Network marketing is a controversial topic but, love it or hate it, it’s one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. It is a lucrative business structure that offers many benefits a traditional model cannot, attracting huge numbers of new business partners, year on year.
Partnering with the right company isn’t always easy. There is no right or wrong company to choose; it all depends on personal preference, availability and the level of work you are willing to put in to your new business. You should make sure that you love the products or services you’ll be offering, and ensure that you fully understand the compensation plan. These are two of the main things that will make or break your business in the beginning.
If you don’t truly love your products, you’ll have a hard time selling them to others. People will see through you very quickly and, without trust, you have no business. Integrity should be at the forefront of all your business decisions.
Choosing Your Upline
Your upline is the person that sponsors you into your chosen business. They’ll be there to support you and help you get your new hustle off the ground. Unfortunately, not everyone will form a close relationship with their sponsor, and not all uplines are interested in helping people.
I once had an upline who took my details to sign me up, added me to a tonne of Facebook groups and then disappeared. I had to find everything out on my own and it wasn’t easy. Now, I have an upline who goes out of her way to make sure her team have all the information and support they need. Our relationship came about so easily, it was like we’d known each other forever.
When choosing your upline, look for someone that you get on with well. If you want to succeed together, you’ll ne spending a lot of time together (either online, in person or both). Find someone who is always willing to learn – while you shouldn’t rely on your upline, their knowledge will definitely help you to grow. If someone is willing to stay one step ahead of their team, they’ll always have wisdom to pass down.
Before you jump straight in, get to know your potential sponsor, so you know they’ll make an amazing friend and mentor.
Your Personal Brand
How many times have you clicked onto someone’s social media profile and seen “[mlm company] rep“? One of the biggest mistakes new network marketers make is not branding themselves. This is your new business and it’s time to show people who you are.
Imagine if the MLM company you’re partnered with suddenly folded. Would your tribe have enough confidence to stick with you, or have you promoted only the company? Branding yourself doesn’t just mean designing a quick logo and choosing some pretty colours – it is how you portray your message to the world. When someone hears your name, what will they think? How will they feel?
While your brand will often change as you evolve, you can consider the following to help you while starting out:
- Your personal values
- Your vision for the future
- Your mission
- The types of relationships you want to create
- Visuals including colour psychology
- Your industry
- Your ideal customer and business partner
Retailing Your Products
If your friend went to a new restaurant and suggested you try it, would you consider it? If they bought a new moisturiser and told you their skin felt amazing, would you ask what it was? People are much more likely to buy a product when a trusted source recommends it.
Network marketing is exactly what it sounds like – marketing a product or service to the people you know (aka your network).
The first thing you should do it get to know your products. You should be confident and knowledgeable when talking about them and, the best way to do this is to try them yourself. Perhaps it was your experience with a product that drew you to your company in the first place.
“Don’t sell a product; sell a solution.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the above quote before. When you get to know your product range, and use the products yourself, you’ll know exactly what they can do for people. Don’t prioritise sales and earning money, but helping people to overcome their challenges and pains. Network marketing isn’t a “me, me, me” industry.
Setting goals for your retailing business gives you a clear focus and the ability to see the actions you need to complete to reach them. While you probably have a huge range of products to choose from, try to focus on a small handful to begin with. When going through each one, you’ll probably have at least one person come to mind who might be interested.
Most network marketing companies offer a number of marketing tools to their business owners, including catalogues, apps and stock images. Make the most of these and use them to your advantage.
Your Ideal Partner
“Don’t sponsor shitty people.”
You might be in a hurry to grow your business, but that doesn’t mean you should chase down just anyone. Network marketing isn’t for everyone, and some will let their preconceptions get the better of them. You’ll probably be told by a number of people that you should share your business with everyone. While this might help you grow your network, it’s also a great way to alienate people. (Trust me – I’m speaking from experience.)
Once you really focus in on the type of person you want to work with, your prospecting efforts will become much easier. Remember, if you want your business to be successful, you should be spending a lot of time working with your downline to help them develop their skills. What sort of person will you work well with?
The best way to identify your ideal business partners is to image one person – your dream partner, with whom you could take on the world. Consider:
- Interests and hobbies
- Living and family situation
- Pain points
When you’ve outlined this person, it’s time to get clear on exactly what you can do for them. How can you help them improve their current situation? Can you incorporate their hobbies into business, or ease one of their pain points? Remember, you have so much to offer.
Building Your Downline
While step one in your business is selling your product or service, the best way to grow your business quickly is to build your downline. This means that you sponsor people into the business and offer the support and coaching they need to build their own organisation.
To be clear, it is this part of the business that people are often reserved about, referring to it as a pyramid scheme. Network marketing and pyramid schemes are two very different things. A pyramid scheme offers people monetary reward for getting others to sign up beneath them, with no real purpose. The person at the top of the pyramid continues to earn on other people’s efforts, without having to do anything themselves. This is illegal.
