Archive for the ‘Business Success’ Category

July 17th, 2021

MLM Is A Legitimate Business Model

by Rahimah Sultan





Updated July 17, 2021

Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.


MLM (multi-level marketing) IS a legitimate business model. MLM is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.


MLMs have been around for over a century, are legitimate, and they work for some people.


In multi-level marketing, companies basically promise a chance to leave your 9-5 job, be your own boss, make lots of money and to make new friends in the process.


There is an ongoing debate as to whether these companies and programs are legitimate business opportunities or not.


The reason for most of the confusion is that multi-level marketing companies follow a concept similar to a pyramid scheme, except for two significant differences:

One being members at any level of a multi-level marketing model can theoretically make income through the company’s products and/or services without signing up any new members.

The second difference is that members of any level in a multi-level marketing plan can earn more than the people who signed them up.


Multi-level marketing companies are legal although structured almost exactly like a pyramid scheme.


A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business that involves the exchange of money, usually in the form of a sign-up fee, and usually has no product or service.

Following are some major indicators of a pyramid scheme.

* Programs that focus more on recruitment of new people rather than the sale of a product or service to an end-user consumer.

* Plans that claim you will make money through continued growth of your “downline” rather than through your own sales of products.

* Programs that ask distributors to purchase expensive inventory. There are horror stories of people with a basement or garage full of merchandise that no one will buy.

* Plans that ask you to sign a contract or pay money to participate in a multi-level marketing program, or any business opportunity, without taking your time and reading all of the paperwork.

Talk the opportunity over with a spouse, knowledgeable friend, accountant, or lawyer. If you feel that you are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics or are not being given enough time to review the details, go elsewhere.

* Products or services are simply vehicles for recruitment. The products may be gimmicks and/or overpriced, but even high quality products may serve as a cover for recruitment activities.


According to the FTC, a pyramid scheme is defined as a company that specifically pays members for recruiting purposes only.


Check the FTC’s website.


To be super-successful in network marketing, you have to recruit new members.
It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is — the real money is in the flow of new recruits.


There’s the age-old debate that standard companies are set up like a pyramid, with a CEO at the top, some more officials under them, managers at the next lower level, and the team under the managers.


MLMs are completely different from standard companies.


Most companies don’t require their new employees to pay a sign-up fee to join, or have the majority of their product sales coming from their own employees, nor do most companies allow workers to personally recruit other employees into the business. HR does that.


Once you have found a legitimate multi-level marketing company that you want to be a part of, you must put in the work to make it profitable. If you want to succeed be disciplined and treat it like a business and be willing to follow advice from others who have made it.


Click here and check out the best MLM companies of 2021.



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June 25th, 2021

What to Do Before You Start Blogging

by Rahimah Sultan







Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



If you’re just now thinking about setting up a blog, the first thing you need do is start building your list, on the first day.



Why Build a List First?

You need to start building your list ASAP! It’s absolutely necessary if you want to run successful email marketing campaigns and reach people who are truly interested in your business.

Despite the popularity of social media channels, email marketing remains one of the most used digital marketing techniques.

If you want a successful business, you need people to market to.



What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing as defined in Wikipedia, is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email… Email marketing strategies commonly seek to achieve one or more of three primary objectives, to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.

An email is often the first step in a customer’s journey with you, the initial communication.



What is the Connection Between an Email and Your Blog?

You can think of your blog as your main base of operation, the place where you send people for your products/services or any related information. It’s a marketing tool.

It is also the place you can acquire their information in order to begin a relationship with them so they can get acquainted with you, and begin to like and trust you.

These are the people who will receive your emails. This is a part of your list building. Once your blog is set up, you can strategically place opt-in forms on it asking visitors to fill in their information – full name and email address – so you can contact them. Stick to the basics, name and email. Nobody wants to fill out much more than that.



How Do You Get People to Give up Their information?

1. Pick an email marketing service. I use Host Then Profit (affiliate link).

If you’re just starting out and your budget is tight, you can use a free service. You’ll need to check around and compare the pros and cons so you can choose one that best suits your purpose.

2. Place opt-in forms on your blog.

3. Give visitors a reason to give you their email address. Offer them an ethical bribe (subscriber bribes, lead magnets, opt-in bribes, free offers, free gifts, and content upgrade).


Most people won’t give you their email address out of the goodness of their heart, even if they like you.


