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Home » How To Succeed in Network Marketing – Complete Guide

How To Succeed in Network Marketing – Complete Guide

Introduction on how to succeed in network marketing

Network marketing, also known as multi-level marketing (MLM), is a controversial but potentially lucrative business model that involves recruiting a team of salespeople below you while selling products directly to consumers. The concept of earning income from your team's efforts as well as your own sales is highly attractive. However, many people struggle to achieve success in network marketing despite the promise of financial and time freedom.

In this comprehensive guide on how to succeed in network marketing, you will learn actionable tips and strategies to:

  • Identify the right network marketing company to join
  • Develop the necessary skills to become an effective marketer
  • Create a thriving, motivated team underneath you
  • Maintain personal happiness and fulfillment on your journey

Overview of Network Marketing Success

Network marketing success is not about getting rich quick. It requires hard work, dedication, and a long-term commitment. However, the rewards can be significant, including financial freedom, time flexibility, and personal growth.

With the right system, mindset and perseverance, building a lucrative network marketing business is possible. Follow along to learn how.

Do Your Research Before Joining a Company

Choosing the right company to partner with can make or break your likelihood of succeeding in network marketing. With some questionable operators out there exploiting enthusiastic beginners, conducting thorough due diligence is crucial before signing any contracts or paying fees to join a new business opportunity.

When analyzing a potential company, investigate the following areas intently:

What to Look For:

  • Company Reputation: Check the company's track record, customer reviews, and any legal or financial issues.
  • Quality Products: Make sure the products are useful, in demand, and have a competitive edge.
  • Realistic Compensation Plan: Understand the compensation structure, commission rates, and potential earnings. Be wary of plans that emphasize recruitment over product sales.

Questions to Ask Current Representatives:

  • How long have they been with the company?
  • What are their experiences and success stories?
  • What kind of support does the company provide?
  • Are they satisfied with the products and compensation plan?

Warning Signs:

  • Excessive emphasis on recruiting over product sales.
  • Little information about the products or their benefits.
  • Complex compensation plan that's difficult to understand.

Company Reputation and Track Record

  • Research the leadership team and their industry backgrounds. Look up the CEO, founders and top executives. Do they have experience with successful companies in the past?
  • Search online for in-depth reviews from current and past distributors describing their first-hand experiences. Look out for consistent complaints.
  • Check with legal databases for any lawsuits against the company for deceptive or predatory business practices. This is a major red flag indicating dishonest conduct.

Product Value Proposition

  • Carefully assess whether the company sells quality consumable products that customers genuinely use and love at competitive prices.
  • Make sure the products are differentiated from competitors and address an important consumer need or desire.

Realistic Compensation Model

  • Study the commission rates paid for customer product sales vs. team recruiting. Higher rewards for product sales is ideal.
  • Understand rank requirements to earn bonuses and overrides. Make sure advancement is realistically achievable.

Set Realistic Expectations

Entering a network marketing company with unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. While hopes of earning a six-figure passive income with just a few hours of work per week may get you excited initially, the reality seldom aligned with this dream scenario.

Managing your expectations upfront and adopting a realistic mindset will set you up for greater success long-term.

Understand It's Running a Real Business

Approach your network marketing venture first and foremost as an entrepreneur launching a new business, rather than a quick shortcut to easy money. Building a profitable, sustainable company takes immense commitment, grit and sacrifice in the early days.

While the network marketing model has lower barriers to entry than traditional business ownership, with little financial risk, you should expect to put in long hours for little pay in exchange for incredible potential future reward. Treat it like a serious business if you want serious cash flow.

Commit for the Long Term

Achieving a full-time income or financial freedom in network marketing often takes years not months of diligent effort. Even if a few at the top gain success rapidly, this is extremely rare. Be wary of marketing materials depicting these outlier scenarios.

According to industry analysis, over 60% of people in network marketing make less than $500 per year. Most who do reach high incomes report taking 2-5 years focused effort to reach over $100k earnings.

Embrace Rejection and Skepticism

In the early days, you will likely face immense rejection and skepticism from the majority of prospects you approach. Most people are highly suspicious of multi-level marketing and have preconceived biases. Expect a low conversion rate on introductions and demos. Don't take reject personally.

