Your Company’s Web Site – Probably stinks! by Benjamin Fitts

Benjamin FittsThis article presents the second of the 5 Lies the Experts tell you- In this article I want to talk about the second lie in my 5 lies the experts tell you. I want to talk about an issue that is often ignored in Network Marketing – self-replicated web sites. First of all, let me tell you what a self-replicated web site is. A self-replicated web site is a web site that can be given to all distributors of a company or to a particular team within a company. Back end programming allows everyone to share a common web site. The web site can help take orders, provide training, offer lead capture forms, and more. Each person has their own site with a tracking id to ensure each distributor gets proper credit. Self-replicated web sites are awesome and my late friend Kevin Anderson, founder of Cognigen Networks, is considered to be one of the founders of self-replicated sites. NULL  Back in the early 1990s when Kevin invented the self-replicated web site, he was one of the first people to provide web sites for his affiliates. His programming allowed any of his affiliates to get a web site instantly. This was revolutionary at the time because most people didn’t know how to make a web site and common web site creation tools like Frontpage and Dreamweaver didn’t exist. Around 1994 or so Kevin was enabling all his affiliates to use the same powerful internet marketing tools he was using.

In network marketing one of the things that make our business successful is creating duplicatable business systems.

We need systems everyone can use to succeed. Before the internet we had hotel meetings with a script everyone used, or perhaps it was a VHS video tape that anyone could show at a home party. Today, we have self-replicating web sites that everyone can use even if they aren’t internet savvy. Unfortunately, self-replicated web sites have some major drawbacks. Here are some common flaws I’ve seen in many self-replicating web sites provided by our companies:

  1. No lead capture system with an autoresponder for email follow up
  2. No way to link directly to a specific product in the catalog
  3. No use of cookies to track prospects. A cookie allows the original distributor to get credit for the prospect even if they come back to the web site a week or month later.
  4. Limited use of internet marketing strategies such as one time offers, fear of loss, bonuses for acting quickly, etc.
  5. Poorly designed pages that load slowly and provide too many graphics and not enough content
  6. Too many holes for people to click away instead of purchasing or taking action

I could go on and on and list flaws I’ve seen over the years. I hate to say it but long established companies are just as guilty of these flaws as new companies are. There are other problems with self-replicated web sites. This is sort of a catch 22 but it is important for you to understand.

The biggest problem with self-replicated web sites is they will NEVER be as good as a well done unique web site.

For example: A unique web site will always get better search engine rankings than a self-replicated web site. A unique web site will be rated higher by Google, Yahoo, or MSN than a self-replicated web site. I also mentioned last month that self-replicated web sites can lead to trouble with Pay Per Click advertising. Google, for example, won’t show ads from 10 people using the same self-replicated web site. They’ll pick the best performing ad or the one that bids the most per click and show it. The other 9 people won’t have their ads shown for that keyword because Google wants each click result to be unique. They don’t want a web surfer to click on 3 ads and see the same 3 web sites. Google wants each click to be different and each site to be different. The catch 22 is that not everyone in your business is going to be able to make their own web sites. At the time of this writing I have a downline of around 3500 people and even though I have done trainings on making your own web site or blog probably less than 10% of my downline can do that. So how do we help the other 90% so we can truly help our downlines grow their business? The answer of course is the self-replicated web site.

So how can we make a successful self-replicated web site?

First of all, we can look at other successful web sites and incorporate the advanced internet marketing strategies such as email opt-in with autoresponders and one time offers. We can use these tools to get more people to opt in to our self-replicated web sites and to generate more leads than our generic company web sites. The best of these systems incorporate an advertising co-op for our teams so that our team gets the benefit of being able to participate in advertising like Pay Per Click advertising but we all work together as a team instead of against one another. There is a new type of marketing called the funded proposal that is perhaps one of the best innovations in network marketing. The idea is that you provide self-replicating web sites for your team. On this site you offer a product such as an electronic book (eBook) or a physical book. Your team members earn the majority of the commissions (or all the commissions) from selling this book and that helps offset their advertising costs. It would be best if you can incorporate this into an advertising co-op. If done properly you can have a self sustaining advertising stream because you are making more from selling this book than it costs to advertise to get one sale. This doesn’t even include additional revenue you can generate from selling your MLM product or sponsoring new members into your team. Why a book you ask? Well that’s just one way to do it but the idea with a book is that you can pre-sell people on your opportunity or on your product. Another reason for using a book is it makes you appear to be an expert. Most people have never written a book. The simple fact that you are offering a book makes you appear to have expertise that your prospect doesn’t have. This encourages them to join you or buy from you instead of anyone else.

You’re also showing them a system that they could use in their own business and, once again, they wouldn’t dare think of joining anyone but you.

They want access to this same marketing system to grow their business. Self-replicating web sites are essential to our business but they can also be a hindrance. If you can create a system for your team that includes a sophisticated self-replicating web site with advanced marketing techniques, you can overcome some of the barriers that using your company’s system will cause. You can also make your team appear to be the team that everyone would want to join because you’d have this unique system to grow your downline’s business. That is the kind of system that everyone wants and many MLM teams lack. While you build a self-replicating web site system for your team to use you should also do what you can to show them how to build more advanced web sites. The most sophisticated people like myself would build a unique web site which pre-sells people on the system being offered by the self-replicating web site. Those people that are more advanced will still want to use unique web sites but it would be used as one part of your sales funnel. The unique web site will drive people to your self-replicating web site.

Remember, a self-replicating web site will never work as well in places like search engines as a unique web site. However, self-replicating web sites are an essential part of building duplicatable systems for our downline to use.

When using a self-replicating web site make sure that the system you use incorporates advanced internet marketing strategies. In many cases the system you want to use is not your company’s web site as they probably aren’t very good at internet marketing. In the coming months I’ll continue to write more about how to make these systems for building
your MLM downline so keep reading The Network Marketing Magazine!

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