A friend invited me to speak at a network marketing event he organized recently. I usually turn him down, but I accepted this time. I don’t know why. Anyway, this is the message I intended to deliver about how I make network marketing work.
I say “intended” because my mind went blank as soon as I stood up. That’s how it goes when you’re an internet marketer, not a public speaker.
I’ve been in network marketing since April 2006. I have:
- been a Silver-level distributor with my network marketing company for several years.
- been a top 5 and top 10 retailer more times than I can count.
- done it all online.
I focused on retail sales long before the company tried to make it cool last year, and according to the VP of sales, long before the company’s prices made it even possible. I’m the only person I know of who was sad when they lowered all the prices back in November 2015.
I don’t usually go to events. That’s not how I make network marketing work. Actually, the event I wrote this for was the first event I attended in at least 4 years.
Years ago I was a software developer. I was on a traditional professional career path and I had a regular job. I eventually landed in a position that I absolutely hated. It was miserable. You’ve heard the phrase “kept in the dark and fed s#!%.” That is the best description I can give you for that particular job.
I was also getting tired of “professional” software development. You know how some people use big words just because they can? Well, in professional software development, architects and developers like to make their code more complicated than it needs to be just because they can. I guess it somehow justifies their existence or all the money they spend on their education. It also makes for buggy software that is difficult to maintain.
There had to be another way.
My wife had just completed massage school, so I thought I’d give that a try. I prefer to work with computers over people and I hate to be touched, so massage school should be perfect for me.
Actually, I loved massage school. I don’t know much about sports or cars, so I tend to find women easier to talk to. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the massage tables before class, chatting and filing our nails together.
It turns out that massage is a very physical profession. You’re on your feet and using your hands all day. Most massage therapists that I know can only do 5 or 6 sessions in a day. With clean up between sessions and laundry at the end of the day, you’ve really put in a full day’s work and you’re tired.
Doing “only” 5 or 6 sessions a day essentially caps your income though, and you can only increase your rates so often, and that’s only if you work for yourself.
There had to be another way.
Massage did introduce me to the concept of wellness though. Have you heard of the book Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau? It’s a terrible book. I don’t recommend it at all. But about ¾ of the way through it says that everyone should be sleeping on a magnetic mattress pad.
That got me curious.
I asked a massage therapist that my wife worked with at the time if he knew anything about magnets, and not all that suprisingly now, that led to network marketing. I found out later that he had just signed up as a consultant a couple months earlier and was more than happy to take me to a meeting.
Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a network marketing meeting, so with my wife and kids we invaded a couple’s very not-kid-friendly home. My daughter was 2 and my son was 6 months and they hadn’t built out their slightly more kid-friendly terrace level yet.
Anyway, network marketing with this company made complete sense for a massage therapy business. What could be better than magnetic massage tools plus an amazing water filter? The products were tailor made for a massage business.
They’re also great if you DON’T want to run a massage business, which is what I eventually decided.
So I signed up.
I struggled trying to make network marketing work the traditional way as I was taught. I found wellness and business expos and my sponsor helped me out at them. We had a lot of fun, but not a lot of business. People, at least adult people, generally gave our table a wide berth. Our stuff was just too weird. Kids loved it though.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t sell to kids and money was flowing the wrong way.
Another way to make network marketing work.
I decided to take my business online. There wasn’t anything in the Policies and Procedures that forbade it, so why not?
As I said before, I was a software and web developer in my professional career. Unlike what I used to do before, there wasn’t anyone to make this overly complicated. Well, at least I hadn’t met them yet.
At first it was tedious. I didn’t know about WordPress, so I wrote everything in straight HTML then eventually added in some PHP to make it a little bit more dynamic.
There wasn’t any social media that I knew of. I think MySpace was around and I guess Facebook had started but I don’t know if it was open to the public yet.
Google was around so I focused on how to get noticed by them to get organic (free) search traffic.
The network marketing company’s website wasn’t easy to use like it is now either. You couldn’t link directly to a product back then and get credit for the sale. I had to play some tricks behind the scenes to get that to work.
It’s so much easier now, which means there are also a lot more people doing it to one degree or another.
WordPress makes it easy for anyone to set up a website with or without a blog. Social media allows anyone to market their products and business opportunity online. The company website allows you to link directly to the products you want, so you can market an individual item instead of the entire catalog.
I could make network marketing work online.
