Who else absolutely cringes when they see “hey girl” as the first couple of words in a message from a complete stranger on Facebook?

You, me and the whole world pretty much agree that those predatory messages are the absolute worst. And it’s totally against MLM Marketing 101!

Ever since I went to the Rise Conference last summer, my friends requests and inbox has been overflowing. This past week alone, I’ve gotten a few hundred new requests and no less than a million messages from people I’ve never met or spoken with … which, generally speaking, is pretty awesome. I am ALL about making connections and friendships and supporting other women and I’ve met some AMAZING people as a result.

But, with all that amazingness comes but a single downfall – those dreaded hey girl messages and the automatic adds to groups.

Messages like these:

annoying hey girl messages on facebook

Barf, right? Can you imagine receiving HUNDREDS of messages like this a week? It’s a huge time suck for me, even if I spend only 5 seconds on a message, opening it up and quickly scanning it. If I get 250 of these messages a week (which seems to be about the average lately), times 5 seconds each – that’s more than 20 minutes of my week WASTED. Even more time is gone because when I get these messages, I go and unfriend them because who wants to constantly be sold? Especially in a place that’s supposed to be SOCIAL! That’s the biggest no-no for MLM Marketing 101!

Once upon a time, I used to try and talk with these cold messengers about marketing, but it usually fell on deaf ears (or I guess blind eyes, since it’s all on messenger). Many of them think they’re just being friendly and trying to share a product, but let’s be honest: they’re actually trying to make a sale or have someone join their team. That’s their ultimate endgame goal.

There’s absolutely nothing positive, friendly or unselfish about cold messaging complete strangers. 

The fact that some mentors tell women that friending someone just to cold message like a vulture is a GOOD marketing practice is just absolutely mind-blowing to me. I’m part of two MLMs (Color Street and Monat), and the idea of scouring Facebook to try and make a quick buck from complete strangers just doesn’t cross my mind. My team leaders and the home office for both companies absolutely do NOT support this method of marketing.

MLM Marketing 101

Why those hey girl messages on Facebook don’t work

In all of my marketing courses in getting my Bachelor’s degree in marketing and my 10 years in marketing research and education, not one professor, educator, influencer, or successful mom boss I’ve ever talked to has recommended this as a successful method of marketing. Even as a professional photographer, I would NEVER jump into someone’s inbox without their expressed permission or request to do so. In fact, I can’t even show up in your inbox with my newsletter without your permission because it’s against the terms of service (and rightfully so!).

These types of messages come across as desperate.

They come across as spammy.

They are annoying.

These types of messages will NOT attract your IDEAL clients.

And they will NOT make you rich or successful.

I’ve finally had enough.

A few weeks ago, I made a pretty polarizing post on my personal Facebook about it because quite frankly, I got irritated that I was being preyed on because I’m a woman, because I’m not super fit, because of my health issues and because I’m a businesswoman.

I’ve had people message me telling me I need to lose weight (rude!), that my skin could benefit from their product (rude!), that my social media engagement could benefit from their services (rude!), that I could make more friends if I joined their team (rude!), that I could use their style tips and products (rude!). I mean, the pure lady-balls on some of these women messaging me is absolutely unreal and mind-blowing.

The truth is, ask anyone and they’ll tell you this type of marketing is the absolute worst, so I wanted to blog about this topic because it affects a lot of women I know both as a business owner and a potential client.

After my post on Facebook, I had a couple of people get super upset that I was ‘calling out’ and ‘shaming’ these women in my post and to these women, I say this:

  1. I’m NOT in any way, shape or form ‘shaming’ someone anyone. I want them to do better.
  2. I do NOT feel like I’m better than anyone. I’m human and make mistakes, too.
  3. I’m ALL ABOUT women supporting women. Predatory messaging is not women supporting women.
  4. And I’m allowed to have an opinion. And I’m going to share it.

I’m allowed to share my experiences and I want to open up a conversation about MLM Marketing 101 so that women who might not know better can do better.

MLM marketing 101: we do better when we know better

What YOU can do to better market to your target clientele!

