Larry Brauner

Did Orovo Make a Major Blunder?
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This is not so much a blog post about Orovo.

It’s a post about one man’s lack of personal and business integrity and how it is impacting a large number of people.

I have no strong opinions about Orovo products one way or the other. It seems to me that Orovo products have gained a lot of popularity, and based on that observation I can easily believe that Orovo’s products are effective.

It is not at all the purpose of this article to raise any questions or doubts about the Orovo product line or to imply in any way that Orovo is a scam or rip-off. I will however expose a recent decision that Orovo supposedly made which, if true, could jeopardize Orovo’s entire business.

Money Making Schemes

In a recent post I discussed how Radio Stations Tout Money Making Schemes. Hard times have forced mass media to carry advertising that was once taboo.

On July 10, 2008 in ASD Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator I exposed a popular money making scheme that has since received some much publicized and unwanted attention from the Office of the U.S. Attorney General.

 Bill Arnold

This time my focus is on one of the people behind money making schemes. I turn my attention to Bill Arnold of Network Success Builders, the man whose unscrupulous business tactics and lack of personal integrity may in time cause tremendous damage to Orovo and to Orovo’s distributors.

The Anatomy of a Scam

It sounded too good to be true.

I met Bill Arnold a while back through Direct Matches, the online social networking site. Since springtime Bill on his Network Success Builders conference calls has promised listeners the moon.

To qualify for Bill’s money making dream a new recruit was required to join Vitamark through Network Success Builders, place a 100 point initial product order, and continue to place 100 point product orders every four weeks.

In essence here is what Bill Arnold promised Network Success Builders members:

  1. A team of top InterNetwork marketers who — once Bill “flicked the switch” — would supposedly build down in Vitamark under Network Success Builders members generating massive amounts of what is commonly known as “spillover” for Network Success Builders members. The plan was to “feather the nest” with as many new recruits as possible before Bill flicked the switch.
  2. Bill had supposedly made a deal with Internet Marketing Gorillas, LLC, the inventor of the AUMMB lead generation technology, whereby Internet Marketing Gorillas would place several dozen people into Vitamark under Network Success Builders members thereby creating even more spillover. Internet Marketing Gorillas would generate free leads for all Network Success Builders members in exchange for the spillover that they too would receive as part of the money making scheme.
  3. Bill had supposedly made another deal with Peter Minglis of PM Marketing / Network Leads to supply free leads and a free contact manager to Network Success Builders members in exchange for spillover they too would receive as part of the scheme.
  4. Network Success Builders members were to receive free marketing training and free custom search-engine friendly websites — co-branded Vitamark and Network Success Builders — as part of their membership package.

If Bill had followed through on his promises, there would be scores of happy people, and I wouldn’t be writing about his callousness and about Orovo’s possible oversight. I fully believe that he had intended at the outset deliver with Vitamark, but several obstacles got in his way.

  1. Bill over promised. People who lack personal integrity tend to do that.
  2. Bill got very sick. That was sad, poor luck and poor timing. It set him back, and made it harder to deliver on his inflated promises.
  3. Bill has control problems that prevented him from accepting help from people who would have pitched in and helped.
  4. Bill’s delay, control issues, and lack of open communication alienated people whose support was essential for the project’s success.
  5. Peter Minglis’ leads turned out to be really bad just as they have pretty much always been. I had very bad experiences with Peter’s brother and with PM Marketing about five years ago which left me without any desire to give them business ever again. In recent years Peter has lent support to the Distributors Rights Association. Kudos to Peter, but I still wouldn’t give PM Marketing my business.
  6. Bill’s training is mediocre. It’s kind of like buying a defective CD, and only the first track plays. It keeps replaying over and over. I wonder what will happen once Orovo realizes this, since they’re swinging their whole organization under Bill Arnold in order to get his training.

New Round of Promises

Bill announced that he’s quitting Vitamark. Here’s what he had to say:

Vitamark has excellent management and great products. The fact is that I was in the single best position to reap the benefits of that program. I have nothing bad to say about Vitamark.

However, I am cancelling my Vitamark position. This means I am walking away from a serious income that is already generated. True revenue that was being paid out each month…. Surprised? Me Too!

