When it comes to business, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” that matters.

In today’s hyper-connected world, it is no longer enough that you keep your head down and produce exemplary work. To professionally thrive, now you must be vocal about your interests and career goals to build relationships with like-minded individuals you can turn to as a resource and who may even be in the position to help you.

If you are thinking of starting a business that will rely on multi-level marketing of any kind, be sure you have a solid marketing team at the very core of your organization. The stronger your base of marketers, the better your chances for long-term success.

Not everyone who wants to sell something will be good at it, but if you have someone excited about your business who might not be a perfect fit for your sales team, find another spot for them. Marketing is critical to the success of any business, but don’t forget that sincerity and genuine enthusiasm about a company or product is a form of marketing in and of itself. If your only incentive to your sales team is money, they may cut corners or mislead others in an attempt to earn more for themselves.

You should also take the time to research your own state’s laws regarding network marketing to make sure that your business is fully compliant. Deceptive marketing practices and pyramid schemes can land you in legal trouble if you are not careful.

What is Network Marketing?

A business model that involves selling products or services from person to person is called Network Marketing. It requires building a team of people capable of communicating the product’s message to a wide audience. The leaders and the team members working for the brand receive compensation for the products sold.

At times, it is also called referral marketing, direct selling, and multilevel marketing.

How Does Network Marketing Work?

You can start by signing up for a reputed and popular company. Once you enroll, you shall receive a starter kit that comprises promotional materials and other goods that you would require as a beginner.

Initially, you will be guided by a mentor or sponsor who will introduce you to the industry and help you learn the ropes. In their guidance, you will be learning about the products and the basic tips of selling and learn more about their business plan. As a starter, you will be required to learn about the product and the services of the company thoroughly. After all, you will be able to promote it only when you know about it yourself really well.

You will be acquainted with the ways in which the industry functions, along with how the sales processes take place.

Questions to Ask Before Joining Network Marketing

If you are determined to start a network marketing business and after having shortlisted the brand you want to work with, now is the time to ask certain questions that give you a better perspective. The perspective is required here as it will help you know where you can expect to see yourself after some time down the line.

What is the age of the company?

It will let you know how long has the company survived in the race and if there are new developments, growth, or establishments through the years.

Are they offering a valuable product or service?

Does their product add value to your or people’s lives, in general? You will get to know if the products are helpful and will be accepted by people.

Does the pay distribution seem unbiased and generous?

You should know if your efforts are being recognized and awarded correspondingly.

Does the company seem honest and ethical?

You must know if there are any loopholes in the business operations of the company or are there any practices that do not seem ethical. There are various aspects that will tell you about the company ethics such as their payment cycles, their market reputation, their behavior in general with their customer and partners.

Is the company on track with good momentum and successful?

Analyze the company’s performance since the time of its inception and assess the signs of growth and success since that time. Has there been a rise in their output and revenue?

What kind of assistance and training does the company provide?

You must know that if and when you agree to go with the business, then how much support you shall receive from them in terms of training. Considering you are new in the field, you may want to know if they will be guiding you or you will be left to fend for yourself.

All these answers will make the path more comprehensible for you and will lead to better decision-making.

Pros and Cons of Network Marketing

Before getting into network marketing, it is wise to know what kind of expectations you should set from it. For this, you will have to weigh the process in a balancing machine of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Network Marketing

Let’s look at the brighter side first:


Well, there is no denying the fact that network marketing lets you be the boss of your job along with letting you enjoy flexibility. You can choose the number of hours you work and chalk out the rest of your personal schedule accordingly.

Enables sharing valued products

There are lotions and creams that have worked wonders for people’s skin, and such great products find a huge space on social media platforms. The customers keep endorsing and vouching for the products that have worked for them and thereby, increasing its sales. Such social media marketing becomes easy when the people, themselves, love the products.

Facilitates more time at home

Network marketing allows you to work while you are at home, outside, anywhere. You can now enjoy being at home and yet earn money. Almost everyone dreams of having a job that lets them enjoy some time at home. In network marketing, you can have your cake and eat it, too!

Great prospects of leveraging income

Motivation coupled with the right set of mentors, you could be looking straight towards a successful and enriching (like literally) experience at network marketing. There are opportunities for direct sales, great commissions, bonuses, and rewards. With all this and more, leveraging your income can be smooth.