Developing a thick skin and emotional resiliency will enable you push past the negativity until you gain momentum. The income potential makes absorbing the inevitable criticism worth it for perseverant marketers. Stay persistent through hearing “no” a hundred times to get one person saying “yes”.

Develop Your Skills

While partnering with the right company and maintaining realistic expectations sets the foundation, the most crucial element for excelling in network marketing involves systematically improving your personal skills. Specifically, you need to master marketing yourself and your products to prospects, presenting persuasively, communicating interpersonally, leading your team, and more.

The good and bad news is that these business building skills can be learned and sharpened dramatically over time through deliberate effort. But pure talent alone will not cut it. You must commit to an ongoing self-improvement process.

Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Start by honestly evaluating your existing strengths and abilities compared to the key skills required in network marketing. Are you naturally sociable and charismatic? Are you effective at public speaking? Can you create promotional materials? Do you easily establish rapport?

Then look at weaker areas holding you back. Do you avoid selling conversations? Does prospecting online/offline intimidate you? Are you unable to delegate? By developing self-awareness of skill gaps, you can create a targeted personal development plan.

Improve Your Skills Methodically

Just as professional athletes must drill basic techniques daily, commit to systematically improving the core network marketing aptitudes through continual learning and practice.

For example, take a public speaking course, join a local Toastmasters group, or practice your elevator pitch endlessly until delivering your opportunity overview feels natural and authentic.

Other key skill areas to work on include persuasion, marketing, negotiation, technology usage, leadership/management, and confidence/motivation.

Create a Marketing Plan

Implementing a cohesive marketing plan is crucial for driving growth of your network marketing business. Without a strategy to generate new leads consistently, you'll struggle to get momentum recruiting team members and customers.

Crafting a marketing plan forces you to identify your ideal prospects, value proposition, lead gen tactics, sales process, and necessary systems/tools to skill fully execute.

Follow this framework when designing your own custom plan:

Define Your Target Customer

Start by getting crystal clear on exactly who your products or business opportunity would provide the most value for.

  • Demographic profile: age, gender, income level, education status, occupation etc.
  • Psychographic profile: values, priorities, interests, hobbies, pain points, goals etc.
  • Tech savviness: are they constantly online? Active on social platforms? Use email often?

Map Out Where To Find Them

Brainstorm the multitude of online/offline channels and locations your defined persona spends time at to access and engage them. These may include:

  • Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn Groups, Instagram, TikTok
  • Professional conferences and networking events
  • Referral programs through existing customers
  • Direct mail campaigns if target customer data purchased
  • Cold prospecting at malls, neighborhood parks etc.

Craft Compelling Messaging

What messaging style and value focused promises will emotionally resonate with your audience to capture their attention instantly? Should messaging emphasize lifestyle benefits? Cost savings? Status and recognition? Craft different variations to test.

Build Marketing Assets

Design aesthetically pleasing and branded marketing assets like a lead capture website, explainer videos, email autoresponder sequences, promotional flyers, etc. that align with message.

Create Systems for Consistency

Plot all lead gen and follow-up activities on a calendar to systematize repetition. Leverage technology like CRMs to automate where advantageous so the process runs smoothly as you scale up.

Leverage Online Tools

While network marketing has traditionally relied on in-person promotion, today's digital landscape offers immense opportunity to leverage online tools to grow your business exponentially. Combining virtual communication channels with traditional relationship building can dramatically increase your reach, efficiency and sales.

Here are some of the most advantageous online platforms and technologies:

Social Media

Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram allow you to directly engage audiences of hundreds or thousands interested in your products, opportunity or personal brand for minimal cost. Strategically post content, go live with video updates, and participate in Groups to spark conversations. The connection and exposure can yield leads.

Email Marketing

Building an email subscriber list enables you to nurture relationships over time by delivering valuable content to prospects. Segment your list based on level of interest and customize email sequences accordingly to convert subscribers into customers or team members.

**Webinars & Facebook Lives **

Hosting virtual presentations is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise, share tips and advice, review products, and relate authentically to a live audience. Record these events to repurpose content afterwards.

Tools to Automate and Scale

From lead generation chatbots to enrollment form builders to team tracking dashboards, leveraging the multitude of network marketing software today allows you to replicate and outsource manual tasks for speed and growth.

