It’s been a while since I posted about my rant against online tools! BUT here we go.
Look … I have been marketing online since before there were things called autoresponders and page builders.
I have been through the evolution of these systems AND HAVE ALSO FALLEN VICTIM to their capricious standards and massive price increases.
I mean until recently I was paying the following:
$97 a MONTH for ClickFunnels
$200 a MONTH for my autoresponder system
$87 a MONTH for my app creator for online marketing
$47 a MONTH for a video marketing platform
AND a few more dollars for the yearly fee for my Wishlist Member wordpress plugin to make membership sites for delivering my training. SERIOUSLY close to $800 a month if you add it all up. WHICH IS GOOD because these systems are all making money!
BUT … my friend Erik (a long time internet marketer) was pissed a these prices and the lack of features and decided to build a new, complete, integrated online marketing system for entrepreneurs … that wouldn’t break the bank.
He did with his Builderall system … you get a TON of great features for only $48 a month TOTAL, including some REALLY great training on building good systems for marketing online.
I started using it a while ago and it’s AMAZING what you get for the measly $48 a month. I’m saving over $700+ a MONTH with this and it’s BETTER than all of these “piecemeal” systems since all of the pieces work IN CONCERT with no integrations etc. IT WORKS OUT OF THE BOX!
The price for this is going to go up to $97 a month very shortly (still a bargain) but for now you can lock in this special “Friend of Bob” price if you use this link below:
If you are at this page, you are one of the lucky ones to get one HELL of a deal on web hosting for your business, organization or even for your own personal stuff!
Yes, you can go to the main page at Lifetime.hosting (not .com … but .hosting) and see what they offer, but you do NOT want to buy there!
Because I have been a long time “charter” customer of theirs, I’m able to offer the original INSANE launch deal where you can get one of the different packages of hosting for like no more than $67 ONE TIME FEE!
ARE THERE EXTRAS YOU CAN BUY? YES! But you can decide if you want them or not. FOR ME I got all of the goodies because it was a ONE TIME FEE for them all. I got the SSL certs, extra domain names, and more space (because I had a LOT of sites to move over from my old hosting).
BOTTOM LINE? JUST BUY THIS because you WILL need hosting if you are doing business online, so why not pay just a one time fee instead of huge monthly fees (Mine used to be LITERALLY $200 a month for ONE particular set of websites)
Picture Perfect Profits: Growing your Business the Instagram Way
Instagram is growing in popularity every day. People love to take photos and upload them to share with the world. Wouldn’t it be great if you can put this social media site to use and make some money with it? The best thing is, you can and Instagram is easy to use as an online business to make a decent income. So you want to know how to start this business? Well it is very easy and I will show you how!
Reasons to Choose Instagram for your Business
First, you want to know why this is a great business idea. Let’s look at the facts. There are over 400 million active monthly users. It is really easy to find people who are interested in your specific niche and to present them with material that will catch their eye on the spot! Remember, you have a very short amount of time to attract a potential customer, so this is key when deciding what types of pictures or video to use on your account.
Going along with the massive amount of monthly users, there are more than 75 million people who use Instagram every single day. Of course this number can be much larger on any given day and it can change drastically; as quick as you are done reading this article.
More than 20% of Internet users are now on Instagram. You may think to yourself that is not a really huge number, but when it comes down to it, there are millions upon millions of people who use the Internet daily. There are times when people take breaks at work or, on the weekends when there is nothing else to do they will surf the Internet. Users will likely search for something that has media rather than read something with just words. Pictures and videos are among the most popular type of content that the average person is looking for.
One fact, which is good to know about Instagram to get you motivated to start your business, is that more than 77.6 million users use this platform in the United States alone. So are you convinced yet that you should start your business using Instagram? If not, then you might as well not read anymore. If, however, you are even slightly curious, please continue and read more exciting reasons to use this platform for business.
Easy or not so easy – You be the Judge
Maybe you are thinking it is not that easy to start a business with Instagram. ”With all the thousands of posts that are out there, it might be too crowded for me to get people to find and follow me”. Well, truth be told, it is easier than you might think. So how does one grow their Instagram business after they have their account setup with some pictures ready to go, but not many followers? There are several ways to do this.
First, do your research. One thing that attracts people to an image is colors. This is a known fact as many marketers will tell you. I know someone who sat in a seminar for marketing and they were literally blown away by what was said. Did you know that a yellow background with red font actually gets someone’s attention more than other colors used? Of course, this should not be a majority of what your posts look like, but when you want to place an ad on Instagram to attract a potential buyer to your affiliate link and offer, you may want to consider this. And do your research to see what other types of ads work.
Making a Picture Viral
It is important in this day and age to make images that people will share. I find the best way to do this is to make the picture funny and remember able. There are so many different types of pictures posted on Facebook that are colorful, have a funny saying and sometimes a cute animal.
If you notice, you can see how many times they are shared – it’s quite mind blowing. Well think of that as a technique when creating an image for an ad, but of course make it something that will encourage the follower to click and look at your offer.
When someone sees something they like, they are more likely to share this with their friends. Sharing is the key to getting your affiliate or products out there. The more eyes that see it and like what they see, the more potential and actual buyers there will be. I’m sure this intrigues you as much as it did me.
You can make a Business Account
Yes, you can actually create an Instagram Business Account. Just sign up the way you normally would if you were creating an account for the first time. Make your username something related to your business. For instance if you are promoting Sporting Goods and more specifically fishing gear, then create a name that is something like “greatfishinggear” so people know this is where I get the awesome products for my fishing needs.
One thing I want to suggest is that you keep your business posts separate from your regular posts.
There is nothing more aggravating then when your friends want to promote something and all you see are ads trying to make you click here and there to buy something.
You will have fewer followers than you had before if you try that, so please keep this in mind. If you don’t want to see ads everywhere, then most likely, your social followers don’t want to either.
It is also important to keep the ad posts to a minimum. You may think, well then how am I supposed to get people to click on the ad? Like I said before, make it memorable and attractive. You can post once a day or a couple times a week. Nothing happens overnight, so be patient. When you have the right ads and strategy in place, you will begin to notice an influx of followers to your business and even regular Instagram account.
You can also let people know about your business on your regular account, but again don’t go overboard. If you follow these rules, you are sure to keep people liking, sharing, and following your posts.
