Network Marketing Strategies

Social Internet & Face to Face Business Development

Getting Started: Internet Presence

If you are working with a good direct selling company then they will have outfitted you with a very robust website that is easily recognized by the popular search engines. If you want to check your company’s “optimization” (a tech word that describes the sophistication of a web page’s coding that, when written properly, causes it to rank highly when “searched-for” by internet users) just go to your favorite search engine (mine’s Google) and type in your company’s trademark name: A highly optimized site will show up first or second on the resulting list after the paid-for listings, a poorly optimized site may not show up at all. Its a good thing to…
…check on this before joining up with a company, if nothing else it indicates your company’s general standing in their market.
Direct selling companies do commonly charge a small fee for your participation in their web program. DO THIS! In Mary Kay they offer a first year half-off rate to help one get started so my first year of participation cost me $25 and at the beginning of my second year the rate was $50 for the year from then on. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!? Just take a quick look at how robust my Mary Kay site is: http//:www.marykay.com/tonyhurst. Do you realize that a site of this sophistication would have cost me several thousand dollars to set up and probably another grand per year to update and maintain properly? And I know this, I’ve maintained ecommerce sites for several companies -did some coding myself for simple sites and managed the out-sourced projects for more complicated ones. The fact that I got this thing at $25 to start is just… well its just criminal on my part, take me to jail right now because I’ve just ripped off Mary Kay (two years in a row so far.)
Direct selling companies like to maintain very strict control over the use of their trademarks and they are very careful at insuring that the majority of product sales happen on a face-to-face basis. This means that you cannot go onto eBay or Amazon and blow out large volumes of your products to the world, it would be a violation of your agreement with your company and for good reason: IT WOULD LITERALLY PUT YOU OUT OF BUSINESS OVERNIGHT! Thats because, while you might think that you’re a sharp business person to go that route, you haven’t a clue as to how sharp the sharks out there really are and how much capitol is available to invest in any desired commodity on a moment’s notice. I guarantee you that if your company couldn’t reach into its deep pockets to sue the pants off of anybody that would like to market your products online you would have no market to sell to in no time at all, take my word for it. DO NOT sell your products online except through your company’s official website. (And don’t ever buy direst-selling products online, you would be literally dealing with criminals.)
Because of the strict licensing and trademark limitation agreements that you enter into when you go into business with a direct selling company you will have to use some caution in managing any online presence outside of your company’s official domain. You will not be able to use your company’s logo on any personally designed website and you may not be able to list individual products for sale outside of your company’s official website. Check your written agreement or contact your company’s Legal Dept. for details and allowances as well as access to any available company-approved advertising standards.
So what can you do?
Well, there’s no restriction on you being you. I’m me. I’m happy to write this blog and tell you about me. Its no secret that I’m a Mary Kay consultant. I can type “Mary Kay” without it being a licensing issue because the words themselves are not trademarked, only the logo is. I might mention that I sold my client a moisturizer on a particular day and I might even mention how much the client paid for it. The truth is that I am marketing my image through this blog and that is GOLD for any direct marketer -in fact it is worth volumes more than individual product sales. I have feelings and opinions and experiences that I write about here and I have a right to express these things as a matter of public opinion so long as I am true to my agreement with Mary Kay.
In fact, people buy products like ours only from people that they know but I can actually go a long way towards making sales by being personally known through electronic media (like the article that you are reading right now.) And this can actually open up a literal Pandora’s box of personal marketing options for you and your business without ever violating your agreement or doing anything even slightly out-of-line.
I could really go on about this however the subject would be longer than most of my readers’ attention spans -actually even longer than my own. What I will do for you is make an offer to connect you with some consultants who are far more knowledgeable than I am in this area and I can absolutely guarantee a value. In case you haven’t noticed it this blog just got launched last month -and if you’re at all sophisticated you can tell that I barely even know what I’m doing so my willingness to go in with you on a training project like this is as much for me as it is for you.
Today I attended a short workshop with Shari Weiss and Les Ross. Shari is a professor at the San Francisco State University School of Business as well as a Business Consultant and Marketing Lecturer and Author -and a really nice and extraordinarily intelligent and sharp lady. Les is what I would call a Business Consultant Extraordinaire with an executive-level background in manufacturing and consulting -and also a really nice person and with a sharp eye for the crucial nuts and bolts of business operations. Together these two insightful people walked myself and about a dozen other individuals through the maze of online social networking -thats a big phrase, I’ll explain in a moment- and showed us exactly where and exactly how we could use our presence in these online domains to get our business message out into the world to generate leads, sales and referrals both locally as well as internationally.
Internet Social Networking is the catch-all phrase that one would use to describe online domains such as Facebook and Twitter and Linked-in as well as some lesser-known (but still very influential) online communities. I was blown away by the amount of critical information that was disseminated in the short two and a half hours that we spent going over their presentation. It will take me weeks just to get through all of my notes!
Les and Shari offer very reasonable webcast consulting sessions that will walk participants through getting the most out of these crucial marketing vehicles and I am actively seeking participants who would be willing to pool their resources with me so that we could collectively take advantage of their marketing expertise and get ourselves properly represented online in a way that efficiently returns results in the least time-consuming fashion possible.

Now HEAR THIS! This is VERY IMPORTANT! A direct marketer absolutely SHOULD NOT be spending hours a day focused on computer internet activities. The time that I spend writing this blog is not work time for me, its a hobby. I enjoy expressing myself and the time that I spend here is allocated for my personal interests like writing, riding motorcycles or tinkering with old computers, all of which I do with abandon during my off hours. My National Sales Director absolutely REFUSES to maintain any online presence because, in her words, “My best online advice to my consultants is to turn OFF the flippin’ computer, put ON a flippin’ blazer, slap a Mary Kay pin to your lapel and get yourself to the mall and generate some ACTUAL FACE TO FACE LEADS!” And I agree 110%. Notice the word “DIRECT” in “Direct Marketing.” That means, ideally, face-time, and secondarily, phone-time, period. My purpose in getting connected with Les and Shari is to get training on the most efficient avenues for maximizing the short amount of time that can be justified in our businesses for generating local business leads and marketing our image. I would suggest that the maximum work time that should be devoted to these activities is about a half an hour a day with maybe one day a month having a full hour of prep time for the coming month’s activities (i.e. preparing tweets and posts in advance etc.)

I believe that Les and Shari understand our needs there and can coach us accordingly. I’ll say it again -I absolutely guarantee value here.

So please email me with your desire to take part in a webcast session with Shari and Les -I have so many notes scribbled all over their flyer that I can’t read their fee schedule but I will be in touch with them and get some details about it and I will be ready to take part in a webcast sometime in the coming month or so.

If you would like any information at all about Les or Shari I can assure you that they are so very present on the web that they’re hard to miss! (…and you should be too.)

But here’s some specifics:

Les:

Shari:

I encourage everybody in business to GET CONNECTED! Online and with these people. IT PAYS!

-Love, Tony

Linx:

Advertisements

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: