Saturday, January 14, 2017

Get The Facts About MLM!

MLM, otherwise known as Network Marketing.  It's illegal.  It's a pyramid scheme.  It's a scam.  Nobody ever makes any money. 

So-called network marketing "opportunities" have been shut down by the government for taking advantage of people who just want to build a decent future for their families.  Others have been forced to pay huge fines just to keep from being shut down or having their owners sent to jail. 

I'm sure you've heard all of this, and more, about the MLM industry.  But is it all really true?  Let's get the facts about MLM.

First I should tell you I have been involved in the industry for over 20 years.  So I would say I have some experience in the business.  Yes, I have made money - GOOD money!  No I am not a millionaire.  Nor do I pretend to be.  And before you use that fact to justify one more "fact" about network marketing, let me tell you that it's my own fault that I'm not.  You see I once believed all those "facts."  I had gotten involved in a business opportunity out of pure desperation.  But because I always felt like it wasn't a "real" business, that I was somehow doing something unethical or even illegal, I didn't actually do any work to be successful for many years. 

Fortunately, through research and experience, I learned differently.  I now know that there is nothing illegal, unethical or immoral about it.  The truth is that it's a great business model that gives everyone - even the "little guy" a true shot at financial freedom.  So let me give you the REAL facts about MLM.

1.  It's not a pyramid scheme.  Sure pyramid schemes do exist.  And there are plenty of scams to be found online.  But you can find scams and schemes anywhere that dishonest people think they can make a quick dollar without actually having to work for it. These companies do eventually get caught and shut down - with all the requisite publicity.  But for every one of them, there are hundreds if not thousands of legitimate, reputable network marketing companies.  MLM companies have real products that representatives are encouraged to sell.  In fact, we have to sell them or we don't make any money. So yes, you will be expected to make sales.  MLM companies sell everything from cosmetics, clothes, and jewelry to skin care, weight loss, and nutritional products to cookware, travel, and phone plans.  In fact, you can purchase almost anything you buy at your local mall through an MLM or direct sales company.  The only difference is that when you purchase from a MLM rep, you are helping to put food on the table of someone JUST LIKE YOU instead of adding more money to the bottom line of a major corporation. And in many cases the products are of a much higher quality and a much lower cost than what is sold in your local department store.  (More about how that's possible at a later date).

2.  Anyone can make a decent living with an MLM business.  It all depends on how hard you want to work.  It's just like any other business.  If I open a restaurant, or a childcare service, or a flower shop and then don't promote my business and don't try to sell my products or services, I am not going to make any money.  I might sell a little bit to family and friends, but if I don't advertise and market and look for new customers every day, I won't be successful.  And you have to be willing to learn how to do that effectively.  There's good marketing and very bad marketing.  Why do you think every franchise makes all of their new owners do things the way they want?  Because they have found out what works.  In network marketing, you won't be told what you have to do.  It's your business.  But you will be offered lots of opportunities to learn.

3.  You will be expected to recruit others into the business.  Yes, we get bonuses for recruiting other reps.  But if you think we can live off that without product sales, you are sadly mistaken.  And where do you think the money comes from to pay those bonuses anyway?  Product sales! 

Is it hard to recruit others?  Not once you learn how to do it properly.  Do you REALLY have to?  No.  You can be content with what you make on your own product sales.  But this is where one of the big benefits of network marketing comes in.  It's called LEVERAGE.  Say I have to make 10 sales to make $1000.  That means I have to find 10 new customers for every $1000 I make.  If I'm making $10,000 a month, that's 1000 new customers I have to find EVERY MONTH! 

Now suppose I have recruited 5 people on my team.  I still get $1000 for every 10 sales I make.  But I also get $200 for every 10 sales my team makes.  So suppose we have a really good month and we all made 1000 sales.  Instead of $10,000, I now have made $110,000.  With no more work on my part than it took to make $10,000.  And if something happens and I am sick or I have a family emergency and can't make my 10 sales, I will still earn some income from the sales my team made. Will I always make that kind of money?  No.  Just like any other business, there will be good months and bad ones.  You will have go-getters on your team who will make lots of sales and you will have some that don't do anything.  But the potential is there.  And the bigger your team, the greater the opportunity for money!

By the way, the concept of leverage has made lots of companies very wealthy.  Think about McDonald's.  Do you think they would be the company they are today if they didn't get a piece of the pie from every McDonald's franchise out there?  Same concept.

4.  You will be expected to pay an enrollment fee.  You are buying a business.  Do you think that McDonald's gave away those franchises for free?  This is a legitimate business model.  Expect to treat it like one!  How much?  That depends on the company.  I have seen as low as $30 to as high as several thousand.  The wonderful thing is that there are companies with enrollment fees to fit almost any budget.  Some companies even have a range of prices, depending on what you want and can afford. 

