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Herbalife Business Model: Ultimate Guide To Make Money

Last Updated on December 5, 2021 by Matt Zavadil

The Herbalife business model is a network marketing system that allows you, as an Herbalife distributor to make money.

You do so by selling the products or by recruiting new distributors into your downline structure.

The company’s flagship product line includes weight-loss, nutritional, and personal care products.

There are various ways for you to take advantage of the Herbalife international business system.

1) Become an independent distributor who sells the products in person or online

2) Focus on recruiting a team of distributors

3) The best way: Work both by selling Herbalife products and recruiting distributors into the business opportunity.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this post:

Is There a Problem With Herbalife’s Business Model?

A quick Google search reveals some people who love the money Herbalife distributors earn. Others swear the Herbalife nutrition company engages in deceptive business practices.

What’s the truth?

As a person involved with MLM since the early 1990s, I’m not an Herbalife distributor. I have no skin in the game with the company.

With that said, there’s no problem with the Herbalife business model. The problem, in my humble opinion, is that most people are raised with employee mentalities.

They’re used to this: “I put in 15 hours, I expect to earn a certain amount of money on those hours.”

They join Herbalife, they don’t understand the level of hard work required to create retail profit in the company, and then say, “This thing must be a pyramid scheme.”

Why Do Many Herbalife Distributors Leave Each Year?

They leave because they aren’t making money.

Simple as that.

Would you keep trying to become one of the company’s sales leaders if you felt like you lost money after you failed at selling products?

The real question is: Why don’t more people become profitable in multi level marketing?

As a person who built an international direct sales organization and put himself into profit working with a wonderful team, I can tell you it’s not because MLM is a pyramid scheme or “illegal”.

Which leads us to the next question.

Is It True That Only People “At The Top” Profit In MLM?



Sorry to all those folks who sue MLM companies saying it’s all a pyramid scheme.

Let’s talk brass tacks.

Direct sales is a business system. If you’ve joined Herbalife, the company model lets you sell Herbalife products or recruit other salespeople.

If you’ve never owned your own company before and you’re expecting to make money without developing new skills, then yes, you’re likely to fail while seeing lost money go bye-bye.

To instigate an FTC investigation or get the Federal Trade Commission to force a company to compensate consumers in California federal court because “only the people at the top make money” means that too many distributors failed to understand the Herbalife business model.

There’s No Ceiling In Herbalife (Or MLM)

When I join a new company, the first thing I do is create an actual marketing plan.

I research my best-fit customers based on their needs, wants, desires, and pain points.

If I joined Herbalife, I’d select one area of the product line that interested me:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Weight management
  3. Haircare
  4. Skincare
  5. Fitness

For example, if I needed customers interested in weight loss, then I’d put together a “perfect avatar profile” (more on that below) to make sure my marketing copy attracted people with that problem.

That’s how I built an international downline.

I didn’t run around like most MLMers who act like motivated idiots, bugging friends and family, or posting dumb product pics on Facebook.

I worked my business as a true company owner. I put out advertising copy that attracted people with the problems my products solved.

I didn’t care who was “above me” in the downline structure.

In fact, I made more than many people in my upline because I knew what I was doing, while they ran around trying to get uninterested friends to buy something they didn’t want.

The next time you see some story online about how Herbalife is a pyramid scheme because “only people at the top” make money, you now know that the author doesn’t understand the entrepreneurial mentality.

There’s no ceiling. Work your Herbalife business like a boss-mode entrepreneur and you’ll become one of the sales leaders.

Why Do So Many Herbalife Ltd Distributors Blame Others?

I have a question of my own: Why do so many distributors blame other people for their failures in Herbalife, and other MLMs?

I’ve read the personal stories of Herbalife distributors saying, for instance, they sued because they lost over $100,000 going to company events.

That’s blaming others for not seeing the signs that what you’re doing as a distributor ain’t working.

How much money do you need to see disappear before you say, “Hmmm, this isn’t working. I need to either get out of this company or I need to improve my sales and marketing skills.”

Herbalife didn’t force anyone to go to events. Indeed, many of the events (and lead up to the events) get people excited to attend. No doubt about it.

However, it’s not a “cult”, as you’ll see people try to place blame around.

I spent money early on in my direct sales endeavors that I wanted back. I didn’t blame others, though.

It was part of my education on what didn’t work.

You can bet that I made sure to improve my skills before wasting six figures, though!

You’ll never get anywhere if you blame a company or an entire business system. Ask Elon Musk or Warren Buffett how many people they blamed when their first entrepreneurial attempts lost money.

Most EVERY Business Fails

Let’s talk more brass tacks.

If you want to blame the Herbalife business model for your ability to create retail sales or get the recruiting rewards you want, do this:

Go research how many companies make it. Any company in any field or industry.

It looks like this:

Over 90% of businesses fail. About 50% fail within the first five years. 

70% of businesses looking to sell can’t do it because the business is too “owner-dependent”. Most of those hoping to sell just close down about a year later. 

Broken dreams and families exist behind all of these company failures. Financial devastation and health problems result. Guess what else results? Suicide.

These people don’t blame others by finding someone to sue.

Look, building a business damn hard. All of these businesses include a 90+% fail rate:

  • Offline brick & mortar (flower shops, auto mechanics, coffee shops, etc)
  • Affiliate marketing
  • E-commerce
  • SaaS
  • Coaching and consulting
  • Network marketing

If you really, really, really, really, really want your own business, you don’t blame an industry and go find someone to sue because you didn’t become one of the winning Herbalife distributors on the first attempt.

You ask yourself, “What didn’t I do correctly? What skills am I weak in?”

You take responsibility and you go try again to win as an MLM distributor.

