why duplication isn't working in your network marketing business

Why Duplication Isn’t Working In Your Network Marketing Business

You work hard on your business… following in the footsteps of your mentor… doing everything they did so you can have everything they have… but it still isn’t working… and you’re stuck wondering what’s wrong with you.

News flash… NOTHING is wrong with YOU.

Marketing methods that worked ten years ago are largely obsolete. Same with marketing methods used five years ago… and even last year. The world is constantly shifting, and what worked for someone else back when they were in your shoes isn’t going to cut it in today’s quickly changing climate.

What Is Wrong With Duplication?

To sum it up in one brief phrase… a lot.

The main problem with duplication is too many people take “duplication” to mean the true definition of the word. Too many people are doing and saying what their mentors and coaches tell them to instead of following a process that is working today.


  • Copy what your mentor is saying and expect it to work for your audience
  • Modify or paraphrase what your mentor is saying and expect it to work for your audience
  • Read from scripts and expect more than 5% positive responses

Honestly, the concept of duplication is exactly what gives network marketing a bad name. Too many people attempt to be something they aren’t in an attempt to gain sales (and subsequently an income) in a manner that isn’t true to who they are, causing them to fail miserably (and often expensively).

Duplication Doesn’t Work Because Many Methods Are Largely Overused or Outdated… And Because the Methods Are Not Authentic.

Reading from scripts, playing the “Go For No” game that encourages you to blow through hearing “no” over 100 times to hopefully find a couple of yesses… it doesn’t cut it today (at least, not efficiently)… it’s annoying, and it takes away from who you are by forcing you to fit in someone else’s box… and it breaks my heart because you’re not celebrating or honoring who you are.

You’re not your mentor. You’re not your coach. You’re not the bloggers you’ve sought to help you get unstuck.

You have your own set of unique traits, characteristics, knowledge, skills, capabilities, and motivations to go along with your God-given life mission to create your own personal brand and build something better and more aligned with who you are and what exactly you want and need.

You are you…. perfectly designed, with your own strengths and life journey. Don’t rob your future network and audience of the brilliance that you bring to this world. You may not feel brilliant today… but you are… you just may not have tapped into it yet.

Seriously, Thrown Away Your Scripts!

Yes! We are going there!! It is time to stop. Just stop with the piles of scripts. Stop stressing over how you’ve done “everything right” with what your mentors told you… that worked for them… and didn’t work for you. Just stop. Don’t quit… just hold on for a moment… we need to talk.

The problem you’re having isn’t “them not getting it,” and it isn’t you “not doing it right…” nor is it you “not being good enough.”

All those lovely scripts your mentors, coaches, course facilitators, and uplines are graciously providing you… they work for the people who wrote them. Naturally, when we find something that works for us, we want to share it with others, assuming it will work for them too, and alleviate some stress.

But they aren’t working for you because they’re not your words. They’re not your spirit. They’re not your message. They’re not created by you. That scripted message, even with all the best intentions, now feels inauthentic. When you give an inauthentic message, you unknowingly create a disconnection with your message, causing you to not resonate well with the people you’re talking to.

Why You’re Struggling

I talk with many parents who work from home running digital and/or network marketing businesses. The number one complaint is how they aren’t “good enough” because they follow what their mentors say to do, but it isn’t working… which justifies their negative self-talk. I know exactly how this feels. Once my business started to gain traction, I did everything I could to absorb coaching from several mentors and grow my business as quickly as possible… only for it to plateau until I started leaning into faith and marketed my way.

What worked for your mentors may not work for you, based on having different personalities, passions, interests, audiences, goals, life experiences, voices, and your overall personal brand. You need to be ok with this. Just because something worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you in the exact same way. And it most certainly doesn’t mean you will achieve the same results.

Or perhaps you don’t have the right mentor for you, and you need to talk with mentors higher up or find outside help. There is no shame in doing either or both, just don’t spend money you don’t have hiring any or all business coaches or buying online courses, especially if you’re given formulas or “guaranteed” to fast-track your success.

Everything Works & Nothing Works.

What does that mean? Everything works, but not everything will work for you. Nothing works for everyone. And that is ok. You need to find yourself through the process. Discover what feels authentic to you.

Earlier I mentioned not to fall for programs that offer your fast-tracked success, scripts, formulas… etc… because they’re gimmicks. If you’re looking for a program, you want the course or coaching efforts to focus on your individual needs and help you custom create how you show up and what you offer based on who your audience is, marketing strategies that resonate with you, and how to find and attract your ideal audience.

