The Primary Duty of the Intermediary in Internet Oil Trading and Refined Petroleum Product Deals

A. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND PROPER INFORMATION AMONG INTERMEDIARIES

Most experts and keen analysts of the industry often lament and bemoan one nagging fundamental shortcoming of the modern Internet-era class of brokers, agents and other intermediaries – namely, that, as a class, they tend to be overly handicapped and plagued by a general lack of education, training, knowledge and proper information concerning the true nature and workings of international trade, and of its fundamentals and basic procedures.

Mr. R. Ambardar, a broker experienced for over 10 years in international market development and advisory services who has personally closed several petroleum deals, calls “lack of experience and knowledge” one of the principal primary reasons why many brokers and facilitators fail in crude oil endeavors and never close any deals. “Many people are attracted into this business because of [the tales they hear about the] kind of money one can earn on account of successful deals,” Ambardar asserts. “Many agents fail, [however], to understand that requirements to succeed in this business are very demanding, [and that] only those who have years of hands-on experience and thorough knowledge of the industry can strive to do well as middle-men.”

Echoing what almost every other respected expert in the field emphatically asserts, Ambardar adds, that “To become a ‘Facilitator’ in oil business,… what you actually need is right knowledge and expertise [since this is what will help] you hook up genuine buyers and sellers. One should be in the industry for long to have acquired knowledge related to the dynamics of this business.”

In the same vein, Davide Papa, the co-author with Lona Elliot of “International Trade & the Successful Intermediary,” one of the most prominent experts in the field today on the basic methodology and procedures of international trading by brokers and intermediaries, asserts that,

“Without the requisite knowledge of the correct trading procedures, you [the broker or agent/intermediary] are simply wasting your time by attempting to trade. The vast majority of traders you will meet on the Internet don’t know how to close a deal. Most don’t even know how to start a deal correctly, let alone bringing one to a successful conclusion.”

Consequently, says Mr. Papa, “Anyone attempting to do business with these types of intermediaries [or with their procedures] will also be unable to close a deal or collect a cent in commission, no matter how long they trade for or how hard they try.”

What Misguided Agents and Intermediaries erroneously think is “trading”

Yet, as a factual matter, most (in deed, just about ALL) brokers and intermediaries that one meets on the Internet who claim they have oil to sell, or who, for example, flood my Consultancy Office with “offers” and “deals” by the dozens every hour of the day each day, haven’t got even the foggiest clue of what is actually involved in proper trading, or how it works or is done. Almost to a man or woman, they essentially think that all there is to oil “trading,” is basically the accumulation of any number of some copied generic documents – ‘SPAs,’ ‘LOI,’ ‘FCO,’ ‘ICPO,’ and what have you – with almost none ever verified, and passing them around on the Internet to potential buyers or their agents, asking them to “just sign,” “just sign”! In deed, what is even worse, they hardly ever have the foggiest idea of even what their PROPER function and duty is, or should be, as an intermediary in the modern Internet era of TOO MUCH information and data, but TOO LITTLE quality or genuine information and data!

B. A MAJOR WAY IN WHICH THIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE BY THE INTERMEDIARY IS MANIFESTED

Quite oddly enough, one of the major but most fundamental ways in which this woeful pervasive lack of knowledge and information of the fundamentals and proper procedures manifests itself on the part of the intermediaries, is the awesome lack of knowledge among them concerning even the basic purpose and proper function or duty which the modern intermediary is supposed to serve for the oil trader and in the marketplace. Most Internet intermediaries are NOT even aware of what EXACTLY that is!

