What is an MLM?

Hey, everyone! Kalie the Blogger, here, letting you know about a few of the most popular MLM’s, what you’d have to do if you joined one, and whether or not you should become part of an MLM.

But first! Let’s get some definitions down. MLM stands for multi-level marketing company. Sometimes people refer to multi-level marketing as matrix marketing or network marketing. I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of some of these companies already.


Most Popular MLM Companies and What They Sell

Amway- health, beauty, and home care

Avon- beauty, health care, and personal care

Beach Body– fitness and weight loss

doTerra– essential oils

Herbalife– weight loss supplements and sports nutrition

Mary Kay– cosmetics

Nu Skin Enterprises– personal care products and dietary supplements

Pampered Chef– kitchen tools and cookbooks

Scentsy- scented wax and wax warmers

Vector Marketing- knives

ViSalus– weight loss products


What Is a Multi-Level Marketing Company?

A multi-level marketing company is a business opportunity to sell another company’s products. “Well, wait a minute… I thought that was affiliate marketing,” you might say. Allow me to explain!


While affiliate marketing and MLM’s share some similarities, they’re not the same thing. Signing up to sell as an affiliate is usually free. However, if you join an MLM, you’re likely to pay a fee to get started.


Starter fees typically range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars. Sellers are often required to hold events at their homes (ever been to a jewelry party?) to increase sales and hopefully offset the cost of joining.


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Like affiliate marketers, MLM salespeople earn a commission on every product sold. Some sellers make a hefty commission (enough to work full-time as a member of the company), while others never make a dime.


Unlike affiliate marketing, you may be strongly encouraged to recruit other members into an MLM. Speaking of recruiting others, let’s talk about downlines.


What is a Downline in an MLM?

A downline refers to the sellers you’ve recruited and (usually) the sellers they’ve recruited also. Every time someone in your downline makes a sale, you get a commission. Sounds cool, right?


Yes and no. While the opportunity to make money is increased with every recruit, this system comes with some caveats. Often, a handful of successful sellers make a great profit, while those they’ve recruited make little to no money.


MLM’s have a reputation for promoting a cult-like atmosphere where members are told to badger their friends and family into joining. Some people take this idea too far and end up turning every social occasion into an opportunity to sell their products or recruit members.


This brings us to our next topic….


Are MLM’s Legit?

It depends on your definition of legit. Partaking in a multi-level marketing opportunity is not illegal. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive adequate training or make any money.


Whether or not you are successful in an MLM depends heavily on factors like how much experience you have in selling other people’s products, how many friends you have, and how effectively you’re able to market yourself on social media.


Some MLM’s are outright scams. For example, a well-known multi-level marketing company called Empower Network has been accused as operating under a pyramid scheme and not delivering on its promises in general.


Because multi-level marketing scams are so prevalent on the Internet today, you should probably consult the Better Business Bureau before spending any money to sign up for one.


If joining an MLM sounds like a waste of time and money to you, I have a solution.


I would highly recommend doing affiliate marketing instead of an MLM. You get a commission for selling other people’s products but don’t have to worry about recruiting others for a downline.


I’d encourage you to read my product review for my favorite affiliate marketing program if you’d like to get started in the right direction today.


Let’s wrap up, here. I think you’ve heard enough to have a general idea of what an MLM is now!


Your Main Takeaways

  1. MLM stands for multi-level marketing company.
  2. Participants earn a commission by selling the company’s products.
  3. You have to pay a hefty fee to join.
  4. MLM sellers have are strongly encouraged to recruit new members.
  5. The people you recruit are part of your downline.
  6. The people they recruit are also part of your downline.
  7. You make a commission every time someone in your downline makes a sale.
  8. Some MLM’s have been compared to cults because of their recruiting tactics.
  9. Multi-level marketing is legal.
  10. There is no guarantee you will earn money.
  11. Typically, a select few at the top of the chain will make a handsome profit while those at the bottom will make very little profit.
  12. Some MLM’s do not deliver on their promises and are therefore considered scams.
  13. Affiliate marketing is a legit way to make money without having to pay entry fees or recruit other people.

Connect With Me

I hope you enjoyed this brief explanation of multi-level marketing. If you liked this post, please drop me a comment in the comments box below.


Your feedback is important to me! If you need to contact me directly, please send an email to: KalieTheBlogger@KalieSays.com.


I’m going to leave you a couple links. One is to my Wealthy Affiliate profile, where I do a lot of my networking.


The other is to my Wealthy Affiliate review, a detailed description of a program that will help you get your own affiliate marketing website started if you’re sick of MLM’s.


And, as always, thank you for reading! 😀


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