Multi-level marketing is a legitimate business strategy, though it is controversial. One problem is pyramid schemes, which use money from new recruits to pay the people at the top, often take advantage of people by pretending to be engaged in legitimate multi-level marketing. You can spot pyramid schemes by their greater focus on recruitment than on product sales.
4. Cassette tape or video sponsoring. If your company has an exciting cost-effective product cassette tape, it can be used in place of or in addition to a brochure. These are automatic merchandisers that stimulate people to action. While opportunity tapes are important, most successful recruiters lead with a good product tape. Once people appreciate your product offering, they're more open to the business opportunity.
The legal distinction between MLMs and traditional pyramid schemes has been characterized by many authorities as a legal fiction. Jurisdictions that retain a legal distinction between MLM pyramid businesses versus illegal pyramid schemes retain said distinction on two key distinguishing features: 1) that MLMs always encompass the sale of actual products/services, while traditional illegal pyramid schemes ordinarily do not (though sometimes they do), and 2) that climbing an MLM pyramid is overwhelmingly statistically improbable (especially to its highest participant levels) but not theoretically impossible, whereas climbing a traditional illegal pyramid scheme is both statistically and theoretically impossible.[citation needed]

Multi-level marketing, abbreviated as MLM, also called pyramid selling, network marketing and referral marketing, is a controversial marketing strategy for the sale of products and/or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce (also called participants, and variously known as “salespeople”, “distributors”, “consultants”, “promoters”, “independent business owners”, etc) selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants is derived from a pyramid-shaped commission system.
Building your network marketing business can be a very busy enterprise. Many of us have a tendency to over-commit in business. Learning how and when to say “No” is a solid expression of what it takes to run your network marketing business in the most efficient and effective manner. And, it will also help to promote your distributors rising up to take responsibility for their own marketing success.
As non-employees, participants are not protected by legal rights of employment law provisions. Instead, salespeople are typically presented by the MLM company as "independent contractors" or "independent business owners". However, participants do not possess a business in the traditional legal sense, as the participants do not hold any tangible business assets or intangible business goodwill able to be sold or purchased in a sale or acquisition of a business. These are the property of the MLM company.
Network marketing companies, MLMs, and referral marketing companies that have been around longer are more trustworthy. Why is that? Government regulations on MLMS have increased in severity and frequency over the years. Companies that have survived such regulations will also have to have survived the threat of lawsuits, bad publicity, and negative feedback from unsatisfied distributors — not many companies would be able to survive this. A bad MLM company that is still around and has been sued, reviewed, and regulated will have extremely negative reviews and publicity surrounding it.
Lead generation is important for your business to grow; as a business owner, you however need to know how effective these leads will be for your business. This can be measured in terms of returns on investment and how fast it will be.  The MLM Company should be able to give you an estimate on when they can generate these leads and instigate them for action, and when you should be able to see results.
As a last resort, you could try cold calling by phone. This is probably the most depressing and soul destroying activity on the planet. Even if you get past the usual questions such as ‘If you’re selling something – I’m not interested’ and ‘How did you get my number?’ you need a really slick and professional script and the ability to recognize and avoid lonely old ladies who just want to interact with someone, anyone, in fact.
