The 5 Things Elon Musk Does Every Day to Make Himself Productive
Elon Musk gets more done each day than any three random CEOs. Here's how he manages it
Last week, I pointed out that because Elon Musk can successfully run multiple businesses, he could run any one of those businesses working part-time. Because of this, mere mortals like you and me should be able to create and run a business without working long hours– certainly not more than 40 hours a week.
As you can imagine, I got some pushback on that concept, probably because I neglected to point out specifically what Elon Musk does to manage his time better than your average insanely successful entrepreneur.
I've not worked with Musk personally or interviewed him but I watch him and his companies pretty closely. Here are some specific techniques that have emerged either from Musk's speeches or from his actions as reported in the news:
1. He doesn't bother with business plans.
In a recent appearance at SXSW, Musk explained that he's not a big fan of business plans. Instead, he works at the visionary level and leaves the operational details to others.
By contrast, most CEOs (including Steve Jobs, BTW) tend to get deeply involved in the business planning process, even to the point of micromanaging it.
The main point of a business plan is to get funding; after that, you're probably better off setting ambitious goals and improvising a way to get there (i.e., pivoting).
2. He immediately ends pointless conversations.
As I mentioned out in "Elon Musk Just Gave the World's Best Productivity Advice in a Single, Short Sentence," when Musk perceives that people are wasting his time, he cuts them off, even if it seems rude. To his way of thinking, what's truly rude is forcing him to listen to conversations that are neither interesting nor useful.
For example, when some analysts at a financial update meeting asked him some stupid questions, Musk just pointed out that the questions were "bonehead" and moved on. While he got flak for this, subsequent events have proved Musk right: The question were bonehead.
By refusing to suffer fools gladly (or otherwise), Musk probably frees up a dozen or more hours each week to do other, more useful things. As an additional bonus, he isn't forced to clutter up his mind with other people's irrelevant nonsense.
3. He immediately walks out on useless meetings.
Similarly, if a meeting wanders or is on a subject that's not immediately relevant, Musk simply gets up and leaves. More important, he also gives his staff and employees permission to do the same.
Since meetings are the biggest time wasters in business, Musk, by refusing to be part of a captive audience, probably frees up another dozen hours a week that he can spend on something useful or amusing.
4. He avoids foolish consistencies.
Musk isn't afraid to contradict himself. As a result, he doesn't waste his time defending the indefensible.
For example, while Musk frequently touted that Model 3 factory as almost entirely automated, he didn't hesitate to publicly announce it when he swapped out some automation in favor of human labor.
Most CEOs would have quietly made the change and then tried to bury it to avoid some bad PR. This adds the time and mental burden inherent in any cover-up that could turn into a PR disaster.
It's much more time-effective to do what Musk does in such situations: Bite the bullet and then move on.
5. He decides rather than deliberates.
In my experience and observation, most CEOs–even entrepreneurs–tend to overthink and overanalyze before taking action.
By contrast, while Musk never appears to be acting out of ignorance, it's obvious from the pace of his decision-making that he prefers to decide to take action (with all its attendant risks) to talking a decision to death.
A perfect example of this was when he fired all the Tesla contractors who couldn't find a Tesla employee to vouch for them. Most CEOs would have tried to cut the contractors "with all due speed," taking months to do something that could apparently be accomplished in a single day.
What is an Initial Loan Procurement and why it will drive the Markethive.
There seems to be a lack of awareness around Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs), as well as a lot of confusion if that. This post will try to explain what ILPs are and their significance to finance and Markethive.
The Initial Loan Procurement is a new fundraising method that is similar to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) but in the form of loans rather than coins. In this ILP scenario, borrowers and creditors enter loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts. Markethive is one of the firsts to offer an ILP along with the originator from Blockhive.
ILPs (Initial Loan Procurement) disrupt the global debt capital market and have the potential to become bigger than ICOs. Blockchain is revolutionizing finance, especially capital markets, which allow companies (and even governments) to raise money from investors globally.
Let’s talk about how companies and governments raise investor money:
Companies can either sell stakes in the company or equity. This is done by issuing stocks and stockholders share the company’s profits. Likewise company losses are stockholders losses and companies aren’t required to pay the investors back. On the other hand, companies can borrow from investors by issuing corporate bonds. Although bondholders don’t share in the company’s profit, they will be paid back their original investment + interest unless the company goes bankrupt.
