Network Marketing for Bi-Linguals
OK. Before we get going, I want to confess that my use of the term “bi-lingual” is not quite accurate. It’s more of a play on words meaning folks who understand or are trying to understand the worlds of offline AND online network marketing.
First, let’s talk network marketing systems…
Systems are configurations of various steps or working parts that bring about a desired result. Network marketing systems function in this manner. For the traditional network marketing set, we have an intro, the use of a tool of some sort, the 3-way call, parties or one-on-one’s, and the close. Online network marketers throw in a few more wrinkles, but generally attempt to take prospects through the same steps.
The problem I’m seeing out there today is an idea forming that you have to follow a single prescribed system – perhaps your company’s 3 step system – in order to achieve success, and there is no room for deviation or innovation. When I talk with some offline only network marketers who have achieved success, they sometimes bristle when I mention online work. Of course I know what they are thinking: “Don’t go there, Kevin. You’ll only get distracted. Just stick with your company’s trusted and proven process.”
Well, I’m writing this blog so I obviously didn’t take that advice…
Then, there are the “Go Online or Go Home!” folks. You know the ones I’m talking about. These online network marketing experts argue that network marketers fail primarily because the traditional marketing methods that they are taught don’t work 95% or more of the time. They state that “old school” marketing techniques just lead to frustration and ultimately to failure.
Put simply, I’m getting a big tired of this black and white, this or that mentality. There has to be a middle ground! This takes me to the title of this post: Network Marketing for Bi-Linguals.
Offline and Online Network Marketing
Understanding both offline and online network marketing takes some doing. In fact, it’s a bit like learning two languages. For those who grew up in one camp or the other, it’s a lot like learning a new language. Totally raw, totally uncomfortable, and totally a struggle.
Since you’re on this blog, you know that I am a believer in online network marketing. However, I do not believe it’s necessary to throw traditional MLM techniques out the window in order to enjoy online success. In fact, I argue that we need to find balance … to develop blended skill sets for offline and online network marketing.
I often hear of children who grow up in dual language homes. Often in the cases where a first born is involved, the parents are concerned that the child seems to take longer than what they’ve heard is “normal” before uttering her or his first words. What they later find out is that the child took longer because she was processing double the input most kids receive. Happily, these parents soon hear their child rattling on fluently in both languages in no time at all… and all is well with the world.
Traditional Network Marketing to Online
This is what I see happening as struggling network marketers try to learn the language of offline and online MLM techniques at the same time. Since they already know how to communicate enough to have had at least some success in life, the idea that they may have to take extra time to develop an online presence while also working traditional MLM channels is frustrating.
Online Networking to Traditional Network Marketing
Likewise, those who grew up texting, chatting, blogging, Tweeting, and the like may not be comfortable coming out from behind the screen to actually speak face to face or via phone with prospects. The thought of taking their message to these venues petrifies them!
Truth is, belly to belly style marketing is absolutely effective, and the fastest way to jump start any MLM career is to reach out to folks you already know – your warm market. But as you do this, online network marketing is here to help you generate leads that are at least somewhat warmed to the idea of what MLM is all about.
Your blog or website won’t cause an instant flood of leads to your email account, but it will help build credibility. As you develop it and maintain your face to face presence - I do feel that you’ll start to see some interesting and beneficial synergy at work between the two spheres.
Just Getting Your Feet Wet in the Online Network Marketing World?
There’s a great online MLM and network marketing educational service out there that’s designed to take you step by step through setting up your online presence. You can find more about it here.