Network marketing is nothing new for most of us. Our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds are JAMMED with friends proclaiming the awesomeness of their direct sales companies’ products and opportunities. From Mary Kay to Thirty-One, doTERRA to Younique, and BeachBody to LuLaRoe — WAHM network marketing companies are inundating our worlds right now.
For good reason.
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Read the rest of the WAHM series here:
Women, in particular, love supporting other women. We love talking about the great results we’ve gotten from new products we’ve found or the amazing thing we bought at a ridiculous discount online.
I read an article on Vox.com recently that said 1 in 7 US households has at least one family member involved in network marketing. Over 90% of whom are women.
Given how many women are desperate to stay home with their babies, is it any wonder we turn to the one at-home job we’ve been surrounded by since Tupperware, Avon, and Mary Kay parties first arrived on the scene?
It’s familiar. We love the products. Why NOT try selling it?
The Pros of WAHM Network Marketing
Diving into Network Marketing as a WAHM does have it’s great points. Let’s take a look:
The second biggest reason women want to work from home is right here: having a more flexible schedule. (The first is those beautiful babies we hate having to leave every morning!)
With network marketing, we create our own schedules, set our own meetings, and if Junior gets sick in the middle of the day, we can rearrange our day to make sure we can take care of him.
If we want to meet up with another mom who is interested in our products, we can take the kids to play at the park while we talk “business” on a nearby bench. Then, while the kiddos take great naps later, we can make phone calls and catch up on other business-y tasks.
For moms who value time with their kiddos, the flexibility offered in network marketing is hard to beat.
Mentorship & Leadership Development
One of the perks of these multi-level marketing (MLM) companies is that the higher level consultants WANT you to succeed because it means greater profits for THEM, as well as for you, therefore they put a premium on quality training.
As you learn and grow your own business, you’re also gaining leadership and mentoring skills yourself. Those skills are invaluable in ANY career, so if you do decide to return to a more traditional job down the road, you’ll be gaining useful skill sets during your at-home time.
When we’re home with our kiddos all day, it’s VERY easy for our whole world to revolve around My Little Pony, Bob the Builder, and VeggieTales. However, we moms still need socialization with other adults! Network marketing businesses naturally force us to have adult conversations and to seek out interaction with other humans who have completely mastered potty training, speaking with complex and varying sentence structures, and driving vehicles larger than a Tonka truck.
Discounts & Free Product
Lets be honest, any time someone tells me something is FREE, I’m MUCH more likely to sign up. ? Network marketing companies give substantial discounts on products to their distributors as an incentive to keep selling and buying product. Many offer a monthly free product with a qualifying purchase or a points program to use toward more product.
(I actually JUST put in my doTERRA order today and I’m getting nearly $80 worth of free product with this order. Every single month I cash in either points or commissions to get free product or simply bring down the cost of my order. Discounts and freebies are keeping my Home Health Arsenal stocked right now!)
The Cons of WAHM Network Marketing
As with any job, network marketing gigs do have their downsides. Take a look and decide if any of these would be deal-breakers for you:
Monthly Purchase Minimums
Most network marketing companies require their consultants to buy a certain amount of product each month in order to qualify to receive commissions or keep their current discount percentage. When money is tight, these minimums can be an additional budget drain.
However, if you USE more product each month than the monthly order minimum — and that money would come out of your budget anyway — the monthly minimum order may not be a big deal for you.
(We use our oils so frequently around here that putting in a monthly minimum order hasn’t been an issue. I don’t think I would ever say I have too many extra bottles of OnGuard or Breathe on my shelf, since we use SO MUCH of each one. And I know several other consultants who would make similar statements about their company’s products. ?)
Very Few People Actually Turn a Profit
The Vox article I mentioned earlier also points out that, according to company financial records, less than 1% of consultants ever make six-figure incomes from their network marketing businesses — and it took most of them 5-10 years to build up their businesses to that point.
While I certainly would not turn down a six-figure income, I’d be happy if I could just make $2k/month to help pay expenses and relieve the financial strain on my family. I would imagine most of you would concur.
The sad reality here is that most of us are only making enough income from our direct sales businesses to keep us in product ourselves, not enough to actually make a profit — or a significant difference in our family finances. That’s not to say you CAN’T make decent money with network marketing. It’s definitely POSSIBLE. We just have to be realistic in how much we want or need to make and how much work and time it will take for us to get to that level.
