If you are not familiar with the term - MLM is short for multi-level marketing. Multi-level marketing is a sales strategy used by companies to sell their products or services. What is unique about the strategy is that marketing is carried out by people rather than through traditional means such as billboards and other forms of advertisements. Companies use people to promote their product or service through word of mouth, presentations or events. The employees then get compensated for selling products either through commission or a bonus. When most people hear the term multi-level marketing, in my experience, reactions tend to vary from the very positive to very cynical.
As mentioned, with MLM companies, the most popular method to get paid is by recruiting individuals into the business to partake in the selling of the product or the service and this is exactly where it can get messy! This is because companies make it lucrative to recruit individuals to join you in marketing and selling their products. You can also earn money from any individuals you have recruited via commission or a compensation plan. The compensation plan might look something like the image below. Companies differ the way they offer money for recruitment whether that be residual income or percentages of your downline sales.
In 2018, my friend approached me with a business opportunity to make a lot of money and become financially free. Long story short, he wanted me to join IMastery Academy (formally known as Imarketslive). They are a large MLM company who sells services to teach you how to trade the forex market. I was interested in learning how to trade the forex market and the opportunity to network so I joined after a few meetings. I paid around £230 for access to the forex training courses and products.
Shortly after joining, I noticed the employees (including myself at the time), were much more motivated to recruit people to receive a cheque rather than learning how to trade. I am no forex expert but I think the reason being was because learning how to trade the forex market as a retail trader is very difficult and requires experience in the market. However, time wasn’t really on my side as the company had a monthly fee to pay for the forex course. At the time I couldn’t afford it, so the alternative option was to recruit other individuals to buy the course and get paid from them joining via a compensation plan as previously shown. This way I could fund the monthly subscription.
This was a pivotal moment in my life as I had to rapidly upskill myself to be successful. That required me to read certain books on leadership, learn how to pitch, network with everybody I came into contact with, learn how to close deals... be persuasive etc. It was only a matter of time until I started to realise my personal development was skyrocketing. Although this was an amazing personal experience I started to question the purpose of why I was doing it. I realised that I wasn’t doing it because I believed that the individuals I was recruiting will learn how to trade then become financially free. This was a problem for me, so I stopped immediately and left the company as I came to realise I didn’t want to become a trader and felt that recruiting people was unsustainable.
Are you thinking of joining a MLM company?
If you are thinking of joining a MLM company do not use my personal experience as your sole deciding factor as it was only one company and everyone's experiences differ. They are many MLM companies with different cultures, products or services such as:
Do list any others in the comments. I still have good friends who work in the industry and are fairly successful with a steady income and exponential personal growth. My advice is to do your research before you join any organisation in the MLM industry. This includes speaking to people who are in the organisation and others that have left. Ask yourself questions. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Is your impact meaningful? Are you in it solely for money? Does this move contribute towards your long term goal? These questions can help shape your why which will directly affect your performance if you were to get involved.
If you want to know more about my experience, feel free to get in touch. Please ensure to subscribe to my mailing list and make an account on my website for the latest articles and access to exclusive content to help you win in life.