Truly Quirky Me

Living an Alternative Life

Category: Learning (page 1 of 2)

Teambuilding Tools that Work

It can be difficult to find teambuilding tools that work.  Working online I see so many ‘guaranteed to work’ programs being advertised.  Sadly most of these programs just give you something else to promote.  In other words they can distract you from promoting your primary business.

Some of the programs available do help you build a team in your primary business as a bit of a side note.  They have a place for you to add your referral link inside the program somewhere.  Still with these you have to promote the other program first and foremost.

If you are looking for teambuilding tools that work I am happy to say I have gained at least 10 new team members from each of the options below:

Clixsense

Although I tend to promote the earning opportunities available on Clixsense it provides a very good advertising platform as well.  Personally I like to set aside a small amount of my earnings each month on Clixsense to use for paid advertising on the site.  There are many advertising options available at very low cost.  For example you can run an advert for as little as $1.10 (just over 80p).

To use the advertising you simply buy ad credits, submit your ad for approval then you can target a particular audience if you want to.  It is worth spending a little time designing your advert and targeting specific users, but at the price it is easy to run several trials.

Click to Join Clixsense

Lootclick

Lootclick is a great little tool to use for email advertising and it is free.  The way it works is you simply open up to 5 emails per day to earn credits.  The credits then allow you to submit your own advert.  I like this one because you do not get swamped with emails to open.  I have tried other similar programs but got hundreds of emails per day, this one is very manageable.

Click to Join Lootclick

Easyhits4U

This site is a free traffic exchange that works in a similar way as Lootclick.  With Easyhits4U you don’t open emails but surf ads online instead.  As you surf ads you earn credits to use to promote your own programs.  There is a paid option on this site available as well.

I really like this site as it offers many additional tools and ways to promote your business.  For example there are sections for you to submit your business into a link directory.  There are also free to use capture page tools.  I learned a lot about online marketing from using this site for free, and now use the paid advertising on there.

Click to Join Easyhits4U

MLM Gateway

This site is designed specifically for those working in multilevel marketing (or network marketing) companies.  Again there are lots of different ways to use the site.  There is a free option available which I personally used as a trial, though you can continue to earn credits on here also.

This site allows you to actually chat online with those interested in MLM opportunities, or you can send emails.  You actually get the email address as well so this is great to build your contact list.

You can also submit business information which gets displayed on the main ‘wall’ of the site.

Click to Join MLM Gateway

FutureNet

This site offers several options for promoting your own business.  There is a social media section that can be used for free – think facebook specifically for those interested in working online.  There is a a paid advertising service as well, which you can use to also build an income.

I really like this site for many reasons.  Basically you can do the same type of promoting as Facebook offers, including business pages, groups and a personal profile.  Everyone on this site however are interested in working from home.  There are no restrictions on who can see your posts on this site however and it works just as Facebook did at the beginning.

The paid advertising section starts from $10 (around £8) and qualifies you for daily profit shares.  Many people are using this to make an income as well as promoting other businesses.

Click to Join FutureNet

 

I hope these short summaries help you to choose relevant teambuilding tools for your business.  I will be posting more detailed how to use posts for these sites ASAP to help maximise your success from using them. In the meantime feel free to post any questions you have below 😉

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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How to Develop a Network Marketing Business Action Plan

Developing a network marketing business action plan is the first step towards running a successful business.   It does not matter how long you have been involved in network marketing, however it is best to do this as early as possible.

Why Do You Need An Action Plan?

Every business needs a plan because otherwise you could simply flow along without actually getting anywhere.  It is very easy in this type of work to be busy while actually achieving very little.   It is also possible that your own plan and that of the person who recruited you are very different.  An action plan will help to keep you focused on the right activities for you to meet your own goals.

Initial Goal Setting

Really you are better to think about quite a long term goal to focus on achieving.  This is usually the main reason you joined the company in the first place.  This goal is highly individual and is certainly not always financial.  Perhaps it is about getting to meet others with a similar interest as yourself for example.  For other people it is purely about creating an income.

Take a moment now to think about what it is you want to achieve from your network marketing business.  Once you are clear about what you want to achieve I suggest you write it down.

Clarify Your Goal

One of the main difficulties most people face is because their goals are not very well defined.  For example, to have a goal of “making a bit more money” is not very clearly defined – making 1p is a bit more money, but chances are that is not going to be very satisfactory.  Having SMART goals will drastically improve your chances of success:

Specific and Measurable

Ask yourself the question what would be a satisfactory outcome for you? If it is financial give your answer in pounds.  Think about that as your goal and then, just for good measure make your goal a little bit higher.  It should be clear for you to know if you have or have not met your goal.  You should be able to answer the following questions:

At what point will you have 50% complete?

How will you know when it is 100% complete?

