Social Lead Chief [review]

Today Im taking a look at Social Lead Chief by Stefan van der Vlag

 

 

I originally became interested in this software because it promises to allow people to collect leads and optins through posts on the timeline. Many of my readers know that I firmly believe that the timeline is the future of Facebook marketing.

A lot of my readers are interested in Facebook marketing and at a $27 price tag I have no doubt that I can do a 4 figure promo and earn a thousand dollars or more just by telling people to buy this. Unfortunately I would be doing my readers a dis-service if I recommended this. While its a decent concept there are some issues with its robustness and its flexibility that need to be corrected. Personally I think this software needs to be refined and tweaked, I dont think its ready for a main stream release in its current state.

Let me list a few of the things I did not like about this software:

1) The log in with Facebook is buggy, sometimes it did not work at all, sometimes I had to try to log in more than once to get it to work.

2) This integrates with GetResponse, MailChimp, SendReach, and Aweber. However this does not save any kind of CSV or Text file with your signups, you are required to have one of those auto responders to even use this software.

3) The posts are not very flexible or customizable at all. You cant change the text that goes above the opt in form. You must have a YouTube video with your poll or survey (which is silly what if you dont want a video, to bad, you have to have one).

4) You are required to have a image for the post. The user clicks the image and then that activates the poll / survey. However there is no image upload feature. You actually have to host the image yourself somewhere else and then hot link it to this software. That’s just generic.

5) The posts that you make with this have a link back to the Social Lead Chief website. So every time you make a post you are also advertising their service for them. This is really bad. They should have used an unbranded / generic URL to host the surveys / polls etc. They didn’t. So now every post you make is also an ad for them.

Given that the timeline is ‘where the users are’ and is as I said the future of Facebook marketing I think this is a decent concept. Its just the execution that was not done very well. This software not flexible enough, was not tested well enough, and in short is just not ready for a full release.  If they get some of these things fixed this has the potential to be a worth buying product. However in its current state I would not be happy with it had I bought it. As such I have no choice but to suggest people pass on this one (for now at least).

 

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Just wanted to do a quick update:

It has been a little over 2 weeks now since I did this review. As I promised Stephan I stopped back and had a look at his system.  In the members area there is a ‘to do’ list of things they are adding as well as an updates list of things they have added, fixed or updates. Currently not a single thing has moved from the ‘to do’ list into the completed section. Its exactly as it was 2 weeks ago despite Stephan’s promises of updates and continued features.

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Also as of the writing of this update, this software is no longer for sale.

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review. However I make no promises to them regarding the results of my tests or what I will write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.
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  1. Barry McCoy, 29 September, 2014

    As usual, great review on this product I was going to purchase! I have started to receive tons of emails from large marketers about this product, even some with 20% early bird discounts. However, as I have tried other similar software and plugins, the points highlighted in this review are very valid and concerning.

    To some marketers – it is always about making the quick dollar – even if there are issues with the product(s).

  2. Stefan van der Vlag, 29 September, 2014

    Hi Barry!

    I agree with you that some marketers are all about a quick buck, however – I agree with Brett’s points here. I’ve briefly touched upon some stuff, and already forwarded this review to my team.

    However – most points were already dealt with, and we’re developing the updates right now.

    I can assure you that the software will be much different in a month from now.

    I.E. We’re building a drag n drop form builder that allows you to customize the whole quiz, survey, poll to your liking.

    That said we’ve got over 50 BETA testers testing this tool throughout the last few weeks and mentioned the above concerns as well – there were more, but we’ve prioritized a list of what our beta testers found to be most important.

    I’ve asked Brett to do another review once these ‘issues’ have been resolved.

    We are bootstrapping this baby, so we had to decide on a launch date sometime. We’re using funds to pay our developers, hence make the tool a whole lot better. But obviously – the tool is gonna cost more soon. Only the people that are in, will be grandfathered into the new features.

    Barry, we’re in this for the long run 🙂

    Peace!

    Stefan

  3. Stefan van der Vlag, 29 September, 2014

    Brett – just wait and see, trying to do my best here as a creator and vendor. The appearance of me on this thread should boost enough confidence. I don’t see people doing that in your other threads, with negative reviews.

