How to be an authority


How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)

Being an authority figure in the online space should really be the goal of any website. When you are an authority figure you have the power to socially influence through your actions and words which means you hold a great deal of power & trust in front of your audience. The Bing Webmaster Blog recently put out a great piece on being an online authority which I think everyone should read. Please keep in mind that being an authority figure does not come from slapping together a mediocre plan. It takes though and dedication to put together a fierce action plan.

From Google:

“If a site is an authority in your industry, you can bet that it will be for Google as well. So if you’re a web designer, a link from Smashing Magazine or A List Apart helps, as a lot of other web design sites will be linking to those sites, thus causing those sites to be ‘hubs’ in the web design space.”

— Joost De Valk, Yoast

Being an authority online comes with huge benefits.

  •     Increased rankings for individual website pages
  •     Industry authority
  •     Heavy online influence
  •     Increased business
  •     Immense traffic spikes

Basically there is no down fall to being an authority figure in any industry but if you truly want to get there you have to lay out a path in the right direction to make it happen.

Here are some great ways to get on the right path to be an authority figure in your space:

Be Knowledgeable

If you are just getting started in your space you are not going to influence anyone overnight. Authority requires seasoning and experience in a space along with being able to present that experience in the right manner in front of your target audience.

Get Active in your Community

You absolutely have to get active socially in front of your community. If you want to be viewed as a leader you will have to engage with your audience on social communities like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You also want to make your website a destination spot that promotes back and forth interaction. (important)

Be a Resource

You want your audience to come to you for advice and help. Once they start turning towards you for help that means they are starting to look at you in a whole new different light.

Encourage Sharing

If you want others to share your material you are going to have to share their material as well. Encourage proactive content sharing so your audience can learn from not only you but from the people around you too. This will allow you to become a central hub which is really the focus of your efforts.

From Google: (again)

Its generally held that when an engine assigns deep links to the content of your website, you’re an authority.  And while this is more or less true, the engine seeing you as an authority happens well in advance of those links appearing.

As you produce useful content, we try to match that useful content against queries.  If the actions searchers take indicate they are pleased with your content as a solid resource, then we try you again the next time.  This testing happens a lot.  Hundreds of thousands to millions of times, depending on query volumes and content matches.

We watch the patterns of interaction and soon enough, those resources that searchers seem to be particularly pleased with start to float to the top.  We’re not just talking click-through-rates here, either.  We’re talking the entire signal-set that influences ranking at work here.

  •     Do you have unique, useful content?  Check.
  •     Do you produce new content frequently? Check.
  •     Do you have a solid history?  Check.
  •     Do you have trustworthy links pointing at your content? Check.
  •     Do you have an active social presence?  Check.
  •     Do people retweet and like your social content? Check.

Negative Trust Influences

What can you do to your own site, or could a competitor do to you, that will nuke your trust and therefore rankings?

“I always think that links have a positive or negative value. Let’s say the BBC gives you a +10,000 and a spammy blogspot link gives you a -100, you still have a positive 9,900 score. The problems occur when the BBC get hit with a link selling penalty, if your backlinks have fallen into negative equity things go south quickly.

Get caught selling links and your link value could shift from a positive value to a negative value, so I re-visit my clients links monthly and check out what’s happening to the sites that link to them”

    — David Naylor, Bronco

Buy and Sell Links – First is if you are obvious in your link buying, don’t expect to last long in the search engines. Mr Cutts is very keen on tracking down and destroying sold links. There are even some sites that are so “dirty” in Google’s eyes that a purchase in the right place and right time can nuke you over night. Don’t believe me? Ask the right people at the right conferences to show you the evidence. That’s all I am saying 🙂

Bad Neighbors – If your links are not paid but still associate you with the seedier parts of the interwebs, don’t be surprised if you are seen as guilty by association.

Comment Spam – Leave the spam up, get it indexed, and watch your results rocket to the bottom. It’s the “broken windows” theory of SEO.

Unnatural Growth Patterns – Google will look carefully at your link growth for any signs of unnatural acquisition. This isn’t to say that if you get on the front page of Digg and garner 20k visitors and as a result, 100 fresh links that you will be penalized. What is likely though is they will take a closer look if your brand new domain arrives out of the gate with one page of content and 10,000 links overnight.

Lack of Link Diversity – Are your links coming from friends and your own sites or are they arriving naturally because your content is awesome?

Thin or Spammy Content – Duplicate, scraped or feed content, or spammy gibberish is likely to get marked down. As you would expect, Google is aiming to promote the highest quality. They will use human checks, algorithms and watch the behaviour of their customers to see if what they are delivering meets expectations.

So the first element to emphasize is make your site evolve as naturally as possible!

