How to Be a Strategic Network Marketer

Today, I’d like to spend some time to educate you about how to be a strategic network marketer.

This is going to be a fun post to write. Thinking “strategically” happens to be one of my best skills and one of my favorite things to do. More importantly, learning how to think strategically will be the “X factor” in helping you go from having a small, struggling MLM Business to having one that grows without you.

Why Businesses Fail

One of the most common reasons businesses of all types fail is because the owner of the business spends their time working IN their business, rather than working ON their business.

I learned about this important lesson from Michael Gerber in his amazing book The E-Myth Revisited. In a nutshell, most entrepreneurs spend most of their time working in their business. They do the books, clean the office, do the technical work of their business, handle customer service issues, and hundreds of other things.

Simply put, they try to do everything themselves and end up spending most of their time working on the wrong tasks. As a result, their business never reaches its full potential AND the business owner works more and more hours each week keeping the business going.

Remember this, the real job of any entrepreneur is to (1) make the cash register ring and (2) develop and fine tune systems to run their business.

Without doing these two things, the business will never truly be a business. Instead, it will be a glorified job. And normally, a high stress, low paying job at that.

Why Network Marketers Fail

Most network marketers fail because they dabble with their business. If anything, their business is a hobby, disguised as a business. They don’t act as if they have a million dollars invested in their business.

They don’t have a work schedule, a business plan, a marketing plan or set business hours. Plus, they don’t work their business consistently and persistently for a few years. This describes at least 98% of the people in or industry and probably even more than that.

Of the few network marketers that do take their businesses seriously, and make decent money, most of them do not know how to develop systems or think strategically. You can succeed in network marketing without mastering those two things, but only on a small scale. To build a massive organization, you must act like a strategic network marketer and you must have a systems-based organization.

how to be a strategic network marketer

How to Be a Strategic Network Marketer

When it comes to network marketing, you need to learn to think like an entrepreneur. You need to become a strategic network marketer.

Chances are you’ve never owned a business before you got involved in this industry. If you do have prior entrepreneurial experience, you probably had a small business where you made many of the mistakes I described earlier in this article.

In order to become a strategic network marketer, you should do the following things.

The first thing you must realize is that you only get paid to make the cash register ring. The # 1 role of any business owner is marketing and sales. In network marketing, you get paid to sell the product, build a team, and teach your team to do the same thing. Your real job is sales and marketing. That’s it. Everything else you do is ultimately busy work and will not help grow your business.

Most network marketers spend a lot of time on busy work and then wonder why their business isn’t growing. Organizing your office, sorting files, surfing Facebook and watching YouTube videos will not grow your business. Talking to prospects, closing prospects, launching new reps, and teaching your team how to do those things will grow your business.

Next, to be a strategic network marketer you need systems. The only way you will ever earn your time and money freedom in this amazing industry is if you get DUPLICATION in your team. This boils down to getting a lot of people to do a few key things CONSISTENTLY.

The only way to get duplication is to have systems that your team members can follow. If your business is people dependent, it will fail. If it is system dependent, there is a good chance you will succeed.

At a bare bones minimum, you need the following systems:

  1. Leads System
  2. Training System
  3. Launching New Reps System
  4. Retailing System
  5. Recruiting System

Your goal should be to develop and fine tune these systems until they are extremely streamlined and effective.

  • Your leads system should be a simplified way to find new leads to grow your business. It should provide at least 10-20 different ways to get leads, tips for success, scripts, etc.
  • Your training system should outline HOW you train your team and on what topics. It should cover webinars, a team website, company training, good to know information, etc.
  • Your launching new reps’ system should outline the step by step process of how to help new reps get started the right way.
  • Your retailing system should outline simple strategies, tips and ideas to find new retail customers. This includes scripts.
  • Your recruiting system should outline the entire recruiting process, from the time you first meet someone until you sign them up. It should include your follow-up steps.

These systems should be written down and added to your SOP or Training Guide so everyone can access them and know what to do. From time to time, you can reassess your systems and fine tune them as needed.

mlm as a hobby

Additional Insight

Another part of being a strategic network marketer is learning to think long-term. It means you have a vision for your business 3-10 years down the road. You aren’t just thinking about today and the money you can make today (or this month). You have a big WHY and VISION for your team. Every decision you make TODAY in your business aligns with your long-term plan for your business.

How to Make This Happen

There are only a few ways to become a strategic network marketer.

The first thing you can do is start reading books on business strategy. Read books that are recommended for CEOs. Read books about systems and creating a business.

Next, find someone successful who can be your mentor or coach. Look for someone who has already built a big team and talk with them about their systems and learn how they think about their business.

Finally, start applying the long-term mindset in your business. Each day, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is my vision for my team?
  2. Where do I see my business in a few years?
  3. What can I do to improve our current systems?
  4. What can I do to get my team more system dependent than dependent on me?

My best piece of advice is to pretend you are a CEO of a multi-billion dollar Fortune 100 company. What would you do differently in your business today, if you were a high paid CEO? Chances are the answers to that question will put you on the right path in your network marketing business.

systems based mlm organization
Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my thoughts on how to be a strategic network marketer. None of this is rocket science. If you take the advice I shared in this article and apply it in your own business, you can become a strategic network marketer and you can achieve the success you want and deserve.

What are your thoughts about being a strategic network marketer? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day!

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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5 thoughts on “How to Be a Strategic Network Marketer”

  1. Very well said, Charles! I’m not a network marketer, but your thoughts about how to be a strategic network marketer are spot on. It caught my attention and I remembered my dearest friend who owns an Internet Cafe Shop near me. I want to help him grow his business. I will surely share this article with him.

    1. Awesome, the tips in this article will help any entrepreneur, not just network marketers. Most business owners are so busy “running” their business that they don’t have time to focus on the most important things.

    2. Donna,

      If you don’t mind me asking, why do you think you haven’t tried becoming an MLM business owner? When you factor in making your own hours, you don’t have to worry about paying employees, or rent as well as many other benifits. I believe that many people are used to a traditional 9-5 that it may be hard for them to break they mindset.
      That’s great that you are looking out for your friend.

  2. Unfortunately, many people who start a business will either not know about the five systems to put into place or they will only implement one or two of the systems and then wonder why they aren’t getting the results that want.

    The key as you stated is to find a great mentor or coach. This person would be someone you not only trust, but knows what works and what doesn’t because they have made the mistakes themselves and learned from them. Don’t try work the the business without learning from others, take their advice, use their strategies, keep trying to better yourself and most of all keep focused on your goals.

    1. Yes, being coachable and following the advice of a successful network marketing mentor is one of the most critical factors of success in our industry. Most people who join our industry have zero business, sales or marketing background. That is not a bad thing if you have a good mentor and if you listen to them. However, if you try to be a lone wolf and figure out everything on your own, there is a high likelihood you will fail.

      As your business grows, you must shift from doer to leader. Otherwise, you will never get the time freedom this industry offers. If everything in your business depends on you, you will either max out or burn out. On the other hand, if everything is system dependent, there is a good chance you will succeed in a big way!

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