The MLM Startup Conference for Executives of Startup and Existing Direct Selling Companies takes place February 26 & 27, 2015 in Las Vegas. This is the 70th annual, two-day conference, featuring industry experts and invaluable tools for the MLM startup entrepreneur. Call our office to register or for additional information: 503-226-6600 or 800-231-2162.

The Next MLM Startup Conference Takes Place March 5 & 6, 2015!

The Next MLM Startup Conference Takes Place March 5 & 6, 2015!

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

Visit the website:

www.mlmlegal.com

Or, read visit our blogs:

http://mlmlegal.com/MLMBlog/ and http://mlmattorney.com/blog/

Extensive information about the conference can be found here.

Watch the MLM Startup Conference videos:

MLMlegal Releases New Film on MLM Startup Conference – Produced by Networkingstar.com

The MLM Startup Conference in Las Vegas

Continue reading »

The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws.

The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws.

The issue of depth of levels seemed to be a major focus prior to the internet and other non-postal (mail) means of communication. In the late 1980’s the United States Postal Service (USPS) examined numbers of levels to make a determination of whether or not, in its opinion, the depth of levels created a “lottery” element under U.S. Postal lottery laws that forbid payment based on chance. Various cases and consents sorted out a safe harbor (at least from the U.S. Postal Office standpoint) for at least four levels (not necessarily agreed to by the direct selling industry). Separately, the Postal Service looked for evidence of “supervisory requirements.” Most companies adopted specific supervisory requirements of sponsors to demonstrate some managerial activity by distributors. For the past 25 years, little recruitment activity is conducted by U.S. mail and it has been a long time since the U.S. Postal Service has expressed a serious interest in this subject. The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws. Instead, the focus for the last two decades has been on the whether or not product/service

Continue reading »

Incentives absolutely increase sales. However, sales incentives go by many names, shapes and sizes.

Incentives absolutely increase sales. However, sales incentives go by many names, shapes and sizes.

Incentives absolutely increase sales. However, sales incentives go by many names, shapes and sizes. Obviously, the understood and expected incentives are bonuses and commissions. Since companies are trying to incentivize different types of behavior, the compensation plans of companies are often complex and multi-task to provide incentives for retail selling, preferred recurring customers, building wide, building deep, working with immediate downline and deep into a downline, time sensitive personal and group sales production, personal and group sales, longevity, quick start, etc. Beyond cash incentives, most leading companies understand the power and inspiration behind noncash incentives that

Continue reading »

It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

The answer here is somewhat “tongue and cheek” and should be taken with a “grain of salt.” This question is often asked of people who are starting network marketing companies. The majority, if not all of them, respond that they want to recruit MLM professionals to their companies. An industry observer once commented wryly that, too often, “junkies” and “professionals” are merely flip sides of a coin. The commentator said, “A MLM junkie is someone who will raid your distributors and take them to another company while a MLM professional is someone who leaves their company, raids the distributors and brings them to your company!” It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

In all seriousness, the above comment too often contains more than a kernel of truth.

Lastly, companies that pay people to bring recruits with them to the new company are not conducting good business strategy. They will often claim to recruit thousands of individuals and only bring a few, yet still get their money. Unfortunately, this happens time and again and it is not an ethical way to do business.

Continue reading »

Tthe advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising.

Tthe advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising.

In the conventional advertising world, celebrity endorsement is very effective. Among the factors for effectiveness includes the fame of the celebrity, the connection with the product or service, whether or not the celebrity is a user, and whether or not the statements of the celebrity appear as truly authentic or merely a “pay for endorsement.”

The use of celebrity endorsement is far less successful in the direct selling industry. In fact, the advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising. In conventional distribution, such as retail stores, internet or broadcast media, companies pay advertising dollars and endorsement fees to promote the brand. However, in direct selling, the commissions and rewards paid to distributors are effectively the advertising dollars that would be paid in other channels of distribution. Instead, the branding, in direct selling, is accomplished by the promotion of the sales network of the direct selling company. Looking at the success of major companies such as Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Herbalife, etc., the branding task has been accomplished by the consultant force, and generally without the use of celebrity advertising.

Continue reading »

The Next MLM Startup Conference Takes Place October 23 & 24, 2014!

The Next MLM Startup Conference Takes Place October 23 & 24, 2014!

The next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference will be held October 23rd & 24th, 2014!

For more than 27 years, leading industry experts have educated the executives of starting and existing MLM, direct selling, network marketing, and party plan companies on how to structure their compensation plans, legalize their companies, recruit key employees and top-ranking distributors, develop business models, generate leads, fund their business, establish their website and technology platforms, better understand the direct selling industry, and so much more.

The next MLM Startup Conference takes place held October 23rd & 24th, 2014 in Las Vegas. View the conference flyer page at http://www.mlmlegal.com/srs2.html to learn more.

This is the original MLM Startup Conference – responsible for launching many industry-leading companies – perfected over the course of a quarter of a century to ensure the highest quality of information, the most knowledgeable experts, and the most practical advice from qualified experts.

Over the course of two days, attendees will hear from scores of industry experts, and if they choose, can sign up to meet with the speakers for individual one-on-one time. A full list of speakers and their biographies/credentials can be found at http://www.mlmlegal.com/bio.html.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing

Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing

If network marketing is such a powerful business model, why don’t business schools teach it in their curricula?

Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing. Bethany College, for example offers a network marketing certificate, as well as a marketing major with a network marketing emphasis. The college reports that it seeks to promote integrity, trust and transparency in network marketing.

Even earlier, Utah Valley State offered a course on network marketing using the book, Network Marketing: What You Should Know by Jeffrey Babener as course material. Seminars in network marketing have been presented at University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Houston. Cases studies of direct selling companies have been utilized at the college and graduate level and numerous academic studies have been published pursuant to grants from the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF).

Network marketing courses focus on developing leadership skills that aid in becoming successful in a MLM company. General topics include selling, distribution, advertising, referral marketing, personal sales organizations, the legal environment, and compensation plans.

Continue reading »

In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor.

In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor.

Multilevel marketing companies are built on the mentorship model where top-tier salespeople recruit salespeople below them to sell products and services. The top-tiered salesperson makes a commission on the products and services that they sell, as well as on the sales of those in their downline. This model encourages recruiting of new salespeople, while also allowing new recruits to have a mentor who will answer questions and provide examples of success.

In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor. Whereas, those who don’t have strong mentors in network marketing are those whom are more likely to fail or quit. Therefore, when it comes to choosing a sponsor/mentor, the best thing to do is to look for one that is seasoned, successful and willing to provide the critical network marketing mentorship that you need to be successful. And when it comes time for you to sponsor and mentor, be sure to train your recruits in the successful ways that you’ve been taught. Their success equates to your success.

Continue reading »