 

“You can manufacture authority with a very intelligent link building campaign but more often than not it’s the natural growth of the site and links with other sites in the same industry that gives Google reason to trust the site.”

 

    — Patrick Altoft, BlogStorm

Thomas Prendergast

Customer Centric Model

It has been my agenda for nearly 20 years to reform an industry that is for the most part built upon a shifting and unreliable foundation that has always been broken and is heading for total annihilation. If you have attempted to build a business in MLM Network Marketing) you will relate to what I am addressing.

For over a decade this vision has grown in urgency and definition to help direct a broken industry towards developing a customer based centered direct sales model. All of this was originally inspired by a maverick move towards customer acquisition by a company called Trivita. In 2001 I was introduced to this new direction in MLM by the simple statement, just buy your customers. I had already been engaged in the MLM industry for nearly 10 years at that time. My first exposure to MLM was in 1992 with the first to market a consumer (customer) based ISP, nationwide dialup Internet access for $20 per month.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole adult life and a good portion of my teen years as well, with my first business started at the age of 14. Prior to my exposure to MLM, I was and still am a traditional business entrepreneur. Therefore to say, I found the MLM model of exclusive distribution to and consumption by distributors and only motivated to this action by pursuing profit; "alien, illogical and disturbing".

Let me explain:

My introduction and very successful sojourn with Trivita helped me discover the stark contrast between the artificial economies of a distributor based sales company in contrast to a customer based sales company. I studied this comparison for many years and it became painfully clear, the reason traditional MLM fails, regardless of the compensation plan, regardless of the motivational speakers, regardless of the training to sell the “Hope and Dreams” as that is the only way to promote when the products and or services are frankly, always overpriced and usually underwhelmingly ineffective. There are very few exceptions. So the glaring difference I found in Trivita was the fact that for every distributor I recruited, I averaged 100 customers. Then the fact, I did not have to sell Hope and Dreams and instead, the pitch was just buy customers. The reaction from the potential distributor was always extremely positive and the close rate of a distributor was very high. When you factor in that every distributor usually meant 100 customers, the potential success was superior to anything else like it.

This was just a company that offered co-op acquisition of the leads and customers Trivita acquired via their infomercials and not much else. Even Trivita’s products lacked true demonstrability and the pricing was not competitive. The only viable benefit regarding being customer centric was the fact you could just buy customers, that for the most part, only about 20% stayed a viable reorder over the years.

Because of this one aspect with Trivita, I have enjoyed a significant income for over 10 years with little attention, a true residual income. Over the years as a vendor to the MLM industry, occasionally getting involved with a few companies because I was promised they were going to offer customer centric solutions. None of them ever did and in my opinion, the super majority of MLMs are run by greedy sociopathic owners, that understand the game and that being the 3 month rule. They build their businesses to inspire, motivate and separate their new distributors from as much money and contacts they can. They know their business model only attracts distributors seeking some semblance of financial success therefore they lay their snares with grand claims of Hopes and Dreams. I consider it borderline criminal. Now we finally arrive to the meat of this article, that being what is a true Customer Centric direct sales company look like. Being that there really isn’t any yet, we have to go to the imagination and vision that to some part is guided by good business principles and look at some of the true customer centric businesses on the scene today.

Amazon could easily be the epitome of customer centric.

amazon.button

Wow. “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”

That is big, it’s bold, and it’s risky for a brand to make the promise to fulfill on that 24/7 every week of the year.

Service recovery design pays off

Of course the shopping and purchasing experience on Amazon has been exceptional for years. But what if a customer has a post-purchase problem? A big part of customer experience design is a focus on “service recovery,” or designing and refining the process when something goes wrong for the customer. Beloved brands like Zipcar know this is a critical opportunity for delivering moments of delight.

READ MORE:

http://delight.us/earths-most-customer-centric-company/

It is all about Customer Satisfaction.

Let me repeat that,

“IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION”!

The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals Amazon.com as the reigning and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.

Pointers from the article 7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/jeff-bezos-lessons.html

1. Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers, Understand Them

Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

 

2. Serve the Needs of the Customer

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

 

3. The Empty Chair

The Most Important Person in the Room “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

 

4. Never Settle for 99%

“We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”

 

5. Respect Today’s Customer

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet,
they can each tell 6,000.”

