Get the Most From Your Social Media Profile

If you’re using social networking communities (such as Facebook) to meet people and connect with potential business partners, it’s very important to go the extra mile and strive to create the best profile you can. Oddly enough, many network marketing and MLM entrepreneurs don’t take time to do a good job with this. Often, they fill out their profile with just a bare minimum of information that doesn’t really leave much of an impression on visitors.

Why Creating Your Best Social Profile is So Important

Many people are out there looking for a way to make money from home. They are looking not only for a good opportunity, but for someone they feel comfortable working with. When they like a post or some other content you’ve created, or read details about your home business, they are likely to click on your profile to learn more about you.

Don’t you sometime do this yourself when you are looking at message boards or browsing discussions in various social communities? When you see someone make an interesting comment or observation, you probably get curious and click on their profile to learn more about them. This is why having a complete profile is so important – you want to come across as “real” and give people more reason to get in touch with you.

Creating Your Best Profile

The first thing you want to do is upload a quality photo of yourself. Since you are in these communities hoping to make business connections, it’s important to have a nice photo that presents you well. A professional portrait isn’t necessary, in fact a nice snapshot with your camera is fine, so long as it presents you in a positive way. I think a head shot for your main profile picture looks the best. Remember that this picture is often the first thing that people see, and making a good first impression is important.

Always be aware of your privacy and don’t put information in your public profiles that you don’t want the world to see. Otherwise, include as much as you like about your personal interests, hobbies, passions, whatever you want to share. Always keep everything in good taste. Many potential new contacts may find you from searches they do on their own interests, in an effort to find like minded friends.

ideas for blog posts and website articles

When you’re done, look at your public profile through the eyes of a potential prospect or friend. Is it professional, and does it show a glimpse of “who you are” apart from your business?

Always include a link in your profile to details about your MLM or network marketing business, or whatever venture you are involved with. The key is letting your business information blend in with everything else as part of the total “you”. Some networkers create profiles that go way overboard with hype and promotion of their opportunity. Serious prospects will be turned away by this – they are looking for more.

 

Check out Eldon’s Home Business Success Blog !!

Getting Found in Google – Why Social Proof Matters More Than Ever

If you have set up your online “home base”, preferably a WordPress blog that highlights YOU as a leader, you’ve probably read some things about SEO (search engine optimization) and how it can help you get found in Google when people are searching for a business or product like yours.

The point of SEO is making your blog content more likely to pop up in a Google search when someone is looking for whatever you are selling or promoting. The traditional approach to SEO falls into two basic categories:

  • on page optimization, which means writing good titles and descriptions as well as paying attention to other factors that make your blog more search engine friendly and your posts more likely to be found in searches
  • off page optimization, which involves getting links back to your blog content from a variety of sources – this can be links you place yourself in message board signatures, articles, and so forth or links that other people put on their sites because they like your content and want to share it with their readers

Both of these approaches are still critical to your success in being found in Google searches, but “social factors” are now coming more and more into play. It’s been observed over the last couple of years that Google has been paying attention to social proof.

For example:

  • Facebook likes
  • tweets
  • bookmarks and votes on content in sites such as Digg
  • social communities where people have commented on or highlighted your content

While the exact amount of influence this activity has on rankings is not clear, what is clear is that Google is relying more and more on social proof to influence ranking. After all, their job is to deliver good content to searchers, and content that has “social buzz” would at least appear to be more relevant and valuable in a given search.

ideas for blog posts and website articles

Google has just introduced their new +1 social feature, which lets searchers give a thumbs up or positive recommendation to content they find valuable. The +1 button is a way for Google searchers to say “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.” Interesting. It just shows how social proof can and will influence ranking more and more as time goes on.

The bottom line – to increase your chances of being found in searches, be active and consistent in using social media. Get links back to your blog and your posts. Becoming an active member of the major social communities has always been good advice for online network marketers and MLM’ers, but now it’s more important than ever.

Traditional SEO + smart participation in social communities (like Facebook) = far better odds that YOUR best prospects will find you!

How to Come Up With Blog Post Ideas

Last time, we talked about the importance of creating your “home base” for promoting yourself and establishing your own distinctive brand online.

Once you’ve created a WordPress blog as your “home base”, it’s time to begin adding fresh content. This is where many people stumble and draw a blank. It can be challenging to come up with things to write about, especially if you are fairly new to blogging. You understand the concept of promoting yourself as a leader, not just pitching your network marketing opportunity, but what do you blog about to accomplish this?

