Network Marketing – The Great Equalizer

If you can fog a mirror, you’ve likely been approached by a well-meaning friend or relative who wanted you to get into their network marketing business. Touting residual income and commission checks too good to be true, their frenzied zeal probably had you faking an injury to make your escape and ducking for cover the next time you saw them.

The truth is, the vast majority (some say it’s as high as 97%) of network marketers bail before their business becomes viable. In addition to a slow ramp up phase, there’s that sleazy reputation to deal with: pyramid and Ponzi schemes, distant cousins who invite you to dinner only to try to sell you on their cleaning products business. “He reminds me of an Amway salesman” is hardly ever meant as a compliment.

Network Marketing Now

That was then, this is now. Network marketing, aka direct selling or multi-level marketing, is coming out of the shadows and is being widely accepted as a viable, profitable business model.

Why? For a number of reasons. In this economy, it makes sense to run a business you can’t get fired from. Residual income is a very good thing. And just as important, network marketing is the great equalizer.

The Great Equalizer

Where else can you become a “franchise” owner for a few hundred dollars with the potential to be pulling in serious residual income within 3-5 years? Where else does neither education nor social status nor ethnicity nor gender make a difference in your prospects, your possibility, your potential income?

Perhaps that’s why Donald Trump and Robert Kyosaki endorsed network marketing in their book, Why We Want You to Be Rich, stating that it gives the average person the opportunity to “play with the big guys.”

The (Slow) Road to Riches

In his book, Beach Money, author Jordan Adler shares his network marketing story: 11 failed MLM businesses before he struck gold with #12. “Gold” is relative if you look at his commissions for the first six months: under $100 per month. Most people give up by this point. They either have other jobs and are trying to do network marketing on the side, and its dismal returns and other interests get in the way, or they’re trying to support themselves on their network marketing and lose patience.

Months 7-12 he averaged $800 per month. Still not enough to pay the bills, and the few people who were still hanging in would probably have taken this as the sign of things to come and jumped ship. An entire year in the business and making just $800/month? In his second year he averaged $2,113. Two years in a business and making just over $25,000 a year. Again, most people would be disappointed by those results, even if this was in the early 1990s.

Fast forward a year. His monthly income? $34,000. Yes, monthly. What happened? A little thing called momentum. Once the snowball starts rolling, it picks up speed and girth. After his third year in business, at a point when 97% (or more) of the world would have bailed, Adler was racking up phenomenal increases each month, from 5 percent to 60 percent jumps. So in under four years, he was making a residual income salary enviable by most. Yes, he was still working to build the business, but he didn’t have to work too hard, he reports. Those he brought in were taking care of business for him. It was now his job to support them, nurture them along, and set them free to make him even more money.

Fast forward again to today: $100,000 or more per month is not unusual for Adler, and when he “only” makes $50,000 per month he checks to see what went wrong. Is this an isolated case? No. As Trump and Kyosaki remind us in Why We Want You to Be Rich, network marketing has produced more millionaires than any other industry. Although it’s rare, the founders of Amway, Rich Devos and Jay Van Andel, for instance, have a combined net worth of $6 billion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, there is opportunity, and yes it helps if you start when the company is young. The further up you are on the “upline,” the better your chance to make your fortune before the market becomes saturated.

Pyramid Is Not a Four-Letter Word

But isn’t MLM a pyramid scheme? Scheme no, pyramid yes. The more people you have below you in the business, the more money you make, generally speaking. It does make a difference whether and how they work the business. But isn’t a corporation built the same way? The head of the corporation makes the most money, and each level below makes diminishing returns. Network marketing puts you at the head of your own business: you can create an empire of your own, even if you have a few levels above you.

Not All Network Marketing Opportunities are Created Equal

But before you jump into the next network marketing opportunity to come your way (and they will), here are some tips to keep in mind when evaluating the company.

1) It should be a low start-up cost, and low maintenance costs

2) It should be a fairly young company, but not too young. It must have some legs to stand on, and have an oversight committee. If not a young company, a long-standing one that doesn’t have a saturated market is fine too.

3) It should provide a product or service you both understand and believe in, otherwise how will you sell it?

4) It must have integrity. This starts from the top down. Find out who the owners are and where they were before they launched the company.

5) It must have little or no competition. .It should be a unique product or service.

6) You shouldn’t have to buy and stock inventory (my pet peeve; some people don’t mind this.)

I have two friends in network marketing businesses. Both are doing well, in the $1000+/month range. I also know, through an acquaintance, a woman who sells a nutritional supplement and makes a confirmed $10,000 per month.

