Network Marketing; you may not know the name, but you know the idea. It has been around for decades now with another name, Multilevel Marketing, or MLM. When people hear the phrase, “MLM,” they may think of Mary Kay, or rounding up friends and family to put them through horrible sales pitches. These family pitches can lead to stress in a relationship that can be detrimental to the long term success of both the family relationship and the opportunity. This article isn’t about helping you sell to your friends and family. I’m here today to talk to you about how to succeed in Network Marketing, without involving your family or friends.
What you should know about Network Marketing
Before you can succeed at Network Marketing, there are several things you should know.
It’s a business opportunity, not a get rich quick scheme.
Have a product you believe in.
The difference between Network Marketing and a Pyramid Scheme.
First, any Network Marketing opportunity should be considered a business opportunity, and not a get rich quick scheme. Any reputable opportunity is going to take hard work. Besides, if it was a ‘simple’ way to get rich quick, would anyone really tell you about it? You should also treat anyone whom you may do business with as a potential business partner. The best part about Network Marketing is having a network of people who can help you when needed.
Secondly you need to have a product you believe in. For example, if you are selling weight loss, muscle building or other remedies, then you are going to have a hard time selling them if you haven’t taken them. Imagine you are selling a weight loss product, but you don’t take the product? When someone asks you, “Hey Don, how is that product working for you?” you won’t have an answer. Your potential business partners won’t think too highly of that. If you are selling a technology product, but you’ve never used it, personally or professionally, it will be hard to convince someone to use that product.
Finally, there is a very clear distinction between Network Marketing and a Pyramid Scheme. The following is from a statement made by the Federal Trade Commission in 1998. (http://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/1998/05/pyramid-schemes)
Multilevel marketing programs are known as MLM’s, and unlike pyramid or Ponzi schemes, MLM’s have a real product to sell. More importantly, MLM’s actually sell their product to members of the general public, without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system.
There are two tell-tale signs that a product is simply being used to disguise a pyramid scheme: inventory loading and a lack of retail sales.
Any Network Marketing opportunity that you decided to engage in should be carefully vetted to make sure it’s not a pyramid scheme.
How to succeed at network marketing
Now that you know what Network Marketing is, and what it isn’t, let’s talk about how to be successful in your business. Every year in late January or early February, there is a really big football game that a lot of people watch. During this game there are commercials wherein advertisers in the millions of dollars for a 30 second slice of air time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have millions lying around to advertise my own Network Marketing Opportunities. However, there are many ways to advertise your Network Marketing opportunities that don’t cost millions of dollars.
Let’s look at some of the ways you would want to advertise your opportunity.
Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Social Media may seem like an obvious choice for marketing your opportunity. Sure, you know about Twitter and Facebook. However, did you know there are over 50 different websites that could be considered a social network site? What if there was a way to post content to 10, 20 or even 50 social networks at once? There is. OnlyWire.com (Note: I do not get a commission from this link) will allow you to post your content to 50 social networks at once. That’s huge! Why? Three words: Search Engine Optimization.
For those who don’t know that that is, and how it may affect you, let me explain. When you post something on a social media site, many search engines will rank that post/update higher than other content on the same subject. (Note: This is a very simplified version of a very long discussion.) Also, consider this: freshness counts. Would you go out and buy fresh fruit that had been sitting on the shelf for two months? Probably not. Search engines can be the same way. They see content that is 2 days old and other content that is 2 months old, guess which gets the higher ranking?* (Again, most of the time. SEO is not an exact science.)
Blogs are another tool to build your Network Marketing opportunity. However, it takes work to build a blog, with one of the most important factors being regularly updated content. We can take the same analogy from the social media section of this post and apply it here. Content that is old might not rank very well in the search engines. There are ways around this, though. For one, consider automating your posts. Many software packages have the ability to post-date posts, and have them go ‘live’ on your site at the date/time of your choosing. Another option might be to purchase content to go on your site.
My final tip for building your Network Marketing opportunity is webinars. These are great ways to share your message with a large group of people at once. You could hold a webinar each week with continually updated content, which would keep people coming back for more webinars. How then, might you capitalize on these webinars? The answer is twofold. Of course by holding the webinars people know that you are seriously working the business. They know they can come to you when they have questions, which may give them a higher comfort level when deciding to join you in your opportunity or not. However, there is one more idea that can help you: Charge for the webinar. That’s right, charge people a fee for joining the webinar. I know what you are thinking, “But if I charge people they will only attend one webinar, if at all!” Yes, it’s true that charging for the webinar may scare off potential business partners. However, here is an idea to bring people back time and time again: Offer free attendance to future webinars for those who bring a guest!
How does that help? You now have people who are bringing more potential business partners to your opportunity. When these potential business partners decide they like what you are offering, they bring more paying potential business partners to you. Webinar, Rinse, Repeat! (I’ve gone on way too long here, but ask me about how you could even automate your webinars.)
These are just some of the ways you can promote and grow your Network Opportunity. There are many other ways to do so, and I’d be glad to help. Go ahead and look me up on CyberDust +DonTeague and I will help you get going.