So what is this thing they call Network Marketing? Well I’m happy to have a go at unravelling and explaining it (with the caveat that it’s just my take on it!)
In literal terms network marketing is an industry. Just like you have the retail industry, the car industry, the manufacturing industry. That industry is made up of different organisations that operate within in it and each of those organisations have an organisational structure. Those structures are made up of people and those people move through the organisational structure based on skill, effort, merit, etc. So it sounds the same as any other industry right? Well on a basic structural level, yes it is. But there are differences that make the network marketing industry just a little bit different (and in my opinion just a little bit exciting too).
Let’s look a little closer at what I mean. I’ll use teaching as an example. Obviously the first step is making a conscious decision that you do indeed want to teach. There lies the first subtle difference. I’m not sure network marketing is a conscious decision at all – certainly not at first anyway. In fact, many of us (me included) stumble upon it courtesy of a friend or acquaintance. Next to become a teacher you have to go through many years of training to ensure you have the skills and knowledge needed to become a great teacher. Here’s the next difference. Given we’ve stumbled upon network marketing, we haven’t yet trained to have the right skill set! Instead, we need to take responsibility and get ourselves upskilled and qualified to do a good job. This point I’ll come back to a little later. Next in the teaching world you choose where you want to teach, you apply and you join the organisation of choice. Network marketing is much the same. You choose an organisation that resonates with you and has products that you like. You also pick an organisation based on the people already in the structure – I’m a strong believer that you need to work in this industry with people you like. So in the teaching example, you’ve now become an employee. You are a part of the structure, you may move up, you may stay where you are. But… should you choose this path… moving up the structure relies on those currently above you either moving further up, or moving on. This for me is the biggest difference. In network marketing you become a partner, not an employee, and you start on your own individual journey. You move through the structure at your own pace (fast, slow, anything goes) in your own unique way and regardless of the position on the structure of your partners – wherever they’ve made it to. Just so long as you do it the right way…
Which brings me to my point that I wanted to go back to earlier. This happens to also bring us back to how network marketing is fundamentally the same as any other industry… whatever your path, once you’ve chosen, you know the requirements, you know what you need to do. And in whatever industry that choice is made, the unwritten rule is that you behave and conduct yourself in the way that your chosen industry intended you to. Network marketing is no different. There is a way to do things and it’s your personal responsibility to know the dos and don’ts, and then be a champion for the industry through your actions.
Let me go a little deeper on this one (warning – I may well get a little passionate here…) Firstly, in this industry the number one goal is building your network. Building a network is not just about names in your Facebook friends list! So not surprisingly requesting every friend of friend of friend doesn’t equal a solid genuine network. Building a network is meeting people, talking to people, building relationships with people – it’s making actual, real life friends and acquaintances. Secondly network marketing only requires you to show people the products and opportunity available. That’s it. It is not your responsibility to convince, bribe, coerce or beg anybody. Imagine if a teacher went to a mechanic and spammed, messaged, harassed until he relented and said ok I’ll change profession and become a teacher! Or imagine prepping for an interview for a job and when you arrive the panel, instead of asking you questions, finding out about you, they decide to just beg you to join the organisation. That would be weird yes? Well I think it would be! So these things shouldn’t happen in network marketing either. Just as in all industries, when you come across network marketing, so long as your discovery is via someone who is passionate, professional and true to the industry, you’ll know if you want to become a part of it yourself.
Now on to my final point. At the beginning I said you need to take personal responsibility for upskilling and your own personal development. Absolute true. But one step further, you also need to take responsibility for helping anyone that wants to upskill themselves. If somebody stumbles on this great industry via you, then be there to show them where training resources are, share your experiences openly and honestly. But more importantly, lead by example. Network marketing is essentially people helping people. People are the most valuable asset in the entire industry so always be the best you can be. And always be you. Network marketing professional you.
That’s me signing off for now, beauty sleep calls 😴 Have a wonderful week ahead and be the best in whatever you do. Laters lovelies ❤