Is Marketing Direct Sales Different From Multi-Level Marketing?

Some years ago, I partnered with my first multi-level marketing company or MLM, not knowing exactly what a MLM company was. I thought I was just selling makeup and getting others to join me. Once I got into the industry, my eyes opened up to the conglomerate of marketing direct sales companies and all the various types of direct sales companies. There is multi-level marketing, network marketing, affiliate marketing, internet marketing and whatever other phrase that is hot for the new year. In either case, I was confused. I am always coming across people who don’t understand the difference between the different types of companies so I figured I will break it down simply for you all. In today’s blog I will focus on multi-level marketing.Marketing Direct Sales: Direct Sales is an industry in which companies sell their products or services directly to consumers through a distributorship.Basically, think of the term “direct sales” as the broad category for multi-level marketing and affiliate marketing. Marketing direct sales also goes beyond these two types of companies. There are also single-level companies that typically include industries such as real-estate and financial services. Single-level in which distributors are just compensated for the work that they do.Marketing Direct Sales: Multi-Level MarketingMulti-Level Marketing (MLM) is an industry in which individuals or an individual entity, called distributors, sell a company’s products or services through a down-line of distributors.In MLMs, individuals are able to purchase the right to sell a specific company’s products or services and are able to earn a commission on the items she or he sells. What makes multi-level marketing so attractive is that not only do you earn a commission on the products/services you sell, but you also earn a commission on sales when people join the business under you.In product based companies, like Mary Kay, Amway, Organo Gold, etc., distributors are able to buy products at wholesale and sell them at retail, which is usually a 50% markup on the wholesale price.In service based companies, like Legal Shield, ACN, etc. distributors are required to utilize the service to maintain their distributorship.Additionally, as distributors bring more people into the company and sell more products they are able to achieve certain rankings.MLMs are based around rankings that incentivize people to produce more. As you move up the ranks, you are able to earn higher commissions and earn additional bonuses.Marketing Direct Sales: The Downside of Multi-Level MarketingThe multi-Level marketing industry is often associated with a lot of negativity. Typically, when you hear the words network marketing or MLM, you will hear the following: SCAM! Before there were concrete regulations in place, there were people marketing direct sales illegally. There were many fly-by-night companies that came on the scene that were doing illegal activities such as Ponzi schemes. The issue here is that the majority of commissions were made off of bringing people into the business instead of selling products or services.However, the Fed shut down many of these companies years ago. However, be mindful there are still a few illegal companies lingering out there.Marketing Direct Sales: ConclusionOverall, this is a viable industry that allows anyone to make a solid living and for the real go-getters an opportunity to create wealth. Deciding to partake in this industry depends on what you are looking for. Fortunately, there are a variety of companies for everyone. Whether you like to do home parties selling makeup, jewelry, I’ve even seen bread! There are also online businesses.I suggest that you give marketing direct sales a try. If you are looking for a specific opportunity, I have a few options that I can suggest for you. I have participated in network marketing, affiliate marketing and online marketing so I have some experience to share.Comment below and share!

Direct Mail Postcards – 3 Tips For Generating New Leads

If you are planning to print postcards for your next marketing campaign, you will no doubt want to maximize their potential and generate as many new leads as you can. For people new to postcard advertising, it can seem overly complex or time consuming to learn everything you need to know, but even with just the basics you can get quite far. Here are 3 tips that should help you to print effective direct mail postcards:

1)    Be Professional
Designing and printing your direct mail postcards at home may seem like a reasonable option, especially for a small business with a small budget, but you may find it only costs you more over the long term as your postcards will have less of an effect. If the postcards don’t generate any new leads or responses, then they might as well have not been created. In fact, if the postcards look ‘low-budget’ that is how customers will see your business. Just because you have a small budget, doesn’t mean it has to look like it at all. Hiring a design firm or even a freelancer to design your postcards will make them much more effective as they are more likely to appeal to a greater audience. Also, having the postcards printed in full color from a proper print shop will make them look much more professional, and will improve the way customers see your company.

2)    Be Personal & Direct
If you are serious about using direct mail postcards to generate new leads, you will have to make them personal. Postcards that seem like they are trying too hard to be universal in appeal seldom actually are. If you have a mailing list, try to include the recipient names on the postcards, or at least include something along the lines of “Dear Homeowner” or some such to address the potential customer. Also, try not to bore your customers. Instead, keep any text on the postcard short and to the point. Sometimes a single line of text to peak the reader’s curiosity and a number to call or website address to visit for more information can be enough to get people talking to your sales staff or browsing your online catalogue.

3)    Use your strongest selling point
You may think that potential customers will want to know all about your business, but if you can’t capture the reader’s imagination or curiosity within the first few seconds of them looking at your postcard, it will only end up in the trash bin. Before even beginning the design phase, you should take the time to work out exactly what is your strongest selling point. Is it a new product exclusive to your company? Some wisdom only you can give? Whatever it is, find it and use it in your direct mail postcards. If you have a definite theme for your postcards they will be more successful and the design and writing phases will be that much simpler. Offering something that nobody else can is the single best way to grab a customer’s attention.

