Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Guys! Today, I get to introduce you to two of my good friends who own multi-level marketing businesses. I’m super excited and the reason that I brought them on is because I’m fascinated by how network marketers or multi-level marketers use social media in a good way and sometimes in a really distasteful way. 

I don’t know about you, but I have received messages where people will send me something, asking me to host a party, asking me to join a Facebook group, whatever it might be. But I honestly haven’t heard from them for five years and so it feels very utilitarian rather than invitational. So part of my fascination, if I’m totally honest with you, is because I used to own a business that ran parties, sold makeup. You can probably guess which one it is, and I did it full-time for a few years. I earned a car — you probably have figured out which one it was. 

And while it was fun, there are things that I did because I didn’t know any better that I don’t know if I would want to do again…some of those being randomly spamming people on Facebook that I hadn’t talked to in years. And so I have always just been observing people, especially these friends, Mel Johnson and Amy Baumetz, and the way that they do it well.

I no longer run a network marketing business, but I know the value of them. And I think that it’s really important that when we look at the intersection of network marketing and social media, that we realize that we should be respectful of the people that we’re communicating with.

And so today you’re going to hear a few themes and these are themes that you can use if you’ve run a network marketing business, but there are also themes that you should be implementing. If you’re running a run of the mill business or a brick and mortar or whatever it might be, you can pull these themes and some of these lessons and use them in your own social media. 

We’re going to hear about consistency, authenticity, integrity, et cetera, et cetera. And so I’m really excited. I’m really excited to share these interviews with you. We’ll hear from Amy first and then we’re going to hear from Mel. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Amy.

Julia: All right. Well, welcome everybody. I’m ready to introduce you to my good friend, Amy, who I’ve actually known since we were in high school together, which is crazy. So this must be like our, if I do the math, 15-year friendship anniversary, which means we’re really old. So Amy, tell me about yourself, where you live, and then we’ll get into everything!

Amy: Oh, it’s so fun to look back on that. So, like Julia said, my name is Amy Baumetz and I do live in a small town in Northern Wisconsin, and I’m here with my family, with my husband and two daughters. And I think, yeah, it’s kind of crazy to me. My fun little fact is that it’s the same town that Julia and I essentially grew up in together.

Julia: And now we were just talking, her daughter’s going to the same school that Amy and I went to and how funny that is. So it’s gotta be a really different experience. The reason I invited Amy on is because I want to talk about the intersection between network marketing, multilevel, marketing, whatever you want to call it, and social media. Because we’ve all been on social media and gotten some dreaded messages from people who suddenly have appeared after three years and want us to buy their things. But I really believe that there’s like a really good way to do social media and Amy’s one of my favorite people who does both well.

So that’s why Amy’s here. What’s been cool is I’ve gotten to see her business grow over the past few years. She’s gotten to see mine. Snd so it’s just been really fun to journey together. So Amy, tell us a little bit about what you do first and then how you use social media with what you do.

Amy: So I have a business, an essential oil business with doTERRA and what that is, that is my full-time job outside of being a mom. That is what I do and how I like to use social media for my business is really to build relationships. You know, I’m in it for the long haul. This is what I’m doing and I know that getting to know people is an important part of what I do. And when I post consistently and transparently on social media, I know that I can build relationships with people, both inside my small town and outside of my small town as well, which is very helpful.

Julia: For sure. And how long have you been doing this?

Amy: Eight years? 

Julia: That’s crazy. That is awesome. Did you use social media from the very beginning? 

Amy: I was only on Facebook when I started my journey with doTERRA and with no intentionality. Like it’s like what you did before you went to college? I don’t know. It was just something you had and about a year and a half into my doTERRA journey, let’s see, I was pregnant with Whitney, just about to have her with my first. And my mom actually gave me a challenge. She’s always full of great wisdom. She said, why don’t you post on social media for one whole year, every day, one whole year when nothing, you can’t say a word about essential oils, nothing about doTERRA.

And so I just took her challenge and it happened to be a time where a lot of people were wanting to watch what was going on in our lives, because we were waiting on a very overdue baby. And so it really kind of formed this community. It was the spark behind the community and I consistently posted on Facebook and saw a great response and it kind of snowballed, it grew from there.

