Multi Level Marketing: Is it Right for You?

Many of you may be familiar with the term ‘multi-level marketing’. You might have heard of Amway, Mary Kay, or Herbalife, or even think that you know someone who is involved in direct sales.

Although there is some truth to this, MLM is a very broad term that refers to various different business models. Different companies might sell the same product but their approach to selling might be completely different. One could argue that the definition of ‘multi-level marketing’ really is ‘multi-tiers marketing’. This article will try to guide you through the various ways in which multi-level marketing can (and probably should) be approached so that you can make the right decision for your business.

Traditional MLM Vs Newer, More Tech-Savvy Models

One of the major turning points in the history of multi-level marketing was probably when Amway transitioned from being a ‘traditional’ MLM to embracing new technology and creating online stores and social media platforms. With the shift to online marketing, it became possible to create businesses that were much more flexible and adaptable. It also became possible to create much more effective marketing campaigns, target much more specific groups of people, and follow up with analysis of these efforts.

This is not to say that all traditional MLM companies are obsolete; quite the opposite, there still exist some very real and established companies in the field that have been around for decades. However, the flexibility that comes with new technologies makes it much easier to identify and target the right audience for your products, or to find new products that your audience would love to purchase. This makes the task of selling much more attractive.

Traditional MLM Vs Newer, More Tech-Savvy Models

Traditional MLM Vs Newer, More Tech-Savvy Models

In a nutshell, traditional MLM is the method in which most people are probably most familiar with. This method of marketing generally entails that you are either personally sponsored by a company or that you work through a network of ‘independent contractors’ (also known as ‘distributors’ or ‘consultants’) who are individually responsible for bringing in revenue.

These consultants (or distributors) are responsible for obtaining customers and converting them into paying customers. They usually receive only modest commissions and fees that are paid out of the company’s pockets. The business models of traditional MLM companies generally provide some customer support but only when you are personally buying the product or service in question. The idea is that you are essentially building your own mini-marketing network all by yourself.

The good news is that newer, more tech-savvy models have emerged that allow for much more complicated and sophisticated marketing programs. Companies like Ellevest allow you to not only market their financial products but also the lifestyle and social change that they promote through their platform. Imagine being able to sell ethical veganism or yoga-paddles (I’m not making this up).

One of the major downsides to traditional MLM is that it is very labor-intensive and requires a lot of effort on your part to build your network. On the plus side, you are able to diversify your business and potentially create a passive income stream. It also provides you with the opportunity to be your own boss and work remotely.

Top Reasons To Buy From Local Merchants

The key reason why you might want to buy from a small business rather than a large corporation is that you can often find much better deals and discounts if you do business with smaller companies. Even better, you are supporting a local business that is much more likely to appreciate your custom and engage with you. Here are some other great reasons to buy from local merchants:

  • You can support your favorite charities through local businesses.
  • You can find unique products that the large companies do not offer.
  • You can get much faster service than through large corporations.
  • You can often find better deals from small businesses due to their tighter market.
  • If you order a pizza, it will be delivered by a local pizza shop, rather than a large corporation.
  • Local businesses appreciate your business due to its size, so you can gain access to exclusive deals and discounts.
  • If a local business appreciates your business, they are more likely to offer you better service.
  • Due to their size, you can negotiate the price with small businesses, or get some great bargains if you buy in bulk.

The Downsides Of Buying Products From Large Companies

There are several downsides to buying products from large companies. One of the biggest is that you have little to no control over the quality of the product. If you are purchasing a massive amount of merchandise (in some cases, this could be hundreds or thousands of pieces) you will have no way of knowing whether or not the product is of good quality until you receive it. This can be a risky affair, particularly if you have never bought from this particular company before or if the quality is sub-par.

Another downside to buying from large companies is that you have little to no control over the delivery of the product. With large corporations, you are generally relying on them to deliver the product to you on time and, as much as possible, in good condition. Although this is usually the case, large corporations can get overwhelmed by the number of orders they receive and might not be able to fulfill them all on time. In some cases, this could result in your product being delayed and even arrive damaged. This is why you should try to purchase small, local businesses rather than large corporations if you can when ordering products online.

A further downside to buying from large corporations is that you have little to no control over the customer service provided by these companies. If you have a problem with the product that you are buying, you have no way of getting in contact with the company (except, perhaps, through social media).

Last but not least, large companies can get extremely expensive when it comes to buying products in bulk. If you do not buy wholesale, you will have to pay a premium for each of the products you purchase individually. This can add up quickly, particularly if you are buying a large amount of products.

Who Is Buying All This Product?

If you are wondering who exactly is ordering all of this product, there are a couple of demographic groups that you should look out for: