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Affiliate and Network Marketing

2.1 Affiliate Marketing

You can outsource your e-marketing to an affiliate marketer who will take on the task at risk for a success fee. Attracting affiliate marketers will, however, generally require a marketing budget to get an initial group of affiliate marketers appointed and they will require a high return to offset their risk.
To get them appointed will require a high “gravity score” on an affiliate marketing site. Gravity is a term used in affiliate marketing that measures a sales track record.  The gravity score is a count of the number of affiliates that have earned a commission on the sale of a merchant’s product. To list your products for affiliates to market will require a sales page and a page detailing the delivery mechanism (known as a thank you page) to be created and they must be hosted online. The sales page will detail the offer, and it will present a button that is linked to a checkout routine where payment will be made. Where the product is a physical object, the buyer will receive a notification (on a thank you page) that will advise on the delivery process. Where the product is a digital product the buyer will, after payment is effected, be directed to the thank you page where the buyer will be able to select a button, from the available options, to download the product purchased. For many small businesses setting up the online sales and thank you pages this will require a budget for expert assistance. The www.Webo.directory suite of directories, on the other hand,  offer the option of “click building” independent web pages that make this task as simple as drafting an e-mail.  In summary,  affiliate marketing relates to earning a commission on actual sales that the affiliate marketer introduces to the merchant or to the Affiliate Marketing company that manages the sale on behalf of the merchant.  The affiliates are appointed by the merchant or by an affiliate marketing company, and there is not a multilevel hierarchy of affiliates.
2.2  Network Marketing

One of the fast track ways of learning the shortcuts and tools of the e-Marketing trade is to join an online network marketing team. It may be that you succeed as do others at making a sustainable income by way of online network marketing but, to me, there is another direct benefit of joining a network marketing team, and that is that you learn from others and not from your own mistakes. Be clear, the warnings about there being no guarantees of success with network marketing are there for a reason. Generally, the majority of those that embark on a network/affiliate marketing venture lose their enthusiasm for the idea. Your learning curve will be steep, and you will be in a position to effectively market your internet ventures within a relatively short period. It is a fast track way to taking the punches so as to learn how to duck the knockout blows! Direct sales is tough but with skill and technique success is worldwide. You just need to learn the trade to improve your chances of runaway success! When you have read this blog, I am sure that you will agree with this point of view.
Given a budget to do so, you can outsource much of your e-Marketing. If you have the time to join a network marketing team, you will be offered training modules that will coach you on the topic of online marketing. Network marketing companies will offer you a buy-in upgrade path that starts at an affordable level and upgrades to what is often termed “All-In.” I suggest that, if you want to explore this opportunity to make money online, that you look at a few network marketing companies at the starter level and evaluate the training offered at the lower affordable buy-in levels before taking the step to go “all-in.”
Before you decide to go “All-In” you should, at the very least be trading profitably at the lower levels. I need to stress this recommendation. The percentage success at network marketing depends on you, the product and the system you use. Be sure that you have perfected the process before you outlay the price of going "all-in."  Having studied the network marketing modus operandi of some companies my opinion is that there is a divide between those that offer the resale rights to systems versus those that offer the resale rights to products.
Product based network marketing often relates to health and beauty products. Systems based “products” often relate to providing training on the inside secrets to a systematic approach to online marketing, e.g. Certain network marketing companies offer digital products such as the “secrets” to success in network marketing. As a new person, you will have to purchase the resale rights to the digital products. You then learn how to market online so as to resell the right to your “Down-Line”  to sell the same training.
In both cases, Network Marketers appoint a “Down Line” of people, who in turn, appoint their “Down Line” in a multi- level marketing (MLM) hierarchy. Often MLM companies run compensation schemes that run to seven levels.  Legitimacy is a factor that needs careful consideration, and many MLM companies offer great legitimate business opportunities. There is, however, confusion between “Pyramid Schemes” and “MLM Marketing.”  This can be a complex subject, but it need not be. Ask yourself if the end user gets value for money. If the last person to buy-in gets value for money from the product or training then even if this person has no prospect of a “down-line” appointment they will have received value. One of the attributes of a Pyramid Scheme is the collapse of the downline who are faced with not receiving value for money. As a precaution, I suggest that you consult an attorney after you have established a lower level track record and before you outlay a significant sum on going "all-in." The fact that there is a "downline" is of no concern. The world over manufacturers sell to distributors, who sell to wholesalers, who sell to retailers, who sell to consumers. The acid test is whether or not there is value left in the product at all levels of the supply chain.
Each network marketer purchases the product from their ‘Up-Line.”  In this way, people at higher levels can earn large incomes that are generated by way of the sales of their teams. People can earn huge incomes without themselves selling the product as they earn income on their “down-line sales.”  Network marketing offers exciting prospects, but it needs careful analysis to sort the good from the bad options available.
I have often recommended network marketing and stand by the recommendation on the basis that it offers the opportunity to build an independent, work from anywhere, home based business. Going  “All-In”  is no guarantee of success. In fact, it increases the pressure to succeed as you will have invested more in the chosen company. You need to have the capital to market and to feed your sales funnel. If you have a limited budget, you should balance the spend between “buy-in” and marketing expenditure. It’s akin to purchasing a very expensive sports car (with your logo on the doors) that you park outside a popular local restaurant to attract attention as you do not have a budget for petrol. For success, your business may need a delivery van and a budget for running expenses and delivery staff.

In network marketing, you must balance your time between selling product and identify and getting buy-in from Down-Line prospects.  Marketing the product or system will depend on upon the item and the product guarantees as well as the credibility of product testimonials.  
Convincing prospects to buy-in and join your team depends on how convincing your story is and how easily it can be duplicated by lower levels.  Often the focus here is on flaunting an opulent lifestyle. Marketers focus on the wealth that they have created in classic “rags to riches”  stories.  They then sell the vision of wealth and demonstrate the possibility on websites where they show themselves living a dream lifestyle.  My problem with this arises when focus on the immediate value of the product is lost. When this is the case, I strongly suggest that you look to other prospects. My reasoning lies in the fact that statistically few will build huge teams and legal legitimacy, as well as moral legitimacy, will depend on upon the value of the product delivered vs. the value of the resale rights.
Consider the following. If you appoint twenty people who, in turn, appoint twenty people your team will have 401 people in it. From here at level 3 it goes to 8,000 and at level 4 it goes to 160,000. If the number of levels is limited and if the item has international appeal then the size of the team will be less of a problem than if the product has delivery limitations.
There are network marketing distribution models that rank ahead of franchising and which are a solid world class product that offering work from home synergy.  A single level downline coupled with a world class product, comprehensive training and full disclosure make these opportunities unique for those that have the requisite skills and attitude.

I hope that I have nudged you to reflect upon your plan to go online. If so, please share the link to this topic with your friends on Facebook and with your Business Connections on LinkedIn. To do this log into your preferred social media account and then click the share option at the top of this page.
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