May 14, 2013
Most every distributor in the MLM industry has a lead problem. Finding high-quality, qualified MLM leads is the biggest problem that most networkers face. It’s what stops their businesses from growing – without good leads, a downline is dead in the water.
MLM Leads And How They Work
There are various types of leads available for an MLM’er to grow their business, but the best type of lead you will ever have is one that YOU generate yourself. You know WHEN you generated that lead, you know HOW you generated that lead, you know WHAT was offered to that lead, and you know that lead was not sold or resold anything else.
The best leads you will ever have are leads that you generate yourself. That’s the ticket.
How To Generate Targeted MLM Leads
In order to generate leads, you need two things:
1. A website with a targeted offer (an offer that appeals to your market)
2. Targeted Traffic (people visiting the site that WANT to be there)
Websites are another story (you may want to use this resource for build a good site), but the keys to the kingdom lie in getting targeted traffic. Without a steady stream of targeted visitors, the best website in the world won’t do you any good.
In order to get traffic, you must either build paid advertising campaigns (there are lots of ways to do this) – which definitely isn’t “free”. There are systems you can use for getting targeted leads on a paid source that actually offset and compensate you automagically, but that’s for another post.
This is about FREE MLM leads – in order to do that, we need to leverage a FREE traffic source.
Where can you get free traffic, and lots of it?
- Join the biggest targeted forums in your market.
- Search Google for “discussions” in your market.
- Establish yourself as an authority and a helper by providing valuable posts to the forum.
- Answer people’s questions in the forum (without being overly promotional).
- Have a good signature, with an enticing link, such as a link to a freebie.
Forum Search Engines (use these to find targeted forums):
boardtracker.com (used to be my favorite, but it’s been under construction for awhile)
Blogs are a very decent way to get targeted traffic IF (and only IF) they are hosted on a domain that YOU control. There are some “opportunities” out there that give networkers a blogging “platform”, and tell them to blog away. The problem is, they build the blogging platform owners site – NOT your site. This means you are doing a lot of hard work for something that you will never own (and in this case, are even paying to rent).
If you are building someone else’s website via blogging, you are not building your own brand and your own asset – which is exactly what an employee does. Make sure if you blog, you are investing in and building your own assets.
- Best way to get blog traffic is to create incredible content.
- Create “link bait” (see this link for more info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_bait)
- Write something highly controversial.
- Utilize trackback links as a form of conversation marketing with other bloggers. (use this resource – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trackback)
- Participate in blog carnivals. See blogcarnival.com
- Leave comments on other peoples’ blogs. (Do NOT spam or use automation)
- Expand your reach through RSS feed syndication.
RSS Feed Aggregators:
(search for market specific aggregators, using “keyword” aggregator)
blogher.com (for women only)
Pligg sites (also Scuttle, phpDug, and PublicBookmark):
(There are literally thousands of these kind of sites. Search for some in your market.)
NOTE: The best opportunity for building links and building a blog is by guest-blogging. Guest blogging is where you write a high-quality blog post for someone else in your market, and in return they provide a couple of links back to your blog.
myblogguest.com is a community where you can find places to be a guest blogger.
Some guest blogging or guest article opportunities:
(There are thousands of places where you can potentially be a guest blogger! Search for blogs in your market)
DOCUMENT SHARING SITES
Use these to create mini-articles, and generate targeted links and traffic back to your site.
pdfcast.org (for PDF’s)
EBOOK SHARING SITES
Ebooks are a fantastic promotional tool, especially the Amazon KDP platform. Highly recommended
Amazon.com (KDP Select)
ebookjunkie.com (Free ebooks category)
ebookmall.com (Free ebooks category)
A podcast is simply audio content. It can be an interview, a training, or the equivalent of an article. They are very easy to use, you simply record your podcast, upload, and it’s good to go.
feeds4all.com (podcast category)
FREE PRESS RELEASE SITES
A press release is a very powerful way to great buzz and excitement around newsworthy information about your business. Press releases get picked up by major media outlets and can catapult virtually unknown businesses to the forefront of the media.
Here are a view outlets you can use for Press releases:
downloadjunction.com (software related)
FREE CLASSIFIED AD SITES
Classified ads are an easy way to promote, get links, and drive free targeted traffic. Each site will have their own rules as to what can/cannot be advertised, and how the advertisement should work.
FREE ONLINE DIRECTORIES
And online directory is simply an organization of websites, separated by category. These directories will give you a link back to your site, and some (especially DMOZ) carry a good deal of influence with their link.
gmdir.com (Your site must use Google maps)
smartlinks.org (submit via email)
(Do a search to find market-specific directories)
Social bookmarking is a way that people share content and information. You’d be surprised how many people use social bookmarking to share content. Don’t pre-judge your market!
Reddit.com (manual submission recommended)
These are sites that dedicated to questions and answers. You simply show up, provide answers (and in many cases, links) to create authority and drive traffic. Free, easy, and fast.
answers.yahoo.com is probably the most popular Q&A site currently.
linkedin.com/answers (talked about in lesson #82)
quomon.com (tech related)
stackoverflow.com (programming related)
Of course, there are other free ways to get leads (such as social media marketing, video marketing, etc) but these strategies will help you begin driving free leads and traffic to your websites!Top
April 18, 2013
We just wrapped up a two-part training on HBSA’s 18 Rules For Success.
We did record those trainings, and we’d like to give you access to them, for free.
March 27, 2013
Let me start off with a little story…
As legend goes, one day the iconic artist Claude Monet was sitting in his favorite cafe in Paris, enjoying his beverage, when along walked a woman who recognized him.
“My God, you’re Claude Monet!” she exclaimed. “Listen, I know this is impromptu, but…will you draw a picture of me?”
Monet set his drink down, and looked at the woman for a second. He then whipped out a pencil, grabbed a napkin, looked down, and proceeded to scribble furiously on the napkin for thirty seconds.
He then looked up, set his pencil down, and slid the napkin across the table to the woman.
The woman looked down. Her jaw dropped.
She found herself staring at herself. It was like looking into a mirror! In thirty seconds, Monet had created an exact portrait of the woman.
“Monet, this is amazing!” she declared. “Thank you so much! The legends are all true, you truly are a phenomenal artist!”
“You are very welcome, madame” said Monet. “That will be five hundred francs, please.”
“Five hundred francs!” she cried. “That only took you thirty seconds!”
“Oh no it didn’t” Monet calmly retorted. “That took me my entire life.”
Moral Of The Story – Great Achievements Look Easy, Only After A Lifetime Or Practice
Mastering anything takes time and consistent effort. If you are good at anything in life, you’re consistent at, and have likely been so for years.
A bit over a year ago, we decided to publicly use ourselves as guinea pigs in a cast study to demonstrate the power of our education and training. We did in one month what many have not done, ever, in their businesses.
Setting The Stage – How We Added 300 New People Into Our Downline In A Single Month
When we began this project, we wanted to start like anyone else did, from the bottom. It was intended to be a case study, to show our students and potential students that targeted marketing does in fact work, and far better than any friends and family stuff that is (still) so popular in the industry.
We began by taking suggestions from the student body as to what kind of company we should join. We wanted to join under one of our students, as we thought that would be a cool way to give back and help one of our students who had seen success.
We took input from any student who wanted to give it, and we reviewed and researched over 200 opportunities. (You can read up on that process here).
We went through the process of demonstrating what we look for when we join an opportunity (learn how to choose a network marketing opportunity here).
We finally selected an opportunity, under one of our more successful students (he was earning about $40k/mo at the time we joined under him. Since then, he’s doubled his income).
Now, it’s important to understand that we really could have chosen any company, but one of the key fundamentals we teach is to be passionate about what you are promoting. At the end of the day, life is too short to spend time promoting a product/service/opportunity that you don’t believe in. A healthy chunk of time, effort, and energy would be going into this campaign, so we wanted to select an opportunity that served a market we were passionate about helping and serving.
The process would have been exactly the same if we had picked another company or market. The fundamental difference between those who succeed or fail in this industry is the marketer, and their ability to attract that audience that is looking for what they have to offer. Once you have the skills, you can apply them into whatever you want. It’s not just about the money at that point, it’s about having a positive impact, and working on projects you love.
