My girl friend Heather and I talked on the phone for almost an hour the other day, trying to figure out how to make her family a better income. Her husband works full time and she currently has a really terrible job. She works long hours, well over 40 hours a week, stays home with her kids and only brings home $500 a month. She confessed that she couldn’t afford to take any risks with their budget and unless she was sure she could replace her income, she couldn’t leave her current position. We brainstormed and came up with a lot of ideas. One thing I learned is that women like Heather, and probably lots of people, is they know what they could do to make money in theory, but they don’t know what to do exactly to get started.
During our talk, Heather mentioned blogging. I think blogging has become the Holy Grail of working at home, with good reason. You can make good money from it, but to a lot of people it’s very overwhelming. Frankly, most people aren’t cut out to be bloggers and that is okay. Repeat after me, I do not have to blog to make money from home. After talking with her for a while, I decided that I needed to turn what we talked about into a series, so I could share it and encourage others to do what I’ve done, which is to be able to stay at home full time, be with my kids and run my own business. I do happen to have a blog, but all of the things I’m going to talk about I have done almost completely independently from my blog. You ready? Because I’m really excited!
I almost didn’t write this blog post because sharing businesses, or multi-level marketing programs, have a bad reputation. We’ve all met those obnoxious women (or men) who have no sense of manners and don’t understand the word no and are always pushing their product down your throat. I met a woman once, we’ll call her Cassandra, and she was obsessed with her makeup brand. She pushed it on everyone. One day she called me up to go to lunch ‘to catch up,’ but neglected to tell me she brought her business kit so she could pitch me to sign up. Talk about rude. And we’ve all gotten those messages where someone we barely even talk to tries to convince us to go to their party, or to host a party with them because we are so close and, as their copied and pasted message said, “she just can’t wait to share this exciting opportunity with you!” Oh please. These people drive me nuts.
Here are the secrets to doing really well with a multi-level marketing program:
- Share, don’t sell.
Your friends don’t want you to sell to them, so share what you love and don’t be obnoxious. Maintaining relationships should always come before making money.
- Two ears and one mouth.
Multi-level marketing companies have these lovely trainings on how to “overcome objections” which is a useful marketing tool, but some people take this too far and forget to be human and listen to what the other person is saying. If your girlfriend Suzy is having trouble buying baby food, then she doesn’t need to buy some of your Jamberry nails right now, I don’t care how pretty they are and how much longer they last then standard polishes. Relationships always come first. (See a theme yet?)
That’s it. Literally. So, if you want to make money from home and don’t want to turn into the crazy Avon lady no one wants to invite to their parties because they always try to sell you stuff… then don’t be the crazy avon lady! Mmkay?
So, if you approach a sharing-based business the right way, they can be a great side income for you. You don’t need a blog to do it well, in fact most of the women I know who have done well (far better than I have!) don’t have any kind of website to market their products. Now that we’ve talked about the don’t that make others unsuccessful, here are the biggest things to consider when you’re picking your program.
The biggest factors in choosing a multi-level marketing program, and why it’s so important!
I am a member of 4 multi-level marketing companies, and I love each of them for different reasons.I’m going to give you a little background before we talk about their important difference.
The first is Lilla Rose, which I joined for the discount. Their stuff lasts forever and I am seriously addicted. I packed them in my hospital bag when I had Logan, I always have one or two hanging out in my diaper bags and diaper stations, I even bought a few extras to keep in my dedicated travel and snack bag, so I’ll never be without one.
The second is Thirty-One, which I also joined for the discount. I own so many of their products, it’s ridiculous. In all of the blog posts I talked about above about places where I stash my hair clips, all of those bags and holders are from Thirty One. Even my husband loves how sturdy their bags are, he commented one day how nice it was that I don’t buy cheap bags that he has to worry about not lasting and that he has to worry about man handling when we pack for a road trip and we’re trying to magic everything into the car. Of course, true to form I joined for the discount, and because when I went to place a rather large order, I realized I could just enroll as a consultant and get pretty much everything I was going to order anyway, plus several other high-value products (like my most favorite wallet I’ve ever had) and spend the same amount. Um… yes please??
The third program is Doterra, which I am absolutely obsessed with. (Disclaimer, I do talk about my oils and link to them from my blog quite a bit, but I did that long before I joined. Since I mentioned you can do it without a blog, I just wanted to be completely open so all the cards are on the table here.) I joined for the discount, and I use essential oils all the time, for just about everything from cavities to mood management to sleeping well at night.
The last one is Usbourne Books, because we read a lot of books and I really loved their Wipe Clean books and several others I haven’t reviewed yet here on the blog because Im too busy using the books and writing blog posts for you guys. 😉
Now, there are some major differences with these companies (and any MLM companies) that should make a big difference when you’re deciding which program to join. Here is what you need to ask yourself about the programs you are considering:
- Do they make good gifts?
Why it’s important: Can you market them at the holidays for other people to buy for others? I personally only want to market products that I can actually sell during the biggest selling season of the year. If I’m going to sell it, I want to actually make money, right?
- Are these products renewable or permanent purchases?
Why it’s important: Are you going to be able to sell to your same clients over and over again? Or will you have to be constantly trying to market to new people? Renewable products provide you with a hands-free stream of income, while permanent purchases often offer you a larger commission upfront.
These questions are so important to ask if you’re looking into joining a multi-level marketing program. They are important because they change how you market, and how you maintain your customers. For example, my girl friend Prayse got my mother and I hooked on Edge from Plexus. Serious, this stuff is Mommy crack, like an energy drink in a pill that lasts for hours and doesn’t have the horrible crash. If you’re having a hard time stop right now and buy some. I’ll wait.
Oh, and I should tell you I am not a Plexus consultant, I just buy the stuff because I like it. I let my mom do that, so I’m sharing her link. If you buy from her tell her that her favorite daughter sent you over. 😉 The beautiful thing about being a Plexus consultant is that if a customer tries your product and loves it, then they’ll keep buying from you. It’s a renewable product, so you’re going to keep making money each time they re-purchase, and that’s awesome. Passive income is a beautiful thing. The same thing is true of becoming a Doterra consultant – people use up their oils and come back to buy more, which provides me with a trickle of income that I don’t have to work very hard for. (Dance party, anyone?)
When we’re talking about other programs like my beloved Lilla Rose, the income is a little less sustainable. I know I’m going to regret saying this, but one can only have so many hair clips. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of them, but at some point I will have to stop buying them or my husband will have to build me a closet just for the awesome things.
Now, with products like Usbourne Books and Thirty-One, they are different from a marketing standpoint. Some products are a lot more diverse than others, so they have a wider range of marketing opportunities. That makes your job a lot easier.
If I could pick one program…
If I were only going to join one program, I would pick either Thirty-One or Doterra here’s why. I want a program that I am not only head-over-heels in love with their products, but they have to be sustainable. Everyone is always using bags. All the time. If you’re an essential oil lover, then there is always one more oil to buy for one thing or another, and then obviously your customers will need to replace them when you run out. Hair clips, by comparison, are not something most people buy all the time, especially when they are so durable like Lilla Rose ones are.
Please come back tomorrow for part 2, I’m going to be sharing about my favorite way to make money, and it’s even easier than joining a multi-level marketing business. Stay tuned!
As always, if you have any questions at all, you can always leave a comment and I would love to help you out. There are so many people out there who feel overwhelmed with their options and choices, please don’t be one of those people! I’m here to help and I do care, because I’ve been overwhelmed and lost, so I have a real heart for people who are in the same position.
Talk to you tomorrow!