Is Project Management Certification Valuable?

Good Day AllIntroduction”Certification is a must!” “Certification is valuable!” “Certification nice but does not add significant value!”"Eliminate the accidental project manager – certify them”"Certification is required”There are too many arguments and positions on the value of certifications so what is reality, if there is one? The reality is limited to one fact: there is no agreement on the value of certification; at least in the domain of project management.What Do We KnowWhat we know is that there are numerous project management certifications, such as PMP, RMP, PRINCE2, MSP, IPMA (four levels), CCC/CCE, PSP, EVP, CPM, and numerous others with all kind of acronyms. We also know that some are specialized in a topic; some are more popular; and some are more valuable. Which is which and how do we define value? Here is where the debate starts.A few more questions:Should human resource managers and executives use professional certification as a filter to screen candidates?Is certification an indicator of excellence or a proof of expertise?Are the ‘certified’ individuals able to play an active role in transforming organizational performance?At least is project management certification contributing to enhancing organizational performance?We can post many more questions here and to answer them effectively and fairly, we are likely in need of a large volume instead of a short article and we need numerous contributors to make the case for-and-against. Once again, what is clear is that there no consensus in the project management professional community on the value of certification, or at least on the value of some of the common and even popular certifications.What Are The Common Views?We can categorize the most common views per the following:Some professionals, training providers, and even professional associations will defend the various introductory certifications and continue to promote them as “expert” level certifications and use terms such as “best practices” and “master project management”… The level of promotion is directly link to the benefit of the promoter and can often border the unethical behavior; or at least misguided.Other professionals will attack these introductory certifications as worthless, or use terms such as: “paper certifications”, “technical ___”, and my favorite “can recite the standard verbatim but cannot manage a hot dog stand. Here again, this practice can be unethical if the attackers have competing products and/or have hidden agendas; so they try to lift their products by attacking the competing products.Other professionals are in between and will offer a somewhat balanced view, with open and clear position and transparency of their affiliations.It is quite difficult and might be inappropriate to judge the various professional certifications and we will not do so; this is a huge topic and we are not qualified to offer such judgment. However, in the area of project management we do have extensive global expertise to allow us to offer a professional opinion although likely controversial.What Is Our Position?We will state the following:Most, if not all, certifications requires significant effort to achieve and do result in gained knowledge.For those with proper experience, a certification may add significant value since these professionals can put a formal knowledge structure to what they have been practicing on the job.We think that most will not argue with this statement: some certifications have significant value, others do not, and it is important to realize the difference.Some certifications have had good value but have lost it or are losing their value although their numbers continue to grow. Sound like a contradictory statement and maybe it is but we will argue otherwise.There is a huge gap in practice and awareness on the value of certifications in the market. This is usually the result of overzealous marketing, and as we mentioned earlier on bordering unethical behaviors.Unfortunately, some professional associations are more concerned with growing their numbers rather than clearly communicating the true value of each certification they grant or spend the necessary screening effort to ensure qualified individuals earn the right certification.Some certifications are introductory or early career but they are ‘sold’ as expert level.Some are general certifications for someone with project management experience (although limited) but are ‘sold’ as project manager’s certification.Most introductory certifications have good value as introductory level but not they are necessarily an indicator that the holder of such certification is an experienced project manager.The Question of ValueDue to some of the factors that we mentioned earlier, many technical professionals with limited or no experiences in project management are obtaining these certifications. Some of them do not even know the difference between a project life span and process groups, or a project plan and a schedule, or even the difference between a change and a variance.The above scenario is leading to contradictory market perceptions:On one hand, quite a few recruiters, human resources managers, and executives are using certification as a filter for screening employment candidates since they believe that these certifications are of a “great value” and indicators of “expert project managers.”On the other hand, for those of us who truly understand the value and limitations of these certifications, the action of professional associations granting these certifications create a situation of “mistrust” in the market and in the credential. We also lose respect for these commercial practices and lack of responsibility.Our RecommendationsFor human resources and recruiting managers and executives, we offer the following advice:Do not take certification as proof of expert level performerCheck into the certification requirements to help you understand if this is a basic level or a senior level or an expert levelDo not take the certification holder for granted… review the CV, challenge the person, ask the difficult questions, go beyond soft skills and ask the hard project management core questions (if you are hiring for a project management position)Does the certificate holder have project management experience or technical experience working on project; do not trust the professional association to verify this for you since they mostly depend on online applications with limited audit or verificationThe ActionIt is important to recognize that some professional associations might not be in the best position to address these concerns and we need an alternative. The alternative is to focus on educating the global community, educating recruiters and executives on the value of certifications.How can we do that?Through this article, we urge professionals and project management thought leaders to join us and launch an initiative under the title “Protecting Project Management: What Executives Need to Know”; this is like a consumers protection initiatives.What do you think?Can we play a role here? How can we be effective in creating the necessary awareness in as unbiased approach as possible?More in future articles!Mounir A. Ajam26 September 2011

