What Is Network Marketing and Why Do It?

What is network marketing anyway?

To keep things simple, network marketing is nothing more than selling goods and services directly to your friends, family and people you come in contact with that becomes apart of your personal network. It is built on the foundation of direct selling which is really just selling stuff face to face. Many older network marketing companies have become publicly traded companies and some big companies are adapting the idea of direct sales within the corporate strategy.

How does it work?

Network marketing works like this. You find a company that has products and services they want to introduce to the marketplace. They want to save money on advertising so they find people who might want to sell for them and they reward them by allowing them to get the product at a wholesale price so they can make a profit on the front end.

The company also rewards “sales reps” or distributors by introducing the product to another business owner who might want to distribute the product. Instead of just saying thank you for the referral and paying you once, they continue to pay you based on the sales volume of the other person. This is how you build a residual income.

So why should I do it?

I can tell you right now, it is not for everyone. There has been so much bad information out there about the industry that most people shy away from it or thing it is some type of scheme. I say try network marketing if you are truly looking for a way to build a business you believe in. It can be health, services, etc. whatever it is, make sure you love it.

Starting a network marketing company usually cost less than $600.00 it depends on the products or services. If you do decide to get involved, you will definitely learn the art of selling and team building. By the way, my name is Gloria Ward and I am a Direct Sales and marketing trainer. Check out my author’s box for a free gift.

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Rise of Social Media Marketing

Marketing on the internet has been here for a long time; however marketing on the social networking sites such as twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. is relatively a new addition to marketing plans of organizations. This type of marketing is popularly known as Social Media Marketing.

Internet has slowly become a necessity for us. A large portion is part of one social networking site or another to keep up with the daily life of people close to them and share their own. The organizations have now explored this space and have advertised their products on a personal level. When a consumer likes a product, they share it with their friends, it gets good response as it is coming from someone they know and can trust thus increasing the brand awareness. In some cases, it has been found to help improving customer service as it provides instant and direct dialogue between company and consumer on grievances and scope of improvement.

How it works? The organizations join the social websites; they create their page or profile and allow the users to directly contact them. This gives customers the feeling of getting personal attention thus helping in relation building. They post news, videos, information on their products which gets viewed and shared by a large number of people. All this happens in time as customers get informed instantly.

It’s not only the big organizations that profit, also small or local businesses profit from it. With not much capital, this type of marketing is financially friendly for them. They mainly depend on their regular customers to spread the news. Some of them give special offers to those who do so. The word spreads, the old customers get offers, the new ones have another option for a produce or service and the business has new customers, a win-win situation for all.

SMS alerts on mobiles have benefitted the advertisers. With social networking sites providing alerts for free at time has allowed the companies to contact and update the users about any new product or its uses or benefits of it and all such information that boosts their market value. Advertisements too become a part of it, mainly on twitter.

Not only the companies benefit, this medium was used in the 2008 Presidential Election as well. President Barack Obama updated constantly on Facebook and Twitter along with interacting with the people, discussing topics and making announcements as a part of their campaign. The pages are still in place and working.

The internet has already taken over television as the largest advertising medium. Television ads have already started to ask viewers to visit their website or Facebook page for more information. The print ads have started to include bar codes and QR codes which direct them to their websites. Hence, one can say Social Media Marketing will only expand in the coming years. Direct consumer interaction and low costs along with other aforementioned qualities one can assume that in coming years it might very well become the leading medium for marketing.

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5 Reasons Why Small Business Email Marketing Is So “Fitting” For Your Business

Are you a small business owner wanting to increase sales and expand your customer base? Then read on…

Email has to be the most suitable approach I can think of for almost all businesses today. Not only is email unbelievably cheap, but it absolutely models the way most small businesses do their marketing in the first place.

As a consultant, I often see that it is the one marketing strategy that has the shortest learning curve and any business can adopt it successfully with minimal effort and great results. Here are 5 top reasons why you should consider small business email marketing today:

Most small businesses use direct mail marketing. This includes conventional marketing material, like brochures, flyers etc. This means that you are already accustomed to producing these materials and have a budget established to run a mail campaign. To shift from print to email is not only simple but will also save print and mailing costs and not to mention a few trees along the way.

Email is cheap. Email Marketing is incredibly cost-effective. Direct Marketing Association’s latest research points out that the ROI for email marketing is $57.25 for every dollar spent. This should be convincing enough. Even with a direct mail campaign, small business email marketing can easily fit into your budget and will be paying for itself in no time.

