Why I Don’t Want To Hear About Your ‘Business Opportunity’ Via DM

I don’t know where it came from but towards the end of last year there was a real rise in people, always young women, harping on about an amazing new travel business opportunity via Instagram. I found I was getting 5 messages a day, straight into my DM’s from girls in this way and let me tell you it got old, FAST. I thought it would just be a quick flash in the pan and would fade out like most things do, but here we are in the middle of a global pandemic with very little worldwide travel and it’s still going on. I’m over it, as are everyone else I know on the receiving end of messages like these.

smoothie bowl and laptopPIN IT

To give you some background, what happens is you get someone like I’ve described above following you, then a DM with a compliment on your feed, or a question on your latest travel trip. You can spot them a mile off as they always go with this format, and if it’s not this then it’s ‘do you blog as your full time job?’, or ‘what do you do when you aren’t traveling?’. They nearly always have the tell tale ‘Travel business owner’ in their bio too. Original? No.

If you answer them, which I have done for a few usually if they don’t have the old ‘travel business owner’ in their bio, then the conversation inevitably turns to…’So I’ve recently begun working for an online travel business which allows me to make money while traveling, can I give you some more info?’. Totally vague, totally annoying, and completely the same as every other girl just like them sliding into DM’s all over instagram.

I can’t express how annoying this is. I run my instagram because I love sharing my photos, and connecting with people who have genuine, similar interests to me. I have met and built relationships with a lot of people that I respect, admire their work whether it be photographs, blogs or creativity, and I really do love that side of it. So many real relationships and conversations happen on my instagram off my feed, so it can sometimes be difficult to spot the fakes.

I will always always be open to genuine conversation with people who follow me, people I follow and people who have the same interests as me. This is why it is so frustrating that these frauds make their way in with nothing but personal gain and a ‘business opportunity’ I will never want to ‘know more about’ as their agenda.

Here’s just some of the reasons why.

It’s intrusive.

Like I said I am always happy and eager to chat about anything I post with anyone who is interested. I love sharing my stories, tips, photos and recommendations, and I put a lot of time into replying to people and having conversations with people who are genuinely looking for that with me. I really don’t mean to sound big headed. I have nowhere near the following of big professional bloggers, but you don’t need to when you’re in that space doing something you’re passionate about.

To come into my personal conversation space, and waste my time with fake interest for business gain is intrusive, and in my opinion it’s not what direct messaging is for. One of the North East bloggers I’m friends with messaged me a few days ago to say she actually received a voice note off one of them. I have as well this week, and honestly I don’t even do that with my friends.

It’s so rude.

Are you trying to take me for a complete idiot? The annoying thing is that’s how I feel when they slip the net and I actually bother to reply thinking it’s a genuine conversation. To waste someones time with conversation knowing you have an alterior motive is rude, and lacks any sort of respect for peoples time. Don’t come into my private space with that, it couldn’t be further from what I want.

And if it is a genuinely good business opportunity, why is it operating in this way? Nobody wants a message that gives no information, doesn’t get to the point and sounds just like an internet pyramid scheme – that’s the impression it gives off. Not to mention is the same as every other girl doing the same thing.

It’s fake.

Feigning interest in someone is a dangerous game, and there are people that are far less thick skinned to it than I am who take things like this seriously. I am the biggest advocate for social media to be used in a positive way, and people that use it in this way, directly to individuals that haven’t asked for it for this pointless, unprofessional gain have no thought to the effects that a ‘aw babe I love your feed’ comment can really have on vulnerable minds when it turns out there is no real interest there.

It’s not ok, wise up.

It’s not personal

Every girl I’ve had messages off in this way is saying the same as the next one. I don’t know who is teaching them it, but it couldn’t be any further from the personalised, relatable online content or selling experience that people want. More on this later.

If you have to market in this way it can’t be that great

The fact that an apparently professional business can operate in this way tells me that it really isn’t worth a single speck of my time. It’s so unprofessional, and it seems to me that whoever is behind it are sending hundreds of girls out online saying the same boring thing, with absolutely no clue who they are messaging or even how often.

I have one girl who has messaged me the same question ‘how long did you go to amalfi for?’ FOUR times. The most recent time I actually screen grabbed the previous three times she sent me it and pointed out how ridiculous it was that she had no clue she had even messaged me before, let alone actually be interested in what I’m sharing.

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If people wanted it they’d find you – and if you knew marketing you’d know that

If I have learned anything working in a specialised marketing department for over four years, it’s that diving straight in like this with a rubbish pitch is the last thing you should ever do. When it comes to business, people use social media for mainly but not exclusively two things; customer service or research. If they are interested they come to you. And if they aren’t, finding prospective newbies doesn’t start with a direct message…ever.

It’s like an online equivalent to cold calling or door knocking, invading someone’s personal space without being invited in. Do your research because a quick search on twitter will show you peoples honest thoughts about it.

Which again makes my point about why it’s so intrusive to appear in people private messages in this way with a crappy business proposal that actually gives no information whatsoever. Credible businesses don’t have to operate in this way. It’s not like they’ve followed you and you’re sending an automated or personalised response, which would be understandable as they’ve shown an interest in you. It’s not like they have actively searched you out.

And finally, it’s just not trustworthy.

Why on earth would I trust *BeCkY* on Instagram with any information on myself, where I work, what I do, and invest my time in hearing about a business opportunity in this way? And if I’m completely wrong and missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime then so be it, because I do not want to work for or join any business that operates in this way.

It’s essentially a pretence at interest in someone, a fake attempt at following or friendship, with a shallow, meaningless motive that couldn’t be further from the genuine relationships people actually want to have with businesses or brands these days, especially on social media, and in messaging people this way it serves nothing but the worst aspects of social media that I work so hard to stay away from.

Please stop, and don’t call me rude if I or anyone else points this out to you. People are often too polite in situations like this for fear of being called rude, when the reality is the intrusion is what’s rude in the first place. It’s not right to put that uncomfortable burden onto people going about their normal daily life whether that’s online or not. Read the room.

Other posts you might like:

How to write a successful blog pitch

How to juggle a blog with a full time job

How to use instagram positively to organise your life

Comment

6 Comments

  • Eleanor
    16th June 2020

    Yes to this!! Xx

  • Melis Living
    16th June 2020

    I totally agree and I am sick of getting these too! When they send their first ‘hey babe so would you recommend *insert place I’ve shared a pic of recently here*’, I sometimes wonder if I should respond saying yes I recommend it but if this is going to turn into a travel business conversation I am not interested thanks. Maybe we need an automated reply ha? I will respond to your DM within one business day but if it is about starting my own travel business then I’m not interested, thanks.
    I hope they stop. I do find it even more insensitive in the middle of a pandemic when nobody is travelling! Melis x

    • Steph Fox
      Melis Living
      16th June 2020

      Yep, I do say that if they have the ‘travel business owner’ bio. And that’s such a good point about the pandemic, people have more important things to worry about don’t they

  • Lauren
    16th June 2020

    Oh my god could not relate to this more. I hate getting these messages as well and have definitely been fooled a few times thinking someone just wanted a genuine conversation. It’s just not how a business should operate if it’s actually worth it. Here’s hoping they get the hint soon and stop messaging! X

    • Steph Fox
      Lauren
      16th June 2020

      Fingers crossed! x

  • June 2020 Monthly Round Up | Stephanie Fox Blog
    30th June 2020

    […] day with a particular irritation over this after so many messages, I wrote this on why it’s just unprofessional, rude and just plain annoying. One of those ranty posts but I feel it’s […]

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