Freebies are proven lead magnets.


Give them a free worthwhile gift.


Your subscriber’s bribe should be simple.

Don’t fall into to the trap of trying to get too large and creative with your lead magnet, which could end up in you not creating one at all.

You can educate your visitors by giving away free downloads filled with actionable tips and helpful tools they can use.


Some things you can give away:

Free blog articles
Emails with coupons
Videos
Tutorials and courses
Templates
E-Books


You can start with a one-page simple short PDF checklist offering tips on a particular subject.



To build an email list from nothing you need:

 1. To understand your audience

Decide who will be your audience — name, job title, work, demographics like age, gender, education, etc. In other words, create a persona.

You can find out a lot about people through social media channels.

2. A website

Your blog will, eventually, become your website.


In the meantime, you can use a landing page, a single-page website that contains your email opt-in form.


You can use any of the services below to create an opt-in form.


Some of them have free trial periods.

Landerapp.com
iContact.com
Hubspot.com
Leadpages.net
Wix.com


Note: Some advertising channels require that you have a multi-page website that includes pages such as Contact, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policies.


3. An email marketing service. I use Host Then Profit (affiliate link).


4. A great offer, a free worthwhile gift.


Now that you have some pointers on what to do before you start blogging, start building that list.



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April 26th, 2021

Effective Email Marketing

by Rahimah Sultan





Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



Email continues to be an essential part of daily business and consumer interaction.

Since an email account (i.e. email address) is required to sign up to any form of online activity, it  is essential to the overall Internet experience including social networking or any presence on the Internet.

Over the years, email marketing strategies have changed, although effective email marketing is still key to any marketing strategy. The best online marketers use email.


Why do the Best Online Marketers Use an Email Marketing Strategy?

Because it produces results. Email marketing technology has advanced in that the software is becoming more powerful, and advanced features are now more accessible due to the growing number of affordable options on the market.

One email marketing trend that’s really taken off is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

AI tools have come a long way recently. You can use them to help create subject lines, calls-to-action and content which can produce a substantial boost in campaign results.

With AI, after you’ve created your email marketing campaign, you can opt to have it sent at a specific time and on a certain day or you can use the “send at the best time” feature.

You do not have to send all your emails at the same time nor should you always be selling. Just send a few that offer tips or something that may be of interest, then send one offering one of your products or services for sale.

Another aspect of AI is personalization of emails.


Why Personalization?

Personalization can increase open rates. If people see their name in an email they’re more likely to open and read it, thus giving you an opportunity to follow up with them which can lead to more income.

When it comes to personalization you can complement your email with tools like live chat, SMS, push and more. You can do research and find the tools with the options that fit your needs.

While personalizing your emails, you may also want to use segmentation.


Segmentation

If you are expanding or want to grow your business you might consider using CRM (Customer Relations Management) software instead of spreadsheets. CRM works like a task manager. While using a spreadsheet you may track:

Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Type of customer
Date of purchase


With CRM you can start with an email address and add the things already mentioned plus whatever else you want such as:

Lead scoring (A feature that enables you to have a more complete view of how clients are interacting with you.)
Multiple contacts
Notes
Current sales stage of customers and prospects
and more


Make your emails engaging and offer good quality content and solutions to problems. Do not email just to introduce new products or services. No one will want to open them until they’re ready to know what you’re selling or they’re ready to make a purchase.

Make sure there’s a strong reason to open your emails, regardless of whether you’re selling something or not.


How?

Be sure your emails are valuable to your reader in and of themselves.

Include relevant educational content like tips and inspiration to maintain subscribers’ interest, while building trust in your product or service. When collecting signups set expectations from the beginning by pointing out the value you’ll offer. Then, stick to that promise and you’ll grow a list of engaged subscribers to convert when the time is right.

So, in order to have effective email marketing your strategy must be well planned and include the tools you need for efficiency and effectiveness. Be personable, informative and engaging in your emails. Set expectations from the start, keep your promise,  and build trust.



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March 14th, 2021

7 Home-Based Business Ideas


by Rahimah Sultan






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.


Many people who are trying to start a full-time or side business are looking for home business ideas. With new technology and software, opportunities to create a low-cost home-based business have never been easier.

Here are 7 home-based business ideas:

1. Web Development and Digital Marketing

Although websites have seemingly been around for ages, people still need high-quality sites. As a web developer you have many options for creating websites.

