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Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a strategy used by direct sales companies wherein members are encouraged to sell their products and services while also bringing in new recruits into the business. These new recruits become the distributor’s “downline” or network. In turn, they are also encouraged to make sales and recruit new members to earn money.
In this setup, distributors are paid a certain percentage of their recruits’ sales. Multilevel marketing gets a bad reputation because of illegal operations that run in a similar way, also known as pyramid schemes. But a lot of MLM schemes are legal and are operated legitimately, and that is what we are going to focus on as we discuss how you can grow your own MLM downline.
When it comes to MLM, there are two sides of the business: promoting the products and recruiting new people. You need to sharpen your skills at selling and recruiting if you want to succeed in this industry. Growing your downline involves a lot of hard work, and if you don’t get good at recruiting, you cannot grow.
Improving your MLM recruiting is all about establishing a system that works for you. Here we will talk about how you can grow your Shaklee MLM downline.
What Do Shaklee Reps Sell? About Shaklee
Shaklee Corporation is an American multilevel marketing company that produces and distributes natural nutrition supplements, household products, and beauty products. Based in Pleasanton, California, Shaklee also has operations in Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China.
Shaklee’s founder, Dr. Forrest Shaklee, is credited for inventing the first multivitamin in the US. Shaklee was also the first company in the world to be certified Climate Neutral.
This MLM company was established in 1956. It is often regarded as one of the companies that helped establish the health and wellness networking industry.
Shaklee distributors sell a wide range of products in various categories like nutrition, beauty, sports, green home, apparel, and accessories. Some of these categories can be broken down into dozens of different products.
Jump Start Your Shaklee MLM Business with These Industry Leading Strategies
If you want your Shaklee business to grow, here are a few strategies and platforms you need to try.
Know where your target audience “hangs out” or spends time IRL and online. Finding out how people are looking for opportunities via a search function like Google or YouTube (where the user is looking to extract data from a database) or being pushed a message onto them via discovery via hashtags on your social media feed—knowing where your ideal prospects spend time online, and how they learn or educate themselves as well as entertain themselves is essential.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform with over 2 billion monthly active users. That is 17.6% of the world population.
Over 200 million businesses are actively using the platform to promote themselves. A significant portion of the Instagram user population is from the US, with 123 million users. Meanwhile, 87% of Instagram users are from outside the US.
51.6% of all Instagram users are male while 48.4% are female. It is more popular among younger demographics, with 31% of all Instagram users being 18 to 24 years old. In fact, 73% of US teens say that the best way for brands to reach them is through Instagram. 25% of US teens say it is their preferred social media platform.
In 2021, Instagram users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform.
Needless to say, this is an incredibly popular social network that can help you grow your MLM downline if you can use it correctly. Instagram is all about influencer marketing and aesthetics. You need to understand your brand and identity so you can post relevant pictures that capture the attention of your leads.
It is especially useful for businesses that are in the fashion, beauty, health, fitness, and parenting industries. But you can succeed on Instagram no matter what you are selling as long as you maintain a solid and recognizable brand.
Keep in mind that Instagram users do not appreciate seeing product post after product post. You need to create a page that revolves around the lifestyle that you are selling. That’s what makes them want to follow a brand.
If you thought Instagram was popular, Facebook takes this to a whole other level, with 2.91 billion users as of 2022. It also has a high number of daily active users at 1.93 billion. Around 69% of US adults are on Facebook. However, almost 90% of all active Facebook users come from outside the US and Canada. India, Indonesia, and Brazil all have over 100 million Facebook users each.
56% of Facebook users are male while 44% are female. 1.7% of all Facebook users are on desktop while 1.59 billion use their mobile device. In terms of income, 75% of users with an income above $75k are on Facebook.
The largest demographic group on Facebook is between 25 and 35 years old, so you should use this social network if your target audience is within that age range. Facebook appeals to older users unlike Instagram. However, there is also a significant population of Facebook users who are between the ages 18 and 24, with 23.8% of the user population falling within that age range.
If you want to use Facebook for MLM, it’s all about content marketing. Attracting people to your brand and products is better than selling stuff directly on Facebook. Most people do not come to social media to buy things. Instead, you need to make them realize that what you are offering may be something that they need.
Do not push your leads away—pull them into your page using genuinely helpful content. This will also establish you as a thought leader in your industry, which makes it easier to gain people’s trust and recruit them into your downline later on. Bring value to your leads, optimize your profile to make the best first impression, and grow your downline authentically.
LinkedIn may not be as big as other social networking platforms, with only 810 million users around the world, but it is the biggest platform that concentrates on building professional and business relationships. It is the world’s largest networking event. There are over 690 million professionals on LinkedIn, meaning it is full of CEOs, entrepreneurs, professionals, and other decision makers in various industries.
