In this guide, we’ll cover why it’s a great idea for your MLM business to have a website!
Network marketing is a business model that primary relies on person to person sales. The individuals selling the products are typically referred to as “distributors”, much like in traditional business models, as they exist to distribute the products via person to person networking. Additionally, representatives are often incentivized through commission structures to recruit additional distributors as part of their team & increasing the over all network of individuals working to sale the items.
There are various methods in which network marketers work sell their products, including of course social media sites. Places like Facebook have become a popular nexus for marketers to increase their reach. While social media has changed the way network marketers and MLM businesses grow, traditional methods still require lots of proactive efforts and hardly stand out from the crowd.
Purchasing a domain name and building a website around your personal brand is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, your website can reach beyond your social media pages and use tools like Google My Business and local search queries to become a leading search result for products exactly like you’re selling.
Why DOES MY NETWORK MARKETING BUSINESS NEED A WEBSITE?
Let’s discuss the various ways network marketers can benefit their business with a website, how you can have the same access to marketing tools enterprise businesses use with an affordable web hosting plan, and even provide a step by step guide to get you up and running quickly to make your MLM income from home a truly online business.
Alternative Methods to Market
Let’s go ahead and just start with the main benefit.
Imagine for a moment you’re a network marketer that sells protein shakes for weight loss. Traditionally, network marketers have been encouraged to reach out to friends and family and then post on social media to market their weight loss shakes.
The first problem with this is that it’s extremely restrictive. Marketing your MLM shakes in that manner relies on how big your existing network is. That might be okay if you have a very large family or a very large friend group, but what happens when you’ve exhausted that list of people? Now you have to expand your network to hunt for more potential leads and let’s be honest, cold calling isn’t ideal.
Your friends and family might be happy to help you grow your business by making a few purchases, and maybe some of them end up really liking the product, but the reality is your network marketing business is more apt to succeed if you can find a way to connect with people that are already pre-interested in what you’re selling.
That’s called inbound marketing. The opposite of that is outbound marketing.
The problem with outbound marketing is that regardless of how big of a network you can amass, it requires constant proactive efforts. You have to constantly be posting about what your MLM sales, constantly reaching out to new prospective customers, and constantly convincing people that they should not only buy the product, but that they should buy the product from you instead of from other local distributors selling the same product.
Wouldn’t it be a lot better to sell protein shakes to people who were already looking for protein shakes and potentially already looking for someone just like you that sells them.
Consider this for a moment.
The rate of success in selling protein shakes to people who choose to visit a health and wellness shop is a lot higher than trying to go door to door selling protein shakes to people that may not respond, may not be interested, and may not be in a position to purchase.
But how do you reach out to people that are already interested in buying your products?
You put yourself online where people are searching for you.
Instead of focusing on outbound marketing, a unique, custom website for your MLM business is going to shift your business to inbound marketing.
For example, if Susan moves from Minnesota to Iowa and already loves Seint makeup, she might be interested in finding someone local that is a Seint distributor. And if you’ve got a website that talks about makeup, talks about Seint, and is geographically correlated to your city, she can reach out to you directly!
And this solves the third problem with traditional MLM marketing.
Your business can succeed without negatively affecting your relationships with friends and family.
Weight loss shakes, for example, are going to be most beneficial for people that need to lose weight, but that’s a sensitive topic. No matter how much you love the product, no matter how beneficial the product is, and more matter how much you think your Aunt Linda would ultimately love her results, how exactly do you prompt Linda that she should consider buying from you without offending her?
You don’t really have that problem when building a website for your MLM. People are going to be searching for you already interested in those results they hope to achieve and they can do so in a way that’s much less personal. In fact, through your website, you can qualify leads anonymously through contact forms and blog posts instead of through highly personally identifying Facebook comments.
Did you know 8 in 10 people perform their shopping online. If you limit yourself to Facebook marketing methods, you’re missing out on all the people searching for your products online.
pro-tip: mlm company provided pages will never show up in search!
