Tag Archives: marketing

9 Survival Essentials For The MLM Industry

9 Survival Essentials For The MLM Industry

 

If you’re in the MLM industry, by now you’ve undoubtedly heard of the $200 million fine the FTC just slapped on ‘once mighty’ Herbalife. I’m saying, ‘once mighty’ because this fine was very possibly the beginning of the end for Herbalife and also a wak- up call for the vast majority of the rest of the MLM and Direct Selling industry that has abused the public’s trust for so many years.

What have they done that is so naughty, you ask?

It's simple. Basically, they just got greedy. If you want more detail…here it is:

  1. Overpriced products

  2. A faulty and misrepresented opportunity

  3. A lack of technical innovation that has resulted in a system that doesn’t meet the needs of today's consumers or home-based entrepreneurs.

The FTC, in effect, said that Herbalife was a pyramid operation, even though they refrained from using those exact words. This was probably because they didn’t want to rock too severely an already fragile US economy but it’s clear that ‘pyramid’ was exactly what they were describing.

So, what’s the fallout going to be?

Here at Markethive, we think that Herbalife is probably ‘toast, dead meat, Big Casino, swimming with the fishes’ for all intents and purposes. Their brand will linger for a while longer but probably will never fully recover.

The sad fact is that Herbalife, and the countless other companies which operate in a similar manner, are too entrenched in the ‘old school’ MLM methodology to make the necessary changes in time to move into the new age of the home-based entrepreneur. And a lot of distributors who needed the opportunity these companies promised are going to be left with nothing but an I.O.U. for the time and money they spent.

>More and more of the public is too savvy now to fall for the ‘hopes and dreams’ MLM pitch now. That’s why the vast majority of MLM companies are losing approximately 50% of their distributors every year.  In fact, MLM companies have little if any political or social ‘capital’ left to spend not only with the public but also with regulators.

Up until now, the MLM industry has always had it’s detractors and its promoters but MLM companies, leaders, and so-called interest groups like the Direct Selling Association have been able to maintain a charade of propriety by various means. Obviously there was rot ‘below the decks’ that was never properly addressed.

But, with this latest FTC decision, the cat is officially out of the bag now and the MLM industry traditionalists need some new thinking.

In trying to learn from the past (and especially these recent events) and move into the future, the present question is: Where does the MLM and Direct Selling Industry go now and where can aspiring home-based entrepreneurs find the opportunity they seek in today’s promising but uncertain digital age?

In Markethive, we think we’ve got some answers. Here are our 9 Survival Essentials For The MLM Industry:

  1. Companies must have superlative products or services. In fact, truly next-generation MLM must be characterized by superlative products and services that have no competition in their respective market. That market supremacy will not rely strictly on price but rather on superior value. And… companies will not expect everybody to want to be ‘in the business’ but rather will have a clear retail-only distribution channel for people who have no interest in their business opportunity. Indeed, these customers might not even be aware of an opportunity. This will give stability to those who do choose the business-builder route within their respective MLM company. Example: Just because I want to drive a Chevy truck doesn’t mean I want to be pitched on buying a dealership.

    Question – How can you tell if an MLM company’s products are competitively priced?

    Answer – If their products won’t sell in the public marketplace, e.g. on eBay, for more than you, the Distributor, pays the company for them, then they are not good products and you are being ripped off. And you’re ripping off your friends who buy those products.

  2. Companies must have virtual warehouses for their distributors in order to relieve them of the burden of stockpiling inventory in their homes or garages as has often been the traditional MLM model. In fact many MLM companies still load their distributors with inventory that will never be sold. Amazon has proven that the ‘virtual warehouse’ concept works. MLM companies need to adopt the same idea. This one innovation alone will likely at least double product sales, increase distributor retention, and finally make home based MLM and Direct Selling businesses competitive with local retailers.

  3. Companies must engage in cooperative advertising and marketing with their distributors, wherein companies match advertising funds from distributors and also run ads which drive prospects and/or customers to a distributor’s 800 phone number or to the top of some other type of sales funnel. Other industries have been doing this for years. One MLM company did this in the past and was extremely successful as a result however they ceased this practice and reverted to the old-fashioned ‘hopes and dreams’ model… a move which they probably regret now as their business continues to decline. However,  MLM companies which do this correctly will enable distributors to build very successful businesses.

  4. Companies must enable their distributors to E-retail. Once the virtual warehouse function is set up a distributor, companies must give them an online interface whereby they can log into their ‘business center’ and perform any desired marketing or business management function, i.e. send samples, fill and ship product orders, and reorder inventory…all while simultaneously carrying on a live text or voice conversation with a customer or prospect. This contributes tremendously towards removing the unprofitable burden of back-office paper pushing from the distributor and enables him/her to focus on bonding with the client or prospect.

  5. Companies must provide a robust 800 phone number telemarketing platform. This is an affordable and very effective marketing tool which starts with distributor getting an ID# from the company. The ID# resides on company servers and is used for all manner of tracking. The operator talking to the customer or prospect may or may not be the distributor but the operator interface displays the source of the call. The stimulus for the call could be any type of media ad, event, or call to action. Operators receive and handle the calls and have the ability to make notes on the account, forward the call, or 3-way the call as appropriate.

