This issue, like all issues concerning the evaluation of an MLM’s compensation structure, is fact-specific and usually involves a comprehensive analysis of a variety of factors. It is worthwhile, however, to highlight two topics that the FTC is likely to consider when evaluating an MLM’s payment of compensation that is premised, in part, on participants buying product that is not resold. First, the FTC staff is likely to consider whether features of the MLM’s compensation structure incentivize or encourage participants to purchase product for reasons other than satisfying their own personal demand or actual consumer demand in the marketplace. Second, the FTC staff is likely to consider information bearing on whether particular wholesale purchases by business opportunity participants were made to satisfy personal demand. The persuasiveness of this information in any particular case will depend on its reliability.
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."
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.
Hiring an expert is the way to go if you want to do this fast and effectively. In the long run, new clients are worth more than what you have to pay to get help finding them. You’ll make far more money on one turned lead than you will spend on getting someone to help you get that lead. If that’s not the case for you, however, then things may need to change a little. You’ll want to go do some looking at reviews for various lead generation companies to see what they can help you with and if they are worth your time to work with. 

Fast forward to 2017. LuLaRoe is the biggest MLM for women. “More than 80,000 women have paid around $5,000 for several boxes of low-cost clothing and worked as much as 80-hour weeks to outfit hundreds of thousands of suburban women in multicolored polyester. But according to a report that studied the business models of 350 MLMs, published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, 99% of people who join multilevel-marketing companies lose money. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a brilliant business model or a predatory practice — or a little bit of both.” (FTC)

There are people out in the industry that will tell you recruiting is Selling, and Selling is Recruiting. They are wrong. Selling is Transaction based, and Recruiting is Transformation based. Selling is a one time event, where Recruiting births many events in the future. Selling is about CLOSING people. Recruiting is about OPENING futures. Don't be misled. They are 2 totally different processes, with different skill sets needed, no matter what some folks say.

At the most basic level, the law requires that an MLM pay compensation that is based on actual sales to real customers, rather than based on mere wholesale purchases or other payments by its participants. In evaluating MLM practices, the FTC, in accord with established case law, focuses on how the structure as a whole operates in practice, and considers factors including marketing representations, participant experiences, the compensation plan, and the incentives that the compensation structure creates. The assessment of an MLM’s compensation structure is a fact-specific determination that the FTC makes after careful investigation.


Hi thanks for all these great tips. I just joined a network marketing company about a month ago and I must say that it hasnt been easy. I find point #3 to be amazing because i realize i was loosing all my friends because i always made them feel bad for not wanting to join. After reading this article i have immediately changed from that behavious of chasing and forcing friends and family. this article has shown me i can still make it in this business. plus there is so much bad air about MLMs all over.
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.

Many companies will tell you to make a list of 100 people you know when you’re getting started. There’s nothing wrong with that, but most successful MLM marketers have very few clients that are from that original list. In most cases, the family and friends only come on when they see your success. You need to treat MLM just like any other business in the sense that you only focus on the people who are interested in what you’re offering. You need to have a target market.

MLM Success training for Massive MLM Success- - Part Two of “The Blazing Top 52 MLM SUCCESS Tips" that will set your Network Marketing and MLM Business OnFIRE! Time tested tactics that will set you apart from the average Network Marketer, and keep your business stoked and totally ABLAZE! Bookmark this page and refer back to it! Send it to your Team and SET THEIR BUSINESS ABLAZE!!! Here are the next set of 26 tips of the BLAZING Top 52 MLM SUCCESS Tips:
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.
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. 

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.
Have an empty guest room? Leaving town for a month on a sabbatical in Spain? Why not rent out your vacant space and make some money? Airbnb is disrupting the hotel scene by allowing anybody with an internet connection to offer their room, cabin, cottage, treehouse, RV or some other interesting abode to travelers. Listing your space is free, and Airbnb even has a photographer who will come and take killer wide-angle lens photos of your space, totally free.
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.
MaryAnne, I would recommend finding a product that you LOVE, a product that you feel can benefit the people around you and who you feel integrity with. You want to find their products useful so that you will feel good about buying them every month and want to share them with other. It is a business, but you also want to be able to have fun with it too
Many companies will tell you to make a list of 100 people you know when you’re getting started. There’s nothing wrong with that, but most successful MLM marketers have very few clients that are from that original list. In most cases, the family and friends only come on when they see your success. You need to treat MLM just like any other business in the sense that you only focus on the people who are interested in what you’re offering. You need to have a target market.

