I personally believe we do a dis-service to the industry and ourselves if we openly state...or even allude...that NWM is easy. It's not. Nor is any business....WAH or brick & mortar. Anyone who does say different is not being wholly truthful. I find that to be a shame.
NWM requires 3 main ingredients....time, effort, and yes - money. Time is just a matter of redirecting your habits. Not easy but doable. Time directly impacts your efficiency. Effort is entirely controllable by the individual....and directly impacts your effectiveness. Money is self limiting and directly affects both efficiency and effectiveness. An individual must find the best combination of the three that works for them. Someone else can't tell you what that combination is....but can help you find it (for example a good sponsor).
The new mlmer faces a daunting task...and competition...when it comes to "advertising". Finding that "best combination" of time, effort, and money is a growth experience. Rarely will it just appear... education (self and provided) plus mentoring (if available) are important factors and hopefully a fact of life. However, "advertising" is not impossible.
In my mind advertising is just whatever method you choose to "reach" people. It might be the traditional newspaper or ezine ad or the simple greeting and sharing with a friend. How you "advertise" or "share" can take many forms.
There are free and inexpensive methods that do work. It's a matter of finding those that work for you.
1. Writing and submitting ezine articles is an excellent method. It requires time & effort...but no money. The benefits include increased link popularity for the url used in your sig box (important for search engine ranking), branding, and reach (you can "reach" more with an article than an ezine ad). Plus it's viral. Often your article is archived by publishers and directories.....available well after it was originally offered. Plus publishers and web masters will often "pick up" your article...again well after you originally submitted it.
2. Business cards are always a good method...and more inexpensive than one realizes. You can even make your own. Just pass them out like candy....stores, church, ball games, local events, restaurants (leave 1 with your bill), businesses you frequent, networking meetings, local Chamber Of Commerce. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
3. Flyers, posters, post cards, brochures, etc. can also be done very inexpensively. You can make your own on your PC or purchase custom or ready made templates from numerous online providers. You could even strike up a joint venture with a local community provider. They print it for you and include their "advert" somewhere...you distribute. You both win, you pay less, and maybe influence that partner to be involved in your business.
4. Web decals on your vehicle(s) is another inexpensive method. I have one on each of our family cars (back window) with a short "catch line" and my url. Cost was ~ $40 each but the visibility is priceless.
5. Newspaper/magazine ads can be found that aren't going to cost an arm and a leg. Local publications are a good place to start. http://nationwidenewspapers.com is an excellent source. For some of my services I've found College student newspapers and alumni magazines to be good performers.
These are just a few examples.
Of course there are the traditional ezine ads, leads programs, Forum participation (sig line - branding reputation), search engines, "3 foot rule", etc. Most of these will cost you money...all will cost you time & effort.
The key I believe is in being creative and sticking to what best fits your time, effort, money combination. It is and should be a personal choice. If the dollar "cost" doesn't give you the dollar "value" you hope for....keep looking. But don't EVER give up.
Plus...diversify. Use multiple methods. Why limit yourself to just "one path"?
Should we just sponsor those willing to waste $1,000's advertising? Heck no!! We should sponsor anyone interested and teach them how to advertise in a manner best suited for them. Don't mislead them with false expectations or pressure them into uncomfortable actions. Lead them to solutions which best fit their expectations & abilities (time, effort, money).
John Milton Fogg's answer to the question is priceless......"It is simple, but it isn't easy."
Captures it pretty well I'd say. That's the message. It's not hard to understand...should/is fun.....but does take some effort.
Sending any message to prospects that denies effort is involved or necessary....misleads folks into becoming part of the "failed or quit" statistics.
It leads to false expectations.
They start to think they can sit on the couch with beer & potatoe chips watching Oprah on TV all day....and the money will roll in by itself.
Lays, Coronas, and Dr. Phil aren't going to build your business.
In my mind (OK...my opinion)....that's the core of any message they should receive.
If you really care...that's what you'll tell them.
What do YOU think????