The Real Cost of Social Selling: Exploring the Hidden Dangers

May 14, 2024

Are you currently gathering links like a toll collector? That’s the world we’re living in right now when it comes to social selling. The link collecting era. Everyone and their mom, it seems, has a link these days to something. It could be nontoxic laundry detergent, high end skin care products, their favorite beef jerky, supplements.

The Proliferation of Social Selling and Affiliate Links

You name it, there’s a link for it. Gone are the days of exclusivity where only certain influencers have access to these codes and referral links. Remember the good old days when you had to have 10,000 followers in order to gain the swipe up feature? And then, of course, people circumvent that issue by paying for followers. Totally messed up your page, right, and your engagement.

And then the whole swipe up feature became a moot point when they gave it to everyone because no one can make money but meta. Right? But still, at the time, you know, while people had the swipe up feature, they were behind the game with the actual codes and the links.

So it still somewhat felt like a special club if you were included. Well, these days, as with everything else, the participation trophy has now entered the chat. Everyone has some kind of code that they’re making money off of.

My coworkers always tease me, no matter what it is, they see me eating, drinking, talking about something like, you have a code for that? So I’m definitely not an innocent player in this game.

I certainly have a multitude of codes.

But what I will tell you is there’s a big difference between having a ton of codes and earning passive income from them versus the person who has all of these codes, but they’re collecting dust. And it has nothing to do with your follower count.

And right now, you have 2 camps that are a little salty about the social selling sphere game, whatever you wanna call it. And their negativity, it truthfully could be passed along to you if you allow it, and they could make you think that there isn’t an opportunity for you to sell on social media, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

The Controversy Surrounding Network Marketing Companies

So first, let’s talk about the ones who belong to particular network marketing companies that are receiving a lot of heat right now and potentially I’m not saying definitely, but potentially could be crumbling literally, like, right before our very eyes. And much of which I blame both the executives of the companies and some of the social sellers themselves.

If you get greedy, it will always blow up in your face. So in this particular context, I’m talking about you, Beautycounter and Monat. The drama that is unfolding on social media, legit, is Real Housewives level, and it has all of the Reddit trolls salivating right now.

Specific Companies Under Scrutiny: Critiques and issues facing Beautycounter and Monat.

In case you didn’t know, the abridged version, I’ll save more of this for an extensive dive in the future, but Beautycounter has removed its consultant platform until Q4 of 2024. As I mentioned on Instagram stories this week, I personally, this is my own opinion. K? I think that that is a death sentence for this particular consultant network marketing opportunity. Hear me out. K?

In order to be relevant in this ever evolving social media world, you need to be seen, you need to be heard, and most importantly, people need to be engaging with you. That’s how you build trust and gain more customers.

You cannot rest on your laurels.

And it’s no secret in the corporate world, paid leave, otherwise known as garden leave, is typically 6 months, which is essentially what this is for Beautycounter. And the reason that they have that time period is because, say, you’re currently working for Apple, and then you decide, hey, I’m gonna switch to the green chat, I’m gonna go work for Samsung.

They don’t want you taking all of your knowledge of the research and development that’s been going on, your personal contacts, marketing tools, etcetera, over to the competitor right away. Instead, it’s cheaper for the current company.

So let’s say, in this case, say it was Apple, to pay you for the next 6 months. You’re not working. Right?

You’re literally at home living your best life. You know? And then once you move over to the next company, basically, all of the relevant information that you had 6 months ago is now irrelevant. That’s just how it works in these corporate entities. And here’s a little tea that’s gonna make you feel like you’re literally in the hair salon sitting underneath the dryer.

You’ll see what I did there when I continue. But on April 24, 2020 4, the former president of Monat, Stuart McMillan, sued the founders and CEO of Monat, Lewis and Rayner Urdinada Urdinada. Say that name, like, 5 times fast.

And McMillan is claiming that he’s owed 1,000,000 pursuant to a signed profit sharing agreement that he had with them.

Overview of social media drama and the reaction from the community and those involved in these companies.

And here are a few of his claims that are in the document. These are all documents that are accessible online. And like I said, the Reddit trolls are having a field day because they are spicy. He’s claiming that the Urdinada’s paid for, quote, personal and household expenses for Monat bank accounts.

They paid for family members and friends to attend company incentive trips, which are supposed to be incentive rewards for the actual Monat Distributors that they’re qualifying for.

And they were using Monat funds to pay off their personal credit cards for non business expenses. A $150,000 per month. That’s what’s being cited in the court documents. Not to mention, you now have, like, these top OG Monet distributors who are getting their accounts axed, canceled out of nowhere.

