Back in 2008 when Rosemary and I were thinking about getting into Network Marketing, we were hesitant.

I had an Uncle who got “burned” in an MLM and told me it “doesn't work”.  My Uncle had been a very successful tire salesman, so this discouraged us.

Then we started reading how many traditional MLMers hold house parties and make a list of their family and friends to approach about their business.

We KNEW we didn't want to do that.

We didn't have the time or the inclination to harass our family members.

To be honest, we had pretty much decided to look elsewhere for additional money.

Our Introduction to Online Marketing

Just about the time we were ready to give up on Network Marketing, another friend told me how he was making a ton of sales online, using the power and reach of the Internet.

He was using an Online Marketing System and it was exploding with new members.

We were intrigued.

So Rosemary and I took a look and liked what we saw.  We joined shortly thereafter.

We were told stuff by our sponsor that lit up our eyes — NO SELLING, NO CALLING LEADS… just learn how to market online and the sales would come.

The sales did come, and they came quickly.

We were on top of the world!

We had BEATEN the traditional MLMers at their own game and we did it using Online Marketing.

We weren't holding house parties or stalking people at the local mall.

We didn't even have to make a list of our friends to prospect.

We were doing it 100% online without ever picking up the phone.

Cool, right?  Well….

Success! — and Then….

Our sponsor was right.  We were making sales and building a fairly good size team… all without wasting time on the phone!

We were so arrogant!

We didn't need any of those time-wasting, traditional MLM methods like calling leads or making personal presentations.

We had it all figured out!  🙂

But then a funny thing started to happen.

All the people who we signed up began to quit, one by one.

We watched in horror as our team began to dwindle in size.  It seemed that many people on our team didn't have our drive or thirst for knowledge.

For them, it was too hard and the results weren't coming fast enough.

Bye Bye Residual Income

As our team disintegrated before our eyes, we realized what the problem was.

We didn't really KNOW these people and they didn't know us.

Nor did they TRUST us, since we hadn't taken the time to build trust.

After all, no phone calls, right?

We had hid behind our computers and now we were paying the price.

It was a difficult lesson to learn!

We Were Such Fools… and Arrogant, Too!

We were fools to think that selling anything wouldn't involve a personal touch.

There, I said it.

While I'm at it, I'll add this —

We were Arrogant, too!

We thought we could use our Internet Marketing knowledge, place some ads in strategic places and build an MLM empire.

We envisioned a flood of residual income each month, all with just a few hours of computer work each day.

It wasn't until we lost most our team and got mentored by some very successful people in the Industry that we figured it out.

And now, I'm going to pass it on to you.

The REAL Power of Online Marketing

When it comes to building a Network Marketing team, using Online Marketing strategies is very powerful!

You can use simple online strategies to find very targeted prospects for your business, there's no doubt about it.

You can have success with Attraction Marketing methods, building online followers who share your vision.

But that's only part of the equation for success.

Online Marketing is great, but it's only half of the story.

The Other Half of the Success Puzzle

Here's the truth we now know — you can (and SHOULD) use Online Marketing strategies for finding targeted leads for your business.

But then it's time to take these prospects OFF LINE and begin to build trust on a personal level.

Yes, it's true, you can start this process online by building a terrific brand and being transparent and honest, but there is no replacement for good, old fashioned connecting on the phone or even person to person.

That's where you really build the rapport and trust that people can fall back on when times get tough.

And, you'll also get a lot more sales as people begin to trust you more.

Marketing Takeaway

Online marketing strategies are great for locating high quality prospects for your Network Marketing business, but you must then take your prospecting off line by getting on the phone or even meeting your prospects one-on-one.

This is where the real rapport and trust is built.  

When your team members have trouble, they are more likely to hang in there if they trust that you have their backs and will help them to ultimately succeed.

Your Turn

What do you think?  Can you be a true Network Marketing success without the personal touch?

Sound off!

    27 replies to "My Online Marketing Confession: I Was an Arrogant Fool!"

    • […] Dr. Bob Clarke said – that one was a stab in my heart: […]

    • Audrey Ross

      I would say success can really ignite arrogance in a person, and it’s normal. Everyone has pretty much gone through the experience. An important thing to remember is that one has to know that in any business, learning should be constant. There’s almost always no room for being stagnant. It’s probably okay to be arrogant once in a while just as long as we don’t let arrogance make us fail to see small yet important details.

    • Tony Tate

      Being engaged in the world of online marketing, you must have a broad understanding about this field because if not, then it’s impossible to be successful in this area. You must not stop from learning and doing a research about the useful and effective strategies that you will use for your business.

    • Azhar

      It is not a simple article but a Research Study on Marketing. You have deep understanding of Online Marketing and your concept have proved very helpful for us to learn.

    • Website Builder

      Love to read your blog, i really enjoy it. 🙂

    • Angela

      I can so relate to this! I was the same in the beginning, thinking I would do a few things online and people and business would come rushing in. Thankfully like you guys I have found training that helped turn this around. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Julieanne van Zyl

      Hi Bob, great post! I’ve seen the same thing happen first hand also! Years ago, I was one of a group who used an internet marketing system. However, we were lucky enough to have a sponsor who had already worked out how to do relationship marketing using photos and her newsletter and a “face page” (this was before Facebook and social communities).

      And, those who took the “relationship marketing” approach and got to know their prospects and their team members, were successful. Those who hid behind their computers had very little success.

      Glad you found out quickly Bob, rather than give up like so many others! Regards from Julieanne

    • Hans Schoff

      Hey Bob, great photo by the way, lol. I agree with you, you can create sales online and make cash even quickly marketing online but to build depth and an organization that lasts – which is what creates that lasting residual income- it’s all about relationships. And connecting over the phone or in person goes a whole lot further than a series of emails can as far as connecting with someone. It can be done, but as you say, you won’t have to go through as many people when building using the phone and face to face.

