From: Ken Calhoun, President
Dear Trading Industry Colleague,
Thanks for considering working together with me to potentially cross-promote our trading products and services to each others' traders. I'm looking forward to making a successful effort with you to help our traders and build our businesses. I update this page regularly, based on recent working relationship efforts I've made with various people, to help make for a productive, mutually beneficial working relationship.
It's been developed as a FAQ/"lessons learned" (and countermeasures/corrective actions) response to both leveraging the successful experiences I've had, as well as learning from and preventing issues that have arisen in other working relationship efforts.
As you may know, I'm very cautious and selective about with whom I work, since there's few trustworthy, credible people in the trading industry. So I like to establish some guidelines and ground rules that can help us both work together successfully. Feel free to discuss these candidly with me during any phone call (or via email) that we have, as we forge a working relationship.
The purpose of this open letter to potential jv partners is to candidly communicate my expectations and values about how I like to work with people. It's also intended to discourage/disqualify people who are either are not a good fit for working with me and my rather unique character. I'd like to clear the air ahead of time. If after reading this (I'll have sent you here after an initial email/phone chat with you), you decide I'm not the kind of person you'd like to work with, that's fine with me, and no hard feelings. Just let me know now.
MISSION: To partner with carefully-selected people in the trading industry whom I can trust to genuinely help traders learn how to trade more effectively, who are ethical and follow through on promises and commitments.
PRINCIPLES: It's absolutely important to upfront, honest and sincere in working with each other. As I've found the hard way (by testing), there are people in the trading industry who will promise things they don't deliver on. Or they have hidden problems or other issues that preclude them from being professional, trustworthy people to work with.
VALUES: As a genuine trader, authenticity is important to me. As a business owner and successful internet marketing professional, creating successful, fast-growing joint venture strategic business relationships that last for many years and earn astonishing fortunes in high sales is also key to business growth. Most importantly, I demand transparency, honesty, and crystal-clear upfront communications (with specifics regarding expectations, timing of events/email blasts, and other parameters), and being candid with each other in everything we do.
I'm all about risk management. As a trader, I've learned the hard way that managing one's risk, ones' downside, is the most important thing to "get right"....and the same is true in business. In working with me, I will look for red flags as well as "green signals", things that will help me gauge whether to build and grow our working relationship, or scale back.... as long as you're honest and do what you say you will, we should get along together just fine.
Regulatory Compliance: Your sites and way of doing business must be 110% FTC/SEC/NFA/CFTC compliant. No promises of profitability can be made by you in your emails nor sites, per SEC/FTC regulations. While I will have reviewed your emails and site prior to working with you for a cursory compliance check, it is your responsibility to ensure everything you do is fully in compliance, and you hereby agree that you will maintain full regulatory compliance if you are to work with me.
In my prior consulting career, I earned the trust of hundreds of executives in Fortune 500 companies by being a straight-shooter, and this is important to me.
In the trading industry, I've earned the trust and respect of thousands of traders, and many industry colleagues. I hope to earn your trust as well, and that you can earn mine — "actions speak louder than words" is a great saying.
MY BUSINESS MODEL FOR NEW JV PARTNERS:
Please note that I prefer to create long-term working relationships. So I am not interested in immediately just sending out emails to promote you or doing one-shot webinar promotional webinars, like the low-credibility internet marketer-traders do.
Instead, my approach is to work with potential jv partners in this very specific manner, which I follow:
a) For certain jv partners (eg those who are well known), I would like to start by doing a brief 30-minute recorded one-on-one interview with you, that I
can have your permission to make available free to my lists on my various trading sites for years to come. I do this to introduce traders to you, and to provide them with value-added content. These are not to be solely self-promotional; the main idea is to provide 80% content, with no more than 20% pitch (at the end, only), to introduce you to my traders.
