How to Have More MLM Success (What NOT To Do)

Posted February 22, 2019 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 0 Comments

Want to learn what NOT to do in order to find MLM success? Today, I'm sharing it all. The good, the bad, the sleazy, and the ugly.

Today, I’m sharing some of the practices you should totally ditch in your MLM business. 

MLMs. Everyone is doing it, right? At least, from the looks of my social media news feed they are. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done it, too. After swearing for years that I’d never join another MLM, I found myself earning commissions through Young Living.

I’m no longer a part of that business, but for years, it was a legitimate source of income. So please know, as you read this post, that I’m not bashing MLMs, or any type of network marketing company.

My goal here is to show you some of the practices you can stop, in order to find even more MLM success. Because there are definitely a few practices that are making your potential customers run for the hills, and we don’t want that.

Disclaimer: for the sake of this post, “MLM” will be used to describe a variety of direct sales, multi-level marketing, and network marketing companies.

MLM Practices You Should Drop Right Now

This post contains affiliate links. To learn more, read my full disclosure here.

I’m not going to lie. Some of these may sting. Some may even go against what your upline has taught you. Take it from me, though. These practices give the MLM business model a bad name.

Of course, it’s your business to do with as you will, but for me, these are practices that make me (and so many others) cringe. In fact, many of these are why I swore I’d never join an MLM. Without even realizing it, you could be turning away your potential customer base.

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1. Turning every conversation into a chance to push your product.

While this does tend to happen face to face as well, I personally see this on social media all the time. Someone asks a question. Seemingly any question…and somehow, someone finds a way to bring up their business.

Don’t do that. It’s predatory at best, and we can see right through it. You don’t need to find a way to squeeze your business into unrelated conversations. Just let it come up naturally!

For example, I’ll happily share about my oils if someone says I smell good, or asks if I know a way to calm their kids down. But, I won’t share about my oils when someone says they’re bringing their kid to the doctor for a cold.

See how those are different? In one instance, I was asked for advice, or given a compliment that was directly related to my product. In the other scenario, I wasn’t asked for advice or given an opening to bring up my product at all.

2. “Hey girl!” messages in my inbox.

I get it. You need to reach out and talk to people. It’s part of network marketing and one of the number one things you’re taught for MLM success. I know that. But here’s the deal. If I’m on your Facebook page, I know what you sell.

If I decide I want it, I promise I’ll reach out (as long as you don’t annoy me too much beforehand by sending repeated messages).

Also, side note: I run an online business as well, if you can’t tell (part of which is an MLM, as mentioned above). Please don’t assume that me “liking” your post is a sign that I want info. Nope. I just know social media algorithms and wanted to help out a friend by giving her post a boost! I’m way less likely to continue if you send me a message because of it.

3. Copy/paste messages your upline wrote.

The beauty of this business model is that we get to build relationships and trust with our customers. And, can I tell you something? It’s obvious when you’re just copying someone else’s post word for word.

I know, I know. I’ve been guilty of this a few times, too. It’s so much easier to just grab that post, that’s already well written, and run with it so you can get on with your day. Ocassionally, it has to happen. Sometimes deals are time-sensitive, and your upline had a heads up and enough time to draft a post.

But, if you keep posting things that you didn’t write, it starts to look inauthentic and breaks that trust you’ve been trying to build.

If I’m friends with you, it’s because I want to hear from you. My friend. A person I trust.

Side note: Want to learn more about what and how to post on social media? One of my favorite books, written by a fellow network marketer, is Getting Noticed, by Lindsay Teague Moreno. She’s also got a podcast called Boss Up that you should definitely check out no matter what kind of business you’re running!

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4. Recommending products you know nothing about.

C’mon, guys. It’s common sense. Please don’t post (probably one of those copy/pastes) recommending a product you’ve never tried or taken the time to research.


If you post about it, and it looks intriguing, I’m going to ask more questions.

This is the part you get paid for. The part where you know your products, give personal testimonies, and actually help people figure out what is right for them. It’s how you find success in an MLM.

I know it’s near impossible to have personal experience with every single product your company offers. There’s no way I could tell you every detail about every single oil or product Young Living sells. But, you know what? I also don’t push those products on my page. Be open and honest when you don’t have personal experience with something. Phrases like “I’ve never tried that, but I’ve heard good reviews from a few friends who have,” go a long way in this business.

Pushing something you’ve never tried and don’t have any knowledge of is sleezy, and breaks that trust I keep mentioning.

5. Making your entire social media profile one giant commercial.

We see enough ads every day. Social media is where we come to see pictures of cute kids, pets, and yummy foods.

Let me have this one place that isn’t a constant stream of advertisements.

Yes, talk about your products. Share how you’re using them. But, be authentic about it. Use your own pictures as much as possible. Show how they fit into your real life.

I like to call this lifestyle marketing. You’ll rarely see an “ad” on my pages, unless there’s a huge deal happening. Instead, you’ll see me and the kids making face masks or bath salts. For example, I’ll talk about what I’m diffusing or share a recipe that includes some products.

My personal rule of thumb is this: if it’s something you can imagine a used car salesman saying, just don’t.

6. Pretending to be interested in a friendship to make a sale.

That sounds awful, right? People can’t possibly think that this will lead them to MLM success. But the truth is, it happens more than you’d think.

Usually, I can read right through it and know better than to take the bait, but one in particular really hurt.

I have this friend, and we used to be really close. I’m not really sure what happened, but we totally lost touch for years. Years. She was absent through the early years of my marriage, the birth of my first child, and some really intense hardships that came after that.

Suddenly, she reappeared. We were living in the same town again, and she reached out.

“It’s been so long,” she said. “We should really catch up over coffee!”

I was so excited to have my friend back and couldn’t wait to sit and chat like we used to. I agreed to coffee and asked what she’d been up to the last few years.

“Well, have you heard of {product}?”


I told her I had, and it wasn’t for me. She spent a few minutes trying to convince me otherwise, and when I reiterated that the product wasn’t for me, she ghosted.

Let me tell you, I have seen this “friend” face to face since then at functions and she looks right through me.

It hurts.

Please don’t be this person.

Don’t trade your friends for your downline. I promise you that once you find that MLM success you’ve been working so hard for, you’re going to want people to legitimately celebrate with you. Unfortunately, if you keep this up, the only ones who will be left at your side are those with their own skin in the game.

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7. Promote every product you’ve ever tried.

I get it. You like the product and a discount would be nice. But, when you start promoting all the products, you start to lose your authenticity (here we are using that word again).

Use whatever products you want, but if you’re focusing on a business, don’t promote every single one of them trying to get sales. At best, it confuses your audience. At worst, it makes you look like you’re just out for a buck.

Now, I will say that I personally don’t see an issue with promoting two different kinds of products supporting the same message (assuming neither company sells both products), but be wary. Really weigh the pros and cons before adding a new product line.

It’s hard to gain back that trust once you look like you’re just trying to sell anything.

We all want to rock our businesses and find MLM success.

It’s easy to get caught up in the training for our uplines. I mean, they’re doing so well! Why wouldn’t we want to do exactly what they’re doing? Sometimes these practices do work. But, more often than not, what they tend to do is drive people away.

Be authentic. Share something you’re passionate about and watch your business start to change. Most importantly, focus on being a good human before building a business.

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