  6. Companies must use API’s (Application Programming Interface) to enable their distributors to establish a smooth presence on online stores. This is where they can ´meet’ the customer when they shop on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, or any of the large number of ecommerce sites that are popping up today. In the past, MLM companies have ignored the advice of qualified experts and have resisted authorization of API use by their distributors, claiming they (the companies) would lose control of prices and selling policy. In fact, properly constructed API’s do allow the company the control they are unnecessarily worried about.

  7. Companies must develop, allow, and encourage a robust retail presence, in the form of retail-only websites for distributors. One of the FTC’s specific complaints concerning Herbalife was that Herbalife did not actively encourage retail sales by their distributors. Thus contributing to the fact that Herbalife had almost no retail sales. Instead, Herbalife and other MLM companies have insisted on cramming ‘Hopes and Dreams’ propaganda about their worthless opportunities onto distributor sites. And they wonder why they don’t have many retail sales. This is a huge ‘turn-off’ to many retail customers. To reiterate, legitimate business retail product irrespective of ‘ownership’ (or pseudo-ownership) opportunities. And they don’t distract buyers with money in their hands with ‘a great opportunity’.

    NB: here is it also noteworthy that no current MLM company encourages their distributors to build their own database of customers… which any smart distributor should do. Some companies even expressly prohibit it.

  8. MLM companies need to provide the marketing systems for their distributors to win in today’s modern digital marketplace. This includes such items as autoresponders, social broadcasters, social media tools, conference rooms, blogs and other publishing platforms, brandable and replicable PDF’s, video marketing platforms and tools, co-op advertising support and software, and (of course) high-quality training. No MLM company, other than the emerging joint venture between Valentus and Markethive, have even attempted to do this.

  9. Because business is competitive and technology is rapidly evolving, MLM’s need to provide constant, quality, live and archived video training. A few MLM companies have attempted to do this but the overwhelming majority of that training has been mostly motivational ‘hopes and dreams BS’ rather than information which actually enables a distributor to win in the marketplace.

Final Thoughts and Summary

A look across the MLM and Direct Sales landscape today reveals a dismal scene of the majority of companies hooked, like an addict, into Old School methodology and philosophy which did work briefly in the early days of the industry but in fact no longer does. It’s clear that the reputation of the MLM industry has gotten worse and not better.

Even worse, the landscape is littered with battered and broken dreams and self-images…interspersed with the crafty, grinning, minority who have made huge fortunes in MLM at the expense of not just the aforementioned X-distributors but also millions of consumers who did not get the product and/or service they deserved.

There are two companies, Valentus and Markethive, who believe this situation needs to change and are doing something about it. Valentus has a great tasting, weight-loss coffee that’s very reasonably priced, a strong retail reorder rate of 80%, and an excellent compensation program. Matter of fact, experts agree that Valentus is currently entering momentum.

The other half of this unique equation is Markethive, an innovative inbound marketing platform, free for all. Markethive is supported by advertising…similar to Facebook or YouTube and is actually better than similar platforms from better known and longer established companies like Hubspot and Pardot which start at $200 and rapidly escalate into thousands of dollars per month.

Markethive’s platform is rapidly becoming the new ‘Platinum Standard’ automated marketing system of choice for home-based entrepreneurs and is perfect for almost any business.  

Just coincidentally, (some would say, ‘by fate’) the principals of these two companies (Dave Jordan, CEO of Valentus and Tom Prendergast, CEO of Markethive), share a common vision for a New Age of The Entrepreneur and the contribution that their respective companies can bring to the MLM industry.  

For more information on anything discussed in this article, or to get involved in the discussion yourself, you are encouraged to register for a free Markethive membership, here. If you are an aspiring or disgruntled home-based entrepreneur looking for a great opportunity, click here. Or….if you just love great coffee and/or want to lose some weight, click here.

 

Art Williams
Markethive Developer and Case Study Writer

 

 

The MLM Company of The Future Must Successfully Retail

The MLM Company of The Future Must Successfully Retail

markethive

Thomas Prendergast (CEO Markethive Inc.): "The MLM industry needs to change. The general public is increasingly reluctant to buy overpriced products and distributors need opportunities with products that will actually sell in the marketplace."

There’s really nothing wrong with change. Change is a burden to some but an opportunity to others and there’s a lot of change going on in the MLM industry now. One of the biggest changes revolves around the issue of whether or not companies can come up with products that satisfy government requirements for retail volume. And whether they can get their distributors to actually retail more product.

Up to now the DSA, working in conjunction with MLM companies, and their armies of distributors, have been reasonably effective in staving off regulatory scrutiny and/or disciplinary action revolving around claims that MLM distributors focus more on recruiting than retailing.

The companies can claim all they want that their distributors really do retail but we all know that there’s very little retailing going on in the vast majority of companies. It’s one thing for a company to parrot what their official guidelines say about retailing requirements but the reality is that the overwhelming majority of MLM retail very little if at all. And they also have neither the skill nor the desire to be true salespeople.

 

But nothing happens… companies don’t survive… unless something is ‘sold’. So what have companies done to ‘move product’?

To the objective eye, simple observation shows that most companies spend more time selling ‘the dream’ than they do their products. Why is that?

 

It’s because if you want ‘the Dream’, you have to sign up for autoship.