THE TRADITIONAL ROLE & FUNCTION OF THE INTERMEDIARY

First, let us start with looking at the “traditional” role and function of the intermediary in the marketplace. This description of the duties and functions of a facilitator given by Sam Nelson, the author of a noted primer on oil trading that’s commonly used by many brokers and agents, best represents, perhaps, the conception of the traditional primary function of the intermediary in oil deals:

“Facilitating a business [by a Facilitator] is an act of arranging business activities as contained in a contract and bringing two parties into an agreement towards the smooth implementation of a contract as defined by the contract procedures… The facilitator is the individual, or group of people, arranging business activities as contained in a contract and bringing two parties into a mutual agreement towards the smooth implementation of a contract as defined in the procedures of the contract… There are people who work as facilitators in different kinds of business transactions, for example, ‘Currency trading.’ “

Nelson adds that, as a Facilitator on the seller’s side, for example, “the seller depends on you to find a reputable buyer. You, as the facilitator, become the hub for these deals. Honesty is required on your part. You can facilitate a deal as a buyer or seller’s facilitator but I will advise you not to be on both sides at the same time for the same deal. That will be an absolute greed.”

Robert McAngus, the Chairman and CEO of the McAngus Group, a Marbella, Spain-based global conglomerate actively engaged in the business of primary commodities, including oil products, through its network of offices and partners in Africa, Europe, the Far and Middle East, and the Americas, gives his own description of the usual traditional role of the intermediary, this way: “a broker’s entire job is to help a petroleum company’s trading department find or sell oil and related products so that he will receive a commission when the deal comes together.”

In other words, by traditional standards, the primary role and function of the intermediary in the so-called “secondary” market petroleum trading operations, is simply the “sourcing” function – that is, the job of finding the suppliers of the product and matching them with intending buyers, in return for which the sourcing broker or agent will receive commission payments for successfully completed deals.

THE NEW PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE ROLE & FUNCTION OF THE INTERMEDIARY

But here’s the central point to be made here, however. And that is this: That this old, “traditional” role and function of the broker or the intermediary in crude oil and petroleum products deals have changed in this current era of the Internet – and in a big, big and drastic way! And anyone who operates in the oil trade industry today as a broker, agent or other intermediary without knowing, or understanding or recognizing this critical modern-era reality, or who continues to operate as though, as in the past, all that is required of him is just to find a seller and “match” him with a buyer, or vice versa, totally misses the mark as to his proper place or function today in the marketplace, or his true market value or worth.

In deed, in this writer’s studied assessment, much of the problems and negative aspects (the so-called ‘dark side’) of the international commodities trading business that have often been primarily attributed to the role and involvement of the modern intermediaries’ in the business – the inability of most to successfully close deals or to make a commission, the involvement of many in scams and fake offers, etc – can be directly traced to this factor alone: namely, the failure on the part of the intermediary, whether knowingly or otherwise, to modify and adjust his business tactics and method of operation to align with this new “paradigm” shift of the current Internet era market place.

I’LL SUM IT UP SIMPLY THIS WAY, IN A NUTSHELL: True, in the past, BEFORE the present-day business ethics of the computer/Internet-era, what the average traders viewed to be the more important need and service from an intermediary – and one about which, therefore, the trader primarily sought and employed the services of the intermediary for – was primarily to obtain trade leads and contact sources for business prospects. But in this present post-Internet era, however, what the average trader now primarily wants and needs from the broker or intermediary, is not so much the trade leads or contact sources. But, rather, he primarily needs and wants the broker/agent intermediary to get him trade leads or contact sources and information that are duly verified or verifiable. Or, to put it another way, the trader’s primary need and most vital interest in an intermediary today, is for the broker and intermediary to aid and assist him in verifying and doing DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads and opportunities or contact sources that are now generally available in superabundance, whether online or offline.

Jeffrey P. Graham, President of JPG Consulting, a Philadelphia-based international business consulting and research firm, makes that point rather quite clearly in his classic 1997 essay titled, “Evaluating Trade Leads.” Graham, who was one of the first to make that profound observation, states that with the coming of the Internet, the major issue and concern of international traders significantly became, NOT having too few or an insufficient number of trade leads on the buying or selling of a particular product or service, but having too many and too much of it. And that with that profound change, the central issue for the world traders became the ability and facility of traders – and the brokers, agents and intermediaries who work for them – to carry out good DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads presented by or about a company or product, and being able to do competent evaluation on such company or product as to its genuineness and quality.