Governments can issue government bonds to big investors as well and the logic works the same as corporate bonds. Since the government is deemed less risky, government bonds typically have lower interest rates. Examples are US Treasury bonds.
When companies/governments first issue these financial securities, they are issued in what is called the primary market. The average joe does not participate in this market. The big banks and institutional investors are the usual investors. After this, the already-issued securities are traded in the secondary market which includes retail investors like the average joe. Ex. Stock market
Then there’s the private capital market. All companies start private and once they get big, they might go public and list on one of the stock exchanges. Ex. Uber is currently a private company valued at $70B, and they are supposedly planning an IPO soon. Only then, would the average joe be able to buy Uber stocks and invest in the company. So who invests in these private companies early on? Big institutional investors such as Venture Capital firms (VCs) with lots of money get to invest early on for equity and if the company takes off, they could multiply their investments by orders of magnitudes.
This was how things were done TRADITIONALLY. With Blockchain technologies, modern finance is changing. Initial Coin Offerings provide companies (and governments) with a whole new way of raising capital. It’s easier, faster, and the whole world gets to participate. Although coins are not 100% like stocks, a lot of them behave that way: Many tokens will profit if the issuing blockchain company becomes successful. (For example exchange token holders earning trading commission fees). Like stocks, there is no legal obligation for the company to pay the investors back their original investment. Initial Coin Offerings serve as the primary market and exchanges like Binance serve as the secondary market. This change is happening extremely fast. In 2017, more money was raised with ICOs for blockchain start-ups than ALL of Venture Capital. Pretty much EVERYONE can participate in these ICOs as well as trade the tokens once they are listed on exchanges.
This is why regulators are going crazy about cryptocurrencies right now. Throughout history, financial market crashes have devastated many lives, and each time regulators stepped in with rules to protect consumers. Let’s not debate the pros and cons of regulation here, but it’s just the way things are. With cryptocurrencies, regulators see more risk than ever for consumers as now regular people are participating not just in this unregulated secondary crypto market, but in primary markets as well through ICOs.
Meanwhile, the global debt capital market has barely been disrupted by blockchain tech. If anything, there are many crypto projects in the works for peer-to-peer lending, but there is only one project that I know of focused on disrupting the public debt capital market: Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs).
A fundraising structure utilized by Markethive, this has the potential to grow even bigger than ICOs (The world debt market is way bigger than the world equity market). This year Markethive will be one of the firsts to offer an ILP, like Blockhive, and will be one of the first companies to raise capital by decentralized crowdfunding of debt.
To summarize Markethive’s ILP: we are targeting 10.5M Dollars (USD in Bitcoin) from lenders (think ILP). In this decentralized world, anyone can participate. The loan period is projected to be 10 years and the interest is 20% of Markethive’s operating profit. For example, if I lent Markethive $1,000 through this ILP, I will be repaid this principal in 10 years, and also earn interest over that period (In Markethive's case, 20% of Markethive’s operating profit will be distributed across the lenders. Furthermore, the ILP structure issues Hive Foundation Shares (HFS), which will allow me to sell my loan contract in the secondary market, if I don’t want to wait 10 years to be paid back. Each ILP will have its own FLAT to provide liquidity in the secondary market. Markethive's FLAT is also called Hive Founding Shares.
All ILPs are powered by legally-binding smart contracts (loan contracts between each creditor/issuer), and digital identity/signature solutions. The token utilized for these products will be traded on the open market exchanges (yet to be announced)
This is HUGE. Instead of issuing traditional bonds, corporations and governments can participate in this decentralized form of crowdfunding loans. It’s fast, easy, and the whole world can participate.
The financial revolution is now just starting.
The Markethive team believes that there is a need for an alternative to ICO due to the following shortcomings. The token economy is based on the demand, and sometimes selling tokens doesn’t make sense because the token has no real function for your business. Also, laws and regulation are an important consideration, because countries such as China have banned ICOs. Taxes also play a major part. Some countries consider money raised through ICOs to be income rather than capital and may tax it at rates as high as 40 percent.
Markethive has partnered with smart-contract development firm Menlo Tech and the original developer of the Monero Coin to develop a way to raise funds using loans. Here are some unique points of ILP:
The structure is as effective as an ICO because it is open to individuals around the world.