And they’re speaking out, and they’re suing as well. It’s a complete and utter you know what show. Like, let’s just put it that way.

And like I said, greed is a real thing. It’s one of the 10 deadly sins. Like, money changes people for real. And now the reason why I’m bringing this tea up to you briefly, right, is because many of these distributors and network marketing companies, like I’ve mentioned, okay, the Beautycounter, the Monet, quite frankly, they maybe they haven’t just been listening to me. I don’t know. Or they think they know better. 

But I’ve been shouting from the rooftops since I started in network marketing, which, by the way, was over a decade ago, that you should never put all of your dang eggs into one basket.

And hear me out. Like, I see why some did. So for example, one of the top Monat ladies went live on Instagram this week and said that she made 15,000,000, 1 5, in 10 years. I mean, that’s pretty freaking good. Right?

She also went on to say that she wasn’t joining another company. Like, you know, that wasn’t the deal because sometimes people do that. Right? Then they jump to the next opportunity. And I pray that that’s because she was one of the ones who was smart enough to divest her income and put it in other areas.

Maybe she has, you know, a SEP IRA and a money mutual account. Maybe she has real estate. I have no idea. I don’t even know this lady. But those on Reddit cheering from the cheap seats and the rest of the sour grapes who now no longer have any income coming into their accounts either for the next 6 months or perhaps indefinitely, they didn’t listen.

They put all of their time, money, and effort into one company, one opportunity. And I’m telling you, that is just there’s no other way to say it, but that’s dumb.

And it’s sad because many of these people were convinced that direct sales provided job security or that they couldn’t be laid off or fired like in corporate America, which is ridiculous when you think about it.

**Lessons to Be Learned:**

These examples serve as cautionary tales. They underscore the importance of not only choosing the right company to partner with but also understanding that greed and poor management can lead to disaster. For beginners, align yourself with reputable, transparent companies that value their partners.

Spread your risks by diversifying your income streams. Relying solely on one network marketing company or one type of product can lead to financial vulnerability, as seen with some high-ranking Monat distributors who lost their income streams abruptly.

And I’ve talked about that ad nauseam. Direct sale companies have corporate offices, CEOs, you know, a whole legal team, corporate team behind them. Like, heck, my company, as I’ve told you, is now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Money changes people. Full stop.

Greed starts seeping in, and it affects all areas, especially leadership. Direct sales was never secure, and I feel sorry for those who were sold a dream that they could retire their spouse and be at home with their babies. Now was I at home with my baby for almost 2 years? For sure.

I was. But like everything, all good things must come to an end, and money just straight up doesn’t grow on trees, y’all. It’s earned. And I knew that, and I rode the wave for as long as I did, and I’m grateful for it.

These folks who are pissed, sad, and quite frankly, a lot of them are shocked. Right? They, you know, they’ve just bought in, you know, to the whole thing and didn’t see it coming. They wanna blame things rather than, like, being accountable for their lack of business sense, quite frankly.

They wanna blame things like social media for creating a shiny object syndrome where people could easily connect and jump ship to the next opportunity because of someone they met online who provided them with a quote, unquote better offer.

Which, of course, as you can connect the dots, leads to fallout for the company, the teams involved. But the reality is you can’t put the big blame on social media. Instead, it needs to be on the quote, unquote leaders. Yes. I’m literally using air quotes because they have zero business sense and background, and they just bought into this hype rather than learning the compensation plan and understanding how business evolves and changes.

And this is why, like I said, those Reddit trolls, they salivate, and they love using words like cult mentality and this, this, that, and the other things. Because when you can’t think for yourself as a true business owner and and look outside your little sphere, you’re gonna get knocked on your you know what when things do hit the fan. But if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Building Genuine Connections:

The key to successful social selling isn’t just sharing links—it’s about creating meaningful interactions with your audience. Maren emphasizes the importance of engagement: understanding and discussing the products authentically and integrating them into your regular social media content.

I’m just saying. It’s just like those who are signed up with every affiliate opportunity, collecting links, and they think they’re gonna be one viral reel away from a gazillion clicks on their code and wake up to, you know, all this money in their bank account. And then, you know, and then their PayPal. It’s not reality, bro. Okay.

Leveraging Content and Planning Strategically

So let’s move on from those folks. And let’s talk about the people who are trying to participate in the game of social selling, but they’re like hamsters on the wheel thinking that they just need the right amount of followers or the perfect website to promote them on.

So they’re literally stuck in this analysis paralysis mode, not sure what the next steps are to take, feeling like, if I just had this, if I just had that, I’d be killing it.