I buy these products, I love these products, I believe in them, and yet I wouldn’t want to represent them. This brings me to the next requirement:

7) You should be passionate about the product you’re representing

You’ll most likely spending months, even years, making very little money in network marketing, so you can’t be in it just for the potential income. You need to believe in the product with such conviction that you would represent it even if (read: when) you aren’t getting paid to do so.

Your Marketing Materials Should Speak to Your Audience

The most effective marketing materials speak directly to your audience. Effective marketing materials are developed with your audience in mind, and they answer your audience’s questions, solve their problems and overcome their reservations about attending an event. In order to create the best targeted messages designed to speak directly to your audience, you must know your audience, and you may need to develop multiple marketing materials.

Identify Your Target Audience

When you begin planning any marketing campaign, you must identify your target audience. Many people find when they begin this process that they don’t have a clear idea of who their target audience is, in which case they must begin to identify a target audience. If you don’t know your audience, your event may not be as well-attended as it could be, or you may find that there’s not a high demand for the product.

If you don’t have a target audience, make one. You may need to tweak your product or event to appeal to this audience, but you’ll always have more success with a targeted marketing campaign than a campaign that isn’t addressed to anyone. If you don’t have a target audience, your product or event may need more refining, which gives you a good opportunity to define your scope or re-evaluate your product to make it more effective.

Target Your Message to Your Audience

Once you’ve identified an audience, target your marketing message to your audience. Dan Kennedy calls this “message to market match.” Answer your audience’s questions, and develop a call to action that speaks directly to your target audience. You can use a general marketing campaign, but a general campaign won’t give you the same success as a targeted campaign. It’s perfectly acceptable to use the same techniques in multiple campaigns; particularly techniques that have brought you success; but tailor those techniques to each marketing campaign that you run.

Consider Creating Multiple Marketing Materials

If you find that you have multiple target audiences, consider creating multiple marketing materials to more effectively reach those audiences. For example, if you’re conducting a dating event that may appeal to both men and women, you might want to create targeted marketing materials for both groups; one for the men, and one for the women. If you’re creating a business event for people in different industries, you might want to create a set of marketing materials for each industry.

By targeting your specific market, you can ensure you create a clear, compelling message. If you use a general marketing message, you may find that your message becomes diluted, or lacks the clear call to action you can create in targeted marketing materials.

Remember that developing a clear call to action is your key to great success with a product or event. You can create a highly successful event! You have the tools at your disposal, so all you have to do is create a targeted marketing campaign to reach the right audience, and you can realize success beyond your wildest dreams!

Failing at Network Marketing? It’s Not Your Fault

I know if you are reading this right now, it’s because you want more out of life… spending more time with family, being able to experience all those things you’ve put on hold for that elusive “someday”. You may have tried your hand at network marketing and failed… maybe more than once… but you’re not ready to throw in the towel.

If someone was finally willing to teach you HOW to achieve online success, would you be interested?

Mark Cuban, American billionaire entrepreneur, said regarding failure:

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because… All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”

The key concept here is LEARN.

Interestingly enough, marketing guru Philip Kotler said that “marketing takes a day to learn but unfortunately a lifetime to master.”

Network marketing is an often misunderstood business, and I have found that one of the primary differences between the top income earners and those who fail in network marketing is the ability to answer the most common questions consistently asked by potential prospects.

If you were never taught how to answer a few basic questions, I’m going to teach you how to address the top three information gathering questions usually asked by applicants.

Most people when facing new situations are afraid of failing. If you learn how to relieve prospects’ fears by effectively answering their most commonly asked questions, you will succeed in business.

Here are the TOP 3…

1. Can people really make money at network marketing?

ANSWER: Yes, but the only people who do are those who treat this like a business and work at it every day. Our company provides excellent training, and I will be there to help you succeed; but ultimately the success or failure of your business is up to you. So, are you ready to start making money?

2. How much time will this require?

ANSWER: That will depend upon your goals. If you would like to make a few dollars a month, you could probably invest five hours a week or less. However, if you want to develop a full time income, so that you can fire your boss and enjoy more time freedom, then you will need to invest at least 15 hours a week. The great part is that we have tools that will help you leverage that time. Let’s take a look at those tools and then your schedule to see if this is going to work for you.

3. Does this require sales?

ANSWER: This one is a bit tricky. First I will ask: “Do you enjoy sales?” If they say “no” then I respond, “That’s great because you don’t have to be salesperson in order to succeed. This is a business of sharing information, and we have great tools that will present the products/services and business to your candidates. All you do is work with those who are interested.”

Now, if they say that they like sales, I say, “That’s great. People who are good at sales often do very well in this business.”

Successful Network Marketing isn’t some secret that only a few select individuals are privy to. Never lose sight of this fact: you’re dealing with people, real people. Listen to them; build a rapport with them; answer all their questions and gain their trust.