The First Step in Going From Street Hustler to Professional Network Marketer

This is advertising and marketing 101. Network marketing, direct sales or multilevel marketing should be no different. Just because you’re not a big New York advertising agency or a slick Chicago marketing firm doesn’t mean you can’t do what they do.Before the pros begin a project, they do their homework. The first thing they do is define the product and the target audience. What are they selling and who exactly are they going to talk to? The answers will affect the ad or marketing communications piece they develop.For instance, let’s say the product is a set of golf clubs. The pros will get very specific but basically, they’ll target people who play golf, are interested in golf and have purchased golf clubs before. They’ll talk to them in their language. The advertising and marketing pieces they create will talk to them about their golf swing or their golf score. About how to get more birdies and pars, and less hooks and slices, because golfers relate to that. The more they can identify with them the more they gain trust. Pretty straight forward, huh?Next, the professional ad agencies and marketing firms will then choose specific media in which to run their ads. Golf magazines, The Golf Channel, commercials during televised golf tournaments and point-of-purchase displays in golf course pro shops among others. They won’t waste money running ads in Better Housekeeping, because although there may be some housekeepers who play golf, more likely than not, there won’t be.How does this relate to network marketing? How can we apply what the pros do to our MLM business? And, why will it make a difference? Great questions…let’s talk about them. Let’s start at the beginning by defining our product and target market just like the pros. Now, unlike a golf club company, in network marketing we also sell a business opportunity. So really, there are two products being sold: the product or service being offered and the business opportunity.With regards to the product or service, it’s pretty straight forward. If you have a weight loss product, for example, you’re goal is to target people who want to lose weight and have purchased weight-loss products before. Some people are overweight and just don’t care. If you have a health product, you’ll want to target health-conscious people or people facing a health challenge. You get the idea.Where it gets confusing, though, is when we talk about selling the business opportunity. The problem is, most of us in network marketing were taught by our well-meaning upline that our target market was EVERYONE. And we took it at face value, without really thinking about it or even questioning it. It seemed to make sense, after all, everyone wants to make more money, right?So instead, let’s apply the big city ad agency method to promoting our MLM business opportunity.Our product therefore, is our network marketing opportunity, which offers people a way to make extra income or become financially free, and everything in between.So, is our target audience people who need extra income?No.Yes, there are people who need extra income but don’t necessarily desire it. If they did, they’d be looking for ways to get it, right? Some are content with poverty just like some are content with being overweight. Some would rather watch their favorite sitcoms than look for ways to earn more money or go for a 30-minute walk.What about people looking for ways to make extra income or looking for a business of some kind?I would say yes, but on they’re on the fringe. I personally wouldn’t include them. I don’t know if they are open to the MLM concept or not. It’s a coin toss. These people would be considered ‘opportunity seekers’.Remember what I said earlier with the golf clubs example?:”…they’ll target people who play golf, are interested in golf and have purchased golf clubs before.”And if we’re selling golf clubs, that’s who we want to reach. Not bowlers. Not tennis players. Not arts and crafts enthusiasts. We want to go straight to the people who want to buy what we are selling.Now, here’s the same statement using network marketing as the product:”…they’ll target people who do network marketing, are interested in network marketing and have purchased network marketing before.”That’s it! That’s our target audience.What’s great about talking to our target audience is that they already know what network marketing is and have bought into the concept. You don’t have to educate them or convince them that it’s “legal”. You won’t get rejected, shamed or ridiculed. Your target audience is on the same page with you. They identify with you. They relate to what you have to say. How refreshing.I don’t know a fellow golfer who doesn’t like talking about golf and about how he can lower his score or what course he’s playing next! Now that you’ve defined your target audience, you can zero in on your marketing efforts to attract like-minded people for greater success in far less time.Once you start bringing network marketers into your business you’ll cut down on training time, hand-holding and trouble shooting. Teach them what you’ve learned about whom to target and soon you’ll be building a downline of business builders who don’t waste time and money approaching the wrong people.It’s a beautiful thing.Here’s a great eBook that goes over all the fallacies in traditional network marketing recruiting methodologies. If you’ve been struggling to build your MLM business, this is a must read. And it’s free…download it here. You’ll be amazed. I sure was.

Marketing Your Art – Here, There, and Everywhere

A professional artist’s success is in direct correlation to finding the right markets for his artwork. The million dollar question is “Where can I market my art and get the most out of my efforts?”
First, determine if you are really serious about selling what you make. Selling is what separates the amateur artist from the professional artist. As an artist you are creating a product. If you believe your product is valuable and you believe people will buy your product, then it is essential that you identify the market for your product.

The following are the main areas you should consider: Select two or more (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).

Art Galleries

Begin with developing a list of local art galleries that are within 100-200 miles of you. Art galleries are listed in your regular or on-line yellow pages. Take the time to personally visit each gallery on your list to determine which ones showcase the style of art most compatible with your art. Contact the owner or director of the gallery by telephone for a firm appointment to show your work.

Print Publishers

The print market is very profitable. When your art is in print, it is available and affordable to the widest possible audience, and your originals become more valuable. In my free online booklet, “Marketing Your Art” is available for professional artists wanting to market their artwork.

Fine art publishers can be found in art trade publications such as Décor Magazine, World Art News or On-line. Develop a list of those publishers you want to contact. The next step would be to send them a professional presentation of your work letting them know you are available for licensing.

Art Shows and Festivals

Outdoor shows and festivals are an excellent way for you to generate immediate income and see first hand how the art buying public responds to your work.

