Affiliate and influencer marketing are now recognized as viable, and potentially lucrative, methods for bloggers and freelancers to boost their income, but network marketing is often overlooked as ways to increase revenue. As a freelance writer and blogger, I use network marketing to bring in an additional $2,000 per month, but I find that when I talk to other bloggers about it, there is a resistance to viewing it as a legitimate option.
Since I have found success with the business model, I am passionate about busting the myths of network marketing. If you are looking to finance your passion projects, diversify your revenue, and start saving for your retirement, you’ll want to continue reading.
What is network marketing?
The term refers to a business model in which independent agents earn commissions from sales of a product. Affiliate and influencer marketing are two forms of single tier network marketing, as is direct sales. Multi-level marketing refers to a business model where commissions are earned not just from the sales of each independent agent, but also from the sales of each of the agent’s customers who decide to sell the product as well.
Why does multi-level marketing have a bad reputation?
There is zero financial risk incurred by becoming an independent agent with a multi-level marketing agency. Therefore, people without sales, marketing, or customer service experience can easily try their hand at success in the industry. This has led to multi-level marketers being perceived as naive, pushy, and self-centered.
While I don’t think that this reputation is entirely undeserved, I’m glad that I took the time to research common myths regarding multi-level marketing in order to decide whether it was for me or not. Had I simply trusted in common misperceptions, I would have missed out on finding success with a business model that is now my top revenue stream.
Here are three myths that have been busted by my research and experience.
“I have to sell my product to my friends through home parties.”
While it’s true that most people utilize their warm market to build a customer base, the top multi-level marketers are those who have used an existing online platform and social network to promote their product. When you choose a product that aligns with your mission and message and you are transparent about earning commission from the sale of your product, it becomes an authentic extension of your offerings.
In fact, those of us with a knack for social media marketing can seamlessly integrate products into our current offerings for a huge financial boost. A home party business model doesn’t compare to the reach and effectiveness of social media marketing.
“I have to coerce others to sell my product.”
One of the huge benefits of the multi-level marketing business model is that as an independent agent, you will also earn commissions on the sales of any independent agent that is in your organization. That means that if one of your customers begins to sell the product, you’ll earn money from every one of those sales. (I find this thrilling, by the way. It’s one of the reasons I chose multi-level marketing over other forms of network marketing, since the earning potential is limitless.)
Some people in the industry are aggressive about transforming their customers into sales agents, but this is an unsustainable and unwise strategy. Simply instilling within your customers a love for your product is enough. If you keep your focus on education and customer service, eventually some of your customers will organically become independent agents, and you’ll earn commissions from their sales.
“I have to spend a lot of money, but I won’t make any money.”
It is incredibly important to be well informed about a company before you become an independent agent with them. Many companies do take advantage of their agents with high registration fees and endless demands for ongoing “investments” in product inventory. If you’re considering a company like this, walk away!
The brand that I represent requires $35 to register as an independent agent and you can begin earning commissions immediately by linking to your unique website address. Your customers purchase products through your website, so there is no need for you to own inventory, create and online sales platform, or ship anything.
It’s my hope that more people with marketing and sales skills will begin to see that network marketing, and multi-level marketing in particular, deserves a second look. Increasing your income is truly as simple as finding a product that aligns with your mission and researching the business and success rates of its agents. If you’re interested in learning more, please feel free to sign up for my free email training here.