Tag Archives: mlm

Bitcoin Break $3,000 Do Not Miss This

The price of bitcoin topped $3,000 for the first time in history today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

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After spending much of the last week seeking direction in the $2,700 to $2,900-range, the average price of bitcoin across major international exchanges edged up over this threshold finally at roughly 17:00 UTC.

The new record comes at a time when alternative digital assets are seeing robust inflows, with ethereum’s ether token setting a new all-time high of more than $300 today as well.

Indeed, analysts spoke to the ongoing broadening of the cryptocurrency market as a tide that is benefitting bitcoin.

“The inflows into ‘alts’ are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster,” cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.

Jehan Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Jen Advisors, agreed, noting that bitcoin is likely benefitting from new investor interest and the surging interest of “cryptos like ether”.

Still, Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX, stated that bitcoin is still the “most talked-about cryptocurrency”, even as returns become more substantial in other areas of the market.

Hayes told CoinDesk:

“As investors marvel at bitcoin’s historical returns and the returns of altcoins, their natural first purchase is bitcoin. Bitcoin has under performed other coins this year, it is now playing catchup.”

Investor Sean Walsh largely agreed, pointing to bitcoin’s growing price as a sign of its place in the market as the first stop on a road to other assets.

“Bitcoin still seems like the dominant gateway to [alternative digital assets]. So, many first purchase bitcoin in order to then trade their bitcoin for altcoins,” he noted.

The development coincides with signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing to support new inflows and increasing interest.

As noted by CoinDesk research analyst Alex Sunnarborg today, the cryptocurrency exchange market has never been more globally diverse or buoyed by such an array of possible inflows.

Such tailwinds have combined in recent weeks to bring new investor attention to bitcoin, with expectations for bitcoin’s growth becoming more and more exuberant. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank went so far as to publish a forecasting report in which it placed the possible value of bitcoin at $100,000 in the next 10 years.

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc

Charts on mobile device via Shutterstock

 

MarketHive

9 Survival Essentials For The MLM Industry

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If you’re in the MLM industry, by now you’ve undoubtedly heard of the $200 million fine the FTC just slapped on ‘once mighty’ Herbalife. I’m saying, ‘once mighty’ because this fine was very possibly the beginning of the end for Herbalife and also a wak- up call for the vast majority of the rest of the MLM and Direct Selling industry that has abused the public’s trust for so many years.

What have they done that is so naughty, you ask?

It’s simple. Basically, they just got greedy. If you want more detail…here it is:

  1. Overpriced products

  2. A faulty and misrepresented opportunity

  3. A lack of technical innovation that has resulted in a system that doesn’t meet the needs of today’s consumers or home-based entrepreneurs.

The FTC, in effect, said that Herbalife was a pyramid operation, even though they refrained from using those exact words. This was probably because they didn’t want to rock too severely an already fragile US economy but it’s clear that ‘pyramid’ was exactly what they were describing.

So, what’s the fallout going to be?

Here at Markethive, we think that Herbalife is probably ‘toast, dead meat, Big Casino, swimming with the fishes’ for all intents and purposes. Their brand will linger for a while longer but probably will never fully recover.

The sad fact is that Herbalife, and the countless other companies which operate in a similar manner, are too entrenched in the ‘old school’ MLM methodology to make the necessary changes in time to move into the new age of the home-based entrepreneur. And a lot of distributors who needed the opportunity these companies promised are going to be left with nothing but an I.O.U. for the time and money they spent.

>More and more of the public is too savvy now to fall for the ‘hopes and dreams’ MLM pitch now. That’s why the vast majority of MLM companies are losing approximately 50% of their distributors every year.  In fact, MLM companies have little if any political or social ‘capital’ left to spend not only with the public but also with regulators.

Up until now, the MLM industry has always had it’s detractors and its promoters but MLM companies, leaders, and so-called interest groups like the Direct Selling Association have been able to maintain a charade of propriety by various means. Obviously there was rot ‘below the decks’ that was never properly addressed.

But, with this latest FTC decision, the cat is officially out of the bag now and the MLM industry traditionalists need some new thinking.

In trying to learn from the past (and especially these recent events) and move into the future, the present question is: Where does the MLM and Direct Selling Industry go now and where can aspiring home-based entrepreneurs find the opportunity they seek in today’s promising but uncertain digital age?

In Markethive, we think we’ve got some answers. Here are our 9 Survival Essentials For The MLM Industry:

  1. Companies must have superlative products or services. In fact, truly next-generation MLM must be characterized by superlative products and services that have no competition in their respective market. That market supremacy will not rely strictly on price but rather on superior value. And… companies will not expect everybody to want to be ‘in the business’ but rather will have a clear retail-only distribution channel for people who have no interest in their business opportunity. Indeed, these customers might not even be aware of an opportunity. This will give stability to those who do choose the business-builder route within their respective MLM company. Example: Just because I want to drive a Chevy truck doesn’t mean I want to be pitched on buying a dealership.

    Question – How can you tell if an MLM company’s products are competitively priced?

