Beginners Guide to Network Marketing Part 1

This beginners guide to Network Marketing also includes MLM and can include affiliate marketing. It will show you a formula or system that you absolutely must follow to be successful in Network Marketing.

The Formula / System – Key elements in every successful online Network marketing system

1. Adverts – If you do not advertise nothing will happen – Nobody will find your business!

2. Lead capture page – A web page with a headline or a list of bullet points or video that convey the message of what the benefits of your product or system are. Then there is an opt-in box for the lead to enter their details – They are saying to you “Hey I’m interested tell me more about this.”

3. Direct Sales page – This page creates a problem agitates the problem and then shows the solution is buy buying the product.

4. Auto responder and email list – A system that sends out emails to your list automatically after they have opted in. So important because it starts the process of the lead getting to know you.

How it works

Place adverts all over the place as many as you can – when I say advert I mean anywhere that you put a link to your lead capture page that somebody can click on.

People see your advert and some of them click the link to your lead capture page. The Lead capture page tells the customer the benefits of what you are trying to give/sell them and asks for their details including email address.

Some people enter their details (They are now a captured lead) and some people move away from the page (they may come back).

Those that enter their details are taken directly to your Direct sales page where they are shown a common problem like – “do you think that your Network Marketing business would grow faster if you had an endless supply of new leads?” and then given the solution – Join this programme and we will show you how. It is an important element of your direct sales page to have an incentive to buy the product now – ie a once only offer or a bonus etc. If the product is brought within the next ½ hour.

At this point some people will buy into your programme and some will not. Either way you have them as a captured lead until they decide to remove themselves from your mailing list – Which you should now own.

So what happens next is the autoresponder takes over and starts sending messages out to your list on autopilot – It takes us an average of 7 times to see something before we buy it so to type these messages and send them individually would be really time consuming.

Some more people will buy the product after they have received some of your emails and some will not but they remain on your list.

Now it is important to be communicating with your list so you can start to build a relationship with them. This will help them to get to know you and see your value.

What I mean by value is what they will learn from you as if they buy from you then you will be their upline and should then be teaching them how to be successful. So you need to be sharing with your list what you are doing and if it is working – Also this can include products that you have purchased and that help you in your own advertising – For most products you can become an affiliate and earn commissions for any sales that you make – Make sure that you are happy with the product ie It does what it says – Is simple to use – A good price etc Basically make sure that you think it’s the best on the market before you offer it to your list because if somebody from your list buys the product on your recommendation and does not like it then you have just lost some credibility.

If you do this correctly you can be helping people on your list whilst adding vale to yourself and earning good money in the process. This can be done time and time again – Not everybody on your list will buy every product but they will hopefully buy the products that are right for them.

That’s where the saying “The money is in the list” comes from. If you really understand this you should be really exited because the possibilities are huge!

In part 2 of The Beginners guide to Network marketing learn how to get the right product to start with and it does not need to cost you a fortune – In fact it definitely should not!

Taking Notes Can Be Profitable – Self-Directed Options in a Changing Real Estate Market

As I write this newsletter, the media is hawking the slow down in the real estate market. Most of the historically “hot” areas of the country are experiencing a 10% slow down in resales and new construction permits, with the Midwest being the positive exception. If new construction real estate speculation, based on rapid appreciation, was your game plan, you may now be rethinking your strategy. Perhaps it’s time for not just a new strategy but a new game plan. Here’s a thought for you. Instead of buying and selling real estate, what about being the Lender? A new light is being cast on the role of being the Lender instead of the owner of the property. Let’s take a look at some of the options being the Lender and holding notes in your IRA or self-directed retirement plan.

Case Study 1

John B., a top producing agent with Coldwell Banker, has had a long relationship with a small custom builder that constructs 3 homes a year. The builder has already purchased the land and has his crew on payroll. While it is not an ideal time to be building another “spec” home, he will “trade dollars” if that’s what was required to keep his company viable. He is looking for “cash partner” to complete a home on one of the lots.

