Wood: Empower Network is “not about the product”
My single biggest criticism of Empower Network has been that, at the monthly subscription levels, essentially you’ve got affiliates paying eachother for a product was readily available for free.
Pay your $125 a month to the person who recruited you plus an affiliate fee to the company, and off you go “working” your new Empower Network business – trying to get other people to do the same.
In answer to this long-standing criticism of their business model, Empower Network spent “millions of dollars to develop their own blogging platform.
Codenamed ENV2 and hyped up the wazoo as a “WordPress-killer” and something that would “change the way people blog forever”, on October 11th Empower Network purportedly spent $500,000 to launch their new blogging platform.
Here’s how that worked out:
As I understand it, there’s more affiliates than ever in Empower Network chasing entry into their Millionaire’s Club, so how on Earth did a new product launch trigger a plummet in interest into the opportunity?
The answer lies in Empower Network’s most candid addressing of the issues surrounding their pass-up business model yet.
In a YouTube Hangout titled “confessions”, Empower Network Chairman David Wood declared the company ‘wasn’t about the product‘.
With the launch of ENV2 failing to sustain interest in the business, that much alone was self-evident. David Sharpe went on to reveal that the launch of ENV2 ‘did not turn out the way we wanted it to turn out‘, resulting in ‘no more sales than a regular week‘.
The message I took away from that?
From a retail perspective, nobody was interested in paying Empower Network $25 a month for a sub-standard WordPress clone.
That’s the bottom line.
So what did you have left? Those who were already paying their $25/$125 a month, trying to make it big.
Why is this important?
Well it highlights the issue with affiliates paying affiliates. Contrary to Empower Network’s marketing lingo, they didn’t introduce the concept of 100% of what affiliates pay into an opportunity being paid to the person who recruited them (or the person who recruited the person who recruited them etc.).
Cash gifting schemes have been using this model for decades.
What is attached to this payment model is typically irrelevant, as success or failure is defined by how many participants are paying eachother at any given time, and their ability to rope new participants into the scheme.
In the case of Empower Network, the idea was that affiliates and retail customers blogged, gaining exposure to whatever it is they were marketing. Empower Network for affiliates and typically a third-party business for retail customers.
The reality is that exposure-wise, Empower Network’s rebranding of WordPress blew.
2012 started with a measly 2% of domain traffic originating from search engines. 2013 started with 4%, peaking briefly at 6.5% around March.
Today the percentage has recessed to what it was around early 2012, hovering around 3.5 – 4%. The launch of ENV2 saw the percentage drop below 4% for the first time since late 2012.
Comparatively, WordPress’ own hosted platform has enjoyed a higher than 20% ratio of search traffic for most of 2013 (currently at 25% or so and rising).
I make a big deal about this because for the longest time the answer to “you are just charging $25 a month for WordPress!” was “but we have awesome SEO plugins and mad SEO skillz!”.
Which, as is evident by the 90%+ of traffic to Empower Network being sourced from affiliate marketing campaigns, was complete bullshit. Infact, not only was only 4-7% of the domain’s traffic from search engines, pretty much the entire bulk of that traffic was related to the income opportunity (searches for “Empower Network” and terms related to the business opportunity).
We’re going through a transformation that’s not about blogging.
This company is not about the product, not about the blog, it’s about empowering people.
I don’t know what Empower Network are going to attach their compensation plan to next, but it appears the days of pretending to be about blogging are over.
That leaves what? A bunch of affiliates paying eachother for what exactly?
Oh right, paying eachother $25 or $125 a month… and paying their affiliate fee so they can recruit others to do the same. Anything made from the other tiers is of course just gravy.
What on Earth is going to happen to what little there was of the retail side of the business?
Not much was revealed on the Hangout, other than a drawn out sales pitch for Empower Network’s upcoming “Freedom” event, to be held next year in Miami.
In addition to urging Empower Network affiliates to buy three tickets each, Wood told them
I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care what you have to go through… get to Miami.
What was mentioned was a vision to officially branch out into India, Europe, Canada, South Africa, Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica (and presumably elsewhere).
Up until now Empower Network has been available globally, but the company primarily focuses on the US market and affiliates. If there’s a decline there then I can see the need to expand.
How that’s going to work when Empower Network “is not about the product” though, I have no idea. What exactly are they going to sell them on?
Ultimately the problem Empower Network faces now is the same it’s always been, the way affiliates are paid. Yes there’s a retail option but I think we’re beyond the point of pretending it’s viable.
I mean hell, if you can’t get affiliates to stick around and pay their fees what hope do you have attracting non-affiliate customers?
When your core business model, call it “empowering people” or anything else, revolves around affiliates going “all in” and then recruiting new affiliates who do the same – what you attach it to, be it someone else’s blogging platform, your blogging platform, training videos, paper airplanes etc., doesn’t matter.
All that matters is you keep those monthly subscription payments flowing through the system, which requires those at the bottom to be able to find new people to pay them each month.
Notably with Empower Network having launched in November 2011, we’ve just hit that 2 year mark when recruitment-driven schemes typically hit a wall and begin to collapse.