    Answer – If their products won’t sell in the public marketplace, e.g. on eBay, for more than you, the Distributor, pays the company for them, then they are not good products and you are being ripped off. And you’re ripping off your friends who buy those products.

  2. Companies must have virtual warehouses for their distributors in order to relieve them of the burden of stockpiling inventory in their homes or garages as has often been the traditional MLM model. In fact many MLM companies still load their distributors with inventory that will never be sold. Amazon has proven that the ‘virtual warehouse’ concept works. MLM companies need to adopt the same idea. This one innovation alone will likely at least double product sales, increase distributor retention, and finally make home based MLM and Direct Selling businesses competitive with local retailers.

  3. Companies must engage in cooperative advertising and marketing with their distributors, wherein companies match advertising funds from distributors and also run ads which drive prospects and/or customers to a distributor’s 800 phone number or to the top of some other type of sales funnel. Other industries have been doing this for years. One MLM company did this in the past and was extremely successful as a result however they ceased this practice and reverted to the old-fashioned ‘hopes and dreams’ model… a move which they probably regret now as their business continues to decline. However,  MLM companies which do this correctly will enable distributors to build very successful businesses.

  4. Companies must enable their distributors to E-retail. Once the virtual warehouse function is set up a distributor, companies must give them an online interface whereby they can log into their ‘business center’ and perform any desired marketing or business management function, i.e. send samples, fill and ship product orders, and reorder inventory…all while simultaneously carrying on a live text or voice conversation with a customer or prospect. This contributes tremendously towards removing the unprofitable burden of back-office paper pushing from the distributor and enables him/her to focus on bonding with the client or prospect.

  5. Companies must provide a robust 800 phone number telemarketing platform. This is an affordable and very effective marketing tool which starts with distributor getting an ID# from the company. The ID# resides on company servers and is used for all manner of tracking. The operator talking to the customer or prospect may or may not be the distributor but the operator interface displays the source of the call. The stimulus for the call could be any type of media ad, event, or call to action. Operators receive and handle the calls and have the ability to make notes on the account, forward the call, or 3-way the call as appropriate.

  6. Companies must use API’s (Application Programming Interface) to enable their distributors to establish a smooth presence on online stores. This is where they can ´meet’ the customer when they shop on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, or any of the large number of ecommerce sites that are popping up today. In the past, MLM companies have ignored the advice of qualified experts and have resisted authorization of API use by their distributors, claiming they (the companies) would lose control of prices and selling policy. In fact, properly constructed API’s do allow the company the control they are unnecessarily worried about.

  7. Companies must develop, allow, and encourage a robust retail presence, in the form of retail-only websites for distributors. One of the FTC’s specific complaints concerning Herbalife was that Herbalife did not actively encourage retail sales by their distributors. Thus contributing to the fact that Herbalife had almost no retail sales. Instead, Herbalife and other MLM companies have insisted on cramming ‘Hopes and Dreams’ propaganda about their worthless opportunities onto distributor sites. And they wonder why they don’t have many retail sales. This is a huge ‘turn-off’ to many retail customers. To reiterate, legitimate business retail product irrespective of ‘ownership’ (or pseudo-ownership) opportunities. And they don’t distract buyers with money in their hands with ‘a great opportunity’.

    NB: here is it also noteworthy that no current MLM company encourages their distributors to build their own database of customers… which any smart distributor should do. Some companies even expressly prohibit it.

  8. MLM companies need to provide the marketing systems for their distributors to win in today’s modern digital marketplace. This includes such items as autoresponders, social broadcasters, social media tools, conference rooms, blogs and other publishing platforms, brandable and replicable PDF’s, video marketing platforms and tools, co-op advertising support and software, and (of course) high-quality training. No MLM company, other than the emerging joint venture between Valentus and Markethive, have even attempted to do this.

  9. Because business is competitive and technology is rapidly evolving, MLM’s need to provide constant, quality, live and archived video training. A few MLM companies have attempted to do this but the overwhelming majority of that training has been mostly motivational ‘hopes and dreams BS’ rather than information which actually enables a distributor to win in the marketplace.

Final Thoughts and Summary

A look across the MLM and Direct Sales landscape today reveals a dismal scene of the majority of companies hooked, like an addict, into Old School methodology and philosophy which did work briefly in the early days of the industry but in fact no longer does. It’s clear that the reputation of the MLM industry has gotten worse and not better.

Even worse, the landscape is littered with battered and broken dreams and self-images…interspersed with the crafty, grinning, minority who have made huge fortunes in MLM at the expense of not just the aforementioned X-distributors but also millions of consumers who did not get the product and/or service they deserved.

There are two companies, Valentus and Markethive, who believe this situation needs to change and are doing something about it. Valentus has a great tasting, weight-loss coffee that’s very reasonably priced, a strong retail reorder rate of 80%, and an excellent compensation program. Matter of fact, experts agree that Valentus is currently entering momentum.

The other half of this unique equation is Markethive, an innovative inbound marketing platform, free for all. Markethive is supported by advertising…similar to Facebook or YouTube and is actually better than similar platforms from better known and longer established companies like Hubspot and Pardot which start at $200 and rapidly escalate into thousands of dollars per month.