Hashtag, if you didn’t know, started out as a typo. Someone wrote something on Twitter and had # before a word, and the hashtag was born. Now it is widely used on all Social Media to reference something important.
It is nothing super spectacular, but is so important these days. I am reminded of the commercial for Honda where they say Hashtag this and Hashtag that. Well you want to #keywords to encourage your followers to click and go to an offer. Make those words memorable and interesting so people will have a reason to click on them.
Also, a great way to use Hashtags is to include your business name. You can also link your business website to a Hashtag on your business Instagram or even personal account. You can also Hashtag your business Instagram to your personal account by saying something like “I caught a big fish the other day; want to know how I did it? Check out #bigfish.” Then it should direct them to a picture on your business Instagram of you showing off your catch.
Always include some personable material on your business account so people will take you as a real person and not someone who just wants you to buy from them. You can of course make your picture clickable so people can get the gear that helped you make your big catch. It is also a great way to motivate people to pick up a hobby, if they never fished before, and they can begin to purchase fishing gear from you!
Involve your Followers
Many times, people want to share their life with the world. When you have a business that has tons of followers, have your fans send you their funniest or cutest pictures to post on your Business Account.
When people see that there are others in the world that like your business and are promoted on your page, they are more likely to feel you care about people. I once heard someone say they saw their picture up on a website and were very excited about it.
They said “I will continue visiting this site and this is where I am going to keep buying my office supplies.” So do you think this strategy works? Put it to the test!
One more thing you can do is to like your followers’ photos and videos. If you aren’t doing this, they may forget about you or even worse, think you don’t care about them on a personal level.
Always be personable and think of others as you go about your day. When they see the likes from you, they will be more likely to remember your name and brand.
Also comment on their posts. Make sure when you do this, you are adding to the conversation. Most likely you do not want to promote your business in the comments. I see this all the time on YouTube where people comment on a video and put a link to their offer. This is SPAM and is very unwanted behavior.
There is no worse feeling than when someone wants to take everyone’s eyes off the post and go to another post. You would feel like you don’t matter enough, and so will they. And when someone comments about what you said, comment back. This will get the conversation going.
People want to hang around someone who is real and not trying to be something they aren’t. This goes for when you are promoting something you are selling. Post a picture of you using a product you sell in an authentic manner. Sometimes people don’t think outside the box and you may have to encourage them to see the ways the product can be used.
If it is something that sparks their interest, you may just have a new customer. This is why using pictures and video are so important these days.
People like to see how it is done. Of course, you don’t always have to be so serious when promoting your products. Throw in a picture that shows the wrong way and then the right way to use the product. Write the word “fail” or “major fail” on the one photo and on the other photo show them the correct way to use it. You can get some laughs out of that and more followers and sharers.
Core Values are Important to People
What are your company core values?
Think about that and incorporate this into your posts. Do it in a story or as an event on your page.
Let people see visually what is most important to your business so they have more of a reason to like your brand and company.
One way to get people to follow you and look at your content on Instagram is to let them know that here is the only place you will see this post. If they want to get the best deal or best product on the market, then they should know they can only get in through Instagram. Make sure they know this and see how many people will follow you.
Ask Questions and Ask People to Vote
I actually found this to be a very interesting way of engaging followers. One way to do this is to ask your followers “have you used your _____ today? Maybe “what is your favorite coffee flavor?” It can be so simple. People love to share with the world their likes and even dislikes so this is a great way to get people involved.
You can also ask a question like which is better, vanilla or chocolate and put up a poll and show responses. People are always interested to know what is popular. Seeing poll results help them to know. If you are promoting a product, people can see how popular it is and will want to buy it.
When and How often to Post
Now that you are more excited and informed about how easy it is to have a business on Instagram, one question may still be lingering in your mind. How often do you post? Well, for starters, be consistent with your posts. If you post every Tuesday and Thursday, always post on these days. Also, think about the time of day. When do people normally get up for work, when do they take lunch, and when should they be home?
This is important because Instagram, like any other social media site, gets floods of posts. You want people to be more likely to see your post, so post at a time of day where people would normally be logged on. The three times mentioned above are the best times to post something. People are more likely to see your posts.
The amount of times to post will determine on your followers. If you post a couple times a day and notice more followers, then that is a great frequency to use. It does depend on the demand of your brand, so keep that in mind. If you are seeing that people stop following you, you may be posting too much. You can lessen the posts to once a day, or even a couple times a week. Always test what works by monitoring your followers, and how many people are clicking on your links.
Keep it Trendy
One last thing to note is to be aware of the trends. People are most likely following a trend because they want to know what other people know and be a part of the crowd. People may say they want to be an individual, but keep in mind; they want to feel different about certain things in their personal lives, such as the clothes they wear. You actually want to attract the people who follow trends because they are the ones who like what the majority of people like. The more people who like something you sell, the more likely they are to see your ad and click the link then buy your product.
Always keep in mind these tactics when you are starting your Instagram business. It is very easy to start one and will not cost anything upfront, so there is a lot of room for fast profits. A lot of people want their own business because they know there is money to be made. Of course, people imagine business being hard work and needing large capital to start. Now with the Internet and Social Media like Instagram, you are well on your way to making those picture perfect profits! Results will vary and there are no guarantees that one thing works over the other. So, keep trying and use different strategies until something works.
If you are like me, you have an insatiable desire to learn a lot of new things, BUT hate how long it takes to slog through long courses, with endless videos, and huge manuals.
I love all kinds of training BUT because I’m RIDDLED with A.D.D., it takes a lot of work for me to sit through long courses … because it takes a lot of energy to keep paying attention to the material. Worst of all, my mind wanders when this happens and I need to “rewind” to relearn what I missed. Can you relate to this?
Well, I just found a REALLY cool site called Coursmos
A site that has amazingly powerful training on 1000’s of subjects – BUT – they really distill the training into micro courses and micro sessions. Each session is no more than 3 minutes, with no more than 7 sections per subject! I mean there are over 125,000 video lessons (with more being added) on business concepts, personal development, graphic design, cooking etc. etc.
I’m taking sessions on Photoshop, Personal Development and Cooking lessons (I have to keep up with Joyce)!
Right now (and for a limited time) they are offering a FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL OF COURSMOS and if you like it after that, it’s only $9.95 a month for unlimited access to all of the training.
