Independent non-salaried participants, referred to as distributors (variously called "associates", "independent business owners", "independent agents", etc.), are authorized to distribute the company's products or services. They are awarded their own immediate retail profit from customers plus commission from the company, not downlines, through a multi-level marketing compensation plan, which is based upon the volume of products sold through their own sales efforts as well as that of their downline organization.
Many MLM companies do generate billions of dollars in annual revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profit. However, the profits of the MLM company are accrued at the detriment to the majority of the company's constituent workforce (the MLM participants). Only some of said profit is then significantly shared with individual participants at the top of the MLM distributorship pyramid. The earnings of those top few participants is emphasized and championed at company seminars and conferences, thus creating an illusion of how one can potentially become financially successful if they become a participants in the MLM. This is then advertised by the MLM company to recruit more distributors to participate in the MLM with a false anticipation of earning margins which are in reality merely theoretical and statistically improbable.[14]

If you recruit a distributor who advances to the final step and breaks away from your group, what happens to your commissions? Yes, your total group volume will take a hit, because you’ve lost one of your best recruits. However, most companies will provide you with a bonus commission, referred to as an override commission, for creating breakaway legs (or recruits that end up breaking away, forming their own group).


Tons of great tips, John. What holds most people back is their mindset. I had to go through almost thirteen years of personal development to really get my thinking right. I was my own worst enemy. I also think it’s important to pick one company, find a mentor, develop a game plan, work every day, and stay with one company for 10+ years. Just my two cents. What do you think?
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.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America's leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also bestseller author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. Her latest ebook, How To Become a Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online was released in 2012.
Independent non-salaried participants, referred to as distributors (variously called "associates", "independent business owners", "independent agents", etc.), are authorized to distribute the company's products or services. They are awarded their own immediate retail profit from customers plus commission from the company, not downlines, through a multi-level marketing compensation plan, which is based upon the volume of products sold through their own sales efforts as well as that of their downline organization.
Now, this one I like.  This company doesn’t use your typical Facebook stalking, 3-way calling, auto-shipping tactics.  It has leaped into the future, did its homework and decided to succeed with network marketing, finally.  The company is an affiliate business opportunity for those who are interested in some first-class digital marketing training; and the icing on the cake is that they have a free trial option.
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.
In March I joined an MLM company and I’m lost… my first reaction to network marketing was I’m not a sales person, to which I was told it’s not about sales but about building relationships. The other thing that makes me crazy is I see a lot of folks who appear so fake with their bubbly “everything is coming up roses and bubble gum” that I cringe. I’m honest to a fault and happy but not giddy. I feel like I have writers block in that I’m not sure what direction to take to get my business going, the struggle is real right now… Any thoughts or suggestions I can take away.
(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.

Now we’re getting into the real heavyweights. Tecademics is one of the most extensive digital marketing training programs out there, within and outside of MLM. Founder Chris Record started Tecademics after completely crushing it at Empower Network. Their training comes at a steep price tag, although it’s nothing compared to the price of a university degree.

