Inbound Marketing Explained and Compared

Veretekk invented Automated Marketing (in 1996), later to become known as Inbound Marketing (MartketHive). Veretekk’s traffic portal offers, auto responders, Broadcasting technology (The Hammer), Conference rooms and sales funnel process became the foundation that today is known as Inbound Marketing.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

But let us digress some. Before the Internet; advertising and marketing were for the most part driven by Outbound Marketing:


Outbound marketing is buying attention, cold- calling,
Direct paper mail, radio, TV, sales flyers, spam,
telemarketing and other forms of traditional advertising.

 

 

 

Inbound marketing is the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

 

 


Simply concept really, execution is the challenge. (Just ask a few of your friends how often they blog) vs posting to Facebook newsfeeds, Skyping or texting back and forth.  With a little understanding, some instruction and determination, any entrepreneurial motivated person can make a success with the right tools.

This is why it is important to know your “WHY” as that is what will drive your market base. What you love to do will attract others that share the same passion. And that is the “secret”.

Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. Now that’s marketing people can love.

Major themes:

Create targeted content that answers prospects' and customers' basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.  (Broadcasting)

Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters. (Share the revenue “AFFILIATE”)

Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. (Build your sphere of influence)

Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you. (Social Network connections)

Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time. (Tracking and measuring traffic, comments, responsive interaction)

The Four Marketing Actions

Attract

We don’t want just any traffic to our site, we want the right traffic. We want the people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Our ideal customers, also known as our buyer personas. Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some of the most important tools to attract the right users to your site are:

Blogging– Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

SEO– Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

Pages– Your website pages are your digital storefront. So put your best face forward! Optimize your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

Social Publishing– Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

Convert

Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer. So in order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return! That “payment” comes in the form of content, like eBooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets – whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.

Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:

Forms- In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.

Landing Pages– When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact.

Contacts– Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts – be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise – and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.

Close

You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.

Closing tools include:

CRM– Keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.

Closed-loop Reporting– How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales system effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

Email– What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.

Marketing Automation– This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.

Delight

The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check doesn’t mean you can forget about them! Inbound companies continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the organizations and products they love.

Tools used to delight customers include:

Surveys– The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.

Smart Calls-to-Action– These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

Smart Text– Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.

Social Monitoring- Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Listen out for your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.

The New Methodology

The Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled through on the road from stranger to customer. It empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters. The new methodology acknowledges that inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it. And you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at just the right times (lifecycle stages).

Want to learn more about inbound marketing?


An Entrepreneurial Social Network integrated with an advanced Inbound Marketing platform is genius on steroids. Sharing up to 50% of the potential revenue with you is very generous and the potential of this combination is atomic!

 

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive, Inc.

 

The 23 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills

The 23 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills

Words are hard.

Whether you're a published author or just getting started with blogging, it's not always easy to string words together in a way that makes sense, sounds good, and makes the reader feel something.

But every marketer should be able to write — and, more importantly, every marketer can write. It's just a matter of finding the writing environment that works best for you, expanding your vocabulary, asking for feedback (and listening to it), and practicing.

Luckily, there are a slew of great tools you can use to help improve your writing. Check out the list below, and feel free to add the most helpful ones you use in the comment section.


1) ContentIdeator


The Content Ideator is an easy-to-use topic generator tool that's similar to Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Input your noun of choice, and it will show you all the results related to your keyword. You can view up to 90 pages worth of topics according to your search.

For example, if you enter the keyword "writer’s block," the Content Ideator will generate more than a hundred potential topics such as:

  • Writer's Block — How To Overcome A Writer's Greatest Curse
  • Writing Prompts To Overcome Writer's Block Considered — Case Study
  • How to Write an Outline: I've Got Writer's Block and No Time Until My Deadline!

Check out other tools first unless you’re up for digging to find the topic that speaks to you.

2) Portent’s Content Idea Generator


This tool is a piece of cake to use, and its chalkboard background makes it fun to play with. Simply add the keyword, and hit the "enter" button. You get one title and content suggestion each time you click.

This generator has some personality, adding witty comments and jokes in bubbles alongside the topic suggestions. If the title isn't what you expected or seems silly, you can refresh it as many times as you wish to find a gem. (The only difference between a content idea generator and a blog topic generator is that the former lets you fill in only one keyword per search while the latter allows you to enter three.)

3) 750 Words 


Another way to practice your writing is to do a "brain dump" exercise using a tool like 750 Words. "Brain dumping" means getting all that stuff in your head down on paper — without having to worry about incomplete ideas, tangents, and private stuff.

It's not blogging or status updating — it's just you, writing whatever you want on a totally private account, without ever having to title your content or tag topics or share with your friends.

What it does do is track your word count so you're sure to write 750 words (about three pages of writing). Plus, it's gamified, which makes it kind of fun: You get a point for writing anything at all, two points for writing 750 words or more, and more points if you write consistently. And every time you write, it'll give you some cool statistics on how much time you spent writing, the feelings and themes of your words, and so on.

4) Twords 


Publishing content on a consistent basis is crucial in the blogging world. Our own research concludes that companies that commit to regularly publishing quality content to their blogs tend get the most website traffic and leads — and those results continue to pay out over time. Tools like Twords can help bloggers commit to writing consistently.

Twords calls itself "the app that nudges you to write." It notifies you when you haven't written in a while so you can keep yourself accountable — and even gives you the option to connect with others who will help keep you accountable. It also tracks your writing so you can start to see patterns for the days you're blogging more versus less, and so on. Finally, it includes some cool resources like a prompt library and articles about habit formation, writing resources, and so on.

5) Swipe File

If you had asked you what a swipe file is, You would probably replied with something like this:

"Umm…does it have something to do with stealing?"