Seriously, go check it out and let me know what you think about Coursmos and what you got out of it here on the blog comments below. I would love to hear more and maybe we can get an interview with the company too!
News Jacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story And Generate Tons of Media Coverage
That is the title for a new and If you are an online marketer, I highly recommend you grab a copy. It’s only available as a digital download and it’s less than 7 bucks at Amazon.
I’ll try to summarize here it in my own words, but this is no substitute for getting the book, reading it and above all using it to generate free publicity for you and your business.
News breaks every second of every day, providing you with literally endless opportunities to get your business free publicity. And I don’t have to tell you that publicity is worth far, far more than advertising, and yet it costs you NOTHING.
Look at it from a reporter’s point of view – they already have the who, what, when and where – what they need is the “why,” and that’s where you come in. Journalists need original content, and they need it fast. And if you play your cards right, you can be as high as the second paragraph of that breaking news story. Jut think of what that can mean in terms of free exposure!
What is essential is SPEED. You’ve got to hit when the story is hot to have a shot at getting the publicity. Wait even a day and it may be too late.
Always use your good judgment. Your business is NOT a great fit for the majority of news stories, so be discriminate and only go with those that you can honestly, truly relate to your business.
Now then, how do you find news to “jack?” Keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know when the perfect story is going to slap you across the face. Monitor keywords, phrases and trending word clouds. Track journalists in your field and monitor media outlets. And perhaps the best tip of all – follow Twitter hashtags, since this will often be the very first reporting of any story.
When you hear of a story that’s a good fit for your business, immediately formulate your strategy. This is happening in real time and so you’ve got to act in real time, as in NOW and not tomorrow. Speed is crucial to your success in hijacking the news.
Ask yourself – how are you and / or your business related to the breaking news? What’s your angle or hook? Why should the media care?
When you’ve got your take on what’s happening – or your angle or hook – here are possible moves you can make next:
- Blog about your take on the news
- Tweet it using an established hashtag (this is not the time to start a new hashtag)
- Send a real-time media alert (press release)
- Talk about it in a speech, or make a video and post it online
- Hold a live or a virtual news conference
- Directly contact individual journalists who might be interested
Now if you’re thinking this article is just the tip of what you need to know, you’re right. It’s enough to get you started, but by all means grab the book so you can fill in the blanks.
And think about this: Linking yourself to one news story can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of free publicity, creating a boon for your business and perhaps even making you a mini-celebrity in the process.
With these tips you can get more accomplished and grow your online business faster without spending a fortune. Mind you – some may seem too simple. But years of trial and error have taught me that these methods flat out work at bringing about extraordinary results.
1. Have a Plan – So many new online marketers simply start working on something without knowing where they’re going or what they hope to achieve (other than making money.) I think this is why Internet Marketers tend to hop from one thing to the next and have trouble settling down. But if you simply take the time to write out your plan of action (what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it) in a step-by-step fashion, then you’ll have a guide that you can follow. It will save you so much time and money in the long run, and make things that much easier as well.
2. Narrow Your Niche – One of the biggest mistakes is trying to make everyone your customer. By targeting a niche, it makes it easier for you to find your customers and easier for them to say yes to your offers. One example I like to use is the IM niche itself. If you’re marketing to ALL online marketers, you’ve got a HUGE niche with a lot of competition. But if you focus on teaching chiropractors how to market their businesses online, you’ve now got a tightly focused niche. Rule of thumb: The more focused the niche, the more you can charge for your products and services. Paradoxically your click through and conversion rates will be higher as well; thus you can earn more with fewer customers.
3. Fine Tune Your Slogan – Sure, you’ve picked a great name for your business (I hope) but what about your slogan? This is the sentence or sentence fragment found on your header, and it’s also what you tell people when they ask what you do. It needs to be short, clear and compelling. “Teaching Chiropractors how to optimize their online efforts resulting in a more diversified clientele and enhanced revenue” is NOT a good slogan. “Helping Chiropractors get more clients through simple marketing methods” is much better. It’s clear, it’s direct, the benefit is unmistakable, and it’s how people naturally speak.
4. Reach Out – Find the movers and shakers in your niche and reach out to them. Blog about them, buy their products, get on their mailing lists, and yes, email them. The more people you know in your niche, the better. You can ask them questions, become their affiliate, and eventually ask them to promote your products, but only when you’ve built the relationship.
5. Network at Live Events – sometimes working online isolates us so much, we forget that there are real live PEOPLE out there who want to meet us. That’s why it’s good to go to as many live events as you can afford, not just for the training that might be offered, but for the networking opportunities. Take a stack of your cards and try to meet as many people as possible. Get their cards, or write down their info if they don’t have a card. One note: Do not try to sell anybody on anything at these events. Your job here is to make contacts – setting up JV’s and such comes later when they know, like and trust you.
6. Follow-up. You know all those business cards you collected at the event? Follow up with each one within seven days to continue building the relationship. Follow up by phone or email, or both. Remind them of your conversation and pick up where you left off.
7. Use Both Sides Of Your Business Card – you’re at events, handing them out anyway – why not use BOTH sides of the card? On the second side you can add a testimonial, a link to a free report, and invitation for a free consultation, etc.
8. Crank Up Your Signature – Use your email signature to promote your business. Name and contact info are a great start, but you need more. For example, add a link to your webpage with an offer for an excellent freebie. And use the offer in your sig line on forums, too, where it’s allowed.
9. Billboard Your Vehicle – If appropriate to your business, get inexpensive vinyl signs for your vehicle’s doors and rear to bring in new customers. Or if it’s in your budget, spring for the full coverage auto graphics that are so eye-catching, like this one from adsonwheels.com:
10. Focus On The List – really this should be titled: Become Obsessive About Building Your List With The Highest Quality (Best Targeted) Prospects Possible. Your first priority in list building should be QUALITY, not quantity. That said, don’t miss a chance to add to your list if the prospects are a good fit for your business.
11. Work Your List. Send them great info on a very frequent basis (3 to 5 times per week) so that you become the “go-to expert” in their eyes. Once they know you and trust what you say, you can recommend anything and get a great conversion, so be sure to only recommend the very best products that they will truly benefit from.