The kinds of leads that you are likely to get for free are ones that have been gathered in a scatterspray way – they could be poorly targeted, or in some cases even people who have not opted in at all. If you contact leads like this, then you will be putting your brand at risk, because you could end up in trouble with your web hosting provider, or the law, for unsolicited marketing. Alternatively, you could end up contacting  people who might otherwise have converted, but who come to view your brand as a spammer because of the way the initial contact was made.
Leads should come in the form of people that are likely to work with you. When you get leads for free, they may not be targeted. That’s okay though, you can target these people yourself, and it’s free to do if you’re willing to put some time into learning marketing. Don’t just get a logo slapped together and act like you’re an awesome company with all kinds of things you don’t really have in place. However, you can work with leads that you target by learning to make a splash in places like review websites and other places people read more about companies.
I just started selling for one of the top 15 and I went in knowing that this was just supplemental cash and nothing that would support my family. I spend 15 minutes (mostly from my phone) a day on my business and am happy with what I’ve done thus far. If it covers groceries and some extras like clothes or shoes, I’m good. If I start to become even more successful, great. It’s my competitive nature to want to out rank others, so I find it to be more of a personal challenge than thinking I’m going to get rich and stay rich. I appreciate the article and the no BS attitude.
I agree with you that much of the industry is flawed, but what about an MLM that has a service rather than a product such as electricity. It’s not like that could go out of style or that once you buy it you don’t need it again or that your monthly supply is too much and you’re going to stop the monthly subscriptions. I can honestly say that I cannot stand most MLM companies because regardless what you believe or how much you like the product, if you have to try to convince someone else to use it then inevitably the system is flawed and eventually your residuals will dry up. Electricity though, that’s different in my opinion, no one has to convince me to use it, it just comes by default. Find me an MLM that is not selling so much as showing someone an alternative to what they already have to pay and I’d be interested.
Commenting on other blogs and social networking profiles will expand the MLM distributor’s own network of friends, generating a new group of free MLM prospects. This should not be confused with spamming. Commenting should be done on specific posts and not just in a haphazard manner. Remember; each comment will include the name of the MLM distributor and a link to their website, blog or social networking profile.
The structure of MLMs is very similar to a pyramid scheme. This doesn’t mean that all MLMs are pyramid schemes, but some certainly are. Those interested in pursuing a career in multi-level marketing should do research before joining a particular MLM. Generally speaking, if the bulk of the money you stand to earn comes from recruitment rather than direct sales, it’s wise to be very cautious.
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to a lead capture page is to purchase Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising from search engines. While that has worked, there are two drawbacks to that: 1) Google isn’t interested in providing PPC ads for home business opportunities, especially when traffic is not directed to a unique lead capture page, and B) PPC advertising can be expensive. Our research shows that you’ll have to spend between $2.50 to $9.00 PER CLICK at a search engine just to get any sort of volume of targeted traffic to your lead capture page.

An MLM’s compensation structure may give its participants incentives to make representations about the business opportunity to current or prospective participants. As a consequence, an MLM should (i) direct its participants not to make false, misleading, or unsubstantiated representations and (ii) monitor its participants so they don’t make false, misleading, or unsubstantiated representations.
Sailo is a peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace that connects boat owners, captains and renters on one online platform. If you’re a boat owner, list your boat out for rent and easily cover the costs of ownership. Or, if you’re a captain, offer your services, accept clients and get out on the water, thereby helping you to build your reputation and your business.

Great article and thanks for taking the time to write this.. however I can see why your business didn’t fly as you had hoped. Mlm is a people’s business and that means that it IS the interaction with each other that strengthens working together. Yes you need to be self motivated but you also need to be a supporter too. Networking also eliminates the need to do constant appraisals. You don’t work you don’t get paid. That’s music to a corporate managers ears. Networking is not for everyone… but where else can you invest for such a small amount and have all the other aspects of business done for you and all you have to do is go get customers and recruit more customer finders and have no ceiling on being paid for that. As for the product you promote.. you choose something you like. My original passion as a woman was make up so I joined that type of business. Got so passionate I qualified as a beautician and onto other certificates then I discovered essential oils.. I needed supplies but minimum trade orders were over £3000 each time. Mlm on the other hand was order as my demands and finances could afford. So my interest in mlm grew. Now I would not go back to traditional office work. When I know when I apply myself I can exceed what ANY employer thinks I’m worth
Hey Rob, oh no. Definitely don’t have buyer’s remorse. Look at it as an opportunity for open doors. When I started network marketing I began to understand how to sell a product and then found other opportunities which lead me to where I am now. So I am always grateful for having found network marketing and getting started because I would not have been where I am now. I hope that my blog is helpful and that you can learn something.
Yes folks, another MLM company in the nutritional niche selling astonishing super-fruit with an overall distinctly higher price tag.  What separates them from the rest? Not sure, but interestingly enough their bottom line is impressive.  The company has grown to over 44 countries around the world, and is constantly expanding!  All this after only about 10 years in business.  On top of their successful reputation, they offer a lot of sales training and decent commission rates for their company reps, which is not seen a lot these days.
A: I doubt that we (or future generations) will ever again witness the revolutionary change in the MLM industry that has transpired over the past five years. Today, there are so many companies, so many products, so much information and so many opportunities worthy of our efforts. There has been an increasing number of successful and street-smart MLM distributors as our industry matures. But there are still huge numbers of distributors who struggle to make MLM work.
Being a part of the MLM race is not just about being able to secure the right kind of business. It is not only about being able to sell the kind of products/services that are of the highest quality. You have to be able to come up with some of the best MLM leads to be worth it both in the short and long-term for a successful online business. Let’s take a glance at a few factors that should be kept in mind by those who want to find them  in their area and get that home business off the ground. Get some tips on Leads for MLM Business
If you want to learn about the wonderful (and massive) world of internet marketing from the pros, Digital Altitude is where it’s at. Their products might cost up to $10k+, but you’re getting access to a toolbox of pure gold. Then there’s their commission rate…up to 60%. Just take a second to think about what a 60% commission rate on a $10k+ product looks like. Not bad, huh?