Swipe files aren't stealing. In fact, they're not even borrowing.

Basically, a swipe file is just a folder where you can curate cool stuff you come across, like advertisements, copy, emails, etc. "Save things that make you click, sign up, laugh, or go 'whoa!'" says the post. The purpose? To flip through it for inspiration.

Christopher Penn defines a swipe file as being "a collection of stuff that has worked, arranged in such a way to inspire you and give you future ideas." Sounds simple enough, right? Actually, we put together swipe files all the time without knowing it.

Brides put together binders full of pictures and wedding planning articles. Interior designers create mood boards. If you've ever used Polyvore or a similar site, you've (in a way) made a swipe file. By putting together resources that spark new ideas, you're doing yourself a favor in the long run. No marketer, copywriter, or creative professional can go through his or her career without getting stuck. It just happens. We're human and when the idea well runs dry, we have a tendency to give up.

The importance of a swipe file isn't its size or its diversity of material. It's the swipe file's ability to help you through creative roadblocks.

As SEO copywriters and marketers, we can keep a swipe file filled with headlines, social media campaigns, blog posts, landing pages, lead generation techniques, calls to action…if it helps you write great copy, include it there. It's that simple.

In terms of putting together your own swipe file, there are many tools that you can use. Personally, here's what I use or have used to put together my own collection of inspiration:

I have three techniques I use for my Swipe Files

1. I copy the article, ad, blog, whatever and paste it into a MS Word document then save it to my dungeon of articles and it is huge. But remember text based files can be searched. I use UltraFileSearch

2. I also keep track of reference and interesting sources, blogs, news feeds to curate content with my online bookmarking service @ Delicious as well as my browser's bookmarks.

3.I use Pinterest as another alternative swipe depository and it also gives me brand credibility and SEO juice.

6) Help me Write 

If you can’t decide what you want to write, let the community make that decision for you. Simply, add your ideas, share them, ask your friends what they’d like to read about, and write and publish! By knowing what your audience wants to read before you even start writing, ensures you’ll have readers as soon as you hit publish and will save you time.
 
 

7) Trello

Writing efficiently and organizing well is a part of writing well. Use a tool like Trello to collect content ideas, assign them to different members of your team, attach due dates, collaborate with other team members, track their progress, and move them from conception to completion.


8) Draft

Putting the edits you made to the forefront of its interface, Draft shows you where and what you’ve changed, giving you the option of accepting it or reverting it back to what it was originally. What’s even more useful is the Mark Draft feature that saves that version of your work as you go.

With many other options that make iCloud and Google Docs seem dated, this tool can help you write and share your writing for other presentations not limited to blogging.


9) Quora

Quora is a great place to go for crowdsourced answers if you want to reach outside your network. Simply search for a keyword, follow topics related to the topics you're interested in, and/or post your own questions.


10) oTranscribe 

If you're writing something that includes an interview with someone else, oTranscribe is a great tool that'll make the transcription process much less painful — allowing more time for your own writing and analysis.

It's a web app for transcribing interviews created by Elliott Bentley, a graphics writer at Wall Street Journal. The audio player is integrated with the editor meaning you won't have to click back and forth. You can pause, play, rewind, and fast-forward using keyboard shortcuts. Every second, it automatically saves the transcription to your browser's storage. You can export it to plain text or Google Docs.


11) Coffitivity

Ready to start writing? Here's a tool that'll boost your productivity. A study out of the University of Chicago found that a moderate level of ambient noise, or "white noise," helps people be more creative. While there are a lot of white noise generators out there, Cofftivity is my favorite. It offers non-stop café background sounds at varying intensities, from "Morning Murmur" and "University Undertones" to "Lunchtime Lounge" and "Brazil Bistro."


12) Tomato Timer

If you like to write with a little pressure (or you're just on deadline), then Tomato Timer is useful (and free). This tool offers a "pomodoro" option, which refers to the Pomodoro technique: a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo based on periods of distraction-free work followed by short breaks — which is supposed to be optimal for productivity.


13) ZenPen 

A clean and minimalist approach to where you write. Blocking out visual distractions, with features to stylize the text, add hyperlinks, and block quotes.
 
Power Thesaurus isn't just any thesaurus: It's a crowdsourced thesaurus that provides alternative word choices from a community of writers. The word suggestions are totally original, and are based on the editorial work of a team of writers and years' worth of reviews visitors' suggestions.


19) Twinword Writer 

Here's another help that'll help you if you get stuck on a word and don't want to leave your browser or skim through synonyms. If you type using Twinword Writer, it'll automatically sense if you pause because you're stuck on a word. Then, it'll analyze the context of your writing and open a box suggesting alternate words you can use. You can also click any word to get suggestions. A better writing environment for delivering your ideas and thoughts in the most suitable vocabulary. Everyone from journalists, bloggers, marketers, to amateur cooks, students, and daily writers improve their writing.


20) Squirt

Letting you read an article one word at a time, Squirt enhances your reading speed. You can also use this tool to improve your grammar and spelling errors, and improve your brain’s transition between flow of thought and writing output.
 


21) Factbrowser

While you're writing, you may find you need to support your ideas with research. Tools like Factbrowser search facts, stats, reports, studies, and surveys. Their research covers a wide range of topics, including social networks, gaming, specific industries, holidays, coupons, marketing, and so many more.


22) BrainyQuote 

You may also find you want to include a quote from a famous author, politician, celebrity, or other public figure to strengthen your writing or inspire your readers. BrainyQuote is a library filled with millions of interesting quips that you can search by speaker (from Aristotle to Dr. Seuss to Audrey Hepburn) or by topic (like peace, success, leadership, and more).


