Direct selling, no longer the domain of door-to-door salesmen, is now enjoying a resurgence with its appeal to a whole new generation.
With the advent of social media and apps, it has never been easier for enterprising young professionals to find success in direct selling and pursue financial freedom.
Gone are the days when direct selling (i.e. network marketing) meant a vacuum cleaner salesman knocking on doors. Indeed, the term “salesman” itself is a misnomer, when the latest US Direct Selling Association (DSA) statistics indicate that women outnumber men in today’s direct selling industry.
In fact, recent UK figures show that more young people are getting involved in direct selling, as under 25-year-olds flock to set up shop.
Direct selling appeal
With many young people needing to fund their way through college, or having to pay off college debts, direct selling provides a sensible solution to generate income.
With low setup costs, direct selling offers an appealing option to savvy, young and enterprising professionals. As Joseph Mariano, President of the US Direct Selling Association, explains: “It’s a model that allows young people with less capital and maybe with even less experience to get into an entrepreneurial experience.”
Perhaps the appeal is also the freedom it offers to be your own boss and the flexibility to set your own hours. Lynda Mills, Director General of the UK Direct Selling Association, sums this up well: “The industry has been growing in popularity over the last few years and we’ve now reached the stage where younger people see it as an appealing career option.”
In fact, whatever your age, building a successful direct selling business is fast becoming more popular in a job market which could see you working long hours for peanuts in a dead-end job. This trend is reflected in the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) Annual Report 2016, which reports there are now over 103 million entrepreneurs involved in direct selling worldwide, an increase of 4.4% on the previous year’s findings.
Learn while you earn
The direct selling industry offers a wide range of attractive product choices for budding entrepreneurs to market, such as nutritional supplements, beauty products or jewelry. However, there is another option to consider – you could learn while you earn.
Learning Enterprises Organisation (LEO), a global entrepreneurship training and education company, offers entrepreneurial skills training while you market its products – perfect for a younger entrepreneur who may lack experience and funding, but wants to build a booming business.
Established in 2012, LEO serves over 200,000 members in over 120 countries. Perhaps one of the reasons for this success, is the company’s focus on strength in diversity – with a belief that age, gender and nationality should not hold a person back from achieving their dream of business success.
Dan Andersson, co-founder and President/CEO of LEO, explains: “At LEO, we aim to educate and empower entrepreneurs whatever their age, gender or nationality. So don’t let your age be an obstacle, just find the right time for you – and the right time is always now!”
Social media’s impact on direct selling
While the direct selling industry was built by knocking on doors and speaking to strangers in the street, today it has gone global with the rise of social media. Nowadays, network marketers with a good grasp of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn has the world at their feet.
Tech-savvy skills of today’s millennials could in fact provide a head start in the new network marketing industry of the 21st century, as clever use of social media and aptitude with apps can make or break a direct selling business.
So, whether you want to flex your entrepreneurial muscles, or just boost your income, direct selling could be the answer for a future of financial freedom and maybe even fun along the way!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Lindsay Harriss is a copywriter for Learning Enterprises Organisation Ltd (LEO), a global entrepreneurship training and education company that uses personal recommendation to introduce Members to its products and services. Established in 2012, LEO has over 200,000 Members in more than 120 countries. Connect with @learnearnown on Twitter.