From The Desk Of:
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The Internet and Network Marketing
The Internet and Network Marketing
The Internet and Network Marketing have had a strange relationship in the past. The Internet is practically made for lead generation and is the ultimate advertising medium - yet, Network Marketers have been very slow to get on-board. And those who have taken the plunge, have only recently started doing it properly.
Having a background in Information Technology when I started out, my first inclination was toward designing a web-site to promote myself. However, my up-line at the time reasoned that even if I was able to set up a web-site, that most of the people that I bring into my network, would not be able to do the same.
Back then I was slightly naive and fairly clueless about team-building - I had no choice but to take him at his word. During that time I shunned any type of advertising or promotion that did not involve making contact with other people in person. The problem was that I simply could not meet enough people to build a successful business - I am not exactly a social butterfly and I also had a day-job to deal with.
Eventually I had to give in... I either had to start promoting on the Internet or face failure - and failure was not an option.
When it comes to duplication, there are two main schools of thought: those who believe in "systems" and those who do not.
Those who promote duplicable systems, generally enforce their systems ruthlessly. They have a clear outline of what has to happen at each step and they teach their team to follow it to the letter. In theory this makes sense... There is nothing wrong with having a clear road-map of what you are supposed to be doing - in fact, I would have loved one myself when I started!
The main benefit to a strict system is that it is easier to correct mistakes, while you are training your team members. You know exactly what they should be doing and you know exactly where they go wrong.
The problem is that people are different. Most of us are simply not comfortable approaching strangers in malls or on the street. Some of us are eager to build a successful business, but cannot fit certain methods into our schedule. My up-line could never understand why I had an issue with cold-calling random people from the newspaper. The bottom-line is that certain systems will only work for certain people - and that could severely limit your market potential.
I believe the answer lies in the middle - there has to be a general outline to follow, but the steps within that outline have to be flexible. Duplication is absolutely useless if you cannot implement the methods yourself - it won't happen if there is nothing to duplicate in the first place.
Finding the numbers
The Internet is basically one large collection of information. Some of it is useful - some of it is not so useful... To make it easier, search engines like Google crawl and index the information, giving people all over the world access to it.
What this means to us in Network Marketing, is that we are not limited geographically anymore - people can find your site from all over the world.
The fact is that in order to find those people that are a good fit for Network Marketing, you need to be able to expose your business opportunity to as many people as possible.
Setting up a web-site is like setting up a virtual office where potential clients and team members can just walk in and make contact with you. Not only that, but if you set it up correctly, it can be an automated lead generation system for you and your team that can put you into contact with prospects 24/7.
Using traditional prospecting techniques work, but why run when you can take a bullet train? Combining the Internet and Network Marketing saves you time and money - and is that not why you got involved in the first place?
Building a full-fledged web-site is not the only way to prospect on the Internet. More methods include:
- Driving traffic to lead capture pages, using Google Adwords,
- building a content-based web-site to attract organic traffic from the search engines, using a service like Site BuildIt!,
- finding people to network with on Facebook, MySpace or some of the other social sites available
- or setting up a blog.
Building an automated lead generation system using a web-site also gives you the opportunity to add additional sources of income that could help to stream-line your marketing efforts - and keep your credit card out of the red.
Many Network Marketers are currently making the transition and things are starting to become more and more competitive - but you either get to work, or you get left behind.
For more information on where to start, have a look at the section on "Trainers and Resources."