Network marketing companies, MLMs, and referral marketing companies that have been around longer are more trustworthy. Why is that? Government regulations on MLMS have increased in severity and frequency over the years. Companies that have survived such regulations will also have to have survived the threat of lawsuits, bad publicity, and negative feedback from unsatisfied distributors — not many companies would be able to survive this. A bad MLM company that is still around and has been sued, reviewed, and regulated will have extremely negative reviews and publicity surrounding it.
Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Sulaiman Rahman, @sulrah. Sulaiman is the founder of UrbanPhilly.com, or UPPN – Urban Philly Professional Network. He was also an African-American Chamber of Commerce Chair. Sulaiman is a Philadelphia native and Penn graduate. He is also currently a Creative Ambassador for philly360 and long-time entrepreneur.
Recruit new members. Just like you were recruited to a network marketing company, you'll have to recruit members to your team if you want to be successful. Always be on the lookout for new prospects who you think will be valuable additions to your team. Try recruiting services like: MLMRC. Also, you'll want someone who is personable, a good salesperson, and a team player committed to cooperating with you.
The most powerful thing you can do to a prospect or downline, is make their dream real. We used to carry brochures of cars, exotic vacations, resorts, boats, million dollar homes, and pictures of enjoying life with us. And we were constantly reminding the prospect or downline what they were working so hard for. We showed the pictures to them. And we also reminded ourselves of what we were working for. Plug them into the HOPE of a bigger car or home, a lifestyle of TOTAL freedom, and let them look at pictures of what it looks like, and feels like.
7. Ads in local newspapers. Classified ads can pull many leads if handled properly, and weekly newspapers are usually inexpensive. You can use this method to drive people to your Web site as well. But be careful with your investment here. Getting leads is easy. Converting them into productive parts of your organization is hard work, but it's a strategy that will get results as you improve your cold sponsoring and training skills.
If your prospect tells you that they’re not getting enough time to spend with their family, or they want to lose but can’t find the right product or whatsoever, you listen to them and then try to come up with a solution for them. And when you tell them that you’ve got a solution and whether they’d be willing to look at it, they will want to, every single time.
The most widely-cited description of an unlawful MLM structure appears in the FTC’s Koscot decision, which observed that such enterprises are “characterized by the payment by participants of money to the company in return for which they receive (1) the right to sell a product and (2) the right to receive in return for recruiting other participants into the program rewards which are unrelated to the sale of the product to ultimate users.” In re Koscot Interplanetary, Inc., 86 F.T.C. 1106, 1181 (1975).1
To be successful, you absolutely must branch out beyond friends and family. It’s easy to start out there, but it will soon become a tapped market and you’ll need to move on. Not to mention, you can easily put people off by trying to sell them the same products over and over. Learn how social media marketing works, study the best practices, and show up consistently.
I think when you made comments about a company you should have kept them neutral or not only commented part of a story. Ambit did have a lawsuit, but it also has several JD Power awards, A+BBB, and many other accolades. I don’t know details of the suit, it may have been 100% justified, but I do know lawsuits are not always justified. Sometimes people are looking to make a buck