Julia: Okay. Tell me more about how it grew. 

Amy: I knew that once…I used to do more traveling for my business, like I would drive six hours. I would teach a class. I would drive home. And I knew once I had my daughter that it was going to be very important—my goal was like, I need to do my business from my kitchen table. That’s exactly how I want it to go. And in order to do that, I knew I’d have to use social media. So I had kind of developed a community on Facebook. And one of the things that I discovered was a video marketing course. And so at that time, it took me from posting just posts and pictures to videos and live videos. And then it took me to, kind of on a whim, creating a YouTube channel that really blossomed into something fairly significant and really took off. And it just kind of, I guess it kept going from there.

Julia: And I remember being at the doTERRA conference and random people would come up to you because you were like YouTube famous. Yeah, I was like, oh, this is one of my best friends from high school, but she’s also a famous YouTuber in the doTERRA world. But I really love that. Like, it’s really about consistency for you because that’s how people began to know who you were. And it was also about really good information because you were also serving them with both the personal stuff, but you were also giving them really good information. So, that’s awesome. 

So obviously, we’ve talked about how you’re YouTube famous, but also what are some other results that you saw from the consistency? 

Amy: I think that people, whether or not I’m able to totally see it or measure it or not, notice. More people show up the more consistent I am because not a lot of people are consistent. You know, it’s hard to be consistent. So I couldn’t give you numbers or say I’ve gotten this many customers from it, but I have seen that my, the more faithful I am, the more faithful my following is and the more engaged they are and the more that more people want to come and listen.

Julia: And things have changed, right? Like you don’t necessarily post to YouTube as much, or I don’t know if you do, maybe you do. And now, I think about what you’re doing with your mom, with mama and Mimi. Tell us about some of the things that you’ve pivoted. 

Amy: I do think that things have shifted. I mean, social media on its own shifts all the time. And then you add in the shifts in my life, I went from zero kids to one to two. My husband’s job has shifted, right? Seasons of life shift for me, too. And so whenever there’s a season, almost whenever there’s a shift in seasons, there’s a shift in what’s going on in social media.

So you’re right. I don’t really post in the same way that I was on YouTube anymore. And I’m more on Instagram. I’d say Instagram and Facebook would be my focus. And one of the things that changed is rather than just posting as myself, my own business things, my own oil tips, one of the things that I have added in is my mother. My mom’s relationship with me. We do doTERRA alongside together. We always have, and that’s something that is actually really fun to share with the world, the way that she and I work together. And that’s something that we’ve been able to do on social media, as mama and Mimi, to be able to just connect with people again in a different way, but with a very true and real aspect of our life.

Julia: Tell me more about the true and real aspects. Like I know you and I, a few years ago, had a conversation about, well, how much do we share? Like we had another friend who, for a while, didn’t share about her kids on social media. And how have you made decisions about what you want to share about and what you don’t want to share about? This is not on the list of questions, but curve ball!

Amy: I think early on, I remember there was an original decision that I made and then you have to make decisions sometimes as it comes up. But before I started posting every day, like my mom had asked me to early on, I actually spoke with my husband about it because I wanted him to be aware. I wanted us to be aware and to talk through the possibility of like, this is putting ourselves out there more.

And there’s that conversation of what that will look like and stepping into that. And then there’s the layer of how much do I share about what’s personally going on with me, which I think is a constant thing to navigate because in wanting to be real and transparent, you know, I have to, on some level, let pieces of what’s really going on. I have to let those out a little bit, but that’s not the focus of what I do. Sometimes, I feel like the focus of what I do is entertainment, you know? 

Julia: Especially with your girls!

Amy: Yeah. But I think that I try to find a balance between sharing enough so that people know I’m human. Because when you watch somebody on a screen, it’s very easy to forget their humanity and I want people to remember that about me, but I don’t want that to be at the forefront.