23) Grammarly 

Once the actual writing part is done, it's time to edit. While human editors will be able to catch most grammatical errors, editing tools like Grammarly are great tools for triple-checking before you press "publish" or "send."



Writing for many is a challenge, even for me. It tales focus, determination and some confidence. But it is the foundation of the Internet, you know information.

I put this list together to help make it a little less stressful. It should remain a challenge, because we should embrace challenges. That is what makes us, especially as an alpha Entrepreneur, right?

 

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive.net

 

Reid Hoffman: Work Backwards From Your Goal


Venture capitalist and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman has a simple but powerful piece of advice for strategizing in business: Figure out your ideal outcome and work backward from there.

Hoffman explained the approach during an episode this week of The Tim Ferriss Show, in which investor and author Ferriss asked Hoffman how he came to be known as the firefighter at PayPal, where he was an early board member, and how aspiring entrepreneurs can replicate those tactics.

“It starts with, what is the end result that you want to have happen?” said Hoffman, using the example of convincing a regulator that your company is not subject to regulation that might appear applicable.

Hoffman was speaking specifically about when the founders of PayPal decided the company would not be a bank, after applying for a banking license. The challenge the so-called firefighter faced was convincing regulators that while Paypal accepted deposits, the company still wasn’t a bank.

“One key thing is regulators will never tell you that it is not their job to regulate you,” explained Hoffman, continuing, “What they will say is that actually here there is nothing for me to actively regulate.”

So Hoffman worked backwards from what he understood to be the actual mindset of regulators to convince them that there was nothing the company was doing that they needed to regulate. That thought process took the form of several questions that can be applied in a variety of situations:

  • How do they (regulators or whoever you need to persuade) make judgments?
  • What are the key considerations they take into account?
  • How can you learn about those considerations?
  • Who do you need to need to know? (Put another way, who is knowledgeable about the topic at hand?)

“What are the kinds of things that would get them to say, ‘Okay, I think you’re being reasonable within my purview of how I am out to help govern society, help protect consumers, help protect other entities – you’re good by me,’ ” said Hoffman.

The venture capitalist, who has a Master of Studies in philosophy from Oxford, said he learned to strategize from playing games of strategy by the company Avalon Hill as a child. Knowing how games worked taught him how to structure a game, which taught him the type of reverse-causal thought pattern he espouses.

Hoffman highly recommends playing games, especially against human players, as a way of developing a strong sense of strategy. He said playing sports can also be helpful, though he cautioned that rules in sports tend to be rigid in contrast to the ever-changing rules of the marketplace. Other than games, he recommended reading military strategy by philosophers and strategists like Sun Tzu, the Chinese general who wrote The Art of War.

Hoffman cautioned that a lot of people think themselves better at strategy than they in fact are. One of the most important parts of strategizing, whether the situation is dealing with a competitor or convincing a regulator to get off your company’s case, is flexibility and adaptability he emphasized. Companies that can’t adapt are the ones that crash and burn.

“They learn to play one game, they get good at it, and then the marketplace changes and now it’s a new kind of game and you have to adjust to playing that new game. That’s actually in fact part of recognizing when a strategy applies,” he said.

Staff reporter, Inc.com

Additional Reading
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/08/31/the-oracle-of-silicon-valley-reid-hoffman-plus-michael-mccullough/

Why Alexa for your SEO success

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s simple. The Alexa  toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the googlebot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

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


Rolling Rolling Rolling

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

One of the worst toolbars is Alexa’s. It slightly slows down browsing, it’s Spyware (Spybot Search and Destroy will remove it unless you tell it not to), and it has an unremovable icon link to Amazon?

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s not the “pop-up blocker” – we already had one of those – right? And it’s not that it displays related links, site contact info or site traffic stats – although that’s not completely worthless i guess. . .

It’s simple. The Alexa “spyware” toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the googlebot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

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


New Year January 2016 Report

Traditionally a New Year’s report summarizes the previous year. However, this time I am going to focus forward, for that is truly were all the good news is waiting for us.

I will say this about 2015. It is the year expectations, assumptions, relationships, systems, and focus all dramatically changed and changed in a huge way and all in a very positive way. Talk about the Shemitah year.

As we end 2015 we head into the New Year with a lot of new things. We are now Markethive Inc. with a new server center hosted in the AMAZON cloud system. We now have brand new mail servers that deliver 99.8% of our email. I have a new partner and his name is Stephen Hodgkiss, our Chief Engineer.

Let me extol the many benefits of my new partner. His expertise is a 1000 times better than anyone I have ever worked with, his integrity is 100% solid, and his dedication is unbelievable. Hodgkiss and I are that dynamic solution that will take Markethive into the fortune 100 realm.

As we begin 2016 our Markethive profile pages are now 100% responsive and Google approved. This is a significant achievement as over 50% of the Internet is now accessed with mobile devices.

We have focused Markethive to be the “Ecosystem of Entrepreneurialism”.  A culture based on the pursuit of innovation, vision, creativity as most entrepreneurs are. Markethive is for the entrepreneur to engage and collaborate with each other, and be empowered to succeed with an integrated advanced socialized tool platform. Whereas LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful, as Facebook is a social networking website that makes it easy for you to connect and share with your family and friends online.

As you can see, Markethive fills a badly needed vertical niche for the entrepreneur at the best possible time.

The Rise of the Entrepreneur: The world is changing faster than ever. Technology is accelerating, job security is declining and income inequality is increasing. People are overworked and underpaid. With less time and freedom, people are left wondering if there is a better way. Our changing economy has led to the rise of the entrepreneur. The fastest, most dependable and controllable way to become wealthy is to own your own business.

Markethive is answering that call.

