I never meant to join a networking marketing business. When I was a kid, my dad did Amway, and I was more than a little annoyed to find Amway products in my lunchbox instead of the name brand stuff the other kids had. Kids are turds sometimes.
When a friend had some really awesome weight loss results from some products from one of these companies, I was willing to try – and thought maybe I could sell enough to cover the cost. $200 seemed like a lot, but I had been stagnant in losing post-baby #2 weight and thought it might be worth trying.
It definitely was – I lost the weight, and started making money selling the products. Over time, I went to the conferences, built a team, and became a leader in the company. I loved the community, the products, and the emphasis on personal development (obviously!).
While I decided to pursue my coaching business here at TBH instead of keep building there, I learned some really valuable lessons and feel my time in network marketing set me up really well for launching and growing my own business.
HATERS GONNA HATE. There are plenty of people out there that accuse network marketing businesses of being a pyramid scheme, a scam that ruins lives, and tell horror stories about your products. There’s also people out there who think life coaches are scammers, business coaches are snake oil salesmen, and think entrepreneurship is a graveyard of broken dreams. These people might even be in your own family or circle of friends. Here’s the deal: if you want to succeed, you can’t listen to them. You just can’t.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. On the flip side, it’s really important that you do hang around people who are positive, uplifting, and believe in you! This matters no matter what goals you are pursuing. If you’re trying to get fit, hang out with fit friends. If you are trying to build a business, hang out with friends who have successful businesses. They will inspire you, encourage you, and give you an example of what’s possible.
PERSONAL BRANDING. When you’ve got 200k other distributors selling what you’re selling, you learn the importance of a personal brand. My friend who got into the company before me was incredible at this and I learned a lot by watching her. It’s the same as you’re building an online business, particularly if you’re offering a service like coaching, virtual assisting, etc where there are a lot of other people doing what you do. What differentiates you is YOU. You’ve got to be the real you – at all times.
BE OF SERVICE. In building a team in a network marketing business, servant leadership was the name of the game. You’ve got to have a big heart for the team you’re helping, because they have to succeed for you to succeed. It matters if you truly care or not. People can tell. This has transferred to my consulting and coaching business because my #1 marketing strategy is to provide value. I am happy to give every single tip and strategy I have away for free.
HOW TO SELL. This is probably the biggest lesson I learned. You learn pretty quick that stock photos and links posted on Facebook do not sell. (p.s. if you’re still trying that, please stop!) You’ve got to make a personal connection. You can do this through heartfelt FB posts, sharing your genuine before and after pictures, Instagram stories, and more. But remember this: it’s all about building relationships – the end.