Q - Who are you?
A - The site and concept were created by Marshal Manlove from Newark, DE, USA. Mr. Manlove is a hypnotist by trade who helps people with hypnotherapy, in person and through recorded material, and an entertainer who performs a comedy hypnosis show and mentalism show around the country.
The site was built to specifically market Mr. Manlove's line of hypnotherapy recordings making use of the concepts that launched Amazon and other large online retailers- an affiliate marketing plan. Friends, fans and clients who like to refer his work to their friends could earn a fee for doing so if they wished to affiliate with the site. Once the site and process began to work as expected, Mr. Manlove, as an entertainer, realized that what had been built could work for other people in the entertainment industry, particularly, who had music, books, podcasts, and the like, available to promote and distribute.
In November of 2015, the site was open for others to join as vendors and/or affiliates and take advantage of what is now available for their own business growth.
Q - What is "affiliate marketing?"
A - Amazon was built using an affiliate marketing program. It can also be called "referral marketing" and is a grass-roots way of promoting goods and services. We have a growing number of people who have become affiliates and promote the site hoping to sell whatever is on it to make some extra money. This means that if you are a vendor of some sort you have a growing army of salespeople working on your behalf.
If you are a musician, for example, you certainly have plenty of options when it comes to posting your music. How many of them can boast an army of salespeople? How many actively promote your music unless you PAY for a premium listing?
See http://www.affiliateseeking.com/ or http://www.affiliateguide.com for lists of many other affiliate programs.
Q - Do people have to pay to be an affiliate?
A - First, we use the term affiliate only because the software program we have says affiliate on it and we can't change that term. Many affiliate programs do require some sort of administrative fee to "join." We do not require ANYONE to pay ANY fees to become an affiliate and work with Marshcast. There are no subsequent daily, weekly, monthly or yearly fees either. We are looking to have people WORK with us as affiliates and earn for their work. We don't necessarily like the term affiliate because of its sometimes negative connotation but, very simply, we are stuck with it.
A - What is also different is that those who decide to promote and distribute their work on the site will get personal attention. This will come in the form of individual promotions and even encouragement and counseling, if desired.
Q - What are the fees to become a vendor on the site?
A - There are no up-front, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly fees to become a vendor on the site. Fees are from sales of goods only. Those fees are 30% of sales. The balance goes to paying affiliates and 10% to the site.
Q - That 30% sounds high.
A - That is a statement and not a question, but we hear that also. We built the site and it did cost a lot of money and time to build it. Also, people who are working with this site as affiliates need to get paid. They are the salespeople and marketing department of this site. We know from producing and selling our own work in the past at other sites (such as Amazon) that the 30% is actually a GOOD rate to get paid per sale. Most Musicians who get an actual recording deal with a record company get paid FAR less.
This is also why we encourage vendors to join as affiliates and take an active role in their own potential success by promoting their own work and working with their friend and fan base to bring them in as affiliates. Doing this will increase that percentage of their own material up to as high as 75%. The math gets more complex for this particular question at a later time, but its important to understand that this site was built to HELP people.
Q - Do I retain all of my rights as a vendor?
A - Yes. We aren't in the business to rip off anyone. You retain your publishing rights, copyrights, etc.
There is also a legal statement on the site which you will see when you register with us.
Q - If I sell music on the site do I HAVE to register as an affiliate?
A - That is the area of the site where we gather the information from you so we can pay you so, yes, you must. You do not have to use the tools that the affiliates use to market your work and the site but....why wouldn't you? We do understand that vendors need to concentrate on their creations but this is a business once someone decides to promote it and sell their work. At the very least it is wise, and probably very important, to find a friend or business associate of yours to register also and have that person use the tools that the site provides to help promote and sell your work.
Q- What if I am a musician, register as an affiliate, but just want to concentrate on making music?
A- That is what most musicians do. Think about how wise that is, though. If you want to sell your music you are in business so there is a need for SOMEONE to handle your business. If its not you, then find someone. You can then have that person use our site and its tools to help your business.
