Many network marketing companies are rightfully concerned about consultants making unauthorized medical and earnings claims on their own websites, as well as creating keyword confusion in the search engines. Therefore, many leading MLM companies provide authorized replicated websites for their consultants and actually prohibit individually-created websites. Therefore, if you’re a consultant, chances are high that you will not be allowed to purchase, design or build your own website. Instead, you’ll be given access to your own replicated website, provided by the company, which is a website that looks much like the company’s main website, but has a unique URL that you can send your customers to so that they can order products through you.

The primary reasons why companies don’t allow consultants to host their own websites are:

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So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint. by www.mlmattorney.com.

So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint.

So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint.

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning — Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim.

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning -- Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim. What else is new? by www.mlmattorney.com

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning — Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim.
What else is new?

What else is new? Well, hold your breath! MLMLegal.com is launching 63 new videos on MLM education to our already-expansive video library and Youtube Channel! Mr. Babener will address a wide range of commonly-asked questions as expert-host in our upcoming video additions. You can look forward to a great expansion of our video library very soon!

The following are just some of the topics that will discussed in our new videos:

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Unsubstantiated claims typically involve earnings hypotheticals, earnings potentials, earnings testimonials, outright statements of earnings, lifestyle enhancement claims, etc.

Unsubstantiated claims typically involve earnings hypotheticals, earnings potentials, earnings testimonials, outright statements of earnings, lifestyle enhancement claims, etc.

Both the federal government and states, through combinations of legislation, rules and case law prohibit unsubstantiated earnings claims in the offering of a MLM opportunity. Such claims typically involve earnings hypotheticals, earnings potentials, earnings testimonials, outright statements of earnings, lifestyle enhancement claims, etc. If a direct selling company or its distributors offer such earnings claims, they are obliged to provide an average earnings disclosure that outlines average earnings of distributors at various levels of the opportunity program. In following through on regulatory mandates, all leading companies issue guidelines on presentation on earnings claims, and typically prohibit any “unauthorized earnings claims” that go beyond stated policy guidelines.

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No one can control all of the challenges that face the direct selling industry, but education and transparency is the best approach to discuss issues.

No one can control all of the challenges that face the direct selling industry, but education and transparency is the best approach to discuss issues.

We have a long-term perspective as a law office that has had three decades of experience in the MLM industry. In the last three years or so, developing trends have posed both opportunities and challenges for network marketing companies. Mr. Babener discusses a few of these opportunities and challenges (paraphrased from the DSWA interview with Nikki Keohohou) in this post.

As far as industry-wide opportunities are concerned, there has been an explosion in party plan companies. The party plan companies that we know and represent are doing quite well. There has been growth in the public recognition of these companies. This is due to large-scale events such as the 2009 Super Bowl where Avon was a primary sponsor. At the 2009 Super Bowl, Avon advertised their opportunity, not just their products, which was really a message to the country that our industry has something special to offer to everyone.

The internet has also helped push the industry in a positive direction in recent years. Social media and growing internet technology has enabled many companies to expand internationally.

However, this also means that the industry has a new challenge: coping with internet technology. Companies have to recognize the creative power of Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media platforms. Companies have to find a balance between enabling their consultants the ability to be creative and protecting the brand. Protecting the brand presence in search engines, protecting against inappropriate medial/earnings claims and allowing consultants to work with social media, providing basic tools for distributors, are industry-wide challenges that require delicate balance.

In addition, we’ve seen some tension between new companies and distributors in recent years. There are some consultants who are too willing to jump ship and bounce from one company to another. Distributor raiding is undermining to the company and the opportunity, as well as to all of the consultants left behind.

On the other hand, we’ve seen some overreaching companies who’ve been bullying distributors, telling them what they can and cannot do. There will have to be a dialogue to figure out the common ground for what are reasonable expectations for distributors and what control companies can have over distributor actions.

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Some of the larger companies will provide you with tools and charts in which you can use to make an educated guess on your potential earnings.

Some of the larger companies will provide you with tools and charts in which you can use to make an educated guess on your potential earnings.

Will the stock market rise tomorrow? Who will win the Kentucky Derby? If one knew the answers to these questions then he or she would be rich. How much one might earn in a direct selling compensation plan is the result of many moving parts and to make any sort of prediction: the compensation plan itself, percentages paid on product, profit margins of product, personal sales, down line sales, etc. are all contributing factors that are endless. Two important resources are available to consultants: (1) leading companies post average earnings disclosure charts which indicate average earnings for distributors at various levels and stages of their direct selling program; (2) many companies provide online earnings calculators which allow a consultant to plug in their own assumptions on their personal and group sales and activity, which are then used to calculate the payout based on their expected sales performance.

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Each direct selling company has its own rules about what distributors can say and do on the internet. It is common for MLM companies to closely guard their trademark(s) and the company has the right to regulate the usage of all of their media, whether it appears in print or online.

The internet has opened up incredible opportunities for both MLM companies and distributors. However, at the same time, MLM companies often wrestle with these opportunities. For instance, some MLM companies will provide a location on their homepage for distributors; some will require a link from the distributors’ homepage to the company’s main website. And, in some cases, direct selling companies won’t allow distributors to promote the company’s product or opportunity (compensation plan) on the internet at all. There are two reasons for this. If the company name appears on each distributor’s homepage then search engine results will produce thousands of “hits” on distributors’ websites instead of the company’s homepage. Amid the thousands of searches, MLM companies may be concerned that people won’t be able to find the company’s homepage.

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Expert MLM Attorney, Jeff Babener, discusses how companies should handle discussions about compliance with their distributors. It is important for direct selling companies to be clear about what claims/statements distributors, consultants, members, representatives, etc. can and cannot claim about their earnings and products.

Interviewer: What I want to do now, Jeff, I want to turn our attention to compliance. Because this is an important key issue for any company, for any business owner, for any consultant or distributor, to know that their business is compliant. What would you say are, in your mind, the top issues regarding compliance that someone needs to be adhering to in order to make sure that they themselves are being compliant in the marketplace?

Jeff Babener: Okay. Well, maybe we ought to talk about this issue from the perspective of the company and from the perspective of the distributor. But in fact they’re one and the same. We have two goals: one is to help make them successful, and secondly, to help keep them in business. We’ve represented a lot of the leading direct selling companies. We’ve helped to start a lot of MLM companies.

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Why there are Consumer Protection Laws and how they Affect Distributors

Millions of individuals who are going into network marketing are doing so part time. Generally, they are amateurs. They are not professional sales people. They are not manufacturer’s representatives. They are not going to be employed by the company, and therefore, they are viewed as the vulnerable purchasers of an opportunity. And that’s why the opportunity, the business, is regulated by consumer protection statutes; to protect the distributor, the amateur, who is about to be involved in a business.

Making Unauthorized Medical Claims and the FDA – Why Distributors Cannot Make Unauthorized Medical Claims

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Have you been waiting for more videos from MLMLegal.com? No problem!

We’ve added six more videos to expert MLM Attorney’s Jeff Babener’s Youtube Channel! These videos are educational and answer common MLM questions clearly and concisely. Attorney Jeff Babener discusses issues that relate to MLM compliance, pyramid schemes, earnings claims and calculators, factors for success, direct selling industry history, and why MLM executives choose the network marketing business model.

Check out the videos on Jeff Babener’s Youtube Channel.

Or, view them at MLMAttorney.com, where you can (and should!) share them with the networkers in your circles!

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