Email saves time and resources. Any business can easily setup a small business email marketing campaign, literally in an afternoon. No new staff needs to be hired nor is the task a major responsibility to current staff. Once a system is in place, it is very easy to send email without ever having to install any software or call up the designer. Even if you setup a minimal small business email marketing campaign, a few email blasts a year can prove to be very successful.

Email is trackable. Once I show my clients the information their first email campaign has generated – they are sold and you will be too! You can see how many prospects have opened their email, clicked on a link within the email, and if they have actually converted into doing what the email proposed – like buying something. With direct mail marketing, on the other hand, you don’t know who’s reading your flyer and who’s chucking it in the bin.

Email and the trust factor. Most small businesses succeed as they often provide personalized and better customer service than their larger competitors. Their correspondence is often seen as more authentic. Therefore, people are more willing to give their email address to a small business they have grown to know and trust rather than a big corporation.

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Social Media Marketing – The Vein to Networking and Generating Traffic

In the Network Marketing World “content is key”. If that content is just laying under a rock though, it will never get noticed and that means NO traffic for you. The goal is to drive targeted prospects to your central hub, your blog; which should then link to your sales funnel, by connecting with others through your preferred social media marketing.

It takes a little time to establish an online presence, and have people notice your blog. Set a realistic goal for yourself that keeps you creating content (a blog post, article, video etc…) CONSISTENTLY!

Consistency is extremely important to start driving traffic to your blog. Social media marketing is the next stepping stone to start building relationships and driving those people to your blog. Value is also very important. You content needs to be VALUABLE and interesting. Not always serious, but fun and educational!

Not a lot of people have a marketing budget set a side, and that is where social media marketing becomes your lifeline. Blogging and social media is completely FREE traffic and essential to your marketing business. But it takes consistency and continually publishing valuable content. You don’t have to be a complete guru, but put a little time and effort to think about your audience!

Facebook is first & freaking fabulous! You should already have a profile page and a Fan Page. If not, your FB Fan page should be the central focus to your social media marketing campaign. The key is to keep pushing out valuable content not directly related to your primary business or product. You want to have fun, let your personality show and be real; just be you! This will keep your fans interested and genuinely connected as they relate to real people.

BE CONSISTENT! As long as you are updating your status a couple times a day is great! Another good visual is to use a custom HTML tab to promote a special offer or free training (video, e book, boot-camp) if you have one to offer. This might be something that will catch new visitors when they reach your Fan Page.

If you are focusing on Facebook and have your Fan Page with a good following- you might want to think about creating your own group(s). Starting with one using your name as the title and have a fun picture of you. That way people will begin to see you more… recognize you, trust you, and feel more connected. It’s important to network, acknowledge people, and engage in conversation. Make sure you respond to every post and questions directed to you. Being involved in groups and posting excerpts from your blog will also allow you to drive more traffic to it. You definitely want to set yourself apart from others as much as possible and always create VALUE. If people do not feel you are contributing information they need or want, what’s the point of them staying connecting or even acknowledging you?

If you do have a marketing budget and are ready for the next step, Facebook Ads and Pay-Per-Click is a good place to start (it’s cheaper than Google). There are a number of targeting options, so make sure that your criteria is appropriate, and you invest some time to learn the best strategies. You want to think like your audience, so you can create the most effective campaigns.

FACT: More than 500 million active users and more than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries.
LinkedIn is a big opportunity for small and large businesses to reach out to other white collar professionals to connect. This is the sophisticated crowd of Facebook. Executives and CEO’s of all the top companies migrate here. You must have the appropriate interaction and proper etiquette when participating in groups and discussions with LinkedIn. Post articles with ONLY good quality content. You can’t just post content and leave; you will most likely be called out. It’s important to be actively involved and structure your articles. You must not portray any type of salesmanship what so ever! LinkedIn is one of the BEST ways to generate solid, quality leads, but you need to have a strong understanding of the type of people using the site.

FACT: LinkedIn has over 65 million members in over 200 countries.
Twitter is the approximately the 10th most visited website in the world, so take advantage of it. Twitter will link up to all social networking sites, and has a variety of applications that anyone can customize to fit their unique marketing styles. Majority of people are on twitter promoting their business and trying to sale something. On any social media site, it’s important to stand out, especially on Twitter. Set up your profile that can relate to people, give background about yourself, and a link to your blog. Being attractive and offering value is always key. Spend a little time sharing motivation quotes and upload fun pictures using twitpic.com. This will help you to stand out and be more attractive. When you send direct messages or responses don’t initially send them to your sales or landing page. It’s a turn off.

