Time Management for Direct Sellers

Whether you are just getting started in your exciting new direct sales venture or you are a veteran, chances are there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

It’s very easy to spend hours on the fun stuff – creating flyers and business cards, reviewing the catalog to gain more product knowledge and networking online. All of those tasks are very much necessary. However the key to time management is simply one word: balance.

Find a medium that works best for you – a calendar, online reminders, sticky notes or scratch paper. Then each and every day schedule definitive time frames when you will work on recruiting, customer service, team building, training, marketing and networking. Some tasks may take fifteen minutes while others may need two hours to complete.

To make this system work, you need to stick to your time frames. When the allotted time is completed, move onto the next task. While you are working online, turn off your email and instant message programs. Let me repeat that – turn off your email and IM! It is one of the biggest distractions.

In addition to scheduling direct sales activities throughout your day it is vitally important that you also schedule time for yourself, your home and your family. If you don’t schedule all of these essential responsibilities, something will simply not get done. Generally if something has to get shelved until the next day, it’s the crucial downtime.

Direct selling is a wonderful business. It allows flexibility and freedom. However it takes consistent time management in order to be successful. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There is no time like the present to set your schedule and work your new time management plan!

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Email Marketing – Importance of Targeting Your Email Marketing

No manufacturing or merchandising company can survive today without the marketing efforts. These marketing efforts need to be directed properly towards the target market. If the time and money are used as well as the effort is done in the wrong direction and not towards the target market, the whole marketing campaign can fail. Keeping this in mind targeted email marketing efforts become very important. Many of the companies are using this technique today to ensure more web traffic as well as increase in the volume of business.

You can only market your product successfully if you understand the segment of the population clearly which you think is your target market. In case of targeted email marketing it is even more important. When an email marketer sends a promotional offer letter to any recipient, he or she is not sure even about the email being opened by the recipient. You need to take this issue seriously and make sure that your email is not taken as spam email. This will ensure that your marketing efforts are not wasted.

There are many benefits provided by the email marketing provided the efforts are directed towards the target market. The most important advantage this type of marketing brings is that it is far cheaper than any other means. Also, the number of people who could be contacted through email marketing is far greater. In this way the targeted email marketing becomes important. If you pay proper attention towards the promotional efforts, you will be able to get the best out of your email marketing campaign.

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Article Marketing – Why I Use Primarily Article Marketing for Traffic Generation

Article marketing of course is the process of writing articles and submitting them to the various online article directories and websites that accept articles for the purpose of generating direct traffic and back links to your website.

Article marketing is a powerful source of generating traffic and generating back links to your website. Article marketing generates traffic to your website through two primary methods. One method is that of search engine optimization that is created by the back links that are created by your article marketing.

The second method of article marketing that is quite powerful is that of creating direct traffic. To create direct traffic to your website using article marketing, you generally want to submit your articles to the top five or so article directories, as ranked by traffic volume.

One of the things that I’ve done with article marketing for traffic generation is that visitors, the traffic, that I generate using article marketing has a much higher propensity spend money with me than visitors and traffic that is generated from other sources.

This is probably the biggest reason I use article marketing for my personal traffic generation. You see, I don’t have a big ego, I don’t have to have the most amount of traffic, but one thing that is extremely important to me that my traffic converts.

I have found that traffic coming from article marketing converts, and converts very well. And that is why I use article marketing for traffic generation primarily.

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4 Key Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

Want to increase Sales? Then here are 4 Key Marketing Do’s and Don’ts…

Not happy with your Marketing Plans? Spending a lot and getting little in return? Well, first off – you’re not alone. Many of the company owners I talk to express frustration with Marketing. They feel it’s a waste of money – echoing the famous quote “I know that 50% of the money I spend on Marketing is wasted – and if I knew which 50%, I’d cut it out”. Here are 4 things you can do to cut the waste and get better results.

First, don’t confuse Marketing and Selling. Selling is, in fact, only a method of promoting your products and services. Sales people have to be told which products to sell, how the products will benefit their prospects and customers and how much to sell the products for. (Have you ever tried letting sales people set selling prices? It’s one of the faster ways to go out of business.) Marketing is deciding which products your customers will want and how much they will pay for them and then launching your products on time. Sales people have to be given “qualified leads” – they’re too costly to use for generating and qualifying their own leads – so it’s more cost effective to use the promotional techniques to do that. Marketing is figuring out which combination of the promotional techniques is needed to produce enough leads for the Company to achieve its sales targets.