5.  This is your own business.  You will be subject to taxes and laws just like any other business.  Your company will provide you with materials and training but you will be expected to do your own marketing and recruiting.  They will probably have some ground rules that tell you what you can and can't do when representing them.  Things like no fraudulent claims, or charging more for enrollment fees than the company dictates.  If you expect to grow very large, you will have to learn all the things it takes to manage a business.

6.  You can work at your own pace.  Many of us started part-time until we built a large enough business that we could just work it full-time.  There are no quotas to meet.  Only your paycheck which will directly reflect the amount of work you put in.  There are no set hours.  When I started, I worked rotating shifts so sometimes I worked my business during the day.  And sometimes I worked while most others were sleeping.  Not always easy back then.  Today, with the internet, you can learn how to be promoting your products and business 24/7...even while you sleep.

7.  You don't need a big office or special equipment or certain skills.  Most of us started out of our homes.  I worked mostly from my living room or bedroom.  And all it takes is your kit from your company and effort.  A computer or smart phone makes things easier, but I didn't have any of those when I started.  Heck they didn't even exist!  (Oops, did I just give away my age?!)  Anyone can do this.  I have an 18 year old college student on my team.  And I have a 74 year old grandmother.  And every age in between.  I have stay at home moms, lawyers, teachers, a hairdresser, a fitness instructor, and even a used-car salesman on my team.  Anyone can do this if they are willing to work and learn.

8.  This is a real business.  Which means you will qualify for all of those home business tax deductions!

9.  The income potential is limitless.  You can make as much or as little as you choose.  It all depends on the amount of time and effort you put into building your team and your business.  The network marketing industry has created more millionaires than any other industry.  Can you be one of them?  That depends on you!

10.  MLM will give you freedom.  Financial freedom.  Time freedom.  And that is more important to me than the fact that I'm not a millionaire - yet!  I have time to spend with my family.  Time to enjoy the things I want to do.  And time to keep building my business so that one day I too will be a network marketing millionaire!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How Do You Measure Success?

Are you successful?  I suppose by most people's definition, I am.  I earn a six-figure income.  I'm a bestselling author.  We own a large home with several acres of land.  My husband and I travel frequently and we often take our children and grandchildren with us.  We have lots of "toys".

But am I really successful?  Material positions and financial security are great.  In fact, they can be very important.  A home, money to pay for the necessities of life, reliable transportation - these are all things every human being needs.  But does that make me a success?  Yes?

What if I have these things because I was willing to compromise my values in order to obtain them?  Would you still say I was a success?

I had dinner last night with a young couple who don't have these things.  They were part of the consequences of our last economic hiccup and are still paying the price.  But I would say they were very successful.  Because despite their struggles, they continue to love and support each other and their children.  They could have become bitter and critical.  They could have resigned themselves to the fact that they won't have those things that everyone wants.  Instead they keep looking for ways to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

Which is how we connected.  They know what I do.  The see what I have.  And they want it too.  And so we had dinner.  And talked.  I showed them all of the possibilities.  I gave them advice.  What was possible.  What was not.  And for you skeptics who think I was just trying to sucker these poor people into my business with promises of riches, guess what.  I told them it was not a good idea for them now.  It takes time to build a network marketing business to the point they need.  And time is something they are short on.  But there is more than one way to make a buck and now they know what's possible.  And they know there are people that will help them.  And now they have something they haven't had in a long time.  A vision for their future.

Success isn't just about what you accomplish.  It's not about how much money you make or how many rooms in your home or how many cars you drive.  It's about inspiring others/  It's about motivating people to go after their dreams with everything they have.  It's about helping them.  It's about adding value.  It's about making a positive impact in the world.  Ken McArthur says that we all have impact, whether we want to or not.  I agree.  It's just a matter of whether it's a positive impact or a negative one.

Yes, I consider myself successful.  Not because I have accumulated all this "stuff."  And not because I achieved many of my personal goals.  I am successful because I try to inspire, motivate, and help others every day.  When they succeed, so do I.  I suppose if I focused on my own personal gain a bit more, I might be a millionaire.  Or maybe drive a Lexus instead of a Jeep.  (Not sure about that.  I really LIKE my Jeep!).  And there are some who would say I do more good if I DID focus more on that.

What do you think?  Are you successful?  How do you measure success?  Share your thoughts in the comments.    


Monday, January 9, 2017

A Network Marketing System Is Critical to Success

Every day tons of people join a network marketing opportunity with the expectation of making money working just a few hours a week from home. Sadly by the end of approximately 3 months in business, three quarters of these people will give up, often worse off than when they started.

It's sad but it is true. The worst of it is, it just doesn't have to be that way! The most significant difference between success and failure in network marketing often is just not finding an effective network marketing system that may do the great majority of the work and ease lots of the burden.

Tools Are Not a Network Marketing System

Many new network marketing entrepreneurs confuse tools with systems, and this may be a costly mistake. They think that tools are a marketing system, but that just isn't true.

