When it comes to Affiliate Marketingdriving traffic and generating leads is something that should be second nature. However in the process of prospecting many affiliate marketers will run into the MLM ormulti-level marketing industry, and this is where problems arise.
Affiliate Marketing vs. MLM
I am in the affiliate marketing industry and I have been reaching out and digging deep with a few people from the MLM industry to drive traffic and generate leads.
I’d like to share my personal experiences because there are a couple of roadblocks you’ll run into when dealing with people from the multi-level marketing industry.
There are two types of roadblocks (mindset and method).
Affiliate Marketing, at it’s core is primarily focused on communication and sales. Following logic, you have to know how to communicate, not just to connect with a person, but engage that person and relay the benefits of whatever you’re selling, then close that sale.
Multi-level Marketing or MLM, is focused primarily on recruiting and building a team, so communication is important, however the focus is forging a relationship and building a team.
Right off the bat you have a conflict of interest and what usually happens is that there is a heated exchange over disagreement on many things. They really are apples and oranges. The mindset really is THAT different.
The method is also different. Affiliate marketers are taught automation and online business, and multi-level marketers are taught to do things person to person and three-way calling, and in many ways what we do and teach in affiliate marketing is the exact opposite of what MLM does and teaches.
In fact many of them believe that almost anything online is a ponzi scheme, that it’s not duplicatable, and the only way to actually recruit or to sell is on the phone.
So don’t be surprised at all if when you reach out to the MLM community that the first thing they do is reply “call me” and give you a phone number or say “let’s meet” and ask “when’s a good time for us to sit down?”
If you’re not comfortable on the phone, then definitely do not start by contacting the MLM community, however there is something we can take away from them.
The big focus in Multi-level marketing is leadership. Think about it. If you’re building large teams, teaching your people to be leaders is a powerful and very necessary skill, otherwise you end up trying to manage everything yourself.
For a program like mine, Empower Network, where recruiting other affiliate to go out and sell is equally essential.
Bridging the gap between affiliate marketing and MLM
When it comes to dealing with the MLM industry, bridging the gap doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact it takes just two things.
- Finding common ground.
- Relaying the idea.
One thing about the Multi-Level Marketing industry is that they live by the quote “leaders are readers,” so naturally, many of them are voracious readers. I mean they consume A LOT of books.
Here in Affiliate Marketing we tend to lean more towards audio tapes, webinars, etc. so finding common ground is as easy as being a reader yourself, even if you get the audio book.
Once you steer the conversation towards books and authors, NOW you have something you can build on. You can talk about your favorite author, favorite books, lessons on success and so much more.
Once you’ve found common ground, you need to relay the fact that you are in affiliate marketing, not a multi-level marketing. The reaction I’ve received is mostly one of curiosity, and a lot of questions that follow are about what is it, how does it work, the differences, etc.
At this point it’s a great way to introduce your opportunity by relating the lessons in the books to that opportunity, and asking them to try the program or buy a product isn’t such a hard sale.
Count affiliate marketing as an advantage
I’ve worked a lot of customer service jobs and I’m very comfortable on the phone so I take a lot of calls, however when you find yourself in a position where the only way a person will talk to you is over the phone, don’t count it as lost and move on.
Take the call and introduce them to your opportunity. At the very least, you will have gained insight into the differences between MLM and Affiliate programs and gained experience in being able to answer the question, “so what is xxx anyway?”
Just something to think about and consider.