12. Create fun promotions around silly holidays. While most every business is trying to leverage major holidays into sales and events, you can stand totally apart from the crowd (and avoid the competition on the big holidays) by focusing on the lesser known holidays. For example, Opposite Day, National Hugging Day and Do a Grouch a Favor Day. First, you need to find the holidays: Either Google something like, “strange holidays” or “weird holidays” or even “crazy holidays.” Or go to one of these pages: http://www.holidayinsights.com/ http://isd.cusd10.madison.k12.il.us/renfro/Crazy_Holidays.htm
Now choose a holiday that’s coming up soon, and think of how you can design a simple, eye-catching promotion around it. It doesn’t have to be anything too creative. For example, on Opposite Day you could send your list a product that they only pay for after they receive it and if they like it. That would certainly stir up some attention, and if you promote it in advance it could also grow your mailing list.
13. Hold contests. You might give away your new digital product or anything else your prospects might like, in exchange for whatever you choose. It could be a new sign up to your mailing list, a suggestion for a new product, the answer to a trivia question (not found on the Internet), etc. If your prize is big enough and awesome enough, ask your readers to forward your contest to others in exchange for extra entries, and it could go viral, providing you with hundreds or even thousands of new prospects. And certainly it will help you with getting your name out there as well.
14. Volunteer Your Services. If you provide a service such as building websites or writing sales copy, volunteer to do it for a non-profit and grab yourself some great publicity in the process.
15. Stage a launch. New product? New website? New service? Create a launch to turn it into a real event that gets people talking.
16. Take a Stand. If you want customers to feel strongly about you and your products, you need to take a strong stand that they can relate to. Most marketers are afraid to take a stand because they’re trying to appeal to everyone. The problem is, when you appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. Guaranteed no matter what your niche might be, there are positions and opinions that you hold that you can share with your readers. Taking a stand will bond you to the readers who agree.
Those who don’t agree will also want to take a position, and in so doing they also bring attention to you. Think Rush Limbaugh – his fans are devoted and his enemies provide him with tons of free publicity. However, you always want to remain 100% professional – do not name call or denigrate others under any circumstance because it will only hurt you if you do.
17. Make Podcasts and Videos. Microphones and video cameras are cheap, and the payback can be huge. By dispensing great info via voice or video, you’re creating Internet ‘ambassadors’ that can bring you new prospects from places you never expected. BONUS: Someone who joins your list after listening to your podcast or watching your video is far more likely to open and read your emails in the future.
18. Build an Alliance With Non-Competitors. Look for non-competitors who service the same niche you do. Make contact and see about promoting each others products to your own lists, thereby expanding both your sales and your list of new customers and prospects.
19. Build an Alliance With Your Competitors. This works especially well in service niches because successful people have more business than they handle. Plus one competitor might specialize in a certain size or type of project that you prefer not to handle and vice versa. When you collaborate with your competitors, you can sometimes surprisingly double your business with very little effort.
20. Add Value. Whether you’re offering an affiliate product, your own product or just giving info away to build your list, add value. In the case of an affiliate offer, give away something that enhances the original product. In the case of your own product, give away the first chapter or two as a sample. And if you’re simply giving something away to build your list or as an added benefit to your readers, give them additional resources where they can get even more great information or the tools they need to implement your strategies.
21. Use Testimonials. Not just testimonials for the specific product you’re promoting, but also testimonials for yourself, your business, and even your methods. For example, you might use the left or right column of all your sales pages and web pages for testimonials from happy customers of all your products. And inside of your sales letters, place testimonials from people who back up what you say, such as experts who’ve done research that corroborate what you’re telling people in your sales message.
22. Ask for Referrals. This is one you want to be consistent on. Ask your readers to pass along your emails (make sure there is a link to your sign-up page) ask followers to retweet your messages, and ask fans to “like” your pages and messages. Next, put a referral program in place that rewards your customers for referring new, paying customers. And lastly, simply make it a policy to consistently ask and remind, in a very friendly, gently manner. Remember to always show your immense appreciation for those customers who do refer new business your way.
23. Do Teleseminars or Webinars. Teleseminars and webinars are excellent ways to connect with your customers and build your lists. You might do Q and A sessions or present a certain topic. Be sure to give lots of information, and save any product pitches for the very end. If you’re doing the webinar for a joint venture partner’s list, be respectful of the opportunity and make your partner look great for having invited you to speak to their people. You’ll build tremendous rapport with your listeners, and if you’ve presented them with great info, they won’t mind a little product pitch at the end.
24. Send Out An Ezine On A Regular Basis. You might have a list and you might send them offers – but do you send them real news and stuff they can use? If not, you might want to start. By sending them great tips they can use, they will be more likely to open and read your future emails, thus increasing your conversion rates on the offers you do send.
25. Take Your Best Shot – A professional photograph of yourself is something you can use everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your websites, article directories, business directories, etc. Build recognition by using the same great photo and it will pay off.
26. Blog. If you don’t have a blog yet, start one. Yes, even if you have a website, you should still have a blog because it allows you better connect with your community and create a personal connection. And btw, Google tends to love blogs, so if you set it up correctly you may also find you get some free traffic from your blog efforts.
27. Use Keywords. If you want to get found and ranked by Google, you need to use the keywords that people are looking for and that you have a chance of getting ranked on. It’s not always an easy balance, but investing in a good keyword tool and tutorial can help.
28. Bookmark It. Social bookmarking is a good way to help others find your best articles and blogposts. Join sites such as del.icio.us, reddit, digg, technorati and stumbleupon and then bookmark your best stuff as well as other people’s best articles and blog posts.
29. Do Press Releases. Do you have some real news to report? By all means do a press release and publish it on the press release websites.
30. Post in Forums. This comes with one caveat: Monitor the time you spend on forums or it can eat up your entire day. Spending 30 minutes a day posting on the best forums in your niche is a great way to increase your visibility. Add a link to your website in your signature and info about your business in your profile. This way when other forum members find your posts helpful, they’ll have somewhere to go to sign up for your list or just get more information about your business.
31. Capitalize on Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are great places to find people in your niche, to network and to build your own list. An entire library can be written about using Social Media in your business, so I’m simply adding this one in as a reminder.
As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to promote your business without spending a fortune. An open mind and a little creativity go a long way towards reaching out towards others, thereby getting the business to come to you.
If you are like me and have been around the home business and network marketing arena, the topic of “getting in on the ground floor” always comes up, especially when talking about some of the big and successful companies in the industry.