If your goal is not clearly defined you will not know when you have reached it, nor will you be able to gauge how far you have still to go.  If unsure ask yourself “How will I know for sure that I have reached this goal”?

Attainable

Make sure the goal you want to achieve is attainable.  This can actually be quite difficult for some people because they simply do not know what is attainable.  It is very common to either under or over estimate what is possible.  Writing a list of steps to take to reach your goal will help you to figure out if your goal is attainable.  If you are struggling to identify the steps you  need to take do ask for assistance from your upline, or comment below.

Relevant

Check to make sure your goal is relevant to what you want to achieve.  If you have followed the steps above then it will be.  Goals can become irrelevant when you get distracted from your long term objective and is more often a problem when setting smaller short term goals.  Each time you set a short term goal ask yourself the following  question:

How does this help me move towards my long term goal?

Time – Bound

Finally think about when you want to achieve this goal.  Only when you have identified both a goal and a time limit can you start to write a clear plan of action.  Do make sure you are realistic with the time limit you set yourself.

 

An Example Action Plan

In the example shown below I know specifically the amount of money I want to earn, and the date to complete it by.  Plan

The actual plan starts to take shape when I ask myself “What do I need to help me achieve this goal”? This should be resources you can gather (including knowledge).  For this example I needed ideas, a daily plan and a place to store the money.  The action needed then should start to become clear, in this example my ideas were to sell products and to recruit new team members, and I was able to break these actions down into smaller steps that relate to the goal.

Scheduling

You will notice however that I have the steps to follow, but not when to do them.  To make sure I will achieve my goal within the allotted timescale I need to give myself a schedule to work to.  Usually I would write the steps into my dairy which is why I haven’t provided a timescale on the example, some people prefer to give themselves a daily list.  To be honest I use my dairy because there are always other things going on that I need to take into account.  Using my dairy helps me to actually identify when I will realistically be able to do them.

With a good plan you should be able to look through it at any point and know how you are getting on.  Sometimes things do happen that stop you meeting your goal on time, but if you review it regularly you can adjust the plan to take that into account and still achieve that goal.

Never Stop Planning

A good action plan is one that takes you right through to meet your original goal and beyond.  Every month or every week etc you should take the time to review your action plan, check your progress and add new goals.  It is a never-ending process that will keep you focused on what to do AND will help you to succeed.

 

 

recommended reading

If you have enjoyed this post you might like to take your learning a bit further.  I have chosen the following books as suitable follow up reading:

 

Goal Setting (Workbook Included): Goals & Motivation: Introduction To A Complete & Proven Step-By-Step Blueprint For Reaching Your Goals

Goals: Setting And Achieving S.M.A.R.T. Goals, How To Stay Motivated And Get Everything You Want From Your Life Faster: Volume 1

Procrastination: How To Get Things Done & Achieve Goals – Productivity, Focus & Execution

 

 

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How to Create an Earnings Spreadsheet

 

I’m getting more and more emails asking me about the best way to create an earning spreadsheet.  I have to admit it took me a while to figure out how to create one that worked for me.  Creating a spreadsheet can be quite a personal process as a lot of it depends on what you like, and what you want it to do.  First of all lets examine the basics of what it is and what it can do!

What is a Spreadsheet?

Very basically a spreadsheet is a electronic grid that allows the user to make sense of information.  It usually consists of a lot of figures, but this is not always the case.  It allows for manipulation and organisation of that information in a certain way.  Critically it also allows analysis of that information.

A blank spreadsheet looks like this:

 

A basic spreadsheet with information added looks like this:

Note that a spreadsheet creates a way to identify any point in the grid.  There are letters across the top and numbers down the side, so in the sheet above the February phone bill amount is in point C2.  Each point, or square on the spreadsheet is called a cell.

Why Use a Spreadsheet?

A spreadsheet can be used to simply record information (such as a list of contact details), to monitor figures (such as the bills example above) or to perform complex calculations and analysis.  It can also be used to create visual graphs.

Personally I use a spreadsheet to record, monitor and analyse my online earnings.  This way I know how much I earn, if it goes up or down, and the option that earns me the most etc.  In my opinion knowing this information is vital to planning and achieving a particular level of income.

How to Create an Earnings Spreadsheet?

You will need access to a spreadsheet program such as Excel, Google Sheets, or Open Office.  There are many other programs available – simply do an internet search and you will find a lot of options.  Personally I use google sheets as it is simple to use, free, easy to access and share, and requires no downloads etc.  All information is stored for you online as well.  Google sheets also has lots of templates available to use immediately without having to create your own.

The process I follow to create a spreadsheet is detailed below:

I use a new blank spreadsheet each time I create one.  To do that simply open google sheets and click on the image with the big + sign as shown on the far left in the image above.  On other programs it may be different, but there should be an obvious create new sheet button.

