Have you or anyone you’ve known ever really succeeded in Network Marketing? If you are like most people, you have probably been approached by a friend or family member wanting to share a new business opportunity they have found. What was your first response? If you are like most people, it was probably aversion. But why the resistance?
Most people, even those who actually want a change from their daily routine, feel infringed upon when approached in an unsolicited manner. When was the last time you bought something from the salesman who came to your door? The same is true in network marketing. The offer may be real, the opportunity may be great, but there is a problem. Unless you were actually looking for it, it always feels like what it really is, a hard sell.
As network marketers the challenge we face is not about finding prospects, there are actually a great number of people who are our prospects. The challenge is finding new and creative ways to catch the attention of these prospects, hold their attention long enough to build up enthusiasm for our product or service, and then motivate them to take the final step and purchase that service.
A good marketing plan does just that. Marketing follows some basic guidelines, based on what has worked in the past. Network marketing also follows basic guidelines but these lines often get blurred as information is passed down through the ranks. With technology changing at an ever increasing rate, there is an even greater need to be alert to new marketing strategies that allow us to reach the people who are looking for what we have to offer.
While network marketing is not new, the concept of Internet marketing is emerging as a legitimate form of business as opposed to the house parties and rally meetings of the past. Even as our forms of communication have changed drastically in the last decade, network marketing techniques must keep up with these changes or go the way of the rotary telephone. The good thing about network marketing is that you do not need years of training or a degree in marketing to begin your career. The bad thing about network marketing is that you do not need years of training or a degree in marketing to begin your career.
Network marketing has long been a mainstay of the offline world, but now the internet, Web 2.0, Google, Yahoo!, Squidoo and the other new social sites have made it a necessity to become acquainted with basic internet tools as well. Keeping up with all this may or may not be a challenge depending on your experience, but the costs should not keep them out of your reach. If you have a marketing budget already established, you are ahead of the game. If not, there are plenty of resources available today which will take you from where you are now to where you want to be.
While some of them are free or are available at little cost, be prepared to spend some money. To be sure, you can post ads at the corner coffee shop or put flyers on car windshields, but do these things build confidence or show any permanency in your business? If this is truly the business you want to be in, treat it as a business and not as a hobby. The result of any good business is that it is self-supporting. Your business can be too, even in the early stages if you monetize all areas of your efforts along the way, not just the end sale of your product.
There are tools that are common to all network marketers and there are some that are specific to the niche you have chosen, but one that is an absolute necessity is your own website.
True, you can post your own blog, publish a lens or hub page or even use YouTube as your source of advertising with no out of pocket expense. These all work quite effectively and are recommended sources of advertising, but what is the main reason for this advertising? It is to drive traffic to you! Without your own website the only choice you have is to send your traffic to a company replicated web site just like a thousand other people are doing.
Guess what? When your new customer needs additional support or service, where do they go? To you? Guess again, you’ve shown them where to go and it wasn’t to you.
Having your own website, with your contact information and your content establishes you as the expert. You provide the service, you supply the support. If anything happens to the company you are working with or if you decide to make a change, you still have your credibility and better still, you still have your customers.
Building a website used to be a daunting task. The good news is that web sites are now relatively inexpensive these days. An excellent choice is Site Build It! which has online tools that walk you through the steps to create a great looking and functional site. Site Build It! supplies the outlines, color schemes, images and graphics. They even show you how to choose your niche and how to add your own content using the correct keywords which will have the search engines looking for you.
Another reason to have your own website is to have your own lead capture pages. These capture pages are what generate your own list of qualified leads. The ability to have people opt-in to an email listing that is maintained by you alone is a great way to build up a list of repeat customers. These are people who have opted-in for your products and are waiting to hear from you.
How is this different from buying leads from a third party source?
The leads you buy from a third party are unqualified. An unqualified lead is just what the name implies, unqualified. What good does it do to buy a list of ten or twenty thousand email addresses or phone numbers from people who never wanted your services in the first place? What happens when you do eventually reach the hundred or so who actually answer their phone or open your email? They are probably unresponsive at best and are most likely hostile because they have no interest in what you have to offer.
And even if you do find someone willing to talk to you, you should not expect too much from this lead as they have probably already been contracted by ten other people who bought the same list you just did. While it is possible to build a business this way, it is all dependent on your own time and effort to reach people one at a time. Do you really want to be a salesperson or would you rather be a true network marketer? Marketing and more importantly, attraction marketing should be our focus instead of the one on one sales technique which quit working the minute we do.