 

6. Strive to Create a Customer-Centric Company

“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned “with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really
“well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

 

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize

“We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

 

Over the past two decades, Amazon has held a steady pace of positive press due to their industry-altering company and great customer service. However back in 2009, the foundations of the online book mogul were shook when they remotely deleted copies of the books “1984” and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. The incident prompted an outcry of Internet users to see the dark, “Big Brother” side of Amazon – one that Bezos had worked hard to steer clear of. Amazon quickly made an apology with the usual dry and inhuman statement from the press team. But what really turned people back towards Amazon, was an informal and heartfelt apology from Jeff Bezos:

jeff.deep.apology


 

From “MLM” aka “Network Marketing”,

to a sustainable Coop Customer based Marketing Platform!

Now the vision for a better kinder direct sale company

I have run MLM companies, built them, serviced them as a vendor and engaged with them as a distributor for more than 20 years. I have touched and serviced and influenced over 100 million associates over this period of time. The following is my agenda to change this industry to service the little guy and gal, offering a real solution to build a middle class sustainable income for everyone, not just the elite few, we know as “leaders” in their respective company.

1. A Viable and Competitive Product

First and foremost, the “company” must offer a viable product and or service that does what it says and better than any of their competitors and better yet, have a product or service that has no legitimate competition. I could go into great detail here about the MLM industry and their underwhelming and over priced products with many making spurious claims to eventually be shut down by the FDA, etc.

2. The Virtual Warehouse

This may be putting cart before the horse. Inspired by Amazon’s virtual warehousing for their merchants selling in Amazon, it is time the MLM industry moves forward with a similar solution. Storing and paying additional shipping, your monthly product commitment in your spare bedroom, garages or den has been the standard fro decades. With today’s technology and database management abilities, there is no excuse to not move toward a virtual solution for distributors. This can be done in house by the company, or, use Amazon’s virtual warehousing that is available on a global scale.

This one upgrade to this industry will make reselling, shipping and distribution automated and easy for every distributor, regardless of location or available storage abilities. Bottom line is a doubling or greater movement of product.

3. Customer and Lead co-op acquisition

This is where the company marketing people run ads, driving vertically targeted prospects to an 800 number or website, acquiring quality pre enrolled prospects or customers who have purchased or best have enrolled into auto ship. The distributor’s contribution enhances the company’s budget and the “partnership” enhances the customer’s retention. The company also makes available to the distributor mailing lists to their “enrolled leads and customers” to assist in the continued purchases etc. It is a win win situation and is a proven technique as proven by Trivita.

4. Becoming an E Retailer (automated back office shipping)

Now that the distributors have their inventory, products and samples (if applicable), online, in an offsite virtual warehouse, the process to send product or samples becomes effective and easy. As simple as logging into the back office of their respective MLM company, entering the product (pulling from existing inventory and/or purchasing additional inventory), quantity, and drop ship address, with a simple click, the product or sample is easily on the way, while the distributor is still talking to their prospective client, prospect or distributor on the phone. This seamless process makes the potential growth of the company and distributor 100 times greater than the typical cumbersome processes today.

5. 800 telemarketing service platform

Today’s technologies not only make this proposed service affordable, but extremely effective. Typically, new distributors are assigned an ID# number. The number resides within the servers database to track sales, commissions, etc. of the distributor. Thus the hardest part is already done for an 800 sales number. [A little explanation of current tech] 800 number technology software interfaces display the originating number, or forwarded number. IE: If the distributor develops a radio commercial with a phone number (toll free or not) then forwards that number to the company 800 number, all he or she needs to do is register that number (via the back office) or calling it in. This way the telemarking operators receiving the incoming calls, or the technology, know who originated the call and the orders are taken and assigned appropriately to the distributor.

It can be as simple as the distributor takes a call from an ad, the prospects decides to buy the product. The distributor can easily 3 way into the 800 platform and assist the sale. It can be as easy as an ad running offering a product with the company main toll free number offering free shipping and handling with the special pin number. It can be very easy to build.

nopalea.800

Imagine the projected results with the distributors taking the initiative, no more need for mentors, no more need for narcissistic leadership, no more need for motivational events, because the motivation is found in the system and the results. Imagine!

6. API (Application Programming Interface).

Distributor selling on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc.

Basically, the MLM company has an API developed that interfaces with Amazon, Ebay, etc for the distributor. This allows the distributor to develop an online store on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc, drive and support the prospects and customers, but the sale interfaces through the company. Thereby the company controls the pricing, collects the money (connected to the distributor) and ships the product. All the collecting, shipping, tracking and commissions paid out is done by the company.

API: In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types.