Not All Training Is Equal
Some branches of every company will have leaders who don’t lead well, which means you may not be TRAINED well enough to succeed in your business. While these uplines know they NEED to be helping you succeed, they simply don’t know HOW, because they’ve never been shown themselves.
Be sure to fully check out your potential uplines, as well as the company-wide training/mentoring programs, BEFORE you sign up! It’s not enough for them to have training AVAILABLE. Make sure other consultants in that particular downline are seeing RESULTS from that training and are SUCCEEDING in their businesses at least in part because of their training.
Challenging for Introverts
Traditional direct sales lead generation typically involves going out, meeting people face to face, hosting classes, going to networking events, and other activities that are incredibly draining for Introverts.
As an Introvert, I know I struggle here. I dread going to parties and other social events where I’m supposed to mix, mingle, and make small talk. I LOVE teaching, but the idea of hosting an event in my home has been completely overwhelming with a baby’s schedule to work around. It was just too much to even think about. So, I didn’t. Period.
Now, I’m learning there ARE ways to overcome this particular challenge — especially with more and more direct sales happening online through attraction marketing, email funnels, blogs, etc. Obviously, blogging and online forums are where I am already investing my time and energy, so I’m beginning to learn how these avenues could help me finally grow my WAHM network marketing business. I’ll keep you posted as I learn more!
The Best Personalities for WAHM Network Marketing
As I have mentioned over and over again, ANY Personality type can do ANY job. It’s just a matter of how NATURALLY that job will fit with your unique strengths and weaknesses.
Personalities who tend to succeed in network marketing tend to share similar traits:
- They are outgoing, can easily talk to strangers, and persuasively communicate the value of their product/opportunity.
- They must have a strong work ethic, be self-motivated, and organized.
- They must be willing to learn new sales strategies, business skills, and never, ever give up.
By and large, these traits tend to fall into the Choleric camp, but with proper motivation, training, and determination, those with other Personality types can succeed, as well. It may just take more emotional and mental energy than it would for a Choleric.
(If the term Choleric means nothing to you, be sure to hop over and check out this overview of The Personalities to get your feet wet in the personality theory world. ?)
Make It YOURS
One last thing when it comes to building a WAHM network marketing business: be sure to make this business YOUR OWN. Yes, you’re selling someone else’s product and building their bottomline, but you also have to think long-term for YOUR business.
Many people leave network marketing eventually, for a variety of reasons. So what would you do if you had spent YEARS growing your team and then the company went under? Or leadership changed and you no longer felt like you could stand behind the company’s values?
The biggest way you can truly make a network marketing business your own — and make it have lasting power no matter what happens externally — is to build a community around YOU, just as much, if not more so, than your company or products. Your team needs to see YOU as an authority, someone they can TRUST, and if you go off in a different direction, they will still follow you because they trust your vision and leadership.
This way, in whatever new venture you turn to, you won’t have to start over at ground zero. You’ll already have a warm market who knows and trusts you. We, as humans, are MUCH more likely to buy something — anything! — from someone we already know over a complete stranger. This built-in warm market is worth its weight in gold for any future businesses you open.
Build YOUR List
Whenever you make a new contact or enroll a new builder onto your WAHM network marketing team, be sure to also have them sign up to YOUR business email list. Send out weekly newsletters to your team, encourage them, pour into them, and nurture them. Let them know you’re here for THEIR good, not just your own gain.
I love MailerLite for managing my email list. It’s super easy to create fun, pretty emails — which is important for me. Boring, plain text emails just don’t do it for me anymore. ? Plus, it’s free up to 1000 subscribers, so you can get a GOOD way along in your business before needing to upgrade to a paid plan, and even then MailerLite has some of the most reasonably priced plans I’ve seen.
Whatever mail system you choose, just be sure to build and nurture YOUR list as you grow your business!
Is WAHM Network Marketing for YOU?
So, there you have it, mamas. Network marketing in a nutshell.
What do you think? Is this type of at-home business right for you? What concerns would you have about starting a WAHM network marketing business?
Leave your thoughts in the comments, and let’s talk through it!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.