The Dream is easier to sell than products… at least from the company point of view. In fact it’s clear that companies make a conscious decision to train their distributors to ‘sell the dream’ rather than products. Just look at the relative allocation of time spent at most MLM company’s meetings. It’s obvious where their focus is.

 

But can the industry survive in this mode?

Maybe not.

 

The MLM company recruit today (at least in the US and most developed countries) is a lot smarter than back in the early days. The internet has made it extremely easy for them to not only shop ‘product quality’ but also to research MLM company reputations.

They don’t want overpriced products which they can only purchase along with a ‘dream’ that they may or may not want at that particular time. Nor are they attracted to companies which a simple Wikipedia search shows has a history of lawsuits.

One could make a reasonable case that this is one of the reasons that most MLM companies have resorted to going to foreign markets (i.e. outside the US) for most of their growth. It’s easier to sell The Dream there.

Those foreign consumers and potential distributors aren’t yet as sophisticated in evaluating MLM products and opportunities as most western consumers are. Often times (e.g. in China) they’ll buy anything that they perceive as ‘western’.

Consumers are very wary of ‘dream hype’ today. Instead, they want quality products they can afford and for their ‘opportunity’, they want companies with retailable products that consumers will reorder and upon which they (i.e. the distributor) can build a recurring revenue stream.

While a few companies have quality, affordable products, almost none have really enabled their distributors to last long enough in their business model to build ‘a business’.

Unfortunately the industry as it stands right now is geared toward success through recruiting and not retail sales. And isn’t it strange that among the new breed of true direct sales companies (e.g. especially those in the fashion and accessory niche like Rodan & Fields, Origami Owl, and others) none of them have had any problems with regulators.

Virtually all the investigations of claims of front-loading and illegal commissions based on recruiting have been against companies that use an MLM recruiting model. Isn’t that interesting?

Some companies have been a success with helping distributors build retail sales volume. One such company was TriVita, the Arizona based company in the nutritional supplement niche.

 

For many years TriVita did late-night television advertising, generated leads, and sold product direct from the company while simultaneously allowing distributors to purchase those leads, continue to service the customers, and pocket the profit.

The company also allowed recruiting too but if a distributor preferred to ‘buy their volume’ by purchasing customers who were already buying on a regular basis) that was OK.

Many distributors built very large, recurring revenue businesses based primarily on TriVita’s ‘customer purchase’ program.

Here at OBTAINER we have an acquaintance who was in TriVita but left the company when he could no longer ‘buy’ customers. That was several years ago yet to this day he still receives substantial income from his TriVita ‘customers’.

The point is that the industry has a well-deserved image of being a ‘churn and burn’ operation for selling dreams that very few actually achieve.

It’s nice that it takes less money to get into an MLM business but…so what? Failure isn’t fun for anybody… regardless of how expensive or cheap the lesson was. And some would argue that the low expense of getting into most MLM businesses is one of its biggest problems….people don’t treat it seriously.

But there’s another reason why MLM companies need to clean up their image of being concerned only with recruiting: if enough consumers (i.e. voters) start to complain to their elected representatives about the way we run our companies and businesses, regulators will have no choice but to step in and start mandating changes.

At some point, no amount of lobbying by the DSA or letter-writing campaigns by distributors will protect MLM companies from politicians who are getting bombarded by angry consumers and X-distributors who say they were lied to.

 

The logical question would be… is it possible to put non-sales oriented new distributors in a position where they can own a business that makes real retail sales?

Yes it is. TriVita did it once. They had the skill and the willingness to spend the money to generate customers on their own. But for some reason they were ‘turned by the dark side’ and gave up their successful advertising programs and their customer-purchase programs in return for what most MLM companies apparently think is easier money.

There’s another company on the horizon now too which appears to have a product that people will purchase at retail and a method of assisting new distributors to acquire new customers.

That company is Valentus.com. The reports that we hear are that their product is very good and that sales are good and growing rapidly. According to one Valentus distributor we know (the guy who used to be with TriVita), part of the reason that Valentus distributors’ downlines grow is the ‘power-line’ concept they use on their website(s). This particular distributor is supposedly in the process of presenting some other ideas on lead-generation to Valentus.

 

For now, Valentus has had good success using an automatic Powerline concept with people who inquire about their product or opportunity on their website..

Powerlines aren’t new. They just work a lot better when the company makes a good product. In the case of Valentus, anybody who requests information about the company is automatically put into a constantly growing powerline where they can visibly see their downline growing.

That new prospect is constantly reminded how their potential downline is growing. If the prospect wants to take advantage of those potential sign-ups, they can sign up first. If they don’t mind being passed up, they don’t have to sign up but they can still buy product.

 

Valentus doesn’t have a complex product line. They’re in the coffee niche and reports are that their product is not only cost-competitive but it also tastes good.

The coffee niche of MLM is definitely not saturated. Coffee is still a huge business… and it’s a simple product with broad appeal that everybody understands (the Steinkeller Brothers, formerly of Organo Gold proved that). 

The point of this article is that MLM companies would be well-advised to start paying more attention to successful retailing. If they don’t, and the consumer gets angry enough, regulators will step in… and it won’t be pretty.

 

Thanks to Art Williams for most of this article.

Thomas Prendergast
CEO
Markethive Inc.

