Recently, Erik Christian Johnson interviewed me for his awesome MLM blog. The interview is below and I definitely encourage you to check out Erik’s blog The interview is below and you can also check it out on Erik’s awesome blog HERE.
Steve Hawk on TiDom, Bing Ads Training, and Internet Freedom
Steve Hawk was commuting 4 hours a day and missing his children grow up when he decided to dive into internet marketing. Here’s his powerful story.
Thanks so much Steve for doing this interview. It’s been over a year since I spotlighted your blog. I’m sure a lot has changed since then. So, let’s get started!
How was childhood for you, what did you want to be when you grew up, and what did your parents do for a living?
I grew up in Stamford, CT which is a suburb of NYC. My Dad was a corporate executive in the oil industry working in NYC and my mom was a stay at home mom.
My childhood was good – I played all the sports and we vacationed yearly as a family – I have 2 younger sisters. As for what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was all over the map.
Professional baseball or football player was at the top of the list but it was pretty apparent early on that wasn’t going to happen! As I got older, I wanted to be a lawyer.
Was there any entrepreneurship in the family?
Not really. I was raised in the old school philosophy of go to school and do well so you can get a good job when you graduate.
You eventually attended University and found yourself commuting 4 hours a day. What was life like in NYC and what was your career at that time, and the downside of it?
I graduated college in 1986 with a BS in Criminal Justice. The idea was to go to law school but at 22 years old, the idea of going to school for another 3 years was not very appealing.
My first job out of college was pretty cool – and was the only one where I ever used my criminal justice degree. I investigated insurance claims for Equifax. It was a fun job but didn’t pay well.
I then got a job working for a retirement plan company in Westchester, NY. My position was eventually moved to NYC which is when my long commute started. I had moved to Putnam County, NY and had a door-to-door commute (including train and walking to my office) of 2 hours ONE WAY!
I then moved on to a job in the Call Center industry in NYC and eventually worked my way up to VP of that company but the commute was a drain. As my family began to grow – I have 2 kids – the long days started wearing on my because I wanted to be at my kids games and practices so I was trying to figure out how I could work closer to home.
You got into the mortgage industry, which cut your commute out, but something big happened. What was that?
Yea, I got into the mortgage industry in 2003 right during the refi boom which was awesome. I had no experience in that field but it was easy and the money was good.
My commute was cut from 4 hours a day to about an hour and a half round trip. Then, in April of 2006 my bank was closed which really began the mortgage crisis and eventual economic downturn.
I bopped around to a few different mortgage brokers that also kept closing because it was almost impossible to write a mortgage anymore. It was a very unsettling time.
Finally in August of 2009 I was ready to throw in the towel on what was left of the mortgage industry and started looking for jobs online. I saw an ad advertising a home based business and that changed everything for me! I’ve been working for myself from home ever since and haven’t looked back.
When did you discover network marketing and what was the first two years like?
It was that ad that I saw online that brought me into the world of network marketing. Many people my age had experience with Amway or Herbalife but I had never even seen this business model before.
I was excited but quickly learned that I better learn how to market and sign people up or I was going to be back in the job market pretty quickly! My goal was to market online exclusively so I signed up for a training/membership program called My Lead System Pro and that helped me to understand the landscape better.
I learned about branding and attraction marketing and that’s when I started my blog. I also learned about sales funnels and autoresponders and pretty much everything you need to know to effectively market online. My first 2 years were filled with learning and also making some money. I was able to support myself because I was able to recruit people into my businesses.
Why do most people jump from one MLM to another, and what is the downside of doing that?
It is extremely difficult to make money with the MLM business model (which is why I don’t do it anymore) and I think it’s a combination of people not making money coupled with the fact that there are so many options online with each opportunity looking better than the next.
I did hop around for a while and found that, to make significant money in this industry you need to be focused and become an expert or authority within your company. Longevity is an attractive selling point in an industry that really doesn’t have much of it.
If you keep switching companies, you’re just always starting over and when the initial excitement of starting a new business wears off, you’re back at square one needing to recruit and that’s where most people fail.
You discovered “Attraction Marketing” by using the internet, but what kind of “soul searching” happened which enabled you more success online?
One of the things that is very important to me as I’ve gone on this journey is to try to help as many others as possible achieve a lifestyle of time freedom (along with money of course).
We talk a lot about money in this industry but it’s really about what the money can do for you and for me and I think most others it’s really about the time freedom. The most important asset we have is OUR TIME. It’s funny how this works but by helping others you also help yourself!