The first thing to do when you create a new spreadsheet is to give it a name to help you identify what it is.  I advise something like online earning…

Now you are ready to design the structure of your spreadsheet.  In other words what goes where.

What Information?

First I advise you write a list of the information you want to include.  For me, not only did I want to monitor my daily earnings, I also like to have the figures all in ££.  I use quite a lot of casual earning sites and the currency of the sites can be in pounds, dollars, or various types of points.  This can make it difficult to know how much I am making on each site per day.

The information you want to include on your spreadsheet will depend on what you want it to tell you.  Is it your earnings per day, or week, or month?  Do you want to know how much you make on each option you use or just an overall amount? Do you want to track your earnings to see if they have gone up or down?

Personally I like lots of details.  I have the date, the site name, the conversion from points or dollars into pounds, a site total per day, a particular type of earning total (such as clicking sites or passive income etc) and an overall daily earned total.  At any point I can look at my earning spreadsheet and know how much I have earned per day, from each site and my total earnings so far during the month.

The Layout

How you set out the information on your spreadsheet is one of the more difficult things to get right.  Usually there will be information on both the horizontal and vertical cells.  For example across the top row of the spreadsheet you could have the date, or the name of the sites.  Equally you could have this information down the side in the first column.  Often the date will go on one and the site name on the other.

My own spreadsheet looks like this:

As you can see I have the site names across the top and the date, as well as extra information, down the side.

Adding the Information

Once you have the design of your spreadsheet in place it is just a case of filling in the relevant information.  I choose to do this daily.  Each day I add the current balance of each site to the date row.  So on 1/2 the balance I had in JPJ was £28, in Future Net was $6.43 and in Gifthulk was 4772 points.

For some people simply having a record of their account balances each day, or week etc is enough.  If you want to know that your earnings are increasing each day for example you can see this quite easily just by recording the balances.  For more detailed analysis you will need to know how to conduct various calculations.

Basic Calculations

This section comes with a headache warning 😀 lol!

There are a huge amount of complex calculations that can be done on spreadsheets.  In this guide I cover just a few of the basics as this is usually sufficient for online earnings sheets.

To calculate how much is earned daily.

You need to know the balance from yesterday and today and just need to minus yesterdays balance from todays.  To do that on the spreadsheet you use a simple formula that instructs it what to do.  The formula uses the cell letters and numbers to identify the information for the calculations so will look something like this: =C4-C5.  In this example C4 would be the site balance for today and C5 would be the balance from yesterday.

To calculate how much is earned so far.

For this calculation you can use the minus formula or you can use an addition formula.  You could take the balance from 1st away from todays balance, or you could add all the daily totals.  To add on the spreadsheet you use the same formula as before but with a plus sign.  For example =C4+C5 will simply add the figures in those cells together.

Mostly an earning spreadsheet will only require the use of the minus and the addition formulas.  If you need to multiply or divide you need to use the star * or the forward slash / keys.  You might need to use these to convert your points balance into a currency amount.

Converting Points to Currency

The easiest way for me to explain this is with an example.  Lets use Gifthulk points for this.

From checking on the Gifthulk site I know that 5000 points are required to claim $5.  So if I earn 34 points in one day how much have I earned?

There are different ways to do this calculation, the way I do it is to calculate how much 1 point is worth.  So if 5000 = $5 I need to divide $5 by 5000 to find out how much 1 point is worth.  The answer is $0.001.  I then multiply this amount by the number of points earned.  34 points = $0.034.

To do this on the spreadsheet the formula would be =5/5000*34. Or using the cell numbers with the relevant information for the calculation it would look something like this: =C8/D14*A12

Currency Conversions

On google sheets there is the option to use todays currency rate to do the calculations.  All you need to know is the formula for the right currencies.  To convert $ into £ for example the formula is GoogleFinance(“CURRENCY:USDGBP”) to convert Euros the formula is GoogleFinance(“CURRENCY:EURGBP”)

Really when you know the formula you can do any type of calculation on a spreadsheet 😉

I do hope I have explained how the calculations work, but I understand it might give some of you a headache trying to read that….. I have tried to keep to the basics as much as possible.

If you would like a personalised spreadsheet created for you, with all required formula please contact me to discuss it.  I am happy to do this for a small fee.

Have you found this post useful? If so feel free to share with others.  Thanks in advance if you do share – I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience 🙂

Ellie xx

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Internet Marketing Basics – What is an Autoresponder?

What is an Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is basically a service that allows you to send emails automatically to a list of people.  Usually newsletters and offer emails are sent by an autoresponder.  For example, you may be on my Aweber autoresponder list for my Monday Mojo updates.

Autoresponders usually work by sending out a series of pre-written emails.  These can be sent at various intervals such as daily, or weekly etc depending on the type of email you want to send.  The account owner simply adjusts the settings to send the emails in a certain order and at a certain time or day.

