Sell your product or service without having to do anything? Successful marketing without any budget? Becoming rich and being seen as a hero? That sounds way too good to be true! And actually, it is. In this blog we tell more about this form of marketing, also called multi level of people marketing. Because does this marketing actually work?
What is multi level marketing/people marketing?
Multi level marketing is a form of marketing where the products or services are sold by people you recruited, which you then make money from again. Think of it as a pyramid: you're putting together a team of vendors who're putting in other salespeople, and you catch commission seen here every time. The products are sold to everyone, including non-sellers. Hence the term 'people marketing'; the marketing is done through people and not through advertisements or other types of online or offline marketing.
Think of Herbalife or Tupperware, for example. You can then become a seller of their products and create all kinds of sales opportunities, such as a Tupperware party where you invite your friends to your home and an experienced seller (someone higher up your team) comes along to present the products. If an x number of products are sold, you will receive a commission and perhaps bonus points that will allow you to grow to the next level. As a seller, you have two goals or features: sell the products or services and find new sellers for your team. The model is based on commissions and other types of rewards.
If you bring in good people who sell a lot, you get a lot of commission. Are they bringing in good people? Then you get commissioned about their sales as well. This creates a passive income: making money when you don't do something for it. Normally you work a number of hours and receive your salary or income over these hours, but through people marketing it works differently. With a passive income, you can make money while lying on the beach and getting rich without having to spend time on it. It sounds essentially innocent and very attractive. But that is precisely the problem.
What's wrong with multi level marketing?
What these companies do very well is focus on the special benefits and respond to emotion. You can do business without having to invest or book a lot. You deserve a passive income. You get free training and the chance to show what a good trainer or manager you are. The sellers know exactly what the benefits are and how to present them. However, there is one problem: it is not as easy as it seems. You work up to the position of such a successful trainer - that takes a lot of time and commitment. Most people can't do it. You also have to pay for a starter kit at the beginning of the journey and feel like failure every time you want to stop, as you've put so much time and money into it. Finally, people marketing is also associated with brainwashing. The founders are seen as a kind of gods and you are motivated to sell as many products as possible and recruit people - otherwise all your money and time has been for nothing.
If you want to get it right, it takes more time than a full-time job.
Documentary on multi level marketing
Last year, an undercover journalist made a documentary on the subject, interviewing all kinds of vendors in England and signing up for various programmes herself. Some of her shocking findings:
- Only 0.01 manages to generate an income of more than €10,000 per month. However, these are the people who are promoted as 'whatever you can become very easy'.
- If you want to get it right, it takes more time than a full-time job. For example, a young mother indicated that she was still working during her contractions.
- If you want to leave the community, you're so resented that many stay anyway.
- The starter kit often costs hundreds of euros, so the companies already make a lot of money from this.
- The 'superstars' give training to respond to weaknesses. For example, a travel social influencer said: 'If someone posts a comment on my post that they like my clothes so much but doesn't have that much money for it, it's an instant opportunity i have to respond to. I can immediately ask if she's interested in earning a passive income so she can live just like me.'
Why multi level marketing doesn't work
Now you may think you're not going to fall for this, that you can do it or that it's not as bad as it looks. Yet it still seems to 'happen to a lot of people'. Multi level marketing seems great, but it's not. For a very small minority it's great and they live the dream. But they too have had to work very hard to get there and you may wonder how honest and transparent they have been.
We would like to be transparent about our marketing: because yes, online marketing takes time and money. Setting up a Facebook or Instagram marketing campaign is an intensive process, in which we communicate a lot with the customer and do extensive research. And there's a price tag on that. But we are honest in what we do for you, what you pay for this and also what you get in return. We can show you case studies of real companies, where online marketing has worked. We have references from companies that are genuinely satisfied with us. What you see is what you get.
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