Chondra Rankin on MLSP and Making Life Ridiculously Amazing
Chondra Rankin is an avid reader, Facebook expert, and a successful MLSP internet marketer. Here’s our interview.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Chondra. I’m very interested in learning more about you. So, let’s get to it!
First off, where were you born and raised and what was childhood like for you?
Before I begin, I want to first thank you for this interview opportunity – and, even more than that – for causing me to analyze and discover some things about myself that I hadn’t yet put into words. Digging deeper made me more self-aware on some levels that I may have been avoiding. So, thank you for that!
On to your question! I was born, raised, and still reside in east-central Iowa. On my pre-recorded and FB Live videos, I typically say “coming straight out of the Heartland,” because many people get Iowa confused with two other states in the US (Idaho and Ohio!!), NEITHER of them in the Midwest. So, I like to use that as my tagline!
While I have firm roots in the Heartland, I love to travel and have traveled extensively in the US and Europe. Taking in people, foods, history, & places that differ from Iowa has enriched my life. The love of travel sprouted when I was young, as our family of five would travel often to Illinois or Minnesota to see relatives.
We also took an annual trek to Washington State to visit my paternal grandparents and many more on my dad’s side of the family. Part of this time was spent visiting, but a full week would be comprised of attending a church camp up in the mountains – as in tent camping and outhouses!
Possibly the most interesting part of this story is that my parents didn’t JUST take our family. The trips began when I was very young and took place via 1960’s International bread truck.
In later years, my parents purchased a “retired” Blue Bird school bus converted to a motor home status. The bus took 12 trips during as many years, but we went out with various sizes of groups for 30 years total!
The largest group traveling at one time was 26! The stories of the hijinks and debacles are nearly endless, and maybe in the future I’ll incorporate some of those into my marketing!!
There were always additional people at our house, especially on Sunday afternoons (everyone came over for dinner after church!) and during the summer break.
Some cousins would stay all summer long. It was always a disappointment and shock to the system went everyone left at the end of the summer!
I’ve gone on for longer than I anticipated, but wanted I you to see a snapshot of my upbringing. It was unusual, surrounded with people much of the time, but often my sisters and I were often left to our own devices. That left us open to our own imaginations and creativity!
What did your parents do for a living, what did you want to be when you grew up, and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
Both of my parents worked (and in every aspect of life have worked very hard at what they have done), but their focus first and foremost was evangelism. My dad was a preacher and Mom was and is very involved with teaching, leading, organizing, etc.
There are many pastors on both sides of my family, so events we went to were generally related to church activities and that was just my normal. I’m still very involved in related work.
They both also worked in our school system. Dad worked in maintenance and my mom did several activities, two of which were printing all the District’s classroom papers and supervising recess. Later on, Mom worked for the county dispatching for the 911 emergency system.
It’s very interesting to me that on the side of preaching and evangelism, both of my parents kind of had an entrepreneurial mindset, in that they were not just part of the status quo.
But in their day-to-day jobs, they were not entrepreneurs or risk-takers. I learned at a young age that I should continue my education and get a J.O.B. And there is nothing wrong with having a job. But I really wasn’t exposed to the alternative.
The one area I was most interested in, growing up, had to do with interior spaces and design. I’m a very creative person (although the left and right sides of my brain are fairly equally balanced!), and that was a creative outlet. I loved dealing with colors and spatial layout in rooms.
One other interest growing up was gardening (in college, for about 5 minutes, I thought about changing my major to Horticulture!).
I don’t think I was really interested in the biology as much as the fact that it felt like a healing modality to me. I would go out and dig and move plants around my parents’ property to my heart’s content.
We lived in the country, so there was PLENTY of dirt to play with! That was very fulfilling, and now, knowing that spending time alone, doing activities you love, is rejuvenating to an Introvert, it makes complete sense!
What career did you begin, how did you begin your career, and when was there a turning point?
I mentioned my interest in design, but NO, that did not come first in my college career! I played piano, beginning at age 4 (and still play) then added in the study of percussion in upper grade school.
I was “encouraged” to keep playing by my parents (code for “I wasn’t allowed to quit”!) and I had a natural talent playing music, so I continued that through college.
I majored in Percussion and accompanied students on piano on the side – but eventually had to decide what in the world I wanted to do with that! I did not want to continue on to teach music, so as I was finishing this degree… I had to do a lot of soul-searching.