Starting your network marketing business off on the right foot is so important if you want to achieve big dreams and make an income that you can use to make your life better. Want to get more network marketing tips for beginners? Stay tuned to our social media channels (we’re on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest) for advice. We also have a gorgeous 10 page PDF that you can download right here where we share 10 new things you can try when you want to reignite your network marketing business!
Excellent tips John…. Though many are interested to step into network marketing industry, false perception given by those who failed in this industry push them, back. But am sure this post will educate them and get many into this industry.. All points are exceptional and true especially third one “Network Marketers Do NOT Chase Family and Friends”…Keep up the great work

I saw that you know of reliable sources of web traffic. I am ready to spend money to get good results. So can you tell me what are the best services for high quality traffic? I would like to build large downline in some MLM programs (Go Fun Rewards, Savings Highway, Penny60pro and some other programs) I went through several techniques but I still can not build large downline . Can help me by giving me some information?


As one of the top 10 fastest growing MLM’s, ranked on fortune 500, raved about by MLM review sites , all natural weight loss and wellness products, no GMO’s, No gluten etc and 10’s of thousands of glowing testimonials they are hard to overlook. The retention rate is excellent, the company has a 1% return rate on products which is unheard of as well as the best compensation plan available to any MLM rep. I think it’s safe to say if you do another article like this you would do your readers a great service by checking Plexus out. I really did enjoy the article as I am a multi MLM participant.
MLMs are successful because they provide tempting possibilities — the more you recruit, the more you sell, and the more you make. The possibility for income seems almost endless. However, only a few companies can make this dream a reality. So how do you spot the good ones from the bad ones? Look at the product. If the company has put time and money into creating a valuable product, they will put time and money into selling it.
Whether you want to be a full-time nanny or get a one-night babysitting gig, UrbanSitter will help you find the right job for you. Create an account, enter your availability and rates, get/accept requests or browse jobs, and start making money. Payment is issued via direct deposit, so you get paid, no hassle!With a Basic membership, you can create a free profile, set your own rates/schedule and accept credit card payments. With a Premium membership, which is $9.95/month or $69.95/year, you can get:
An MLM’s compliance program should ensure that the MLM accurately represents the business opportunity it offers, both through its own marketing materials and messaging and through the representations its participants make to current or prospective participants. In addition, an MLM’s compliance program should ensure that compensation paid by the MLM is based on actual sales to real customers, rather than based on wholesale purchases or other payments by its participants.
Unlike many MLMs that sell products directly to consumers, Digital Altitude sells a business system to entrepreneurs in the form of courses and methods that teach them to effectively market their own companies. While many of the packages can cost thousands of dollars, Digital Altitude offers a $1 trial, making the risk to try its product very low for the consumer.
A good network marketing company rewards leadership, just like any structured business.  Most businesses have a pyramid structure where the people at the top, ie. CEOs, SVPs, VPs, are the highest paid people in the company.  The unique opportunity you have with a Network Marketing   business is that you START at the top of your business, and your income will be dependent on how large of a team you build “below” you.

As a Postmate, you may deliver food from a restaurant, a Frappuccino from Starbucks, or someone’s dry cleaning. Set your own schedule and earn up to $25/hour. To work, you must be over 18 and own a bike, car, truck, scooter, or motorcycle. Postmates receive 80% of the delivery fee and 100% of any tips they make; money is deposited into couriers’ accounts weekly.


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states: "Steer clear of multilevel marketing plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors. They're actually illegal pyramid schemes. Why is pyramiding dangerous? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people—except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid—end up empty-handed."[45]
“Joining an MLM is appealing to women who find hope in their promises of a better life: freedom, economic independence, and an endless supply of cheery trinkets. Despite professing quick-income prospects though, it’s difficult for MLM consultants to earn more than pocket change. When glitzy recruitment videos yield to the reality of suburban cul-de-sacs, people selling for MLMs can be plunged into debt and psychological crisis.” (Quartz)
Networking, as it used to be called, is a pretty thankless task. The conventional approach to networking was to start with the network of friends and colleagues that you already have; friends and family, your existing clients, your contacts at the squash club and so on. Most people feel uncomfortable pitching to friends and family, unless you have an unbeatable idea or concept, but if that was the case, then lead generation would not be a problem

Often the only way to make these sales is to recruit people under you (making commission off their starter kits) or to buy products yourself. Otherwise you’re left trying to sell your products to friends, family, mums at the school gates, and anyone you come into contact with (one of the reasons why some of the more pushy/desperate MLM reps get a bad reputation).
It is almost impossible to stop the industry because of the amount of investors and lobbyists who are profiting from them. “During the Obama administration, the Federal Trade Commission made its biggest-ever effort to curb this industry when last summer it slapped nutritional supplement–seller Herbalife with a $200 million fine and, as part of a settlement with Herbalife, demanded it restructure its business so that it would “start operating legitimately,” as FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez put it.” (Slate) The current administration under President Donald Trump will be a completely different story and may very well be a boon for the MLM industry. Let’s start with Trump himself. In 2009, he licensed his name to an MLM, which eventually went bankrupt, along with many of his participants. Many in Trump’s cabinet have strong ties to MLMs as well: Betsey DeVos (whose husband is the president of Amway — by the way, DeVos family has donated $200 million to the Republican party over the years), Ben Carson, Carl Icahn (a billionaire who is also a major investor in Herbalife and holds five board seats at the company), and Charles Herbster.
Whether you’re looking into multi-level marketing or interested in starting a different kind of business venture, the right education can make all the difference. An online bachelor’s in business administration or online MBA from Rivier University can help you acquire the skills you need to make your mark in the business world. Learn in a dynamic, flexible environment on a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

First, Elliot, thank you for this article. Your sense of truly wanting to help comes through and it’s refreshing. Like MommyFinance, I too have suffered PTSD from previous runs at MLM but I have been looking for legitimate ways of making extra income and seems I’m being directed toward trying MLM again. Your article gave me hope that there are some good ones out there. What you said about finding the one that fits me and leaving a legacy for family really turned on a light for me and I greatly appreciate that. A wine business is not quite up my alley but I will certainly direct those who might be interested your way.

