What network marketing companies aren’t telling you, is that for long-term business success, you’re going to have to brand yourself, not the product. Having quality products is important, but it’s not the difference-maker between those who have a glorified hobby and those making a real full-time income in home business.

Maybe you’ve been in network marketing a while. You’ve made the phone calls before. You’ve prospected strangers in the grocery store. You’ve had awkward conversations with people you know, trying to convince them to join your home business. That kind of prospecting is a starting point, but it wears you out. Long-term success in network marketing requires exactly that: marketing.

People aren’t buying your product, and they’re not buying the company. They’re buying you. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can begin to focus on marketing YOU, Inc. You need to learn how to manage your network marketing business from the palm of your hand, wherever you are, without any fuss.

As the CEO of YOU, Inc., it’s your responsibility to get your name out and become known in the marketplace for giving people value. If people begin to associate value with your name, it won’t matter what you offer them. The product doesn’t matter; the company doesn’t matter–it’s the fact that you’re doing it and people want a piece of whatever you’re doing. That only happens if you provide value and brand yourself with the right marketing.

So how do you brand yourself? Having a consistent presence on social media is a great low-cost method. Daily Facebook posts that provide life-changing, inspiring thoughts and information will build a following. You can do the same on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform. Invest in whichever social media you enjoy the most and already have the most active following on.

Guest blogging is another excellent form of marketing to brand yourself. Email someone whose blog you read and ask if you can guest blog. When I decided I wanted to share financial education with police officers, I emailed the editors of the five most widely circulated police magazines in America. Two of them took me up on my offer, and I began writing columns. I have a steady lead flow trickling in just from writing those columns every month.

Once you have people showing interest in what you’re doing, whether they’re texting, emailing, or messaging you on Facebook, put them on a list. That list should be getting regular correspondence from you, preferably in the form of emails. Learn the art of copywriting so your marketing emails are effective. Learn how to write good titles. Your emails should have an 80/20 or 90/10 ratio, with 80-90% of the emails you send being solid educational content and 10-20% offering a product or service with a value pitch. Of course, in your emails, it’s acceptable to have a link to a capture page, as long as the link doesn’t steal from the value or come across salesy.

Bottom line: in the beginning, you’ll be proactively prospecting most of the time. You will be seeking people out for business. The quicker you start marketing and branding yourself, however, the sooner people will seek you out. They’ll show up at your doorstep with their hand raised, wanting to buy your product or join your home business. Get started today and move things in that direction so you can experience the consistent and accelerated growth of a successful network marketing business.