When talking about some of the “giant companies” in the industry … someone invariably says: “Man, I wish I got in on the ground floor when that started”. C’mon, you’ve heard it, you may have even said it but probably most of us have thought that! You know I’m right! Because we know that if we did get in on the ground floor of one of these NOW successful companies, and we worked it, we COULD be in the enviable position of making amazing money.
Now … here is where there is a problem in that thinking. EVERYONE SAYS that they wish they were in at the beginning or ground floor of a new company … but they don’t know the time, energy and work that goes along with it. AND MORE importantly they don’t know the hassles, stumbles, issues, errors, problems, and just plain confusion that happens when a new company starts.
They see a Xango or MonaVie or Primerica or Visalus … and they think that just because they got in “early” that because now these companies are “dialed in” that it was a cakewalk to get started in the beginning! SORRY … that just ain’t true! When you get in on the “ground floor” of an opportunity you will be overworked, underpaid, and stressed out more than you can imagine because that IS WHAT HAPPENS IN START UPS!
Do you remember the exploding bottles at Xango? I do. Or how about MonaVie when it was first called Monarch Health Sciences that was down to it’s last dime before they adapted and became MonaVie. Or Primerica when the insurance industry was trying to put them out of business or Visalus that was almost broke in 2008 before becoming the marketing giant it is now. THE POINT IS … Start ups are NOT easy PERIOD!
In my 25 years in the industry I have participated in one way, shape or form in a handful of startup companies in different fields and I can tell you that in each one of them, the startup phase was probably the most work and most aggravation and hassle I have ever done – but it was worth it because those are “learning steps” you take to GROW that big company, and I have been blessed to make tremendous income from these startups as they grew.
Right now I’m part of an amazing new “startup” called Solavei that is not only a startup company but also providing mobile phone service at $49 a month unlimited voice, data, text. The people, product, pay plan and philosophy of the company is second to none and one of the strongest value propositions I have ever seen.
BUT … I can tell you that as a Founding Member, this is by far one of the most challenging I have ever been through AND THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT! Why is it the most challenging? Well, it’s a start up company and that in and of itself has it’s own challenges, but unlike a company that sells a bottle of pills or shakes that are “simple to understand” – we are now also dealing with a “technically based product” where folks need to do things like: read instructions, handle some minor computer skills, read instructions, follow advice, understand some of the minor technical things that go with mobile phone and service, and oh, did I say read instructions and follow them? The point is … this is right now like a startup within a startup and there are more issues than I have experienced in other companies.
Is it a pain in the neck? ABSOLUTELY! But … FOLKS, IT’S A STARTUP and that is EXACTLY what happens in a startup! And I can say that for a startup that is breaking ground in a new area, Solavei is doing tremendous things and improving on a daily basis FASTER than I have seen other companies do in the past. They react!
My concern is I see people complaining about “hold times” … slow response … things not working the first time … errors … mistakes … adjustments … technical challenges … some even behaving like petulant children who are now complaining about these issues.
But I guarantee that many times these same people talk “whistfully” about being on the ground floor of that last big deal … not realizing they are ON the ground floor of the next big deal and like it or not … THIS IS WHAT THE GROUND FLOOR LOOKS LIKE and the way to get through this is work, understanding, support, communication and realizing that many times you are going to be dealing with a lot of confusion and be “overworked and underpaid” but … that is how you WIN in this industry.
It reminds of the old phrase that goes:
“I will do today what most people won’t, to live tomorrow like most people can’t”
AND THAT APPLIES TO WORKING IN A START UP COMPANY!
And part of that in being in a “start up” is being part of the solution and not part of the problem. It’s about BEING the person to solve as many problems as you can, get answers as you can and spread the solutions to your teams and colleagues in a sense of community, solidarity and forward thinking positiveness even in the face of challenges.
SO … before ever again think that you wish you were in on the ground floor of a start up company, ask yourself are you willing to be strong enough and work hard enough to get through this phase so that years down the road you won’t ever have to wished you’d done that, but have the self satisfaction that you DID do it and are now reaping the rewards of your labor.
Just sayin …
In response to numerous requests, I’m now going to post the results of something that I have been testing … and that is the best way to generate leads online that doesn’t cost a lot or require any huge technical skills!
But before I do … I have to make a confession. Look, I’ve been doing online marketing for a long, long time. And in the early days it was just crazy. Everything was new so we just did a lot of things that failed and a lot of things that worked. BUT over the years as things got more sophisticated and technologically “easier” to work online … many of us drifted away from the BASICS of marketing, depending on technology solutions to do the marketing for us.
Well …as the old saying goes, everything old is new again! And thanks to a “wake up call” from a “snot nosed kid” who is one of my marketing students (smile) – he definitely “one upped” me by using MY OWN TECHNIQUE AGAINST ME! And “old school” technique that I stopped using and am KICKING MYSELF because I did!
You see … back in the late 90’s I was asked to contribute to a chapter in Robert Allen’s book “Multiple Streams of Internet Income” where I shared with him my “shocking” technique of generating leads online. It was well received but over the years … that technique sunk into the sands of time and I forgot about it, until now.
That SECRET lead generation technique? BUYING ADVERTISING ONLINE!
WHAT? No SEO? No Blogging? No Forum Posting? No Techy Website Tricks? NOPE!
Here is the concept:
- Find advertising venues online that match your niche or product
- Advertise on those sites, lists, services
- Direct people back to your system so they get more information
- Capture their information
- Sell them & Make Money
It truly is as simple as that. AND if you can make enough money to cover your advertising costs, or even just a little under you are generating very cheap or even FREE leads, very quickly when compared to trying to do all the technical mumbo jumbo we all seem to do these days to generate leads.
But it can get better … and I covered this in my chapter. IF you structure the system correctly you could actually not just break even but you could MAKE MONEY while generating leads so that you can not only cover your advertising cost, but make more money to advertise. And when you do that you get more leads. More leads means more prospects and more customers and then more money from your business. The money is in the list and if you can get paid to build a list you can make a fortune.
How does this work. It’s just a minor twist:
- Find a front end product (affiliate / CPA offer etc) that resonates with your nice
- Advertise to get them to your site & capture their information
- Sell them on the “front end” product
- Some will buy, some won’t
- BUT if the offer is good enough you can make money
- BUT Then you PROMOTE your MAIN product to ALL the leads!
