Online Network Marketing Without Guilt

In my previous blog post, I mentioned about online network marketing. I said, “If it weren’t for the Internet, I would have quit doing network marketing”. That mention of the word “network marketing” drew flak from my circle in WA.

“Why are you persisting with network marketing when you already have a good business with WA?”

That’s not the exact wording, but I can feel from the comments I filtered out the topic isn’t welcome. By the way, to those friends whose comments I didn’t approve, I apologize. I can’t let negative comments ruin the goal of the blog post.

“Do I need to explain to these people why?”

That question hanged in my mind for days…

After so much thinking, I realized the need to speak out.

So, today, in this blog post, I am going to explain why. It is not our strategy to mention about the primary business in a blog post but rather share techniques to generate leads and just put the primary on the back end. But, for the sake of explaining, maybe I’d mention that primary here.

My current online network marketing business makes a good illustration why I am doing this business.

I also want to make it clear to the readers coming from the WA community that this website is dedicated to my niche which is online network marketing. If you want to see my other site dedicated to promoting WA, click here.

Can we just respect each other’s niche?

Okay, here we go…

My Primary Business Opportunity

Are you familiar with Strong Future International or SFI?
SFI Banner

I joined this company first in 2007 through a banner ad posted in Friendster. That girl on the right, she recruited me to SFI.

One can join the company for free to explore how you can make money. There are dozens of ways to make money even if you are in the free membership, and you can build the business purely online.

Prior to joining SFI, I got burned by my stints with offline network marketing, and it was the reason why I started searched online. In my mind, I can either find a better opportunity or find a better way to promote a business.

It proved right. After joining SFI, I was able to recruit hundreds of new members to my team, and made a few bucks. Since the money made is not that satisfactory during the old compensation plan, I got drifted away and attracted to newer opportunities that promise bigger income.

After several years of adventure hopping from companies to companies, after making money from commissions based on the entry fees of new members joining, my guilt got on me. That brought me back to SFI in November of 2018.

What is Online Network Marketing Without Guilt?

Sounds religious, isn’t it?

I was told before that the idealists seldom succeed in network marketing business. And probably they’re right.

I didn’t made enough money during my early days in the business because, back then, there was no Internet. Also, the companies that were available then were paying commissions only based on product sales, none from entry of new recruits…

You know, those classic direct selling businesses led by Amway, Avon, and later, DXN. But according the law, MLM or network marketing should work that way.

Sales Organization

Here’s a comparison…

When you join a sales team in traditional businesses, like for example, you join Toyota, are you required to pay a membership fee?

Now, let’s say you’re the sales manager of Toyota, will you earn money from the act of recruiting new sales agent?

No, you won’t. It is from encouraging your team members, helping them to sell cars that you will earn money. Money in the form of salary and bonuses from the company.

That’s how the legit businesses of the world pay their sales force. They don’t milk their poor agents with upfront fees. And that’s how our business here should work too.

But here comes the new breed of network marketing compensation plans that attract most money-makers—the binary compensation plan.

My Experience With Binary Network Marketing

I must admit, the biggest money that I’ve ever made in this industry, is through binary.

Binary Network Marketing

Don’t confuse this with binary options. You know, that online trading game where investors choose between two bets—put and call options—to make money.

Binary in network marketing means, two or two teams compensation plan. As a team leader, you get to build two teams, one on your right and the other one on the left. I made a lot of money from binary. First, with a local company. Then, with an international company called Organo Gold.

My Weekly Commissions

Income Disclaimer

Commissions were PHP40,000, PHP20,000, and PHP8,000 per week until they finally subsided.

All those commissions were derived from the points generated in enrolling new distributors who were investing $100s, $500s, and $1,000s in entry packages. When the entry of new distributors started slowing down, and so our commissions.

Why did it subside?

Binary is good when you have two teams that are balanced in growth. You get paid based on the matching of sales volume points. If for this week, right team registered 100 volume points while the left team got 150 volume points, there’s a match of 100 points.

In Organo Gold, I got paid up to $1,000 per week based on matched points of new entries/new recruits. New recruits were required to avail of the entry package to qualify or participate in the compensation plan. In other words, they have to spend money in order to make money. They have to buy product packages!

