Although this profession has been around since the 1940s, there are still so many misconceptions when it comes to multi level marketing (or MLM.)
I’d like to take a teeny tiny bit of time to break it down for you, so that you can really make an informed decision as to whether or not this is something you should pursue.
What is MLM?
Multi level marketing is a business strategy companies use to sell their products. Here is a short explanation of how this works:
I buy a product or service, therefore becoming part of the Network and officially owning my own business, with all the advantages and tax breaks/benefits included. I then share this product or service with others who may want or need it. When they buy, they also become part of the Network, becoming what is referred to as my “downline”. I get paid commissions for anyone who I bring into the Network, as well as anyone they bring in.
This is when the “multi level” part comes in, illustrated as follows:
How many levels you get paid for in commissions depends on the company you subscribe to. Most companies will pay you for the total volume generated in your organization (how many people in your network use their product or service) plus bonuses for the first few levels.
Why do companies use this form of person-to-person marketing? To put it simply, there are a lot of amazing products and services out there that need their stories told in order for consumers to buy. Walmart shelves don’t tell stories.
There are a number of advantages to doing business this way. I’m going to list a few of the best reasons why Multi Level Marketing is a great option:
Unlimited Income Potential: Because companies only have to pay distributors based on performance, it means they save a ton of money that would otherwise be used on traditional marketing and advertising. Because these companies save so much money, they have no problem paying independent distributors (you) almost limitless commissions.
Extremely Low Risk: MLM Companies take on all of the risks associated with running a business. You are not required to hold inventory, have an actual business location (you work from home; this is especially great for single and stay-at-home parents) or invest large amounts of money. In fact, with some MLM companies, you can start a business for as little as $100.
Focus on what Matters: Something that kills most businesses when they open is that they can’t simply focus on sales (typically what they love and are good at) to grow their business. They now have to take care of accounting, payroll, merchandising, cleaning (nothing says business owner like “I clean toilets”) as well as marketing and then, finally, sales. When you start your own Multi level marketing business, all you need to focus on is growing your network, and the company you subscribe to takes care of the rest, as well as pays you handsomely for your efforts.
Personal Development: Because most of your earnings will come from the lower levels of your Network, to make it in MLM your focus needs to be on helping your people be successful. The skills learned through your own customer acquisition followed by the leadership required to teach your people to duplicate your efforts CANNOT be understated. This is a business of constant personal growth. This, coupled with it being a business of serving one another, will become your passion even beyond the paychecks you’ll be getting in the mail.
You Can Start Part-Time: Since your results are based purely on your efforts, you can fit it into any schedule. You can keep your full time job and build an MLM business simultaneously, slotting it in wherever there is time. Most people begin part time and even 15 minutes a day can yield amazing results!
Which MLM Company Should I Join?
I can already hear a lot of you climbing the fences to get started. But WAIT. There are a few very important factors to consider before you decide which company to subscribe to.
These are the Four essential ingredients you need to research when looking at any Multi Level Marketing company:
The People: Who started the company? What is their background? What kind of success have they had in the past that indicates strong leadership? Beyond the people at management level, who is it who’s bringing you into their network? Do you trust them? Have they attained the kind of success you want to achieve? If not, can they connect you with an upline that has a proven track record for growth and mentorship?
The Product or Service: Obviously, this will be the reason a company grows. Does the product have real market value? Will people use it over and over again for years to come? To build true residual income (income that, once built, will continue to come whether or not you are still working) you need return customers.
Compensation: This is very important, and could make all the difference in the long run. How quickly can you start making profits and what does the long term look like?
Positioning: How long has the company been in business? Just because it’s been around for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s the best option for YOU. All great companies have a growing curve (illustrated below) and you need to make sure you are coming in as close to “critical mass” as possible. What about the product – does it have competitors in the market? Again, is it something people will still want/need in 5 years? 10 years?
Isn’t This Just a Pyramid Scheme?
Pyramid schemes or money-doubling tricks are illegal. Multi Level Marketing is a legitimate profession that takes hard work and perseverance. It’s definitely not a get-rich-quick business, but it IS the best way for the average person to create wealth. It’s not easy, but it is simple. With the proper mindset, leadership, and training, anyone can do it.
To Sum Up
I hope this answered any questions you may have had about Multi Level Marketing. It’s a wonderful business that really does create freedom for those who embrace it. I understand it’s not for everyone, but it really is the best way to start a business. Business and financial wealth genius Robert Kiyosaki said it best:
“The richest people in the world look for and build Networks. Everyone else looks for work.”