It is legally binding because agreements are digitally signed using blockchain technology which records information in a distributed database so they can’t be easily altered, adding a level of security for creditors.
Because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.
For businesses that don’t need tokens in the first place, ILP provides an alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development, rather than creating tokens with no actual usage.
The ILP is regulation-friendly. Markethive conforms with regulatory frameworks designed to fight fraud and money laundering. Therefore, participants of ILP will be required to submit their identification and to go through the process of authentication (KYC).
The Markethive team says, “ILP provides a fast track alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development. Last, but not least, because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.”
How does it work?
In Markethive’s case,
We first ask our creditors to register their identification, address and other information.
Then, they will digitally sign the loan agreement and send Bitcoin to our registered account.
Once we receive the Bitcoin, the contract is made.
That means Markethive’s creditors can receive 20 percent of Markethive’s monthly profit as an interest payment.
After the loan contract is made, Markethive will issue the Hive Foundation Shares (HFS the FLAT Future Loan Access Tokens). HFS gives creditors the right to transfer loans to others, using Markethive’s Wallets, Markethive’s internal exchange or on public exchanges.
The team further clarifies, “When individuals receive HFS tokens, they become potential creditors and can use the tokens to sign loan agreements with the borrower, in this case, Markethive. Once they have signed the loan agreement with Markethive, they are now the new creditors of the loan agreement and they will get the interest payments.”
Take part in the Markethive ILP
The ILP seems like a much more secure approach to fundraising while keeping the ease of raising funds like the ICO. Markethive is a first test case of this new funding method. It is currently in pre-launch and you can register for it here – https://markethive.io
Constructing a Real-Estate
Brick by Brick
BrickCoin, touted as the world’s first blockchain financial platform
On June 6, BrickCoin, touted as the world’s first blockchain financial platform backed entirely by the stability of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), unveiled its vision for a “real estate-backed” global digital currency. BrickCoin seeks to usher in a new normal for consumer saving and financial stability that protects an individual's’ true wealth from the inflationary impact of fiat currencies. BrickCoin uses blockchain technology to drive this next generation of financial solutions that seeks to ensure financial inclusion for all. Those who are unbanked account for over a third of the global population.
BrickCoin uses blockchain as its underlying technology to facilitate the next generation of financial solutions aimed at ensuring financial inclusion for all. Unbanked people account for a third of the world’s population. This demographic is primarily concentrated in the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa where inflation levels are extremely volatile, and the value of fiat currency is unable to keep pace with inflation, thereby resulting in monetary value. The brainchild behind BrickCoin, humanitarian entrepreneur Lucas Cervigni, asserts that this is not just a problem facing the
“Inflation levels are rising around the globe, chewing into real incomes and savings rates. As a result, the world needs a better, safer and easier way for ordinary people to save and protect their money from inflation.”
He goes on to note that savings accounts and fixed income interest accounts are not inflation-proof and are stuck at record low levels of interest. Complex investment products such as hedge funds, he says, are typically only available to high wealth individuals and require large initial investments and do not offer ready liquidity and are vulnerable to bankruptcy. “By comparison, the debt-free real estate has and always will have intrinsic value, much as the old gold standards did. We plan to use this to create a new inflation-proof, secure but flexible mechanism for ordinary savers to protect their wealth,” continued Cervigni.
His vision is to create an asset-based cryptocurrency, which replaces the vulnerabilities of the current fiat currency system, combining the safety of a real estate investment with the liquidity and performance of a cryptocurrency. These REIT-backed coins will enable anyone to convert their fiat currency into a more stable and protected digital currency that not only increases in value but helps more people to grow their usable savings leading to stronger global economies.
Unlike other assets used to back new and emerging cryptocurrencies, commercial, mortgage-free real estate is a robust and regulated asset that is protected from increasing debt and inflationary cycles. For a large percentage of individuals around the world, BrickCoin’s online platform will represent their only chance to invest in real estate. By purchasing a BrickCoin, token holders will have the ability to build a steady income stream that grows at a guaranteed rate higher than the current inflation rate of their country, offering the individual a safe place to store and grow their wealth.
By way of example, in Venezuela inflation is expected to hit a rate of 2,500 percent by 2018. The currency, the bolivar, is so devalued that many people tote it around in carrier bags rather than wallets. The government has declared the currency to be virtually worthless. Unlike state currencies, BrickCoin’s value cannot simply be declared worthless, nor printed away.