A minor tweak but a major difference. How we do this is find an affiliate program or a CPA offer that has high conversion and high payout and “lead with that”, make our money and keep all the leads. Again, the product has to be relevant to your perfect customer.
Without revealing all the details here of my test. I want to share with you how I MADE $1.42 for every lead I generated for a recent campaign. THAT is before I even sold them my BACK END PRODUCT!
- Cost = $75 for a small run advertising test
- Generated 368 Visitors to my capture page
- 122 of those visitors “opted in” for more information.
- The “front end product” was a LOW cost (to them) service that created a $50 commission to me when they purchased.
- This generated only $250 in sales. That could be better but it was my fault with a technical glitch that turned off some buyers!
- That crated a $175 PROFIT up front! Even before I hit them with my “main offer”
- SO $175 divided by 122 leads = $1.43 PROFIT per lead created!
- The “back end” consists of two “tools” that customers in this industry will want to use and need and pay a nice average of $30 a month back to me.
- So if only say … 5 of them act that would be a residual $150 per month
- OR a total income in month 1 of approximately $325 on a $75 advertising investment!
So what do you think you should do with that profit? YOU GOT IT … reinvest and do the same thing over and over again. SO that you scale it up and in a short period of time you could be creating a HUGE list of people that you can go back to with other products and services!
Look … even if I just made enough money to cover the cost of the advertising and I made not one red cent on the front end, but still got 122 leads and a residual $150 a month from that promotion … it’s STILL making money in the short AND long run!
So can it be done … yes. How can you do it? Stay tuned. After sharing this with some of my colleagues and students, they are asking me to do a webinar or training on how to do this! I will be offering this for FREE to everyone so … keep checking back and I will post on facebook about this training too!
AND for those of you that are students of mine or part of any of the network marketing or direct sales programs I support – I have some extra goodies for you too!
In my over 26+ years in the world of network marketing, I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to be trained by some of the best industry leaders that this industry has ever produced. I think my most favorite trainings and lessons come from the “war stories” told by these mentors. Real world anecdotes and stories that really crystallize the challenges that network marketers face.
Yes, we as “MLM’ers” sit on these calls, the meetings and webinars listening to the war stories of what went wrong! But, the best part of this training is that we have the chance to learn from the mistakes of others and have the chance to learn what NOT to do to avoid the pitfalls and find a more direct path to network marketing success.
One of the biggest “threads” and euphemisms about the industry is the concept of network marketers becoming members of “The NFL Club” – where NFL stands for No Friends Left. For those of you that may have never heard of this concept, let me give a little explanation.
I’m sure that if you are in network marketing or even had friends of family in network marketing, you may have run into this kind of situation. Here it is: A member of the NFL club is that person, friend or family member that you AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE because every time you meet them at a gathering, a function or on the street – do nothing but “barf” their network marketing opportunity or product on you.
C’mon … you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? You know you do! You have people like that in your life, and maybe YOU were or are one of these people too. Here is a true story of my most “memorable” NFL member stories:
True story! I’m at a FUNERAL of a family friend and here came someone into the funeral home – let’s call him “Joe” to avoid embarrassing him in this message. Well, when he came into the funeral home, I swear that everyone scattered like rats leaving a sinking ship to avoid talking to him!
At the time I didn’t know what was going on, BUT but within 10 seconds of him coming up to me I knew WHY!
You see, he instantly started blathering about a great new business opportunity, with a cutting edge product, and I would be great to be part of the team, and kept asking me if I was really serious about my financial future. In my mind I was going “DUDE, this is a FUNERAL MAN … what is WRONG with you!”
Yes, he did talk about the family, the “guest of honor”, and the weather, but every bit of his conversation dripped of looking for an opportunity to inject his new network marketing business into the conversation.
It was amazing to watch him float among the room, doing the same thing and having more and more people get away from him as fast as possible. C’mon … you KNOW what I’m talking about!
“Joe” is a typical member of the NFL club, and when talking about folks like this, we as network marketers like to sit back and chuckle, laugh at people like him, we shake our heads and comment about what a “bonehead” people like this really are.
But I’m here to tell you that YOU may be just as GUILTY as “Joe” but you may not even really know you are doing it – or worse – you may NOT know it because it has now taken a different form, and this “error” is often done by many well meaning new members of the network marketing community, but also being done MORE AND MORE by veterans of this industry that think that they are past doing this!
I know, I know. If I ask you right now (as one network marketer to another) if you are guilty of this activity. I’m sure you say NO because you don’t accost or pester people in the malls, or family gatherings or heaven’s forbid a FUNERAL. Or I’m sure you don’t THINK You are doing something as silly as pestering, accosting or bugging friends, family or colleagues.
But I bet you are doing the same thing on FACEBOOK!
Why can I say this? Because over the past few years, more and more veteran and newbie network marketers are indeed acting like “Joe” on social media – namely Facebook. I bet you MIGHT be doing this and may not even know it! And, after you read this article, and maybe look at your whole social media activity – you may FINALLY realize why your may be having horrible results in using Facebook to build your network marketing business!
Look … before I get into the SEVEN major errors network marketers are making on Facebook, I want to remind you about one important thing about Facebook and other forms of social media.
IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING SOCIAL AND PART OF A COMMUNITY!
Look, what is social media all about? It’s about using a digital, online interface to interact and communicate and share information about you and your life to your friends and colleagues. It’s just an online version of real life, and all about personal communication. It’s about building a community of people that like to interact with one another.
Unfortunately, there has been a trend in with network marketers that is not only driving me nuts, but is also driving others nuts, and creating members of what I call the DNFL club:
The Digital No Friends Left Club
Where these marketers just act like “Joe” at the funeral, incessantly talking about his busines, his product, his agenda without any regard for the community that he is part of. Basiclaly giving him an image of an uncaring, unprofessional, BORE that is to be avoided and never to be worked with!
What’s REALLY disturbing to me? Is that I’m seeing a wide range of so called network marketing experts, leaders, mentors, distributors and self proclaimed “experts” of using social media and network marketing quickly become pariahs that are ignored due to their misuse of Facebook and other social media platform to build their network marketing team!