Julia: For sure. I think one of the really cool things from watching you is, I feel like you are relating to people as a mom. Like you’re relating to people as a wife, an entrepreneur, like you are showing people both the difficult things and the good things. But I would imagine you’re also getting to show people what you choose to. I think sometimes people feel like it’s either an all or nothing thing. Like having been your friend, I’m like, oh, I know that there are things that Amy is not showing everybody, but still, what you are showing people really connects with them and where they’re at.

Amy: You’re my favorite because I can always get a good bead from you on how it’s going on the other end. You know? I love that about you. 

Julia: Wow. I really like it. There’s a reason I wanted you on here! So I’m curious, what are some of your favorite things about social media for your business and what are some of the least favorite things?

Amy: Off the top of my head, one of my favorite things is that I get to help other people fall in love with the things that I love. I get to help. I mean, other people feel…I’ve almost created relationships for my family members without them even knowing it and people who will cheer them on, like always. Right, like champion them. And I love that people get to know the people that I love. I do really appreciate that or the things that I love. And so that’s one of my favorite things, is sharing that part and sharing the fun and joy of our life and seeing that it brings fun and joy to other people’s lives, too.

Julia: For sure. That’s awesome. 

Amy: I was actually out of town and didn’t post for a couple of days and I had somebody reach out to make sure, in a very sweet way, to make sure I was okay and said she was really missing my posts. I thought that was sweet. I think the hardest thing for me is the constant of it and how it can so easily suck you in. The very purpose, like the vision and the goal, always behind what I created would be that it would be something that, not that I could step away from, but that I don’t have to be actively in all the time. That was always the purpose of my doTERRA business. And I think that there’s a little bit of a tension for me between what I know social media can be and do. And I do enjoy it, but being like, it’s hard to walk away, you know? You’re kind of in it, unless you have a team doing it for you. 

Julia: And you don’t necessarily want it to consume you either, because then you won’t be able to take breaks for the weekend.

Amy: Exactly, and so I feel like I live a little bit in no man’s land on social media. Yes, I watch things. I learn things. I try to stay up to date. I try to do the best that I can. But I’m also living in the tension of, I’m not necessarily looking to be a social media rock star with lots and lots of followers. That’s not really where I want to be. So I think the hardest part for me about social media is like, yeah, it kinda, it can easily suck you in.

Julia: For sure. Thanks for sharing those things. To wrap up, like, I kind of want to talk about things that you have learned that you would share with either, maybe like the people already in your community who are also building businesses or people in peripheral markets. What would you share as like do’s or don’ts, or pieces of advice with people who are also wanting to use social media well for their network marketing businesses?

Amy: I think sometimes people in my career in network marketing or whatever you want to call it, look at social media as not a quick fix, maybe like a magic bullet. Like they go at it and they go after it and they can’t sustain it. And maybe they’re messaging too many people. They’re just kind of going at it like too hungry, and I would just say be in it for the long haul! Be in it for the relationship and create something that you can sustain over a long period of time because life is a journey and a business is a journey and relationships are a journey and you have to go at it with a mindset of, I’m in it for the long haul and it doesn’t matter how long this takes. I’m gonna show up. 

Julia: For sure. 

Amy: And if you’re going to show up consistently, you have to do it in a way that you at least somewhat enjoy it. Otherwise you’re going to burn yourself right out. So find a way that you can do it that you enjoy. And the one other thing I would make sure that you accomplish is you don’t have to be perfect before you start social media. You’re going to grow and figure it out. But I would try to be intentional about growing your skill set in social media because Julia alluded to what it’s like to get a message from an untrained network marketer who’s not skilled, it doesn’t feel very good. 

It’s the same way for Facebook posts, social media posts, anything that you’re doing, so do them justice. So do it well and take the time to learn and get better and you’ll be really glad that you did right. 

Julia: Cause why criticize weird messages that I get? Like there are people who send really good messages too, and there’s a way to do it well and there’s a way to do it poorly. So better to know what you’re doing. Also, Amy has taken on reels like a champ so that is basically a pep talk for you, Amy! 