A network marketing company allows people to earn money for helping others sell products and grow an organisation. The focus is the product, with bonuses being earnt for team sales efforts. While you will start at the bottom of a network marketing company, it’s possible to become more successful than anyone above you – you just have to put in the work. Sponsoring people into your organisation doesn’t guarantee income; you actually have to work and make sales.
When I first got started in network marketing, I built a large downline very quickly, although a lot of my team members didn’t stick around. I’d been told to write a list of 100+ people I knew and try to sign up as many as possible. This is probably the worst piece of advice I’ve followed so far. You should consider people’s attitudes before trying to recruit them. Do they actually want to build a business, or are they looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme?
You’ve already decided on the type of person you want to work with, so how can you do this? The key, particularly in the beginning, is consistency. Look at these quick tips to help you get going:
- Speak to at least five new people every day – build relationships
- Be proud of what you do – speak to your friends and your family
- Get to know prospects and show them how you can help them personally
- Determine and match communication style
- Don’t let rejection get you down – this industry isn’t for everyone
Automating Your Prospecting
Have you ever wondered how some network marketers seem to have so many leads coming in, without spending all their time searching? You can do the same, by setting up an automated process. You need:
- An attractive lead magnet
- An ad
- A landing page
- An email marketing platform
Your lead magnet is a free offering, to introduce people to you and your brand. Have you ever exchanged your email address for a free download? This is a lead magnet. You should aim to create something valuable, that solves a problem for your ideal business partner. You can find some ideas for lead magnets here.
The ad drives people to your offer. Although you can use paid advertising for this, it’s also possible to start out with free marketing methods. Pinterest marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your site without spending money on advertising. You can also use Facebook groups and other social media.
When someone has clicked on your ad, they’ll be directed to the landing page, where they’ll enter their details to grab your freebie. You’ll need an email marketing platform for this part – this is how you will collect your leads. They simply fill out a form and are added to your email list.
Have you ever heard the saying “learners are earners”? In any business, it’s important to stay ahead of the game, and network marketing is no different. You should aim to develop your knowledge and improve your mindset. While this industry is amazingly supportive and positive, you will also face a lot of negativity from some people, so it’s important you know how to deal with this.
Personal development is a part of my daily activity, as I consider it one of the most important things I do. Imagine if you had a clear map to success – this is what a personal development plan can help to provide. Take charge of your life and your development.
If you’re unsure about what you should focus on, think about your vision and your business goals. Now consider the action you need to get there, and any gaps in your knowledge. As you start to take part in more training, you’ll probably find that you gravitate towards a small number of mentors that you turn to.
If you plan to build your business online, it’s important that you show up consistently. Creating content can be time-consuming and mentally demanding, but it’s key for your audience to build the “know, like, trust” factor. You should schedule time to create content for your blog, social media or any other platforms you use.
While it might be tempting to post hundreds of photos and ads relating to your products and business opportunity, this is one of the fastest ways to put people off. Perhaps the best guide you can follow is the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be personal and 20% should be business-related/promotional.
If you want to make sure you always have content to post online, you should get used to taking photos wherever you go. If you go on a day trip, attend business events, take a road trip, or go to a party, get some snaps. You don’t have to spend the entire time with your camera out – just get a few good shots. This will mean that you’ve got visual content, as well as reminders of what you’ve been up to, so you can look back and create written content.
If you’re going to take your own photos for social media, you should invest in some supplies. You don’t need anything fancy or expensive; just a few simple pieces will suffice. You can use pieces of cardboard or other materials as a backdrop and gather props from around the house. You can also pick up affordable props from charity shops. You could try: faux flowers, beads, stationery, magazines and books, crystals, accessories, candles, leaflets, toiletries and cosmetics, or anything else you can think of.
Moving Forward with Consistent Activity
Of course, network marketing is a part-time way of earning a little extra money for some people, but others intend to grow their business to create time and financial freedom. If you are one of these people, you’ll need to be consistent with your business activity to see the growth you want.
Now is the time to set your own DMO (daily method of operation). Each day in your business will vary, but if you have a base DMO, you’ll always know what you need to do. Here’s an example of what you could do:
- Mindset morning and personal development
- Connect with new people online
- Follow up with previous connections
- Content creation (social media, blog, website, email list etc.)
- Check in with your downline
- One to one coaching
- Check in with upline and wider team
- Check your back office and info from your company
Creating Your Duplicatable System
Now you’ve worked your way through everything you need to get your business off the ground, it’s time to create a system that your new team members can duplicate. If you want your business to grow, it’s important that you provide support and coaching to help others succeed.
If you gave every new team member in-depth, one to one coaching, you wouldn’t have time for much else. Therefore, it’s important that you develop a system they can follow. How can they get started? Do you have a specific prospecting method they can follow to grow their own downline? While you should still work one on one with people where possible, it’s also important that you are able to teach them to be independent and build their own businesses. We can all succeed by working together.
Are you interested in learning how you can work with me?
It is illegal for a promoter or a participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits from getting others to join a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved.