Many of you ask me frequently about network marketing as you know that I was involved in network marketing with Arbonne for a couple of years. I’d like to share my story of network marketing with Arbonne – the good and the bad, and explain why I’m no longer involved. Here’s my truth about network marketing – the good, the bad and the ugly!
Network Marketing – The Good
First of all, I want to talk about the company Arbonne. One thing I loved about it was the products – they are botanically based and scientifically formulated vegan skincare and make up ranges, along with a few health products. I would say that you shouldn’t get involved with a network marketing company unless you’re totally passionate about the products. I certainly was! I used them on a daily basis, which meant that I found it easier to promote them. Saying that, they were expensive.
There were quite a few positives to network marketing for me, during the two years that I was involved…
- I could work with people I chose to work with – and one of those was my sister! It certainly bought us closer together.
- I became healthier and more concerned about exercise and what I eat – as it was a health and beauty business I leant how to do my make up properly and took more pride in my appearance.
- It gave me confidence and developed me as a person. I listened to a lot of personal development pod casts which were good for my and helped me to gain a more positive outlook on life. I also went on a conference in Las Vegas, which I would have never done without Arbonne!
- It did pay out! I almost made area manager and received several pay checks of a few hundred dollars that I successfully cashed in!
- It can be very successful for the right people – I knew people who were earning between £2-£5k a month, but these people were in the minority.
Network Marketing – The Bad
The down side was that the products were pricy, and you were expected to buy new ranges as testers in order to sell them. The key challenges of network marketing with Arbonne seemed to be:
- The over-inflated prices or delivery costs meant that it was difficult to make a sale, and we were increasingly encouraged to make sales through recruitment or bringing new people into our team.
- Pressure was put on us to put 150QV (Qualifiying volume) – about £100 through personally per month, and without this we couldn’t receive our pay checks. So, those who made small sales would end up spending back the money that they had earnt.
- The company was in charge of pricing/products, rather than me if it was my own business, and Arbonne could discontinue a range or increase prices at any time without my input. Once they doubled the price of a product and made it a third of the size. I had a lot of ladies on this product (immunity drinks) and as soon as Arbonne did this, I lost over half my customers. This was something that my boyfriend forewarned me about, but I had to learn it for myself as an entrepreneur.
- You can’t advertise the business directly, for example, you can’t do PPC campaigns on the company name.
- Two levels of my upline above me quit, until I was direct to the area manager. I did get some support, but only when I was bringing in sales, not always when I needed it.
Network Marketing – The Ugly
The really ugly part of network marketing doesn’t come directly from the company but usually from uplines. Often they tell you to get ‘everyone you know’ in front of them, even if everyone you know is not interested in the business.
- I was encouraged to present to friends, even those who weren’t looking for an opportunity, and it put rifts between some of us as we were encouraged to be ‘pushy’. Thankfully, I didn’t go overboard, but I have seen many friendships get ruined.
- Once someone in my upline told me to have a Facebook cull and get rid of anyone in my network who was seen as negative, particularly about Arbonne. I lost some old friends through this – I listened to him because he was earning £8k a month, but that doesn’t mean he was right. Months later, his business collapsed.
- I’ve seen some people get so worked up about the business and inappropriately put products in front of people at the wrong time. It’s almost taken over their lives, and not in a good way.
- I met some bad people – quite money-grabbing and some of them referred me on to con-men (one was a dodgy letting agent who kept my rental income). I would not want to relate to people like that again to be honest.
My Overall feelings about my time in Network Marketing
Overall, I don’t regret the experience. It has made me stronger and wiser as a business person. I didn’t end up out of pocket, although I wouldn’t say I profited massively either, as the profits usually bought my new product ranges. I gave it a good go and did it properly. And at the end of it, all I was left with was a load of nice vegan skin care!
Would I do network marketing again? No, I’m focussing on my blogging. Do I regret giving it a go? Not at all. But do your research, and get the right company for you if you decide you want to go into it.