In this article, I want to explore an interesting angle to a particular subject. It is widely common to find people either fearing to start businesses or not even thinking about it at all. Network marketing is one of the most popular activities nowadays. You just have to do a random sweep across social media to see this. Anyways, how many people constitute your sphere of influence? In other words, if I ask you about the number of people you can rally behind you for some cause, how many do you think they are? The answer to that question can be carrying some hidden insights you never thought of before.
What Is Network Marketing?
The network is also known as multi-level marketing. It can also be termed referral marketing and is a sales business where you earn money by selling products plus earning commissions by signing up others to sell and getting a percentage of sales they subsequently realize. Essentially this means that your sales value is directly proportional to the number of people you recruit. At its core, network marketing is a game of numbers. Here I am dealing with network marketing in its purest form – not pyramid schemes disguised as network marketing.
Principles Behind Effective Network Marketing
If one is to be a successful network marketer there are principles one must master. Some of them are as follows:
Cultivating Word Of Mouth
In network marketing, you obviously cannot talk to everyone. The best way is to cause people to talk about what you are offering. In the process, a chain reaction of referrals is ignited. When it comes to network marketing gigs you will realize that people tend to talk about them. It is commonplace to hear people saying, “Have you heard about…?” If you cannot create enough buzz for people to talk then you will miss out on the wonders of word of mouth. One virtual way people are employing these is the use of hashtag campaigns. This usually gets people talking.
Exploring A Multiplatform Approach
Another principle to master is using a multiplatform approach. This means you must use both offline and online methods of getting the word out. You must engage people on the ground and you must engage them also online. Even online you must explore and use several platforms to broaden your prospects of luring people.
Leveraging On Or Offering An Irresistible Value Proposition
Typically one does not even attempt to get into network marketing if what they will have to offer is not sellable. Before everything else, what is to be offered must have a superior value proposition. For instance, lots of network marketing drives these days deal with herbal or wellness products e.g. weight management products. These products are highly sought after so they will most likely be easy to sell. If you choose products with a powerful value proposition you would have already gotten a head start.
Effective Communication Skills
Network marketing heavily feeds off effective communication. You will inevitably have to engage people if you are to make any impact. It will take more than just engaging people because you will need to be a great communicator. This is imperative given how diverse people’s personalities are.
Effective Team Management
Great achievers in network marketing are great recruiters. Network marketing literally always will entail managing a team under you. Essentially this will be bent on training your recruitees to subsequently recruit more. The incentive of course is that the more you recruit the more commissions you earn. Making this work will require you to prime yourself to be very good at managing teams or groups.
Why Am I Saying All This?
Well, most people never stop to realize that all those principles are basically what is needed to start and run a successful business. I am talking about establishing your own business not sourcing someone or some company’s products and selling them for profit and commissions. I know the reason why most people prefer network marketing is because there seems to be less risk involved. It is more like people do not want to hassle of starting a business from scratch. However, the irony is that the principles one has to apply in network marketing are the same for setting up and running a business.
I am just nudging you to realize that most of you have what it takes to start a great business but you probably do not realize it. I have noticed even those networking marketing drives that are abuzz nowadays their products are usually from outside the country. Does this mean locally in Zimbabwe people cannot create homegrown products or even be the originators of network marketing gigs? Certainly not! We have got to be bolder and look inwards. Most of you have the complete package of competencies needed for successful entrepreneurship. If you doing great in network marketing then I am here to tell you that you have what it takes to start your own business. Think bigger!
Network marketing is all about numbers – even in cryptocurrency, there is what is called the network effect. This means that the value of a cryptocurrency grows as more and more people starting transacting with it. The whole point is simple – if you can rally enough people behind you towards some cause then you surely can start a business and succeed. Many people are blinded to this reality; if you can network market you have what it takes to start your own business. “I had been doing errands for a cousin in Canada and a friend in Johannesburg. I just asked myself, ‘what if I can get 10 more people like these two…” That is what Kerita said when I asked her how she had come up with Tuma Kerri, an errand services business idea. That is a practical example of an application of the underlying principle I have been discussing in this article.
Thank you for your endorsing network marketing and probing us to expand our thinking horizons. You highlighted several key aspects that are important in the business world which we find in network marketing.
l however do not fully agree with some of your conclusions – especially the one calling us to “think bigger”. Does your call not imply that network marketing is “not thinking big” ?
Secondly – when you encourage us to ‘start our own businesses’ (which is great) – does that not expose your lack of confidence in network marketing as a proper and genuine business a person can run and rely on? You also almost imply that being involved with a networking organisation is mutually exclusive with running a separate business – which is not entirely true. Network marketing is perfectly designed for part time engagement – though one can make it a full time business if they choose.
Lastly – network marketing is a good training ground for the entrepreneur – equiping him/her with real world business skills. Not many come with these skills to network marketing – they develop them from networking. So network marketing does not cause any not to ‘think big’ nor does it steal business capabilities from anyone but rather fosters them.
Many thanks – Elton Ntini