Q - How else does this site help an entertainer/vendor?
A - Mr. Manlove also operates a booking agency at www.mmmtalent.com. As someone in the entertainment industry he has learned why people succeed and why they fail in it. There are two major reasons; 1- lack of proper marketing and; 2- failure to put in work on the business side of one's career. Mr. Manlove provides some basic consultation to help entertainers, writers and podcasters do what they need to do in order to begin to move forward in their career. Implementing the marketing plan on this site is one of those ways.
Q - What if I don't want to sell anything on the site? Are there fees to put some music in the music section?
A - There are no fees. If one would like to have some music placed in our music section, they are welcome to do so. It is simply a matter of asking and then following the instructions sent. The same thing goes for books and podcasts. For podcasts we just need code to link to an audio player from the podcasts hosting site. Currently, we are not hosting podcast files, just the podcast players.
Q - Why can't anyone just put up their work themselves like other sites?
A - Vendors who work with us for a while will have that capability. For the time being everything is manually posted by Marshcast staff. It is just because we are being cautious with what we've built for now. Also, since the site is still new and not currently very busy, we have time to do it and take personal care of those who wish to join us.
Q - How come there aren't many people on the site then?
A - Because its still new and was just launched in November. People are also afraid of change and of new things and many simply don't like to be one of the first ones to the party. But think about this...those who are here already are getting the most exposure right now. They are not getting lost in the crowd.
Q - Ok, so when the site does get busier then they will get lost in the crowd, right?
A - When the site gets larger there will be more associates talking about it and promoting it. The way we can market with our back-end capabilities stacks up with any major site. If ANYONE thinks they are getting lost on the site they will be able to send a message to us letting us know and we can create and send out a direct marketing campaign with a couple of clicks.
Q - How do I start?
A - Everything starts with the completion of the Affiliate Signup form for those who wish to promote their work or those who want to join us as associates. There is currently no need to give us a social security number. (It even says so on the form.) We understand that since we are new that people are nervous about doing that. At some point, however, we will need it in order to pay anyone.
If you are a vendor, we will then need you to send us the material that we need to post. That will be taken care of all by email.
Q - What experience do you require to work for you?
A - We would love sales experience but its not necessary. We will walk through the process, step by step, with anyone who wants to join us. We are looking for people who can see the vision that we see for this company and are looking for people who are self-motivated and want to work.
Q - Are you hiring any employees full time or part time?
A - Anyone who associates with us will do so as sub-contractors who are then responsible for their own taxes and expenses. We encourage anyone who wants to work with us to do so on a very part-time basis to begin. This isn't easy for some of the reasons mentioned in the answers in this FAQ section. It is a commission-only position for now. When the times comes for a need to hire someone to take on larger roles for us we will ONLY hire those who have been working with us in these positions. This is an up-front promise that we will make.
Anyone who works with us can work from home and on their own schedule. Again, we simply ask that someone who decides to join us is self-motivated.
Associates can work person-to-person and/or door-to-door if they desire to compliment their own skill set. We don't provide any printed materials, however, and simply suggest making use of a laptop or tablet to make any presentations they wish to make to a prospective vendor or affiliate, if making a personal presentation.
Q- Is there room for advancement?
A- As is the case most everywhere one would look, Marshcast offers ways to advance up through levels of the company. These are not only based on reaching performance goals but also maintained by doing a certain amount of predetermined work that keeps an Associate with the ability to earn. Bonus and earnings potential naturally increase along the way. With our program there are also ways to move backwards to penalize those who do not a basic amount of work.
Q - Do I have to be in the USA to work with you or become a vendor?
A - We are not aware of any other country's laws. We believe the basic answer to that is "no," though. Check your local laws to be sure.
Q - How much is the compensation for affiliates?
A - These rates vary between 10-33% depending on the items sold. There are also a couple of hidden bonuses, which we don't mention since we want them to be a surprise benefit. There is also the potential for those who work hard and catch up to the learning curve to earn overrides helping others work with us on this site.
Contact us at email@example.com with any questions not answered here.