Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Before I even knew what network marketing was, I had done it. Most of us have heard the term MLM. Network marketing can also be called multi-level marketing and referral marketing. Networking and referrals should be a part of any business. There are some lessons to be taken from network marketing that can be helpful reminders for all small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Here are 5 lessons I have learned from being a network marketer
Marketing is non-negotiable. When you feel like you are always working on your business, but you never get around to ‘marketing’, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. I wish the famous quote from the Field of Dreams movie applied to business - “If you build it, they will come.” This is far from the case. You can create the best product or service, but without marketing, there are no people. Without people, there is no business.
Relationships are key. Sales are great...but very few happen by accident. Your brand is more than beautiful material and media. It’s how you interact with people and the personality behind your brand. 'Customers' are people. Engaging and building relationships with people who want to do business with you is key. What would motivate someone to buy from you? Why should someone want to do business with you? Think of brands or businesses you regularly do business with, and especially those you talk up and refer friends to. What is it about those businesses that have made you a fan?
People come with problems. Yes, with people comes problems. Be the solution. If people were so content with things exactly where they are, they wouldn’t need your product or service...or you. People pay for solutions. They aren’t sitting by waiting for your product to drop or your course to go live. They are waiting for the solution to a pain point or an opportunity for more pleasure in their life. People are willing to pay for your solution to their problem, so think of problems as opportunities. Just don’t try to solve them all, get really good at solving one or a few.
Relationships can be hard, or they can be easy. It's worth it to know what problems you solve and specifically for who. When you find cheerleaders for your work put your efforts into those relationships and more like them. There's no reason to put all your energy into people who won't see the value. That’s likely part of the reason many believe 'selling is hard'. But when you find people who truly see the value, and your product or service rises to the occasion, it truly can happen with more ease.
You are in it for the long haul. Your product, service, and even your marketing will never be perfect. You never stop learning, growing, and improving. You will mess up. You will have days that you don’t feel like reaching out or following up. But, you never stop marketing, building relationships, or solving problems. Don't think of it as a destination. Spending 60 percent of your time and resources on marketing is essential. Forevermore. No matter what your business is, you are in the business of marketing. You may be in the business of marketing clothes. Or marketing fitness programs. Or marketing, marketing. But no matter what, you are in the business of marketing.
Whatever your marketing strategy, make sure you understand the problems you solve and the people who pay for your solution. The easiest way to identify them is they likely have paid for other solutions for the same problem. Identify tasks that are preventing you from putting enough focus on marketing, and start solving your own marketing problems by prioritizing, time-blocking, or outsourcing.
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