These will include an affiliate link at the bottom of the interview page, which gives me a mutually-agreed upon commission for promoting your products to my traders. Please provide me with whatever affiliate link you'd like me to use. To verify sales, I also add an exclusive bonus that I create, that traders email me with their order number for from you, to get their bonus. This helps me make sure I get credited for all sales, eg "you get this exclusive downloadable audio from Ken, just forward your order email that you used from this affiliate link, to get your bonus". I do this because some people don't properly credit affiliates, so I add this extra bonus as an additional way to track sales.
You can also mention your products/services at the end of the interview. I put these on a specific landing page, with an affiliate link to your site that's at the bottom (see this page for an interview example). I create very professionally-produced interviews and landing pages like this that help give traders good content, plus an affiliate promo for your products/services at the end of the interview.
Before our interview, please send me:
a) a brief biography/introduction you'd like me to use (2-4 sentences)
b) a photo of you that I can add to the landing page where our interview will appear
c) my affiliate link code (or directions on how to get one) that I can use to monetize traffic that clicks through from our interview
d) 3-4 questions you'd like me to ask you during the interview (not about your company, these should be trading-related questions); see the examples below, to see the types of questions I typically like to ask traders.
Types of interview questions I ask (these will vary):
Q: Tell our traders a little about yourself — what's your
background (only make this 60 seconds or so for your answer)
Q: How do you teach your traders to manage entry signals, is there a favorite setup that you use? What's a technical pattern that you like as a favorite setup that you show traders how to trade?
Q: What's your approach to managing risk? How do you teach traders to set stops, and what's an example of a typical risk:reward ratio you'd use in trading?
Q: Many traders deal with discipline issues, taking too many wide stops and not keeping to a defined trading plan. What advice would you give traders when it comes to managing discipline more professionally in their trades?
At the end of the interview, we can ask some brief questions about your company's products or services, such as:
Q: That sounds great, can you tell our traders how they can continue their education by working with you? What do you have available for traders that would like to learn more?
The interview should be 80% content for traders, some genuinely useful information, with no more than 20% 'pitch', at the end, so that they learn at least 1 or 2 practical trading tips that can help them. These are not to be just self-promotional in nature, or sound like an advertisement for your company (I won't publish those); so make sure you deliver solid value and content - thanks! I want these to be a win-win for everyone, especially our traders — so please share specific, useful content for them.
Do not work pitches/promos into the main body of the interview, these are not advertisements, they're value-added interviews.
Q: Tell me about how you manage risk - what's your approach?
Wrong Answer: "At
XCX3 Trading, our chatroom moderators are always helping traders keep risk small. In our XCX Super Course, we have a whole module on risk management, that they can learn about when they get the course". (this is unprofessional and self-serving, and interviews with answers like this will not be published).
Right type of Answer: "We like to use no more than a 1-point stop loss for our trades, in fact one strategy I like to use is to set the initial stop-loss at just under the nearest half-point so that we're keeping our risk as small as possible for each trade"
FAQ: Are these "live" interviews in front of others online, or private?
A: These are private 1-on-1 interviews, where it's just you and I speaking with each other using my gotowebinar interface (or you can phone in using a regular telephone). So there's no pressure to get all your answers exactly right, we can do re-takes if there's something you'd like to say in a different way, during the course of the interview. I edit these after they're done so they come out sounding very professional.
FAQ: How long will it take for my interview to appear on your site?
A: As I'm exceptionally busy, it may take as long as 2-3 months from the time we do the interview til the time it appears on my site(s). Please be patient, as I have a very busy schedule and it takes me time to get these completed.
FAQ: Can you send out emails to promote me immediately?
A: No. Please do not be pushy or aggressive in asking me to promote for you. I am usually scheduled with webinars and pre-existing commitments for jv email promos for at least 6-8 weeks out from the current date, so your patience is appreciated. Simiarly, I will not ask you to email or promote for me immediately either; as most people have pre-existing launch schedules and commitments that need to be honored first.
FAQ: What do I agree to, exactly, when I do an interview with you?