Markethive’s platform is rapidly becoming the new ‘Platinum Standard’ automated marketing system of choice for home-based entrepreneurs and is perfect for almost any business.

Just coincidentally, (some would say, ‘by fate’) the principals of these two companies (Dave Jordan, CEO of Valentus and Tom Prendergast, CEO of Markethive), share a common vision for a New Age of The Entrepreneur and the contribution that their respective companies can bring to the MLM industry.

For more information on anything discussed in this article, or to get involved in the discussion yourself, you are encouraged to register for a free Markethive membership, here. If you are an aspiring or disgruntled home-based entrepreneur looking for a great opportunity, click here. Or….if you just love great coffee and/or want to lose some weight, click here.

 

Art Williams
Markethive Developer and Case Study Writer

 

 

MarketHive

Become The Best Blogger

Become The Best Blogger.

Is it necessary to have a goal to become the best blogger in your niche? Is content marketing something that the public on the web is seeking? Many have asked that questions about the value of content marketing and wondered if it is limited to a few types of businesses. This article was printed in Hubspot in August 2014 titled, How To Become The Best Blogger In Your Niche. 

Back in 2012, Max Nisen wrote, “Content marketing is one of the biggest new trends.” He reported NewsCred’s CEO Shafqat Islam as saying, “Every Fortune 2000 company today is a candidate for content marketing. If they're not doing it, they will be.”

Two years later, Nisen and Islam’s prophecies have come to pass. We are in the age of content marketing — and it's showing no signs of going away. The content marketing arena is now so vast and so complex that people are starting to get lost. Don't believe me? Just take a look at this hodgepodge of an infographic from LUMA:

luma-content-marketing

In spite of the scary complexity, blogging is still the one of the most powerful weapons in the content marketer’s arsenal. And the better the blog, the better the content marketing efforts.

So here’s my thesis: If you are the best blogger in your niche, you can be the most successful in your niche. It’s only logical. If blogging is the core of content marketing, and content marketing is the path to success, then we must conclude that being a kickass blogger is the path to marketing success.

And here’s the really good news: You can become the best blogger in your niche. In the post that follows, I will provide three points that explain exactly how to gain that edge.

1) Know your audience.

Answer the most important question:  “Who is my audience?”

Too often, bloggers start with the wrong question. They ask things like:

  • How can I be interesting?
  • What can I write about?
  • What will make this post more engaging?

Those are great questions, but they are totally meaningless unless you first understand your audience.

I came across a line recently that stuck with me:

 

pngbase64c3c9af76173e7e56

When you blog for someone, you will have plenty of things to write about. What’s more, you’ll communicate in the right way — you'll be more "human" and familiar if you treat your audience like real people.

As you ask the big question, “who is my audience,” keep in mind these additional questions that will help you develop a deeper knowledge (From University of Maryland's Writing Resources):

 

  • What is the relationship between the writer and the reader?
  • How much does the reader know
  • Is the audience likely to agree or disagree with you?
  • What will the reader do with the information?

The clearer your view of your audience, the better your writing will be.

Your audience is smaller than you think.

Keep in mind that your audience is probably smaller than you think. Traffic metrics do not reflect an accurate count of your engaged audience. A better way to understand your audience is through engagement metrics.

In a study conducted by Chartbeat on Slate readership, they discovered that the most engaged readers were those who scrolled below the fold. A full 86% of engagement took place when readers scrolled to read an article.

 

chartbeat

Also, share metrics tend to skew the perception of an engaged audience. The people who share your articles don’t always read the whole thing, as an Upworthy study showed. This chart below indicates how long users stayed on a page compared to the point at which they shared the article.

attention_minutes

Your true readership is made of those who are engaged — the users who read your entire article and absorb the material.

You can build your audience.

Even though it is smaller than you think, you can also build your audience. Great bloggers grow in size and reputation. That’s what this article will tell you how to do.

The more you blog, the better knowledge you’ll have of your audience. You discover what they love, what they don’t love, what makes them click, and what makes them convert. In my Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience, I wrote this:

"A great blog begins with the content you create, but to be successful, a blog also needs a strong community or audience."

So you should not only learn who your audience is, but also shape that audience, too. To a certain extent, you get to decide who your audience is, and what they want to hear.

Everything starts with audience. If you know your audience and speak directly to them, they’re going to love you.

2) Be consistent.

You’re not going to be a wildly successful blogger unless you’re consistent.

An article on NewIncite had this to say about consistency:

"Quality of content and consistency are the most important factors in setting up your schedule … Consistency will keep them engaged, build brand awareness, and — if done right — help convert them to buyers."

It’s easy to talk about consistency, but it’s hard to do consistency. Bruce Springsteen wasn’t exactly a content marketing professional, but he had a great line about consistency:

"Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time."

What worked for The Boss works for content marketers, too. You want to be a blogging rockstar? Take it from a real rockstar: Consistency matters.