Second, don’t confuse Marketing with Promotion. Using advertising (print, radio, T.V., billboards etc.), public relations, direct mail, web sites, email, or telemarketing are ways of promoting your business. Promotion is only one of 4 Marketing tools, and, before we leave it behind for a moment, here are a couple of “don’ts” regarding promotion. Don’t:

o Expect an advertisement to bring you results the first (or even the second or third) time you use it. Consistency of use is one of requirements for advertising to work.
o Be surprised if the response to your direct mail (or email) campaigns is “low”. A 2 or 3% response rate may be all that you should be expecting.

o Look for a flood of visitors to come to your web site and buy your products – unless you spend time and money “optimizing” your site for search engines.

o Forget that you’ll get better results by using several of the promotional techniques in an integrated campaign, for example follow up a direct mail or email piece with telemarketing.

Third, remember that you have 4 Marketing tools at your disposal. We’ve talked about 3 of them already – product, price and promotion. The fourth is your distribution channels – how you get your products to the end user. A couple of points to remember:

o Products – have a “life”. Some will remain in demand longer than others but none go on forever (notice how hybrid engines are beginning to appear in cars and trucks, slowly replacing the gasoline engine which has been around “forever”). Develop and launch new products before your competitors do.
o Price – follow either a high quality/high price or low quality/low price strategy. Don’t get trapped in the middle (it’s slower than letting sales people set prices but you’ll still go out of business).

o Promotion – budget to spend a percentage of your sales on promotion at the beginning of each year. Keep your promotional program going all year – don’t wait until your reps. get short of leads or sales fall off.

o Place/Distribution Channels – should be changed either at different points in a product’s life (how easy is it, these days, to find a small, independent retail store selling only computer hardware) or in the face of new technology (you can buy many of the same products from a Future Shop store or from their web site).

The 4 Marketing tools are like the promotional techniques in one way – you get the best results if you figure out the combination of all 4 that gets the best reaction from your market.

Four, check regularly that you are still focused only on that part of the total market that needs your products and can pay for them. Focus your resources on a well defined group of people or companies who share similar characteristics – including a need for your products. It’s likely to be much more profitable than chasing everyone who might, one day, have a need for your services. You can perform a reality check by thinking about what your best customer looks like. Make sure that you are only dealing with (and looking for) more people or companies like them. But remember, there needs to be enough of them, each generating enough demand, to allow you to make a profit.

If you’re doing all 4 of the things we’ve talked about you have an effective Marketing Strategy. Clearly identifying a “target” market and then applying the most effective combination or “mix” of the 4 marketing tools to it are the 2 ingredients for developing a great marketing strategy. To make it come to life – because after all it’s all about execution – insist your marketing team (in-house or outsourced) expresses all of the things that they have to do to execute the product, price and channel management strategies and their promotional program as SMART goals.

© Copyright ProfitPATH, a division of JDS & Associates Inc., 2007

Before becoming CEO of the Canadian subsidiary of a multi-national corporation, Jim gained over 25 years’ business experience in major corporations (including subsidiaries of Pitney Bowes, Xerox and ITT) in Canada and Internationally. His orientation and expertise saw him spend much of his time starting and growing new or existing businesses. Since 1997, he has specialized in helping the owners of small and medium size enterprises, successfully achieve their growth objectives. Three of the companies with whom he has worked have received Business Achievement Awards. In 1995, Jim completed an MBA in the Executive Program at the University of Toronto, finishing on the Dean’s List. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa. Visit Jim’s web site [http://profitpath.com/] for more information.

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The 5 Most Dangerous E-mail Marketing Myths

E-mail marketing has gone through a lot during the past 5 years or so. In the beginning, it was seen as the ultimate marketing tool — inexpensive, instantaneous, and 100% measurable. Click-through rates were the only numbers that mattered, and people were willing to open — and read — just about every single e-mail they received.

Pay attention, because if you’ve bought into any of these myths yourself, you’re in danger of losing out on a lot of potential profits.

These are E-mail Marketing Myths below :

#1: E-mail Marketing Is No Longer Effective

This is the most common misconception I hear when I talk to people about e-mail marketing. Many think that the sheer volume of e-mail that we all receive on a daily basis has ruined the effectiveness of e-mail as a marketing tool. And the fact that spam has received so much attention in the news lately also hasn’t done much to instill confidence in this medium.