LinkedIn has over 15 million open jobs—but it is not just for job hunters and recruiters anymore. It has evolved into an essential tool for B2B marketers and salespeople.
It goes without saying that this social networking platform is full of highly valuable leads for your MLM company. In fact, 50% of LinkedIn users say they are more likely to buy from someone they’ve engaged with on LinkedIn.
More than 74% of LinkedIn users are from outside the US. Speaking of US, 48.5% of LinkedIn users in the US are actively using the platform each month.
56.9% of LinkedIn users are male while 43.1% are female. As for the age demographics, 60.1% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 25 and 34—which makes sense considering it is mostly used by the working population. However, it also has its fair share of millennials: with 19.2% of LinkedIn users being 18 to 24 years old.
LinkedIn is such a relevant platform in today’s professional landscape that 50% of all internet users with a college degree or higher are using it. We can say that LinkedIn is not only a social channel but a business channel.
If you want to grow your MLM downline on LinkedIn, you need to identify your target audience. LinkedIn works best when you focus on the best leads rather than casting a wide net. Identify the people who will benefit most from your products and services and then target that demographic.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile and start building your network. To make LinkedIn prospecting easier, you can use Kennected, which is an automation tool for LinkedIn that gives you a continuous stream of leads, connections, and appointments. With Kennected, you can send personalized messages and follow-ups automatically without spamming your target audience. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more.
YouTube is the biggest video sharing platform out there, with over 2.6 billion users around the world. The number of active users on YouTube reaches 122 million per day. People spend an average of 18 minutes per day on the video platform.
The total daily hours of video watched on YouTube is 1 billion hours. This is no surprise considering that there are 500 hours’ worth of video uploaded per minute and over 1 billion videos watched per day.
53.9% of YouTube users are male while 46.1% are female. 81% of US adults use YouTube. In terms of age demographics, 95% of 18 to 29 year-olds in the US use YouTube. 91% of people in the US aged 30 to 49 use the platform. Up to 49% of people in the US over 65 years old are using YouTube.
US YouTube users are also very active on the platform. 62% of YouTube users in the US say they visit the site every day.
With all the content that is being published on YouTube, it’s hard to stand out unless you already have an established brand. So to succeed here, you need to start building your brand by publishing your own videos on a regular basis.
Edit your videos to make them look professional. Keep them short and to the point to maintain your audience’s interest. Most importantly, cover topics that are relevant to your niche to attract your ideal targets for your MLM business.
TikTok has proven that it is not just a passing trend and that it is here to stay. Like YouTube, TikTok is also a video sharing platform, but it is more focused on short form content. TikTok now has 1.2 billion users around the world as of 2022, and is now worth $50 billion.
There are 138 million monthly active TikTok users in the US. 57% of TikTok users are female while 43% are male.
This platform is mostly populated by younger users, with 43% of its global audience being 18 to 24 years old. 32% of TikTok users are aged between 25 and 34. In fact, only 3.4% of the TikTok user population is over the age of 55.
With its viral videos and popular trends, it’s easy to see why many people would spend so much time on the platform. The average TikTok user spends around 52 minutes on the app per day. 90% of TikTok users visit the app more than once a day.
The key to being successful on TikTok, whether you are a content creator or an MLM company is to get on the For You page. TikTok provides curated content based on what users like and engage with. So by making content that are relevant to your target audience’s interests, you will be able to show up on their For You page—the equivalent of the Facebook timeline—even if they are not following you.
TikTok makes it very easy for users to find and discover content that are interesting through the For You page. Even users who are casually scrolling through the app may find your brand’s videos. Hop on the latest trends and make your own version of popular videos. Don’t forget to inject some humor and insight so that viewers are more likely to follow you.
Typical Recruiting Strategies for Most Multi-Level Marketing Companies
There are plenty of strategies you can try to boost your multi-level marketing company’s downline. But you need to strike the perfect balance when recruiting so you don’t push your leads away. Here are a few of the most common recruitment strategies used by MLM companies that you can try for yourself.
Build a list of friends and family
Some people are lucky enough to have many friends and family members that they can convince to join their business. But remember that you can’t rely on this. For your MLM company to grow, you need to develop a recruiting mindset.
You need to make friends wherever you go. The key is being able to recruit even strangers and casual acquaintances.
With that in mind, building a list with your friends and family is a good way to jumpstart your downline. You can expand it from there by connecting with mutual friends, colleagues, neighbors, old school friends, regular service providers, mentors, teachers, and members of your community.
