Introduction to Rodan and Fields MLM Compensation Plan
For much of the information about the Rodan and Fields business opportunity in this Rodan and Fields review, I am indebted to a Rodan and Fields review on the blog Lazy Man and Money and also to an article on the online version of Glamour magazine. As I am a dude, it was my first time ever reading an article from Glamour magazine. Trying to research and review every multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunity out there will lead a dude to do strange things, I guess.
Of course, if you have ever visited Notebook Crazy before, you know that this is not just any old MLM review site. Notebook Crazy is the thinking man’s review site, and we like to put things in context here. While researching this Rodan and Fields review, I came across a very informative Rodan and Fields review on the blog Lazy Man and Money, of which I am a longtime reader. This thing was so well written that it actually provided a definition for “lotions and potions”, which I had never seen, in several years of reading about MLM business opportunities, and even joining a few MLMs myself and attending some MLM conventions. The Lazy Man defines “lotions” as skin creams (sold by many MLM companies, including Rodan and Fields) and “potions” as health drinks (sold by more MLM companies than I care to think about). It makes a lot of sense, and now I am almost embarrassed that I didn’t figure it out myself. Most people in the MLM industry treat “potions” like it is just a synonym for “lotions”, and they sound really silly saying it.
But this was not the most thought provoking part of the Lazy Man’s Rodan and Fields review. He included a long discussion of the difference between a legitimate product-based MLM company and a pyramid scheme, and he established that there is a gray area into which most MLMs fall. He explained that, while a lot of MLMs do make more money from the sale of products than they do from recruitment of members, a big portion of the products they sell are sold to members trying to meet their autoship requirement in order to qualify for commissions or keep their leadership rank. When MLM companies report the sources of their income, they do not differentiate between sales to members and sales to customers. Lazy Man said that this would be like companies counting as sales all the products they shipped to stores, whether or not customers actually bought the products.
All of this got me thinking about another industry which the media likes to present as sleazy but in which there is a broad spectrum from sleazy to wholesome, namely the search engine optimization (SEO) industry. The term SEO refers to any practices that make websites rank higher on the results of Google searches. The most innocent SEO techniques, known as “white hat” SEO, aim to make the website into something that human readers would most want to find. They involve writing high quality content, usually with keywords (anticipated search terms) mentioned early and often in the content. They also involve making the content of the website unique and useful, such that the makers of other sites will want to link their site to yours. On the other end of the spectrum is “black hat” SEO. Its techniques are designed to appeal to the search engine’s “spiders” and it is not about making a site that is useful to humans. At its worse, it involves things like filling the site with invisible text (such as white text on a white background) that usually just repeats the keywords over and over again. For example, a black hat SEO move designed to rank above my site might consist of just writing “Notebook Crazy MLM reviews” over and over again on a white background above a few paragraphs of text about something completely irrelevant. Another infamous black hat SEO move is pasting solicitations into the comments sections of blogs. (Come to think of it, the MLM industry is also notorious for promoting itself through spam comments on blogs and social media sites.) And in the middle is a gray area known as gray hat SEO. Google, of course, does not approve of black hat SEO practices, and if it catches you, it will dig your site by moving it off of the first page of search results.
But more on the subject of SEO and its various hats later. The real reason you are here now is to read my Rodan and Fields review.
Rodan and Fields: The Company and Its Products
Rodan and Fields was founded in 2002, but other Rodan and Fields reviews I read made it sound like the company originally sold its products in stores before changing to an MLM business model a few years ago. Why anyone would stop selling their products in stores and start selling them through MLM instead is beyond me. I have mentioned on this blog many times before that MLM is one of the least efficient ways I can think of to sell products. But MLM it is, and now the Rodan and Fields business opportunity is available in the United States and Canada. (If it is also available in other countries, these are not listed on the homepage of the Rodan and Fields website.)
Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the founders of the Rodan and Fields business opportunity, are both dermatologists, and they previously developed a skincare product called Proactiv, which even I think I have heard of, and I have never had my ears open to news about skincare products. Rodan and Fields products appear to be quite practical skincare products, aimed at things like getting rid of acne and reducing the appearance of discolored spots on the skin. There does not appear to be much hype on the Rodan and Fields website about the superpowers of Rodan and Fields products, which is a welcome change from some other MLM websites I have seen. One category of the Rodan and Fields products listed on the Rodan and Fields website appears to be cosmetics.
