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Bringing Network Marketing to the Internet Age
The potential for growing some fantastic network marketing businesses on the internet is just taking shape. The transition from in home meetings to cold calling has been a failure. By developing social networks on the internet, today's marketer has the chance to really reach out and attract the type of people they want to work with.
Marketers making the transition from offline to online often think that means getting away from the personal interaction. For those that make the transition successfully, this is not the case. Instead the internet can be used to share marketing experience and spread coaching much farther than is possible through face to face interaction. This still requires personality and an individual touch. Cold Calling: The Bane of Network Marketing There are a lot of people that are still told to buy leads and spend several hours on the phone calling them. Network marketers who successfully make the transition to doing business online see this as a complete waste, as there are much more effective and less painful ways to work. For beginning network marketers it is a source of trepidation. For the veterans it's a bane of existence and seen as a necessary evil. They haven't begun to master network marketing on the internet and so this is the only tool they have in their playbook. There are definitely better tools and techniques available. The initial development: Pay-per-click advertising The first route many marketers make when moving their offline business online is to advertise with the pay-per-click (PPC) services like Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search, and MSN AdCenter. Those who click on the ads may be brought to an online business presentation or, better yet, offered a report, service or other product in exchange for a name and email address. This allows the marketer to follow up by email and spend more time with people who actively want to know more. This leads into... Follow-up: Automated, personal, or other? While autoresponder messages can take you a certain down the road to building a relationship with the people on your list, it's really on part of the puzzle. Typically a marketer will load up the autoresponder software with a series of 10, 20, 30 or more messages set to go out over time and then just leave it at that. The shortcoming of this is that people are familiar with the idea of automated messages, so if the messages are generic enough to be set up three months in advance, then it's probably not reflecting what's going on in your daily progress, changes and refinement. The point of the messages is to share something of value about you, your business, and how you are developing it. If the messages are stale, the audience loses interest. To help with that, use the "broadcast" feature of the autoresponder software to send out real-time updates on business events, life changes, or something new just learned. This keeps the messages fresh and relevant. A great way to provide this content is through... A Blog! Blogs are a key piece of building your online presence. They are perfect for sharing thoughts on business, society, interests... all things that make a person an individual. This is where the social aspect of network marketing on the internet really comes into play. By giving of yourself, you show that you are an able leader and have the compassion and insight necessary for coaching a group to success. By placing an opt-in form on the blog you can have people sign up to receive your updates by email or they can subscribe through your RSS feed. A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum... Online forums existed before the buzz phrase "Web 2.0" came about, and even existed as "bulletin boards" before forum technology as we know it now came about. There are often people on forums who are new the network marketing industry, so this becomes a great place to help someone else get started and show professionalism by *not* trying to recruit them into your business. It's a great way to find like minded people and maybe even start a collaboration. Treat these communities with respect. Think of it as being a guest in someone's home. You wouldn't walk in, first thing, and say, "your carpet looks worn - have I got a carpet deal for you!" So don't go into a forum for the sole purpose of trying to get traffic. Be a part of the community and the rewards will come naturally. So learn to use the internet's social capacities, but do it responsibly. Social networks must be used responsibly or instead of becoming known and respected you can become ignored or even banned from these groups.