What was some of the best methods you learned from personal development?
My mantra is to never quit and always keep moving forward. Life has bumps in the road for everyone and the successful people are able to overcome those hurdles, learn from them, and keep going.
I’m probably not the smartest or most talented but I like to think of myself as a bulldog. Entrepreneurship is a journey and my advice to all current or would-be entrepreneurs is to never give up!
You’ve had a blog for quite some time. How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is the daily traffic like to it?
I’ve had my blog since November 2009. My traffic has definitely decreased from its high point. I don’t even remember if it was Google Penguin or Panda but basically it was a major algorithm change Google made that pretty much took my articles from the first page of Google to where I can’t even find many of them anymore!
I have about 400 posts. My blog used to generate 20-30 free leads for me daily and that was awesome! But now I get just a few and don’t rely on it like I used to for traffic. I use it more as a branding tool nowadays.
Should every internet marketer blog, and if so, what are some of the success tips moving forward on starting an effective blog?
I’m a big believer in having a blog, even if you don’t use it for SEO. Ranking in the search engines has gotten more difficult over the years but it’s still a great branding tool. It helps you stand out from the competition and look professional and look like an authority.
People want to join or buy from people that they feel like they know, like and trust. A blog allows your audience to get to know you, see you and see that you’re a real person and look to you as someone who is a leader who can help them. It’s extremely important in my opinion.
Some tips would be to have pictures of yourself, write a good bio, have some interesting content and also make sure that you have ways for people to opt-in to get on your list and also to see whatever it is you’re selling without being obnoxious about it.
I checked out your YouTube channel and was immediately drawn to your videos on TiDom. Can you tell us a little about TiDom and how is that platform different from MOBE or Digital Altitude?
Sure. While I think both of those programs have merit, for me TiDom provides what I’m looking for and I think what a lot of others are as well.
Our minimum commission is $2000 and we go all the way to $22,000 per sale depending on your level. With MOBE and Digital Altitude, there are start up levels under $50 and guess where most people are going to sign up! At the lowest levels which produce small commissions per sale. I was involved in Empower Network for a while and that had a similar commission structure.
If you offer a $25 level, that’s where most people will sign up so you’re back to a model that’s similar to MLM.
With TiDom’s higher start up costs, we work with fewer people but that’s OK because a few sales a month can make you a 6 figure income which is what most people want in my opinion.
What is the minimum monthly investment in TiDom to be eligible for those $20k profits?
Tidom has 5 different commission levels and you have to own the package you’re selling to be eligible to earn at that level.
People can start for $2000, $3500, $6500, $12500 and $22000. I know those are definitely higher than you’ll see in an MLM but those are one-time costs and there are no monthly autoship payments to worry about.
You do need to own the $22,000 package to be eligible to earn the full $22k commission.
Most people get started for $3500 or $6500 and the cool thing with our program is when you make a $6500 sale, you keep the full $6500 if you own that package. For me and our team members, it’s exciting to make big commissions like that!
I also noticed your Bing Ads Training. Is Bing your primary paid advertising option and if so, why?
Bing Ads is one of my paid strategies. Bing doesn’t get a ton of traffic but it’s easy to post ads there – they approve almost anything – and I do get consistent leads from it.
I’ve been dabbling with Facebook Ads of late with some success. For my business, I’m also using a technology called Ringless Voicemail as well as Text Marketing and also starting to use Postcards again.
I’m a believer in using multiple marketing strategies because the internet changes rapidly and what works today may not work tomorrow.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I don’t really have a favorite book although I read at least 2 books a month and they’re generally fiction. James Patterson is a favorite author as is David Baldacci.
What are your goals for 2017?
One of the things I really like to do is create sales funnels and I’m working with a business partner now on a new funnel that we’re almost ready to roll out that is going to explode everyone on our team’s income for 2017!
We’re excited and kind of keeping the details under wraps right now but it’ll be a game changer. Our goal is always to make the sales process easier for the majority of people who join us with no prior experience or success and hopefully change their lives.
My goal for 2017 is to take a huge leap forward with my business and bring along as many others as possible!
What is your favorite quote and why?
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve – Napoleon Hill
I saw this quote when I first got into the online direct sales industry and have used it ever since. The mind is very powerful and you can use it in a positive or negative way.
The trick is to think positively and consistently move forward in the direction you want to go even when things may not go exactly the way you planned. Create your goals, focus on them, and do whatever it takes to achieve them.
Thank you so much for this interview, Steve! A lot of good value here.