In the ‘back end’ of an autoresponder there are a lot of tools to help the sender monitor what is happening with the emails sent.  Statistics of email open rates, and link click rates etc is available.

Why Should I have One?

The main point of an autoresponder is to reduce workload.

In addition to this there are quite a few other benefits:

  • As part of an overall marketing strategy an autoresponder can increase business conversions many times over.  In other words they are very helpful to increase the number and frequency of sales or sign ups.
  • You can use them to send out special offers or free information such as e-books etc.
  • They allow you to build a long lasting relationship with someone long after they have visited your website.
  • You can maintain contact with hundreds or thousands (and more) of people without having to send individual emails to them.
  • They provide the means to literally drip feed marketing messages to potential customers until they are ready to become a customer.
  • You can direct your subscribers towards something important such a website, blog, course sign up, sales page etc.
  • They allow you to follow up with everyone who has expressed an interest in your business.
  • You are provided with statistical information such as open rates or click through rates.
  • They can generate repeat sales with little effort.
  • You can make announcements to all subscribers at once.
  • They can help you to brand yourself with logos, tag lines, marketing messages etc.
  • You can have several different categories of people.  People interested in courses can be in one list while those who have purchased a product can be in another for example.

Which One Should I Use?

There are many autoresponder services available.  The service I use (and highly recommend) is Aweber . Aweber has been around for a long time and is reasonably easy to use.  It also provides sign up forms and many other relevant tools as well as the email option.   In addition it has a very professional reputation.

Although Aweber can be a little higher in price it does boast the highest delivered rate in the industry.  Many cheaper services cannot guarantee emails are delivered correctly and a lot can end up in spam folders or get deleted by the email service.  In my opinion that makes the slightly higher price well worth it.

Click to Try Aweber for free

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Who Holds the Key to Your Kingdom?

The Key

You may have noticed that I have recently made quite a few changes to my blog.  I have also been changing my email lists, and my Facebook pages and groups.   As a result of some recent training  I now work from a more professional perspective, and it is having a massive impact.

One of the areas I have been focusing on recently is my email list.  I have had some information about my customers for a while, including email addresses.  Unfortunately I haven’t really made very good use of this until recently though. Now I understand the importance of having an email list I simply have to pass on what I have learned.

First of all, something I hadn’t really thought of before was the importance of being able to contact customers outside of platforms like Facebook. What would happen if your Facebook page disappeared overnight? Would you have to start all over again from scratch?  What about paypal? or your company website? Are they the ones who hold your customer information?

If you are depending on others to hold your customer information, then really they hold the keys to your kingdom!

Lets examine that for a minute….

Many small business owners think the main part of their business is their website.  This is usually a replicated site provided by the company they work with.  Or perhaps, if not a website, they think it is their social media page that is the hub.

This is just not true.

THE most important part of your business is your customer list.

When you stop to think about it properly, if you had to start all over again, the most difficult thing to replace would be your customer list.  Without them you can have as many fancy websites or social media pages etc as you want.  You still won’t have a business.

Big businesses understand this completely.  They never depend on outside sources to be able to contact their customers and we shouldn’t either!

This means we need to do what we can to gather contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, addresses etc. Now this is not always as easy as it seems. We might have some of this information if someone has actually bought something, but what about all the other people we have worked hard to bring to our social media pages and groups etc?  These are people we have built relationships with.  They are the ones who know, like and trust us, and they are our potential future customers.

If we lost access to our social media accounts, how many of these potential customers would we be able to contact? Imagine you lost access to your paypal account.  How many of your previous customers would you be able to contact?

If you wouldn’t be able to contact your customers, then it is time to change that BEFORE something happens to make you realise what you have done.

Where to Start?

The first thing you need to do is make a decision about how you would like to store your customer information. Remember you have a responsibility to make sure other peoples information is safe and secure.  It can’t be just written on a piece of paper, or on a document on your computer where it is open for anyone to see.  It needs to be stored in a locked cabinet or a password protected document.

When you first start collecting customer information, a secured excel document may be sufficient.  Once you start to gather a larger amount of information however you may wish to consider customer specific business tools.

Personally I use Aweber as my autoresponder.  More information about this can be found in What is an Autoresponder?

If you want to learn more about business tools, as well as have access to all the tools you might need for online marketing, I’m happy to recommend Stiforp.

Create A Master List

Once you have decided how you wish to store the information it is time to start creating a master list.

If you have information in various places I suggest you write a list of these places to start working through.  Prioritize the most valuable information you have – your current and past customers are highest priority, so places such as paypal should be top of your list.  You can create and download files usually from these sites which make it easier to transfer data to a master list.

After that, places such as your facebook business page, or other social media sites should be tackled.  Even if you don’t have a lot of contact information on these sites it is worth creating a record of the information you have at the minute, then we can work on adding to that later.

