What You Should Know About Network Marketing Before You Join
Every so often I feel the need to address topics that few people want to. In a society that strives to show highlight reels, where authenticity is being lost and questionable marketing tactics have become the norm, I feel called to address the elephant in the room and tell it like it is. Blame it on my Texas country roots but someone has to keep it real.
Maybe you are thinking about joining a network marketing business, maybe you have been building one for a while or you are the highly skeptical type. Either way, being educated means being empowered to make good decisions. In this post I want to address some things that go on in this industry right under our noses but no one really wants to talk about for fear of losing a recruit.
The purpose of this post is not to speak negatively about the industry as a whole or any one company. It is my hope that my experience of being a full time network marketer for the last 8 years and this information will help you better research companies you are looking at joining and make informed decisions before investing your time, energy and money because knowledge is power.
1. The Secret Society.
There are companies in this industry that have not embraced the value of transparency and social media. While there is something to be said for not throwing up your business and/or products all over your social media feeds there is also value in being transparent too.
There are companies that teach their reps to hide the branding on products when posting and then there are companies that have very strict guidelines against using the company name or names of products at all on social media.
We live in a society where people demand to be informed. A quick Google search can give you everything you need to know about the restaurants we are thinking about trying out, whether a company is worth doing business with our hard earned dollars, ingredients in our foods and consumer reviews. I believe there is value in creating curiosity about what you do but hiding it like you are part of some secret society attracts suspicion and skepticism.
I can promise you that 85%+ people on your newsfeed are thinking “why are you hiding the company name on that product?” when they see you putting your thumb over half the label of that supplement you are talking about how amazing it makes you feel and “??????????” in total confusion when they see your post about the “green health and wellness company that has been in business for 30 something years” because 99% of brands and companies we do business with don’t market like that. If that kind of marketing really worked I think Hobby Lobby, Seventh Generation, Kellogg’s and other big brands would be doing it too. Just saying.
Before joining a company be sure to inquire about their internet marketing guidelines and expectations. Not being allowed to share the company or product names on social media may work for you but if you are the type of person who thrives on being authentic and plans to leverage social media to your full advantage with hashtags, photos and tagging the brand, these type of restrictions will probably only hinder you. It’s best to know how you will be allowed to market, and not market, up front.
2. The Fine Print.
Every company has some kind type of agreement in place when signing up as a distributor. A contract that protects the company and the person signing up to use the products and work the business model to generate an income. Policies are necessary so everyone knows what is expected from each side. Some agreements are stricter than others and why it’s important to take the time to review and ask questions before joining.
There are companies with policies in place that state that you can not recruit anyone from your business for 1 year after the date of resignation for example so it’s good to understand the fine print before joining.
3. Ground Floor.
You have probably seen people use the “ground floor opportunity” marketing tactics on social media and before you dive in head first with a get-in-before-anyone-else-does shiny object, let’s talk about why this isn’t always the best decision.
The reality in this industry is that a lot of ground floor companies don’t make it past the 4 year mark. Going in as a company is launching means you may face product production and shipping issues, problems with the comp plan, etc. If these kind of issues easily frustrate you, it may be better to look at a company that is more well established. If you are the type of person that can roll with the punches as a company is working out the kinks and you feel confident in the research you’ve done then it may be worth just going for it.
4. Fear Of Missing Out.
This is a powerful marketing tactic that every company with a half way decent marketing plan takes advantage of because it works. We all love a great deal, myself included. No one wants to regret missing out on something great, yes even me but fear of missing out can also lead to impulse buying, buyer’s remorse and is probably responsible for millions of spousal disagreements.
The network marketing industry is no stranger to using fear of missing out tactics so you can expect this kind of messaging when researching options but never let someone pressure you into joining a company and the business decision that goes with it with “if you don’t join TODAY you are going to miss out on being the next million dollar circle black gold triple star ambassador”. Give yourself permission to research and ask questions. I promise you aren’t going to miss out on much by taking a few days or a few weeks to ensure you are making the right decision.
5. Old School.
Like any business, there are network marketing companies out there rocking their social media. From great product photography, branding and social media presence to high level training for their reps and then there are companies who are stuck in 1994 in how to market. I am not saying either way is right or wrong, but what I am saying is that you know yourself and your personality best. You know what will best set you up for success.
Are you a busy mom with a full time job and limited time to build a business who has most of her connections and network on Facebook? Then partnering with a company that has a strong social media presence and online marketing training will play a key role in helping you grow your business. On the other hand, if you are a belly-to-belly people person who barely opens their Facebook account then old school marketing and training is right up your alley.
The network marketing industry can be an amazing vehicle to experience entrepreneurial success. It’s been a huge blessing to me and my family the last 8 years and my heart is fully vested in the people I have been privileged to meet. It’s a professional industry that needs people who want to keep their integrity and core values in tact. People like you who want to pave the way and inspire others about what is possible.
Did you find this info helpful? I would love to hear from you so be sure to leave me a comment or hop over to my Facebook page where we can continue the conversation. Stay fabulous friends!
Terri Willingham is a free-spirited entrepreneur who enjoys the country life on a Texas ranch with her husband Joe and amazing two boys. She is is grounded in faith and family with a deep passion for spreading joy and empowering other women through her Bossy Beauty community to embrace and believe in their own inner free spirit. Learn more HERE