A recent DoubleClick study reports that 69% of American e-mail users have made purchases online after receiving permission-based e-mail marketing.

That’s great news for companies who continue to use e-mail as a marketing tool. The fact that almost 70% of people have made purchases as a result of receiving an online promotional offer demonstrates that e-mail remains one of the most effective marketing tools in history.

#2: E-mail Promotions Will Damage My Credibility

There is a pervasive myth among some small and home-based business owners that using e-mail as a promotional tool will cause subscribers and customers to have a lower opinion of your business. Now, I’m not sure who started this rumor, but I’ll bet that it was someone who didn’t do a very professional job of putting together their own e-mail campaigns!

If you launch a poorly designed e-mail campaign, of course you will damage your credibility. The same goes for a direct mail campaign filled with spelling mistakes or an offensive newspaper advertisement. However, if you spend some time creating a well-formatted promotional e-mail that is of real value to your customers and subscribers, you will actually enhance your credibility.

In a recent report, eMarketer found that 67% of US consumers said they liked companies who, in their opinion, did a good job with permission e-mail marketing. This is proof that an e-mail marketing campaign that is well-designed and properly delivered will actually enhance your credibility among your customers and subscribers, as opposed to damaging it.

The key to delivering an e-mail promotion that your opt-in list will appreciate is paying attention to quality. Here are 3 easy steps to ensure that your customers and subscribers receive professional, quality messages from you every time:

1. Make sure that your offer is directly relevant to your subscribers’ interests. If they opted-in to learn more about gardening, don’t send them offers for candles.

2.Be sure to proofread everything you send out at least a couple of times. And get someone else to proofread it for you as well.

3.Sign up for a free e-mail address at each of the most popular e-mail services, like Hotmail and Yahoo!, and test your e-mail promotions to those addresses before you send out your mailing. This will help you catch any formatting glitches that might show up in those services.

Remember, if you are selling a product or service over the Internet, e-mail is probably the only dialogue you’ll ever have with your customers and subscribers. This means that, along with your web site, your e-mail messages are the only tools you have to build trust and credibility. If you do a professional job creating and testing your e-mail messages before sending them out, your customers will get a great impression of your business, and feel comfortable conducting business with you.

#3: My Customers Will Think I’m Spamming Them

Here’s where we need to talk a little bit about the difference between spam and legitimate, permission-based e-mail marketing. Spam is basically unwanted e-mail that has been sent by a company with which the recipient has had no prior contact. Spammers usually get their lists of e-mail addresses by “harvesting” them from newsgroups and chat rooms, or through a wide range of other unethical sources.

And studies indicate that e-mail users are well aware of the difference between the two. According to IMT Strategies, more than 80% of people feel negatively towards spam, whereas 78% of the people surveyed in a recent DoubleClick report said that they wanted to receive e-mail from their favorite online merchants.

Now, if 78% of people actually want to receive promotional e-mail from you, you’re doing terrible damage to your bottom line if you aren’t using e-mail as a marketing tool. And unless you really are spamming, you don’t need to worry that your customers will think that you are (as long as you follow a few simple rules like providing clear unsubscribe instructions). Your customers are smart enough to tell the difference.

#4: People Will Unsubscribe From My List If I E-mail Them

Another really common concern among online business people is that their customers and subscribers will start unsubscribing from their list if they receive promotional e-mails. The only time these companies e-mail their customers and subscribers is when they want to notify them of a some company event, like a move to a new location or a total redesign of their web site.

It’s true that if you never send any e-mail to your customers and subscribers, you won’t get any unsubscribes. There’s nothing for them to unsubscribe from! But what was the point of collecting all those e-mail addresses if you aren’t going to use them? The fact of the matter is that people who leave their e-mail addresses with you fully expect to receive e-mail from you. Why else would they have given you their contact information?

Still not convinced? According to a joint study recently released by The Direct Marketing Association and the Association of Interactive Marketing, 63% of companies surveyed reported that e-mail marketing was their most effective customer-retention tool. A “customer-retention tool” simply refers to a method of preventing your customers from buying products or services from your competition rather than you.

Customer-retention is one of the most important aspects of any business. Losing a customer to your competition is very harmful to your bottom line, because one existing customer is more valuable than a list of potential customers.

And remember, a few unsubscribes here and there aren’t going to destroy your business. In fact, people who unsubscribe from your list as a result of responsible, well-written e-mail marketing campaigns are actually doing you a favor! After all, why would you want to waste your valuable time and resources on people who have no interest in your offer?