I LOVE your sincerity and generous offer. I am going to get your traffic blueprint. YOu have covered so much gems in just one post! My best pick is – "There are people worse off than you than have succeeded far more. There are no valid excuses to not becoming wealthy, stop giving excuses any energy, they don’t serve you." Have a Wonderful Giving Life!
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
As an Honor Care Pro, you will provide family-quality care and companionship for older adults in their own homes. Care Pros will help prepare food, do grocery shopping, help transport clients to doctor’s appointments and social events, perform housekeeping, assist clients with grooming and more. Make a minimum of $17/hour, set your own schedule and pick your own clients.

Great listing and especially the honest look at what being in an MLM means. Direct sales is a hard business, especially if you’re not passionately using the product daily. You see too many people who join thinking it will be a get rich quick scheme and don’t actually care about the product or their customers. Genuine lasts and is successful, companies like Avon and Mary Kay have been around for generations because people love their products.
http://www.idahofallsmagazine.com/2014/12/demystifying-Melaleuca does NOT fit any of the descriptions about multi-level marketing. Best double check. 😀 We had to. We thought it was until we looked closer. Opening Online Shopping Accounts! Not a “home parties” company, no inventory, and no delivering of products. Just a website! Best HOME BASED Business we have ever found. And we have been LOOKING! Thanks. 

You want to go back in a time machine and relive the old days of your younger, fitter and slimmer self?? Well if you just said yes, you are a part of the targeted market: everyone!  With their insane sale profit numbers, this company always makes the list for the top 20 MLM companies in the world, bringing in about $1.4 billion dollars in yearly revenue.  Not only are you selling a product people already have so much trust in, but the new associate cost to sign up is only $30, really one of the lowest.
A few people do make big money from MLMs. And these people are often trotted out in promotional videos, celebrated at annual events, and very publicly ‘rewarded’ with prizes like prestigious cars (although these ‘prizes’ aren’t as generous as they first appear – you simply get a discount on the lease which you must take out in your own name, and if your sales fall, the discount ends…). You also need to promote the company on the car they ‘give’ you.
What makes a riveting presentation? Get the prospect involved. Ask lot of questions. Let them answer. Let them hold the product if you are there. Let the audience raise their hands. Keep focused on engaging the prospect as you present. And tell a story about what the products have done, and make it emotional. Then ask them if they know anyone that they can relate to that story.
Before approaching the prospects, you need to target your audience. One of the biggest mistakes new MLMers make is looking at everyone as a potential customer. This is an area where the MLM  industry gets wrong. Like any other business, you’re going to have greater success and efficiency if you identify your target market or audience and focus your marketing efforts at them.
Have a tent, paddle board, kayak or mountain bike? ShareShed allows you to rent out your adventure gear to others. Worried someone will snag a hole in your TETON sleeping bag? ShareShed has an insurance policy to cover any damages to your gear; just submit a claim within 72 hours after the return date of the item, and you will be reimbursed, easy. You can also apply to become a ShareShed ambassador to represent the company.