A: You hereby agree to give me the right to publish the interview (or not) as I see fit, on my sites for as long as I wish to do so. You release all rights to this interview, and I own the exclusive copyright for it and may use it in any way I see fit. You may not use nor have this interview for your use, it is solely for my sites' usage. I retain rights for doing the final editing as I see fit, though I will review it with you for your approval before publishing it on my network of sites.
You agree to all terms of my site's legal disclaimer, at www.daytradinguniversity.com/disclaim.htm . We have no obligations to each other in doing this interview of any kind; you do agree to let me publish it on my sites and be compensated via whatever affiliate agreement we mutually agree to, to help build sales for you.
FAQ: Why interview me? Why not just do an email blast or webinar?
A: Because my traders don't typically respond well to just seeing blatant promotional emails, like the internet-marketer traders do. Rightfully, they'd like to know more about who you are, and learn something from you of actual value, prior to deciding to buy. And unlike the pitchfest webinars that many do, my approach (in both interviews and webinars), is to work with people who can create solid content that can actually help traders. So it's a necessary step, to build trust and credibility with my traders, who (like me) are rightfully a bit cautious about whom to work with, or learn from.
Unless otherwise agreed to, my expectation is that we cross-promote for each other in a fair, reciprocal manner; eg if I send out an email blast to my list for you, I would like your reciprocity in cross-promoting for me as well, by sending an email blast to your entire list as I do for mine, in the same week that I send out my emails. If you are exceptionally famous (eg CNBC personality, well recognized book author or trading industry leading figure, this will be waived, though I would appreciate your consideration in cross promoting for me as well, so we're helping each other, with affiliate commissions paid to each other).
b) If the interview and our initial working relationship goes well, then we can consider doing a webinar together, either a joint webinar where we invite traders from both our lists to participate, and we each do 20-30 minutes of content, followed by a special offer to the lists, or we can do single-speaker reciprocal webinars for each others' lists.
We do webinars using my gotowebinar.com interface, which is easy to use.
c) From there, we can do periodic cross-promotional emails for each other, based on our schedules and if our working relationship makes sense for both of us to continue, based on how well we work together, sales conversions and other factors.
Again, I am not interested in doing one-off quickie email blasts to try and promote to email lists via blasts, I am looking for a smaller group of credible trading industry professionals that I can build longer-term working relationships with. Please do not ask me to do a one-way webinar/promo email blast to you right from the beginning, that's not how I work. I have a specific model I follow, which involves creating solid content together (with the 30-minute audio trading interview), to build value first for traders. As I work with many jv partners, my schedule is often booked up for at least 2 months from whatever today's date is for webinars, so please be patient. Interviews can often be done within 2 weeks, but webinar promos take longer to schedule.
Please advise immediately if any of these pose an issue or you cannot meet the expectations I have outlined here, so that we can both make decisions about working together (or not) relatively quickly. I have a zero-tolerance policy for b.s. and/or dishonest behavior (which seems rampant in the trading-vendor industry, unfortunately, with "failing to send agreed-upon email blasts to entire lists, when promised " being the #1 violation, which will quickly cause me to stop working with you), and immediately terminate any working relationship if anybody is less than 110% honest, upfront and hard-working. I am very firm, and fair, and manage my boundaries carefully and quickly.
As with my trading, I take small stops/cease working with anyone who is misleading in any way. Do not agree to work with me if you cannot fulfill your promises. Character, integrity and your honest actions in working with me are critical to a successful jv relationship with me.
And as a cautionary note you should heed carefully: I am very well connected in the trading industry, and advise you to be ethical in dealing with me, as I communicate frequently with dozens of other top figures at trading expos I speak at, and personally on the phone every week, including feedback about my working relationships (both positive and negative) .
If you are honest, ethical and upfront in working with me, I'll pass along that positive feedback to others in the industry who could be good for you to work with (and if you try to mislead me or otherwise break promises or behave unethically, they will get that feedback as well — I am quite candid in telling the entire industry repeatedly about both my positive working relationships and 'others'... I help build or break reputations, because the industry respects me and really listens to what I say, for which I'm deeply grateful... my advice to you is be on the right side of it, by being someone I can trust. If you doubt your ability to deliver as promised, say so now).
