Downline Teams and Downline Schemes

First of all, what is a downline club?

A downline club is a group of marketers that are collectively and actively building a downline in a particular online network marketing opportunity. So instead of being alone trying to promote a certain opportunity by yourself, you would promote the downline club as the marketing force behind your own promotions. This would bring new people into the club and eventually into your personal downline in the MLM that you are all promoting.

There are advantages in belonging to a group like this…

  1. Most people prefer to belong to a group as opposed to being on their own.
  2. You’d have a group of individuals to share marketing ideas and strategies with.
  3. You would (hopefully) have access to training materials and perhaps live training seminars or chatrooms.

There are, of course, disadvantages as well..

  1. The group could be stealing your signups without you knowing
  2. Some groups tend to ‘program hop’, which means you’d be forced into joining other opportunities based on what the group leaders want to do.
  3. You could be financially hurt by other hidden membership fees and requirements.
  4. You could encounter members that are just there to ‘freeload’ off the group’s efforts.

Joining a team can be excellent, team support and training can really help you build your business. Having a team that is supportive and is working towards a common goal can be fun and rewarding. On the flip-side, joining a group can also kill your business, kill you financially, kill your momentum, kill your enthusiasm, and kill your spirit.

One major ‘red flag’ you should be looking for is if the group guarantees you anything, whether it be signups or some sort of financial success. You have to watch out for that kind of salespitch. If the group is guaranteeing that you will see profit within a certain amount of time, or will provide you with a specific number of signups within a certain time, I would recommend doing some more research on the group before jumping in. There’s no harm in checking with some of the current members, or with the owner of the site directly.  I know it’s hard to resist if someone is guaranteeing you success, but I’ve seen it fail so many times and it seems to end up collapsing and hurting a whole lot of people. Better check ’em out first to find out what their marketing plan is for the long-term.

Let me give you an example of how mathematically impossible it is for the leader of a group to provide unlimited signups for their downline. In this example, let’s assume that the group leader is “guaranteeing” that you’ll get 2 signups from them without you having to do anything..

  • In the first month, they have to provide you with 2 signups. Fair enough, if you’re first in line that is entirely possible. There is a downline of 2 under you.
  • In the 2nd month, they have to provide your 2 signups with 2 signups each (4 in total). A little more effort is required there and everyone is happy. You now have 6 in your downline.
  • In the 3rd month, they have to provide your 4 downlines with 2 signups each, which obviously is 8 new people coming in…

Well guess what.. In this situation, the group leader has to provide every month, DOUBLE the signups they provided in the previous month. That’s right, the requirement doubles every month. Obviously this example is assuming that you are the only one joining in that first month, and no additional people are joining and there was nobody joining before you did. Get out a calculator and figure out what your group has to provide if there’s already 50 or 100 people in the group.

It’s impossible for one person to recuit that many people every month, don’t kid yourself. What happens next is because the signups aren’t coming in, the downline starts collapsing. People start quitting and getting angry. Negativity starts flowing freely through the message boards and through email, and everybody gets blamed because nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Fun stuff.

Okay, enough about all the bad stuff.

Downline clubs can be very successful if they promote themselves correctly. There have been many downline clubs that have been very successful in GlobalNPN because in their salespitch they do not guarantee success in any way. Some clubs have been around for years because they grow slowly (realistically) and mature into excellent training resource sites, where their main goal is to train their members how to be successful on their own. THAT is how you run a downline club. Training should be the FOCUS.

I’m going to list off what you should be looking for when joining a team, and more importantly what you should probably try to avoid in this situation:

What to look for in a team:
– Focus is on training and building your OWN business, not on ‘guaranteed’ results of some kind from the group or the group leader.
– Access to ‘real-person’ support via email, skype, phone etc.
– Active members forum or discussion area, chatrooms, support schedule.
– Like minded individuals.
– Up-front requirements and commitments.
– No “join my downline” requirements to get support or help.