I hope you found this post useful.  Do feel free to share it with others.  Thank you in advance if you do share – I always appreciate you helping me to reach more people with my blog! 

Ellie xx

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Become a Problem Solver!

are-you-a-problem-solver1Have you become a problem solver yet?

When someone working with any MLM company changes focus away from recruiting or selling, and towards becoming a problem solver, the difference can be massive.

The typical methods used in this industry are all sales based.  People try to convince others of why buying a product or joining a company would be the best thing they have ever done.  The common belief is: if you talk to enough people and keep saying how wonderful it is, eventually people will join.  Its an approach that most people struggle with.

Its pushy, its frustrating and it is the reason a lot of people have an issue with MLM companies.

Instead of this method, those who have progressed and learned a lot about the business, become good problem solvers.

Talking to people about the problems and challenges they are facing means you understand where they are coming from.  Understanding the current situation that person is facing allows you to figure out if your opportunity or product can provide a possible solution.  It takes no convincing, no pushing and as a friend of mine says “stops you feeling like you need to take a lot of showers to wash the yuckky feeling it gives you away”.

If you really want to increase your conversion rate and create massive growth in your business don’t sell people on the idea of Network Marketing find out people’s problems and find out if they are open to exploring a possible solution.

Understanding Problems

All problems have two features in common: goals and barriers.

Goals

Problems involve setting out to achieve some objective or desired state of affairs and can include avoiding a situation or event.

Goals can be anything that you wish to achieve, where you want to be.  Typically within MLM that can involve increasing income or being able to work from home.

Barriers

If there were no barriers in the way of achieving a goal, then there would be no problem.  Problem solving involves overcoming the barriers or obstacles that prevent the immediate achievement of goals.

For Example:

If you feel hungry then your goal is to eat. A barrier to this may be that you have no food available.  How can you remove that barrier? Go to the shop to buy some.  That would certainly solve the problem.

There are 3 basic steps in solving a problem:

  1. Identify the problem clearly.
  2. Looking for Possible Solutions
  3. Implementing solutions.

Problem Identification:

This stage involves:

Identifying the goal and all barriers to reaching that goal.

The first phase of problem solving may sound obvious but often requires more thought and analysis. Identifying a problem can be a difficult task in itself.  Not all people think about goals and barriers to that.  For example, a lot of people will agree they would like to make some extra money, but might not be so forthcoming about how they would like to do that.  Instead of being able to say I don’t know how, they might say I don’t know what I want to do. This leads to suggestions being made about WHAT to do, rather than HOW, and so the problem is never solved in this kind of conversation.

Structuring the Problem:

This stage involves developing a clear picture of the problem.

Following on from problem identification, structuring the problem is all about gaining more information about the problem and increasing understanding. To build a more comprehensive picture of both the goal and any barriers takes time.  It also requires a degree of trust to have been developed between the parties involved. Most people are not open to discussing problems with people they don’t know or trust, so this is not usually a fast process.

Looking for Possible Solutions:

During this stage you will start to introduce the company recruiting or sales options as a POSSIBLE solution to the problem.  It is important to only do this IF they do provide a suitable solution.

Making a Decision:

This stage involves careful analysis of the different possible courses of action and then selecting the best solution for implementation.  This could mean deciding between different products you might be able to offer.  It could also be about joining the company you are with, or joining a different one.   Some solutions may not be possible, due to other problems, like time constraints or budgets. It is important at this stage to also consider what might happen if nothing was done to solve the problem – would it get worse? Are they happy to continue with the current situation?

It is important to check they have all the information they need, then give the person time to consider it.  It is not about being pushy at this stage, it is about asking more questions:

Do you have any more questions?

Do you understand what is involved?

Would you need additional support or training?

What would prevent you from doing this?

Are you happy to continue as you are?

All of these questions will help direct them towards making a decision!

Monitoring/Seeking Feedback:

The last stage is about reviewing the outcomes of problem solving over a period of time, including seeking feedback as to the success of the outcomes of the chosen solution.  Often people forget this stage, but it is vital to check it is working for the new team members.  This allows you to complete further problem solving should there be any issues, and increases the likelihood of success.

 

Did This Help You? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on Facebook

PS: Do you want to create more quality leads for your business? – Check Out This System!

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How to Start a Prospecting List

When starting a new network marketing business everything can be pretty exciting.  You may have received some stock to use so you can increase familiarity with the range, you will no doubt have received various information packs which details exactly just how much money you are possibly going to make, and you may even have written yourself a plan of how you will meet your business goals.

The next step is to start looking for customers and maybe even think about building a team.

Although the best way to do this is to start building a prospecting list, many new network marketers, perhaps fuelled with enthusiasm, tend to overlook this step and instead decide to just jump in.  They start simply by showing the products and/or opportunity to just everyone they can manage to get to look in the general direction of their new business.  Usually this results in a bit of a hit and miss approach at best, and at worst complete chaos.