Different businesses require different approaches, whether you do network marketing, blogging, affiliate marketing, freelancing, or are creating your own online or offline business. The important part of your marketing is you listen to your intuition, discover what works for you, and tune out all the other noise.

Find What Works for You

The very first thing you should do (aside from choosing what product or service to focus on) is to determine who is your ideal customer.

Once you know who you want to serve (gender, age, interests, hobbies, lifestyle, problems…etc), determine where they hang out, whether online or offline (preferably both).

Go to where they hang out. If they’re not on Instagram, for example, then don’t go to Instagram to search for them. Or, if they’re not on Facebook, don’t go to Facebook to search for them. The same goes for TikTok, Truth Social, or any other social media network. In fact, if the people you want to work with the most aren’t typically found online, then go meet them in person. There are no rules saying your network marketing business needs to be built online!

After determining where your audience is, figure out how to market to them. Don’t be salesy… you want to attract them. Too much talk about your product or service will push people away if they’re not already warmed up and ready to buy.

You NEED to know their problems and how to speak to those problems. Spark a friendship based on mutual experiences, lifestyles, feelings, outlooks…etc. Offer genuine solutions to be helpful, even if you’re not making money initially. Funnel them into learning more about what you’re doing through a genuine conversation or at least to connect with you.

Business is all about building relationships and problem-solving. When you build relationships, you also build loyalty.

There’s a saying:

If you want to make more money, solve bigger problems.

What problems do you solve?

Better yet… what are the emotional benefits to those solved problems that you can deliver? Meaning: if you’re helping someone lose weight, how will that make them feel physically? And how will those physical benefits feel emotionally?

Don’t Forget To Ask for the Sale

The number one issue marketers (and many business owners) make is they don’t ask for the sale.

It is easy to give recommendations, but your recommendation alone doesn’t pay the bills. Invite them to purchase through your unique link so they can continue receiving your complimentary support and so you can earn your commission. But not before establishing rapport with them. Nothing is worse than entering a conversation with a stranger just to be pitched a product. Solutions first, especially if you have personal experience. Be genuine and heartfelt the whole time, even if it leads to you recommending solutions you don’t make money from.

Try Your Ideas

It’s not crazy to think of marketing ideas and try them out, even if your support network tells you that isn’t how they built their business. Different techniques work well for different people. Don’t be discouraged from trying something different.

Marketing Techniques That Work for Me, Personally

I’ve tried it all. Cold calls, cold social media messages, infiltrating Facebook groups, Facebook ads, Pinterest, blogging, referral requests, media appearances, webinars, etc.

I had a lot of success with Pinterest pre-2017 when they changed their algorithms, though I still do see some results there without spending money on ads.

Facebook was always a flop for me. I know business can be great on there, but what I failed to see for a long time is my ideal customers and clients do not spend much time there, and when they do, it is for specific reasons, not for scrolling. Never mind, at my core, I don’t like being on that platform (same with Instagram) and felt repelled there. So continuing to market on FB (and IG) didn’t make sense at all (a very expensive and time-consuming lesson), even when my mentors and coaches kept telling me to keep going because there was “profit potential.”

I made some changes. I fired my business coaches, stopped reaching out to my mentors, doubled down on blogging (which I felt drawn to from the beginning), and took advantage of my knowledge about search engines and how they work. Not only did that help my initial business steadily grow, but it allowed me to add in several additional streams of income over the following year.

In addition to blogging, I actively seek out ways to meet new friends, whether online or offline. Sometimes, that comes from random social media encounters or connecting with my readers from one or several of my blogs. Sometimes, that comes from meeting families through my kids’ activities. Sometimes, that means networking at church or other places where we volunteer. Building personal relationships often leads to business growth for me or grants the opportunity for me to pass on the blessing of a sale to someone I know.

In Conclusion…

If duplication isn’t working for you, then it is time to take a break and step back from everything you’re trying that isn’t working and have a “come to Jesus talk” with how you’re presenting yourself or, if you’re ready, dive into following your God-provided intuition and try something new.

mlm duplication not working

Author: Nicole Graber

Title: Writer, Editor, Wellness Consultant, Business Strategist

Expertise: Natural Wellness, Healthy Lifestyle, Home Business Strategy, Motherhood


Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle consultant, and flexible business strategist. She is the heart and mind behind MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com, and is a syndicated writer with bylines from MSN.com and the AP newswire. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, flexible business strategies, and renewing faith.

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