The Horror Of My Network Marketing Experience

I want to share with you, my opinion about network marketing, aka direct marketing, or mlm (multi-level marketing). I’m currently involved in a direct marketing company and have been for 4 months. I love the product and the company, I’m making money, and overall, my experience as a network marketing newbie has been very positive. In short, there is no “horror story”. But I’ve learned a few things during the last 4 months that I want to share with those of you who are considering network marketing, or mlm, as your chosen home based business opportunity.

There are 4 things I’ve found to be extremely important to success in this industry:

o First – do not enter into a network marketing business hoping that you are going to make money. What I mean is, like having a j-o-b, it’s hard work, not a free ride. Once you join your chosen company, the money doesn’t come pouring in while you lounge around poolside eating bon-bons. You need to learn your product(s). You need to learn how to market your mlm business. You need to learn or perfect your presentation skills, whether using the phone or in person. And, in today’s world, you need to learn how to market your networking business by taking advantage of the internet. And, believe me, if you’re not a wiz on the computer, this can be very frustrating. The point is……you need to work. It’s a business, and, like any other business, it will fail if you are not working at it.

o Second – pay attention to the company leaders, not just the product(s). Who are they? What are their backgrounds? How much experience do they have in the industry? Just like with your business, the company must have a strong, driven management team in order to succeed. Wouldn’t it be sad if you’ve done everything right……marketed your business, grew your downline, trained your partners, and started making big money…….only to have the company go out of business? Believe me, it’s happened. Check out your company’s management team!

o Third – does the network marketing opportunity you are considering have a relevant product line? Your product needs to be unique in some way, and beneficial to the consumer. Generally speaking, direct marketing products are on the high end of the price range for any product category. So your product needs to offer something to the customer that they can’t get in other off-the-shelf products. If it’s new, or cutting edge, even better. As an example, there are a lot of nutritional juice beverages out there being marketed through network marketing. Even so, a company entered that marketplace a few years ago and took the industry by storm. Why? They had a unique ingredient that had a marketable story behind it. Boom! The company experienced unprecedented growth. Of course, they had all the other important components – solid management, great compensation plan, training tools, etc., but the product was unique and perceived as beneficial to consumers.

o Fourth – what position will you hold? How many distributors/affiliates are in the organization? I can’t tell you how many times in my limited career I’ve heard comments like “there’s enough (prospects) for everyone”, or “the company’s only 3 years old”. Most of the time, I hear that from upline distributors who got in on the ground level. Can you make money with the right company if you’re the 500,000th distributor? Yes, you can (see first point). Would success come much faster if you were one of the founding distributors of your network marketing opportunity? Absolutely!

Why am I telling you all of this? Because times are tough. Just getting to work costs, what, 3 times more than it did this time last year? Jobs are being cut in favor of less expensive, off shore or automated solutions. Benefits are being cut. Child care costs are high. Employees are expected to use technology (cell phones/computers) without reimbursement from the company, and the additional hours those technologies add to the workday are draining.

My message is simply this: don’t dismiss a network marketing opportunity as a source of secondary income. It can help alleviate the “pain at the pump”, pay for family vacations, or add to your savings account. With hard work, it can also be a path toward self employment and financial freedom. A network marketing home based business can be a rewarding and financially beneficial experience when you do your homework and choose wisely.

Best of luck,

Debbie Corr

Social Media As An Effective Marketing Tool

Social media is everywhere and involves just about everything that you see and read on a business both online and offline. This can range from direct marketing and mailings to online blogging forums and article directories. Social media is the core piece to getting your business name out there for the public to see.

Social networking

Social networking becomes more and more popular and effective by the minute. What this entails is any type of public forum be it Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. Thousands upon thousands of people are associated with these in some way or another. It has become the hypothetical online word of mouth feature. Instead of calling your family and friends you just post it on their pages for not only them to see but also their friends and families nation-wide. It has become an amazing yet integral piece to internet marketing today.

Direct marketing

This will involve everything from post card mailings to flyers and brochures. For those of you out there that do not yet have the expertise to completely market online or just tend to have a little more fun in the world of offline marketing then direct mailings are the key to get your name out there. You can purchase direct mailing lists from just about anywhere online these days. In fact most printing places will also have this service. I have run across a few of these places that will basically do everything for you up to the point of mailing your promotional pieces for you. Creating flyers and brochures is a great avenue if you are looking to post advertisements up in your community. Depending on what your community charges this could be a very wallet friendly avenue to go.

Organic marketing

Organic marketing is going to consist of your article marketing, blogging, and video marketing. When you focus on these marketing aspects you will come to the point of getting residual traffic to your website. Along with residual traffic comes residual income. A very welcoming thought if I do say so myself. This is the best method for those with little to no cash starting out. Most sites affiliated with this type of marketing will offer both free services and services for a fee.

As with all marketing techniques, they are most effective when done correctly. I learned this first hand. If you don’t know what you are doing even the most willful person is going to struggle to an extent.

Copywriting And Direct Marketing Master Class: Revelations From The Book Moneyball

“If you are going to pay these guys $150,000 a year to do this, we should at least know how good they are… “

Bill James

1977 Baseball Abstract.

“If you are going to spend $5,000 on a single trade journal ad, then we at least want to know how many responses we get.”

Zac Nelles’ direct marketing corollary.

That quote pretty much sums up why Bill James is so important to direct marketing. This isn’t new but it was the first time I was able to grasp just how powerful paying attention to the right information is.

Most of us have seen the movie Moneyball and are familiar with Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s ability to punch with the best despite one of the lowest salary caps in the league. What is not really covered in any great detail in the movie, are the men led by Bill James who make this possible.

When they are able to draft league leading hitters in the junk rounds of the draft, pluck pitchers out of ‘single A’ ball teams who are able to dominate at the Major League level, you have an unfair advantage. It is all done by knowing which stats reflect actual performance. The canonical stats used in baseball do not help – Beane and the A’s don’t use them and are able to beat better teams because of it.

By tracking your marketing you are able to punch above your weight.

You know that one version of an Ad will generate leads at $50 a pop while another at $25, when sent to the same list.

Which ad do you run and which do you scrap? Well you’d never know unless you pay attention to your stats.

All in all a simple thing to do but most of us blatantly ignore doing it. I just met with a client, who would tell me things like “we stopped doing ‘X’ because we weren’t happy with the results.”

“Why?”

“Just cos… “

No bothering with hard data, no rational decision – based on the fact that it increased costs by X and that was unacceptable.

Just an arbitrary decision. Many times, even though it is emotionally unappealing it may actually make statistical sense to do it.

Big data is just in its infancy outside of its own little world. The guy who can crunch numbers and pick statistical trends is more highly prized than the ad sales guy by many institutional marketers. Soon you’ll be competing against Moneyball operations with much deeper pockets than yours.

Then what could have been an edge for you will turn into a nightmare. People who know what they can spend to get a customer will bully the ignorant around.

You’ll still be able to create a better ad, you just need another skill before you can really take advantage of it.