Tag Archives: marketing

Sponsored Content vs. Native Advertising

Sponsored Content vs. Native Advertising

 
Art says – I always get curious when I see apparently reputable companies using terms that I'm not familiar with. The terms all related to writing(i.e. content creation), advertising, and business building. In digging into the subject (via the links within the article), I found the following article which I thought might be of interest to the members of the Markethive community that I'm a member of.

 
Markethive, by virtue of its unique blogging platform, community, and membership demographic, has the potential be be a 'player' in the activities associated with these terms. For the average business person however, I don't think they need to worry about the finer distinctions between these terms… until their business reaches a certain where their advertising function becomes more critical and well-funded.

Sponsored Content vs. Native Content

 
Ask a Content Guy: What's the Difference Between Sponsored...
As Contently's editor-in-chief, my job is to immerse myself in every intricacy of the content marketing industry. It'd be a waste for other people in the company to spend all day…
 
 
created in Publicate

How to Write an eBook (Blog) Quickly

tbnlHow to Write an eBook (Blog) Quickly

Entrepreneurs are busy people. Many of us do realize the importance of business of writing and publishing an ebook, but we simply feel we don’t have the time to write a book, especially if you are already producing a lot of content with our blog(s).

I can think of many types of books you can write fast—especially by blogging them—and turn them into short ebooks. I am an active blogger as you probably know by the volume I produce in Markethive.

Case in point (and feel free to swipe them and make your own Ebook. An eBook on Inbound marketing.

  1. Inbound Marketing Explained and Compared link: https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/inbound-marketing-explained-and-compared
  2. Get Found using Inbound Marketing link: https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/get-found-using-inbound-marketing
  3. Inbound Marketing For Dummies link: https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/inbound-marketing-for-dummies
  4. How Inbound Marketing and Social Media complement each other.Link: https://markethive.com/group/linksomatic/blog/how-inbound-marketing-and-social-media-compliment-each-other
  5. MarketHive has launched the first fully outfitted advanced Inbound Marketing systemlink: https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/markethive-has-launched-the-first-fully-outfitted-advanced-inbound-marketing-system

The same can be done for email, social marketing, SEO, etc. utilizing my and others who allow swiping in Markethive. You see, you have no excuse.

Short ebooks can be anywhere from 15 to 100 manuscript pages in length. The completed book might be between 4,000-35,000 words long. This is, indeed a short book you write fast.

Create a content plan for you short ebook, and then don’t make more work for yourself than necessary. Keep your chapters short. Don’t write more than necessary. Blog your book, or write it as if you were blogging it; sit down each day and write 500 words. Then make each chapter 1,500-2,500 words long, for example. Each chapter will consist of 3-5 blog posts (each averaging 500 words). If you have 10 chapters, you’ll end up with a 15,000-25,000 word book.

Even use a transcription service. The one I use requires Chrome to work. Link: https://transcribe.wreally.com/app

Perhaps you have a Youtube video you want to transcribe, or you can easily narrate with a microphone like I do. Even transcribe live events.

Whatever word processing program you use, keep an eye on your word count so you don’t overwrite. Remember: You are writing a short ebook fast.

Let’s take a look at the seven types of short books you might consider writing or blogging.

The point is the options are endless.

Need an eBook cover design? Here are plenty of topics just on the ebook cover design:

  1. 15 Ebook Covers: Success and Failure in the Kindle Store link: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/12/15-ebook-covers-success-and-failure-in-the-kindle-store/
  2. WE MAKE BOOKS AWESOME link: https://damonza.com/
  3. SELL MORE BOOKS WITH A STUNNING COVERlink: https://ebooklaunch.com/ebook-cover-design/

 

Here are a few Ebook software programs

  1. Book Cover Maker – Create Your Own 3D eBook Cover Online link: https://www.myecovermaker.com/
  2. Free Online Book Cover Maker by Canva link: https://www.canva.com/create/book-covers/
  3. Free Ebook Cover Creator – Adazing link: http://www.adazing.com/cover-mocks/

By employing one of these seven short-book structures, you’ll write or blog your book fast. You’ll then be ready to get it edited, have a cover designed, and convert it into an ebook format. Before you know it, you’ll be using your short ebook (and maybe even a printed book, too) to promote yourself and your business.