Another reason why new people to the business do not use a prospecting list is because they don’t want to ‘torture their friends and family’.  The truth is if you are torturing people then you are not using the list properly – I will explain more about this in tomorrows training, for now I want to just help you to start writing your own list.

This is an activity you should do now (or later if you really can’t spare 20 mins right now).  You need paper and a pen, or your preferred note taking device….

Personally I prefer to do a mind map style diagram like this:

prospecting mind map

 

I basically just start with myself and think about EVERY single person I know, and add them to the map.  I don’t think about if they would be interested or not in my business, at this point i am just thinking about people I know and adding them.

When I start to struggle to think of more people I then start to add them to my prospecting list, with as much contact info as possible, and a few notes.

Personally I use an excel document for my prospecting list and I usually add: date added, last contact date, name, address, email, phone number then working status, interests and hobbies, basic family info, general notes, business mentioned, response, to follow up.  Once you start using a prospecting list you will be able to personalise it to suit yourself.  Remember this will be a constantly growing document and you will be adding people you don’t know very well to it.  The categories such as family info etc will come in very useful later in the process.

Once I have names on my list I go back to the diagram and check if i have missed anyone out.

Guess what? Congratulations, you now have a prospecting list (and also a very handy list of all your contacts 😉 )

Have you just got to the end of this post and thought “i’m not going to do that”? If so i highly recommend you seriously think about if you want to be involved in network marketing because this is what it is all about.  I assure you I am NOT going to suggest you contact everyone and ask them to join you or buy something from you….that is certainly not how you use a prospecting list!

 

recommended reading

 

The Ultimate Memory Jogger

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Are All Revenue Sharing Sites Ponzi Schemes?

People often ask me the question “Are All Revenue Sharing Sites Ponzi Schemes?”  Below I detail my own investigation into this rather complex query.   This will allow you to judge for yourself which sites are at higher risk of closure by the authorities.  If you just want to know about more stable sites that information is at the bottom of this post  😉

I conducted quite a lot of research into Traffic Monsoon when thousands of people where joining it.  Due to that, and the fact similar Revenue Sharing Sites have been deemed to be illegal Ponzi Schemes, I thought I would look at this in more detail.  There is a huge amount of information available about what makes something a Ponzi Scheme already.  In my opinion however it is still quite confusing.  There are still a few additional questions to discuss:

The Investment Question

According to Wikipedia the definition of a Ponzi Scheme is ” is a fraudulent investment operation……”.  The image below for example uses the words ‘investment’ and ‘investors’ throughout.  This is the same for any other definition of a Ponzi scheme I have seen.  Is a Ponzi Scheme ALWAYS something that involves making an investment? Or is it always obvious you are making an investment?

One of the reasons I highlight the term ‘investment’ is because there is a huge emphasis on the ‘fact’ the revenue sharing sites are not an investment opportunity.  This video regarding My Paying Ads is a clear example of that:

When looking at the definition of ‘Investment’ however Investopedia makes it very clear that the purchase of an item “with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future” IS considered to be an investment.

A lot of these revenue sharing opportunities say they sell “online advertising credit ad packs” and are not an investment.  However the important aspect for the Ponzi Scheme definition is the promotion of the revenue sharing (profit sharing) opportunity provided from buying these ad packs.  So are the purchase of ad packs made with the hope of generating income from them? That answer is a simple Yes.  This means this IS an investment opportunity regardless of what they say.

The Funding Question

The next part of the Ponzi Scheme definition involves the payment of returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.  Again I feel there is a bit of a smokescreen around this by many online advertising revenue share sites.  Part of this is obvious as they highlight the commission structure for introducing people into your downline, but this is not the problem.   Commission payments for introducing new members are extremely common practice in this industry.  In a Ponzi scheme the important thing is there is no real way of generating profit without new members (investors) providing the money.   I have already discussed this in Where is the money coming from?

So the important question is ‘If no new investors (or new investments by current investors) were to happen would there be any profit to share?  Unfortunately without access to the financial records it is frequently not really possible to determine this accurately.  I know sites like this try and imply there are other sources of profit.  However as these companies sell advertising it is almost impossible to distinguish between purchase of ad packs (for profit sharing) and genuine advertising purchases.  The lack of genuine purchases however can become apparent in the next step.

The Collapse Question

The final part of the Ponzi scheme definition is about the collapse of the ‘business’.  Due to the lack of genuine purchases, Ponzi schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors.  Without this new money the business will collapse.  When it becomes difficult to recruit new investors, or when a large number of investors ask to cash out at once any business based on the Ponzi Scheme Model will inevitably start to fall apart.