I know. I know. Your network marketing company already gave you a free website included when you signed up to be a distributor, but have you ever heard of those websites successfully ranking in web results.
One of the things search engines despise is duplicate content and aside from the name of your little web page they give you, the bulk of the content is going to be identical to every single other other distributor. So what Google and other search engines do is typically just demote the whole bunch as duplicate content and rank other, unique sites above it.
See, check out these two sites from a popular MLM I found using the zip code search tool of their website.
And there’s nothing those ladies can do about it on those websites, but they could be promoting their own websites that they could in turn direct leads to visit their Seint pages from.
You’ll notice that most legitimate businesses operate a website. Not only do websites afford businesses with an online presence to get found by people searching for their product or service, but they also provide the business with a place to share information that validates their expertise and expresses their business uniquely as they wish to display it.
Most MLM marketers leverage the use of free Facebook pages and Gmail addresses, but these pages are all structured identically and fail to provide businesses with a
It doesn’t take long in the network marketing business before you realize there’s a lot of skepticism. You can have the greatest makeup products in the world (and plenty of people will love your products), but there’s also a lot of people that will be immediately apprehensive about the product if they feel it’s part of a network marketing business.
Then you end up spending more time defending your business and explaining how it isn’t a pyramid scheme than you do actually selling the product.
It also goes right back to pre-qualifying leads. It’s a lot easier to sell to people trying to search for distributors of your brand locally in search results than it is to initially sell people on the brand.
By structuring your networking business with a domain and website, you can increase the professionalism of your brand and set yourself aside of the competition that uses company provided web pages.
SEPARATES YOUR BUSINESS FROM YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Keeping in line with the idea that a website is going to make your business more professional leads right into the concept that a website dedicated to your MLM business is going to better separate your personal life from your business life. Sure, there’s going to be a lot overlap there. These are work from home opportunities after all and you’re still going to be leveraging a lot of your personal connections to fuel growth, but by placing a distinct boundary between your online business spaces and your online personal spaces does a lot of positive things.
When it comes to taxes and business expenses, the IRS is pretty firm on what they consider to be eligible write offs and what types of businesses qualify. Once you start to comingle your business life and your personal life, those lines become a bit more blurred on what they consider to be “hobby” and what they consider to be “business”.
If you have a dedicated business website, you’re helping to authenticate the idea that your MLM is a business endeavor with a specific goal of generating leads, connecting with clients, and generating income. That becomes especially important if you have periods of time where you have losses.
You’ve probably witnessed a lot of MLM distributors share their products on their personal Facebook.
The problem is, according to Facebook’s Policies, there are special guidelines you must take when posting “Branded Content“.
That’s content in which you are financially incentivized to promote another company without being a legal representative.
That’s the kicker.
Even though you’re a distributor of the company, and even though they tell you that you can use their marketing materials, you’re technically not directly associated with the brand in a way that likely meets Facebook’s terms and conditions for posting branded content. You’re an independent consultant. Facebook’s also not keen on people using personal profiles primarily for business use and wants people to create completely separate business pages, but again, that doesn’t necessarily solve the problem here.
You can avoid all of these problems by not relying on a third party’s terms and conditions by just posting content to your own website.
I get it. You’re passionate about growing your business, but listen, even the most successful of CEOs agree that you need to take some time for yourself.
Work life balance is important – that’s why you took on this MLM business right? So you could better support your family and be there for them.
That doesn’t happen if every time you check your phone or scroll through Facebook you find yourself replying to business inquiries. With a completely separate website and marketing channel, including a dedicated email address (or free Google Voice number dedicated to your business), you create some pseudo business hours.
People will respect that.
Now, nobody can stop you from checking your inbox at midnight, but your hair stylist sure doesn’t pick up the phone at 2am. By creating distinct differences between your marketing channels with what is personal content and what is business content, you can create an opportunity to decide what hours you want to apply to checking into your business.
You’ll Have Access To Amazing New Marketing Tools
What does a Facebook page really allow you do?