In order for you to create custom websites, you’ll need to learn code. If you are proficient at WordPress, you can set up sites for people or teach others how to use it. WordPress and others like it are semi-custom websites.

A semi-custom website can earn you about $2,500. However, if you build websites using code you can make up to $15,000 or more.

Digital marketing is a term that includes any online strategies used to get more customers to a business. This includes online Ads, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and Google My Business.

The goal of digital marketing is to help businesses make money. If you can do that, you can create a business as a freelancer or marketing agency.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Although the term affiliate marketing has several meanings, it typically means selling someone else’s products for a fee.

Affiliate marketing can work for you if you recommend a product, service, or software on your website. You earn a commission for every person that clicks on your unique link and buys a product. The difficulty is finding people to sell affiliate products to? You have to build an audience of people who know, like and trust you. You can do this by way of a website, an email list, social media channels, or a video platform. Once you have an audience you can recommend your affiliate products and services to them.

3. Personal Trainer

As a personal trainer you can freelance in your own home, a client’s home or a public place such as a park, beach, or parking lot.

It’s helpful to have documented results from clients. If you’re just starting as a personal trainer, consider taking on a couple of committed clients at a cut-rate and document their outcomes. Then you can show their success on your website, on social media, and in your marketing materials. Rates can range from $11 to $52 an hour.

4. Yoga Instructor

Yoga instruction is similar to personal training in that you can host classes outside. You can also teach virtual classes with a software to assist you like namastream which provides the tools needed for a successful virtual yoga business. Use the software to create multiple membership options, set up autopay, and integrate email marketing.

5. Voice-Over Artist

The demand for voice over artists is high due to the rise of e-learning and e-books. Also, the diversity of voice quality has increased with people looking for unique accents and dialects.

Technological advances have proven advantageous to the voice over industry and have brought it to a new level with the arrival of podcasts, audiobooks, and even smart devices that enable self-command features.

You are not limited to jobs in your local area. With a voice coach you like and believe would properly train you, try remote coaching which makes use of video chat apps such as Skype and FaceTime, and podcasts and webinars.

Even as assistive apps such as Alexa and Siri have grown in popularity, people still prefer the emotional connection of a real human voice.

6. Sell Handmade products

You can sell handmade products through a third-party website like Etsy or AmazonHandmade. If you use a third-party site instead of your own ecommerce site, you gain access to the third-party site’s visitors.

On Etsy and AmazonHandmade you can sell jewelry, pet toys, candles, ornaments, bath bombs, face masks, knitted products, and personalized planners.

It will take time to build credibility. The potential trust customers have in your products and store will increase as you get more satisfied customers.

7. Pet Sitting

Consider becoming a pet sitter if you love pets and have experience taking care of them. While you can do your own local marketing to find customers, you can also use a website such as Rover.com to connect with those looking for dog boarding, walking, and day care.

As far as pricing, a walk in your local neighborhood can be $15 to $20. A trip to a dog park which requires more work and supervision may cost $20 to $30. Day sitting ranges from $25-$50, and overnight boarding costs between $50 and $75 per night.

To increase your fees you can offer additional services such as mobile grooming or dog training certification.

Freelancing using one of these seven home-based business ideas is a great way to start a home-based business. You can practice your service on, or sell the product to people you know in exchange for free or at a discount and get testimonials. When you have quality experiences and good results to share, use that in your overall business marketing.


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January 23rd, 2021

5 Tips for Starting a One-Person Business

by Rahimah Sultan







Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.




Included in the abundance of business advice is the fact that you should delegate certain tasks so you can focus on your business rather than work in your business. This is sound advice, unless you happen to be the only person in your business or you’re just starting a business.

Can you run a small business on your own?

You can run a small business on your own, although it requires planning and lots of patience.

Following are 5 Tips for starting a one-person business from some entrepreneurs who have successfully done so. You can use your own plan, although this framework tends to lead to success.

1) Start as a Side Business

It’s going to take time to build your one-person business, and quitting your job will create financial challenges if you don’t have quite a bit of money saved.

For financial security, starting your one-person business on the side is often the way to go. If you develop a client base while working a full-time job over a year or so, you’ll be bringing in money and be set  to grow an already established brand once you take your venture full time.