Thank you for this article! I’m with Doterra, like a lot of other people I didn’t start out selling. I just wanted to use the product. But, when you see such great results you can’t help but tell people. I love working for this company!! I have worked for Tupperware, Amway, Jafra, It Works, I never made money like I am with doTerra. Hands down its the best!! I’m working hard to build my business and it is paying off and I’m reaping the benefits for my health. God’s Design for our Natural health care is top notch! I give God all the glory and I couldn’t do this without him.


I am new to Network Marketing and I’ve realised that I have so much to learn. My most profound realisation has been that I have to change my thinking, which will change my behaviour and which in turn will change my future. This is where your blogs fit in: they provide a paradigm shift with regards to how I’ve been taught to make money and what is required to be financially free.

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Hey Erica, I’m a doterra gal also. Just over 3 years ago I just wanted to see if these hippie oils really worked from there I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and I share with whomever will listen. I recently read this in the leadership magazine and I love it. “An oil for every household, a drop to change a life”. That is my goal. I never plan to get rich off my sharing but if I can change a life, help someone along the way it will be worth my time.
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.
Great job on the top 25 MLMs. Really like what you’re doing for the industry as a whole. Your analysis is spot on. However, a closer look at retention rates for each company might give you another perspective on the value proposition of any given company. As a Doterra Wellness Advocate we are told by our corporate execs that we have a 65% retention rate with customers repurchasing the product within 3 months. And that if we based it on the industry standard of 12 months our retention would go up to 85%. I’m told that this is unprecedented in network marketing. So I’m believing that Doterra is succeeding because its selling a product that works and that users and word-of-mouth drive the business in the long run.
Not all MLM companies are created equal. Many see an initial burst of success followed by a gradual tapering off of profits, causing them to collapse and go out of business. MLM companies that succeed have sound business models, both for those who run the company and for those who sell product and recruit new sales agents. There are many sites devoted to MLM rankings, creating lists of companies likely to provide a return on investment to sales agents interested in the industry.

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.
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]
Other than that, great info, but I’d have to respectfully disagree with the logic behind not being a part of an MLM. It’s one business model. And whether you want to make it your full time job or just dabble, so long as you find a product and company you love, it can be a great way to diversify your income streams. $5000 a year (or $5) is more than most people make on their 401K, savings or any other conventional ways of investing. It’s an investment, and for those that chose to continue through the plateau, it results in residual income. Don’t like sales? Some of the companies are moving away from the door to door type sales models and putting a lot more emphasis on team building and adding value. And many companies are also discouraging distributors from spamming on social media- again- it comes down to the individual and their own business acumen. We can spend our lives blaming they systems or we can just own ourselves and be grateful for whatever we’ve learned from, and created out of each opportunity presented to us. It’s the choice of the individual at the end of the day but one thing I can say with certainty is that someone who blames MLM for their lack of success is lacking responsibility for themselves in other areas of their life too.
Don’t give up, and don’t throw money into areas where you don’t have to. There’s no such thing as completely free marketing leads – you are always risking something, whether it is your brand, or your future earning potential. However, with good networking, passion, and the right people, you can achieve success. Talk to some mentors and more experienced marketers today, and see what they have to say for you. You may be surprised at how much you can bring in, with the right choices when you are getting started.

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.

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.

7. Teach to Teach and You can go to the Beach. This might be the biggest of all the Network Marketing tips I can offer you. Yes this is a people business but it is still a BUSINESS. If YOU are the only one that can answer questions, lead webinars, etc, you aren’t teaching your team how to operate in your abscence. Teaching to teach means you answer questions in a way that the person asking the question can then tell any reps they recruit where to also get those answers. HINT: If each time a teammate asks you a question has you on the phone for 45 minutes vs pointing them to an existing training, you gots some work to do!

Long before becoming a billionaire, and even before starting Omnilife, Jorge Vergara sold tacos on the streets of Mexico. He then secretly brought in Herbalife supplements into the country.  While there, he was able to get the Mexican government to change regulations put in place for their nutritional products division.  Talk about a life filled with action…this guy could probably sell his life story and make millions more (he could probably win several awards, side note: he’s actually a film producer casually on the side).
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.
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
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.
At the most basic level, the law requires that an MLM pay compensation that is based on actual sales to real customers, rather than based on mere wholesale purchases or other payments by its participants. In evaluating MLM practices, the FTC, in accord with established case law, focuses on how the structure as a whole operates in practice, and considers factors including marketing representations, participant experiences, the compensation plan, and the incentives that the compensation structure creates. The assessment of an MLM’s compensation structure is a fact-specific determination that the FTC makes after careful investigation.
To start, pick out a product or two that you feel good about. Then select two to three proven sales methods from your training materials. Concentrate on these methods, avoiding the temptation to expand. In other words, "narrowcast" rather than "broadcast" your efforts. Do the same with your sponsoring methods: Pick two concepts you're comfortable with and focus on these.
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