With my prior interest in interior design and that career aligning with the results of related aptitude tests, I thought I would give it a shot.
That was a very scary decision for me. I knew NOTHING about the supplies or techniques/skills needed for a Fine Arts degree! That program was also a four-year program, so it was kind of like starting at square one.
But I took the plunge and despite a stringent weeding-out process, I remained in the program and graduated with some other amazing designers.
After graduation, I took a job at the company where I’d completed my internship and stayed there for 7 years. By the end of that time, I was ready to jump ship and I didn’t care where. I was making barely enough money to live on, and was highly stressed both personally and professionally.
One day, I’d had ENOUGH and printed off my resignation (that was already written) and marched it back to my boss’s office. He was on the phone, so I left it on his desk and walked out of the room.
In the nine months following, I worked on training for trading stocks options and that would and could have been a lucrative move – except, remember my comment about being stressed personally?
There was a lot going on, and that just didn’t allow for that opportunity to move forward. And, as we both know – the price of inaction is a great cost.
After that point, I needed income, and worked for a local janitorial & construction cleaning company as a supervisor. It wasn’t what I wanted to do forever but it would do in the meantime!
It was where I stayed for a couple of years, and one day, I received a call from my former employer to ask me to return to the Interior Design world. I was ready to let bygones be bygones, so back I went.
Nothing had changed, but I loved my clients and my coworkers, so I stayed until there was another opportunity to advance my career. This would be a move into Facilities with a Fortune 500 company and I couldn’t pass it up.
There were several points in this journey in which the PAIN WAS REAL. Jobs in which there were mental and physical ramifications.
But the greatest catalyst was the unexpected death of my father, which was about 2-1/2 years ago now. He was young, only 64 years old, and only two weeks earlier had been given a clean bill of health from the doctor.
He had a heart attack.
But none of us ever know what the future will hold. He and my mom had just visited with the insurance agent 2 days before, joking back and forth about the life insurance.
When they left the office, Mom headed east to visit relatives in Illinois and he went back home. It was the last time they saw each other.
He worked for 40 years at a job that was not his passion. And was only alive for 2 years after retirement. Two years. We just don’t know.
When did you start internet marketing, and what was it, and how was the beginning for you?
I began looking into other options and began internet marketing, an MLM, a little over a year after my dad died. The first year after – it was just. too. much. They call it a year of “firsts” – the first experience of each holiday, event, etc after a loved one dies.
I apologize, I didn’t intend for this to be so much about death, but in that, I have found new opportunities. The first year was very difficult, not only for my sisters and myself, but really in caring for my mom as SHE endured the days. (And, it continues, but gets a little better, a little better, then a little worse, then maybe a little better. But grief never really ends.)
Being involved in this type of company for the first time, I had NO CLUE what I was doing! The message I heard over and over was that if I blogged every day for 90 days, Great Things Would Happen.
While a blog is great, and necessary, that’s doesn’t quite include every piece in the puzzle of success! Haha! As they say, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
So, I blogged and blogged and nothing happened. There was no focus on training, on leads, or anything but blogging.
Just bring in other bloggers and sell the other products (with no direction on how to do this). Now, if you have a huge team already, and join a company like that – great! You’ll have success, possibly for awhile.
That fizzled. But I’m forever an optimist, so…
You discovered My Lead System Pro. How did that change your internet marketing experience?
Someone, now a mentor of mine, began a conversation with me about how he was having the same experience with this other blogging company.
That conversation alone made me realize someone else was having the struggles I was having and that other people DO care and uplift others. It’s like I was no longer a tiny island, alone, in the middle of the big, scary ocean (how dramatic, right?!).
MLSP has given me tools and, more importantly, an AMAZING community of people to work with. I can gain from those just beginning with the company, and also from others that are at the top.
There is a great sense of support and everyone is VERY helpful – even if they have nothing to gain from you. The entire premise is supporting and helping others. Providing value for others.
Who is MLSP for, and what does it do exactly?
MLSP is self-defining: “My Lead System Pro.” In the simplest terms, the system helps to gain leads. To be more accurate, MLSP gives you the TOOLS to be able to attract leads. (And by “you,” I mean ANYONE that is in business!)
