Why MLM and GPT Drool and Joint Ventures Rule

MLM or Multi-Level Marketing schemes have been around for a long time. The come and go, few survive for a variety of reasons. They all promise undreamed of wealth and a residual income. All you have to do is recruit your family, friends, and neighbors, get them to buy stuff stowed in your garage, and everyone will get rich quick. What happens when you run out of friends and neighbors?

This business model is flawed because your income is based on other people’s efforts. People get discouraged and drop out or go on to another scheme and your income disappears. Like rats abandoning a sinking ship, your downline can disappear overnight as a key figure leaves and takes his following with him. There goes your residual income.

It is a constant scramble to keep piecing your downline together, shoring it up, and keeping it movitated and growing. It’s like trying to maintain a crumbling dam.

MLM is flawed because you have to be a motivator, a leader, and constantly keep encouraging people when you may not know the first thing about marketing yourself nor does your sponsor. It can be like the blind leading the blind across a mine field. Just “duplicate yourself” is an often heard mantra in MLM circles. But what if you’re a marketing dumbbell and so is your sponsor?

The truth is that few people make money in MLM. You may have been there yourself and know what I mean. Recruiting is becoming more difficult even with the Internet as a resource because people are getting more sophisticated. Competent professionals whom you would like to be on your team have a difficult time with the credibility of selling vitamins and soap.

If MLM is dead and holds little promise for a successful online income, is there an alternative? One possible solution that has appeared recently is the so-called GPT model, which stands for Get Paid Today. The concept is that rather than waiting for residuals to dribble in bit by bit over time, you get paid a large sum upfront.

The problem with these top tier programs is that they are far too expensive for most people, especially in this economy. They claim that in contrast to MLMs with monthly obligations, it is only a onetime fee upfront. But that’s not true in my experience. To create a residual income, you are charged monthly Website maintenance fees, fees for training, fees for leads, fees for marketing, fees for learning workshops. You can go broke in a hurry with some of these top tier money grabbers unless you can get some other suckers with big bucks to keep it going.

Yes, the top tier approach will tell you that they give training on how to market on the Internet. But, there is a huge learning curve with all kinds of new concepts to master, and it can be a costly learning curve as well. The so-called automated, turnkey operations promised still require that you drive traffic to a Website and convert it to sales, which can be very difficult if you are not a seasoned, professional Internet marketer. If you were a professional marketer, you probably wouldn’t need any so-called top tier organization to take your money. You would be marketing your own product.

In reality, the top tier approach is really just a more expensive MLM that again depends on your building and maintaining a downline that could crumble at any time. Perhaps people are more reluctant to jump ship because they have a large investment to protect but it often turns into a case of good money after bad. People usually figure it out eventually or just run out of money. It’s true that when someone abandons the game, you have already gouged him for his money upfront and you can go on the next victim, if you’ve managed to survive.

Are there other alternatives? Surely you’ve heard of affiliate marketing, a model in which you sell other people’s products and earn a commission. At least this system is wholly dependent on your own efforts and you don’t have worry about your downline caving in. There is much to be said in favor of affiliate marketing, especially if you don’t have your products yet.

Clearly your goal should be to develop your own products, particularly in the form of digital information products that can be produced inexpensively and shipped with no cost.

You cannot be exposed to Internet Marketing for long before you hear the old saw, “the money is in the list.” Well, that’s certainly true, but do you have any idea how much effort and time is involved in building a decent sized list? It could take you years if you don’t get discouraged first.

What if I told you that you don’t need a list to market successfully? Building a list can be a laborious process and a big waste of time. Why not use the leverage of someone else’s list?

Let me introduce you to the concept of Joint Ventures. JVs are simply two or more parties agreeing to cooperate to produce a result that neither alone could achieve. In the Internet marketing world this usually means that one guy has a list and the other guy has a product. They combine forces and split the profits. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s effective. And you don’t have to build a downline to do it. Consequently you will be building your own list very quickly with the visitors driven to your capture page.

Clearly, Joint Ventures are a win/win solution for all concerned and do not require a lot of effort or money up front as do top tiers and MLMs. All you have to do is create a product, find a partner with a large list, and you are in business. Sometimes you can even use other people’s products and strike an attractive deal with a list owner.

As it turns out, I just happen to have a large list, and I’m always looking for promising joint ventures. If you want to explore this further, please go to the Joint Venture section of this Website, read the articles, and submit the application form when you are ready. I look forward to the possibility of a profitable synergistic relationship.

Timothy S. Hillebrand, Ph.D.

From MLM/GPT, go to Internet Marketing Table of Contents