Identify which online platforms align closest to your goals and personality, then actively incorporate into your regular marketing plan for best results.

Develop Relationships

While online tools provide visibility and efficiency, succeeding in network marketing ultimately comes down to old fashioned relationship building. This involves identifying prospects, nurturing intrigue, establishing rapport and trust, communicating ongoing value, and maintaining contact over an extended period.

Follow these Guidelines for Cultivating Authentic Connections:

Lead With Questions, Not Pitches

When introduced to a new potential recruit or customer, resist the urge to immediately launch into a salesy opportunity pitch. Instead, use probing questions focused on learning about their goals, interests, challenges and values first. This lays the groundwork for relevant positioning after establishing mutual understanding.

Listen With The Intent To Help

Once prospects open up about hopes and pain points, apply active listening skills by summarizing their situation back to validate emotions plus spark solution brainstorming. Recommend your products or business if a strong fit. If not, provide alternative support freely with no strings attached.

Provide Value Upfront, Not Just Down The Line

Rather than emphasizing future potential team earnings, showcase immediate advantages prospects would gain from partnering with you, like mentoring, new connections, personal development or product discounts. The more existing value received, the easier signing up feels.

Share Your Story Authentically

Vulnerably relate your personal experiences getting started, early challenges you faced, how you stay motivated daily and what you love about the company. The emotional transparency builds a personal bond leading prospects to know, like and trust you faster.

Follow Up Consistently Over Time

Not everyone says yes immediately when introduced to a network marketing opportunity. Follow up in batches with new value-focused content to give reluctant prospects time to warm up until finally ready commit. The fortune is in the follow ups!

Stay Persistent

Pushing past rejection, frustration, skepticism, objections, setbacks and inevitable failure on occasion requires true grit and determination uncommon amongst most beginner network marketers. Yet cultivating persistency could be the single most important trait to ultimately succeeding long-term.

Studies show over 60% of network marketers drop out within the first 6 months, often right before major success would occur. Adopting bulletproof persistence and perseverance tactics can help you break through short term obstacles on route to significant income flow.

Expect You Will Get Discouraged

When first starting out, brace for the emotional rollercoaster of excitement when prospects show interest to crushing disappointment when they stop responding or outright reject you. The highs and lows can feel exhausting until momentum kicks in.

Plan for frequent morale killing experiences in advance, and have personal reassurance rituals planned like calling an upline mentor or reviewing your vision board.

Celebrate Small Wins

Hitting quarterly revenue goals or recruiting 5 serious team members are massive milestones worth commemorating. But also acknowledge tiny daily achievements like approaching 2 new people or finalizing a promotional post to stay motivated. Progress compounds when appreciated.

Comparisons Are Dangerous

Avoid measuring your beginnings against the advanced success of leaders in your company or others on your team. This faulty perspective sets you up for dissatisfaction and jealousy. Benchmark against past versions of yourself, and compete internally to grow each day.

Recruit Strategically

Carefully building a motivated and aligned network marketing team that passionately sells products and recruits others requires discernment and diligent qualifying upfront. Choosing recruits simply based on who says “yes” first or casting the widest net possible tends to produce lackluster results and attrition over time as misfits leave.

Vetting potential candidates strategically and selling them on partnering with you selectively using the following tips can bolster success:

Assess Values & Motivations

Have exploratory conversations focused on uncovering what motivates prospects intrinsically before delving into opportunity specifics. Why do they want to break from corporate life? How will more money/time freedom fuel life passions? Ensure intrinsic motivations align to prevent quick burnout.

Coach, Don’t Just Recruit

Committing fully to mentoring new team members with patient guidance tailored to their needs yields downstream leaders that replicate your best qualities. Set responsibilities and accountability structures proactively.

Incentivize Performance

Compensate top performers exceptionally to spur motivation and loyalty from new recruits. Publicly highlight members going above and beyond by sharing team wins on social channels. Friendly competition fuels growth.

Support Personal Development

Suggest books, podcasts, events and trainings that helped advance your own skills and mindset to struggling recruits. Paying for mentors or self improvement programs breeds loyalty and ensures your frontline executes effectively.

