Gloria MacDonald: Digital Marketing vs. Network Marketing

THSH 5 | Network Marketing

Listen to the episode here:

Watch the episode here:

Almost everyone has observed how much technology has changed everything so fast. But is the network marketing industry staying up to date? Veteran entrepreneur Gloria MacDonald doesn’t think so. In this episode, she joins Patrick Shaw to share why the industry needs to keep up, not only from the outside by utilizing technology but also from the inside by teaching people to build differently. Gloria then shares her take on digital marketing and which platforms have helped her business move forward. Giving financial advice, she also discusses the difference between passive sources of income and residual income. This conversation is packed with so much advice for the modern-day network marketers out there, so don’t miss out!

Gloria MacDonald: Digital Marketing vs. Network Marketing

I am with Gloria MacDonald. Gloria, you are an experienced podcaster. I am new to this game and having a lot of fun. I’m excited to be with you. You are also not new to the network marketing industry with decades of experience. You’ve built multiple times to six figures. That’s exciting. It’s great to be with you. You have moved from Canada to Arizona. That’s exciting.

Thanks, Patrick. It’s great to be here with you, too.

We had a very spirited conversation beforehand. The industry has changed so much. We will dive into some of the spirited conversations that we had because the industry is changing so fast. Technology is exponentially changing everything. It’s interesting to observe the fast pace and the difference between where we were a decade ago and where we are now and all the iterations of it that seem to be taking place. Are you observing the same thing?

Yes and no because the world is changing but truly our network marketing companies are changing. This is a concern I have for the world of network marketing. Are network marketing companies staying up to speed with what’s going on in the world these days? My concern and my belief are they’re not. When I look back years ago when I started with Amway and was drawing circles, did we do Zoom calls then? No, because the internet, computers, and cell phones didn’t exist but have our network marketing companies changed? They’re using technology to order online but are we teaching people to build differently?

THSH 5 | Network Marketing

One of my things is not popular in the world of network marketing but I’m transparent about it. I believe gone are the days of putting all your eggs in one basket and saying, “I’m with ABC company. I will never build with another company.” That’s what every network marketing company wants us to do but that’s downright foolish. That’s putting all of your money in one stock.

The danger is some companies won’t play that game either. You’re joining a company. They’re like, “You’re going to be loyal to us or we’re going to cut your check.” There’s also a risk in knowing what game you’re in.

From my perspective, and this is my opinion, that’s very small-minded network marketing companies. I understand why they do it. They don’t want to lose.

I agree but they’re doing it. It’s a danger to the person that’s not savvy on the ways of the industry, especially in this social day and age where everybody is posting everything publicly. They go, “You didn’t read our terms of service. You’re out. We will take your genealogy and your organization but we will keep the check too.”

You have to know what your organization’s terms and conditions say. You have to understand that and be up with it. That’s an area where the industry needs to change.

Let’s do a deeper dive into that change. The way I poise it to people and my belief system is the fundamentals haven’t shifted but the environment has shifted. It’s the tools, the systems, and how we’re doing things. Do you agree with that? Do you think there should be a shift in the fundamentals of the business as well? There is a relationship. It is about culture, duplication, and simplicity. Those are things that have existed for 50 years in a networking organization. Do you think those fundamentals should be shifting?

As you and I were talking about before we started this officially, the challenge has always been in network marketing. How on Earth do you get people to duplicate? I believe that the vast majority of people will never do what the leader in their company or the top ten income earners in their company have done to get there. This is a pet peeve I have.

It drives me bananas when I see people saying, “You can make six figures fitting in the nooks and crannies and working ten hours a week.” That’s the biggest load of crap on the planet. You and I have both worked way more than ten hours a week to get to where we got. We need to be honest, upfront, and ethical about what we’re selling in the world of network marketing. I don’t think the industry has been, generally speaking, in the history of the industry.

