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When I decided to give network marketing a go, I already owned several successful businesses and had a lot of experience setting up campaigns, promoting and selling my services, and just doing the day-to-day work it takes to run a business. In my opinion, network marketing has been very similar to my other businesses, and I have been able to use so much of my knowledge and previous experience as I pour myself into this new opportunity!
Belonging to a self-regulatory organization, however, does not shield MLMs engaged in unfair and deceptive practices from FTC law enforcement action. Under appropriate circumstances, the FTC can and will bring law enforcement actions against companies that claim to follow self-regulatory guidelines but in practice do not. Similarly, the FTC can and will bring law enforcement actions against companies that, despite following such guidelines, nonetheless violate the FTC Act.
However, as aforementioned, you may know people that sell products from Mary Kay, Avon, Advocare, Tupperware and the like (see more companies in our Featured Home Businesses section). You know people who sell these types of products because they believe in the products and the companies that stand behind them. These companies empower those who sell their products to actually establish their own businesses, selling the products. This is very attractive to many entrepreneurial-minded people who do not want to have a boss watching over them but also want some pre-established structure and support. Most MLM organizations provide a very robust infrastructure and great training as well as impeccable rewards (hello free cars and trips!).

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!
Because of the encouraging of recruits to further recruit their competitors, some people have even gone so far as to say at best modern MLMs are nothing more than legalized pyramid schemes[4][19][20] with one stating "Multi-level marketing companies have become an accepted and legally sanctioned form of pyramid scheme in the United States"[19] while another states "Multi-Level Marketing, a form of Pyramid Scheme, is not necessarily fraudulent."[20] In October 2010 it was reported that multilevel marketing companies were being investigated by a number of state attorneys general amid allegations that salespeople were primarily paid for recruiting and that more recent recruits cannot earn anything near what early entrants do.[60] Industry critic Robert L. FitzPatrick has called multi-level marketing "the Main Street bubble" that will eventually burst.[61]
As with any business venture, it’s important to manage your expectations when signing on with an MLM. Marketing materials may sell you the idea of making good money without leaving your house, but business ventures like these take time to deliver a return on investment. Not every sales agent will be making $100,000 per year right away or even five years down the line. Be realistic about how much you’re likely to sell and how much you’re likely to earn.
(May 2017 update: did this go under?) The sign up cost will make you do a triple take (almost four figures), but you get to set your own retail price on every product you sell. If you’ve got the skills to make people cough up the cash for their products (which, btw, are pretty legit), you could definitely make that money back. They’ve also been winning plenty of awards (even a growth award from the Direct Selling Association themselves).
Even truthful testimonials from the very small minority of participants who do earn career-level income or more will likely be misleading unless the advertising or presentation also makes clear the amount earned or lost by most participants. (For more information on this topic, see the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 