What I Do Online
Here’s what I do to make network marketing work online. I have a hosting account with a company in Utah. They provide the server, the actual computer, that my website lives on. There are a lot of hosting companies out there. Try to find one that has been around for a little while. Don’t put your website up on a server that your neighbor’s uncle Bob has. He may give you a great deal on the price, but what happens when you can’t reach Uncle Bob?
You may laugh, but I know a fellow distributor who didn’t follow my advice on this point and that is exactly what she is faced with now. Uncle Bob registered her domain, her web address, for her so she may lose that. The last thing you want to do is start over with a new domain.
I moved eveything I had in HTML over to WordPress several years ago. WordPress is free, open-source software that manages a significant percentage of the web content that you see every day. It is easy to use, easy to maintain and highly customizable.
It takes less than 10 minutes to set up a basic website and get something online.
My Own Website vs Company Replicated Website
I have pages on my website for most of the products in my network marketing company’s catalog and they link directly to the correct page on the company website.
The company replicated website is good and you need it to take orders online, but everybody’s is the same. Google will never send free traffic to your company page becaue in their eyes it’s all duplicate content. It also doesn’t do much in the way of selling the product. It’s all about “what” and not a lot of “why.” People buy “why.”
My website allows me to share my perspective on the products, the benefits as I see them, the “why.” If my visitor is not completely sold before they click the link to the company website then they probably won’t place an order.
And my website is all unique content, so Google sends me traffic.
I also have a blog on my website. Actually, I have 5 websites and I maintain a blog on 4 of them, one for each topic that I’m interested in – the products, network marketing (this site), internet marketing, and personal development. The 5th site is just a hub site to link to the other 4. That’s one’s my business name, yonderwillow.com.
I didn’t like to write at first but I have learned to love it. I used to struggle to get 300 words into a blog post. Now I target about 1,000 words for each of my posts, and I post something on at least one of my websites just about every day.
I added the blogs to help get more traffic from the search engines – search engine optimization or SEO.
Search Engine Optimization
Here’s your SEO training. When you want to find something you go to Google and do a search. What you type is your keyword phrase. You want to find a magnetic bracelet so you type in “magnetic bracelet” and click search. “Magnetic bracelet” is your keyword phrase. That’s easy to understand, right?
Now, I’m on the other end of that search. I want you to find me, so I need to target that keyword phrase. I make sure the words “magnetic braclet” appear on my page several times.
But there are a variety of keyword phrases that you could use. Maybe you typed in “magnet bracelet” or “magnetic sportsband.” I want to be found for those phrases too. I could try to target them on the same page, but the more phrases you target, the less effective it is for any of them.
That’s why I added my blog. Each new post I write about magnetic bracelets targets a different keyword phrase then links to my main magnetic bracelet page. Now I’m more likely to be found for a variety of searches.
Blog posts can also be more story-oriented, which appeals to people more than a sales page. That’s why we share our stories with people to introduce them to network marketing instead of just telling them all the benefits of having their own business.
Then I share my posts on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and StumbleUpon. I’ve only been on LinkedIn for a couple months and Instagram for a few weeks.
Others can probably tell you how to get more out of social media than I can. My focus in the beginning was on the search engines, Google, and still is. I use social media mostly to improve my search engine ranking. They provide inbound links to my pages and posts from high-trafficed websites. The search engines like that.
I use a tool to automatically share my posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It allows me to schedule them in advance so that I don’t have to keep track of the timing. I’m currently writing my own tool for Twitter because I want more options than I get from the tool I’m currently using. Projects like this help to satisfy the software developer in me.
It’s easy to automate social media but you can’t forget what it is. It’s SOCIAL media. Most of the people I see, especially on Facebook and Twitter, treat them more like bulletin boards. They post their stuff and leave. They ignore the social part. It takes very little effort to click the like button, and just a small bit more to leave a comment or to share. It’s worth taking the extra moment to be social.
The social part is important. Engaging with others encourages them to engage with you. Who knows, you just might make a new friend who could someday join your business, or connect you with someone who does.
Coaching Other Distributors
I have helped a few other distributors make network marketing work online as well.
A cross-line distributor with the same company I am with (Gary) was the first and only one to follow through with it and still be here. He started to get orders and make money when he finally did what I told him to do.
I had two people join my team who I helped get online and they stayed with it long enough to make network marketing work and make some money. They were a 20-something Russian kid in Toronto who barely spoke English, and a 70-something orthodox Jewish guy in Florida. That shows that anyone can be successful online if they want to. Along with my online retail sales and another person who was already online when he joined my team, I had enough help to push me Silver.