Thirty years ago, Graham says (meaning before the Internet became a factor), there were far fewer companies doing business as traders and intermediaries, and, secondly, the task of finding out how credible a company was, was a simple matter of just checking the telex address and obtaining some bank references on the company.
However, Graham adds, all that has drastically changed – thanks, or no thanks, to the Internet!

Graham sums up this view this way:

“Until very recently, gaining access to reliable sources of trade leads was a very expensive and time-consuming proposition for many small and medium sized companies (SME’s). In the United States, [for example], the Department of Commerce was the sole purveyor of trade leads… companies paid a monthly subscription fee then in order to gain access to what was available, whether it was appropriate or not. [However], with the proliferation of trade lead sources available on the World Wide Web (WWW), access to trade leads is no longer a problem. What has not changed, however, is the time involved in handling trade leads.

Enthusiastic proponents of the Internet will always tell anybody willing to suspend common sense that more is better. What is wrong with this concept… is the assumption that the additional information provided by the Internet can be easily assimilated into a business enterprise and made useful without any cost whatsoever; [or that], therefore, the proliferation of trade leads now available on the [Internet]… should translate into more and better opportunities for everybody. [The reality, however, has been that] Nothing could be further from the truth, because the real problem with trade leads, is that most of them are of questionable value.”

Asserting that “a trade lead in 1997 means something quite different than it did in 1977,” Graham adds that:

“The Internet presents troubling issues even for the most experienced international business people because of the enormous amount of misleading information which is pumped into the system; a system which is not yet ready to process this amount of information. One issue is, really, [about being able] to evaluate the company which posts the trade lead and this is now a very tedious process… Since 1993, when the browser technology really began to take off and the Internet began to seriously emerge as a marketplace, the changes have been staggering… It is not unusual for people who are just wishfully thinking, to write and post trade leads which are designed primarily to elicit responses. These ‘companies’ [put out]… what many call ‘trade leads’ but which almost always turn out to be worthless junk… Such postings can send companies on time consuming and very expensive fishing expeditions which yield no sales and have little potential for future business as well.”

TRANSLATED: In short, the central point made by experts and keen students of modern trade history, is that the role and purpose of the intermediary in the Internet-era international commodities trading, have undergone some drastic, even staggering, fundamental change – a ‘paradigm shift” or change – from, say, the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to these days. In that previous era, a relatively few buying and selling trade leads existed which consisted really of just information posted on on-line bulletin boards and from the U.S. department of commerce trade publications. But by the mid 1990’s, with the rise of the World Wide Web, the Internet and Usenet gradually but steadily assumed more useful role for business purposes. The Internet soon emerged as a major and central marketplace itself, consequently making the need for, and expense of, subscribing to trade leads a thing of the past.

But, in making the subscription to and expense of trade leads a thing of the past, the Internet brought about, however, a host of other big challenges of its own – it has made the task and process of evaluating the trade lead or opportunity that’s posted online considerably more difficult than it was, compared to the pre-Internet times of 30 years ago, such that today, while the sheer volume of trade leads and information available is gigantic, and the buying or selling of leads from around the world can be solicited at low-cost or practically for free, being able to evaluate the authenticity and actual worth and value of such information is the central task and challenge of the time.