Warning Signs

I personally had a lot of concern about both Traffic Monsoon and My Paying Ads right from the beginning.  These are just 2 examples of Revenue Sharing sites, and there are many more popping up daily.  The main warning signs for me were:

  • the fact I could not see any clear profit generation outside of the Ad Packs.
  • the payment system was tiered.  This means with each withdrawal made more earnings are required for the next one.
  • the history of Charles Scoville and his involvement in so many previous similar businesses that failed.
  • the various requests for members to continue with their purchasing after Paypal restrictions were put in place.

This video was emailed to all Traffic Monsoon members by Charles Scoville:

I gave this video a lot of thought.    Surely if sufficient genuine advertising sales are being made the fact the fund hold by Paypal should not really have such an impact….or maybe I am being naive about this?  IF there were a large pool of genuine advertisers there would be sufficient new money coming in from non ad pack purchases to prevent the withdrawal issues would there not?

Comparison With More Stable Non Revenue Sharing Sites

Lets compare this with some more stable online programs such as Clixsense and Neobux.  I recently found out that Neobux also had their funds held by paypal.  This was in the early days of the business.  The paypal hold is discussed in this interview with the owner of Neobux (question 16).  This interview question reveals 2 very important things:

  1. Neobux is a real business and complied with all legislation so their paypal hold was released quickly – “PayPal had, and I think it still does, a very professional approach in which all accounts with high thresholds are blocked twice in their early days. The second time, however, is only unlocked by real businesses that comply with all legislations”.
  2. Neobux was not dependent on members purchases to continue, and they were asked for small donations only, which turned out to be unnecessary to maintain the business – “For that period we kept doing business as usual and only requested small donations from our users, until we balanced the other payment processor’s funds, which wasn’t necessary since the recovery was faster than anticipated”

The Most Stable Revenue Sharing Sites

In my opinion there are a few more stable revenue sharing sites.

Future Net is an example of a revenue sharing site that has clear additional profit generation.  This one has a social media part that works like facebook to raise money from EXTERNAL advertising companies.  These adverts are easy to spot on the site as well.  In addition there are several extra products available for purchase.  There are various business tools such as landing pages and blog hosting too.  More recently an additional shopping feature has been added, and there are Future Net branded products for sale as well.  All of these are additional revenue streams for the business which provide them with a profit margin not related to ad pack purchase.

My Paying Ads has now also made it on to my more stable list with a note of caution.  I do still have some concerns about this one at the time of writing this post.  However it is clear the admin is making positive changes.  I continue to monitor this site carefully and want to see more clear funding sources outside of the Ad Packs before removing the caution notice.

Edit: A membership program is now in place which does add funding outside of the Ad packs.  I’m still not 100% satisfied with this as it is still a form of internal funding (from members of the site) rather than external.

Protecting Yourself

I advise caution in using any investment opportunities.  My advice is:

  • Do not invest money you can’t afford to lose because ALL investments have a degree of risk attached.
  • Withdraw your initial funding balance as soon as possible.
  • Set a target limit for investing and stick to it.

I know this is a bit of a long post, but I do hope it has helped to clarify some of the issues regarding ‘investing’ in the online advertising revenue share style sites that are popping up like an epidemic right now.  Do feel free to share with others who may be in need of clarification, or ask me any questions you may still have on this issue.  Overall please just be careful what you are doing with your hard earned funds 😉

 

 

 

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How to Deal with Low Motivation?

staying-motivatedHow to deal with low motivation is a subject very close to my heart right now.

I’ve been struggling quite a lot just recently with my various health problems.  Its not easy to live with long term depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis and hormone imbalance at the best of times.  Just recently I seem to have had everything go belly up all at once.

I fell down the stairs, had a kidney infection and was on the hormone cycle I find most difficult to manage all at the same time.  Add in medication changes, a few hospital appointments, having to use public transport, combined with snow and ice just for good measure.  With all of that, well I’m sure you can understand why I have been experiencing low motivation levels.

I’ve found myself just wanting to laze around all day, watch some TV and eat junk food for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve done very little work towards any of my goals and I’ve hardly even managed to talk to people in real life or online.

I’ve known for at least a week now that I need to try and do something to get myself back up and running.  Not literally as running would finish me off these days I think lol.  My  internal motor just needs a great big kick….

First of all though I’m going to say something strange in a post talking about how to deal with low motivation levels.  That is, its ok to be lazy, to sit around and do nothing.  Especially for those of us who have health problems influencing our desire to get up and do something.  Even if you don’t have that to deal with, its still ok to just be…. sometimes I think we forget that!

What isn’t ok, and what has probably prompted you to read this post, is a long term feeling of discontent.  That feeling of having a desire to do something, along with the lack of drive to actually do something about it.  Living with this discontent long term is destructive, because actually that discontent IS your motivation to do something. Its your mind saying its not happy, and it is not something to ignore or live with.

I’ve been living with my feeling of discontent for the past few days.  Allowing myself to be unhappy and well feeling a bit sorry for myself really.  However now its time to do something about it.

