Product Name: Empower Network
Overall Ranking: 4/10
Price: $25/month + upsells up to $3500
Owner: David Wood
You may have come to my review because you’ve heard of Empower Network, and/or you’re interested in joining, but want to know a bit more before potentially taking the plunge (or not). Well, I want to share with you my honest opinion of the Empower Network system as a former member.
My angle might by slightly different from other Empower Network reviews online because I will be sharing my own personal experiences, as well as why I don’t recommend this program for starting a business online.
What is Empower Network?
Empower Network is an online program that aims to provide people with the tools to start an online business and make money online from home. It began in October 2011 and has now become a well-known name in the online marketing world.
How Did I First Hear About Empower Network?
I first heard about Empower Network when I joined the iPas 2 system. The iPas 2 system was designed as a “done for you system” which automated the process of getting other people to sign up and purchase the iPas 2 system through your link, to give you affiliate commissions. iPas 2 was affiliated with Empower Network, so when you joined the iPas2 system you also ended up joining the Empower Network system, if you wanted to achieve higher commissions. I was actually hoping to do my review of iPas 2, but I have recently learnt that it no longer exists, and the co-founder Chris Jones, is also no longer affiliated with Empower Network.
Products (and Pricing)
There are 6 products available with Empower Network, and they all have different pricing structures.
Kalatu Blogging Platform:
Cost: $25/month for Basic or $97/month for Premium
The Kalatu Blogging Platform is a WordPress based blogging framework available to people who want to build a website for their business.
This is your entry level into the Empower Network System.
On their website, they claim that setting up a self-hosted blogging platform is difficult, however, I haven’t found this to be true. This website, and others I own, are self-hosted and they didn’t take me long to set up at all. Empower Network also claims that purchasing the Kalatu blogging platform is more affordable, however, you can easily host your own site for $1.99/month with iPage , install WordPress and have access to 1000s of themes and plugins at no additional cost.
The Inner Circle is a collection of audios that are designed to train your mindset and give you daily bursts of inspiration, with regular weekly audio updates to listen to. Personally, I like the idea of mindset audios. I think it’s encouraging to be able to listen to/read words of encouragement, and have tips from other entrepreneurs to inspire you with your business.
However, I didn’t like having to spend $100/month on this. I did find the audios helpful at the time, but since joining Wealthy Affiliate I don’t feel I’m missing out as I get lots of motivation from the blogs written at Wealthy Affiliate by other members of the community. Although they’re not audios, they are regular bursts of motivation, inspiration, and encouragement for me, and it’s all included in the premium membership of $47/month.
Top Producer Formula:
Cost: $500 one time fee
Previously known as Costa Rica Intensive
In this training course, you get 13 modules that aim to reveal the secrets of how to become a Top Producer in your business. It also includes 11 video sessions which took place in Costa Rica in 2011, so some of the information is a bit outdated.
It seems this is where the main bulk of the Empower Network training begins.
At the time, I couldn’t afford (thankfully), or even comprehend investing $500 into a product that I didn’t really have much information about, and even now there is still very little information on the actual website about what this product is, which isn’t very good if you’re expecting someone to spend that amount of money on the product.
Team Building Formula:
Cost: $1000 one time fee
Previously known as 15K Formula
With the Team Building Formula, you get 11 lessons and webinars that are designed to teach you how to sell high commission items and build a team.
Again, there is very little information on the website about this product, which is a shame for a product costing this much.
Mass Influence Formula:
Previously known as Masters Retreat
With this set of recorded training, you’ll be taught to “win the respect of others and influence them to take action” in 8 modules, by some of the top earners within Empower Network.
But again, there is not much information available on the site.
Just a thought: Considering the last 3 options have such little information on what the products actually are, would you be happy spending $5000 on them?
Overall, I think some of the ideas behind the products are good, however, I personally don’t think they’re worth the high price tag.
Yes, that’s right…with the Empower Network Affiliate Program you have to pay a monthly fee to be an affiliate. I don’t believe you should have to pay to be an affiliate, and I have joined many affiliate programs, and this is the only program where I have had to pay a fee, let alone a monthly fee!
So with this in mind, if you don’t pay this fee and someone purchases an Empower Network product through your link, you will not receive the commissions for that product.
How Do You Make Money with Empower Network?
You make money with Empower Network by getting others to join the program. It’s as simple as that really.
If you do not own one of the products, you will not receive any commissions for that product. For example, if you only had the Kalatu Blogging System, and someone joins Empower Network through your link, you’ll only get paid commissions for the blogging system. If your referral purchases other products, you will not receive affiliate commissions for those.
The best way to make the most money with Empower Network is by going all in and purchasing all the products. Most people wanting to work from home online cannot afford to go all in, and you’ll most likely lose A LOT of money before making you actually start making any.
Empower Network Commissions
Empower Network pays it’s affiliates up to 70% commissions. But in my opinion, there’s a hidden downside…and this is the compensation plan.