So we made a call, and got focused on the opportunity we were going to promote.
Then, we targeted our market.
We wanted to go after:
1. Current Networkers (these people already have experience in the industry, and don’t need to be convinced that network marketing is a good thing to be involved in).
2. People Who Need The Benefits Of The Product (in this case, people who wanted to lose weight, or experience a healthier lifestyle).
3. People Who Wanted To Start A Business (commonly refereed to as “opportunity seekers”).
For most any campaign in the network marketing industry, these will be the three types of people that you want to target.
Phase 1 – Learning The Market
We have a lot of experience in the network marketing and business opportunity markets, so we didn’t really need to spend much time understanding what was important to those communities and markets.
However, we were pretty new to the diet/weight loss market, so we spent some time learning about how that market functioned.
Step 1 – Amazon
Amazon.com is a gold mine of data. It’s the largest e-commerce website in the world, selling physical products, books, movies, and ebooks (via KDP). Any time we want to get to know a new market, we spend a good amount of time conducting research on Amazon.
The key is this – when people are looking for information about a subject, they want to achieve the benefit. So if someone is looking for information on “How To Make More Money”, or “How To Lose Weight”, “How To Travel Cheap”, and they buy a book on the subject, then they want to achieve those benefits. People in this stage aren’t sold on the WAY to achieve them. There are lots of ways to make money, or lose weight, or travel cheap. As long as people can achieve the benefit, they are open to the actual method to make it happen.
So we start by doing keyword searches that are relevant to the benefits that our market was after, namely, losing weight.
We then looked for those keywords in the “Books” section of Amazon, and we then sorted by popularity.
Then, we started reading.
We would read the reviews, as these are real-life people that are giving real-life feedback. This is a direct message from our market, and it’s important to understand and know what they want!
They spill it all in the book reviews. They’ll tell you about their situation, what they wanted from the book, what they liked about it, what they disliked about it, what their friends thought about it, the results they got…everything. This is perfect, as it’s like surveying your market without having to do any surveying. The works already been done, we just need to take the information onboard and implement it into our campaigns!
Step 2 – Google
We spend time using the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool, to find out more about what exactly our market is searching for.
This freebie shows us:
- The monthly search volume for a given keyword
- The local search volume for a given keyword
- The monthly search volumes of related keywords (keywords that are related to my original keyword)
This tells us roughly how much demand there is in a certain market, and also, other keyword ideas that we can use to check out and see what’s up.
We also spend time on Google.com, searching for some of those keywords. We want to see what the competition is already doing. So we literally head over to Google, and type in some of the keyword searches that we just got from the Google keyword tool. We pay special attention to the sponsored listings, as these tell us who is actually buying traffic. This is important! If someone is buying traffic, then we can assume one of two things:
1. The advertiser is losing money on that keyword. In which case, they are an idiot that we don’t want to follow.
2. The advertiser is making money on that keyword. In which case, we want to study what they’re doing, so see how it is working!
We confirm whether they are #1 or #2 by looking up their ads in SpyFu. This little tool allows us to spy on PPC competition, to see how long an ad has been running. If someone is running an add over 4 months, then we can safely assume the advertiser falls in category #2 (most advertisers can’t lose money for four months straight).
Once we knew our market, then it was time to get some landing pages up and start generating some leads!
Phase 2 – Build Creatives
“Creatives” simply refer to your marketing material – what you use to attract leads, clients, and customers.
For our application, we needed:
- Banner ads
- Landing pages
First, the banner ads.
The diet and weight loss industry is a big industry, but primarily skewed towards the female demographic. I have no idea why this is the case. Maybe guys are more comfortable being overweight. Maybe women are more critical of themselves, and or see themselves as being more overweight than they really are. Whatever the case, the we knew that for a lot of the diet/weight loss leads, we were targeting women, so that was what we were going to use in the banners.
When you have banner ads made, it’s important to get them in the most common sizes. The most common sizes are:
300×250 (medium rectangle)
160×600 (wide skyscrapers)
We are still using our opportunity-seeker banners, so we can’t really reveal those here
Next, we need landing pages.
A landing page is where you traffic actually lands after they click your ad. This is where they are given an offer in exchange for their contact information.
A landing page has one purpose, and one purpose only: to generate YOU a targeted, interested lead.
Education, details, offers…all that other stuff happens after a lead opts into your landing page.
Here are some of the landing pages that we used for this campaign:
Network Marketing Targeted:
We primarily used contextual traffic to generate leads (Content networks, media placements, existing traffic partners, etc). We also developed free reports for all three lead types, and gave them away as incentives to join our mailing lists.
So we had leads coming in the door – the next step was converting them!
Phase 3 – Build Prospecting, Presentation, Closing Systems
This is where the fun begins!
Now it’s time to make some money. We have leads, now we need to craft some offers that get those leads interested, responsive, and taking action.
For that, we need:
- Prospecting Script
- Closing Script
So here’s what we did:
The goal of a prospecting script is to SORT, and POSITION. Any marketing campaign is going to be filled with “maybe” people. These are folks that aren’t really ready to do business with you yet.
The key is not in convincing those people to do something they’re not ready to do.
The key is to sort them out of the way QUICKLY, so that you spend your time with the best prospects.
That’s the goal of your prospecting script. We do this with IQM (The Interest Question Method). We discuss this concept at length in our ebook Instant MLM Prospecting Scripts, but the goal is to have a script that gets to the bottom line, fast.
Once that was sorted, we developed two separate presentation scripts – one more focused on the opportunity, and one more focused on product benefits. The reason we did this is because we had leads from both categories coming in, and we needed a congruent presentation for both.
A presentation script is designed to give you prospect the scoop, and to position. Positioning is the most powerful marketing concept that you can leverage in this industry, and a presentation gives you center stage. We have done all sorts of presentations, from webinars to teleseminars to live presentations to video presentations. For downline growth, we like to set up recorded teleseminar presentations on Simple Voice Box.
- Your team can leverage these presentations 24/7
- SVB is a free service that is very reliable
- SVB will email you a daily email showing all the people that went to your presentation that day. Good for tracking and accountability!
Finally, we needed a closing script, and a follow up process.
When you start one of these campaigns, you’ll soon find that your team, unless experienced, will have to learn how to close. For that, we recommend you teach them, by role-playing and coaching with them, and also developing a followup process that keeps in touch with the leads they attempt to close. That way, you (as a more experienced enroller) can follow up with some of their leads, and help put a little more money in the pockets of your team. (You can see what our closing process is here at Instant MLM Closing Scripts).
For followup, we used a simple but powerful email followup series in an Aweber (aff link) account.
These were all of the tools that we built and used in this campaign.
We’re not braggers. At all.
But results are results, and we were fortunate to have accomplished some great things with this campaign.
In 30 Days, we were able to:
- Add Over 300 People Into The Team, As A Whole (closer to 400 when the dust settled)
- Personally Sponsor 46 People
- Help 4 People Qualify For A New-Car Bonus, And 24 People Get Promotions/Bonuses (NOTE: due to the diligence and leadership of Mr. Martin Lightbowne, that number has since grown to 49 people qualifying for New Car Bonuses).
- Create A Seven-Figure Distribution Channel Out Of Thin Air
- Go From Zero To Their Executive Rank On The Company Compensation Plan
- Set 4 Company Recruitment Records
- Became The #2 Enroller In The Entire Company For That Month (couldn’t believe someone out-enrolled us!)
Not to mention, we learned a TON about leadership, teamwork, and focus during that time.
And the money?
Again, we’re not braggers, and we are a little old-fashioned in that we think money is a private subject. Just for proof, we did post our first check from the company here (disclaimer, this is not an income claim, etc etc). I’ll let speculators speculate on what the other checks looked like as the organization has grown.
The Big Take-Aways
1. Homework Pays Off
We spent a lot of time studying our market, and building systems that would work. We had an intimate understanding of who we were sponsoring and going after, and that was a major contributor to success.
2. Invest In Skills Pay (Not Opportunities)
None of that would have ever happened, had we not devoted the time and energy to understanding and mastering the craft of marketing.
