A simple guide to multi-level marketing
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 mums 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 businesses 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 of 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 after-school clubs they love and me in wine.
Anyway, enough of that. Here are the basic questions answered about multi-level marketing.
If you are looking to work from home but are unsure how to start then look at:
How to Sell Online: This is the 2022 Guide to Selling Online – If you are new to selling online then this guide will talk you through how to do it, with or without a product.
101 Genuine Work From Home Jobs in the UK – These are MLM free! All these jobs will help to give you an idea on what you can do while working from home.
How to Make Money Online for Beginners – Having a side hustle can help you bring in more money. Have a look at our full list here which includes tips on how to stay safe while working online.
What is multi-level marketing?
A multi-level marketing company is a strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for the direct 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 new recruits to your team, the more money you all get.
Direct selling will not really make you money. The MLM company’s business model is getting you to recruit more salespeople and not about selling products.
Does multi-level marketing work?
Yes but like everything it all depends on how much time you put in and how much research you have done.
Like everything, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
Joining a network marketing company doesn’t automatically mean that making money will be easy, 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.
How do multi-level marketing companies make money?
They make money from the group up. So for example; you are at the bottom of the group and have been recruited by a friend. Every time you make a sale you and your recruiter get a cut of the commission. The more people you have in your group the more you make.
How do multi-level marketing scams work?
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 is hidden as a network marketing company, but you can usually spot those pretty quickly.
Multi-level marketing companies are not illegal but pyramid schemes are.
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 an illegal pyramid scheme.
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.
Does multi-level marketing work?
The issue is mindset.
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, they will get thousands upon thousands of people to come running with a credit 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 to.
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 join a multi-level marketing company?
Yes. 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.
Is multi-level marketing worth it?
For us, it isn’t and I personally don’t find the industry as a whole ethical.
I don’t agree with the concept of multi-level marketing 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.
Work from home jobs
We started as Virtual Assistants when our first baby came along with no experience at all.
If you do want to try working from home then have a think about:
- What experience or transferable skills do you have?
- What do you need out of the job? Flexibility? Creativity?
- What do you enjoy doing?
You don’t have to have any technical knowledge to start your own business from home.
You could start off being a:
You can become a Virtual Assistant with very little outlay. Start by letting all your friends know what you are doing and what skills you have to offer.
Are you a good typist? Are you great on the phone? A whizz at social media?
You can go into other tasks but having a niche first can help you find a client base.
Ask your first few clients for a review on your Facebook page or website. Have references like any job will help you get more.
Blogging is a great way to let out your creative talent. You don’t have to be amazing at writing but having a topic in mind to write about can help you bring in a readership.
You can write about anything from parenting to saving money to your love of fishing.
Starting on a free WordPress site is a great way to dip your toes in and see if you like it.
You can make money once you have a full site up and running by:
- running ads
- taking sponsored posts
- guest posts
Dropshipping is a great way to make income without needing a product. The whole idea is that you sell other people’s products and have them shipped to the end client.
This is completely legal and a great passive income once you are up and running.
If you are just looking to top up your income then have a look at:
There are loads of ways you can top-up your income from home while looking after the kids.
Our favorites ways to make money from home are:
OhMyDosh is a great place to start. Not only are they a cashback provider but they also offer free ways you can make money by answering questions and even entering competitions.
Selling on eBay
Selling on eBay as a business is easy. It’s not just about selling your unwanted stuff. This website may feel outdated, but it’s still widely used. Take photos of your stuff on your phone and sell them on the eBay app!
You could sell any craft items or printables on eBay. You can even drop ship from other businesses.
- What is Matched Betting?
- The Best Cashback Sites to Save £100s When Shopping Online
- 41 Work From Home Mum Jobs That Can Make You Serious Money
There are loads out there, with dedicated Facebook groups set up for them. Yep, it is luck, but if you enter enough of them, then you’ll win at some point.
I’ve won champagne, a day out with the family and a weekend away.
Laura xIf you enjoyed this post and would like some more money making ideas from home, including ways to freelance, start a blog or even earn from your phone, then head over to my making money section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 money making posts dedicated to helping you earn more from home and become more financially stable as a family. There’s also tips in my Money Saving Mums Facebook group. You could also pop over and follow my money making Pinterest boards for lots more ways you can earn money from home; Money Making Mums and Working from Home Jobs for Mums.
What the * means
If a link has an * by it, then this means it is an affiliate link and helps S4SM stay free for all. If you use the link, it may mean that we receive a very small payment. It will not cost you anymore that it would normally.
You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. The items we write about are NEVER dictated by these links. We aim to look at all products on the market. If it isn’t possible to get an affiliate link, then the link, or product is still included in the same way, just with a non-paying link.