Many successful artists get their start and pay their dues with this venue. There are several Art Show and Festival promoters such as Art Fair Source Book (AFSB), American Art Festivals, Sunshine Artist Festival Network online that conduct 100′s of these events all around the country. Dates and locations are available in their directories, and you can contact them online or ask others artists and friends about their experience.

Banks, Restaurants and Corporations

Thousands of works of art are showcased and sold each year in banks, restaurants, and other private and public facilities every year. These locations are ideal prospects for the showing and selling of your Art. Local artists, local companies and the local public all benefit by having art displays in a bank or restaurant or business.

Co-Op Galleries

Co-op Galleries are generally local art associations that establish a location where fellow artists can hang their art. Contact your local art association for details about membership.

Commission Projects

Interior designers, architects and art consultants are constantly looking for artists. You can generally develop a list by searching your local phone directory yellow pages or online yellow pages. Contact these firms by telephone and send them your brochure.

Your Website

Your website is your own personal on-line gallery, open 24-7. This is a very cost effective way to show and sell.

A first class website is like a first class brochure; but, even better, it allows you to change and improve without reprinting.

Your website is of little value if no one goes there to view what you do. We cover how to fully maximize your website in our website chapter.

Trade Shows and Art Expos

These are high traffic professional events where you can purchase space to showcase and promote your art. Décor, Art-a-Rama, and the New York Expo are a few of the major annual and semi annual productions.

Studio Showings

Your home studio is an excellent and inexpensive way to exhibit and sell your work to friends, family and collectors. You should develop and maintain a mailing or e-mail list and should be in contact with this list on a regular basis.

Competitions

Competitions can be good venues, but generally do not produce much income. They can, however, add credibility to your resume or biography. Good sources for dates and locations of competitions are available through Art Magazine and American Artist Magazine.

Remember it is important that you choose the venues that you feel will provide the best results for you. You may not be able to participate in all those areas, but you need to choose two or more to begin with. Since you have many choices. choose the marketing option that best fits you personally and puts your artwork in the best light.

Business Direct Marketing – Top 10 Must Do’s For a Successful Program

Let’s face it. Companies spend a big portion of their budgets on print and online advertising. And, we all know that we still get a bunch of “junk” mail. Why? Because it works. While inventing new ways to market your business can sometimes pay off, let’s make sure we do not drop the ball and overlook the ground rules for direct marketing.

Small business owners can effectively use direct marketing to grow their business and build relationships with their current and prospective clients. But, a poorly executed direct marketing program will hurt you where it counts! Here are a few tips to give you a great shot at putting together a successful direct marketing campaign.

1. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Create a marketing plan. Set goals for your direct marketing effort and put it in writing. Share it with key employees and have clear-cut objectives that reflect your marketing research and intuition.

2. Get “personal” with your target audience. Sending a marketing letter to “The Manager” is the best way to get your message ignored and thrown directly into the garbage or virtual trash. Get personal by using and creating marketing databases that have detailed information on the businesses you are trying to reach. Do not be afraid to use this information in your message. This conveys to the recipient that you have done your homework and have a value offering that relates to their business.

3. Test before rolling out your promotion. You have done your research, crafted the look and content of your sales message, and prepared your database. That is a lot of work done to get to that point but do not waste your time and efforts by sending your message out to your list without testing it first. Take a smaller nth name test from your database to see the response to your message. Get a feel for turnaround times, inquiries and general receptiveness to your offer. If you like the reaction, roll it out. If not, change something and test again until you get an acceptable response.

4. Include a “call to action” in your message. Putting your address or phone number is not enough. Stay away from creating open-ended offerings. Reinforce your compelling sales message by telling the recipient of your marketing letter exactly what to do and when.

5. Consider a multiple step direct marketing strategy. With the investment of time and money, it is easy to understand why small business marketers want to make the sale on the first pass of a marketing effort. The ability to do that will depend on your product or service offerings. But, two-step direct marketing has some valuable upsides. It allows you to collect a larger pool of potential customers and build a relationship with this market. In many instances, it provides an opportunity to increase the unit sale and introduce additional products and services.

6. Be a Copycat. Do not resist what is working in your market. Understand what your competitors are doing to get business. Pay special attention to what the market leaders are doing and what promotions are repeated. Other companies have done their market research and testing and, sometimes, you can benefit from their investment by implementing a similar strategy.

7. Follow up with a vengeance. Do not let your direct marketing effort fizzle on the back end. Just like in sales, the weakest link is usually in the follow-up.

8. Perceptions are important. We all want to work with quality people. We all want to deal with quality companies. Make sure your message does not make claims you cannot back up or seems deceptive in any way.

9. Niche out your products and services. Packaging a product or service for a particular group can sell more of your business offerings than if you tried to sell to a general market. If you are a specialized business already, look for sub-markets to sell to. It is more work for sure but, you may find a gold mine. Following tip #2, people respond positively to messages that they can relate to.

10. Make sure you analyze your results. You can easily tell if a direct marketing effort was successful in generating sales. But, be sure you note the qualities of both the positive and negative responses because you can miss valuable sales and marketing information if you do not. Things such as response times, geographical disbursement, respondent job titles, inquiries that turn into sales, and actual client feedback, can help you roll out a more effective direct marketing campaign next time around.

Okay, here is one more bonus tip for you. Make your sales message compelling. Be creative and use your instincts. Remember, every sentence you put on your marketing piece should have a purpose. Leave out extraneous information and be clear with your sales message. Now, go ahead and use these tips, along with your business savvy, to form a successful direct marketing program.