 

Appendix:

Terms mentioned in the title image

Functional Silos (Typical issue within MLMs): An individual business function that tends to act as a stand-alone function, often formulating its own strategies and work plans in parallel with other business functions. This expression is used when describing an organization whose functions tend to be less communicative and collaborative. Companies with functional silos may have greater difficulty in creating strong, competitive products because they may fail to recognize the benefit of cross-functional teaming

Cultural / Customer Alienation: To simplify a complex equation, most MLM company cultures refuses to build an array of Social Media profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Skype, Email, Texting, Whatsapp, phone, , chat windows, etc. (The full array);  So as to go to their “customer” instead of making the customer come to them. We all know the frustration of having to seek access to the company and being told to only use their back office chat between certain hours. I say, Be Like Amazon! The customer must be in the companies DNA!

The Data Management platform (DMP dashboards): Put simply for another complex concept, it takes complex data, tracking data, Google trends, Alexa rankings, purchasing data, profiles, logins, sales, returns and delivers it in understandable charts and graphs so the data manager, marketer, owner, staff, etc. can quickly ascertain what actions are working and which ones are not, so as to be able to take the right actions in a timely affair.  Sort a like what the Markethive dashboards do.

Customer Centricity Definition disconnect: Personally, when I have asked many a Network Marketing enterprises owners and principles what is “customer centricity” none of them have a clue. In sharp contrast Jeff Bezoz not only knows what it is, it is in his DNA “Put simply, “creating and delivering a positive consumer experience, prior to the sale, the point of sale, the process of the sale, the delivery of the purchase, after the sale and into the future”. Basically, the company must operate a totally symbiotic fusion within the system and seek out and handle their potential, current and former customers with an empathetic culture, thereby turning their customers into raving fanatics for the company. Kapish?

Support issue: Support as illustrated above, should operate with empathy, 24 hours a day from multiple communication ports with authority to solve and delight the customer with a what ever it takes to please said customer before the interaction is concluded. In todays networks, Internet and advanced communications, a happy customer will tell maybe a few hundred, whereby, a pissed of customer will file rip off reports, scam complaints and tell millions.

Failing to grasp or understand data analytics: When you look at the forest what do you see? Without the assistance of a dynamic interface delivering live data results across all aspects of the business, marketing and sales efforts, analysis is far short of being timely. Yet in the MLM industry, most companies only look at current sales volume and new distributor registrations. Failing to ascertain true trends and addressing dynamic actions to the immediate changes. Doing so, builds a nimble and dynamic experience for customer, prospect and employee.

Sales before the customer: MLM distributors are guilty of this and the mother company does nothing to address it. Focusing on the sales, not the customer, is a gross mistake and will always result in fatigue and worse failure. This is an issue the company should invest heavily into, thereby turning up the level of sales exponentially. In the words of Dale Carnegie, a pioneer in the self-improvement movement, "The only way to influence the other fellow is to talk about what he wants and show him how to get it."  Customer-Focused Selling is a selling technique that emphasizes a genuine dialogue between the salesperson and the customer.  Before talking product and/or service, a customer-focused salesperson strives to uncover a customer's underlying personal and/or professional needs and may even help the customer identify and phrase these needs. Then, instead of delivering a standard sales pitch about a product or service, the salesperson presents a tailored solution that meets the customer's needs, using the customer's language.

Content Creation Is A Highly Paid Skill

Content Creation Is A Highly Paid Skill

I've recently seen two news items which relate to each other. One concerned Facebook and the other concerned the online course called Transcribe Anywhere. Here's how they relate and what it might mean for anybody aspiring to make money online.

The article relating to Facebook pointed out some recently discovered facts about how much money (it's a LOT!) Facebook is paying outside contractors to create content for them. This quote is just a part of it: 

"A story about paying video creators quoted an anonymous source as saying that the social network was paying media partners “around $250,000 for 20 posts per month over a three-month period,” 

And that's just the chump-change part of the deal. There are much bigger amounts of cash going to some other entities.

The other side of the story concerns how there is a lot more opportunity in being a transcriptionist than most people realize. In case you aren't sure what a transcriptionist does, it is someone who turns spoken words into written words…. usually just by listening and typing what they hear. A lot of that kind of work revolves around legal proceedings but there are other niches for transcriptionists too. 

But there's another side of it that particular skill which is much bigger. Do you realize how many internet marketers want to have their words transcribed and uploaded to the net?

It's a lot. I mean, Think about how many online webinars and courses offer PDF transcrpits.

…but why would they want to have such a thing done?

The reason is because they realize that Google doesn't index the spoken word. Only the written word. So….  they know that they need their audio content transcribed into words that can be uploaded to and properly optimized so they can rank on Google.

To me, I see the outline of a VERY big opportunity. And if you have a strong understanding of a particular niche's jargon, that positions you even better to approach somebody in that industry offer your services.

So, if you're one of the many people who dream about a digital, mobile lifestyle but you don't think you have any marketable skills to make money with…I can promise you that it's not that hard to learn to type fast. And if you can learn how to generate written content, this article (above) proves that big companies pay a lot of money for content (it's got to be good of course!).

Plus, you can work 'downstream' in the content business, i.e. lot on people doing business online need their audio or video content transcribed too so it can be uploaded to and properly optimized on Google (i.e. to help their Google ranking).