If you're a professional, reliable, honest person, this should come as welcome news. If you're trying to just capitalize on my popularity or grab my lists via namesqueezes or other bs marketer tactics, leave right now.
I wish I didn't have to spell this all out, but I've found "the hard way" that there are some trading industry people who promise and don't deliver, failing to send emails as agreed upon, or otherwise flaking out without good reason. If you are that type of person, do not work with me. I'm a UCLA grad (class of 1986) and had a successful corporate career, dealing with mostly honest people; however the trading vendor industry is populated by a lot of less ethical people.
If you're one of them, don't work with me, my attorneys protect me against wrongdoing, and you're advised to not work with me if you can't do what you say you will do. I only want to work with professional, honest, reliable people (which seem to be sparse in the trading industry).
#1. Be sure to be professional and honest with traders. Don't offer to sell anything to them that doesn't work, or is overpriced or a bad value or has a history of many complaints (or high over-10% return rates). Be ethical in dealing with traders. They are real people, not just "leads to be monetized during launches". I only offer things to the trading community I'd be proud to offer my parents or personal friends. It counts.
#2. If you say you're going to do something, be prepared to fulfill that promise. For example, if ahead of time we agree to send email blasts on 2 specific dates to cross promote a joint webinar to our respective house lists, don't just send one email but fail to send the other. I verify what's being sent via anonymous opt-in seeded emails.
#3. No excuses for failing to perform at anything (for example rescheduling webinars or failing to deliver a good presentation). Check your other commitments ahead of time, and be sure you're able to deliver as promised. If there's a medical, verifiable emergency or other serious issue that prevents you from showing up for an event as appeared, I may grant a second chance for working together.
#4. Be at your best in your presentations, graphics quality and everything else you do — as I have a reputation for being meticulous, detail oriented and a perfectionist workaholic genius, I like to ensure our traders have a high-quality experience in everything they do with us.
Due to my "mile-high" location in Colorado Springs, I have found that it is difficult for me to hear static-y cell phone calls, skype or other non-traditional telephone equipment. So please, whenever we have a phone call scheduled, please use a normal landline regular phone that's plugged into a wall jack if possible (like how all phones were a few years ago) - thanks! This will help improve the quality of our calls. I'd prefer that you not use a cellphone if possible, since they are often not clear. I find that in my particular location, the static or "line noise" makes it difficult to hear you, for those using cellphones, skype or other non-traditional equipment for phone calls.
PROMO EMAILS TO EACH OTHERS' EMAIL LISTS:
A) Unless we agree to do so otherwise ahead of time, we both agree to email our entire lists (not just partial email-blasts like non-customers, or stale leads.... or other duplicitious behavior like sending multiple emails on the same day, which detracts from the focus of our co-promotion email), on the dates we agree to ahead of time.
B) If I have approached you for potentially working together, I will have been on your email house list for some time (usually at least 3-6 months or longer), using 1 or 2 anonymous email addresses (gmail/yahoo/hotmail/comcast). These "seed" anonymous emails are used to verify that you do in fact send out emails that you agree to send. I also get feedback from my traders regarding whether or not they got your email (I ask them randomly), to verify.
Failure to send agreed-upon emails is a breach of contract and grounds for immediately terminating our working relationship. To avoid spam-filter issues, I will have whitelisted your email address and usually have been subscribed to your house lists by at least two different email providers, to ensure I can verify that you are sending out emails as promised. If you promise ahead of time to send 2 emails on 2 different dates, but fail to do so, I'll need a really good excuse to consider continuing working with you. Odds are I won't.
What time of day to send emails? While the specific time is up to you, I'd like to request that you send out emails sometime during a 6am-12noon EST timeframe on the dates you agree to send emails, and that you do not send more than just the one email during the day in which you're sending an email for us. I have found that open rates are best for emails sent between 7am-11am EST. Please do not send emails late in the day/evening, or send multiple emails in the same day, as that's likely to have a negative impact on sales conversions and webinar signups. Please advise if you have different requirements or methods for sending emails before we agree to work together.