Thanks for this post. Very helpful. I do like direct sales; one reason for this is that it helps keep alive that age-old tradition of people interacting face-to-face (rather than mainly through texting and social media). For that reason, I think MLMs should target the lonely Millennials. Anyway, I was a member/distributor of Advocare for over 10 years and still miss the products and the activities in the company, now that I am temporarily out. I still plan to sign up again when I can afford it (long story–I’ll spare you). I am now involved in Melaleuca, and I must say in their defense that Melaleuca’s products are actually not overpriced. Because Preferred Customers are not only not expected, but also NOT ALLOWED to turn around and sell the products at the retail price, everyone pays the same low prices. (Granted, one can indeed go to the website and buy directly from the company if they do not want to become a Preferred Customer. Why would someone do that when the annual membership is only $19? Only if they do not want to commit to the minimum monthly requirement for Preferred Customers.) Public, keep this in mind! Don’t be fooled by the rebels who are selling old Melaleuca products on Amazon for way above the retail price!! You’re much better off buying fresh products directly from the factory, even if you pay retail price. Just sayin. My big question: What about Tupperware? I have been a Tupperware consultant for about 6 months, and I have found it to be extremely difficult to keep business going. The directors training me have said that Tupperware is the second most widely recognized brand name in the world, second only to Coca-Cola. If that is the case, why is it so hard to find people willing to host Tupperware parties? Why does it seem so hard to sell? Also, is it just me…Or, does Tupperware’s compensation plan stink?
MLMs are designed to make profit for the owners/shareholders of the company, and a few individual participants at the top levels of the MLM pyramid of participants. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some MLM companies already constitute illegal pyramid schemes even by the narrower existing legislation, exploiting members of the organization.[21] There have been calls in various countries to broaden existing anti-pyramid scheme legislation to include MLMs, or to enact specific anti-MLM legislation to make all MLMs illegal in parallel to pyramid schemes, as has already been done in some jurisdictions.[citation needed]
The first thing you need to do is protect yourself from pyramid schemes masquerading as MLM ventures. You should arm yourself with knowledge about the direct sales industry and MLM companies in general. Moreover, you need to vet your sponsor to find out if they’re a good match for you. Yes, you can make money in MLM. However, the statistics show that less than 1 percent of MLM representatives actually achieve success in their MLM business. That doesn’t necessarily mean that MLM businesses are broken. Just look at the world of athletics for example. Most athletes never make it to the Olympics. Does that mean that the Olympics are broken?
“Once you truly understand and believe in what you are doing, you transform your thought process of ‘selling’ to ‘sharing’. Ultimately it comes down to Passion, be Passionate about what you are doing. When you are excited and Passionate about whatever you are doing, you will find you can’t wait to share it with Your World! Find Your Passion, and then Tell the World!” - Steve Wallach
These actions are both business professional and duplicatable — the kind of actions you want to encourage your distributors to model. Imagine how powerful your organization would be if everyone in it could be counted on to do what they promised they would? Honoring your intention to make and keep your marketing promises is an almost 100 percent guarantee of success in a network marketing business.
The term “MLM company” isn’t exactly accurate because the company is not necessarily defined by the fact that it uses a multi-level marketing structure. Instead, a good MLM will be a product-centric company, meaning that it will be, for example, a cosmetics company that uses an MLM structure. Test the product of the company you are interested in; the product must be something that you would willingly advertise even if you weren't working for the company.

Over the past many years, through all of the trials and errors of website design and surfing the Internet, John learned the art of Blogging & Social Media Networking. With all this knowledge rattling in his brain, eager to break free, he decided to pass on his experience in the form of instructional Blogging tips. Strap in tight for some in-depth, educational insider secrets to help YOU get more leads and increase Your site’s exposure.
Multi-level marketing is one form of direct selling. Generally, a multi-level marketer (MLM) distributes products or services through a network of salespeople who are not employees of the company and do not receive a salary or wage. Instead, members of the company’s salesforce usually are treated as independent contractors, who may earn income depending on their own revenues and expenses. Typically, the company does not directly recruit its salesforce, but relies upon its existing salespeople to recruit additional salespeople, which creates multiple levels of “distributors” or “participants” organized in “downlines.” A participant’s “downline” is the network of his or her recruits, and recruits of those recruits, and so on.
Many people are scared of the prospect of getting into network marketing. They’ve heard all about the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the industry, also known as multilevel marketing, and so they shy away from it. To be sure, a multilevel marketing (MLM) business has just about as much success as any other business, if not more, and there are plenty of great network marketing companies out there, like Acti Labs, that have brought massive success to their members. It doesn’t matter what kind of home business you start as the real success of the business comes from the work you put in to build the business.
As the owner, you are the face and voice of the product whether you like it or not. Expect to spend an inordinate of your time managing people, their emotions and expectations. The heavy reliance on residual income means that your income stream may dry up suddenly if a salesperson fails to meet his quota. This could easily happen, because in many cases that salesperson must not only be accountable for his sales, but of the sale people he recruits under him. These are people he may not know. Therefore, your earnings potential is limited by the selling ability of others not directly under your control. A MLM business may strain your personal relationships. Lower-tiered salespeople, particularly those within your circle of family and friends, may harbor ill feelings if they fail to advance within the organization.
Get a Franklin Planner, or some kind of Day Timer, and start scheduling your actions and tasks. Yes, you can use a palm pilot, but I have found that planners are more effective for new people. When are you going to start your business, decide how many hours are you planning on working, and then highlight the hours you are going to spend working. This will give you a visual map of what your week looks like.
Everyday, people get sucked into the lure of MLMs (“multi-level marketing” or “network marketing”) and I can’t stress enough the need to stay far, far away from them. These include Herbalife, Arbonne, LuLaRoe, Younique, Rodan + Fields, and Amway among many others. I understand the need for flexibility, especially if you are a full-time student or are raising young children. Believe me, I also understand getting a job that allows you to create your own schedule and work remotely takes Hunger Games level competition. I am always surprised when I see college educated women sucked into these things. But it’s telling about other issues, like childcare, maternity leave and corporate culture in the US. MLMs are pyramid schemes, and are extremely predatory because the only way to make any money is to sign up more and more people under you which will just ruin your social relationships and make you a pariah where it matters most: your friends and family members.
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.
You should be and share all the stories involved in your business with your prospects. The more stories you share about your company with people, the more you expose your business opportunity to the world and able to attract more people. MLM Recruiting stars in network marketing are good storytellers, and you should tell good stories to be able to recruit people to your business.
Some people have the perception that network marketing is just a party here and there and an occasional pitch to your Facebook friends to buy your products and that’s it. It is so much more than that (if you do it right). Your success with your new business is going to greatly depend on how seriously you take it and how much work you put into it. That doesn’t mean you have to give up all your free time, but it does mean following a few sensible strategies.