Basically allows the company to remotely control pricing,

merchant collection, shipping and communication via the

distributors Ebay, Amazon, etc. account

More about Amazon API:
http://support.getdropstream.com/customer/portal/articles/1233046-configuring-amazon-marketplace-for-third-party-order-fulfillment-

More about Ebay API:
https://go.developer.ebay.com/what-ebay-api

7. Retail Sales Only Sites (Widgets and actuals)

Traditional MLM companies give a distributor a self-replicated web site that is upfront and focused on selling the Hopes and Dreams of the opportunity, the money, the comp plan, the hype and flash of it all, designed to recruit more distributors. This is death to a retail customer. Very few MLM companies even consider a dedicated self-replicated retail sales only site for their various products. I have yet to even hear of any companies making a simple widget that allows the distributor to have the retail site hosted via the widget on their own domains, much less the ability to add any customization to it. Below is one of the first and rare MLM retail sites I am aware of. It sells the coffee, the coffee benefits offers one off sale and free shipping with autoship.

More about widgets here:
http://alexmarandon.com/articles/web_widget_jquery/

8. Social Marketing Aps and systems

Marketers, merchants, etc. need a portfolio of tools, to get the message out, to build awareness, to build a sphere of influence and to build a customer and distributor centered loyalty program. Very few people, even entrepreneurs have all the skill sets to achieve this. However, automated marketing, email auto responders, social broadcasters, coop advertising, blogging platforms, materials and videos are necessary tools for the entrepreneur. When you do not supply these types of tools in a controlled environment, the message being broadcasted may not meet the criteria of the company nor abide by regulations.

There are solutions and Markethive is one of the best options. Markethive supplies all of these tools and more, integrated and easily configured and controlled within the communities vertical structures built for DSA companies like yours. It is called the company Directories and within a company portal in Markethive, your distributors will find all they need; Broadcasting platforms, self-replicating personalized PDF documents, Coop advertising systems, blogging platforms, email auto responders, everything needed for marketing, in one place.

9. Training and videos

I do not mean motivational speakers and cheer leading. I mean, real world training how to build the businesses. Daily classes offered by competent experienced teachers, so the distributors develop a strong understanding, expanding their customer territory and acquisition and operate like a real business.

Summary;

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch.

Not today.

It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework I have discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to srtand head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook Google, PayPal etc.

Written by:

Thomas Prendergast

CMO: Markethive

Original article here:

https://markethive.com/marketing/blog/the-customer-centric-model

Thomas Prendergast

Why a Multilingual Website

10 Reasons why you need a Multilingual Website

10 Reasons why you need a Multilingual Website

The internet continues to grow and has become the default point of call for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information.

For businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage, a multilingual website now presents one of the most high impact means of expanding a client base and securing greater sales volumes.

The multilingual website will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organizations as the process of internationalization unfolds.

1 Shift Away from English Internet Users

The internet began as an English speaker's invention and as a result was dominated by English speaking users and sites. However, times are changing. With the growing numbers of people buying PC's and internet access available from Nigeria to New Zealand, English speakers will soon be in the minority when it comes to internet use.

Results of research carried out by Nielsen-Netratings in March 2005 described foreign internet markets as "low hanging fruit," i.e. if you have the will and foresight there are massive revenues to be found for relatively little effort. The results showed that internet use in the traditional strong holds of the USA, Germany, the UK and Sweden is flat lining. On the other hand countries such as France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan are seeing substantial growth in internet usage.

As Kaizad Gotla, senior analyst at Nielsen-Netratings states, "The easiest opportunities are in countries where internet usage patterns and user/site relationships are less established. Acquiring users in markets that are currently in their growth stages will lead to a loyal user base that will pay dividends for internet companies in the future."

2 Cost Effective Marketing Tool

Having the ability to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language will undoubtedly yield results not only in a financial sense but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product.

A multilingual website in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.

3 New Customers

Ultimately what a multilingual website brings you are new customers. By having your site accessible to potentially thousands of people you are showcasing your company across the globe. For non-English speaking users looking for your product or service, you automatically capture their attention.

4 Sales

With every language added to a website there is the potential for an increase of between 100% in sales. Even if a multilingual website is translated into a few of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is potentially a 400% increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.

5 Customer-Centric

A multilingual website demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them to offer the website in their language. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.

6 Trust

For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.

7 Culturally Sensitive

A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a 'cultural comfort zone' due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.

8 Beat Competitors

To get the competitive advantage in today's environment you need to think outside the box. Many businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don't you? If they don't, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.

9 Shows International Nature

Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal internationally.

10 Search Engines

Search engines lead people to your site. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.

In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.

Conclusion

Business continually sees shifts and changes. At present the multilingual website is still in its early stages, with mostly large multinational companies using them to secure an international foothold. However, the trickle-down effect will naturally occur and the multilingual website will become part and parcel of an internet presence. Whether people chose to invest now or later is the only choice they have.

 

Thomas Prendergast

What Does Advertising-Supported Revenue Model Mean?