Again, in a nutshell what does this all mean? Simple – HUGE numbers of network marketers are DIGITALLY through Facebook, doing what “Joe” did at the funeral … and that is just using Facebook to do nothing but “barf” all over their friends, colleagues and family about their opportunity.
What is different about doing this in real life or online? NOTHING!
It’s just as annoying and just as unproductive as doing it in real life. And all it does is have friends, family and colleagues “unfriending” and ignoring” you faster than a jackrabbit on a date!
Are YOU Guilty Of These DNFL Offenses?
Now, it’s time for a bit of a reality check and a time of some necessary self realization here. It’s time to talk about the litany of offenses that have turned well meaning network marketers to annoying “Joes”.
Are you doing any of the following things? If you are, it’s time to make some serious changes.
Because remember, people don’t care how much you know or what you are doing until you show how much you care – and doing any or all of these things proves that you DON’T care about your friends, colleagues and family online – and if you don’t care about THEM they sure as Hell don’t care about you and can and WILL quickly become a DNFL member.
Now in the next few comments I’m going to use “you” a lot, but this is directed as a generalization – but if it does apply to YOU, take notice and make changes NOW!
(1) Do NOTHING But Post To Your Facebook Wall About Your Opportunity Or Product.
I have many friends that I have reluctantly removed, unfriended and ignored on Facebook because every single, solitary post from them on their wall was about their opportunity or their product and not much if ANY of anything about their life.
Once is a while is fine because your business can her an important part of your life, but when every post becomes how many people you brought in, how much weight you lost, how many home parties you did, how many customers you got, or the 14 millionth post about your juice, makeup, shake, cookie, vitamin, pill, face crew. You just come off desperate and unprofessional.
Most of the TOP network marketers who work online and on Facebook RARELY even MENTION their company or product, yet they build their business quite well online. Why? Because they post more about their entire life and lifestyle and sharing information with people to help them with their business or just saying HEY, or sharing information about their family or events in their life.
Remember, your online persona is an “avatar” of your real life, and the more you just barf about your business or product you seem shallow and very … well … uninteresting. And I and others are NOT going to spend our valuable time dealing or listening to uninteresting people!
To quote my wife about Facebook: “If you are someone that does not bring interest, or light, or inspiration, and information about you to my life – I’m done with you”. She is by far one of the best Social Media experts I know and I can’t tell you HOW MANY people she has unfriended / removed / ignored due to the “Joe’s” out there in the DNFL club.
(2) Using Veiled “News” To Sneak In Information About Your Product or Opportunity.
This one is a real bugaboo of mine, and is really just a different version of the previous example.
Instead of making direct pitches about your business or product. You find some news story, article, video, interview that justifies your business or your product and you post that … but then a thread begins that talks about the product or opportunity.
Again, this is like “Joe” at the funeral, where every word, sentence and conversation thread was being analyzed for that RIGHT time to drop a subject to bring the conversation back to his business, product or opportunity. Look, people KNOW you are doing that (online and offline) and when they feel you are doing nothing but looking for ways to “get your point” in and sell your stuff – you get avoided VERY quickly!
You think you are being sly, sneaky and smart doing this? Nope! We can all see through it and it again, makes you nothing more than a one note poster that becomes yet another unfriended or ignored marketer on Facebook.
(3) Profile Picture Badges
In the early days of this concept (of someone putting a company logo or image as part of their profile picture) was interesting and it had some interesting results. But as more and more people began to do this, the power and interest of this wore off and is now pretty much an annoyance.
I admit, that in the past I did use these but realized something.
I’m BOB GATCHEL, I’m ME and no matter what product or service I’m selling, people are more interested in ME and what I’m doing and how I interact with others and with them. And having that “virtual tattoo” on my head or my profile picture EVERY time I interact with someone online was nothing more than a version of “spamming” my product in our first example.
Think of it as “Joe” coming to the funeral in his nice suit, with a big red button on his lapel that says “Ask me about how you can make money in my business”. It’s not appropriate and again, looks really desperate and unprofessional.
I have heard from others (and I am now also guilty of this), that when I see someone with one of those badges with their company logo as part of their profile picture on Facebook – OR – if they use a company logo or product image as their profile photo … I IGNORE them and UNFRIEND THEM! I just don’t wanna be constantly pitched directly OR indirectly!
Think about it! The more friends that unfriend you and ignore you … how are you going to get them to learn more about your business or even CARE about what you are doing. You DRIVE them away doing things like this!
(4) Company Or Team Link “Share Spam”
This one is sort of a combination of many of the above. Here is how it works:
Suppose your company or a team member or someone in the company creates a page, video or story about the company, product or opportunity. That’s great and in moderation (we will talk about this in a minute)
BUT invariably – it becomes like a chain letter where everyone on the team shares, comments and cross posts amongst each other. Where in just a few hours it seems everyone on this team has this same post, posted to other posts and other “friends” or team members that do the same. It’s like a virus that begins to infect every Facebook wall of a team.
Yes, SOME so called “Social Media Experts” and many network marketing company owners think this creates “mass” and gets their story out there for all to see in a great wide swath, because it creates the illusion of team / company excitement.
Nope – it looks desperate, contrived and totally unprofessional. And people DO begin to ignore this because … well … it never stops. When a new product comes, out or the box changed color, or the company president created a new video, it happens all over again and it gets VERY old VERY fast and is one of the fastest ways to lose “outer circle” friends and relationships online.
In the end, many of these teams, companies and distributors end up just sharing information amongst themselves ONLY because they have driven away other friends, colleagues, family or other online connections because they see you and your group as a bunch of folks all in their own world, caring only about the business and the opportunity and the product and not about the people you SHOULD be building relationships with.
Being friends with several network marketers across several industries and companies, the instant I see this – I just move on and when someone is an egregious offender of this (and the other offenses above) – I just don’t read what they say and just move on and end up unfriending or ignoring these people.
(5) Inappropriate Tagging Or Wall Posting
Now, by far the very worst offense and in most cases the reason for almost INSTANT unfriending or ignoring is this:
* Tagging people in a video, image, post, picture that has to deal with NOTHING personal, but again, something to do with your business, opportunity or product. Look, if you tag me in a picture of a meeting I attended, or of me at an event that’s GREAT!.
BUT to tag me in a photo of your bottle of juice, or image of your company logo, or some veiled news story that is a “in road” to a conversation thread about your business – you are GONE! This is SUPER bad form and happens REGULARLY!