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

7 Ways to Maximize Your Affiliate Marketing Program ROI

So what is Affiliate Marketing?Affiliate marketing is a mutually beneficial business partnership between a merchant and a website publisher/owner whereby an affiliate is compensated (commission per sale) for every visitor or client provided through his/her effort. In other words, Affiliate marketing is simple and a quick way to offer products and services without creating them yourself.”By introducing your customers to products or services from other companies or individuals and get a commission on any sales is Affiliate Marketing.”Affiliate marketing is not an easy task for the marketers to market the affiliate products successfully. But it’s also not as difficult as most of the affiliate marketers typically earn well over six figures a month.The most important for every marketer is to build trust and relationship with the audience and consistently invest the time and effort.While traffic sources are a significant factor in affiliate marketing success, the relevancy of the traffic is applied for all digital marketing and sales personnel. The key traffic sources can be SEO, social networks, blogging, email marketing, etc.Digital products pay higher commissions than physical products as it requires least investment and effort to produce and distribute them. You can offer digital downloads to your readers like eBooks, audio/video files, software’s, etc., without any additional overhead cost of production or distribution. You can also provide online, hosted and professional services for your local audiences.What are the advantages of Affiliate Marketing?Many online advertisers are looking for cost-effective ways to drive-in web traffic and secure their expenses. So, Affiliate Marketing has several advantages like:

Drives-in large volume of web traffic

Helps you reach new customers

Builds relationship with your audiences

Gains a wider market place to sell products

Can sell the products directly

Track and monitor the customer behavior

Easy to implement

Low effort and low risk

Doable by a single person

Affiliate marketing campaign

In 2017, affiliate marketing has expanded into a multi-billion dollar industry. Marketers around the world are using it as an effective marketing campaign. It’s the right time to take action to grow your business and make money with affiliate marketing.There are some important tips to make your marketing strategy more effective that would gain you more revenue with less investment.Here are seven ways to maximize your perfect affiliate marketing program this year.

Identify your audience goalsThe first step for every marketer is to know their audience’s goals, interests, behaviors, etc. By understanding your audience’s goals, you can find the products that will make them engaged or they want to achieve.

List your audiences emails and blog post comments

Send them emails and ask about their problems promptly

Look for solutions in public places like online forum sites to understand and assess the discussions on your topic.

Reach your audience goals

After identifying a desirable goal, you can gather some points to engage your readers and their needs for a specific product. It helps to coordinate your online marketing strategy.

Define your audience objectives

Select and find your target audience

Choose the right kind of platform that appeals to different audiences

Determine the tools and resourcesThere are several tools and resources that you can use to set up affiliate program partners and collect commissions. Some of the blogging and affiliate marketing tools can be used to sell your work and grow large audiences.

Collect emails to connect with your audience

Introduce your product or services

Find specific groups and list all the products that would help your audiences.?

Select a product to promoteResearch for the best products that have affiliate programs and also meet your audience requirements. It’s easy to promote those products that you know so that you can evaluate various issues from the user’s point of view.

Promote a well-reviewed product

Connect with the influencers to sell their products

Get products through affiliate network?

Setup and manage your affiliate programAffiliate programs are an opportunity for you to get hundreds, even thousands of web sites all driving traffic to your site and making sales for you. It is based on your overall marketing strategy where you can setup affiliate program, manage and track the sales performance and more.

Analyze your competitors

Have a product that delivers promises

Provide affiliates with text links, banners, emails, articles, etc.

Track the sales?

Promote your productThe fastest way to get quick results is to start promoting other people’s products in return for a commission. There are several affiliate marketing promotional methods like PPC, SEO, coupon, Content, Social media, etc., that can be used for promoting your product.

Add affiliate links to blogs, eBooks, etc.

Create and promote custom content (write reviews, guest posts, etc.)

Craft promotional emails for other users?

Create an affiliate disclaimer pageCreating an affiliate disclaimer page on your website allows you to handle the commissions from products and services. So wherever you share an affiliate link, whether it’s in web pages, blog posts or emails, let your readers know that you stand to earn a small commission.

