Three ways MLMs are piggybacking on legitimate business tactics and why it doesn’t work.

by Kathryn Minchew, Pyromaniac Chef

Check out Kathryn’s business here. Her website makes us hungry.

 

  • Posting on Facebook groups

 

When you are a genuine business owner, Facebook groups embrace you. I have shared stories about my restaurant in a Kota hut in Kota hut owner groups and have received wonderful feedback. Then, when I have had something to sell (such as my cook book inspired by my Kota hut) I have received an enthusiastic response (since I have built up a relationship and of course, my product is new and interesting). I belong to a group that shares PR ideas and I was so impressed with one woman’s approach that I immediately supported her crowdfunding campaign for a children’s novel. People get excited about passionate people sharing their story when it is within a subject area which interests them.

 

But in an MLM it is not your story.  No matter how passionate the individual, it is still a script. A story being regurgitated from marketing packs and conferences.

 

  • My wonderful life as seen on Instagram

 

Of course my Instagram shows a highly edited version of my life but it is still true. The cute wooden building in a garden is my restaurant in my garden. The smoker and the pistachio Kitchenaid are how I cook. Do my kids get frozen pizza now and then? Sure they do but I don’t show it because it’s not what my business is about. An edited business profile is about communicating what I want to discuss (food, fire and hygge) in order that people gain an impression of my business that is ultimately realistic. I sell food, fire and hygge products and services; I don’t sell frozen pizza.

 

But in an MLM the editing is about creating a version of a life which misleads. Far from seeking to zone in on a core message based on business reality, they are portraying a fake version of events. I get tagged in images of people in my restaurant or my candles in their home; MLMs have to tag themselves.

 

  • Be my friend

 

I add loads of people on my social media accounts. How else do you build up your online network? I talk to them and some become customers and some become suppliers. I have a lovely story about how this works. I posted a picture of a cup of coffee which attracted a like and a follow from a coffee supplier, I looked at them and liked what they did so started buying my coffee from them. Then they liked everything I posted about coffee. Another of their customers saw this and wondered who I was so looked at my profile. They then booked into my restaurant. I only know this story because I was giving my little talk during the coffee part of the meal and the man in question said the reason they’d come was because if I was smart enough to get my coffee from that supplier, I must be pretty good. That is how networking works. We build trust.

 

But an MLM has closed off 50% of what makes business flow. You can’t do something for another person (no, selling me an “opportunity” is not something for me), you can only sell. If you cannot offer someone something, how can you expect to develop a relationship with them?

Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing your insights with us.  If you are a business owner,  and would like to be featured on the blog, drop us a line. 

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