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        Is the Internet a Good Place to Promote Your Network Marketing Business?

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        Another AHBBO Article
        Can A Network Marketing Business REALLY Be Run Exclusively Online?

        For many people, the words "network marketing" or "MLM"
        (multi-level marketing) conjure up images of hitting up your
        so-called "warm market" (those two or three hundred people
        near and dear to you as well as those unfortunate enough
        to have crossed your path at some time in the distant past)
        and pleading, cajoling, persuading, arguing and plain
        pressuring them to join your program.  Or organizing house
        parties and presentations to make your pitch to a captive
        audience.  Or having to approach complete strangers while
        standing in line at the supermarket. 

        Any or all of these options may be unpalatable to you, and
        for good reason.  They certainly were to me.  But what if
        you ' have to do any of that?  What if there was a way
        to have people approach YOU to join your business rather
        than the other way around?  What if you didn't have to hold
        face-to-face meetings at ALL?  What if you didn't have to
        make a single approach to someone you know?  Or to
        someone you don't?  Would you think differently about
        network marketing then?

        Well, there is such a way.  Running a network marketing
        business using the Internet.

        I've heard many people say that it's just not possible to run
        a network marketing business exclusively online.  Well, I'm
        here to tell you different.  Because I'm doing it and if I can
        do it, so can you.

        Before I tell you a bit more about how a network marketing
        business can be run exclusively online, let me clear up a
        couple of possible misconceptions.  First, running an online
        business does NOT mean creating a website and then sitting
        back expecting the business to run itself.  You will work every
        bit as hard in an online network marketing business as you will
        in an offline network marketing business.  This is just a
        different method, that's all. 

        Secondly, when I say "exclusively" online, I mean that's where
        your lead generation and prequalification work happens, it does
        NOT mean you will never have to pick up a telephone and speak
        to a real, live person at the other end.

        OK, so what's involved in running a network marketing business
        online then?

        The first thing to understand is that network marketing, just
        like Internet marketing, is a numbers game.  It is for this precise
        reason that network marketing is IDEALLY suited to being run
        online.  Why?  Because ANY Internet business is a numbers
        game.  Just ask anyone with a web site what their focus is when
        their web site is up and running.  It's traffic.  It's getting as
        many people to their web site as they can because somewhere
        in the range of 2% - 4% of site visitors will click on a link that,
        in some fashion or another, can generate revenue for the web
        site owner.  Of those 2% - 4% of visitors who click on the link,
        however, only 1% or so of THEM will go on to buy after clicking
        on the link.  Ergo, with such tiny response rates, high traffic is
        the name of the game.  The same principle holds true for your
        network marketing business.

        At its core, network marketing is a simple business.  It's all
        about generating leads, qualifying those leads and then
        following up with those qualified leads until they take the action
        you want them to take (or tell you to stop) - either purchasing
        product from you or joining your downline as a productive


        How do you generate leads?  This depends on your starting
        position.  If you already have an established web site and
        your network marketing business is a natural fit with that
        existing site, then you will not need to do too much in the
        way of additional lead generation for your network marketing
        business other than including a link to your network marketing
        company's web site from your existing site.

        But if you don't have an existing web site, you're going to
        have to start from scratch.  You're going to need to create
        a web site (on a subject matter of interest to people who
        would also be interested in your network marketing business
        opportunity or products), link to your network marketing
        company's site from that web site, submit your site to the
        search engines (and employ all the myriad other ways of
        driving traffic to it) and you're going to have to start
        publishing an ezine (electronic newsletter) on a relevant
        subject and on a regular basis and build a sizeable subscriber
        list (again using a variety of different methods). 

        To generate significant traffic to your site and subscribers to
        your ezine is going to take time.  Lots of it.  Months, in fact. 
        You should probably allow a year before it's at a size that will
        make much of a difference.

        In the meantime, you're going to have to generate leads in
        other ways.  The two primary effective methods are paid
        advertising (both for your network marketing business
        opportunity and the products your business promotes) and
        you can pay for leads.


        Unlike the traditional, offline ways of generating leads for a
        network marketing business, by definition, the leads you
        generate online are prequalified.  For example, if you're trying
        to generate leads offline, you're talking to everyone you can
        at every opportunity.  You may be speaking with someone
        ahead of you in line at the bank or supermarket, a young
        mother you run into when picking up your kids from school,
        and any other number of people you come across in your day
        to day activities. 

        The problem is, as you have no idea whether these people
        are even remotely candidates for your opportunity, you can
        waste a LOT of time talking with people who are poor prospects
        for your business. 

        On the other hand, if you've created a web site on a topic
        of relevance and interest to the people who would also be
        interested in your network marketing opportunity, by definition
        your web site visitors are prequalified as, because they have
        sought you out, they are likely to be interested in at least
        learning more about your opportunity.

        Placing paid advertising and paying for leads are other ways
        of qualifying leads.  What these methods all have in common,
        however, is that the lead COMES TO YOU, you don't go after
        them.  If someone makes contact with you wanting to know
        more about your opportunity, it's all of a sudden a LOT easier
        to pick up a phone and call them isn't it?  Or to send them
        information via email if that's what you and they prefer.


        The other big, big advantage running a network marketing
        business online offers is the ability to automate your follow-ups. 
        Every time someone contacts you for information about your
        opportunity, add that person's email address to your list of
        prospects and then periodically send follow-up messages to
        that list.  By employing autoresponders (software that allows
        you to send prewritten follow-up email messages to defined
        email addresses on a periodic basis), this process can be
        completely automated, leaving you free to spend your time
        on generating leads rather than administrative tasks.

        As you can see, running a network marketing business exclusively
        online is not an overnight project and it requires a LOT of work,
        consistency, persistence and commitment.  But it most certainly
        can be done.  If you're serious about making serious money from
        an Internet-based business, network marketing is the way to go. 
        It's where the big, secure money is.  But to earn big, secure
        money, you need to invest big too.  You need to invest time,
        money and sweat equity into building your business. 

        Fortunately, however, network marketing online offers one other
        HUGE advantage over starting any other sort of online business. 
        An upline.  If you join a network marketing program that's suited
        to being run online (and some aren't, by the way), AND you join
        up under a sponsor who is part of a team that specializes in
        running the business exclusively (or near enough exclusively)
        online, you will have at your disposal a wealth of experience,
        expertise and tools you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

        So, think about it.  If you're looking for a way to make money
        from your computer and you had, until now, thought network
        marketing wasn't for you, maybe you should think again. 
        Network marketing coupled with Internet technology and an
        upline who knows what they're doing when it comes to running
        a business online could very well be the answer to the financial
        independence riddle you've been looking for.  Just don't expect
        it to happen overnight.  There are no magic wands in this
        business just as there aren't anywhere else.


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        Elena Fawkner is editor of Home-Based Business Online. Best business ideas and opportunities for your home-based or online business.

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