PRIVATE EMAILS WITH ME PERSONALLY:
C) Unless you let me know otherwise, I expect that my emails to you get answered within 24 hours (preferably sooner). You'll see that I respond to most emails within a few hours, 12-24 hours at the absolute latest. In general I am most able to respond to your emails early in the day (7am-7pm EST), and usually don't respond immediately to emails sent after 7pm EST, as I spend the evenings with my family.
I prefer it if you can respond to emails within 24 hours during weekends and holiday times as well, if possible. If you cannot respond to an email I send for example Friday night, by sometime Saturday, please let me know ahead of time so that I know your work schedule. (I had a recent experience for example with one company that doesn't respond to any emails at all on weekends, which caught me by surprise, as I respond to every email within 12-24 hours, period, and have for years). That's fine, just let me know ahead of time if you can't respond to emails within 24 hours (including weekends/holidays), as we get started working together.
Be aware that I like to communicate openly and may have daily emails with you for the 3-5 days leading up to a webinar or co-sponsored activity, and expect the same from you. If that's an issue, let me know ahead of time.
When participants register for gotomeeting webinars, gotowebinar states on all their registration/optin page that "Your email address and personal information will be used by the Webinar organizer to communicate with you about this event and their other services." By participating in a jv/webinar/other cross promo event, you agree to let me use your leads for follow up emails for my other products/services (and vice-versa), as long as registrants are notified of this ahead of time, as I and gotowebinar do, and that everything stays can-spam compliant re opt-out links on all emails sent to participants, as most email services (aweber/infusion/icontact) have for all emails.
The main goal is to work together to build leads that we can cross-promote to for building our respective businesses, crediting affiliate commissions as appropriate for sales generated by those leads, for at least 90 days following the event. Any exceptions to this, or modifications need to be agreed to by each other in email ahead of time.
E) Commissions: Commissions
for our cross-promotional efforts will be agreed to via email ahead of time, and paid within 60 days after the conclusion of the event. I typically pay 30% commissions on everything I offer to jv partners. If we co-develop a product or service, then we will likely be 50/50 revenue share partners on those (though it's rare for me to co-develop products with others).
You must notify me of your commission payout percentage (20% - 30% minimum) for anything you want me to promote for you.
We both mutually agree to refund back to each other any commissions that were paid to each other for any purchases that were refunded/chargeback orders (if any), within 90 days of such refund/chargeback being issued. For example if I send you a commission check for $3500 based on sales to my list, and 80 days later there's two refunds (of which $500 was given to you in commissions already), you are required to refund me back the $500 for sales that didn't "stick", due to the refund (and vice-versa for my sales/commissions to your list), within 90 days of the customer refunds.
Also, you're invited and encouraged to register as an affiliate (if you wish):
http://www.TradingAffiliates.com (Steve Nison and my 2 bestselling systems we've co-produced together)
http://www.DaytradingAffiliates.com (my dvds, products and services)
F) Be aware that I do not have a huge 100,000+ type person email list to co-market to; I have a smaller list; so unique leads from webinars I do with you may be as low as 400-1000, with webinar turnouts from my list of up to 800 people. My traders are loyal to me, as I've worked hard to deliver to them, and earn their trust, so I have a less- than-1% refund rate/dissatisfied customers, which is important to me to maintain.
In working with me, do not expect to get 2,000+ leads on any one single cross-promotion. As a leader in a relatively small niche, eg day trading stocks, I do not have the same "reach" as some of the big mass-market companies may have.
My goal is to carefully establish long-term working relationships that build long term sales over time with my jv partners (and confer credibility via cross-recommendations) to each other over time, during at least a 1-2 year time horizon (and hopefully 8-10 years or longer), not a quickie "get out an email blast, grab leads and make a bunch of fast sales" hustle approach that the internet marketers in the trading industry advocate. I'm in things for the long term.