What to watch out for:
– Focus (or salespitch) is on some sort of guaranteed success where someone else is building your business for you.
– Lack of helpful training materials.
– No support forum or active support schedule.
– Hidden terms or requirements.
– Must join under a certain sponsor to participate.

I really hope this helps you out when deciding whether or not to join a group. As always I recommend that you work towards building your Global NPN business on your own – NEVER expect anyone else to build it for you. Be the leader, not the follower.

So.. what do you think? Are downline clubs worth it, or are you better off on your own? Why would YOU join such a club?

Have a great day.
– Geoff.

Comment below..

40 thoughts on “Downline Teams and Downline Schemes”

  1. Geoff,

    I joined an NPN team with a simple guarantee: Your account will be in profit within 28 days or you will get a refund. As an early joiner, I was thrilled that my account was in profit on the third day. I doubt that members coming to the team now will be in profit as quickly as I was, but the team is continuing to grow at a good pace, due in part, I believe, to the profit guarantee.

    The group leader isn’t bringing in people by himself, each member of the team is required to do his or her part in promoting the team. How could that situation be any more impossible than each individual NPNer out there being able to bring more people into the business? As long as there are people looking for an online earning opportunity the NPN downlines will continue to grow. And I, for one, am very happy to be part of a team.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

    Dyanna Yarbro

    • Thanks for your comments Dyana.

      What your group is doing is not the same as the example I provided above. However, it’s very different from each NPN’er marketing on their own. You’re still depending on other people to build your business. If it’s working for you that’s great, but as you said, you were in early and it will slow down for those joining at a later date. That’s because everyone is depending on the group and not their own marketing is it not?

      My post is NOT condemning downline clubs and that is not my intention, it is providing information for those that don’t know how downline clubs work. There are many downline groups that are VERY successful and respected as well. I’m just warning people against the bad ones and pointing people in the direction of the ones that have value, stability and longevity.

  2. I joined the same team as Dyanna Yarbro did. We are guaranteed to be in profit in 28 days.

    One point that was not mentioned is that each member that joins this team has the requirement of getting 1400 hits to a URL that is supplied by the team leader.

    I recently communicated with The Organizer of this team and he was saying there are a lot of members that get a lot more hits to the sites than just 1400. Some send as many as 20000 hits to the site(s). Not because it is a requirement, it is due to the fact they believe in the team and the honesty of the leader.

    No one from what I understand is treated any differently no matter if they can only get the required 1400 hits or a lot more.

    I communicated with my upline and he has been in this going on the 3rd month and has multiple sites with NPN. He said he is very happy thus far.

    If everyone works for a common goal and the integrity of the leadership has been established, there is no reason why this will not work.


    • That’s great, Tom. I’m glad it’s working for you guys.

      Question: If no-one is treated differently with regards to how much traffic they generate, what happens if the people that are in profit (or otherwise) decide to stop generating traffic for the team?

      I understand the concept of how it’s supposed to work, I’m just curious as to where the responsibility lies in that case.

      Regardless, as I said I’m glad it’s working for your group. It’s nice to have the support of other marketers.

      – Geoff.

      • Geoff,

        It looks as though you are correct. I just got dropped out of the 28 day guarantee. I received a full refund.

        The owner of this group and me had many back and forth emails. Here is what I learned…

        When it comes to downline groups I don’t think that they can ever meet their commitments. One thing for sure you cannot make any guarantees. It is true, you can help your downline, but you cannot build it for them.

        Geoff has been right all along and I just learned that lesson the hard way.

        • I think downline clubs can meet their commitments no problem as long as their commitments are reachable.

          Regardless, you’ll never be more successful than if you do it yourself.

          – Geoff.

  3. Hey I totally dig this post, I think it applies not only to teams but a lot of programs advertised in general. This is a great guide to seeing what really is worth your time, and what isn’t.