Then, there came the complaints…

But why would these people who bought herbal coffees via our entry packages complaining when they were supposed to sell those coffees to customers to turn a profit?

Unfortunately, people got it wrong. What they thought was, they joined a game that works like a “betting game” and not a sales job. And add to that, most people that were recruited are not inclined to sales.

What Brought Me Back To SFI?

I mentioned earlier, I left SFI for newer and more lucrative network marketing businesses. I have made a lot of money with that decision, but regretted it later on. Those I have recruited in Organo Gold, most of them felt envious of me…

“You were the only one that made money. What about us?”

I can still remember the looks, the stare of my recruited members. They were probably blaming me, the money they have invested in those entry packages, if only they have invested them in some worthwhile businesses, they would have probably grown by now.

Although I can’t be blamed for their mistakes, for their not acting on their businesses, I still felt guilty.

So, while sitting in front of my computer at home, a thought went through me…

“Why not go back to SFI? People can join us for free, pick a product to sell and make money from the sales commissions. No money involved.”

Ever since, I like the idea of training people how to make online sales, and then being compensated with overriding commissions. In SFI, I can train people to pick a product from its online store, get the affiliate link for that product, and promote online for a commission.

SFI Selling Toolbox

The closest to this kind of money-making is Avon selling. It’s a very legitimate business, nobody has ever complained they were scammed by Avon. SFI’s sales system works like Avon, only with few slight differences like we have more products and SFI focused on perfecting its affiliate e-commerce system.

That sealed my “come back” to SFI.

And it was a good timing that the company has overhauled its compensation plan, instead of the complicated profit sharing plan, they now implemented a “4% commission from 12 levels uni level compensation plan”.

Here’s the screenshot of their announcement…

Enhanced SFI Compensation Plan

What used to be an unattractive compensation plan, it’s now big-potential compensation plan! And best of all, I won’t ever feel guilty because, it’s compliant with what the FTC wants.

FTC On Legitimate MLM

Conclusion

There’s more to this, but can’t explain them all here in this blog post. Maybe we can continue through a private conversation, a chat, or through a “question and answer” type of commenting below.

My point with all of this is, my adventure from DXN to SFI, then from SFI to Organo Gold, and then from Organo Gold back to SFI, proves that I am not a person who is “all money”.

Conscience is my number one guide in doing business, as I believe in God. I believe He is my business partner and I must uphold business practices that are approved by Him.

Of course, you can’t find a perfect company, you can also lose money in SFI, but at least they pay their affiliates based on what the law wants.

If you are familiar how Amazon works, how legitimate Amazon’s business model is, that’s what SFI’s business model is. It’s just that, the company pays its affiliates not just from your first level, but up to the 12th level.

But still, it carries the legitimacy of the Amazon’s business model—uplines earn a percentage from the sales done by downline team members—with slight difference of getting paid not only from the 1st, but up to the 12th level of sponsorship.

To me, that’s online network marketing without guilt. That’s based on my criteria and I can defend that position. If you have questions or reactions, let’s have a discussion through the comments below.

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22 Comments

  1. stefan

    I understand SFI is an online market with different product sellers and we as affiliate marketers can benefit not just by selling SFI products but also by having a group of sellers we have to recruit first.

    This does sound interesting all in all. But to get both income streams running well you need two niche websites right?

    One for getting new members, as you do here and a second one selling the products offered by SFI. By the way, what niche is SFI in?

    Isn’t this quite a lot of work to do both at the same time, especially for newbies?

    The other question I have is you say SFI members too can lose money, how is that if there is no fee for membership?

    • Gomer

      I’d like to answer your last question, as it is the most intriguing among all questions pertaining to SFI. How can one lost money if you can join SFI for free?

      I am going to reveal to you honestly what is inside, and this is for the sake of you guys who are interested in joining SFI so you can avoid some money pits in there…

      Some people, in haste of building a huge team in SFI, got tempted to purchasing sign-ups generated by other members or vendors inside our online store TripleClicks. I suspect these sign-ups are being generated with Google Adwords as their main advertising means. So, you can expect how low is the quality of leads or sign-ups. What you hope as new team members, turn out to be tire-kickers, or maybe people just checking out what’s the business is. I experienced losing some money with that. And that’s one way to lose money as a free member of SFI.