What Does The Future of  the Ad-Supported
Revenue Model Mean to the Internet and Technology?

An advertising-supported revenue model is a business approach that emphasizes the sale of advertising as a major source of revenue. This structure is most prominent in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as online media. Media businesses generally earn revenue from advertising, customer subscriptions or a combination of the two.

Traditional Media

TV and radio shows, along with newspapers and magazines, generally serve to entertain or inform viewers or readers. TV and radio have traditionally been largely advertising-supported. While networks and TV stations do often earn revenue through subscriptions to satellite or cable television, much of their income is earned from advertisers trying to appeal to viewers. Similarly, magazines and newspapers charge subscription or purchase fees, but advertisers pay to place ads within these print media.

E-Commerce

The emergence of the Internet in the mid-1990s has affected the advertising-supported revenue model. Newspapers, for instance, have tried to adjust to increased demand for online content and limited growth in print publications. Thousands of media websites have been born online, which often offer free access to content for users. This attracts users and enables the publishes to sell banner ads and advertorial ad spaces. Traditional newspapers have offered free content as well, but many are trying to figure out how to combine ad revenue with subscription fees as of 2013.

Benefits

The benefit of an advertising-supported revenue model is that if you have an audience, you can almost always find companies that want to pay to reach it. This is especially true when you can provide specific details about the nature of your audience. When you operate with a 100 percent ad-supported model, you can more easily attract users with free content. Newspapers have long given away hundreds of copies to businesses and organizations in communities to drive up their circulation and readership, and subsequently, ad revenue potential.

Drawbacks

The major drawback of an entirely ad-supported revenue model is the inherent lack of diversification. Businesses generally prefer multiple revenue streams when possible. In a down economy, advertisers might back off their investments, which can more negatively affect a medium that has no subscription revenue. Plus, print publications, and even some websites, have high costs. Even a small subscription rate can help cover some of these costs. Local newspapers charging, say, 35 cents per issue can't use that to cover all production costs, but the fees do help offset costs and allow revenue to build.

Facebook Reports Soaring Revenue, Buoyed by Mobile Ads

On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s social-networking company, Facebook, reported another quarter of soaring revenue. The company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago, to $5.84 billion, while profit increased to $1.56 billion, more than doubling from $701 million a year ago. For the full year, the company reported $3.69 billion in profit on $17.93 billion in revenue, an increase of 44 percent from 2014.

The numbers far surpassed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter expectations of $1.2 billion in profit on $5.37 billion in revenue. Investors welcomed the performance by pushing up Facebook’s stock more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.

The results were largely a result of Facebook’s enormous success in selling advertising on mobile devices, a business that the company was not even in just a few years ago. Mobile ads made up 80 percent of the company’s total ad business in the fourth quarter, compared with 23 percent in the same quarter of 2012.

“We have a Super Bowl on mobile in the U.S. every single day,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in an interview.

The results offer a bright spot in a tumultuous climate for many American technology stocks. Shares of Twitter, Facebook’s most visible social networking competitor in the United States, have tumbled more than 55 percent during the last year. Yelp, the local-review service, is down about 60 percent. LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, is off more than 15 percent.

Facebook is a much larger company than many of its peers, yet it is able to keep its growth rate high. The company has notched double-digit jumps in ad revenue and in the expansion of its user base. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago. About 1.44 billion of those people visit the site on a mobile device; 1.04 billion visit Facebook every day.

That growth engine has given Facebook lots of room to play in different areas — like virtual reality, messaging and even building drones capable of delivering Internet service to far-flung places around the world — that seem to have little to do with Facebook’s core business of advertising.

Facebook is spending billions of dollars developing those projects, and Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company has no plans to make money on them in the near term. In an earnings call with investors, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said the company projected that expenses would increase roughly 30 to 40 percent over the course of 2016 compared with last year.

One example of the spending is on Oculus, Facebook’s $2 billion bet on bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. The unit will begin selling its first headsets to consumers in March. Facebook has said it plans to sell the hardware, called the Rift, at a loss to help the technology catch on with a large audience.

“These are long-term bets, but we don’t think they’re particularly large bets relative to the size of Facebook,” said Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re not Google and going after health care, for instance.”

Other analysts said they also saw potential for profit in the hundreds of millions of people who regularly use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a messaging service also owned by Facebook.

They are also bullish on the potential for Instagram, the photo-sharing service that has more than 400 million regular monthly users, to become a significant source of revenue in the future. The company does not disclose what portion of revenue Instagram accounts for in Facebook’s overall sales. Ms. Sandberg said 98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertised on Instagram in the last quarter.

As for Mr. Zuckerberg, he spent a portion of the investor call on Wednesday talking about his new role as a father to his daughter, Max.

