Issue IV May 2006

In this issue:

"Home Biz Critic is dedicated to the research and the objective review of home based business opportunities."

> The Home Biz Critic

In My Experience

Advertising Types to Consider: What You Need To Know
So, which types of advertising really work? Here are the ones I recommend that will provide immediate benefit for your home based business.

Review of the Month: Kara Vita
Kara Vita is a company on the move. I was impressed immediately by the responsiveness of the Kara Vita leader in Michigan to my inquiries.

What's New at Home Biz Critic

In My Experience

Let's Talk About Passion

If you are one of those people who arenít quite sure what your path may be in life and if you are seeking to discover that path, I caution you to remember that your home based business will prosper well if it is a reflection of that path. It is very difficult for ordinary human beings who work from home to remain focused, passionate, and driven to succeed through all the innumerable challenges unless they tap into that core passion that defines their unique path, talents, and dreams. Asking yourself who you are and what you could see yourself doing and not tiring of over the long haul is essential. Your path doesnít have to remain static. I am not saying that at all. It will evolve as you grow and learn, but it must be a path you feel at home on with products you believe in, will use personally, and can share passionately with your customers.

In talking with over a hundred people daily, many of them ask me the same question. The question is, ďwhatís the best affiliate program out there?íí I then have to ask, what are your goals?Ē What really amazes me is that most of the folks I talk to havenít even considered this question. They are interested in money, right now, and lots of it. While I agree that there surely isnít anything wrong with this goal, for me it became a secondary goal to discovering the passions that defined what I needed to do to reach this secondary goal of making money. I believed that abundance would follow right intention and I had every intention of having a legitimate business and of not compromising my integrity to grow it from a start up to where it is today.

But, letís go back to my first premise. Maybe, you are one of those very fortune persons who have always known who they were, what made them tick, and what they were going to do when they grew up. I havenít met anyone like this. They exist, I am sure. However, I am also sure that I didnít recognize them because my path to discovering who I was and what I needed to do to find that calm center within, and to reflect that vision in the external world, took a very convoluted path. It was a journey of trying many different things. And, it turned out to be a path with many interests that focused and came together based on a deep core definition of who I am.

I have been accused of over thinking, but for me it wasnít just about working for myself and from home. It was a fulfillment of spirit that became the driving force. I just could not answer that type of call without a little study. And, that desire led me down a path where I tried many, many home based, MLM, and affiliate programs before discovering that this just wasnít what made me tick at the depth of my being. I discovered I liked working alone, for myself, and without pressure from any sponsors.

I also made the mistake many of you may fall victim to when in the wave of enthusiasm, marketing hype, and pressure exerted by many MLMs on new recruits. Just as I did you may get involved in affiliate or MLM opportunities where you have no interest in the product because it is not an extension of who you are and what you believe. Your interest will soon die, your sales may be non-existent and if you are not really open to learning from making this type of mistake, you may feel like a huge failure. I have several people who call me on a regular basis. They hop from MLM to MLM, always telling me how the latest and greatest is the thing they have been looking for because it is about really big money. These MLMís are all different, but in essence they are all the same. I caution them to let me know in another six weeks if they still feel the same way. I remind them that they need to really ask questions because their downline and their customers will if they donít. Better to know from the beginning what you are buying than to discover this later.

That brings me to my final point. If you havenít reflected on who you are and you really donít care what you sell, and if the get rich quick schemes appeal to you regardless of the pain they may cause you, then there isnít anything I can say that will cause you to reevaluate your priorities. I have always found this mentality to be a lottery ticket mentality that probably wonít pay off, but I learned the hard way and the same may be true for you too. When I finally woke up in my late forties and changed my focus about why I wanted to work from home and what I enjoyed doing, it all fell into place. Now, I take everything into consideration, do my research, and spend a lot less money trying out new opportunities that could become a possible extension of Home Biz Critic. Now, the MLM or affiliate program has to work for me and not the other way around. The money just comes naturally when the opportunity fits your beliefs, your lifestyle, and your goals.

 

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Advertising Types to Consider: What You Need To Know


Making your business work is a matter of having an excellent product well suited to your target markets, consummate product knowledge, and successful marketing campaigns that work and remain within your budget. After years in sales and marketing in the offline world, I like to say that getting the word out about what you have to sell is a combination of psychology, strategy, and constant testing of your methods. Even if you are an old pro on the Internet, letís take a moment to just review some of the tried and true methods of advertising that can be utilized as part of a marketing plan. And, of course, it goes without saying that you have developed a plan for your business that projects out advertising strategies based on expected revenues from your targeted geographic markets within a budget that corresponds to your set business timeline.

