In the world of MLM’s, Team Beachbody is a fairly new player in the game. Originally selling fitness videos and instruction, their lineup has now expanded to include nutrition supplements, meal replacements, and apparel. Their distributors are called “coaches,” and they market their products through a variety of channels. As is the recurring theme with most MLM companies, Team Beachbody is not immune to the pyramid scheme accusations.
Team Beachbody Company Overview
History of Beachbody
Beachbody LLC was founded just over 20 years ago in 1998 by Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon. Beachbody is the creator of a number of popular fitness video series, such as P90X, INSANITY, and 21 Day Fix. Almost everyone has at least heard of one of these programs.
The company began to expand from instructional videos and diet guidelines into nutrition supplements. They developed and released their flagship nutrition supplement called Shakeology in 2009, which is considered a superfood nutrition shake. The Shakeology product is still one of their top sellers.
As the company began to grow its distributor network, it adopted the “Team Beachbody” name to signify that all the distributors were part of the same team. These individual distributors are called coaches, and they are expected to provide advice, accountability, and motivation to their customers. Today, Team Beachbody consists of over 350,000 independent coaches.
Unlike many MLM’s, the company has stayed relatively clean when it comes to fines and investigations regarding pyramid schemes. There is still a fair amount of scrutiny from the public about the company and its practices, but no real formal penalties have been imposed on the company from those allegations. The main complaint still revolves around the fact that most coaches do not make a profit, and many are misled into signing up by promises of false earning potential.
Even though the company has avoided major investigations around its structure, that is not to say it has avoided all trouble. In 2016 Beachbody settled a lawsuit with the City of Santa Monica, CA for $3.6 million. In the settlement, the company agreed to stop making bold claims about its Shakeology product. The State of California now bars the company from making any claims that are not backed by scientific evidence.
In addition to the claims about its Shakeology product, the company also took a hit over its auto-renewal policies. It was forced to change the way that it handled auto-renewals for customer subscriptions. The City of Santa Monica felt that it was too difficult for customers to cancel subscriptions, and customers were being charged even after they had decided to quit the programs.
Current Company Structure
The company boasts that they have a network of over 350,000 coaches today. However, this number is down from the 450,000 that were a part of the organization in 2016. The number of coaches, along with sales revenue, has declined over the past few years. Carl Daikeler, one of the original founders, is still CEO of the company.
Even with the decline in coaches, the company still has annual revenues over $1 billion. Daikeler continues to evolve and expand the company’s product line to keep the company successful. While DVD’s were once the company’s top seller, they now sell “Beachbody On Demand.” This is an online library of videos that customers can access anywhere via a subscription service.
Beachbody Product Lines
While DVD’s were once king of the Beachbody product line, today their fitness programs are offered on-demand through their website. The company offers approximately 40 different workout programs and associated nutritional offerings. These programs range from familiar products like P90X and INSANITY to new products like Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam.
In addition to fitness programs, they company also sells nutrition programs. These aren’t simply supplements or meal replacements, they are entire programs designed to help customers develop healthy habits and look at nutrition in a whole new way. The 2B Mindset and the Ultimate Portion Fix are two of their most popular nutrition programs.
The company also offers physical products such as their popular Shakeology product and other supplements. Their BEACHBAR snack bars are a new product that have become quite popular, and they also sell apparel and accessories like resistance bands and chin up bars.
While all these products are sold individually, the company really pushes bundles. They often refer to these bundles of products as “challenges,” and they encourage their customers to complete the challenge. For example, a customer can purchase a 21-day challenge that includes the workouts, diet plan, and nutrition supplements for the entire duration of the challenge. These challenges are big money makers for the company’s coaches.
Company Marketing Practices
In the early days of the company, infomercials were nearly the sole marketing technique used. However, that has changed dramatically over the years. While the company does market their products through traditional advertising, social media has become their largest push.
Coaches are encouraged to lead by example and document their own fitness journeys on social media so that customers can see the results and benefits of the company’s products. The coaches who earn the most money have very large social media followings, and they use that network to sell products and recruit other coaches. The purchase of products takes place mostly through the company’s website, which means that coaches no longer must deal with physical distribution of products.
Making Money with Beachbody
The question that most people have about every MLM out there is whether they can actually make money selling that company’s products. The answer seems to also be the same for most MLM’s. That answer is that it is possible to make a lot of money; however, the average person makes very little.
According to Beachbody’s Statement of Earnings, the average coach during 2018 earned just over $3,000. Other data suggests that over half of active coaches made zero profit with the company. On the high end, the company’s report shows that their top earners made over $3 million during 2018.
How to Enroll as a Coach
Becoming a coach is easy. Simply go the Beachbody website and click the button to enroll. The signup fee is $39.95, which includes a welcome book and online support tools to help manage your business. After 30 days, there is a monthly fee of $15.95 to continue operating your coaching business. New coaches are encouraged to purchase a Challenge Pack, but this is not mandatory.
At its base, the compensation plan for selling products is straightforward. Coaches earn a 25% commission on the sale of retail products like Shakeology or other nutrition products. A 35% commission is earned on Challenge Packs, and the coach earns 40% for Beachbody On Demand subscription purchases.
The recruiting portion is where things get a little more complicated. A coach recruits and earns money from the sales of their downline, and they also can earn commission from the sales of their “personally sponsored coaches.” Coaches can earn both weekly and quarterly bonuses from these sales based on their tier level and the sales volume.
Sales and Marketing Techniques
Social media is the best way to become a successful Beachbody coach and earn a great income. The company thinks of their coaches as walking billboards and having a great social media presence is the best way for coaches to tout the benefits of the company’s products. A large social media presence also creates the largest audience to which the coach can market products and recruit new coaches.
Comparison to Other MLMs
There are a lot of MLMs out there. Team Beachbody has a higher earning potential than many other MLMs, and the average earnings of nearly $300 per month is higher than most MLM’s. However, like with many other companies, about half of Beachbody’s coaches produce zero income from their business. The company is completely focused in the health and fitness niche, so their products are limited to this space.
Even though Beachbody is still considered a young company, the earning potential for a new coach is quite high as compared to other MLMs. However, in order to be successful, coaches must live the lifestyle they are trying to sell. Beachbody makes it easy to sign up as a coach, and they provide startup materials to help their coaches be successful. This is definitely a legitimate opportunity, but hard work and dedication are required to make money through the program.