      But if you are smart or someone more experienced is guiding you, chances are you can get a different results, like not losing money but making profits with this wonderful opportunity.

  2. Jannatul Ferdaus

    I have reading your article very carefully , I got many information about the idealists seldom succeed in network marketing business . After reading this article, I was able to really able to figure out that being guided by your conscience is very important. I want to build up my on line  network marketing business and i have a question that how can I improve my network marketing skills? thank you for sharing this post.

    • Gomer

      Thanks for asking. In the coming blog posts, the discussion will be more on skills. This first set of blog posts here in this relatively new website is focused on giving people an overview of the business we are in. Stay tuned, as maybe in the coming days or weeks, or maybe months, the discussions here will be more on skills.

  3. Edwin Bernard

    I read your article about your adventure in the network marketing industry with interest. There are very few members I know who are trying to use the methods of WA to build their network marketing business online. I happen to be one of them which has peaked my interest in what you are doing. 

    I liked how you compared the different methods that generate income in network marketing. For example, where membership fees are used to pay income vs. getting paid from a percentage of the sale of products from several levels down. Such as 12. 

    Your story about getting in and out and than back in into SFI was also interesting. Mainly for the reasons you stated. The change in their compensation plan. 

    Kudos to you for making money in the companies you were involved. Maybe we shoiuld talk about how WA can be used to help develop a network marketing business online. The principles of Affiliate sales is not too different to making network marketing sales. So there is this commonality. 

    I wish you much success in your online ventures.

    Edwin

    • Gomer

      Finally, I got an ally in WA! 

      There’s nothing wrong with multi-level marketing or network marketing, as long as you are with legitimate companies and does not spam. Wealthy Affiliate is a very good host for websites being used in network marketing business. Owning a website alone puts you in a position where you can broadcast your ideas professionally to let only the interested prospects deal with you thus avoiding rejection and waste of time. 

      Thanks for the good wish, and I wish you the same. Since you are also in network marketing niche, I’d like to know your website so I can visit it too.

      More power to you and God bless!

  4. Chris

    Well it’s good you spoke out – I’ve been a member of the very same community for 8 years now and I know how most of them react. They are told one thing (usually about MLM or networking), then they believe it from all angles. 

    The truth of the matter is there’s nothing wrong with network marketing, as long as it’s done correctly. The owners of the WA may not like it…but hey…why does their opinion have to be yours?

    Congrats on all the success  you are seeing with both affiliate marketing AND network marketing. 

    • Gomer

      Hi Chris,

      I like that philosophy… 

      “Why does their opinion have to be yours?”

      That’s very encouraging. Like a horse, I realized I should focus working on my niche and never mind the negativity and antagonism. Besides, MLM or network marketing is considered a niche, and like they taught us in WA, we are free to choose what niche to work out. As long as we don’t join scam companies, as long as we don’t spam people, there’s nothing wrong with working with this niche.

      Thanks again for the encouraging comment. I wish you success with your chosen niche.

      Yours in progress,

      Gomer

  5. Selenity Jade

    I love network marketing without guilt! I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the MLM niche. I absolutely believe some of the ones out there are 100% legit, but it’s the big fat risk in it going belly up that I don’t like. It sounds like SFI is more my speed with more affiliate based commissions. So my question is, to be sure I understand things right, this is like Amazon Affiliate but with the earning levels like MLM, yes? 

    • Gomer

      Yes, works similar to Amazon where there are businesses listing their products in the online store and you as an affiliate can pick a product you want to promote, grab the affiliate link either for the specific product or the associated product listing, and then send people to the store via your affiliate link. The vendors will ship the products to your customers, SFI sends you a commission. Works almost similar to Amazon, the only difference is, you get paid based on multiple levels like in MLM.

  6. Michel

    I joined SFI years ago, and thanks to their training I learnt a lot about marketing on the net. I recruited a few people back in the day and made a few dollars, but I was more interested in learning how to build out websites, which is why I drifted more towards affiliate marketing.