Anyway Amy, I’m really glad that you joined us. You are truly one of my favorite people to watch on social media, both because you’re my friend, but also because you’re doing such a good job of serving your family and other people. If people want to find you, where should they go and where do you hang out the most?

Amy: I would say Instagram, at this point. And my handle is just my name, @amybaumetz. And you can find me and all of our shenanigans that Julia referred to right there. 

Julia: My favorite was with lemonade stands this summer. Amy and Gary are teaching their daughter entrepreneurial skills when she’s like in first grade and it is the best thing and I have taken so much inspiration from it and so I loved it. So anyway. All right, well, thank you guys.

Amy: Thank you, Julia, for having me. 

Julia: Of course. Gosh, I just really love my good friend, Amy. As you guys heard, we’ve known each other since high school, so I’ve gotten to see her on this journey and it’s been so great. One of the things that I really love about how she conducts herself on social media is that she’s truly trying to serve both her family and her audience.

And so I would just challenge you: what could you do if you started thinking about it in that framework of serving other people and doing it in a really intentional way? Also, what would happen if you started posting on social media everyday? I thought that was a really cool challenge, especially because her mom challenged her to do it without talking about oils, which is her product, and that, in essence, created a really, really good foundation for relationships with her audience. 

For the second half of this episode, we’re going to be talking to my good friend, Mel. I’m really excited for you to hear from her about how she really just approaches this with consistency and authenticity. You’re gonna hear some of these very same messages that Amy talked about and the fact that you hear them twice, it means that they’re working. So without further ado, here’s Mel!

Julia: Okay guys, today I have Mel with me, my good friend, Mel. We met, I don’t know, like five, seven years ago at previous jobs. We were both at previous jobs and now she is rocking her business with Beach Body and it’s been really cool. So she’s another person who I really love seeing on social media in a way that she does it with integrity. So Mel, tell us about where you live. Tell us a little bit about you. 

Mel: Yes! Thank you so much for having me, Julia. My name is Mel Johnson. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and I actually work full-time at a software company doing marketing, and then I own my own health and fitness business and partner with Beach Body. And it’s something that I fell into. I never…I didn’t wake up one day and say, I’m going to get into network marketing! It was something that definitely fell into my lap and I’ve just, I found a lot of joy in it and I found a lot of freedom in it. And I think that, you know, our society looks at success in careers as kind of like a one-way ticket, and this has just been such a blessing in my life and such a different way to not only have an impact on other people, but also provide more income for my family. 

Julia: For sure. And I know that because you and I have talked about it, you also had some, maybe like presuppositions about network marketing maybe before you got into it. Can you tell us a little bit about that? 

Mel: Yeah, for sure. Before I got into it, I had this image of, you know, being forced to come to parties and to buy things. And not that I…I didn’t mind those. I didn’t mind going to them, to be honest. I didn’t mind buying that stuff.

Julia: Right. Like it’s so fun. 

Mel: It’s fun! Yeah, and I loved supporting friends who were into it, but I never saw myself in that role. And I think, too, you know, in the news, we hear about a lot of these types of companies who, you know, don’t lead their business with integrity and don’t follow FTC rules and get in trouble. And they don’t do right by the people that have decided to partner with them, and that’s hard, too. So you have that, you know, that image in your head of this is what a network marketing company looks like, you know, they’re inherently bad. And then you have a whole group of people who think it’s a pyramid scheme and don’t understand the legality between, you know, a pyramid scheme and what network marketing is.

So I definitely had some negative connotations towards it. But being in it myself, I’ve really, when you understand it more, and you look at it with an open mind, it’s an opportunity. 

Julia: Totally, totally. So I want to talk about how you do social media with your network marketing business just because you do it so well. So tell me a little bit about how you show up on social media to promote your business. 

Mel: Yeah! I think the thing that I always tell people is that for social media, you are the edge. And if you show up as yourself, like 100% authentic you, that’s where you’re going to be successful in social media because if you try and portray an image of you that doesn’t exist, people won’t connect with that. Or if you do connect with people at that level, they won’t stay with you for a long time because you’re not giving them the real you. And so on social media, my goal is to always show up as myself. That means some of the messy, that means some of the good, the bad, and so I really try and show a little bit of all of it. 