Markethive is open for business now. We are about to launch our Be The Alpha Affiliate program. However, we are wrapping up our Alpha Legacy program as we get ready to go public with Markethive and you should be interested in this offer.

The Alpha Legacy:

Last year we launched a program to offer a small ownership of the company revenue. Not affiliate mind you, just a pool of 5% of the company revenue. With some major changes to our marketing strategies and suggestions from the founders, we have decided to offer an affiliate program and call it The “Be The Alpha” affiliate program. It is in the works and I will go into greater detail later, but this affiliate program is inspired by the original founders that built PayPal. It is designed to share upwards of 50% of our advertising revenue with you as well as give you significant discounts building your own advertising credit bank account.

Right now we are wrapping up our Alpha Legacy program. It is limited. It shares 5% of the company revenue pool with you and 250 others. There are less than 100 left. The Alpha Legacy gives you 1 share of 5% of the company’s revenues and 50% of the advertising revenue as compensation from those who signed up through you. The Alpha Legacy also gives you massive advertising credits for the rest of the life of the company.

We are selling it at a 50% discount and this offer is going fast. After this is over, the affiliate program launches and the top of that program called the Alpha Founder, will cost $5000 and will not have as many benefits.

I am planning on a week of meetings starting this Wednesday to update the state of Markethive, help you understand the value of the Alpha Legacy and give you some insights of the near future of Markethive.

In the last 6 months we have accelerated and accomplished more than the previous 2+ years.

RE: The “Be TheAlpha” affiliate program.

In the process of building the affiliate program I have integrated a step by step work shop infusion. In other words, since Markethive is both a Social Network for Entrepreneurs like LinkedIn is a Social Network for business-oriented social networking;

Markethive also incorporates a large portfolio of inbound marketing tools (like found at):

Feedly an elegant RSS reader for content curation and indexing.

Google Hangouts, Markethive will be delivering a sophisticated web conferencing tool, entrepreneurs will appreciate and find it integrates nicely with WordPress, Markethive, your own websites, Youtube and App empowered.

Hootsuit but even more as it is all about broadcasting to your selection of Social Networks news feeds, as well as friend’s news feeds and sending private messages to your top lists in all your top social networks.

WordPress, however, we are not replacing WordPress, just making it easier and more powerful with the syndicated and innovative array of blogging options in Markethive that publish to your WordPress.

Marketo tools that build capture pages and tracks the sales funnels and offers compelling offers to build leads and subscribers.

Eloqua that offers automated campaign platforms to manage co-ops, track traffic and ROI.

Aweber, a sophisticated email autoresponder system with Plugins and Widgets allow it to be integrated into any Lead Page, WordPress, etc. web system. Markethive is 100% approved, delivers over 99% of the mail and allows no email addresses, strictly using OAuth technology, the greatest security.


If you just ad up the monthly costs of these Inbound Services you would be spending over $4000 per month, in different unintegrated systems all alone without the benefits of a team working together. Now do you understand the power of Markethive?

This is just the tip of the platforms available for free in Markethive. It can be rather overwhelming, so we have integrated this powerful Inbound Marketing platform into your Social Network and a step by step orientation workshops delivered to you as you advance in the “Be The Alpha” program.

Sound intriguing? There is nothing like this today.

The affiliate program is still in development. It is thick with powerful workshops as well as mentoring and inspiration, which is what, makes Markethive unique and the perfect destination for aspiring and professional entrepreneurs.

Make sure to visit me in our web conferences this coming week. They are clearly available in your Markethive back office in the calendar.

To date are the following videos built for the affiliate program:

The Front Profile Page video (The Forge of Excellence):


This is for the current Alpha Legacy:


This is the Default Affiliate video called "Be the Trail Blazer"


And this is one of the hundreds of mentor videos that will be available as you grow in Markethive.
It is called "DEREK REDMOND 100% CHAMPION ":


The rest of the system is still in development. Come to the meetings and I will share with you the work in progress. This is a huge undertaking, and it is going to change the world. If you know me, you know those are not empty words./

Summary: I know many will say, “You are very ambitious to build such a platform”. I will reply by saying, “I built Veretekk with very similar platforms 20 years ago with nothing more than hopes and dreams, html and CGI. Today, we have an engineering department (with amazing innovation), a customer support department, a marketing department, investors and a proven track record of doing it before”. Plus today’s technology gives us huge advantages to build incredible inbound marketing platforms. All we need is vision and you.

I am extremely busy. I dream, sleep, eat, work, discuss, employ, recruit, dance to and dedicated to this vision. If I am not able to bring this visionary phenomena to a reality, I will literally die making the effort.

Here is to 2016! Here is to Markethive! Here is to the Rise of the Entrepreneur!

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive Inc.

The Baby Boomer that wasn’t

The Baby Boomer that wasn’t

I was born in 1953 and that puts me right in the middle of this “Baby Boomer” generation. My older brother and sister nearly ruined me but that is another story. I was born an artist and entrepreneur and I never fit into the “status quo”. So this short bio is to help “set the record” straight on what appears to be another battle between the “generations”. I hope there are other “Baby Boomers” like me that also rejected the “status quo” of our generation. I sure hope so.

I grew up in a middle class family as number 3 of 4. I wore hand me downs, I didn’t care. I was a natural born artist and entrepreneur. I was a loner, and often explored the canyons and beaches of San Diego all alone. I didn’t have motor cycles or mini bikes like my friends. I walked or rode my old and only (Stingray) bike. My Mom did not coddle me; she was in her own world mostly defined by a bottle of Vodka. My father was a war hero, but never talked about it or anything for that matter. He was a task master and I only knew the bite of his belt.