Most people treat online marketing as some sort of gimmick, or just something you’re supposed to “do real quick” to get some leads.
We treat it as an art and a science. We look at it like this:
Aspiring doctors spend 8-12 years studying their craft and mastering skills, (as well as spending $200k+ on their education )before they get a six-figure income.
Aspiring lawyers spend 6-7 years studying their craft and mastering their skills (as well as spending about $150k on their education) before they get a six-figure income.
Marketers spend 1-2 years studying their craft and mastering their skills (and usually spend $2k – $10k on their education) before they get a six or seven figure income.
Skills pay. We continually invest into our knowledge, because we are CONSTANTLY trying to improve our value, and what we can do to serve the market. Do whatever it takes to get the skills, and master them.
Most people who read this have one of two reactions:
1. “OMG, you should join MY business, let me tell you all about it!…”
While we are certainly flattered, we encourage you to look at what we DIDN’T do to achieve this success.
We did not try to go to some big-wig enroller and swing them into our organization.
We suggest you not try to do that either.
Get your own skills, and attract your own market. We know we could make “a lot of money” in lots of different opportunities. But we focus on the markets we’re passionate about, and we don’t worry about anything else.
2. “OMG, There’s NO WAY I Could Do All That Stuff!”
Yes, you can actually.
We’re not rocket scientists, and we teach (and use) everything we do. There’s no way Monet could knock out an identical-to-life portrait (on a napkin) in less than 30 seconds when he started. With time and some practice, he was able to do it. So can you.
Most people in this industry are actually already doing it the hard way – chasing friends and family, bugging people at malls, handing out flyers, doing the home meetings, hotel rah-rah pep ralleys, etc etc etc.
That stuff is way more challenging than what we’ve just laid out.
Focus on what you can do today, and start building from there.
For The Doubters, Skeptics, And Cynics
I know some people out there think it’s impossible to make good money in the home biz / network marketing industry. They think it’s impossible to make money in an MLM, or that you can’t make money with online marketing.
You probably know some people like that too.
I don’t worry too much about these types of people. Success needs no alibi or explanation, and it also happens to be the best revenge. Don’t sweat the critical comments for what you’re building, or pursuing. Simply plan your work, work your plan, pursue your dreams, and let the results silence the critics.
Our Offer To You
If you are ready to learn these strategies, drop us a line today. We’d love to hear about your situation, and see if there’s a way that we could work together to build your business.
Our Email: Success@hbsaonline.com.
Questions? Comments? Post ‘em up below!Top
August 27, 2012
How To Find Prospects For MLM
Are you having a hard time finding decent prospects for your MLM business?
Are you SICK of chasing around your friends and family?
Well, you’re in luck! You’re about to learn what most networkers will never know about prospects, leads, and lead-generation.
First – let’s set the stage:
!. Your Friends And Family Are NOT Your Prospects
They’re your friends and family. Treasure their relationships, and enjoy them. Don’t try to exploit them for profit. Yes, I know your company /upline / whoever told you that you’d build a fortune by simply telling a few friends or family members about your big opportunity. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen (you prolly already know this). It’s the fastest way to get a few people using your products, or getting a business builder or two – but that’s it. If you do choose to go down this route, make sure it’s a very soft sell – don’t try go Captain Closer s on ‘em.
2. Random People On The Street Are Not Your Prospect
Yes, another popular option for networkers is to pound the ground, and try to meet random folks on the street, at malls, handing out flyers, etc. While it may not be impossible to build a business in this fashion…it’s mostly impossible. So don’t worry about it.
3. “New Friends” That You Make For The Sole Purpose Of Pitching Are Not Your Prospect
It’s great to meet new people, and make new friends. If you’re doing it just so that you have more folks to pitch, then you’re probably going to fail. There’s no need to be disingenuous to grow your business – make new friends and meet new people because you enjoy them, find them interesting, and want to get to know them better. Don’t do it to grow your “list”.
Ok, So Who IS Your Prospect?
A prospect is someone who has a legitimate need or desire for what you have, and has demonstrated through ACTION that they have a propensity to buy what you’re offering.
This is called “targeting your market”.
How Prospects And Leads Work
A “lead” is another word for prospect – they mean the same thing. So getting more prospects and getting more leads means the same thing – have more people to talk to that are interested in what you have to offer.
There are two ways to get leads:
1. You Buy Them. This is pretty straight-forward. You find targeted leads from brokers, partners, vendors, and other professionals that offer leads. When buying leads, it’s important to make sure you start small, to test lead quality. Don’t buy 5,000 leads off the bat – start small, test, and ensure it’s up to par.
2. You Generate Your Own Leads. This is pretty straight forward as well – you learn the art and science of direct-response marketing, and then use it to generate targeted leads that are interested in what you have. This is how you get people coming to you. With some advanced techniques, you can position it such that they coming to you with credit card in hand, ready to do some business with you. But…let’s walk before we run
Leads 101 – The Differences Between Leads
In the world of leads, there are three different types of leads available:
1. Demographic Leads
Demographic leads are leads that are targeted on demographics – age, ethnicity, area of residence, and other socioeconomic factors. These are the least-targeted types of leads, because it’s simply stating facts. This person resides here, makes this much money, is this ethnicity, is this age, etc. As they are the least-targeted, they are also the least expensive. These do well with mass-market appeal offers (things that nearly everyone has /uses – utilities, car finance, mortgages, etc).
2. Response Leads
Response leads are MUCH higher-quality than Demographic leads. Response leads are leads that have responded to something – an advertisement, a website, a phone call, an offer of some sort. These are leads that have raised their hand and said “yep, I’m INTERESTED”.
If you are generating your own leads, you can use online/offline advertising to get these types of leads coming to you. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Fiverr, Amazon, etc, all offer fantastic opportunities for you to leverage their user base to generate response leads. If you would like to test out some response leads, you can check out the home business opportunity leads that we generate for other companies and leaders in the industry.
3. Buyers Leads
Buyers leads are the best types of leads you can get. These are leads that have responded by purchasing something relevant. For example, if you sell a training program on using the Foreign Exchange, then the best lead you could possibly get is someone who has purchased a book on how to trade using the Foreign Exchange. Getting good buyers leads will cost a pretty penny – I’ve seen these leads sell for $30 – $125 per lead! For most people in the MLM industry, those numbers won’t work. So…here’s a tip for you.
Getting Buyers Leads For A Penny Each
This is a very simple arbitrage tactic for generating low-cost leads in high-volume. If you have never sold anything before on Amazon, make sure to do that before going any further. You can learn how to sell on Amazon here. Amazon is the worlds biggest online market place. They sell books every day in every category imaginable. With a little creativity, you can leverage this market to direct buyers leads to you, for as little as a penny each.
Here’s how this works:
1. Know your market. Go into Amazon, and look up the best-selling books in your niche. For example, if you’re in travel, search “travel”, then sort by “best sellers first”. Same thing if you’re in business opportunity, anti-aging, diet, savings plans, insurance, whatever.
2. Buy 5-10 copies of the #1 best-seller in that category.
3. Once you receive the books, re-list them on Amazon, and bid a penny less for your asking price than the next highest bidder.
4. When you sell the book, voila! You have a buyer lead. Now, put some sort of call-to-action in the book, and send it off.
Bam. Buyers leads for a penny each. Well played.
Any questions? Post ‘em up in the comments below!
This video outlines a simple strategy for:
1. Making money from home (for free – and FAST )
2. Getting paid by prospects
It’s simple, fast, and fun! Check it out:
The websites in the video are:
How do you plan on using this info?Top
May 29, 2012
What Is Stopping You From Earning Income At Home?
The answer should be – NOTHING!
There are MANY different ways to earn income from the comfort of your home. So why aren’t more people doing it?
For 3 reasons:
1. They Don’t Know How
We all know there are scams online that simply don’t work. Unfortunately, this tends to become a “few ruining it for the many” scenario, in which the MANY good opportunities out there get lumped in with the scams. Knowing how to sift the wheat from the chaff is critical for generating a real return.
Equally critical is knowing what to actually DO. What work is in demand online? What pays the best? These types of questions unfortunately keep a lot of people out of the game.