The other thing with social media is that my goal is to serve. I want to help. And so whenever I post on social media or whenever I share something, I’m always thinking, how could I help my target audience? My target audience is moms in the same boat that I am: really busy, busy with work, kids, life. And so I want to connect with that mom who doesn’t feel like she has time for herself. So whenever I create content or a recipe or something, I want to help that person in their life. So I try and provide value for someone in their life. So really just building that trust on social media so that when they are ready to start the health journey, they think of me first.

Julia: That’s awesome. So really serving them in order to stay at top of mind in the end. So like, I would love to hear a little bit about how you may have pivoted, like when you started doing social media for your business, has it changed since then? Like, does it look different now than it did before?

MeL: Yes, 100%. I was terrified to share on social media about…at first it was my own personal health journey, right? I was terrified to share vulnerable details. I was terrified of what will people think, and then when I really embraced the business side of things and realized what an amazing opportunity this was, um, I had that fear too, of what are people gonna think when I start talking about the business or when I reach out to them? And so I had all of these fears and so I think I held back for a long time and my posts were…my social media was definitely a little veneer in the sense that, you know, I gave what I thought people wanted to hear, or I would protect myself by not saying certain things for fear out of what other people think. 

And so today, you know, honestly I’ve thrown out other people’s opinions of me and I’m truly confident in what I get to share. And I look at it as I want to help the person that needs my help. Anything that I say that falls on deaf ears or falls on someone who’s going to ridicule me, they’re not my audience. They’re not who I’m helping and so I think about who I am helping and who does need my message in that moment. 

And so, just in terms of social media, too, evolving from where it was then and now, is that I try not to share everything. I think this is hard. This is hard when you’re on social media, trying to make it a business, is that you want to share everything. But you still have a private life and just because social media is a great way to showcase your business and to help people, it doesn’t mean you need to share everything.

So I heard something from a friend that says, “Share your scars, not your open wounds.” And I thought that was a really good lesson in the sense of like, if you’re going through something like you don’t need to share that openly on social media, but if you are healed from it and you learned something and you want to pass that along, you know, that’s a good opportunity to do that as well.

Julia: Do you have other guidelines for how you decide what to share, what you don’t share?

Mel: Yeah, I try not to share…my account is public and I have two girls. So I do think about that sometimes. And so I try not to share…I’m very careful about images and locations and I try not to let people figure out where that is. And that sounds a little crazy when I say it out loud, but I try not to be, you know, like when I posted Philly’s like first day of school, I made sure it didn’t say the school name on it. You know, little things like that. What else? I don’t know, I mean, there’s some things like boundary-wise with relationships that I personally just don’t want to go down there. Lots of people share lots of crazy things. And for me, I push my husband’s comfort of social media already that I want to respect what he wants in terms of a private life as well.

Julia: Totally, totally. Well, I feel like everybody probably has a friend-crush on Tim so they’ll be like, we want to see more of Tim!

Mel: I will tell him that.

Julia: So anyway, thinking about integrity, I’m not necessarily looking for numbers, but what sort of results have you seen from choosing to do social media with integrity?

Mel: Yeah, results within my business or just followers, or what do you mean?

Julia: What about in your business? Like how have you seen that pay off? 

Mel: Yeah, so I think for me being in health and fitness, one of the things that pays off is consistency. And I show up every day working out. And, you know, showing my meals and showing when I fail, basically, you know, I want to talk about when I miss out, when I miss my workout and how I fit in later in the day, you know. I talk about life, in general, but how health and fitness is a part of my life, but I’m consistent about it.

And I want people to know that when they hire me as their coach, that they can, they’re going to be able to rely on me. They’re going to be able to trust me because I show up every single day. And so for me, for my business with integrity, you come to my social media, like on any given day, unless I post and say I’m taking the day off social media today, like you’ll see me working out, you’ll see me eating healthy, and you’ll see a little bit of my life.