  4. I am from the same group where Tom and Dyanna. Just a clarification: The Team leader promise is to keep you in profit with in 28days. It just won’t stop there. What I believe is he is wise. What he says is he will give a total of 12 direct signups . So those two are just for beginning. As admin predicted, if any one stops promoting after being in profit , he/she will not get the remaining. That’s it. Of course still there is a chance after getting their last one (12thone) they can stop. However he is not going to give you 12 at once or directly. He will add the next sign ups after 2 one by one and build the down lines for each one. That means by the time you reach one must be continuously promoting and have big down lines under them. Any way I agree with admin as the matrix goes wide at one stage it becomes tough to build fast for all. Let me see how the wise man is going to fix this. Bye the way currently my fourth level is filling (I have only 2 in my first level). I am happy to be there!.


  5. Nice post Geoff.

    Nothing wrong with a team build as long as all who are participating are helping The Team and not just waiting for hand outs.
    BUT.. I really think that promoting both your team link and YOUR individual link would really be the best way to go.


  6. Hi Geoff & Fellow NPN Members,

    I guess I got lucky with my Team join. You see, I am at the top of the NPN Bonus Board so far this month and my start came from a Team that “Guaranteed” me 10 Paid NPN members within 60 Days.

    The Team Admin is honest and support is reliable. All they asked in return was 300 Daily hits to the Team Link. No other charge, just the cost of your Membership. I will not mention the Team, as many of you already know it,
    and have succeeded with it.

    So while I agree with you Geoff that one should be very careful in their Team selection… there ARE Successful Teams out there that do “Guarantee” you Paid Members.

    But BEWARE, as they are NOT all alike. Many will charge you for their services then drop you… I’ve been there too.

    Now, we realize that as any Team grows, placement may slow down a little, but a Good Team works on improvements to speed it up again.

    A good Team grows along with its members and there is a never ending supply of potential customers joining the Internet on a daily basis.

    I fully support my NPN Downline and encourage them to promote. I also use your RDS system to help my downline build. Team support is a great way to build your Downline.

    I also find that honesty is the best policy. If you can’t trust your Sponsor/Business then you have nothing.

    If someone wants a free-ride and is happy with only a few Paid NPN Members, then they are the ones losing out, since NPN is so easy to promote and build all by yourself. Of course a good kick start with some PAID Members is very encouraging 😉

    Geoff, is an excellent Admin and a very honest person. NPN is an established Business with a great record. Kudos to you Geoff.

  7. Outstanding article, Geoff!!

    The best teams train followers to become leaders. Teams can be a great way to start, but ultimate success depends on the individual.

  8. Hi Geoff
    Absolutely spot on advice. I would advise anyone the same way. Know who you are getting involved with. Check them out. Don’t believe every promise that is made. Be realistic and be a leader of your own destiny.
    Having said that, I am the owner of a team site and try to deliver as much free information and support for members as I can. Everyone welcome, even members who are not in my team.
    But whatever you all do…..keep it NPN..stick with it…treat it like your long term pension plan!
    it works!


    • Peter,

      You said something important here. You obviously realize that even though they’re not on your ‘NPN Team’, you can still welcome them as a guest (and possibly a future team member). That’s a big part of list building for your future.

      – Geoff

  9. I like the team concept because the downlines I have had were like rotators.
    It seemed like very time I got one, I lost one.
    A team build helps your downline if you don’t need help.
    Just my 2 cents

  10. Hi Geoff

    Great post. I’m also apart of the team that that guarantees you to be in profit within 28 days and I received my sign ups on the 28th day. I am very happy with this team thus far they have great support, and they will be adding a forum and webinars soon and every member is required to do their part in terms of advertising. I have allot of confidence in the founder. It is true though, when you look at the #’s involved it is staggering if things keep up as they are at the very least I alone will have 2,048 people in my downline. after 1 year! It’s worth the risk to me seeing that I’m making money while I’m trying it out.

