I want to tell you about the #1 mistake that Direct Sellers and Network Marketers are making in their business – and it’s costing them a ton of their time and thousands (if not more!) in unearned income.
A few weeks ago, I met a friend to go over her new MLM business because she really wanted to hit this thing out of the ballpark and she wanted it to happen now. We discussed a few things that I tell everyone I meet with: you need a website, you need a mailing list, you need a Facebook Page, and here’s the quickest way to get all of them up and running.
Then we dug into the #1 mistake that I see so many of these business people making. Her intention was to create a page and business around the company she was involved with. Big mistake.
When you sign up with a direct sales company you’re pumped and you have the inspiration and motivation that could rival the strength of the Hulk. You go full force into the business and a month later you’re kicking it to the curb because you’re working an extra 8 hours a day in addition to your regular j-o-b, your family is starting to hate the fact that you started with what now looks like Satan, and your friends dodge phone calls and hide your posts on social media. Then comes acceptance: this whole MLM thing is for the birds .. it’s not working .. I’ve been duped into believing in the dream.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not network marketing that’s the problem. It’s you.
Well, your path into business to be clear.
You wake up one day and decide that this company or product isn’t for you anymore?
Don’t let your infatuation and belief in the company sway you. It happened to me with Avon. I did very well with that company but after I had my son my priorities shifted big time. I didn’t like the skin care and cosmetic products anymore because of the research I was doing to live a more healthy life. It pained me to leave the company because the thing I did best and enjoyed the most was building businesses and teaching people how to do the same with their own company. So tell me, what would happen to your business if you were making 6 figures with them, living the dream and then something changed. You’d go from living on cloud 9 to living in the gutter.
You wake up one day and the company has shut you down for something you did?
Don’t think it can happen? Think again. These companies protect their business and often do that with respect to what you can and can’t do with your own business. Many companies tell you that you can’t have a website that promotes that product unless you use their company branded mini websites. Maybe you missed that paragraph in the 20 pages of fine print when you signed up to be a representative. So here you are creating a massive business using your new website that you paid someone to build and then BAM. You’re no longer a consultant and are now stuck with a business that you can’t do anything with.
You wake up one day and the company has shut their doors.
This happened to a friend of mine just this year. She was promoting a company with a good product. She was making some cash. Then she got an email saying, sorry folks – we’re closing. She’s placing her last order this month and then she’s out. Now what do you do? You’ve been promoting this thing for months and maybe years. Now it’s gone and so is your cashflow. Even if they don’t shut their doors, companies have been known to change their arrangements with representatives .. you might still be selling for them, but you could be making less, or you might not be able to do things in the same way which completely throws off your business model.
You wake up one day and just want MORE.
It happens. Our thoughts, perceptions, wants and needs change. It happens all the time and just because you don’t want to think it’ll ever happen to you, it could. We’re born to evolve sister. If your priorities shift, and it no longer aligns with the company, the product or the way you were doing business, what do you do now that you have an entire business that you’ve spent all your time and energy and money promoting one product, one business.
Don’t know what you’d do? You’re not alone. So let me tell you what you should be doing NOW to protect yourself from any of those things above plus a whole slew more (hello death, sickness, divorce, burn out).
There is only 1 answer and they will fix every single potential problem that you might run up against.
Stop busting your ass to promote the company you’re with.
Stop busting your ass to promote the product of the week/month with that company.
You need to shift your focus away from the MLM business and onto your own brand.
Before I go any further, and before you make some weird facial movements and you wander away thinking I’ve lost my marbles, anyone can do this.
Does this mean that you stop promoting your product? NO.
Does this mean that you stop promoting your company and trying to get a solid down-line? NO.
Does this mean that you are going to lose money because you’re going to do something different? HELLS NO.
What it will do is protect everything you’re working for by creating a business that YOU are in control of. No one can tell Brand X that they can’t do Facebook ads, or have a website that promotes more than one thing or that they can’t sell something on their website.
And when any of the myriad of things eventually happen to you, you aren’t going to circle the drain. Your family isn’t going to lose a huge chunk of income. And you won’t be drowning your sorrows at the local bar.
Everything should be in your own name.
Trust me on this and please don’t fight me. It’s easy enough to change your domain name and redirect new visitors to the new domain but it’s not that easy with Facebook usernames. If you use your name on your personal profile and that’s no longer available to you try something like adding “biz” to the end of your username, or do something like “followdawn” as your user name. We’re not trying to be fancy and coy .. we’re trying to make sure that no matter what you do your brand is going to stick with you.
You need to find a pain point that relates to the MLM business you’re working.
This is a quick and dirty example and far too broad (so don’t just use this idea and run with it – it won’t work) but if your business is selling anything to do with wellness (essential oils, botantical cosmetics, vitamins) then you’re going to find it very easy to transition into a wellness brand that advocates health.
When you post (on your blog, on your social media, anything) you can’t just promote the products you’re selling.
That’s not branding you my dear and it’ll be a big fat flop. What else does your audience like? If you’re advocating health, guess what? That goes hand in hand with changing your finances and dieting too. It’s all about lifestyle changes. So find some quotes and articles that your audience is going to be interested in and start posting those too.
Don’t be a party promoter.
What I mean is if you’re constantly pushing your product, your business, your company people are going to drop off faster than a hookers panties. So don’t pimp your stuff quite so often. Once, maybe twice a week – that’s it. THAT’S IT. People need to know what you’re offering, but there’s a fine line. Don’t cross it.
If you’re running Facebook ads do NOT promote your MLM product in the ad.
First, you’ll get shut down in a heartbeat. Second, it goes hand in hand with #4. People are not going to want to like your Facebook page because you’re selling your wares. They’re going to like it because it makes them feel good to be there. I don’t care if “feels good” means raunchy humour, bible references, feel-good quotes, or a bunch of DIY inspiration that gets them moving.
You need your own products too.
Shhh. Don’t freak out. As you build out your business, you’ll become more of an expert. As you get to know your audience, you’ll find out more about their wants, needs and pain points. And when this happens, we can start talking products. It doesn’t have to be a $2000 course, but you need something. Start with a free lead magnet – something of value that you can give people for free when they opt into your list. I used to do this on my site with my case study and now have my top work from home careers. How easy is that? I tell people how I went from point A to point B. Having your own products and topics of interest will set you apart from all the other direct sellers and it’s going to cushion your bottom line.