While the opportunity for BrickCoin to fully assist Venezuela may have passed, it does demonstrate how the real world economy can benefit from the crypto economy, preventing or at least limiting the adverse effects of future monetary mismanagement and totalitarian government control. When asked about his journey into the world of blockchain-based, real estate-backed cryptocurrencies, Cervigni had this to say, “My journey into the crypto space began five to six years ago when I met a man called Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar (president of Bitcoin Argentina) who got me interested in this new crypto tech. He believed that Bitcoin was the technology that was going to change the world.”
“Later, I was working on a real estate development project in London when I realized they needed a faster, cheaper and more user-friendly way to work and found that the Blockchain was the answer. I began using blockchain and cryptocurrency during my work in real estate and over the last five years these early ideas developed into BrickCoin.”
He says that his engagement with Zaldivar was the catalyst for him starting BrickCoin. “He was already crowdfunding for real estate and got me involved.” Cervigni was quick to point out that in the crypto space, a business that has been running six months is considered well-established, BrickCoin has already been running for four years with a longer-term plan for the next decade. He says that within the next ten years the plan is to engage with governments in order to expand BrickCoin to different countries, with different regulators and expand the types of BrickCoins invested in real estate around the world.
“Blockchain is the platform of the future. Everything in the world will be developed using open ledger platform. In respect to real estate, a huge proportion of the world doesn’t own a home; they rent accommodation. At least 15-20 percent do not have a home at all (they live in super precarious housing). There’s an enormous deficit in worldwide housing. We aim to fix that.”
Markethive is a full suite “Inbound Marketing” platform integrated with a full scale “social network” targeting the 800 million “Entrepreneur” global populations. Like Facebook meets Pardot. This new revolution of the next wave of progressions is known as Market Networks, compared to the last wave of Social Networks. Even MarketHive’s name reflects this new revolution. Experts predict the “Market Network” will dwarf the “Social Network” market.
1. Founder (Thomas Prendergast): 40 years’ experience in Ad Agency and Marketing professional. Educated and developed technology awareness from 1982 – 1992 in the Silicon Valley. Visionary, skilled programmer, innovation 1sts, Stanford and UCSD Super Computer Center foundations and over 20 years building marketing innovation on the Internet.
Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10.
First we had communication networks, like telephones and email. Then we had social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now we have market networks, like HoneyBook, AngelList, Houzz, DotLoop and Joist.
You can imagine a market network for every industry where professionals are not interchangeable: law, travel, real estate, media production, architecture, investment banking, personal finance, construction, management consulting and more. Each market network will have different attributes that make it work in each vertical, but the principles will remain the same.
Over time, nearly all independent professionals and their clients will conduct business through the market network of their industry. We’re just seeing the beginning of it now.
Market networks will have a massive positive impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions of people buy better services.
“Markethive has the ability to be an incubator (hive) to produce more strategic “Market Networks” as well”.
Founder and CEO Markethive, Inc.
P.S. The "Market Network" Illustrated
(Do you see Markethive?)
Definition of Hive (Curious aint it?)
1. A place swarming with activity.
2. To work with many others in a close network. 3. a network showing signs of great industry
Thanks to the Internet, marketing has evolved over the years. Consumers no longer rely on billboards and TV spots — a.k.a. outbound marketing — to learn about new products, because the web has empowered them. It's given them alternative methods for finding, buying and researching brands and products. The new marketing communication — inbound marketing — has become a two-way dialogue, much of which is facilitated by social media.
Another reason why inbound marketing is winning is because it costs less than traditional marketing. Why try to buy your way in when consumers aren't even paying attention? Here are some stats from the infographic below.
44% of direct mail is never opened. That's a waste of time, postage and paper.
86% of people skip through television commercials.
84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an "irrelevant or intrusive ad."
The cost per lead in outbound marketing is more than for inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person's attention, which is done through social media and engaging content, such as blogs, podcasts and white papers. This content is interesting, informative and adds value, creating a positive connection in the eyes of the consumer, thus making him more likely to engage your brand and buy the product. So it costs less and has better a ROI.
I’ll say it: the days of outbound marketing are over.