You read that right. Millionaires in this industry all have one thing in common: They were willing Failures at first, to build the Success that lasts. (READ THAT AGAIN!) You MUST be willing to fail, as you build your will to win. It is the setbacks and the devastations that build Success in MLM. be willing to fail, but then get up, and keep going. That is the secret.


(Update: In June 2017, the co-founder, Dave Wood, has for the time being stepped down following his check-in into drug rehabilitation and the company no longer exists). I wonder if the buzz of Empower Network will ever die down? This is one of those rare gems of the MLM industry that exploded onto the scene and did not hit a bump in the road by dying out only after a year of being out there.  Although now the company is on decline, and its highly doubtful they’ll make it on any lists in the years to come.
What creates IMPACT? Touching what people Value and hold dear, with the Hope of Increasing it and making it Larger in their life. Find out what people VALUE in their life, then wrap your presentation around it. "This will help you have more time wi ht your children" or "This will allow you to give more money to your church," or "This will guarantee you having more control over your future."
You may or may not know, but it is against Facebook’s Terms and Conditions to promote any business on your personal profile. A lot of people don’t know that, but having a Fan Page gives you instant credibility and authority with your market and more people will take you seriously about your business. If you don’t have a Facebook Fan Page yet make sure to check out my training below in the resources section called Unlimited Fan Page Profits.
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MLM restructures the traditional business model — manufacturer to retail shop to customer — such that sales agents working for the manufacturer sell directly to customers, bypassing the retail shop altogether. MLM companies can then convert customers into advocates for their products and possibly even sales agents. Because there is no retail store for the products they sell, MLM agents typically work from their homes, interacting with customers in the community or, more often, over the internet.

First I want to say how impressed I have been with your company. I have dealt with a great deal of leads companies over the last 6 years and have never dealt with a more responsive company than yours. Actually they don't come close to being this quick to respond- let alone it being the owner of the company to reach out. So thank you for that! Also, thank you for the information! I'm happy with that response - I was just curious about the process. This is only my second time ordering leads at or over 10,000 in quantity.


Well they were hot…this company was caught in the act and had some shade thrown their way after they were found to have been over-inflating their health products for consumer purchase.  But really though?  What company do you know that doesn’t do this in the MLM health industry? It seems like a common practice, even if its “just a bit,” so they are able to pay out commissions made.  Some perspective for the shade…their fiber product was 900% more costly than “leading alternatives” and their Trioten protein blend was 600% more pricey as well when comparing their products to companies such as Herbalife and Shaklee.
Recruit new members. Just like you were recruited to a network marketing company, you'll have to recruit members to your team if you want to be successful. Always be on the lookout for new prospects who you think will be valuable additions to your team. Try recruiting services like: MLMRC. Also, you'll want someone who is personable, a good salesperson, and a team player committed to cooperating with you.
Wow Collette! I’m a new Advocate with doTERRA, as is my wife. She wanted to start using oils to get our family off of medications as much as possible (and now we mostly are!) We chose doTERRA over all the other oils companies because of the process in which they farm and make their oils as well as the great culture they seem to exude. We just felt called to them.
Business owners can also obtain targeted leads from promotional give-away programs that have high traffic. Be careful when choosing a place to get your leads. Not all MLM Lead companies are created equal. It is going to be the single most important decision you make when trying to grow your MLM Business. Make the wrong choice and you will waste your time and money as well as the time and money of your downline. Make the right choice and you can be building your business successfully for years to come.
Also called pyramid selling or network marketing, multi-level marketing companies grow revenue by hiring and recruiting non-salaried employees referred to as distributors, influencers, consultants, salespeople, or promoters (among other names). In other words, employees generally receive compensation from performance through a pyramid-shaped compensation system.
Multi-level marketing is a legitimate business strategy, though it is controversial. One problem is pyramid schemes, which use money from new recruits to pay the people at the top, often take advantage of people by pretending to be engaged in legitimate multi-level marketing. You can spot pyramid schemes by their greater focus on recruitment than on product sales.