You know, they’ve collected all the links, but they aren’t earning an income. And it’s not because they don’t have the link tree set up. It’s not because their email list isn’t huge, Or heck, for some of them, they might not even be curated. Let’s be real.

Worst case scenario, some of these people think that they need a website. Now, I have a website, but I’m telling you, you don’t need a website to earn an income. What it comes down to is these folks in this camp truly aren’t finding monetization opportunities because they don’t have a freaking plan. So wax on and wax off, little grasshopper, and listen to me.

Strategies for Successful Social Selling

  • Content and Engagement Over Tools
  • Consistent and Relevant Messaging
  • Realistic Expectations and Efforts

The bells and whistles aren’t, seriously, are not what is going to keep you from generating income. They’re just shiny objects, and they will get you distracted from what you really need to do.

That’s why I get so dang fed up with these master resell rights programs nonsense because they’re getting people distracted from what they truly need to do.

And that is connect, be authentic, and plan your content for your users, so that they can absorb it properly, that they can have their questions answered so that they, like, can understand your language and what you’re offering and what the product is about.

It isn’t about some, like, random link you throw up. Okay?

It’s about proving to people that you know what the product is about, that you do your research. You need to be authentic with your sharing. Why do you use it? How come you chose this product to put in your home? Why did you replace such and such with this? Why do your people need it too? The ones who are following you on social media.

It’s not and this is the best. It’s like when people share a link once, and, well, I didn’t sell anything. Okay. Well, homie, like, are you talking about it more than once? Do you realize that most people do not spend their time on social media the way that you do as a business owner.

The average person is not on there watching stories, creating content like they’re consuming, but they’re not even consuming at the same level at which you are because you’re doing a lot, I hope, for market research, not just dinking around watching cat videos, but they’re just not on there.

So you need to do this to be part of your brand. And, I mean, if you’re truly using said products, it should be easy. Right? Like for me, my red light therapy device, I use it very frequently, and I make sure that I talk about it whenever we need it.

If someone in my family has some kind of injury, I talk about it when, you know, we’ve been sick or if my baby’s been sick. I talk about how it relates to my skin care routine and producing collagen and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Obviously, you know, I’ll amp it up as I know that they have a sale coming on or if there’s a certain season, whether it’s Black Friday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, like where it could be a great gift.

So it’s about planning your content. For the right time in the perfect season, literally and figuratively, and in a way that’s unique to you. It’s not about the stuff, the busy work of the website, heck of the podcast. Right?

You know, all of these things that I personally have, the website, to the social media, the help. Right? The marketing team that I have, the email list that is thousands and thousands of people, the podcast.

Like, that’s all residual stuff that I’ve been doing for over a decade. I didn’t have that when I first started. I definitely didn’t even have it when I had my first 6 figure year. I didn’t have those things. They’re not necessary.

So if you’re lost on how to even get started on this, but you know that you wanna make an income online. You need passive income. You wanna have another stream of money coming into your family to help pay for whatever it is that you need.

I don’t care if it’s your mortgage, you know, something heavy like your mortgage, your car payment, your heat and electric bill, or if it’s planning for something fun for yourself, a vacation that you’ve been dying to go on. I’ve got you.

My 90-Day Program – A Guided Path to Success:

For those feeling overwhelmed by where to start, My 90-day live group coaching program promises to be a resource-packed, guidance-oriented initiative that helps you cut through the noise and set up a solid foundation for your social selling business.

I literally created a 90 day live group coaching program to help you stop wasting your time and start making income, to help you navigate through the BS and the negativity that I talked about earlier and actually make some freaking moves. I’m not gonna give you some boring modules that you’ll never watch.

I’m not gonna ask you to drop money and then dip set on you and peace out. You’re never gonna hear from me again. Actual help that is unique to your income goals and your industry from someone who has been building multiple streams of income for over a decade, doing it the right way.

I want you to be prepared if there’s ever a fallout because it’s inevitable.

There will be for everyone. There was for me, as I’ve told you. And I want you to know that that’s normal, but you need to be prepared for it. And if you’re that person that is hesitant, because you’ve seen these fallouts happen, I’m telling you, that’s just normal business behavior.

We need to get those wheels turning so you’re not the hamster just collecting links, running, running, running, running, running over and over again and doing nothing with them. So, what are you gonna do?

Maren Crowley head shot

90-Day Financial Upgrade with Maren Crowley

Master Your Money

Level Up Your Finances and Achieve the Lifestyle You’ve Always Dreamed Of

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

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