Network Marketing Online – What Works?

network marketing onlineNetwork marketing online – does it still work, and if so, what works? How can you be successful promoting your MLM business online?

Let me share a bit of my background.

A few years ago, when I was fresh out of college with a marketing degree, I began a career as an outside sales representative for a local industrial supply company.

I had chosen marketing and sales because I wanted to make good money, and didn’t have an overwhelming passion for a specific occupation.

My parents had been career school teachers, but I had no interest in that. I just wanted to make some decent money and not be tied to a desk all day.

Anyway, not long after I started that first job, I was approached by one of my customers about a home based business. He painted a glowing picture of opportunity, and I was convinced to attend a local meeting to learn more.

The opportunity was with a well-known consumer products company, and I was intrigued by the concept of network marketing so I signed up on the spot.

After about a month of trying to prospect people I knew, I decided this wasn’t for me. I believed in the potential of the business, but wasn’t too thrilled about going down a list of names and inviting them to a meeting. I was taught to dodge the predictable question “what is this about” and just get them to the meeting. I wasn’t comfortable with the secrecy.

Fast forward to the early 1990’s. I was online with what we had at the time – text based services like Compuserve and Prodigy where you could log in and have discussions on just about any topic you cared to. About this time I discovered a new network marketing business that I liked, and signed up.

The group I hooked up with had an online presence, and they were driven to take network marketing online and build a profitable business. It was just beginning to be obvious that this was going to be a huge way to reach prospects far beyond your local area and warm market, and this was before web sites and all the cool multimedia presentations we have today.

To make a long story short, I was very enthused about doing network marketing online, as it opened so many doors. Our technique was to establish a strong presence on all the discussion boards related to home business and entrepreneurship. We were allowed to put a short blurb in our signatures about our business, although at the time there wasn’t really anything to link out to.

What happened is that people looking for opportunity were watching us, and approached us privately to get details about what we were doing. We would hook up by phone and get to know each other, and build a relationship. This was attraction marketing at its finest, before that even became a buzzword.

Now, fast forward again….as more and more people began coming online and websites and multimedia presentations became more common, a number of online marketing systems sprang up. These were good in one way, in that they consisted of a short presentation plus an opt-in, so that interested prospects could begin receiving information automatically. That’s the good part – the sorting plus automated delivery of information on demand 24/7.

The down side – many people who developed these systems began to teach (or strongly imply) that the system would do everything. You didn’t have to talk to people. Just get prospects to the site, let them get qualified, and begin dripping information to them at various intervals with the autoresponder.

While that sounded good in theory, it simply didn’t work out as hoped. This is a relationship business, and successful network marketing online is only possible if you look at the systems and methods as lead generating techniques. Once you get the lead, you have to take them offline and communicate.

Are you using a network marketing online system that brings in prospects for you, but waiting for them to reach out to you? Don’t. You need to reach out to them personally, by phone or whatever means you can, because people these days are really busy and distracted.

Often, your prospects have good intentions and are receptive to working with you, but life gets in the way and they just put off making the effort to reach out to you. Plus, and this is huge, many have contacted various potential sponsors and will wait to see who calls them.

Bottom line – network marketing online works beautifully, IF you reach out and bring your prospects offline and establish relationships. Doing this sets you apart from the crowd, and helps ensure success.

Did you get some value from this post? If you did, I would really appreciate you sharing it with others! And, your comments are welcome below!

Got a minute? Take a look at what’s working in an online business for me...

Eldon Beard, Home Business Success Coach

If you have a home business and are happy, that's good. If you are looking for the right opportunity, the right mentor, and something you can build online, I would enjoy the opportunity to share what I'm doing. Click here and let’s explore the possibilities.

About Eldon Beard

Making money with a home business should be fun! I help others create a profitable global business from anywhere using an Internet connection and a phone. Send me a message and let's talk! Connect with me on Google+.


  1. Hi Eldon,

    I liked this post. I agree that combining Online and Offline marketing and making sure that you do not lose touch with the relationship side of the business will have the most impact. Attraction Marketing is about building the Know, Like and Trust factor. That requires both Online lead generation and offline relationship building.

    Thanks for putting this article together!


  2. Eldon,

    You have identified the fundamental basis of successful network marketing: RELATIONSHIPS! Some people call it relationship marketing. Those who truly understand this do not need very large numbers of leads or prospects to build a huge MLM business. If you learn and teach how to leverage trust and influence, you may have exponential “duplication.” My own experience has been that between ten to 100 times more people showed up in my downlines than the total number of prospects I ever approached with intent to recruit. Why fear “rejection” when you know that eventually, for every person you ask, you will have more than “yes” ?

    Besides, it is about making friends. What better way to earn a living? By the way, I have noticed that YOU DO practice what you preach. The beautiful greeting card you sent me, soon after we became acquainted online, has been the only card sitting on our china hutch with our framed family photos. Thank you for reaching out.

  3. I had a similar experience when I joined my first network marketing company 17 years ago. I didn’t like the way we were taught too go down our list of friends and get them to an opportunity meeting. I decided it wasn’t the way I wanted to do things so I started looking for other options. Pretty soon I was working online. That has been an interesting journey that I have really been enjoying. Building relationships is key.

  4. Hey Eldon. Great post!

    I agree that you should putting a lot of time into building relationships but not only for network marketing but for everything you do within business.

    Building winning relationships can sky rocket a business IMO.


  5. Communication is the key! It is very important that we have a good relationship with each other to succeed! I really agree with you all through out! 🙂

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