C. WHAT IS THE REAL AND PROPER ROLE OF THE GOOD INTERMEDIARY IN TODAY’S MARKET?

In short, summed up very simply, the central point is that, in terms of the business needs and desires of today’s world traders, there has been a gradual but drastic “paradigm shift” or a major change, over the past two to three decades of transitioning to the Internet era, and hence, in what the average world trader wants and requires from their brokers and intermediaries and the Primary Duty of the Intermediary in Internet Oil Trading. Today, what they (the traders) principally want and desire from their intermediaries, is not so much obtaining some sheer “raw data” concerning any trade leads or contacts, or merely what the volume and “quantity” of trade leads or offers they’re provided is, since the average trader generally has access already to such material in overabundant supply. But, rather, what they want and desire most particularly, is “quality data,” meaning data that shall have already been properly vetted and verified, data for which a good deal of “due diligence” shall have already been done on.

That is, long gone are the old days of the “traditional” role and function of the sourcing broker or agent when his primary role was only to obtain trade leads or offers about a product or business prospect and just try to “match” them with, or, in deed, more accurately stated, just ‘dump them on,’ a seller or buyer – without first verifying or authenticating them, or first doing even a minimal amount of due diligence on them as to their actual worth and legitimacy. For the credible or authentic buyer or seller today, that traditional approach will not suffice or be even remotely acceptable any more.

BUT MOST AGENTS & INTERMEDIARIES TODAY FAIL TO FOLLOW THIS NEW PARADIGM ROLE

Yet, that profound new reality notwithstanding, that is precisely what many a sourcing broker and agent – in deed, the vast majority of them – who operate in the Internet crude oil and petroleum products trading business today, largely do: they merely go around dutifully but indiscriminately collecting and amassing SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement) documents, ‘LOI,’ ‘ICPO,’ and ‘POP’ documents, and other copied similar documents, from any and every conceivable sources they can find on the Internet, and simply passing them over to any prospective buyers they can reach, virtually with nothing ever vetted or evaluated by them concerning the reliability of the information being peddled, or the bona fides of the providers or originators of the documents or the even actual existence, availability or authenticity of the product claimed. No DUE DILIGENCE ever done by the broker/agent intermediaries on the offers presented and represented in those “documents”! To the vast majority of these brokers and agents on the Internet, notorious for largely being uninformed and non-knowledgeably in the business, this is what and all they think is “trading.”!

Frequently, the most that the Internet broker or agent (or trader) who sends in the offer would add, is that he or she would throw in some meaningless, worthless, self-serving statements such as: “This is an authentic seller.” “I can assure you this seller has excellent reputation and is reliable.” Some would even claim something like, “We just successfully concluded another deal like this with this seller.” Yet, as a rule, no shred of concrete evidence whatsoever, much less any proof, is ever provided by such broker or agent to substantiate or back up any of such statements and claims – and therefore still making them (i.e., the intermediary and the offer they might have presented) not only just as worthless in the eyes of any credible buyer viewing the offer, but additionally irritating and time-wasting to them, since virtually no credible buyer in the business would view such representations as worth even one dime, any way!

Think of the image of the scornful “Joker Broker” role in the present-day international trading described by Kamal J. Southall, in his book on trade and financial fraud and the ‘Joker Broker.’ The image of individuals (call them brokers, agents, mandates, facilitators, etc) “who knowingly or unknowingly peddles and plies deals and products that, in the vast majority of instances, are non-existent, or badly defined… [and go] plying deals often involving a string of brokers from one end of the planet to another, and yet not a single one has verified the very existence of the goods at hand.”

IN SUM

By and large, most unfortunately the modern Internet broker/agent intermediaries largely fail to provide the current market (i.e., the legitimate buyers and sellers in the industry) “what the market actually wants,” pure and simple. Namely, they woefully fail frequently to provide and serve the primary duty of the intermediary in Internet oil trading, to serve their Number #1 and most appropriate and most important function for the trader, which is, basically, to help do the essential DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads or offers or information they provide or come across, before or when they pass them on to the trader, and to have fully evaluated and verified such material before hand as to their authenticity, reliability, and intrinsic worth and legitimacy.