The legal distinction between MLMs and traditional pyramid schemes has been characterized by many authorities as a legal fiction. Jurisdictions that retain a legal distinction between MLM pyramid businesses versus illegal pyramid schemes retain said distinction on two key distinguishing features: 1) that MLMs always encompass the sale of actual products/services, while traditional illegal pyramid schemes ordinarily do not (though sometimes they do), and 2) that climbing an MLM pyramid is overwhelmingly statistically improbable (especially to its highest participant levels) but not theoretically impossible, whereas climbing a traditional illegal pyramid scheme is both statistically and theoretically impossible.[citation needed]

Great tips, John! I really like them. #9 really hit home with me. Before, I didn’t realize the mistakes that I made. Always pitching my business never really trying to make a connection and establishing a relationship with my customers until i noticed they’re turning away from me. That’s when I decided to learn what was wrong. Thankfully, I learned. Keep ’em coming John! I love reading your posts. Create a great day!
Q: I'm new to MLM but with a good company with a long history of success. I'm confused and a little overwhelmed by the complexities of the business. We have hundreds of products, catalogs of training tapes and videos, and a big Web site where my customers can order products. There seem to be a million ways to build a business. I don't know where to start. What do you suggest?

Great tips Ray, and you came from the Real Estate industry and anybody who is successful in Real Estate is usually much more successful in Network Marketing as a Career, because Real Estate is Networking and Marketing so it's a natural transition and so again, you were already a very accomplished professional in the industry and didn't even know it until you got in it! LOL! So, yes, Ray is right again, (dang, do I really have to admit that! :)) And again, this advice isn't new but process or lack thereof is what most don't master, and I even have some sticky spots, at times, but process and processes must be mastered like you said Ray, and being able to make a sale (no matter how simple it may be to do as a process) is hard for most people because there is always a little tension at that time and just because of that few minutes or so of being kinda uncomfortable while wrapping it up as they say, most people live all or most of their lives afraid of this one unavoidable instance, and throw their future to the wind or out the window. One of the two. 🙂 With that, make it a great weekend and Good Day! HF. PS. Oh, last thought, a women and her husband (the Hodges) were in Real Estate, and still are, and have made millions in this industry from what I found out, since they are working with myself and the VP of the Co I'm with. So people in your industry Ray that see the light in the Network Marketing industry that are savvy usually crush it to use a way worn out pun! Chaio. HF
Choosing a company that offer quality training and support may help your business a great deal.  You must be taught the rudimentary of marketing, referrals and how to close sales.  The best company should help you to upgrade your skills to help grow your business. It must share with you secretes of driving your website and how to effectively utilize the leads. It must help you brand your business and reach to as many clients as possible.

An MLM’s compliance program should ensure that the MLM accurately represents the business opportunity it offers, both through its own marketing materials and messaging and through the representations its participants make to current or prospective participants. In addition, an MLM’s compliance program should ensure that compensation paid by the MLM is based on actual sales to real customers, rather than based on wholesale purchases or other payments by its participants.


