Have you ever noticed a company replicated capture page that says “You can have your very own website, just like this one”?
If you have, then that statement alone should be an alarm bell and I’ll talk more about why in a moment.
On the surface, most of these replicated sites look pretty darn sexy, use the latest in technology (or do they?) and seem to cover every possible detail about your amazing company and products. If you’re brand new to the industry, the thought of having your own sizzling hot marketing website can seem very appealing.
The problem is, people are attracted to joining your opportunity because you are offering them a solution to their pain. If a person has worked a 9-5 job for decades, they are likely to have resolved that a solution to their pain doesn’t exist. They may be completely operating from survival mode and so their ability to dream big has been left somewhere back in childhood. Our job, is to reconnect that person back with their dreams and goals and help them to see new possibilities.
A replicated website shows them a fantastic product, management team, comp plan etc etc, but it doesn’t show them how it’s all going to work for them. At this stage, the opportunity being presented might be interesting but in your prospects eyes it’s all just a pipe dream. It’s only through connecting and creating a relationship with you, that they can start to see how it’s possible for it to work for them.
Unfortunately, many MLM replicated sites allow you do little more than display your name, number and perhaps a photo. They do very little to connect you with your prospects.
But they are designed by multi million dollar companies, wouldn’t they know best?
Well firstly, due to our friends at the FTC, most MLM companies are shaking in their boots over compliance issues. The marketing arm of many great companies has been suffocated by the legal department, resulting in very limited, if any, customization of these cookie cutter websites. Not great if you want to stand out from the other tens, if not hundreds of thousands of distributors marketing your opportunity!
Secondly, people join people and not opportunities. Yet most replicated websites are not geared for creating personal connections (yet!). They don’t have powerful relationship building avenues to ‘Follow You On Twitter’ , ‘Connect with you on Facebook’ or ‘Contact You On Skype’. They send out ‘old style’ marketing emails otherwise known as ‘push’ or ‘shout’ marketing, with no opportunity for you to further your relationship with your prospect.
Thirdly, they often have very poorly written sales copy, way to many links (that can send people into information overload right from the get go) and no clear call to action.
Let me give you an example of a reputable ‘A’ company’s replicated website that I recently tested.
Step one: I entered my details on the distributors capture page (which gave me no opportunity to connect or learn more about them). I also didn’t enter my phone number.
Step two: I received a pre written company email in my inbox which read:
What if you could start your own business where:
- You already have proven products
- You didn’t have to deal with the headache of manufacturing and inventory
- You already had the perfect website
- The shipping was done for you for free
- You never had to do payroll or manage employees
- At the end of the week, you get a check!
But guess what, this is one of only a tiny handful of company written automated emails I ever received from this poor distributors website!
Yet according to the US Executive Sales Association, only 2% of sales are made from the first exposure, yet 80% of sales come from between the 5th to the 12th exposure!! So this distributor was using a self replicating website, that had no ability for them to create relationships (when we are in a relationship marketing business!), and was completely reliant on the companies ability to create a connection between the prospect and their potential business partner. As I didn’t leave my phone number, they were left with very little chance of exposing me to their opportunity 5-12 times.
The company emails ended with a link to ‘learn more’ or ‘contact us’.
Here is the kicker… I clicked on ‘contact us’ and guess where it took me? Not to the distributor so I could ask questions and build a relationship, it took me to the corporate contact page!!
Then I clicked on ‘learn more’ and it took me back to the replicated site. Drum roll as I share how many shiny new toys I was presented with to get distracted/confused by… In short, just on the home page alone, I was given a total of 14 places to click!!
So while we wait for many MLM companies to come into the 21st century and produce replicated sites that focus on relationship marketing, what’s the solution?
If you were just aiming to keep your prospect laser focused on your companies most powerful tools, you could head over to Free Web Templates and create your own. Grab a template that allows you to embed 1 or 2 of your companies hottest videos, customize it and away you go. While this option cuts down on distraction and overwhelm by not offering so many shiny tools to click on, it’s still not geared to build the relationship.
By far the most logical solution in Network Marketing is to build ‘YOU INC’
Building your YOU INC brand is not a new concept in Network Marketing, however it is still not widely being taught. Setting this up allows you to profit being you, rather than profit from marketing a company that you don’t own.
