After being on this entrepreneurial journey for over five years now, one of my greatest joys is seeing a friend own her awesomeness and launch her very own business. It’s this scary, exciting time, and I love witnessing the journey.
Oftentimes that friend’s business comes in the form of a network marketing or direct sales company. Launching a network marketing business means partnering with a company to represent their products or services. There is no doubt that there have been times when your entire newsfeed seems to be inundated with friends sharing their business products and opportunities.
There was a time when I literally had a visceral response to these kinds of posts. Hearing the news that someone I knew was launching a network marketing business flooded me with visions of having to attend awkward parties, order products I didn’t need, and be asked to take advantage of a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” That is, until I launched one myself.
As much as I love being a freelance writer, there is not a lot of stability in my workload or income, so I knew I needed another revenue stream. To be honest, I was terrified to try network marketing. I feared friends and family immediately judging me or even feeling sorry for me. To alleviate my fears, I made a pact with myself. I would do this my own way. I would not lose myself in the process. I wanted a smart business opportunity, not an expensive hobby. Here are a few of the nuggets I have learned along the way.
Follow your passion
Make sure you do your homework when it comes to the business you choose to partner with. I made sure that the company had been around for decades and was continuing to grow. I also knew I wanted to partner with a company that offered consumable products, so that there was always a demand. Most importantly though, I chose I company I loved. I was excited about the culture, the team, and the products. When you have a genuine passion for your business, others will feel that from you.
Treat it like a business
This was the biggest gamechanger for my business. I don’t treat it as a hobby, only working when I have a few minutes free or only asking my friends and family to take a look. I imagined that I had just bought a franchise and asked myself how I would market it. I threw a launch party, gave away free samples, created a community, and aligned myself with fellow business owners. This is your business, and you can run it anyway you like.
Lead with value
You would never buy a new sweater from a shop that continually asked you for a sale daily without ever offering you anything in return. By offering free value in the beginning, you will develop trust and connection with your community. If you sell health and wellness products, could you run a free clean eating challenge? If you sell makeup, consider posting makeup tutorial videos every week. Think of a way to offer real value for free. You will feel great doing it, and those around you will see that you are running a reputable business.
Only do what feels good
This one took me a long time to learn. The beauty of partnering with an established business is that you will be given a blueprint for how to run your business. This is incredibly freeing for a business owner, but only if those business strategies feel good to you. If posting to social media about your business everyday feels out of alignment for you, don’t do it. Focus on the parts of your business that are fun and fulfilling, and the results with come.
Lean on your upline
Joining a network marketing company means joining an established team. You will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful businesswomen, and they will be just as invested in your success as you are. This is such a gift if we take advantage of it. Ask your upline questions. Study what they do. Ask for weekly coaching. You don’t have to do this alone.