Over the past few years, network marketing has made a complete resurgence (and in my opinion, has gotten a little bit of a well-deserved makeover). Hundreds of thousands of women (and men) are flocking to this career path because of it’s flexibility and the promise of making some pretty big money with a very low upfront investment –usually less than $200.
The idea? Sell some products to your friends, family and acquaintances and while your at it, recruit some of them to join your sales team. The more members you add to your team, the more money you’re going to make because you’re getting a percentage of their sales. The concept has been around forever, but the products coming out of these cutting edge companies recently are actually pretty good. LuLaRoe, Younique Cosmetics, LipSense and Rodan & Fields are just a few examples of some high quality products that everyone is going crazy for.
Over the last year, I’ve seen so many friends all over Instagram and Facebook hustle in this career path on and self-sabotage right from the start. I just want to see them succeed! That’s why I’m pulling from my past experiences to try to help.
Here are three mistakes Network Marketers are making and what they can ACTUALLY do to create a thriving business.
Mistake #1: Creating a Facebook Group and adding people without their consent: The first mistake every single network marketer makes five minutes after they buy their “starter kit” is creating a Facebook Group and adding anyone they can think of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been added to these groups.
It’s not that I don’t WANT to buy your products, but I’d like to opt in and make that decision for myself. Unless these people are your absolute best friends, I can promise you, you are doing yourself a major disservice but doing this. Not only is it annoying to get notifications from a group you never signed up for, but it shines an overall bad light on you and your product and that’s going to be a difficult “bad impression” to shake for most people.
Instead, ask people if they’d be intersted in joining your group and let them know you think they’d really love or benefit from what you are selling. Or better yet, read what I have to say about mistake #2 and just grow the group organically over time.
Mistake #2: Branding yourself as solely an ambassador of the product: If every time you pop-up in my newsfeed you’re talking about all your amazing makeup products and trying to sell me something, I’m probably going to tune you out. Instead, you need to brand yourself separate from the product you’re trying to sell.
Before you even get started with your business, I suggest you sit down and you really create a personal brand for yourself. Ask yourself who you are, what makes you different and why people should follow you (and subsequently emulate what you are doing.) You need to share more than just what you’re selling with people. You need to selflessly provide value to them. You need to embody a lifestyle that attracts people. Once you attract people and build a following you can leverage that following and pretty much sell anything you believe in.
The best example I can provide is what I do on a daily basis with my brand, Everything Erica. Although I don’t do network marketing with my brand, I have to live by the same concept I just talked about. Over the last 3 years, I’ve been building a social following (now over 61,000 people) by sharing my favorite recipes, restaurants, fashion choices, mommy advice and more. People follow me because they feel like they are getting something with no obligation in return. They trust me and have opted-in (remember mistake #1) to follow my life. Now, whenever I am trying to sell something or am being sponsored by a company, I had an audience who will listen and actually make a purchase.
I spent the first 9 months of Everything Erica building my following and only providing value. Oh, and didn’t make a dime. 2 years after that, I was making $15,000+ a month in revenue. I’d say slow and steady wins the race here, don’t you think?
My advice: Don’t quit your day job right away (unless you have a trust fund or enough savings to hold you over for a few months). Start by building your following and create a market of like-minded people who actually want to follow you. Then sell them something.
Mistake #3: General Recruitment Posts: Now if these network marketers aren’t flooding our newsfeeds with what they are selling, they are bombarding us with reasons as to why what their doing would make a great career path for everyone. This is a HUGE mistake. Whenever I see those posts, all I see is a desperate attempt to gather as many people as they can to work for them so they can actually try and make money. You have to look a the psychology of it. Do very successful people typically flaunt what they are doing all over Facebook by holding up piles of cash and telling everyone to get involved? The answer is no.
Also, with these general job postings, you’re throwing gum at a wall and hoping it sticks. You need to be more strategic and more selective about who you bring on your team. Work smart, not hard. I’d rather have three quality people that I’ve personally recruited, cultivated and trained vs some random Facebook follower that was guidable (and lazy enough) to believe they could make $10,000 a month sitting at home selling “That Crazy Wrap Thing”. Not saying it’s not possible to make that kind of money, but it sure isn’t going to come easy.
At the end of the day, I think Network Marketing is an unbelievable industry with great opportunities, a flexible schedule and the ability to make a lot of money — if you do it right. My goal with this post is to help these amazing, entrepreneurial babes get out there and actually make the millions they deserve!