We all remember Tupperware and The Pampered Chef and their products that were a part of our daily life. These are not just names of brands, but they entail a story of how you can become your own boss. Work only when you want and the way you want. Well, Network Marketing is the name of the game, which is common for both these brands and many other such brands.
So, what exactly is Network Marketing? All the people waiting to discover and unleash their entrepreneurial side need to know the way it works. If you are one among them and are yearning to know What, Where, and How of Network Marketing, this post shall answer all your questions. So, let’s go!
We shall be learning about:
- What is Network Marketing?
- How Does Network Marketing Work?
- Types of Network Marketing
- Questions to Ask Before Joining Network Marketing
- Pros and Cons of Network Marketing
- How to Master Network Marketing?
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.
Types of Network Marketing
Although there are three major categories of network marketing which we will learn about in this section. The similarities between these categories lie in the way they rely upon individuals to conduct business via personal networks. In the process, people conduct business by selling or recruiting others to do so. Let's look at what these categories are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Master Network Marketing?
Now, it is now to time to get into action. Your journey through this business need not be complicated. Follow these steps to learn the art of marketing:
Take it seriously
At the start of your business, you will have to treat it as a business and not as a mere hobby or a pass time. The right mindset is the key to starting on a great note. Begin to take those initial baby steps; start reading about the latest trends, spend time networking, try to strategize your next move. Also, start applying what you have grasped so far. Application is what brings your ideas to fruition.
You have to make sure the products you are selling are ones you are passionate about before you get into network marketing. Make connections with brands who share your interests, and do your homework, such as researching the compensation schemes of companies.
Utilizing social media
Using social Media can be magical when you know how to connect the dots on it. These tools offer you opportunities like no other element, for marketing and presenting your products. From finding new team members and recruits, to placing advertisements and endorsements, social media gives you a lot of conveniences to build your dream business. If you invest in paid advertising and actively engage your audience, you will deliver value. Select one or two social media platforms to begin with and then go on mastering each one on the way. Marketers have never had it easier than today, in the digital marketing age.
Seek out a mentor
Choosing someone with experience and continued growth is ideal. As a newbie, you'll have to figure out a lot of things. Fortunately, expert mentors have experience getting things done. They can help you skip unnecessary tasks and do what you should be doing. If you are looking to accomplish to expedite the process, invest in a mentor.
Mindset is important, but being growth-oriented is even more important. No matter how slim the chances are, you need to stay optimistic. Keep pushing until you reach the point you desire. Believing in yourself and not giving up is essential.
Maintain Discipline and Consistency
Success is difficult for those who are unable to maintain discipline and consistency. When you are learning so much, you need to apply the knowledge diligently. Without these factors, you will lack clarity and the tasks will seem uphill. To avoid this, ensure that you have an effective process in place which you follow meticulously.
Friends aren't business prospects
While your friends and family have your back all the time, it does not mean you view them as your customers all the time. Do not force or pressurize them to buy your products. You can explain to them the benefits of using it, but the final decision to buy or not remains with them.
Be prepared to sponsor
You should make sure you do not invite too many people when you begin to offer your mentorship. You need to have a keen eye for recognizing the ones who exhibit good prospects and understanding of the products. You must be ready to offer support, mentor, and help them grow.
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Let’s follow the major points discussed:
- 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