Look. I totally understand.
MLMs (multi-level marketing, also known as network marketing) are everywhere. Chances are great that more than 50% of your Facebook and/or Instagram list are selling some sort of toothpaste, jewelry, hair care, skin care, essential oils, wine, clothing, fitness programs (oh, hey, like me!), kitchen supplies, home goods, make-up, whatever.
And, yeah. It can get exhausting seeing nothing but post after post either asking you to “Message me for more details!” or inviting/adding you to hundreds of groups/events or even getting a random direct message from someone you haven’t spoken to in years (or maybe have never met at all, which happens to me a lot on IG!) striking up a conversation to “just say hi…and also, let you know about [insert product here].”
And as I rapidly approach my third anniversary of signing up with an MLM — about four years after getting so frustrated and burned by a different MLM that I swore I would never do one again (whoops) — I’m taking time to reflect on things I know I’ve done “wrong” (and still continue to do wrong…), and offer both a mea culpa and a plea for a bit of patience and tolerance, not just for me, but for anyone else out there who believes in a product, wants to help or fully support their household financially, and, yeah, is “selling you shit” 💩 on social media.
FIGURE 1: An Instagram Story I literally posted 30 minutes ago and am already regretting…
So, first and foremost, I’m not going to pretend my posts don’t annoy the hell outta people. They might. They might not. Honestly, I kinda don’t care. (I obviously care a little bit or I wouldn’t be writing this blog, right?)
The reason I say I “kinda don’t care” is because if my coach hadn’t annoyed the hell outta me for six months with her constant posts and messages, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. And where I am right now is happier and healthier. Could I have gotten there without her MLM products and team? Maybe. But I was 32, had tried literally everything else, and was nowhere near lasting success, and they did end up being the answer for me. Beachbody might not ever be an answer for you, and that is 100% fine with me. But you know what? It might be an answer for somebody. And that’s why I talk about it.
Anyway. I finished doing a little ad-y slideshow because 2B Mindset is on sale this month, and I’m really excited about it. Why? Well, because since May 1 (technically May 2, which was launch day, but I weighed the same on May 1), I have lost 17 pounds. That’s HUGE for me. I’m so happy with how it’s going, even with some missteps I’ve had along the way.
I like playing around with IG stories. I like using random .gifs of dancing Christmas Trees and James van Der Beek. It’s just fun and it doesn’t take me a ton of time.
But…when I finished…and rewatched it…oof.
I wanted to punch myself through my own IG account.
The post I made was fifteen stories long. 15. Ten plus five. Five times three. Just to say “Hey, I’ve lost 17 pounds with a program that happens to be $20 off this month. If you want to buy it from me, send me a message and I’ll get you a link.”
I could’ve easily done one post. I could’ve done the three posts I put above with maybe one or two more for context. But fifteen?! Talk about overkill.
The thing with IG stories is that I can’t really take it back (I don’t think. I don’t actually know how to delete an IG story…). I *can* rest assured knowing the damn thing will disappear by tomorrow, and I can do better next time.
Most people I know in MLMs don’t have a huge amount of sales and/or marketing experience. They’re learning from the people who come before them, who have learned from the people who came before them, etc. And they’re learning based on some tips/tricks that garnered some people success and seemed to gain traction.
Does everyone do it well? No.
Are some of the tactics that everyone seems to use annoying AF? Yes.
Have I done it poorly and/or used those annoying AF tactics? YOU BET.
But I really am trying to find a balance. This is part of my job now. It’s what I enjoy doing. And that means, I need to market it. And unlike other companies, I don’t have a “company brand” account to post from — I just have me. Whether it’s something from Beachbody or my own Patreon page or, heck, if I decide to put that ordainment to good use and officiate weddings, my only option to market myself is me.
My points, basically, are as follows:
(1) You’re probably not gonna care about everything I post.
Maybe you do follow me for the weight loss + fitness stuff. Sweet! Maybe you’re just here for the writing. Awesome! Maybe you like my random book thoughts or rambling about my first watch-through of The Office. Cool! Maybe I’ve known you for over a decade and keep asking “did you read my blog yet?” Um, sorry, but I love you!
The thing is, when you follow me, you get all of me (that I choose to share online). You can skip the posts that don’t interest you. It’s totally fine. But I’m not gonna stop making them. Because someone might want them. Someone might need them. Heck, if I’m writing them, it’s because I want and need them!
(2) Go easy on your social friends trying to do this MLM thing too.
I don’t know of a single person who joined an MLM because they wanted to piss of acquaintances they graduated from high school with or because they wanted to be as annoying as possible on social media. 🤷
I do know plenty of people who joined MLMs because:
- they wanted to get discounts on products they loved (again, hi, that’s me)
- they wanted to earn money towards their regular household/family expenses
- they wanted a job that didn’t require an office or a traditional schedule
- they wanted to be proud of the products they were selling
- they wanted a “side hustle” to be able to afford additional fun luxuries
- they wanted to be able to stay home with their children
Now, let me make this very clear. I am IN AN MLM and I get annoyed by MLM posts on social media. I do. I GET IT.
But you know what else I’ve started to get? That it’s really not that hard to scroll past a post that irks you, whether it’s because you don’t want someone “selling you something” or because you don’t like what they’re selling or just aren’t interested in this particular moment. And if you really don’t care about the person, and are really SO annoyed by their posts that it is ruining your life in some way, UNFRIEND THEM. UNFOLLOW THEM. GO AWAY.
Because if you hate their MLM posts, chances are pretty good you don’t really care if you miss their vacation posts or their memes or their wedding photos, right? What they do is part of who they are. What I do is part of who I am. That’s what you get being connected on social media.
Okay. I think that’s it for now. It ended up being a bit of a #sorrynotsorry kind of post, but I hope it at least brings you a little perspective, at least from my corner of the internet.