Why is affiliate marketing applauded and network marketing abhorred in today’s society?
I really truly believe it’s just a matter of perception.
This blog topic has been mulling around in my head for a few days now after attending a Rising Tide Society Ottawa networking event where we discussed how to bring passive & residual income into our businesses. There was a huge focus on affiliate marketing vs network marketing. I believe it’s because there is still such a stigma around network marketing you can hear it in other’s voices when the term is brought up.
Why Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing Are The Same
Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing are pretty much one and the same except with a different commision structure. One has a better reputation in the world today but let’s break it down and shed light on why network marketing really needs to stop being seen in such a negative light.
I’ve tackled the subject of Network Marketing Myths before so this is a perfect segway into dispelling more myths.
Ok so if you’ve hung out with me before you know I love diving into definitions to explain things… so without further ado…
Definition of Affiliate Marketing
Definition of Network Marketing
A form of direct selling (the person-to-person sale of goods or services). It includes lead generation, selling, recruiting, customer management and mentoring. It is also referred to as multilevel marketing (depending on the structure of the organization), direct marketing, referral marketing and consumer direct selling.
So what’s the same?
- In both business models, a marketer is paid a commission.
- Marketers can sell products they are aligned to personally.
- Customers purchase products from a parent company through a marketer’s links.
So what’s different?
- In network marketing, there is the recruitment of other sellers. You build an organization vs. just selling to customers.
- The commission structure is the same for affiliate marketing on each sale and never increases exponentially.
I’m an affiliate marketer and a network marketer. For year’s I was a brand ambassador for many companies. That’s like affiliate marketing but without monetization, simply receiving free product. I represent a supplement company, I represented a shoe company and more. I never once received a paycheque but in exchange, I received free product which technically meant I wasn’t spending the money myself on those things I would have purchased normally in my life.
Introduction of Affiliate Marketing Into My Life
In comes affiliate marketing, as I started writing more and more book reviews I realized I could either be an affiliate for Kobo or for Amazon and if you liked a book I suggested or had read and purchased I received a small commission from said sale. Win win for 3 parties. I use affiliate marketing on my podcast in the form of sponsorship clips promoting products like Four Sigmatic and Audible memberships.
I love and adore any product I suggest with an affiliate link and use them regularly in my life.
Introduction of Network Marketing Into My Life
Then in comes network marketing, I started personally ordering doTERRA essential oils as a customer. I replaced my spending at other stores with doTERRA products and then when I was approached to do the business it was a natural extension of loving the product. Something I’ve done countless times before. So while there is a focus on “recruitment” it’s no different than a blogger reaching out to me and asking for the affiliate manager contact information at the company I work with.
There is such a stigma around network marketing that is just so false and basically fear based. Why wouldn’t a company use it’s marketers to not only sell their products but also help them build their affiliates. It’s simply smart. The commission structures are put in place to reward those that are actually doing the work and not based on timing into the organization.
So with that in mind. Can we please stop knocking network marketing and realize that once aligned with an amazing product you are simply a rockstar affiliate marketer?