The "Wolf of Wall Street" mentality of harassing customers over the phone, sending spamy emails, and going door-to-door to close deals has become much less effective in recent years. Customers have access to so much information every day, they’ve become increasingly resentful of marketing intrusions. The rise of blocking tools such as caller id, spam folders and ad blockers is not coincidence.
Inbound marketing is the new normal. That’s the idea that if you provide value to customers first, they will respond by returning that value back and doing business with you.
To get a peak under the hood inbound marketing, and get tips on how others can use it, I had a chance to chat with A.J. Agrawal – an entrepreneur who built his business, Alumnify, around it. A.J. is a fellow contributor at Entrepreneur as well as at Forbes, Huffington Post, and others.
Here’s an edited version of our e-mail interview:
Why begin with universities?
We started there because we saw a strong decrease year after year in alumni engagement. Right now, alumni engagement is at an all time low – under 10 percent. It was obvious that institutions were struggling to adjust to the new ways their alumni were communicating and engaging. So we saw the opportunity.
For about 85 years, alumni engagement was pretty steady. Then all of a sudden, in the 90’s it began to fall drastically. In panic mode, many schools chose to double down on the outbound marketing tactics that worked in the past: cold calls, snail mail, and increased email addresses. They also deployed better data tacking and software to help optimize open email rates as well as make the giving process easier for graduates.
But these strategies had no effect (or even a negative effect on engagement) because they were built on an overall strategy that was broken. So we decided we would build inbound marketing solutions to provide value to alumni first.
How do you begin inbound practices?
First, make sure you know what inbound marketing is. At its core, inbound is anything that provides a tremendous amount of value to your target customer without asking anything from them in return. There are tons of ways to do this and the best part is that most of the major strategies can be done for minimal cost.
One thing we recommend to companies we work with us is to start by getting a blog set up and to have someone be responsible for publishing regular content. One of the nice things about inbound marketing is that it requires companies to build major assets for their business. Your content library is a huge asset and will eventually help your SEO, and pull in more customers to your website.
Other popular inbound strategies include webinars, eBooks, infographics, mobile apps built to help your customers, and optimizing your social media.
Each business is different, so the strategy depends on factors including audience, industry, and expertise. Like most things, the hardest part is just getting started. Once you find an inbound strategy that starts to work, it becomes much easier to fine tune and expand on your traction.
Do you avoid outbound strategies?
Not at all. While inbound is definitely the future, some customers still respond well to outbound strategies. Even as an inbound company, we still cold call customers and send promotional emails once in a while — but as part of a complete plan.
When thinking about the brand I want for Alumnify, I don’t want prospects and customers avoiding our phone calls. The image of a customer seeing an Alumnify Team Member calling them and saying “Not these people again” is my worst nightmare. And it should be any entrepreneur’s nightmare too.
Instead, I believe that the key to getting customers to love us is to provide value without asking for anything in return. For example, we have a free inbound marketing email list we just launched yesterday with weekly tips and webinars. And I’m always happy to help any fellow entrepreneur hammer out an inbound strategy. That type of approach may take more work in the short run, but it’ll also help build a much better brand to our customers in the long run.
This is an article about a similar Inbound Marketing company like Markethive. Unlike Markethive, Pardot is not a social network. That are only an Inbound Marketing platform. In that aspect, they are a shadow of what Markethive does.
One of the more popular questions I get from entrepreneurs that are curious about selling a company is how we arrived at the Pardot acquisition price. My normal response is that we had $10 million in trailing twelve months (TTM) revenue at time of sale and we got 9.5x TTM. Well, since we’re more than three years out from the deal (see 3 Year Anniversary of the Pardot Exit), there’s actually much more to how we arrived at the acquisition price.
And, as you might expect, arriving at the price of a fast-growing SaaS startup isn’t as logical as you might think.
The original offer came in at $60 million. Looking at our growth rate (100%/year) and our run-rate ($13M ARR), we said we could wait 12 months, get to $20 million TTM, and then sell for 5-7x. We countered asking for $140 million.
Not knowing what would happen, but confident we were in a great place in a great market, we felt good about our counter.
48 hours later they came back and offered us $70 million. Time to play ball. We countered at $120 million.
48 hours later they came back and offered us $80 million. We countered at $110 million.
48 hours later they came back and offered us $90 million. We countered at $100 million.
48 hours later they came back and offered us $95 million. We said no. $100 million is our final offer.