To prove that we give you more in value, than you could ever give us in money, we provide you with MLM Training and Lead Management Systems at no extra cost. In fact, anyone can get a Free Lead Management System, which also includes a Free Phase 2 Customizable Marketing Site, and any package that has email leads gets a Free Autoresponder with Professionally written emails included. (You can even modify the autoresponder emails at any time.)


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]
Obviously a customer will not earn any money in the MLM scheme, only the person who brought in that customer, and their upline will earn commission from the customer's purchase. The promoter will earn money, every time one of their customers makes a purchase, and also every time one of the promoters in their downline makes a purchase or sale. Thus the term "pyramid" though that may not really be accurate, depending on the way the compensation plan is set up.

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. 

Join Guy Kawasaki (author, The Art of Social Media), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Chris Brogan (co-author, The Impact Equation), Jay Baer (author, Youtility), Ann Handley (author, Everybody Writes), Michael Stelzner (author, Launch), Michael Hyatt (author, Platform), Laura Fitton (co-author, Twitter for Dummies), Joe Pulizzi (author, Epic Content Marketing), Mark Schaefer (author, Social Media Explained), Cliff Ravenscraft, Nichole Kelly, Ted Rubin, Chalene Johnson, Darren Rowse, Joel Comm, Kim Garst, Martin Shervington, Marcus Sheridan, Gini Dietrich, Pat Flynn, John Jantsch, Andrea Vahl and Brian Clark—just to name a few.
These actions are both business professional and duplicatable — the kind of actions you want to encourage your distributors to model. Imagine how powerful your organization would be if everyone in it could be counted on to do what they promised they would? Honoring your intention to make and keep your marketing promises is an almost 100 percent guarantee of success in a network marketing business.
People today are too sharp to be hyped. Hype comes from the head, and mouth. Hope comes from the Heart and emotions. Don't hype someone, as you will come across like a huckster. Be sincere, come from the heart, and talk to them about the Hope your company and products offer them, not getting rich. You can cover that part later, sincerely and heartfelt, when they have decided that your offer is worth listening to.
Skills – There are certain technical skills you need for whatever industry you are a part of, so it’s important to develop those skills.  Although, they are a small fraction of what your success will be predicated on.  You must eventually learn to outsource the things that make the most sense to outsource, so that you can work on the business versus in the business.
Skills – There are certain technical skills you need for whatever industry you are a part of, so it’s important to develop those skills.  Although, they are a small fraction of what your success will be predicated on.  You must eventually learn to outsource the things that make the most sense to outsource, so that you can work on the business versus in the business.
Technically speaking, pyramiding is an illegal practice of a company that solicits their members to recruit more members, more than selling the product. In turn, the primary source of income for its members is the number of members they have recruited instead of the products they have sold over time. Clearly, not all MLMs are pyramid schemes, but it all seems like a matter of degree.
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.
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