Network marketing uses independently operating representatives who can reach potential customers that a company otherwise could not reach with their customary online or offline marketing methods.

Network marketing companies recruit their sales forces from associates and individuals just like offline companies have done in the past.  Let’s take a look at the life insurance industry.

You must have seen the ads on TV that use the term, “Independent Insurance Agent”.  These people operate totally independently of the companies they represent, but we are led to believe, by watching their television commercials etc., that they are actually employees of the company they are promoting, when in fact they work on a commission basis.

Many of these agents post advertisements on billboards and on their own bricks and mortar businesses that are designed to draw your attention.

According to figures by the Direct Selling Association (DSA), there are over 12 million people in the network marketing industry or involved with direct selling.  You rarely, if ever, see their advertising, except perhaps if they hand you a business card!

There is a distinct difference between offline and online marketing.  Most offline agents are confined to territories – specific areas where they can operate and go no further.  With network marketing you can operate just about anywhere your company is established.

Why do these companies want you to market for them?

Why don’t these companies themselves just use the internet, and other established marketing methods?

Easy, they want to access your network, which are your friends, your colleagues and your family members.

There are thousands of companies offering products and services, which are instantly recognizable by their brand names, and there is a myriad of products and services you can market today,  Weight loss, telecommunication services, hosting services, fitness programs, air cleaning systems, water purifying systems, debt reduction services, and solar power, just to name a few.

If these companies spend millions of dollars annually to promote their products, why do they need us, if they know that word-of-mouth is the most efficient and cost-effective form of marketing?  If you trust someone who recommends a product to you, you are more likely to buy that product over another. Those companies are very happy paying you to pass on their message to your friends and family!

There is a definite skill in marketing this way – you cannot just harass these people until they give in!  There is already a certain amount of trust inherent within the relationships you have within your family, and maybe more so with your friends.  The skill is to ascertain who within that group would be interested in the products or services your company has to offer, and to use the correct approach.  If you do it wrong, they may buy once to keep you quiet but will probably never buy from you again!

Your approach is a critical factor in whether you fail or succeed.  If you do it right, you may garner enough interest from one of your friends or family who may want to start their own business and your own success will be a deciding factor in their decision.

Robert Kiyosaki, known for his motivational ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ series of books said that learning how to network market is like entering a school for people who enjoy helping people!

If you want to be your own boss and run your own business, and especially if you enjoy helping people, then network marketing is the right business for you.  Take your time to educate yourself on all aspects of the business, and you will succeed. If you do not enjoy helping people and you are only doing it for the money, chances are you will fail.

For my part, I have found that running a network marketing business is very rewarding, but don’t think being your own boss is easy.  There will only be yourself to blame when things go wrong, and they will and instead of punching someone else’s clock, you’ll be punching yourself!

If you have a job, the knowledge you will get from having a network marketing business will give you better understanding of what your boss deals with daily. You will learn to become better at communicating, and someone who can listen and address other people’s needs and requirements.