There’s a great book out there, The 4 Disciplines of Execution. That was not written for network marketing. It talks about the wildly important goal, the lead measure, and the most difficult thing in a large organization of any kind driving any lead measure. Let’s take network marketing. The lead measure is prospecting and follow-up. You have to talk to people and follow up. Would you agree with that basic premise?

I would.

You’ve got to be able to talk to people, however, you do that. You have to talk to new people and follow up consistently and somewhat effectively to convert those people. There has to be whatever that may be. The book goes on to say that the key to success is moving the 60% in the middle. It resonated within network marketing because network marketing is not about finding a few studs that sell the masses on something blindly or the lemmings.

Patrick Shaw | Network Marketing

My perspective always on how I built a massive organization and made more millions than I could count is that I was able to get a large number of people to do something consistent on a regular basis. Did they all become ring earners and millionaire members? Absolutely not but they could get a paycheck and then make a decision at the next level. I know that’s not what’s happening a lot. The number or the ratio of people that are getting thrown against the wall has gone exponential. Are you trying to move the middle? Do you even believe that’s necessary? Do you believe it’s finding a few influencers, driving big numbers with a few key people, and letting the rest do what they do?

I have an ethical problem with that. I do not want to sign people up for something, have them spending $50, $100, or $150 a month, and know in my heart of hearts that they’re never going to make a dime. They will get a paycheck of $75 but they’re paying $150.

Do you decide for them though? Are you deciding they don’t have it in them?

I’ve done that. Before the internet existed and before we added all this technology, that was the only thing you could do. Years ago when I was building in Amway, you and I both know there are lots of leaders out there. Lots of people who are at the top of their companies will tell you they got there because they recruited four people that made it for them. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have built a team because it’s what happens. You and I can’t control human beings. Trust me, if I could control humans, I would be rich.

You could be a dictator if you wanted to do such a thing.

I’m at a point in my life where I want to see people’s lives transformed if that’s what they want for themselves. There are lots of people that don’t want that for themselves, and that’s fine. This is not a judgment but those people have been working hard, they have been in network marketing for 17 years, 12 years, 5 years, 3 years, or whatever it is, and have been struggling. If those people have the desire to be successful, I am passionate about helping them be successful and finding an opportunity that can truly help them be successful.

Do you think a lot of them are struggling? They’re in the wrong company. Is that what you’re saying? How do you help them do that specifically?

I do think that the world has changed in terms of network marketing. There are opportunities out there, and there are lots of them. You do have to be careful. There are things out there that there didn’t use to be because the industries didn’t exist. There are things out there now where you can get your money working for you. Maybe you have to start with $100, $200, or $300. You can be passive. You don’t ever have to recruit anybody. You don’t have to sell anything to anybody. You can get your money working for you. You can make money that way.

The world has changed in terms of network marketing, and there are many opportunities out there.

If you start with $300, are you going to be a multimillionaire if you never recruit anybody or sell anybody? Probably not, but you could still make more money than you’ve ever made in network marketing potentially. There are things out there that are legitimate companies where you truly can be passive. You have to start with an investment but it’s not bucketloads of money. That’s one thing.

There are other things. There are a bunch of opportunities out there. You’re not going to make tons of money if you don’t ever build and get customers but you can make money by using apps on your phone that are tracking your geographic location and pay you for your data. There’s a new world of ethically-sourced data out there. You can make money that way. There are different opportunities.

I’m upfront with people about how much are you really going to make for being passive in these things. It’s not tons but you can make money. If somebody wants to make an extra $200 or $500 a month, can you do it? You can. Without building a team and having customers, you can do that these days, which you could not do years ago. There are things but I also want to be transparent. Are you going to make millions? Probably not.

Are you primarily coaching people on how to find a vehicle or how to succeed within that vehicle? What’s your primary focus as a coach? Are you doing anything with enterprises? What does your training look like?

My coaching has changed because I became known as the Queen of LinkedIn. I taught network marketers how to use LinkedIn to build their businesses. LinkedIn truly was an untapped goldmine. I knew when I started that whole thing years ago that the platform would change. Every platform changes. I knew that what I was teaching was going to work for a certain amount of time, and then things would change.