Starting your business on the side allows you the time and opportunity to see what challenges may occur or whether you should change course and choose another type business.

Starting your business from home on the side affords flexibility to make mistakes and fail without losing your only source of income.

2) Determine the Right Structure for Your Business

The type of clients or audience you want and your branding play a part in structuring your business.

The simplest forms of business available are sole proprietorships which offer a lot of flexibility. You can be an independent contractor, operate a small more traditional business or do freelance work.

Although this seems like a logical choice, you are solely responsible for everything including any potential lawsuits that may occur and any applicable employment taxes.

The usual advice is to form an LLC or incorporate the business. In doing so you, as the owner, are provided with liability protection.

If you’re a one-person business and operate as a sole proprietorship you can change the structure when you become a multi-person organization.

Click here for more information on choosing a business structure.

3) Prioritize Tasks

Since you’re the only one working in your business, it’s critical not to procrastinate or waste time.  You need to prioritize your tasks.

Schedule your day and your tasks. You’re going to be pulled in many directions with phone calls and messages and such. You have to decide what needs immediate attention and what can wait.

Organize tasks with both a short- and long-term view. Block out times of the day to work on different tasks and long-term goals and projects. If your working only a few hours a day on your side business, there’s not a lot of time for tedious tasks and checking emails.

Help prioritize your tasks by setting long-term goals.

When working alone it’s easy to get off track and make little progress. Take a long-term goal setting approach, and hold yourself accountable to those goals. You can set long-term goals to accomplish in three-month increments.

Let’s say you’re just organizing a plan of action because you’ve not actually started your side business. Consider how you’ll get the word out about your business. Consider whether you’ll use a blog, social media or both. Then set target dates for having these in place. Set dates for when you want to begin posting to your blog. Decide how often you want to post and when you’ll write your posts. Setting goals helps you stay on track.

Although sticking to the grindstone and getting work done is great, you’ll need some help from other sources. Surround yourself with great people. That can be other small businesses and independent contractors who can provide a variety of services such as website development, graphic design, and video production. Working together and exchanging ideas and being flexible benefits you and your clients.

4) Community Supporters

Running a one-person business can be mentally tiring, so connect with like-minded people and build a community of supporters. Find activities that are not work related to get involved in like joining clubs and joint fitness groups for human interaction to allow time away the day-to-day office drama.

Connect with business peers for advice and to reduce business loneliness. Reach out to local business owners and entrepreneurs. Talk with experienced business people in your area and share advice and viewpoints with them. This builds connections and gives you a group of people to turn to for advice. LinkedIn is an easy way to connect with business people in your area and quickly build a network.

Attend SBA (Small Business Administration) events in your area that interest you and meet others who are experiencing what you’re going through.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it’s not wise to run a one-person business alone.

5) Growth Limitations

Your growth limitations are determined by your definition of success. You can grow only so large without a team. If you find the limit that you can get to on your own and are able to maintain, you can certainly sustain that as long as you desire.

If you have no goals of building any level of empire, you might be completely content to stay on your own. But if your definition of success involves anything more than that, you’ll need to start considering having a team.

So, write your business plan, with these five tips for starting a one-person business in mind,  meet with a business advisor to discuss activating your plans, and be patient.


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January 10th, 2021

Email Marketing is One of the Most Used Digital Marketing Techniques






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.


Although email marketing is over 40 years old, it’s as strong as ever. It may be even stronger since brands have shifted to digital marketing channels due the ever-changing marketing landscape.


What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a method used to send emails to your customers and prospects to get more conversions. The aim is to convert one-time buyers into repeat customers and to get prospects to make their initial purchase.

An email is often the beginning of a customer’s journey with you.


Two reasons email marketing works:

You control who to focus on, and
You get more conversions


How do You Succeed With Email Marketing?

To succeed with email marketing you must first build your list.

Use your website or blog to get people to sign up for your emails. Place a form on your site with a CTA (call-to-action) asking for your visitors’ name and email address. Add a sign-up form on your “about us” page.

Another way to get signups is by using a lead magnet. This offers something free in exchange for their contact details. This can be a resource guide, an ebook or something else. It must be relevant to your target audience.

Make sure your sign-up forms are not too long or complicated. People might just skip over them and move on. Limit the requested information to one field, an email address, or two maximum that includes a name.