And the result? Predictably, largely as a result of such woeful mass failure to provide the current commodities market “what the market actually wants,” the average broker and agent today often invariably is unable to close any deals with any traders, month-after-month, even after years and years of doing the business. Or, worse still, partly because of this general failure on their part to legitimately make sales or legitimately earn any commission income, many of these brokers and agents often resort, wittingly or otherwise, to the act of defrauding and scamming other innocent traders and the peddling of fake offers.

And what then might be the remedy for this?

As a broker or agent today, if you wish to be able to make any progress and to close any deals with any credible traders, the first and foremost thing you should at the very least know, is what should be, and is, your most important and proper duty and function as an intermediary in this Internet era. And then, quickly get yourself back to that crucial business of serving that purpose and function for the traders. You had better got yourself back to serving what should be your Number #1 and most proper and valued function to traders’ and providing the current market (the legitimate buyers and sellers in the market) “what the market” of the present-era actually “wants.” Which is, in a word, to provide the traders trade leads, offers and information that you shall have properly evaluated, verified, and shall have subjected to the requisite due diligence as to their authenticity, reliability, and intrinsic worth and legitimacy, before you submit them to buyer (or a supplier, as the case may be). Or, to put it another way, be sure NEVER to provide any such material to traders UNLESS you’ve first done your proper due diligence on such material – since, in short, doing proper due diligence is really your principal job and value, your ONLY function, as a broker/agent intermediary! And if you do this – and ONLY if you follow this basic procedure in doing business – will you be able to see progress with credible buyers as they will be more inclined even to look at the offers you present or to consider them, and not just toss them in the proverbial waste paper basket outright, unconsidered and unread.

Trade Exchange – Building Databases at Your Cost

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a leading Business Information company, is continuing a program in India to collect trade payment information from industry participants. What is the rationale of such a program? There are several key issues that figure especially in an operating environment where Credit Bureau referral systems are not fully developed. Moreover this has global implications especially in light of the failure of large corporations all over the world.

Let us first take a look at how does the D&B program work? The program operates as a ‘shared information network’ that gives that gives 24 hours online access to payment information on businesses. The trade participants have to provide their receivable information on a monthly basis. In return the trade partner receives free of charge data to reduce risk. Additionally D&B would provide Business reports, for a charge, that would incorporate trade payment data along with financial and operational information on the subject business.

This ‘shared information network’ is a private company initiative that does not have explicit regulatory approval in the form of licensing. Licensing is an important criterion in developing markets where any form of monopoly is shunned. But then…….how does it affect the trade participants? Well there could be positive and negative implications……there could be legal liabilities for masked sharing of ‘mutual’ information between trading parties but on the other hand a wider information base will support better credit decisions.

The Credit Information business environment in India can be a perfect example of a developing market that is maturing. In the current scenario, only regulated and licensed credit information entities, those that have been licensed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005 are allowed to operate. Presently CIBIL is the only licensed and operating Credit Bureau in India. Last year RBI had called for applications for fresh licenses. Large Global players like Equifax Inc and Experian Ltd had applied in partnership with local financial institutions. Thus the credit information space will see lot of action in the coming months. The Credit Bureaus will collect and share information with specified members that are participants from the financial markets.

Under the licensing arrangements, Credit Bureaus are expected to carry out the following business:

(a) providing credit information to individual and corporate borrowers his/her/its own credit report;

(b) providing data management services to the Credit Institutions who are its members;

(c) collecting, processing, collating and disseminating data/information related to property mortgaged to credit institutions;

(d) collecting, processing, collating and disseminating data/information related to investments made in Securities other than those issued by Central Government; and

(e) any other function as notified by the Reserve Bank from time to time.

What do the Credit Bureaus do? Credit Bureaus collect information on borrowers from the member institutions, process the data on proprietary and advance risk management process and collectively store it for usage by member on demand. Typically the data collected would be on the account performance of the borrower. Account performance will include indicators like number of credit lines the borrower enjoys, current outstanding status of those credit lines, number of credit applications among other information. CIBIL is faced with several disputes on account of deviation and differences in the data on the credit reports. This is the case even when the underlying data comes from established data sources like the banking system.

