According to his website, Sam Ovens is an entrepreneur from New Zealand who dropped out of university and started two successful companies by the age of 24. He now charges thousands of dollars for courses on how to become a millionaire consultant, just like him.
However, according to our experience of his webinar along with some online sleuthing, we think Sam Ovens is yet another joker and punk kid who is out to make a quick dollar at the expense of eager, inexperienced, and naive young entrepreneurs.
Just like the other sleazebags in the business advice industry, Sam Ovens talks a big game from his supposed Manhattan penthouse, but doesn’t provide a shred of evidence to prove that he’s actually done what he claims he can teach you.
Combined with typical ‘get rich quick’ sales tactics and a generally annoying Australian accent, we can safely group Sam Ovens’ scam attempts among some of the worst in the industry.
Today’s investigation includes:
- Analysis of Sam Ovens’ advertising
- Is Sam Ovens who he claims to be? NO!
- Sam Ovens’ student success stories: BULLSHIT!
- Review: Sam Ovens Webinar
Sam Ovens’ Advertising
Like a lot of other people in the industry, Sam Ovens’ advertising is geared towards selling people on the concept of a lifestyle. When he quit his job, he claims things weren’t going so well. Along with millions of other over-optimistic young people today, he claims to have started a couple of unsuccessful companies, and was living in his parent’s garage while trying to make ends meet.
But then, Sam Ovens claims to have “discovered consulting”, which unlocked an incredible revenue stream for him. And after a few short years, he went from living on a couch at his parent’s house to living in one of the nicest houses in the Southern Hemisphere (as featured on a magazine cover), owning a yacht, and so on…
I can’t emphasize how often tactics like this are used in the entrepreneurship advice and get-rich-quick industries. Selling people on the concept of a cool lifestyle and flashing pictures of the trappings of wealth (house, car, boat, women, travel) is a classic scam maneuver that usually precedes a bunch of bullshit claims.
In this way, Sam Ovens is no different. Here’s a few things he claims during his webinar, some of which are demonstrably false, and some that cannot be verified.
Is Sam Ovens who he claims to be? No!
Sam Ovens runs a multi-million dollar consulting business: NO EVIDENCE, LIKELY FALSE
Apparently, Sam Ovens makes $4.5 million per year helping business owners do… something. He never really elaborates on what it is, exactly, that he consults on, although in his webinar he does mention that his first client paid him $1000 to redo a website.
Based on the massive annual revenue he claims, you would think that Sam would have a list of happy clients for whom he drove business results (like pretty much every other consultant in the world), but… nope. Nothing. Not one case study on his website, not one happy consulting client testimonial (not student testimonial) on his LinkedIn profile.
The $4.5MM annual revenue he claims to generate through consulting is also a mathematical improbability… Sam Ovens suggests that a good monthly rate to charge your clients is $2000. If we assume that he charges a massive premium for his expertise, say, $5000/month, that’s 75 clients served on a monthly basis.
Ask any account executive at an advertising or consulting agency how many clients they service, and I guarantee you it’s not even remotely that high. Either Sam Ovens has built a massive consulting operation with legions of freelancers built up in such a way that’s totally invisible to anyone searching for it, or Sam Ovens is not making $4.5MM every year as a small business consultant.
Sam Ovens broke and living in his parents’ garage after two failed businesses: FALSE
During his webinar, Sam Ovens repeatedly drove home how nothing was going his way after he left his boring corporate desk job. But, as it turns out, Sam was also running a property management app called SnapInspect, which he successfully sold in 2013. This is hardly the rags-to-riches tale he spun in his webinar, when he claimed that nothing was going right for him.
Sam Ovens’ student success stories: BULLSHIT!
According to Sam, he’s the leading expert on creating wealth from consulting. Yet not only does his website and LinkedIn have no endorsements from consulting clients, they also lack glowing testimonials from students who have made bundles of money using Sam Ovens’ methods.
The “student examples” that Sam Ovens provides in his webinar are, with two exceptions, obviously scammers who are also selling get-rich-quick advice. The first exception is someone who seems real at first glance, but who lacks a digital presence outside of her business and whose success ($120,000 in 3 months) is not verifiable. The second exception is someone who doesn’t even have an online business presence, so I have no idea who the hell they are or what they do.
This guy’s website SCREAMS “small-time hustler”. He sells advice on being an entrepreneur without verifiable proof that he knows what he’s talking about. You can get his guide, called “How I Built A $10,000/mo Cashflow Business in Under 100 Days”, at his website. Bulllllllshit.
