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HomeNewsAffiliateSolomon McCluster, of AuntMaggie.com, on the evolution of the multi-level marketing/direct selling...

Solomon McCluster, of AuntMaggie.com, on the evolution of the multi-level marketing/direct selling industry

Solomon McCluster runs AuntMaggie.com, a site providing various services, including consultation, strategy development, and implementation and monitoring to the Direct Selling industry.

He’s also the Senior Software Sales Consultant at Trinity Software, a company whose software enables Party Plan & MLM Back-office services, commissions processing and ecommerce solutions.

Solomon has more than 25 years of experience in the Direct Selling Industry as a distributor, a network marketing company owner, and as direct selling software sales executive. So I was glad that he consented to an interview with the Emarketing Association. In this interview, we discuss how the MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) and Direct Selling industries have evolved from their old-school origins into their current forms, where influencers and affiliate relationships have an outsized impact on sales results.

We cover a lot of ground in our interview that will be of interest to students, practitioners, and aficionados of Direct Selling and Multi-level Marketing, including:

  • The evolution of the MLM industry from door-to-door selling to digital sales, with a focus on social media and incentivized behavior.
  • The differences between party planning companies and MLMs.
  • How the rise of social media and the recent pandemic caused the industry to change as people became more comfortable with online business and virtual parties.
  • The shift from traditional sales pitches to more natural product integrations in influencer marketing, with technology now enabling seamless product ordering directly from video content.
  • How Shopify’s merchant account program eliminated the need for MLM companies to set up their own merchant providers.
  • The degree to which MLM companies have leveraged existing technology for virtual parties and meetings, leading to interest in “replicated” websites and API integration.
  • How the MLM industry has evolved away from the practice of marking up products 7-10 times to pay commissions, leading to overpriced products and inefficient compensation structures.
  • The importance of compliance in MLM and affiliate marketing, especially with regard to transparency and disclosure.

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