Le-Vel: Making ‘Free’ a Very Profitable Concept

by Angela E. Soper

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Company Profile

Founded: June 2012
Headquarters: Irving, Texas
Executives: Co-Founders/Co-Owners Paul Gravette and Jason Camper
Product Categories: Weight management, mental clarity, cognitive performance and inflammation support

Le-Vel Co-Founder/Co-Owner Paul Gravette has been in the direct selling industry since he was 23. He’s achieved seven-figure incomes and created large organizations as a distributor, and he’s founded and built successful direct selling companies of his own. His partner, Jason Camper, has over 17 years of experience in the industry as well, again, both as a highly successful distributor and as a company owner. They know what works and, perhaps more important, what doesn’t.

Like many people who create direct selling companies, Gravette and Camper wanted to build a company that improved people’s lives on multiple levels. From the moment they mapped out the company on “the napkin drawings” 36 months ago (it launched in June 2012) they were determined to create a business model with a revolutionary spin. They wanted Le-Vel to be product-driven and to enable the “everyday” person with zero or little experience or previous success in direct selling to actually benefit from the products at virtually no monthly cost—and have a real chance to earn money, make a monthly luxury car payment and take fun getaway trips.

And the spin of this business model is kept in perpetual motion, thanks to one powerful concept: Free.

Barrier-Free Entry

Paul Gravette

Paul Gravette

Jason Camper

Jason Camper

Thanks to Le-Vel’s cloud-based design, the company can give customers and promoters free tools to sell products or build a business. “Anybody can join our company for free, which is really one of the big reasons we’re growing like we are,” Camper says. “We don’t have any barriers of entry to the company.”

Gravette adds, “We don’t charge anybody a dime to be part of our company. We want to build a free affiliate-type program where the customer is our main focus.” If a customer eventually wants to become a promoter, he or she simply clicks on a button that says ‘I want to be a free promoter,’ and at that point the company turns on an incentive clock.

“If within your first two weeks of upgrading and ordering a promoter package—which is loaded with samples of all three of our products—you bring in qualified orders, we’ll reward you in personal bonuses,” Gravette says. And while promoters must purchase a package of products, there is no charge for the replicated website or back office, nor are they required to maintain a personal monthly auto-ship—the required dollar amount in orders every month can come from customers.

Impressive Growth Driven by Product Sales

This free program and the products themselves are helping Le-Vel set a blistering pace in overall growth. Camper says the company has grown 4,300 percent in the last 12 months, which equates to consecutive double- to triple-digit compounded growth each month. “We do a very large seven figures a month [in revenue], and we pay out seven figures a week in commissions,” Camper says.

Thanks to the product formulations and single-serve packaging, the products lend themselves to easy sharing—a design Gravette and Camper implemented from the beginning to make it easier for customers and promoters to let others sample the products. Plus, the product regimen adds icing to the cake for the products’ popularity.

“Our formulator has been integral since Day One,” Camper says. “The secret to everything we do lies in our formulas.” Camper and Gravette wanted to create a system that includes capsules, a daily lifestyle shake mix and a patent-pending wearable adhesive they call Derma Fusion Technology™—all designed to work together to offer people an eight-week, premium lifestyle experience. “The Thrive product line was [created] to help in all areas of someone’s lifestyle—weight management, mental clarity, cognitive performance, inflammation support—it’s really an all-in-one philosophy,” Camper says.

Product Results = Business Results

The key, Camper emphasizes, lies in how the regimen is taken: two Premium Lifestyle Capsules “before your feet hit the floor in the morning,” followed by the ultra-micronized Premium Lifestyle Shake Mix, and then the Derma Fusion Technology (DFT™) adhesive applied to clean, dry skin to boost metabolism. He adds, “Within 40 minutes from someone getting up in the morning, they’ve got three formulas circulating in their bloodstream and they’re done for the day.”

“We are where we are because of the product results,” Gravette says. “We don’t have to talk about our comp plan because our product works—that’s what is making our business explode. All of these people who are joining our company are naturally getting out there and talking about it, and so the [business] starts to grow.”

Le-Vel has grown 4,300 percent in the last 12 months, which equates to consecutive double- to triple-digit compounded growth each month.

It’s All about Trust

Along with a free program designed for everyday people, trust is another of Gravette’s passions. “I want to build a company people can trust,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if they order. We don’t want to twist their arm [and tell them] they have to pay to play. That’s not us.”

Gravette believes Le-Vel’s free enrollment helps build both trust and revenue. “We believe the No. 1 way to build trust is through building a free network,” he says. “We’re building a free social network, so over a period of time our conversion rates, we think, are going to be huge because people watch us for a day, a week, a month and then they decide to order, and they may never have ordered if they had not been able to be part of our network for free.”

