Yes, shortcuts are everywhere online these days.
You can "buy" fake views for your YouTube channel over on Fiverr, you can do "black hat" SEO tricks to have your website rank higher on Google, you can even "fake" the number of people watching your Facebook Live videos now.
The good news for you and me is this - In the long run, authenticity and value always win.
There's no way around it - if you want to win new business online, you have to earn the time and attention of your prospects.
And you do that by creating engaging content (blogs, books, Podcasts, videos, etc.) that helps them solve their biggest personal or professional problems.
Your content must also demonstrate your expertise and authority.
This is so important I'm going to say it again:
You can't just claim authority, you have to demonstrate it.
The days or just asking someone for time on the phone or a coffee meeting to "explore mutual opportunities" are done, people are too busy and too wary of another online wolf in sheep's clothing.
Instead, you have to prove to prospects that you can help them.
Do the work.
Put in the effort.
Deliver value first.
Make your "free" content so good that people can't wait to see what your paid products and services look like.
If you do, both direct sales and (most important) recommendations and word of mouth referrals will flow your way.
It's not simply the best way build a sustainable business online, it's also the right way.
Ignore the sports cars, the fake Facebook Live views and everything else.
Do the work, deliver the goods, and earn the right to ask someone to become a customer.
There simply isn't another way - at least not if you want to stay in business for the long-term.