The average successful entrepreneur did this at least 7 to 10 times before breaking through. I wanted to quit so many times in my past, I lost count.

But, my desire to break through as a business owner always came back strong, I dusted myself off, and I went back to work improving.

If you’re a struggling Herbalife rep right now, I want to give you hope.

I want to inspire you to dust yourself off, ignore the naysayers (they’ll always be there), identify the skills you still need to acquire and go back to work!!!

Why Most Herbalife Distributors Fail

I touched on this above, but let’s now start looking to the solution to your Herbalife Nutrition problems.

Most people (in any type of company) fail because they never learn how to identify their best-fit prospects or how to effectively communicate with them.

You can’t expect Herbalife success if you continue to think “everyone needs our products” or “everyone is my prospect”.

That’s not true.

Stop wasting time talking to friends and family.

Start thinking like a true entrepreneur.

Like I said above, select only one area of the Herbalife product line to focus on.

If you enjoy talking about and helping people with weight loss, go for it.

If nutrition is more your thing, focus on that.

You can’t be “all things to all people” by trying to market products in niches so different as weight loss vs skincare vs fitness.

That’s the path to failure.

How To Make Money Selling Herbalife Products

The first step to mastering the Herbalife business model is identifying your customer avatar or best-fit customer profile.

What Is a Customer Avatar Profile?

A customer avatar profile is a detailed description of your ideal customer.

If you don’t know who wants what you sell, how will they see your offer or know it exists?

Where To Find Your Customer Avatar Profile

Start by asking yourself some questions.

  • What are your “must-have” traits in a customer?
  • What do they want more than anything else?
  • What is the biggest problem that a person faces right now, and what does he or she need to solve it?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and solve this problem, what would your customer want to be able to do?

Once you start writing down answers, try describing the kind of life that person leads.

  • What’s important to them?
  • What are their hobbies or interests outside work?
  • Where does he or she live?
  • Who are they spending time with every day – friends and family, perhaps?

Now you’re getting closer to an accurate description of your ideal customer. 

Remember, this person is the one who will want what you have on offer. That’s why they are so important – and why it’s worth taking some time now to get clear about their needs before moving on to anything else.

We can develop a plan for success as long as we have our customer avatar profile defined.***

Develop a Solid Herbalife Marketing Plan

A marketing plan should include the following steps to make it successful for the Herbalife business opportunity.

  • Content marketing strategy
  • Social media strategy
  • Email marketing strategy

Content Marketing Strategy

Developing a content marketing strategy for your blog posts is the first step to creating an effective Herbalife business plan.

Content can be created in different forms of media, such as video or written words on a website, or even audio files that customers can listen to while driving home from work.

The key with any type of content marketing is to create content that will entice your target audience and keep them coming back for more.

Some popular types of content marketing strategies include:

  • Video blog posts
  • Infographics or SlideShare presentations on a subject related to Herbalife health products
  • Webinars about the benefits associated with taking herbal supplements or any product you’ve chosen to focus on

Social Media Strategy

The number of social media platforms on the web has grown exponentially in recent years.

It’s hard to keep up with all that’s going on, but as an Herbalife business owner, you need to do so. Develop a strategy for at least five different social media platforms.

Some popular social networks include:

Facebook – The largest of all the different types of social networks with over two billion active users each month

Instagram – Users share pictures and videos on this platform that can be viewed by anyone, including potential customers

LinkedIn – Business professionals use LinkedIn to network and search for jobs

Twitter – Twitter users share thoughts, ideas, links, photos or videos in 140 characters or less.

YouTube – You can create an account on YouTube free of charge to upload all types of content related to your company

Email Marketing Strategy

An email marketing strategy is essential if you want your Herbalife business opportunity to become successful.

Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customers.

An example of an effective email marketing strategy would include sending out one message a week containing valuable information about Herbalife products.

Your emails should include a call to action so customers can request price information about the products or an international business pack.

Developing these three components of marketing is part of any comprehensive Herbalife business plan.

Herbalife Business Model FAQ

How does an Herbalife distributor make money?

Distributors make retail sales by selling their Herbalife products to customers at full price. They sell products in person or online via social media or their own website or blog. Distributors also make money by recruiting other distributors into the company.

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme?

Good Lord, no. Pyramid schemes exist in other places, such as the job you might work at. Have you ever noticed that you can’t ever become the owner at your company?

While you can’t “own” your own company in the traditional sense inside the MLM model, Herbalife is a business opportunity without a glass ceiling. You can make more money than people in your upline by bringing in more distributors and becoming one of the top-selling distributors.

How much do Herbalife owners make?

First of all, you don’t “own” your business in direct sales. That’s another misnomer most distributors have with the Herbalife business model.

However, you can turn it all into an ownership situation by starting a blog and creating income with Herbalife, as well as other affiliate offers.

How much money do you want to make selling Herbalife’s products? As a new distributor, get good at marketing, advertising, and sales. It will allow you to find new consumers to sell to and new recruits to build an organization with.

What is the Herbalife marketing strategy?

The Herbalife marketing strategy is relatively simple. If you’re a new recruit, then you want to focus on finding new customers to buy products and new recruits to join your organization.

Each new distributor opens up a new sales channel. It’s similar to an insurance broker hiring new agents. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity when you have a team of distributors to help pass Herbalife promotional materials out to make new sales without you.


You’ve learned that Herbalife isn’t a pyramid scheme. You’ve also found out that you can become one of the most successful distributors by working as if you own the company.

Are you worried that you need to improve your marketing, advertising, and sales skills, but don’t know where to turn?

There’s no need to feel alone as an MLM distributor.

I have an Herbalife Quick-Start Training available that shows you how to use the Internet as your lead generation and sales funnel resource.

Grab your free Herbalife training here.