I’d like to make this clear now, I don’t work for or ever have worked for any multi-level marketing (MLM) companies nor do I plan to. I can’t sell anything for a start, and don’t wear much makeup, buy perfume or books for that matter. (If only.)
This isn’t a slagging match against MLM or an argument for them. This is a simple guide to what they are.
Many of us mum want a flexible job from home that means we can pick the kids up from school or run them around to their clubs, and MLM offers this, but it’s not the only way you can make money from home.
Three years ago I gave up work to have my second daughter and in all honestly had no idea how we would survive.
Just thinking out the box, and writing down my skills and how I could use them to get money now means I earn a good part time income that keeps the kids in their afterschool clubs they love and me in wine.
Anyway, enough of that. Here are the basic questions answered about multi-level marketing.
What is an MLM?
A multi-level marketing company is a strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate but also for the sales of others they recruit, creating a downward line of distributors and a hierarchy of multiple levels of compensation.
Basically, it means the more people you recruit to your team, the more money you all get.
Is it Easy Money?
Hell no. Like everything, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
Joining a network marketing company doesn’t automatically make you rich any more than joining a gym automatically makes you fit.
They require work and an investment of your time, just like anything else in life. But if you give it time, and allow yourself to be coachable, they can work.
Sounds Like a Scam to Me
You wouldn’t be the first or last to think that.
Like any business you start, you have to look into it, do some research.
There are going to be a few rotten apples. The sporadic pyramid scheme hidden as a network marketing company, but you can usually spot those pretty quickly.
If they don’t have a real product or service, or if you make money from recruiting new reps and not from the sale of a product or service, then they’re most likely a pyramid scheme or a fraud.
Bottom line is, always do your research. How long has the company been around, what’s its track record, how does the compensation plan work, what training will you receive and how have others become successful.
Still Sounds Dodgy to Me….
The issue is mind set.
It’s like any business you venture into, you need to have commitment and skin in the game.
Are there going to be months that you make no money? Yep, I expect so. It will probably take you at least 2 years to break even, like any business.
If it’s not for you then sure, get out, but if you’re just in it for the money, then you’re going to be disappointed.
Unfortunately, so many women come into network marketing praying that this is going to be their solution to staying at home.
Week after week people sign up and are told that great things are going to happen. Thirty days later they’ve had to quit because they didn’t find the success they were promised.
Admittedly, the industry needs to take the brunt of the responsibility for this. Shouting about those who move quickly to the upper levels of the business and how easy it could be for you doesn’t help. They have somehow convinced themselves that if they join the MLM, that they will get thousands upon thousands of people come running with a card in hand. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality of the business is that those who consistently achieve success are those who have chosen to stay in the game the longest and now have the contacts to sell too.
All business is a cultivating process. Simply starting a business is just the base, you have to work at it to see results.
Each month, my friends who are successful in MLM invest in tools, training, marketing, and advertising. Like all businesses, you have to invest to grow and commit.
Can Anyone Do It?
Anyone can do it, but not everyone has what it takes.
There are basically no barriers to entry. You don’t have to have any experience in selling, or business networking, or giving presentations, or cold calling, or expertise about the product. And while anyone can acquire those skills, if you don’t have them when you first start out, you’re probably not going to have a lot of success when you get started.
Like any other business, it takes time, and it takes skills. If you don’t have them, you’re going to have to acquire them, and that will take even more time.
Many critics like to tout the “failure” rates of people in MLM, but they really don’t consider all the facts in doing so. They look at it as if everyone signing up for MLM is a) looking to generate a full-time income from it, and b) actually doing the work it takes to be successful.
Scott Allen, a Direct Sale Industry Expert, says that “62% of direct sellers join as distributors in order to receive a discount on a product or service.” These numbers show that not everyone is in it for the money, yeah, it’s fab if they get it but that’s not their intention when joining.
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MLM is not for me.
I don’t agree with the concept myself, and I hate the idea of women being targeted by these companies.
That said, we’re all adults and to me, personally, it’s just another way to do business, and possibly work from home.
My own industry is still frowned on. As a Freelance Writer and Blogger, I get told all the time to “get a real job” or asked, “when am I going back to work?”
I think MLMs are just another way for mums to make money, and hopefully, sometime soon, all these income streams will be accepted.
The very idea of work is changing, with more of us needing flexible hours than ever.
Have you worked for an MLM? Did it work for you? Have you had a negative experience? Let me know in the comments below.