Listening to a recent NPR “On Point” piece about multi-level marketing (a none too complimentary report, I should point out) inspired me to write a post about my experience as a Beautycounter consultant. Beautycounter is, after all, a multi-level marketing company (MLM), although it wasn’t specifically mentioned in the “On Point” story. Though this piece was sad in many ways (lots of stories about people losing thousands of dollars through the years through some of these ventures), it was also encouraging to me, because I feel I’ve selected an MLM that is very much an outlier in many ways.
First, let me give you a quick blurb on why I sell Beautycounter in the first place:
This is a brand I discovered while I was pregnant with Maggie and was looking for safer skincare and make-up products (because anyone who’s been pregnant knows there’s more than just food and alcohol you’re advised to avoid). I found Beautycounter to be a brand that was perfect for me: it was made with safe ingredients without sacrificing effectiveness. The more products I tried, the more I fell in love with the brand. And so, when the opportunity to become a consultant presented itself (via my friend and fellow blogger Teri), I was on board. After all, I loved this brand and — as any of y’all who read this blog regularly know — I enjoy sharing things I love with others. Being a consultant would give me the perfect platform to do just that — share the brand — while earning myself a discount and perhaps some extra money in the process. Done and DONE.
But now you’re one of THOSE people all up in my Facebook feed, right?
It’s true (as the NPR piece points out) that MLM participation is growing nationwide. More and more women are getting on board with the model and, I have to admit, I used to find it pretty annoying, seeing my Facebook friends post about this lip gloss and those leggings and that jewelry all the time. And so, when I started considering becoming a consultant, I did a couple of things intentionally: 1) I set up a private Facebook group to house almost all of my Beautycounter content. 2) I vowed to never be pushy with people about purchasing products. Sure, I’d share the brand with friends I thought might be interested in it, but I wasn’t going to make things weird if they were all set with their current routine. (Because who wants to risk damaging relationships over make-up? Not me.)
But still — an MLM?
I know. I was there, too. I was thinking the same thing you’re probably thinking right now. But think about it: don’t you tend to trust your friends’ recommendations of products anyway? Like, if your friend tells you she’s using an amazing new dry shampoo that’s available at Target, aren’t you probably going to go to Target and give Target your money to buy said shampoo? What if that same friend were selling the shampoo? You’d still get a great product, but you’d also get to support your friend. I call that a win-win. (I can’t speak to the quality of all MLM products firsthand, but obviously I can speak to Beautycounter and I’ve also tried a few other brands that some of my friends sell, and y’all — they’re great. The products do what they say they’re supposed to do, and I love getting to help my friends’ businesses.)
Wait, though — what do you know about skincare and make-up?
A lot more than I did when I started selling Beautycounter! Thanks to great training materials from Beautycounter, coupled with wonderful additional training and advice from my team, I’m now way more knowledgable about this topic than I was even a few months ago, and I’m always learning more. It’s been awesome to gain this additional know-how, too, both to help with my business, of course, but also just to know for my own personal use and well being. (Wanna talk about developing a skincare routine? I’d love to chat with you about putting together a regimen that’s perfect for you!)
So has it been what you thought it would be?
You know what? It’s been even better. Honestly. I signed up thinking that, at minimum, I’d get a discount on these products that I’d grown to love, both for myself and for Maggie (their baby line is amazing). And then, I got really into it. I got excited by the possibilities. My Facebook group started to blossom into a true community. I started having friends rave about the products they were using, and then customers started making re-orders. I hosted socials — both online and in person — where I got to meet new people and share this brand that I love so much with them. And all the while, I got to be strategic about ways to grow and market my business. It’s FUN. It truly is.
But don’t you feel taken advantage of? You’re helping other people earn money, after all.
It’s true: Beautycounter’s structure is such that as I make sales, the people in my up-line benefit financially as well. But guess what? Those are the same women who have helped me get my own business off the ground. Who continue to support me as it grows. Who are always there to answer a text or email or Facebook message about how to navigate our backend website or where to find certain training tools. We are a true team. I can’t speak to everyone at Beautycounter, but I’m 100% supported by these ladies, and so them benefitting from the sales I make doesn’t make me bat an eye.
But what about all the other sneaky stuff that comes with MLMs?
That’s what I love about Beautycounter: there isn’t any sneaky stuff. You pay $85 to become a consultant, which covers getting you a personal Beautycounter website along with access to training and marketing tools, including a backend sales interface on the website. That’s it. You have the option to buy products when you sign up as a consultant for a great price (at an even better discount than consultants typically get), but none of that is required. You also aren’t required to keep any product on hand (customers order through your website), nor do you have to make any regular product purchases. You do have to sell $1,200 every six months, but this number includes your own purchases as well as customer purchases. Of those $1,200 in sales, $250 needs to be from new customers. (Meeting these minimums is super easy, I promise.) And if you don’t meet those minimums, you just become a Band of Beauty member, which comes with a set of great perks to keep giving you discounted access to the brand.
Speaking of money…how much can you make from being a consultant?
I make 25-35% commission off of sales I make, and 5-9% off of sales my down-line (team members below me) make. (So, obviously, I benefit most by making my own sales.) And it definitely does take work. As with any sales-related product, you can’t just sit back and trust people will come to you at their own accord. I invested in my business in those first months especially, sending out samples so people could experience the product firsthand, setting up an email newsletter to keep people updated, keeping my Facebook group full of robust and consistent content. It was definitely work (a lot of it was fun, but still — work). But then, that work started to pay off. People had tried products and loved them, so they were placing orders. Members of my Facebook group started asking questions and sharing tips with one another. I still work hard at my business, don’t get me wrong, but after those initial months things just really hit a great stride. Now, I’m able to help supplement my income, which is super helpful considering we have childcare costs and student loan debt to deal with. (Ugh.)
And how much do YOU have to pay for products?
I get 25% off all personal Beautycounter product purchases, and also earn several free and 50% off products each month. Being a consultant has been a way to quickly build my personal Beautycounter collection, and now nearly all the skincare and make-up I use is from Beautycounter!
What are some of your favorite Beautycounter products?
I’m so glad you asked! It’s ridiculously hard to pick just a few faves, but I especially adore:
- Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (I wear No. 2 — super light coverage with SPF)
- Cleansing Balm (I use this before bed to remove make-up and hydrate my face)
- Volumizing Mascara (I was using Two Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and was convinced I’d never find a better one…until this one came out a few months ago)
- Facial Oil (I use the Plumping + Jasmine oil in my moisturizer — just one drop! — both morning and evening)
- Instant Eye Makeup Remover (this is a brand new product, but I’m already in love — I was SO anxious for Beautycounter to come out with an eye make-up remover, and this one delivers)
Interested in learning more?
Are you interested in learning more about Beautycounter’s product line-up? Shoot me a note, and I’d love to share some recommendations with you based on what you’re looking for!
Are you already a fan of the brand and considering becoming a consultant? I’d love to talk with you about that, too, and will be happy to answer any specific questions you have that I didn’t think to include here. (One thing I love about Beautycounter is that it’s a brand committed to transparency — both as it relates to their ingredients and otherwise — and I’ll certainly be straightforward with you as well regarding my personal experience and what I know about the company.)
Want to get connected with a community of heath-minded women? Please join my Beautycounter Insider Info Facebook group! I’d love to have you.