Network Marketing In Singapore: A Complete Guide


Ever heard of network marketing? Well, if not, I’m sure you probably have a preconceived idea of what network marketing is all about. If you’ve never heard about it, this guide will help you in demystifying this marketing concept.

But before we proceed, it’s crucial to know that there are tons of myths and half-truths around network marketing. But then there’s good news. The concept is a low-overheads, viable, and profitable venture for those who yearn to make passive income from the comfort of their homes.

To cast the network marketing image in good light, it’s important to know that it’s not a get-rich-quick kind of an undertaking. Success in network marketing requires business insight, ethics, and passion. You cannot invest and expect to succeed by sheer luck.

What Is Network Marketing?

Network marketing refers to selling products or services directly to the customer while skipping the entire mediator chain. In this mode, there’s no supplying goods to retail stores that later sell to end-users. It’s purely a company vending its wares directly to the consumer.

In network marketing, also known as referral marketing, MLM or direct sales, companies rely on salespeople who started initially as customers. The process is primarily human to human interaction. As such, the salesperson recruits others who work under him/her. The income generated by recruits under a salesperson benefits the recruiter who is at the top of the chain.

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How Network Marketing Works

In the network marketing chain, companies strive to create tiers of salespeople. The direct sellers are encouraged to start their distributor networks, so to say. It all starts with a company recruiting sales agents who’re passionate about their products or services.

Surprisingly, network marketing doesn’t work with salaried employees. It’s the commissions that pay these salespeople. A firm will sell their products at heavily discounted prices. Then, salespeople sell the said products at full market prices. They can dip the profits into buying more products and expand in the process.

When you create a new tier or up line, you earn commission on the sales you’ve made and on those made by the downline-the people you’ve successfully recruited. This means if you start recruiting early and get to the top of the tier, it means you’re making more than the rest.


The cycle doesn’t stop here. Recruits who form the downline are at liberty to create their own downline. In the meantime, the company will benefit from a growing distributor network, and they never have to market or advertise their products.

Numerous companies turn to network marketing, given the lucrativeness of this upline and downline business model. There are several levels of distribution and payout, which is why network marketing is also known as multi-level marketing.

Upline and Downline Meaning in Network Marketing

In the direct sales or network marketing scene, two concepts take center stage. You must have heard about the upline or the downline, but you’re wondering what they’re all about. Let’s say the compensation plan is based on a network structure. At this point, you’ll either be working as an upline or a downline. So what do they mean exactly?


This denotes the salespersons or distributors that a consultant has successfully recruited to work under him/her. Simply, the downline is the consultant’s income.


It denotes the consultant or person who has recruited you to work for a company. The person acts as your sponsor and is always above you. Your upline receives a commission for the sales you make. The downline distributor is at liberty to recruit as well to increase his paycheck.

Naturally, network marketing can only succeed if the two are working successfully and in tandem. The upline is obligated to help his downlines for it to be a win-win situation.

Characteristics of Network Marketing

Network marketing or direct sales, if you may; comes with its unique set of characteristics. Here are some:

Direct Selling

Network marketing businesses promote and sell directly to customers who need their products /services. There’s no defined distribution channel. Distribution is handled by salespeople whore paid commission for every sale they make.

Independent Business Owners

Salespersons and participants in the network marketing chain operate as independent business owners. They sell on behalf of their upline, but they manage it as if it was their own business.

Selling Philosophy

Network marketing is based on the selling concept of marketing. Here, you recruit as many as you can with the view to sell as much as you can. After all, your commission depends on it.

Hierarchic System

The network marketing system is one big hierarchy. For instance, individual A will recruit individual B to work under him/her. A will get a commission from his sales and those made by B. in turn, B will recruit C  to work under him  and the tiering forms a complex hierarchy.

Minimum or No Advertising

The company that sells products enjoys minimum costs on marketing or advertising. In fact, direct sales does away with the need to advertise. Person to person selling takes centre stage while leveraging word of mouth.