Easy to start

Network marketing is a low-investment and therefore, low-risk business. Anyone who is motivated to earn can get into the field and start reaping its benefits.

Disadvantages of Network Marketing

Like any other process, pros will be accompanied by cons.

It can be time-consuming

Networking is a time-consuming process. You must go out, connect with people, explain to them the usefulness of the products. If at all, the prospect is convinced, you crack the deal; else, you continue with the very first step which is to connect again.

Does not translate into success for everyone

People with different ideologies tend to behave differently in the same situations. Therefore, the outcomes for each of them will also be different. Similarly, in network marketing, some people quickly get a grip of the process and are quick to climb the ladder of success. On the other hand, there are some who struggle to find a strong base and are not able to experience the same success as their other counterparts.

Requires face-to-face interaction

Not all businesses are online. Some of them require you to work in person with people. Not everyone will find it easy to communicate and have a direct interaction. Think about the introverts! The newly inducted individuals or the trainees are not going to have it any easier, either.

Rejection can be demotivating

Network marketing demands a lot of perseverance and patience. There could be times when there hasn’t been a single deal for months at stretch. This could really turn down the high spirits of the ones who set out enthusiastically. One needs to have the composure to cope up with such times.

Lack of good mentors

Mentorship plays a pivotal role in network marketing, as the mentors are the ones who will be the torchbearers of your success. It would not be wrong to state that your degree of success is directly proportional to the expertise of your mentor. If you haven’t been trained well enough, chances are, that despite a good caliber you may not witness the momentum you deserve.

One should be wary of scams

Like so many other businesses, network marketing is not left untouched by scams and scammers. Some genuine companies may require you to sign up with a one-time amount which in many cases, isn’t too heavy on the pockets. Moreover, the MLM companies also offer some goody bags and learning material in return.

However, there are some notorious people who would ask you for a sign-up amount and would never come back. Therefore, it is recommended you ask those 6 questions before enrolling with a network marketing company.

Different Types of Network Marketing Programs

Direct marketing

As part of this single-tier marketing system, individuals sign up for programs in order to sell products or services. Participants in these programs do not need to recruit other distributors, and they only get paid from direct sales.

A direct marketing campaign is the fastest way to generate sales. Encourage your friends and family to buy the product you like. These types of network marketing are offered by companies such as Mary Kay cosmetics and Pampered Chef kitchen supplies.

Affiliate marketing

The use of online affiliate marketing programs is a recent development in network marketing. Webmasters and bloggers incorporate links to products into their sites. If a customer clicks on those links and purchases a product, the website owner receives a commission or referral fee. Customers can immediately buy products advertised on the site since it is a trusted source.

If you make money from these links, you can put a disclaimer at the end of your blog post to inform your audience about it. Affiliate links should be disclosed in a transparent manner.

Both brands and individuals can take advantage of the thousands of affiliate programs available. Research the most lucrative affiliate programs before joining one.  An example of such a program is Amazon’s affiliate program.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is a distribution-based marketing network that contains two or more tiers. Two other types of network marketing strategies are marketing-driven networks and name-driven network marketing. Some MLM programs allow you to make money five or more tiers deep, so there may be incentives for recruiting. Examples of MLM businesses include LuLaRoe, Magnetic Sponsoring, and Amway.

Direct sales and a downline of distributors are two parts of multilevel marketing (MLM). While multilevel marketing receives a lot of negative attention owing to its similarity with the pyramid schemes, we must know that the two are different. But they differ in an important way. In contrast to pyramid schemes, sponsored by fictitious progress and financial growth, MLM organizations offer legitimate products or services to their distributors. You can be sure of receiving adequate training from your MLM mentors which will help you create a solid foundation in the business. Furthermore, you are also bound to receive many bonuses and rewards based on your performance.

Herbalife is one of the classic examples of MLM.

Key Takeaways

  • A business model that involves selling products or services from person to person is called Network Marketing. It requires building a team of people capable of communicating the product’s message to a wide audience
  • Signing-up, getting trained, and networking are the three basic steps to start your network marketing
  • Direct, Affiliate, and Multilevel marketing are the three types of network marketing
  • Ask important questions before you join a network marketing company and get to know more about them
  • Flexibility, more time at home, easy to start, and better prospects to leverage income are some of the advantages of network marketing
  • Being serious, educating oneself, having great mentors are some of the steps you can take to ensure a meritorious stint

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