Video support:

How To Publish A Kindle eBook Today On Amazon

Fast and Easy eBook Template in Word

Create Stunning eBooks & Lead Magnets In 30 Seconds

link: https://go.designrr.io/homepage9790970?utm_campaign=ebook&utm_medium=video&utm_source=youtube

Many ebook publishers (and this could easily be you) make $200 or more per day selling their story, their knowledge, etc. in a ebook format. Combined with the viral and marketing power of Markethive many of you will learn how to produce a yearly income in excess of $70,000 a year.

What would that mean for you? It would give you the needed revenue to build additional businesses, right? After all we are entrepreneurs!

 

Thomas Prendergast
CEO
Markethive inc.

Markethive – The Digital Entrepreneur’s Big Tent

Markethive – The Digital Entrepreneur's Big Tent

There is a phrase often used in politics which applies equally well to Markethive. That phrase is, 'Big Tent'. Wikipedia defines the word thusly:"In politics, a big tent or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints and thus appeal to more of the electorate."

It is gradually becoming apparent to the present Markethive community that Markethive is indeed a big tent for aspiring entrepreneurs. Certainly there is a need for an online association or community where entrepreneurs of diverse profiles and directions can band together not just for strength in numbers but also for the cross-pollination that is one of the key characteristics of entrepreneurial groups.

Traditional social media platforms (typified by Facebook) have missed the boat. Facebook represents 'the majority' and its social tenor reflects the drama-ridden, instant gratification, mediocrity of the average life. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have never been the majority oof the population or the average mindset.

Entrepreneurs have generally been the few, the constant questioners, the explorers, the risk takers, and those who seek to solve problems rather that complain about them. 

Just as the first iteration of laissez-faire capitalism manifested in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution, the second iteration of it, AKA The Digital Revolution, saw computers, the internet, and split-second communication technologies like Skype and VoIP usher in the age of Entrepreneurism 2.0.

However, just as most manufacturing processes generate a certain amount of scrap and sometimes even pollution, today's social media industry has been that counterpart with it's mindless, trendy, goofball communities of people with nothing better to do than waste everybody else's time.

Markethive is the exact opposite.

Markethive is the perfect marriage of a social community with more lofty and practical purpose. True capitalists believe that a rising tide floats all boats. Within Markethive, entrepreneurs find not the narcissistic selfishness of people who value political correctness and socialism above all but rather a loose affiliation of people who believe that there's plenty of opportunity to go around for those who choose to pursue it and accept the inherent minimal risks and responsibilities of being pioneers.

Within Markethive one finds a diverse membership composed of distributors from a wide variety of MLM companies, affiliate marketers, people with more traditional businesses who are trying to integrate those businesses into the internet, and people with a variety of causes to promote. Markethive truly is a 'big tent' with its diverse membership base across global geographies, religions, politics, formal vs. informal education, and goals.

Modern day 'liberals' have actually bastardized the original meaning of the word 'liberal' from its original connotation of 'free thinking'. Being liberal has evolved to mean a repressive brand of anti-freedom, anti-success, anti-capitalism, anti-progress philosophy. But it is within Markethive that today's new breed of entrepreneurs find support and encouragement for their loftiest goals.

Tom Prendergast, Markethive's founder, CEO, and one of its hardest workers, has an enviable record of success in a variety of forms, including MLM, advertising, product and market development, technology, and even several varieties of art. Tom doesn't just preach the entrepreneurial lifestyle… he lives it. And he is intimately familiar with the challenges that face entrepreneurs as well as the success that often occurs when they simply refuse to give up.

Another unique characteristic of Markethive is that whereas most founders and leaders of successful enterprises get more distant from the members of their organizations as those organizations get bigger and more successful.. such has not been the case with Tom Prendergast.

Although Markethive is growing ever ore rapidly and our 'lean' management philosophy means that Tom and our Chief Engineer Stephen Hotchkiss work almost continuosuly, thus far Tom remains generally very accessible by anybody within or without Markethive and does not use the internet to create a shroud of invisibility and unaccountability like many modern leaders (especially on the internet) have. In fact, both Tom and Mr. Hotchkiss successfully use Markethive tools every day.

