Exposing the Online MLM Myth

Today’s post is all about exposing the online MLM myth. There is a HUGE myth in our industry when it comes to the internet.  I see it day in and day out, and to be honest with you, I’m tired of it.

You will hear countless people say that “old school” MLM is dead, and that the only way to build a successful network marketing business in the 21st century is online.  Folks, this is definitely a myth. It’s hogwash.

The Truth

I don’t know every top earner in our industry, but I do know lots of them.  Not one of them that I personally know builds their business 100% online. Many of them don’t use the internet at all, other than to communicate with their teams, to post something neat on Facebook, or send a periodic email to a prospect.

Every top earner I know is still belly to belly.  They meet with their prospects in coffee shops, home meetings, local events, and one-on-ones. They still do MOST of their business face-to-face.

Yes, a few of them have a small social media presence, but that’s about it.

Internet Marketers vs. Network Marketers

exposing the online mlm mythThere are LOTS of people who make a full-time income online.  You see their ads on Facebook and Google every single day.

They just happen to be internet marketers or affiliate marketers, not network marketers.  Network marketing is all about building a network of people and maintaining long-term relationships, whereas affiliate marketing and internet marketing is much different.

An affiliate marketer sells a product online and earns a commission.  An internet marketer builds an online business and normally sells something themselves.

On the other hand, a network marketer builds a NETWORK of people, by building relationships, and then distributes a product or service through that network.  In network marketing, there has to be a personal touch to MAINTAIN a long-term business with your customers and reps.

Internet marketing and affiliate marketing, on the other hand, normally revolve around a ONE-TIME sale.  One-time sales normally don’t require any kind of relationship or network.

What About You Chuck?

I build my business 100% online. I don’t do anything face-to-face with anyone, other than team training webinars online or a Facebook live.  That being said, I am an INTERNET MARKETER, who simply promotes network marketing as if it was an affiliate marketing program.

My MLM Companies are several (of many) income streams that I have in my business.  My real business is my brand, my blog and my email list. I hope that makes sense.

I should chime in and mention that I do spend a lot of time on the phone though.  Lots of people see my ads and websites online and do call me with questions.  I’m happy to listen to them, find out what might be a good fit for them, and then offer them a solution.  Keep in mind though: I don’t call anyone.  Everyone calls me first.

I chose to build my business this way, because that’s what I wanted to do.  I also know that doing everything online does have its drawbacks, such as higher attrition and lower quality prospects.

Honestly, Can You Name Even One Person?

Here’s my challenge for you.  Can you name even ONE person in our great industry who built their business 100% online, stayed with the same company at least five to ten years, and still earns six figures with that company?

To be honest with you, I don’t know even ONE person who has done all three of these things.  Sure, there might be someone out there, but I’ve never heard of them.

What Should You Do?

I will be brutally honest with you for a moment.  If you are scared to talk to people and have real conversations with people, you should NOT do network marketing. There is definitely a selling component to this business, which requires a personal investment of your time and energy working with other people.

If you can’t look someone in the eye and ask them to buy your products or services, or join your team, you will NOT survive in this great industry.  If you can’t get along with different types of people, you won’t survive in this great industry.  If that’s the case, find a different business model that works for you, or consider affiliate marketing or internet marketing.

Should You Use the Internet?

If you decide you want to do network marketing, should you use the internet?  Hell yes, would be my response.  Just keep in mind that the internet is simply a way to MEET new prospects.  Don’t expect people to just see your ad, visit your website and join your team.

You’re still need to connect with them on a personal level if you expect them to become a long-term customer or team member.  I always tell people to meet people online and take the relationship offline as quickly as possible.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  Once again, the purpose of this post was exposing the online MLM myth.  My goal is for everyone reading this post is to have realistic expectations and understand that the internet is nothing more than a marketing medium.  How you use it is up to you.

Just know that our industry will always be a people business, and you will still need to invest your time and energy building and maintaining your network.  I hope that makes sense.

What are your thoughts about exposing the online MLM myth?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes is a Network Marketing Professional, author, and blogger. He's been in the industry since 2002. He is currently the top producer in his network marketing company. He is happily married and lives in Florida with his beautiful wife, Rachel. He enjoys flea markets, reading, writing, walking, fishing and funny movies. You can call Chuck during business hours at (352) 503-4816 EST or you can email him at chuck@onlinemlmcommunity.com.

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