To succeed at networking and multi-level marketing you need to sell! Selling involves selling your products – and also involves selling your opportunity to prospects who may be good candidates to join up as distributors. In this chapter, however, we will focus on selling products.
The idea of having to market and sell products can intimidate a lot of people. This can be especially true of new people joining a company that sells using an MLM system. The reason many people get intimidated is that the process often involves in-person interactions where sales prospects are invited to actually try the products. Many new people aren’t confident that they can sell in person, but if that describes you don’t get discouraged. It’s actually not as difficult as it might seem at first.
Before we proceed, we’ll note something important. We’ve been saying that you should find a product, niche, and business that you are passionate about. When you begin to contemplate the idea of selling the products in person, then it comes home to why it’s better to be passionate about your niche. The person who is excited about what they are selling is going to come across as sincere and have no problem highlighting the benefits of a given product. Those who are simply doing it to make extra money and don’t really care about the product will come across as fake and cheesy. It will be even worse if you are not enthusiastic at all, your presentations will come up flat and fail to attract buyers.
Luckily we live in an era when the internet and smartphones have massively expanded opportunities to find and sell prospects. You can leverage Facebook and other social media to help build your brand and schedule events. You can even use webinars to demonstrate products to a worldwide audience (provided you’ve set up a way for them to order of course). You can even leverage Craigslist, to set up meetings/events and promote them for free, provided you’re a little bit careful about it.
1. Build a brand for yourself
The first step in creating a brand for yourself is determining what you want to brand. There are two general options, but they aren’t mutually exclusive. The first is to brand based on the product. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should zoom in to focus on one specific product; your branding should be on the niche the product is in which can offer you some flexibility.
However when branding remember that part of branding is going to be positioning yourself as an expert. The more narrow the niche, the more credible the expertise is going to be. People are going to be skeptical if you try and position yourself in multiple ways; in other words, you won’t seem as credible if you try to be an expert on skin products and auto repair. Even if you are a “renaissance” person who really can fix their own car, that just doesn’t look credible at all to most people, and the two areas should be kept completely separate. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally limited either. Establishing yourself in one niche will open doors for related niches. So if you positioned yourself as a health and fitness expert, easing your way into nutrition is a natural fit.
So, there are two major options when it comes to branding. One is to brand your business, and the second is to brand based on the product. Branding your business is going to include branding based on network/MLM marketing itself. That doesn’t mean that you’re not also going to be promoting products, but you’ll lead by talking about making money, the lifestyle of being a business owner (personal freedom, travel, being your own boss, etc.), working with your sales team, how to set up a network marketing business, and so on. A large part of business branding is going to be leveraging your niche to recruit new team members.
On the other hand, if you lead with the product, then you’re going to spend most of your time promoting the specific niche that you’ve chosen and the products related to that niche. That means spending a lot of time discussing the types of problems that are solved with your products and talking about the products themselves.
Again, this is not really an all-or-nothing proposition; it’s a question of what you lead with and what your primary focus is on. If you lead with product branding, you’re going to be putting most of your effort into promoting the product and talking about that niche, but that doesn’t exclude you from some level of business branding – obviously, you are going to be doing both. If you do product branding, then your efforts at including business branding will be a side venture. If you are using a website to promote your business, then you will have one page on the site devoted to recruiting new team members, by promoting the idea of “hey, if you are passionate about x and would love to earn money promoting it, contact me.”
If you decide to brand a product, this can be done on multiple levels since few products really operate in isolation. Consider that you may decide to sell multiple health and beauty products. You could sell skin care products but also be selling diet pills. One way to increase your income is to sell multiple products to the same clients, and you may have noticed that lots of women that buy skin care products are also going to be interested in buying products related to weight loss and fitness. Not all of them will, but a significant fraction most certainly will be interested. So if you have access to products from all three niches, then you’re probably going to want to brand yourself focused more on a generalized niche, as opposed to only being an expert on skin care products.
But there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to making this decision. You are going to have to evaluate where you’re at in your own personal situation, what company you work for, and what products they have available. You can brand a product line rather than branding a business if it’s more appropriate for your situation. Ultimately the question of how your brand is going to be based on what you enjoy doing the most.
In other words, the key factor that should always be taken into consideration is passion and excitement. If you are super-excited about a product, then you could be better off branding based on the product. Remember that when you’re doing promotion, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re promoting, possibly writing about it, whether on Facebook or on a blog and selling online and maybe in person as well. So you’d better be enthusiastic! The key concept is to set up your branding in the best way that is in synergy with your passions. You may be equally passionate about skin care products and weight loss products – in that case, you should brand your business and promote both. But if weight loss products don’t excite you to nearly the same degree, then you should brand based on skin care products.
On the other hand, if you are most passionate about having your own networking business (as opposed to specific products to promote), then you’ll probably want to devote more time talking about and promoting that.
Regardless of which path you choose, part of the branding process is positioning yourself as an expert. When you are just getting started, a more limited approach to branding that is product-based is a better approach, because it’s easier to position yourself as an expert in one specific area as compared to trying to be a jack of all trades. Also, a newbie to network or multi-level marketing will be less credible talking about the MLM lifestyle than they will be talking about a product or niche.
Branding can evolve with time just like anything else. So you can start with a complete focus on skin care products, and after you’re well-established with that begin to incorporate weight loss products into your business and branding.