Maintain Work/Life Balance

Embarking on your network marketing journey, excitement and ambition fuels immense amounts of work banishing any concept of office hours while struggling to kickstart a business from scratch. However, burning the candle at both ends inevitably incites frustration, exhaustion, bitterness or even medical issues that ultimately decreases productivity while increasing guilt from neglecting family time.

Preserving harmony between earning income and enjoying the fruits of life represents an important element to consider for sustainable success in network marketing without sacrificing relationships or health.

Set Business Hours

Treat network marketing no differently than a conventional office job by establishing set working hours for prospecting, meeting recruits, creating content etc. Make mornings, evenings and weekends 100% dedicated family time to prevent resentment.

Schedule Relaxation

Carve out time slots for stress management practices like exercise, meditation, enjoying nature or reading fiction. The mental clarity and creativity boost trumps any perceived time loss. Burned out marketers rarely excel.

Automate and Outsource

Leverage virtual assistants, chatbots, proposal templates and other technologies to eliminate daily grunt work. Have a house cleaner takeover chores. Order meal delivery kits for easy dinners. Offload menial tasks to focus energy on high level recruitment and team building during work hours only.

Maintaining balance ensures gaining freedom and wealth through network marketing endeavors does not corrupt related life relationship hopes connected to the reasons one started in the first place.

Manage your time effectively: Plan your activities and manage your time effectively to avoid burnout and ensure you have a balance between work and personal commitments.

Delegate tasks: When possible, delegate tasks to others, such as family members or virtual assistants, to free up your time and energy.

Take breaks: Schedule regular breaks to step away from your work and recharge. Engage in activities you enjoy to maintain your mental and physical well-being.

Continually Learn and Improve

Network marketing is a dynamic industry, and it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques, and strategies. Here are ways to continuously learn and improve:

Read books and articles: Read books, articles, and blogs written by successful network marketers. These resources can provide valuable insights and strategies.

Attend workshops and seminars: Participate in workshops, seminars, and training events to learn from experts and network with fellow distributors.

Learn from your mentors: Seek guidance from your mentors and seek feedback on your performance.

Evaluate your results: Regularly review your marketing efforts and track your progress. Identify what's working and what needs to be adjusted.

Be open to new ideas: Be open to trying new strategies and concepts. Experiment with different approaches and see what resonates with your target audience.

Maintain Work-Life Balance

Network marketing can be demanding, but it's important to strike a balance between your business and personal life. Here are tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance:

Set realistic goals: Set achievable goals that allow you to pursue your network marketing endeavors without compromising your personal life.

Manage your time effectively: Plan your activities and manage your time effectively to avoid burnout and ensure you have a balance between work and personal commitments.

Delegate tasks: When possible, delegate tasks to others, such as family members or virtual assistants, to free up your time and energy.

Take breaks: Schedule regular breaks to step away from your work and recharge. Engage in activities you enjoy to maintain your mental and physical well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of people actually succeed in network marketing?

According to a 2019 survey by Network Marketing Today, only about 1% of network marketers achieve the top income level. However, many others find success in building a sustainable business and achieving financial independence.

How much money can I realistically make in network marketing?

The amount of money you can make in network marketing varies depending on your effort, skills, and team. However, there are many successful network marketers who earn six-figures or more.

Is network marketing a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is a fraudulent investment operation where participants make money primarily by recruiting new participants rather than by their sale of products or services. True network marketing companies operate legally and offer legitimate products or services.

What if none of my friends or family want to join my team?

While having a support system of friends and family can be beneficial, it's not necessary for success in network marketing. There are many other ways to find potential customers and distributors, such as online communities, social media, and events.

How much time do I need to commit to be successful?

The amount of time you need to commit to network marketing depends on your goals and aspirations. However, it's generally recommended to invest at least 1-2 hours per day to see results.

What do I do if I feel stuck and not making progress?

If you're feeling stuck, it's important to take a step back and reevaluate your strategy. Seek feedback from mentors or other successful network marketers. Try new approaches and find what works best for you.


Network marketing can be a rewarding and lucrative career path, but it requires hard work, dedication, and commitment. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of success in this dynamic industry. Remember, network marketing is about building relationships, providing value, and helping people achieve their goals. If you're passionate about the products or services you represent, have a strong desire to succeed, and are willing to put in the effort, you can achieve great things in network marketing

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