2. They Don’t Know Where
While there are several good opportunities, where do you find them? What sites should be trusted, which ones should be avoided? Knowing where to get great information, where to get a great gig that will pay you well is just as important as knowing what to do.
3. They Are Lazy
Alright, if someone knows where to do the work, and how to do the work, but they’re still not doing the work – then they’re just plain LAZY.
I can’t help anyone that is dealing with #3. But if #1 or #2 is holding you back, then I want to hear about it!
The truth is, it’s pretty plain easy to generate $1k – $2k / mo on a VERY part-time basis, and generating more in the $3k – $5k is very realistic. The key – knowing the “where” and the “how” – and that’s what I want to show you.
I’m putting together an instructional, click-by-click DVD program that will help you earn legitimate income at home. And I’m thinking of giving it away for FREE.
Yes, that’s correct – I’m not going to be charging for it. There will be a small charge for shipping and handling, but we’re not going to be making anything on the DVD itself.
Why would I do that?
For a few of reasons:
1. When I got started in this industry, I was given a helping hand a critical point in time. I haven’t forgotten about those times, and I believe in paying it forward.
2. We need even more success stories! Nothing is as inspiring as seeing someone change their lives as a result of your product.
3. We need to improve the reputation of the home business community! The home business industry, as a whole, has a pretty poor reputation. Again, the few ruin it for the many, and we need good, legitimate programs in place if we’re going to improve the impression people have of our community.
That’s why I’m putting this together – but to pull it off, I need your help.
I need to know the biggest problems, challenges, and hurdles you face that are preventing you from generating income at home.
Just post ‘em up in the comments below. We will read them, and we’ll make sure that we’ll do everything we can to solve those problems for you in a quick and affordable fashion.
So let’s hear it! What’s stopping you from generating income at home?Top
HBSA was founded in 2008 with the idea that we could give networkers a “Plan B” on growing their businesses. Typically, a networker goes through the following phases in their career:
- Join new opportunity. Excitement is high – expectations are high.
- Begin promoting new opportunity. Enrolls a few people from their warm market (friends and family). Excitement officially reaches an all-time high.
- People in their downline don’t replicate your efforts. Growth begins to stagnate.
- Networker becomes frustrated. Begins looking for other people to grow their business.
- Runs out of warm market. Frustration reaches all-time high.
- Networker becomes convinced that there is something wrong with the business, their downline, or even themselves. Starts looking for new opportunity (repeats steps 1-5).
We have seen this take place time, and time, and time again. We experienced this as well (before we learned how to market properly).
We were certain we could affect positive change in the industry by leveraging and demonstrating the power of direct-response marketing. We knew that if used properly, direct-response could change ANY business in a big way, and network marketing was no different.
Whenever you teach anything (and I mean anything), the question that the cynics always ask is
“Well, if what you teach works SO WELL, why don’t you use it and keep it all to yourself?”
The answer to that question is simple: we do use what we teach every day – we use exactly what we teach to grow HBSA, and all our other businesses. But the people asking that question were asking us to join a network marketing business (preferably, THEIR network marketing business ) and prove that what we teach works.
We also know that the market out there is much bigger than any single person could ever tap. We could share what we know with millions of people, and it wouldn’t make any difference. Case in point: one single advertising platform that we use has inventory of 2.3 billion impressions per DAY. (an impression is when an ad is triggered – so you can show an ad 2.3b times a day on one…single…platform. That’s a big pool to fish in
Even though what we were using was working, we decided to join a network marketing opportunity to show, without a shadow of a doubt, how effective our programs really are.
So, we decided to lay a few ground rules:
- We were NOT going to use anything that we didn’t teach in our training programs
- We were NOT going to use any warm marketing. Zero. No friends and family.
- We were NOT going to do any “downline swinging” – no previously-built downlines, this was all going to be fresh business, starting from scratch. So, we started looking for a business. We evaluated about 200 different businesses and opportunities. We documented the process, so that you know how we made our selection. We showed how to choose a network marketing company, all the signals to look for, and what to avoid. Then, we jumped in with both feet.
We designed the campaign, and then worked our tails off to implement it.
- We qualified for the car-incentive program in 90 minutes
- We became a leader in their company by the end of the first two weeks
- We hit their Executive level (Ambassador) within 4 weeks
- We produced a 1.3 million dollar/year distribution channel within the first 4 weeks
- We have helped 31 people (and counting) qualify for a shiny new BMW
And since then, we have worked on refining, building, and optimizing our business to help even more people with this program.
Now, why did this work so well? I think it was a success for 3 reasons:
- Good Timing – right now, the company we joined is in a major growth-phase. They’re growing like crazy, and they are only in North America.
- Good Products – their products help people lose weight. Obesity is one of the biggest problems facing us globally (2/3 Americans are either overweight or obese). Their products are good – they help people lose weight, and they work. Period.
- Good Marketing – we used the promotion strategies that we teach every day, and that we use in our other businesses. We obviously have an advantage in that we’ve been using them for years, and understand how to apply them.
That’s really it.
This May Be A HUGE Opportunity For You!
We’ve been building, and we’re ready to take things to the next level once again. Our question is simple: are you open to evaluating a new opporutnity? One that is PROVEN to work, is working for us right now, and could be working for you this week?
We aren’t looking to partner with everyone.
We are looking for a very special type of person to work with. Someone who works hard, who is a good student (is teachable) and has a burning desire to succeed.
We are looking to work with people who are dedicated to helping others – who understand that you only get what you give, and are looking to give MUCH to our market, in helping them with our products and services.
The rewards are there: products that change people’s lives, compensation that is motivating and rewarding, leaders who will give you everything they have to help you succeed.
The only thing missing is you.
We are giving away all sorts of things to our team to help them succeed – tools and techniques that other uplines don’t even know about, much less use. If you are interested in getting more information, here is what to do next:
- Sen an email to martin at hbsaonline dot com.
- Tell us your best phone number, and the best time to reach you.
And we’ll give you a call to discuss the next steps, and any questions you might have.
NOTE: we are ONLY allowing 10 partners to come onboard this month. We want to work closely with these people to ensure they get the results they want, so if you want to be considered, you’ll have to act quickly.
2012 is moving fast – we’re already 1/3 of the way through the year! If you’re not progressing in the direction or at the speed that you want, you may want to consider working with us in this opportunity. It’s changing lives all across North America – yours could be nextTop
Affiliate Marketing Explained
Affiliate Marketing is something that we haven’t discussed extensively at HBSA. Why? Because we’re busy writing and talking about other things. But, it’s a very profitable business model, and it’s contributing more and more to our business. So now, it’s time to talk about affiliate marketing.
The first thing we should talk about is the potential.
I won’t tell you exactly how much we made from affiliate marketing last year, but I will say it’s six figures plus, which is a nice little bonus. And we’re not considered big affiliates – those guys produce $100k+/month with affiliate marketing.
So, it’s viable, and if you’ve never heard of it, you should check it out. It may change your life.
(NOTE: there are some affiliate links in this post – it goes as a little kickback for producing this kind of material )
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is simple to understand. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say that Amazon.com wants to grow their business. They have several options to grow their business, but they get the idea to open up their program so that average people can be compensated by driving traffic and purchases to the Amazon.com website. So every time one of their affiliates send a visitor over to the Amazon site to buy something, the person who referred the buyer gets a commission of the sale that was generated. Amazon tracks this via links – links that are clicked by the visitor, and clicks that lead to sales.
As you may well know, this example is not theoretical – Amazon.com does indeed have an affiliate program.
There are thousands of different affiliate programs, and thousands of companies that run these programs. They exist in just about every niche, market, industry, or product class that you can imagine. There are affiliate programs that pay for sales, pay for leads, or pay for an action (say, filling out a survey, or completing a download of a software).
How Do They Track These Actions?
The affiliate program or affiliate manager will track these actions with tracking software. Lets say you sign up for a program, and you decide you want to promote that program. One of the first things that will happen is you will be given an affiliate link, which tracks all of YOUR sales that come through that link. It may look like www.affiliate.com/goodaffiliate9876.html Every sale that goes through that link will result in a commission to you.
What Do You Need To Get Set Up?