However, building a personal brand is probably the best ticket to success over the long term. A personal brand isn’t tied to one specific product, network marketing company, or even niche. We’ll hope that you don’t jump around between network marketing companies unless it’s absolutely necessary since you would lose a lot in the process (flushing your team), but the point is a personal brand is tied to YOU as the expert. The specific skin care product, to choose an example, will be far less important if you’ve correctly positioned yourself as an expert. If people perceive you in this way, then no matter what kind of skin care products you recommend and sell, people are going to buy based on the reputation that you’ve started. A personal brand can be tied with products or leading with a business.
Establishing yourself as an expert begins with education. So you need to learn as much about your niche as you can. If you plan to be brand-leading with network marketing and lifestyle, then you need to learn all you can about that. But no matter what you do, there are going to be specific things you need to get in place to do your branding efforts.
- Get a logo made. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, find someone on Fiverr to make your logo. Decide beforehand if you want a personal logo to represent you like a personality (think Martha Stewart or Tony Robbins), or do you want a logo to represent a product line in the niche? Be sure to check out previous designs made by the prospective hire and read their reviews before spending any money. Create a website for your niche. Even if you are going to be focused on marketing locally, you should have a website. It’s practically expected these days. If you are selling physical products, Shopify is an excellent choice. But if you use Shopify, you should have your own domain to make it look professional, rather than telling the world you’re an amateur just starting out.
- Create a blog, and post about your niche daily. At first, the blog isn’t going to do much for you, but over time your blog will begin attracting large numbers of people. The specific issues related to building a blog are beyond the scope of this book, but you should learn SEO and utilize Keyword Planner and other tools to ensure that your blog brings people in. If you do decide to opt for a Shopify site, you can build your blog right into the site.
- Create a YouTube channel. If you aren’t comfortable speaking on camera, start practicing. A YouTube channel is one of the most effective ways to get a free promotion that there is. Not having one should be a criminal offense – yes it’s that good. Also if you decide to do advertising, you can post videos and use them to advertise on other YouTube channels and videos at a very low cost. You can use YouTube videos to demonstrate products, and then link back from the video to your Shopify (or other) store, and you can connect your blog as well. Create a Facebook Page. Once you’ve set up a blog and YouTube channel, the Facebook page is a snap. You provide content on the Facebook Page by linking back to your blog and YouTube channel. The backlinks will help your blog rise in the search engines as well. If you decide to do Facebook advertising (something that should always be a consideration in any business), you will need a Facebook Page. Get Business Cards printed with your logo on them, and links to all your online channels and with your email address. Yes, the old-fashioned methods are still important, especially if you’re considering doing local events.
- Consider signing up with ClickFunnels. This is an easy-to-use tool that lets you set up “landing pages” online. Simply put, this is a single web page that is designed to get people to sign up with their email addresses, so it is used to collect leads. You should set up landing pages for your product business and also recruit new team members. Later you can promote them using YouTube or Facebook ads.
2. Take advantage of video marketing
As we’ve said above, YouTube is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. This can be done for free, by simply putting together a solid YouTube channel, and at low cost by using your videos to create ads that run on YouTube. The same videos can also be used in Facebook ads. You can also expand your reach by posting videos on other platforms like Vimeo.
Video marketing can take place on multiple levels. Start your channel by introducing yourself, what you’re niche is, and so forth, within the context of your branding decision. If you are leading the business, then you may want to make a video talking about network marketing and use it for the recruitment of new team members.
Product demonstration videos will be an extremely important part of your business. Remember to link the videos back to your main website and your blog, where people can purchase the products. You should also link to landing pages, as having an email list is one of the most important tools a marketer can use online. Once you have an established email list, you can email people with new products and special offers, and watch the revenues pour in.
Video marketing can also be used to help set up online or local events. Online, you can create what is called a webinar to discuss a product live in front of an online audience. Webinars often lead to massive sales. You can also utilize these to recruit new team members, selling your “opportunity.”
3. Create content specifically for your ideal client
In any business, you need to know who your primary customer is. Not their name or personal identification, we are talking about knowing what the most likely type of person is to buy your product. You will want to know their age range, gender, what they are most likely to do for a living, and what their interests are. This information can be used in multiple ways. For instance, you can use it to laser target prospects on Facebook. You can also use it to set up marketing videos. For example, if you find out your main prospects are 45-60- year-old women, if you are not a female in that age range, you can recruit someone to help you make a product video. When your main prospects find the video on YouTube, they will subconsciously see themselves in the video and see the benefits of the product more clearly.
One way that you can find out who your ideal customer is will be by using Facebook ads. You can run small Facebook ads without targeting any specific demo, and then build up data on who responds to the ad – this will tell you who the ideal client is. Once you have that information, then you can laser target on all platforms.
This approach works whether we are talking about marketing a product or service or finding prospective team members.
4. Attend events that your audience would attend
Besides knowing who your average client is, you should put yourself in their experience set. Attending events that your audience would attend will help you do this. You can also spy on the competition to help yourself up to your own game.
5. Show products in use
Whether you’re making a video, at a live in-person event, or doing a webinar, showing the products in actual use is going to be one of your most effective marketing tools. At live in-person events, people will be able to sample products for themselves, but you can also garner huge benefits by doing demonstrations on video.
6. Don’t focus entirely on sales
The most effective marketing technique that there is can be described as follows. You don’t sell products; you establish a relationship with your clients. This is one reason that personal branding is important. The central focus of building a relationship with your clients is to build trust. This can be done with in-person meetings but can also be done very effectively by using email marketing, blogging, YouTube videos, and your Facebook page. Don’t make every post about selling a product – in fact, you should make a minority of your posts about actual selling. Spend most of your time talking about your niche and providing useful information. Then prospects will begin seeing you as a trusted expert in the given niche – and when you do recommend a product, they will be eager to buy because they trust your recommendations.