I’m not saying that Empower Network’s quite there, or that Wood and Sharpe can’t keep it going for a bit longer yet – but just that this is statistically the point where schemes that rely on affiliate fees and recruitment fall apart.
I think 2014 is shaping up to be the year we find out what happens if Empower Network can’t sell the promise of receiving $125 a month from people they’ve convinced to “go all-in” to the rest of the world.
Should be interesting to watch it all play out…
I think a lot of the “momentum” EN experienced has now moved into DSD. I spoke with a contact of mine a couple months ago who is very well connected in the mlm world. According to his info which I believe was accurate, he had already recruited many of the top EN earners into DSD.
You can sense the desperation with EN. When they first started their message was that they were here to help anyone no matter what business they were in.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago and they are preaching why people should focus on one opportunity, completely contradicting their original message.
I think it’s ridiculous when people talk about achieving momentum. If the fundamentals are the same it just means there will be greater amounts of fallout when it ends.
I think people need to be very clear here.
What we are discussing here is NOT the “MLM world”
Empower and similar get-rich-quick schemes are nothing more than pyramid / endless-chain-recruiting schemes disguised as MLM.
IM(very)HO unless and until the MLM industry itself acts to stamp out this type of fraud, multi level marketing will forever be classed as just another variation of the schemes.
Currently, the “MLM World” is basically Scamworld … even if theoretically MLM by its most basic nature and definition isn’t a scam, the contemporary market conditions (prices, competition, distribution platforms, etc.) would promptly transform it into one.
Which raises the unavoidable question … can legitimate MLM exist in the modern age?
Which is a question the MLM industry better get to grips with pretty damned quick if it wants to become relevant in the future.
There’s a 50% off package of some sort for the Miami meeting has been posted on both Davids FB pages. The event is just over a month away and it sounds like they are trying to fill seats.
This is starting to look like Liberty League a few years back:
Bring people in and then up-sell them so they can make the “big money”. People swarm to the events. People then realize they aren’t making money. Complaints start coming in. Interest drops off. One of the married founders leaves his wife.
All they need now is Scientology or some other “cult-like” religion attached to one of the key players.
Ah, that is certainly the question, me and SaltyDroid have discussed this many times along with the other frequent commenters.
The very fact that I have not condemned MLM as “must be a scam, kill them all and let God sort them out” left me between a rock and a hard place. The more strident anti-MLM folks see me as a MLM apologist while the MLM proponents see me as an anti-MLM shill. 🙂 Can’t please both sides. 😀
Frankly, this entire MLM thing is so complicated no sane person should want to get into, and they seem to be attracting the folks who don’t know any better. *sigh*
They… “had” badass-ery… but I guess that’s not religious enough. 😀
They also had “fight the forces of evil”, although that came off more “nerds who watched too much star wars last weekend” than religious.
Well you know the primary reason so many of the EN members (and other recruitment schemes) have been jumping over to DSD is precisely because it has retail success for its members without any recruitment/downline building involved?
No matter what the gimmick is in a recruitement scheme (matrix or 100% commissions or spillover), 95% of the people in any scheme will take a loss. It’s a mathematical fact.
I think, based on the numbers, we can see that the flow of the industry is that the average user recognizes the BS that is peddled to them by every company – comp plan gimmicks, spillover promises, blogging or whatever – in the end the income comes from nothing but recruiting others in with the hope of making money by recruiting more.
Success of DSD is a good place to start I think – it proves that models that rely on non-recruitment to be profitable for their users are far more attractive (and last longer) than the chain recruitment systems. This is what made Zeek a success too – it was a ponzi yes, but it gave illusion to people that they were making money without recruiting (even though they were losing it). But that ‘idea’ made it a success.
I would think given the current environment and the general awareness about the recruitment schemes like EN, more programs like DSD/whatever will start gaining ground that are focused on non-recruitment and customer retention. Which eventually should result in cleaner/better companies as well.
Note: I only mention DSD here because Bjorn brought up that all the momentum has moved from EN to DSD. I think it is important to recognize that this isn’t people jumping from one recruitment scheme to another, but rather shifting into a different model altogether.
Josh, what on Earth are you talking about?
I can join DSD as an affiliate and focus on nothing more than recruiting other affiliates who I then tell to do the same. Collecting their membership fees as my commissions along the way.
Choice doesn’t negate the pyramid scheme nature of a business model.
Let’s not delude ourselves, if a bunch of EN affiliates are currently migrating over to DSD – they aren’t going to all of a sudden focus on retail. This “crowd” has no interest in retail.
Yeah some of ‘crowd’ with the big lists has no interest in retail, but the average joe-schmoe does. Remember that for every ‘affiliate’ in a chain recruitement making profits, there are 97 others taking a loss.
Those 97 ‘average people’ wise up to chain recruitments pretty quickly, and most of them know that they are not going to make money recruiting others (because that’s a game stacked against them from the beginning). Hence a model like DSD appeals to those average people.