You’ll need some assets to get set up with affiliate marketing:
Affiliate Marketing Training
Before you jump into anything (anything) our recommendation is to go in educated. Affiliate Marketing can be a career, or just an additional source of income. It’s a discipline that is big enough, and moves fast enough, that we recommend getting some solid training and coaching before you jump in and start spending money. Overall, you’ll save money, and progress at a much faster rate than you would if you tried to go it alone.
I recognized this when I got started with Affiliate Marketing. The place I got (and still get) are through the Aff Playbook.
Aff Playbook is a members-only that share case studies, training guides, webinars, and Q&A-style session that show you pretty much everything there is to know about affiliate marketing. You can ask questions, work with other forum members, and learn from the experience of much more seasoned affiliates before diving in head-first.
You can click here to check out Aff Playbook. I’m still a member there, so you’d be learning affiliate marketing in the same place I learn, every single week.
You will need a website in order to get started with Affiliate Marketing. You can start with Weebly if you’re not very technically inclined, or you can use WordPress. You can get a free wordpress install by purchasing a hosting plan here.
Setting up a site should be the easy part. Technology has gotten to the point where it’s pretty easy to pull off. Don’t let this be a hurdle, it’s really not.
For affiliate marketing to work, you need to have offers to promote. If you drive traffic, and the offer doesn’t make money, then it’s a bad day. That’s what you should have a never-ending supply of good offers to choose from.
Where can you get offers?
There are clearing houses of offers available where you can choose from a stable of different offers, either in different categories, or different offers in the same category.
Clickbank – Pretty much the undisputed king of information products and offers.
ShareASale – Great program for sales-based affiliate programs.
OfferVault – Resources to use to look up different offers on affiliate networks.
Neverblue – A very decent affiliate network, with a stable of different offers, particularly mobile offers.
MediaTrust (formerly Advaliant) – Another very decent network to work with.
Some places like Clickbank or Pepperjam don’t really do much screening. Other affiliate networks (specifically, CPA networks) spend more time and energy screening affiliates, ensuring that they allow affiliates who run quality traffic. You may wonder “why would they worry about the quality of an affiliate?” The reason is because you, as an affiliate, can be an asset or a liability to that company.
Let’s say you’re an affiliate from, oh, say Nigeria. And let’s say you don’t really care about developing a long-term relationship with an affiliate network – let’s say you actually just want to make a bunch of money as fast as possible. So you sign with an affiliate network that doesn’t do good due diligence, and lets you into their system. You now have access to dozens of advertisers offers; advertisers which have calculated their profitability and have chosen to pay out for a specific action that they think will result in a certain amount of profit for them.
You might be inclined to go get a list of names and credit card numbers, and use your Lead-Stuffer 1000™ software to push orders or leads through a merchants website. Let’s say that the merchant sees thousands of orders per day coming from you. Let’s say that the merchant doesn’t have a fraud-protection suite enabled on their merchant account, which results in the fraudulent orders getting through.
You, as the affiliate, get paid from the network. The merchant has, unknowingly, just charged several thousand people for orders they didn’t place. A month later, the merchant account blows up, the advertiser goes bankrupt, and who do they blame? The affiliate network. That’s why a network does due-diligence before letting affiliates in the door.
As an affiliate, you will most likely be working with some form of paid advertising. Why paid advertising? Because it’s fast, it’s scalable, and most offers have a lifespan. Depending on the vertical, it could be a long or short lifespan. Some offers last for years – some last for days. Part of the benefit of being an affiliate means that you get to focus on just one thing – driving sales and conversions. Part of the downside is that you don’t have full control over an offer. So you have to be flexible, willing to adapt.
If you are going to use paid advertising, you must track it. Why? Because if you don’t, it’s going to be nearly impossible to make money. The way paid advertising works is that you start a campaign that will probably not be profitable. You then work with it – massage it – optimize it – sing to it – and eventually, you make it profitable. You eliminate unprofitable keywords, placements, or targets, and add in profitable keywords, placements, or targets. You test. You modify. And you do this based on the statistics that you generate in your campaign.
How To Set Up Tracking
If you’re brand-spankin’ new to affiliate marketing, please just use the hosted version of Tracking202. It’s free. It’s good enough. Just start there.
If want something more sophisticated, you can use Prosper202 or CPVLab. One thing to keep in mind is that these self-hosted systems require that you install some software on a domain, and you run it off your server. If you’ve been in the game for a while, do it. But please, if you’re just starting out, just use Tracking202. It basically requires you to do nothing. Yes, it doesn’t give you full control, but it also doesn’t obligate you to full responsibility in setting up and properly configuring the software. In most states, there is a reason they have drivers-ed. Use the same mindset here, and it will serve you well.
So, you got into some affiliate networks, you’ve got your site, you’ve spent some time going through the case studies at Aff Playbook…now what? Now, it’s time to pick some offers and start testing.
The first thing to realize is that you don’t know anything. Your opinion doesn’t matter. My opinion doesn’t matter. Glenn Beck’s opinion doesn’t matter. The only opinion that matters is the markets opinion, and you don’t know what your market wants without asking. The way you ask is by testing. You have to test an offer, get some data and stats, and make a call.
Generally speaking, you want to select an offer that pays out between $3 and $25, or if it’s a sale, you want to select an offer that pays out 30% – 75%. Again, this is speaking in very general terms, and there are lots of people that have made money on sub-$3 payouts, and plenty that have made money on high-ticket payouts. Keep that in mind.
Personally, I like offers that take a piece of a big pie, and focus on a slice of that big pie. General, “everything to everyone” offers haven’t done that well for me.
An example of this concept: you take a big market (business opportunity) and focus on one slice of that market (network marketing). Or take a big market (diet and weight loss) and focus on a slice of that market (moms wanting to lose post-baby weight). Or take a big market (Saas email marketing) and focus on a slice of that market (small, non-technical business owners that need an inexpensive solution).
These are all examples to get you thinking in the right direction. You pick your niche, you pick your market. Pick one that has a nice backend (something large enough with a good payoff) but is specific enough that will allow you to serve a specific portion of that market.
Assume nothing. Test. Everything.
Some offers you can just run, some require that you get “approval” to run from the affiliate network. Either way, once you’re up and going, it’s time to do some testing.
Lander? No Lander?
Different offers have different user pathways. A user pathway is just the path that the end user travels through the offer channel. An example path might be:
Banner Advertisement >>> Landing Page >>> Offer
In this case, the end user sees a banner advertisement from an affiliate for, say, a dating offer. They then click on the banner ad, and go on to a landing page that that the affiliate created that gives some example profiles of a dating website. The landing page sells the benefits of joining the dating website, and inspires the end user to click on thru to the offer. Once the end user completes the offer, it triggers a commission to go to the affiliate.
Here is another example pathway:
Text Ad >>> Landing Page (optin) >>> Offer
In this pathway, the end user responds to a text ad – they click the ad, and are then taken to a landing page that inspires the end user to submit some personal information (usually either name, email, or phone, or all of those details). After opting in, the end user is then presented with an offer. This pathway allows the affiliate to build a list of prospects (which is a tremendous asset to the affiliate) and also allows the affiliate to earn income with the offer.
Yet another example pathway:
Banner Ad >>> Offer
This pathway is known as direct-linking, in which the affiliate links the offer directly to their advertisement. The offer is the landing page. This pathway works more often than you might think it would.
Pathway models can differ according to traffic channel, market, or offer payout. Again, testing is key.
Landing Page Design
Getting a landing page done is easy. Your options are:
1. Do it yourself
This isn’t as hard as you might think. Again, Weebly or WordPress, it can be done quickly after you’ve had some practice. Spend some time researching your offer, where the traffic comes from, and the competition. Look at competitors landing pages. Don’t copy – be unique – but you can gain inspiration from seeing what is already out there.
2. Hire Someone Else to Do It
This really isn’t that expensive. We have been known to put a few landers together for people – hit us up at support at hbsaonline dot com if you’d like some help. Or you can find someone on Elance to help you out.