Then, the final wrinkle emerged: they couldn’t pay $100 million. Even with $210 million in cash on the balance sheet at the time, they had already filed paperwork with the SEC to do a secondary offering, and based on rules as a public company, they’d have to withdraw the offering if they acquired a company for more than a certain percentage of assets. Well, $95 million was the max they could do if we wanted to do a deal now.
$95 million — take it or leave it.
We said yes. The deal closed 42 days later.
Not all acquisition prices are logical. Our deal was driven partly by our revenue, market multiples, market opportunity, and SEC rules. Go figure.
Marketing is always evolving. Each year there are new strategies and tools to master, all of which must be aligned with your business goals. Because of this, the responsibilities of marketers and business owners continue to grow as well. As we start another calendar year, it’s common to consider the marketing budgets and identify areas of reallocation and ROI. When in need of marketing help, often the first thought is to hire another employee or give some of the overflow work to others within the organization. What most don’t realize is that this can be quite costly and in many cases, does not produce the same return as working with an outside resource.
Markethive Inbound Marketiing is a great solution in this scenario. Not only does this partnership provide unparalleled expertise, it will allow you and your employees to focus on growing the business in other ways. Here we will discuss 5 ways to cut costs by hiring an inbound marketing agency.
1. More Time Spent Growing Your Business
Many companies operate marketing with an “everyone helps” attitude. This means that everyone from the CEO to the sales team helps by writing blogs and content offers. This is great if each Affiliate has a few extra hours each week to help out, however, this is rarely the case. For most of us, the weeks are jam-packed, with an ever-growing list of to-do’s to accomplish. In order to hit these marketing deadlines, team members have to step away from their primary responsibilities and shift gears into a marketing mindset. This can seriously take away from weekly productivity and reaching key goals.
By subcribing to our inbound marketing program, Markethive, affiliates can spend their time doing what they subscribe to do, driving the business forward. This will undoubtedly result in more business closed and better customer success. Now, instead of an “all hands on deck” approach to marketing, it is now the responsibility of one individual to manage the relationship with an Inbound Marketing System as opposed to executing the marketing as a whole.
2. The True Cost of Hiring a New Marketer
Another solution could be to hire an Affiliate internally. What often goes undiscussed is the total cost associated with the bringing on a new marketer, or any Affiliate for that matter. Filling a new position can turn into another full-time job. When adding up all the time it takes to identify, interview, hire and train a new Affuiliates, the total hours can be astonishing. As mentioned before, this not only takes time away from your primary responsibilities, but odds are, there will be additional hand-holding required over the next few months.
When working with an Inbound Marketing System like Markethive, you can cut costs by immediately partnering with a team of marketing experts who have dedicated ample time and resources to learn about you and your business. Their process in doing so will be extremely thorough, resulting in a true understanding of your value proposition, solutions, and a detailed plan to reach your goals. The time it takes to interview and vet an inbound agency will be a fraction of that which you would spend on a new internal hire, and we all know that time is money.
3. Optimization of Costly Marketing Initiatives
Another way that an Inbound Marketing System like Markethive, can help you cut costs is with the optimization of existing marketing efforts that are costing you money. Many businesses spend a decent portion of their marketing budget on paid advertising such as Google Adwords, social ads. With the right expertise, this spend can be optimized greatly. This can be done by removing ad spend for those channels that do not yield adequate results, or by improving the overall conversion rate, effectively lowering the cost of acquisition.
An Inbound Marketing System like Markethive, will look at your current marketing activities with a keen eye, identifying areas to lower spend and drive optimal results. With the right tools in place, such as HubSpot, they can generate in-depth reports and adjust campaigns accordingly.
4. Fixed Monthly Costs
Another important factor in cutting costs is the fee structure for inbound marketing retainers. Most agencies work in a retainer-based model. This means that there is a fixed fee associated with the amount of work to be completed each month. This statement of work is often laid out in terms of a set number of hours or deliverables, based upon an agreed-upon monthly fee. This model allows you to allocate budget appropriately for the next year or many years to come. With an internal employee, the cost of that person increases over time. This can be seen with annual raises or the cost of benefits rising as well. In order to maintain a steady budget for marketing, while ensuring the highest return on investment, hiring an inbound marketing agency is certainly your best option.
