Friday, 8 September 2017

Dear Network Marketers: Please Stop

Bristol Blogger Network Marketing Problems Juice Plus Social Media
If you use LinkedIn or Facebook then you’ll probably be just as frustrated by the number of spam/marketing messages you get every day, telling you about their wonderful product that you can’t possibly live without (which you’ve survived perfectly fine without until they crawled into your inbox). They’re irritating but on the whole they’re a mild annoyance that you just ignore as you get on with your day - apart from this week. 

Today I opened my LinkedIn messages to find a misguided network marketer offering me “exclusive access” to her “body confidence products”. I kind of knew what she was on about but wanted to make sure before I let myself be irritated by her message, and sure enough her “body confidence products” were meal replacement juices that so say help you gently lose weight - in reality the reason you’re losing weight is because you’re basically starving yourself. These “meal replacement juices” don’t replace your meals at all - a lot of the time you don’t even get enough nutrients to hit your base metabolic rate (the number of calories required to sustain basic bodily functions). The worst part of all of this? I genuinely think she believed what she was pushing was a miracle cure. 

 Negative Effects of Social Media Network Marketing Opportunities

I feel like recently everyone is a marketing expert,  regardless of training or experience. These network marketing “opportunities” are sometimes scams, but most of the time it’s a pyramid scheme designed to make people at the top plenty of money while the ones at the bottom do the legwork. By legwork I mean sending strangers unsolicited messages about buying a product that they don’t want or to push them to join their “team” so that they can make more money, selling you a dream that often never becomes reality. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people that conduct network marketing responsibly but they’re few and far between.

My real issue with this is the likes of Juice Plus and other meal replacements, fad diets or weight loss supplements, and in particular the way that these unskilled marketers try to push their products. It’s not something I talk about publicly but as a plus size blogger I get people pushing their luck in my inbox often multiple times a day. These marketing amateurs seem to think that I can’t possibly be happy with my image at my size (they obviously haven’t read my blog) and I end up sending the usual spiel of “do you not realise what you could be doing to someone’s confidence?” before blocking them. For me, it’s an annoyance but it’s not an issue. 

But let’s think about this for a second. We don’t all share every moment of our lives online - we share the highlights reel. It’s probably pretty unlikely that someone is going to share their body confidence struggles or a battle with an eating disorder. For people like us body confidence is usually a struggle because we’ve spent so long being told that we’re not right. You have no idea what someone has gone through and while I block and move on, it could take just one of those messages pushing untested weight loss products to push someone over the edge into a spiral of low confidence.

Imagine you’re struggling to be happy with your image, you’re 95% there but not quite. Then you find a clueless marketer in your inbox asking if you’d like help losing weight. When you’re not 100% there it’s easy for the doubts to creep in. “Am I that fat?” “Do I look that bad that even strangers think I need to lose weight?” “Am I honestly that ugly?” 

Bristol blogger talking about problems with network marketing opportunities

I feel like these work from home “opportunities” have given rise to people that are only after some quick cash, and instead of seeing someone who’s possibly vulnerable they see a target. I understand that not everyone has been able to study marketing (I haven’t) but please, if you HAVE to become a rep try to at least be a little sensitive to what someone might be going through. And for God’s sake, stop assuming that because I’m not a size 8 I’m not happy with my body. And even if I wasn’t, it’s really none of your business. 

Have you had these messages too? How did you deal with them? 

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 

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