Empower Network was one of the top MLMs in the digital network marketing game, once upon a time…
I saw it all go down, the rise and fall.
You see, I was a former 1%-er in Empower Network, but knew I had to get out.
This video explains:
All good? Let’s continue…
Empower Network update: On August 1, 2017, Dave Wood announced that Empower Network no longer exists and would enter bankruptcy court.
Dave Wood update: In early June 2017, Dave Wood was admitted to rehab. According to his brother, William, he made some poor decisions and will step away from Empower Network for at least one year.
Here is my original review:
The famed era of Empower Network was mostly 2012 and 2013.
Co-founders Dave Wood and Dave Sharpe were like Tupac. Their message was unapologetic: “Don’t be a damned wussy and buy all the products”.
Or, “Fight the forces of evil”, they said.
It was genius. And the people loved it.
I remember driving down for the San Diego event and seeing lines out the door of people buying Dave Wood/Sharpe and “Fight the Forces of Evil” shirts before the event even started.
I remember Dave Wood would hop on these “Inner Circle” calls every Monday and make fun of the corporate lifestyle and then hype the best leaders in the company.
Everyone got pumped. I was pumped, too, as I was brainwashed from an oceanside hammock in El Tunco, El Salvador listening to Dave Wood go off.
I wanted to be a part of the movement. Empower Network was cult.
Then it seems the mood changed.
They stopped updating their digital products.
I mean their products were “video vaults”. Education. You gotta update these.
I loved the original Empower Network products.
I was coming up in marketing at that time (still working for SEO.com) and I was eating up the training. Fresh, updated info-products that taught SEO, PPC, solo ads – all by marketers who were making at least $15k/mo on the internet.
So this was mid-2014 or so. They hyped this product blog re-launch called the “blog beast” and it completely tanked. It offered zero value to the marketplace. Which sucked, cause it was their flagship product at the time.
(Which also massively sucked for me, because at this exact time, I started to rank top 3 on Google for “Empower Network”, as I do till this day)
After the failed launch, they kept adding “supplemental products” to the company instead of refreshing and updating their existing products.
So you had people dropping $500, $1,000, and $3,500 for these digital products (which people were mostly cool with – because you would get paid 100% commissions on those) and then they kept launching additional products that paid limited commissions or no commissions at all.
“Pull out your credit cards again and buy this, too, if you’re loyal to Empower”, they implied.
People kept buying stuff, but then the message was lost.
“What does ‘getting all in’ even mean anymore, Dave?”, the masses wondered.
All of the sudden, the ‘coolness factor’ was lost, and then it was the beginning of a painful decline:
Leaders start leaving. Then Dave Sharpe (the co-founder) bounces for “health reasons”.
Dave Wood goes through a divorce and another relationship. Then we learn Wood and Sharpe beefed for 2 years after Sharpe’s departure.
And now, you pretty much have a company that was founded 5 years ago starting from scratch.
Today, you hop on a Dave Wood call (which I do from time to time cause I seriously miss the dude) and he’s still dropping gems for the people. But then he’s also launching or re-launching another product, too.
Translation: manufacturing hype.
Vintage network marketing. I taught this in part 2 of my MLM piece, which has now been read by over a million people.
One thing is for sure: Dave Wood and his loyalty to Empower Network is undeniable. He doesn’t quit.
Through the highs and lows, he is there for his people.
Either way, it’s been tough to watch and I hope the best for Empower Network, even though I’ve moved on from my MLM ways.
Here is the rest of my original Empower Network review that will provide more context to those unfamiliar with the company:
Empower Network is an online network marketing company that sells internet marketing tools and training. Namely, a blogging platform and a line of digital products that teach people how to make money on the internet.
Then, as a home based business opportunity, you have the option to sell the products and receive commissions.
Before starting Empower Network, co-founder David Wood endured years of approaching well-dressed people in Wal-Mart, 3-ways, home meetings and other traditional multi-level-marketing activities.
Then, he figured out a way to scale his businesses (the internet way), teams up with David Sharpe and together they launch Empower Network on October 31, 2011.
One week later, the company does 1 million in paid commissions and takes off.
A movement is started. Think: new-age MLM.
Empower Network has five core products, although new Empower Network “add-ons” like ipas 2 have bundled the products to add simplicity.
Here are the five core:
- Kalatu blog $25/mo: web blogging platform and mobile app for iPhone/Android…I’d say it’s comparable to WordPress frameworks like Genesis and Thesis – the Kalatu comes with 8 different themes, and targets people in the network and affiliate marketing industry while also providing options for the small business and real estate spaces. Good product. Revolutionary? Hardly, but a much better improvement from their original blogging platform. You can get started for $9
- Inner Circle $100/mo: an archived audio library that feature Empower Network leaders delivering weekly mindset/inspirational calls since late ‘2011, lot’s of hype and redundancy (you’ll hear Dave Sharpe’s addiction stories 50+ times if you listened to all of them), but some great gems in there to get your mind right
- Top Producer Formula $500: learn the best skillsets and how-to’s from Empower Network elite – this seems to be the old 15k formula
- Team Building Formula $1,000: the ultimate presentation about team duplication, specifically for multi-level marketing teams
- Mass Influence Formula $3,500: power presentations on sales and persuasion, produced by the big-leagues and elite
(November 2015 update: Empower Network rolls out a uni-level compensation plan. It has a ton of ranks – it appears the comp plan primarily achieves manufactured urgency)
Here is the old Empower Network compensation plan, in thirty seconds:
- You only earn commissions for products you’ve purchased (if you aren’t qualified, they pass up to the next person who is qualified)
- You get 100% payouts on all the products (except Master’s Course, where you get paid a $3,000 commission for $3,500 sale) …however, you pass up your 2nd, 4th, 6th sale and every fifth sale after that — on each product.
- Finally, there is a $19.99 monthly affiliate fee that you pay to sell the products.
You can see how the EN comp plan was a little different from other digital MLMs (see: Zukul, Infinii, and Wealthy Affiliate).
So, real quick…
The good: Empower Network is ‘big ticket’ (earn up to $4,625 per affiliate), most of the tools and training are top-tier and their sales funnel flat-out works
The bad: Some of their products desperately need upgrades, and a lot of spammy ‘me-first’ marketers promote it.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Empower Network review.
Like I said in the intro, they had a good run. Somewhere along the way, though, the message became lost.
In case you just scrolled to the bottom, I decided to part ways with Empower Network in 2014 even though I was a 1%-er affiliate in the company. I have since quadrupled my income, travel the world and make more money than most doctors and lawyers.
In other words, you might like this because it teaches the “good life” without MLM product re-launches and up-sales.