It probably helps to have a pretty good vocabulary so you can follow along with what you're proofing and/or listening to. But the typing part is easy. There's lots of course and practice programs online and many of them are even free.

Yes, there is digital speech-to-text software. But it's not perfected yet and its finished product still needs to be proofread by a human.

So….I think that if Facebook is paying this kind of money for various types of content, that tells me there's some big opportunity in there somewhere. I know that I'm really enjoying the proofreading course that I'm taking right now. I can already type fast.

 

Why and How To Be Found On Google Maps

Why and How To Be Found On Google Maps

If you're a business which either has or is considering getting a stronger presence on Google Maps … or even if you've just heard of Google Maps but you don't know much about it, here's a good reason you need to be visible there and a suggestion on the smartest and possibly easiest way to do so.

Here's the advantage: Did you know that anytime somebody finds your business on Google Maps and clicks that little button which says, 'Get Directions', the information of where they're coming from becomes information that's available to you if you're on Google My Business.

Wouldn't you like to know where your customers are coming from?

Think of how information like that could help you spot geographic areas where you've got more potential business than you're servicing locally. What if your competitors find out that that's a 'hot' market area and puts a store or outlet into that area before you do? Suddenly a lot of that business stops coming to you, right?

Point is, Google Maps and Google My Business can be a great way to see where (and when) your customers are keying up your site or doing searches that bring up your Google listing….assuming you have all the assets you need to be competitive, i.e. a properly completed Google My Business verified listing, a proper website…. and maybe a few other details.

But one thing is for sure. 

More and more searches are being done on smartphones and other smart devices and research proves that those searches result in a lot of business for most business (all other things being equal).

Point is, don't for about Google My Business and how it includes a very prominently displayed 'visual' of where your business in on…. Google Maps. 

Be there or miss the boat for a lot of business!

Three Major and Different Uses For PLR

Three Major and Different Uses For PLR

It's kind of funny actually. I'm getting where almost every time I write something I feel guilty. I feel guilty because the more perceptive about marketing I become, the more I realize that there is very, very little content that's totally original. I'm realizing that not only is there very little content that's totally new and original but it's also not even always necessary to go to the trouble to produce truly 'original' content. If the people reading your content have never seen it before, who cares that it's PLR content (Private Label Rights) which you bought (and probably 'spun') from somewhere else?!

Websites like Drudge Report, which simple aggregates news articles, InfoWars (an alternative news site which does something similar), Huffington Post, Mashable and BuzzFeed prove that there's gold in recycled content. They all use curation which is, in my opinion, a type of PLR. The only difference is that in curation the 'curator' should give credit to the original source whereas in PLR the publisher owns the rights to the content.

Realizing what PLR content is and how to use it opens up a whole new vista for building an online presence. My reason for writing this article is because I'll bet that a substantial percentage of people reading this article have never heard of PLR material. But in fact, it's a huge business and you'd be amazed at how many people have leveraged PLR (and that's really what it's all about….leverage) to build a very successful business.

But, just to be sure we're on the same page, let's agree on what PLR is. PLR is material that somebody else produced which you purchase or are given the rights to use for your own purposes. PLR material comes in the form of written reports, audios, videos, graphics, and even software. With any of it, you can put your own name on it and sell it or give it away as your own. As a matter of fact, we even have something somewhat similar, called 'Blog Swiping', in Markethive.

There's actually no way of knowing how many well-known marketers use PLR but lots of well-known marketers do it. One reason I know is because I've even written for a few of them.

Note: You've probably heard of fiverr.com, the world's largest independant freelancer site? I paid my living expenses in Manila, Philippines, for several months by 'gigging' articles on Fiverr.

All those people over at Fiverr, writing articles like I used to do…all that content they're turning out is essentially PLR. Those writers get paid a mere pittance for their work but somebody else puts their name of it. The only difference between those freelancers and the more publically visible PLR sites like ToolsForMotivation, Master-Resale-Rights, plr.me, idplr, Content Sparks, and others is that all of the latter sites have specialized in PLR and do a much better job.

But the point of this article is to specify the three major, but different, uses for PLR. When you realize what can be done with PLR, it sort fo boggles your mind. Here's what those three different uses are (some PLR packages will contain a mix of material which fits multiple purposes):

Most PLR packages you purchase will generally contain content that falls into ….

  1. PLR Designed As Premium Content – This category includes ebooks, digital training programs, audiobooks, video courses, etc. This kind of PLR content usually has more depth.
     
  2. PLR Designed As Lead Generation Content – This type of material is typically things like free reports, white papers, private blog post content, or autoresponder content designed to get people on your list or keep them there. This is 'teaser' content which you would usually give away in the top part of some type of sales funnel.
     
  3. PLR Designed As Web Content (AKA: 'Branding' Content) – PLR designed to be used on your own website content (you might also call it “Branding” content). You could also call it 'filler' content although the quality of it can still be very good. This category of content includes things like blog posts, sharable documents, free audio podcasts, YouTube videos, social media posts (like Tweets or Facebook status updates), all of which showcase your expertise or presence in your market.  Note: The better you customize it (which is always a good idea), the more unique your brand becomes.

Understanding what a valuable resource PLR content is and where to find it is a major step in transforming your online business from an 'art' into a business. The reality is that PLR can make it much easier for an online businesses to get leverage and make more money quicker.