No Fixed Salaries

Surprisingly, network marketing is purely a commission-based business. You don’t need to employ on a permanent basis. Workers make money through the sales they make.

Types of Network Marketing Programs

Shrewd network marketing experts rely on lead generation, recruitment building, and management to make money. However, there are three main types of network marketing. They are:

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Single-Tier Network Marketing

Single-tier network marketing is where you’ll sign for a company’s affiliate program to sell their products. You get paid based on the sales you’ve made or the traffic you’ve funneled into a website

Two-Tier Network Marketing

Two-tier network marketing involves some recruiting, but your earnings aren’t determined by recruitment alone. You’re compensated depending on the direct sales you’ve made and those made by the affiliates or downline you’ve recruited.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-Level marketing, as the name suggests, is network marketing where several levels (tiers) are involved. Here, you make money from numerous tiers, and there are incentives for recruitment.

Types of Network Marketing Companies

Network marketing is a rewarding industry for entrepreneurs who seek more income in a competitive business landscape. That said, there are numerous niches you’ll come across within the network marketing field. They can be categorised as follows:

Health and Wellness

This is the most conspicuous niche in the direct sales discipline. It involves the sale of consumable products that appeal to a health-conscious demographic globally. The products here promote alternative healing, with ingredients being organic in nature.

Cosmetics and Personal Care

Cosmetics and personal care account for a huge percentage of the network marketing sector. However, this revolves around the image than the health factor. There’s a lot of demonstrations, parties, and opportunity meetings involved.

Internet Marketing Companies

Did you know that network marketers have switched to the internet to market their products and services? Now you know. The truth is, these marketers take different forms. They can be:

  • E-commerce Companies- they sell a range of products/services online. They’ll prioritise e-book sales, and there’s no shipping involved thanks to digital downloads.
  • Internet Service Companies- they sell internet services. Their focus is on providing web tools, including email marketing, web hosting, and software design and auto responders services, among others. This field is unlimited since the modern business recognises the potential of the internet as a marketing tool.

Party Plans

Party planning is a popular network marketing niche. It’s ideal for those who want to make residual income from home. You only need a minimum investment to get your foot at the door. So far, party planning is the most gratifying way to earn and network with different people.

Considerations When Joining a Network Marketing Niche

So, what niche have you decided to join from the above-mentioned list? Whatever your decision, there are some questions you’ll need to consider before you make a move. They include:

  • Was the opportunity marketed as make money from recruiting or from selling direct products?
  • Does the company have a remarkable background and reputation?
  • Do you feel enthusiastic about the company and its products?
  • Are your close friends or associates equally enthusiastic about the products in question?
  • Are the products being marketed and promoted effectively?
  • Is there a possibility that you’ll make the profit targets you’ve visualised selling these products?
  • Does the company have a future, or they’re already at the saturation point?
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Benefits of Network Marketing

Low Starting Overheads

While other businesses in Singapore may require capital ranging from $SG5000, it’s easy to start with slightly less than $SG500. Can you think of any other business you can start with such a little amount?

Build Your Fortune-Not Somebody Else’s

If you’re employed, you’re making money for your employer, and that’s the truth. Enter network marketing, and you’ll be spending time making a fortune for yourself-you’re your own boss.

Doubles Your Annual Income

Hey, have you managed to double your yearly income working an 8-5 job? Next to impossible. With a network marketing business, you keep doubling your customers, meaning double the income you earn each year.

Leverage the Internet

The internet is today’s most potent business tool. Why not use it to make more out of your network marketing business. You can make social media work for you and connect with millions of leads globally.

Rewarding Life

Network marketing promotes personal development. You can use network marketing to make the lives of others fulfilling. That alone gives you contentment and more income to lead a better life.

Earn Passive Income

Do you want to break the shackles that bind you to a single source of monthly income? Then, network marketing is your key out of the bind. You can generate income that recurs every month, and you need not put a lot of effort into it.