No one else who asked me for help did anything. Most people want to go online because they don’t want to do the work to make network marketing work offline. They think that working online is somehow different. Like they don’t have to talk to anyone or get out and sell the product or recruit people.
Of course, that’s all wrong.
Network Marketing Online is Still Network Marketing
You can’t make network marketing work without selling product or recruiting other people to sell the product. All of our money comes from someone selling something somewhere in our team structure.
The only difference between what I do online and what a successful person does offline is the medium I use to communicate. I use the Internet, email and my phone instead of going face-to-face. I don’t have to use my phone as much, but I still use it at least a few times a month.
The Internet isn’t a short cut. It isn’t easier. Actually, it’s more work at first because it takes time and effort to get everything set up and working and takes longer to for it to get traction. Once it does get traction though, it’s great. I stepped away from my business for about 2 years a while back and my website kept bringing in money every month. It finally started to fall off after about a year and a half. I still answered the phone and replied to emails, but that’s about all I did.
Benefits of Internet Network Marketing
This is the biggest benefit to a website over social media or working offline. Website content is always there and works around the clock.
Post something on most of the social media sites and it’s effectively gone in a day or two. Post on Twitter and your post disappears in a few minutes. Offline, a live event is most powerful for the people who are there, but when it’s over it’s over.
I can post something on my website and it’ll still be there in 5 years if I don’t change it in the mean time. My post doesn’t have the energy of a live event. There’s a lot of energy when people get together. But website content has a LOT more longevity.
The Internet works for me because I don’t get out much. I’m a full-time Dad first and I home school my kids in addition to building my network marketing business. I don’t have the luxury of spending a few hours away from home every Friday or Saturday night. Actually, I don’t consider that a luxury at all. For me, the luxury is in staying at home with my family.
Being online, to the degree that I am, itsn’t for everyone. That’s one of the points that I’m trying to make here. There is always another way to make network marketing work. This works for me, and it can work for anyone else who wants to do it too.
I said before that there wasn’t anyone to make online marketing overly complicated, at least not yet. It didn’t take too long to find them though, and it’s only grown worse as it’s become easier to get online.
If you find someone online who tells you something is difficult, prepare yourself for the sales pitch. It’s right around the corner.
The only people who tell you that setting up a website is hard are the people who want you to hire them to set up your website.
The people who tell you that blogging is hard sell coaching services.
The people that tell you that search engine optimization is hard sell SEO services.
I think you get the idea.
All of the information you need to make network marketing work online is freely available if you are willing to spend the time and do the work. Actually, I’m creating my own membership site where I walk people through exactly how I build my business online, and I’m giving it all away. It is a work in progress but there is enough there to get you online and creating content.
Second piece of advice.
I see my fellow distributors constantly posting their company webpage link on Facebook. The company posts a picture, then someone else comes along and shares it with their company URL.
There is a better way. First, here’s the problem, and it isn’t just on Facebook or wherever. It can be on your business cards or when you talk to someone on the phone or in person. Your company URL is www.company.com/whatever. Your prospect can leave off the “whatever” and the link still works as far as they are concerned. You lose your prospect because they are assigned to a random distributor, maybe me.
(By the way, they placed a large order. Thanks.)
For less than $15 a year you can register a domain, a website address, and have it redirected to your PWP. That’s one of the things that GoDaddy does. Now you can send people to www.whatever.com and be sure that your prospect gets to the right place with you as their distributor.
That’s the minimum to make network marketing work online in my opinion.
That also sets you up to be able to create a website later if you want. You already have your domain registered. All you need is a hosting account. The age of your domain is a factor that Google considers in ranking your website in the search results. That’s why losing her domain is such an issue for the lady I mentioned before who decided to work with “Uncle Bob.”
I believe that everyone should have a website. It’s a hub, a place to send people to get more information. If you do live events, put your event calendar on on there so that people know what’s going on.
Your prospects are going to go online to do research when they get home, and you stay in control when you own the website you send them to for more information, even if it’s just a single page.
Personal development is the most important thing I do after learning everything I can about online marketing.
For one, you have to have a vision for you business. What do you want to accomplish?
Your vision drives you to get things done everyday, especially when you work at home and don’t have as much contact with other people.
My vision is to go Royal Ambassador, the highest rank ever achieved with my network marketing company. There are 2 in the US and 1 in Germany.
