The $35B (with a capital “B”) direct sales industry has traditionally consisted of moms selling products to their families and friends. It’s one that promotes in-home parties, recruiting new members to the company, and residual income with the potential of earning millions of dollars.
Enter rebel Jennie Bellinger, host of the Badass Direct Sales Mastery podcast. And yes, “rebel” is a word carefully chosen to describe her:
“What I see happen over and over again,” Jennie said, “is that a vast majority of network marketers are rebels. We are willing to step out of corporate—out of the traditional business model—to do something different. We’re willing to take that step out.”
Jennie’s path to “Direct Sales Domme” started out fairly typically—it was a way to supplement family income while staying home with her kids. But she decided to take a different approach to the home party business model by starting monthly buying clubs. She discovered that she enjoyed training new consultants just as much as she did the selling. This path ultimately led her to being a certified life coach, helping her clients not just with business, but with “whole life.” Many have young families and work from home, and juggling all the responsibilities can be overwhelming. Luckily, the Badass Direct Sales Mastery podcast is there to help.
This is not your typical ‘pearls and rah rah’ podcast for the direct sales industry. As the name suggests, the podcast plays off the BDSM theme. From the cover tile to the use of “meatloaf” as a “safe” word, this is a tongue-in-cheek podcast that is really anything but. It teaches selling, leadership skills, life skills, and all the ins and outs of business ownership. And… it’s not just a podcast for direct sellers. The sound business principles discussed are relevant to ALL small business owners.
The deliberate branding of the podcast is what stands out first. The tile features Jennie in a purple corset with a whip, the colors dark and mysterious. It appeals to the rebel in us, as listeners. The forbidden. The humorous side of sexy. The podcast’s website carries out the branding, and it’s simply fun.
“We have a good time with it,” Jennie said. “We set the branding up as an attraction-repulsion marketing thing. I wanted to attract my people… my goal was to get people to look at the art. I wanted women to start giggling and go, ‘That’s fun!’ If people immediately look at my tile art and get the joke, then they are my peeps, because it is hilarious. I mean, let’s be honest… it’s funny, you know? And if anybody looks at my art and has an ‘I could never!’ reaction while clutching their pearls, then they are not my audience or potential client.
“The way I see it, podcasting is a very individual experience—nobody knows you’re listening to it. Not even Apple knows. So if, in the privacy of your own car, kitchen, home, office, or gym, with your earbuds in, you can’t even listen to something that is a little outside your comfort zone, then you are not going to be successful working with me. When I coach or talk with people, I ask them to do things that kind of push their comfort zones. So again, if you’re turned off by my podcast, our paths are likely not meant to cross. And that’s okay! People can think whatever they want of me. That’s not my business.”
True to her rebel nature, Jennie explained how that sense of rebelliousness is rampant in network marketers.
“We have the ability to rebel against the process provided by the network marketing company itself, too. What I’m doing is saying, ‘Yes, this is what the company says is the process. They boil it down to the bare minimum, but what you’re supposed to do is take that and go, okay, as long as I’m doing these three (or five or seven) things, whatever it is that the company says I do, I can absolutely be ME in each piece of the process.’ Make it yours.”
Jennie’s audience, to whom she lovingly refers to as the “Badass Crew,” is the reason she records the podcast. She feels a responsibility to them to produce quality episodes, and in return, she receives something equally fulfilling:
“When the Badass Crew meets me, or when I meet someone who identifies as ‘bad,’ they love me. The first meeting I ever had with somebody from my audience started out with her scream. Like I was freaking The Beatles,” Jennie laughed. “And I’m going to quote Spiderman now: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ I have to make sure that what I’m putting out there is fully in alignment with my values, my branding, my beliefs, and my everything. This is what I was called to do.
“I remember Steve Olsher (the editor-in-chief of Podcast Magazine®) saying something at the first New Media Summit I attended that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “There is someone out there praying for you. They just don’t know you exist. And it is your duty as an entrepreneur, regardless of your product or service, to get the message out there, so they can find you. Then, you can help them achieve the outcome that you know you can get for them.’ I’m able to do that through my podcast.”
Jennie loves podcasting so much, in fact, that she often offers gifts to her listeners who reach out, because as she explained, “We are just as excited to hear from you as you are to reach out to us! I give free courses and free memberships out on my Facebook group, too… I give all kinds of things away that you would normally pay for, because it just makes me so happy to hear from people who are listening!”
The Badass Direct Sales Mastery podcast topics run the gamut from mindset to finances to email marketing and more. It has also contributed to Jennie’s business’s growth, as she is now worldwide in in 28 countries.
“I had my first episode with someone in Portugal, and now, we are getting an interpreter and doing an episode entirely in Portuguese. This way, she can share her episode with her non-English-speaking friends. Same questions, same answers, just all in Portuguese. So then her friends can listen to the English one if they want to get better at English, but they can go listen to the Portuguese one if they’re not feeling super comfortable with the English. I’m about to have my first bilingual episode!”
For the inner rebel in all of us, take some saucy, add some racy, and finish with a splash of irreverence… and there you have the Badass Direct Sales Mastery podcast. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
March 2022 Issue