If you are on any social media platform, you’ve been bombarded with posts to attend parties, buy shakes, wraps and even join someone’s “team.” As a business coach, I get tagged a lot as a “big fish” for some of my friends and even family. Why? Because if I endorse, share or promote someone’s products my tribe will most likely buy in. I have a very loyal following and they know I only promote things I believe in.
In a recent post on social media, someone asked for “work from home jobs” for moms. This immediately triggered about 400 posts that were basically... join my team, my products are amazing, etc etc. Do these posts bother me. Hell, yes! I absolutely do not teach people to market themselves this way! But I also understand how the person replying, with said business opportunity, sees this as a way to share the thing that currently is bringing her income.
So back to the post. One comment on that particular post really stuck out. That voice said “OMG! All these direct sales and network marketing posts are so predatory.” I’ll be honest, I have a pretty good filter and when something doesn’t interest me I keep on scrolling. I also have no time to engage with keyboard gangsters on social media. But now I was triggered. Was this predatory? Were these moms sharing their passion, their livelihood and their way of making a life for themselves actually predatory?
I mean if I must come clean I promote lots of things and those companies pay me well to do it. I am grateful for affiliate marketing and my ability to make an income online. I provide my tribe with access to valuable information that helps them in their business be in giving them back time freedom or strategies to monetize their brand. For some, they would normally not have access to this information or they might even drown in the endless info available online. For example, when I shared my friend, Courtney Foster-Donohue’s, FB Everything™! This course literally teaches people to run a successful business through marketing themselves on Facebook the right way. She calls it the “Waltz and Wed.” Totally a gift if you ask me.
I also sell books for a direct sales company. I have never had anyone tell me they weren’t interested in my products. Through marketing myself and sharing my story of reading to my daughter, I have people joining my Facebook community daily, tracking me down for tips and book suggestions. You see the only difference between me and those “predatory” posts that are triggering you is that I’ve learned how to build a relationship with my audience. I’ve become a resource and a go-to person. Most would say that’s easy for me since I have been marketing my business and products online for a long time. But the truth is it takes time and for some it takes training. It’s not magic.
When people are posting about “join my business or team” or “click the link to order my shake” what they are really saying is no one taught them the correct way to market and promote their business. Business doesn’t come naturally for everyone. The truth is that if you follow someone online and you really love their style and vibe, you will buy some of the products and suggested things they share. Why? Because we all love recommendations. We live our life through referrals.
When people are posting about “join my business or team” or “click the link to order my shake” what they are really saying is no one taught them the correct way to market and promote their business.
I mean come on! You ask on Facebook for the best doctor, the best school for your kid, which carseat do people love etc. So don’t tell me direct sales and multilevel marketing are predatory. Tell me that people aren’t doing a great job of marketing themselves and that it’s pissing you off. That I can stand in agreement on.
Now what about when someone you follow shows you on their Instagram or newsfeed that they’re potty training their kid on Thursday and Sunday they went to the wine down shindig with their friends and you just fall in love. You start telling people, “oh that girl I follow does XYZ you should check her out.” You’re tuned in to all her stories. Now you’re all in when she shows you her haul from the Target dollar spot. She’s probably getting paid to share that with. Just saying! What about on the 4th day when she shares her shakes that have helped her lose the weight to run after her kids. Girl, you know you’re gonna buy it! That’s the thing. She’s romanced you and showed up in a way that doesn’t feel salesy and slimy.
Some have that thing. That way of telling a story, sharing their life and marketing their business. They manage to come out a gentle dolphin in a sea of sharks. But not everyone understands marketing. Not everyone knows how to share their story. But everyone can say “Here Buy This” because everyone understands they need to make money to pay the rent and making ends meet. So many of the people who you are triggered by are trying to make a living, feed families, keep lights on. Their way and their why might be different then yours. But have a little respect, everyones got to grow and learn. Entrepreneurship is 99% about figuring things out.
Entrepreneurship is 99% about figuring things out.
Perhaps you can help those who market to you by simply sharing with them what about their post or invite made you feel uncomfortable. Better yet...just say “congrats on your (insert thing).” Guess what they took a leap. But the most important thing you can do is not discount someone’s business or insult them for their lack of understanding the ins and outs of relationship building. They are taking a leap and building a life on their terms. Last I checked we’re all still here on this earth learning.