The reason is simple is that Bob Gatchel and myself have been offered an opportunity that makes the Vitamark one seem anemic. ANYONE WHO JOINS ME WILL FIND THAT THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO A SIX FIGURE INCOME! The Company is OROVO!

How can I be so sure, Bob Gatchel and [I] have struck a deal with the President of Orovo. In exchange for our training programs they will put in several hundred people beneath us each and every month. They will also move over existing downline and teams. For those who sign up now, by next month you will be in a positive cash flow and on your way to very serious income very quickly. OROVO has no sign up fee, just the cost of buying the monthly auto-ship.

Too good to be true?

OrovoI don’t know what will happen when Orovo discovers that Bill Arnold is a buffoon and unable to deliver the training he promised. I can’t imagine that it will be very pretty.

I also don’t know what will happen if and when Bill quits Orovo and herds people over to his next program.

Incidentally, Bill’s Vitamark exit strategy includes taking his downline’s downline with him, not just the people he personally sponsored. This form of cross recruiting is totally unethical.

When I confronted Bill on this subject, he replied:

The fact is that I sent the email to everyone in my downline with Vitamark.

Everyone on my team deserved an equal to know that I had made a material shift and why.

I am not trying to leverage anyone to anything, But offer everyone an opportunity that is a phenomenal way to quickly earn a significant income.

Pure rationalization!

Lack of personal and business integrity is a major problem in our society.

We must work on our own integrity and that of out children. We must also seek out leaders, Go-Givers and people of noble character.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions in this article are my own based on my knowledge and experience at the time of writing. They are not to be construed as fact nor taken as business advice.

You may append your views and opinions by posting a comment to this article. Please represent them as opinion rather than fact. As blog publisher I reserve the right to edit or reject any comment for any reason but assure you that I do not do so capriciously.

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Larry Brauner

Mainstream radio stations such as WCBS Radio 880 and WQXR, the radio station of the New York Times, now air spots for money making schemes. I have heard them myself while driving down to my office.

This is a fairly new phenomenon.

Home businesses and money making schemes are very much more prevalent today than when I joined Excel Communications as a representative back in March 1997.

Why do I think?

For sure there is wider access to information today through the Internet than there was a decade ago.

There is also increased economic pressure due to offshoring, mergers, acquisitions and downsizing. More and more people turn to the Internet, often out of desperation, hoping to solve their financial problems.

I am bombarded by phone and mail solicitations for anything from illegal chain letters to gifting programs to legitimate direct sales opportunities.

This is not at all new.

What is new is that so-called “mainstream” media are looking to make a quick buck or two carrying some very questionable advertising.

I recall a time when these media wouldn’t accept ads from home businesses, even legitimate ones. They were unwilling to expose themselves to complaints and criticism.

Times however have changed. A decline in ad revenue has apparently led radio stations and other mass media to relax their standards and accept almost anything, even possible scams and rip-offs.

Here’s my advice to you:

  • Don’t believe any money making ads you hear on the radio.
  • Throw away the home biz junk mail you receive in your mail box.
  • Delete all spam from your e-mail or online social networking inboxes.

Don’t get ripped off. Only accept business advice from people you know, like and trust.

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Larry BraunerWhen Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini started their work on the Ning social network back in 2004, online social networking was still pretty much a teen thing. True there were marketers like yours truly making a home on Ryze and other business networking sites, but we were the exception rather than the rule.

Ning once completed would allow people to create and manage their own miniature MySpace-like social networking sites.

Ning’s founders probably envisioned a platform on which families and circles of friends would stay in close contact through their very own private social networking site. However, since launching 18 months ago, Ning has found its way into the business world as well as many other sectors of society.

You can start your own plain vanilla Ning social network for free, or for a fee you can exercise greater control over your site and add lots of bells and whistles.

Examples of Ning Social Networking Sites

In Web lifeline for the troops, the Naperville Sun writes that two local men, Ed Domain and Josh Lowe, launched Troop Space, a Ning-based networking site for the brave men and women of the United States Military. Troop Space “is geared toward US troops, their families and anyone who wants to become more personally connected to the military”.

