I’m sure you’ve heard about — and seen — the incredible opportunities that Network Marketing can offer and may have even dabbled a little bit with a company (or two). But for whatever reason (rumors, bad stigma, and/or previous not-so-great experiences) the idea of this particular profession still makes you feel a little uneasy.
In my experience, I’ve realized these “uneasy” feelings can be summarized into FIVE myths. And so here, I’m challenging these myths with the TRUTHS about this incredible industry and sharing opportunities within that may propel you to take action TODAY.
MYTH #1: Network Marketing is a Pyramid Scheme
This one is the most black and white. So let’s get it out of the way first.
Let’s define what an ACTUAL Pyramid Scheme is.
Wikipedia defines a pyramid scheme as a “business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services.”
TRUTH: I can’t speak for all Network Marketing companies, but I CAN speak for mine (and several others based on my lady boss friends) and we’ve got some bomb ass products to deliver to ya’ll — HANDS DOWN — which automatically eliminates this argument.
Pyramid Schemes are illegal and I don’t look good in orange. Period.
OPPORTUNITY: If you have hesitations about a specific company you may be interested in, take a look at the products or services they offer. If there are none, that’s your first red flag. Additionally, if you peek at the compensation structure, make sure that there are financial incentives for the sale of goods, not just for the number of recruits.
MYTH #2: You Have To Be “Salesy”
Naturally, if the financial benefit comes from “selling” a product or service to a potential customer, we can’t help but put a stigma on that type of sales exchange and how it might initially feel slimy, pushy, or uncomfortable. I cringe at the idea of forcing someone to buy something they don’t want to, especially because I’ve had my fair share of (uncomfortable) experiences on the other side.
TRUTH: What I’ve learned, however, is that the BEST people in this industry are good listeners, solution-based responders, and relationship-driven individuals who are interested in earning the trust factor with their potential customers before they even consider going in for the “ask”. And even then, it’s less about SELLING, and more about SHARING.
When you have a good experience with a company or brand, do you tell your peers? This is really no different EXCEPT for the fact that you get to reap the financial benefits of sharing a product within a business model that you own. It’s a win-win!
OPPORTUNITY: If it feels too overwhelming to “sell” something for you, try the products or services first. If it’s something you like, or even LOVE, it will be a much easier transition for you to share what you love with your friends, family, and network.
MYTH #3: Only The People At The Top Make All The Money
Funny thing, this actually describes a J-O-B.
For 99.9% of traditional brick and mortar organizations, YES! The people at the top make the most money and the front-line/middle-management staff may never get there. Traditionally, it requires a certain level of skill, credentials and/or experience to reach a level that provides a comfortable salary and in most instances, it also means directly exchanging your time for money. Not to mention, that’s time dedicated to building the mission and objectives that aren’t your own.
TRUTH: Network Marketing isn’t for everyone. There are many individuals that jump into this business model with the idea that they will become wildly successful overnight. But just like you don’t get into shape after one trip to the gym, you can’t become an expert in this industry after one month (or even one year) of being in business.
The difference between traditional corporations and network marketing is that you don’t need to have credentials behind your name and 20+ years to reach the top. As a Network Marketer, you are compensated by the effort, time and focus you give to your business — on your own terms. You just need to have the willingness to learn and grow in the industry in order to build a business that could eventually make corporate money look like chump change.
OPPORTUNITY: The most appealing factor of Network Marketing is the opportunity to run a business that meets your needs — it’s a FLEXIBLE business model. If you are looking for something part-time, you can make it part-time (or even SUPER part-time) and bring in a nice paycheck that could go a long way (i.e. vacation money, college savings, debt pay-off, etc.).
If you are looking for something to make you financially comfortable (beyond your wildest dreams) and ultimately give you incredible time and personal freedom, Network Marketing can be that for you, too. It just requires more patience, more time and more growth.
MYTH #4: The Market is Too Saturated
Yes, it can feel like there’s been a recent influx in Network Marketing representation, especially as you scroll through your social media newsfeeds. It might be difficult to believe that you could actually sell the same thing that someone else in your network is already selling and still be profitable.
TRUTH: Saturation is impossible because the world’s population is ALWAYS growing.
According to Multpl.com the growth rate of the United States as of June 2018 is .71%. That equates to millions of (net) new peeps a year!
Using a similar analogy, there are about 90,000 restaurants in New York City alone. Yet every day, new restaurants are opening there.
Market saturation is hard to come by. And when you have high-quality products and services and a company that continues to innovate and evolve with the market, you will continue to gain repeat and loyal customers month after month, year over year.
OPPORTUNITY: Saturation will never be an issue, but if you want to get ahead of the game, start today! Sooner than later, a lot your friends and family will most likely be dipping their toe in Network Marketing, so why not beat them to it?!
MYTH #5: You Have To Spam Your Network On Social Media
I’m sure you’ve unfriended or unfollowed a fair share of people that have essentially turned into an infomercial on social media due to the products or services they sell. While I’m a huge proponent of leveraging social media to reach the masses with the gift you have to offer, I 100% believe that there’s a right way to do it, and a very wrong way to do it.
TRUTH: With the growth of the various social media platforms, know that Network Marketers are not the only ones who are promoting their businesses in this way. Big named brands and corporations are also turning to social media to boost business efforts because there’s just SO MUCH opportunity there.
According to We Are Social there are 3.196 billion global social media users in 2018, equaling 42% penetration.
That’s WILD! It’s no wonder that businesses (including Network Marketers) are turning to social media to share their products and services. We can literally reach the masses with just a few clicks!
But ultimately no, there isn’t a rule that states that we are required to use social media to promote our products and services. There’s other ways to get the word out including local events, networking within the community and picking up the phone to call potential customers (all of which we need to be doing anyway). It just might be a disservice to the broader network of people who may also benefit from the gift we have to offer who aren’t necessarily a phone call away. And, not to mention, this type of strategy for business growth will ultimately be significantly slower.
OPPORTUNITY: If you are afraid of putting yourself out there, know that social media can be a powerful asset to you AND your business. Learn how to serve your audience beyond just the products or services you sell. As long as you aren’t ONLY showing up on platforms to sell and are providing value to your audience by empowering, educating, and entertaining them, you can give yourself permission to sprinkle in some results-driven business content that could potentially change the life of someone waiting to hear it. If you want the basics on a simple, digestible social media strategy, check out my Social Media Strategy Guide here.
Network Marketing has been a game-changer for myself and so many others. If anything, it has allowed me to have a new perspective on time and financial freedom and what that looks like for me and my future.
I hope these mythbusters help you make an informative decision about whether or not this profession is a good fit for you! If anything, I want to encourage you NOT to settle for a life you don’t LOVE. The world is full of opportunities. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams.