Which Are You
I am often asked the difference between MLM, direct sales and affiliate marketing. I started internet marketing in MLM’s and they have been around for a very long time. Many like to refer to MLM’s as a pyramid schemes and that is because their structure does look similar to a pyramid. The problem I have is when folks use the word scheme because it sounds and people often hear scam and the real deal is that most are not. They are real business’s. Many are the top selling companies for folks to earn a good living at from home.
Many are very well known and have been around for years Herbalife, Amyway are two that are almost ancient! Organo Gold, is newer but is listed as #1 top selling money maker as of March 2013. Visalus, Monvie and Nuskin are a few of the others that made the list. All very good companies worth looking at if you are looking for a good business to get involved with. I know top sellers in each and if you need a lead for a good mentor with any of these would be happy to direct you to them. I personally am not involved with any of them.
Best way to describe an MLM is a company that you generally have an auto ship each month to belong to, in return for a real product like a diet product. They give you something in return for the money that you give them each month. Like that diet product. Than as you bring in others you are paid a commission on these people based on how many distributors you bring into the company and a commission of what they sell. It continues down several levels. So let’s say they pay down 7 levels. If someone on your 7th level brings in people you are not paid anything for them but you are for each level under you down to that 7th level. This is known in the industry as a down-line. That is why it looks like a pyramid. It stops at some level it may be 7 it could be 4 or 13, point is it does stop. There are many different commission structures that use different pay for different levels or bonus’s. No matter what if you are paid for bringing in other distributors like this example it is a MLM.
Direct marketers are different generally there is a whole line of products and you do make money on the marketers/new distributors you bring in. However this is based more on teams and you do not have a monthly charge of any kind. You are paid a percentage of product sold much like any other sales person is paid be it a car, real estate, insurance or any other type of sales. A good example of direct marketing is Avon there are several very good companies out there. I know several people in this industry as well.
Affiliate marketing is another type of internet marketer. The way affiliate marketing works is you refers others to a business and they pay you a commission for that person when they use the companies services. Generally it is a one -time commission. Sometimes they will pay a small residual for that person if it is a recurring fee for a service. There is no down-line structure like in an MLM and the structure does not look like a pyramid. One of the most well known is Google’s adsense which is a pay for click advertising which you can place on like your blog and you get paid as others click on the ads. Another good example of an affiliate program and is the most successful is Amazon.
Yes you can find several schemes or scams there are a few every month. That is why before joining anything regardless of how good a friend is suggesting it to you. You do due diligence by investigating the company before you join. Things like who owns it, and address are public record and if you cannot find them I suggest you stay away. Start-ups are dangerous business, and often a gamble. Sometimes in life things are worth a gamble. Be careful though you have something that is worth gold on the internet that you stand to lose. You’re reputation. If you attach yourself to something that turns out to be scam well you have attached yourself to it. So truly do some investigating. Sometimes these start- up companies are nothing more than someone building a list. It never gets past the pre-prelaunch and then who ever started it now has a large list to build the next thing with. Have a great day.