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How to Market Your New MLM

Here’s the gist of a response I gave to a question the other day on how to market an MLM online.

Before we get into some ideas, let’s get firmly fixed in your mind that if you want to generate income from marketing your MLM online you’ll need to work at it!

Please ignore all the hype you probably heard prior to signing up about how this is a ticket to a 6 figure income because of the power of leverage etc, etc.

The truth is: it takes work. Lots of work.

OK, so firstly consider your business model. Many MLM’s encourage you to go after your friends and family. Not only is this often discouraging, it’s also not a sustainable business model, if only because you have a limited number of friends and family.

If you’re serious about this, what you really need to do is to build a sustainable business that does NOT rely on your social circle.

So how quickly do you need to make money on this…? If earning fast income is important then you’ll need to look at paid advertising channels through which to promote, at least initially.

Please be sure to check out your MLM Terms & Conditions carefully and understand what you’re allowed to do with regard to promoting your product, because some MLM’s have restrictions

Advertising channels

Among paid channels, then, Pay Per Click is one of the most effective ways to get targetted traffic quickly.

But beware! It can also be very expensive, particularly Adwords, unless you’re good at structuring a PPC campaign so as to get targetted traffic at the lowest possible Cost Per Click.

That’s not as easy as it may sound, and choosing the wrong keywords can bring you a lot of clicks but few (if any) sales. And the cost of your clicks can mount up frighteningly quickly.

Always remember: traffic is easy. What you actually want is targetted traffic and that’s a lot more difficult. So if you go with Pay Per Click, and you’re new to PPC, be very sure to get help and support so that you can structure your PPC campaign properly.

There are lots of other paid advertising channels, but in my experience the most effective are solo ads (email messages sent to subscriber lists of people who have opted in for them), and paid ads in relevant newsletters or ezines.

This is because you’re directly addressing a group of people who have an interest in what you’re promoting (as long as you select the right subscriber lists or ezines) and who’ve indicated that they’re open to receiving promotions.

A good place to start looking for ezines, many of which also offer solo ads, is the Directory of Ezines.

There are many, many sites that offer paid classified ads. A Google search will bring you more choices than you can shake a stick at. While these are cheap, they have never produced an acceptable return for me.

But it is worth testing out some of the better sites, such as the paid options on USFreeads, InetGiant, AdLandPro and others. Test using cheaper options and see how things go. Just because they didn’t work for me it doesn’t mean they won’t work for you, and there are a lot of people who have had great results through these channels.

You can also check out expired domain redirects. This is where domains that have existed for a while and, therefore, have an established presence online, have expired for whatever reason.

Because they have an established web presence they’re still popping up in search results and, therefore, receiving traffic. There are companies who find these expired domains and intercept traffic going to them. They then match this traffic with your keywords or niche, and re-route relevant traffic to your website.

Although it sounds like a high potential source this, again, has never produced a good return for me. However, it’s worth a try because it’s not expensive (as long as you do a test on the cheapest option first) and I suspect it will work better for some products or niches than others.

A Google search for ‘expired domain redirects’ will bring you a whole raft of options.

You also have the option of buying leads. This, again, has not worked for me in the past. I’ve found it to be expensive and frustrating! However, if you’re a good phone jockey this is something you may want to try. Again, test it out on the cheapest package before jumping in with both feet.

Other than those, you can use free advertising sites like Craigslist, Backpage, USFreeads (free options), free classified advertising sites, and don’t ignore off line advertising.

Craigslist, in particular, can drive lots of traffic very quickly to your site, but be careful with both Craigslist and Backpage: be sure to read their terms and conditions carefully because it’s easy to fall foul of them and end up cutting off a strong source of traffic.

Building Authority.

If, on the other hand, quick revenue is not so important then my suggestion would be to start building authority. Be aware, though, that this takes time and effort.

What do I mean by building authority?

It’s the process of establishing a powerful web presence where you’re known and trusted as a source of valuable information. This will cause people to bookmark you and link to you which, in turn, will raise your profile to the search engines – bringing you increasing amounts of search traffic as a result.

Here are some ways to build authority:

Set up and run a blog.

Make sure you post content regularly that’s consistently focused on your target market so as to attract potential customers as readers. You will be able to promote your MLM through ads in your sidebars as well as directly in your blog articles.

But a word of caution: make any direct promotion in your articles very low key or you’ll drive people away.

Also: be sure to set up your own blog on your own site – don’t use one of the free platforms. My recommendation would be WordPress, but there are other platforms available as well that you may want to check out.

WordPress is free to install and set up, and many hosting providers now offer 1-click set-ups, but you’ll need to pay for hosting fees and a domain name

With WordPress there are lots of plugins that you can add that will greatly increase the visibility of your blog to the search engines, resulting in more search traffic more quickly. It’s one of the reasons WordPress is so popular with the IM crowd.

