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Sensationalism is everywhere and it's hard to know what's real, anymore. The economy is tanking, the marketing noise is deafening, and you just don't know what tomorrow will hold. This site is dedicated to a no-hype retelling of what's working for me in real estate, business, and life. Welcome.

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Emily is available for speaking appearances and flat-rate consulting on the topics of personal finance and real estate. Please fill in the Contact Form for more information.
Jan
08

Are MLM’s All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

By

I have been very frustrated, off and on, by conversations with my friends and partners about MLM’s.  The thing is – I have a LOT of STRONG negative biases AGAINST MLM’s.  However, when people I admire and respect (and who make more money and have a higher net worth than I do) give me financial advice, I tend to listen.

In the last year I have been approached by 6 people about 3 different MLM opportunities.  One is a very close business partner who is making $400K/year her first year in business.  Would I like to be making that kind of money?  You bet!  COULD I do it? Probably!  Then why haven’t I jumped on board yet?

  1. I know that, statistically, most people who join MLM companies do not succeed in making it work financially.
  2. I haven’t found an MLM model where I really connect with the product.  If I am not excited about buying the product, I don’t think I would be able to sell the product effectively.
  3. I don’t know that I would "like" doing the things that a successful MLM marketer must be good at – for example, I don’t like "presenting" to prospects who may not be interested, I don’t like hosting "parties" in my home, heck – I don’t even like talking on the phone – what good would I be at follow up?

In a way, this saddens me, because I *want* MLM to work for me.  I *want* to be able to make $400K/year or more.  I *want* to be able to be a success story and get in on the ground floor of a billion-dollar opportunity.

The opportunity has been sweetened even more, lately, by Ken Evoy’s $20,000 MLM challenge.  The owner of Site Build It – a website building company that I have patronized since 2004 and have learned and profited a TON from (in the black from Year 1) – is hosting an MLM contest in which they hope to flesh out the best of the best online MLM marketing techniques. 

Contest participants are privy to a free coaching series and, in  an interesting twist on traditional MLM marketing techniques, are encouraged to build websites to promote a "topic" (such as "healthy aging" – which could be great for selling all sorts of MLM products, including nutritional supplements, skin care, etc.) which they monetize in many different ways.  The MLM line of business would be just one monetization model, in addition, you might monetize through selling products, ebooks, hosting ads, and so forth.  Rather than being tied in to the MLM company, you are tied in to a topic or niche, and the MLM company is just one way to profit from the community of visitors interested in that niche.

Rather than "pitching" your MLM business to everyone you know, you only promote it to the targeted leads who have found you through your website.

It’s an interesting concept that makes a lot of sense.  I guess the contest will tell us how well it works.  The coach for the program, veteran MLM’er Ann Siegl, says she makes $90K/month in her business, but not all of that revenue is from her MLM company.  How much of it is MLM-derived she doesn’t say.

 

So, here I am conflicted and sad… wishing I could feel GREAT about promoting an MLM business and make money like some of my friends are.  Am I missing something?  Am I smart for holding out?  I’d love to hear your comments and experiences.  If you’ve done MLM let me know how it’s working for you and what company you’re with.  If you haven’t done MLM, tell me why.

Keepin’ it Real. 😉

Emily

Categories : Starting A Business

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2 Comments

1

MLM sucked the money and time out of me for 20 years, different companies- all the same hype, you can get rich. Listen, if you can get rich making a 5% override on people with zero or little business acumen and make millions – I have some land for you, and once California falls into the sea you’ll be the wealthy owner of beachside property.

Long story very short – If you can be successful in MLM, than you probably can make ten times that amount in a real sales career – or by starting your own company.

5% of nothing is nothing- do the math. Bing Bang~

2

Wow Brian, I’m so sorry to hear about your experiences. I’m fortunate not to have been so jaded. I and several of my friends became very successful the old fashioned way in the contracting and retail sector doing what I thought is an honest hard days work for many years. The problem is I’m running out of life and didn’t want to work 80 hours a week any more. That’s when the idea of RESIDUAL income caught my attention. This is what the MLM business model brinks to the table. Not just financial freedom but life freedom. True financial freedom is being free from your business too so you can spend time on earth doing the things you love.
Emily….you are sooo right. I was very fortunate to stumble across http://sendoutcards/38200 as my introduction into MLM. Thank God it’s something that is so useful to so many people because I ain’t no salesman and sure don’t do parties. Yuck! I just started using it innocently as a business building tool which is awesome in and of itself. But little did I know the powerful built in MLM mechanism that was taking root and building a life of it’s own all the while I was using it for my main business.
I’ve learned that the Network marketing business model is very sound. But when it comes to succeeding it’s no different than any other business model. You have to understand it and be smart about it. My advice is engage in a product and company that you can believe in. And remember that MLM is not get rich quick. It’s the most effort for little money in the beginning, but before you know it, it becomes the most money you’ll make for little effort in the long run. So in the beginning choose something that’s fun and plug in. Soon you will be richly rewarded.

About Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate investor and licensed real estate agent living in Seattle, Washington. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with an Economics degree from UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!) her focus has been on building business for cash flow and investing in real estate for wealth. If you have questions about real estate investing, personal finance, or would like some flat-rate, affordable advice on one of these topics. Please fill in the Contact form.