  11. Thank you Geoff for creating this post and addressing the situation. I started out with a team that made the same kind of guarantee. Our team leader lives in another country. At first we would get news letters on a regular basis but then they stopped coming. The news letters would tell us of the size of the team and how many new sign-up we were getting. By my estimation something just didn’t add up. My first and second months with the team I received a sign-up at the end of each month. They were free sign-ups, and after their month was up they were gone. I kept promoting the team for one more month and received nothing. For those three months I was trying my best to get as many hits as I could. I was working 3 to 4 hours a day, 7 days a week and generating several hundred hits each day. So, I decided to go off on my own.

    My thoughts are this: Some members of a team will be ambitious and know what they are doing and bring in many sign-ups. They loose because their sign-ups will go to someone else. Other members who don’t put the time in or just don’t have the knowledge to know how to get hits, will be the winners because they will get sign-ups they didn’t earn. When I was part of the team, I could track how many hits I got, but I didn’t know if they were meaningful hits because only the team leader had that information. (He basically told us in his news letter not to bother him, so asking for that information was out of the question.)

    I think the best situation is a team that helps its members with training and support so that they can learn how build their own down lines. (Teach a man how to fish) Teach the members how to brand themselves and be knowledgeable enough to teach others. The team should be a warm place to go to get help, support and friendship. With this concept every member becomes the leader of their own team. I think there is more value in this kind of team because if a newbie joins such a team, they are going to learn something that will help them to build their own down line to a point that it will take on a mind of it’s own. (True residual income, not “one in, one out”)

    Geoff, you have already developed a system that I think is the best in the industry. You wisely made it the easiest program to become profitable than any other program, and you don’t cater to the gurus. The gurus get their just returns naturally. For this, I thank you.

    Well those are my thoughts.

    Thank You,
    Joe John

  12. I tried a few of those team concepts, where they promised you a certain number of signups before your first month is over. Hog wash! I wish I had seen this particular blog post a year ago. It would have saved me a lot of time and money. I have found out on my own that emailing is the best recruiting tool. I spent way too much time on TE’s and wasn’t building any downline. I was more concerned getting credits so I could keep my ads running on those TE’s.

    • Of course you can. You’ll have to cancel your account and then look for a good upline and sign up under them. You can find good sponsors on the NPN forums I guess. But you should understand you need to work your butt off and building a downline is not as easy as those teams leaders claim.

  13. Hello Geoff and NPN Members.

    I am the Team Leader of TeamOceanSwellNPN and would like to add some
    comments since this and other posts have been circulating on Team Builds.

    I started our team in July of 2010 and set up a guarantee where we would
    provide our members with 2 paid sign ups in 3 weeks. At first this worked
    and members were getting new members very quickly. Then as we grew it
    became harder and harder to keep up our guarantee.

    We have always had a weekly newsletter which went out at the first of the
    week. There I advised members that it would take longer to find them their
    two members. Ninety percent of our members accepted this and we keep on
    advertising the 3 weeks. When in reality it was taking 5 to 7 weeks to produce
    one member. Several members expressed their displeasure and we
    changed our guarantee to 3 months in late November.

    In the first week of January I realized that this wasn’t going to work so I
    sent out a newsletter stating that from now on there would be no guarantees.

    I also stated we would honour our past guarantees but for new members there
    would be none.

    That as a team it was time for our membership to take responsibility and to let
    our site grow on its own without having to promise our members a guarantee.

    Why do I tell you all this? Well for one it has been my experience to direct
    this and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that promises will not work.

    So don’t fall for them. Heed Geoff’s advice and stay clear.

    If you want to join a team then do your research and find one you can trust.
    Find one with an honest leader and someone when you dial their number or
    look them up on Skype they respond.

    Find one that is prepared to do new things and is prepared to help it’s
    members succeed.

    I wish I knew all this when I started in mid July of 2010 but I didn’t.
    To any of you that felt mislead I apologize as it was not my intention.

    Where our team goes from here will be very interesting.
    I cannot see the future but I know one thing.
    That your attitude is 95% of your success.