Designing and Sending Your Emails

Designing and sending emails to your subscribers is probably the most important part of the total email marketing process. You can create them yourself, which can be very time consuming and expensive or you can use templates from third-party websites.

A lot of sites provide free email templates that you can customize and use. As a business, there are different kinds of emails that you might want to send to your subscribers.

You’ll certainly want to send a transactional (confirmation) email that goes out immediately after someone takes action on your site. You can also use these to sell, upsell, and boost engagement.

Then there will be follow-up emails with relevant and timely information regarding what you’re offering.

Here are some things you’ll want to do:

— Use attention-grabbing catchy subject lines
— Use action words and verbs that encourage people to take action
— Add a stat or number to subject lines to add credibility and create curiosity
— Keep subject lines light and creative by adding an emoji
— If possible, personalize your email subject lines with their names to grab the target’s attention
— Remember your mobile readers and keep your email subject lines short and simple

One important thing you should NOT do is use words like “free” or “deal” that may trigger filters to send your email to spam folders.

Give your customers a good experience by putting them first throughout their journey with you. Email is often the beginning of their venture with you.

When you use a human-centered approach and put your customers and their needs first, you’ll be rewarded with their loyalty.

Email marketing continues to be a mainstay in the marketing world, and email marketing is the perfect marketing channel for relationship-building.

It’s a simple, direct and cost-effective way of connecting with your leads, and is still one of the most used digital marketing techniques.


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December 24th, 2020

Insurance for Your Home-Based Business






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



If you’re an entrepreneur with a home-based business, you may have considered getting business insurance. Well, hesitate no longer. The question is not whether or not to get insurance, but what type of insurance to get.

You definitely need insurance for your home-based business.

Just because you can run your business in your pajamas doesn’t mean it’s not a real business. So, it needs to be insured just like any brick and mortar establishment.

Your homeowner’s policy carries little or no coverage for a business and some insurance companies may even invalidate your policy if you file a business-related claim.

As a result you’ll have no coverage for:

Buildings used for business purposes
Loss or damage to business records or data
Loss of income that results from a business shutdown caused by physical loss to business property.


Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Home-Based Business?

Consider the following:

1) You run a consulting business from home, as an IT professional. If your home is robbed and all your expensive computer equipment is stolen, you may find that it’s not fully covered under your homeowners’ insurance because it is considered business property.

2) A business delivery person is leaving your home-based architect office and slips on some wet steps and sustains injuries. Your policy might not pay for these injuries because your insurance doesn’t cover business deliveries or any third-party injury claims.

3) If you run a landscaping business out of a building adjacent to your home and it catches fire and burns your equipment, you’re mistaken to think your homeowner’s policy covers such an incident.

4) As an accountant, you advise a client on a financial matter that ends up costing her money. As a result, she files a lawsuit. A homeowner’s policy won’t come close to touching that.

These are only a few reasons to purchase home-based business insurance.

Neither homeowners’ nor renters’ insurance policies cover home-based businesses.


The many types of business insurance include:

Business property insurance which covers any kind of equipment used to operate your business including your computer, printer, fax machine, furniture, etc.

Liability insurance that protects you and your business from being liable for damages caused to another person or property.

Product liability coverage to protect your business from damages to property or a person caused by a product you supplied, manufactured or designed.

Business automobile coverage which will provide coverage if you are in an accident while making pickups or deliveries, visiting clients or performing other business-related tasks. Your personal auto policy does not cover using your vehicle for business.


Here I have covered only a few types of insurance for your home-based business. There are many more for you to consider, depending on your particular business.

It is wise to work with an insurance professional who can furnish the details you need for the particular type of home-based business insurance that’s available for your business.

Based on the many potential business liabilities, you’re probably better off having at least a combination of a few policies, depending on your business needs. And that could be one less thing to keep you awake at night.


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December 13th, 2020

Blog Article Marketing for Your Business






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.




Blog article marketing for your business is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website or blog. It’s also a way of acquiring potential customers, a way to get your website indexed on search engines, and a way to promote your site and to get backlinks.

Using blog article marketing for your business makes good sense. Since blogging doesn’t cost anything on most websites, you can choose a popular blogging platform and connect your blog with your other marketing campaigns. This lets you connect and have conversations with the people that visit your site and it’s a great way to engage customers.

Starting your own blog doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is an article that was written some time ago, but the information it contains is still current.

