What Network Marketing Can Teach Us About Social Media
Network marketing or MLM can get a bad rap. At first, I hesitated writing this post because of that fact, however, with any group, there are some negatives, but there is also some positives. The whole concept in general isn't wicked or destructive. In fact, a lot of people can have success with it.
You see, I used to be a network marketer. Yep, me.
The first couple years I started online, was with network marketing. The reason I stopped doing it and moved onto others things such as freelance writing and then in 2010, social media full-time, was quite simple: I really really sucked. Also factor in the reality that I was in it for the wrong reasons and wasn't passionate at all about it.
While that may be the case, network marketing can teach us a few things about social media.
Communication Is Key
With any social media presence, whether you've got a restaurant, retail store, web design company, and more, communication is key and not just any sort of communication, but actual interaction with potential prospects.
You see, the reason why most people fail in MLM is they don't know what to say or how to say it, and they don't interact with enough of the right people.
With social media, not enough interaction with your customers and target audience, leads to failure. Posting links all day isn't going to cut it. You have to actually get in the trenches and talk with people. And if you suck at communication in general, well, forget all that and learn how to become a better communicator first.
Your Community Is Everything
With network marketing, there's a thing called your "downline" which consists of multiple levels. All MLM companies have some sort of compensation structure that typically consists of X dollars from new people YOU have purchase X and then a percentage or X amount from people THEY have purchase X, and so on and so on. Some go down several levels, some go down to infinity.
Bringing in one person who doesn't bring in anyone, isn't effective. You want people who will bring in people who will bring in people. Your downline means everything to how well you do and how much you make.
As far as social media is concerned, your community is everything. You want to build trust and a strong relationship that has people come back for more and more and more, while also letting their friends/fans/followers know about you (Liking, retweeting, etc) on a quite often basis.
Despite what some MLM companies or distributors may lead people to believe, it takes hard work to create anything of value. In my case, I simply didn't put in enough effort. Hell, I wasn't even 18 years old and had all these other things on my mind.
The old saying, "Build it and they will come", simply isn't true.
Just because you have a social media presence, doesn't mean that people will find you and listen to what you have to say. You have to put in a serious amount of time and hard work (or hire someone to do it for you) to actually create something of value for your brand or business.
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