Our profession was build upon what John C Maxwell calls “The Law of Connection,” yet I keep hearing the same question over and over “can you build an MLM business through social marketing.” Social marketing without a doubt is more than a trend. It has changed the way we all live our lives.
Since 2000 we have seen whole worlds go online with the launch of “Second Life.” We see people getting dating and getting married to their soul mates, after connecting with them on Match or eHarmony. In addition, during the last presidential campaign all of the lead contenders opened campaign offices online, and used YouTube and Facebook to get their propaganda across to the masses. So, I think we can all agree social marketing is impacting our personal and business life. What each of us need to ask is “how are we going to use social marketing to build our business?”
Relationships Are the Foundation
Jennifer Fong, an authority on social marketing to the direct marketing profession, shares that “relationships are the foundation of social marketing. Facebook and other social networking sites are how people are connecting, even when they already know each other personally.” I agree with Jennifer. The ease of connecting through social sites is allowing people to connect at a deeper level, because they connect more often, and are not restricted to specific times. This is especially true with single moms who are not only building a business, but are taking care of kids, paying the bills, cleaning the house, and trying to find time to interact with other single moms who can relate.
Now before everyone else starts getting their dander up, I used single moms in my example, because statistics show, that by the end of the next decade single moms will make up over 50% of the buying power within the direct marketing arena. This in an indication of two very powerful trends that we all should study and learn from. First is the fact, these powerful women are NOT acting like dull, negative disillusioned crybabies, because they are raising their children without a dad. They are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens and instead of taking governmental handouts, they are creating the life their family deserves.
The second trend, which I hate, is the fact more and more men are acting like dull, negative, disillusioned crybabies. Instead of taking responsibilities for their actions, they are continuing to act like cavemen, who can do what they want, when they want, without any responsibilities. WOW, that sounds like most of the teenagers and college freshmen I know.
Men, this should be a wakeup call, for those of us who are actively building our teams. If you want to create residual income, which will last, then learn how to attract and empower women on your team. For the last 30 years women have dominated this profession, earning the growing the biggest teams, creating the most volume and earning the largest paychecks. As the husband on one wife, and the father of two daughters, I’ve come to the conclusion… Why fight them, when you can join them.
Cross-Sponsoring & Social Marketing
I’ve talked to several leaders worry about high levels of cross-sponsoring now that social marketing has become the norm. So let me ask you who are reading this article, is cross-sponsoring really a big deal? Seriously, do you really want someone on your team, who doesn’t want to be there? Production inside of an organization is wrapped around the trust and communication between two people; the upline and the downline. And just like any relationship, you must search deep to see where the breakdown of the trust and communication is. So don’t stress about cross-sponsoring, instead focus on constant communication with your team, and building authentic trust with your team.
You might also find it interesting, that companies do not worry about cross-sponsoring as much as the field does. Let’s take XanGo as an example. In reviewing the XanGo website you can see where they encourage social relationship building among their distributors. They seem to understand that relationships are strengthened when people connect virally as well as physically. The “XanGoSphere” is loaded with blogs, videos, and photos of distributors worldwide. XanGo has also tapped into social marketing at a corporate level, with their own presence on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
I think Mark Stastny, Chief Marketing Officer for Scentsy, the wickless-candle maker sums it up best when he said “It’s all about relationships of trust!” If you are building relationships of trust, then cross-sponsoring becomes a mute issue. Your focus should be on building trust, not trying to keep your team isolated from the social networking. When a leader comes from a mentality of fear, your team will feel it, and start looking for a stronger leader.
Troy’s Truth: There is a 50% divorce rate among first time marriages, and even higher in second marriages. This is an indication of two issues we must face and address in building our network marketing businesses. First people today have a commitment issue, and may not stay long term on our teams. And second, we need to give our business partners the time and attention they deserve, or someone else will.
Empower Your Team To Connect
Don’t hold your team back, encourage them to connect with others and build solid long term relationships. I’ve been blessed over the last 28 years to have created some great personal relationships. Since 2000 when more and more networkers started to embrace the Internet, I’ve seen the numbers of friends grow. Although some of those friends are on my team, the majority are in other companies.
Let me share about one relationship, which has gone through the test of time. When I took over the helm of ProSTEP, I met a great distributor named Mark Laytin. As our relationship grew, he soon became my first call in the morning and the last call at the end of the day. I would do three-way calls, answer questions, and support his team. However, during this time we had never met personally.
In 2003, he was scheduled to come to Florida for our training symposium, when his father past away. Mark had to cancel his trip, but he did not cancel his daily calls. We would talk for hours (he would talk I would listen), about his dad, and the love between the two of them. Shortly after his fathers death, his father-in-law passed away. It was a rough year for Mark. Yet, daily we were on the phone building our relationship.
Let’s fast forward to 2009. Mark Laytin and I have yet to meet personally. Yet, over all these years, our relationship grew. In 2006 a door opened for Mark and I to join forces, and today his team makes up 50% of my monthly volume. We still have not met face-to-face.
Mark Laytin is not the only virtual relationship I have been blessed to build. Mike Dillard, Mike Boggs, Jackie Ulmer, Tom Chenault, Dallin Larsen, Steve Luxenberg, Sue Seward, Orrin Woodward, Kevin Thompson, Len Clements, Robby Fender, Darin Falter, and the list goes on and on. These are not just names of people I want to meet. These are people whose cell phone number is on my speed dial. These are folks I text on a regular basis. Yet, none of these folks have I met personally.
If you will encourage your team to grow their personal relationships using whatever means available, you will see your team grow. And in the few cases where folks may leave for new grown, let them go.
Living An Epic Adventure,