You can invite your friends to follow your page. You can post an update about new products once in awhile and hope they don’t disappear in the abyss of Facebook’s algorithm and go ignored. You can create some events and post some pictures. Maybe upload some cute photos of the family with a shameless plug on your makeup products you used.
And these things can all be great!
But when you think about the teams behind big brands like Coach, you can probably assume they have access to a whole slew of marketing tools that most people selling 31 Bags aren’t using.
Except, they could be.
Some of the tools I’m about to mention don’t necessarily require web hosting, a domain name, and a website to be used, but a lot of them really open up the possibilities when integrated with a website.
Once you have a website, you can create subscriber forms that allow you to grow a list of contacts and email addresses.
Paired with your web hosting accounts Mailing List function, you can start blasting off hundreds of emails all at once. Being able to mass email market (using the features included with most web hosting accounts) is light years ahead of hoping and praying someone sees the item you just posted to your Facebook page.
Instead, they’re going to get an email from you right to their inbox.
And these marketing emails still work! That’s why the big brands still send you automated emails enticing you to buy!
This is a customer relationship management (CRM) service that has a full featured free tier that works great for most small and startup businesses. It has all types of amazing tools, like automated email list creation based upon who contacts you that stay dynamically updated, chat bot features so you can sell products even when you’re not on your computer, customer account organization, and all types of handy features that make staying organized a key component of your business.
Google Search Console
Imagine if you had a tool that could tell you what people are typing into Google to find the products you’re selling.
That’d be pretty amazing, right? You could see how many people are searching for “eye shadow makeup in [rootin’ tootin’] Newton, Iowa” and determine if certain things are trending or whether you need to tailor your content to react to a certain search term more directly.
That’s exactly what you get with a website. You can integrate with all these analytic tools that simply don’t exist with the web pages that these MLM companies provide their distributors.
Your Business Can Share Your Personality
As I mentioned earlier, you’re pretty limited with what you can do with a Facebook page. You can share some photos, put up a cool logo and cover photo, and maybe even introduce some quirky emojis into your posts, but there’s only so much you can do to let your personality shine through.
And what good is having a personal business that’s all your own as an independent contractor if you can’t even represent yourself aesthetically as you want.
With a website, your personality can be expressed whole heartedly. You aren’t limited to a structure of content within the confines of a Facebook page. You aren’t limited to using the MLMs brand colors and layout of their website distributor page.
A website is all yours and it can look exactly how you want it to in order to uniquely represent you.
You Can Adapt And Proceed
What if things don’t go as planned? Yeah, I know that’s not fun to think about.
Okay, well what if everything goes as planned for you and business is booming for you, but the MLM company overall is failing and goes out of business.
What then? It’s obvious you have a knack for success, so wouldn’t it be great if you could just shift gears and leverage all the success you had with a prior company and roll into a new endeavor.
By having your own website and business set up as a self sufficient identity that doesn’t rely heavily on the parent company, you’re in a much better position to change directions. In fact, you can simply pick up where you left off with one MLM and join another and likely with a bit of text swapping on your website be right back in business promoting a new brand.
Other Network marketers will have their own sites
Unfortunate news flash, but you won’t be the only network marketing distributor seeking an upper hand. Your competitors may already have their own websites and failing to join them will cause you to miss out on standing out from the majority that don’t.
Even if they have, the great thing about the Internet is that it can unleash your creativity to make your site unique and better than competitors.
What if the MLM I work for says I can’t market myself this way using their brand?
Some of the companies out there might forbid you from building separate eCommerce sites that sell their products. They want to funnel people directly through their website pages and private direct sales. They probably even have rules against using their registered trademark and copyrighted content on your personal website as well.
Here’s where you get creative!
Let’s say you sell weight loss products through an MLM and you want to sell them online through your own website, but the MLM says you can’t buy their products in bulk and sell them through your own store and you can’t use their identity in your content.