1) Your business model - what are your priorities, especially in jv-type relationships? If for example you mainly sell trading video systems, or software, or coaching, or other services — let me know what you want my help in promoting the most, when we do webinars or other events. I will have looked at your website, but I don't know about new products, or priorities for you. So tell me what key areas of your product/service mix you'd like us to focus on, in working together. I'll do the same for you.
2) Long-term goals vs short-term product launch send traders a flood of emails approach: Some trading businesses believe in harvesting as many emails as possible and sending out 5-8 emails a week. That works for them because they have 100k+ leads and can handle a high unsubscribe rate. Personally, I find this is excessive and prefer to send out no more than 3-4 emails a week, often less. Let me know what type of email/promo approach you use, so that I know. I can be flexible in working with a variety of email/lead models, but I need to know ahead of time. I have a relatively small, loyal email list and I like to deliver content and value to them.
Unlike the internet marketers who pretend to be traders, who incessantly say things like "I've got a big launch coming in 2 weeks, can you email for me? You can make a big commission if you send out all these emails...." (they're pushy).... I'm much more long-term oriented, and look at our initial webinar or other working activity as a TEST to see what kind of character you have... what's your "Integrity Quotient?".... with a variety of small tests and more (plus I have 2 degrees in psychology, UCLA/CSULB), I can quickly fathom if you're the kind of person I want to work with.
So please— don't take it personally if I decide to not work with you after an initial experience, as I'm very very cautious and selective. Look at our first working together as an 'audition', for both of us, to test each other and see if we want to work with each other. Or maybe our personalities don't mesh. Whatever. That's what testing is all about. To find out, early.
3) Webinar model: what type of webinar format works best for you? Many traders use the 40-minutes of content followed by 20 minutes of product presentation/pitch model. That's fine with me. I also send out a streaming and/or downloadable version of the webinar after the event, with a time-limited discount offer, and may offer an excerpt of the webinar on my sites as an affiliate lead-generating content piece, and/or to get opt-ins that upsell via autoresponder to specific partner product offers. Let me know if you have a different model that you prefer using, in conducting webinars, interviews and/or seminars. I use gotowebinar for my events.
Format/timing: I like to show up early (30 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time) to answer trader questions, do a sound check, and be there for everyone to help. I also stick around after the event is over to answer trader questions (I've stayed around as long as 2 hours after scheduled end times, due to hundreds of eager questions I get from traders, to help them). Let me know ahead of time if that's an issue for you.
It was, for example, for one co-produced webinar I did with a company, for example, as they thought I shouldn't be "on air" longer than their presenter was (which caught me by surprise, as a concern), even if it was to answer questions. Let me know ahead of time if it's important to you that we close the webinar at a specific time, and/or any other presentation/timing requirements that you'd like to have us agree on before we do the webinar.
Webinar time of day and day of week: I prefer to deliver webinars at around 8pm EST Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as the best time to deliver and schedule webinars. If I'm doing a live-market webinar it will likely be 9am-10:30am Tue/Wed/Thur, and I occasionally do Saturday morning webinars. Let me know what's best for you.
Webinar Trader Testimonials:
See these 107 actual trader webinar testimonials for a recent 2009 webinar I delivered. I like to deliver and produce world-class online training events that generate high trader enthusiasm, learning, and sales for related products, so that traders can learn more effectively.
4) I often like to use actual real trading examples to illustrate my techniques. Based on trader feedback and their requests, this is something I've recently added. For example if I illustrate a specific tape reading or breakout or position sizing technique, I may illustrate how I did this is an actual recent trade I did. This is an important strategic consideration, as it elevates my credibility since I'm an authentic trader. If however you are in a regulated industry (like futures/eminis) in which it's not allowed to show actual trade examples, be sure to let me know ahead of time, so that I may omit these, for regulatory compliance related reasons.