Jim at medXcentral started his Ning community to network “the medical and health care universe” and to “stimulate great achievements and forward motion towards resolving many issues faced by the medical industry today”.

Diane Hochman built the online headquarters for My Private Classroom on the Ning foundation. I joined My Private Classroom several months ago to learn more about social media and to introduce free and low-cost marketing methods to network and direct marketers.

You can now participate in Diane’s social marketing training program for free. Read My Private Classroom Opens to Public for details.

I created the Ning social network Critical Thinking Outside the Box as a companion to this blog, and you are welcome to join me there.

What I Like About Ning Sites

From a user’s point of view here are some of my favorite Ning features:

  1. When you make a friend at one Ning site and you each belong to another Ning site, you’re connected at the other site too.
  2. You can browse friends and friends-of-friends and so forth to see what other Ning networks people belong to. In this way you can discover new and relevant places to network. While many Ning sites are private, there seem to be just as many sites that are open to the public. You can also browse Ning’s list of popular social networks.
  3. You can broadcast a message to all of your friends at any given Ning site. Be careful not to abuse this privelege. Spamming is not effective, and network administrators will typically not tolerate it. This broadcasting feature has allowed me to attract readers to my blog and gain new subscribers.
  4. In some Ning social networks you can also broadcast messages to fellow members of groups you join. This feature encourages spam and is therefore disabled on many Ning sites.
  5. You can customize your page’s theme and embed videos and widgets just as you might on MySpace and many other social networking sites.
  6. Much of your profile content can be taken from an existing site and easily reused when joining a new site.

And What I Don’t Like

Here are some of my least favorite Ning features:

  1. Most Ning sites have very small memberships that are just a little too cozy for marketers like me building their lists.
  2. A very high percentage of profiles are abandoned, so you can end up with lots of unaccepted friend requests. At some point you may need to delete some friend requests in order to remain eligible to make new requests.
  3. Very many Ning sites are not much more than recruiting pipelines and sales funnels for the sites’ owners. I find this aspect of Ning annoying, but I tolerate it. For this reason I’m slow to invite friends and business connections to join me on new Ning sites. I want to wait and see if the site is a safe enough place to bring them.

Show and Tell Opportuinity

You can find some of the many social networking sites to which I belong featured on my blog’s sidebar.

Do you have favorite Ning social networking sites? Have you started your own Ning social network? Do you have an interesting story to tell?

Feel free to comment and share with us.

Keep in mind that I’m responsible for the quality of my blog and legally responsible for its content. I therefore reserve the right to edit any comment as I see fit.

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Larry BraunerNearly every day I hear from people who want to know how to start a blog or how to have a more successful blog.

I admit that I’m still learning myself, but I’ve made great progress in the nine months since I started blogging.

This past month alone my Online Social Networking blog received 5,202 visits including 1,993 visits from search engines.

My Google PageRank is up to 3, and my Alexa traffic rank is 181,032. These stats put my blog in the top 1% of all websites.

What are the critical success factors contributing to my rapid progress?

My Personal Blog Philosophy

There are ten success strategies that shape my blog philosophy.