John has been offered an opportunity to buy the home, but doesn’t want to purchase the “spec” home directly because he believes the marketing time for the custom home may exceed 6 months. John agrees to partner with the builder but not own the property directly. He will act as the construction or “mezzanine financing” in the transaction. Current construction financing rates are 9.75% from most traditional banks and lenders.

John and the builder negotiate and agree to a rate of 8.25. This is substantially more than he could receive from a money market or CD. They come to an agreement on the interest rate but now needed to iron out the terms of payment.
John could be paid:

oquarterly or
oin a lump sum when the property sold.

Not surprisingly, the builder opts for the latter and John agrees to be paid at closing for all of the accumulated interest and repayment of the original principle balance. John’s attorney drew up the note that indicated the note holder as your “Trust Administrator”, FBO John B. IRA. His attorney asks if he wants to collateralize his note by placing a lien on the land with a mortgage. Wanting to maintain compliance with IRS guidelines, John contacts our office and asks what his options are. The answer is that either way, with or without a mortgage, he will still be in compliance with the IRS.

Being a prudent investor, John opts to have a mortgage prepared and recorded with the County. One year later, the property sold after being on the market for 8 months. John’s attorney prepared the payoff letter and proceeds were sent to the IRA custodian directly from the title company at closing.

John was satisfied with receiving a short term return of 8.25% on his IRA funds instead of the riskier proposition of carrying the property of its operating expenses for 8 months. The 8.25% return represented a 4.00% higher return than a bank certificate of deposit would have given him. Was John’s option to act as a lender worth the additional risk? Well that is for each individual investor to answer. Each investor must apply their own criteria to the evaluation of risk in each investment made.

Case Study 2

Jackie O., a commercial real estate broker and CCIM with Equity Partners, has a client that owns 22 acres along State Highway 47. The client inherited the land several years earlier and wants to develop the land, with the necessary site improvements, to make the parcel of land more marketable.

Jackie has $225,000 in her individual 401k. She and her client, Ari, decide to partner on this project. Jackie has two issues to consider when structuring the transaction. First, her company has strict limitations with regard to agents/brokers partnering with clients in real estate transactions. Simply put, partnering with clients is discouraged because of the implied liability to the company. Second, Jackie’s prior experience with partners has not been pleasant. Her previous partners did not understand the risks inherent in real estate investment and very often their expectations often exceeded performance of the investment.

Ari wants Jackie as his partner on this deal. Ari trusts Jackie and knows her reputation in the real estate community. He also knows that Jackie’s contacts with the municipality and local contractors are invaluable.

Here is the “deal” Ari and Jackie work out:

oAri will retain ownership and control of the land.
oJackie’s 401k will lend Ari the amount needed for development and the site improvement costs.
oAn outside, unrelated party, will complete the site improvements and handle the necessary municipality permits.

Two separate companies, a REIT and big box retailer – BlueMart, have approached Jackie about purchasing the improved parcel of land. Since Ari has no capital to repay the note, Jackie’s 401k will write the note as a “participation note”. In other words, Jackie’s 401k will lend the money in exchange for a percentage of the profit when the improved parcel is sold and Jackie’s initial 401k loan is repaid. They agree to a 15% participation fee.

Jackie’s attorney prepares the 401k note in the name of your “Trust Administrator”, FBO Jackie 401k. The note is secured with a lien/mortgage on the land. Ari’s attorney reviews the documents along with the participation clause in the note and approves the transaction.

Eight months later, the site improvements are completed and BlueMart purchases the parcel from Ari for $2,500,000. Net profit after closing expenses, commissions and repayment of Jackie’s 401k note of $225,000.00 is $2,000.000. Jackie’s 401k also receives $300,000.00 from the title company as repayment of the participation agreement in the note. Remember, “taking notes” can be profitable.

Top 10 Questions For Self-Directed IRAs

With all the questions related to self-directed IRAs…with some of them being answered here…more people who “fit the box” should be seriously considering a self-directed 401(k) rather than a self-directed IRA.