    • Kristina L.

      Hi, dr Bob!

      I don’t think you two were “fools”, as long as you managed to make a lesson from your mistakes. Everything is a school.
      I appreciate you sharing your experience with us, as it is a good warning we should not do the same-not to hide behind the monitor, but to talk to the clients and build up mutual trust.

    • Meg

      Hello Bob and Rosemary.

      I am Megan Brown and this is my first visit at your blog as I have heard lot about you both and so came here in search of knowledge after long and hard search for you both. But I am haapy that I have reach here at last.

      Talking about personal touch not only network marketing but take anything else is not possible without personal touch. And the only one reason behind it is feeling of TRUST and FAITH.

      Personal touch brings such type of feeling which is very first and very must needed in any field of earning.

      Anyway I like your post very much which reveal the importance of personal touch.

    • Steve Nicholas

      Great post! You are so right about the personal touch of internet marketing. To me, the really great thing about blogging and working online is all of the people I’ve gotten to know who I would’ve never met otherwise. (After all, as of my one-year mark, my top five commenters lived in the US Virgin Islands, Germany, North Carolina, Canada, and Texas. I don’t think this is possible without the connections the Internet gives us.) Even if you don’t call, it’s always a good idea to e-mail the person. I’m not perfect at it, but I always try to personally follow up with someone after they subscribe to my free offer. This way, people know that it’s me, and they know that I am making sure that they are getting value, which helps me build the follow-up for them and for others.

    • Paul Reimers

      This topic is near and dear to my heart.

      I have done Network Marketing both offline and online and I was also thinking that online would mean more automated enrollment.

      I think it is a mater of depth vs. span. The automation of the internet can carry your message over a great span, but without that human connection there isn’t the depth needed to build a solid team.

    • Bojan

      Skype is your friend.

    • Lizzy

      I always knew that keeping in touch to your customer is a sure way to keep them buying your products, but after reading this article I now know that this is a crucial part of a business. Thanks for sharing us your expereince.

    • Adrienne

      You are Rosemary arrogant? Man, I find that hard to believe.

      I know from personal experience this doesn’t work because I was one of those people who never heard from their upline, they were never available when I called, they were never there to assist me so if you don’t have that relationship or rapport built with your team, it’s going to be hard to duplicate the success.

      That is why I’m all about building relationships with my team members and it starts with my prospects of course. They see me as that person who will never leave them behind and they know they can come to me with any questions.

      You are so right and I’m sorry you had to learn this the hard way Bob. But at least you learned it and still stuck with it and carried on. Most people would have quit. But as I’m very well aware, you and Rosemary aren’t like most people. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing this with us Bob. My goodness, he is human too!


      • Bob

        I think the mistake we made is typical of those that don’t really understand the industry, Adrienne. It is called NETWORK marketing for a reason, right? But we live and learn and move forward.

        We’re not the only ones to make this mistake, so I’m glad I can talk about it here. Perhaps I can save others from making a similar mistake!

        Thanks, Adrienne!

    • Karen

      Live and learn, right? It’s great to hear these fail/success stories. Thanks for sharing!

      • Bob

        Yes, Karen… live and learn. Especially learn! 🙂

    • Joyce Edwards

      When I was first prospect via an online markerter I never even knew that she was building her list via the internet. She got my name and email address from a very famous online marketer which she purchase for $5. Now I am sure she made that $5 back but I didn’t go big in the business she was representing. I did, with that phone call and other, become very loyal to her in a very short time. Your post is a wake up call to those who think that they can just hide behind a computer screen and count the money rolling in.

      • Bob

        Hey Joyce,

        Sounds like the person who recruited you knew what she was doing! Your loyalty to her is a result of that!

        Thanks for sharing your experiences here, Joyce. Just curious, have you stayed in business with this person?

    • Debi Talbert

      Fantastic write-up. Thanks so much for being so honest. It was like I was reading my own personal story.

      I hid behind my MAC for 4 years. Personally, my issued was lack of confidence. The only way I got my confidence was to pick up the phone and begin a conversation. Now, I’ve got the confidence, the computer skills and am building wonderful relationships on and off line.

      • Bob

        Hi Debi..

        Hiding behind a computer has so much to do with lack of confidence, you’re so right! Sometimes that phone can feel like a 10 ton gorilla, right? Glad you’ve overcome it and are moving forward so well!

    • Sire

      At least you were lucky enough to get a whole lot of people to join you at the beginning, most people don’t get that. I know I didn’t.

      The problem is that these people usually join thinking that all they have to do is to get other people to join under them expecting to make money from their efforts not putting in any of their own. When that doesn’t work they tend to drop off.

      I tried that for a while without much success and it wash’t until I started promoting actual products that I started to make some money.

      Then I started to think that what I needed was a product that people buy on a regular basis because if I could get them to sign up under me then I would be guaranteed a real passive income.

      • Bob

        You’re right, Sire… many people come in with unrealistic expectations and end up disillusioned and unhappy. It’s one of the reasons that the Network Marketing industry has taken a black eye, at times.

        • Sire

          What I usually do is trial the product just to see if I can actually make some money from it. Once I’ve shown it can be done I then write a post about it telling others of my experience. When people who sign under me fail to secure an income I can only assume that they are too busy trying to build their own downline to actually make money of their own. It’s pretty sad when you think about it.

    • Mark waugh

      Pretty awesome write-up just what I was looking for. Your sharing is really helpful for us. I hope this encourage will help us for understanding better about marketing. Thanks dude 🙂

      • Bob

        You’re welcome, Mark. Glad you found this useful to your business!

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