  1. Blogging Mindset - Writing and publishing a successful blog is a major project that requires very big commitment. Blogging requires that you move forward at all times. So often people start blogging and give up. They didn’t have the blogging mindset, and they weren’t willing to do what successful bloggers do.
  2. Research and Planning - Before I wrote one word on my blog, before I decided what to call my blog, before I purchased a domain name for my blog, I did plenty of research. Where should my blog be hosted? What platform should it run on? What will I write about, and which keywords will I optimize for? These questions and more were addressed up front and their answers formed my initial plan of action.
  3. Bias for Action - Getting started and keeping your momentum going is essential if you want to have a successful blog. While adequate preparation is important, a time comes when you must “draw a line in the sand”, stop preparing and begin writing. Your ongoing research and writing need to become routine. Don’t worry if your articles aren’t perfect. You can edit your posts after publishing them, and it could even help with the search engines to do so.
  4. Experimentation and Tracking - Every blogging enterprise is different, and you’ll need to find the mix of strategies and tactics that are right for your blog. If you install Google Analytics, you’ll be able to track your blog’s traffic. You’ll know what is working and what’s not. Materminding with friends and mentors is another way to gain valuable insights.
  5. Correction as Needed - When you discover something that’s not working, you’ll look to refine it or replace it. Ongoing tracking will provide you with the feedback you need to make the necessary correction in your direction to stay on course.
  6. High Quality Content - Quality content to me means writing with both the reader and the search engines in mind. It means writing well, revising the text many times, proofreading, etc. It also means choosing topics that will make readers want to return to your blog. Please don’t write long run-on paragraphs. Make it easy for your reader to go through your article on the screen without having to print it out… Because they won’t. And one more thing, until you have tons of visitors reading your blog every day, don’t even consider cluttering it up with cheesy ads.
  7. Online Social Networking - The best way to find readers and subscribers for your blog is at social networking sites. For this purpose you can use most business networking sites or networking sites that cater to bloggers such as Entrecard and MyBlogLog. I happen to prefer Twitter and the Ning family of social networking sites. Carefully inviting site members to visit your blog is a nice way to reach out to them — not at all spammy. Make it easy for your readers to subscribe. My readers have two ways to opt in RSS Feed and autoresponder.
  8. Search Engine Optimization - Treat every blog post as a website that will one day stand on its own, because it will. It will eventually works it’s way down and off your blog’s cover page. Use keyword research to find the best words and phrases to use in your articles. Make sure that your main search terms are neither too general nor too competitive to earn you good placement in the search engines. Don’t limit yourself to using only your primary keywords in your text. Using all relevant search terms, even the ones that are hard to compete for, will turn you article into a search engine magnet.
  9. Social Bookmarking - Using social media sites such as Digg and del.icio.us to anchor and promote your blog posts is very important. Social Marker will help you find more bookmarking sites and facilitate the bookmarking process. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of service of each of the social media sites you use, so that you don’t get banned. Bookmark articles using their individual URL, not your blog’s URL, since each article is its own website, not just a part of the blog.
  10. Patience and Time - Over time your traffic will increase, so will your credibility, and you’ll gain subscribers. Don’t expect much before three months, and give yourself a full year to become a blogging superstar.

For more articles on blogging, blog marketing and SEO see Blog Marketing and SEO Training.

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Larry Brauner

The Case for Social Media Marketing

It is becoming increasingly more difficult and more expensive to reach potential customers using mass media. That’s one reason why so many marketers are turning to Web 2.0 social media marketing.

Not only do marketers want to reduce their advertising expense, they also want to connect more directly with people and learn how to better serve their target market.

Social media marketing is especially attractive to small business owners operating on modest budgets, since most social networking sites and other social media sites are generally free to use.

Steep Learning Curve

They read a story such as Beyond Blogs in the June 2nd issue of Business Week, and they rush off to embrace Web 2.0 social media unprepared for the steep learning curve that lies ahead.

The social media landscape is uncharted and sprawling. Social media sites are vying for your attention, and searching the Internet for advice turns up sharply conflicting recommendations.

Need for Mentor

Clearly you need a mentor, somebody smart and knowledgeable with especially strong communication skills. You should find somebody with whom you feel comfortable, because you’ll definitely be getting to know each other. Picking a mentor is difficult.

Effective Communication #1 Challenge

Once you find your mentor mastering essential social media marketing skills will be difficult. To get fully up to speed might take a year or even longer.

That is the bad news.

In my opinion, the hardest part of social media marketing training is learning effective communication, i.e., to write, speak, listen and persuade well and in a professional manner.

There are certainly plenty of technical challenges to overcome, but by far communication is the chief obstacle new social media marketers face. If you happen to have the right mix of communication skills, you’re way ahead of most newcomers.

Your mentor can teach you personal and business branding, online social networking, blogging, video marketingsocial bookmarking, SEO and other important skills. He or she can also critique your communication style, but it will be you who will connect directly with your target market and build vital business relationships.

Get Started Now and Learn as You Go

Now the good news.

You don’t have to master every skill, dot every “i” and cross every “t” before getting started.

Find a good mentor to guide you, jump in and get your feet wet. Learn by doing.

As Mike Litman always says: “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.”

Your results will serve as feedback to help you to make the necessary corrections along the way… and that is good news.

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