As noted in Chapter 3, 2015 was almost drawing to a close, and my final piece of coursework for the autumn term had been handed in. For a while, I was free.
That meant it was time to open the box.
Scarlett was overjoyed that after well over a month, I was now actually going to get on the way to rocking my business.
“Eeeek, exciting! Make sure you video it, hun! ❤ ” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, to show how excited you are, of course! Get the people on your friends-list intrigued and interested – you WANT them to be curious, and you want them to get hyped up!!! ❤ ❤ 😀 ”
I cast my mind back to Kerri’s video – you know, the one where cooed over the “amaaaaazing” quality of the products? I’ll be honest, that video didn’t hype me up – unfortunately, it made me somewhat cringe. Yes, I wanted to make a success of this little venture, but I really did not want to make a video. Was it because I didn’t believe in myself, was I putting up barriers and resisting a new way of thinking?
Who knew, at this early stage of the game.
This takes us to…
Chapter 4 – Opening Hundora’s Box
Before reading Chapter 4 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here. In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting it to be like opening a treasure chest or anything. However, when I opened this life-changing black box to reveal the plunder inside, I was significantly underwhelmed. In Kerri’s video, she had looked like she’d discovered the Holy Grail or the Lost City of Atlantis. Was she seeing something I couldn’t?
So, this was the £150 worth of makeup that Scarlett was raving about.
As my memory serves me, this is a rough idea of what was in the box. And yes, I will give you their full titles and what their retail value is “worth” (I use that word loosely)…
- Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette (translation: palette of eye shadows) worth £38
- Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick in Upscale worth £15
- The famous Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ Mascara worth £23
- Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in Perfect worth £12
- Splurge Cream Shadow in Tenacious worth £18
- Moodstruck Minerals Lucrative Lip Gloss in Lovesick worth £12
- Cream Shadow Brush worth £12
- Skincare Samples (enough to sample on a porcelain doll, maybe)
- Foundation Samples (see above porcelain doll comment)
- Little White Status Presenter Charm thing
- Presenter Guide book
I cast my eyes over these assorted items, remembering how Scarlett said these were “high-end” products. Why wasn’t I feeling the urge to coo over them like Kerri did? Perhaps I was just in awe of them – this stuff was the rival to Urban Decay and MAC after all; the most extravagant brand I’d ever purchased was Boots No7.
[Elle’s note: that’s not a bad thing, and I will always love No7!].
I still couldn’t shake off this feeling of “meh”, though.
There were obligatory pamphlets to look at, congratulating me for embarking on this life-changing opportunity. One in particular featured a welcome from brother-and-sister-team Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft, the Younique Founders. Both siblings were extremely perma-tanned and sporting bright white teeth in their little photo – certainly loving the Y-life.
In case anyone is curious, the Founders of Younique are as pictured:
Most importantly – Derek and Melanie “firmly believe that all women should feel valued, smart, and empowered through opportunities for personal growth and financial reward!” Happy days, looks like I was in good hands with this organisation.
Next, there was a chart explaining the “compensation plan” to get my head around.
As you will note from above…
- I would be earning 20% on all sales as White Status – in time, rising to 25% when I reach Yellow.
- Scarlett was Pink, earning 25% with an additional 3% from the sales we, her teamies, made.
- Camilla, being Blue was getting an additional 4%.
- Green Status Overlord Tania was enjoying 30% commission, 5% from her teamies and 3% from her “first generation”. I guess that would be us.
I pondered…so essentially, Scarlett and the people above her were benefiting from the sales we made. Well, that was…charming.
Speaking of Scarlett…
“How’s the video coming along, hunnybun?”
“There is no video. I’m just having a look through all of this stuff.”
“WHAAAAAAAT? You’re missing out on valuable opportunity time, hun. You should be sharing the products, really showing your excitement!!!”
“I don’t feel prepared yet, Scarlett.”
It was true, I didn’t feel prepared. I hadn’t looked in any of the training groups, I hadn’t checked in on the group chats…there were so many things I hadn’t done yet. There were also things I didn’t want to do…such as making a silly video feigning excitement over a box of tricks. I just wanted to make the best of this venture I had decided to undertake.
“If you don’t feel prepared, then actually speak to us in my chat, then,” said Scarlett. “If you don’t ask, how are we supposed to help you get started?”
“Fine, fine,” I replied.
So, off I went to Scarlett’s Butterfly Babes Team Chat.
“Right, ladies,” typed Scarlett. “Elle appears to be having problems getting herself started. What tips do we have for her?”
“Have you set up your brand name?” asked Kerri.
“Have you sorted your business cards?” asked Bethany.
“Have you drummed up any interest with your friends?” asked Harriet, a lady I had not spoken to before.
“Oh, and have you created a Facebook VIP group?” Kerri added.
“One thing at a time!” I typed back.
“Start with your brand name then,” suggested Kerri. “Any idea what you want?”
