The biggest mistake most network marketers make when they turn to the internet to grow their business is that they confuse (or the marketing messages confuse) affiliate marketing with network marketing. So let’s take this confusion right away by differentiating between online, affiliate and network marketing.
Online marketing is exactly what it says – the promotion and marketing of products and services via the internet. The entire marketing and sales process will take place on the internet. Online marketing may involve your own product or service or the product or service of a third-party.
Affiliate marketing is the marketing of products and services developed by another party and you earn a commission for closing sales on these products and services on their behalf. You will be responsible for your own marketing costs and then collect commissions for each sale incurred as a result. Affiliate marketing can be either online or offline. Affiliate marketing is a front-end direct sales transaction and there are no on-going commissions once the sale is complete.
Network marketing is not really the marketing of products or services although there is always a product and service involved. Network marketing is the building of a team of distributors from whom you then earn a small commission off the recruiting and sales efforts of the entire team. You also earn residual income ( on-going monthly commissions) off the efforts of the team as long as they remain active distributors.
Therefore the skills involved in network marketing are entirely different from affiliate marketing in that network marketing requires mentoring, leadership and team-building skills rather than pure sales skills. It has been said that being an outstanding sales person can be a disadvantage in network marketing but I believe it is rather one skill involved, not the whole.
Network marketers can still earn off the sale of product but this is not where the true wealth potential in this business model lies. It is really in the residual income potential that comes off the efforts of a large team.
The internet is now a great tool for network marketers as you can build relationships with people all over the world and then nurture these relationships via the phone, skype, internet and face-to-face interactions.
However, many network marketers are impatient and don’t realize that this is a long-term business and try to sell their company or product up-front. Relationships don’t develop in an instant. You can market an affiliate product in an instant and get immediate revenue.
This is the power of the combination of affiliate marketing and network marketing. You can market affiliate products at the beginning in order to attract your target networkers. If the networker is happy with the affiliate products you promote, you can begin the process of getting to know them better and building a sound relationship. This is called attraction marketing.
Once the prospect trusts, knows and likes you there is a strong possibility that they will want to join your network marketing company. This way you benefit off the affiliate sales upfront and the long-term residual income available via network marketing and the team effort.
In truth, it can take a year or two to build a solid network marketing business and 10,000 hours to master this industry (read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”) , so being able to achieve affiliate sales in the short-term can be a very effective way to fund your business.
In conclusion, there is a true win-win when you combine affiliate and online marketing with network marketing.
Be sure to comment and share this post and let’s hear your views on network marketing online?