media famous”

This, of course, gives the suggestion that if you don’t pay the $57 you won’t become social media famous.

Unfortunately, one thing I can’t say is how good/bad the course is as I am not prepared to pay $7 for a course then another $57 for the rest of it for a blog post. There has of course been some backlash with videos from large YouTubers giving their thoughts on this here are two of the best:

Video from Kavos

Video from WillNE

There is a fantastic video by the BBC from a show called “Rogue Traders” that investigates a “Bait and Switch” scam in action but about carpet cleaner not social media fame:

If you have any questions about anything said in this post please contact me directly here

18 / Videographer / Radio Host / Newcastle

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