What Constitutes a Successful and Legitimate Direct Sales Company

During this time of unparalleled domestic economic uncertainty individuals are searching for lucrative secondary incomes if not multiple streams of income in order to stave off creditors, adjustable rate mortgages, unprecedented white color lay-offs, declining investment portfolios, the increased cost of education, inflation and the list marches tragically on, ad infinitum… Wall Street has been beaten to the mat and we are now for the first time in American History left with only two true Investment Banking Firms: The venerable Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. To add to the Wall Street woes, Japanese financial Goliath Mitsubishi UFJ is looking to take a 20% stake in Morgan Stanley while China remains the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries.

What does all this mean to you? It means you need to look out for yourself, protect your financial future and investigate opportunities for primary or secondary income. One of the most remarkable financial opportunities in modern day America is in direct sales because you have the opportunity to earn an unlimited income dependent on your level of dedication to your own enterprise and entrepreneurship, be your own boss and direct the winds of your own “financial sails.”

There are hundreds of direct sales opportunities, but like anything else, not all are created equal. Be weary of direct sales opportunities that are illegitimate as they will only cause you frustration as you spin your wheels attempting to make a business for yourself while true opportunity simply does not exist. However, there are some exceptionally lucrative opportunities in direct sales that will afford you the lifestyle you deserve, give you financial freedom and security even in the worst economies.

Let’s look at the most lucrative and historically successful direct sales opportunities in America so that you can make an informed decision based on past performance, real business opportunity and the potential to realize your financial goals. The most important thing you can do for yourself is look at your financial obligations and set realistic goals to meet them. A financial plan is the foundation for anyone’s financial success, proper preparation for your financial future is your responsibility, nobody but you can forge your success!

One of the most respected and prolific direct sales opportunities is Mary Kay Inc. Mary Kay Inc. is one of the largest direct sales skin care and cosmetic companies in the world. Mary Kay boasts more than 1.7 million Independent Beauty Consultants worldwide. In 2006, sales crested $2.25 BILLION at the wholesale level. More than 200 Independent National Sales Directors in the U.S. have earned more than $1 million in gross commissions. Mary Kay Inc. is a legitimate opportunity to not only build a lucrative direct sales business its legitimacy is as solid as they come. Mary Kay is one of only 20 company profiles in the 1996 book, Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time. Mary Kay Ash, the founder, is the only woman to be included. Mary Kay Ash has been designated as one of the greatest business leaders by PBS, Wharton School of Business, Baylor University and was elected to the Business Hall of Fame by Fortune in 1996.

With flexible hours and the opportunity for an unlimited earning potential, a Mary Kay business is the ideal career choice for women worldwide. Mary Kay focuses on the needs of modern women, no matter their background and provides extensive ongoing Company support, educational materials and recognition. A Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant OWNS her own independent business and is her own boss setting her own schedule, yet she has the complete support of the Company to help her succeed.

Petlane is a direct sales company focused on the $43 billion pet industry. Petlane is the creation of legendary Lane Nemeth who founded Discovery Toys in 1978 growing Discovery Toys into a $100 million revenue generating giant by 1997. In 2004 Lane Nemeth launched Petlane having recognized the tremendous direct sales opportunities in the unsaturated pet products direct sales industry. There is virtually no competition in the pet industry with regards to direct sales, making Petlane one of the rising stars on the horizon.

Petlane boasts hundreds of highly successful Pet Advisors across the U.S. who receive Company training, support and marketing materials with multiple ways of earning income insuring their success. Petlane is devoted to improving the lives of pets and the people they love. Since 62% of U.S. households own pets, Petlane offers an unparalleled business opportunity in a relatively untapped market.

In the two decades since Lane Nemeth founded Discovery Toys, she has received broad recognition for her accomplishments, including an award from the National Association of Business Owners. Twice recognized by Working Woman as one of their “Top 50 Business Women,” she has been profiled in major media, including Time, Working Woman, The Today Show and The Early Show. Under Nemeth’s guidance Pet Advisors across the country are able to achieve financial freedom providing family income enhancement opportunities for those who wish to be self employed.

Tupperware Brands Corporation has experienced a reemergence in popularity the past few years after slumping sales in the 90′s. Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by its representatives hosting Tupperware parties. Tupperware was developed in 1946 by Earl Silas Tupper. Tupper created plastic containers used in households to contain food and keep it airtight. The formerly patented “burping seal” is a famous aspect of Tupperware distinguishing itself from its competitors.

Tupperware is still sold primarily through the party, offering host rewards. A Tupperware party is run by a Tupperware consultant for a host who invites friends, neighbors and acquaintances into their home to view Tupperware product offerings. Tupperware hosts are rewarded with complimentary products based upon their level of sales derived from their party. Tupperware has over 1.9 million consultants and is sold in nearly 100 countries. However, the decision made by Tupperware, to sell to retail outlets like Target has alienated the sales force to a certain degree.

When considering becoming a part of a direct sales team, the most important thing to consider is whether or not there is a real and substantial income opportunity. There are many direct marketing “schemes” that promise unlimited income but do not have a viable product that will ensure return on investment of time and money. Proceed with caution when doing your research and seek out direct sales companies that have either proven leadership or a track record that illustrates growth. The direct sales industry is an excellent opportunity for you to hedge your financial future against the ups and downs of an untamed market and achieve substantial financial stability. I wish you luck, success and the ability to achieve your financial dreams. Your best days are before you, I wish you the best of luck!