The Rodan and Fields Compensation Plan
The most immediately noticeable feature of the Rodan and Fields compensation plan is its car bonus. Once a Rodan and Fields distributor reaches a certain leadership rank, she (or he, in the rare event that there is a male Rodan and Fields distributor) receives a bonus to be used toward the purchase of a car of the distributor’s choice, provided that the car the Rodan and Fields distributor chooses is some sort of white Lexus. I am not quite sure I fully understand this choice of car. Driving a white Lexus might make you feel like a successful real estate agent, but it does not make anyone feel like a celebrity. I have nothing against an MLM company choosing a particular type of car to award to its highest ranking distributors, but it should at least be something interesting. At least the Mary Kay pink Cadillacs are enjoyably tacky.
The “become a consultant” page of the Rodan and Fields website contains a brief mention of the Rodan and Fields compensation plan, but it contains almost no details about it. That page doesn’t even have any pictures of Rodan and Fields distributors lounging by swimming pools or driving around in brand new white Lexus cars. That is good from a perspective of avoiding hype, but it does not help people make a decision about whether to join the Rodan and Fields business opportunity.
I was able to find a copy of the Rodan and Fields compensation plan document online, and it is a concise nine pages long. It lists five ways to earn money through the Rodan and Fields business opportunity: retail profits, consultant commissions, team building commissions, leadership development commissions, and incentive rewards. The leadership levels in the Rodan and Fields compensation plan are quite unimaginatively named. They are Consultant, Active Consultant, Executive Consultant Level I, Executive Consultant Level II, Executive Consultant Level III, Executive Consultant Level IV, Executive Consultant Level V, and RF Executive. I am not sure what I would call them instead. Perhaps I would go for White Hat, Black Hat, Red Hat, Blue Hat, Green Hat, Pink Hat, and Wind in My Hair in My New White Convertible Lexus.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that Rodan and Fields products are sold through distributors’ websites rather than at home sales parties.
- The Rodan and Fields website contains rather less hype than a lot of other MLM websites.
- The Rodan and Fields compensation plan document contains rather more Roman numerals than most of the MLM compensation plan documents I have seen since I started my quest to review all the MLM business opportunities out there.
- Of all the cars to associate with the Rodan and Fields business opportunity, the white Lexus is not a very compelling choice. It seems like a shameless knockoff of the Mary Kay pink Cadillac, except minus the personality. A white Lexus is noticeably expensive without being interesting or fun.
- I know I always say this about MLM business opportunities marketed to women, but I just am not a fan of single sex MLMs. And it isn’t just sour grapes based on the fact that I have one Y chromosome too many to fit the profile of a Rodan and Fields distributor. I just think that MLMs geared toward women, including the Rodan and Fields business opportunity, have a very outdated concept of what it means to be an enterprising woman. I don’t understand why any woman would choose talking people into buying skincare products from her website over, say, taking as a second job as an Uber driver or competitive poker player or locksmith or writer of SEO friendly content, or any of the numerous other career paths that are open to women.
- Rodan and Fields products are not much different from the skincare products you can find in the supermarket or drugstore, but they cost more. This is the problem with almost any MLM company, and this is why neither the Rodan and Fields business opportunity nor any other MLM is recession proof.
- I have a hard time believing that, in 2016, there are still people who have not figured this out, but selling products through MLM just is not the way to make money and improve your financial situation. Instead of putting that money toward autoship, you would be better off putting that money in a savings account, even one that barely pays any interest. You would even be better off just putting it into a piggy bank. Everyone in your social circle who wants to by ordinary skin creams is going to buy them from the supermarket where they are affordable.
Ladies, do yourselves a favor. Skip the Rodan and Fields business opportunity. It is 2016, and there are so many other career options out there for women, options that do not involve all the sorority-style BS associated with Rodan and Fields and the numerous other MLMs out there that target women. I, for one, recommend trying your hand at search engine optimization (SEO). Like MLM, you can do it after work or during downtime at work, and it is a job that is compatible with being a stay at home mom. In fact, if you learn SEO and your sister joins the Rodan and Fields business opportunity, I guarantee that you will make enough money to be able to afford a white Lexus before she does. Besides, with SEO you get to decide what color of hat you wear.
If you can’t sleep because, after reading this Rodan and Fields review, all you can think about is the “lotion in the bucket” part of Silence of the Lambs, you can always schedule a call with me. I will take your mind off of it with my advice on how to build a successful Internet business.