This guy is a fuckin’ ghost online. All I could find is a Twitter account. No website, no client testimonials. One navel-gazing article at Under30CEO.com, and a personal Facebook page that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the businesses he runs. Maybe he’s making a ton of money in Boise, Idaho, or maybe Sam Ovens is overstating how well his ‘students’ are doing.
At a glance, Courtney actually looks legitimate. She apparently specializes in helping cosmetic surgery practices grow their client base. Her LinkedIn has two recommendations from clinicians, both of whom cited her as helping them redesign their websites.
She also has a video testimonial and a website of her own, but her web presence is sparse otherwise, and I can’t find anything on Courtney outside of this stuff. It’s still a bit fishy, and I don’t think that Courtney Martin is making $1m+ a year, but I could accept as valid that she’s taken Sam’s course and is making a good go of things.
LinkedIn (I think), Website (now defunct)
This has to be a totally fake case study. In a Sam Ovens video testimonial, “Paul Ryan” (if that is even his real name) claims to be the founder of Marketslide, a super-successful consultancy. Only problem? It’s got 20 Twitter followers and no website.
On a related note, I can only find “Paul Xavier” on LinkedIn, who I’m assuming is the same person. He claims to “Help People Start Profitable Marketing Businesses & I’ve Created 11 6 Figure Marketers In Less Than 90 Days”. Faaaaaaake.
Another consultant consulting for wannabe consultants.
“For years I struggled selling online marketing services, web design, and a whole host of other online services, only to make a minimal living wage…After much trial and error, plus investing tens of thousands of dollars in high end training programs and masterminds, I created a formula to attract and deliver results for high ticket marketing clients with immense success. I now teach these strategies to people like you so you can do it too.”
Review: Sam Ovens Webinar
“How to start your very own wildly profitable 6-figure consulting business and get your first high value client in just 42 days”
This webinar was awful. Sam started by giving a brief introduction to why consulting is the best way to become an entrepreneur, and then spent 15 minutes talking about himself and his personal story. How he quit his job and dropped out of college to be an entrepreneur;
“My first two businesses failed… I sold my cars, invested all my money, borrowed money from my grandparents… and was about $80,000 in debt… I worked like 12 hours a day for the first year, I fell flat on my face… Then out of sheer desperation to make something work, I turned to consulting. Through my failures, I learned a few things about what makes a good website. I was starting to look at local businesses, and they have awful websites…
Sam claims that at that point, his first sale was to a window tinting business for a $1000 website makeover. As mentioned above, this conveniently ignores the fact that he was growing SnapInspect at the same time. So that’s the first red flag.
And then, comes the ‘riches’ part of the ‘rags to riches’ narrative.
Glancing at the clock, I realized that at the twenty-minute mark of the webinar, Sam Ovens had yet to offer any actual advice on how to start or build a consulting business.
Thankfully, Sam did end up spending some time talking about the basics of building a consultancy business – choosing a niche, building a marketing stack (Facebook Ads, scheduling) and charge based on value-to-client, not on time-to-you. These are all basic business concepts which are also taught by many other people in this space.
Although Sam Ovens is technically ‘correct’, I don’t think anything he’s saying is novel or interesting. Yes, you need to find a niche, yes, you should charge on value, and yes, you need to put some thought into your marketing and outreach. Did he demonstrate enough expertise to make me think his online course is even remotely interesting? Absolutely not.
After sharing some common consulting knowledge, Sam then launched into a 30-minute sales pitch about his Consulting Accelerator course. An outline of the course is available via the below link, and I’ll mostly let you look at this for yourself:
If you want to pay $2000 to learn how to make a niche for yourself, learn basic sales skills, and set up Facebook Ads, be my guest. You could probably get the same education for $200 worth of books and Skillshare courses… or getting a real job for a while until you know what the hell you’re doing.
Why are some Australian/NZ accents unbearably annoying?
“Some people have said I could chaaaage up to tin grand for the things I sheer for free in this wibinar, and that’s troo!”
Inc.com and Fortune.com have some explaining to do:
It’s not like Inc.com and Fortune.com are known for accurate business journalism, but featuring this scam artist is disappointing, even by their standards.
How many desks does Sam Ovens have?
Seriously. In every fucking video he posts, he’s sitting at a different desk. What’s up with that?
Fuck Sam Ovens, fuck his fake case studies, fuck the little scammers he’s spawned, fuck this industry. If you are reading this and have been scammed for $2,000 by this squirrely bastard, email me so I can continue to build the case against him.
Bonus: Thanks to Dirge (from Reddit) for sending in his own analysis: https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/5q05lf/i_wrote_an_email_to_entrepreneurcom_this_kind_of/