Being a rockstar blogger feels good. But waking up early every day, hitting the keyboard every day, and maxing out your mental resources every day doesn't always feel good. But that gritty pain is what consistency is made of.

How often should you blog?

So, what does consistency mean in real numbers? How often do you need to publish a blog post? To answer this question, I’m going to be all evasive and tell you to refer to point one — know your audience.

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute wrote this on the topic of blogging frequency:

"As long as the blog post serves these two goals it’s worth doing a post: 1) Is a compelling and interesting story to your target audience (the reader), and 2) Serves the objective for your blog. If that means five posts per week, great.  If it’s one per week, that’s fine to. [sic] Focus on whether or not you have a story worth telling."

I can’t give you a hard and fast number. I can, however, recommend a minimum threshold — you should aim for at least one post a week.

Why? Frequent output — i.e. consistency — is positively correlated with greater traffic, as indicated by HubSpot’s research.

blog-slide-7-resized-600

In addition, HubSpot discovered that bloggers with higher output had better lead generation results:

blog-slide-10-resized-600

So consistency leads to accumulation of content, and the more content you have, the more results you’ll get.

3) Be totally transparent.

If you’re more transparent than anyone else in your niche, you’ll get more readers. People crave transparency.

Kevan Lee, Buffer’s blogger par excellence, writes this in his article, "The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post:"

"We aim for an element of storytelling in each of the posts we write, often starting a blog post with a personal anecdote or moment of transparency."

Transparency is a tricky thing. On the one hand, relationships are built on trust and transparency. But it’s hard to be transparent. Nan Russell, in Psychology Today, had some cogent insights about transparency:

"People want other people, not necessarily themselves, to be transparent … Some people find transparency threatening, especially at work, while others find it exhilarating. Some confuse transparency with authenticity, or think transparency means communicating everything or knowing everything they want to know."

Transparency is important in blogging, because you are building trust, developing relationships, and growing an audience. At the same time you must exercise your transparency in a thoughtful and intentional way. You’re not going to spill business secrets, gossip about others, or divulge information that puts you in a dangerous personal situation.

The best advice that I’ve read comes from the article I cited above, regarding the role of transparency in the workplace. These principles, as I’ve restated them and applied to blogging, will make you appropriately transparent:

 

  • Tell stories that demonstrate your openness and vulnerability.
  • Make sure you are respecting your boundaries of confidentiality and the confidentiality of others.
  • Use your transparency to help others, not simply for the sake of being transparent.

When we try to become transparent, we’re usually not as transparent as we think we are. But if we work hard to share personal stories — appropriate details included — we’ll get better at it.

Transparency engages readers and turns your blog into something that readers love. As I’ve studied many blogging niches, I’ve discovered that the bloggers with the greatest degree of personal disclosure are the most successful. So if you want to be a successful blogger, you’ve got to get personal and transparent.

Conclusion

Being the best blogger in your niche has very little to do with writing technique and flawless grammar. Those technical skills kowtow to some way more important things:

 

  1. Knowing your audience.
  2. Being consistent.
  3. Being totally transparent.

If you put these techniques into play, you’re on the path to blogging domination and content marketing success.

*How to Become the Best Blogger in Your NicheWritten by Neil Patel | @neilpatel

DR. Raymond Jewell, is a leading economist and Home Based Business Consultant. He is a Alpha Legacy member of Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Dr. Jewell is offering, for a limited time, FREE Markethive Systems just click and sign up and witness the power of the Hive first hand. 

MarketHive

Not You Typical Business Opportunity

A brand new online community is about to launch which will allow you to make money by performing simple online tasks. And the best part is you don’t have to spend a dime to be part of this community

The first thing you need to know and understand is that THIS IS NOT AN MLM!

What if you got paid a few cents to even a few dollars for doing simple online tasks like:

Joining an email list

Liking a Facebook fan page

Sharing a Facebook post

Liking a Facebook post

Visiting a website

Providing feedback about a website or a video

Providing feedback about a logo

Answering a few short questions

(Just to name a few) Well now you can!

Join Here: http://hive.pe/a4

This is also NOT a "traditional online biz opp" where the only way you make money is by "sponsoring" others or selling a product or service. NEITHER one of those things are REQUIRED here to earn! And that's NOT just some marketing scheme and a "line" we use to "get you in". It's 100% true.

HOWEVER…as you will understand shortly…the more people you personally refer to the system, the more potential earnings you will make!

Just imagine this…let's say on any given day there are say 100 tasks available for you and other members to complete to get paid on.

Let's say the average reward for those tasks is just $.25! (25 cents!)

That would mean that on any given day, if you completed those tasks you would earn roughly $25. For every task you complete there is a 10% fee taken from the potential reward. HOWEVER, we (the company) do not KEEP all 10% of that fee. Instead, we share it with YOU (Those who are helping our community grow) and this is how we do it.

Out of the $25 in rewards you earned by completing those 100 tasks…there would be $2.50 held back in referral fees. GetPaidSocial shares 40% of those referral fees with the DIRECT referrer who brought that person into the system, which in this case would be $1. The company then keeps $1.50 (and this is how the company makes money, in case you were wondering)

Let's say you have just 10 people directly referred to you, and let's say that each of those 10 people completed the 100 tasks available that day just like you did.