The hard-core affiliate that has big lists will ALWAYS do the same thing – he will ALWAYS join something to promote, the key question is how much of a company is those affiliates running a recruitment scheme vs how many of the company are customers and average joes that are not really playing the recruitment game.
Also, I think it is perfectly fine for some people to be able to promote something just as an affiliate. The problem is when they promote it by promising the riches to others while pretending that everyone can succeed.
In reality in chain recruitments like EN the only way is to succeed is to recruit others, and that has a 97% failure rate thanks to the mathematical failure (something that DSD often talks about to their advantage) as well.
Right. So how do you think all these EN affiliates who were promised riches and that everyone can succeed (“if they follow the steps”) are going to work DSD?
The compensation plan is what attracts them (sign up and receive the membership fees of those you sign up), not what it’s attached to (be it a blog network or dropshipping tutorials).
Isn’t that exactly what I said? That these ‘breed’ of affiliates will do the same thing in ANY company. What is defining for the company is what % of their membership is comprised of those. EN and most chain recruitment programs are made of 95-99% users who are looking to recruit others.
When less than 50% of a company is made up of ‘recruiters’, they are usually safe and customer oriented, just like the FTC also advises.
A company like EN attracts only these type of affiliates. A company like DSD attracts a lot of regular people who are not primarily recruiters.
That difference in the product/customer focus/compensation system or whatever is a major factor why EN’s members are 90%+ affiliates while something like DSD under 30% are affiliates.
Not true. A company’s business model has to permit affiliates to get paid on recruitment (membership fees as commissions).
Agreed. I put DSD in a current “honeymoon period”. Nobody has paired drop-shipping with MLM before but do you really think people are going to be paying membership fees a year down the track?
And yeah Amazon has millions of products, what tiny percentage of them are actually viable on eBay?
Oh I know, I know – pay more money to acquire different selling platforms and dropship suppliers… right. There’s still a finite saturation point to all of this…
EN affiliate recruiters, if they get anywhere, are going to put a sizeable dent in that 70% retail figure (which I don’t believe I’ve seen in writing anywhere from DSD).
Personally I find DSD claiming that to have 70% retail a little to convenient (perfectly in synch with the supposed “Amway rule”? Yeah right), but I will accept it if it’s in writing. Of course it’d have to be updated periodically (quarterly, half-yearly) too…
The Empower Network sealed their fate when they failed to deliver a blogging platform that was improved over free offerings like Tumblr.
I think I will start calling the two year mark the hype wall for these schemes. Ha ha ha. Enjoyed your points.
98% of EN folks lose money every month
the biggest frauds are near the top – Tony Rush and company. The SEO taught by scammer boy Lawrence Tamm is outdated.
EN attracts suckers.
I learned a lot from the training products and the people, particularly the 15k formula. I thought ENV2 was a big flop and went back to WordPress myself.
What bothered me the most is how they’re handling the payment systems now. Their payment systems were screwed up and they weren’t accurately charging people. (People going months without paying but still having access to the products) – then they decided to take the money that was back owed all at once. So there were people on my team getting $500 – $1000 + taken out of their bank accounts.
Then they charge astronomical fees to reactivate if you’ve been late on any fees. (My one girl was a few weeks late on her $19.95 – instead of letting her pay the $19.95 and continue on with her biz they’re trying to charge her $59.95 — for what? It doesn’t even say. Just that she owed $59.95. She’s only been signed up 3 months.
I told her not to pay it – it didn’t make sense.
The other issue I have is with their merchant service. ewallet sends payments to your account whenever they feel like it. There have been many weeks where they even skipped and I got two checks the week after.
Sometimes I get my deposit on Tuesday, sometimes THursday – sometimes 10 days later. When you call EN they said it’s not their responsibility because it’s a third party system.
Well.. when you don’t offer any other options, it is your responsibility.
I agree that ENV2 is a big flop. I’m really hoping they can fix whatever went wrong and come back on top.
Collapse of EN is inevitable, just as all of the info based affiliate hyped mlm games out there. I love the fact that they are getting TONS of people to realize that they don’t have to go through life in a corporate situation and that their other options, but I don’t think EN is the right option.
PRODUCT PRODUCT PRODUCT. Dave and Dave will walk away with a huge chunk of change when this thing dwindles in a year or 2, but what about the rest of them?
Over half will leave the profession forever because they now will think it’s a scam when really our profession does truly allow for a new found freedom, if they do it right with the right company.
It is very sad that the EN cult will travel to all their conferences that happen every 3 months, thousands out of their pocket and will never make a dime of profit and be left with a bad taste in their mouth.
Dave and Dave, go sell personal development seminars and go on the circuit, but don’t hype EN the way you are.
Have to ask, what is DSD… thanks
Is this suprising to anyone? Did anyone not already see this as just a giant hype machine?
Hype doesn’t last forever, what they’re seeing now is being forced to stand on the merits of their product..