I see so many people In Network Marketing getting hung up on how many levels deep their Comp Plan pays or the Orac score of their nutritional product, yet the real power is in none of the above. Your primary focus should be on how to become more valuable to your target market.
If your company has hundreds of thousands of distributors, there is every chance that your prospect has already been approached about your opportunity. What’s going to make the difference in who they decide to join is YOU.
If you can show that you have valuable skills, that the majority of distributors don’t, you’re guaranteed to have more people joining your opportunity.
So lets talk about the basics of getting ‘YOU INC’ up and running.
If your building your warm market and incorporating social media strategies, you need a central hub where people can find out more about you, what you have to offer and connect with you on a more personal level. While owning your own website is great, unless you have the skill or money to continually update it, its not going to be a feasible option if you are new or on a budget. Your best option is to start a self hosted WordPress blog using yourname.com as the domain.
If this sounds like an overwhelming, daunting concept because you think you lack the technical skills, don’t panic! The internet has revolutionized the way we learn and there are now free courses that will take you click by click through the process. With software that captures the tutors computer screen, you can be stepped through exactly what to do on your computer screen!
If you need any help with finding free blogging resources, just give me a shout :)
I would love to hear your experience with replicated MLM websites. If you’ve found any that you think are a cut above the rest, pop a generic link in the comments below and join the conversation!
Here’s to YOU INC success,
45 thoughts on “Are MLM Replicated Websites Effective At Growing Your Business?”
Thank you for this wonderful post! I’m involved with many mlm people that need to read this. In fact, I’m sending it to the sites! It was wonderful to speak with you tonight.
Awesome, you are a gem for sending this on and I hope it helps :)
Couldn’t agree with you more MichaelÃ©. Most MLM’s are stuck in the 20th century. I however have been bless with an MLM that does none of the above and still stays in FTC compliance. Your information is in much need. Thanks for posting
.-= Nelson SchroederÂ´s last blog ..OMG!â€¦..Iâ€™ve Found My Niche =-.
Since it’s not even 10pm in Australia, I’m figuring you are a very early riser lol!
Can you tell the readers in our community more about what your company is doing right…
It would be wonderful for everyone to be able to have influence and provide feedback to their own MLM companies.
I know I am :)
Wonderful information Michaele,
I totally understand where you’re coming from about MLM’s. There is not much emphasis on building relationships. mainly it’s about meetings and hoping one or two people might be interested in hearing more.
Instead of waiting for these companies to catch on. building your own YOU Inc is a better plan.
Thanks for sharing,
.-= Val WilcoxÂ´s last blog ..Who Is In Your Target Circle? =-.
It’s interesting isn’t it that whilst we are in a ‘relationship marketing’ industry, many of the tools provided are almost ‘anti’ relationship building!
This is really important info for people that are wanting to stand out in their network marketing co and build solid relationships by naturally attracting people to them. Having a wordpress blog is absolutely ideal in expressing YOU and creating a like-minded team. Thanks for another great post!
I think we are all doing a great job in filling in the gaps.
It’s awesome just watching the amount of growth that occurs when people are introduced to the concept of owning their own piece of real estate!
Thanks for stopping by :)
Company replicated websites seem to be a necessary evil in this industry. OOOO Shiny. They allow a rep to have a web presence…OOOO Shiny… and it gives them a place to send customers to buy their products. OOOO Shiny. There the last place a prospect should go…OOOO Shiny… to learn more about you. Sadly many people don’t have a choice as you’ve pointed out. OOOO Shiny. The good news is…OOOO Shiny… You Inc. cuts down on all the distractions and is by far the best alternative approach. Your prospect has a better attention span…OOOO Shiny…than a dog and should be treated that way.
Thanks, I enjoyed your post.
.-= Don EnckÂ´s last blog ..Spring Break?â€¦School Is Never Out For The Professional =-.
You absolutely cracked me up! OOOO Shiny!
Such a shame that OOOO Shiny is not geared toward enhancing the ‘know like and trust’ factor, between the prospect and their potential business partner.
