Network marketing has been around for many decades, and has often been a very lucrative business model both for the companies that sell and market their products using this innovative approach, as well as for many of the individual and independent distributors that comprise the companies’ sales and marketing force in lieu of traditional employees.
Network marketing has traditionally been known by several names, including direct selling and multi-level marketing (MLM). At several points throughout the history of the business, it has sometimes had somewhat of a negative reputation. This has generally been due to a minority of companies and individuals who have acted improperly or unethically, and have tarnished the reputation of the entire industry.
The behavior of most major network marketing companies and their individual distributors, however, has been upstanding, and the business model is sound. In fact, many of the companies and individuals involved in this type of sales and marketing approach have become astonishingly successful from a financial perspective.
There are many reasons to get involved in network marketing on the independent distributor level. It is an excellent way to build a business with unlimited potential that generally requires very little in the way of upfront investment. Almost every other type of business that is started requires a great deal of capital to get off the ground. While network marketing has a low barrier to entry, it can provide unlimited upside to those individuals who are smart, dedicated, and diligent. It takes hard work, especially in the beginning of building an organization, but the potential rewards are well worth it.
Traditionally, network marketing involved the independent distributor getting friends, family, and acquaintances to buy products offered by a company. This is the direct selling aspect of it. Typically, an independent distributor would have get-togethers to introduce the company’s products to the network of friends, family, and acquaintances. Sales would be made directly by the independent distributor, who would earn a substantial commission on each sale. While this commission was compelling, the real power of network marketing has always been in the concept of multi-levels.
Some of the friends, family, and acquaintances would undoubtedly be interested in starting their own business. So the original distributor would “sponsor” those people to begin their own organization. The original distributor would then also earn commissions on whatever their sponsored distributor would sell. And if these sponsored distributors went on to sponsor other distributors, the original distributor would also earn on what those individuals would sell. Typically, each distributor would earn from distributors several levels below him/her. Such is the power of the multi-level “downline” business model. Many distributors became wealthy off of residual income from their downlines.
While many distributors throughout the decades have earned a great deal of money and have reached their own goals of wealth and financial freedom, using the traditional route of getting friends, family, and acquaintances together can be a slow and excruciating way of building an organization. With the power of the Internet, everything has changed.
Since the advent of the Internet, network marketing has made a great leap forward. Using commonly available tools, distributors can now build vast and extended networks online, in addition to just selling to their friends, family, and acquaintances. Combining network marketing with Internet marketing, these businesses have almost no limit to their growth potential.
There are many ways to jump-start a network marketing business using the Internet. The following steps are part of one proven path to success:
1) Create a website, preferably a blog. There is no way around it – you have to create written content in order for the world to find your business. A blog is a great way to format written content because it provides visitors with timely educational material and also provides search sites with highly searchable content. Although each blog post does not have to be long, you should start blogging everyday, religiously.
2) Create an email newsletter list that visitors to your site can subscribe to. Once subscribed to this list, your visitors can receive from you a periodic newsletter with tips, techniques, and updates. The more subscribers you can obtain, the better, as you will have a pre-qualified audience that will be more receptive to buy your products and join your network.
3) Write a short educational eBook that visitors to your site can download from your website in return for their email address and contact information. This will help grow your all-important email list.
4) Get other websites to link to yours. There are many ways to do this. Ideally, you will want sites with a lot of traffic to link to you, as you will then gain better status with the major search sites. The goal here is to rank as high as possible on searches for your keywords, as this will help you get higher numbers of interested visitors. One way to get quality links is by writing articles on highly-trafficked sites like this one, which also helps you gain authority in your market niche.
5) Consider buying keyword advertising on major search sites like Google. This is the only step that will require any significant investment, but oftentimes it can really be worth it, as you will quickly gain a lot more pre-qualified visitors. You can easily control the amount of your daily/weekly/monthly investment simply by adjusting the settings on your ad-placement account.
6) Run periodic online webinars (web seminars) that explain your products and your network marketing business opportunity to visitors on your site. This will create a close connection with your visitors, with the goal of getting them interested in joining your network.
7) Follow-up with anyone and everyone that expresses interest in your opportunity. If you diligently followed the steps above, you should soon be building a substantial online audience base and a constantly-replenished list of leads. Sell and market your products and business opportunity to your leads by email, phone, and through webinars.