Once your blog is set up and you consistently write informative articles, your reputation within your niche will improve and this offers you a good way to improve your income.

A blog is an indispensable tool for your business.


Build Your Following

To build your following offer your readers important information that is helpful. Share useful and interesting content on a regular basis.

Use a warm, friendly casual style even when writing on technical subjects. You don’t want to be boring and drive away readers.


Get Found by Search Engines

To help your article get found by search engines, use your main keyword or keyword phrase in the title, header, sub-headings, and in the URL, which leads to more traffic and sales.

The first paragraphs of your article should be the best and very powerful. Include the best information here to grab the attention of both readers and search engines.

You want your audience to read the entire article so don’t give away too much at the beginning, just enough to grab their attention. Lead them down the page using your sub-headings under which you feed them even more interesting information.


Do Not Duplicate Content

For the best quality content, write your own articles. They should be original and fresh. Put forth your own spin and offer a unique outlook or suggestion to impress your readers. If search engines detect duplicate content you will be flagged and penalized, and your marketing becomes ineffective as search engines will not “pick up” your article.

Even though it’s true that the more people you have viewing your writing the better your chance of success, you don’t have to target large audiences with your article. You want the people that do read your articles to be those who are truly interested in what you have to say.

Never ignore your dedicated readers.

Blog article marketing for your business can be extremely lucrative. One of the most exciting parts about it is you’re building interest in you and your company and offers through unique and interesting articles.

Nothing is more important than drawing in readers and giving valuable information that will keep them coming back time and time again. The key to building long-term business relationships with your visitors and potential customers and clients is in providing them with valuable, quality information.



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November 26th, 2020

How Does MLM Compare to Pyramid Schemes?


by Rahimah Sultan








Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.


If you’re considering a multilevel marketing (MLM) opportunity, be very cautious. MLM and pyramid schemes can be very similar.

How does MLM compare to pyramid schemes?


What is MLM?

Some people like the MLM business model. You have the opportunity to become involved in a system for supplying products to consumers. MLM associates have the support of a direct sales company so they don’t have to start a business from scratch. Some of the companies train you.

When you become a MLM distributor, associate, consultant or whatever term the company uses, you make money, by selling products to other MLM participants who are not already a member, when you sign them up.

You earn money on your sales as well as a percentage of the sales of the new distributors you bring in. The people you bring in are your downline. Sometimes you get bonuses after reaching certain milestones like bringing in a certain number of new people or selling a certain amount of product. You can also win cash, trips and automobiles.

MLM can be a legitimate business opportunity, but not always. MLM is legal in Canada and most of the United States, whereas pyramid schemes are not.


What is a pyramid scheme?

If you’re looking for a legitimate business opportunity, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between an MLM opportunity and a pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme also offers the opportunity to make money by signing up others and achieving certain levels.

Unlike MLM, a pyramid scheme exists solely to get your money and then use you to recruit other distributors.


Ask yourself the following questions before signing on:

Do you have to invest a large amount of money up front to become a distributor? MLMs do not require large startup costs.

If you have to pay for inventory will the company buy back unsold product? Legitimate MLM companies offer 80% buy back.

Does the company offer actual products or services? MLM companies depend on an actual market for products and services. Don’t sign up if the company doesn’t seem to have any interest in consumer demand for its products.

Is the focus more on recruitment or products and services? Pyramid schemes focus on fast profits from signing up people and getting their money. If this seems to be the case, run.

How to Determine the focus.

The pyramid scheme focuses on fast profits from signing people up and getting their money.
If the emphasis is on recruitment rather than on selling the product or service do not sign up.

Another trademark of the pyramid scheme is the offer of commissions for recruiting new members. This is what matters in a
pyramid scheme, not the products or services being offered.


When you’re deciding on a business opportunity thoroughly check out the company. Get all the information you can on its products and operations.

Check out the business or marketing plan. Talk to others who have experience with the MLM company and its products. Determine if there are real products being sold and the quality of these products or services.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the company.

When attending recruitment meetings, listen very carefully for claims of you being able to make amazing amounts of money. That should set off the alarm bells for you.

Although being part of a successful multilevel marketing company can be both profitable and fun, unfortunately, some supposed MLM opportunities are just cons designed to flatten your wallet and trash your dream of running a business.

So, How Does MLM Compare to Pyramid Schemes? MLM is a legitimate business opportunity, whereas pyramid schemes are scams to take your money.