5. Access to Additional Technology
As mentioned earlier, each year, new marketing technology is released to help businesses drive new customers while reporting accurately on their efforts. In many cases, these tools are not free and the cost of multiple subscriptions can add up quickly. By working with an inbound marketing system, often you can get access to a number of tools that they are already using. For example, Markethive use a variety of analytics tools to measure website performance and visitor behavior.
It’s clear that subscribing to this inbound marketing system such as Markethive provides a number of great values. Not only do you get access to a full team of marketing and creative experts, you can significantly cut costs and increase ROI. When compared to hiring an internal marketer or splitting the responsibilities across your team, partnering with an inbound agency is extremely cost-effective and allows you to focus on growing your business.
A direct-selling expert shares what it takes to start out and make it in this industry.
You probably have an image firmly planted in your mind of what network marketing (also known as direct sales or multilevel marketing) is all about–housewives buying and selling Tupperware while gossiping and eating finger sandwiches, or a high-pressure salesperson trying to convince you how easily you can become a millionaire if only you and your friends and their friends and so on would buy and sell vitamins with him.
Both of these images couldn't be further from the reality of network marketing. It's neither a hobby nor a get-rich-scheme but an opportunity for you to earn money running your own part- or full-time business.
But what does it take to succeed in this industry? Vincent J. Kellsey, director of member services for the Direct SellingWomen's Alliance, an organization that provides a variety of resources to women and men in the direct-selling industry, offers these tips for making it:
Choose wisely. There are six key elements you should be looking for [when selecting an opportunity]. Number one: stability. How old is the company? Number two is excellent products or services that consumers will use and need more of.
Number three is the pay plan–how even and fair and generous overall is the distribution? This is really crucial as the pay plan represents exactly how you'll get paid–or not get paid. There are really only two questions to ask [regarding this]: How many pennies out of each sales dollar get paid back to the distributors each month, and how fair is the distribution of these pennies between the old members and the new members?
Number four is the integrity of the company and the management. As much as possible, [investigate] the experience of the CEO, [their] experience in the network marketing industry, and their background. [Have] they been successful in other companies in the industry? Do they have a good reputation?
Number five is momentum and timing. Look at where the company's at, what's going on with the company, and if it's growing.
Number six is support, training and business systems. You may have [chosen] a great company with excellent management, products that make a difference, a pay plan that's uniquely fair and very generous, and momentum and stability, but if you don't have a system in place that works, all of that [doesn't matter]. Most companies will have a transferable training system that they use, and that's where mentorship comes in.
Practice what they teach. [To succeed,] you need to be willing to listen and learn from mentors. The way this industry is structured, it's in the best interests of the [MLM veterans in your company] to help you succeed, so they're willing to teach you the system. Whatever [your mentor] did to become successful, it's very duplicatible, but you have to be willing to listen and be taught and follow those systems.
The higher-ups. It can be called various things, but the general term is the "upline," meaning the people above you. How supportive are they? Do they call you? Do they help you put a plan in place? Are they as committed to your success as they are to their own? You should be able to relate to [the people in your upline] and be able to call them at any time to say "I need some help." How much support there is from the people above you in the company is very important.
Take up the lead with your downline. There's a term in the network marketing industry called "orphans"–when somebody is brought in and then the person who brought them in is just so busy bringing in other people that they don't spend the time to teach and train [the new person]. You should be prepared to spend at least 30 days helping a new person come into the industry–training them, supporting them and holding their hand until they feel confident to be able to go off on their own. You really need to ask yourself, are you willing to do that? Are you able to do that? This is really about long-term relationship building. It's not about just bringing people into the business and just moving forward. It's about working with these people and helping them to develop relationships.
On the net. People are utilizing [the internet] as their main marketing tool. [You can set up your site] with autoresponders so when you capture leads, the autoresponder can follow up with that person. One of the greatest keys to success in this industry is follow-up. Many people will have someone call them who's interested or they'll call the person and say they're interested, but then they don't follow up with it. Automation on the internet has allowed a much more consistent method of following up.
The only drawback with the internet is people who utilize it to spam. If there was one thing I could put forward to say, "Do not do" when utilizing the internet as a marketing tool, it's spamming because that can give a very bad reputation not only to you but also to the company you're working with.
Taking care of business. This is a business, and just like if you were running a franchise or a storefront, you [should have an] accountant. You have all the same write-offs tax-wise that you have with running a [full-time] business, so it's very important to [do your research] prior to getting involved, before you start making money from it. How is that going to affect you tax-wise? What are your write-offs?