I was forbidden to wear blue jeans or surf and was beaten mercilessly every time It was discovered I had a few pairs of jeans or was caught at the beach, (gasp) surfing. In 4th grade my teacher, Mr. Aucoin, discovered I was an incredibly gifted artist, yada yada and walked me home one day to inform my fortunate parents how lucky they were and should put me into art school. When he left my Dad and I had a little talk in the garage. He tied me to the rafters by my hands, stripped me naked and gave me 20 lashings with his belt as he raged telling me I was going to go to college and be an engineer and join the Navy. I was rebellious then and continue to this day. (I love engineers, I happily employ them, but I am not one, well maybe I am)

Entrance to middle school began with a beating and a shaved head. Did I mention I grew up in a basically abusive environment? My older siblings were “uber” abusive too, my brother tossed me into a black paper wasp nest when he was 8 years old and I was two, going downhill from there.

I am illustrating a point, so please, keep reading. 7th grade began with extreme humiliation, shaved head painted green by my Dad, with black and blue bruises on my ass the size of cantaloupes and being a small and late bloomer, just acerbated the abuse from my peers in the showers as my bright brilliant butt checks and prepubescent hairless body became target one for all the aspiring narcissists and sociopathic bullies of that day that would make up the majority of the coming baby boom generation. Like I said, I was rebellious then and defiant and refused to be subjugated by these aberrant Neanderthals both at home and school and eventually what would become the status quo in government and corporations of today.

Fast forward from my lovely childhood as I graduated from High School with honors, despite the consistent obstacles of bullies, liars, family abuse and substance abuse. You know where this is heading, right? I was terribly damaged goods, despite my strong will and despite I knew it was not me and that the day would come I would overcome this as well. I still landed into extreme despair and destruction. But wait, this next huge disaster, I believe is one of the major reasons I am not nor ever became a sociopathic baby boomer, like 90% of my generation did.

I overdosed! Praise the Lord! Right out of high school I was invited to a big summer time, up in the foot hills in Orange County of Loma Linda a big kegger bash party and I went. A party with 100s of babes, live music, in an upscale ranch house on 100s of acres kinda out in the middle of nowhere, with a spiked bowl of punch,  spiked with a concoction of Meth, Strychnine, PCP, angel dust, type of spike.

50 some people died of overdose that night. Another 30 some people got rounded up and put into hospitals and I never heard from them again either. Then there was me, on another dimension where everything looked like demons, I was panicked with fear, running wild through the woods, mindlessly lost in the streets on Orange County for many weeks, living with no conscience awareness totally on instincts like a wild animal. But I overcame and survived it.

Keep reading, as I believe this young foundation, including the drug overdose, is what saved me from the abhorrent mindless pursuit of materialistic greed and quest of power my generation became drunk on.

The point is I survived. I eventually found my way home to my Dad’s and you can imagine how that reunion went right? He beat the crap out of me, but my step Mom did step in and stopped his madness. I was able to work a few weeks at a menial job to afford to fly to Santa Cruz where I found a huge tree stump one room cabin in the middle of nowhere to recuperate. I then moved into an old chicken farm, turned it into a redwood burl business and began to rebuild my life from the ground up. I was basically like a refugee starting with nothing and building a new life from scratch.

Down the road, I got back into surfing Santa Cruz level, large, huge waves, again from scratch. My first board was a broken long board someone gave me. I reshaped it and learned to surf the big waves.

I found myself rejecting jobs, dropping out of college and always relying on my entrepreneurial abilities and my artistic capacity. Eventually I found great success, and discovered this whole Yuppie phenomena with my generation buying big imported cars, seeking money at all costs, I found myself constantly fending off the predator attorneys and frivolous lawsuits. It made me sick.

As I watched government and big business slowly being taken over by my generation, I was shocked at the selfishness, idolatry, greed, envy that consumed and choked our culture. The Viet Nam war was not caused by Baby Boomers, however, most of us did time in that hell. During the 60s the “Hippies” rioted against the “establishment” only to not just become the “enemy” they rebelled against, but an even worse version.

I never was a “Hippy”; that event occurred in the mid to late 60s where I was a child being beaten, suffering a divorce, beaten some more (seriously, I thought all middle class families were like this). I also continued my love for surfing, “rebelliously” wearing blue jeans and continuing my artistic endeavors. Sexually abused, running away from home, finally finishing High School to then hit a wall with a massive drug over dose. So I never really got into the “Hippy” thing. I got into the Surfer thing and art was my and continues as my foundation and source of livelihood.  And so glad I did and it is.

Side Note: About the Baby Boom surfer revolution. Professional surfing was invented during this time. A few big names and mentors come to mind during my time:

Shaun Tomson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_Tomson )
Gerry Lopez (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Lopez )
Jack O’Neill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_O'Neill_%28businessman%29 )
Peter Townend (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Townend_%28surfer%29 )

All of these people choose to be entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and very spiritually founded. And this is my culture. With that said….

Baby Boomers: First it was Red Robin shoes and Dr. Spock, and then came the Hippies that morphed into the Yuppies, that devolved into Liberals, becoming socialists and eventually tyrants of the very type this generation at first rebelled against. We have discovered the enemy, and he is us!

You can understand my shock and dismay that Baby Boomers “my generation” have destroyed the economy, ruined marriage, turned the American economical machine into a broken junk heap, lead the way of cultural rot, ruined the educational system, driven the nation into unrecoverable debt, sold out the industry to Chinese and Saudi interests, etc.. To watch Baby Boomer leaders like John Boehner, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George and Jeb Bush, etc. ad nauseam, conduct national suicide is the very epidemic of Baby Boomer greed and self-grandiosity.  Editor’s note (not all Baby Boomers).