5) I cannot give you marketing/video production/trading advice: As a top video producer, as well as trader, I'm often asked questions by vendors like "how did you do (video/graphic) in your ___.com site?" These are proprietary, hard-earned techniques I use solely for my own organization. Please do not ask me for marketing advice, or lead-generation or video production or copywriting/site design advice; I focus my energies on building my own sites, which you're welcome to help promote and work with, if we agree to work with each other. But I can't give you advice or answer specifics about my proprietary design tactics or resources I use in creating my sites, as that's confidential. Similarly, I can't give you advice on how to actually trade, or coach traders, as that would compete with my own core business competencies.
6) I usually prefer to not just send traffic to namesqueeze pages. As my marketing mentor, the late Corey Rudl told me years ago, "your list is your business", and advised me to not send email blasts to other people's namesqueeze pages. We may do that for webinar events I hold, like gotowebinar events, (or for your events, is fine via gotowebinar), however I do not like the internet marketers-pretending-to-be-traders' style of trying to harvest/steal my leads by asking me to send promo emails that direct traffic to namesqueeze pages on their sites. I'm wise to that, and don't do it.
If you do have a product pitch page that I've agreed to promote, I will likely host that page on my site, and orders (only) can go to your salesletter on your site...no namesqueeze on the page though. But I will not just blindly send traffic to someone else's namesqueeze page, that's not a smart business decision on my part.
Rare exceptions may be made (for example if we're doing a seminar together, or co-producing a product), or if I've known you for many years and we have an established working relationship.
ABOUT MY WORKING STYLE :
#1. I am demanding and expect a lot from everyone, myself included. I'm not an easy going laid back type of quiet, polite relaxed person. I'm aggressive, hard-working and expect everyone to be "on their toes", candid, honest and responsive, particularly during the week of a webinar, in replying to emails and getting things done. I'm a lot more like Donald Trump in my personality, than Mr. Rogers. If you want a mild-mannered, diplomatic, quiet type of person to work with, I'm not that type, so you'd best be advised to work with others.
And as an old-school internet marketer (I've been online fulltime since 1999 and even once held a large internet marketing "megaseminar" (tm) back in 2005, I'm "beyond savvy" to all blackhat marketing tactics (sql server db-based aff cookie stuffing, proxie domain fake emails, partial email blasts to non-customers, underground lead-harvesting tactics, and other bs that vendors have tried to pull). Don't even think about it. I'll know, and then a hammer falls.
#2. I like fast, responsive communications. I realize everyone's busy, however when I send an email I'd like an answer within 12-24 hours. Of course if you're on the road (presenting at an expo, or doing a seminar, or other travel), I understand the need for a delay of up to 72 hours in responding. Please communicate this ahead of time with me (eg "Ken I'm going to be speaking at an expo in 2 weeks, so I may be out of touch for a couple of days the week of June 4th" type of communication would be helpful).
As a former communications consultant (among other things), I've trained thousands in effective communication skills, and recognize that effective communicating is a key to business, and personal, success. I will send a few emails right before a webinar, or interview, or joint seminar, and expect fast, specific replies. I try not to send emails during any time other than immediately before main activities.
BEHAVIOR THAT WILL CAUSE ME TO NOT WORK WITH YOU :
#1.Dishonesty of any kind. If you lie even once, about anything, I'm gone. My traders tell me things, as do my other colleagues, so I can tell if somebody is dishonest about anything (like failing to email when they claim they did, or say they would). I test extensively to gauge character.
#2. Nonresponsive communications. If you don't answer my emails for 2-3 days and are generally lazy and show disrespect or lack of responsiveness, I will not work with you. I need to work with the best people in the trading industry, those who are sincere about working with me for a win-win working relationship.
#3. Misrepresenting/underreporting sales numbers, or other financial irregularities. I ask traders who buy from you to contact me via email for a bonus, in addition to affiliate-tracked commissions, as a second layer or traceability for sales I generate for you. If you don't give me credit for all sales, or under-report actual sales, or fail to refund charged-back order commissions, or other dishonest behavior, there will be problems.
