I am a big fan of the network marketing model. When done ethically and legally, it allows individuals to build their own businesses with proven products. Not only that, but there is a relatively small investment upfront to get started – which allows most people to start a business for pennies compared to other start-up models.
I’ve worked with and have friends building their businesses with Beachbody, DoTerra, LuLaRoe and Rodan + Fields. I’ve not only been exposed to these products and their internal marketing models, but I’ve also used a few of them. Everything from my daily essential oil application to my R+F face regime, I can speak with satisfaction for many of the products I have received over the years.
That being said, I’ve also seen one MAJOR flaw with how new business builders gain traction to actually turn a good size profit and make money, which is REPETITION. Read on to hear my breakdown of what’s not working and learn how you can stand out in a sea of others in your company or downline by adding this one strategy to your game plan.
The Problem Most Network Marketers Face
The problem isn’t the business model, it’s the marketing strategy. Most individuals going into the business (and it doesn’t matter which company you choose) don’t have a strong marketing background, so while they may have PASSION and a phenomenal PRODUCT, they don’t make any profit. Why is that?
My theory? The myth of repetition.
I’ve been around this business model – whether that’s using the products or being friends with people who are building their businesses – for about 10 years now and I can tell you with 100% honesty that the old adage, “Replicate your upline to fill your downline” is total BS.
Now before you close your browser, hear me out!
The idea is to fill your downline the same way your upline filled theirs. And while those tactics may work in the short-term (if at all), they aren’t a tried-and-true system. You’re basically checking items off a to-do list instead of creating a workable (and profitable) business generating profit.
So while you can replicate a social media strategy or a blog post outline, you can’t replicate THE REASON WHY YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. (yup, I put that all in caps to gain your attention!)
Going Beyond the Why
“But Stephanie,” you might be saying, “I already know my WHY. I’ve done that exercise when I started!”
And yes, you may have. Your upline or mentor may have walked you through the reason for you being here. They will help you define what will keep you motivated when the going gets tough and the sales are slow.
Problem is, they don’t teach you how to share your story in a way that makes you money.
“Couple your PASSION with the PRODUCT by sharing your story and you don’t just have a business, you have a brand.”
And you know what brands do? They not only make money but they bring value! They make people’s lives better and my work with network marketers has shown me over the years that YOU want to do more than make money, you want to make meaning.
For you, your kids, your community, and the world.
I know this.
Standing Out With Story (A System!)
You’re posting branded images on social media, emailing everyone you’ve ever met and following your upline’s scripts to get people showing up for events or hosted parties. You’re creatively adding your special touch to the product, in hopes that your Why will help sell more of the thing you love.
Perhaps you got off to a great start but soon sales started to slump. Or maybe you haven’t seen much traction and you’re one year in.
Whatever the case may be, nine times out of ten it’s not your fault.
In fact, it’s not your upline’s fault either.
The fault lies in the lack of know-how around sharing your story so you can stand out in the company, your community and to the people who will buy from you.
How to Use Your Story to Stand Out and Make Money
1 | START WITH WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Writing your BrandStory is something I’ve practiced and perfected over the last 10 years in business, but while hiring me may not be an option (yet), you can still write a brand story to get started.
My best guess is you already know your why or have a story that got you here.
If you need help defining that moment, ask yourself:
- Why this business? Why this product?
- Why am I so passionate about building this business?
- Who benefits from me succeeding?
- What could be possible if my business became a much loved brand?
- What obstacles did I need to overcome to get me here today?
- What have I failed at miserably so far?
- What have I succeeded at?
- What’s my BIG dream – the one I almost can’t say out loud due to embarrassment or fear of it becoming real?
Most people who start a network marketing business have had life-changing results from the product themselves or they’ve seen what it can do for a family member or friend. Start here!
2| CONNECT TO YOUR CORE VALUES
Now that you’ve got clear on your why and you know the reasons you are here doing the work, we’ll want to add in any values or life themes you align with. For example, maybe you’re a staunch supporter of women’s rights or you’re all about faith in God. Maybe you are into homeschooling or are a vegetarian.
Whatever your thing is, own it! Most of these beliefs are rooted in a value system, whether they are considered conservative or liberal. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you land on, it only matters that you take ownership and can express your beliefs with passion to others.
3 | UNLEASH YOUR PERSONALITY
Did you know that each business, brand or company has its own personality? Just like each one of us comes with opinions and beliefs, emotions and sense of humor, so do the businesses or brands we create. Most often, small business owners or those new to business-building don’t know this and they never successfully create a compelling brand personality that others can identify with.
Otherwise, take a moment to explore your tone. Are you sassy? Humorous? Serious? Sarcastic? Witty?
If you’re afraid to go “all in” as they say, start small. Or you could jump with two feet and really bring your brand’s personality to the forefront. Either way, start speaking human and not so hoity-toity when connecting with customers (who, most likely, are a lot like you!).
4 | PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
I have a friend once who is a rebel at heart. Covered in tattoos, she isn’t the one you go to for pretty pictures of peonies or script font on her Instagram feed. If you wanted a ball-busting, truth-telling kind of friend, she is your go-to gal.
Recycled images and posts from your upline can be great but if they don’t match your story, personality or value-system then no matter how great the product and how big the passion, you won’t see any profit.
Potential customers will either see right through you or lack trust because your brand and who you are as a person don’t align.
By combining your story, values and personality (the ultimate branding trifecta!), you will move from being another faceless small business owner to standing out in a sea of your peers.
So how and where do you start sharing your brand? Here are some of my favorite places:
- Blog posts
- Website copy
- Emails / newsletters
- Social media (captions, comments, etc)
- Branded images
- Flyers or business cards
- Email signature block
- Your logo or website header image
- In conversation
- Guest speaking
- Hosted events or product parties