Marketing management: Network marketing, also known as multi-level marketing, is a method of selling products directly to customers within a tiered structure of sales associates. Network marketing depends on the ability of its employees to sell products and recruit new employees. The tiered nature of a network marketing organization can produce healthy profits for the original promoter and early participants, but those who join in the later stages of the effort typically find the going very tough and ultimately unrewarding. Ask lots of questions and be realistic about your ability to sell enough product and recruit new sellers before jumping into a new business venture.
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1. Select a company with products you believe in. A big part of network marketing is convincing others that the product you are selling is high quality and worthy of an investment. Using and loving the product you are selling goes a long way in convincing others that they should buy in, as well.
- Try to avoid companies that are oversaturated in your area. For example, if everyone in your community is selling makeup from a particular company, there may not be many potential new customers, no matter how much you believe in the product.
2. Go with a company that is well-established. A company that has been around for years and has a fair and clear pay plan for distributors is most likely to get you to success. Ask about support and resources the company has for new distributors.
- Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before committing to a company. If your recruiter pushes you to join without really answering your questions, it is probably a scam.
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3. Set goals for yourself. Your goals can be income-based, sales-based, or even lifestyle-based. Write down your goal and display it somewhere you can see it. Ask yourself every day what you are doing to work towards your goal. Having an objective in mind will motivate you to work towards something.
- For example, you could aim to generate $2000 a month, make 30 sales, or quit your job to pursue network marketing full time.
4. Learn from established pros. Start by contacting the person who recruited you. They were convincing enough to get you on board, so take a few tips from their playbook. Ask them what was useful when they were getting started. Get into contact with top sellers and recruiters, if you can. Often, if you have a polite approach and an open mind, they will be more than willing to share advice.
- Conferences and networking events can be useful for making contact with successful network marketers.
- Look for resources like books, magazines, podcasts, and videos on how to be successful in network marketing.
Be sure to return the favour once you are successful and share your tips with people getting started!
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5. Know your target market. Who would most benefit from buying your product? Knowing who you are selling to, what their needs are, and how to reach them is a key to success in network marketing. If you can, avoid relying on friends or family to make the majority of your sales. It can put a strain on your relationship if you ask your loved ones to buy your product and they don’t.
- For example, you may sell clothes that are comfortable and practical for stay-at-home moms, or maybe you sell skincare products for young professionals. Think of different ways you can reach out to those groups, like motherhood groups on social media or networking events in your city.
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7. Keep at it for at least a year. It can take time to see your hard work pay off. Many people get discouraged and give up when they don’t reach their goals right away. However, it takes time to build a successful business. Persistence can pay off!
- If you have a day job, hold off on quitting until you have a reliable stream of income from sales and recruiting.
- Getting started in network marketing is the hardest part. Keep your goals in mind while you work.
- Keep existing customers in the loop by providing information about new products at least once a month.
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10. Stay consistent with your business activities. Return all calls and emails within 24 hours. Create a calendar for posting consistently on social media. Set a time every week to review your business plan, look at what is working and what isn’t, and evaluate what needs to change.
- Consistency and professionalism are 2 keys to being successful in business.
- You can leave business cards or a small promotional poster in local coffee shops, libraries, and apartment lobbies. Be sure to ask for permission before posting anything.
- If you have the budget, try promoting your business through paid social media ads.
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12. Harness the power of social media to attract new customers. Social media can be a powerful tool for selling and recruiting. Join local, national, and global groups to network with people around the world and find potential customers and recruits. Use your own pages to advertise your business.
- Create a mailing list for interested customers. You can use a mailing list to keep your customers up to date on new products and promotions.
13. Have fun with your business. Many network marketing companies rely on parties to make sales and recruit new distributors. Come up with fun themes and throw parties that you would want to attend. Offer prizes, play games, and make food and drinks.
- Having fun with your business is an easy way to stay enthusiastic about what you are doing.
14.Invest some of your profits back into your business. If you start bringing in enough money to make ends meet and then some, look at what parts of your business could be improved. For example, you might be able to invest in some new products, increase your advertising budget, or attend an event.
- Always make sure your needs are met first before you spend more money on your business.
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15. Recruit new members to your group by offering incentives. You can attract new recruits and motivate existing distributors in your group by offering prizes like money, recognition, products, and even travel. Be clear about what achievements your members need to reach to be eligible for these prizes.
- Only offer what you can afford to give. There don’t have to be big prizes when you’re first getting started. For example, you can offer $20 worth of product to your top seller.
16. Look for programs with a low start-up cost. While pyramid schemes often require a hefty buy-in, sometimes several hundred or thousand dollars, a legitimate multi-level marketing program will have a small start-up cost. You should be expected to pay for your first round of products and maybe a small fee for training costs or joining the program.
- One way to recognize a pyramid scheme is if the company pressures you to pay a fee to move up the ladder.
- If you have to take out a loan or go into debt to join a program, think long and hard before jumping in.
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17. Ask if the company will buy back unsold inventory. Legitimate companies are required to buy back inventory at 80-90% of the cost you paid for it. Ask if there are any conditions for buying back unused inventory, and be sure to read the small print.
- If the company doesn’t buy back, ask yourself what you will do with your inventory if you can’t sell it.
18. Look at who is making the most money in the company. Can people make enough money to live on through sales? Or does the bulk of the money come from recruiting other distributors and making commission through them? If new recruits struggle to make sales and get commissions while top recruiters are making thousands of dollars a month, the program could be a pyramid scheme.
- Ask how many new recruits are successful and how many drop out. Do they get their money back?
- According to the FDA, 70% of your income should come from direct sales rather than recruiting.
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19. Be realistic about your potential market. If you are jumping on the bandwagon with a popular MLM company, especially in a small community, the market may already be oversaturated. Are there people in your social circle who would be interested in buying your product? Will they be able to afford it? Did someone else from your program already reach them?
- If you have a large network and can rely on your friends and family to spread the word about your new business, you might be a good candidate for network marketing.