With the membership, you have a blogging system (complete with SEO and whatever other fun stuff you want to incorporate with it), a CRM that helps you track leads, an autoresponder, and tons of free training.
The training on this site is VERY powerful. There is training on how to set up everything I mentioned (plus more that I DIDN’T mention), plus multiple opportunities every week such as Daily inspirational Wakeup calls, a Tuesday Hangout, Wednesday webinar (and additional webinars, FB Lives, etc) and a FB community page. I could go on and on.
They offer SO much, it’s kind of unbelievable!
I love your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is the daily traffic like to it?
Thank you! Having a background in design, I really had a great time getting the look and feel that I was striving to portray. There are always tweaks and changes I have added to my ongoing “to do” list.
In addition to the written word on my blog posts, I always use images and memes – and often include video. Communicating with memes – the combination of image + quote is so powerful to me.
I’m a very visual person (as I believe many people are), and it’s so true that a photo is worth 1000 words. People are also drawn to quotes, especially inspirational quotes. This combination elicits an emotional and often nostalgic response – it hits people in the heart.
This blog is in its infancy, since I created this website in September of this year. I have 43 posts and will continue to create new posts and add to this site, posts from my previous blog. (There are somewhere around 100 on the other site.)
I’m tweaking and updating those if I do “reuse” them. I’ve included a large amount of mindset and inspirational material (since I think that is SO important) and am building a “how to”/instructional component for balance.
Since it’s a newer blog, I’m building traffic – so currently, I am putting up a new post every day! Daily traffic is very up and down, since it’s being discovered by new people every day. Just over 55% of my traffic comes from Facebook!
I see you have a lot of videos on YouTube. How important is video for internet marketers and do you have any tips on how to optimize video for leads and search engines?
Video for marketers in any field is ESSENTIAL. A trending type of marketing right now is use of FB Live. You need almost no equipment (a phone!) to do it and no expertise – only need to have something to say!
I utilize those FB Live videos and have created youtube playlist with those – I can then embed them in Twitter or blog posts as is relevant. They may even be used on Instagram!
One tip for optimization is use of keywords. Without going into that in great detail, one hack is checking out lists of keywords from other highly ranked videos and use those keywords on your own video.
For the second tip, I guess you’ll have to inbox me for more details!! (Hint: firstname.lastname@example.org !)
I see you have a lot of valuable content for Facebook prospecting. Is this your favorite platform to get leads, and which do you like better for lead generation, a fanpage or regular facebook profile page?
Facebook is my platform of choice. I’ve been using that the longest and with the most frequency. For that reason, I have the most interaction with my personal profile page – I do have a facebook group for some types of interaction, but recently created a FB Page. (I did a blog post, comparing whether you should use a Page vs Group and Page won out overall!)
On Friday, I celebrated going over the 100 Like mark, so that was exciting! I like that on a Page you can schedule posts ahead of time – leveraging time is so important!
What is the best way to get Leads for you today?
I interact with people in a way that attracts them to me. THEY send ME friend requests and THEY send ME messages to connect. Attraction marketing at its finest!
A book on your blog caught my eye. “Personality Plus.” Building a successful online brand is all about creating relationships. How does this book fit that bill?
This goes into a realm I’m VERY interested in – personality types. There are various ways to rate personality types, each having their own appeal.
The important thing is to know your own personality type and have the ability to recognize the personality type of the person with which you’re dealing. You can then work with them in the most effective way – VERY important in all types of marketing!
What is your favorite book right now and why?
That is such a tough one, but I will just give a nod to two books which I’ve been mentioning lately. The first is the “Holy Man.” It’s a book of becoming self-aware: those traveling to see the Holy Man for advice gain wisdom and insights on the journey.
The second book is “The Power of Habit.” Since all of us are so ingrained in habits, I think it’s fascinating to learn what habits are and how to change them, if needed.
What are your goals for 2017?
Not to be cliché, but my goal is to get Better and Better! Through learning more about myself, my outward desire is to help others in the journey of getting closer to their business and personal goals.
What is your favorite quote and why?
This one is even more difficult for me to choose than my favorite book… I gained the love of words from both of my parents, which they also each learned from their mothers and so it goes.
I’ll leave you with the quote that is on the homepage of my website and aligns with my goals, a quote by none other than Jim Carrey: “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
Thank you so much again for this interview, Chondra!
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