Is It Ok to “Steal” Someone Else’s Downline?
Now before you answer this question and jump into the “NO” camp…
It’s not what you’re thinking…
I’d like you to view the ethics for this question from a different perspective and you may be surprised by your own conclusion!
You see a couple weeks ago, I received some complaints from leaders in the network marketing industry who didn’t like the fact that their downline reps were seeing my posts and ads on social media promoting my marketing training & blog posts.
The reason they were seeing my posts, was because Facebook allows me to target and promote my posts to people with a specific interest.
For example, if you are a fan of a certain “Public Figure,” “Brand,” or follow a certain “author”… I can tell Facebook, “show my ad to people interested in Robert Kiyosaki,” or whomever.
Now doesn’t it sound better to attract Robert Kiyosaki followers for your business, than your broke negative relatives?!?
Well, hold on to that thought…
In my case, I’m also able to target people interested in specific network marketing trainer, brand or company… thus… the complaint.
You see, according to the networking leaders complaining about my advertising, it is unethical of me to be advertising to their customers and downline… because it makes it harder for them to keep their people indoctrinated into the ‘old school’ way of building, which includes ‘home meetings,’ ‘hotel meetings,’ ‘cold calling,’ ‘cell phone number dumps,’ ‘friends & family,’ ‘cold market prospecting,’ and so on.
I, on the other hand, advocate a 21st century approach to acquiring new reps or customers in network marketing (or any other business), using passive online strategies I call ‘attraction marketing,’ which includes Facebook marketing, blogging, online lead generation strategies, which literally results in the passive generation of leads, customer and even distributors for your business.
Last month alone, my business literally generated over 300 leads per day, 500+ customers and 71 serious people who wanted to build a business with my help.
Aside from me, there have been literally hundreds, if not, thousands of 6- and 7-figure earners that have built their business using the internet (many of them taught by me).
There are also others that have not built online and don’t like the fact that I want to educate the network marketing masses about this other option.
Simple. Cause they don’t know how to generate prospects online, therefore introducing these strategies to their downline would undermine their authority. After all, you can’t be a leader in something you know nothing about.
So they refer to it as a ‘distraction,’ but that’s simply code for…
“I don’t understand these methods so I’ll just pretend they don’t exist.”
When I got started in network marketing back in 2005, I tried the old school way of building and succeeded for a short period building a small team…. but quite frankly, I felt very inauthentic building using home parties and hotel meetings.
The reason being is that I was an MIT educated engineer AND I was a young person who enjoyed the leverage of technology!
Friends that I went to college with include the founder of Dropbox, engineers at SpaceX and Tesla and countless other startup entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.
It made absolutely no sense for me to be building as if I was some cheap door-to-door sales person peddling vitamins to my friends and family.
I needed to figure out how to use the internet to do this and I went searching.
To my surprise, there was a small group of network marketing pioneers who had actually uncovered an extremely effective way to build online and the kicker was that NONE of them were engineers or computer guys.
One was a high school drop out, turned millionaire… his name is Tim.
One was a former homeless crack addict, turned millionaire… his name is Tom.
And the “smartest” among them was a C- student at a Texas public college who barely graduated. Also turned millionaire… named Mike.
My response to seeing what they were doing was simple, “If they can do it, I can do it!”
And I DID!
Within 2 years of learning from them, I started earning enough money to quit my engineering job at an Aerospace company and shortly thereafter, became a 6-figure earner with my company products & team.
Within 4 years, I earned 7-figures in my business, which included 3 separate streams of income, including my company.
And today I’m even business partners with Tim, the ‘high school dropout,’ because he was actually the source of this knowledge which has transformed the lives of thousands of solo-entrepreneurs world wide.
Now my success may be cool and all, but what the heck does this have to do with you and ‘stealing downline.’
Well, you see… the knowledge they passed down to me wasn’t something they invented either. They derived it from 100 years of tested and proven marketing and sales strategies – now being applied towards the Internet – referred to as ‘Direct Response Marketing’ or ’Attraction Marketing.’
