What Does MLM Mean on TikTok?


We all love TikTok, but it can be confusing! Have you seen a lot of people referencing MLMs on TikTok – what does it mean?

MLM on TikTok means multi-level marketing company or men-loving men. Multi-level marketing is a controversial business model where more than 90% of people do not earn and even lose money. Men loving men or male loving male is men/males who are attracted to other men/males.

Below, I give a little bit more info on multi-level marketing companies. Keep reading for some high-level info on why multi-level marketing companies are controversial if they are banned on TikTok and how you can get more information.

As a reminder, I have an MBA, I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and have almost 15 years working in finance and accounting. These are my opinions based on researched facts and my understanding of those facts. However, this is not legal, financial, or tax advice. This is me presenting facts and my opinions to help you decide if you think this is something you should spend your time doing. If you need legal, financial, or tax advice, you should reach out to a professional for a 1:1 chat! All opinions are my own.

What does MLM mean on TikTok?

MLM on TikTok when it comes to types of businesses is multi-level marketing. MLMs are also known as Network Marketing, Pyramid Selling, Social Selling, or Direct Sales. These are companies that hire independent sales consultants to sell their products instead of selling them in stores. So if anyone on social media has tried to sell you shampoo, ketones, supplements, Tupperware, or Color Street nails – you’ve been introduced to an MLM.

Examples of MLMs

You can spot MLM opportunities in a few ways. Usually, it is presented as:

  • A work-from-home business opportunity
  • Offers you time freedom, and work from your phone
  • They do not disclose the company name freely
  • They want to PM (private message) or DM (direct message) you – typically on Instagram

These are all red flags, you should ask for the company name immediately and google it to see if it is an MLM.

Some examples of MLMs that you might be aware of are Beachbody, Color Street, Monat, Herbalife, Avon, Mary Kay, and Pruvit.

Why MLMs are Bad

MLMs are a controversial business model because the majority of participants do not make money. This can be backed up by reviewing MLM’s income disclosure statements and also by articles and studies that have been published by the FTC. In order to make money in an MLM you must recruit people to your downline. Selling products alone will not allow you to rank up the compensation plan and make any significant amounts of money. Then, once you recruit people and start building your downline, you need to maintain those specific levels to keep your rank. Higher the rank, the more money you make. But it is also harder to keep your team together because those at the bottom of the pyramid are generally losing money.

MLMs are often called scams or pyramid schemes, because the more you dig into MLMs, it appears the only way the people at the top of the company are making money is by recruiting new people each month, not by selling products or services.

MLMs are disliked for many reasons, including their unethical recruiting practices, toxic culture, preying upon vulnerable women, and the fact that many people who join MLMs lose money. While they claim you own your own business when you work for an MLM, you still answer to your upline, and you can be fired. You are simply an independent consultant for tax purposes. This means, you are not on the company’s payroll and don’t receive traditional benefits (health insurance, retirement, paid time off, etc.).

You can see more about why MLMs are bad in the short video below.

Are MLMs Banned from TikTok?

MLMs were banned on TikTok, however, there are still many creators who are promoting their MLMs on TikTok. They typically show their product with generic claims about weight loss, energy, making money, etc. You need to go to their Instagram to learn more, where they can more freely promote their MLMs. Some larger TikTok Creators who are involved in MLMs are Scott D. Henry (Pruvit), Jess Lee Ward (Pruvit), Drue Lee (Scentsy), and Melinda Strauss (Optavia). These are just a few and I’m sure there are many more out there.

Anti-MLM TikTok Creators

There are so many wonderful creators out there bringing awareness to the negative parts of MLMs. A few you should check out are:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other creators, and these creators also have a presence on YouTube. If you’re also looking for more anti-MLM content, you can check out the anti-MLM reddit which also as over 750k members.

Should You Join an MLM?

The people promoting MLMs on TikTok are very good at what they do. I have even inadvertently reached out regarding information on something only to find out it is an MLM. There are people who are successful in MLMs, but it’s only because they are very good at recruiting people to join their teams and profit from their investments. It is a very unethical business model, and I do not believe it is a good idea for anyone to join them.

However, if you have a social media presence, there are other great ways to monetize your following. You can utilize affiliate marketing or many other techniques to make money online. More on that here: How to Monetize Your Social Media Following

Also, there are so many great jobs available now to work from home. Just got to a website like Indeed.com and put in the location of “remote” to look and see some legitimate work-from-home jobs. Just be careful, sometime MLMs do even advertise on Indeed.

Wrap Up

If you liked this article, you could check out all my MLM-related articles here.

It would mean a lot to me if you would check out my YouTube channel. You can also find me on Instagram to share any feedback you may have on the info above! Both of these pages are new, so every new follower, like comment really helps (and makes my day)!

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