Gotta love WordPress for enabling us to fill in the gaps that the ‘OOOO Shiny’ replicated sites leave :)
Glad you enjoyed the post.
This was a great post Michaele’- you are so right about the glitzy websites that entice people to sign up, but then there is no follow through – you have no connection to that person, no relationship – it’s all very impersonal. Branding yourself and building your own blog allows you to develop great relationships with people and hey, once they get to know you they just might want to work with you!
P.S. and sometimes people make there blogs OOOOO Shiny!
You’re spot on regarding people might just want to work with you, once they get to know you.
I can’t wait for the day when we can reflect back saying “Hey remember the days when replicated sites weren’t built for relationship marketing and we created our own blogs instead?”.
Call me an optimist but my gut instinct tells me, that companies are going to catch on to the awesome power of Social Media & Relationship Marketing any day now!
Thanks for this post and you hit on so many great points on replicated sites. I can’t tell you how many companies I have passed over only because there is no customization on their sites. We are lucky to have WordPress as our friend!
.-= BeccaÂ´s last blog ..Weeding Out Your Mind =-.
Wow interesting to hear that you passed over companies because their is no customization on their sites.
Yep thank you WordPress for allowing us to create our own communities!
Very good stuff!
It’s funny that the top marketers that actually “know” the type of web pages you need to have also know how to be ranked on the front pages of the search results…
And as a result, they sponsor more people into their business then anyone else in the company. (funny how that works)
Thanks for the great post!
.-= Justin GloverÂ´s last blog ..How To cloak Your Affiliate Links â€“ Who Needs Cloaking Software =-.
Great insight, Michaele! I really like your thoughts on understanding the view from where a potential client is standing. Applicable to any business!
.-= Teresa IvoryÂ´s last blog ..Intuitive Discount =-.
I agree that cutting down on distraction and keeping a potential client focused is applicable to any business.
This is a great post that is jam packed with probably the biggest piece of online network marketing advice that you could give someone…
If someone doesn’t take away from this post what you have shared, then they are not giving themselves the fair chance to take advantage of technology thats in front of them…
Thanks for sharing!
That is a huge compliment coming from someone who is such an awesome marketer :)
Technology is fantastic when it’s used in the right way.
Appreciate you stopping by.
This is such great info Michaele.
My wife and I have kicked this topic around many times, and pretty much decided NOT to link any corporate duplicated sites to our opportunity pages and offers. But we did it mostly on intuition. Now you’ve given us the logic to come to that same conclusion.
Thanks for helping us feel more resolute in our decision to brand ourselves, NOT the company. And thanks for your always present leadership out here, Michaele.
.-= David MerrillÂ´s last blog ..Community Prayer: We Are All Related =-.
I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that has kicked this topic around!
Intuition is amazing hey especially when it’s as spot on as yours was.
Wow, this is a terrific post. You have expressed the frustration of thousands of network marketers (including me) about company replicated websites. It is such a Catch-22 in this profession, isn’t it? If a company doesn’t offer replicated websites to its reps, then it seems old fashioned and out of touch. However, these cookie cutter sites don’t work! In fact, I believe they do more harm than good because they lull uninitiated people into thinking all they have to do is have this site and their business will explode. All of us know this is totally NOT true! I think the next 10 years in MLM will see some radical changes, and the companies that embrace the changes will succeed while the others will become dinosaurs very very fast.
Thanks for sharing such an excellent post about a topic that needs to be discussed!
.-= Mary Lou KayserÂ´s last blog ..How Are You Really Doing in Your Primary Network Marketing Opportunity? =-.
Hi Mary Lou,
Yes I think you are so right about the changes we will see in our industry over the next 10 years.
I’m pretty optimistic that we will start seeing some radical changes pretty soon in regards to these sites.
Many companies are starting to become Social Media savvy, which can only result in improved Social Networking and Relationship Marketing tools for these replicated sites. Fingers crossed that this trend starts emerging sooner rather than later :)
Awesome post! Although I haven’t had those type of “spammy” introductions in quite a while, when I did, I felt it quite hilarious! Thank you for sharing your insight..I will repost…It’s been quite clear to my friends in my network that I am with one company, and one company is all that I’m looking for. Interesting though, it’s usually the “newbies” on the block that send this kind of stuff.
