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The Difference Between MLM & Network Marketing


Salam everyone,

Yesterday I was listening to a talk segment in BFM, about recession-proofing your income through network marketing. The guest speaker was an Australian network marketer and he was expounding the virtues of having multiple streams of income and network marketing being one of them.

I’m all for multiple streams of income, the more the merrier right? But the interesting thing was when the radio host asked whether there was a difference in MLMs and Network Marketing, and he said yes. I was intrigued. Previously, I thought the two terms were synonymous. But after listening to the program, I realize that there is a difference: MLMs use network marketing but network marketing aren’t necessarily MLMs.

A multi level marketing program usually requires you to have downlines and you must maintain a certain level of points to get paid. You get downlines through networking i.e. approaching friends, family or strangers you meet. The process of getting downlines in MLM is network marketing. But network marketing does not necessarily entail MLMs. For example if you like a product, and then you tell your friends and family about the product, and they buy the product, thats network marketing. In fact most of us do it all the time for free. Think about it, when was the last time you bought something or saw something that you really liked and told your friends about it, and they went and bought it.

In reflection, I think that is the power of branding i.e. certain brands can “command” the masses to do network marketing for them for free (well not really free, they spend millions on branding and advertising but you get what I mean).

Now certain companies offer member get member programs where you get compensated either with cash or goods. This is another way of companies getting people to do network marketing for them, albeit for compensation.

All in all, I’m glad I listened to the program as it broadened my view on network marketing. As it being a viable source of income, well thats another issue to be discussed in a different post.

2 Responses

  1. MLM or network marketing I think is a really good, fast and legal way to earn a living – both offline and online. Too bad there are scams out there that smudge the good face of the industry. On the other hand, there are also those that are legit, some of which I’m a part of.

  2. Why not combine the both? I market two stand alone products
    and one compliments the other perfectly. Legit and from a respected internet marketing org

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