With the Empower Network Compensation Plan, some referral sales you make get passed up to your upline. When I joined it meant that commissions from the 1st, 3rd, 5th sale, and every 5th sale after that, would get passed up.
If we take a look at an example below:
Imagine that I’m “all in” and own every product of Empower Network. I have a referral, Lisa, who has only purchased the $25 Kalatu blogging platform. If she gets another person, John, to join the program, and John decides to go all in, she won’t receive commissions for products after the blogging platform, and they will be passed up to me.
So, it seems the aim of this is to encourage Lisa to want to go “all in” to avoid missing out on commissions.
My Experience with the Compensation Plan:
After lots of work and money lost, I was finally able to refer someone to the iPas 2 system, and they eventually continued through to Empower Network and purchased the Kalatu blogging system. As I was a subscriber of the product at the time I expected to receive a commission. However due to the compensation plan, that commission was passed up to my upline.
Here’s a few quotes directly from Empower Network regarding their Compensation Plan:
The compensation plan is initiated when a particular product is activated either through personal use or product sale; you receive no benefit for referring or recruiting affiliates.
It should be noted that if the product in question is a monthly subscription, you have to maintain that subscription either through purchasing it for your own personal use, or maintaining one active member subscription. You will then be activated to participate in the full commission structure with your next sale of that product, and receive commissions immediately.
So it seems they’re saying that in order to receive commissions, I first need to make a sale just to activate the commission payment for that product. That seems very strange since I’m already paying a $19.95 affiliate fee. Shouldn’t that activate my commission payments?!
Anyway, the supposed aim of this compensation plan is to make sure everyone is hungry for success. However, this for me was very disheartening, as I had put so much effort and money into trying to get referrals, and when someone finally came through my link, I wasn’t awarded for it. I could have kept going, but to be honest, that put me off completely. I was losing a lot of money very fast, and making nothing. I know making money from an online business doesn’t happen overnight, but when you put in so much effort and your potential reward gets passed up so easily, it’s not very encouraging. Not for me at least.
So I felt I couldn’t continue.
Empower Network offers a 14-day refund policy which begins from the day of purchase. If you want to request a refund you can contact their support team firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve had a look online regarding the refund policy, and it seems that many people have found it difficult to get their money back. However, there are a few options available here.
Empower Network doesn’t use PayPal to pay its affiliates. It uses an e-wallet merchant called Global Payroll Gateway (GPG), which cost an additional $19.95/month for you to use with Empower Network. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but either way, there are a lot of account and transfer fees involved with this merchant. It just seemed like a lot of hassle for me when setting up the account. Things with PayPal are so much simpler, and I personally prefer affiliate programs that pay via Paypal.
Can You Make Money With Empower Network?
Yes, I believe it is possible to make money with Empower Network. However, in my opinion, even if you get lots of referrals, and therefore lots of commission…soon you’ll find that most of the people who join under you will fail. Not because they don’t apply the knowledge, but because they cannot afford the products and lose a lot of money trying to promote to other people.
Even Empower Network knows that most people won’t make money. Below is a quote from the income disclosure stated at the bottom of Empower Network’s Compensation plan document:
The average affiliate makes less than $100 and that does not include business expenses.
Yes, it’s true that everyone’s earnings will be different, but if the average affiliate makes less than $100 and that hasn’t even included business expenses, then is it really worth a $5k investment? So that’s one thing I’d definitely encourage you to ask yourself before you consider joining.
Even if you take a look at this table below, you’ll see that 92% of all Empower Network affiliates make an average of only $55 a year!
Now, I believe there are people that are making money with this program, however, would you be comfortable knowing you’re potentially putting other people in financial despair, just to earn money yourself.
I didn’t feel comfortable asking others to potentially spend $5k when I couldn’t even afford it myself. I spent so much on trying to market Empower Network, and wasn’t given the correct training at the basic level, therefore, I wasted money on things I knew nothing about. I also couldn’t seem to get in contact with my upline for further advice. Thinking back I can only imagine it’s because they left Empower Network too. In the end, I did not feel comfortable asking others to join a program that was losing me lots of money. This is also why I decided to leave iPas 2. Although I was making commissions with iPas 2, as it was more affordable, I didn’t like that it was affiliated with Empower Network. I decided that Empower Network wasn’t for me, and it was time to leave.
So now you need to ask yourself, “Is Empower Network the best Make Money Online program for me?”
Is Empower Network the Best Make Money Online Program For You?
Empower Network was clearly not for me, and I don’t particularly encourage others to join it because I think the money can be better spent elsewhere. However, if you feel content that you can afford all the products, are able to put the work in to promote them, and you don’t mind promoting only Empower Network, then the option is there for you.
