Would you like an innovative way to get prospects to engage with your business or your marketing efforts?  Have you ever heard of QR codes? Do you know how to use them?

QR codes, or Quick Response Codes, were invented in Japan by Toyota back in 1994. They have expanded rapidly in Japan and in Korea.  They are just beginning to gain traction  in the West. You may not have noticed them before, but they are beginning to appear on all kinds of print media and marketing materials. In Japan they have been used on products with links to product or nutritional information. They can be found on buildings, billboards, cars, restaurants and other retailers. The use of QR codes is free of any license. They are basically a static hyperlink. They are  a square two dimensional barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone mobile device with a QR reader application. Many of the phones already have this scanning capability built in using the camera lens. Those that don’t can do it using a downloadable QR reader application. There are many applications available and most are free.

They are used primarily offline on items like print ads, flyers, posters and business cards. Instead of people having to type a URL into their phones, they can now just scan your QR code and be immediately directed to your website. Another method is to have the QR code linked to your contact information which would then allow your information to be sent to their contact list.

QR codes were designed to be used primarily offline as a timesaver. Their real power is in offline marketing to direct your prospect to your specific destination online in the moment. The generator that I use is free and very advanced. It can generate QR codes in four categories:

Contact Info
Plain Text
SMS
URL

The ways to use these codes are many. Imagine marketing on coffee mugs, t-shirts, hats, posters, flyers, and business cards, with your prospects quickly and easily being taken to your destination with their smart phones. I myself have put these codes on business cards so that I can hand them out at network groups and business meetings with other marketers. You will immediately establish yourself as an expert in their eyes with the latest and greatest tool right on your card, opening up a conversation where you can then show them how they can use them with their businesses. You can tell them that this is one of the newer tools and an innovative way to do marketing. I then tell them that if they are interested, I can show them how to get one.

Click here to  get your own unlimited QR codes absolutely free.

Can you really make it in MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), or Network Marketing?  What is your real chance of success? Have you heard people complain that only a few make it in MLM? Or heard people complain that it is a pyramid, and only the people at the top make all the money? I have been involved in network marketing with the same company for 8 years now. I also run a small business for the last 30 years (a chiropractic and acupuncture practice in Los Angeles, CA). I am self-employed in two separate businesses. I cannot be fired. I control my own destiny.

Let’s look at the traditional small business, my health practice.  I started this business in 1980, and have had as many as 10 employees and as few as one. My overhead typically runs at least 50% of my income. The cost to start my business in 1980 with borrowed money was $80,000.  Here are some statistics from the SBA Office of Advocacy. Only half of small businesses survive for 5 years. Only a third get to 10 years and only one-quarter get to 15 years. Based on those statistics and the fact that the average owner investment and bank credit for new small businesses coincidentally averages $80,000 a year in today’s money, wouldn’t one sound the alarm of the dangers of starting a small business. Furthermore, of the 15.5 million individuals whose primary occupation was self-employment, the median personal marginal federal tax rate in 2008 was 10%. That means half were making less than $8,025 per year if single or $16,050 per year if married. Based on the foregoing shouldn’t we all be screaming at the dangers of self-employment and opening a small business? As for the top earners, only 4.1% or the 15.5 million self-employed were in the 33% tax bracket in 2008, with annual incomes of $164,000 if filing single or $200,000 if filing married. So only 4% get rich and 75% fail in the first 15 years. Sounds like a hard life doesn’t it?

Now let’s contrast this with an MLM or Network Marketing business. I will use the 26 year old billion dollar company traded on the NYSE that I have been working with for the last 8 years as an example. In our U.S. Market we have about 100,000 distributors of which only about 13,000 are active and earning commission checks. To earn a commission check you have to be personally purchasing at least $100 of product per month for personal use, or to resell, and you have to have at least one other person you have sponsored or sold to purchasing any amount of product per month. So 87,000 in this company either use no product personally at the $100 level, or they have no one they have sponsored purchasing products. The other 13,000 do. Of those 13,000, about 4,500 have at least $2,000 of product sales per month, earning higher rates of commissions. The other 8,500 earn lower rates of commissions. So we have three groups here: 87% do nothing, 8.5% earn lower commission rates, and 4.5% earn higher commission rates.

