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MLM language targets and takes advantage of those who are struggling

(EDITORIAL) That out-of-the-blue message that starts off almost *too* hilariously nice or that flashy #BossBabe? They’re being used, and you’re next.

MLM pyramid scheme uses predatory language to draw in the vulnerable.

We continue our dissection of the culture surrounding MLM culture. What used to live in your grandmother’s neighbor’s living room has now found life on social media – and this gives sellers ample space to stand in their wrongness and be wrong.

Now, let me say that this does not apply to all MLM-ers. Some operate their side hustle (or as their main hustle) as a way to make extra cash and sell a product they believe in. They also make time to share with others how to learn more about the business end if that so interests them.

The ethics come into question when MLM-ers begin throwing out unrealistic positives as to what potential sellers can expect from onboarding an MLM.

We’ve heard the popular ones like “the ability to work from anywhere” and “set your own hours,” but now it’s getting more into the vein of “one click and you’ll be a millionaire in the next fiscal year.”

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As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Such is the case with a viral TikTok from an MLM-er who spews oddities like “sell non-income-producing objects.”

Wait, what?

That is simply ridiculous. Then they offer the normal cost-saving objective of cutting out unnecessary expenses.

Then it gets concerning when the poster begins encouraging viewers to “apply for credit cards” or “borrow the money” to get the business running.

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Ok, tell me more! (So I can get in a risky financial position!)

They also recommend to “take out business loans” and “finance it.” Yeah, because it’s always just as simple as that.

Then comes the numbers with the recommendation of “$10,000 for 12 months of mentorship” with “70 multimillionaire mentors.” Totally no big deal. Just take out a loan for a down payment on a mortgage to get superfluous “advice” from unnamed sources. Brilliant.

Then comes the tough love. “Stop playing small and take your business seriously.”

Yeah! Stop being cautious with your money and drain your kids’ college funds, already!

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The TikTok ends with the (not so) humble brag of “makes $20k in sales in 7 days and helps 4 families get access to true health & never pay for water again.”

A bit of a leap in conversation if you ask me. If that’s factual, good on them. But how dare you lead people to think making five figures in just one week is feasible.

Sure, this can happen…in an incredibly unlikely scenario but, hey, anything’s possible.

At the end of the day, these types of MLM-ers are preying on people who might not have other options or might not be financially educated or both. It gives a false sense of hope that it could be easy and that they could be lucky.

What the MLM-ers are leaving out are the thousands of dollars in start funds it took for them to just make a few hundred dollars. Not to mention the several studies indicating those in the MLM-sphere actually make much profit – with just a half-percent making six figures.

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The truth of the matter is, this misinformation will continue to spread just as MLMs have continued to evolve over the years. What also needs to continue to spread is the facts disputing its alleged success.

As always, do your research and caveat emptor.

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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  1. Pingback: Scammers are out to prey on MLM victims and small businesses — Fight Scams Now

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