This means that you would be paid a $1 referral bonus for each of those 10 people, which would mean an ADDITIONAL $10 in earnings for that day ON TOP of the $22.50 YOU MADE by completing the tasks as well!

That's a total of $32.50 you made in a single day!

Simply do that every day and BOOM…

You've earned $975 for the month!

What would an additional $975 a month mean to you in your life?

Here's the best part…

You haven't spent a single penny and you didn't have to "sponsor" or "recruit" your friends and family into some "biz opp" or MLM opportunity that they have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in before you can make anything.

We have over 1,000 members in our community right now…if only just 10% of them post tasks for others to complete every single day at an average reward of just $.25…you're enabling every member here, including yourself to make the kind of money I just explained…PLUS you're growing your list, you're building your social following, you're getting leads and you're making more money in your primary business.

Talk about a HUGE WIN/WIN right? smiley

When you join us I'm encouraging you to go out there and share this with EVERYONE you possible can…because I'll leave you with this thought…

What if you personally referred not 10 people, but 100, 200, 300 or MORE?

The more you personally refer…the more bonuses you will earn!

AND I will tell you…the average reward will more than likely be MORE than $.25! What if the average reward was $.50 or $1 or even $5?

Join us and help our community grow.  Join Here: http://hive.pe/a4

MarketHive

Why it matters which type of M.L.M you promote

The Marketing Report

State of the M.L.M


From the Desk of: Thomas Prendergast




Why it matters which type of M.L.M you promote

I have been involved in the m.l.m industry for over 20 years, both as a participant, as a m.l.m company owner and as a 3rd party provider for many m.l.m companies that have come and gone over the years.

I believe this depth of experience makes me an objective expert in the m.l.m market.

Service Driven vs Product Driven

Terms: You will hear about market driven and product driven companies in the realm of marketing. This is not the focus or definition of this article. I am discussing the contrast between companies that offer tangible consumable products in contrast to companies that offer a virtual service where there is no tangible component.

I have been in the network marketing industry for over 20 years. My first company I joined was named Powernet (run by Paul Booth and Dan Garlick). They were a service driven m.l.m company selling Internet access. Though the service was the first of its kind and I built a huge organization of consumers and distributors (60,000+) they did not last long. This was my first experience. Looking back now, I known why they failed. They were an amateur operation with little capital invested and underfunded for such an enterprise. This was to become the hall mark of the typical service driven m.l.m and I will explain this in more details as we go.

As I grew to understand the Internet, the unique opportunities it offered regarding marketing, automation and lead development, I began to develop systems to automate self-replicating sites, online application forms and genealogy software. I started to attain new ‘service oriented m.l.m’ companies as clients. Most of them startups.

BBc co-op was the first one. Run by a nice man named Sam Samson. We built his site for him, self-replicating, lead generating, and genealogy systems. He was terribly under funded with a great idea. Launched it prematurely, was overwhelmed by the growth and less than a year into it, it collapsed. (sound familiar?)

All we were was a vendor for clients that hired us and we trended towards the clients in m.l.m because they knew us and we had a good reputation and thus they sought us out and hired us. We were very naive in regards to any kind of due diligence. In my earlier years in the 80s I ran an ad agency and pre-qualifying a customer, much less due diligence just was not necessary nor was it done. If the checks cleared and the invoices got paid and the projects we developed where legitimate, well business was business.

We produced systems, self-replicated front sites, lead systems, back office management systems and genealogy systems for around 90 different companies from 1996 to around 2003. In the beginning the following groups come to mind, that being bigsmart.com, km.net, le club previe.com, PRSI, and Skybiz .

Of particular note, the checks from Bigsmart always bounced, KM.net always had an excuse and we stopped production on them because they never paid, Skybiz never paid and we stopped work on them, and PRSI held off on our payment until I flew out there to appear before their audience, which was just more subterfuge and I was not happy with William Caudell manipulating me to appear in front of 500 or so people at his big pre-launch convention in Florida. I never got the check. We were supposedly being hired to build the entire front end, back office and tools for this company. William Caudell wound up sentenced to 11 years in prison.

There are a lot more of these companies our sales guy Clay Parker would drag in with promises of great earnings for our work, but none really panned out. I am only mentioning the ones that were particularly rotten to the core, but every one of the service driven companies never lasted and we got a good perspective of how they worked with their vendors, bouncing checks, avoiding payments owed under signed contract, making grand promises with incredible bravado, but in reality, these people running these companies had no sense or business running them much left the wreckage they would leave behind with broken promises

At that point we shut our system off to them and within a few months they went out of business. I was becoming very cynical with these so called professionals who would cook up some good story, wrap a comp plan around it, launch with never any intention of building a business for the long haul.