I’m sure they will be just fine even if their product lost 100% of it’s sales overnight, but there will always be the die hards, and there will always be people who WILL see the value in their product, so they will do ok, but of course it’s going to drop off as people get over the hype and lose that glow in their eyes from seeing ‘the next big thing’
The real thing to watch, and what will definite their ability as entrepeneurs, is how they react to the decline, not by their hype generation, but in how they create a better product to serve the needs of their customer.
It ‘not being about the product’ is the #1 problem with the ‘MLM Industry’ ..create a product that has value and you will generate sales and you won’t need to waste money on all the stupid hype.. selling a product based on hopes and dreams may look pretty at first, but what happens when those dreams don’t come true?
Those customers are lost.. the ones who bought it for the blogging platform, will keep it regardless of if they make money off of it or not..
Those are the customers you need to succeed in business, if you’re trying to sell a product to people who don’t need it, then why would you ever expect them to buy it?
They only bought it to begin with because you are selling the sizzle, but if the steak tastes like shit; they won’t buy it again.
Have you got any RESULTS from the training, not counting EN itself among the results?
I googled “Empower Network training products” and looked at the first video I found (disabled link).
That guy would probably have managed better without the traaining. A 13 minute monologue about the products and the importance of following the system was all he managed to produce AFTER the Empower Network training.
He has 15 views in 5 weeks (not included my 2 views), and that was the first video I found in the search results.
All he’s doing is repeating the ideas he have been taught. He would probably have managed much better if he had used his OWN brain rather than repeating ideas.
Do you have better results than him, not counting any recruitment or sale to other participants in EN? The reason why you can’t count any results from EN itself is because it will reflect EN’s results more than your own results.
Self development and internet marketing training are very often about keeping people occupied for a long period of time, rather than about producing any results. The longer they can keep people occupied with training and similar activities the more they will pay.
That guy had got instructions that he had to listen to the audio recordings at least 5 times per audio, to program his brain so he eventually would become successful. That’s clearly about “keeping people occupied for as long as possible”.
Lots of clueless comments in here from people who obviously know nothing about Empower… typical.
DS Domination – https://behindmlm.com/companies/ds-domination-beta-review-dropshipping-products/
Claiming everyone knows nothing. How badass of you to pull that old tired line.
Oh, I didn’t realize that all those people are actually clueless and not engaging in a sincere uncensored debate about the true merits of a company (and if there are any at all) that censors any real debate about its true merits (if it has any at all).
Thank you, you mighty contributor, for your wonderful sage input … oh wait, you don’t have any.
Of what ???
Typical one-liner from hit-and-run commenter who only leaves their opinion “you know nothing” yet won’t say what was missing about an alleged scheme. Typical.
Have YOU got any results out of the EN training, e.g. have YOUR brain been “programmed for success” in the same way as the example I showed?
EN’s self development ideas seems to revolve around old ideas from the 1980-ies or older, ideas where people should “program their own brains to become successful” by listening to motivational tapes each day, combined with “follow the system” ideas.
The idea is actually to make OTHER PEOPLE believe in those ideas, so you can make a profit on selling the motivational tapes (or selling the opportunity to make a profit on selling the opportonity to sell those tapes).
So, have you got any RESULTS from the training?
The biggest problem I had with EN was that they promoted all you needed was to spend $25 for the blogging platform and you could make all this money. Once they signed up they were hit with the extra affiliate costs, if you wanted to be a re-seller and then you had to join the ‘Inner Circle’ because that was were you learned from all the other top people how they did it.
I won’t even go into the high priced trainings they offered. Most people who joined just wanted to know what they were supposed to blog about and learn how to market online, you know the basic stuff. They were not ready for the expensive courses that were way over their head or budget to implement.
Everyone wanted to make money instantly…. not bring people in and help them learn each level and then move them into the next one when they were ready. But so many of these new people who were so desperate to make money now, were sold on the high ticket stuff because you were a wossie if you didn’t go all in.
There were so many of the that got lost. All the bad*ss talk and fight the forces of evil crap only goes so far.
I realized right from the beginning that people would drop off because they were not getting anything for their money. The big earners who got to the top spent so much money on advertising because they played the numbers game. That’s all it is!
That is all any business is … an numbers game, BUT the only way a business succeeds is if they keep a large proportion of their customers. You have to offer your customers a product or service they will get something out of using!
And their ‘no need to pick up the phone’ attitude was because if you talked to someone they would have had too many questions and no one would have been able to answer them about EN without lying about what the program was all about.
This industry has some great products and companies that offer products that people need and want and if they just concentrate on the customer first, then people will make money when they share the results the product had on them.
I know the majority of companies will not be promoted that way because making money as fast as you can is more attractive to the vast numbers of people who are so desperate to latch onto anything that promises hope to make their live better. And that is why lotteries are big business and companies like Zeek will be always be around until they collapse.
The people who will succeed are the ones who take the time to learn how it all works, take action on what they learn and most importantly realize that there will be many challenges along the way … just treat this as a business, not a get rich while I do nothing biz op.
I looked at a couple of the EN blogs almost a year ago. They were basically promoting EN itself, even where they had other content (e.g. articles about how to drive readers to your blog).