The disclaimer must appear on any page

Must be mentioned that you receive compensation for any review or rating on your product

Disclaimer should be immediately evident to a typical visitor who views a review or rating on your site

ConclusionAffiliate marketing is one of the best methods to start earning an income by promoting other people’s or company’s products. Simply identify the audience needs to reach their goals, and you can get started with affiliate marketing program. It can be a profitable venture as long as you put your effort into growing your business and solving people’s problems.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

The Best Internet Marketing Training Program Online

Are you wondering what the best internet marketing training program online is? Well I have to say, being an internet marketing consultant, I’ve came across a wide variety of programs out there. I’ve being practicing online marketing since 2004, so I’ve seen the old school gurus, and the new school heroes of today’s current time. And I can honestly say, the program quality is VASTLY different.The old school internet marketing training programs aren’t as software and technologically driven as today’s programs are. Back in the day, you would learn hard hitting strategies that really improved your website sales immediately. I want to share a personal story about a free internet marketing program I came across while I was in college – and it changed my life completely.So I was in college trying my best to make money in between classes, and I was doing the direct linking method of marketing. Back then you had traditional pay per click advertising search engines such as Overture, MSN Adcenter, and Google AdWords. Those were the top 3 – before Yahoo and MSN (currently Bing) merged. So I was in college linking directly to my ugly sales letter page, and getting no results. Well actually, the only results I was getting was bad results.I read every single article you could think of, and I came across a guy named Terry Dean. I read his article, was intrigued, and saw a link for a free book he had. The book was called something like, “10 Quick And Easy Ways To Boost Your Website Sales In A Week” (or something like that). I read it, and it changed my entire marketing completely.1 week after implementing his ideas and applying changes to my website, I got my first 2 sales ever. I fell out of my chair. I couldn’t believe it. I said this “internet thing” is real and I wanted more. Now fast forward to this day of age and the internet marketing training that I see is ridiculous. Everybody has a new secret or a new technique. Everybody’s trying to get rich overnight WITHOUT a website.There are a lot of internet marketing training programs these days that teach people to get started with affiliate marketing and just “share” their link on Facebook, forums, and search engines. This doesn’t work, and the old school marketers look at these promotional tactics and authors as if they are scammers. Why do I use the word “scammer”? Well it’s simple.Everywhere you go, everyone has a “new” way of doing something. Everything has to be faster, better, and more supreme than the proven way of making money. This is why so many people fail, because they think they can just put up a website, put their link into an autoblaster, and get rich overnight. It doesn’t work like that. Even worst is when people join an affiliate network, sign up to promote a particular product, and then just blast their affiliate link all over the place.And yes, there are high priced internet marketing training programs that advise this kind of marketing. It’s frightening isn’t it? It makes new age marketers like myself look bad and frowned upon, because my methods work, and it doesn’t take a genius to implement them and see results. Whenever you come across an internet marketing training program, you have to keep an eye out for a few things.You should look to see if the person has something free to offer you – to sample. This way you can “test drive” their expertise, and take a peek to see what they have to say. Then you should be able to take what you’ve learned from their free sample, and be able to apply it to your business. This is crucial, because just because you pay for an internet marketing program, doesn’t mean you’re going to learn the important stuff.There’s a well-known marketer online (who’s name I won’t disclose) who had an online business program. He had tons of testimonials from people who used his strategies and were making thousands of dollars per month. Some of them were making thousands of dollars per day. Actually… some of them were making over $10,000 per day – and they attributed their success to this guy’s course.So I bought the course for $39 (out of intrigue), and what did I find? I found a glorified sales pitch to purchase his $995 “advanced course” about making money on the internet. The material in the course that I bought only talked about why most people aren’t making money online, and how people promote products that they want to promote – INSTEAD of selling what people are looking for.Who doesn’t know that? What business owner would sell something that nobody desires? This is simple market research. So I bought the $39 course and was highly disappointed, and quite mad because of the testimonials that I saw that were associated with this course. So these are some of the games and gimmicks some of the new age “gurus” like to play in order to boost their bank account, and take advantage of people.So this was certainly not the best internet marketing training program I’ve seen. The old age internet marketer’s actually delivered when it came to value, and that is why they are legendary and are in the “hall of fame” of marketing. Nowadays you can go to YouTube and find over 100 gurus who have an internet marketing “success system” that is unique from everybody else’s. If you take a look at the ads, they all sound the same. And when you buy the products, most of them is just rehashed information.There are a lot internet marketing training programs on the internet, and you can’t trust just anybody. If you’re going to follow someone, make sure they have a real website – and not just an ugly affiliate link. Make sure they have an email newsletter that you can subscribe to and learn from. Make sure they have training articles and free materials that you can learn from. Make sure you can reach them by email and via social media. And make sure they are current and on top of the latest trends in the internet marketing industry.Be careful who you buy from, because you might end up disappointed like I was.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off