FFSI is another service driven m.l.m that dropped the entire system within months after we finished building it. Kelley Reese decided he didn’t want to offer an m.l.m opportunity anymore with his financial freedom service after 1000s of my Veretekk people signed up, built down lines in expectation of a financial return, not to mention leaving us un paid after completing all the work. This site is still up for viewing, however, it is not active. http://www.paid2bfree.com/ Kelly did build a significant database of my Veretekk subscribers with this site, then after his 180 degree turn to drop FFSI as an m.l.m, used them to market to build his Trivita business then cross recruited them into his GBG business. Is there no honor among m.l.m service driven business owners?

SuccessUniversity, Jaguar Marketing and Bigco-op were not clients of ours, but we became aware of them as they arrived on the scene and used Veretekk to promote their companies and recruited a lot of Veretekk subscribers into their folds. Again, these companies were nothing more than rehashed digital information wrapped around some proprietary compensation plan and failed miserably hurting a lot of my friends and subscribers who built their hopes and dreams on their promises. Bigco-op wound up prosecuted by the feds and many of the founders went to prison, Al Turnquist just walked away from Jaguar Marketing leaving 100s of people unpaid and SuccessUniversity touted as a success and development mentoring, was nothing more than that good ol snake oil vaporware. In 2009 they merged with World Ventures, a travel agency like m.l.m selling memberships (more vaporware). Money is made by selling memberships and travel discounts are not nearly as deep as commercial alternatives like Expedia. See the trend here?

A note about JangleFish

JangleFish was owned and operated by Chris Chandris and Paul Booth (former Powernet Vice President). Consider this paragraph a foot note in the big scheme of schemers. Paul Booth called me one day and introduced me to his new company, JangleFish. Now remember this is the guy who crashed and burned Powernet, so I listened with a distant interest. I have no respect for Paul Booth. One thing particular, he uses his Salvation Army Christian involvement to build trust in business.

Anyway, JangleFish, in typical m.l.m style, did not own their technology, they used Streamwaves, (which was similar to today’s Rhapsody music subscription service. Rhapsody actually bought Streamwaves, see http://web.archive.org/web/20050511025512/http://www.streamwaves.com/), and by violating their agreement(s) with StreamWaves, the relationship did not last long, because Streamwaves blocked JangleFish’s access and well JangleFish collapsed. A typical scenario that continues to be played out time and again.

see:
http://web.archive.org/web/20050511025512/http://www.streamwaves.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/20021201132437/http://janglefish.com/

The Big Deal

This was Clay Parker’s last deal he brought to our table. The written contract between MarketDepot (Barbara Hill, Rick McCracken and Tony Walth) basically set out that Marketdriven would pay Veretekk a small fee for each of Market Driven’s paying subscribers to have access to Veretekk’s proprietary automated marketing system. After many months of building the Veretekk custom system into the MarketDepot system, we launched it. After 30 days, according to our agreement, we were expecting our first license fee check. When I called to find out when we could expect our first payment I was informed by Barbara that they would not be sending the money, she also claimed they never agreed to anything and that we had offered to give them a full Veretekk Gold system (at this time we had 1000s of direct subscribers at $19.95 per month) for their subscribers to access for free.

This was not what we had agreed upon. What we gave MarketDepot was a fully functional Veretekk Gold system and they refused to pay us for it. Clay Parker our salesperson was allegedly in collusion with the MarketDepot principles on this, and was immediately terminated from Veretekk during this period of disagreement.

Here was my quandary. Thousands of the MarketDepot subscribers had gotten to know me and us them. They were my friends, Heck I even met my future wife in MarketDepot (Annette). Many would become lifelong friends. So what Mike Darling and I decided to do, was convert the full Gold Veretekk custom system for MarketDepot into a free demo version called Silver (which has no real function) other than to demonstrate the power of Veretekk. Basically, without the full power of Veretekk as part of MarketDriven’s portfolio of services, the company collapsed within 3 months and went out of business.

This is typical of almost all service driven m.l.ms. Most of them do not even own their own technology, but find a free script, free version, or somehow hook or crook some other companies technology as theirs, slap a comp plan on it and launch. Remember JangleFish?

re:
http://web.archive.org/web/20030722083704/http://marketdepot.net/
http://web.archive.org/web/20030627234308/http://marketdepot.net/md6.htm

Then came Greenzap.

A good friend of mine Lynnabeth Martinez, called me and wanted to introduce me to a new payment process company called Greenzap. By this time, being somewhat suspicious of new startups in m.l.m, I insisted on going to meet the owners in their office in person. It just happened they were in the same city I lived in, San Diego. So we did. I meet the receptionist, waited in the waiting room then received a badge and was escorted to a conference room where I met Alan Sonkin and Damon Westmorland. I toured their small IT department and though the entire office facility was on the small side, all seemed very legitimate. After several weeks of meetings, Alex Sonkin and I agreed on a mutual joint venture where we would build a marketing portal (greenzap.it) powered by the Veretekk system and in turn Greenzap would promote Veretekk to their alleged 500,000+ active members.

