Although his blog gets over 100,000 visitors a month blogging about multi-level marketing companies, Jeremy Page actually doesn't belong to any of them.
Instead, he uses his blog to convince them there's a better way to kill your day job.
"These opportunity-seekers want freedom that the 1%-ers in MLMs have, but the odds are stacked against them. I saw a big opportunity to speak to them", says Page.
Like the 400,000 affiliates in Vemma who were shut down recently largely in part to Vemma's dependency on recruiting instead of product sales to consumers.
Vemma officials have since argued its claims were based on selective company data and without speaking to company employees. Vemma's CEO, Benson Boreyko, said that one undercover agent left out important parts of his side of the story:
"What is conspicuously absent from the highlighted portion of (the agent's) undercover call is the so-called "rest of the story" where (a representative) explains how Vemma is devoted to shifting consumer energy and sport drink habits from more well-known brands like Red Bull to the Vemma brand of products like Verve," Boreyko wrote in a declaration filed in court.
Whether Vemma was treated fairly or not, the investigation also revealed that most affiliates in the company aren't making significant money. According to USA Today,, more than 97 percent of its active affiliates earn $12,000 a year or less. And the MLM industry as a whole seems to fair even worse: a recent breakdown of network marketing companies showed 99.7% lost money in their multi-level marketing deals. And those that made money? They averaged $5,000, annually.
The Pitfalls of the MLM Industry
Page points to the reason why multi-level marketing companies are started in the first place:
"Companies choose the multi-level marketing model because MLM companies are cheaper to operate. You don't have recruiting or training costs. By transferring that responsibility to a distributor, the company saves a lot of money." ($1,200 per person, 1)
Consequently, with no process of selection or formal training, you get a lot of untrained distributors that haven't learned any skillsets.
What Most Marketers End Up Doing
"Most network marketers resort to reaching out to family and friends, spamming their Facebook wall or prospecting well-dressed people at Whole Foods. Really. Instead of offering real value to the marketplace, you have thousands of people piggy-backing a trend and forcing themselves into an unnecessary, low-paid position."
Page also points to the industries' problem of creating artificial demand, which was a big reason Vemma was targeted.
"In most network marketing companies, you need to enroll in some type of monthly auto-shipping system. The supply is primarily generated by new sign-ups, not outside customers. When they stress recruitment over product sales to outsiders, the company's leaders stop worrying about whether its products are in demand. That's why a lot of MLMs go out of business after 2-3 years. New sign-ups dry up."
So what's the better alternative to joining a multi-level marketing company? Learning a skill that actually fulfills a need, Page says.
In 2014, he partnered with two others and started offering coaching that teaches people how to generate leads for local businesses. They now have over 1,000 people and hundreds of successful case studies from their students.
"It started as a pilot group, but we saw the potential was bigger than that. It teaches people a skillset that is in high demand. Businesses always want more leads, and more importantly, you can feel good about what you do."
Two years later, Page is still at it, because he's learned that generating leads is the key to success. No need to make false promises or watch them throw away money. He maintains that teaching people how to find the right customer allows for the best chance of being profitable, regardless of what the end goal of the sales process is.
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