Normally blog articles, videos and other material will reflect the type of training people have got. The few random blogs or videos I have seen have mostly been promoting EN itself.
The video I referred to in post #21 promoted the idea of learning from “gurus”, and becoming a “guru” yourself. EN should be the solution for how to become a “guru”. 🙂
The only marketing I have seen done by EN has been the typical hype and same ole’ MLM rhetoric. Rags to riches story bla bla bla.
Their best thinking got them banned from Facebook. People actually PAID to learn how to market like that ???????????????? They have the gaul to charge for that?
Sounds like the only “woosies” were the ones that didnt have the Balls to say no to the one hyping it to them.
Empower Network – I bought into the hype and found out they
were hyping horsecrap
Lawrence Tamm is a full blown worthless trainer and Mack Zidan
is a pathetic waste of human life. Throw in the KING OF THE KING Scammers named Tony Rush and it’s a joke from day one with the constant “bad ass” upgrade crap
98% of EN associates lose money every month and David Wood has the morals of Dick Cheney
Sadly I learned quickly this is a full blown scam with little
offering … got my money back and moved on from that mistake
Glenn Watson: RIGHT ON THE MARK COMMENTARY SIR!!!
Does Tony Rush promote the badass style, too? I thought that style was trade marked David Woods / David Sharpe?
Normally it doesn’t pay to just copy other people’s trade marked style. It’s much better to find your OWN style (generally speaking, it can be too much of that too). And Tony Rush should normally be experienced enough to know that.
Experienced people will normally try to “fill roles that haven’t already been filled by others”. If the badass role already was filled by David Woods and David Sharpe when Tony Rush joined EN, that role should normally have been rather unattractive to him.
If EN collapses it won’t be a surprise. I’ve seen people get excited about opportunities promote them and then leave. Some leave with decent money and some leave with nothing. Expect that with mlm.
Some companies may have a long life while others have a short life span. From my point of view the majority are so easily sold on hype. And it seems to be the hype products make the most while the non hype products don’t. Go figure.
If you get involved position yourself to control your fate. These companies have already positioned themselves to use massive nlp and other techniques to win you over….
No, Tony doesn’t do the bad ass thing – or at least hasn’t recently that I can tell. He has seemed to have dialed down the arrogance and bragging a notch or two (at least compare to how he was in his LLI days)
The bragging is some type of “sales concept”, and will attract specific types of people, typically inexperienced ones. They want others to reflect the ideas they believe in themselves, and you do that by clearly showing it to them.
The badass style is a similar idea, a “sales concept”. It will attract specific types of people. But it’s a bad idea if you’re trying to copy that style yourself (if you didn’t already have that style initially). Only the inexperienced ones will try to do that.
Experienced people should normally be careful not to COPY other people. One or two “bad asses” should be more than enough in a sales concept.
Tony Rush would have become a target for jokes if he had tried to copy that badass style himself.
I have just recently (1 week ago) started to focus on the RESULTS people have got from the EN training (e.g. the 13.5 minute video I watched in post #21). I would simply have loved finding some similar results from him. 🙂
That comment was about the type of exaggerated style you can find when people are trying to COPY a “guru” or a “leader”, or when they have exaggerated styles for other reasons.
We will normally make jokes about it if any of the publicly known people are acting with some types of exaggerated style, e.g. if that style is completely NEW, unexpected or misplaced, or if it’s being poorly reflected.
Tony Rush promoting the badass style would clearly have deserved some comments.
I have tried to look at a few videos to get some type of impression of the training people have got in EN, but it wasn’t possible to identify ANY “core training” for any of them.
I found ONE example that seems to have been inspired by “internet marketing guru ideas”. They will typically have some type of “dysfunctional style”, e.g. they must have been designed for a very specific audience:
“Stop! Important video! It will change your life!” 🙂
That video tried to drive traffic to another website, by telling the audience how successful he was as an internet marketer, and how willing he was to share his $20,000 per month 7 secrets. He didn’t REFLECT what he pretended to be, and that’s important if you’re communicating something to other people.
One funny thing: He had already visualised his audience when he posted that video 7 months ago, i.e. he simply KNEW why I had dumped into his video, he KNEW I was one of those desperately looking for a mentor to show me how to make money online, one of those who had tried all possible methods without success.
That guy was inspired by something else than EN, so he didn’t qualify as an example. He was inspired by self promoting ideas and “fake it till you make it”, plus some ideas about “dramatic effects” (“catch the attention immediately”).
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR
I checked some EN blogs a year ago. They typically promoted EN itself, while the contents were rather thin.
This time I’m checking a few videos to see if any of them are reflecting some good ideas or valuable training results, but so far I haven’t found any.
If people have got some training and instructions for how to do marketing on the internet, it should normally be reflected in the material they’re producing.
(Continued from post #38)
SELF PROMOTING = BAD IDEA
I also looked at a couple of Tony Rush’ videos. A major difference is that he spends most of the time talking about commonly accepted ideas, e.g. self development ideas, and hardly ANY time doing self promoting.