What's wrong with that?

In my view….nothing.

Matter of fact, the idea for this article came from some PLR I own.

Oops!

 

Subscribing to an Inbound Marketing System

 Subscribing to an Inbound Marketing System

 

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.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Twitter Made Easy

Twitter Made Easy

Making a success of any business today would be better served if the internet was used. The internet being the far reaching tool that it is, helps to create the desired revenue for the successful business venture. The internet, specifically the social media tools have over time proven to be the most successful. Learn about Twitter here.

Twitter Basics

Tools like twitter can effective create the attention that is necessary in getting the information about the business to the wider audience. This is done with virtually no cost involved.

The planned site must is attractive enough to be the cause of the twitter exercise thus ensuring the desired amount of traffic to the site. Providing material that is worth discussion or viewing with the intention of dispersing information is very important as this is what will cause the interest to stay.

As the twitter platform is comparatively personal. Ensuring the exchanges have some form of follow ups is beneficial to the host. If the users are made to feel special, then it is almost guaranteed that the host site will garner the desired traffic which will eventually be converted to revenue.

Spending some time to personally address issues or comments will encourage the user to stay loyal as they perceive their participation to be well received and valued.
Being consistent, as in a daily basis also is another element to consider at it allows feedback and comments to be shared from a more current standpoint.
Building a rapport with the users is always a good idea as both parties will eventually attest to benefit from the exchanges. Building the list of customers, prospects, potential buyers all depends on whether the material being discussed is of high interest value.
Having a great product or service is of no value if it is not made known to the masses.

 
 Know The Difference Between Posting And Spamming

Spamming is perhaps the most annoying application that most internet users are weary of. Basically the spam element involved the sending of material in a continuous and abundant manner causing the recipient to be overwhelmed with unwanted material.

This will basically cause a lot of problems when the inbox becomes jammed with all the unwanted solicitations.

Therefore one needs to be careful to ensure the material posted is designed and posted in a way to does not cause it to fall into the spam category.

Most spasms target individual users who use the direct email messaging platform regularly. These email listing are more often than not “stolen” from other more legitimate sources with the intention of using the said list to post the material categorized as spam.

The two main types of spam but both are an equally unwelcomed solicitation.

Postings however are very different in its original design and intention aspect. Though having the same desired reach of the target audience, the posting element is used to create visibility on the internet but with the distinct difference of wanting to create an interaction.

The message is replied to in the form of email, internet forums and use net. The benefits of posting may include being able to harness direct visitors to the site, branding position, promotion of the site and its material of services or products, creating external links and many more positive contributions.

Posting also provides maximum visibility online. The classified ad site can be used without being feared as being categorized as spam and with this comes the advantage of being marketed effectively.
The hopeful result here is that through the posting even the uninterested viewer may be convinced enough to make the transition into making a more positive commitment.

 Be Clear On What You Are Promoting

Getting noticed on the online business arena is only possible if viewers are clear on what they are viewing. Put up ambiguous posting will not help to ensure the target audience nor will it ensure a successful presence on the internet.

 Some Tips

Here are some points to consider in ensuring the posting is clear and understood:

• Deciding and designing the material to be posted must follow one theme. When the material posted does not correspond with promotional tone then it can be rather confusing. Therefore the theme should be decided even before the actual designing of the posting is started.

• Understanding what the desired end goal is, contributes to the actual tools and formats that will eventually be utilized. When the goal is clearly identified, then the best suited tools available for internet marketing can be identified for its corresponding contributions.

• Besides the posting content it is also important to provide information on the actual supporting freebies, promotional gimmicks, possible back links, and any other content that would function as an advantage to the viewer visiting the site.

• The posting should also be very clear in the actual visual presentation style so that the viewer will immediately be able to identify with the content without having to resort to various clicks and long winded reading material.

Besides doing all the above using the right platform to get the posting to the target audience is also something that should be given serious consideration.

Newsletter promotion, blog digest, using the social media network, websites, and other forms of making things personal will all help to gain the attention of the target audience effectively.
The promotional plan and promotional strategies should comfortably merge into the same theme. This should in turn have the overall focus of the main achievement being sought.

Communicate With Others To Convey Professionalism

There are several different aspects that are usually addressed in the quest to stay professionally based with online dealings. The individual has the advantage if professionalism is extended and perceived to exist.

Perhaps the first area that professionalism should ideally cover is the area of etiquette. The universally accepted common elements would include having the semblance of being polite, being able to address each situation with a level of sincerity, working towards creating satisfies customers and many more.

Taking the time and effort to consider the subscriber list or group as a whole and addressing them as if each one was an individual concern and special would allow the positive basis of the relationship to be built.

Making a positive impact is also another way of portraying professionalism. When the other party is assured that the concerns will be addressed and then ensuring the follow up procedures are followed will create the level of professionalism that few can refute.  

Using email addresses that are appropriate and professional sounding is also necessary if one want to be taken seriously in the business arena. Simple but often overlooked is the need to ensure all content is accurately written and factual.

Using a suitable descriptive subject line is also a way to showing professionalism and avoids being identified or classified as spammers who also have casual addressing choices. Being specific, clear, reasonable and to the point is also showing professionalism as most people do not have the time or inclination to entertain unsolicited interruptions.

