Have you seen all of those trending posts on Instagram and Facebook promising a rockin' bod from Beachbody videos and nutrition programs?
More and more people are calling themselves “coaches,” but has that term lost its meaning as Beachbody has expanded? What does it mean to be a Beachbody coach?
This health and fitness MLM (multi-level marketing) company might not be all that it's cracked up to be. Even if you're an exercise nut who wants to help improve people's lives, you might end up losing money or doing more harm than good.
Not sure if the Beachbody fitness MLM is right for you? You're already on the right path by doing your research first. Keep reading to learn all about whether this company seems legit or if you should pass on this “business opportunity.”
What Is Beachbody?
Beachbody is a fitness MLM. The idea of “selling fitness” might seem unusual, but what they're really selling are fitness videos and nutritional supplements. The company was founded in 1998 and has amassed roughly 30 million people trying to get in shape with their products.
Their distributors are called “coaches.” These coaches work like any other MLM distributors by trying to sell products through “network marketing.” For most people, this means selling to friends and family.
They also try to recruit new Beachbody coaches. To be clear, you don't need any kind of certification or experience to be a “coach.” Most coaches are consumers of the product, not experts.
Beachbody's main product is their popular nutrition shake: Shakeology. They also sell a subscription to Beachbody fitness content, their online workout videos.
Is It Worth It to Customers?
When you're selling products through an MLM you need to know that they're valuable enough that your customers will keep coming back for more, especially if you can't amass a lot of them. You can only sell hope for so long.
We'll look at the fitness video subscription first. It costs $99 for a year-long subscription. This isn't a huge cost, but when you compare it to other content of similar or better quality on the web, it starts to lose its value.
Customers who aren't willing to put in the legwork to find or make their own workouts will benefit from this. More savvy people, though, know that there are so many “gymfluencers” and fitness professionals that post awesome workouts online.
Their shakes are meant to be meal-replacement shakes for weight loss. A 30-day supply costs over $120, so customers will pay that every month.
The shakes have up to 10 grams of sugar (a large percentage of your daily sugar) and less than 20 grams of protein. You can get equivalent or better shakes for a fraction of the price.
This means that as your customers get more involved in fitness, they may find that they don't need you anymore.
What's the Income Structure Like?
So how are people making money if not with the products? Like any MLMs, the income structure is in a triangle shape (sound familiar?).
You pay $39.95 to get in and a monthly cost to access their online content. Most people sign up after using the Beachbody products and having their distributor convince them of this great business opportunity.
It's a tempting offer. As a coach, you get a steep discount on the products.
While you can get customer leads sent to you, you can't get them until you've reached the “Emerald” level. This means that you've recruited at least one person and you have at least 50 “personal volume.” Each recruitment that you get will earn you $20.
The more recruits you get, the higher your commission on products. If a lead that was assigned to you doesn't buy any new products (meaning that they bought one kind of product beforehand, like shakes, and continued to buy the same ones), you don't get a commission.
Can I Make Money?
Let's get this out of the way: there are over 400,000 Beachbody coaches with more joining up every day. While you might think that this is a sure sign that they're doing something right, in reality, most of these people aren't making a sustainable income (or any income at all).
This also means that you're in competition with all of these people, including the ones with huge numbers of social media followers and years of experience.
In other words, it's tough. You won't make money by shilling the products to your friends, that's for sure.
When you sell through your social media (directing customers to your Beachbody site), you earn 25% on products and 40% on subscriptions. This isn't a terrible way to make money, but without a huge reach, it won't give you sustainable money.
If you want to succeed with Beachbody (or any MLM for that matter), you need to know how to market yourself. Most people who go into these MLMs don't have any marketing skills and that's one of several reasons that they fail.
If you're a good marketer and you already have a decent online presence, it's not impossible for you to make money with this kind of income structure. If you happen to already have fitness-oriented social media channels, for example, it might work for you.
MLMs are more about selling yourself and selling hope than they are about selling the products themselves.
So, Is This Fitness MLM as Good as It Seems?
As far as MLM companies go, Beachbody doesn't seem quite as terrible as some of the others. You can earn money, but unless you're a savvy marketer, you won't earn anything close to a sustainable income.
The products aren't any better than other ones that you can get for a much cheaper price from other companies, and the fitness MLM itself requires that you target people who may be insecure. This may feel unethical to you.
If you're looking for a better way to make money on your own terms, affiliate marketing might be a better option. You don't have to target your friends and family as potential customers.
In order for you to develop your skills, you should consider taking a free or paid marketing course. There are a variety of digital marketing courses you can take from businesses that can help you enhance your skills. As of writing this, over 80,000 new marketers have taken the Online Business Builder Challenge (only $7), and that might be a good starting place for you as well.