LinkedIn really truly was an untapped goldmine.

Add, Tag, and Message on Facebook. All of them go through their iterations.

I still use LinkedIn every day but I transitioned from LinkedIn to YouTube. YouTube became the thing that helped me build. It still is the thing that’s helping me build. Will everybody do YouTube? No. Will everybody be good at YouTube? No, but if you are good at videos, if you’re comfortable doing videos, if you will spend some time learning a little bit about keywords, keyword research, and how U2 works, or if you will pay somebody to do it for you. I understand the concepts. I can do keyword research. I do keyword research regularly and pay somebody to edit my videos and make them fancy and everything.

We have a lot of leaders because of the influence we have through the RapidFunnel platform and all of those companies. We have a lot of leaders, enterprises, and companies that are looking at both cases and saying, “How do I create depth, momentum, speed, and velocity in the organization?” There are so many different strategies. They’re popping up everywhere. That’s one of the things that we want to get to the heart of.

As I shared with you earlier, I attended this big event. There were so many people talking about what you’re mentioning if they can get comfortable on the camera and posting on Facebook. My struggle with that is the average person is not going to be comfortable there. Are you primarily in building that type of organization? You say, “I’m going to only focus on people that want to do those types of things so that it can duplicate. Am I trying to get people who are not comfortable doing keyword searches? They’re not good at digital marketing. They’re not an influencer. We’re trying to turn network marketers into digital marketers.” I struggle with that concept.

I’m fully aware as you and I discussed previously that not everybody is going to do what I do. That’s sad. That is what makes the difference. Not everybody is going to go out and build a business like what you built. There are extremely few people on the planet that will go out and build RapidFunnel. We could probably count them on two hands. There are fewer if you’re looking at network marketing.

What we have to be realistic and honest about is if you’re talking to a prospect, what are the goals of that prospect? If the goals of that prospect are to make $100,000, $200,000, or $300,000-plus a year, this is what you have to do. You’re going to have to work your tail end off and stick with it. We’re talking about somebody that doesn’t have a following or somebody who’s not a leader already.

It depends on the model. There were frontloading companies, which are virtually gone. It’s $15,000 to garage-qualify. They needed one sale and they make more than you’re talking about in one sale. The models are so different now. I bet I only recruited 250 people in my lifetime but the organization was close to half a million. The models are so different. We’re seeing people that are recruiting 100,000 people, and because it’s a free sign-up, and they register here and count as distributors, we’re seeing them do that in less than a year. The models are all different. It’s hard to make that statement that you can or can’t. That’s part of what’s hard for the average person to navigate.

I’m pretty passionate about helping people find passive sources of income because I do think we need diversification. There’s a difference between passive income and residual income. Network marketers get those things confused and do not understand the difference between residual income and passive income. We should have both in an ideal world.

Residuals can be passive though.

To get residual income, you have to work your tail end off to get any significant amount of residual income. You and I never built residual income through network marketing.

You define passive differently.

Passive is different. Passive are these opportunities I was talking about where you start with an investment of $200 to $300 and get your money working for you. That’s passive. You download an app, walk around with your phone on with this app that tracks your geographic location, and make $25 a month.

It’s buying Bitcoin. It goes in the right direction but there’s no income there. That wouldn’t be passive income. You’re saying something that spins off revenue.

I’m talking about something that spins off revenue. You can buy Bitcoin but that’s a different investment strategy. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you’re into.

Does that fall into the Ponzi scheme category though? You invest money, you get a return on it monthly, and you don’t do any work. I’m trying to think of what falls into that category. I can’t think of many things unless it’s Ponzi.

You and I both know there are Ponzi schemes out there but I’m talking about things that truly are real businesses where you’re allowing professionals to do the trading for you, whether it’s in the forex market or the cryptocurrency market. You and I both know there have been lots of companies out there, whether they’re Ponzi or not. They have had a lot of issues. Some of them are gone. Some of them are still there struggling. It’s a minefield.

