Online advertising etiquette- are there rules?

When you have a home business, there is a lot of competition. Everyday more and more business opportunities pop up. More and more people are becoming their own boss. And there are more and more ads on the Internet everyday.

Yesterday, my daughter & I attended the Future Millionaires of CNY class that the girl Scout Council had held. I was planning sharing on that subject, but something else has been bugging me so I want to address that issue first, and will post some cool stuff from that class later.

Before going to the class I had run my ads on a few forums I belong to. One of them has tons of work at home groups. I belong to about 25 or so on that forum, and I've seen more. Anyway, I got done running my ads yesterday morning around noon. Usually I get done with email, ads, and other online stuff by 10 a.m., but with the hour time change & pure procrastination, it was later.

We got home from the class around 3:30 or so. Did a few things around here,yadda, yadda. Around 5:00 or so, I started checking my email accounts. I had TONS of email between the biz, social networking, etc...Finally, I felt I had it pretty well under control, so I started running my ads. I get to like my 2nd group, and there's an ad titled something like Don't overpost each other. Half the time I'm in a rush and don't read the other ads. I mean, I already have a business I'm happy with, so why would I read the ads. But now & then I do a quick scan of the titles. For some reason, I scanned the titles, and thought it looked interesting. I opened the ad and imagine my surprise when I read what the poster had to say.

It was, believe it or not, another AmeriPlan broker. She was pretty much addressing the issue of two AmeriPlan broker's who keep overposting each other. She stated that it is not good team work, and that is not what the Freedom at Home Team stands for. She felt that this shows moms looking to work from home that our team has no unity and that we are just competing against each other.

And the Freedom at Home Team does work together. We have leaders (I am one of them) who conduct training calls that are attended by TONS of people who are not even on the trainers team! The info we provide can help other people prosper and we don't make a dime off the lions share of these people.

This post was like a knife in my heart, because I know I am one of the two brokers mentioned. I felt this person was saying that this other broker and I lurk on this forum just waiting for the other to post an ad so we can rush in and repost, thus being back on top. And it has bugged me since I read that. Because I try so hard to help others, but I am in business just doing my job.

I always try to give others a helping hand, whether they are with my company or some other company. I wouldn't have started a work at home website if I didn't want to help others. Any home business owner can advertise there on the forums and I even have a "featured members" page for anyone that wants to be featured for a month. I have given leads for FREE to AmeriPlan brokers that weren't even on my team!

Anyway, the poster went on to say that she will not post there anymore to avoid confusion. That moms don't like it when you just post an ad and give no real value. That they want to be able to trust you and build a friendship, and just posting ads doesn't do that (how do they know about me if they don't read my ad?) . She asked that next time a person posts an ad (no matter what company you are with) make sure that another rep from the same company has not posted there.

I am confused- that is what the group is for. Advertising! And frankly, I was posting there BEFORE this person and the other broker who posts frequently. So, should they have not put an ad there? Or do we set a time when each person can post?

I responded with this:

I am with AmeriPlan and have been for 2 years- with the Freedom at Home Team also. We do work together as much as possible, but we are responsible for our own business, and getting our own leads.

BUT, my feeling is, some people post once a day or once a week and feel they will be noticed and get loads of responses.

If someone doesn't want to take the time to repost often, then sorry you get stuck at the bottom.

I am not going to "not post" because someone posted an hour ago or even a day ago, whatever. Occasionally, if I have the time, I may go through all my ads and post and go back & do it again- that is typically an hour or so in between. By the same standard, some days I can't post at all.

I would be more worried about people that post the same ad 3 times in a row in every group. Everyone forgets to delete one now & then, but c'mon. 3 and 4 in a row!

If you only want one rep from each company, let me know! I will graciously bow out!

It is not my intention to step on anyones toes. I rarely even look at the other ads. I just post mine & move on.

I have also told new AmeriPlan reps on the site (some not even on my team) that I have met (and those I have enrolled onto my team) that if they want to advertise on any groups, let me know and I will back off on advertising. No one has said a word until now!

In fact, I'm surprised how little A.P. brokers take advantage of online advertising. Many social networks I'm with have none but me!

Anyway, enough said....

Now what I want everyone to understand is, this other broker & I do both advertise on this site. When I noticed this ad , I started paying attention when I was posting. This other broker (who is accused of overposting) was on a lot of the same groups I was. I was posting 2 hours after she did yesterday. Sometimes I don't even see a post from her it has been so many hours. I am usually done with my last posting of ads around 10 p.m. ( sometimes 11:00 depending on life) So, from 10 p.m.- 8 (or 9:00,10:00 depending on life) I'm not posting. Most days, I don't post again until I'm making dinner ( 5:00,6:00,7:00 p.m. depending on life).

So I certainly don't sit here all,day, checking my ads and posting,posting,posting. If I did that, I wouldn't have a biz ! You do have to return calls to people, too! And anyone that reads this knows I spend a good part of my life sitting in doctors, dentists and chiropractor offices - in fact my daughter is sick today. Guess where I'll be from around 2:30-4:30 or so? At the doctors, then on to the grocery store. Being that I have calls to return this morning, as well as my website to update I probably won't get to repost until around 5-6:00.

My question to those who work at home and may be familiar with posting ads, what is the etiquette for posting ads? The last thing I want to do is give people the impression that I am not a team player and that the Freedom at Home Team is anything but supportive of each other.

But my job is to enroll people into benefits plans & recruit others to work from home doing the same. That means advertising. With the number of people who give up on their dreams & quit their business, how do I know that a person that advertised a day or two ago on that site is even still with the company? I had a new broker from this very site that started, advertised for about a day, and quit!

So, my friends, tell me how you feel. Should you wait a certain amount of time to post if someone else from your company has already advertised there? Should you NEVER advertise there if there is an ad from someone else?

I really want to know- I do feel bad that a broker has that opinion of me (and the other accused broker)


reener said...

Honestly, I think it's who you are. What type of person you are and how badly you want business. If you're a wahm, you NEED to promote yourself and aggressively!! You don't have the major corporate backing. I'm on Bonanzle, iOffer before that. They don't advertise their sites like Ebay does. So it's left to sellers and hopefully, buyers. And you post and post and post til you feel satisfied that you've posted enough for the day! Advertising is hard work. Working for yourself is harder! As long as your not scammer, spamming or doing anything illegal, then I don't see what the problem is. For the woman who posted that comment, if the heats too hot, get out of the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Self promotion is NOT a bad thing! I post on craigslist, and many other people with MyWorldPlus do as well. In fact, most of us are on the same team and we encourage each other to use craigslist! Having multiple people posting in one place does two things: 1. lends credibility to the program if it's not well known and 2. increasees the chance that at least one of the ads will be seen -- we are in this to build businesses, but that only really happens when EVERYONE is successful, so if someone notices another person's ad and signs up with them, we all really benefit in the end.

Yes, there are etiquette rules people should follow, but they're no different than the etiquette rules for any other things in life.

And since I started this off by encouraging self promotion, I'd appreciate your feedback about my site:)

Have a good one!