Don’t feel bad if you struggle at first to come up with topics for content. I believe that just about everyone doing this will occasionally experience times when they just don’t really know what they should write about.

ideas for blog posts and website articles

As home business builders and MLM network marketing leaders, we want to provide value and insight to our readers so that they have reason to keep coming back for more. Bear in mind that some visitors to your blog will be serious opportunity seekers, and many will visit a few times and review your content before they feel comfortable contacting you. Thus, you really want to put some thought and effort into this.

Here are a few ideas about what you can write about, which will work well for home business builders and network marketers. You have to use some imagination and integrate these ideas with your own personal experiences, but they can help you get started.

Think about your experiences in building your business and how you’ve overcome obstacles, and write about them. Talk about how and why you got started, and things you’ve learned along the way.

Many of your prospects will ask the same questions over and over – take these “frequently asked questions” and talk about how you answer them. Some common questions might be:

How much money can I make in network marketing?

How much time do I have to put into it?

Can I do this if I have a very tight budget?

Can I really build a business if I work a full-time job?

And so forth…you can build an entire post or article around questions like these.

Read a book or good article about MLM, home business, social networking, or self development.  Pick out parts that resonate with you, and write about them from your own experience and perspective.

Share and comment on a video (from YouTube or elsewhere) that you’ve seen that encouraged you or gave  you insight that helped you in your business.

When you read something online that inspires you, perhaps a business building tip or something that motivates you to action, create a post that relates it to your own personal experience. Don’t just copy it.

Create a “how to do something” post. This can be about anything you’ve learned to do for your business. For example: “How to Set Up an Autoresponder Follow-Up System” or “How to Notify Your Warm Market About Your New Network Marketing Business“.

Go to Google and search for keywords like “MLM message boards” or “network marketing forums”. Visit these boards and scan the topics. Look for questions and problems that networkers are asking about, and write posts for your blog with comments and answers.

Create list type posts. These tend to draw interest and attention, but don’t overdo them. For example: “Top 5 Things to Look For in an MLM Product” or “Ten Top Questions to Ask About a Network Marketing Opportunity“.

These are just a few ideas you can use to get your creative juices flowing. An important thing to keep in mind – just relax and be yourself. Write from your own perspective and experience, and don’t worry about being perfect. You’re not trying to be a professional writer, but rather a communicator. Prospects visiting your blog are interested in learning more about you and who you really are. Be yourself.

Creating Your “Home Base” for Online MLM Success

setting up your own blog for online MLM succcessAre you ready to create a successful online MLM business? Let’s talk about the first thing you need to do in order to get things rolling in the right direction.

In order to effectively promote your opportunity online, what you want to do is to create a name, or a “brand” for yourself. For long term success, your objective is to brand and sell yourself, not your specific business opportunity.

Typically, there are two traditional approaches to getting started with online MLM.

  • linking to and promoting a company replicated site that promotes your products and business

Problem: these replicated sites offer little ability to customize, and one looks pretty much like another. This won’t help you stand out from the crowd.

  • starting your own blog or website with emphasis on your MLM products or opportunity

Problem: this type of site is okay to use as a secondary site, but shouldn’t be your primary online base.

A key to ongoing success in MLM, both online and offline, is establishing yourself as a leader and creating relationships with people. You don’t want to be known as “that person who sells the XYZ products”. Rather, you want to be known as “Joe or Jane…successful home business owner…”.

See the difference? You are your own best asset. By branding yourself and focusing on building relationships and what you can do for others, you are setting yourself up as a leader who will naturally attract people seeking opportunity.

The first thing I recommend that you do, when beginning to seriously promote your MLM business online, is establish a “home base” that will be your primary site. This is where people will go to learn more about you and what you can do to help them. What you’re all about.

Ideally, your home base should be a domain with your name in it – for example, mine is “eldonbeard.com”. If you find that yourname.com is already taken, try to find something by putting other words around your name or use a dash.

joesmithonline.com

janet-jones.com

There are other possibilities too. Just be creative. Do a Google search for keywords related to home business and MLM, and see what others are doing. You can brainstorm and get lots of ideas this way.

Once you’ve chosen and registered your domain name, set up a WordPress blog. The blog format is very interactive, and allows visitors to leave comments and have discussions. This is what you want. By posting to your blog frequently, you increase your chances of getting visitors through search engine traffic.

One common question I hear is “if I start a blog, what do I write about?” For many people, this can be a struggle. I can assure you, though, that you don’t have to be a professional writer to write decent blog posts. Blogging by nature is not supposed to be rigid or formal – it’s more an expression of you, your personality, and your own unique style.

Next week, I’ll be back with some ideas and “post starters” to help you come up with topics to write about when your mind is drawing a blank. Stay tuned!

