For a bit over a month I’ve been having this post run around my head.

Should I write it down. Should I share my opinion.

And then I was reading Simpleology’s blog the other day. And it surprised me.

Here was a very well known business person, Mark Joyner, and on his blog he hit it on the nail.

He took the words right out of my mouth. Maybe I was scared to express my opinion. Or maybe it just wasn’t fully fleshed out.

He writes about MLM and affiliate marketing. I call some of it Ego Marketing.

Yup, bold name. I thought I created the term. I didn’t. Here is a good article about it.

People are only interested in what your product or service can do for them. If you are talking too much about how great you are and how many cars you have, how does that matter to your potential client?

Sure some things can help. If you are selling a book on how to manifest a car then you better have a nice car. Otherwise people won’t believe you. But, if so much self promotion comes out of your mouth you are going to lose people. In droves. I see this with many Internet Marketers. “I’m so great. Buy my stuff.” Many of it is awful. A real embarrassment. There is some really good stuff though. With all the marketing hype, spin doctors and ego marketing it is sometimes hard to tell what is good and what is frankly crap.

I’ve had friend come out with an e-book that was not good. What do you say? Hard to say much when it makes a good size profit, but did it really help the reader, or did it just get marketed very successfully? I believe quality is first and foremost. Many don’t care, unfortunately.

The blog post by Mark Joyner is below with a link. I found it interesting that MLM failure rates are so high. I hope it gives you an idea. I sure like the odds better doing my own business than someone else’s.

1. According to the U.S. Department of Labor 50% of All Business Startups Fail in the First 2 Years

2. For “MLM” companies, that figure jumps to 90-96% (depending on who you ask – MLM expert Richard Poe says 95%)

Hmmm …

Isn’t MLM all about leveraging Word of Mouth?

If Word of Mouth is so great, then why do 95% of these so-called “MLM” companies fail?

It has to do with the difference between what I call “Incentivized Word of Mouth” and “Inspired Word of Mouth.”

(Not to be confused, by the way, with the excellent “Inspired Marketing” concepts by Joe Vitale and Craig Perrine coming soon …)

MLM, affiliate marketing, bribed tell-a-friend forms, and the like are all “incentivized.”

That’s people telling people for the promise of some reward.

“Tell your friends about our new widget and we’ll give you a shiny trinket for every one who buys.”

“Inspired Word of Mouth” comes from a customer’s spontaneous desire to tell someone about the product.

That’s people telling people because they love the product so much they want others to know.

Incentivized Word of Mouth can, and should, be at least a part of our marketing arsenal.

Affiliate marketing, tell-a-friend forms (if intelligently used), contests …

These are all great ways to give your business a boost.

The statistics above, however, would indicate that making it the centerpiece of your marketing plan is problematic.

That is, if the word “problematic” does justice to the staggering 95% failure rate of MLMs.

The trouble with Incentivized Word of Mouth is that the recipient knows what’s going on.

He knows you’re only telling him because of the bribe.

There are varying degrees of this, but to illustrate the worst of it, think back to a time when you were pitched on an MLM.

Someone invites you to a “friendly dinner” and suddenly you discover you’re being sold something.

Ewwww.

Any mystery as to why most of these companies have to pack up and leave town?

(No offense meant to anyone here – I used to think it was the best thing since sliced bread – and even owned a few MLM companies. Since then I’ve wised up considerably.)

Contrast this with Inspired Word of Mouth ….

The conversations are natural.

They’re not forced.

Because the recommendation is genuine, you want to hear it.

Simpleology Blog: Word of Mouth Part 4: Incentivized Vs. Inspired