    Terrence Hopkins

    • Hi Terrence,

      Thanks for your comments and letting us know how it worked out for you.

      Why not take what you have and create a different angle on why someone would join your group..?

      – Geoff.

    • I joined with TeamOceanSwellNPN in Sept.2010. Terrence’s above statement is entirely true. He does all that he has stated.

      I must admit that is is slow going and I have not had any dowline given to me as yet through the team effort, but I still trust Terrence and his guidance and the team effort. I look upon it as an extra tool towards my success, and also just work NPN on my own which Terrence also advocates for us to do. So far my success has come from my own efforts but still like I said, Trust Terrence and the team effort as an added tool for my business.

  14. Hi,
    I too joined NPN team with a simple guarantee: Your account will be in profit within 28 days or you will get a refund.And I got my signups on 28th day.

    I am promoting my team url in tes and hope to get more signups month after month.

    After all its fun promoting team url rather then promoting our own url.

    As together as a team we can grow faster rather then promoting it individually.

  15. Hey Geoff

    Great post. Thanks for breaking it down.

    I have been running Family Networker along with my partners, Nancy Radlinger,Brian Schilling and Greg Gudson and i think your absolutely right on guaranteed signups.

    It just doesn’t work.

    We have always had strong beliefs in providing training,support and a family support type atmosphere to help with training our team.

    We believe that if you have the proper training in place especially for the beginner you can’t go wrong.

    We have things set up so they have all the tools in place to learn these things. Such as weekly training webinars on how to use the NPN tools.

    We also do other training such as a 90 day list building class along with all the training material and live classes to help you build a list and build a relationship with your subscribers.

    We believe training is the running fuel of any team build.

    We also don’t push NPN down peoples throats. We state that this is an option. You can come in just for the team support and training.

    We built this family for the whole purpose of training and gaining great friends and partners. So far we have really grown and we all love it.

    NPN is just a bonus for the great tools they provide and the great pay plan.

    Thanks Geoff for all you do.

    Your Bud
    Craig Caron

  16. Hey Geoff, Excellent Post! I couldn’t agree more. I am in a great group that has all the positives and stays away from all the negatives. Thanks so much for sharing.

    skype ellen_thorp

  17. Very interesting and informative post.

    I recently joined a down-line club with a certain guarantee, but this has not stopped me promoting on my own. In fact the leaders are very upfront in telling you to also promote on your own. For me it’s early days as far as the “team” is concerned (only one week). But due to my own efforts I’m generating leads everyday.

    I think it’s great to be part of a team, especially if you’re a newbie. However, there comes a time when any serious business builder must become the leader of his/her own business. I say test test test everything. Stick with what works for you and chuck out that which does not.

    Oh yeah, don’t get offended if the team fails to deliver, just get on with it and learn to market on your own. Then teach your down-line how to market on their own.


    • Thanks for the comments. I agree with you. Unfortunately a lot of people use ‘the team’ as an easy out, someone else they can blame besides themselves for not getting something for nothing.

      You have to promote on your own to make it anywhere in this business.

      – Geoff.

  18. This would be great if, as what Dyana has said, you have joined in the club early. Timing would greatly affect the outcome of your returns. This would also be dependent on the whole downline if the other people would also do their part. Some uplines would also depend on how their downline works but not all uplines would do as what they are meant to do.

  19. Hi all

    I read with great enthusiasm for the subject. I’ve been working a few years setting up systems for people and watching them fail and grow. I admit I have setup my own MyTLP Team Site, but not fully promoted it yet because I wanted the whole system to be right. I don’t make any promises to anyone, everyone is welcome, I offer training through my autoresponder and skype, not just for GlobalNPN but for you to promote yourself and learn.

    My thought is i can put the information in front of you, but its up to you what you do with it. If your not willing then I can’t force you.

    Now all I need to do is build a team and work with them as well.

    I look forward to seeing you in the GlobalNPN Forum and sharing your success stories

    James Reilly


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