Join forums that are either focused on your target market or on marketing online.

Create a link to your blog in your signature (that’s generally the only promotion you’re able to do on forums) and respond to forum questions professionally and with valuable information.

People will click on the link in your signature line if they find your answers to be valuable.

Forums are also a great place to get ideas for blog posts.  You’ll soon see a trend of frequently asked questions coming out and you can use your answers to these as the basis of posts for your blog.

For example: this article was triggered by a question I saw in LinkedIn.

Set up accounts with other Web 2.0 sites.

Create a Squidoo lens, a Hub Page, a Pownce account, a Tumblr account and a Twitter account, and use RSS to syndicate your blog posts among these sites. Be sure they all contain links back to your blog.

Squidoo and Hub Pages will require a reasonable article with good content. On the others you can get away with shorter articles as long as your RSS is set up to import your blog posts.

Create accounts at social bookmarking sites.

Initially go for Digg, del.icio.us, Mixx, Reddit, Stumbleupon plus any others that you’re either a member of or know about, and create links to your blog posts there.

Be careful on these sites, though! You need to actively participate in the communities, not just push your own articles. If you just push your own articles you will quickly be categorised as a spammer and may end up being banned.

As you become familiar with the bookmarking sites you can join more of them. Plus, new ones are popping up all the time, so keep an eye open!

There’s a heck of a lot more you can do to create authority, but if you haven’t done it before that’s enough to get started with!

For more information check out the Authority Blackbook from Jack Humphrey. It’s free to download and goes into a lot more detail on specific steps to take.

The benefit of creating authority is that you will establish a strong presence online, become trusted and known and, as a result, get people linking to you. This will begin to attract a lot of targetted visitors to your blog from the search engines.

By definition, these will be from outside of your social circle and this will make your MLM business model way more sustainable.

Although this type of traffic doesn’t cost much money, it does take time and effort to get the train moving – but once it’s moving the momentum is powerful.

And, of course, using advertising and building authority are not mutually exclusive. You can start to build your authority in parallel with running advertising programs to promote your MLM.

What other channels have you used to promote your MLM? Leave a comment and let us know!


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mark McCullagh 17 April, 2008, 8:30 pm

    Very comprehensive coverage here. You make a good point by saying that it’s a lot of work.

    For relatively new people, it is difficult to tackle all of the above at once. Take one avenue, i.e. PPC, and really focus on that, get it up and running and generating leads, and then move on to another area.

  • WealthyDragon 18 April, 2008, 7:53 am

    Mark, hi,

    Thanks – and yes – I absolutely agree with choosing one channel at a time and focusing on that, before moving to the next.

    Keeping focused on one channel, one business, one goal etc, until it’s working for you, is one of Donald Trump’s pieces of advice for achieving success.

    Having said that, if the route you’re focusing on is not working for you there comes a time when you need to be able to recognise that you’ve tried everything and it’s time to change your approach.

    Thanks again for bringing up an important point!

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • annalaura brown 19 April, 2008, 1:00 am

    you obviously know your stuff and how to work this business. this post is very well written, nicely laid out and easy to understand. thanks

  • WealthyDragon 19 April, 2008, 10:16 am

    Anna, hi,

    Many thanks for your comment – I’m glad you found the post useful and all the best for your business going forwards!

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Andrew 20 April, 2008, 2:14 am

    Martin,
    What a great piece you produced here. It pretty much covers everything. I came across your blog and recognized you I believe from a previous conversation. Anyhow, great blog and info you have to share.

    Regards,
    Andrew Murphy

  • WealthyDragon 20 April, 2008, 11:25 am

    Andrew, hi,

    Many thanks and I’m delighted you found it useful.

    We’re in a similar niche so I’ve blogrolled you – hope you don’t mind! (Nice looking theme you have there, BTW!)

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Paul Cooley 23 April, 2008, 12:03 am

    Hi, Great post! Very good content. This has been great, I have been finding people in MLM who are understanding Social Marketing! So good job and keep up the good work!

  • WealthyDragon 23 April, 2008, 8:51 am

    Paul, hi,

    Many thanks – and I’m delighted you found it useful!

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • WealthyDragon 23 April, 2008, 8:06 pm

    Sue, hi,

    Many thanks! That’s a great way of keeping the pressure on me..!

    Seriously – thanks for your comment and I’m glad it was useful,

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • S V Ramakrishnan 2 May, 2008, 5:57 pm

    Hi Martin

    Just yesterday I was coerced into taking up an MLM product to ehlp him; hence started looking up the sites for marketing mlm. And here it is. Your well written and useful tips to make a success of MLM. But do let me know honestly if MLm business models are good and genuine, and am I in the right path pursuing it? Would greatly appreciate your response.