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September 7th, 2020

4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing







What is affiliate marketing?


Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products or services of another person or company in exchange for a commission on the resulting sale. Affiliate marketers join the affiliate programs, find trustworthy affiliate products or services to promote, and share them with their audiences.


This is not a new concept. It’s essentially, getting a commission on a sale. Affiliate marketing is a quick way to offer products and services without having to create your own.


An affiliate, also known as the publisher, can be a single individual or a company.

So, what are the 4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing?


First, let’s cover a few of the technical aspects that run in the background with the merchant’s affiliate program software.


When an affiliate joins the merchant’s program, s/he is given a unique ID and a specific URL to use to promote the product. The affiliate then includes this link in blog posts or other marketing efforts and invites readers to click it for more information.


When someone clicks the link to visit the affiliate partner’s site, a cookie identifying the affiliate is placed on their computer. This cookie confirms the publisher is credited with the referral sale even if it happens days or weeks later.


Whenever a buyer completes the sale process, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral. If the merchant finds a cookie with an affiliate ID, the affiliate is credited with the sale.


The merchant makes reports available so that the affiliates can see their referrals (clicks) and sales. Then, at the end of each payment period the merchant pays the affiliate commission (i.e. revenue sharing).


This flow works the same for any kind of product you’re promoting and for any affiliate marketer.


Now, the 4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing.

The number one thing to remember is that you’re getting paid a commission in exchange for offering readers information on products / services they’re already thinking about buying.


By using your blog and the Internet in a systematic process, you are providing valuable advice to thousands of people to help them make a smarter decision.


Following are four steps to help you get started:


Step 1. Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate

As a principled blogger you will always face two constraints
when choosing products you want to promote:


a) You’re either limited to products you’ve used and like that have an affiliate program and are a good fit for your audience, or


b) You’re limited to products you can get access to for evaluation by buying them or getting a free sample or free trial.


Of these two options the first one is the most common way to get started with affiliate offers.


Option #1: Promote Products You already Use and Love


You become an affiliate for a product or service you’ve used and tested and feel good about recommending. It could be a course or an ebook or something else.


Make a list of courses, products, and services you have experience with and choose the one you would be excited to promote. Cross off any that are not a good fit.


Then, check to see if the merchant has an affiliate program. Some will not, although many do.


You can do an online search using a search engine such as Google for:


“affiliate program” + [product name], (i.e. “affiliate program” + Pinterest Marketing Course, or other product)


or email the merchant and ask.


Use a check list for your other products that includes the following:


>> You’ve previewed the product so you know its quality.
>> They have a solid refund policy that you trust they’ll honor.
>> They provide good customer support (and you’ve tested it).
>> You have a good story to share about your experience with the product.
>> The offer fits your audience’s needs and won’t abuse the trust you’ve built with them.


The affiliate products that meet all these requirements are your best income opportunities. You can add as many of these products as you like in the future.


Now, you’ve found your first product! Apply using the merchant’s process and start promoting.


This option may be enough to get you started if you’re new to affiliate marketing channels.


However, as a blogger you’ll also want to try option #2.


If you don’t already have a product that you love and is a good fit for your audience and that offers an affiliate program, you’ll have to explore this second option.


Option #2: Find Products through an Affiliate Network


This option requires investing time into research and money into buying products to try, even more than the first option. So, be very careful.


That’s because you have no prior knowledge so there’s less trust. Do your due diligence, to protect your reputation and the trust you’ve built with your readers.


When you work through a network, your business relationship is with that network, and you normally won’t know the merchant ahead of time and won’t build a relationship with them.


Popular and reliable networks include Clickbank, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), the eBay Partner Network (EPN), ShareASale, and the Amazon Associates program.


Some networks will assign you an affiliate manager to show you the ropes.


Many new marketers begin by becoming an Amazon affiliate and then scaling to other types of more profitable affiliate offers.


Step 2. Get Set Up as an Affiliate


Whether you work through a network or directly with a merchant you have to apply, be approved, and provide specific information in order to be paid.


At the very least, you’ll need to furnish your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes as well as your bank account where commissions will be deposited.


The merchant will provide you with a trackable affiliate link that you’ll use whenever you post about the product. It will have a long tag at the end with your affiliate ID.


