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MLM Woman Issue 127
August 2007


From the Desk of the Editor


Welcome to the 127th edition of the MLM Woman Newsletter! If you enjoy this month's issue, please be sure to let your friends know about it too and invite them to come and visit us.

Also, if you have comments, questions or something to share after reading this month's articles, please visit our MLMTalk Discussion Forum and join in the lively conversation!

And also be sure to check out our new MLM Marketing Blog for lots of additional tips and resources which are added throughout the month.

Yours in Success!

Linda Locke, Editor MLMWoman

Giving As A Marketing Tool
By Joan Sotkin

A policy of giving can accomplish a great deal if you are building and running a business. You've probably heard the expression, "You get what you give." It is very true. If you give freely, you will get abundantly. Conversely, if you are stingy or afraid to give, you won't get much.

Here are some suggestions for giving.

Give free samples. This can be in the form of goods or services. You can give samples of your product or samples of your work. Shareware is a free sample of a product that often has something missing, or it will stop working after a specified time. Sampling the product invariably increases usage and sales.

Give referrals. Look for opportunities to recommend other business people. Ask the person to whom you give the referral to mention your name.

Give more than your customers or clients expect. If you are shipping goods, include a free gift that you can make part of your offer. If you provide a service, such as Web site development, include something extra -- an extra graphic, registering with search engines or something else of value.

Give love and trust. Many people in the business world have an attitude of distrust. This isn't a good idea if you want your customers to trust you.

You have to trust first. I have always trusted that my customers will treat me well. Doing this allows me to love and be open with them. As a result, in the last few years I have only had four bad checks and one charge back. The four bad checks came at a time when I was mailing out 50,000 catalogs (snail mail) every few months and processing about 700 orders a month. My merchandise return rate was under 1%!

Give your attention. How many times have you been to a networking function and felt as if the only reason anyone wanted to talk to you was to sell you something. When you are at one of these functions, forget about selling and concentrate on meeting people. Ask them questions about them. Find something about which you can honestly compliment them. If you pay attention to them you can not only qualify them to see if they really are a potential customer, but you will foster good will. When they see your business card, you will be remembered.

Give information. Keep your eye out for tid-bits of information that could help one of your clients or potential customers. Send it with a note saying, "I thought you would find this interesting." If you have a Web site, you can give, give and give some more. All it takes is the time to do the HTML coding. The more you give, the more people will come to appreciate what you do.

Giving can be an important part of your marketing strategy. However, the secret to successful giving is not to expect anything in return. Learn to give for the sake of giving. When you no longer expect anything, much will come to you. That's one of life's paradoxes.

About the Author
Visit Joan's Web site at http://www.prosperityplace.com for lots of helpful business advice and resources for entrepreneurs.

Your Website Is the
New Lemonade Stand
By Alexandria Marx

Internet marketing is a new place with the same old purpose. When I first learned about Internet marketing, it felt as if I had been there, done that. I reached back in time to find how Internet marketing today was something I already did, years ago. I was a nerdy kid who was more interested in commerce than dolls. I persuaded my dad to help me setup a lemonade stand on the lawn in front of our one-story home. I mixed up a batch of fresh squeezed lemonade, grabbed my mother's favorite milk glasses, and hung up a cardboard sign with the words, "Lemonade 10¢." I greeted my first customer within the hour. It was fun stuffing all those 'In God We Trust" dollar bills into an old cigar box.

Today, dollar bills fly across space and deposit themselves into my bank account. That's different! But commerce is still the exciting challenge that left my dolls unattended on the shelf. The Internet has opened up endless possibilities for commerce. And just like the sign I hung up years ago, we still put signs out to attract buyers. It's not so different.

You meet people, show them your wares, let them know why your lemonade tastes better than anyone else's and after they buy a glass and take a sip, they come back for more. It is such a simple concept, it's a wonder why so many marketers make it sound so confusing.

Think of Internet marketing as if you were tacking up a sign on your lemonade stand. Now, think of your website as your lemonade stand. It's easy to see that all you have to do to attract more customers is hang up lots of signs all over the neighborhood. Now, picture yourself standing on your front lawn as cars speed by and no one stops to buy a glass of your frosty lemonade. That's what happens when you don't put out any signs.

There are many places where you post your advertising sign on the Internet. Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com are well known hot spots to post your sign. It's called pay-per-click advertising. You rent sign space, but pay only when someone clicks your link and lands on your web site page. What if you get hundreds of clicks at $1.00 each. Yikes! That can add up. But it is a real sunny day when the visitors that come from each click, engage your offers and become a new business contact. That's a lot of lemonade!

But what if people land on your web page and don't like the color of your lemonade. Sales conversions will be low to non existent. So before you hang out any signs inviting customers to your website, do a sales checkup. You want the words on your web pages to show and tell visitors just how tasty your offers are. You want both substance and persuasion throughout your web page copy. If you're not sure how to write your copy, there are many professional advertising copy writing services ready to help you.