I submit that the 87% generally have invested nothing in terms of capital or time into their business, so I would classify them as at the most casual customers, who were signed up as distributors purely for the ability to buy at wholesale rates or to have the possibility of sponsoring someone else (most of these probably thought this business was like a lottery, sign up and get rich by doing nothing). The other 13,000 are actually engaged in the business of running a business. So of those 13,000, 34% (or 4,500) are building businesses with a customer base of at least $2,000 per month in sales (in my estimation, not an excessive amount of sales on a monthly basis for a small business). Average 2010 annualized income of the 4,500 is as follows: fifty-seven per cent made an average of $5,607 for the year,  20% made an average of $9,980, 12% made $16,133, and 6.5% made $39,503 for the year.  The top earners in this company comprised 4.5% of the 4,500 and earned an average income of $385,198 for the year 2010.

So in the traditional model outlined above 4.1% were in the 33% tax bracket with taxable income in the $164,000 to $200,000 range and in the MLM model outlined above 4.5% grossed $385,198 per year, and even with deductions, surely ended up in the higher tax brackets as well. So what does this all mean? It means that regardless of the model, the vast majority of people fail, or never even try, while a smaller percentage actually work their businesses, and some even go on to make fortunes.

It is time to quit whining about the vehicle one uses to build wealth, and start taking responsibility for one’s success or failure. Personally, I would much rather start an MLM business with the low start up cost, generally in the $100’s of dollars, rather than the tens of thousands of dollars, like traditional businesses, and put in the same sweat equity to build success.

Which do you prefer? Your final success ultimately depends on you.

Social Media Usage

I have just finished reviewing Michael A. Stelzner’s 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, published in April, 2010. I am anticipating a 2011 report soon. Looking back at the data in last year’s report, it is fascinating to see the growth in the various types of social media outlets.

Some interesting statistics from this report underscore the continual growth of social media in business growth. Smaller companies are using these tools to a greater extent than larger organizations. In this report you will find answers to the following:

Top social media questions marketers want answered
Time commitment required for investment in social media efforts
The benefits of social media marketing
Commonly used social media tools
Social media tools marketers want to learn more about

Here are some interesting facts:

The majority of marketers have only been involved with social  media  marketing  for a few months.
The majority of marketers are spending 6 or more hours per week on social media.
The top four social media tools were Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs.
Social bookmarking, Facebook and Twitter were the tools marketers wanted to learn the most about.

Many benefits were reported such as:

Generating exposure for the business
Raising search engine rankings
Increase in generating qualified leads
Helping to close business
Helping create new partnerships
Reducing overall marketing expenses

For brand new marketers Twitter topped the list for tools they wanted to learn about the most, followed by Facebook, blogs and LinkedIn

Overall, if you are using now, or plan to start using social media in your marketing efforts soon, I would direct you to this interesting report on this highly cost effective marketing arena.

How many times have you heard of all the great income stories in the world of MLM and Network Marketing?  In fact, it seems that if you are not making at least $5,000 to $10,000 per month you are a failure.

Well here are some sobering statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Only 10% of American households make more than $10,000 per month. And only one-third make more than $5,000 per month income.  And in many of these households there are multiple income earners where the work week is most likely 40 hours at a minimum per person.

Then we have network marketing companies where stories are paraded around about how easy it is to reach the top income levels.  As many of us know, it is not always so easy.  So what is the good news here?  Imagine that you are in an MLM network marketing company and are earning a cool $2,000 per month working 15 hours per week.  Is that success? I submit that it is.  That is an extra $24,000 per year added to your household income.  Could you go to your boss if you are employed and get a $24,000 raise this year?  Probably not.  If you are a self-employed professional can you generate that additional income this year?  Maybe, working a lot of extra hours if you can generate the extra business.

With network marketing, you not only can add significant income ($2,000 per month totals about a quarter of a million dollars in extra income over 10 years) that can greatly enhance your lifestyle, but also has the potential of helping you prepare for the uncertain future or for retirement.  I have been working with the same network marketing company for the last 8 years. We have over 700 people who have reached the top level, earning an average income of a little over $40,000 per month. But the statistic that I like the most is that in this company a new distributor hits the $1,000,000 mark of total earnings every five days.