And so I just think social media has given me the ability to show that consistency. And in my business, I’m not a big recruiter. I’m not a sign up and invite a hundred people a day and sign up twenty people a month. That’s not my style. I very much want to sign up three or four people a month. I want to pour into them. I want to help them be successful. And so social media just allows me to connect with, you know, people that I’ve known in my past life or even new people, you know, one at a time.

Julia: That’s awesome. And I would imagine that those people, even though it’s like, just three or four a month, like really feel connected and then they stick around for longer, hopefully because they’re, they’ve got, they know that you’re going to show up.

Mel: Definitely. 

Julia: So to close out, I would just love to hear like, you’ve already given such good advice, like being careful about what people choose to show, what they don’t, showing your scars and not your wounds. But what are some other do’s and don’ts that you would share about how to use social media with network marketing or any advice that you’d give people who want to do it with integrity?

Mel: Yeah, I think the cool thing about network marketing is that you are your own brand. You know, I am my own brand and I partner with Beach Body to deliver on the incredible fitness programs, the tools, the incredible nutrition, all of the research that they do. But I am not a Beach Body billboard. I am here to establish my own brand and to, you know, show what I believe in and the things that I care about. And then I use Beach Body as the way to execute on that. So if you are in network marketing and you’re figuring out how to run a business, write down the things that matter to you.

You know, I kind of have five pillars of my life, and those are things that I talk about on social media over and over and over again. And this was a Jenner Kutcher social media tip. It’s like “Define your five pillars and you talk about them all the time.” 

Julia: And what’s yours?

Mel: Mine are busy working mom. Gut health, I’m really interested in how food affects our gut. Self-care and self-love. Adventure, I love going on spontaneous family adventures. 

Julia: Totally. 

Mel: What’s the fifth one? They change! They change from time to time. But knowing what those things are for you, and if you talk about those things consistently, oh! It’s coach life and health and fitness. Okay. All right. Well that makes sense. That makes sense. It was so obvious that I just, you know, forgot. 

When you have those things and you talk about those over and over again, you build trust, you build that consistency and I think, you know, the other thing is that part, it’s be consistent. You know, if you want to build a business on social media, people have to be able to trust you. And if you post once a week and if you show up here and there, then people aren’t going to come back. I always tell my team, like you have to create a party that people want to be a part of. And I hope that when people come to my Instagram, they see a really fun, crazy party, sometimes, where, you know, my Ella is either laughing super hard or crying super hard. Or where I’m having fun doing my workout or where Tim is making fun of me. Like I want, I want people to come in and enjoy the party.

Julia: Are you sure you’re not an Enneagram seven? 

Mel: It came up on my test, but I am not a seven! 

Julia: That’s awesome, and so really, it comes down to, integrity equals consistency in a way, just because, both with content but also like showing up. So, yes. Sweet. Awesome. Well, Mel, if people want to find you, where can they find you?

Mel: Yes. My Instagram handle is @meljohnsonsfitlife. 

Julia: Awesome. 

Mel: I would love to see you there. Come say hello, tag me. 

Julia: And join the party. 

Mel: Join the party! Let me know what you learned. I would love to hear from you. 

Julia: Oh, my gosh. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Mel. I really appreciate all of your sound advice.

Mel: Thank you, Julia. I appreciate having you as a friend and a colleague, too. 

Well, friends, you’ve heard from two of the very best, Amy Baumetz, Mel Johnson, you know where to find them on social if you want to connect with them and I would encourage you to do so, if you want to see some great social media action on how they talk about their services, their products, and also how they intersperse it with their own personal brand.

Hopefully, these have been some useful conversations to you, whether you are a multi-level marketer or if you run a different kind of business. My biggest takeaway is just the fact that we need to be very intentional. We need to serve people. We need to be authentic and we need to be consistent. I’m sure you heard those themes just as well as I did throughout both of the interviews.

So tell us, do you have anybody who you admire on how well they do on social media, combining both their advertising and their personal brand? We’d love to meet them or be introduced to them. So make sure you send us a message on our Instagram and meet us back here next week. We’re going to have some more content for you. Talk to you soon.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I’m so glad that you have. If you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them and are going to be so excited when we get those first few reviews

A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us. Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.