Mahalo for always educating us on the social media ettiquette platform!
.-= Shannon TecsonÂ´s last blog ..The Millionaires Journey: We Become What We Think About =-.
Interestingly I wonder how I would have dealt with this problem if I hasn’t known about WordPress!
All as I can say is thank goodness for the valuable communities we all have access to, so that we have somewhere to bounce our ideas around.
You must have heard me ranting in the collective consciousness before you wrote this blog. Sorry, but it struck me so funny how I was mulling over these exact issues before you wrote this post.
Are you psychic? All silliness aside, this is an Awesome post which so many people should be reading. It was so beneficial to me and others. I’m involved with an MLM and I don’t get caught up in all the rules. I get around them and it is working fine. But those who are, make sure that when you are promoting it it does not go back to the home site. This drives people up the wall because they want to work with YOU. Eventually the MLM’s will get the picture. Donna
.-= Donna MerrillÂ´s last blog ..What to write about in your blog? Your Passion! =-.
Well as we are all psychic on some levels, I guess we just had an ‘in sync’ day :)
So you get around rules hey! I think we need to chat soon!
Your comment put a smile on my face today.
first of all, I love your writing style and you are very close to my own mission when writing that it’s our job to reconnect people with their forgotten childhood dreams. Secondly, I think the FTC or its analogies in any country are friends of serious attraction marketers because they force us to sell us and the opportunity before the company website is presented. Sending the company website is simply the last act in a natural process of connecting and relationsship building. If we do that, even the worst company website will fulfill its purpose, won’t it ? Keep up your great work.
.-= Oliver TausendÂ´s last blog ..How to Add the Notes Box with your Blog Feed to Your Facebook Profile =-.
I agree that I think most authentic marketers have applauded the FTC changes.
The changes reinforce more than ever the need to be truthful in our connections, which in turn result in sales.
And yes you are spot on, in that a great relationship with a prospect will definitely have even the worst replicated sites become a mute point.
The only problem that remains… is replicated sites that don’t allow you to build that relationship..
P.S. Awesome to have you in the community!
You Inc is definitely the way to go. The only thing I use from my corporate sites ins the enrollment form. I have never seen replicated site that let’s you brand yourself and use valuable followup messages.
Well it looks like Akismet is doing its ‘thing’ again as I just found two of your comments in my spam folder!
I haven’t seen a great ‘branding’ and follow up replicated site yet either but I think things are about to change.
Such valid points you bring up. Especially the part of giving a prospective prospect 14 different places to lead them off of the distributors site and distract them… into doing everything BUT building a relationship with the person intended to be their leader!
I am happy to say some companies are figuring this out, and where any self-replicated site is not the same as YOU INC, it is a starting point for a new distributor who has a full time job and has joined a company to leave the rat race. I teach my new distributors in stages so they don’t get overwhelmed. Self replicated sites with built in auto-responders is a way to at least get some communication out there so that the distributor can then really focus on YOU INC as they go.
Love you taking the time to share your experiences on this! Very Valuable.
Lisa Molina’s latest blog…Information Age or MIS Information Age â€“ the Internet
I know at times I too suffer from ADD on the internet! So it’s really through observing my own attention span that I understood how easy it is to become distracted.
Whilst its easy to be distracted by having so many places to click, I’m rarely distracted from a person who is directly building a relationship with me.
This is where the absolute power lies.
It’s great to see companies moving forward with the relationship building aspect but most have a long way to go.
In the meantime, we have WordPress :)
Hi Michaele, you are so right. The only thing the replicated websites may be good for is explaining the opportunity after someone has decided they are interested in joining YOU. I’ve seen a couple of companies that appear to be moving in the right direction, but none of them are quite there yet.
I agree that the replicated sites have a place, after you’ve already established that someone is interested.
They just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to building trust with people you might not yet have a relationship with!
Companies are moving ahead in leaps and bounds at the moment, so hopefully we’re getting closer to some more powerful solutions.