It's important to set up a [support] team around you. I'd suggest seeking out lawyers who deal in network marketing, so they're very versed in all the laws and how that affects [your business.]. There are also accountants who specialize in dealing with homebased businesses specifically in the direct-selling industry.
Don't quit your day job…yet. Never leave your full-time position unless you're absolutely certain that the income that's coming in with this company is going to be there. [Be sure that] you've been with the company [for awhile] and that you know it's a stable company, and the income that you're earning is equal to or greater than the income you're earning from your job before quitting.
Learn the secrets of MLM experts so you can follow in their footsteps.
Network Marketing is amazing. During my more than 30 years of working, it's the only form of business I've found that offers a level playing field. In other words, anyone can become successful in this industry. And the best part is that others have already blazed the trail to success, so you just have to look at what they've done and follow suit. There are things you'll hear over and over again as the principles to success in MLM. Here are the top five:
1. Be coachable. MLM is a business of duplication. Those who've already been successful will share their secrets to success, and all you need to do is listen and then do what they tell you. Unfortunately, I wasn't very coachable in the beginning. I was successful in traditional business and figured I could do the same things and be successful in network marketing. Boy, was I wrong! Because I didn't listen to my upline leaders, I didn't make any money at first. Successful MLMers have been there, done that–and have the paycheck to prove it–so be coachable, and duplicate their success.
2. Develop your dreams, goals and objectives. Studies have shown that very few people have written dreams and goals, yet those who do achieve high levels of success. Identify your dreams first. As yourself, if time and money weren't inhibitors, what would your life look like? Describe your dream house in great detail. Likewise, get a mental image of your dream cars, vacations, wardrobe, lifestyle and so on.
From those dreams, develop your goals. A dream is the big picture, and goals are the steps that will get you to your dreams. For example, let's say your dream car is a Mercedes SL65 with a cost of $225,000 and a monthly payment of around $3,800. What are the steps you need to take to achieve that dream? An increase in your income might be necessary, so your goal would be to increase your monthly income to, let's say, $10,000.
Next, you break your goals down into bite-size objectives (in our example above, this would be the things necessary to increase your monthly income to $10,000). Each day, you should review your dreams, goals and objectives in order to determine your daily activities.
3. Work. Network marketing has probably produced more millionaires than any other industry, and although each of those people built their businesses with different companies and using different methods, they all did one thing–work. MLM isn't a get-rich-quick scheme; you'll only get rich through hard work.
One of the main differences I see in those who fail vs. those who succeed is their level of work. Most people who've failed treated their MLM businesses like a hobby, working whenever they had some spare time. The top income earners, on the other hand, work at their businesses every day.
Let's say that after a thorough evaluation of your schedule, you can only devote 10 hours a week to your business. Take a daily planner and block out those available time slots. Remember, work isn't filing, checking e-mail or surfing the web. Work in MLM is prospecting, presenting, following up, registering new associates, training and support.
In the beginning, you should spend 90 percent of your time on prospecting, presenting, following up and signing up new people. As your network builds, you can devote more time to training and support. But never, ever stop prospecting, or your business will die.
4. Be consistently persistent. Most network marketers give up too early. They expect to make $10,000 their first month, and when they don't, they quit. But it takes time to build an MLM business. You're going to have to contact a lot of people, give many presentations and endure a great deal of rejection. However, it's the person who is consistently persistent who will succeed.
If you're duplicating a successful system, the only thing separating you from success is time. When things are looking dark, keep going. Make one more call. Talk with one more person. Follow up one more time. If you're with the right company, you should never give up because you'll eventually be successful.
5. Make a million friends. The advice that made the biggest impact on my success in network marketing was to go out with the idea of making a million friends instead of a million dollars. You can only be successful in network marketing if you help others become successful. So go out and find some new friends who you can help become successful in your business. Forget about your wants and needs, and serve these friends instead. This concept is called "servant leadership"–you lead by serving those you lead. The more friends you make and serve, the greater your success in network marketing.
These five principles of success are just the start. I'm sure that your sponsor and upline leaders have their own list, so make sure you ask them how they became successful. And finally, realize this: It's one thing to have this knowledge–and a whole different thing to actually do what you've learned. So be a doer, and watch your business and income skyrocket.