Another interesting characteristic of Markethive is that we do believe that Network Marketing is still, in its true form, is a viable business model by which almost anybody can achieve success. The black-eye that Network Marketing currently has with most of the general public is due simply to the way that most MLM companies currently operate. Instead, we at Markethive have been avid proponents of what we call the Customer Centric MLM Model, as outlined in this article.

Even today, as the MLM industry´s tarnished fascade is harder and harder to hide and the industry struggles to hide its problems, most mainstream MLM companies stick to their 'old school' methodologies and attitudes. But the truth is that the industry is going through tectonic stresses and changes, some apparent and some not.

Markethive believes that many traditional MLM companies will not change because they are either too deeply mired in their outmoded ways or they simply refuse to 'see the truth'.

At Markethive we believe that the industry cannot ultimately avoid the karma it has earned and the next few years will see a renewed interest not only in the idea of having a home-based business but that these opportunity seekers will be increasingly more savvy in vetting those opportunities they chose to embrace.

If new opportunity seekers or distributors wanting to find a better 'deal' don't see Customer Centricity and the Golden Rule in the very fabric of any company where they're considering investing their time and money….it's probably going to be, "Adios Baby". 

The simple fact of the matter is that even Markethive technology cannot ultimately save Old School MLM companies. The Markethive philosophy (in almost every area) is diametrically opposed to what the traditional industry has tried to pass off as 'opportunity'. Modern technology and/or a fresh coat ofpaintt cannot save any company which doesn't treat people right.

Regardless of what anybody thinks of the Network Marketing industry…it's still pretty darn big and for the foreseeable future will be one of the few viable opportunities for the 'average guy or gal'.

But… today's MLM distributors are tired of empty promises, market exaggeration, overpriced and/or crappy products that nobody really wants to buy or sell, products that won't sell on the open market for more than the distributor pays for them (e.g. if it won't sell at a profit on eBay, it is overpriced), 'marketing' programs that don't really sell anything but instead just transfer products from one distributor to another, backroom deals for promotions, compensation plans that constantly change to keep the rank and file hungry while the 'leaders' drive around in limousines and Jaguars, and organizations composed of 95% distributors where there is little or no real retail selling but everybody goes to hyped-up, precisely orchestrated and choreographed meetings where everybody just hi-fives everybody else but hopes nobody asks them, 'Are you making any money?'

Indeed, by any honest definition of the word "business"…. the vast majority of today's MLM companies do not have anything even remotely resembling a real 'business' based on bringing real value to the marketplace. 

We are moving into the Age of The Entrepreneur and whereas the internet has allowed some to be deceived and/or distracted…. others are becoming aware that they can do more, be more, and have more. Those individuals are searching for companies (MLM or otherwise) with the right products (or services), which truly embrace a Customer Centric model, and which can prove that they truly believe in 'equal opportunity for all'.

Markethive will probably always be a 'work in progress' simply because that is the nature of an entrepreneur… i.e. always be improving. But… for all practical intents and purposes, Markethive is the biggest and baddest gunslinger in town right now in the area of Inbound Marketing.

Smart marketers know that for going after the big money, old-fashioned Outbound Marketing is dead. Today's smart money is being spent on Inbound Marketing companies. Unfortunately, only large companies with big marketing budgets can afford modern Inbound Marketing platforms and systems…. up until now. 

Many well-known Inbound Marketing companies charge $1000@month for the same (or less) marketing power that Markethive offers totally for free. Markethive can do this because (1) Markethive is funded by advertising just like Facebook and several other well-known platforms and (2) Markethive functionality is integrated with it's own vibrant and geometrically expanding social network. 

Indeed…..no other Inbound Marketing platform matches Markethive's perfect combination of Technology and 'People Power'.

In summary, I have tried to point out the reasons and the ways that Markethive is a 'Big Tent'. It's a tent that is itself constantly expanding organically, almost evangelically, and the end result is a benign type of 'Borg' or 'Hive' that benefits everybody.

Markethive is indeed is a modern, digital embodiment of the Statue of Liberty that early immigrants to America first saw when they entered New York City harbor and passed by Ellis Island.

Markethive is a big tent and a big boat´' but there will always be room for 'one more passenger' and the ticket is free.

Wanna join us for the ride?

 

Art Williams
Markethive Developer and Contributor

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