Testing And Optimizing
All your metrics that you evaluate will be different, depending on how you are running traffic, and your pathway. The main thing you want to pay attention to is statistical relevancy. In just about any paid-traffic campaign, you will have outliers that throw off our stats if they are taken into account. These outliers work against you in two ways:
- They throw a disproportionate amount of non-converting traffic into your pathway
- They take away a disproportionate amount of ad money from converting traffic
If you have a couple of bad placements/keywords/targets in your campaign, it can throw everything off. Eliminate those outliers, and give your traffic a fair chance to convert.
A very general rule of thumb is to test 3x the offer payout, or $25, whichever is greater. Again, this is a very guideline, designed to help you from riding a losing offer for too long. This is kinda like stock trading, or hold’em…“you gotta know, when to fold ‘em“.
Scaling It Up
Ok, now we’re talking. You’ve got some traffic, you’ve got some conversions, and now you want to know how to take it to the next level.
There are several ways to do this.
You can hire some staff to start doing the grunt work for you. A business isn’t a business if it’s JUST YOU. That’s a job. One of the most valuable things you will do in your business is align yourself with people who are smarter than you, or who compliment your weaknesses with their strengths.
Keep in mind that most people that respond to an ad for hire don’t deserve to work for you. That’s just the reality of the situation. It all depends on what kind of business you want to build, but I’ve personally seen that it’s worth it to hold out for excellent people. They’re out there, but it takes some time and effort to find ‘em. You also want to vet people up front – give them small tasks, see how they perform. A resume or CV means nothing. What matters is – how are they going to perform for you?
For those are are fantastic, and who earn your trust, you want to be overly-generous, in both compensation and recognition, and autonomy. For those who are just “so-so”, you want to compensate, both in compensation, recognition, and autonomy, in a very average way. This allows you to retain the winners, and let drifters drift on down the road.
Just remember – you don’t owe anyone a job. You are a representative of your business, and how you allocate your capital, and what you invest your time in doing with that business, will determine if you stay competitive and dominate, or if you dry up and go by the wayside.
2. More Traffic
There are enough traffic sources out there to keep you busy testing for the rest of your life. Any single traffic source can produce enough business to keep you moving for a long time. Once you have success on one traffic source, begin testing others, and learning them. Each traffic source is a discipline all its own, so just keep in mind that each time you take on a new channel, you should have a students expectations, just learning the ropes.
Click here for a big fat list of traffic sources.
3. Developing Longer-Lasting Pathways
Some paths are more profitable, long-term, than others. Direct-linking can work to make money right now, but if that offer ever goes away or if the traffic channel has issues, then you don’t make any more money. It’s a paycheck-to-paycheck model.
A longer-lasting model is to build your own assets – like a database. Building a database can be one of the highest-ROI activities in your business. It’s a potential long-term asset that can pay you again, and again, and again. I say “potential”, because a database is only as valuable as the relationship you foster with it. You provide no value, you will have a poor ROI. You provide much value, you will have high ROI.
How To Spend All Your Money
You can decide for yourself what to do with all the additional cash you will be earning, but I will give you a few hints from my own experience:
Pay It forward
I personally think that one of the purposes of money is to enrich the lives of others. I like to bless people with the money I earn. I don’t have a standard monthly donation that I give to any one organization, but I always look for good opportunities to help and bless others. I have a soft-spot in my heart for kiddo’s, so I like to give in ways that bless children. Some of this prolly has to do with the fact that when I was a kid, there was some Christmas’s in which we didn’t really have money for presents, and were it not for the generosity of others, there really would not have been a Christmas for my family. That made a big impact on me, and I’m now paying it forward.
Don’t blow your dough on stupid stuff. Yes, fancy cars, boats, houses, and other doodads are entertaining. I’ve done my share of buying those things, and there’s nothing wrong with them. But the funny thing is that there never as fulfilling as you might imagine them to be.
One of the keys to happiness is progress. It’s the name of the game. If you don’t perceive progress happening in your life, then you’ll be frustrated, restless, dissatisfied. Working towards a goal is what keeps us engaged, keeps us interested. Reinvest your funds back into your business and other endeavors, and stay hungry.
Put back 10% of everything you make. This is right out of The Richest Man In Babylon, and it’s wise. Right now, you’re working for money. Make money start working for you. Holding that capital back, and investing it in low-risk vehicles is a deposit into your future. Once saved, don’t touch it. This is wealth preservation, not wealth generation.
Make It Happen
I know this is a long post and guide, but don’t get paralysis by analysis. Take action now, start moving forward in getting the systems up and start building your business!Top
April 25, 2012
How To Start Blogging: A Guide For Beginners And Newbies
So, you want to start a blog? Good for you! There are many great reasons to blog, and we’ll go over them in just a few minutes. Blogging can be a profitable, rewarding, and fun way to communicate with your market, develop positioning, and generate income for yourself. This guide will show you how to get started and make it happen.
Laying The Foundation Of Your Blog
The first step is to ensure you have the right mindset and expectation for your blog. Your goal should be to LEARN how to blog and communicate with your market. If you are starting up a blog with the expectation of earning tons of money the first month, you’ll probably be disappointed.
You are building and investing into an asset – something that will pay you dividends for years to come. Taking a long-term perspective with your blog will help ensure you reach your goals.
There are several good reasons to blog:
- Increased positioning
- Achieving “expert” status in a niche
- Generate leads
- Develop alliances with other like-minded people
- Get to know and understand your market better
- Make money
There are other reasons, but blogging is a good thing. Doing it will enhance your business, and increase your positioning in the marketplace as someone of value.
Dude, Where’s My Niche?
A niche is just another word for “market” – what you are focusing on, and who you are focusing on. There are all sorts of blogs – from news blogs, entertainment blogs, auto-enthusiast blogs, pet blogs, blogs for dads, blogs for fans of certain video games, and all sorts of other subjects in between.
You should start by picking your niche – who you will help and serve. A great place to start is in thinking about yourself – who you are, and what you are interested in.
It goes without saying that you should blog about something you are interested in. If you are interested in your niche, then you’re not going to enjoy writing about it. You are looking to attract other “you’s” to your blog, so you can start by defining who you are – what you do – places you go – interests and hobbies you have – and that will give you a good caricature of the audience you are writing to.
Other guidelines and questions to ask in picking a niche:
- Are there other blogs out there on the same topic? If so – what are they NOT talking about? Where is the gap in the market? That’s your opportunity
- Is it a growing trend? Is it an interesting topic?
- Are there people in your niche that are already making money?
- How can you differentiate yourself, and stand out?
Don’t get paralysis by analysis here. You want to make a good decision, not a perfect decision. There is no “perfect” niche. You’re not selecting a mate for life, you choosing a niche that you want to serve with your content. Make a list of options, whittle it down, and make a call. Give yourself a due date, say, 3 weeks from today, at which time you will make the final decision on selecting a niche. Too many people let fear of making a “bad” decision keep them from making any decision. They mentally entertain themselves for years, fantasizing about the big day when they’ll pull the trigger and get that blog going.
Don’t do that. Speed is key in attaining momentum – spend enough time to make an educated decision, then make it, and get to work.
Niche Destrominated…Now Where’s My Blog?
Next up, you need to get a blog set up. There are many different places and ways to do this, but we recommend:
- Your own domain
- Your own hosting account
The reason for this is that it puts YOU in control of your blog and your future. Remember, you are building an asset, so you want to be able to control that asset in the days and weeks to come.
WordPress is one of the easiest yet flexible content management systems (CMS) available. It’s what we run all of our blogs on, and we’ve had very good luck with it.
We actually have an offer available where our web team will build you a wordpress blog for free if you sign up for a new hosting account. You can click here to check out that deal, but it basically means you can get your own blog, your own professional instal, a professional theme, and the top 10 most popular plugins for free!
I’ve Got My Blog…Now What?
The question most people ask after getting their blog is “what the heck do I write about?”
There are several things you can write about, and should write about. Here are some guidelines for your blog posts and content:
Be Helpful And Unique
“Good” content usually helpful (meaning, the reader gets a benefit from reading it) and is unique (meaning, the reader didn’t just read the exact same information elsewhere). Good content is a subjective opinion, just like a “good” song or a “good” movie. It’s in the eyes of the beholder. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone, as good content will usually inspire a degree of debate, and differing opinions. You do want some people giving you positive feedback though – that tells you that you’re on the right track
So what is “helpful” content?
