We started our Network Marketing home business almost 3 years ago, and we’ve had our share of successes and failures.  But our biggest Network Marketing mistake (and one that many beginning Networkers make) was very costly – it cost us lots of money, lots of time, and almost our dream.

It Started So Innocently

We began our Network Marketing adventure with no business or sales experience and no idea how to market.  We were complete and utter “newbies.” Since we refused to make a list of our “warm market” or practice the 3-foot rule (anyone within 3 feet of you is a prospect), we turned to online marketing.  We found and plugged into some fantastic training and dove right in, eager to start making money.

Our overeagerness almost cost us our dream.

Some Initial Success Can Be Blinding

We decided to use Google PPC to market our opportunity.  It was (at the time) what the most successful marketers used to drive massive traffic.  Indeed, we had some initial success; we made sales and began building a good sized team. We thought this was the road to our success

In reality, the road to our success turned out to be a dead end street.  it was taking way too much money, time and effort to get these results.  Our return-on-investment (ROI) was pitiful.  We had no idea what the problem was or what to do about it.

So we decided to take a hard look at our successes – our team members.  When we did this, our mistake became very, very clear.

It Was Like Looking In the Mirror

You see, when we looked at our team, we saw ourselves.  Pretty much everyone who joined our team was much like us.

We are part of the baby boomer generation and were looking to change the direction of our lives.  We worked full time jobs that kept us really busy.  We had 4 kids approaching college and felt the impending doom of what it would cost.

Many of our team members had very similar stories.

It became clear – we had ATTRACTED OURSELVES!

So What Was The Mistake?

The Network Marketing mistake we made now seems so obvious, but as newbies we had no idea of the disastrous path we had chosen.

We Were Trying To Market To Everyone

Our potential targets included other networkers, non-networkers, all ages, any background, any financial status, basically anyone with a pulse who showed the least interest in starting a business.

We had no focus, no limits and in most cases, few positive results (thus the low ROI).

Finding Our Ideal Prospect

We knew that our past successes came when we recruited (even accidentally) people who were very similar to ourselves.  On the advice of one of our mentors, we began the process of identifying our IDEAL PROSPECT.

For us, this was a person in a similar stage of life, with time pressures and sharing a vision of creating a better life.  They are our ideal prospect.

There was another unexpected but amazing benefit to marketing to our ideal prospect.  The conversations with people who shared similar stories and dreams were actually fun, and prospecting becomes almost effortless.  The discussions are more like stories between friends rather than a business person trying to get a prospect to buy.

Simply by identifying our ideal prospect and narrowing our marketing efforts, Network Marketing has become a lot more fun and a lot more profitable.

The Bottom Line

Don’t make the same Network Marketing mistake we did.  Don’t try to market your opportunity to everyone and anyone.  Identify your ideal prospect in as much detail as possible, and speak to this person when writing every email, advertisement, and sales page.

You’ll make more money and have a lot more fun in the process.

Bob Clarke
Dr. Bob Clarke teaches Part Time Marketers how to better leverage their time, effort, money, skills, and other people's knowledge in maximizing their business success. Don't forget to grab your Free Training Grow a Thriving Business in 30 Minutes/Day or Less -- an essential resource for anyone struggling to build their business Part Time.
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Showing 6 comments
  • Laura Craciun

    Hi Bob,
    Very interesting article!This is the mistake many network marketers make in the beginning:they try to market to everyone because they think this business is for everyone. A network marketing business is for everyone,but not everyone is for business! You are right,it’s very important to identify the ideal prospect.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Bob

      Hi Laura, welcome to our blog!

      I think part of the reason that this mistake is so prevalent in beginning Network Marketers is because this is one of the primary marketing hooks — it’s easy because everyone can do it. Really? I don’t think so.

      Well, let me rephrase that. Most can probably do it, but few are willing to take the time and effort to make it happen.

      Thanks for your contribution to the discussion, Laura.

      See you again soon!

  • Sonny Lanorias

    Hi Bob,

    Great post! So true. You need to know your TARGET MARKET first 🙂 For me there are only 2 target markets: existing network marketers and those who want to get involved in our industry. If you prospect to everyone, it will just be a waste of time because first of all they are not targeted. Its just like offering a steak to a group of vegetarians. But it was really very nice that you brought this up so that people will not commit the same mistake that most of us did when we first started in this journey. Thanks again.

    • Bob

      Thanks for the comment, Sonny. It’s such a common mistake, I think because those new to MLM or any home business are so excited about their new venture and mistakenly believe that everyone else will be, too. This leads to too many misdirected conversations and wasted time. If newbies first learned to target and then target some more, I believe their learning curve could be reduced drastically.

  • Cori

    Great post Bob! My initial results were just like yours- way too much money spent on Google and very little return. I feel like we are kindred spirits because we work full time and still work this business. Everyone else just says to quit your job.

    • Bob

      Yes we are, Cori! While quitting a job and being a full time marketer working from home is probably the ultimate goal, it’s now always possible for a while — especially when you have 3 kids hitting college at the same time! 🙂

      As always, thanks for stopping by. You are a great leader!

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