“With a new addition to my family, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that he wanted Facebook to “continue to focus on solving the fundamental challenges facing the world, and bringing the world closer together.”

Thomas Prendergast

Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 10 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.

 

 

Thomas Prendergast

The Inbound Marketing Methodology

The Inbound Marketing Methodology


Inbound marketing is all about getting found online by your audience. It's where they're looking for you. They've changed their shopping behavior, and we’re helping businesses adapt. Inbound focuses on attracting the right kind of prospects to your business and turning them into satisfied customers and brand loyalists.

What is Inbound Marketing?

It's how your audience is behaving online today.

They're not waiting for the message to be brought to them. They’re searching online for the content that helps solve a problem and make their buying process a much more informed one.

Inbound better positions your company to be the solution your ideal customers are looking for by developing an online presence that speaks to them and their specific interests and needs.

Why does it work?

The shopping behavior of your ideal consumer has changed significantly, and as a result, so have the methods for getting their attention.

Instead of relying on traditional methods of marketing that focus on pushing messages out to your audience — things like buying ads, buying email lists, sending direct mail — and hoping for a return, we focus on aligning your content strategy and overall campaign with your customer's interests in order to pull more relevant prospects toward your company.

Attract

We're not looking to simply attract website visitors, but rather attract the right kind of visitors that are valuable for business. For too long, the emphasis has been on traffic volume instead of the quality of the visitor. As consumers continually shift their attention online for research, most everyone has an online presence, including your competitors. You need something more.

Convert

Once you're driving more qualified visitors to your website, you'll want to convert these visitors into leads by collecting their contact information. To do this, you need to offer something of great value in exchange. Using your buyer personas as the foundation, crafting resourceful downloadable offers in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, videos, or checklists is the first step in optimizing your website for lead generation.

Close

Now that you're generating more qualified traffic and leads to your website, the focus now is on nurturing these leads with the right content at the right time in order to help close them into customers. By executing a personalized lead nurturing strategy, you'll successfully shorten the sales process due to the level of qualification and education your leads now have.

Delight

At its core, inbound marketing focuses on creating remarkable content for visitors, leads, and even your current customers. Once a lead becomes a customer, the process of achieving valuable brand equity is only just beginning. Continuing the positive experience with social monitoring, exclusive content, and further assistance helps to create brand loyalists, who in turn, deliver referral business.

Thomas Prendergast

We choose the nominee, not the voters: Senior GOP official

We choose the nominee, not the voters: Senior GOP official

Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees, a Republican convention rules member told CNBC, a day after GOP front-runner Donald Trump rolled up more big primary victories.

"The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That's the conflict here," Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.

Haugland is one of 112 Republican delegates who are not required to cast their support for any one candidate because their states and territories don't hold primaries or caucuses.

Even with Trump's huge projected delegate haul in four state primaries Tuesday, the odds are increasing the billionaire businessman may not ultimately get the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the GOP nomination before the convention.

This could lead to a brokered convention, in which unbound delegates, like Haugland, could play a significant swing role on the first ballot to choose a nominee.

Most delegates bound by their state's primary or caucus results are only committed on the first ballot. If subsequent ballots are needed, virtually all of the delegates can vote any way they want, said Gary Emineth, another unbound delegate from North Dakota.

"It could introduce Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, or it could be the other candidates that have already been in the race and are now out of the race [such as] Mike Huckabee [or] Rick Santorum. All those people could eventually become candidates on the floor," Emineth said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who decided not to run for the White House this year, said in a CNBC interview Tuesday he won't categorically rule out accepting the GOP nomination if a deadlocked convention were to turn to him. But on Wednesday, a Ryan spokeswoman said the speaker would not accept a Republican nomination for president at a divided convention.

 

Democrats experienced the last true brokered presidential convention to go beyond the first ballot in 1952. Republicans came close at their 1976 convention.

"The rules haven't kept up," Haugland said. "The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That's just the way it is. I can't help it. Don't hate me because I love the rules."

Haugland said he sent a letter to each campaign alerting them to a rule change he's proposing, which would allow any candidate who earns at least one delegate during the nominating process to submit his or her name to be nominated at this summer's convention.

If the GOP race continues at the same pace, Trump would likely have a plurality of delegates. So far, he's more than halfway to the 1,237 magic number.

Trump split Tuesday's winner-take-all primaries in Florida and Ohio.

The real estate mogul dominated in Florida over Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race after losing his home state.

But Trump lost Ohio to the state's governor, John Kasich. Trump also won Illinois and North Carolina. He held a slim lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Missouri early Wednesday.

Emineth, also a former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, told "Squawk Box" in the same interview that he's concerned about party officials pulling "some shenanigan."