Enjoy Upline Support

Once you join the network marketing bandwagon, there is instant help from your upline. You need not be a seasoned marketer in the sector. Your upline offers help and mentorship. Your success is simply theirs as well. If you flopped, they’d make no profits.

Run a Business Remotely

Haven’t you wanted to run a business without having to step into an office? The truth is, with network marketing, you get to work from any global location anytime, anywhere. You’ll be earning even when vacationing with your family overseas.

Avoid Toxic Laden Products

A large percentage of the foods and personal care products we use are full of preservatives and cancer-causing toxins? When you switch to network marketing products, you enjoy organic products that pose no health risks in the long term.

Is It Easy to Succeed in Network Marketing?

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Unless you lack business ethics and discipline, making it big in network marketing is easy. However, you have to observe some cardinal rules. Failing to abide by such is the sole reason why many people will drop off as soon as they join. But why is this so?

Many people who want to make network marketing work magically for them lack the proper mindset. A majority won’t take time to learn the ropes while others don’t know why they’re in it in the first place. But what do you need to do?

Be Genuine

There are tons of half-truths and suspicion associated with direct sales and MLM businesses. To avert such from potential clients, you need to build trust. You need to be genuine when approaching prospects. Be a good listener and cultivate great relationships. It starts by listening to what they want instead of trying to push your products down tor throats.

Know Your Target Audience

Network marketing won’t work for you if you don’t know your target audience. If you want profits, target the right audience to increase your conversion rates. Online tools can help you in this regard. Once you know your audience’s problems and how to solve them, you’ll generate repeat profits easily.

Learn How to Market

How else can you build a network if not through marketing? Do you know you don’t need to learn hundreds of marketing strategies to succeed here? As such, try and stick to 2-5 proven strategies, your network marketing gig will expand rapidly.

Can I Get Rich in The Network Marketing Niche?

The answer is in the affirmative. However, you need to live by the network marketing isn’t a get rich quick mantra. The success stories in the sector spread across different industries, products, and compensation plans. This shows many have done it before, and so can you.

One thing you need to note is that getting successful depends on you and not the company or products in question.

Why Is That?

This is simply because direct selling is a business guided by principles like any other venture. Don’t be surprised when you know that you’ll need the same insights you need to run a traditional business.

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To succeed in the network marketing field, you’ll need to harness influence and leadership.  The business requires duplication to make money repeatedly. As such, you’ll need to polish you’re:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • People skills
  • Simple processes

With time, the process will evolve. You need to remain resilient and picture yourself as an entrepreneur-nothing less. If you’re looking to create wealth, you’ll need all the faith and determination you can muster for your goals to fall through.

How to Succeed in Network Marketing Singapore Marketplace

Singapore has its own share of network marketing companies. It’s easy to note that they’re not made the same, and they don’t sell the same products. So, what do you need to make your network marketing venture stand out in the Singapore marketplace?

  • Go for Teamwork – always find a team/company that is dedicated to your success by working as a team
  • Assess the System – make sure that they have a practical support system online. It makes marketing easier
  • Insist on training – you’ll need the training to hit the ground running. Without it, it might be a waste of resources.
  • Assess the Company – ensure that you’re running with a company that’s not too old or too new. You need to narrow down on a firm that’s on a rising trend
  • Review the Products – always go for in-demand, reasonably priced, and problem-solving products
  • Get a mentor-if you’re starting up, a mentor, not necessarily your upline can be of great help. They’ve done it and succeeded in the past.

Network Marketing Tips That Guarantee Success

Are you like many marketers who’ve lost footing in the network marketing field? Worry no more, the following tips can turn your quest around and usher in the success you need.

Get the Right Network Marketing Mentality

It needs no explanation; you’ll need to treat direct selling as a business. Negativity and doubt will render your efforts null.

Leverage Social Media Marketing

Yes, social media has contributed to business success for many. If you haven’t tapped into online network marketing courses, you need to do it ASAP. By acquiring and putting social media marketing in this field, success won’t be long coming.