A good network marketing system will employ a number of different tools, but any tool will be absolutely useless unless it is a part of a fully integrated series of processes which are built to achieve a measurable result.

As an example, your company may give you a wonderful DVD presentation guaranteed to generate interest in your product, service or opportunity.

Yet this DVD is truly just a tool and worthless without a system a sequence of processes engineered to get the DVD in the hands and DVD players of prospects who might have an interest in learning more.

The top earner in your company could offer the most awesome webinar as a sponsoring tool. But who is going to watch it if you do not have a system in place for telling people about it, and providing a technique for those interested to register and thereby leave their contact information so you can follow up.

Below Is an Example of a Network Marketing System

A system is a collection of processes designed to produce a particular result.

A good network marketing system, then, could be a complete A-Z process for lead generation using organic search engine methods composed of these steps:

A target market must be identified by using precise tools to analyze that market, and those folks should have a want for your service or opportunity. For example, "retired salespeople".

The exact words, phrases and expressions used within a selected niche need to be researched using key phrase research tools. As an example "network marketing opportunities".

Then you will use the tool to discover how much competition there is for those keywords. This particular tool will measure how many web sites, blog posts, articles and probably ads there are competing for those keywords.

Articles should then be written addressing people's issues, with their solutions, either by you or by an outsourced writer.

Manually submit articles to article lists and/or use tools to distribute articles to article directory sites.

Article marketing should be performed by employing pings, social bookmarking tools or by securing high PR backlinks.

This shows the steps that are contained in a complete online network marketing system. It is a series of steps designed to produce a desired result. In this example these steps have been brought to get a new webpage to rank in the search engine results pages, using keywords that are directed especially at a target audience.

When the system is followed the result will be a torrent of very targeted traffic to your internet site where you would also have in place another series of steps, or system to gain the interest of your prospects, which should lead them to opt in and receive more info about your product or opportunity.

Turnkey Network Marketing System

Obviously the fastest way to success is by finding an entirely integrated network marketing system which will produce all of the results for which you are looking. Do be certain you are simply not making an investment in yet one more stand-alone tool that'll be absolutely ineffective if it does not work within your system.

There is one that we do

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Design Is Important, But Content is Still King

While you’re making changes to the design of your blog, take a few extra hours to go through your content and make sure that it’s…

·         Still relevant – you’d be surprised how your focus and voice can change over the years. If you’ve been blogging for a while, it’s worth looking at those older posts just to make sure they still resonate with you and your readers.

·         Well laid out – over the course of a few redesigns, you’ll find that older posts and pages no longer fit with the current theme. You may find some images are too wide to fit on the page, or that your choice of image borders no longer work. These things can be a real turn off to new visitors, so it pays to double-check.

·         Calls to action – While you’re reading through your old posts, take a look at your calls to action to be sure they’re still applicable.  

In addition, now is a good time to go through your posts to make sure they are:

Visually appealing - use an image in every post. Not only does an image spice up plain text, but it also gives readers the opportunity (as long as you have this option available - and you should!) to share your content via Pinterest, one of the hottest social media platforms out there.  

Skimmable - Most people are skimmers so it's important to make sure that your content is broken up in bite sized chunks through the use of headings and images. This also goes along with being visually appealing.

Compelling and interesting - even if you do everything mentioned to make your content skimmable and easy on the eyes, if it's boring people aren't going to read it. Light a 'fire' and write about something controversial. Or share something that touched you. For example, maybe you volunteer at a homeless shelter and something someone said or did touched you. There are a lot of different ways to provide your readers with compelling and interesting content. It's a matter of finding what works for you and fits with your audience.

Appealing to the search engines - don't write for SEO purposes or your post will end up sounding robotic or like you did exactly what you're not supposed to do - keyword stuffing. You want to use SEO but it has to be done in a natural way so it fits with the content and isn't overkill.

Focused - many people ask 'how long should a blog post be?' But the truth is it needs to be as long as it needs to be. There is no magic number. However, it should be focused on one specific idea or topic. Blog posts that ramble will lose readers. Blog posts that dig deep into a topic and cover it in depth will bring traffic in, even if they’re 2,000 words long.

Of course, you don’t have to go back and read and revise every single blog post you’ve ever written. Try to do that, and you’ll never get your redesign launched. But do take a look at your analytics and touch up those that get the greatest number of visitors.

Are you ready to give yourself a blog makeover? Remember, you’ll need:

  • A new theme – both free and paid work, just be sure to choose one based primarily on layout rather than color.
  • A new header – outsource this if you’re not comfortable creating your own. It’s the first thing visitors will see, so don’t be afraid to spend a little money on it.
  • A plan for your site navigation and sidebars – be careful to keep it simple for your readers.
  • A way to prevent others from peeking at your site before you’re ready – you can go techy or super simple, the choice is yours.
Most of all, remember to have fun with it! Like redecorating your home, giving your blog a makeover is your chance to let your personality shine through.