Speaking of your web page copy, another way to bring buyers to your web site is search engine optimization (SEO). This is like dressing up your lemonade stand sign with the right words. How many takers would I have gotten when I was a kid if my sign read, "Cold Beer" when I was clearly selling lemonade. People who stopped by for a beer would not be pleased. And what if I wrote those words in a foreign language. People would be confused, and so would search engines. It is just as important to speak in a language search engines understand as it is to speak in a language your web page visitors understand. Search engine optimization makes that happen. And the beauty of search engine optimization is you get free clicks. It's like posting signs all over the Internet inviting customers to come and buy a glass of lemonade. But in this instance, all your posts are free. You don't pay for the clicks you get. How cool is that!!

Internet marketing may be a mystery to you, and you may not even know enough about it to even consider it as a necessary arrow in your marketing quiver. Who wants to run up a credit card on this unknown thing called Internet marketing. Unfortunately, this nebulous selling environment is it. It's the place. Your website is the new lemonade stand, and Internet marketing attracts buyers.

We meet and we both benefit. We still have that in common. If you have a website, check your web pages for substance and sales persuasion, optimize key pages and start marketing online. Post those signs. Let people know how good your lemonade is.

About The Author
Alexandria Marx has 20 yrs direct marketing copywriting, web design and Internet marketing. She's published two books on sales and marketing, and offers sales checkups and marketing tips for small business. http://www.dm-creative.com

The Other Way To
Social Network Marketing

By Nicole Bandes

Many people believe they can’t build business on Social Networking sites because everyone else is also just on the sites to promote their own business and have no interest in any other businesses. That probably has a great deal of truth to it. However, for this reason, you have a golden opportunity to stand out among the crowd.

There are a couple of ways you can use social networking sites to build business. While I suppose both of them could be effective, I believe that one is clearly more effective and much more rewarding.

The obvious way to promote your business on a social networking site would be to sign up for as many sites as you can, create a profile that says nothing about you and a great deal about your business, and start sending your offer to as many members as you possibly can. You should also attempt to get as many friends as possible and then blast them regularly with your new promotions via their comments section.

Then there is the other way. The other way takes time. It also takes integrity. The other way is the way in which you can gain a lot more than just sales.

The other way to market your business on social networking sites is to actually take an interest in other people. That doesn’t mean go in and pretend to be interested in their business or even in their interests. It means finding people that you might actually have something in common with and foster that friendship. It means offering help when you can give it; free advice, a qualified referral, or even a friendly ear. It means creating quality relationships rather than quantity.

Just think, if you actually talk to people about THEIR interests and offer to provide them with help in some way then you gain ground over all of those individuals that simply log in to spam the other members. You could be a diamond among a bunch of coal.

And just think, if you are that diamond and make an effort to build a true solid friendship, who are those new friends going to turn to if they need your product, the one spamming them or the one that has helped and been a real friend? And what if they know someone who needs your product? Will they think of you or the one who sent them all those messages without even knowing their first name (which is clearly posted on their profile)?

Now, what if, in addition to everything else, you actually market your product rather than your business? How many more people do you think are interested in your product but get turned off by the prospect of HAVING to look at your business?

It is far easier to find customers than prospective distributors. If you focus on finding customers, those that are promoting their business MAY actually be interested in your product even if they already have a business. The benefit comes in that those purchasing your product, may eventually decide to build a business once they have seen what a great product you offer.

So go be the diamond and the least you will gain is a good friend. Chose the other way, not the obvious way.

About the Author
Nicole Bandes has been an entrepreneur from the young age of about 8 when she started selling homemade candles and hand painted rocks that probably weren't very good. She enjoys working in her own business and being at home for her family and has found that perfect business to allow her to do that and achieve all of her success goals at the same time. Nicole helps businesses gain all referrals than they can handle. Get some free tips at her blog at http://www.ilovesendoutcards.com/blog

Is Anyone Reading
Your Online Articles?

By Denise Willms

Writing articles that no one reads?

I hope not. But if you want people to read your online articles, there are two things you absolutely must do.

OK, there are several techniques that will help your articles get read – like a catchy title and a captivating first sentence - but these two things that I'm about to tell you are absolutely vital to an effective Article Marketing campaign.

Without these things, whatever else you do won’t even matter.

1. Write articles about subjects your audience is interested in.

2. Make sure these same people can find your articles.

Fortunately, there’s no guesswork here, and no need to cross your fingers that the right people will somehow stumble across your articles and actually read them.

Some good keyword research will tell you exactly what information your audience is looking for, and even give you the exact terms they’re using to search for it.

If you haven’t done keyword research before, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. “Keyword” simply refers to the terms people type into search engines to look for information. And the research is easy to do. Type relevant words into a keyword research tool, and you’ll get a list of all the words and phrases people have searched for that relate to your word.

Here are some popular keyword research tools:

www.wordtracker.com
www.keyworddiscovery.com
www.seoelite.com

Whichever tool you decide to go with, Word Tracker has an excellent tutorial on how to find and use keywords.

Another place to find good keywords for your product or service is in your own web stats. Look under “Search String” to find the terms that people used to find your site. It's a good idea to add these to your list of keywords because people who used those search terms were attracted to your site.

Once you have your keywords, incorporate them into your title, the body of your article, and into the keywords section of the online article submission form.