The items included in the signature should be of a professional design and content. Unnecessary information should not be included as it would not be deemed necessary.

Ensure all communications is done professionally and with only information sought exchanged. Keep all exchanges short, accurate and to the point.

 Learn How To Participate With The Community

Using twitter to enhance presence and positioning within the social platform is one of the reasons it was become a much sought after tool. This tool allows the desired traffic to be directed to the site through the twitter exchanges which act indirectly as a good advertising tool.

 Check In

The following are some of the recommendations that should be utilized in the quest to participate effectively:

• Making use of the hashtag symbol (#) followed be the name of abbreviation will allow for the sharing of posts between the viewers of a certain group and also follow the twitters connected to the same or similar hashtags. This particular norm has managed to successfully and effectively create the twitter chat that is both exciting and informative.

• For the more experienced twitter dabblers using the twitter chat tool while ensuring the twitter station is well tuned to filter out all unnecessary and annoying noises is important. As there is often a lot of static and other background noises the actual quality of the exchange is more often than not compromised thus the need to intentionally focus on this elimination.

• Upon identification of the hashtag for the desired community or group and the corresponding twitter char tool that is most workable, logging in should be the next step taken. Sometimes timing and dates do play a role, as the particular group chat may only be scheduled to fit a preordained pattern. Also remembering to include the hashtags in one’s own tweets is important so that the comments and question posted can be viewed by other too. In this medium it is also possible to include and also popular to see the expertise of a moderator helping to guide the elements of the discussion to ensure all stay focused on the subject at hand and also some sort of decorum is adhered to.

 Learn How To Make The Most Of Your Account And Profile

There are several effective ways to maximize the use of the twitter tool to enhance the account and profile of a site. The more exposure the site is able to attract the better the prospects of increased revenue earned.

Tips

The following are just some recommendations on how to go about achieving this ideal scenario:

• Perhaps the foremost point to make would be to effectively use the twitter tool to find and add newer contacts to an already existing list. The literal concept here is follow and be followed. Using emails as another follow up tool will encourage the viewer to pursue the initial contact.

• Letting the viewing audience know that there is a twitter page where your antics can be followed is part of the social networking engine. Using the other tools on the social networking platform to announce this is quite effective.

• Adding the twitter information to the email signature is also another way to allow and encourage viewers to follow the postings.

• Blogging about the twitter page being featured is also encouraged. Reminding all viewers of the regular intervals of posting through the blogging tool will create the excitement to encourage them to keep tabs on the latest information being dispensed.

• The twitter widget is also another additional beneficial element to make use of as this allows the other viewers to be aware of the frequency of the twitting exercise. The twitter widget should be added to the site of blog.  

• Listing on the twitter directories is another way to explore the possibilities of getting noticed. These directories are very effective in getting the site noticed by those seeking similar information.

• Ensuring the twitter page is attractive and attention grabbing will create the interest in wanting to follow the page. Use eye catching background and color schemes, avatars and bio information.

Avoid Over Promoting

Over promoting is a very dangerous category to fall into as this may eventually cause the viewing audience to turn elsewhere for the information they seek thus severely damaging the twitter page’s chances of making a success of whatever is being featured. Therefore it is necessary to check that this negative element does not appear and cause the damaging effects.
Be Cautious

Twitters have a “language” of their own and understanding and using it is both necessary and beneficial if the individual hosting a twitter site wants to be taken seriously in this arena.

There is a need to ensure the various new terms used as posting material which does not adhere to this will eventually get the site discredited or ignored. Choosing an unsuitable name is also to be avoided as this will cause the professionalism element to be severely discredited and not taken seriously.

Getting into a bragging mode with the intention of promoting something is a thinly disguised attempt to get noticed. When done often enough it will cause the exact opposite effects instead, as those originally viewing the site will end up being exasperated and bored.

Bad choice of timing is also another element to avoid as it may seem that the tweets are being run too frequently and even if the viewing was missed initially.

The unsolicited frequency of the tweeting exercise will eventually cause annoyance as viewers may no longer be interested in the same information being posted.

More often than not this self promoting material can get redundant even if what is being promoted is useful and relevant in the host’s perspective.

Repetitive information will become stale. Sometimes when there is too much promoting done, the basic need to address certain issues are overlooked or ignored. This will frustrate the participating viewer as the concerns fail to be addressed effectively.

Follow And Use Relevant Tweets
In order to gain beneficial leverage in the online business platform various advantages elements should be sourced and utilized as often as possible. Following and using relevant tweets does have its benefits and it should be worth taking the time and explore this further. Below are some of the reasons why following and using relevant tweets can be useful and beneficial:
Be Relevant

Making use of the hashtags will allow the relevant searches to be more efficient and convenient. It increases the chances of the tweets being viewed by those interested in the particular area being featured. However using multiple hashtags should be avoided as it will only be categorized as spam.

Using twitter to check what the competitors are doing in terms of new launches, promotions, products, services and a variety of other progressive exercises is definitely a wise move to make. This information will help to enhance one’s own endeavors and bring about more compatible percentages of increased success.  

Tweets should also be carefully analyzed for its popularity and responsive presence. Tweaking the information posted or ideas exchanged in order o attract attention is necessary in order to stay relevant.