Wow, thatís a mouthful, but if you donít plan itís very easy to get frustrated when you canít figure out why all the things you are doing just donít seem to be working. If you canít see the forest for the trees, get expert help and fast. Money down the drain is seldom recovered, and with all the ďInternet toolsĒ that claim to drive traffic, optimize your site, and make you money, itís easy to lose money and get nothing in the process.

I am the first one to say that I needed help early on navigating the every changing rules of the Internet, and found it far more cost effective to work with a top notch marketing firm that was Internet savvy than to try to figure it out all on my own. So, I farmed out my reciprocal linking campaign, search engine optimization, and newsletter design. I felt that my talents were better suited to offline advertising with which I was familiar and with writing and reviewing so that the content at the site remained pertinent to the home based business opportunity seeker. I also get a lot of help from my marketing firm in the evaluation of affiliate programs that deal solely in technology. They review software and other technical business tools for me to see if they are up to speed, new to the web, innovative, and mesh well with the overall business theme of Home Biz Critic. I am pleased to recommend Virante to anyone as a firm rooted in integrity, fair in price, and knowledgeable to all aspects of web based business success. You can find them on the web at www.virante.com or call Malcolm Young directly at 919-459-1399. I say this because I spent $20,000 before I found them, and got hosed in the process. You can avoid this fate.

Now, back to the advertising techniques I feel can work well for you in both an offline and online combination strategy to get your name and product out there. Itís a global economy and you must remember that while we are fast becoming a society that communicates via wireless modes, there is still something wonderful about the written word on paper. People still love to read newspapers, magazines, trade rags, and all other forms of the printed word. And, there are still generations of people that communicate only in these ways.

So, which types of advertising really work? Here are the ones I recommend that will provide immediate benefit for your home based business: direct mail marketing, classified ads, magazine ads, ezine ads, search engines, and email marketing. What follows below is a very brief and simple explanation of each. Call me if you need in depth information or have questions about any aspect of advertising. My comments here are only rudimentary, at best.

Direct mail marketing is using the old tried and true US Postal service to deliver your message to a targeted market. You are working off a list that you have qualified as a group of buyers that have interest in your product or service. This list will be most effective if it is 30 Ė 90 days old. You will have purchased this list, or traded this list, or entered a joint venture with the owner of this list because this list will have come from a real company that is currently marketing their own products or services. Yes, you can buy lists out of all kind of publications for entrepreneurs, but my experience leads me to believe that the return will not be satisfying. Private sources are always the best sources of lists. No one else on the web has this list and that is powerful. You will also save money by using post cards when you do your mailing. Track your results and modify your strategies as necessary.

Classified ads are something you are all familiar with. These small ads are found in the back of most paper publications. What and how you say what you have to say here is the key. Use trigger words, generate curiosity, leave a toll free number and a website address. Turn around time on classified ads and their low cost make them an extremely fast way to generate sales if they are placed in publications that your target market canít live without reading.

Magazine ads are far more expensive, can be classified by type, and have the wonderful lingering effect of being read for months by many people in all sorts of offices, libraries, and even in the home setting. People tend to collect and hang onto magazines and this is especially true about collectors. So, if you have a niche market that has magazines devoted to its passion, you canít go wrong advertising in these trade publications.

Display ads are one of the most effective types of magazine ads. They hang out right beside the magazineís articles, and often mimic the graphics and copy of the publication. This is the way to go because every reader has been trained to mentally screen out advertising, so make your display ad blend in beautifully and it wonít set off the alarm bell in the reader. These ads are larger than classifieds but contain the same components: headline, curious copy, and call to action with phone number and website address. Purchase these ads at the lowest possible price, donít forget to barter the cost, buy one month at a time until you know itís a winner, and ask for the agency discount.

Search engines are a whole newsletter unto themselves. This is not the simple pay per click world we once knew, or the number of links you add to your site, or the amount of time you have existed on the web. Another issue will be address page ranking, one way and reciprocal linking and content, along with whatís happening on the search engine horizons.

Finally, email marketing is accomplished only as you build your own opt in list from your website visitors and customers who willingly choose to give you their email addresses to you, and who allow you to contact them with valuable information and new product offerings. Otherwise, itís spam. Spam is forbidden and never worth the risk. Donít drive your opt in list crazy with repeated emailings that offer them nothing. They will quickly opt out. You must have something that makes reading your emails worth their time. I email no more than monthly. I get emails from other marketers almost daily and often find it annoying. I archive their stuff because keeping up with what they are doing is essential, but I find daily emails almost overkill. If they werenít competitors I would delete them immediately. And, remain confident that the best opt in lists werenít built overnight. You have to offer something of value to get people to opt in, and you have to remain an expert in your field to keep them coming back. Be gracious when they leave, and learn from your customers by asking them how to continuously improve the quality of the products and services you are offering.

