I personally believe we do a dis-service to industry and ourselves if we openly state...or even allude...that NWM is easy. It's not. Nor is any business....WAH or brick & mortar. Anyone who does say different is not being wholly truthful. I find that to be a shame.
NWM requires 3 main ingredients....time, effort, and yes - money. Time is just a matter of redirecting your habits. Not easy but doable. Time directly impacts your efficiency. Effort is entirely controllable by individual....and directly impacts your effectiveness. Money is self limiting and directly affects both efficiency and effectiveness. An individual must find best combination of three that works for them. Someone else can't tell you what that combination is....but can help you find it (for example a good sponsor).
The new mlmer faces a daunting task...and competition...when it comes to "advertising". Finding that "best combination" of time, effort, and money is a growth experience. Rarely will it just appear....education (self and provided) plus mentoring (if available) are important factors and hopefully a fact of life. However, "advertising" is not impossible.
In my mind advertising is just whatever method you choose to "reach" people. It might be traditional newspaper or ezine ad or simple greeting and sharing with a friend. How you "advertise" or "share" can take many forms.
There are free and inexpensive methods that do work. It's a matter of finding those that work for you.
1. Writing and submitting ezine articles is an excellent method. It requires time & effort...but no money. The benefits include increased link popularity for url used in your sig box (important for search engine ranking), branding, and reach (you can "reach" more with an article than an ezine ad). Plus it's viral. Often your article is archived by publishers and directories.....available well after it was originally offered. Plus publishers and web masters will often "pick up" your article...again well after you originally submitted it.
2. Business cards are always a good method...and more inexpensive than one realizes. You can even make your own. Just pass them out like candy....stores, church, ball games, local events, restaurants (leave 1 with your bill), businesses you frequent, networking meetings, local Chamber Of Commerce. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
3. Flyers, posters, post cards, brochures, etc. can also be done very inexpensively. You can make your own on your PC or purchase custom or ready made templates from numerous online providers. You could even strike up a joint venture with a local community provider. They print it for you and include their "advert" somewhere...you distribute. You both win, you pay less, and maybe influence that partner to be involved in your business.