- “Out of the box” blogging platform – This means that you don’t need to think about the more technical aspects of blogging, and you can just focus on creating content. Although this may be good for complete beginners, at some point you’re very likely to want to make the blog your own by having your own domain, hosting, theme etc. This will be difficult to do if you stick with the Kalatu blogging platform. The blogging platform seems affordable, however, it is actually possible to create a free blog with training and many features. Even if you decide to upgrade to have your own domain and hosting, you can get it really cheap. Domains cost less than $15 a year with registrars such as GoDaddy and Namecheap, and you can get hosting for as little as $1.99/month with iPage or $3.95/month with Bluehost
- You can get some decent training – However, you’ll have to purchase the higher priced items to get some of that training. Although you get training with Empower Network, in my personal opinion it’s totally overpriced, and not at all worth the money. If you only purchase the lower end products, you’ll constantly be fed ideas that purchasing the next product up will give you all the training you need to make lots of money, but unfortunately for your average hard working member, this is not true, as you can see from the income disclosure above.
- Multiple overpriced upsells – The products just cost way too much! Yes, upsells are normal for any program, however, the difference with Empower Network is that they are highly overpriced, and not worth the money. When I joined at the basic level, I was given the impression that the Inner Circle would give me the tools I need to start being successful with the program, then I was constantly being drummed down with the idea that I needed to go all in, in order to be really successful. Even if I had gone all in, they would have continued to push me to purchase other “specialty” products.
- No free trial – Empower Network doesn’t have a free trial or free membership options, so you are not able to “try before you buy”. They offer a 14-day refund policy, however, as mentioned above, it doesn’t seem to be an easy process.
- You only make money if you promote Empower Network – You only make money with Empower Network by promoting them. Although they try and make out that it can be used for other purposes (e.g real estate), their training only really teaches you how to promote Empower Network. I think a good program should show you how to make money in other ways, I think a program should be able to offer you a way to have multiple streams of income.
- Doesn’t pay via Paypal – For me, this is a dealbreaker. I personally prefer using Paypal and have always had good experience with it. It’s simple to use and the processing time for payments is usually very fast, and I’m not charged a transaction fee to transfer the money to my bank account.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post on How to Find The Best Make Money Online Program For You. There were a few questions I felt were important to ask yourself about a program before deciding to join, and the table below will summarise Empower Network against those questions.
These are my deciding factors for choosing a make money online program. They may be different for you, and that’s completely fine. My aim with this review is to share with you my genuine experiences.
I know there will be people that will disagree with my thoughts on Empower Network, and that’s fine, but I just don’t agree with many aspects of this program, and would personally NOT recommended Empower Network to other people looking to start an online business. I believe if I had continued I probably would have made some commissions, but I also believe I would have lost a lot more money in the process, because I was not given the right skills and training, and I would have made most of my referrals lose money also.
Therefore, I want to share with you my #1 recommended training program for starting an online business, that I feel fits my needs and the needs of someone looking to start an online business in a way that is much more affordable.
My #1 Recommended Program
I am an active member of Wealthy Affiliate, and I like to promote this training program because it is a genuine way to learn how to start an online business, and the training is much more affordable and in-depth. Below is a list of some of the reasons why I recommend Wealthy Affiliate over Empower Network:
- The Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program pays via Paypal.
- You do not have to be an affiliate to make money with Wealthy Affiliate
- It’s free to join, and premium membership costs less than $50/month
- Can fully own your blog by self-hosting. I use Namecheap, but you can use other affordable providers, such as iPage or Bluehost (which also give you a free domain)
- Can purchase your own domain, therefore, combined with hosting, your blog is really your own. You can use Godaddy, Namecheap or Wealthy Affiliate SiteDomain
- No overpriced upsells. Only 2 memberships, free and paid (monthly or yearly)
- It’s an affordable way to start an online business
- High-quality training, with regular live webinars every week, plus training materials from members of the community
- Earn up to 50% commissions, without paying a monthly affiliate fee
- Get taught how to make money online without promoting Wealthy Affiliate
- Excellent way to interact with others in your field, as well as sharing your knowledge, and learning from others.
- If you decide to sign up for free, you can remain a free member, and have 2 websites alongside quality training to get you started online
- Live chat and lots of support
There’s so much to gain with Wealthy Affiliate compared to Empower Network, in my opinion. I have been a member of both, and as someone who has experienced Empower Network, I believe Wealthy Affiliate is the better program to go for. I have created a comparison table below to outline some of the major differences between the 2 programs:
The aim of this review isn’t to go around yelling scam, scam, scam…it’s to inform you of some of the realities of Empower Network.
Although I believe people are making money with Empower Network, I was not one of those people. It’s not because I didn’t apply the training available to me, or that I didn’t try hard enough, it was because I couldn’t afford to go all in.
Overall, I didn’t feel comfortable going all in financially and ethically.
I just want to be able to share my honest opinion of Empower Network and give you my take on things as a former member.
Ultimately, if you’re still interested in joining Empower Network, you have to think to yourself, are you able to afford this program, and can you put the work in. Both options are there, and the end decision is yours. If you’d like to know more about Wealthy Affiliate please check out my review here, or you can ask questions in the comments below.
What are your experiences with Empower Network? Are you currently a member and wondering if you should continue? Are you a former member and feel scammed by Empower Network? Feel free to share your questions, comments and/or experiences in the section below.