  • Here are some social media marketing tips you can use:
  • Be consistent and post daily
  • Write captivating and thought-provoking posts
  • Tell people about your story-inspire them to succeed or be better
  • Use the 80-20 rule- 80% of your content should provide value and fun-20% business
  • Engage people on messenger or twitter-make them laugh and solve their problems
  • Have patience even if results take longer to show
  • Inject fun-people will feel your energy and want to associate with you more
  • Find and use the right social media channels

Make It about Them-Not You

Even if its network marketing, don’t be pushy. Think about the value your prospects will derive from your products and not the commission you’ll make. You’re likely to build a downline faster if you’re super empathetic to the prospects you meet.

Don’t Fake It

Remember what they say about first impressions? It works in the multi-level marketing arena. Always make promises you can keep and don’t lie to your prospects, they’ll find out sooner, and it will give you a bad reputation.

Try Video Marketing

Video marketing works magic for network marketers. That being said, you don’t need a super expensive camera. In fact, don’t be scared since the more you practice, the better you become at shooting videos that appeal.

Grow a Great Attitude

Nobody will believe your network marketing gig if you can’t. What you’ll need is to go in with a great attitude. Remember, you’ll attract what you are.

Keys to Building a Successful MLM Downline

Remember, we said that your downline is your best asset in the network marketing venture. As such, you need to put great effort into building a formidable downline. If you succeed in creating a lasting and renewable downline, your accounts will always overflow.

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Here are tips you can leverage:

Use Inspiration

Want to create some synergy in your downline? Then, the best way is to use inspiration. You need to inspire them to the point that they take action proactively. Learn what drives your prospects and leverage it to drive them deeper into your network marketing opportunity.

Equip Them

Are you capable of equipping people with the means to and tools to succeed? Then it’s easy for you to get your downline to drive your success and theirs too. You need to share your knowledge and experience with every individual who commits to your downline. Create training videos and resources and equip them with new technology on an ongoing basis.

Empower Them

You’ll enjoy a strong downline if you’re committed to empowering them. It’s about letting them establish their own tiers instead of depending on you. You’re their leader, and they’re not your servants. Remember to teach them the principles of network marketing and how to think about their wealth creation journeys.

Reward Leaders

Leadership can mean enabling, empowering, and setting examples for your downline. Consider top earners who are passionate about the welfare of others in your team(s). Empower these leaders to help you keep the goals of your downline well aligned.

Reasons You Should Have a Network Marketing Blog

Truth be told, a blog is a crucial network marketing tool. It helps you to build trust and reinforce your authority in the niche. Top network marketing earners leverage their blogs to tell stories and drive their message home. Why then do you need a network marketing blog?

Helps You Stand Out

A majority of network marketers don’t have a blog. In this light, having one makes you stand out from the rest. Say what, such a blog tells prospects that you’re not just another amateur testing out the waters. It makes you a source of authority and value.

Creates a Home for Your Brand

With a network marketing blog, it’s easier to add features that help a prospect to know you better. The blog becomes a central hub through which you can direct prospects to other resources that promote your brand. Here, you can post content that reassures prospects that you’re more than an average brand.

Become an Expert/Authority

A blog can help you to establish your authority on a given subject matter or product. With a network marketing blog, it’s easy to depict your business as a high profile entity. Incidentally, your blog can help you become the expert even when you have little to show about your prowess, and that’s a plus.

Create a Duplicable System

A network marketing blog is your advertising tool. After you set up shop, this blog can help you find and secure leads. It can help you to keep your wheels spinning. Once you teach this to your downline, they’ll duplicate the same to their downlines. It’s one of the surefire ways to keep the money coming.

Ensure Long Term Success

Creating a blog is quite some work. However, once you’ve polished it, it will be making money for you. From an MLM perspective, such a blog can generate residual income.

Top Social Media Platforms to Use for Your Network Marketing Gig

Social media marketing is central to making connections/ why then wouldn’t you leverage it to grow your network marketing business? Here are top social media sites you can leverage in this regard.