In order to do this one must first understand the abbreviations commonly used by the twitting participants. This is the only way one will be able to follow and understand the contents of the tweet.
 
Wrapping Up

And finally…Keeping track of the hottest and most relevant topics being discussed or featured by twitter participants is important in the quest to stay informed of the market sentiments. This is most important when there are business projections and planning to be explored. Understanding the top trends or interest of the viewing participants will give the individual an idea of what will work and what wont for that particular period in time.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

The automated marketing platform of the future.

Expand your reach with an automated marketing platform.

Automated marketing

When I graduated from high school I knew that I wanted to be an electronic technician. I went to 1 semester of college but found out that all they offered was courses in electric engineering. This was more related to electric power line building and distribution and had nothing to do with electronics such as radio and TV repair. So I quit college and took home study courses in radio and TV. I completed 2 home study courses and the last one had a 60 day on-site laboratory exercise.

I then entered the field of radio and TV repair and after many years of service, as an electronic technician, with several different companies, I retired from a national corporation that manufactured and maintained hospital type diagnostic equipment.

During these years of working for someone else I was always aware that there were ways to work for yourself and eliminate the need to satisfy the demands of an employer. I could see myself as doing work on my own like TV service or computer repair. I actually did a part time service of repairing electronic home organs for a few years.

I was also aware of the MLM and Network Marketing business and could see in my head the possibilities that this market offered even though people I talked to couldn't understand it or didn't want to, they tried to talk me out of it. I even joined several of these companies but learned the hard facts that very few people actually succeed and are not able to reproduce what is needed to build a business that would take a person to retirement type income.

You see, I had been hooked on the “hopes and dreams” that most MLM companies promote. They prompt and coax you to, “join up right now”, the time is right and tomorrow you will be able to live the life of luxury.

But, when involved with these MLM businesses you soon run out of your “warm” market to push these hopes and dreams onto and then where do you go to get more prospects. You either have to buy leads from a company that specializes in processing leads or you have to come up with a system of your own that will funnel names and addresses into you “list”.

I found a company on the Internet by the name of Veretekk.com that had tools you could use to capture prospects for your business. As I got to know this company and use the system of capture and referral pages I discovered how opposed they were to the so called MLM industry and how they were actually hurting rather than helping the small individual. These people are just trying to earn a few extra dollars each month to better themselves but they wind up filling their garage with stuff that they don't use or can't sell because it doesn't work like it is suppose to or is too high priced to sell.

MLM and Network Marketing is really a great business model, but, only if operated in a manner that does help the little entrepreneur and not just a gimmick to funnel money into the pockets of the top people.

Customer centric companies will rise to the top as customers requirements focus on trust and familiarity. Customers will be the first line of consideration when it comes to service. That meaning the products/services must be of above average value, so much so that they will want to purchase again and again because it wont be available anywhere else. There will be levels of compensation but these levels will not be dependent upon the number of people enrolled but by a percentage of the amount of product sold.

Because of all the reasons stated above I now belong to Markethive.com. Markethive has been in the learning stages since the inception of Veretekk and evolving for 20 plus years. Markethive is a neural social network communication system designed for the small entrepreneur to master tasks that were only available to the big corporations or marketers with pockets full of money to promote and advertise.

Markethive.com is a platform of tools purposefully designed to help entrepreneurs market their products/services in a pure inbound marketing venue. When the funnels of Markethive attract leads/prospects they truly do become your friends and the communication system is in place to immediately make contact with them The blogging system is in place and a very important tool for promoting products/services. The campaigning system is in place to keep track of all your advertising and promotions. The customer management system is in place to organize, manage and contact your customers. The integration of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and many other social networks is already in place for one click broadcasting and a reach of many millions of prospects. You can even control WordPress blogs you own outside the of the Markethive platform from the back-office of Markethive.com

So, you have a “one stop”, do it all from one place, marketing platform.

That is why I belong to Markethive.com

Dennis Roeder
Consultant

 

Facebook Can Shove Their Cookies Where The Sun Don’t Shine

Butt Out! Facebook

 

It doesn't a social justice warrior or Constitutional scholar to know that this news, which simply says that Facebook is now starting to track viewers of their ads who aren't even Facebook users, is bullshit. When I saw the news just now, I wasn't happy at all. 

Of course, I'm not a company stockholder or a major contributor to any US 'super PAC´ or one of Obama's privileged sucklings but I will say that this seems to be one area where Europe might be ahead of the US in their regulation of fascist incest. I mean, hasn't FB been in hot water over already about invasions of privacy on both sides of both oceans?

The way I interpret this article is that Facebook is doing this 'because they can' and they need to do it because they're leaving too much money on the table. Can't leave any money on the table now, can we!?

The battle between freedom conscious consumers (always the minority) and corporate lust for power (information is power….remember) is something we will probably always live with. But, just as Trump's populism seems to be resonating with a growing percentage of the American public, I suspect that we haven't seen the apex of the public's annoyance at such invasions of our privacy as Facebook's new cookie policy.

Also, I'll never forget reading somewhere many years ago that counter-trends always begin before they become apparent to the casual observer and I think that somewhere over the horizon there's something already brewing that's going to replace Facebook. I can't wait to see them knocked off thier high horse and having to respect the rights of the people who make them rich… just like normal companies do.