As mentioned in a previous blog, if an individual enters into a prohibited transaction within their IRA , the plan as nationally-recognized tax expert, Tim Berry, states, “blows up.” In this parlance, it simply means that the individual will face full distribution on the first day of the calendar year which the prohibited transaction occurs, incur early distribution penalties (if they apply) and taxes. Yikes, that doesn’t sound user-friendly to me.

But, let’s not digress and… for the Top 10 list:

1) What is a Self-Directed IRA?
Legally speaking, a self-directed IRA is no different than any other IRA. Having a self-directed IRA simply means that you are allowed to direct the investments of the IRA. Many custodians claim that they allow you to self-direct your IRA investments but then turn around and restrict what you can invest in. A truly self-directed IRA allows you to make the decisions without restriction.

2) Why Haven’t I Heard of This Before/Is It Legal?
Congress passed ERISA in the Securities Act of 1975. As a result of this passage, banks and brokerage houses found that this was an ideal time and market to bring IRA and 401(k) plans to individuals and employers and sell the products they wanted to sell….stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Nothing in the IRS code states that you can only invest with a brokerage house…let alone in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But this IS what 97% of the population believes. Banks and brokerage houses have a vested interest in having you invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds – not real estate, businesses and other non-traditional investments.

As investors have become more disillusioned and frustrated with traditional investment choices, they have begun looking for alternatives. After the steep stock market decline, corporate scandals and corruption (e.g. Enron, ImClone, Worldcom) and many investors seeing their retirement accounts cut in half, they are ready to take control of their own investments. They often want more tangible investments such as Real Estate.

However, when they ask their current custodians / brokers, they are typically told that such investments are illegal, too complicated or that it can’t be done. But those are ignorant and self-serving responses. Although those custodians / brokers may not allow it, it can be done. It is just likely you can’t do it through your current custodian so they financially suffer if you make a move.

3) What Can My IRA Invest In?
Well, the real question should be what CAN’T my IRA invest in? Now, that being said, there are some very strict IRS regulations that must be followed, but the IRS does not provide an all-inclusive list of possible investment options but rather excludes and stipulates what you CANNOT invest in: life insurance contracts and collectibles

The following list is an EXAMPLE of some permissible investments with your self-directed IRA:

Residential Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate
Raw Land
Trust Deeds / Mortgages, and Mortgage Pools
Private Notes and Loans
Private Stock Offerings
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Limited Partnerships (LPs)
Tax Certificates
Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds
Commercial Paper

4) What is ERISA?
ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It more or less passed along the responsibility of an employee’s retirement plan from the employer (company sponsored pension) to the employee. As a result of this act, the IRS only excludes what can be invested in. These two prohibited investments are: life insurance contracts and collectibles.

5) What Types of Retirement Accounts can be Moved into Self-Directed Status?
Traditional IRAs;
Sep IRAs ;
Roth IRAs;
Coverdell Education Savings (ESA);
Qualified Annuities;
Profit Sharing Plans;
Money Purchase Plans;
Government Eligible Deferred Compensation Plans;

6) How Do I KNow This is Legal?
Well, first of all, be prepared to be told by many accountants and CPAs (and possibly yours) that this is not legal or is very dangerous to do. Neither is true. First of all, as mentioned before, this is legal as a result of the ERISA Security Act passed over 30 years ago. It is more of a question of whether an individual SHOULD do it (see question #7).

Find out for yourself by going to the Internal Revenue Service’s website Request Publication 590. On pages 40-41 you will see what investments are not allowed (see below – collectibles, life insurance, s-corporation stock, etc.). Real Estate is NOT mentioned as a disallowed investment just like stocks, bonds, mutual funds are not mentioned as a disallowed investment.

7) Should Everyone Do This? How do I Know it is Right for Me?
Of course you know the answer to this question is NO. Not everyone should do this and not everyone will. It really depends on a person’s interest level to self-direct. Some folks would rather bury their heads in the sand and just hope that everything turns out okay for retirement. Others have done well with the brokerage accounts and have not diversified into real estate. However, the best aspect of a truly self-directed plan is that you can invest in non-traditional assets (e.g., real estate) and STILL invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

8) Are There Certain Investments Disallowed?
Of course. As previously mentioned, IRS Code does exclude one from investing in Life Insurance Contracts and Collectibles. These are referred to as “prohibited transactions”. Prohibited Transactions are defined in IRC 4975(c)(1) and IRS Publication 590.

