Grace and I met in the same network marketing company. We had been interacting at very superficial level in the course of activities surrounding the business but had never really talked on a personal level. Grace was quiet, reserved and seemed to mind her own business. I had never seen her stand out in a crowd or volunteer to do anything during events.
Grace and I are friends on Facebook so I see her online activities. Her posts portray someone who is very enthusiastic about the product she is promoting. She posts photos of herself with the product almost on a daily basis.
She seems not to have a business page, blog, YouTube channel or any other efforts to enable her build a following. It is possible that some people who learn about the product she promotes from her end up buying from other people because she seems not to have a way of collecting contacts of the people she is markets to.
Another gap I noticed in Grace’s online efforts is that she does not post content. She only posts photos of herself with the product, or photos of the product and a sentence or two about how awesome the product is. She also posts a lot about the product in many different Facebook groups. Why would one choose to buy the product from Grace and not from someone else? What extra value is she offering, since the product is the same as what someone else in the same company is selling?
On this particular day during a company event, Grace and I sat together at the time of refreshments. We finally got a chance to talk one on one and get to know one another well. We got to talking about the business and her growth. It was during those moments of chatting that I asked her how her online efforts had impacted her growth so far. She had been with the company for around two years and had not attained even the first rank.
Her response was not rosy at all. She told me that she had been active online for slightly over a year and she had had no results to show whatsoever. It was like everyone just ignored her and for those who did contact her, they always promised to get back to her but never did. It always ended up the same way; they would initially pick up her follow up calls but would eventually stop picking.
Her persistent online efforts had not translated into business. In other words, she had experienced no growth whatsoever since she started her online efforts.
“Brands that stand out from the competition are purposefully disruptive or different” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive
I have been in the network marketing industry for over 5 years, an industry where most people give up and quit prematurely. I built a successful network marketing business and was a ranked leader in the company I had partnered with. I was also a trainer in the industry for a number of years.
Why do some people succeed in network marketing while others have nothing but horror stories to tell about it? What is the difference between the successful people in this industry and everyone else? Is it that they are the people who joined the company first? Is it an advantage of time?
The Power Of Personal Branding
Success begins with a vision. Where do you see yourself 10, 20 or even 30 years from now? Each and every one of us is unique. You alone can determine what makes you happy; what kind of family makes you happy. Having kids? How many kids? Living a fast-paced life in the city? Having a public life? Having a following or fan base? Living a quiet life in the countryside engaging in farming? Rising to the top of the corporate ladder? Building a successful business? Being able to travel and see the world? What really makes you come alive? What brings a smile to your face and makes your life worth living?
The first step we take when we begin the network marketing journey is formulating our ‘WHY’. Having a clearly formulated ‘WHY’ separates successful people from failures. Where am I today and where do I want to be 10, 20 years from now and WHY?
Something that is common with most people who have horror stories about the network marketing industry is that they had no clear plan, no road map. They joined the industry because someone persuaded them to do so. They did not take time to understand what they were getting themselves into or what they would be required to do in order to achieve their goals, that is if they had set goals in the first place.
I like to explain the ‘WHY’ as the life’s purpose. ‘I dropped out of school because of poverty. I am doing this in order to ensure that no other child will drop out of school because the parents cannot afford to keep the child in school. My goal is to transform 1 million lives in low-resource settings in the next 10 years.’ That is purpose. Everything that I do in my career is geared towards my life purpose.
Venturing into something with no life purpose is like beating the air. Purpose is like the goal post in life. No matter how challenging the going gets, the determination to score keeps you going, helps you to weather the tough times. Nothing in this life is easy but purpose keeps one going.
Is it easy to win a gold medal at the Olympics? How many years of preparations does it take to become a successful sportsman or woman? Is the preparation easy? Is the road free from disappointments and pain? What about becoming a successful artist or musician or actor/actress?
If you do not have a clear life purpose you will not be able to overcome the challenges that stand between you and your goals. I come across many failures in network marketing. They are actually not failures but quitters. They did not have a clear purpose when they got involved in the industry.
They had no clear road map to take them from point A to point B. They did not invest in the learning and practice that would have transformed them from average people to top achievers. They actually had no clue what skills they needed to learn in order to build a successful business. They lacked a foundation in whatever they were doing and when they faced a few challenges along the way, they gave up and quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win.
Define Your Target Audience
Do you know who your target audience is? Who is your ideal client? Who are you speaking to? Who are you seeking to influence? Your target audience goes beyond a customer. You’re looking to build a community of people – peers, influencers, opinion leaders, etc. All these people are assets in different ways.
If you are building your brand online, who is your target audience? What messages appeal to that population? How do you connect with them? Do you give them value or are you just focused on trying to sell something?
One major reason why many fail in network marketing is because they do the business as one beating the air. They have no blueprint or plan, no clarity, no road map. They are only focused on trying to sell a product to someone, anyone. They do not build their personal brand. They have no clue who their ideal client is. They act desperate. They care less about growing their networks, building lasting relationships and genuinely connecting with people.
They are not attractive to anyone. They are a put off and people avoid them. They end up in the no friends left club. Successful people bring value to their target audience. They empower those people, transform their lives. A successful person is a powerful brand even before he or she tries to sell anything. Successful people are attractive because of the value they bring on board; not because they are selling a particular product.
Getting Noticed In The Market Place
Amateurs focus on pitching everyone and anyone. They are speaking to no one in particular. They act like a hunter with a big gun who shoots at anything and everything that moves. They are a put off.
Successful people know how to position themselves and bring value to their target market. They do not portray themselves as being desperate to sell something. They attract people to them by enriching people’s lives, transforming lives. They give people value without necessarily expecting anything in return.
Whether you buy from them or not, you still benefit from such people. They are not desperate to sell here and now. They have many people out there who have good feelings towards them, who learn and benefit from them.
How do you expand your networks? How do you get people to look up to you and seek to learn from you, to consult with you, seek your input about the challenges in their own lives?
Are people attracted to you or you are chasing them in hot pursuit and they are taking off and all you see is dust? Do they respect you, look up to you? Do they believe that you have value that you bring on board? Are you authentic or do you come out as fake?
You are unique. You want to learn from others and even be influenced by them including your mentors and successful people, but it’s important that you be yourself. Don’t be a copycat.
Invest in personal development and self discovery. Learning is a life long journey so never stop learning and improving yourself. Become a person of value. That’s how you’ll separate yourself from the competition. That is how you will stand out from the crowd.
Give yourself permission to be you and have no apologies to make for being the authentic you. Love me or hate me…. I am not out to please everyone and anyone; there are those who connect with me, who resonate with what I stand for. That is my tribe, my following. Those others are someone else’s tribe. They resonate with someone else. Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
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