In the 80s I started an ad agency in the beginning of the Silicon Valley technology revolution. A huge success which was ultimately brought to destruction by, you guessed it, greed, deception, idolatry and envy. The very people the company was making wealthy, attacked it with lawsuits wanting more and my first  wife at the time drained its resources in her never ending quest to buy more stuff. I was badly prepared for this onslaught as I tended to trust people as I was a surfer, not a Hippy, Yuppie, Boomer, idolater.

Responsible for the Clinton-Bush duopoly control over our culture, economy, war and general destruction, Baby Boomers are going to go Baby Bust real soon, as it is real clear that the Democratic and Republican parties are the same snake wearing two different masks. So I must ask, is it a deeper conspiracy from multiple generations going back? Is it Illuminati stuff we are dealing with? Is World War 3 on the brink of disaster?  It feels that way.

So, why the focus on beating up on Millennials, are Baby Boomers looking for a scape goat? After all we, the Baby Boomers, raised the Millennials, right? Spare the rod, spoil the child right? As a younger Boomer, I have already raised 2 who are in their mid-20s and I am proud of them. Both are successful have goals, one working his way through college, no college debt, the other a brilliant entrepreneur and artist, making her way very well in a very difficult and competitive market, as an oil painter of modern art.

Here is another perspective from my point of view. As the economy sank in 2008, etc., I sold my home in San Diego and moved into a much lower cost of living situation so to be able to survive to Wyoming. I also have a strong work ethic. Not all Boomers do. I have as many if not more issues with Boomers being lazy, not being on time, deceptive, etc. as anyone. It is an individual case, I believe, and is a cultural problem, not a generation problem.

Oh By The Way did I tell you I home schooled my children to protect them from the overall intention of the Baby Boomer generation (Our culture, our government) to control my children’s critical thinking and God given creativity.

There are bureaucrats, politicians, drug addicts, upper management elitist in large publically controlled corporations, criminals, publically held corporation employees, small business owners, then there are entrepreneurs (innovators, musicians, artists, engineers, revolutionary leaders). None of this list really is designated by a generational condition.

What is needed is more entrepreneurs to stand up and not only be accounted for, but to identify other entrepreneurs and build a culture based on what drives the entrepreneurial spirt.

I meant to write this in one hour this morning after reading another article from a millennial whom has become bored and tired of hearing the constant drone of the selfish boomers, banging the drum of pointing at them as scape goats. Frankly, I am tired of it too.

I really do not care what generation you are from, or color, or sex, or whatever. If you are entrepreneurial or even think that maybe you are, come join us. Because I think we can join together and in that spirit, that quest, we can change the world. Maybe even avert a global war that threatens our very existence.

Thomas Prendergast
CMO
Markethive Inc.
https://markethive.com/marketing

 

 

 

Alpha Founder Legacy Continues (Must Read)

Basic Orientation and the Legacy Alpha Founder special.

How are these two related? Well they are and they are not.  In the orientation as I take you through a new Markethive account we cannot avoid the Alpha default promotion and subsequent video and disruptions. So let me digress:

As we discover how the system works, how we set up our picture, our profile page, videos, blogging etc and how all that is centralized via our profile page, it becomes important to understand the current Alpha program and how that effects a major benefit the profile page has.

The Alpha program makes the profile page into a powerful advertising platform that connects all subscription registrants into your field of children.

The children: We are using the term “Children” and “Parent” to illustrate the relationships you will build advanced towards becoming an Alpha Voyager up to Alpha Founder.

You the “parent” sponsor a new subscriber “child” via your Alpha powered profile page. This relationship never breaks. The “child” can de friend you, go their own way, join different groups than you, basically become lost to ever connecting with you again, or they can remain your friend, become a strategic partner in your agendas, campaigns and strategies and belong to the same groups you do, join your coop programs. Either way, as your “child” and as long as you are an active Alpha Leader, every purchase they make in Markethive (ads, boosts, calendar displays, Blog promotions, Alpha upgrades) pays you up to 50% of their purchase as a direct commission.

Markethive is built upon the foundation of a free social network empowered by the culture adhesiveness of entrepreneurs and a powerful platform of inbound marketing technology and an advanced broadcasting platform not found anywhere else. The platform itself is priceless and would cost over $3000 per month to acquire anything like it.

The orientation part of this video is produced so you understand the basic nature of Markethive, it’s platforms of incredible marketing power, the culture, your engagement within that culture and how your Profile page becomes a serious tool to build a powerful  sphere of influence, a lifelong network and a source of a long term sustainable living income.

And this is at the core of the building of Markethive. Building a social network of entrepreneurs, in a social network system easy to navigate, with a clear to follow program to engage and indoctrinate entrepreneurs into becoming Alpha Entrepreneurs, alpha like the lead Dog in a pack.

Alpha Entrepreneur:
a) ability to protect oneself (rarely senselessly endangering oneself)
b) leading others
c) being a successful speaker that can persuade people with logic
d) not being afraid of confrontations such as arguments
e) high social intelligence
f) very high work ethic and drive to succeed; a strong desire to produce, earn, and excel 
g) a strong desire to shape one's environment rather than be shaped by it.
h) being the exact opposite of a loser (one who justifies quitting and rejects personal responsibility)
 i) promoting survival and inspiring others with good ethics.

Legacy Alpha Founder (Alpha Legacy)

Originally launched as the first version of the affiliate program, the “Legacy” Alpha Founders was designed to raise money to fund the “pending” marketing campaign as 2015 came into play. However, events being as they were, the system was not ready to promote or capable of broadcasting and as of July 2015, new engineering was required and major changes have occurred.  I am pleased to announce Markethive has a brand new Chief Engineer, Stephen Hodgkiss. We have also moved to Amazon servers, have rebuilt 90% of the previous code, have all brand new mail servers which are 100% approved through Amazon which means email delivers over 90% of the recipients.