#5: E-mail Campaigns Are Difficult To Design And Deliver

Whenever I’m talking with someone who insists that e-mail marketing doesn’t work, I always ask them if they’ve ever actually tried it themselves. Most of them admit that they haven’t. When asked why they haven’t tried it themselves, the answer is almost always the same: They think that the process of creating and sending out an e-mail promotion is too complicated or too difficult.

Those of us who do use e-mail as a successful marketing tool know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you’ve learned the basics, the process is a breeze. And there are new tools being created all the time that make the process even easier.

Now I’ll show you how easy to avoid those 5 myths above and convince you that e-mail marketing is still the best way to make great success on your internet business.

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The Message Market Medium Match And Why It Should be A Vital Component Of Your Marketing Strategy

The message to market to medium match is the most important principle of marketing. If you understand how these three factors interact you will get a much better response from your advertising and marketing. However, if you ignore or de-value the importance of these three factors you will be settling for less money and lower responses. Before I get into how these factors work together I want to take a brief moment to explain what these terms mean.

Message. This one is the straightest forward of the three, and it generally refers to your sales message. These are the words you communicate to your prospect that are used to convince him / her to take action and buy your product or services. These are words used to sell, and they are often referred to as copy.

Medium. This area is one where entrepreneurs often make a mistake, especially when it comes to the internet. The medium is how your message gets to your prospect. Examples of different medium are: postcards, newsletters, TV, radio, business cards, sales letters, internet, tear sheets, free recorded messages, email, etc. The internet is tricky because everyone thinks that the rules change when they go online. That is dangerous thinking. The principles that make marketing work do not change and they apply regardless of what medium you are in. You may have to tailor your message to fit within a given format, but the rules are still the same.

Market. This term refers to your target market. That is to say, who are you trying to sell your product or services too. Obviously, you can’t sell to every single person on the planet, so you have to pick a certain group or niche of people to market to. If you haven’t already tried this, you should sit down and write down every possible thing you could think of about your target market, and use this as a guide in your marketing. If you are marketing to everybody you are marketing to nobody.

These three factors work together and feed into one another. You must have the right message being delivered to the right market via the right medium. If any of these three factors is not right than it could sink an entire campaign. For instance if you are a swimwear provider you would have better success marketing to people in Florida than you would in Wisconsin. If you sell expensive jewelry you want to market to people in wealthier parts of town than those in the poorer parts.

You see, people learn and react in different ways. Some people like to read things, others like to listen to them, and still others like to learn things hands on. This means that you have to put your sales message in the best format for you target market to consume it. You don’t want to send an email campaign to someone who hates to check email, or pay for TV commercials broadcast to people who don’t watch television (believe it or not – they still exist).

There are several good ways to avoid making these types of mistakes, and most of them involve doing a little research. Go and spend time wherever your target market spends time. Eat what they eat, watch what they watch, and do what they do. This will give you a much better understanding of your market. To figure out what media works best, you should look into what types of publications that your target market responds too. Find successful (the key word being successful) people that are marketing to your group and find out what they are using and copy it. Finally, a good catch-all way to improve your chances is by using campaigns that include multiple media. For instance, you could use a 3-step mailing campaign that includes a sales letter, CD, and voice broadcast.

I know that adapting your marketing to include this type of strategy may be difficult, but I assure you it is well worth the effort. If you don’t concern yourself with all three aspects you are leaving money behind. If you apply these principles properly there is no question that you will see a boost in both your response and your bank account.

Michael Black is a Direct Response Marketing Guru located in Colorado Springs, CO and Co-founder of Direct Results Marketing. Along with co-founder Jarrod Cash they have created comprehensive marketing kits, systems, and promotions for all kinds of businesses and services. If you want to make more money in less time then you need to be talking to us.

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Readability In Sales Letters – Ads – and Promotions: How to Get The Most For Your Marketing Dollar

Readability is essential to writing a good sales message. What is readability you ask? It’s quite simple really… It’s the combination of multiple factors: sentence and paragraph lengths, structure and organization, how interesting or lively you are, the look and feel of the piece, and most importantly how well you matched your message to the emotions and interests of your target market.