#4. Failure to deliver as promised for traders. If I refer business to you and you fail to deliver what you promised, and I get trader complaints, then I will likely cease working together with you, unless there's a good reason. Note that low sales for an initial promo is Not on the list of things that cause me to not work with you; just as my initial promos for you may not generate huge initial sales; I'm in this for developing long-term relationships that slowly build sales for each other over time.
#5. Respect my intellectual property rights. If we work together, do not "borrow" or otherwise steal or rip off my concepts or business trademarks or names or business processes. I am a leader in the industry, and I'm glad to work with viable partners, as long as my rights are respected. My three attorneys help me with all matters in business, intellectual property rights, collections and other issues.
#6. Last-minute changes to agreed-upon actions, or rescheduling. While some people live in chaos and routinely change schedules, content, offer agreements and other parameters, I am not one of them. Because my schedule is very busy, I cannot work with people who say one thing, then change it a week later, or reschedule or otherwise do things that could cause me to waste time or effort, or have to juggle my schedule. "Your emergency is not mine". So if you're the type of person who routinely changes things, be aware that due to my hectic schedule (and values) I cannot accomodate you. Once you agree to do something on a certain date, we need to follow through on that. Rare exceptions can be made for emergencies, but in general since there's a lot of people I work with, I prefer to stick with those who honor and keep to their schedules.
It all comes down to honesty, trust, ethics, open communications and integrity.
Many of my personal friends are law enforcement and military families, because I like those kinds of people— those who have integrity and honor, with discipline and commitment (in fact that's one of the reasons I moved to Colorado Springs; we're a very conservative military town, and I like it very much here, because the people are disciplined — with honor, integrity and values).
If you ever saw Donald Trump on "The Apprentice", or the drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket", those are the type of men I have as personal role models, and I'm like that. In business I'm the same way. I expect honesty and open, responsive communications from those I work with. I also have role models like Brian Tracy, who advocate hard, honest work in service of others, and integrity. Don't bs me about anything — I'm well connected in the trading industry (and routinely pass along feedback to dozens of others), and I have legal counsel that I routinely use for enforcement.
I have a tough no-nonsense reputation. Some may find these guidelines "difficult to work with"; remember that I am flexible, but I need to know I can trust you and that you'll do what you said you'll do, in a timely manner... that's all I ask.
If you're an honest, open person who's trustworthy and professional, than we should get along together well, and hopefully have a successful joint venture relationship. But if you try and cross me, mislead me or otherwise be dishonest, there will be consequences (and you don't want that).
That's not how much of the trading industry operates, and that's fine with me. I'm different. If my character and requirements I've outlined above meet with your wholehearted approval, then great. If not, it's a good thing you found out earlier rather than later, about the type of working relationships I seek (as I send any potential jv partner to this page, to help 'set the tone' and communicate with you ahead of time, very specifically about what I'm looking for in the people I work with).
I can be flexible about things, as long as they're agreed to and properly planned ahead of time. I run a complex business, and if you change something mid-stream, it potentially causes a lot of headaches for me. So let's develop a plan and stick with it. Many people are not razor-sharp in their business acumen and fail, I'm not one of them . I have a no-tolerance policy for unethical or bs/changing/failing to perform in business working relationships. Be properly aware of this BEFORE deciding to work with me.
By the way, it's fine to say "I read your guidelines and frankly I can't respond to emails within 24 hours, and sometimes things come up and I can't do webinars I'd agreed to, or send emails like I said I would", and then we'll know that we aren't a good fit for working together. Tell me this now. I'd rather us not work together from the beginning, than have conflict if you can't meet the expectations outlined above.
And on a positive note, as one of the world's top internet marketers (and real trader, and recognized industry figure), I can potentially help us both earn a lot of money, as I have for others, by delivering solid content that's of genuine value to the traders, who we value immensely. We do this all in service of them. Let's do it right.
To shared success,
Ken Calhoun, President