Which leads us to a whole new level of an affiliate plan called the BeTheAlpha affiliate program. This program has replaced and added a whole new level of titles, rewards and achievements, through single level multi rank; step by step process with a progressive path to achieve top ranks. Those titles and ranks are as follows:

  1. “Free Member” (this is the new signup that has just discovered MarketHive) and will be consistently navigated to the Alpha presentation page until action to join a level occurs
     
  2. Trail Blazer” is the first step of a series of growing your “business”, getting orientated with “Markethive” and customizing and configuring your “profile” page.  It is this step that prepares you to become a “parent” as well as understand the concept.
     
  3. Voyager” activates the “profile” page to start gathering the “children” It is at this option another tool appears (Invite Contacts) allowing the member to invite everyone from their Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and Lycos accounts to the profile page. The system also begins orientation into advanced functions like the Blog Widgets, Plugins and Leads capture page widgets and broadcasting.
     
  4. Navigator” orientates and motivates to take leadership in organizing teams with Groups, Skype screen sharing and Web conference rooms. Also continues with tips and techniques using Markethive. This is the first level that also pays commissions from all the “children” the “parent” has gathered to date.
     
  5. Commander” almost doubles commissions and comes with greater advertising benefits. Also includes weekly seminars with CEO and other company “Founders” regarding the power of and vision of Markethive.
     
  6. Odyssey” like Commander gives a greater leverage in advertising advantages and greater commissions.
     
  7. Founder” is the top of the chain of command, advertising credits and commissions plus a profit pool.

Thus being the coming Alpha Affiliate Program in 2016

The new Alpha Founder position @ $5000.00 in the new affiliate program will offer the following:

  1. One time deposit of $10,000 in ad credits
  2. $200 per month ad credits for life
  3. 50% commissions on all financial transactions by your children
  4. 1 share of 5% of the company’s revenue pool shared with unlimited Founder members.

The current 2015 Alpha Founder, now referred as Alpha Legacy @ $1200.00 offers the following:

  1. One time deposit of $3000 in ad credits
  2. $200 per month ad credits for life
  3. 50% commissions on all financial transactions by your children
  4. 1 share of 5% of the company’s pool (limited to 250 shares; members)
  5. Share of new children (customers) from corporate marketing and advertising campaigns
     

Alpha Legacy Year End 50% off sale. There are a limited number left and we are selling the contracts for $600 each. You can use these contracts to apply the terms to any number of Markethive Accounts, yours or someone you transfer the contract to or sell it to.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 to further fund engineering, and empower you to become serious entrepreneurs.  We all own this thing together.


See you at the meetings

13 Reasons Entrepreneurs With Type-A Personalities Are Unstoppable

13 Reasons Entrepreneurs With Type-A Personalities Are Unstoppable

Personalities fit into one of two groups — Type A and Type B — it’s one or the other. Type A's typically are extremely motivated individuals with lofty goals and the internal fire to go after anything they desire. Type B’s are typically more laid back, lacking the same level of intense self-motivation that Type A's possesses; They also operate at a much lower stress level.

I’m a Type A personality myself and believe that that's been advantageous for building my company. I can remember my mother telling me, when I was very young, “You’re such a Type A — you need to learn how to calm down, or you’re going to have a heart attack.” As an adult, I've learned that Type A personalities are unstoppable, and I've learned the 12 reasons why:

1. Type A’s make their career priority number one.
Making your career the number-one priority and focus in your life isn’t necessarily the best choice when it comes to your personal life and relationships — social interaction can drop significantly low, for one thing, and dating can be a nightmare. Yet Type A’s are still willing to sacrifice for the best interest of their business and related goals.

2. Type A’s have a hard time shutting off work mode.
There is no denying that shutting down and getting away from your business is healthy, but very few Type A’s can stay away from their projects. The truth is, they feel more comfortable working than relaxing.

3. Type A’s love to use to-do lists.
Creating a to-do list allows you to attack your tasks one by one without having to stop and figure out what to do next. Over time, this saves an incredible amount of time. Type A’s will create to-do lists for everything: As I type this, I have two to-do lists on the desk in front of me. One has work-related tasks and one has personal errands; lists are a habit I picked up at an early age from my father, who made lists for everything.

4. Type A’s are always on time
Type A’s understand that time is the most valuable asset. They show up on time and expect others to do the same. A college professor said something to our class that I will never forget: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, don’t even bother, because it shows that you’re a disrespectful a**hole.”

5. Type A’s don’t waste time.
The thought of procrastination is mind-boggling to Type A’s. There is no need to put something off that can be accomplished right now (they believe). Procrastination and putting off the inevitable causes issues down the line. If a task can be completed right away, you can be certain that a Type A will get it done as quickly as possible.

6. Type A’s don’t accept the notion that something 'can’t be done.'
If something is physically possible, then Type A’s are 100 percent confident that they can accomplish it. They have complete confidence in their ability to accomplish anything and everything that they set out to do.

7. Type A’s are perfectionists.
Nothing irritates a Type A personality more than mistakes. They don’t set out to be perfectionists — they morph into them because anything less than perfect just isn’t acceptable. That persistence allows them to reach their goals when most would have given up long ago.

8. Type A’s are planners.
In order to reach a goal, you need a clearly defined plan to get from start to finish. While others might attempt to try to figure things out along the way, a Type A creates a solid plan that he or she follows religiously.