Focus – In today’s fast paced society, the ability to focus is becoming a rarity.  People are all over the place, and easily distracted.  Time management is a myth, because time is already well managed into 24 hours a day.  FOCUS Management is the challenge for us all.  How to stay FOCUSED, and WHAT to focus on is also a topic in itself. It helps to have mentorship to assist you in this category.
Many distributors feel overwhelmed by the details that surround the business. They have trouble understanding and managing the various sales tools, marketing systems and compensation plans. And with the technology-driven information and support systems thrust on them by progressive MLM companies, it's no wonder so many people become confused and disillusioned, and drop out way too soon. Since you're just getting started, here are a few words of advice:
Hello John your tips are all very helpful.I am starting my home business and this is my first time.I tried my best to concentrate and will never give up.My small business is helping mothers in our community.They said that this business really help them to earn extra money.But still I know that deep inside I am not yet satisfied.Because I know that there is something missing or there is something wrong in my running of my business. .I hope you can give me more tips about this.

A downline distributor is a recruited distributor from whom the sponsor (the one who recruited them) gains commissions. Every compensation plan involves recruiting other distributors to help sell the company’s product. Some compensation plans provide higher commissions for recruiting successful distributors (quality over quantity). Other plans only focus on simply hiring more distributors (quantity over quality). Overall, downline distributors help sponsors gain extra commissions.
To stay safe from pyramid schemes and MLM scams, arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about the direct sales industry as a whole, research MLM companies carefully, and determine if you're a good match with your sponsor. The truth is, while you can get rich in MLM, statistics show that less than one out of 100 MLM representatives actually achieve MLM success or make any money. However, that's not necessarily the MLM business' fault. Most athletes never make it to the Olympics, but that's not sport's or the Olympics' fault.
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.
Another nutritional MLM selling another magical superfruit with a marked up price tag. So what? Their story might not be interesting, but their bottom line is: they’ve expanded to 44 countries and counting after just over a decade in operation. On top of that, they provide extensive sales training and good commission rates to their reps, which is pretty rare nowadays.
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Well done Melaleuca, they hit over a billion dollars in yearly sales…there’s a reason they are a part of the select few considered to be at the top. Adding to this is their longevity, because they’ve been in the MLM industry for over 20 years, and now they’ve reached the status of the “largest online wellness shopping club” (which can sound fancier than it is, because are they aren’t selling anything more than a fantasy diet pill).
Remember that networking can happen anywhere. It’s just a matter of determining where the best places are to find your potential customers and sales recruits. If you sell a health product, then any place people go who want to become more healthy – gyms, sports clubs, hiking hotspots, etc. – are options that you can turn into networking opportunities.
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.
Prequalified prospects, sales referrals, or genealogy lists, whatever name is used, MLM leads are the lifeblood of any MLM (multi-level marketing) business, and without a continuous supply, the network marketing distributor will go broke and have to close down their MLM business. The question most networkers ask is “where do I get the best possible MLM leads for little or no money?” Are they generated on the internet, bought from an MLM lead-generation company, worked in the local market or found among friends and family? The answer is easier than it may seem; all of the above.
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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
“The 2nd value I learned, was that I wasn’t the hero in the story, I was the guide, mentor, coach, and my clients were the real heroes. I realized there was an evil villain hurting my clients, and they were seeking someone and something to help destroy it. My #1 priority went from reaching my sales quota, to listening and producing a solution for my heroes to kill the pain in their lives. Once I learned these two sales secrets, my closing ratios exploded as did the referral sales. I went from closing sales, to creating raving fans.”  - Troy Dooly
MLM companies have been trying to find ways around China's prohibitions, or have been developing other methods, such as direct sales, to take their products to China through retail operations. The Direct Sales Regulations limit direct selling to cosmetics, health food, sanitary products, bodybuilding equipment and kitchen utensils. And the Regulations require Chinese or foreign companies ("FIEs") who intend to engage into direct sale business in mainland China to apply for and obtain direct selling license from the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM").[63] In 2016, there are 73 companies, including domestic and foreign companies, that have obtained the direct selling license.[64] Some multi-level marketing sellers have circumvented this ban by establishing addresses and bank accounts in Hong Kong, where the practice is legal, while selling and recruiting on the mainland.[10][65]
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