If you are in network marketing, you may have already asked yourself this fair question which is what am I really learning from my upline? It had taken me nine years, and a roller coaster year in business by the time this very important idea hit me. Please understand, I admire and am thankful for my leaders and mentors, as the training and knowledge I have received in developing a career in mlm is incredibly valuable. However, when my business plateaued and eventually took a nose dive, I had to search deeper, and quite frankly, I had to search outside sources for the answers I needed.

In my research, I found that no matter what the company is, no matter how successful the upline, there are really only a few simple business building options that are being taught in the MLM industry.. In short, most people in network marketing are using the exact same tools to build their business, it just has a different company or product attached to it. Another important realization is that not everything is as duplicable as we would like to believe, because if the person learning how doesn't believe they can actually do it like the leader can, most likely they will take little to no action. One of the reasons the MLM industry has more failure than success is because we try to put a square peg into a round hole, teaching everyone the same exact strategies, regardless of personality or learning style.

Lesson number one - please know that frequently used methods is not an indicator of success rates. Sure, they may be successful for a small percentage of people, but if you don't have the same personality as your upline, you most likely will face larger challenges. The most prevalent of business building methods are: friends and family list building, biz opp meetings, opportunity seeker Internet leads, company replicated sites or media such as DVD's, or basic lead funnel strategies, which contrary to what most leaders teach are actually not your target market. Now here is the real question, with all of these strategies, who or what is being marketed and branded here? Generally speaking, it is your parent company, opportunity, products, and maybe even your upline.

How are you standing out as a leader in the marketplace or as a leader in your company with these practices (other than hoping the numbers will prove your leadership ability)? Unconditionally, zip, zilch, zero. So why would or should anyone want to do business with you in particular? The truth is you are responsible for marketing and promoting yourself, because your company, your upline, and your mentors will not do it for you. If you truly want to succeed and be in the upper three percent of performers, you want to be 100% accountable for your success, and start acting as the leader you wish to become. The first step in personal branding, is having your own Internet presence, something completely separate from your replicated sites. The best place to start is by setting up a blog for yourself and your business, since this is a very inexpensive marketing tool, has great features for search engine optimization, and is completely customizable to suit your personality.

When setting up your blog, you'll want to keep in mind some important leading marketing strategies. Avoid having another "me too" type of sales website, most people want to see unique content, and they certainly don't want to read the minute details of your everday life. The content should be value driven, in other words, it should give information or tools that will add value to the person reading it. Your goal is to open a door to creating trusted associations through what you provide in value, not by the sale pitch or products you push.

As with any tool, unless we pick it up and use it, it will just sit there, so you will need to take action to drive subscribers to your site. Step number two - you will need to develop some basic online marketing strategies to drive traffic, and you must have a lead capture page to collect data, and preferably have an auto-responder system in place that you can maintain control over. This is where stepping up and learning new skills is absolutely key. You see, unless your upline is active in Internet marketing strategies (beyond paying for Internet leads), you will need to seek outside sources for training and information.

There comes a time when the decision to step up and create your success, leads you out of your comfort zone, and I sincerely believe in order to make this happen, one must decide to stop doing what the majority of uplines are teaching, and start doing what the top performers are doing. The choice to change, to step away from the pack and stand out from the crowd is not the easiest of decisions, but when it comes right down to it, you can either be popular following your team or you can be successful leading your team.

About Author / Additional Info:
To learn more online marketing tips and strategies, visit Jodi Ouellette's site. You can view a short video training here with Jodi Ouellette, a 9 year industry veteran, marketing systems, personal development and leadership trainer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73dA9BEbf_w