Instead give them another way for them to connect with you further. So, send them the link to your Facebook URL. It’s safe and allows them to process the thought of you being a real person. The number one way to get anyone’s attention is to give them a mention (a post @twittername). If you are doing this and mentioning quite a few people, but not generating many responses back. It’s most likely because they don’t like something they see on your profile. Using Socialoomph.com is a good tool to use to automate those following you, your direct messages, and notifications of your mentions.. You do not want to automate your tweets though. People will notice and see you more as a robot than an actual person they can relate to. It continues to grow stronger each day as newbies continue to gain access. Twitter plan of attack: read, comment, and re-tweet at least 5-10 MLM or Marketing blogs with high traffic per day. Search out and follow 20 MLM leaders on Twitter per day. (using Twellow.com & search.twitter.com)

FACT: 25% of traffic comes from inside Twitter.com & 75% of traffic comes from outside Twitter.com
Myspace is another free social networking site that you can take advantage. Targeting the appropriate demographics is key with Myspace. It is a powerful tool when used correctly, because you can decide who to send your advertising to based on a large amount of criteria. There is such a wide range of choices that you can experiment with split testing to see what is most effective for your particular business. You can sort by age, sex, height, location, hobbies, music taste, disposable income and much more. You definitely know your marketing efforts are not wasted. Making 100 friends who have an athletic body type will be 1000% more effective in selling your new protein shake than 1,000 who have extra baggage!

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Top 5 Small Business Marketing Mistakes

In recent years, business has shifted to being conducted in a large part online. With millions of consumers using the web, there are vast opportunities for small businesses to make a mark on the web. Using strategies such as local online marketing and advertising campaigns, search engine optimization, etc. (the same tactics used by large businesses). Your local business can become visible to thousands searching the internet every day. Here are some things to avoid when marketing your small business:

1. Not establishing a website, or having a website that is outdated:

In today’s market, a website is your business’ embassy to the online world. Without a website, your company is virtually non-existent in an online sense. Moreover, with a website that was built even five years ago, chances are, the site is highly out of date in terms of current industry standards. An updated website not only makes it easy to be found on search engines, but creates a confident, reputable brand image.

2. Spending too large a portion of marketing budget on direct mail:

With the introduction of the internet, allowing consumers to browse and shop at their own leisure, direct mail has become an outdated marketing resource. While, direct mail campaigns should still be an important portion of your marketing mix, more of a focus should be put into web marketing.

3. Throwing money at PPC:

While PPC, or pay per click advertising, can be a viable component to an online marketing strategy, it should not be your entire strategy. PPC, when used correctly, can drive traffic to your updated website and lead to conversion and lead generation. However, if your web presence is “in the weeds” traffic via PPC will not produce effective results in terms of ROI. Once a business establishes a reputable brand image online, then PPC becomes an investment strategy and not just another expense on the balance sheet.

4. Spamming

There are many that believe large quantity blasts are a great way to reach consumers, whether it be direct mail, email, web forum spam, or any number of other tactics. While this may reach a large audience, and even 5% conversion of that number might be huge, this may leave a bad taste in the mouth of the rest. So while you may gain some business from that five percent, you’ve effectively alienated yourself from not only the rest of your target audience, but all those in their extended networks. This draws on the idea of promoting a quality brand image and reputability.

5. Not tracking campaigns and results

I would venture to say a large portion of business owners, while dedicated a portion of their budget towards marketing, have no idea what it’s doing or if it is even working. Without the ability to track campaigns, you can’t develop a quality strategy and know which areas to pursue.

As is the case with many small businesses, putting time and resources into developing a quality marketing strategy can be a daunting task. Without the proper knowledge and outlets, you could be spending more money than need be, or not enough. Some may simply not have the time to allow for such activities, as much small business relies heavily on management to take a strong role.

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Information About Marketing With Twitter

In recent years Twitter has become incredibly popular. There are millions of people using it to promote their businesses on a daily basis, even famous people use it in order to keep in touch with their fans and carry out self promotion. If this is something that you would find useful for your business then take a look at the following step by step guide regarding marketing with Twitter.

The first step is to sign up to Twitter and create your profile. This can be done within a matter of minutes. Once you have this up and running you will be ready to start writing your tweets. The way Twitter works is that you are able to write 140 character comments known as tweets, therefore you need to be selective in the way that you write. You can post links to videos, news articles and photos or you can write one line comments. In your comments you can mention interesting information about your business or the products and services that you are selling.

Marketing with Twitter is straight forward, especially once you have developed a large group of followers. All you need to do is search Twitter and the internet for people to follow. Once you come across someone of interest then all you need to do is click follow. Once you follow someone they will typically follow you back therefore allowing each other to interact. This will then allow you to use your 140 character tweets to inform them about your business. Marketing with twitter can be incredibly successful if you write the right thing. Your tweets should be interesting and engaging. Spamming your followers will not go down very well and should be avoided.