To be honest, I don’t even know if Royal Ambassador is still a rank anymore. I haven’t seen it documented anywhere in a long time. It’s not in the current Policies & Procedures.
That doesn’t matter though because it’s not about the Royal Ambassador label or the potential rewards for achieving it. It’s about what I accomplish by meeting the requirements. I found the requirements recently in an old file from my early days as a distributor.
These are the requirements:
- Be a qualified Royal Diamond Consultant
- Have 4 qualified Diamond legs
- Minimum 100,000,000 total downline volume worldwide within a 24-month rolling period beginning from the month Royal Diamond rank achieved
- Maximum 25,000,000 total downline volume from each leg.
How to Make Network Marketing Work – Help Others
I didn’t say it’s about meeting the requirements, but what I accomplish by meeting them. Basically, it’s about helping a whole lot of people.
Like Zig Ziglar said, “you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
To meet the structural requirement – Royal Diamond with 4 Diamond legs – I have to help at least 484 people achieve success in their own business. Realistically, the number will probably be in the thousands.
I get to help even more people find and order the products they need to live a better life. I’m already doing that, so I just have to take it a lot bigger and help my team do the same.
Of course my upline will earn more money too. And since almost none of them know who I am, it’ll be easy money for them. They’ll probably know who I am before I’m done though.
Finally, the company itself will earn more money that they can use to employ more people and develop new products, and that’s good for all of us.
The way I see it, it’s a win (me), win (my new team), win (my customers), win (upline), win (company), win (all distributors). That’s 6 wins.
I think to shoot for anything less is a waste of my time. If I’m not looking to make the biggest impact I can, then why bother playing at all?
That isn’t to put down anyone else’s goal. If you’re doing this on the side to earn some extra income to get through the month, that’s great. I’ve been there too.
Eventually you realize that this business isn’t about you at all. It’s about all of the people you can help.
Whether you work online, offline or both, you have to believe. You have to believe in network marketing, you have to believe in the company and their products, and most importantly you have to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed in what you are doing.
If you don’t believe, then why bother? “Well, I don’t think this will work, but let’s give it a shot.” You’ve already doomed yourself to failure before you even take the first step. You’ll get knocked off track by the first obstacle you run into.
Instead, believe that your success is inevitable and see how you do. You probably won’t even notice that obstacle that knocked the other guy off track.
My view of the world, and interaction with it, comes mostly through Facebook and what people post there. A lot of people are really hard on themselves and very negative. They focus on the past and all the bad things that happened there.
When I started my network marketing business in April 2006, the company had a coaching contract with Bob Proctor, and his wife, Linda, was a Royal Diamond distributor. That was about a month before The Secret came out as a movie and made the Law of Attraction popular.
I’d never heard of personal development before then.
The most important thing I learned in personal development so far is that how you feel determines just about everything.
When you focus on the past and on pain, how do you feel? Not good, right? And when you feel “not good” you attract “not good.” Who wants that? I certainly don’t.
Aside from all of the law of attraction stuff, who wants to spend all of their time feeling bad?
My focus is on right now and all of the things that are going right. They help me to feel good so that I can attract more good.
I like feeling good.
Let me ask you a question. How healthy have we become by studying sick and dead people? Not very, right?
So what makes people think they can learn about success by studying failure?
Again on Facebook, I see so many people post quotes about how you can succeed by moving from failure to failure with a positive attitude. You can fail your way to success?
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
– Truman Capote
“I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
“I failed my way to success.”
– Thomas Edison
“Fail harder. You cannot be successful without failure.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”
– Thomas J. Watson
For real? Those quotes all come from big names, but they’re all crap!
Part of it has to do with your definition of failure. I look at it with my destination in mind. If my destination changes then I have failed. If my destination is the same but my route changes, then I haven’t failed. I’ve learned.
You can make all the mistakes you want. If you learn from them and keep going then you haven’t failed. You’ve learned.
You only fail when you give up on your goal.
Never quit and you will never fail. It’s that easy. Give up on this whole idea of failure and erase the word from your vocabulary.
Focus on success.
That was a long post. My friend wanted me to speak for 30 minutes. So I commend you for sticking with it (assuming that you did).
That’s my whole story. How I got into network marketing, how I figure out how to make network marketing work for me, and where I’m headed with my business.
If you would like to know more about network marketing and how I make it work online, give me your name and email address here:
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