Often, when people write ads and sales letters they get too caught up in using big words and fancy sounding jargon when describing their product or services. They are still caught in the “School / College” mindset that everything must be perfect and sound very intelligent. This is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

When you write an ad or sales letter you want to be very careful about matching your message to your target market. You see people respond better to people (or in this case ads) that address their concerns or interests – that sound just like them. Furthermore, the reading level for the average American is somewhere at the middle school level. The average American will only read a handful of books in a year! I don’t say this to be critical, I say this because your marketing must address this concern.

That means that your marketing message should not rely on big words or complex ideas. Instead, your sales letters should read like someone is talking to you. This means that your promotions should have personality. You should use words that your target market would use. You may even want to take time to explain how you are a common Joe just like everybody else – a real live person not a faceless corporation. Include intentional misspellings and grammatical errors to mimic everyday communication. Sentence fragments, dangling participles, and common words are how people talk in real life and your sales message should mirror that reality. In fact, when you write your sales letters they should make your high-school grammar teacher cringe!

A good tactic to make sure that your ads will be easily readable involves reading your ads out loud. If you have problems or are stumbling over words, you need to rework your message to increase readability. A better tip is to take a child of about 10 years old and have them read your sales letter aloud. Any words that the child cannot read or understand should be replaced with clearer language.

Another way to connect with your target market is to go to where they would spend their free time and just listen to what they say and how they talk. This might mean that you spend time listening to people in certain sections of supermarkets, hanging out at the local pub, or going to a professional sports game. One final pitfall to avoid is the use of graphic artists. Never let some graphic artist get a hold of your sales letter and start monkeying around with it. It is important that the person that has the clearest understanding of the market, as well as the goals of the marketing, should guide the final outcome. That will almost always end up being you. The only principle that should guide your marketing is profit… pure and simple. Remember, you are not out there to win awards!

Readability is vital to the success of your promotions, ads, and sales letters. After all, if the stuff is too hard to read and understand most people won’t bother to continue reading. It is important to acknowledge this problem and to address it in your marketing. If you don’t you could are leaving money behind on the table! Stick to these tips and you will get a better response out of your sales letters, ads, and promotions.

Michael Black is a Direct Response Marketing Guru located in Colorado Springs, CO and Co-founder of Direct Results Marketing. Along with co-founder Jarrod Cash they have created comprehensive marketing kits, systems, and promotions for all kinds of businesses and services. If you want to make more money in less time then you need to be talking to us.

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Affiliate Marketing Success Blueprint – Your Step-By-Step Blueprint

So you started out with affiliate marketing with the idea that in just a couple months you were going to be making the residual income you were promised, driving the car you want and living the exact life style you choose.

You got so excited with the idea that you jumped at it, why not, it’s basically a no brainer right?. All you have to do is build a quick web page, drive traffic, build a list and BINGO! You just made your first two sales!

Has it gone that way yet? I’m here to share with you my personal experience and also the personal experience of others in how affiliate marketing turns out many people and how to save countless of hours of experimentation and actually go down the path that bring you results.

There are a number of things to keep in mind before starting any business.

I have identified four main points that are crucial to your success. They are:

- Clear Vision

- Focus

- Concrete and applicable material

- Strategic action (emphasis on strategic)

Let’s dissect these key points one by one. So first with clear vision, as with anything in life if you want to go from point A to point B you need to be absolutely clear what point B looks like in order to get there. So how do we do this?

First, identify what you really want in your life? What does you ultimate life look like? If you had all the money and time in the world what would you be doing as a result?

This has to be written down in the present tense as already achieved. The clearer the better because you will then have utmost clarity on your path to success and achieve results much faster than you are now.

Vision boards can be real assets. You cut out images of things you would like to have, a person you would like to be or a lifestyle you would like to live.

The law of clear vision is very powerful and can work for or against you.

Now for the second point, the law of focus…

Seems like everyone has a concept of what focus is nowadays. They say just stay on task and don’t get distracted, I mean I heard that when I was in elementary but do we actually do it…the answer most of the time is no.

This is exactly what I mean (and see if you can relate). You get up in the morning all excited about the next greatest thing you will be spending your time doing in your business, you eagerly open up your email and check new messages whether they be business related or not (30min – 1hr goes by). From checking your email you are curious to explore the website links of cool new products to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website so you start web surfing (1 – 2 hrs go by). Now you find a product you really like and decide to purchase it because of the sale price and then start printing out the ebook (another 30min- 1hr goes by).

The book you just bought is probably the tenth item you purchased already that relates to making more sales and getting your business off the ground, but we have one problem, your business is not even moving and your time, energy and money are going in the opposite direction.