The biggest concern at times is for the Manager (you) of the IRA self-directed account to REMEMBER that any and every transaction that the SD IRA engages in is for the exclusive benefit of the retirement plan. An individual cannot “self-deal”. Self-dealing occurs when an IRA owner uses their individual retirement funds for their personal benefit rather than to benefit the IRA. As an IRA owner, if you violate these rules, your entire IRA could loose its tax-deferred or tax-free status.

9) What Are Prohibited Transactions?
Prohibited transactions as noted by IRC 4975 (c) (1), identifies prohibited transactions to include any DIRECT or INDIRECT:

- Selling, exchanging, or leasing, any property between a plan and a disqualified person;
- Lending money or other extension of credit between a plan and a disqualified person;
- Furnishing goods, services, or facilities between a plan and a disqualified person;
- Transferring or using by or for the benefit of, a disqualified person the income or assets of a plan;
- Dealing with income or assets of a plan by a disqualified person who is a fiduciary acting in his own interest or for his own account.
- Receiving any consideration for his or her personal account by a disqualified person who is a fiduciary from any party dealing with the plan in connection with a transaction involving the income or assets of the plan.

10) Who Is a Disqualified Individual?
As it related to IRC, the following would constitute disqualified individuals for entering into any investment or arrangement with, directly or indirectly.

- The IRA holder and his or her spouse;
- The IRA holders ancestors, lineal descendants and their spouses;
- Investment advisors and managers;
- Any corporation, partnership, trust or estate in which the IRA holder has a 50% or greater interest; and,
- Anyone providing services to the IRA such as a trustee or custodian.

Please note that too many individuals are playing games with the disqualification provision of an IRA holder who has 50% or greater interest in an investment. A word to the wise, do not play games with this provision by placing the IRA holder as a 47%, 48% interest in the endeavor. This is dangerous grounds to walk on for reasons to be examined later…but caution if you are advised to do this.

Email Marketing – The Best Way to Reach to Your Audience

Email is an important part of online marketing. Among all types of online marketing strategies, email marketing is popular due to its high success rate. With a realistic email marketing plan you can reach your prospects directly. Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online by selling products or service.

Who needs email marketing?

A website without any visitors is of no use in terms of business or money. If you intend to sell something through your web portal, first of all you need visitors. To be precise, you need prospective customers to your site. These visitors would browse the pages, read relevant online documentation and then buy the items you are looking to sell.

By sending email newsletter to prospective buyers you can gain a good volume of visitors to your website and take them directly to the page you feel will sell to that user the best. Search engines are definitely a good source of visitor, but when you launch a website, release a new product or start offering items at discount rates, email marketing is the easiest way to communicate this with your existing clients.

Apart from selling products and services, there is another type of website – these are often developed for affiliate programs. Here the webmasters display products of third party websites and get paid per referral.

Email marketing plays an important role for affiliates as well. Properly designed email newsletters can help affiliate marketers gain traffic directly to the affiliate page. When the visitors click on the ads or on the affiliate links, they add to the earning potential of the website owner.

Email newsletters helps you spread the word about something you are interested in making email marketing indispensable for your business.

How to make email marketing successful:

Proper planning and some research is essential to make email marketing campaigns successful. Here are some tips on how to start email marketing campaigns for profit.

Identify your target audience: You should do some market research so that you know who will be interested in buying the product or service that you sell. This would help you refine your email marketing strategy so that you can get very close to the prospective buyers.

Prepare an email list: Having already identified your target audience, prepare a list of recipients and ensure the email ids are real. Email marketing companies can help to compile the database of recipients.

Design the email newsletter: This is a vital part of your email marketing campaign. You need to ensure that the email newsletter is compelling and make sure your audience can relate to the content and style of the newsletter and then easily visit your website.

Making money online is directly proportional with number of visitors to your website, and email marketing can help deliver these additional visitors. With persuasive design and content, email newsletters can help you increase your online sales.