    On reading your article, I thought to myself that I must go back and look, as I have heard that the range of products at SFI and Triple Clicks has grown. Maybe I should start incorporating these products into my marketing again.

    • Gomer

      Been in and out multiple times, that’s why I have witness how they evolved to what they are now today. Yes, you should take a look again and see the latest developments in there. 

  7. Amanda

    Kind of like a pyramid scheme of sorts is what you’re explaining, I remember Amway lol my parents got in on that one and it didn’t take us places like originally thought.

    I’ve heard a lot of binary trading but I’m not sure I understand it completely, do you have a link where I might be able to clear up the fog of it all?

    I really admire a company that lays it all out there, no hidden fee’s, no extra money invested to get what you primarily thought you were getting for free.  It really say’s a lot about a company that explains in detail what  your getting and not getting.

    • Gomer

      Not really a pyramid scheme, because a pyramid looks like a triangle with one on the top, two on the 2nd level, and 4 on the 3rd level. Can you imagine a triangle? That’s how a pyramid looks like!

      In SFI, you are free to sponsor as many affiliates as you can right on the first level. That makes the structure looks flat on the first level, not a triangle. With a plateau structure on top and not a triangle, how can you say it’s looks like a pyramid scheme?

      Besides, a pyramid scheme requires people joining the program to invest money right at their joining. The money then gets distributed to everyone on top. With SFI, people join for free to grab their affiliate link and start promoting products. When people are joining for free, how can the company distribute money to the top? So, it’s not a pyramid scheme. Like I said with the illustrations, it works like traditional sales organization where a manager recruits new members for the sales team and encourages the members to do selling. 

      I hope that clears the fog in your mind about thinking all MLMs are pyramids. Only a few stubborn MLMs are pyramids, those that follow the law, those that follow what the FTC wants, cannot be called pyramid schemes!

  8. matthew

    Hi gomer. 

    Working in the online world myself I am always interested in what other people are doing to make money?

    Thanks for sharing this way of networking and a different approach. 

    I did networking in the real world and I found it extremely hard work with very little returns. It only becomes lucrative when you get to the top levels. 

    My questions to you are how is this really any different to that ? Isn’t networking just networking, you need to recruit people to make any money?  

    How long would it take to get 12 levels below you?

    If it’s free to start how much do you have to pay once you get going?

    You seem to be doing well with this so good luck to you. 

    I will take some time to digest all your information and make a decision if it is for me to try. 

    Take care. 

    • Gomer

      Good questions you gave. Thanks for asking these.

      With the first question that you asked, this can be compared to normal affiliate programs out there on the Internet. Like for example, what you do with Amazon, you pick one product to promote, grab its affiliate link and then embed it to your niche website. With this kind of business SFI is involved in, you also pick a product in the company’s online store, and then promote that product via your website. Once you start making money, you tell other how you are making money. Those who get interested in what you do, can enroll into your team, then you help them make money like you do.

      With regard to how long will it take for your organization to get to level 12 growth, well, if you follow my suggestion in the first question, of doing good business like picking a product, promoting a product, making money with that product, and then telling those interested in making money how you do it, then duplication becomes easier. The key to growth down to level 12 is duplication, showing people what you do. The simpler the business, the easier to duplicate by your people.

      Lastly, with how much you have to spend once you get going, well, it depends on you. Just like any other affiliate marketing endeavors, you will need to have your own website, and that website have a cost. Also, there are ranks and qualification in the compensation plan, that if only you will work hard generating retail sales, the ranks can be achieved naturally. Unfortunately, some people, out of their impatience and laziness, they prefer to buy excess products just to inflate their sales volume and qualify for higher ranks. That’s where the issue of losing money in somewhat good companies come in. 

      In businesses like these, it’s good to have a mentor. Or, someone who will guide you and caution you what pitfalls to avoid. If you have a good mentor, a good upline sponsor, you’re one step ahead of those who don’t have.

  9. TQ

    I understand joining SFI Affiliate is free, but according to others I know, it’s hard to earn money unless you’re buying products every month or recruiting people to the program. I don’t like the idea of buying something to make money. How can you make money as a free member?
    Even your screenshot shows that you have to be an EA to earn money with SFI. You only earn EA status if you purchase products or someone you referred makes a sale. I don’t see how this better than affiliate marketing?
    I am not trying to be negative about SFI, I just want to learn how can you make money with this program. I just don’t see how?
    Thx.