How in the world does the average person navigate that minefield though? It takes so much experience. Even the best people have a hard time. I had on Rob Sperry. Rob was saying the number one thing in identifying a good company to work with is who is the leadership. You and I were talking about a company earlier. They don’t disclose it. They do not want you to know who they are. You can’t find them out. You’re supposed to invest in this company and believe in this group with no history and partners. How do you navigate that?

We’re two different things here, whether it’s investing in cryptocurrency, forex, or the blockchain, which is a different thing. What I say to people is, “Never put more money into anything than you can afford to lose. If it’s $1,000, and that’s going to crush you, don’t do it.” Is there a risk with those kinds of things? There are risks. There are risks in the stock market and buying gold and silver because they go up and down. Everything goes up and down. That’s one thing.

Can you make money in legitimate companies? You can. Be smart. There’s no guarantee in anything. You and I have both seen legitimate companies that were here, and now they’re gone, whether it’s network marketing or not network marketing. It happens. Here’s the thing about knowing the leaders of your company and the owners of your company. If you and I thought about our personal experiences or the experiences of big leaders that we have known, I’ve been in situations where I thought I knew the owner of the company.

I was in a company. It was a startup. I was one of the first people in it. I was constantly in the top four earners in the company. The owner called me every single day. Is that company still in existence? No. That was a legitimate company. It had issues, however, and all kinds of things. It didn’t last long. It lasted for maybe six months but I knew the owner. Personalities can be a huge problem.

I had somebody on my podcast. She’s a leader in the network marketing industry. She has been through 2 situations with 2 different companies where she knew the owners. Personalities killed the business. We have all seen situations like that, whether it’s the owner or a group of owners because a group of owners can have problems and disagreements, or whether it’s a group of top leaders and personalities. Knowing who the leader and the owner are is no guarantee of anything. We think it is.

Personalities, knowing who the leader and owner are, are no guarantee of anything. 

That’s part of your reason for diversification. How do you protect yourself then from that company? Do you try to only pick companies that disclose that you are allowed to do other things?

This is not realistic. The “average person” can’t do this. I understand that. I will not join a company unless I’m on a Zoom call with the owner of the company. I explain to them exactly what I’m doing and then get them to sign an agreement saying that my team and I are building in multiple companies, and they’re fine with that.

You do it at the inception. You do it upfront, “I’m getting paid. This is what I’m doing.”

I’m also very clear that if I’m promoting a cell phone, I’m not going to be promoting another cell phone. If I’m promoting mascara, I’m not going to be promoting competitive mascara because that doesn’t agree with my ethics. I’ve got that in the agreement with the owner of the company. I won’t do anything until I’ve got that agreement signed by the owner of the company. They’re fine that both my team members and I are building in multiple companies. That’s what I do. That’s why I train people.

That makes sense. That one idea for certain people and certain situations is powerful but they have to get it up upfront. The minute you’re in, all bets are off. That’s not going to happen.

There are companies that have in their terms and conditions that it is okay to be in multiple companies.

Gloria, I appreciate your time. Tell people how they could reach you. Who would be an ideal person to reach out to you or follow you or anything on that front? is my passive income YouTube channel. That’s one way to find out more about me and what I do. The ideal person is anybody interested in diversification and is wanting to build some long-term financial stability and security. Those are the people that I’m looking to help.

It’s the modern-day networker. Gloria, it’s awesome to be with you. Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you, Patrick. I appreciate it.

Important Links


About Gloria MacDonald

THSH 5 | Network MarketingGloria is a veteran entrepreneur. She built two very successful multi-seven figure businesses. She used to believe everyone had to choose one thing and do it well, but came to realize the importance of diversification and not putting all your eggs in one basket.

In her latest endeavor, she built a team of 110,182 people in 26 weeks. Then immediately started sharing how she did it. (Now that team is over 162,000 people in less than a year.)

She believes that there’s enough success out there for all of us, and is happy to share her strategies with our audience.

Share this