Currently there are no established data privacy laws prevalent in India. Another tricky issue is that of data ownership. In the financial markets, financial institutions and other licensed entities that are governed by their respective regulatory authorities are prohibited from sharing personal data on customers with some exceptions (e.g. sharing with Credit Bureaus). But for other industries there is no clear law that allows sharing of trade information. In such a scenario, sharing of information without explicit approval from counter party will attract legal cases with civil liability even though proving the guilt will be an onerous task. But the possibility of legal cases will become a deterrent for the trade participants to share information with private networks.

How does the industry gather credit information? The trade finds its novel yet practical ways to address this function. Informal process of reference gathering from local trade players is the most prevalent option. Another way of getting information is through insiders like employees and other vendors. Competitors also form a good option to gather information. These methods are mostly disorganized, are loaded with an element of bias and are conducted in with least technical knowledge.

D&B’s Trade Exchange Program prima facie is an important move in the right direction. With trade payment information details the quality of Business Credit information will improve considerably. The quality of risk scores will improve. But there are some serious challenges that it will face.

1. The basic hesitation of private businesses to share information.

2. The credibility of the information that is being provided. It is common knowledge that Account Receivables seldom reconcile between trading partners.

3. Retribution by warring parties. The result would be that the credit report of one partner would deteriorate and that could harm its business prospects.

4. Payment delays could be on account of other differences such quality issues

5. There are legal issues in sharing mutual information. Account Receivable information is not proprietary to one party. Unless there are definite agreements in between trade partners that clearly spell the ownership of the data.

6. Additional cost in using business information reports.

Building Databases @ ur cost. Effectively D&B attempts to build databases at the cost of the Trade partners. The implied usage of data is in the Business Information reports that it primarily produces. On the other hand we have Credit Bureaus that are spending crores of rupees to gather data and on substantial license fees.

What are the alternatives? Credible information from Credit Bureaus would be a good answer. But currently they have a limited scope of operation and are primarily focused in the financial markets.

The other option can be a central repository that stores all trade payment information. This would ensure the credibility and correctness of information that is stored. The information can be accessed by all licensed users for a minimal charge.

The third option will be of professional firms that provide specialised services in the Account Receivable management vertical (AR management).

AR management solution adopts proactive processes such as “Dynamic Credit Limit Setting” whereby the organization incorporates the system of ‘know your customer (KYC)’ and will set credit limits based on events. The advantage is that you gather current and credible information on your trade partners. More importantly you continue to respect the trade relationship that your business has built and nurtured over years.

The Secret To Having Prospects Call You And Ask If They Can Sign Up In Your Business

I still remember the first time I had a prospect call me up one day and ask to join me in my network marketing business. You see, this particular prospect had already researched me and who I was before he called. He read a number of my articles and he watched my videos. Do you know what was happening between my prospect and I during this time Friend? It is called RELATIONSHIP building.

The POWER that the Internet offers today is unbelievable. Through my video’s and other marketing strategies my prospect was able to get to know me and trust me on a personal level. The best part was it was on Auto-Pilot. I did NOT have to go door to door like I used to when I was trying to build my network marketing business and seek out interested prospects. Not only did this take a tremendous amount of time but I might (if I was lucky) find one or two interested people who would take the time and hear what I had to say in any given day. How was I expected or anybody in my downline expected to build a business this slowly? The TRUTH: It did NOT happen to me and it did NOT happen to my team.

This is the #1 reason WHY people eventually quit in their network marketing business. That reason being a lack of interested and qualified people to talk too. It’s funny, I was taught back then to just pass out a DVD or CD to a prospect and then ‘shut up.’ I was told to let the ‘tool’ do the work or let my upline answer questions and build rapport.