You can still see what we built on archive.org
http://web.archive.org/web/20060327042052/http://greenzap.it/

Here is the archive of the corporate Greenzap site for your interest.
http://web.archive.org/web/20060424133023/http://www.greenzap.com/zapflick.asp

To make a long story short, Greenzap managed to produce 25 new Veretekk subscribers from their alleged 500,000+ members, (statitically that is a big fat ZERO percent) Greenzap eventually got shut down for running a scam, got me and my partner subpoenaed by the SEC for depositions and got my house raided by the FBI looking for some type of inside connection with Greenzap (there was none) and Damon Westmorland is in prison for the rest of his life. What went wrong?

Damon had the opportunity in his hands to actually deliver a legitimate alternative to Paypal. Obviously underfunded, lacking real investment capital and a serious lack of integrity, Damon choose to deceive, and steal from the many people who trusted Greenzap, with false account withdrawals, stock schemes and the list is long.

It doesn’t take much capital to launch a service driven company. Just a fancy site, a fancy video, promises and some compelling testimonials, etc. Nauseating isn’t it?

That was the final straw. After getting involved with Greenzap just as a vendor/provider, we came under attack. Besides getting deposed by the SEC in regards to Greenzap as well as an early morning raid by 38 federal agents to my house, because of Greenzap, we stopped offering our services as a 3rd party vendor. Scam.com still has a thread there from 2006 where we came under critical accusations for having a vendor relationship with Greenzap and it caused us peripheral damages as well.

All said and done, we went and launched our own m.l.m opportunity for Veretekk in 2005. It never really transpired into much, other than to make Veretekk just another m.l.m which actually prevented many people who needed our services from using it or promoting it because many m.l.m companies have strict policies against joining another m.l.m company and then there is the very real truth that inviting your existing down line into another m.l.m, regardless of how great those services are, is a bad decision. Why? Because you risk the possibility of your existing organization getting sidetracked promoting the new service and losing focus. This is the major reason, after long deliberation and consideration, which I realized that Veretekk being an m.l.m company was a major stigma preventing our services from reaching out to those that really need them. Our mission has always been to help the little guy and gal achieves success with their primary business. Therefore, we discontinued the m.l.m part of Veretekk beginning in 2013.

Just today, one of our clients from many years ago called me when he discovered we had terminated the m.l.m option in Veretekk. He was relieved to hear this and is now preparing to promote our services to his down line in Send Out Cards for the reasons I just stated above. Talk about confirmation.

And the beat goes on…..

Zeek Awards, Banner Brokers and Empowerment Network.

Zeek Awards just recently got shut down by the US Federal Government. Controversy and rumors abound, but the point is, it is another service driven m.l.m and it got shut down by Legal Enforcement for being a pyramid scam. Yes it had a pretty website, fancy videos, a trademarked comp plan, etc. All the typical trappings of yet another monkey trap on the Internet.

The next two are in the throes of going down.

Banner Brokers has investigations in many countries in process. The pyramid claims are growing. Scandal and accusations are growing. Many distributors, like Dr. Lieven are claiming Banner Brokers owes them millions and refuse to pay. The scam sites about Banners Brokers are highly active. This is exactly what you see right before the Legal Enforcement rounds up the owners and shuts the company down. Will people ever learn. Look at me talking.

Now we see Empowerment Network dealing with being banned on YouTube. Banned on Facebook and the scam sites are running at full speed regarding claims of being yet another pyramid scheme. The product driven company Visalis terminating distributors for cross promoting Empowerment Network. What do you expect? The comp plan is an Australian 2 step (If I read the laws correctly that in itself is illegal), the product is a self-replicated WordPress site (you can get the same system from WordPress for free) and over hyped mentoring videos as an upgrade product produced by the two Davids? Will this never end? I mean, when I first heard about Empowerment Network from Stuart Levi it took me about 3 seconds to see it as yet another pyramid scheme. But Stuart Levi has pitched countless pyramid schemes to me over the years, with Futurenet being one of his big claims to success. Oh yes Futurenet, another technology repackaged pyramid scheme run by an ex con who has a life time restraining order on him from ever being involved in any m.l.ms for life. But that didn’t stop him.

So there you go, my brief summary of my personal knowledge of the service driven m.l.m arena for the past 20 years. What a disgusting scenario brought on by the invention of the Internet and a culture of crooks. What an education I have learned.

Don’t misunderstand what I am edifying here either. I believe that m.l.m is a great market when men and woman of character and integrity put them together. I believe that only product driven m.l.m companies stand the test of time for the long run. Not all m.l.ms are corrupt or destined to die. Just almost all of them in the service driven market. Not all of them, for instance there is Legal Shield (Pre Paid legal) but that is an exception to the rule. I tried to think of others but even had some reservations with Pre Paid Legal to be honest.

In contrast is the product driven m.l.m companies.

A service driven m.l.m can launch itself with very little investment. Look at Empowerment Network for example. The cost of a few servers, free WordPress software, a few compelling videos, a huge email blast and you are up and going. Maybe a couple thousand dollars invested? Maybe $10,000?

So let’s build a product driven company for contrast.

I will draw upon my personal knowledge of three companies; Shaklee, Organo Gold and Trivita.