* Using veiled articles or notes and then tagging or sharing them on my wall or anywhere on Facebook that is not appropriate is nothing but SPAM. It’s kind of like that chain letter attitude mentioned above BUT taking that and posting that on MY or OTHER non involved people’s Facebook walls without their approvel!
I have a ZERO tolerance with this and you are GONE the instant you do this. Trust me, people are sick of this and when this happens people dump you like yesterday’s trash. And these days, people are reporting this as spam to Facebook and accounts are being terminated over things like this. WHY? Because it violates the whole concept of what SOCIAL MEDIA is about. Treat me like a number, or notch in your network marketing belt and nothing but a prospect – then you show you don’t care about the community.
* Spamming My Wall. A more egregious version of the previous concept. Just posting something about your product, opportunity or company on ANYONE’s wall on Facebook is a MAJOR NO NO and again, an instant removal by me. I and others have even go so far as to report egregious offenders to Facebook for doing this, ending up in a termination of the account
(6) Massive Friending Of People For Blatant Cross Promotional Purposes
When you combine everything above COMBINED with the fact some folks go out there and friend hundreds and thousands of people for the sole purpose of building a huge friends list that they can annoy, spam and “barf” on. Again, is bad form.
It’s not about how many friends you have in this media, it’s about the relationships you build in this industry. I get literally hundreds of friend requests each day and in most cases I accept them all, and in most cases, it is someone doing all of the wrong things I mentioned above. Guess what happens? INSTANT removal and these folks are doing nothing but wasting time and energy trying this.
Funny, I happened to see someone online recently who is a MAJOR offender of most if not all of these things mentioned in this article – and this particular person posted that they were really upset because Facebook “blocked” them from friending more people for some reason.
Duhh! The reason is you are friending lots of people for one purpose only – to promote to them – and you DO try to promote to them – OR they see your Facebook wall is nothing but a sycophantic shrine to your network marketing business where your agenda is clear, and the reasoning for WHY you friended them is clear. So they either UNfriend you in droves, or in many cases these days these folks REPORT you to Facebook and you start to get that “reputation” as someone to be watched and your access throttled or even terminated.
Because there is nothing SOCIAL about what you are DOING!
(7) Finally – Quotes, Quotes and More Quotes.
This REALLY is something that REALLY gets my goat and a real sticking point with me.
Many of the folks that do all of things I just mentioned may come to the realization that they may have to add “other content” to their Facebook to seem a bit more real. Well they are thinking in the right direction but then they go about it the wrong way.
So what do they do? They end up going to some online quote site and just do nothing but post and post and post some “inspirational” quotes from the web. Or some inspirational “picture” or an image that has that arrow that points to your picture that says “This Person Loves MLM” or something totally uninspiring and interesting as that.
Doing this as part of the REST of the offenses described here, again, make you appear to be just posting this “perfunctory” extra quotes, or pictures as part of your promotional agenda and NOTHING to do with the real you. Contrived is the best word.
Why share inspirational quotes or pictures with me on Facebook if you don’t talk about what this inspiration is doing for your family, or your kids, your dog, your parents. How how you are doing things in your life. Nope – it’s ALL an agenda for your business and it shows. You may THINK people see past this, they do not. People are getting wiser and have MUCH less tolerance for constant insipid talk on Facebook and blatant promotional pitches – looking to connect with REAL people as part of the community!
When you add any or all of these offenses, you know what it all comes down to?
It comes down that, if you do this, you just don’t CARE about the community that you are trying to develop online. You appear to be, in the end, unprofessional and just see your friends, family and colleagues online as nothing more than an asset to help you build your business and nothing more.
Remember – people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. And when you are like a digital version of “Joe” … it shows you don’t care and you end up losing friends and worse, lose respect. And the worst part of it all? It does nothing to build your business in the long run.
Here Is What You Should Do
(1) Be REAL!
Share your life and stories (as appropriate) on Facebook. Reach out and comment and participate in the lives of your friends, family and colleagues online. Talk about the weather, the kids, events you name it. Share pictures and stories. You are more than just your business, and using Facebook to do that shows you do care about the community and then when you do that the community will care about you.
(2) You CAN Talk About Your Company But Carefully And Appropriately
Look, I know you may be proud of your business or your product, and it is part of your life. There is NOTHING wrong with posting something on your wall about events or big things about your business or product but keep it in moderation.
My rule of thumb?
You should have 10 to 15 personal posts, comments, shares, pictures to every ONE post about your business. And when you do that keep it real with no hype, and no pushiness.
I am currently involved with a product line that has helped me lose close to 30 pounds in 90 days, and you know what? I have NEVER posted anything about the product or business directly on Facebook.
Yes, my wife and I talk about things about it and some folks reach out to us and I offer to give them more information privately. I do and they love it and we have been building a very successful business and team with this method.
WHY? Because I’m not seen as a pushy salesman of the product. YES again, we do mention it and when we hit our different levels of success, I post a thank you to some folks etc, but again, IN MODERATION!
NOTE: If you wanna push a business or product online do NOT do it on your FRIEND account but create a fan page on Facebook to do that. On that page, BARF AWAY, but do NOT do that on your main Facebook account.
(3) Be Real And Demand That Your Company Friends & Team Do The Same
We need to pay this concept forward and make sure our teams, company and friends honor this “being real philosophy”. I have had friends in my company who did nothing but talk about the business on my pages and I have had to remove their posts and remind them that although occasionally it’s OK to do that, but not so much that WE as a group look “desperate” and become members of the DNFL club.
SO – there you have it!
How much of this have you done? How much of this have you seen? How many of you are fed up with this unprofessional use of Facebook? And how many of you are going to change how you use Facebook (before you lose your friends or even have your account terminated?)
Well … it’s time to stop and remember that this is not an advertising platform, it’s a social platform.
Instead of just seeing people as building blocks solely as bricks to build your business, but instead they are people that want to talk with you, relate with you and be part of a community with you.
The minute you treat people as people and NOT as bodies you are throwing your business or opportunity at … and you start using Facebook and other social media as the tool it should be, then you will see greater interaction and relationships online, and in turn your business can and will thrive online.
Network marketing is a relationship business. And it’s time we remember that and concentrate on building relationships online and stop being a “Joe” and get OUT of the DNFL club!