Thursday, December 13, 2007

"The Future of Networking In an Online World. Trends and Predictions for 2008 and Beyond...." by Mike Dillard

"The Future Of Networking In An Online World.
Trends And Predictions For 2008 And Beyond..."

Part I of Several.

It's hard to believe 2007 is almost over, but none-the-less, here we are facing another year in an increasingly crazy, chaotic world.

And chaos can be a funny thing... With it, comes both confusion and opportunity, depending on how you see the world.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but the industry has changed dramatically in the last year.

All you needed to build an organization in 2006 were a simple capture page and a Google PPC account. Oh how I miss those days...

Now there's YouTube, video email, social networking and book marking... All of which are entire specialities with their own tricks of the trade to learn.

So what's next for our little industry of networking in a world that's now changing by the year instead of the decade?

Well as 2007 comes to a close, I’ve spent a lot of time at my desk thinking about just that, and as my gift to you this Holiday season, I'd like to spend the next few days sharing my observations of 2007, and my predictions for 2008 with you, so that you may use them to improve your life and the lives of others in the year to come.

Observation #1: “Attraction Marketing Goes From
“Secret Weapon Status” To Main Stream In 2007”

The past five years have been extremely interesting for networkers thanks to the internet. Changes have come quickly, and been quite dramatic at times, but let there be no doubt… 2007 represented THE massive turning point for all of us, from which there is no return.

For better or worse, the internet has changed the very economics of network marketing, which has forced a shift in the way distributors pursue their business in all aspects, from advertising, to budgeting, to positioning, to relationship building, and monetization.

In many ways for a growing number of networkers, the goal has shifted away from building a “downline” to something entirely different, which I’ll share with you in a later chapter.

So let’s start with the obvious…

If you haven’t noticed, the old fashioned sales routine of cold calling leads, holding meetings, knocking on doors and trying to convince people to look at your opportunity is officially DEAD.

It’s been made obsolete in an all-knowing market that’s been wholly diagnosed with A.D.D.

The next generation of computers will probably have a Ritalin dispenser built right in the monitor just you so can remain functional as you’re bombarded with emails, pop-ups, and the latest Britney Spears YouTube video each day.

We’ve all read or at least heard of Faith Popcorn’s “cocooning” prediction made over a decade ago, which simply means that people don’t want to be bothered, and it’s more true today than ever before.

Company’s hang “No Soliciting” signs on their doors, prospect’s don’t answer unrecognized phone numbers, and heck… I don’t even accept personal voicemail anymore.

We’ve been forced to seek shelter from unwanted solicitations, and to become very quick at filtering the information we do allow into our lives into one of two categories…

  1. I still want this.
  2. I no longer want this.

Those of you who continue to pursue and hunt for new business by cold-calling leads, pushing your business, and using old fashioned, outdated, un-leveraged manual labor methods, are violating every trend. You're wasting huge amounts of time and money, annoying potential customers, and missing out on massive opportunities.

But there is a solution, and it’s no secret. I’ve been teaching it to networkers since 2005 in Magnetic Sponsoring, and you can simply sum it up like this…

Your prospects have an endless ocean of distractions and options to chose from which are only a click away. Everytime they get online, they’re bombarded with ads like these…


If you're going to effectively sell to the market today, you're going to have to find a way to get invited - not as an unwelcome pest, but as a welcomed guest.

You need to stand out in this vast see of distractions, and do one thing: Establish yourself and as a REAL, trusted valuable resource.

And who finds who first is very important when it comes to establishing that position between you and your prospect, and getting the open-door invitation.

When he finds and contacts you, you have all the power and value. The prospect pleads to give you his business, just as you have to pursue an appointment with the best doctor in town.

When you contact him first, he has all of the power and value. You plead with the prospect to give you his business.

This approach went from “secret weapon” status over the past few years, to main-stream in 2007 in a BIG way. An enormous amount of people are practicing Magnetic Sponsoring methods today, (as they should), because your individuality as a person is the only real way to cut through the enormous amount of clutter online, and establish trust.

There are 10,000 opportunities and 1,000,000’s of websites, but there’s only 1 of you.

With so many options to choose from, your prospects don’t know who to listen to, and they don’t know who to trust. They are frantically searching for someone to fill that void whom they can build a relationship with.

Be that person.

And take note: Those who chose to ignore this approach are going to find it very difficult to compete with, and advertise along-side those who do use it. The best place to start is by reading the Magnetic Sponsoring Course if you haven't already done so. You can pick up your copy now and get free US shipping for limited time here.