9. Type A’s are great problem-solvers.
Part of the reason that Type A’s are such great problem-solvers is that they fully believe in their ability, so much so that they are confident  they can come up with a workable solution for any problem that might arise. This confidence allows them to think of a rational solution without becoming worked up and flustered.

10. Type A’s are passionate.
When you are passionate about something, you find it a lot easier to go all-in and devote all your time and energy to that project. Type A’s don’t "half-ass" anything. Their passion allows them to work hard without feeling that their effort is "work."

11. Type A’s are efficient.
Because of the reasons listed above — always on time, always perfectionists, never waste time, always planning, etc. — Type A’s are extremely efficient. Getting as much accomplished in the shortest amount of time is the name of the game.

12. Type A’s are focused.
When it comes time to getting something done, a Type A can give that something 100 percent focus, regardless of what else is going on in life. The ability to block out distractions and remain laser focused allows these creative individuals to not skip a beat.

13.Type A's have many whiteboards
I can not tell you how many I have, but if you want to buy me a present, and can not figure out what to get a TypeA a white board will be a huge hit!

Fulfillment by Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon Poses a Great Option for Those Looking to Break Into Ecommerce

Amazon FBA — "Fulfillment by Amazon" — is fast becoming a buzzword among entrepreneurs. Over the years, there's been a lot written about Amazon affiliate marketing to help people get started, but not about FBA. What is all the fuss about? Why is there so much commotion about the FBA business model right now?

To put it simply, it could be the future for entrepreneurs. It has never been easier to sell products on a massive, trusted ecommerce platform, and get your fair share of the market. Best of all, you won't find too many business opportunities out there with this degree of scalability built right into them.

So let's take a closer look at the FBA opportunity, and how you can create an escape plan for the nine-to-five.

What is Amazon FBA?

The program allows virtually anyone to sell their goods on the Amazon platform. Fulfillment is one of the biggest challenges of any ecommerce business. With FBA, Amazon will store your products in one of its warehouses, ship them to your customers, handle all refunds and returns and provide excellent customer service.

This does not mean that you don't have any responsibilities as a seller. What it does mean is that you can free up a lot of time to focus on high-level, value-generating activities such as driving traffic to your product page or optimizing your conversion rate.

Why Amazon FBA is better than an ecommerce store.

Besides the fact that fulfillment is handled by Amazon, there are several more advantages to leveraging FBA. For one, orders placed through Amazon are processed and shipped faster than those sent out from retailers. FBA can help your products gain more visibility in the marketplace, and that can translate into more sales for you.

FBA also makes your products eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping, free shipping and other similar options, which customers love. Finally, one of the biggest advantages of FBA is that Amazon is a trusted brand. It has worked hard to optimize the checkout process and earn credibility with customers. You as a seller get to leverage the reputation of a trusted and well-known company.

How to get set up with FBA.

Here are the five basic steps you need to take to start building your FBA business:                    

  1. Create an Amazon Seller Central account. It is advisable to sign up for a professional account, which has a monthly fee associated with it.
  2. Choose a niche. Some are good, others are not worth getting into. Do your research and brainstorm product ideas.
  3. Find a supplier. Once you know what products you're going to be selling, start building a working relationship with a reliable supplier. Ask for a sample, work out the lead time and calculate what kind of margin you have on your products.
  4. Create a listing for your product. Optimize your product page with the right keywords and content.
  5. Drive traffic. Send your target audience to your product page to increase sales.

According to Josh Shogren of Passion Into Paychecks, picking the right product is the key to success with FBA businesses: "It is vital that you spend a lot of time finding the right product that will give you the best chance for success."

Shogren suggests that some of the most important factors include:

  • The price point of the product should be somewhere between $10 and $50.
  • The product should be as light as possible.
  • Check to see if any potential competitors have a 5,000 best seller rank (BSR) or lower in their primary category.
  • Make sure there aren't any brand names within the product category or niche.
  • If possible, sell a product that isn't easily broken.
  • The more reviews a product has, the greater the competition is. Fifty or fewer reviews on first page products is a good indicator that you can break into the market.
  • The cost of manufacturing should be 25 percent or less of the actual sale price.

How to be a successful FBA seller.

"Top Amazon sellers aren't like the rest," says Lauren Shepherd at Teikametrics. "The most successful sellers have adapted to the evolving ecosystem that is online retail by treating selling on Amazon like trading on the stock market."

According to Shepherd, the following six factors are crucial to your success:

  • Scaling a business is easier when fulfillment logistics are handled by Amazon.
  • Be willing to admit when you are wrong, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Manage your inventory, risk and cash flow.
  • Focus on cash flow and access to working capital.
  • Don't try to be right — focus on making money instead.
  • Measure your growth by quarters or years, not by weeks.

Why start a FBA business?

Have you ever thought about escaping the nine-to-five working life? Have you ever considered escaping the cubicle? With a successful FBA business, you have the opportunity to design your lifestyle and make your dreams a reality. Location and financial freedom are within your reach. FBA is the future for people who want to make money online and live a life of their choosing. 

Consider the case of Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits, who recently published a post showing how he sold $40,639 worth of physical products in 30 days.

"Amazon FBA is the real deal," he said. "It's a very real business, and I am seeing very real income for it."

Final thoughts

If you are interested in learning more about selling on Amazon, there are some great podcasts, such as Up Fuel and The Amazing Seller, that are covering the topic. FBA is quickly going mainstream, and there are more and more people talking about the freedom that is available through a business model such as this.

If that wasn't enough, it is also possible to sell an Amazon FBA business. As with any other online business, you can have an exit strategy in place and move onto new ventures and greener pastures if that's what you want to do.

For many, the FBA business model has the potential to turn their dreams of financial and location independence into reality, and is certainly looking like the way forward for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When you have 100 customers per Distributor