112) Ramping Up

I have been telling you about my life here in this blog.

In December of 2007,  Nadine and I took the plunge and joined a home business network marketing opportunity.

This time we weren’t selling notions, lotions or pills, as we had with 2XtremePerformance a few years earlier.

We were offering health, wealth and happiness. In the industry, this was known as a “Top-Tier” opportunity, if nothing else but for its commission amounts – thousands of dollars.

I had made up my mind earlier, that all other things being equal, if we were to enter the direct sales arena, we might as well be earning large commissions, since selling pills and potions was just as hard and paid less.

In the previous post, you read about my increasing  appetite for risk. We extended ourselves financially, not based on a sales forecast, but instead  based on extreme confidence, a belief in myself, our business model and a confluence of market factors including a still strong U.S. economy, trending self-improvement and work at home movements, the evolution of business application software and the increasing use of video in training and online marketing.

Through video marketing, it was my belief,  we could reach folks on the internet in a way that connected with their emotions, not just their intellect.

We did produce videos at various times during the operation of our home businesses but that is not the subject of this post.

Sales Lead Machine

Even though our budget for pay-per-click was less relatively small, we could see that the way this strategy produced sales leads was magical.

Since our sponsor was not very responsive, we learned and setup pay-per-click on our own, basically and were driving an estimated 10-20 leads to our website each day. Some would watch the canned video on our duplicated landing page. A few would then pay $25 to apply for complete information about the business opportunity. From these we were able to sign up a half-dozen or so during February and March of 2008.

Pay-per-click is known as a very effective but potentially extremely expensive method of instantly generating targeted sales leads. But if you don’t pay attention to your budget, things can get out of control, rather quickly.

At the Dental Office

Most insidiously, putting your pay-per-click campaign – one that is churning out sales leads instantly for you – on a credit card, is a little like getting numb at the dentist. You are aware that things are going to be uncomfortable later, but at the time you don’t care.

And funding pay-per-click with our personal credit cards is what we were doing.

Please understand, that with a potential MINIMUM commission of $1,000 for each person we signed up coming in M1 and $3000 to $5000 for each person who came in at M2, our feeling was, at that time, our risk to put our pay-per-click campaign on credit, was somewhat justified. Besides, our sponsor was raking in about – and I saw his bank statement – $80K per MONTH!

So we sank every penny we had into Google’s Pay-Per-Click – and a some money we didn’t have.

Our credit card balance was $8,000 to $10,000 and growing by our preset limit of $50 per day, in pay-per-click. We were still okay.

In about March, our sponsor approached us with an idea for a joint-venture.

Next – The Stakes Get Higher

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