    • Gomer

      Have you noticed the screenshot of the SFI Affiliate Tool Box up there?

      In the tool box, you can see the affiliate link for a specific product that’s listed in SFI’s online marketplace, TripleClicks. There are thousands of products you can choose from, and in every product there’s an associated affiliate link for us to use. If you generate a sale, you get three rewards: 1) Direct Commission in $$$ 2) Versapoints to determine your rank 3) Rewardicals that work like points you can redeem gifts/items/cash.

      So, you see, it works like any other affiliate programs out there. Just like Amazon, you are provided with referral link to a specific product to promote. And like in Amazon, there are also people who are making money and people don’t make money at all. It all depends on the determination and skill of the individual marketer how much money he makes. Those that complain they find it hard to make money promote products in SFI, I bet they will also complain they’re not making money with Amazon.

      To make money with both programs, SFI or Amazon, you have to be good at targeting a niche. If your niche is about drones, you can pick your affiliate link for a drone listed in SFI’s store. Be good at promoting that drone through your content, and point them to SFI’s online store. That works like the way we promote products in Amazon.

      In the screenshot shown above, it’s a screenshot from me. In that particular time and date, I am not yet qualified for EA or BTL rank because that’s early on the month. I usually get qualified in the later part of the month when sales have already been generated. As you can see, even at the level of an ordinary affiliate, we are provided with links to use for generating sales. And generating sales also generate the required points for higher ranks. 

      Those saying the only way to make money in SFI is by qualifying to EA or higher ranks, and those saying the only way to get promoted in ranks is by spending on products, they are one-side critics. They are lying, and not telling the truth. There are other ways you can get promoted and make money aside from spending on products, like the ones I explained here.
       

  10. Vertical Veloxity

    Hello what is going on Gomer! You had me from the jump because we I see the wisdom in the Network Marketing thing. I started working on websites in order to find new customers an recruits for my MLM business. Which I have as well! 

    There is no wrong answers in my eyes. Money is Money. Each person has their own path. As long as it is not a scam. Any legit MLM is fine for me. 

    But then you said the word Binary compensation ha ha ha! Then you really had my attention. That is the best compensation plan for Direct Sales companies. It rewards the Business person much better in my eyes. 

    Thanks for sharing these companies with me. I have never heard of SFI. I am going to contact you on that bro! 

    In the discussion that you mentioned above in Affiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing. Do you feel that the Network Marketing is just Affiliate Marketing with more commitment and more reward down the road? 

    • Gomer

      Yes, that’s how I see it. More like an innovated affiliate compensation system wherein the company pays more than one level but on multiple levels. And I don’t see wrong with the desire of companies to pay more generously, of paying not only on your personal sales but also from the sales done by the affiliates you have brought in to the company. That’s legitimate multi level or network marketing business.

      On the other hand, I don’t recommend joining pyramid schemes. There are many of them out there, and oftentimes they mimic legitimate network marketing. A lot of them today deals with promoting investment products, such as cryptocurrency, Forex, etc. Right from the start, the objectives of the founder is to amass large amounts of money they can take away and run. When the overall chant is to recruit more investors, then you can feel you’ve entered a pyramid scam territory right from the start, and you can know it by instinct. 

      With the likes of SFI, and with other internet-based direct selling companies, the chant is “have your own business.. have your own online store”… and obviously, the overall goal is promoting entrepreneurship. That’s the kind of business I want to be in. And it’s network marketing without guilt!

  11. Jon

    I have never heard of SFI and I will have to read more on the subject matter in order to fully comprehend what it is about. So apparently it is like building two teams that promote products and find which one gets better results? Has SFI made you enough money to cover a full time income?

    • Gomer

      It has made me money to cover the website being used in the operation or promotion of the business. Soon, as the customer base grow, the income will multiply into that level wherein you can call it a “full time income”. But for now, honestly speaking, the income being generated is enough to cover the cost of doing business online. Once the income supersedes the cost, then that’s the time I can proudly call it “profits”.

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