 

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Review of the month


Kara Vita

Kara Vita is a company on the move. I was impressed immediately by the responsiveness of the Kara Vita leader in Michigan to my inquiries for more information on their organization. The website is intriguing and navigates well to discuss the following components of their program.

  • Product Story
  • Product Line
  • Skin Care
  • Company Information
  • Contact Information

Kara Vita has entered a very competitive skin care market with a proven success formula modeled after itís predecessors in home party sales. This is the only avenue to meet with a consultant, purchase the products, and decide if this is the right affiliate program for you at present. Product purchase via the web is state of the art where your consultant will get credit without direct customer contact, but you have to begin with a consultant. Kara Vita does not provide you with an affiliate website, so all your sales will be driven offline through direct distributorship.

I am not fond of clone sites, but I would be curious if an independent Kara Vita consultant could set up their own site for marketing and selling the products in addition to the home party model for sales.

I queried the company via the website for more information about the affiliate program and was contacted immediately. I disclosed my interest in reviewing the company favorably if answers to my questions could be provided. What I wanted to know involved how the down-line worked. What was the depth and width? So, take note. These are the questions you ask of every MLM before you get involved.

  • Are there any fees to join or set up fees?
  • How often do you pay your affiliates?
  • How do you pay your affiliates?
  • Do I get paid for every single sale I send to you?
  • Can I cancel my affiliate account with you at any time I choose?
  • How long has this affiliate program been in business?
  • How does the affiliate program track sales? Is it cheat-proof?
  • Does the system offer real time tracking?
  • Are there any things that can get you kicked out of the program?
  • What guarantees, refund policies, and customer service can be expected for your customers?

The company representative that contacted me assured me she would call me again or have someone else from the organization call me to discuss the above questions. And, true to their word, the stateís only distributor came to my home to not only let me try the products, but to discuss how the program works. At the present time commission structures cannot be found on the website, but the company is not hiding anything and will gladly tell you how you can make money. I have the compensation information if you would like it emailed to you. But, essentially you can expect a 25% commission on initial sales until reasonable personal sales and group sales volumes are met. You donít wait for your money from the company. You submit the total sales figure minus your commission before submitting your order for fulfillment. The company ships for you.

When I asked how the money back policy worked, I was guaranteed that if you ask, you got your money back immediately. However, the company says that most customers simply want to find the right skin care regimen and work toward this goal with their distributor instead of requesting a refund.

The products are patented and outstanding. I was so impressed with the quality and the thought that went into developing the line that I have become a life long customer. I love the botanical foundation of the product line, and the patented time release formulations. I seldom recommend getting involved in any affiliate program, but I feel that Kara Vita is worth investigating if this product line matches your passion. Because the company is not saturated with distributors this is a ground floor opportunity that will pay off handsomely if it is the right fit for you.

Let me say that my skin, in less than 20 minutes, was completely transformed and 8 hours later was still beautiful. I like products that make a difference in my life, and keeping my skin radiant as I age is important to me. Remember, Kara Vita has an innovative 8 hour release technology found in no other skin care product line.

The company provides incredible training on all aspects of business including sponsoring others and product knowledge. I have reviewed their training CDs and attended training conference calls.

I am going to recommend Kara Vita as a good business opportunity for those of you interested in the health/wellness/beauty arena. Get in now. I have no doubt that those of you that do will find great reward both financially and emotionally. If you want the compensation plan just email me and I will send it to you.

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About Home Biz Critic.com

Home Biz Critic and Empower Your Income grew from the desire to create new home based business opportunities for people seeking alternative ways of generating financial wealth and more meaningful lifestyles.

The team members have a combined sales and marketing history of over 29 years experience focused on business product development, customer service, account management and business solutions.

It is the mission of Home Biz Critic and of Empower Your Income to assist individuals to achieve their dreams with the right tools, the right approach, and the right processes that insure success. As partners, we can speak to the burning desire to create your own destiny, and we promise to support your objectives with knowledge and product guarantees that protect your investment.



 

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What's New at Home Biz Critic

Finding the perfect partner in life and business is often challenging. Most of us have had a few experiences we wouldnít care to repeat which makes finding the right partnerships all the sweeter. In the days to come as you look around the site, you are going to see lots of changes. The navigation bar may no longer resemble what you are familiar with as new tabs take shape. Virante and I, working together are introducing a whole line of business products with to the Home Biz Critic site. You are going to get the best tools, tips, and business affiliate programs available to the Internet home based business entrepreneur. You can count on the same great reviews and consultation from me, but you can also count on web based business expertise from Virante. I have come to count on this partnership as a total win win for me, and for my customers as we more forward to grow our Internet businesses. I can reassure you that Virante is a world class company. Visit them on the web at www.virante.com for a complete list of products, services, and opportunities for the best in web based business delivery.


www.homebizcritic.com
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517-781-4151 (leave a message.  I return all calls within 24 hours)

 

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