- Inspiring – it motivates your readership to pursue a goal, dream, or ideal
- Informative – it shows your readers how to do something, or explains a question they have
- Newsworthy – something that is new, time-sensitive, or is important in your niche
- Endearing – some blogs focus on supporting a common view, idea, or attitude
- Divisive – some blogs focus on arguing, debating, and hashing out a controversial topic
The big idea is to know who you are writing to. That’s the most critical aspect of blogging – knowing what your niche and market is looking for, and then simply giving it to them. Sometimes I see entrepreneurs who are very uncreative in one area, and far TOO creative in another area. Don’t try to outwit your market – just listen. Let them tell you what they want, and then give it to them.
A great place to gather this kind of information is on competing blogs. Read the comments, study the feedback, listen to what that market is telling you. If you don’t know any prominent blogs in your niche, just Google “name of niche” and “blog” (e.g., if you were in the travel industry, you Google “travel blog”, etc).
How Long Should Blog Posts Be?
Long enough to be interesting, without boring the reader. Typically, this is going to be 400 – 1000 words. Much longer than that, and you should break it into a couple of different posts. Much shorter than that, and you need to make sure you are being helpful (meaning, you are giving the reader something to use and benefit from).
These are general parameters, not golden rules. I’ve published blog posts that are five sentences long, and I’ve also published 2000 word posts before. Don’t sweat it, just stick to hitting something in that target to begin with.
Some bloggers have trouble staying on topic. They start writing about a subject, but five tangents later they’re talking about that one time at a cocktail party and that one person said that one thing that was so irritating because they just always blah blah blah blah.
Stay on track. If you find yourself writing about something vastly different than the title of your blog post, go back and re-write it.
Most people aren’t going to read everything you write.
People scan. It’s what we do. We’re busy, lazy, distracted, and bored. Most people aren’t going to commit to your copy at first. They’ll scan it over, see how long it is, decide if it’s worth reading now or if they’ll put it off until later (never). Even if you’re writing is superb, people will scan your copy to see if it’s helpful, interesting.
You can fight this little factoid of life, or you can accommodate your market by making your copy scannable.
You want to break up your copy with white space ever 2-4 sentences, and use the appropriate sub-headlines throughout the copy to break it up and make it easy to scan.
What does that look like? If you scroll through this article, you’ll see that it’s easily scannable – one can tell from the sub-headlines exactly what the content is about, and the paragraphs are broken up with plenty of line breaks and white space.
Use Bullet-Point Lists
This makes your copy scannable, and it’s direct. Bullets are great: use them.
How Often Should You Post?
As often as possible.
There is no such thing as too much posting. The more frequently you update your blog, the better. It goes without saying that you need something useful to write about (don’t publish just for the sake of publishing) but you want to update 2-5 times per week, minimum.
And for those who follow the HBSA Blog, you know that we don’t post that frequently. Yes, you’re right. We’re busier than a one-armed coat hanger, so we don’t get to publish as many articles as we like. It’s a quality problem to have
Deleverage The Power Of SEO
Many people have heard of getting free traffic from SEO (search engine optimization). People who try to do SEO for a living are called SEO’s (search engine optimizers). Currently, most SEO’s hate their lives. Google updates its algorithm all the time, which means that a site can be getting pounded with traffic one day, and then be a ghost town the next day. It creates a whack-a-mole business in which you (the mole) get whacked, then try to make a come-back, and then get whacked again.
Just buy your traffic, or use social networks, or build a list, or do article marketing, or rent a billboard, or hand out business cards, or scribble your domain name on the windshields of cars in wal-mart parking lots. I’d pay for a dude to stand on a street corner with a sandwich board with my domain on it before I worried about SEO.
Never the less, you should use proper SEO when formatting your titles and tags on the site, but don’t worry about screwing anything up, because chances are you won’t, and even if you do, it’s not a big deal.
Building a readership and following is much more valuable. For example, check out the Healthy Home Economist.
- Interesting titles of posts, that have SOME keyword optimization
- Controversial, helpful, engaging content
- Easily scannable copy
- Bullet points!
For SEO, just make sure you have a relevant keyword(s) in your title, and in the meta keywords and description of your post. If you are using WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin and it will do it for you (if you pick up your blog from our web team, they’ll install it on your site for you).
Other interesting examples include:
- Direct Response – fantastic blog on all things DR
- Videogum – entertainment
- Angry White Dude – he’s angry, mostly at Ben Bernanke.
- Smitten Kitchen – for domestic engineers.
Making The Monies With A Blog
Most blogs are unprofitable. The blogger doesn’t have a clearly-defined monetization strategy, or they don’t have a realistic one that is executable and specific. Nope, the average blogger will hit it hard for about two weeks, and then begin missing posts. Before they know it, it’s been three months and they haven’t updated their blog at all. It gets to the point that it becomes an embarrassment to update, as updating would call attention to the fact that it’s been SO LONG since the last update.
We know about this, because we’ve done it. We’ve got a nice collection of blogs that we’ve buried in our blog graveyard.
There are three basic strategies to make money with your blog:
- Directly, with advertising. You sell ad space on your site for a fee. You attract viewers with your content, and people looking to advertise to your viewers pay for that ad space on your blog.
- Indirectly, by doing lead generation (generating leads who want to pay you for a service, consulting, etc), recommending products (affiliate marketing and such), or providing reviews for other advertisers on the quality of their products and services (blog networks).
- Deferred, as in, get huge fast, then sell it to a bloated media conglomerate, ala Huffington Post.
Of course, there are creative combinations of these strategies, but just about every monetization strategy available will fall into one of these three categories.
We’d suggest going with a blog network, despite the fact that we’ve usually only made monies with blogs indirectly (leadgen most of the time) and affiliate marketing. You can do a Google search for “niche blog network” and see if there are any that are dedicated solely to your type of niche (e.g., “nutrition blog network”, “business blog network”, etc).
“This All Sounds Good, But What About…”
You probably still have some questions, and that’s to be expected. With blogging, as with most things, you learn as you go. The key is to jump in, start moving, and get some momentum. If course, if you need help, you can always drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help.
So first things first: go get your blog set up here, and let’s make it happen!Top
Warm marketing, cold marketing, direct-response marketing, “attraction” marketing, peer-to-peer leveraged marketing, consultative marketing…
Which one works for growing a business?
Answer: all of them…and none of them.
Let me explain.
To get the right answers – answers that are beneficial, constructive, and lead to better results – you must first get the right questions.
And “what marketing strategy works to grow my business?” is the wrong question.
Because there is only one thing that will grow your business – and that’s you. YOU are the catalyst for growing a business.
With marketing strategies and tactics, they all have their place – the key is, applying the right strategy, with the right tactics, at the right time.
One thing that I’ve seen in this industry is the inclination towards the “quick fix”. I think it’s a part of human nature, as I find myself gravitating towards that mentality when looking at my own businesses, and reviewing ways to improve results.
Whenever I find myself thinking in “quick fix” mode, I immediately stop. Because quick fixes usually aren’t quick long-term, as they lead to scenarios in which I must re-address the problem.
Which means it’s not really a “fix” at all – it’s just a way to delay or postpone a decision.
Our philosophy is that we want EVERY advantage possible in growing a business. I want to use everything I possibly can to put the odds of favour in my corner. I and the other staffers at HBSA invest thousands of hours collectively studying, testing, applying, reviewing, and sorting ways to develop, build, and grow businesses.
Here’s what we have found:
Warm-market is nearly always the fastest way to get a business started. This would be people that are close to you that you have a pre-existing relationship with. In small business, this is where you’ll typically start.
In network marketing, this is where you’ll get three or four customers, and one or two reps signing up.
I’ve seen people develop great businesses leveraging nothing but their warm-market. But for most people, once they run out of people to speak with in promoting their product/service/opportunity, it’s time to move on to greener pastures. That’ is where direct-response marketing comes in.
Direct-response (or “target marketing”, DRM for short) is where you focus your marketing efforts towards a group of people that have indicated, at one time or another, that they have the propensity to purchase your type of product/service/opportunity. We show that person a targeted message, and they choose to either move forward, or not.