That basically means you can’t run your own little eCommerce shop and have to funnel sales through their eCommerce channels. It also means, you might not be able to directly reference the brand.
All you have to do is be vague.
Instead of creating content about a specific MLM product, create your content around a category of MLM products. This allows you to avoid even mentioning the name of any products, but you can still highlight the benefits of using a particular type of weight loss product.
Now, when readers of the content reach out to learn more, you can give them the specifics of the product and methods to order by contacting you.
So, we might be selling an MLM product called Super Duper Protein Powder, but in order to meet their distributor rules, we’d just just reference the benefits of protein powder in general. By doing so, we’re still showing search engines we’re an authority and expert in protein powders leading to generating activity that allows for customers to contact us about powders we recommend.
And best of all, because we’re being generic, we’re also in a position we can really apply the content to any protein powder we choose to recommend. That means, we could effectively distributor multiple protein powders, potentially from multiple sources, and then tailor our recommendations to the client as closing instead of trying to sell every customer that comes to your website the same exact product without a personalized conversation.
How to Create your Network Marketing Website
Now that we’ve covered all the great reasons it’s a great idea to have a network marketing website for your MLM business, let’s talk about how to make one. You’re probably thinking this seems super technical and maybe that’s one of the reasons you’ve avoided doing it, but it’s relatively simple if we take it step by step.
Choose a Domain For your MLM Consultant Business
Earlier I mentioned that most network marketing companies are going to have rules in place regarding referencing their brand. That likely means that you won’t be able to use their brand name in the domain name, so you’ll have to come up with something unique to you.
If you sell makeup through Seint and your name is Brandi, you might choose cosmeticsbybrandi.com.
Then you fulfill the requirements of not using their brand name, but you still have a relevant domain to the industry where you can post blog articles on various makeup related topics or upload YouTube videos.
How do I buy a domain name?
Most web hosting companies allow you to purchase the domain name as part of your web hosting package. The same is true at 515Hosting and if you use this link, scroll down, and input your preferred domain, you’ll get an 8% discount!
Once you fill in your domain, you’ll be brought to the Web Hosting Order Form. You can reach the order form page directly at get.515hosting.com. If you haven’t already filled in the domain name you want, you can do so under “Register Domains”.
pro-tip: You can do this for $50 per year!
Other companies might charge hefty fees for their web hosting, but around here you can get all the same great features and high quality hosting for roughly $50 a year.
Purchase web hosting for Your MLM Business
In order for people to visit your website, it needs to have a server (i.e. hard drive or computer essentially) that stores the files and is available for customers to reach 24/7 safely and securely.
Web hosting typically is paid on a monthly or annual basis depending upon the hosting company and the plan that you choose.
At 515Hosting, there are several plans available. For most network marketers, the Basic Web Hosting package will be sufficient for a simple website.
To order web hosting, simply visit the Web Hosting Order Form page mentioned earlier.
1.) Input a username that you’ll use to login with.
2.) Choose your web hosting plan under the Hosting Plans tab. I recommend the Basic Shared web hosting plan.
3.) Input your account contact details.
4.) Check that you agree to the terms and conditions and then click Create Account.
5.) You’ll be asked to setup a password and complete your purchase by providing payment information.
Note: The billing department will give you a call to verify you purchased the account as a security feature.
Congrats! You now have web hosting for your network marketing business!
pro-tip: What is shared web hosting!
Think of web hosting like a property. You have a house (your website) and you have a mailbox (your emails). Some companies have a large budget or demand a lot of space to fit a lot people, so they’ll opt for a property (web hosting space) that’s all their own. But a lot of businesses, like a network marketing business probably don’t need huge amounts of space or have a large budget right away.
Shared web hosting is like an apartment complex where the entire property is split into individual units. Everyone has a little bit of space to their own and their own little mail boxes, but they share a lot of the same resources with each other. Sharing a web server with other websites is cost most cost effective.
Install A Free SSL Certificate
This step is a little more technical, but you’re going to want to install what’s called an SSL certificate.