Here’s what some typical affiliate text links look like:


LINK THAT DIRECT’S TO THE MERCHANT’S HOME PAGE


https://merchantsite.com/dap/a/?a=1199



LINK TO ANOTHER PAGE ON THE MERCHANT’S SITE


https://merchantsite.com/dap/a/?a=1199&p=merchantsite.com/page.html


You’ll usually get some tips and useful marketing resources that could include:


a) An affiliate guide as well as instructions on how to use the platform and summary of policies such as payouts.

b) Online marketing tools like banners and sidebar graphics.

c) Sample email/webpage swipe copy.

d) Ongoing communications from the merchant about promotions, new products, etc.


You’ll get a link for each product you promote, if you use a network like Amazon.


Do check your specific network’s help and support pages for more information.


For your global audience you can check out geniuslink for tracking overseas sales through Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Store.


No matter which method you use, expect to invest money and time into researching the best products for your audience.


Step 3. Start Promoting Your Affiliate Offers


In the end, your hard work of finding and evaluating products only pays off when someone takes your advice and makes a purchase.


So, you need to place your recommendation in front of your audience in a trustworthy manner.


Don’t make the affiliate-marketer mistake of haphazardly slapping some banners on your blog that link to affiliate products and think that’s all you have to do.


Your recommendations should line up with your blog categories and topics, not some random products that are probably of no use to your readers.


Example:


If your blog’s focus is travel related, don’t use affiliate links advertising educational products or some other unrelated merchandise.


Here are a couple of options:


Option #1: Create a Resource Page on Your Blog


You can create your own resource page on which you can promote lots of different products, and they’ll all be organized in one place for easy reference for different readers according to their needs. It can also contain explanations regarding the usefulness of the products.


The page is not just a sales pitch but educational, with quality content. It should be well optimized for SEO so it will also rank well in Google search results and get organic traffic that also leads to good conversion rates.


Option #2: Create and Promote Custom Content


The following strategies are for those who are already sending traffic to your latest content by emailing your list regularly (at least two to four times per month) about what’s new.


A) Write Reviews


You can write in depth reviews of products, books, courses, or software products you promote as an affiliate.


Your reviews can focus on one product or comparisons between two products side by side.


Comparing two products in this way builds more trust, but is distracting due to multiple recommendations.


For multiple product reviews you can set up a “one-stop shop” for your niche by creating a site containing only reviews and affiliate offers.


B) Write Authoritative Content on a Related Topic


Write an authoritative comprehensive post that educates your audience and do a “soft sell” for your products.


For example, set up a guide for writing blog posts and include your affiliate links to your hosting providers.


Make sure your topic, whatever it is, is evergreen content – information that will be useful for years.


Create blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. Just do not create a sales page. You want to focus on building trust and authority.


Pay particular attention to SEO. Be sure to optimize for the right keywords and build links to your content to get a constant flow of traffic from Google.


C) Create Valuable Bonus Content


Check your affiliate agreement to see if you’re allowed to create bonus content. If so, create content, especially for your readers, to help them get even more value from the affiliate product.


People love bonuses! Creating them is fairly quick and easy, and they will help you stand out from other bloggers promoting the same product.


Some example bonuses are:


Step-by-step checklists.
Quick-start guides.
Video overviews or demos.
Complementary or discounted services (e.g., coaching calls).


Step 4. Follow Legal Requirements and Best Practice


In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that you let people know you’ll earn a commission.


But even if it isn’t required by law where you’re located, it is recommended. It’s just good business.


People will appreciate your transparency and honesty and want to support you and help you for improving their lives.


So, wherever you share a link – in blog posts, on web pages or in emails – let readers know you may make a small commission if they make a purchase through you.


Also, create a disclaimer page on your website.


There, you have it, the bottom line on affiliate marketing.


Your dream of making passive income is a completely achievable reality, although it’s not as simple as pushing a magic button. With a little knowledge and persistence you can do it and eventually turn it into an online business.


Affiliate marketing is one of the best business models for making an income from home, once you’ve gained a respectable following.


It’s very easy to get started. Just follow the steps covered in this post.


Find the one big thing everyone in your audience needs to reach their goals and start there.


Choose a great product you believe in. Share your success with it.


Deliver plenty of valuable content to educate your audience, without being too salesy.


Nurture the trust your audience places in you.


Be upfront, honest, transparent, and most of all, patient.



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