Chapter 6 – Let There Be Huns

Before reading Chapter 6 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement hereIn a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

At the end of Chapter 5, the Butterfly Babes were flapping around in the group chat, attempting to comfort an evidently distressed Bethany.

“OMG, what’s happened hun?? ❤ < 3”

“Is everything okay, babes?? 😥 ”

“PM me hun, if you don’t want to talk about it here!! ❤ ”

Bethany responded with a simple: 😥

“Bethany, hun…instead of being cryptic, it would really help if you’d actually tell us!” said Scarlett.

And so, Bethany opened up to us and told us what was wrong, in…

Chapter 6 – Let There Be Huns

Basically, she’d seen how well the other Butterfly Babes were doing, and it made feel like she wasn’t doing enough.  No one on her friends-list seemed interested in her Beautiful Butterflies Cosmetics business, so she decided to think outside of the box.

She went into a Facebook “Buy & Sell” group for her local area, and had posted this…

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MLM Observations – Random Hunbot Friend Requests

Before reading any of my multi-level marketing observations, please remind yourself of my mission statement hereIn a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

Oh, and don’t forget, you can subscribe to my blog and get email updates whenever I make a new post – you don’t even need a WordPress account.

As well as sharing my not-quite-fairy-tale about my time as a former Younique hunbot (remember, #Younique is #Poonique), I would also like to share my observations and opinions about the activities of present-day MLM bots.

Let’s start with…

Random Friend Requests

Back when I was a hunbot, our Imperial Elite Green Overlord Presenter, Tania, set daily and weekly challenges for us, her “First Generation” downlines.

The key one – which I flat-out refused to do – was “add ten new Facebook friends every day.”

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Tania’s logic was, add new friends, be positive, ‘like’ and comment on every one of their posts for a week so we’d appear in their newsfeed, and eventually strike up a conversation about our “amazing opportunity” and how wonderful the products are.

Obviously I will go into more depth on this in future chapters of my tale, as the main point of this article is to offer some friendly advice to the hunbots out there.  

So listen up – whether you’re Younique, Juice Plus, Forever Living, LulaRoe or any of those other pyramid schemes floating around…

THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE RANDOM FRIEND REQUESTS

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Chapter 5 – Groups, Glorious Groups!

Before reading Chapter 5 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement hereIn a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

At the end of Chapter 4, I was at a point where my mercury was well and truly rising.

Of course, it was mainly thanks to Scarlett scolding me like I was a naughty child, despite the fact we were both women beyond our mid-twenties.  That was starting to irk me; what had happened to the casual way we’d speak to one another?  Now, it felt like I was talking to someone in the boardroom of The Apprentice.

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(Photo: BBC)

So, I decided to take a step back and observe.  Observe what, you ask?  Well, it seemed prudent to look at the way my fellow Butterflies conducted their closed-privacy Facebook “VIP” groups.  

After all, the minute I joined Scarlett’s team, I found myself added into practically every Y-sister’s VIP group under the sun.  I’m sure that many of you have received a fair few invites to these in your time, be it Jamberry, Younique or any other MLM scheme. 😉

This takes us to…

Chapter 5 – Groups, Glorious Groups!
(of the VIP variety)

You’ll also recall in Chapter 4 that I was prompted to choose a butterfly-related brand name, and discovered what some of the other girls had named theirs.  As Bethany and her Beautiful Butterfly Cosmetics group was as new as mine, she wasn’t much use for my observational research.  So, I decided to take a look at what Harriet was up to, with the elaborately-named Hatty’s Butterfly Bonanza.  She had been a presenter for around a month or so longer than I.

Upon checking Harriet’s VIP Facebook group, I was dumbfounded to see that she already had nigh-on 1000 members.  How?

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Reblog: How to help someone in an MLM

Chapter 5 is halfway written, ladies and gents. I am but a perfectionist!

In the meantime, here is a highly relevant article from Bot Watch, a brilliant anti-MLM blogger. Some of you may already know people who are in the grip of a MLM scheme – this piece gives you some pointers on what to do.

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I have complied this factsheet in an attempt to help you understand what your friend or relative is going through and how you can best help them out of this situation. I have gleaned this information from reading books on the subject and background research on MLMs and cults.

A word of warning. This is a very difficult subject and people can be emotionally and financially tied up in these schemes and can be very vulnerable. If you attempt to help them and you feel you may be making it worse, back off. They will be vulnerable and you don’t want to make things worse. Just remember, you are on their side and want to help them.

Notes on this article

I will refer to the person in the MLM from now on as ‘your friend’ to avoid repeatedly having to say ‘friend/relative/colleague/person you care about.’

Some other sources of…

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Chapter 4 – Hundora’s Box

Before reading Chapter 4 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

As noted in Chapter 3, 2015 was almost drawing to a close, and my final piece of coursework for the autumn term had been handed in.  For a while, I was free.

That meant it was time to open the box.

Scarlett was overjoyed that after well over a month, I was now actually going to get on the way to rocking my business.

“Eeeek, exciting!  Make sure you video it, hun!” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, to show how excited you are, of course!  Get the people on your friends-list intrigued and interested – you WANT them to be curious, and you want them to get hyped up!!!”