It’s more of a self-selecting style of marketing, as the prospective client chooses and has control over the sales process.
Both styles of marketing “work” as there are examples in which each camp used ONLY one strategy to build their business.
Again, when we’re growing businesses, we want EVERY advantage in making it a success. So, we encourage both.
- Warm-market to start.
- DRM when the warm-market is tapped.
With warm-marketers, the danger is in being too pesky – not taking “no” for an answer, or being perceived as using a personal and trusted relationship for financial gain. It can be more high-risk if you alienate those you have a relationship with. You must market respectfully to your warm-market, as you don’t want to torch your relationships just to make a buck.
So even with warm-marketing, we still advocate the use of some direct-response, in that we ask the prospective client an interest question before proceeding. We want to ensure the relationship is based off THEIR needs…not our own.
By doing this, warm-marketing can be done in such away that it comes across as respectful, engaging, and fun.
Some people are uncomfortable leveraging warm-market at all. In which case, there’s a whole wide world out there that has shown interest of some sort in the benefits that you are promoting, and you would simply use DRM to find them, and help them.
Some people are uncomfortable with DRM, as they can’t imagine speaking to a “complete stranger”. They don’t like the structured nature of DRM, in that it’s all based on delivering a targeted message to a targeted market, and depends on feedback in the form statistics to make improvements in the campaign.
Both of them work – in that, they can generate a great result if done properly.
And neither of them work, if done incorrectly.
What I love about DRM is that a person can make mistake after mistake – and STILL be successful.
Once you’ve blown it with a warm market prospect, there’s no going back – it’s prolly done.
With DRM, there are so many people available that you can test different messages, optimizes the best message, and build out the sales funnel and sequence step-by-step.
We use DRM with every business we promote now. It gives us the ability to focus on two simple things:
1. Generating leads – prospective customers and clients
2. Generating sales – building a relationship with those leads based off their need, and our ability to solve their problem.
Which One Should You Do?
Again, to get good answers, we must ask good questions.
The above question is akin to asking “which flavor ice cream should I eat?”
The answer is – the one you want to eat.
There’s no right or wrong answer – just options, preferences, and skill-sets that go with whatever choice you make.
Having seen and worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the years, my personal recommendation would be:
- Warm market first
- Immediately begin learning DRM
- Implement DRM as soon as possible
What About Internet Marketing?
This is a question that shows up with concerning regularity in our inbox. The question usually sounds like this:
“I’d prefer to never speak with a prospect until AFTER they signed up in my downline. Is there a way I can do that?”
The answer to this question is “why?” Why do you not want to speak with people until AFTER they are in your downline?
In network marketing, you are paid to promote a business opportunity and a product/service. What that question implies is that the promoter would like someone else to do the promoting, and only work with people after the promoting is done and the client is already signed up.
Look: customer service is important, but in network marketing, you are paid to MARKET. That’s the whole deal. The company takes care of everything else – you are paid commissions for promoting, for marketing their stuff. If all you want to do is speak with people after the marketing is done, then you need to seriously consider the business model you are in.
There are business models that allow for “never speaking to people”, but network marketing isn’t one of them. NWM is people-centric…and intensely so. It’s about building relationships, helping people, speaking with people, training people, motivating people, and working with people in a personal way. It’s personal, and that’s just the nature of the business.
I have shared wonderful triumphs with people in this industry, and had the good fortune to participate in their success and joy. I have also shared tragedy and sorrow with people in this industry. I’ve cried like five times in my entire life, and two of them were with people that I was working with.
I say this to give you a realistic view of the emotional investment you have to make in people in order to get them to believe in themselves, move forward, and achieve. Leadership sounds sexy and noble when we read about it in books and watch movies that have inspiring speeches, but the reality is far less remarkable – it’s just investing people, meeting them where they’re at, and helping them to where they want to be. That’s it.
So if you don’t want to speak with people until after they have paid you, then consider a business model like affiliate marketing or ecommerce. It requires far less emotional investment than network marketing. Our philosophy is that we use the Internet – frequently – but we never get confused with the main thing, and the main thing is building relationships, and nothing does that better or faster than speaking with someone. We use the Internet to generate leads, and we do generate online sales, but our conversion rates are much higher when we incorporate the phone into what we do. And we incorporate it in with everything, even our affiliate and ecommerce campaigns.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Many times, I’ve seen people come up with ideas that are “outside the box” just so that they can create a scenario in which they don’t have to do the hard work that’s in the box.
I’m all for creativity, and if you’ve got a crazy idea, test it, and see if it looks viable. But don’t take your eye off the ball. Do what you know works right NOW to grow your business, and add to that knowledge and build as you go.
An attitude that is common is to want everything “just so” before you really start investing into your marketing efforts. If I had done that, I’d still be hanging seamless gutters for my brother in law, or parking cars for a hotel as a valet.
You know when a good time to get to work is? When you want to be successful. That’s the best time, actually. I was SO HUNGRY for success when I started that I obsessed about it. Day and night, it’s all I thought about. I took massive, focused action, and did what I could each day to get results.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing, but I didn’t care. I knew that if I wanted to learn, I’d have to make mistakes. The faster I made mistakes, the faster I learned. The faster I learned, the faster I could start seeing positive results. The fast I saw positive results, the faster I wanted to make mistakes. This is how winning is done – lots of mistakes, learning what works, and moving as fast as possible to make it happen.
You Grow Your Business
There is also a prevalent idea among entrepreneurs that they can outsource their business – just do the stuff they like to do. I’m a fan of outsourcing, but I only outsource things that I have a basic understanding of (so that I know what I’m outsourcing) and have other, more valuable things to do. And even then, I’ll consider it before I outsource.
I use outsourcing as a tool to get more done – not as a tool to avoid what I don’t want to do. In that way, I make outsourcing serve my business, instead of having my business serve outsourcing.
If you’re in a business right now, you’ve aspired to something greater than the “9-5″ mentality. You’ve taken a step beyond it, and it’s a great step. But you’ve got a lot of growing to do (we ALL do), and there is no way to avoid that growth curve.
Even with a great marketing strategy, lots of sage advice, and a wonderful business opportunity, you will be TESTED, time and again, all the way up to the top. Why? I don’t know. I think it’s because when we want something really bad, we have to be tested to see just how bad we want it.
Everyone that I know that’s succeeded in anything has been tested for it – tested to see if they’re a man or a worm. Tested to see if they’ll walk, or if they’ll take the hits and keep moving forward. And the greater the aspiration, the more lofty the goal, the harder the hits. That’s just how it works.
So Where Are You At?
What’s the next step for you to massively grow our business? What can you do TODAY to get you closer to your goals? What have you been avoiding that is holding you back from your success? What can you do right now to overcome that fear, show it who’s boss, and get yourself closer the person you need to be to earn the right to own and live the dream you’ve developed?
Remember – nothing grows YOUR business but YOU. Tactics work, and when you implement them, they work for you.
Strategies work, and when you implement them, they work for you .
Philosophies work, and when you cultivate and subscribe to one that is congruent with your values, it changes your life, and serves you well.
This can be a scary thought at first, because it looks like a lot of heavy responsibility.
Hopefully, it’s also a very liberating thought (I know it was for me) simply because it puts power in your hands.
You can’t control many of the variables surrounding your business.
But you can control you.
You can control what you do, what you think, how you act, what you focus on, and what the events in your life mean.
YOU is the only thing you can really control in this world.
And if the thing that is going to grow your business is you, then you can, indirectly, control the success of your business.
As you proceed along this journey, don’t ever let anyone take that power away. It can be seductive to put the responsibility of your business on others, as it presents a scapegoat – a way to shift responsibility so that if you get a less-than-desirable result, you can say it’s not your fault.
While seductive, it’s also incorrect, and will lead you down a path that is doomed to failure.
Our encouragement: don’t go there. If your business isn’t where you want it to be, then let’s work together to improve YOU.
There is an answer, but to get it, we have to ask the right questions.
And the question you should start every day is: “what am I going to do TODAY to massively grow my business?“
You give a good answer to that question every day, and you might find yourself with a remarkable result faster than you ever thought possible.Top