Twitter can be very useful in finding out what others think about your products and services. Twitter has its own search engine built into the site which enables you to search through the various tweets, and the people who are sending them. This enables you to search about your company or the terms relating to your products and services then follow these people. This makes finding targeted traffic far easier. You are able to carry out direct marketing with twitter by contacting the people directly. Through using the “@” symbol you will be able to direct your tweet to a particular person, and therefore have a conversation with them.

As you can see Twitter can be incredibly useful, it doesn’t have to be purely for socialising, it can be incredibly useful for businesses too. If this is something that you feel your business can benefit from then give it a try.

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How to Choose an Effective Marketing Company for Your Business

If you’re looking for a marketing company then there are several things you need to consider before choosing a company.

One of the first questions you need to ask is does the company use direct response marketing techniques? Or does the company talk about building your brand awareness.

You see there is a huge difference between the two. Direct response marketing is when you ask for a response from the prospect. This could be filling in a form, a coupon, phoning a number for more information or taking an action. It seems obvious. But next time you’re reading the newspaper or magazine check to see if any of the ads ask for a response. You’ll be surprised how few ads ask for the reader to do anything.

Whereas building your brand takes time and a larger budget. This is fine if you’re a large company. But if you’re an entrepreneur you want to see an immediate return on your marketing spend. Otherwise your business may not be around long enough to see a response.

The next question is to ask what kind of results has the company got for their clients. Again you want specifics. This campaign pulled x response. This campaign pulled y response. Look for testimonials from clients.

You need to track every marketing activity you do. Then roll out more of the campaigns that produce winners and drop those campaigns with a lower response. This way your marketing becomes highly effective.

Also if the marketing company starts talking about logos instead of different headline tests then you should walk away from them. A logo is a “me” message. Whereas a headline is more prospect orientated. David Ogilvy of the world famous ad agency said, “80% of your firepower of your ad is in your headline.” This means all your ads, web pages, brochures and sales letters should have headlines. And the headline should always have a benefit in it for the reader.

Remember this: your ad is your sales person. So the words you use in your sales copy are vital. These words persuade your prospect to take action. If the company you’re talking to talks more about design than the sales copy walk away from the.

As you can see there is a huge difference between these two types of marketing. But to get the best return on investment always look for a direct response marketing company.

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What You Should Know About Mobile Text Marketing

Mobile text marketing is becoming very popular now with many different types of business owners. This method of communication makes it simple and easy to contact customers directly with business updates regarding their services. There are several advantages to utilizing this communication medium.

Text message marketing is cost effective and easy to implement. This has become one of the least expensive forms of advertising. Most advertising strategies tend to be costly. Not only that, the campaigns generally include individuals that may not be interested in your product or service.

However, by using mobile marketing, businesses can more effectively reach their target audience.

This is a highly interactive process that gives excellent results. Business owners are able to directly communicate in a personalized manner to their target market. Because they are highly targeted, the company will know exactly what their customers want and will be in a position to send information regarding to the products and services that hold their interests.

Using mobile text marketing offers complete control over the exact messages that are received by potential customers. This will give businesses the opportunity to transfer time sensitive that will provide individuals with special promotions that they can act upon within a certain time. This is a common marketing strategy to increase sales.

This strategy not only allows businesses to send information directly to their customer base, but they are also, at the same time, able to receive information. In so doing businesses will be able to conduct accurate market research which will further improve sales.

Nowadays, most people own cellular phones.

This has grown to become a very popular form of communication that people have come to rely on. Businesses have tapped into this market potential and are reaping the financial benefits. There are so many different devices on the market that allow businesses the opportunity to directly contact their client base with updates, promotions and other information that keeps them informed about business operations.

If you’re a business owner, it’s important not to let mobile text marketing opportunities to pass you by.

It’s an excellent time to enter into this form of mass communication. Text message marketing has so many different possibilities. There is a broad range of data that can be communicated with potential customers. It is important that this information be viewed as useful or else the messages can become a nuisance and they will be ultimately blocked. Incorporating certain bonuses and give away is a good strategy to implement in this type of marketing campaign.

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Creating Sales Leads From Direct Marketing

Within the lexicon of marketing approaches, few are as simple, easy-to-use, functional and as inexpensive as direct marketing strategies like leaflet drops. To succeed requires a leaflet design that catches the eyes of consumers and communicate directly what’s being offered.

When companies look to promote their business to local consumers, one of the best ways is to use the common leaflet handout. It allows companies to create a local market presence, whilst giving them a chance to meet potential customers face-to-face. So, what are some of the more common practices for businesses looking to benefit from this inexpensive approach?