Building your downline takes a lot of work, but everyone starts somewhere.
Attend BNI meetings
BNI, also known as Business Networking International, is a business referral organization founded by Ivan Misner in 1985. BNI is a good way for small businesses to get together and obtain referrals.
A BNI meeting typically involves a breakfast meeting with a local BNI chapter where you pitch your business and then set up one-on-one meetings with individuals within the group. The group can then work on getting referrals for one another.
Do take note that BNI has an annual membership fee. You also have to pay for breakfast in the restaurant you are meeting at. This recruitment strategy works fine for some companies, but it works best if you have a physical business with a mainstream niche. BNI is mostly for traditional small businesses rather than internet-based businesses and those with an unusual niche.
Build a network of referral partners
Speaking of referrals, you can try to build your own network of referral partners. Start by listing a few businesses that may serve as a strategic partner for you. Include businesses that you have collaborated with in the past.
You can then develop a referral system that makes it easy for you and your partners to generate referrals for one another. You can have clients fill up a form and provide their contact details.
You can also use your existing CRM system to capture this information so you can further support your strategic partner.
Post content on social media
If you’re still not promoting yourself on social media, you are definitely missing out. Just based on the few demographics we’ve listed above, most people are spending a significant amount of time on social media.
Establishing an online presence is a great way to get ahead of the competition. It has several undeniable benefits that you shouldn’t miss out on. Posting content on social media builds brand familiarity, which then helps you gain the trust of your target audience. If you continue posting high quality content, they will see you as a thought leader—which is exactly what you need to influence them to join your MLM downline.
In this digital age, content marketing is more important than ever. You can get discovered by new leads, build a following, provide value, and cultivate customer loyalty.
Talk about your product or service at every opportunity
In order to grow your MLM downline, you need to be the number one ambassador for your company and your brand. This means promoting your products and services every chance you get. But since you don’t want to push away your leads, recognizing the appropriate times to bring it up is an important skill to develop. Once you’ve mastered the art of promoting your company organically, you will be able to grow your MLM company with ease.
What Most Direct Sales Business Owners Are Doing Wrong
Most MLM business owners do it wrong. They come on too strong and assume that every single person they come into contact with is a potential sale or customer and they treat them with such reckless abandon that they end up burning family and friendships. Most of this could be avoided by proper sales training executed from the top of the direct sales organization.
Let’s face it: most direct sales organizations do not recruit professional salespeople. Some do, but by and large these are regular people who have no sales experience, have never been coached on the consultative approach, or social selling, or looping. Most new reps are so excited about the opportunity to change their life and the life of their family that they get overly zealous and often get angry when people don’t see the same opportunity and say “no”.
If you need further proof look at all the MLM fail screenshots online. The industry needs to educate and train sales reps in a way that encourages them to learn how to deal with rejection and how to remain positive without rubbing their friends, family and perfect strangers the wrong way.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Network Marketing?
Network marketing is a business model that involves person-to-person sales by company representatives. This is often done with a work from home (WFH) setup. If you are in a network marketing business, you may have to build your own network of business partners or your own sales team that can help you generate and convert leads into sales.
While many networking marketing operations are perfectly legal and reliable, their reputation is somewhat affected by the existence of pyramid schemes. The latter is less concerned with giving value to customers through high quality products and more focused on the recruitment of salespeople who are required to pay for expensive starter kits or training materials upfront. It is important to note that not all multi-tier marketing businesses are pyramid schemes.
Network marketing appeals to people with strong sales skills who are able to create a profitable business even with just a modest investment.
What is a Downline Building Service?
Downline building services are gaining traction on the internet, similar to how MLM programs are becoming more and more popular. This is because the internet is an ideal medium for marketing. It’s free and it is used by everybody.
Downline builders have become a popular way to recruit people for MLM companies. Just as the name implies, MLM downline builders help you build your downline. It is a marketing plan in which prospects are placed after signing up. This marketing plan may have a different organizational structure from other marketing plans. But regardless of structure, most downline builders are free.
What is a Direct Sales Company?
A direct sales company is a company that engages in direct selling. Direct selling involves selling products directly to consumers in a non-retail environment. This means that the sale occurs elsewhere like at home, work, online, or any other non-store location.
With the direct selling approach, businesses can avoid the usual intermediaries in the supply chain, allowing them to provide direct value to their customers. Direct selling mostly relies on a salesperson’s ability to get in front of a customer and sell the products to them.
Multilevel marketing is actually one type of direct selling. Other types of direct selling include single-level direct sales, and party-plan sales.
Are MLM (Multilevel Marketing) & Direct Sales Organizations the Same?
