Network marketing is a general term for selling products directly to consumers and receiving commissions as a result of your sales and those of your team. Teams can put in lots of effort and create a supportive environment to help each other grow their businesses. It is that simple. In recent years, I have started to wonder about the future of network marketing with the rapid change in technology and the uniqueness of the youngest generations. I must say that the future’s looking bright but different. Less door to door ladies with catalogs—no one liked doing that anyway—and more social media and live streaming to create a solid network marketing business.
Knowing the basics
There are still a few things that will not change in network marketing from the days that my grandparents built their businesses. First, when selling products it is essential to have a unique story about your personal experience with them. You can find some very helpful mentoring on storytelling online. One of my favorite explanations on how to use storytelling in business is this article from Copyblogger.com.
Second, you must sell enough products to enough people that some of them share your vision and choose to join the business and become motivated hard workers. Daily motivation, and motivation to complete difficult tasks are strongest when they come from others in the same company. This community sharing and interactions through conference calls, personal follow-up calls, and social media is what gives network marketing its magic.
Lastly, you must be a people person. Individuals who are good at providing customer service, marketing, and sales must show all those skills both in person and online. Spending a day with a successful network marketing professional can often increase your skills with all of these business activities
The next generations are going to change network marketing because they want to find ways to receive income based on their personal brand and fans of their individual talents. Teenagers and college-age individuals who have invested time and resources in building a high valued personal brand do not have expectations that network marketing will be their primary source of income. The days of dreaming about boats and cars is an antiquated idea from the 80’s.
Instead, the next generation is comfortable with the idea of building valuable information to share with their audience and monetizing it with multiple streams of income. They will not all be YouTube celebrities, but many of them will be successful in the new trust economy. This trust is not built in a day. It is built on a long-standing multi-media format storytelling with their audience.
The new dream
The next generation often expresses their feelings that the future is uncertain, but this causes the next generation to constantly seek opportunities. No longer will young adults commit to only one direct selling opportunity. If a product fits their personality, then they will include it in their personal story. Millennials will be more likely to join a team of network marketers who will support them both in the business and their personal brand. An upline who is only interested in product sales and conference calls will see millennials shy away from the business. To younger generations opportunity is about community and collaboration within and outside the network marketing industry. The line between business and personal endeavor is officially gone!
Marketing and selling skill
If you are in your teens or 20’s or 30’s and are inexperienced with marketing and sales, you should find a mentor or two. Network marketing professionals with 5, 10, and 25 years of network marketing experience can teach young people relationship and selling skills that leverage the network marketing business model as an income source. In addition to building a YouTube channel, Facebook, and blogs, you should also consider traditional business accelerators such as writing a book or ebook, public speaking, and collaborative events for creating hype and publicity.
Compliance and regulation
If you are new to the industry, you will need to learn about governmental oversight. You can talk to the corporate office of your network marketing company to ask for information on regulations in your country. Companies themselves have made rules as to what can be said about products and the opportunity. They may even provide a list of things you cannot say online or in person to person conversations. The other activity that will help a new individual in network marketing is to visit the code of ethics published by the Direct Selling Association. This code of ethics typically reflects the most current requirements for selling products and services within the network marketing model.
Bright futures for network marketing
In the new economy of network marketing, it will take both networking professionals with relationship building skills and the personal brand building of the younger generation to make successful teams in network marketing. Companies who have downlines with diverse teams of both experience and passion will partner with these individuals to create dazzling social media conversations about their products, share inspiring stories online and offline, and develop a sense of community that is also able to give charitably to the world. Find one new idea today and take action. Make a call, post on Facebook, or make a short video of you and your vision.