So now that you get the backstory of why I’m writing this blog – lets get down to the nitty gritty. You, my friend, my reader, my dear sister in sales and marketing – you can do so much better.

Think about the most successful women you know – in real life or online. I like to think about women like Jenna Kutcher, Jasmine Star, Lindsey Roman, Rachel Hollis, Jen Hatmaker, Brene Brown, Jordan Lee Dooley, Suze Orman … freaking OPRAH! Or MLM mommas kicking ass and taking names like CJ Summers, Kelli France, Jacqueline (Blahut) Berg, Jessica Buwick or Spanki Mills.

What do these women have in common? They’re from all different backgrounds – races, ages, careers, education, marital status, motherhood status, economics, social statuses and specialities. But what makes them all similar?

They’re all authentically, and unapologetically, themselves.

You see, these women are incredibly intelligent and they’re the hardest workers in the room. They show up every single day. They share their wins, their losses and everything in between. Each of them have products they want you to purchase – whether it’s physical products like books or jewelry, educational products like workshops or e-courses, or they’ve aligned themselves with products they fully support like Color Street or Monat (like me!).

Instead of sales-sales-sales all the time, they invite us into their lives.

These women show us the who, what, where, when and why of THEMSELVES.

They get us invested in their story. And get us invested in their dreams.

Soon, we’re cheering them on.

… And then we’re looking at their products, messaging and what they have to offer.

… … Before we know it, we’re not only cheering them on, but we’re actively and financially supporting them.

Supporting women in business comes in all forms.

Maybe we’re only lurking, and sharing their events and we’re recommending them to our friends. Or maybe we’re showing up on their social medias to like and comment on their posts. We might just buy their e-course or their book. Sometimes, we join their teams because we want what they’ve got or we believe in what they’re working on.

Ashley Durham

MLM Marketing 101: My Top Tips That Don’t Make You Spammy

  1. Don’t cold message people. Don’t even message them an initial, “hey girl, thanks for adding me as your friend” before you launch into your cold prospect speech after they respond.
  2. Become likable and worthy of support. How? Invite people into your life. Share your story, your dreams and your goals – and I’m not talking about, “I want to be an executive national level director for my company.” Instead, take your company out of the equation and share about where you want to be – you want to send your kid to college, you want to take a dream vacation with your spouse, you’re working your ass off for your upcoming wedding, you are recovering from chemo and just want your hair to come in healthy. Whatever your WHY is, tell us!!!
    I firmly believe every woman has a story and a reason for doing what she does when she joins an MLM – and it’s usually not only financial. No one joins an MLM just for the money – share your reason BEHIND that. Give us a reason to cheer you on other than simply making money.
  3. Naturally incorporate your products into your life on social media. Look at Heidi Powell – she’s a fitness enthusiast, a momma, a wife and a businesswoman. Do you see her ONLY talking about her business? No. Look at Jenna Kutcher – she’s a social media influencer and podcaster who made $7 million last year without forcing her business down our throats. Check out Lindsey Roman, who co-created an educational platform for photographers that grossed over a million dollars in 2019 – all while talking about her life, her family, and her photography clients. Or Kelli France, whose Color Street team grossed $4.7 million in the month of December 2019 alone and she did it simply by showing up and empowering others.
    Jenna Kutcher teaches the “jab, jab, jab, left hook!” mentality in her Instagram course. That means you gotta jab (share yourself) way more than you toss out your hooks (your business) and it’s solid advice.
  4. Always ask for permission first. Invite your clients to join your group on Facebook, but don’t just automatically add them. Encourage your followers to join your email list, so you can show up in their inbox. People like to be given the choice!! And, honestly – when someone wants to hear from you, rather than has to hear from you, they’re going to be much more receptive to what you have to say.

mlm marketing 101

Want to learn more about growing your business? Elevating your brand? Reaching your target client through authentic marketing!?

Then let’s chat!

MLM Marketing 101: Why Those HEY GIRL Messages on Facebook Don’t Work

January 29, 2020

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I'm Ashley! Family and wedding photographer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but I travel all over the country to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, incredible light and firmly believe that love conquers all.

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