"You have groups of people who are going to try to take over the rules committee," he warned. "[That] could totally change everything, and mess things up with the delegates. And people across the country will be very frustrated."

"It's important that the Republican National Committee has transparency on what they're doing [on the rules] going into the convention and what happens in the convention," he continued. That's because of "all the votes that have been cast in caucuses and primaries. Don't disenfranchise those voters. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to beat Hillary Clinton or whoever their [Democratic] nominee is in November."

Emineth said he's worried that frustration would discourage Americans in the general election from voting Republican.

CNBC's Lori Ann LaRocco contributed to this report.

Thomas Prendergast

Donald Trump just hit a critical threshold

Donald Trump just hit a critical threshold for the GOP nomination — one that his opponents might not achieve


March 12, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event
at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City, Mo. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

The Northern Marianas are a collection of 15 islands in the Pacific Ocean, located at about the focal point of the Pacific Rim. It's a U.S. territory, 179 square miles of land — an area smaller than New York City — that happens to jut out above the surface of the water. And on Tuesday morning, before you even woke up, it made Donald Trump the first man to qualify for the Republican presidential nomination.

See, in the Northern Marianas, Tuesday began 14 hours before it began on the East Coast. So its Super Threesday caucus was done overnight, and Trump won all nine delegates. In doing so, the Northern Marianas became the eighth state or territory in which Trump won a majority of the delegates. (The others: South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Hawaii and Mississippi.) And according to the rules of the Republican convention, a candidate must “demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.” No eight states, no nomination.

That's the fabled Rule 40, which governs how the nomination process works, down to the length of time allotted candidates who wish to speak about their nominations. The eight-state thing is in Section B of the rule, and it is a pretty high bar to meet. (The party’s rules count territories as states under Rule 1.) After all, it's not that Trump hasn't won at least eight states; he has. But only in eight (including the Marianas) does he have a majority of delegates. In the others he has won — New Hampshire, Nevada, Arkansas, Vermont, Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Michigan — he has a plurality of delegates. Not good enough.

Notice that we’ve taken 16 states and territories out of play already. There are several more that other candidates have won with a majority of the delegates — Texas (for Ted Cruz), Kansas (Cruz), Maine (Cruz), Puerto Rico (for Marco Rubio), Idaho (Cruz) and D.C. (Rubio) — and more still that other candidates won, but didn't capture most of the delegates. Those are Iowa, Alaska and Oklahoma for Cruz and Minnesota for Rubio. Cruz needs four more and Rubio six more. (Oh and John Kasich, eight more.) And not many states are left.

In theory, then, Trump could be the only candidate to hit the bar before the July convention.

Of course, once the convention arrives, that doesn’t really matter at all.

As former Republican National Committee counsel Ben Ginsberg noted during an appearance on MSNBC last week, Rule 40 is not a hard-and-fast rule for the convention. The convention will have a Rules Committee in which 112 representatives will battle over the final guidelines for eligibility to receive the nomination. Rule 40’s eight-state boundary could become 25 states or two states. In 2012, in fact, the Rules Committee bumped it up from five to eight, which is why that’s where it stands right now. (The rules document notes that it dates from the 2012 convention, with a few updates by the party.)


Aerial view of Saipan Island in the Northern Marianas. (Paul Chesley)

Think of it like an NFL game. As the clock runs out on the voting, we think we know the winner. But before a winner is announced, the referees get to discuss how the rules will be applied. Maybe they decide that what constitutes winning is “most yardage gained by passing” — but that one of the team’s quarterbacks is ineligible for consideration. It’s a ridiculous example, but it’s not entirely inaccurate: The Rules Committee could make the nomination rules into nearly anything it wishes.

That’s not terribly likely, of course, both because there’s value in maintaining the integrity of the process for candidates and because any perception that the scales are being tipped away from Donald Trump probably would result in a very angry group of Trump supporters. But the rules can and probably will change to some degree.

None of this is meant as a slight on the importance of the Northern Marianas, of course. But, then, they’re all asleep right now anyway.

 

Thomas Prendergast

China Warns, Japan Fears And George Soros Freaks Out As Donald Trump Continues End Times Rise To The Top


China Warns, Japan Fears And George Soros Freaks Out As Donald Trump Continues End Times Rise To The Top

On his very first day in office, president Donald Trump will send shockwaves around the world, not by doing anything, but just by being. From a prophecy perspective, this will immediately reset the table with every nation hostile to us, and with every nation that has gotten used to pushing around a second-rate America under the Obama reign of terror. For the first time since the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, there will exist the possibility that literally anything can happen. The entire global community is starting to realize that we are on the brink of huge, huge change.