    But hey if you want to bust my balls – that’s fine. All I can say just wait and see brother.

    Thanks.

    Stefan

  4. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    Not busting your balls Stefan just saying what I think, flat out (like always). I FOR SURE will be looking forward to you telling me when you update this. I actually hope you do follow through. But I honestly dont think that people should buy now and then hope you do updates.

    Lots of people reply but normally I delete their posts. I delete their posts because they say some really .. ummm. colorful things. So I will thank you for taking my critique well, something many others do not do. +1 For you on that.

  5. David Preece, 01 October, 2014

    “trying to do my best here as a creator and vendor” – oh come on Stefan thats a joke!, your supposed to keep your software working and updated, then your supposed to ANSWER support questions and assist your customers, not just ignore them.

    You just proved it by completely ignoring my post above, like you did every other form of contact i tried.

    Dont buy junk off Stefan van der Vlag, if the product stops working your on your own because he`ll quit supporting it after the initial launch.

  6. Brett Rutecky, 01 October, 2014

    Well lets be fair David. I do not think its likely that Stefan hangs out on my blog, looking at comments, to see if anyone needs help with his products. I think its very likely that he did not see your post above.

  7. David Preece, 02 October, 2014

    He must of missed the other 30 + messages i sent to its support desk, skype, social media accounts and PayPal resolution centre then. The words SNAKE and THIEF spring to mind.

  8. Brett Rutecky, 02 October, 2014

    Well I was just trying to be as positive as I can. Im very sorry to hear about your troubles, but I thank you for taking the time to post and report your experience.

  9. Bobbie, 14 October, 2014

    Wow, you too, David? I found out the hard way. Too bad I missed the memo on this one. Yes, Stefan does not respond –at all. I guess he doesn’t want repeat buyers.
    Thanks Brett.

  10. JIm, 30 September, 2014

    Stefan, I don’t think you should have released it if you knew it wasn’t really ready yet. That’s a rookie mistake.

    That said, I don’t find Brett’s criticisms to be reason enough not to buy in at $27. So you have to host an image and video in order to use it? Is that ideal? No. But it’s certainly do-able.

    Auto-responder problem? Any serious marketer has one and it works with 3 of the top ones. I see no real problem here.

    The ONE thing I agree with is that it should not have the Social Lead Chief name on posts nor serve in any way to promote them once the post is on MY feed. That’s a big no-no and may cause me to return the program as this was never mentioned in the sales copy.

    One other thing I didn’t like is that the sales funnel reveals that in order to get the premium templates you have to buy in at – I think it was – $27/month. I refused. I’ll make do without them.

    (Let me say this is one reason why I prefer WSO’s (i.e.; on the WF forum) – it gives the community a chance to ask questions and discover problems such as the above before buying. I hate returning stuff and if you do too much of it, JVZoo will blackball you.)

  11. Joe, 29 September, 2014

    Brett,

    The first question I have is, why not design one that meets all your requirements and put it on the market?

    As far as the autoresponders, I would rather see them add the ability to put raw HTML code from the autoresponder, as opposed to a CSV file that most autoresponders do not like adding unless they know where the list is coming from. At least that has been my experience. I do use SendReach so the autoresponder is not that much of a problem for me.

    I am sure you would do a much better job of designing and programming!

  12. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    Design one myself 🙂 If I had 3 of me I could get a lot more done! Raw HTML code would indeed be a good option as opposed to the CSV. I only mentioned the CSV because its a simple solution. In fact its so simple I was surprised that they did not at least do that.

  13. Stefan van der Vlag, 29 September, 2014

    Hey Joe!

    We’ve actually got an update scheduled for that. Where someone just has to put in his html auto responder code, and we grab the required materials.

    We know that the more advanced marketer wants to have this feature, but we’ve first chosen to go with some easy API stuff, so that a wider audience can start with using this tool too.

    Here’s to you!