The beauty of this industry is that we can all create a leveraged and residual income that can change our lives forever.  So whether it takes you 5 years or 25 years to generate a million dollars of income, isn’t it worth it?

Attraction Marketing

What is Attraction Marketing all about?  Attraction Marketing is based on the concept of providing a service or content to the prospective buyer, so that the buyer searches out the marketer, rather than the marketer having to chase the prospect. In the field of marketing this is also referred to as Reverse Marketing.

The traditional method of selling is where the seller takes the product into the marketplace and in essence is chasing the buyer. In Attraction Marketing the focus is first on providing information or expertise that will attract the right buyers to the seller.  In traditional network marketing or MLM, the majority of trainers teach people to talk to as many people as possible and to not worry about all the “no’s” because it just brings you that much closer to a “yes.”  Unfortunately it may take some people 50 or 100 no’s before they get their first “yes.”  What generally happens is that the new distributor in an MLM business can get frustrated hearing as few as 3 “no’s” and then quit the business before they even got started.

To utilize Attraction Marketing, a concept that is getting it’s best traction with internet marketing, savvy network marketers promote quality content to a targeted market of people who either are already in network marketing or may be looking for a network marketing opportunity.  As a result they will be able to sift and sort through a much more qualified group of prospects than they might otherwise be contacting simply by going through a warm market list of friends, family, and business contacts.

Whether you utilize Attraction Marketing online or in daily conversations with your prospects, remember to always find out first what it is the potential buyer wants or needs, before trying to pitch your product or opportunity.  The better your offer of a solution to the buyer’s particular needs, the better your chance of succeeding in building your business.

List, List, List

What is the first thing everyone is told to do when they enter the world of network marketing? Write down the names of 100 people that you know. There are all kinds of memory joggers to help you with this process. The goal here is to have people to start contacting from day one.

Unfortunately, when you are brand new you may not really know how to present your business to your prospects. Over time your list will change based on new people you think of or meet. To be really successful in network marketing you need to constantly have a flow of new people into your life.

In the past the only way to do this was to get our into the world and start meeting new people. Today, however, a new method of meeting people has come into play through the rapidly expanding field of social networking online. When you think that Facebook only appeared on the scene a little over 6 years ago, but now has a billion participants, you may be missing the boat if you do not include some kind of online social networking into your business plan. Be forewarned that it rarely can be the only method of building your business. Advantages of social networking are minimal financial investment (although there is a time investment required), the increasing popularity of these methods of connecting with people, the viral nature of the medium, and the ability to constantly add new people by extending the “three foot rule” to the expanse of the whole world.

FTC Cracks Down On Employment Scams

The FTC today cracked down today on several companies offering to help people find work but who only took their money. They also imposed several million dollars in fines.  Also the NJ attorney general took action against a company today offering people the opportunity to make money from home. All these companies made promises that lulled people into parting with their money for goods and services that did not help them earn money.  Most of these companies prey on individuals who are desperately searching for work or ways to make additional income, but offer no real value. 

Many times network marketing opportunities are seen as scams because of the promises implied or stated that tell people how easy it is to make money.  Unfortunately, it is all too common for people looking for the easy button to solve their financial problems. It seems that far too many people are going broke trying to get rich quick.

A real business takes time, persistence, consistency, and WORK.  If you want to make $10,000 per month, how reasonable is it to expect that you can accomplish that with just 10 to 15 hours or work per week? Only 10% of American households have an income level of $10,000 per month. Time and effort spent on building any business will be proportional to the rewards in the end.

Don’t fall prey to income scams on the Internet. While there are many illegal scams out there, there are also companies that have real content and real training to help you reach your goals.

MLSP Rocks

Just three weeks of using MLSP (My Lead System Pro) has allowed me to learn more about internet marketing for network marketing, than I could have possibly imagined.   Not only is the information invaluable, but the learning is actually fun. To be able to generate real leads online can only serve to enhance your efforts to build a network marketing business in the real world.

As more and more people spend increasing numbers of  hours in cyber reality, building businesses, finding love, and just interacting socially, it only makes sense for those of us who want to enhance our social networks to spend time where the people are.

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