Guest Post by Kathy Marie Howell
When I started with my company I knew nothing about MLM. I knew about relationship marketing (where you tell someone about a great restaurant, book or movie) but that was all. What I didn’t realize was through network marketing, there was a way to help others and still make an income without owning a traditional brick-and-mortar business.
Call it being naïve but I was so focused on my own independent business being successful that I didn’t look at any other business plans. I knew in my current situation if I did not do the work, I would not get paid and I had to continue doing the work day after day. The rent for my business came due whether I had made an income or not.
I was introduced to my MLM company by a friend who knew that I was interested in holistic healing. She realized I wasn’t open to a business, but she thought the product would be good fit for me and my family. Because I am a business minded person, I did my due diligence and researched the company.
It didn’t matter how good the product was; if the company wasn’t ethical I would not look any further. I am thankful I was able to do my research quickly and efficiently by using reputable sources. After concluding my research, I joined the company by jumping in with both feet. Little did I know what I was getting myself into…
Hindsight is 20-20. I’ve since learned there are some basic things you should know about network marketing and some common mistakes to avoid. These tips are listed below.
# 1 Network marketing is a legitimate business.
Here’s the catch, it’s called network marketing because you have to work to be successful. It takes commitment, learning the skills, implementing the skills and time. Like any business, not everyone will want to support you and that is OK. You will want to work your MLM business like a job with your calendar being your boss. If your calendar is not full, work your business plan until it is.
# 2 Join a company that has been in business for at least five years.
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Network marketing can be challenging enough without having to be in the start up of a company. Give a company time to get the kinks worked out and have their roots established before you join.
# 3 Have a product with a DSA.
How important is having a Different, Sustainable, Advantage? It could mean the difference between working hard and working harder. Competition can be fierce and having a product that that is different can be a big advantage. Regardless of how fast the company grows, it MUST be able to deliver the products on time. If the company you’re looking at investing in has a lot of competition, are you willing to go above and beyond to point out why someone should join you?
# 4 Learn about the business.
Ask about the compensation plan. Watch enough videos until you are comfortable with the company you are joining. You don’t have to be able to fully understand how you get paid (most comp plans are confusing the first time you hear about them) but you should understand enough to say yes.
# 5 Promote only one company at a time.
To have a successful MLM business you will need to concentrate on building one business at a time. You can support your friends who are in other businesses by being a customer but when it comes down to working the business, stick with what you love.
# 6 Be a product of the product.
If you are not willing to use the products every day, don’t even bother signing up. You will be wasting your time and money. I often say that you should be in love with the product because after the newness of the business wears off, what will keep you going? Finding something you’re passionate about can fuel a big fire.
# 7 Be 100% committed for the long-haul.
You have to be more committed to this than anything you have ever committed to before. This business is easy to do and easy not to do. Most people have never owned their own business before so they lack the skills needed for success from the beginning. When you are committed, you have the end in mind. Have a mentor or an accountability partner to help you along the way.
# 8 Invest in personal development.
Do you like to spend a lot of time in front of the television? If you answered yes, network marketing may not be the best fit for you. It has been said that network marketing is a personal development business with a product attached to it. One of the first things you learn is to listen, really listen. Time should be spent everyday reading, listening or watching something to improve yourself.
# 9 Don’t worry about what others think about you.
Everyone has an opinion and it seems like this business brings out the opinions more than any other profession. You have to be comfortable with people thinking you are trying to sell them something or that you joined one of those pyramid schemes. It’s time to get a thick skin, be yourself and know that you have joined one of the fastest growing industries. Not everyone will see your vision and that is OK.
# 10 Have a living list.
Growing your list is one of the most important parts of the business. If you don’t know where to start, think of the person you could call and tell anything to and they wouldn’t hang up on you. Think of the people that want you to most succeed in life. Who would you want to be partners with that makes you feel good? Those are the people you start with. Become an expert relationship builder and you will always have a list.
# 11 Watch your language.
The language you use is important. Most people are leery when you call them up and ask if they want to join your opportunity. Think less me and more about the other person. We are all looking for something in life, what is it that they are seeking? Is it more freedom, money, relationships, quality of life? Network marketing is about helping others find the solutions they are looking for. Choose your words wisely.
Not everyone is going to be successful in MLM, just like any other profession. You have to be resilient and stay the course. I can’t stress enough how rewarding this business is when done right and yet so many people don’t give themselves time to be successful. You have to believe in yourself and you have to be committed, anything less will bring you down.
Kathy Marie Howell, 49 year old mother of three married to the man of my dreams. My story just goes to show you that when you seek passion in your life, you often find solutions to help your dreams become reality. I got into the beauty industry to develop my talents and to serve others never realizing the profound effect it would have on my future.
I have found my experience as a Master Cosmetologist, specializing in health and wellness and coaching over the past 25+ years, has well prepared me to help others find their passion as well. My intuition and deep spirituality have led me to where I am today… living a life of purpose and joy.
I AM a MOMpreneur and blessed to be one. I AM a coach and a cheerleader and will be your biggest supporter. I AM here to help you navigate through our changing world with confidence. I AM here to bring innovative and new solutions to the world and it starts with an open heart and mind. I AM here for you.