Facebook following is already past the 1.1 billion mark. A discerning network marketer can build a huge audience and keep them connected. As long as you have an optimised Facebook page, promoting your MLM and getting your target to take action should be easy


Twitter has a significant user base, and it’s an easy to use platform. You can leverage it to get to prospects, tell stories, and build relationships. Twitter, with its ad program, is ideal for MLM marketers looking for new targets.


LinkedIn, though a more professional platform, is an ideal hunting ground for MLM looking to prospect in the B2B sector. It’s one of the top five most sought after social media platforms.


Pinterest is an image-based social media platform, with a majority of its users being women. You can pin your products on boards, and your prospects can re-share them. MLMs dealing with health, wellness, beauty, or fashion products will find it ideal.


YouTube is a leading video-sharing platform globally. This platform allows you to leverage the power of video to attract, engage and recruit your downlines if you’re a savvy network marketer.

Characteristics of a Top Network Marketing Company

Let’s say you’ve done your due diligence and narrowed down on a few network marketing opportunities. So, what criteria you’ll employ to pick one company over the other? Some characteristics that point to a credible network marketing firm include:

  • Integrity and trustworthiness
  • Openness regarding company strengths, ownership, finances, products and distributorship
  • Observance of ethical standards values and culture
  • Straightforward, duplicable and tested marketing system that guarantees success
  • Presence of trusted and marketable products
  • A competitive compensation plan that rewards uplines and downlines equitably
  • Availability of upline support with various marketing resources
  • Reputable management team
  • Availability of training to help participants succeed within a reasonable duration
  • Use of technology that helps distributors to recruit, sell, manage teams, and facilitate easy selling

Reasons Why Most Network Marketing Companies Fail

By now, you know it’s easy to join the network marketing bandwagon. You’ll require a small investment. But did you know that many direct sales ventures flop in less than 18 months? To avoid the pitfalls, you must know what makes them flop.


Capital is at the core of every startup. In network marketing, it’s not a challenge, but if your business anticipates exponential growth in a short time, you are likely to face a cash crunch to finance your expansion.

Legal Issues

Network marketing companies tend to relegate legal matters to the backseat. As such, many are faced with legal issues arising from lawsuits or compliance.

Lack of Unique Sales Proposition

The network marketing sector is largely driven by innovation. Often, we see companies that copy and paste health or personal care products from top companies. No doubt, consumers will shun such products, and it ends badly for network marketers and the company itself.

Ineffective Compensation Plans

In network marketing, it’s crucial that everybody feels the same way about the compensation plans in place. If the compensation is deemed unsuitable, the uplines may leave or feel demotivated to recruit new distributors.

Red Flags to Look for in a Network Marketing Company

In Singapore and the world over, network marketing firms or MLMs can be slick in marketing. Many use high professional marketing materials, but there are bad apples as well. The question is, would you be able to tell the good guys from the bad? Here are signs to watch for.

Dubious Recruitment Techniques

Some dishonest MLMs will use shifty ploys to get participants on board. Always check whether they’re transparent and whether they pressurise you to join. If you receive a dodgy invitation about a lucrative but suspicious investment opportunity, keep your guard up.

Recruiting or Selling to Family to Earn Money

Any network marketing that pushes you to sell to close family members and associates after you pay money upfront isn’t a credible business.

They Promise More Income If you Go up the Ranks

Dishonest network marketing firms will ask you to buy their products with the promise of more money as you move up the ladder. Check whether they’re using purported wealth to get you on board.

They’re All Hype

MLMs that hook you with the promise of easy money go a step further. They will sway you with the achievements of other people to show how quickly you can become wealthy. Always check whether they’re using such to fool you.

They Show off Imaginary Wealth of Their Members

Unscrupulous network marketing outfits will dazzle you with alleged wealth that their members have acquired in a short time. They’ll show off on social media just to get you mesmerised. For sure, you’ll succeed if you’re not the type that goes for the allure of easy money.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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