    Stefan

  14. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    This comment makes no sense Stefan, you went with some easy API stuff so a ‘wider audience can start using this tool’.. thats silly by making this so that only people using the 4 autoresponders supported can use this at all your not making it available to a ‘wider audience’. The CSV solution I suggested would have made it available to a wider audience. What you did was limit your audience.

  15. tony, 29 September, 2014

    1.I trust your judgement. Why, because you give legitimate explanations why you do or don’t support a product. And from what I’ve seen thus far, you have rejected way more than you have approved. This tells me that you are not a sellout for money.

    2.These so called reviews online our a joke. 99% of them donot give any negative rating.

    3.You will have a customer for life with me as long as you stay honest! Keep up the great
    work.

  16. Charles, 29 September, 2014

    Hello Brett,
    Thank you so much for this great review. I was about to click Buy after spending 45 minutes going through all the sales info and videos. They made it sound wonderful but then I thought – maybe Brett has a review on this – so I went an checked and there was your email. Thank you. I watched the whole YouTube video and could not believe the difference in their marketing and the reality. I thought it was too good to be true and sure enough it was.

    I suppose I could shell out $27 and HOPE that they would fix this but with a one time purchase price and no continuity pricing model I wonder how they are going to make money to stay profitable. Seems like the regular Ponzi scheme in software that we see so much of these days. Keep buyers coming in until the marketing no longer works (saturation, new products come online ) then BAM no more upgrades, no more support. Another orphaned product. I have way too many of those already.

    Because of your excellent review I am OUT of this one, I would rather pay more later if they come up with a sustainable and workable product. You are providing a wonderful service. You just saved me hours of frustration trying to use a product that might never be fixed. and of course, the $27. The hours wasted are much more valuable. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do. Best thing I did in 5 years of online marketing was to get on your list.

    -Charles O

  17. Stefan van der Vlag, 29 September, 2014

    Hey Charles,

    Then please prepare to pay more later 🙂

    I’ve touched upon a couple of things already in other replies. And it hurts me to see that you actually used the word Ponzi, in regards to my product.

    Just read my other replies… Plus the fact I’m involving myself her eon this site, should give you some clear insight on what kind of team we are.

    Thanks!

    Stefan

  18. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    LOL .. did you actually just say that? Lets just imagine if you where a car manufacturer instead of a software developer,
    .. hey everyone our car has very few features and is not very reliable but you should buy it anyway because we are going to fix it later. Really you should buy the broken car right now or else we will charge you more later when we fix it. Thats awesome (in how funny it is)!

  19. Joe, 29 September, 2014

    Brett, generally speaking I like your reviews and at times I have disagreed with your rationale. That is the choice everyone should make, we have to decide for ourselves if what you are saying fits with where we are coming from.

    I am sure you would agree you do not want everyone to blindly accept everything you say, just as you tell us not to blindly accept everything in a sales page. The overwhelming vast majority of the time you are right on, but there have been a few times I have felt you were making a point and not willing to allow other thoughts to come into play.

    No one can know all the answers to everything, life is about taking information from many sources and putting it all together to form an informed opinion. You provide a valuable piece of the pie, but I think you would agree you are not the whole pie, nor do I perceive you are trying to be.

  20. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    You 100% correct. I tell you what I think. You should decide for yourself though. After all its your wallet! 🙂 Honestly with around 18,000 monthly readers I would be very surprised if everyone agreed with my assessment every time.

  21. Giorgio, 29 September, 2014

    In addition to what you say above, my major concern is about to know if this can break the FB terms of service.
    (which implies the possibility to get banned)
    I posted this on their page but it seems that my comment has been deleted.
    Mmmm… suspicious…

  22. Brett Rutecky, 29 September, 2014

    I dont think this will break FB’s TOS. Did you have a specific thing that you thought it might break?

  23. John, 29 September, 2014

    Can’t wait for Brett’s version!

  24. si, 29 September, 2014

    Thanks Brett

    Really annoys me when there’s a link back to the developers site. I was suspicious when there was no demo page – probably why !