We consume ourselves with all these products and services that all these marketers are offering, spend endless hours surfing the internet and constantly researching things all related to business but we are not moving in the direction that we want.

This very simply is because we don’t have an established plan of specific tasks and actions that will move us forward (more on strategic action bellow).

So ask yourself every day you hop into bed, what was my main focus today? What was my intention? Was it to make modifications to my Google AdWords campaign, was it to create a new thank you page for my website or was it to aimlessly browse the internet, read any and all incoming email messages and wonder around aimlessly.

I’m being quite frank here but that is exactly what is happening on a daily basis to just about everyone. Most of us have no established plan that we can give 110% of their focus and energy to but rather look for the next greatest opportunity, product or service that will make us succeed.

So we covered what we get side tracked from including materials and endless products and offers, I will cover what you should be looking for in business material and how to build a foundation of knowledge that will allow you to move forward powerfully.

So what do you want to learn about? Want to build a list? Drive huge amounts of traffic to your site? Build a profitable website or learn about email marketing? Well how on earth does one do so if there are hundreds of products and services on any given subject to choose from?

You may think that you need to find a host of good products read and study them and go from there? Or you may feel that you need to skip all that and just do the trial and error method and grow from your own experience.

I will share what has worked for me and what is continuing to work for others. The truth (from my side of the field) is to find free or inexpensive material. Go to blogs, forums, and search engines for the information your looking for, let’s say it’s traffic generation.

Find a good information source and study it (this doesn’t have to take days on end). Now this is the crucial point, let’s say you just found one product that talks about list building and another product that talks about how to write effective copy and perhaps that’s all you want to focus on. Well stick to one or two products or information services and DO NOT move on to another one until you have produced decent results with what you already have.

If you picked up a free article that talks about how you can get ten additional subscribers to your list per day in the next week and the person writing it is giving you concrete information, well then apply what he/she says and get an additional ten subscribers to your email list per day before ever moving on to another program or book that talks about another traffic method.

I have gone through this in my experience and without doing the above recommendation I have wasted countless hours spending much more than I was making with no return at all because I was literally drowning in information (commonly known as information overload).

The strategy is to find a good trusted information source, build a strong foundation of knowledge from what you read and develop and action plan highlighting the exact steps to take and start seeing results. The key again is to not move forward onto something else until you have mastered one thing and made it work for you.

This is the most important piece of advice that I can give you at this point in your business growth.

Now, last but not least is taking strategic action. I mention strategic purposely and not just in the traditional term of taking action because we have a common philosophy nowadays and quite frankly it’s flawed.

Everyone takes action towards something, that’s why their day is so busy. But the question is whether your taking the type of action in your business that makes your day busy or that makes your day productive! There is a huge difference.

What you need to do is identify the most productive and effective actions that you can take right now that will bring you closer to your goal. You need to identify with what tasks you are going to spend your time doing.

I once read that the average business person spends between 5-12% of his day doing an income producing activity. Now that’s not 5-12% after a two hour work period, not at all, I’m talking about working for 5-8 hrs.

That’s almost the same as saying that your business day was 5-12% productive on a daily basis. This may come as a shock to many people but there is a solution.

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Creating An Original Brand Identity For Network Marketing And Direct Sales Industry Distributors

In the network marketing, MLM, and direct sales industries there is some conflicting information about how to go about establishing a personal brand in the industry.

Lets look at what a personal brand is. A personal brand is a way of attracting business to you by promoting yourself in addition to or in place of your product. In these industries people do business with individuals they like or feel they can relate to. They also do business with people who come across as having insider knowledge or leadership skills.

While I do not recommend portraying oneself in false terms to establish a powerful brand, it’s a good idea to play up your strengths. If you are just starting out, your brand should be based around the strengths you bring to your new business, not the fact that you are just starting out and haven’t made any money yet.

Portraying oneself as a strong leader does not necessarily mean posing with a sports car or even dressing up for a photograph. It means telling a story that will invite people to relate to you and be curious about your business.

The fact is – there are 100s of income opportunities on the internet these days. They are mostly marketed in very similar, and unoriginal ways. A very effective branding technique is to look at what other people are doing, and do something very different.

In this particular industry there are basically two general types of branding I see a lot.

