Getting Started In Mystery Shopping (The Right Way)Written by Melanie Jordan
One of most common questions I get from people who are looking to get started in mystery shopping is "how do I get started?" If you intend to make mystery shopping a real career rather than just getting "paid to shop" it's important to get started off on right foot. Mystery shopping can either be road to overworked and underpaid, or if you do it correctly, it can be quite lucrative for a legitimate, work-at-home, flexible job.
Unfortunately, most common error newbie mystery shoppers make is that they go berserk applying to mystery shopping company web sites left and right. Signing up with companies is last thing you want to do when you are just starting out--unless you want to be a new mystery shopper with sore fingers saying "I applied to 100 companies but I didn't hear anything". Going directly to companies, especially if you don't have any, or have very little mystery shopping experience, is a waste of time in my opinion. Most companies are inundated with requests from newbies wanting to become mystery shoppers; what they want are experienced shoppers they can count on. Think of a "real world" job search. If you just apply to companies all over place without any experience, or knowing if they even have any job openings, it's going to be a fruitless effort.
Another big reason why applying to company web sites is a waste of time is that largest and best companies outsource their assignments to schedulers--the middlemen of industry. So companies don't bother going through their own databases. The real way to get started in mystery shopping is to get connected to schedulers in a way that makes you stand out from crowd and gets assignments coming to you. Okay, you ask, how do I get connected to schedulers? I go over many ways to do this in great detail, along with lots of other great tips and techniques in my book "The Perfect Work-At-Home Job: Mystery Shopping". But here's one way:
Creating A Personal and Business Vision That Is Uniquely YouWritten by Maria Marsala
What do you see yourself doing a year from now? 3 years? 5 years? When you die, what would you like people to say about you? The answers to those questions, and a few more, can assist you as you prepare "first edition", of your vision. Why first edition you say? Well, if you are an evolving human being, your vision is apt to change as you do.
A vision helps to pull you forward - towards "something you've deemed is special". Without a clear vision, you may find yourself confused, stuck, stressed, overwhelmed, and drained. How can you get back on "your" track? The answers are as individual as you are. Use some of ideas below as starting points.
Take a look at where your vision is on your priority list. If it isn't high enough on your list... ~~ask yourself why ~~do something about it ~~let it go
Write down every reason (excuse) for why you don't have a personal or professional vision. Don't stop till you have run out of reasons. Then follow suggestion that fits you best ~~Celebrate by burning what you've written! Isn't it time to let excuses go? ~~Celebrate by creating at least five solutions to each of your excuses. If you can't come up with five, ask your coach for assistance. Then get going.
Some people can create a plan and that plan never changes. They go for something and don't stop till they get there. Others change their plan often. Still others use both styles. Remember what your style is and do your best. Don't worry about everything being "someone else's idea" of perfect. Throw "doing it perfectly" out window! Whatever way YOU do it WILL be ideal for where you are now. That includes waiting till time is right for you or not doing it at all!
Ask your friends and clients what they think your personal or professional vision is about, what your strengths are etc. You may be surprised at what you learn!
Find a group to work with. Many coaches and consultants offer personal foundation groups, business start-up groups, find your ideal career groups, career support groups, or marketing groups. Often, you'll work with group and a buddy towards your ideal plan, vision etc. If you want it badly enough, there is a group, via phone or in person, out there to assist you. To find groups: ~~Check business section of your local newspaper or your local business journal for groups. ~~Join a telephone group, such as ones Maria's Place offers, that are listed at www.coachmaria.com/events.html ~~Locate a coach, by using resources found at www.coachmaria.com/coaching.html to find unadvertised in-person groups in your area. ~~Offer to host a group. Here you'd receive program for free by hosting group at your home and helping with marketing and securing up to 7 other individuals. Maria's Place offers this option to residents of Kitsap, Jefferson, Mason and King counties www.coachmaria.com/washington.html Many other coaches and consultants will do this too, so check around your area.