In today’s post, I want to share four ways the internet has changed the MLM Industry. There are some good changes and some bad changes.
Let’s face it, the internet has changed the way the world does business. It has created global competition. It has allowed small businesses to compete against the giants. It has made people’s life easier and more convenient.
When it comes to network marketing, the changes have been amazing. Some successful reps have embraced these changes, while others ignored it and were left behind. I personally believe that you can embrace technology and grow your business, or ignore it and struggle.
The Four Ways the Internet Has Changed the MLM Industry
# 1 Immediate Access to Millions of People
Prior to the internet, most network marketers were restricted to their local area. They had to build their network marketing business the old-fashioned way, by talking with friends, family and strangers.
If they lived in a small town, they were very limited to the people in the surrounding area. On the other hand, if they lived in a big city, they had more people to talk to.
Pretty much the only way to build a national or international network marketing business, back in the day, was to advertise in national newspapers, or sponsor someone you knew who lived in a different state.
With the invention of the internet, all distributors now have immediate access to a global audience. You can communicate with anyone from any country via social media, a blog, email marketing, SKYPE, Zoom, or a variety of other venues.
Of course, every other distributor can do the same thing. But, I do believe that everyone has a level playing field now, thanks to the internet.
Smart distributors learn how to leverage the internet so they can work smart and generate leads on demand. Successful distributors use both online and offline strategies to grow their MLM Business.
# 2 More Access to Information
People go to the internet to get information and do research.
There is so much information on the internet about just about any topic you can think of. There is good information and bad information, accurate information and false information.
Your prospect can go online and research the products, the company and YOU. Trust me, they will do their research, before they sign up or buy from you.
Back in the day, your prospect could take what you said at face value. That does not happen anymore.
Now, your prospect will research everything (including what you say). I think this is a good thing.
However, the major problem I have with the internet is that lots of people think that if something is on the internet it is automatically true. Nothing is further from the truth.
There are just as many FALSE and misleading things on the internet as there are true things. Worst of all, there is no one to police this information. Your prospects might not know the difference between fact and fiction.
In addition, the vast amount of information causes information overload for many distributors.
Let’s face it there are close to one million or more network marketing related websites online, many with conflicting information. Every guru has their own system, strategy and secret. You really don’t know who to trust or listen to.
And, many of the anti-MLM websites have an agenda of selling advertising, promoting affiliate products, or generating traffic from negative reviews.
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# 3 Increased Competition
The internet has really increased competition in our industry.
Back in the day, you might have had four or five distributors in your home town promoting the same company and product line. Not so anymore.
Now you have to compete with EVERYONE who has an online presence with their business. There are hundreds of new MLM Companies that spring up every year (it seems like it anyway).
Additionally, you now have to compete with millions of other distributors who have a blog or understand internet network marketing.
Worst of all, you now have to compete with Amazon and eBay, who normally have your company’s products for sale at a cheaper price than you can get it for as a distributor.
This makes it hard to get customers and distributors when they can access these websites and purchase the products whenever they want.
# 4 You Can Build a Brand
With the internet, you can now build your our own brand. If you do things right, you can brand yourself however you want to AND create multiple streams of income, in addition to your network marketing income.
Could you do this before the internet? Of course. But it was much more difficult.
If you are smart, you will create your own brand and have your MLM Business as one of your income streams, not your only income stream.
I personally think branding is very important, because most MLM Companies come and go! If you have a brand, you can build a diversified, long-term income producing asset. And if your network marketing company ever goes bankrupt you don’t lose all of your income overnight.
There are many ways the internet has changed the MLM Industry, both good and bad.
The internet is here to stay. As a network marketer, you must embrace the internet and learn how to leverage it properly, so you can work smart and make more money in your MLM Business. Or, you can ignore it and struggle.
Your key to success is APPLIED KNOWLEDGE. You must learn the ins and outs of online marketing and you must apply what you learn.
You won’t achieve success overnight, but if you get started, learn from your mistakes and keep pressing forward, you will eventually reach your business goals. It took me about five full years to figure it all out, but it was well worth it.
As a quick side note, I’m not telling you to ONLY build your MLM Business online. I still believe the best way to build a network marketing business is using old school, face-to-face methods.
What I am saying you should do is to increase your awareness about what the internet can offer you and LEVERAGE the internet whenever possible. Do online and offline stuff at the same time. Work smart, not just hard.
What are your thoughts? What do you think are the most common ways the internet has changed the MLM industry? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.