Checkout Eldon’s Blog

Two Popular Methods for Getting Free Traffic to Your MLM Blog

You’ve got your MLM blog up and running. Whether your blog is focused on promoting YOU as a leader and attractive sponsor, or your opportunity specifically, what you’re looking for is traffic. You want visitors who might be interested in what you have to offer.

I believe that the best way, long-term, to get free traffic online is through consistent and smart use of social media resources like Facebook. The drawback here is that it takes time to get on top of it and start establishing trust and authority on these sites. In the meantime, while you are building up your social media presence, how can you start getting more visitors to your site?

Many MLM business owners are drawn to free or inexpensive advertising methods such as traffic exchanges and safelist type programs. Since these have been around a long time and are appealing on the surface, I want to address the pros and cons of each.

Traffic Exchanges

Traffic exchanges are programs like Trafficswarm that allow you to earn credits by viewing web pages that other members have published. In turn, you can use these credits to get exposure for your own web page in the rotation. You also have the option for purchasing credits, which are usually cheap and save you hours of time clicking through to other members’ sites.

There is much debate about the effectiveness of traffic exchanges. The bottom line – they are not the most efficient way to get good MLM leads, but if you use them correctly, you can get leads using them. The key is understanding what most members are clicking away trying to accomplish in these programs.

People using traffic exchanges are shooting for one thing mainly – getting exposure for their site or offer. They may endure hours of clicking through sites, to build up credits, and barely notice the pages they land on. You can sit and read or do other things and occasionally click a link to visit another site and earn credits, without actually paying any real attention to it. It becomes robotic and automated after a while.

If you want to use traffic exchanges as part of your online MLM business strategy, the only chance you have to make it worthwhile is using them to build your mailing list. You need to create a free ebook or report on a topic that will appeal to people using these programs. Why are they there? To get more traffic and leads. So, offer a report or ebook on a topic like “Ten Steps to More MLM Traffic” or “Five Free Ways to Get Qualified MLM Leads Online“.

Make sense? Once you have the report, create a series of auto-responder messages and set up an account with an email list manager like Aweber. When someone opts in to your list, you can promote your opportunity to them in whatever manner you want (there are smart ways to do this that are beyond the scope of this article, but the bottom line is providing value to your subscribers and not trying to cram your opportunity down their throat with hype and hoopla).

Safelists

Safelists are programs that you sign up in and agree to receive emails from other members in exchange for being able to send emails to them. The catch with these is that you are quite limited in how much mailing you can do as a “free” member. You almost always have to do a paid upgrade to make it worthwhile.

The major drawback to safelist advertising is that you are facing the same problems you face with email marketing in general. Many participants will set up secondary email accounts for these programs that they rarely if ever check. Paid members may have an option to opt out of receiving any member emails. Nonetheless, there are some people who actually scan the subject lines and open the ones that look interesting.

If you choose to use safelist marketing, follow the same basic strategy as for traffic exchanges – focus on creating a giveaway and build your list. With both, work hard on creating a good headline that will attract attention.

The Bottom Line

I want to make it clear that I don’t particularly recommend using traffic exchanges and safelists for promoting your online MLM business. The reason I am writing about them is that I know some MLM marketers who do get decent leads this way, and I realize that many are drawn to them because they are free or inexpensive to advertise with.

Just remember that people who have real success with these methods do it by focusing on getting opt-ins to their list so they can stay in touch and drip information and promotions to them over time. Nobody will sign up for your list unless they think there is something valuable in it for them.

About the Author

Eldon Beard is a network marketing and home business coach who enjoys helping others achieve the lifestyle that they truly want. Visit his blog at eldonbeard.com and discover a balanced and professional approach to network marketing and home business success.

MLM Sponsoring – Two Things You Should Always Remember

I had a conversation last night with a member of my downline team. This gentleman is discouraged because he has presented his business to ten people (in person), and nobody has signed up. His question to me was, “what am I doing wrong”?

When working with someone in your downline, especially if they live far away and you’ve never met, it’s hard to know whether there is an obvious problem or not. Often, though, it isn’t that your downline associate is specifically doing something wrong, but rather it’s the nature of sponsoring in MLM and network marketing.

You might think, at first, that presenting to ten friends in person almost ensures that at least one will join you. This isn’t always the case. So much depends on where these potential business partners are in their life journey.

Let’s assume you have chosen a solid opportunity, with products that have reasonably broad appeal. There are a couple of things to consider here.

What Time is the Right Time?

Many of the most successful people in network marketing will tell you that, when first approached, they had no interest at all in this type of business, or any home business for that matter. A lot of people have jobs and careers that they enjoy, and put so much of their energy and interest in their career that there is no desire for a business.

