Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Seven REALITIES of Online MLM programs

If you have been involved with multi-level affiliate plans for any length of time, you are now aware of what a challenge it is. For me, the biggest hurdle was the technical side of it and I'm still not 100% there yet from the 'techie' standpoint. And there is no doubt whatsoever that reaching the point (in November of last year) where I was finally earning a net profit was just about the hardest thing I've ever done!

This blog is about those hardships and the lessons I've learned (and what I still need to learn). I am writing this today, because what I see out there is an epidemic of people joining these programs and then quitting far to soon. Whether it's GDI, TrafficWave, Pyrabang, DirectMatches or whatever - it's always the same story: Everybody gives up and quits.

In my case, getting sign-ups isn't the problem. For example, so far in 2009 I have recruited more than 50 people into TrafficWave and I have a downline member who has signed up more than that. The problem? Far too many of them are long gone and most of those dropped out immediately after the Free 30-Day Trial period. Observing this phenomenon time and time again has shaped my thinking and I've come to several conclusions that might be of interest to anyone reading this.

First of all, there aren't any 'magic' programs that are going to suddenly start working where the other ones didn't. Every affiliate marketing program requires two things from its paid members: Time & Money

They're all the same. So long as the company is legitimate and solid (very important!), it doesn't particularly matter which one you promote. They don't have to be new either. You can start today and earn a fortune with Amway. So, all of this said, here are the Seven REALITIES of Online MLM programs:

1) It's a long-term thing. You cannot expect to get great, money-making results in weeks or even months. It takes YEARS (two at a minimum) to build up decent income streams with these types of programs. If you aren't going to commit to a multi-year time table, then get a job, get an extra job, join the army or whatever you have to do to pay your bills, because this isn't for you. You can spare yourself an enormous amount of mental anguish if you accept right up front that this is a long-term business building project.

2) Most people will say no to your opportunity or quit shortly after joining. (see: #1) It's a numbers game. If you stay at it long enough, you will be successful. I am telling you, it's a fact, that THE reason everyone fails in this business is because they quit. That's it. That's all there is to it.

3) It takes money to make money. Want GOOD advertising? Then you're going to have to buy it. Sure, there are plenty of free promotion methods that can help you, such as Traffic Python, Viral URL or even Twitter. But in the end, you really should be budgeting a minimum of, say, $75.00 to $100.00 per month in online (or offline!) advertising methods. Too many people are not willing to spend one single dime in an effort to promote their business. If you aren't willing to part with even one penny in order to advertise your affiliate program, then you don't believe in what you're doing, plain and simple.

4) Yes, you are going to have to interact with people. Another reality that I must point out is that you cannot do this anonymously. What everyone seems to want to do is to 'hide' behind the Internet and do all of this without ever talking to anyone or even emailing them! Everyone wants everything to be 100% automated and nobody wants to 'sell' anything. Write this down: Nothing happens until something is sold. You're in the selling business! But the key is not to sell the company or product. Let the company do that. What YOU are selling is leadership and faith. Those are two things that everybody will buy.

5) You must lead by example. It's hard to convince me of how great your program is if you just joined yesterday. If you've been in it for 2+ years, then I'll start listening. You've got to be a leader. Let's just use the example of Traffic Exchanges. They are a 'community' in which people are watching others. If you are a regular fixture there and people get to know your name and face, they start paying attention to what you promote. If you stand behind the same program for a year or more, that gets noticed. To win at this game, you can't be passive. You're going to have to be a leader and cultivate relationships with other leaders.

6) You must MOVE. Another reality of Internet Marketing is that it takes far more work than most people realize. In fact, it's an enormous amount of work! Just like getting off the couch and exercising, it takes a daily routine of activity that you won't always want to do. Still, you have to do it. And once you stop or 'skip a few days' then the whole thing starts to unravel. I've seen it a million times. You must be in motion and keep focused. That's hard for a lot of people to do for months on end (I know) but it's the reality of this business - or ANY business.

7) You must have a system for success - a daily 'punch-list' of things that you do consistently and persistently that you can share with others. For example, if you join one of my affiliate programs and ask for advice, I'm going to give it to you. I will tell you every single thing that I do and exactly how I do it, though you could just read my blog posts or my ebook and figure it out for yourself. My POINT is that you can't just sell a program. You must also sell the system for making it work. People like to be told what to do and, if you are honest and they believe you, they'll do what you tell them. But you'd better have something to say!