When you venture off to do something different, you’re going to meet resistance.
This is as true in business as in life.
And network marketing is certainly no exception.
So to help you avoid any trouble with your company or your upline, this post is a pre-emptive warning for anyone building their business online.
My focus is to detail how you can mitigate any potential issues in advance.
This is especially important if you’re already producing a significant income with your company, because you obviously don’t want to do anything to compromise that source of income.
So to kick things off, let’s start with something that should be obvious…
1. Know your company's policies
Bottom line: you agreed to your company’s policies when you signed up to be a distributor.
You should have read them then, of course.
But if you didn’t, you need to go back and read them now.
Policies vary from company to company, so don’t assume they’re the same as another company you may have worked with in the past.
Some companies are such dinosaurs, unfortunately, and are so “old school,” that they won’t let you do anything aside from your network marketing opportunity.
In my opinion, you don’t want to be tied down to a company with that policy.
So if you’re brand new in a company like that, I suggest looking around at other options or accept that you’ll be building with certain restrictions.
But, if you already have a significant income, then you’re going to have to give your future plans some serious thought.
You’ll want to reflect on your options and ask yourself…
“Is it worth it to go online when I have an income to lose and my company policy doesn’t support online activity?”
You may decide, “No, not worth the risk.”
Conversely, you may instead decide, “Yes, I want to go online and build my personal brand, no matter what, because I want to make a greater impact.”
It’s your choice.
Now, if your company’s policies are restrictive, but you decide to go online anyway, I’m going to give you some tips that might help you stay out of trouble.
But first, you’ll need to know what you’re dealing with…
- Does your company allow you to build (anything) online at all?
- Are you allowed to advertise yourself or your business online?
- Do they allow you to build a brand in a related niche?
- Are you planning to build a brand around network marketing, or build a following in, say, health and wellness, or another niche?
- If so, do they see that as a conflict?
Some companies are okay with you building other opportunities and some are not.
This should be clearly stated in their policies. If you are still not sure, I’d recommend calling your company’s compliance department and asking pointed questions. You can’t get in trouble for asking questions, after all, that’s what compliance is there for. In fact, they might appreciate the transparency.
Note that some companies may view affiliate marketing as another network marketing opportunity (though they shouldn’t).
So be extra vigilant and…
Read all policies as they relate to another opportunity
Pay attention to whether you’re allowed to do any form of affiliate marketing, which is promoting other people’s products on the Internet and thus earning multiple streams of income.
It’s going to be pretty cut and dry in terms of what they allow and what they don’t.
You’re going to have to make some ‘business decisions’ as to how you want to move forward.
Not emotional decisions, but business decisions about what you want your future to look like, so you can answer the question…
“Is my company a fit for what I wish to achieve, given their policies?”
This can be a tough crossroads in certain instances.
But it’s necessary to move forward.
And if you are ready to move forward with building your business online, I’d like to invite you to sign up for my FREE 10-Day Online Recruiting Bootcamp, where you’ll gain the knowledge to start building online and attract highly-interested prospects to you.
2. Investigate Your Upline
Here’s another important question:
Does your upline spread misinformation?
Because you must distinguish between actual policy and misinformation.
If your upline is not open to building online, and they are “anti-Internet,” it can make your life hard.
You know the type I’m talking about…
They just opened a Facebook account last year, they barely know how to use it, and they look silly on social media.
Thus, it doesn’t work for them, so they assume it doesn’t work for anyone.
And if they’re clearly anti-Internet, they’re going to push you not do it yourself.
As Adam Sandler’s Waterboy’s momma would say, “the Internet is the devil!”
So they’re going to spread misinformation and tell you how you might get your distributorship shut down.
This may or may not be true.
Read your company’s policies to know if your upline is telling you is the truth
You also want to look at how influential a particular person in your upline is.
How much sway do they have with the company?
In some cases they have a lot; in some cases they don’t.
So be familiar with both your company policies and your upline.
As with calling your compliance department, perhaps – if you believe your upline is open minded – have a conversation with your upline and loop them into what you are doing.
Some of our students have had some great cooperation from their uplines, who are at the very least, being cautiously supportive or totally open to new methods. Worth a shot!
3. Join a Savvy Company
People like to fall in love and commit to their company no matter what, I get it.
I was with an old company that had very archaic policies, but I also wanted to be the first to use online methods to help this company.
And I was so committed to making the Internet work for this particular company, I said…
“I want to be the first; I want to show them that it works and then hopefully they’ll see the light and I can make an impact.”
But unfortunately, that’s not how it usually works.
Most big companies don’t care about how much money you’re making for them.
They care about their bottom line collectively as a whole, and if it ain’t broke as a whole, they’re not going to try to fix it
And they’re going to try to protect their business, first and foremost — as they know it.
That becomes the conflict between the company and the lonely distributor (or even an upline member who’s a top earner).
Their priority will always be about their bottom line
…not your bottom line, if it doesn’t with their priorities.
That’s tough to admit, but it’s just business.
They’re protecting their income and they’re not going to make any changes that might radically affect their business.
They’re operating from a scarcity standpoint.
And especially if they’re building internationally, and they don’t really need the US business to thrive, so that can become a tough issue.
So, be with a cool company if you’re going to build online.
It helps a ton.
Know your company’s policies
Know your upline
Choose your company carefully and join a cool company
But some companies are cool with that, and some are not.
Now, here’s my take on the online dilemma; in my opinion…
Building online is the best security you can create for your business
Make no mistake, though…
It may create some conflicts or issues, depending on your upline and the company.
But it’s totally worth it.
So consider your options…
Maybe you may want to build a Facebook following?
Maybe you want to sell affiliate products?
Or maybe you want to sell your own training or coaching programs?
No one can take these potential streams of income from you!
When you build an email list, with a personal brand in whatever market or niche that’s related to what you’re doing, you’ve created the ultimate security.
Because you own your brand
No affiliate program is ever going to kick you out or get upset because you’re promoting some other affiliate program.
That’s not the way affiliate programs work.
You don’t have the same worries with that stream of income.
If you decide to do mentoring or coaching as a direct selling trainer, or in the health and wellness niche, it’s not a problem.
The income is yours.
The more streams of income you add, the more security you have.
For me, the risks outweigh the rewards.
And ultimately, that’s how you’re going to attain true freedom.
With a network marketing company, you’re still a commission-based employee/contractor!
You don’t own anything.
The only thing you receive is a paycheck.
It’s not a partnership, because partners have ownership that can’t be stripped from them.
You don’t even own your downline, your company owns your downline; they’re not going to give you dominion over your downline.
Trust me, if they decide that you’re no longer a fit and they decide to cancel your account, you can’t take your down line with you.
And if you try to solicit them, they will bring the hammer down on you.
You have no control.
As I’ve said before, nothing is wrong with that. Making millions is still making millions.
Michael Jordan was employed by the bulls for YEARS, making millions. He didn’t own the Bulls and he didn’t complain when they paid him. But he also sought to earn and build a brand beyond the Bulls.
Being aware of what you own and control when making choices about your future, can only empower you.
To learn to build a following, a brand and a business that you own and control…
It can begin with signing up for my free online recruiting bootcamp.
You will learn how to attract prospects and build a personal brand & community you own & control.
You’ll discover how to…
- Get more leads,
- Use Facebook ads,
- Create your own trusted brand,
- Build your own following, and
- Ensure a secure income — no matter what happens
So if you’re ready to start learning the ins-and-outs of the entire online business-building process…
Then I highly recommend you sign up for my free online recruiting bootcamp.
This post is a shorter version of this one written by my mentor Ferny.