Hello and welcome to another short Ted Talk about influencer marketing.
Today’s hot topic is about network marketing and comparing it to influencer marketing.
What is network marketing I hear you say?
Have you heard of pyramid schemes? Have you heard of Herbalife, Nu Skin, Arbonne and Avon?
Yes, even Avon is a pyramid scheme, no matter how much Sandra down the road tries to big it up to you.
We’re going to take a deep-dive into these pyramid schemes and their way of selling and see how it compares to the marketing strategy of working with infuencers and content creators.
Can you explain network marketing please?
Network marketing is just another way to say ‘pyramid scheme’.
It’s often seen as a luxurious career by those that try to sell it to you as they work remotely, go on lavish holidays and are their ‘own boss’.
I hate to break it to the pyramid schemers, but we’re all working remotely right now and no one’s going on any lavish holidays any time soon and because I now work remotely, no one can track the number of coffees I make every day.
Network marketing is described as a business opportunity which usually requires an upfront investment to purchase products and resources that you will then hope to sell on.
The network marketer hopes to sell to friends, families and close contacts within their local area, but thanks to social media, the landscape for this is a lot larger.
Those that work in network marketing also try their best to recruit other network marketers (I’m sure you’ve received one or two DM’s telling you about a great business opportunity?) as the more people the network marketer recruits, the more money they will make in commission.
Explain influencer marketing while you’re at it
You should know what influencer marketing is, but I’ll tell you anyway.
Influencer marketing is selling products and services by having them endorsed for free or at a price, by content creators on social media who usually have a large following.
The most authentic form of influencer marketing is third party endorsement when no money has exchanged hands, as the influencer is simply promoting a product or brand because they love it.
Once the brand notices that an influencer loves their product, they can then build a relationship and work on paid content, furthering brand affinity and loyalty and increasing sales at the same time.
The issues with network marketing
The question most people ask when it comes to pyramid schemes is, Is it a scam?
You don’t want to invest your money only to lose it and realize that it was all a money-making ploy by the larger company.
Pyramid schemes definitely come with a stigma on social media, as I’ve seen many a person complain on Twitter and Instagram that they’re tired of girls sliding into their DM’s being nice to them and trying to be friends, only to ask them to join their ‘business’.
However, I do think that if the product is right, you would purchase it yourself and you have the energy and confidence to pull off selling to your friends, family and social media followers, then this could be a job for you.
The issues with influencer marketing
There are many issues with influencer marketing and I’ve delved into them quite a few times here on the blog.
I’ve talked about influencers faking images, faking engagement, faking followers, and not following advertising rules and regulations.
I’ve also spoken about issues from the brand-side, including lack of diversity, missing out on micro-influencers and brands not sticking by their influencers.
The influencer marketing industry is not perfect and it is still fairly new, with everyone learning and adapting as new social media apps gain hype and old ones fall to the side.
Related: How Influencer Marketing Will Work on TikTok
What they both have in common
To be a network marketer, you need to have influence both in your social life and on social media.
In some ways, to be a network marketer you also need to be your own influencer marketer.
An influencer and a networker will have to build brand image and be good at doing so, all the while maintaining their social media feeds with great content and engaging with their followers.
They both need to have an understanding of social media marketing and how to increase followers, have their content seen by a lot of people and be able to grow organically.
Those that are successful in both fields aren’t the ones sending DMs and collaboration requests, they receive them.
You can refer to the image at the beginning of this blog post for more details.
We’ve all received something like the above in our DMs and quite frankly, it doesn’t work.
If I want to join a pyramid scheme, I will reach out to you. Make it look luxurious, make it look like an amazing career and I’ll come running to you with questions.
Is there room to be both an influencer and a network marketer?
Absolutely. The best network marketers are usually also social media influencers with large followings.
For example, Kristy Green has 292,000 followers and works for Nu Skin, showcasing her lavish lifestyle funded by being a network marketer (or working for a pyramid scheme if you like).
Another example is Tayla-Blue who has 118,000 followers, currently lives in Marbella and also works for Nu Skin.
Even I am entranced by the life Tayla leads; working for herself, from Spain and being her own boss – isn’t that something we all want?
But is there a way to work from the ground up with 0 followers?
If you have the drive, the energy and the time to spend on your social channels then yes, I don’t see why not.
Personally, I’m not involved in the world of network marketing and don’t think it is or will be for me, but I do know of a few people that do operate in that world and it seems to be a good side-hustle for them with the hopes that it can be their full-time job in the future.
If I was to choose between the two, I would have to opt for influencer marketing but maybe I’m just biased.
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