In the last two weeks, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has won more delegates in primaries and caucuses, even while his opponents have launched new attacks and questions have been raised about his supporters.

“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” Daniel 2:21 (KJV)

My friends, we are indeed living in the end times, and a Donald Trump presidency will be just the ticket. I believe with all my heart that God is getting ready to shake the world and I further believe that He is going to use Donald J. Trump as president to bring it about. Never before, either in my lifetime or in recorded American history, have we witnessed such a strong reaction to a candidate for president of the United States. Never before have so many world leaders chimed in to give an opinion on our election process. Shoot, even NWO puppet master George Soros is running scared and the millions to ‘stop Trump’ have already begun to flow.

Fellow Christians will ask me “how can you vote for Trump?” And I say back to them “are you KIDDING me? If you know and believe Bible prophecy, how could you not vote for Trump?”

On his very first day in office, president Donald Trump will send shockwaves around the world, not by doing anything, but just by being there. From a prophecy perspective, this will immediately reset the table with every nation hostile to us, and with every nation that has gotten used to pushing around a second-rate America under the Obama reign of terror. For the first time since the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, there will exist the possibility that literally anything can happen. The entire global community is starting to realize that we are on the brink of huge, huge change.

Did you read the headlines just today? Take a look:

  • Donald Trump’s rise sparks alarm in Japan: As polls open for US primaries in Ohio and Florida, the political elite in Tokyo is starting to confront a disconcerting idea: that their indispensable US ally could actually elect Donald Trump as president. The controversial businessman, now favorite for the Republican nomination, hits Japan regularly in his stump speeches for supposedly unfair trade practices and freeriding on US military protection. “To start with they just thought ‘he’s funny’,” said Masatoshi Honda, a professor of politics at Kinjo University. “But recently they’re starting to worry — what happens if Trump wins?” source
  • Trump opens Pandora’s box in US: Donald Trump, front-runner to be the GOP’s candidate for the upcoming US presidential election, encountered a major protest at his campaign event in Chicago on Friday evening. Over a thousand people, both his supporters and opponents engaged in a physical confrontation, which was quelled by police who arrested a number of people
  • Soros, Alarmed by Trump, Pours Money into 2016 Race: George Soros has expressed alarm over the past few months at the candidacy of Donald Trump. In a statement last week about a new group he’s funding to increase voting by Latinos and immigrants in the election, he again mentioned the candidate by name. “The intense anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been fueled by the Republican primary is deeply offensive,” Soros said in the statement. “There should be consequences for the outrageous statements and proposals that we’ve regularly heard from Trump.”

  • Trump breaks 50% in national support for the first time: In the last two weeks, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has won more delegates in primaries and caucuses, even while his opponents have launched new attacks and questions have been raised about his supporters.  The week’s Economist/YouGov Poll finds Trump still at the top of GOP voters’ preference with a wider lead, while Florida Senator Marco Rubio seems most damaged by the two weeks of attacks and counter-attacks. This is the first time Trump has garnered the support of a majority of Republican primary voters nationwide. YouGov’s February 24-27 survey marked his previous high, at 44% support

As much as I dislike the failed Marxist policies of the Muslim-raised Barack Hussein Obama, I have always said on this website that I believe he became president so God could judge our nation. And He certainly has done that. Taxpayer funding for baby murder, forcing same-sex marriage on America, decimating the power of our military, and the list goes on and on. Now that the United States has been judged, I believe God is going to begin the process of shaking the entire world in preparation of the time of Jacob’s trouble. And America will be the ‘big stick’ He is going to use, with Trump as president.

These are the days of prophecy, there is no hiding place, nowhere to run to. Every night when I look up into the the eastern sky, I see in my mind’s eye the clouds parting, a shofar blaring, and a thunderous “come up hither!” reverberating across the ocean. If the time of Jacob’s trouble really is as close as it looks like it is, then that means that the Pretribulation Rapture, which naturally must come first, is closer still.

So Christian, when you vote, vote for the candidate that seems most likely to be used of God to advance the prophecy timeline. I want to see the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shake this world to its very core, and I want a front row seat when it happens. You students of Bible prophecy will take note that America does not appear anywhere among the named nations of the world. There is no “revival” coming, there is no “kingdom to claim for Jesus” as one of the candidates believe.

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 (KJV)

It is my contention that the God of the Holy Bible is getting ready to set the entire global community on its ear. Don’t waste your time with politics! Start getting busy going out into the streets, handing out gospel tracts, and preaching the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

Are YOU ready for what comes next?

originating article is here:
NOW THE END BEGINS


 

Thomas Prendergast

The Artist that came out of the Winter