This a feature that encrypts connections to your website for security purposes.
Each web host is slightly different, but for 515Hosting you simply visit your web hosting dashboard, hover over My Domains, and then select SSL Certificates. Find the domain you registered and then look for the link titled “Add SSL Certificate”.
Choose the option titled “Request Let’s Encrypt certificate for yourdomain.com” and then click the button labeled “Activate SSL Certificate”.
Now we’re ready for the fun part.
Create Your Email Addresses
It’s not a requirement to use an email address associated with your domain, but if you’d like you can add as many as you like within your account that all use the domain name you picked out.
Keep in mind, you do have a limited amount of storage for saving emails. It’s a pretty sizable chunk, though!
With your email addresses created, you can either check them online using the Webmail link or use the server settings displayed with the selected password to connect to your email application, like Outlook.
Install a Website Builder Tool OR Content Management System (CMS)
Our web hosting services include a built in drag and drop website builder from Kopage that’s absolutely free. You can access that via the Web Tools drop down in your web hosting dashboard.
To really take your website to the next level, I highly recommend using a content management system like WordPress.
Within your web hosting dashboard, you can install WordPress quickly via the Installer dropdown. If you click Application Installer, you’ll find a variety of different CMS systems you can install to build your site, including WordPress. You can also click Website Installer to install WordPress with prebuilt themes.
This makes it incredibly easy to get up and running quickly. There’s an absolute wealth of information on WordPress out there to teach you how to build sites with it and use additional features with plugins and themes! Best of all, the vast majority of what you’ll find in the WordPress directories of add-on plugins are completely free! We won’t cover in depth how to build your site using WordPress as that would distract from the purpose of this article, but here’s some resources to learn more:
Add Features That Will Benefit Your Network Marketing Business
Now that we have a website and some initial design work completed, it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to market this website and what we’re going to do with the traffic we receive from our marketing efforts.
The great thing with your website is that you can be really creative and use a lot of tools that you wouldn’t have access to through your company web page or through social media.
This is probably going to be the vast majority of your marketing efforts. Instead of posting small blurbs on Facebook, you can instead write very in depth articles about the products that interest you that dive deeper than what a Facebook post likely would. You can then share the post to your Facebook page instead.
A blog is going to allow you to capture a variety of key words to attract the interest of people searching out your type of product for more information.
Call to Action
With traffic arriving to your website, we need some way to capture that audience. It doesn’t do us much good if people read up on our network marketing line of products and then click away because they don’t know how to reach you. One method would be a contact page with a form or listing your contact information on the site, but regardless of how people connect with you, we need to have a call to action that makes that connection happen.
A call to action tells the user to perform some action, like click a button that leads to your contact form to buy your products or input their email address to join your newsletter list.
We want to make it incredibly easy for people to share the content we write. By default, WordPress doesn’t have sharing functionality, but you can research a Social Share plugin that adds buttons to your post that visitors can click on to share to their Facebook pages.
You’re going to put a lot work work into your business website. It’s important to value that work with the insurance of backups. Your web hosting account has backup features, but be sure they save both the Files and Database for the website.
pro-tip: Think outside the Theme Box!
WordPress includes an extensive list of professionally built themes absolutely free in their. If your MLM deals with beauty, simply type “beauty” in the theme search and see what pops up!
For even more options, consider searching up other terms that you could repurpose for your use. Try “musician” or “portfolio” searches. There’s no reason you can’t use a theme built for music artists to represent your MLM business just by changing the content!
Keep On Learning & Growing Your Website
While this article covers why you want a network marketing website and some brief information on how to set one up, it barely scratches the surface of what is possible in building your site, expanded information on search engine optimization, or advanced tools for analytics.
It’s important to take building your website day by day, just like you do your business. Learn a little bit and apply that information and eventually you’ll see your website grow into a lead generating gem!
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions by leaving a comment.
If you’d rather leave your MLM web design up to a professional, simply contact me!