However, always remember, things change. A corporate engineer who is happy and content with his chosen career today might become discouraged in a couple of years when his company starts cutting staff, or new jobs and projects become scarce. Even a professional with a reasonably secure position may think twice when they see the workforce around them being cut back.

I have a friend and mentor who is very successful in MLM and direct sales. She will testify that she had zero interest in this business until her son was born. At that time, she realized that leaving the corporate world and making money from home was the way she could stay home and watch her son grow up.

Things change! A presentation you make today may fall on deaf ears. Shake it off, and make it a point to stay in touch with that person consistently in the future. If things change, they will remember you.

Relationship Building Online and Offline

Network marketing is a “people business”. People want to work with other people they like and respect. Nobody wants to partner with someone who pushes an opportunity on them, and shows little or no interest in their unique situation.

When you have a brand new prospect, someone you haven’t met before, be sure to take time to talk to them about what THEY want from a home business. Jumping right in and highlighting all the benefits and perks of your opportunity may seem like the right thing to do, but hold back the enthusiasm just a bit and focus on your prospect.

Not only do people want to work with other people, they are also drawn to people who genuinely seem to care about them and what they are looking for. I know this sounds very obvious, but it’s surprising how many networkers forget to put the focus on the prospect.

The bottom line – don’t get discouraged when people don’t sign up right away. Always follow up in some fashion, and keep moving forward. I’ve had new associates join my business three years after our initial contact – in part because I’ve made it a point to follow up with them from time to time. Staying in touch helps assure your potential business partners that you are serious and committed to your business for the long term.

Blog Commenting – An Easy Way to Boost Your Online Presence and Credibility

How often do you visit different blogs in your niche and leave comments to posts you read there?

There are different viewpoints on the value of “blog commenting”. As a network marketer and home business builder, you might wonder whether taking time for this is really worth the effort.

A lot has been taught over time about the value of leaving blog comments. Most blogs allow you to leave a link to your own site when you make a comment. At one time, this was highly promoted as a way to increase your search engine rankings, because you could create literally dozens of links back to your site in a fairly short period of time. However, as usually happens when an easy way to boost search engine rankings is discovered and publicized, spammers showed up and ruin the party for everyone.

In the case of blog commenting, different types of automated software came on the market which made it easy to leave lots of worthless comments with a link back to a target site – all automated. Google, and smart bloggers, caught on and took steps to stop the abuse. Google devalued the importance of these links, and bloggers started to change their settings so that (at a minimum) comments from first time contributors had to be reviewed and approved before going live.

In today’s online environment, spending time leaving blog comments isn’t really worthwhile for purposes of increasing search engine ranking for selected keywords. How often have you seen comments, with the author’s name (this is the text of the link) being “MLM Guru”, “Make Money From Home”, or something similar? When you see that, you know in most cases that the commenter is shooting for better ranking in Google for that keyword or phrase. It used to work really well, but no longer.

So, is there still value in commenting on other peoples’ blogs? Yes!

The idea now, though, is to boost your online social presence and create credibility. If you’re using social media to build your personal brand and develop relationships, and you should, blog commenting is one simple part of an overall social media strategy that you can use.

Here are a few tips for making blog commenting work for you.

  • Look for network marketers and other entrepreneurs who are active in social media – visit their blogs and bookmark those you like for commenting later.
  • Visit popular blogs focused on success, motivation, and mindset – these will be frequented by home business builders and possibility thinkers just like you.
  • Don’t worry about software that promises to find blogs that allow “do follow” links – this is a throwback to the days when commenting was all about getting backlinks to your own site, and that isn’t the best strategy now.
  • Remember that your focus is on adding value to the post – short comments like “great post, I’ll be back soon” are obviously there to get a link back to something. Many blog owners won’t even let these go public. Focus on making intelligent comments that show you really read the post and got value from it.
  • Intelligent comments with substance encourage blog visitors to click the link back to your site – and this is your ultimate goal. Make a good impression, get that click.
  • Use your real name, not a keyword or phrase, unless you are building your brand around something other than your name.
  • Get a gravatar http://en.gravatar.com/ so that your picture will appear next to your comments, instead of a generic graphic.

Finally, make blog commenting a part of your overall social strategy, but don’t put a high percentage of your available time into it. The key is getting exposure as many different ways as you can. People might see you active on Facebook, then visit your blog, read an article you published somewhere, then later see your comments and picture on other peoples’ blogs. It all adds up and creates the “YOU” brand that separates you from the crowd.

About the Author

Eldon Beard is a network marketing and home business coach who enjoys helping others achieve the lifestyle that they truly want. Visit his blog at eldonbeard.com and discover a balanced and professional approach to network marketing and home business success.