I had absolutely no clue.
Obviously, Scarlett had chosen the moniker of Butterfly Babes. It transpired that all the girls in the chat had then chosen a “brand” based on the Butterfly, to show their association with Scarlett, Camilla and Grand High Imperial Overlord Tania.
- Kerri’s brand was Purple Butterfly.
- Bethany chose Beautiful Butterfly Cosmetics.
- Harriet was Hatty’s Butterfly Bonanza.
Me, I didn’t even really like butterflies. Nothing against our little winged insect friends, I just didn’t share the girls’ evident enthusiasm for them.
“But it HAS to have something to do with butterflies!” protested the others. “We’re a team!”
“Fine,” I said, racking my brains.
If this was to be my business, then it made sense to pick a name I wasn’t going to hate. Something that encapsulated the team spirit that the girls were so keen to demonstrate, of course. It also had to make some reference to the fact I would be selling makeup.
I’d just use the first thing that viably popped into my head.
“Butterfly Lashes, then,” I declared.
“OMG that’s brilliant, babe!!!” came the declaration of agreement from the girls. “That will be your business name, your own brand – so exciting!!!”
It turned out that I had to use this new and fabulous brand-name against my Younique website area.
For those not in the know, this is what most hunbot’s web addresses look like:
www. youniqueproducts .com / randomhunbotnamehere
Not Scarlett and Kerri, though. They’d bought their own .com domain names from Go Daddy.
“It makes your business look more professional,” Scarlett insisted. “Having your own domain name shows that you are serious!”
Kerri profusely agreed.
Me, I instantly thought it was currently an unnecessary expense. I mean, I was only just getting my head around things. Perhaps I would invest in my own domain name later down the line, but certainly not today – especially as I was £69 +postage lighter.
Next on the agenda, the Butterflies firmly advised me to set up a Facebook page for my new Butterfly Lashes business.
All the girls promptly proceeded to send me invitations to “like” their respective business pages in order for me to follow their examples.
“Make sure you invite all your Facebook friends to like your page, and add them into your VIP group – even the blokes!” said Scarlett.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, because you never know, babes – they may want to buy for their girlfriends, mums, sisters…even themselves!”
“But…I meant what about if people don’t want to be added?”
“Then they can just leave the group, babe! Its their loss if they don’t want to enjoy these beautiful products. If your friends really like you, they’ll support you and your business.”
“Scarlett is right,” agreed Kerri. “We’ll add you into our VIP groups so you can get an idea of how we promote the products to our customers.”
Well, it looked like this was my next port of call, then. As instructed, I set up a Facebook page against my profile called Butterfly Lashes, and invited all of my Facebook friends-list to “like” it. Naturally, the first people to “like” it were the fellow Butterflies. The good people of my friends-list were a tad less enthusiastic.
Next, came the creation of the Butterfly Lashes VIP Group. I followed Scarlett’s advice and added my entire friends list, all 212 of them. Within an hour of doing so, the VIP member count had dropped to 154.
Then, I noticed certain statuses appearing on my newsfeed.
“If people could stop adding me to their fucking Younique groups, that would be great.”
“Look, if I want to buy your shitty makeup from you, I’ll come to you. Stop adding me to stupid groups without my permission!!!”
Naturally, I got paranoid. These were my friends – they couldn’t be talking about me, could they?
“Why are people getting aggro at me for adding them into my VIP group?” I hurriedly typed into the team chat.
“You’ll get that, babes,” said Scarlett. “You’ll find out who really cares about you and wants to support your business. You need to block out the haters.”
Well, thanks for the warning, I thought.
“You know the secret?” said Scarlett. “You’ve got to be positive and excited about these products. You want people to be intrigued and curious – then, they’ll actually stay in your VIP group when you add them!”
“Well you could have told me that before encouraging me to add as many people as possible,” I grumbled.
“Babes, try not to be negative,” said Scarlett. “You need to be positive, and you’ll attract positive results. Our Green Elite, Tania, said it’s all about the Law of Attraction in this business.”
“But I’m not being negative,” I replied.
“Elle – you’ve really got to get it together, babes,” Scarlett scolded. “You’ll never work your business if you don’t listen to us!”
I gritted my teeth. One of my oldest friends was really beginning to make my mercury rise, and make me feel the beginnings of regret for my £69 +postage “investment”.
And that is where I will draw Chapter 4 to a close, until next time. Thank you to you all, carry on to Chapter 5, where I began to witness the lies and other shifty tactics the hunbots use to get their monthly PRS (that’s Personal Retail Sales, for anyone not familiar with hun-speak).
If you have enjoyed my story and anti-MLM mission thus far, please consider becoming my Patron. Any and all support is very much appreciated.
I would also like to add that I am now fighting the MLM fight on Twitter – please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow.
Please, also check out the good work of the people at Timeless Vie and Bot Watch. They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision .