So you want to make money by selling stuff online, but how? You start off with two choices, sell your own stuff or sell someone else’s.
I’m going to cross off the first option right here and not talk any more about it. Selling your own stuff is too much work – making the stuff, storing the stuff, buying and storing raw materials, payment processing, shipping, returns. It goes on and on and you aren’t going to make very much money unless you have people working for you, which means you have to make even more money to break even.
That leaves selling other people’s stuff. That’s what network marketing and affiliate marketing are all about. In both cases someone else will pay you a commission when you recommend their product and it leads to a purchase.
None of the headaches around manufacturing, managing inventory, payment processing, or order fulfillment. Just generate sales and collect a check. Leave the rest to someone else.
Affiliate marketing and network marketing are both great ways to inexpensively build a business from the comfort of your own home, but how do you choose which one?
Network Marketing or MLM
For many, network marketing is a bad word, something to be shunned. You were probably tempted to leave here as soon as you saw me mention it. When you tell someone you’re a network marketer they go quiet and avoid you.
If you have the right kind of skills and connections you can make a lot of money at it though.
Network marketing usually brings ideas of coffee shop meetings, hotel meetings, team calls, and a lot of face-to-face and hype. Oh my gosh the hype!
I don’t want to do any of that stuff. To my way of thinking, that all involves spending a lot of time with other distributors, people who are already in. They aren’t going to generate any income for me. I would rather spend my time finding customers who are going to buy from me, and not just one at a time.
There are some nice benefits though to working with a network marketing company, like a consistent line of products over a range of prices. Maybe a brand to build your own brand around.
There is one important benefit that I want to tell you about in a minute, but let’s talk about affiliate marketing first.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t have all that crap. I think most people don’t even really know what affiliate marketing means. So when people ask what I do, I tell them that I’m an affiliate marketer. It doesn’t put them off so much.
The thing I like about affiliate marketing is that I can do it all from my computer at home. I don’t have to go anywhere and I don’t have to call anyone, at least not very often.
What I don’t like about affiliate marketing is that it is all one-time sales. What I mean by that is, once you introduce a contact to an affiliate offer, and they buy that offer, now the company behind that offer can market directly to your contact and you are cut out of all future sales.
There is also some hype in affiliate marketing too. You’ll hear claims about how it doesn’t cost anything to sign up with an affiliate program and in a lot of cases you can earn 100% commissions.
That is technically true. Someone will offer you 100% commission to promote their $5 or $10 ebook or introductory video series. They are more than happy to give up that small sale to add that person to their list so that they can then market their real products to them over the next few days, weeks, months, and even years.
That’s a LOT of potential commissions to lose out on.
What I Do – Combine the Best of Both
I take the affiliate marketing approach to selling network marketing products.
From affiliate marketing I take the ability to work from home on my own computer. I don’t have to go anywhere and I rarely talk to customers. No meeting prospects at a coffee shop, no team calls on the phone or Zoom, and definitely no in-home or hotel meetings surrounded by other distributors who I cannot make any money from. I could do those things if I wanted to, but I don’t.
From network marketing I take the opportunity to sell real products from a real company with real product support.
Oh, and that one important benefit that I teased before. I get to keep my customers long term for multiple sales, not just the initial offer. For as long as I remain active, my customers remain mine. Through introductory offers all the way up to the big ticket items, I get the commissions from every sale for every customer that I bring in.
Even better, sometimes the company will promote something directly to my customers, and I still get the credit (as in commi$$ion) if the promotion turns into a sale.
Build an Affiliate Sales Team
Since I am working with an MLM company, I do have the opportunity to add new people to my team and earn additional commissions from their sales. Of course, my commission does not in any way reduce what they earn from their own sales.
I don’t put a lot of effort into building a team because those commissions are so small compared what I can make from my own sales, but a little bit from a lot of people can add up.
This page is the entire extent of my recruiting efforts.
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