“We believe the No. 1 way to build trust is through building a free network.”
—Paul Gravette, Co-Founder/Co-Owner

One part of building this network is through the use of social media, and Gravette believes you need to zero in on one social platform. “You’ve got to narrow it down, so when we started I wanted to keep the focus on Facebook, mainly because I want people to have a focal point.” And to him, the numbers don’t lie; in fact, they tell very defining truths about the company’s growth and stability. He is proud to point out that Le-Vel currently has about 44,000 Likes on its page—“all organic”—with about 6,000 who are active, and the number is growing by more than 200 people a day.

Camper and Gravette buck the common practice of encouraging business builders to attend meetings and events frequently. “You can build this business completely from a smartphone or a laptop,” Gravette says. In fact, they tell people not to spend gas money traveling. “We encourage people to stay at home and work with the people who are having success—work with them on the phone on private team calls and let them help you.”

Operating in the Cloud

A few things stand out when you take a closer look at Le-Vel, and they tie in to its “free” concept as well as the ability of promoters to work from home. First, there is no corporate headquarters housing highly paid executives and a large staff—the company uses what the partners call a vertically integrated system that is cloud-based. This does two things: One, it keeps Le-Vel’s operating expenses low so more of the profits can be allocated to the company’s promoters. And two, it enables Le-Vel to easily and instantly keep up with changes the company needs to make and communicate to the field.

“I think [our cloud-based platform] is one of the pieces that makes us exciting and powerful for our promoters,” Gravette says. “Anything that we need on the fly—when we want to run reports or if we want to add particular promotions or make any changes at any time—we’re not held by a timeline of vendors.”

This cloud-based infrastructure also enables Le-Vel to employ one-third fewer staff and to source some of the most talented people from all over the country. Its customer service is also handled completely online. “As long as you get back to people within 24 to 48 hours, they’re happy,” Gravette points out.

Gravette and Camper own all of their internal code and own and operate their own software infrastructure. They also personally oversee all aspects of the company’s operations, from raw ingredient purchases and product formulations to packaging and vendors. In other words, the founders have a very hands-on involvement with their company and are committed to ensuring that the products, the business model and the customer support meet very high standards.

A Matter of Honor

Another difference: If you check the company’s website, you will not see information about Gravette and Camper. This is intentional and goes back to the partners’ determination to keep Le-Vel focused on serving those everyday people and helping them create the success they want.

“I didn’t want my phone ringing and people saying, ‘Hey, I know you’re starting a company, and I want to talk to you,’ ” Gravette explains. “That’s not fair, because somehow they found out about the business through someone else.” He and Camper have insisted from Day One that people interested in the business enroll under the person who first shared the company with them. If you call them today, they will tell you exactly that—no one gets preferential treatment when it comes to the enrollment process. “They have to honor who talked to them about the business,” Gravette adds. “This is so important to me.”

To Gravette and Camper, individuals inexperienced in direct selling are most valuable. “I wanted to make sure we started our business with people who had no background in making $5,000 or $20,000 a month in a previous company,” Gravette says. “I wanted to build the nucleus of this network around good people who never had a history with another company. I wanted this to be their first.”

Taking the Time to Do It Right

When it came to launching their company, the partners went slowly so they could do it right. “We really took our time before we ever told anybody about this,” Gravette says. “We developed what we feel is perfection to us, but we were never pressured by any board members or any staff on how or when to launch the company. I think that’s been a huge blessing to us.”

Since direct selling has been their profession in one way or another since they were young adults, Gravette and Camper view Le-Vel as a company “built for promoters by promoters.” But they have designed Le-Vel to be unique.

“When I look at our business, I feel like we’re a hybrid of what the direct selling industry is and where the online customer acquisition world is going,” Gravette says. And to illustrate the point, he emphasizes the company’s dramatic growth in customer acquisitions. “In the month of April we had almost double the amount of customers sign up as we did promoters, which is not common in direct selling.”
Gravette says this growth is because, first, the products work; second, customers (and promoters) can get their products for free; and third, it doesn’t cost anything to sign up as a customer or promoter. And while getting products for free is not new to the industry, Le-Vel’s program is especially attractive because it requires a person to enroll only two customers.

“Our business says to your girlfriend, ‘You’re a customer. If you bring us two girlfriends who order online, we’ll give you the product free every month,’ ” he explains.

Their Focus Is Clear

Le-Vel does not, and will never, Gravette insists, highlight wildly successful top earners. They want the focus to stay on those who’ve never had success before. However, they do believe in rewarding promoters who put effort into building their businesses. The company’s car incentive program rewards those who reach a certain monthly team volume with a monthly payment for a luxury car, and those who maintain that volume for two consecutive months are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid Le-Vel VIP Getaway. The first Getaway for 100 was in Las Vegas in January. The company whisked 400 qualifiers to Cabo San Lucas in May, and a third trip is in the planning stages.

“When you get the big picture of our model, it’s exciting because it allows us to spend more money on our product from the ingredient perspective, and we’re growing at the rate we’re growing because we’re putting [profits] into the people, into the products and into the rewards plan,” Gravette says.


About Direct Selling News
Direct Selling News Magazine has been serving direct selling and network marketing executives since 2004. Each issue of Direct Selling News offers content on topics that shape the dynamics of our industry.

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