State Your Purpose

Success with leaflet drops requires that the design convey a clear and concise message about the offer, and its benefits to consumers. Whilst a number of companies rely upon handing out leaflets to customers in person, a large number of leaflet plans are based on blanketing – which relies upon delivering as many leaflets to as large a target audience as possible. As such, the design should focus on standing apart from its competition and immediately resonating with its audience.

Use an Eye-Catching Design

The leaflet design must be eye-catching and stand out from the crowd. To this extent, a company’s leaflet will be side-by-side with other companies and even competitors if delivered in bulk hand-outs. All are aiming to catch the consumer’s attention, but one must rise above the rest. Vying for position means the design itself must force consumers to take notice. Match colours and design that compliment one another whilst avoiding colours that contrast too much, or make the leaflet too bright and thus, not appealing.

Strategic Use of Fonts

The best leaflet design incorporates different fonts and colours in order to match the company’s logo or its brand identity. Ideally, it’s best to have large bold font for titles and product names whilst using smaller fonts on product descriptions, specifications and company addresses. Discounts or promotional items should be larger and attract immediate attention with the proverbial “call to action”. Ideally, images and fonts should be well spaced and clear.

Narrow Down the Target Audience

One drawback of leaflet direct marketing approaches is that they aren’t as precise in targeting potential customers. However, to narrow down the target audience, focus on handing out leaflets in and around where potential customers congregate. Perhaps the best use of this approach includes restaurants that wait for patrons to walk by at lunch time, in the hopes of enticing customers with promotions. Another example might include a local pub or bar distributing leaflets to local establishments.

Leaflet handouts are an effective and inexpensive form of marketing that allows businesses to get up close and personal with potential customers. As simple as they sound, they can be quite involved. As with any marketing form, it requires practice and time to get it right. Whilst some marketing approaches are often detached from the target audience, a solid leaflet design allows companies to get closer to customers and provide a message that speaks volumes about the company’s offering.

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How to Trade in a Sideways Market

Learning how to trade in a sideways market is an effective trade approach to use because the markets don’t always trend in a given direction plus it gives the trader the added benefit of trade diversification where using several established trading methods can help lower overall risk in trading the market. Since the markets don’t always trend in an easily identified trend, the consequence of which is that there are often an abundance of viable trade setups in the trading ranges that result as price move back and forth between two identified price levels – support and resistance – to trade.

Price action is the movement that price makes from past to present and can be observed by using price charts. There are two types of price action: expansion and contraction. Expansion takes place when price is moving in a bullish or bearish direction while contraction shows price moving sideways in a back and forth fashion.

When expansion is taking place and a stock, for example, is moving in a bullish trend which can be identified the steady series of higher highs and higher lows in its price action but then begins to consolidate within a contracted price range, it forces the stock to trade sideways. It is within this sideways price action that you can begin to observe price support and resistance form in the trading range.

These price levels form because there are sufficient number of buyers that are holding a large enough number of shares at the bottom of the trading rage to forms a support level that is strong enough to reject any downward movement from the stock’s price action, reversing it back to the upside.

Likewise, resistance is formed on top of the trading range because there a large enough number of sellers that are doing a combination of shorting the stock because they believe it is overvalued and/or taking profits which reverse the stock’s price action back down to support.

This pattern will continue until enough buyers or sellers enter the market to take control of the trend and force it back into a period of expansion.

For the trader, this sideways market action is an opportunity to make a steady series of profits until one side -buyers or sellers – takes control of the trend by buying at support, selling at resistance, shorting off of resistance, covering their short, and then basically you rinse and repeat as often as you like.

There are a couple of pointers that you should keep in mind though. First, is that trading ranges are basically locked into a static pattern so you should customize your entry method to adapt for that fact. When price touches a support level, as an example, identify the price bar that touches the price level and makes the lowest intraday low, then watch for the following price bar to close over that price bar’s price high.

This type of entry confirms that price has reversed back to the upside and you can further protect yourself by placing a stop loss order under the price bar that set the lowest intraday higher. For shorting off of resistance, just do the inverse of the previous example.

Also, trade off of the price level that would put you in the direction of the dominant trend. If the market is currently in an overall bearish trend, then it would improve your odds to stick to shorting a stock of its resistance level as it would then be moving in the direction of the stronger overall trend.

Now, you have a solid grasp of how to trade in a sideways market and a couple of tips on how to increase your odds of success. Spend time studying price charts to identify when a stock is in a period of contraction and then identifying the support and resistance levels until you’re comfortable to begin trading. Take your time, start out trading small, and always use stops to protect yourself.

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