The first is the “money and cars” type of brand which portrays success in the business as a pleasurable experience and encourages site visitors to imagine having nice things and a lot of money as a part of the home business experience.
The second is the “soft” brand. With this type of brand, often used with health and wellness MLM products, the financial rewards take a back seat to having a “feel good” product. While this type of branding is often instigated by MLM companies to build product loyalty, it often functions to conceal a weak compensation plan where few distributors make much money.
Neither of these types of branding are particularly original. I would suggest that on the internet it’s a good idea to build a brand that goes against the grain of these two types and establishes a more unique sort of image for the distributor.
This is a creative process. The secret to building a loyal following and attracting customers is building a deep brand on the internet. This sort of branding cannot be bought, it must be earned.

How is a deep brand established on the internet?

Through the written word. Distributors who wish to brand themselves but are unwilling to write web content on a regular basis will struggle to create a brand. Blogging is perhaps the most familiar form of content distribution, but getting traffic to a blog requires comprehension of how information is actually distributed on the internet – the sort of marketing knowledge that is never taught in most company-provided marketing training.

In fact, some companies in the industry actively discourage or even prohibit discussion or content marketing on the internet. My only advice is – avoid these companies like the plague.

Branding with content takes time and patience. Distributing the content effectively requires specialized knowledge of how the internet really works.

Who said building a brand is easy?

Building a brand does not have to be hard, but it does take time.

For this reason, brand-building should be piggy-backed with other marketing activity. It is unwise for an independent distributor to invest money in branding-only activity. Still, most promotional activity should be done with an eye to increasing visibility of the brand.

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Key Message Sales Copy Platforms-The Secret To Increasing The Power of Your B2B Marketing Materials

It’s a simple fact. When your customers are presented with inconsistent or muddled marketing messages, they instinctively say ‘no,’ and move on. However, creating consistent selling statements throughout your B2B marketing materials can be difficult. Especially when you’re under the gun to produce a sales letter by the end of the week and a brochure by the end of the month–not to mention a print ad that’s due ASAP.

The solution is creating a comprehensive key message copy platform that serves as the “master message document” for your product, from which you can write all your marketing pieces. Effective key message copy platforms typically include the following sections:

The Problem Your Product Solves.
Every product exists to solve a problem or a meet a need of some kind. Make sure your key message platform includes a clear explanation of the specific need your product addresses, and include it in your marcom materials.

How Your Product Works.
If your customers look at your web site, brochure and data sheet and see three different descriptions of how your product works, you’re in trouble. So develop one good explanation that’s easy to follow, and use it throughout your campaign.

Market Research Facts and Figures.
Your key message platform is the ideal place to list all the key market stats, facts and figures you need to substantiate the marketing claims you want to make about your product.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
To effectively market your product, it’s ideal to have a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it superior to its competition. Write a strong statement about your product’s USP, and use it as the golden thread that is woven throughout your marketing campaign.

Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP).
Next, summarize your emotional selling proposition (ESP). For example, a product that restores a person’s hearing also restores their hope and makes them feel more vibrant and confident. Capture this emotion and put it in words that become a focal point of your marketing campaign.

Product Positioning Statement.
Do you want your customers to think of your product as the high-quality, low-cost alternative to the top brand in the market? Or do you want them to think of it as the premium product that is socially in vogue or has no peer? Describe how you want your target market to perceive your product, and then write your marketing copy using a style and tone that supports your objectives.

Testimonials from industry leaders can be pure gold for your marketing campaign, so collecting them is a must for your key message platform. A renowned industry expert making strong statements in favor of your product will do more to influence the opinion of his or her peers than statements made by your company.

Product Features and Benefits.
Make a detailed list of your product’s features and benefits. Here is an example of a feature/benefit statement from a key message platform I wrote for a product called Axis.(TM) Axis is a solvent-dehydrated, preserved human dermis product that is used in surgical procedures.

oThe omni-directional fibers in Axis (feature) result in consistent high tensile strength and quality (benefit).

Key Message Statements.
Now comes the part of a key message platform where you actually get to write key message statements! The following is an example based on the feature/benefit statement I cited above for Axis.

Axis(TM) Is Strong.
Axis dermis has omni-directional fibers that give it consistent high tensile strength and quality. It’s dense network of collagen bundles interconnect in every direction–making it that much stronger. Every piece. Every time. So why leave strength to chance?

Imagine the power you will have in your hands when you include all this detailed information about your product in a single resource document–before you even begin writing your marcom materials. It’s easy to see why first developing key message copy platforms is a much better strategy than writing marcom pieces one at a time on a make-it-up-as-you-go basis.

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