Here’s how it works…
The grounding principle of ’Attraction Marketing,’ which is likely contrary to what you’ve likely been taught about promoting your business, is the following…
“Everyone is NOT Your Prospect”
In fact, trying to sell your product or opportunity to EVERYONE will actually end up costing you an insane amount of wasted time, money, rejection and frustration, which will sink your business… any kind of business – not just network marketing.
Instead, attraction marketing – whether you’re paying for ads or prospecting on social media – is about targeting people who are most likely to take you up on your offer, because they have a need or problem, which your product, service or opportunity solves.
This is what makes online marketing via Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube so effective – people have already told these social platforms what their interests & problems are via their searches, views, posts and other behaviors.
So if this is the case, you may be asking, how do I find people interested in what I have?
Well in attraction marketing, there are actually 5 primary market segments you may choose to go after.
Now, even though there are 5 potential target markets, I got my business to 7-figures by going after only 3 of them, because it was easier, faster and less complicated than the other 2.
So today, I’ll just share with you the 3 target markets I would recommend for you, as a network marketer, each broken down into 2 possibilities for recruiting new reps or attracting product customers.
Here we go…
Target Market #1: People Who Already Buy What You Sell
Recruiting New Reps:
Here’s where we get into the controversial issue of “stealing” downline.
You see, I choose to direct my marketing and advertising first and foremost towards network marketers, direct sales reps, affiliate marketers and biz seekers.
Because they have already demonstrated a willingness to BUY in an opportunity and invest in themselves via books, training and events! Plus they are positive about our industry!
I don’t have to convince them that what we do is good or bad, because they are actively participating in it. They want to earn an extra income and have already paid for programs in the past.
In other words, they already buy what I sell.
My job as a marketer and leader in the industry however, is not to shove my opportunity in their face and tell them to join me. (You can try that, but conversions will be low because that’s what most low-skill networkers will try to do at first.)
A savvy networker uses something called, “attraction marketing” to demonstrate their value and leadership skills, which would make you attractive as a potential sponsor.
If you do a search online for top network marketer, you’ll see that many of them such as Tim Sales, Randy Gage, Ray Higdon, Hayley Hobson, Matt Morris, Todd Falcone, etc. etc. have training sites, which attract networkers to them.
And all are still actively building a network marketing business, therefore should anyone prefer to benefit from their training and leadership as a team member on their teams, there is always a path available for someone to join, without coaxing or high pressure sponsoring tactics.
Would you call that ‘stealing downline?’ I would call it being a leader who offers value and thus, attracts people to him or her.
In fact, that’s probably one reason why you found this blog post. You likely saw someone share this post on social media, which caused you to take an interest in my skill set in online lead generation and as a leader in the industry.
Truthfully, my posts and ads probably targeted YOU because the platform that brought you here, knew you had an interest in network marketing! (Don’t worry, I will never ask you to join my deal. This site 100% dedicated to marketing education.)
But wouldn’t it be cool for you to learn how to do what I just did with you? You can learn how to do it for free via my 10-day online recruiting course, available right here.
Producing Product Customers:
Alternatively, finding people who already buy what you sell is not just about targeting networkers via social media. It’s also about targeting people who already buy the same or similar retail product to what you sell.
And if you’ve never gotten results with network marketing, leading with your product and targeting people who already have demonstrated a willingness to invest in products similar to yours, is actually a great beginner strategy because it doesn’t require that you be some sort of big guru.
You just need to demonstrate that your product can produce the results or better results, than the products your prospect is already using.
That’s why, in the weight loss industry, the best customers are usually those who have bought other weight loss solutions.
And again, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., etc., allows you to easily find and target people who are already buying these products.
Target Market #2: People Who are Looking for What You Sell
This market is similar to Target Market #1, with one key yet subtle difference – they are aware of the product or opportunity which could help them solve their problem, but have yet to buy or invest.
