Is there anything worse than receiving unsolicited advice or messages?
I appreciate that often it probably comes from a good place. Somebody with experience, somebody who cares.
But increasingly the unsolicited messages I’ve been receiving are trying to lure me in to joining their business. Work from home! Earn more money than a job can give you! Have your own business!! Retire before the age of 30!!
These are legitimate messages that I have received in my inbox on Instagram recently. Doesn’t include the hundreds of messages I declined and deleted.
- “Hi lovely, hope you don’t mind me messaging you but I’m currently expanding my beauty business. Are you interested in earning an extra income that fits around your current lifestyle?”
I do. You don’t have a business. You work for a pyramid scheme. I’m very rich.
- “Hi, I hope you don’t mind the message. I was wondering how you would like to make some money and join my global business with the potential of starting your own!”
I do. I have more money than you honey. Pyramid scheme. Bye gurl.
- “Hi Rebecca. Bit random but I recently started an online business selling beauty products on social media which has been great!! Get in touch!”
Pyramid scheme. It hasn’t been. No.
- “I had a huge improvement with my scalp psoriasis after using Monat. I’m a believer. If you want more information let me know”
No you didn’t. You don’t even have scalp psoriasis. Monat is a pyramid scheme, you sell Monat. COINCIDENCE?
- “I love working with ladies who I believe can help their life through the magical business I have. It’s not a job, but can give you more than any job can”
It’s a pyramid scheme. You’re not Harry Potter. I don’t want to alienate my friends so all you’re offering is a a life of loneliness.
- “Hi Rebecca, I’m looking for likeminded business ladies to join my business. Would you be open to more information?”
- “Hey Rebecca, I ran across your feed through a hashtag about arthritis and I had to reach out. I have to share that I’ve found something that has helped tons of my friends and family with arthritis and a myriad of other issues. If you want more info, message me”
Translates to “Hi Rebecca I hope you’re vulnerable enough to allow me to try to sell my miracle product to you. I can help people because I’m better than doctors and medication”
Let’s clear a few things up.
I receive HEAPS of messages from people suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, or just chronic illness in general who reach out to me to say hi, for medication advice or just to say they’re so glad to know that they’re not alone. I try to reply to every single message even though I’m not the best at replying and sometimes it takes me a while (read also – comments on Instagram in general, I so seldom reply to them and it’s not personal I promise. I’m just a lazy human being). These messages mean the world. I know how it feels when you’re suffering, feel alone or unsure of something, just to have someone to connect with.
But messages such as the ones above wind me up so much I become practically Hulk like.
They’re not businesses. You’ve not invented a new product or company. You are not Richard Branson. You’ve paid an upfront fee to an existing company to buy some moisturiser/poison juice that you now have to flog to whoever you can convince to part with their money because if you don’t, you end up even more out of pocket.
A quick click on the profile of any one of the people sending these messages and it’s easy to see what the real motive is. Not because they can help. Not because they want to help. Not from any place of goodness. But because they need to make sales and recruit people to their scheme and what better way than to contact some of the most vulnerable people. People more likely to either not be in steady work, people in part time work to accommodate their health or unable to work in general, so of course, messaging with the promise of lots of money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! must look pretty appealing. But don’t be fooled. Anybody who asks you to contact them for more info is only looking for business. You want to join one of these schemes, although as I’m told by EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON who sends these messages “It’s not a pyramid scheme” (yeah sure thing Jan), that’s your choice but don’t keep sending unsolicited messages to people trying to exploit them so you can make 5p commission.
These are people who look at health related instagram hashtags and then purposely target those they think they can take advantage of.
They are trying to exploit what they perceive as your vulnerabilities and they are the lowest of the low.