A while back, I wrote a post about the 3 times I was pitched to join an MLM. That post received some interesting responses, and I gotta say that some of you might be great at participating in AntiMLM the community. Want to know more?
The antiMLM movement is group of like-minded people (both skeptics and ex-MLM members) who share their perspective on the dangerous aspects of the MLM business model. In recent months I have discovered a wealth of knowledge and stories from the folks in the antiMLM community. They’re fun and talented real women who want to engage in legit community (as opposed to just selling your wraps that supposedly give you thigh gap).
Now, in order to give you a better idea of what joining the antiMLM community is like, allow me to share my story.
Taking That MLM Bait
You’re scrolling through your Facebook and you notice a post from one of your friends that seems…odd. It’s not what they normally post. Maybe it’s a selfie of with a shake (because it’s always a selfie with a shake.) Maybe it’s an inspirational quote. Perhaps it’s a product offer. Or they’re looking for product testers. You’re confused. But you keep scrolling.
Then, you find another post. And another! Gasp! What is happening? Not wanting to dip a toe in unknown waters, you read the comments hoping for answers. “What’s this about?” they ask
What’s the response from your friend?
It’s always: I’ll PM you!
Why?! Why is it so secret?! Clearly your friend is working for some kind of company, but what the hell company is it? What are they doing? What are they selling? You want to ask, but you don’t want things to get all Resident Evil 4 merchant levels of creepy:
As the months progress, your friend posts more confusing content. Their lifestyle becomes fused with this weird company, these strange products. Emojis become a part of their daily posts. They’re happy, smiling. Using numerous hashtags. They are, admittedly, THEIR BEST SELF.
And then they ask, “WANT TO JOIN ME?”
Things must be going well for them, right? Your friend wouldn’t be posting this stuff for no reason, right?
Questioning That Intriguing Lifestyle
Truth be told, I have a hard time inquiring about things. I hate being put into a spot, especially when it comes to something that triggers my skepticism. No way in hell would I ever go in blind. I want to go in prepared.
So when a friend does an instant personality change, I sit back and wonder what the deal is. And you know, I’m not going to directly make the MLM = cult analogy (guess I just did!) because I’ve got a handful of friends on my Facebook who are in MLM’s and do manage to keep their feeds balanced. Honestly, though? The MLM stuff tends to stick out.
But what about those people you don’t know? The higher up MLM consultants post pictures of them drinking shakes in fancy kitchens, attending luxury cruises, or buying a white Mercedes. What about those people? cc
I want to know. I MUST know. Is the direct sales business really so easy? Who doesn’t want a lifestyle wherein they can stay at home? I mean, this is how so many young mothers (women jUsT lIkE mE!) get suckered into joining MLM’s.
Young mothers and debt-ridden college students with debt are prime targets of MLMs. It’s so easy to lure people in with the idea of baking an extra income made off of “working on your phone”. A common promise is the ability to raise your own kids while working your own business from home.
Doing My Own Research
When faced with criticism, plenty of MLM consultants urge you to do your own research to figure out what works for you.
The research doesn’t take long to do, honestly.
It’s a well-known statistic that 99% of all MLM distributors lose money. Some MLM’s present income disclosure statements, which do plainly show you an accurate example of what commissions a consultant could potentially make in each tier. The problem with these statements is that they don’t account for money sunk into the business (in the form of buying inventory, hosting parties, etc). You know, profit.
But what about all those women who appear to be doing so well? Faking it is easy, guys. We live in a capitalist society, where you can buy anything. You can buy Instagram followers. You can buy higher Google rankings, which Monat seems to have done.
In other words, it’s pretend support. Most MLM-related content receives little engagement, and from what I’ve seen, what little engagement a post does receive appears to be from from other MLM consultants within the company. It’s the community of support” they always talk about, which is all well and good until you realize that this “community” is really a bunch of people operating the exact same business in an over-saturated market.
Long story short, after doing my research, the thought of joining an MLM gets some hardcore cringe from me.
I already peddle my own writing. I believe in my writing and it doesn’t cost me to sell it. Not to mention, I have something for everyone! Want some modern gothic erotic horror? Here’s a literary urban dead mall story about how hard modern life is. Better yet, seeing that you’re reading about MLMs, might I interest you in an MLM-inspired horror story?
I got you, readers. I have exactly what you need.
But, the Products!11!11!!!!
MLM’s are about shilling products. Many distributors make the claim that network marking is simply just “word-of-mouth”. And sure, you could say that, but there is a difference between sharing a product you like and shilling a product for profit. And I hate that this needs to be said, but if one day my best friend started swooning about how amazing a company’s products were, I wouldn’t buy it.
Finding quality products that work for you takes time. No one product is going to work magic on everyone. The internet exists. Google exists. If I’m searching for the ideal product, I can just search for it and a review will pop up. A YouTube video will pop up. And I’m sorry, but I’m gonna trust that beauty YouTuber’s opinion on X Brand’s mascara over that low-resolution Quad Spider Lash Mascara picture you stole from Google Images.
Like, I understand that network marketing can be perceived as “word of mouth”, but as a
paid consultant (who only gets commission on products sold), your bias kind of shows when you’re hawking products left and right. Don’t you use other products from other brands AT ALL?
Like, we’re headed into some used car salesman territory, are you not?
Every company makes a couple good things, a couple mediocre things, a few bad things. Tell me something shitty about a handful of your MLM products and maaaaaaaybe I’ll give your spiel a listen. Otherwise, you’re sending me into joining the antiMLM community in one pitch.
It’s that lack of honesty that kills me.
But what About Affiliate Marketing, Rebecca?
To be honest, I hate affiliate marketing almost as much as I hate MLMs. I feel like it’s ruined the integrity of blogging. I miss old school blogging. Blogs these days are pretty much just machines for shilling out products to make ad revenue. It’s not honest. It’s greedy and it’s frustrating. Network marking is just an entire next level of dishonesty, and it’s a major part of why I drove me into joining the antiMLM side of this debate.
And another thing!
MLMs are hardly modern. Modern shopping is about ease, and the whole idea of having to buy product from a third party instead of just going to the drugstore or buying it off my Sephora app doesn’t seem all that modern.
This is just old-fashioned shit, man. And while I do love my retro vintage aesthetic, I’m not a complete anachronism when it comes to my shopping habits.
#antiMLM it is!
So here I am, feet firmly planted. My research has led me into the arms of the #antiMLM community. In researching for March’s Patreon story, Spellbound, I did a ton of research and found some very engaging content on the subject of MLM’s. The community is full of smart and creative people with YouTube channels and gripping blogs and funny Instagram pages and great podcasts, too!
Wanna join the AntiMLM community? Got any antiMLM stories to tell? Have you ever been a part of one or (like me) were you always a skeptic? What led you down the antiMLM path?
What are you waiting for? Consider joining the antiMLM community now!