There are many similarities between MLM and direct sales organizations. However, they are not exactly interchangeable because of certain nuances and differences between them. Direct selling is more of an umbrella term that includes all types of companies in the industry—and that includes MLM companies. As long as a business is selling directly to the consumers, it can be considered a direct selling company.
On the other hand, multilevel marketing is a business structure wherein the seller earns from direct sales and the sales of recruits. The MLM is a tiered structure consisting of independent sellers and recruits. This is what sets MLM apart from direct sales organizations. So while MLM companies are doing direct selling, it does not mean all direct selling companies are MLMs.
How Do I Improve My Downline?
When building a downline, you have to be the biggest ambassador for your brand. You need to be loyal to your company brand so you can lead by example. You can’t sell your products convincingly unless you’ve tried them yourself and seen their results. You should essentially be a walking billboard for your brand.
Next, you need to encourage your downline to attend group-wide meetings and conventions whenever possible. These events and venues where distributors can all get together are perfect for getting everyone motivated. It helps people stay focused on their goals. This ultimately leads to improved sales.
You also have to be there to mentor your downline. You can offer advice and give them some inspiration. Tell them all about the business tools you used to grow your own downline. Encourage them to seek more information from books and online guides.
This business is built upon trust. Building your network is not an easy task, but you will eventually reach your goals by nurturing your existing connections and attracting more people into your downline.
How Do I Grow My Shaklee Team?
As an MLM distributor, you should not rely on recruiting to build your income. Instead, focus on selling your products and you will naturally come across people who have the potential to join your team. And to become successful in this regard, you need to sharpen your social selling skills.
Shaklee distributors should improve their marketing skills, sales skills, communication skills, and networking skills. This will allow you to find high quality leads, connect with them, and convince them to buy these products. Use every tool at your disposal to grow your business.
A successful business that generates revenue through sales will be more likely to grow its downline. Before you can convince your customers to be a part of your downline, you have to become Shaklee’s biggest advocate.
Try some of Shaklee’s products and see if you like them. Start promoting some of your favorites. Talk about their benefits and how they have changed your life. When people can relate to your personal journey, they will gravitate towards you more. They will see you as more than a salesperson but as an individual who has similar needs as them.
Learn how to use your unique voice and personality to let your brand shine. Use this to put a spotlight on the products that you are selling. If you follow the same script as everyone else, you won’t be noticed by anyone.
Always be knowledgeable about the products you are selling. This is the only way to convince people to buy them and even join your Shaklee team. Don’t be pushy. Just put your best foot forward and let the customers come to you.
How Can I Make My Shaklee Business Faster?
Shaklee reps should take advantage of the fact that everyone is spending time online by using digital marketing strategies. Figure out where your target audience is hanging out online and find a way to reach them there.
Shaklee has a wide range of products so your target audience may vary depending on what you are selling. First, make an announcement about your business. Make sure everyone knows that you are starting a Shaklee business so they can support you. You can make a Facebook post, upload a YouTube video, create a TikTok, etc.
As for networking, you will normally start with your warm market—aka your friends and family members. These are the people you are most likely to convince to join your team. But if you wanna grow your Shaklee downline, you will eventually have to expand your reach and tap into the cold market. These are colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers who may need more convincing. These are the ones who have to see the value of your products as well as the business opportunity that you are promoting.
This cold market is much tougher to convert, but if you refine your social selling approach, you should be fine.
How do Shaklee Reps Get Paid?
Shaklee’s compensation plan for its distributors is called Shaklee’s Dream Plan. It contains up to 9 different channels for client earnings. These channels are: gold bonus, power bonus, FastTrack bonus, car bonus, leadership bonus, infinity bonuses, personal group bonuses, retail commission, and other incentives.
These channels offer ways to reward distributors for selling enough products or recruit enough people within a given period of time. But overall, we can say that just like other MLMs, there are two main ways to earn money from Shaklee: sell products and earn commission by building your team and recruiting new members.
Is Working for Shaklee Worth it?
Shaklee sells many different products—and this comes with its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, one benefit is that you will find it easy to sell Shaklee products because there are a lot of things to sell. People are also familiar with these different types of products, and so it will be easy to convince them that they need it.
However, this also means you have plenty of competition from other businesses. Many of these products are easily available in the marketplace. Some are even cheaper or easier to access. This is the type of challenge you need to be ready for as a Shaklee rep.
The good news is that Shaklee makes it as convenient as possible to sell their products. If you make a sale every day, then you get paid every day. You also don’t need to store products in your garage. They take care of inventory.
Shaklee even gives you digital tools such as your own online store, some on-demand training tools and social tools, as well as samples to send to your customers.