    Ram-India

  • WealthyDragon 3 May, 2008, 8:24 am

    Ram, hi,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    To answer your question directly is difficult without knowing the products that your MLM sells, whether they bring real value to people and whether there’s a market for them.

    The other variable is your MLM organisation itself and the support it provides – i.e. what sort of training and support and whether or not you get a fair return for your efforts.

    What I can say is that there are some very successful MLM businesses, where people have made a lot of money, and some real bummers! You need to assess your MLM to decide which category yours is in!

    One point that immediately occurs to me, though, is your statement that you were ‘co-erced’ into joining this MLM. That is NOT a good start!

    Being successful at anything requires commitment and enthusiasm and it sounds as though you don’t have either of those from that statement.

    To help you assess your MLM you may want to read this article that I wrote a while ago:

    http://www.squidoo.com/internetbusinessideas.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Kleeneze 3 May, 2008, 5:29 pm

    I don’t target friends & family in my MLM business and do very well. I let friends and family come to me, not the other way around.

  • WealthyDragon 4 May, 2008, 9:34 am

    Kleeneze, hi,

    Thanks – and congratulations on your success. Your site looks good!

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • GBG 4 August, 2008, 8:02 am

    Great information. I do advise everyone to invest in themselves by learning about SEO to take advantage of the search engines.

  • Jerry 20 August, 2008, 10:11 am

    A very well written article with a lot of great info keep up the good work

  • WealthyDragon 20 August, 2008, 12:18 pm

    Thanks Jerry,

    Glad you found it useful,

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Craig Raphael 12 September, 2008, 3:27 am

    As the owner and operator of one of the biggest review sites on the web, I have a few things to say about money making programs. I’ve tried, tested, and reviewed literally hundreds of programs and they all have one thing in common at least….they all have someone behind the scenes promoting it.

    All programs have the potential to make money but the person/representative behind the program is almost always the reason for its success/failure. Think about it…how many times have you been approached by someone representing a program and they have, for whatever reason, rubbed you wrong in some way or misrepresented the business/opportunity?

    So before you get involved with a program, it is strongly recommended that you check them out on sites like these and mine to learn the truth, public opinion, and exact details BEFORE you waste your time, money, and energy on something that is not worth your time.

    Sincerely,

    Craig Raphael http://www.HomeBasedBusinessScamReviews.com

  • WealthyDragon 12 September, 2008, 8:04 am

    Thanks Craig,

    Totally agree. For anyone who hasn’t come across Craig’s site and who’s considering an online network marketing or MLM business, take a look.

    He has tons of useful information and reviews there.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Tom Walsh 7 November, 2008, 2:11 am

    I am a member of a couple of mlms and have also tried purchasing leads. In my opinion there not good. So now I’m working on building authority with my blog. Great post. 😉

    Tom Walsh´s last blog post..Wealthy Affiliate Testimonial – Is this the best way to make money online?

  • WealthyDragon 7 November, 2008, 7:13 am

    Tom, hi,

    Good to see you here and glad you found this article useful!

    Good luck with your blog – it looks great and should begin to pull you in a lot of traffic if it’s not already doing so.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • mlm contact management 9 November, 2008, 11:46 am

    I am checking out the directory for posting… I have always been more or less frustrated with the sheer number of directories and it seems that very few are effective.

  • mlm contact management 10 November, 2008, 7:22 am

    Nice blog.. taking notes on some of the suggestions. It’s so time consuming to do some of this stuff I’d love to outsource some of the more mundane posting.. any ideas there?

    mlm contact management´s last blog post..What is the primary goal of MLM contact management.

  • WealthyDragon 10 November, 2008, 8:53 am

    Hi MLM,

    You could pay people to write blog posts for you, if you want to outsource mundane posting.

    Or you could find people to do guest posts.

    There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of time you personally spend writing and posting.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Online Income Opportunity 29 April, 2009, 7:06 am

    Really nice blog here. For the person above who posted comment 23, it is in your best interest to out source as long as you’re not operating beyond your means. Also, make sure you can trust the person doing your work.

    • WealthyDragon 29 April, 2009, 7:42 am

      I’d agree – if you’re outsourcing important stuff (which I generally wouldn’t) then you really need to be confident in the person you’re outsourcing to.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • David Edmonds 30 May, 2009, 3:30 am

    I am always amazed that at my age I can can learn something new everyday. Thanks for all the information.

    David Edmonds
    http://blog.mlmmanagerpro.com

    • WealthyDragon 30 May, 2009, 8:01 am

      David, hi,

      You’re welcome – glad it was useful. 🙂

      That’s an interesting approach your group is taking to help new MLM entrants – I hope it’s working well for you guys!

      Cheers,

      Martin.