  25. David Preece, 30 September, 2014

    This guy Stefan van der Vlag recently sold me a product that doesnt work then refused to answer any of my support requests, he didnt even respond to any messages i sent through the PayPal dispute system. He was obviously hoping he would win due to it being a software and everyone knows PayPal more often then not favors the seller, luckily not this time though hey Stefan!!

    This is the sort of person that gives IM a bad name, avoid him and his products like the plague. I would advise anyone not to purchase anything from Stefan if they value their sanity, he couldnt care less about the customer as long as he makes lots of money.

  26. John, 03 October, 2014

    I do like the concept but I would prefer if the quiz taker first has to Opt-in before they get the answers.

    Brett, any plans for a similar software by you?

  27. Brett Rutecky, 03 October, 2014

    Not at the moment no. I have something that Josh and I are working on right now. After that we may look into a Facebook software but that would be a couple of months down the road.

  28. Stacy, 15 March, 2015

    I didn’t purchase this version of the software at the time it was reviewed on your site. I noticed that you are now listed a “Powerhouse backer” of version 2 of this product on the JV page. Also noticed that many of the flaws in version 1 review has been addressed in the sales video. Given the imminent relaunch of version 2 on March 16th, I was wondering if you planned to review the latest version? I think it might be fair to assume that this product is more complete than previous, but didn’t want to necessarily assume that your backing was a 5 star review of version 2.

    Thanks!

  29. Brett Rutecky, 15 March, 2015

    I do have a review copy of this. Though they did for sure fix some of the flaws from the first version, I am not yet finished testing so I have no final opinion at this point. I did not give them permission to list me as backing this product (because I did not complete testing it). I will have a final review out Monday about this product.

  30. Stacy, 15 March, 2015

    Thank you Brett! As I indicated previously, I didn’t want to necessarily assume that the listing of “backers” was necessarily an endorsement of the product by those listed. I’ve seen that tactic used on JV pages multiple times in the past.

    BTW I know in general people regard your site as a review site, and it is. However, I consider it more of a critique (your opinion of good and bad of product/service with a summary) than what most other sites (you know who) do which amounts to nothing more than an interview of creator and the product they plan to promote.

  31. Brett Rutecky, 15 March, 2015

    Well the thing is most ‘review sites’ are not actually review sites and most reviewers are not actually reviewers (they are just pitch men). The very term ‘review’ by definition is a ‘critical evaluation’. That’s what I do. I actually noticed a real lack of actual reviewers in the IM world, which is where my blog came from, to fulfill this need.

  32. Stacy, 15 March, 2015

    I agree with you. But you will be surprised how many consider what others are doing which is really more of an interview versus a product or service critique. Review has a broader definition and it’s debatable on what falls under the category of critical evaluation.

    My expectation of a critical evaluation is not inviting the product creator to talk/demonstrate how wonderful their product is…that perspective is not likely objective. Anyway, I like the way you critique IM products/services on your blog.

    Thanks!

  33. Ian, 26 November, 2017

    I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote David Preece !!

    “This guy Stefan van der Vlag recently sold me a product that doesnt work then refused to answer any of my support requests, he didnt even respond to any messages i sent through the PayPal dispute system. He was obviously hoping he would win due to it being a software and everyone knows PayPal more often then not favors the seller, luckily not this time though hey Stefan!!

    This is the sort of person that gives IM a bad name, avoid him and his products like the plague. I would advise anyone not to purchase anything from Stefan if they value their sanity, he couldnt care less about the customer as long as he makes lots of money.”

    Stefan’s “customer support” denied my refund request which was within the 30 day money back time frame with BS excuses and when I showed them excerpts from their sales videos etc to prove my point, they just ignored my tickets.

    So I went to PayPal with my proof and screenshots and Stefan responded via PayPal calling me out as a liar etc, and tried to win by posting screenshots of the help desk messages MINUS the ones they DELETED! Luckily I took my own screenshots before they did this!

    PayPal ruled in their favor (God only knows how that works as I had indisputable proof) so I went to my credit card company and they credited me for the purchases (over $US 400).

    I notice that this product has since disappeared and i definitely agree with David, this guy couldn’t care less about the customer as long as he makes lots of money.

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