The Internet is rapidly becoming an integral part of our daily lives. For many, it has already become the first source for accessing news and information, for shopping, getting to know new people, to sell, learn promote or locate anything and everything. It's not hard to see why: the Internet is an incomparably inexpensive, easy and fast platform to accomplish all this and more--and physical distances are irrelevant.

Network marketers need to promote themselves, their products and the opportunity they represent to others on a continuous basis. The Internet represents a powerful way to do this--no, it represents at least six powerful ways to do that!

When people talk "Internet" they are usually thinking "Web site." The invention of the Web browser was the spark that ignited the Internet explosion, and Web sites are naturally the "face of the Internet." Most modern network marketing companies now offer some sort of affiliate Web site program; many network marketers have either developed their personal Web sites or are in the process of doing so.

But the Web site is only the beginning of the Internet's power. Let's take a look at six other major tools that the Internet provides you and your business.

E-mails

Perhaps the most widespread product of the Internet, e-mail has virtually replaced voice mail and, in many cases, even point-to-point long distance phoning. A dream come true: you can inform your entire downline about forthcoming promotions, price changes and meeting announcements in seconds!

"E-mail marketing" has also become a powerful and popular promotional tool for networkers. An e-mail with a professionally-written text, enriched with various pictures and with other visual (and sometimes even audio) aids can be a very powerful promotional tool for network marketers.

Electronic Newsletters (E-zines)

Electronic newsletters, commonly called e-zines, are simply magazines with varying layouts, formats, lengths and appearances, periodically distributed as e-mails. Have you ever thought of sending periodical information to your downline but been put off by the specter of printing and distribution costs? E-zines could be the solution.

Classified Ads

Network marketers the world over use classified ads to promote their products, services and business opportunities. The Internet has opened new horizons in classified advertising. Numerous and very well-managed Web sites publish classified ads, either free or for a very small charge, attracting thousands of people every day. These sites provide an amazing potential for network marketers to get access to new customers and prospective partners.

Electronic Books (E-books)

E-books--books that are electronically produced, distributed, obtained and read--represent another significant opportunity spawned by the Internet. With this amazingly powerful yet easy and accessible tool, networkers can distribute lots of lengthy information in very appealing layouts to anyone interested at virtually no cost. The target audience can download the e-book and then read it offline. Just as with e-mail programs, there are a lot of e-book creation programs available on the Internet at ridiculously low prices.

Newsgroups and Forums

Although technically different, these two concepts' functions are the same: they bring together people of similar interests, to meet, exchange ideas and opinions, announce new developments and get informed--and, in your case, create relationships that may produce new customers and distributors. Many distributors have established their own newsgroups to communicate with their downlines.

Chat Programs

If you have kids you know about online chat--but have you ever thought of utilizing these programs as a tool to grow your business? Online chat provides an incredibly fast and easy means to communicate with others. The

programs are free (both to get and to use), making chat especially attractive for those with geographically widespread organizations. Through chat programs you can also send documents (forms, brochures, pictures) through the Internet while you chat.

Should you forget about all the other "traditional" ways of developing the business aside and go Internet-only? I don't think so. Remember, the Internet provides powerful new tools to help grow your business--but one should never forget the significance of the human touch that brings it all together.

HAKKI OZMORALI is known as "the pioneer of network marketing" in Turkey and introduced network marketing to his country 11 years ago. He is also one of the founding members of the Turkish DSA, wrote the first Turkish book about network marketing and developed the first Turkish network marketing Web portal and electronic newsletter.