When you submit your article to an online database like WAHM-Articles, your title becomes the site description. This is one of the things search engines look at when they’re finding a relevant match for a user’s query.

The keywords you insert give the search engines an idea of what the page is about.

Using the same words somewhere in your article will also help the engines find the article when someone searches for those particular keywords.

Do search engines really look at articles? You bet. At WAHM-Articles, most of our traffic comes from people who typed in a query that closely matched an article’s title. As with any business strategy, successful Article Marketing is all about taking the time to learn what people are looking for, and then giving them what they need.

About the Author
Denise Willms is co-owner of www.WAHM-Articles.com and a virtual assistant to busy WAHMs. Submit your WAHM articles at www.wahm-articles.com where they'll be read by hundreds of work-at-home-moms, and could be published in their newsletters, blogs and websites.



Using Hand-Written Notes To Build Your Business
By Kristine Lewis

Recently, I attended a networking event for my company. The speaker that night spoke about good networking practices. One of the practices she referred to was making sure to follow-up with everyone you meet at these events. She aptly referred to it as “pinging”.

The word “ping” takes its name from a submarine sonar search -- you send a short sound burst and listen for an echo or a “ping” coming back. So, in networking terms, when you send out a ping, whether with an email, a phone call or a hand-written note, you’re inviting that person to “come back” and communicate with you thus beginning a relationship with that person…one that will hopefully benefit you both long term.

I always make it a practice to send out handwritten thank you notes to everyone I meet at these events. I like handwritten notes, because they’re a physical manifestation of your company (your brand) to that potential client, strategic partner or referral source. A handwritten note sets the tone for your company. Handwritten notes also differentiate you from most other businesses. Ask yourself when the last time you received a handwritten note from someone you met at a business setting was?

Quite simply, handwritten correspondence is a wonderful way to build your business. When I say build your business, I am not just referring to acquiring new customers. I am also referring to keeping the customers you have!

According to a study conducted by the Technical Assistance Research Project in Washington DC, 68% of customers leave because of “perceived indifference”. In other words, customers don’t think you care about their business. As Sir William Jones said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”. Our customers and clients want and need to be appreciated, remembered and thanked.

Another great advantage in sending a personal note….people tend to keep these cards. Whenever I receive a nice note from someone, I display it one my desk for awhile. Every time I see the card, I am warmly reminded of that person or business.

So, when should you send a handwritten card to someone? Here are a few suggestions:

• Every time you meet someone new and get their contact information (i.e. a networking function, a business meeting, a training session, on the plane, a social party, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc.)
• When a customer makes a major purchase from you or sends a referral your way.
• When you embark upon a joint venture with a new company.

Here are some other suggested but not mandatory times to jot a quick note:
• A birthday greeting to your clients and associates.
• A congratulatory note when you hear about something great that customer or business associate did. For example, one of my customers published a new book, so I sent her a congratulatory note.
• If you see an article that might be of interest to that client or associate, send them the clipping with a quick note.
• An encouraging note to members of your staff or team.

Remember, every card is a “ping”. It is likely that your message will echo back to you in some way soon!

Writing a handwritten note does not have to be a difficult exercise! When networking, make it a practice to take notes about the people you meet on the back of their business cards, so you have something to reference when you go to correspond with them.

Handwritten notes should only be 3-5 sentences in length. In other words, be short and to the point. If it is your first correspondence with this person, remind them where you met and what you do for a living. Thank them for taking the time to speak with you and perhaps suggest another meeting. Make sure to enclose another business card.

Your personal correspondence should be written on high quality stationery. Remember, your stationery represents your brand. If you are a veterinarian for example, a note card with a cute dog might certainly be appropriate. If you’re an image consultant, you might want something more refined and sophisticated. Personalized note cards with your name and/or company already printed on them are great for establishing a consistent brand or image. Make sure to give your correspondence that extra personal touch by hand-addressing the envelope and using a real postage stamp.

Set aside some time every day to write your notes. I prefer to do this practice at the end of the day. It gives me time to reflect upon the day and allows me to give this practice my undivided attention. It also helps me to end my day on a very positive note…energy which transcends to the following day.

For remembering customer’s birthdays, I have created an Excel spreadsheet with my customers’ names, addresses and birthdays. Once a week, I refer to this sheet to remind myself of the birthday notes I need to send out for that week.

Don’t get me wrong, emails, instant messages, phone calls and the like are all wonderful communication tools! However, taking the time to write a handwritten note really sends the message that you care and you have taken the time to think about your relationship or potential relationship with that person. Those 3-5 sentences can make a mighty impact. And, that ping will come back to you in the mighty echo of increased opportunity. Grab your pen and stationery and get writing today!

Article Source: http://www.wahm-articles.com

About The Author
Kristine Lewis is the owner of www.dreampressonline.com. Dream Press is an online personalized stationery boutique that offers unique and affordable personalized note cards, notepads, labels, candy wrappers and more. Dream Press also offers a Small Business Section with personalized stationery products specifically for the small business owner. Kristine resides in Wixom, Michigan with her boyfriend and 6-year old son Benjamin.

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