In my toolbox I have everything I need to deal with this.  If you are experiencing low motivation you have the same tools as I have:

Understanding

Personally, I think the most important tool for dealing with low motivation is to actually understand why it is you have low motivation right now.

What is it getting in the way of you doing what you want to do?

For me it is often health related, for some it is not knowing how.  Sometimes it is because the goal is not really something you want to do at all.   There are other reasons too.  Maybe its a fear of failure? Maybe its a fear of success? It could be all sorts of things holding you back, and you often need to give yourself a little time to actually seek to understand what that is.

The chances are, without taking time to understand, you will continue to battle with low motivation levels throughout the process.  This can happen even if you do manage to start working on your goal.

Action

This can be the hardest part, but actually it doesn’t have to be.

Yes you may have to actually force yourself to take some sort of action, but the previous step of understanding will provide you with the starting point.  I could very easily say well my health is stopping me so I can’t take any action, but is that true? If my health is the problem then the action I need to take is to do something about my health. I could change my diet, I could talk to a medical professional, I could take some exercise.  If I don’t know how to do something then I can do some research.

If I discover I’m trying to do something I don’t actually want to do then I can change my goal.  There is ALWAYS some action that can be taken.  The trick is to start with something small, something easy and build on it.  My mantra is just do SOMETHING, I don’t care how small it is, every time I do something I am a step closer to achieving my goal.

Reward

Regardless of who we are, motivation is generated and maintained due to reward.

It could be an actual reward of something like money, a physical item, or a treat of some kind.  It could also be a mental reward such as feeling better, feeling a sense of achievement or appreciation etc.  To help increase your motivation levels it is often good to reward yourself for action taken.  It doesn’t always have to be a physical reward, it could be acknowledging the effort you made.  It could be recognizing the achievement by ticking it off a list, or even allowing yourself time to relax.

Whatever it is do make sure it feels like a reward.

Also make sure it doesn’t act against the goal you are working on.  A bar of chocolate for loosing some weight for example just might not help 😉

Review  

This is another very important part of the motivation cycle, and one which many people forget.

Especially if you are working on small steps towards a larger goal, it is really important to review your progress along the way.  This is simply to make sure you are still working towards your actual goal.  It is very easy to get sidetracked, and unless you check your progress now and then it is possible to put a lot of time and energy into taking some action, only to find you are no closer to your goal.

 

This post provides my own opinions, mixed with knowledge gained from psychological study and training in motivation techniques.  However, there are many theories, books and programs available about dealing with low motivation levels available.

If you are interested to learn more on this topic I am very happy to recommend Motivation, Achievement & Challenges (Climb Your Mountain) which (at the time of writing this post) is currently available as a free ebook.  It covers in detail some of the main reasons behind low motivation levels, as well as ideas for reward.  It also has a great chapter on one of my favourite ways to inspire myself into action – Challenges!

By the way, my goal for today was to write a blog post 🙂

 

Have you enjoyed reading about this? I would love to hear more about your opinions and experiences of dealing with low motivation levels.

Do feel free to share this post with others if you think it might be useful to them as well!

 

 

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Small Consistent Action Equals Progress

small-consistent-actionIf there is one thing I have learned in life it is the value of Small Consistent Action.  My health problems are pretty hard to manage at times, yet with small consistent action I manage them a lot better.  My finances were in quite a mess, but with small consistent action I sorted that out too.  I get behind with the housework, and yet with small consistent action that is back on track in no time.  I’m not actually sure of anything that it doesn’t work for….

The problem with small consistent action though is us.  For me personally it is difficult to stop myself from wanting to run instead of take small steps.  The small steps seem so insignificant at times like that. Even when I’m not very well they just don’t seem to be ‘enough’.  I am really hard on myself when I feel like I’m not able to take massive big bounds towards my goals. My level of frustration increases a lot, and often I will even just give up rather than pull myself back to the small steps. How silly is that?

Cultural Pressures

Personally I also think that life now is always focused on moving  really fast.  We are all about taking massive leaps and getting to the next part as soon as possible now aren’t we?

So many people are caught up in the need for instant gratification they don’t even stop and think about why they need it NOW! Wanting the next big thing is so ingrained in our culture no-one seems to realise that life is like a circus act where we all jump for the bar, only for it to be moved higher.

The funniest thing happens though when we take small consistent action.  We often jump way past the bar.

I actually discovered this almost by accident through one of my personal challenges.  I managed to earn double my daily target, and then triple it on my £100 in 100 days challenge.   This challenge has literally seen my earnings fly off the scale in comparison to what I was aiming for.  I have seen my motivation increase, I have seen my earnings increase and to be honest I haven’t really noticed my workload increase all that much.  I’m still taking small consistent action and its just paying off.

Have you ever had a similar experience?  I would love to know.

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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