Doing this was SUPPOSED to be duplicatable. The truth was it took the ME out of the equation and made me look like a random SOLICITOR and not a PROFESSIONAL ENTREPRENEUR who had true VALUE to offer people. The interesting thing was that while observing all of the LEADERS in my company and their teams I found that their downlines looked up to them and valued them. Also, it was easier for them to RECRUIT others because they were seen as more valuable in the eyes of their prospects than me. This VALUE allowed the top leaders in my company to recruit bigger fish.

After taking my business online a few years ago I had to really get rid of a lot of the training my company and leaders taught me. The secret behind HOW these successful ‘Guru’s’ or top money earners were recruiting so fast was that they developed their BRAND and they knew HOW to MARKET it.

Today’s message is very POWERFUL Friend, because if you really ‘GET’ how powerful BRANDING is to your business then you will be light-years away from other distributors and earn more money faster.

I hope that after reading today’s lesson Friend you will see WHY building your brand is vital to your business. Think about this for a second, HOW much are YOU worth to the MARKETPLACE?

Really think about this for a minute and decide on your worth. It is the first step to developing your brand. Everyone comes to the table with a certain level of VALUE. Brian Tracy in his book,‘The Psychology of Selling’ makes a great statement. ‘NO One is SMARTER than you and No One is BETTER than you.’

The truth is we all start at the beginning. Leaders are NOT born they are made and you are what you think about most of the time. If this is true and ‘it’ is, then we need to be pumping our brain everyday with PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT training. We need to work harder on ourselves until we instill the skillsets and the self-confidence and determination that will take us to the top.

None of this happens overnight Friend. It is HARD. Being a success is hard work. Anyone who tells you differently is deluding themselves. But the reward is worth it. Living a life on your terms is SOOOO worth it!

Being out of DEBT and free is worth it. Having extra money in your bank account is worth it. Spending more time with your children and your family is worth it. Working for fun and not because you have to is worth it. You might have other reasons, but the truth is too decide on the price you will have to pay for success and resolve to pay that price.

Your BRAND is YOU! The top factor in WHY your prospects will decide to join your business is YOU. In the back of their mind Friend your prospects are always asking themselves if you are the leader that will show them how to achieve success in your business opportunity.

In Online marketing the best way to brand yourself as a leader and a person that attracts prospects is to give away value. As you learn new skills or experiences, simply use this knowledge to help others. When prospects view you as a MENTOR who truly desires to help and who gives incredible amounts of value they will naturally become ATTRACTED to you.

This is how you must build your brand online Friend. Another important point to understand is that online people are skeptical. It’s understandable why people choose not to listen to you when they don’t know if you are telling the truth or if you are who you say you are. They have good reason to feel this way Friend. Many people online are putting on a facade. They market themselves as the ‘Jack of all trades’. They are only out for one thing and that’s usually money and they are definitely NOT adding value to the marketplace.

This leads me to the next and what I consider to be the most VITAL part of developing your brand. This is your AUTHENTICITY. That’s right, you must be AUTHENTIC online. In this universe there is only one of YOU. You are a special person Friend and because of this the marketplace wants you not somebody else.

In my life I make it known that by trade I’m a professional Librarian. This is a career that I love and I’m proud of. I also have a business that I love and am passionate about. It’s this authenticity that attracts loads of people to me. I may not be the best looking person on the Internet or the most successful but I’m the best at what I do.

It’s this VALUE that I’m willing to share with others that makes me an ATTRACTABLE entrepreneur that people want to get to know and work with. The by-product to increasing my value everyday and practicing self-discipline (so that I’m making sure the tasks that I need to do daily are getting done) is self-satisfaction and cash flow.

Once you grasp how important AUTHENTICITY is to building your BRAND Friend you will be on the high road to success. Begin immediately, if you haven’t already, working on yourself. Listen to good personal development and skill set audio tapes/CD’s and read books relating to personal development and online marketing everyday. You will be amazed at how fast you will see a difference in your business and life.