I cast my mind back to Kerri’s video – you know, the one where cooed over the “amaaaaazing” quality of the products?  I’ll be honest, that video didn’t hype me up – unfortunately, it made me somewhat cringe.  Yes, I wanted to make a success of this little venture, but I really did not want to make a video.  Was it because I didn’t believe in myself, was I putting up barriers and resisting a new way of thinking?

Who knew, at this early stage of the game.

This takes us to…

Chapter 4 – Opening Hundora’s Box

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting it to be like opening a treasure chest or anything.  However, when I opened this life-changing black box to reveal the plunder inside, I was significantly underwhelmed.  In Kerri’s video, she had looked like she’d discovered the Holy Grail or the Lost City of Atlantis.  Was she seeing something I couldn’t?

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Chapter 3 – Enter the Charlat-huns

Before reading Chapter 3 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

Firstly, I apologise for the delay in my writing schedule – the joys of having an invisible illness (fibromyalgia, if you must know).  However, I am here and ready to share the next instalment of my MLM saga.

When I left you in Chapter 2, I was about to purchase my Younique Presenter Kit, using the referral link from the absolutely ecstatic Scarlett.

Thus begins…

Chapter 3 – Enter the Charlet-huns

So, I went through the motions – typing in my details, electronically signing my life away…then came the purchasing of this kit.  You know, the thing that Scarlett assured me would change my life?

So, the princely sum of £69 was committed via my bank card – not to mention £6.95 for the privilege of posting it to me.   Scarlett assured me that this £75.95 was a worthy investment, and once again reminded me of how I’d “soon make that money back”.

“Okay, Scarlett – all confirmed and paid for.”

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!” came the reply.

In the next moment, my Facebook went dotty with notifications.

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Chapter 2 – Hook, Line and Stinker

Before reading Chapter 2 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

When I closed off Chapter 1, I was about to message Scarlett, having been impressed by the “My Business Journey” video I’d just watched.  I was curious.  Maybe it was the mention of the iPad (even though I detest Apple products), or maybe it was the confident and self-assured air she delivered her speech with.  Or, if I’m really honest, maybe it was the prospect of earning a nice bit of extra income.  I don’t know, but like I said, I was curious.

This takes us to…

Chapter 2 – Hook, Line and Stinker

I am of course paraphrasing the conversation below for the benefit of writing a cohesive blog, but it  went a little something like this.

“Hey, Scarlett,” I typed.

“Hello babe ❤ 😊” came the response.

[Elle’s note: I despise being called babe, hun, sweetie…and little did I know, I was going to have to deal with a whole barrage of that talk in the coming months!]

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Chapter 1 – Getting Reeled In

Before reading my Not Quite Fairy-Tale about my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

Okay, let’s begin.

Every story needs to begin somewhere, so it makes sense to start with how I got embroiled in the “Y-life”.  So, in this first instalment, I will tell you how I was reeled in like a carp on a fisherman’s hook, in…

Chapter 1 – Getting Reeled In

To set the scene, its late autumn of 2015 and I am browsing through Facebook.  You know the drill; you just absentmindedly scroll through your newsfeed when you’re bored.  My eyes were instantly drawn to a selfie posted by a pretty friend of mine called Scarlett.  She was always into her makeup and new trends, and she was showing off some glittery eyeshadow and super, crazy long eyelashes to boot.

“Loving this Tenacious Splurge by Younique,” she posted.  “And can’t believe the results from just ONE coat of the 3D+ Fibre Lash Mascara – these products are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Hmm, yes she does look quite nice, I thought, before scrolling on.  I’ll be honest, I never was the type to drool over MAC or the latest YSL lipstick.  However, Scarlett had always been talented at doing her makeup, so I had to give her credit there.

That was the moment when I first noticed Younique.

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And the first topic is…

Ah, hello there.  Thank you for stopping by.  My name is…well, that information isn’t necessary. Just call me Elle Beau for now, if you will (elbow, geddit?). That sounds quite fairy-tale-like, doesn’t it?

This little blog will be to anonymously share my experiences of tetchy subjects – some things that may create a backlash, outrage, flounces…you name it. However, if my writing can help at least one person from making the mistakes I did, then I’ll be happy with that.

This is my first post, and subsequently my first topic of discussion.

I’m going to start with throwing a few company names at you.  Here we go…

Juice Plus, Forever Living, Younique, Herbalife, Maëlle, Jamberry!

…are you groaning yet?  If not, I’m sure you will be.  To open this blog, I thought I’d post about is the joy of MLMs and my experience of them.

What is that, I hear you cry!

For reference, it stands for multi-level marketing (also known as network marketing, direct selling, referral marketing, and – dare I say it – pyramid selling).  Wikipedia have a good explanation of the definition here.

Before I begin though, I wish to point out the obvious – all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively  – you may actually be one of the “success stories” I always heard so much about, the ones livin’ the dream, hun. 😉

Also, there are some MLMs I don’t particularly have a problem with – I know some very happy customers of Avon, Scentsy and Neal’s Yard Remedies, to name a few.  However, I do have a problem with the behaviour and tactics witnessed by some MLM “presenters”, which is what I am going to tell you about here.

All names and locations will be changed to protect the identities of individuals, including me!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my blog and get email updates whenever I make a new post – you don’t even have to have a WordPress account.

I would also like to add that I am now fighting the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow.  Alternatively, find Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook.

Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch and Timeless Vie.  They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision .  In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers.

For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to.  Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.