Direct Selling, Multi-level Marketing and Network Marketing are terms used to describe a dynamic industry that sees many entrepreneurial minded individuals taking a chance on themselves to make extra income through promoting the products and services of 3rd party companies. A person often embarks on this venture due to the promise of making ever increasing financial returns as they continue to work the business over several years.
They are often brought into the venture through a friend who has signed them up, through a person they talked to at a booth in a trade show, or through the product itself which they have heard about and wanted to try; starting out as a customer first and as a sales affiliate next.
Starting such a business is undeniably hard work, especially at first when you must learn the art of selling to others one on one – face to face. Doing this is a fearsome thing for many and frequently after buying into something and paying up front for your “Starter Kit” of some sort and after trying to meet your baseline monthly quota so that you meet the requirements of getting paid each month (which often means when starting out that you are buying significant quantities of the product yourself to meet your monthly baseline required quotas – sound familiar?), many of you will give up after several months of effort and the spending a lot of your personal cash.
But some of you persevere. You persevere because you are stubborn and refuse to quit or the goal is too important to you for your future. MLM’s push you to do the face to face selling more so than the online selling because it is face to face where potential buyers can see your passion for the product which improves your odds of making the sale. Also, the company does not want to create a bad name for themselves by having 1,000’s of would be product marketers out there on the Internet spamming 10’s of thousands of people to try to make a sale because it is easier to reach out this way, impersonally, than it is to get in front of someone and sell to them – one on one – face to face. So they will regularly put some very strict rules in place about what you can and cannot do online when representing their company – and who can blame them – it is their brand you are representing out there.
By selling online, you can stay away from some of the fears associated with “face-to-face selling”, cold calling new prospects becomes a lot less stressful, you can automate a lot of what you do so the work is not as intensive and time consuming, and you can simultaneously explode your business across many countries without leaving your chair at home.
The trick to doing this? You must become bigger than the MLM / Network Marketing company you are affiliated with. People need to be seeking you out because you are a knowledgeable authority in your business niche, not because they know you are promoting product XYZ.
Once you can establish yourself as an authority online, you will gain followers and evangelists for your cause. It is these followers you can sell your affiliate products to – because you have already established a relationship with them through other means. You are not spamming them, you are educating them and then you are offering your products to your existing followers to help solve problems you have previously uncovered with them.
There are many things you can do to become an authority figure online:
- Offer advice through blogging, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc.
- Post comments to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Google+, etc.
- Guest post where you can
- Start sending out newsletters and e-mails and build your e-mail subscriber list.
- Start a podcast series, hold webinars, etc.
So get bigger than the products you promote. Build an online follower base through being an authority figure in your business niche and then help them with your products. You will see your affiliate business grow rapidly and exponentially as a result.