Working as a Shaklee distributor can be challenging, but it can also be fun, rewarding, and exciting. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but if you are looking for some extra income, this might just be the business for you.
What Company Owns Shaklee?
The founder of Shaklee is Forrest Shaklee, who was a chiropractor and nutritionist who is credited for making the first vitamin in the US in 1915. He labeled it Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals.
In 1956, he founded the Shaklee Corporation with the help of his two sons. Together, they manufactured nutritional supplements. That same year, he also started marketing organic, biodegradable cleaning products.
In the 1970s, Shaklee Corporation was a publicly traded company and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1980, it relocated its headquarters to downtown San Francisco’s Financial District. It also became a Fortune 500 Company in 1982.
Shaklee is currently owned by Astellas Pharma, Shaklee US Holding Corporation, and Shaklee Corporation.
Can You Make Money in Shaklee?
Just like with any other MLM business, how much you earn depends on the time and effort you put into the business. That said, it can be difficult to profit off of Shaklee because of how much time and effort it needs to build a successful business.
To calculate a distributor’s commission, Shaklee uses the approach called Price Differential. With this system, commissions are based on the difference between the price you pay and the price that your customer pays. This means if a customer pays the full retail price, the average difference is around 36%. When customers pay the member price, you are only getting around 16% price differential. This also means that your actual commission will vary depending on what type of customer you are selling to.
It can be difficult to optimize your sales if you need to purchase products first and then sell them to customers.
The other way to make money is by recruiting new distributors into your team. Shaklee’s compensation plan allows you to earn bonuses based on how much you sell and how many people you can recruit. For example, the Personal Group Bonus is achieved by hitting volume targets in your personal Shaklee group.
You also earn more commissions based on how high your “rank” is. Progressing through the ranks means the potential for higher commissions, with new ranks opening up more chances to earn from your team.
It can be difficult to earn money from this MLM because once you run out of connections to sell to, you will have to expand your reach and target people you don’t know. This is a challenge for most people who have no experience with social selling and marketing strategies. It can be exhausting trying to generate leads and converting them.
Because of its challenges, some people prefer to use Shaklee as a way to supplement their main source of income rather than replace it completely.
How Much Does it Cost to Join Shaklee?
Not every Shaklee affiliate is a distributor. Some of them are premium members, and the others are actual distributors. As a member, you can sign up by paying the $19.95 fee and agreeing to be on a monthly auto-ship for the products. This deal gives you a 15 to 25% discount on all of Shaklee’s products.
As a distributor, the registration fee is $49.95. Joining Shaklee as a distributor makes you eligible for downline commissions and all of its available bonuses. All you have to do is meet certain sales and recruitment goals to earn these bonuses and boost your income. However, to keep your account active, you need to make at least 100 points from product sales.
Can Shaklee Be Trusted?
Most MLMs suffer from constant comparisons to pyramid schemes. And while both of these things involve recruitment, they are not actually the same. For one, pyramid schemes are illegal. Pyramid schemes do not sell any products. They only focus on recruiting people into their scheme.
But MLM companies, on the other hand, actually sell products with the option of recruiting members for additional income. Companies like Shaklee offer high quality products that actually bring value to their customers.
In fact, Shaklee is one of the most well-known and trusted MLMs in the entire industry. They have even made deals with NASA—they created the rehydration product for astronauts known as Astroade. It doesn’t get any more legitimate than this.
That said, Shaklee has had its fair share of controversy. In 1974, Shaklee had to cease the marketing of its Instant Protein product as appropriate for infants, due to a Federal Trade Commission order. They also agreed to cease the misrepresentation of the amount of protein in this product.
Can I Switch Teams in Shaklee?
Switching teams in an MLM business is not common. Not many direct sellers working in the multilevel marketing industry are allowed to switch teams, and this also goes for Shaklee.
There isn’t a lot of information out there about whether or not you can switch teams in Shaklee, but we can assume that it is not allowed. Ask your recruiter about switching teams. Team switching may happen very rarely and even then, it is not encouraged.
How Do I Get Started with Shaklee
Shaklee’s mission is to create a healthier world. They take pride in their green approach to their business. To join Shaklee, you just sign up and launch your business. Anyone can join in. You get all the products, training, and tools you need to succeed—all in one $49.95 kit.
Contact your sponsor or any Shaklee distributor near you. Or you can just fill up a form on the Shaklee website. You can be either a regular distributor or a Gold Ambassador—it all depends on your budget and preference. Gold Ambassadors get even more training and marketing materials. They even receive coupons and free rein for website sales for three whole months.
Visit the Shaklee website for more information: https://us.shaklee.com/distributor-benefits