The saddest stories of where someone's been burned before are the solopreneurs who have invested their life savings in an idea, only to see it never get traction. Often they contract out their marketing to the first person who says they can help, regardless of whether the promotional technique is appropriate or not.
Such was the case with an engineer who inherited a patent from his father for an improved home heating system.
Someone told him that he needed to build a Web site, so he paid $5000 for what amounted to an off-the-shelf Wordpress site - but no orders came in. Then someone told him that he needed to do SEO, which he did to the tune of another $2500 - but no orders came in. Then someone told him that he needed to get UL certification, which would cost $25,000, because people needed to see the logo, and its assurance of safety, on his site. But even after initiating the process, no orders came in.
So he called us - to help him find investors because he was out of money.