So how do people get duped into taking on a second job as a contract salesperson for a company, effectively being a contract employee, and getting paid less than they do at their day jobs? They are lied to.
If you claim to be in business for yourself, I challenge you to take a look at your current business model. Many people think they are in business for themselves, believing they are working toward leaving the employee world behind. Truth is, they are only shifting how they get paid, but they are still basically an employee.
Lately, in one of my Facebook groups, there has been a lot of talk about ownership. How can you say you have a business when you do not own anything? If the business has no assets, it’s not a business.
This is, of course, pertaining to many people who are involved in the MLM or network Marketing industry. If you are with one of these companies, you are most likely simple a contract sales person. You are effectively a contract employee of that company. I know they tell you that you own your own business, but if all you do is promote the pages your company provides you, and do nothing to develop a brand of your own, you DO NOT own a business. You are still an employee, you just don’t get paid as well.
Then you see some folks who are crushing it. You know the ones. The 1 percenters. There is a lot that could be learned from these people, but one thing is the key to it all. They have figured out a way to own something. They have gone beyond simply being a contract sales person and taken ownership of their own business.
Both the new person and the big shot are selling the exact same products to the exact same target market. So what is the difference? Ownership.
Look at it this way. WalMart does the same thing. They sell other people’s products. They do not own the company that makes the stuff. Even their store brands are made by someone else, they just have their own label slapped on it. Ownership is not in the products they offer, it’s in themselves.
Much like WalMart, your brand needs to be yourself. If the name of your company or products appears anywhere in your marketing, you have missed the point entirely. WalMart may not own the products, but they have assets. They have stores. They have warehouses. They have a “brand”. In this instance, you don’t need a physical store. You need virtual real estate.
You MUST have a website that you own, on your own domain. It’s not optional. Don’t bother with blogger or wordpress.com or any other free blog. Those can be used for backlinking and overall branding, but we’ll talk about that another time. First thing first is, find a domain name. Your name will work if available, but don’t do the clique thing like, “workwithjohndoe.com” like so many people do. Either use just your name or come up with something else that describes what you do. Actually, if you are going to use anything other than our name, then you will want to handle that first. That’s a topic for another time though.
Now, it’s a good idea to have more than one offering. If you only sell products from one company, and that company closes, then you are left scrambling. But, if you have built a brand, and your team is behind that brand, then you can pick it up and move to another product line fairly easily. I know several people who have actually done this. They have created something greater than themselves, and much greater than a single company they represent. They have created a brand that stands on its own. They have a solid web presence, a sizable team, and usually several streams of income. Much like WalMart does not only carry Nabisco brand products, having only offerings from a single company could be disastrous for your online business. Just be careful, and read your contracts (often referred to as the Policies and Procedures). Some companies do not allow you to offer products from other network marketing companies. If that’s the case you have a decision to make. Either find a different company to rep, or find other things to offer.
To recap, what have we learned today?
- Your Brand is paramount. if you built a strong enough brand presence, you can carry any lines of products.
- Your Brand must have assets. Web and social real estate is a must for branding online. Free alternatives are not an option if you are serious about building a brand.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Having multiple offerings helps you. Seth Godin said it best, “Your job isn’t to find more customers for your product. It’s to find more products for your customers”. Let that sink in for a minute.
As I’ve stated, I left the Network Marketing world a few years ago, but I still see the trends. I also admin a Facebook Group called Post-Promote-Profit. There are business owners of all kinds in there, from small retail shops to MLM’ers. If you have a business, come see what we’re all about. We love to promote our group members.
Don’t let a company turn you into their employee, be a Business Owner. Build your won brand first.