P.S. I went to have a look at your site and it seems you have an incompatible plugin causing the following error:
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 8944493 bytes) in /home/uniqueni/public_html/mumsonline.biz/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-backup/WordpressBackup.php on line 164
This a great post! Most newbies to MLM see replicated website as an awesome tool, just because it gives them the feeling that they are actually on the internet themselves.
What you really need to do, is forget about the replicated sites and create a unique brand of yourself.
Good point by Rowena. A replicated site can be useful in certain aspects.
Most people who are new to MLM do seem to think the replicated site alone gives them an internet presence.
For someone who is totally green and aiming for a piece of real estate on the internet, it can give them an inflated sense of confidence that they are ‘all set’ to go.
This is such a far cry from what it really takes. As you said, creating your own unique brand by building your own personal site is far more powerful.
Thanks for stopping by!
There has to some providers out their that can make customizable websites for distributors though. Majority of replicated websites for MLM and direct selling companies come from software providers. Don’t they?
From my research it looks like a lot of companies don’t want their distributors to make their own websites.
Yes there are companies out there that make customizable sites for distributors, but I haven’t seen any so far that I think are great.
Watch this space though, as I just had someone contact me the other day that has built something pretty amazing! Complete with social media integration to boot!
And you are right, there are companies out there that don’t allow distributors to build their own sites.
Thank you for this excellent post. Could you please give me some advice on two matters:
1. I am torn between the self branding crowd that recommends the you.com blog as a hub to brand yourself, because, “mlm’s, products, services and social media sites (my space) come and go but you don’t” and the affiliate pro blogger crowd that recommends a different blog for each type of product,service, affiliate site or mlm you are trying to drive traffic toward b/c like you say in your post, “people are attracted to joining your opportunity because you are offering them a solution to their pain”. If you are a diverse person with various interest,my blog will seem very unfocused, and divergent, i.e. jack of all trades. Which approach do you recommend?
2. As far as the blog itself, do you recommend going with a group that will charge you and set it up for you or just learn it and do it yourself? If they set it up for you, do you still host it and own the content? There are numerous groups out there that charge around 250-500 usd to do this. What do you think is the best approach?
Thanks so much for your help,
In answer to question 1, I think we are talking about two totally different strategies here.
Having separate niche sites for affiliate products and services is a great idea from an SEO perspective, as long as you know what you are doing to get them ranked.
So basically there is nothing wrong with having a personal blog and a niche market or affiliate based blog. A lot of marketers do extremely well with affiliate blogs by optimising them asap just before a big launch.
I have another 2 blogs that are ranking on google for my Network Marketing opportunity.
Having your own ‘You Inc’ blog is still a must if you want to offer people a chance to get to know you, and the value you have to offer. Having said that, if you are in a business that requires duplication, I don’t recommend blogging as a first step.
(I’ve just written a recent post on this that explains why).
As far as the ‘done for you’ blog set up services go, I think they are a fantastic way to speed up the process and save you potentially months of work. However, keep in mind that you will still need help and support to get going, as there is so much more to blogging than the initial setup.
Many of these services only install the blog, give you a great custom header and some of the basic widgets and plugins. I’m finding through talking to a lot of new people, that once their shiny new toy arrives that have no idea what to do with it!
Personally I chose the hard road and stumbled around for months until I began to figure it all out. Looking back, although a ‘done for you blog’ would have saved me months of headaches, I might never have been in a position (like I am now) to be able to offer to help others.
If you do decide to set up your own blog, I definitely recommend purchasing a professional theme. I wasted weeks looking through free themes until I saw the light :)
As long as you set up a blog on WP.org with your own hosting, yes you own it and all of it’s content. This isn’t the case with WP.com so I highly recommend you go with the first option.
Feel free to ask any other questions and I’ll be happy to help.
Thanks so much for you reply, I great appreciate you taking the time to leave such an informative and helpful response. Great work and site you have!!!
Thank you and you’re welcome anytime.
It’s been great meeting and connecting with you!
RE: “use the latest in technology (or do they?)” – the MLM homepage has 60 validation errors, and is built in tables. In layman’s terms, they are writing bad code in an old fashioned way. So… no, they don’t.
Free templates are fine for a personal site, but a company site needs a site designed to fit their needs.
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