My Prediction For 2008:

As even more distributors begin to adopt this approach, it’s not going to be enough to simply put up a personal branding page and give away a free report of some kind.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, savvy distributors are going to need to do three things:

1: Raise The Quality And Uniqueness Of Your Information.

This will be necessary in order to stand out from the growing “me-to” crowd who’s simply re-teaching what they’ve learned about free lead generation and attraction marketing.

When the herd goes left, you need to find a way to go right. I don’t mean that you must do the opposite, just do something different.

Look for a unique angle. Look for a unique way to present yourself and your website in order to boost your results above your competitor’s.

You see Mike Filsaime and Ellie Drake trying to do this right now with their new reports that reveal the impact of the internet on the networking industry, creating what they call, “Networking 2.0”

And they’re right. For those of you who have been with us since the beginning of Magnetic Sponsoring, we “revealed” that information in 2005, and provided the most detailed (and still definitive), course on the subject in Traffic Formula almost two years ago.

Unfortunately “Networking 2.0” already happened 4-5 years ago when PPC, replicated sites, streaming-audio, flash presentations, and autoresponders went mainstream. Those things represented an industry shift over the previous 30+ years which relied on tapes, fax machines, and the phone. (Networking 1.0).

If we’re going to designate the evolution of the industry with a number, then we’re well on our way to 3.0 at this point thanks to social networking and what's now the equivalent of online television, which I’ll discuss in more detail in a later observation.

So welcome to the party guys. Fashionably late is better than never! ;)

So here’s the second way to stay ahead of the curve in 2008 and beyond…

2: Increase Traffic And Exposure In Order To Gain Traction And Acceptance In The Market Place.

Achieving high visibility and multiple exposures are seen as signs of social proof by the market place.

This is one of those genetic instincts tied to human attraction psychology discussed in Black Belt Recruiting, which you can tap into.

When you see one person eat a plant or food you don’t recognize, you know it is safe to eat as well. It’s an incredible time-saving, and even life-saving mechanism that allows people to take short-cuts and make quick decisions as we go about our lives, instead of having to stop and research every new item or circumstance we come into contact with.

As your prospects see you in more places and with increasing frequency, they will pay more attention to you and give you an opportunity to be their trusted solution provider because your “safety and value” is inherently demonstrated and proven by the fact that you’ve already been accepted by others.

The number of ways you can increase your exposure online today is almost infinite. In fact, they’re so numerous, they’ve created an entirely new problem you and I will have to deal with, but we'll get to that in a future observation.

Obviously I’m talking about social networking and video platforms such as MySpace, FaceBook and YoutTube which have given any Average Joe the ability to broadcast a message and reach hundreds of millions of people around the world at NO COST.

Dane Cook built his entire multi-million dollar career, and became the hottest comic of 2007 using little more than his MySpace page.

The individuals who take advantage of these massive new traffic sources can quickly and easily increase their exposure to a level that places them in consciousness of the average person within their target market, enabling them to rise above the noise within the rest of their market place.

But getting the traffic is one thing. In order to keep the attention of your traffic and capture it within your marketing funnel, you’ll need to…

3: Become A Master Story-Teller.

As Rich Schefren, Perry Marshall, and many others have pointed out, we’re in the “Attention Age” where the attention of your prospects is the most prized resource in the world, because it's so hard to capture.

And you have one goal… To get and keep the attention of your prospects and customers, causing them to pursue you, instead of you hunting them down.

So imagine that your average prospect is sitting in front of their computer. They’ve had three Red Bulls and their morning dose of Star Bucks… Venti-sized of course.

Every 20 seconds, a new email signals its arrival in Outlook with the ceremonial “ding”, which is immediately followed by an instant message from Uncle Bob warning them about a new computer virus – moving their focus away from your message, towards these never-ending distractions.

As a marketer, you need to get grab their attention and get them to listen for just a moment, despite these distractions, before they send your latest email to its demise.

How?

Simple.

You do it the same way every parent gets their two-year-old carpet shark to sit still for a minute…

You get them involved in an interesting and entertaining story.

Yes, you’ll be able to get by if you’re just providing great information, but if you want to explode your results in tomorrow’s market, you’ll need to combine that information with personality and a story that’s at least mildly captivating.

Again, the key word here is "involved".

This isn’t a “new” strategy. It’s been used by marketers and salesmen since the beginning of time, but it’s definitely increased in importance in a world that’s been diagnosed with A.D.D.

Are your emails simple, one-time communications? If so, how can you find a way to turn them into a multi-part story?

If all things are equal... The opportunity, the product, or the quality of information, then he who is the most interesting will win.

Thank you for your leadership, and stay tuned for Part II.

Mike Dillard

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