However, the strategy for targeting them is almost identical to what was described before…
For Recruiting New Reps & Product Customers:
This is someone who may have been introduced to a particular opportunity or product, but still in research mode and haven’t taken the step of actually taking their wallet out, pulling out their credit card and buying.
For example, I was recently I was looking to buy a Soda Stream because I like drinking carbonated water or mineral water, but I hate using up glass and plastic bottles of Perrier. A competitor like Keurig could have tracked my online search results, websites I visited, etc., and shown me ads for their carbonation system before I spent a couple hundred bucks on Sodastream.
As you can see, among these type of people could be many high quality prospects, but beware of the tire kickers that sponsor shop or have a hard time making a decision. (BTW, is it stealing if your marketing attracts this person to your business instead of a competitor?)
You would target and find these prospects via the same social media channels I mentioned, because of their interest in the same things Target Market #1 would be interested in.
What’s cool is that if you have automated online marketing systems, as I teach in my free 10-day course, you let the system do the selling, telling and sorting for you, until they are ready to make a buying decision.
But if you do engage these folks, you’ll want to focus on the issue, problem, or desired result they want for their lives, and conversely highlight the cost of in-action to their financial or personal well-being they don’t want for their lives.
Ultimately, no one cares about your company or product. They care about you helping them solve their problems and improve their lives.
Target Market #3: People Who Have a Problem, Solved By What You Sell
These folks are people who are aware of a problem they have (i.e. they need more money, want to lose weight, hate their job, etc.), but are not yet aware of a product or opportunity which can help them.
For Recruiting Reps:
To find people who might be interested in your opportunity, this would mean targeting people who have demonstrated an interest in books about entrepreneurship or escaping the rat race such as Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Magic of Thinking BIG by David J. Schwartz, etc.
Someone who is a fan of authors or public figures like these, would likely have been influenced to start looking for an opportunity to fire their boss or start a business or simply make an extra income from home.
They are aware that they don’t want their job and have an interest in something else, but don’t know what that something else might be. That’s where you come in!
For Product Customers:
Same idea applies here. You’ll want to target people who have expressed an interest in solving a problem in their lives, such as ‘how to lose weight,’ ‘how to make my skin look younger,’ ‘how to reduce inflammation,’ etc.
Usually, these interests are revealed by what people are reading, watching or who they are following on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Remember my SodaStream example? In this example, I wouldn’t be aware of SodaStream or Keurig’s option. All I would know is that I want to figure out a way to carbonate my own water or that I feel guilty about throwing away so many glass bottles or cans.
As before, your marketing message should focus on the issue, problem or desired result they want for their lives and how your product can help them get what they want!
Ultimately, the main question of this article had to do with the ethics of ‘stealing’ someone’s downline or customer, but as you can see, I wasn’t actually talking about harassing or poaching other people’s organizations at all.
That would be self-serving and unethical, because your true interest is not in helping others, but in helping yourself.
What this article actually wanted to demonstrate is how YOU can choose to create an online presence and attract new reps and customers to you, by showcasing the VALUE of what you offer, so people can come to YOU and choose YOU.
People will on their own, choose to or not to take an interest in what you have via targeted and effective ads and marketing, just like any other business has the right to do. Will people in other teams or organizations choose to go with you instead? YES, but the main factor in their choice was that they saw you as a stronger leader who can offer them more.
That is what ‘attraction marketing’ as taught in this 10-Day Online Recruiting Bootcamp is all about – attracting people who like and care about what you have to offer.
This also begs the question if you are a network marketing leader reading this…
Can you really afford to ignore attraction marketing? Or do you think it might be wise for you to build an online presence for yourself and your organization, thus creating a source of fresh and self-generated leads for your team?
The way I see it, I could either be your best friend by helping you learn more about ‘attraction marketing’ and inoculate your business from ‘distractions’ like me, OR I can be your worst nightmare, because if you’re reading this, then likely so will your team members.
The choice is yours.
Guest post by Ferny Ceballos
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