The “guru inspired” video maker did quite the opposite. He spent most of his time trying to convince his audience about how successful he was as an internet marketeer. Most of the content was about himself and how successful he was.
INCOME IDEAS, QUITE NORMAL IDEAS WILL WORK BEST
Another difference was that the “guru inspired” guy focused on exaggerated income, probably “fake it till you make it” income, and his OWN income. Tony Rush used more general examples, e.g. that $100 per day would make a huge difference for most people, and if they first had started to make money then they would normally find ways to increase that income.
I have seen the same in other programs. Quite normal income ideas are much easier to sell than six figure income ideas. Exaggerated income claims can make a program more difficult to sell.
GENERAL IDEAS IN SALES AND MARKETING
I have already identified one idea (in post #33) = “experienced people will normally try to fill a role”. It has to be about a functional role, something OTHER people can accept as functional and useful to themselves.
They will normally try to fill that role with what they have and what they are, rather than filling it with a false image. From that perspective, some of the most common selfdev ideas are doomed to fail (people will focus on themselves rather than on how to really fill a functional role).
The role as a self appointed “marketing expert” isn’t very functional in itself, that role will first become functional and useful if the self promotion is replaced by some “substance” and real knowledge that can be useful for others.
Nothing is worse than a false “guru” with poor ideas, even if he has got those ideas from other “gurus”. 🙂
I finally found some videos where some of the training were reflected, the “8 core commitments if you want to become successful in Empower Network”. 🙂
1. Set up your affiliate account
2. Blog daily
3. Market daily
4. New member coaching
5. Empower hour (webinar, Monday)
6. Listen to audios daily
7. Read daily (self development books)
8. Go to the events
The training is focused on keeping people busy, with a lot of things they should DO each day. People will be too busy to think and reflect, e.g. “Does this training really work for me? Do successful people really do something like this each day?”. It’s about brain washing rather than training.
Training should normally give an understanding about how things work in reality, the RESULTS you will get from different types of actions and why some types of actions work better than others.
Most of the 8 core commitments will not generate any results for the followers, they will generate results for people higher up in the system. The ones following those instructions will not get any understanding, i.e. they will not be able to generate any results themselves outside the system.
Nearly ALL EN videos I have seen have revolved around “follow the system, promote EN and don’t think”. Once people start to THINK independently they will probably leave the system.
It’s basically cognitive ease / brainwashing / indoctrination 101: repeat, repeat, repeat it again.
The “8 core commitments” explained a lot of things. The main purpose of the different components is to unlock the different income streams.
If you pay for the blogging platform, you can also earn commissions by getting others to pay for it. If you pay for the “Inner Circle”, you can earn commissins from others, etc. for all the different components.
The core function of each component is to unlock an income potential. And then you can become successful if you can get enough others to accept the same idea.
It will explain why the RESULTS are so poor, e.g. why I thought the blogs were thin and uninteresting when I checked a few of them, why the training seems so poor, why the important parts of Alexa statistics are so poor, why I had great difficulties finding GOOD IDEAS in the videos I were looking at.
Poor ideas and poor training WILL attract some people, because it’s exactly what they’re looking for. They’re PRIMARILY looking for the income opportunity, and the training products will need to be easy to ACCEPT (WHY they’re buying them themselves, WHY others should buy them). They want SIMPLE ideas and instructions.
More advanced ideas would probably have failed. People are joining EN to get reflections of ideas they already have, they are not joining EN to get some new ideas.
REFLECTING PEOPLE’S OWN IDEAS
I came to the same conclusion when I analysed a couple of Tony Rush’ videos:
All he did in one of those videos was to REFLECT people’s own ideas = ccmmonly known ideas from selfdev books. And then he added himself and EN as a potential solution for people (“join Tony Rush and EN if you want more reflections of your own ideas”). That was my words, he presented it quite differently.
He did something similar in another video, but there he reflected some other common ideas shared by the same group of people. He reflected ideas people like to believe in.
In all fairness to the 8 core commitments,
I think developing a habit to read every day is very healthy. They don’t tell people WHAT to read, so I don’t see how that would be brainwashing.
Blogging, if done properly, is a healthy activity as well. In order to create content to share with others it requires a person to reflect and think.
Listening to audios can be useful as well, depending on what you listen to.
What i don’t like about their training and products Is everything is designed around selling empower network. They seem to cater to people who don’t already have products to sell. Isn’t that backwards?
If the product was truly a great platform for people to market stuff (anything other than EN’s products), they would place much more emphasis on branding and helping people develop their own unique message.
There’s no “SEEM” about it.
If, as you point out:
Then why not just do it for free on WordPress, if blogging is what you want to do ??
The point is, without the “income opportunity” involved with selling the Empower Network “income opportunity” to others so they can sell the Empower Network “income opportunity” to others, ad infinitum, there is nothing TO sell, which isn’t already available for free.
The fact Empower Network allows those who cannot or do not monetize their blog/s, but make the bulk of their money from the recruitment aspect of the Empower Network scheme should be the number 1 red flag for potential recruits.
Well, smart and prudent potential recruits, that is.