Well if you didn’t know before, this company is all about body shapers and nutritional products, with a “greens line” in their product line up as well.  The company got some built up heat in 2015, but have later cooled down a bit.  There was minimum quota of $112 that had to be met every month in order to earn commissions from the company and after a while their distributors had a hard time keeping up with these expectations. Not everyone (including their grandmothers) needs more than one or two body shapers. LOL.
4. Lather on the recognition. One of the topics that is going to be covered at our next Top Earner Academy (August 13-16th in Tampa) is all about culture and recognition. Napoleon said “I have made the most wonderful discovery, I have discovered men will risk their lives, even die, for ribbons and men will also die to avoid having their ribbons taken away.” Yes, Napoleon just gave you powerful Network Marketing tips and would have been a Crowd Presidential Diamond =) Make sure you are recognizing those that are putting in the effort you want them to.
You see, there are lots of other people who need to sell the same products as you to make money too. And quite possibly living in the same area, with the same pool of potential customers as you. So if you have the misfortune to sign up to an MLM that’s already popular in your area or social circle, you’ll probably find it hard to recruit customers.
To be successful, you absolutely must branch out beyond friends and family. It’s easy to start out there, but it will soon become a tapped market and you’ll need to move on. Not to mention, you can easily put people off by trying to sell them the same products over and over. Learn how social media marketing works, study the best practices, and show up consistently.
Too many people get caught up in the hype of potential big income from MLM, that they don't pay enough attention to what the company is asking you to sell. You can’t sell something or share your business if you don’t genuinely have pride in what you are representing. Do your MLM research and partner with a company that has a product you can get excited about. Don't forget to look into the company's compensation plan before you join and make sure it is favorable to you.

I recently spoke with San Diego based, Vicki Martin, about her experience with Rodan + Fields. Here's her take on her home business and why the opportunity was so appealing for her and her family, "The decision to join Rodan + Fields Dermatologists came easily. Since 2008 the construction industry [which I was previously in] has been hit hard by our economic downturn and my income has been greatly affected. We were working harder for less like many of our friends. Being part of Rodan + Fields Dermatologists is allowing me to work with highly educated people who share a passion for business and for teamwork. Building a recurring, residual income that grows month over month is going to give my husband and I the peace of mind and financial freedom that is so vitally important to our future. My skin looks better than ever. And, I get to work my job around the rest of my life instead of the other way around."
So why use the boberdoo.com lead distribution software for mlm leads? Distribution and lead buyer management make our system shine with a lead like mlm leads. Most likely, you are or will be doing high volume with mlm leads because they are easier to acquire and sell for less money than other types of leads. Our system can handle volume with ease. Forget the hassles of sending out Excel files. Forget the hassles of dealing with people faxing in lead returns. Forget the hassles of using macros for accounting. The boberdoo.com lead generation and management system can handle these hassles for you freeing your time to find more lead buyers and find more leads!
“MLMs very rarely emphasize the extreme likelihood of failure, or the extreme likelihood of financial loss, from participation in MLM. MLMs are also seldom forthcoming about the fact that any significant success of the few individuals at the top of the MLM participant pyramid is in fact dependent on the continued financial loss and failure of all other participants below them in the MLM pyramid.” (Wikipedia)
Even though it may be tempting to go switch your employer information to your new Network Marketing company as soon as you hit submit on your application, please trust me when I say.. this is not going to help you in your business. Why? Because this eliminates curiosity. The goal is to always create curiosity and have people asking you “what do you do for a living?”…. you don’t want them Googling the name and building their own judgement.

I enjoyed this post and spent too many hours reading all your other posts and watching your videos. You have some excellent real life experiences to share and glad I found this blog. My wife and I are with It Works Global (She started it and I came on board later). I was curious why they didn’t make your list? Do you think blogging would work with this type MLM? I have only had success using Instagram and Facebook. The MLM model is not something I like but it is what is I guess. My wife joined to get a discount on wraps and now this insane looking chart pays the bills. I want to take it further just keep searching for a good way to do so. Maybe blogging is the answer? Thank you. for your time. Mike

Business opportunities may also claim that participants, while not necessarily becoming wealthy, can achieve career-level income. They may represent through words or images that participants can earn thousands of dollars a month, quit their jobs, “fire their bosses,” or become stay-at-home parents. If participants generally do not achieve such results, these representations likely would be false or misleading to current or prospective participants.
"People like doing business with individuals that make them feel good.  In other words, you’re going to get a lot more business when you’re not simply there to ‘get’ your clients money in exchange for what you’re selling.  Think of it this way.  Be the person who they’d want to actually spend time with outside of a business setting.  It doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend and hang out together, it simply means that you’re showing you care through your actions.  One of the best things you can do is reach out to a potential client when they least expect it, with no agenda, no contract, no pitch…and just say ‘hello’ to see how they’re doing.” - Todd Falcone
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