Shaklee has 100s of products. Like their Vivix (resveratrol) that they developed, patented, manufacture, bottle, label, package, warehouse, fulfill orders and ship. They do this with 100s of products from toothpaste to vitamins, house cleaning products to skin care. All marketed with a legitimate unilevel compensation plan as well as a professional in house marketing and public relations department. To build a system like this takes hundreds of millions of dollars, planning and long term strategies and investors.

Trivita has a large corporate headquarters in Arizona. One of their hallmark products is Nopalea Juice produced from the Nopal Cactus fruit. They contract with Nopal Cactus farmers all over the South West. Ship the harvest to their facility, Juice it, blend it, bottle and label it. Warehouse it and ship it. They run infomercial and commercials worldwide (they produce in their own studios) on their own cable network and others. Just this one facet among 100s of their products is a multimillion dollar operation.

Organo Gold developed a patented coffee blending the Ganoderma Lucidum mushroom with Arabic Coffee. They contract for this mushroom and the Arabica coffee, ship it to their plant, process it, package it, warehouse it and ship it. They have dozens of other products like this. To set up a similar company doing this would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are many product driven companies this scenario applies to, not all, but most. Don’t be fooled by manufacturers of dubious claims with products that don’t require the same investments as above. Take BioPerformance the manufacturer of the gasoline pill that increases gas mileage with incredible results (or so it was claimed). Lowell Mims and Gustavo Romero where shut down by the Feds, fined and forced to return millions of dollars and barred from running any similar type of company.

Summary

When building a business, regardless if you have decided to get involved in the m.l.m market or not, requires a good helping of humility, a large portion of common sense, a focus on building expected stability, and a pursuit of long term legacy. If you want to be successful, you must work long and hard, be disciplined, have confidence, seek guidance both spiritually and from experts in your field.

It makes no sense chasing or following the leaders and the crowd that jump from one new launch to another. Most of them being shallow service driven (hyped) m.l.m opportunities that will and always are short-lived. I ran a legitimate service driven m.l.m myself for 7 years (that being Veretekk) and just recently discontinued the m.l.m aspects (as illustrated above, a service driven m.l.m actually works against itself in the long run).

Interesting to note, that since I terminated the m.l.m aspects of Veretekk, some of our older customers who had faded away years ago are returning. So I asked them why. They all said, ‘because you terminated the m.l.m aspect to your great company. Now we can safely and with confidence promote you services to people in our down lines without the fear they are going to be seduced by yet another m.l.m potential income.”

I have been a vendor for over 90 service driven m.l.m companies (not a distributor a vendor), for over 20 years I have watched these type of companies explode onto the Internet, wowing the masses to eventually wither and die, flame out or get shut down by the legal enforcement and many sent to prison.

Scam.com is filled with the threads of a new star being born, defended by the deceived masses and then dying. Greenzap made scam.com famous. It had to have been the longest running and biggest thread there. Damon Westmorland is facing spending the rest of his life in prison.

Folks, if you’re going to build a business, remember your greatest asset is your word, your reputation. Hold others you do business with to the same standards of honesty, integrity and good character. This is also true if you become a distributor for an m.l.m company. Make sure that company holds these values very high and abides by them.

About Veretekk

Veretekk has been in the business of supporting small business endeavors, building leads, expanding marketing success, and delivering dynamic tools for the entrepreneur since 1996. Before Google launched, before Facebook, before Youtube, however Al Gore did beat us to the punch inventing the Internet and Yahoo was launched before us as well in 1994. Darn!

April 01, 2005 we announced our 3 level multi-level opportunity. We accredited Paul Stanton for constantly bugging us to become an affiliate opportunity. After Mike Darling and I agreed to do it, Mike called me back within an hour to tell me the entire m.l.m genealogy system, compensation tracking, database payment tracking and such were all done. It took Mike less than an hour to complete a compensation system I had watched other companies take months to do. After testing it for 30 days, it launched. It gave us some growth for several years, nothing great. But Mike and I always hesitated to hype the comp plan and continued to just deliver and excellent system, great results and excellent training.

April 01 2011 we launched V2 making Veretekk a dynamic live social network for the home based business. At that time we removed all mention of an affiliate program. As of January 2013 Veretekk no longer offers an affiliate program.

Today Veretekk funds come from our ad banner system and several licensing agreements with more to come.

What this means for the average Internet marketer is they will find the most advanced and comprehensive suite of tools on the Internet to build their primary business. If they advertise, their monthly subscription fee is waived.

Alternatively, if a Veretekk subscriber belongs to one of the groups of one of our licensee sponsors, they get the Veretekk system for free as well.

To find out more about Veretekk go to our main site at http://veretekk.com

To find out about the groups you can join under the licensee program and therefore get a free Veretekk system, go to
http://veretekk.com/group/get_a_free_full_blown_gold_veretekk_system

Sincerely,

Thomas Prendergast
The Marketing Pro

 



Just a reminder to make sure you have the Alexa tool bar plugin installed. It is an important tool among others. But I consider the Alexa tool the most important plug in for Internet Marketers.

Install Alexa Tool Bar

 

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