He mentioned a couple of selfdev books, e.g. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and another book I’m not familiar with.
The brain washing part was about the audios, “listen to audios every day”.
The logic in my comments goes like this:
1. Tina W posted that she had learned a lot in post #17.
2. I asked questions about the RESULTS she had got in post #21, but I started to check some videos rather than waiting for an answer.
3. The rest of my posts have been about checking different videos and analysing them (primarily to look at the RESULTS people have got, e.g. if the videos are reflecting some good ideas).
4. And now I can come to the conclusion that I asked the wrong type of question in post #21. People can feel training has some value even if they don’t get any direct results from it.
5. I can probably identify WHY some of those videos will fail (as marketing methods), and I can probably identify WHY some will work.
His advise was “Blog about anything you want, anything you’re interested in, e.g. if you’re interested in cars blog about that. It will be picked up by search engines and drive traffic to your blog (where you’re promoting EN)”.
That idea is rather meaningless.
It clearly can have some functions, but it depends on WHAT you’re listening to and WHY you’re doing it. For most of the videos I checked, that part didn’t seem to have had any positive effect (people sounded “brain washed”).
But I also pointed out that it’s probably exactly what people WANT. They want simple ideas and instructions they can follow. “They don’t want NEW ideas, they mostly want their OWN ideas reflected”.
It is, and it was indirectly reflected in the “8 commitments”.
The main purpose of the different components is to make people willing to pay for the opportunity as a whole. It’s much easier to sell it as “components” people can choose themselves rather than selling it as a fixed set people MUST pay for.
It’s easy to get people to accept the $25 per month blogging platform, it’s “affordable”. That part acts as a feeder program to the other components. If they attract the right types of people (selfdev ideas, income opportunity ideas), many of them will buy into other parts of the program and generate income for others.
Seems to me with all the stuff going on with Empower, Lyonness, and just overall a broader coverage of the MLM industry thanks to the internet (not to mention Ackerman v. Herbalife), there will be a serious purge of illegitimate MLM companies on the horizon.
I’ve been following a cooking blog (SmittenKitchen)for a couple of years now. The owner built enough of a following to get the attention of a publisher and put out a cookbook last year complete with book tour.
She does have Google ads on her blog but that probably only covers the cost of her domain/hosting – don’t think she is getting rich off of it.
In her FAQ section, she answers questions about setting up a blog. On starting:
On building an audience:
And she gives some tips:
Basically she does what EN people don’t – uses free WordPress and thinks its easy, doesn’t blog every day, doesn’t beat people over the head with spamming about her blog (she uses social media but doesn’t overdo it), etc.
I follow a couple of other blogs who follow roughly the same format. Some do have more of their own products to sell and/or have affiliate links to products/sites related to the theme of their blog but the affiliates were added after the blog was established.
Take a look at an average EN blog and you immediately know they are promoting EN. More often than not, you will only see a few poorly written posts or posts that were copied from another source. The posts don’t reflect the bloggers theme because there usually isn’t one, Rather, they are simply there for the keywords.
A person can do all 8 core principles from here to eternity and fail because EN is not about setting up a successful blog. Wood was right – it’s not about the product because the product doesn’t work.
It isn’t about the training either, none of those components seem to reflect “high standards”. But it will keep people busy and it will probably reflect some of their own ideas.
If you see it from that perspective, it may be the correct solution to something.
What people really want to do is to promote the opportunity and make an income, they don’t want to become full time bloggers or qualified marketeers, they want the immediate rewards rather than the long term results.
It’s designed to attract promoters rather than bloggers, and to attract people who are willing to pay for an opportunity. The correct way to see it is to look at whether or not it works from that perspective, e.g. “Does it attract that type of people and does it generate an income for some of them?”.
It’s NOT designed to create a long term income for any of them, it’s about immediate recruitment rewards rather than long term results. It will probably collapse when it has filled its short term function.
2 BASIC IDEAS
1. Right view
2. Right intentions
Those 2 basic ideas is a system that can be used to test other ideas against, a neutral and unbiased system.
I used that system to come to the conclusion that the type of training is exactly what some people WANT.
They really WANT boot camps, “8 core commitments”, audio collections from known leaders, “15K formula” and events where they can meet like minded people. They want clear INSTRUCTIONS rather than vague ideas.
They really WANT opportunities where they can buy in at different levels, where they will need to PAY for the right to earn commissions (buy the product themselves to get the right to sell it to others). They really LIKE invaluable products where most of the payment can be paid out to the recruiting sponsor or his upline.
I don’t think any of them will see any point in putting up a blog for other purposes than as a part of a short term money making plan, where there’s some potential immediate rewards for doing it.
EN is about selling a mindset… “empowerment”. It’s a part of the self-help industry selling the idea of financial independence mindset… i.e. selling you your own idea. Wood’s right… it’s not about the product… but your BELIEF in the product.
Most of the people joining programs like EN are actually CONSUMERS (income opportunity consumers). They’re BUYING opportunities like other consumers are buying products, e.g. similar to how people interested in self development are buying selfdev books and selfdev courses.
They don’t buy it for the income, but for the reflections of their own dreams about income. That’s similar to why people are buying selfdev material. Selfdev material that reflects DREAMS will be easier to sell than material that reflects realities, e.g. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” can still attract an audience.
That can explain why some of the training seemed to be “consumer oriented”. It’s designed to attract specific types of consumers, and to keep the buyers busy for a period of time.
That can also expain why some of the training didn’t make much sense to me, I was looking for RESULTS / long term results rather than for DREAMS. It will probably make more sense if I’m analysing it from a consumer viewpoint.
A series of rags to riches stories is NOT sales training. Neither is the rest hoopla they use to build belief in the product or company. Its shallow, meaningless drivel.
I remember about a yr ago I messaged with Tony Rush on FB when I’d considered joining EN. I did join for the $25 originally, but after getting in and realizing I had to at least join the Inner circle for another $100, I balked at the idea and dropped out.
A few months later, I messaged Tony Rush again and asked him If he thought the market might be getting saturated. His comment was it would never be saturated and told me how much money I’d lost by not getting in when we first talked.
I got back in and bought the Inner circle and was immediately made to feel that I still wouldn’t make much money without being all in. What shocked me more than anything else was all the trainings they were giving to help you become a BadAss but they were only available if you were in at higher levels.
If you truly cared about helping others make money in your downline, why wouldn’t you give all your downline access to every training available at no cost to help them reach the top? You were made to feel so inferior and the conversations were so demeaning if you weren’t in the Bad Ass club.
Take your Grocery Money, your House payment money, whatever you had to do to get in, just get in.
It blows me away how these badasses can lay their heads on their pillows at night while their bank accounts are getting fatter from those that are dead broke already. We hear how they’ve lived out of Vans and slept in their In-laws basements, etc etc, so they know what it’s like to be broke.
The majority of the population struggles financially paying their bills and meeting their obligations. Those people have dreams too and want a better life for themselves and their families.
The BadAsses are fully aware of the desperation of needing money and not knowing where their next meal is coming from and can still prey on those not so fortunate, so caring and empathetic aren’t they?
If you told anyone you didn’t have the money to get all in, you were told those kinds of comments were nothing but excuses, you weren’t really serious about achieving your Dreams, Give me a break.
I’d bet, many of these Gurus will have spent their fortunes before you know it, moved on to the next “Get Richer Deal”, just like many of the EN Guru’s did after Wealth Masters imploded.
Mark my Word, it won’t be long, we’ll be hearing from many of these same BadAsses about the next deal that is hands down better than any thing they’ve ever seen before, including EN.
Im sorry Tony Rush, but it appears EN may have reached it’s saturation point, in this country at least. No hard feelings, just surprised, Where is Integrity and Character in Leadership anymore. Best of Luck to you all.
You can’t ask him about something like that (you won’t get correct answers). You’re a “prospect”, and his job is to make you believe in the dream he’s selling, to make you buy in at the highest level you can accept. That’s how HE makes his money, by making other people believe in different dreams.
You CAN actually learn something from it.
In a scam, it’s about selling unrealistic dreams and make them feel realistic. And it can be about making people CONTINUE to believe in them for as long as possible, or it can be about raising their expectations and ambitions to make them buy in at a higher levels.
He’s selling those dreams because people actually are buying them. People really like to BELIEVE in different types of dreams, “reflections of their own dreams”. But the dreams can’t be completely unbelievable, they will need to be supported by something people can believe in.
Any type of “internet marketing training” or “15K Formula” will make the dream more believable.
What you can learn from it?
That will be up to you, e.g. you can use it to protect yourself or you can use it in other ways. “Selling the Dream” will typically be about income opportunities or fraudulent investments, but similar ideas are being used in most other scams.
I have analysed a lot of details here, based on a few videos I have watched. Tony Rush was clearly using different methods and sales techniques, the others were mostly repeating what they should do each day to become successful.
They followed a program designed to keep them busy rather than a program designed to sell something.
It wasn’t saturated for him. He had you and others, eager to join the opportunity.
I don’t think he know which ones of the people he recruit who will make money or lose money, but he know that a few of them probably will make SOME.
What I have problem accepting is the training. It won’t generate any results in the long term, it will only waste people’s time and money. I’m not familiar with the training in detail, but I watched a few videos looking for the RESULTS of it.
People won’t make any money BECAUSE OF the training. If they make anything, it will be because they have managed to make OTHER PEOPLE believe in the training. If enough people are willing to pay for some modules, then people higher up in the system will clearly make some money.
Wood on Facebook today:
Uh, there’s money if those people brought in go out and recruit people… and they go out and recruit people… and they go out and recruit people…
Let’s face it, that’s been EN for the past few years. And despite the recent decline it isn’t going to change anytime soon.
After finally admitting that the “blog beast” was a mistake Empower Network is switching back to wordpress.
That’s interesting. I wonder how they’ll sell it.
I mean Blog Beast was supposed to be the “WordPress killer” after all. And the whole internet is now using it of course.