Every year I choose a word of the year. It is a word that I want to focus on for the upcoming year. I do this instead of making new year’s resolutions. For 2017 my word was Growth and for 2018 my word was Freedom. These words ended up fitting their respective years perfectly.
A look at the past
2017 was a year of growth for me, especially business wise. In 2017, I finished out my first year of teaching special ed instead of pre-k; I started a new web design business and learned a lot from it; I started a new direct sales business which took off and grew like crazy; and overall had a year of change and growth.
Freedom was a perfect fit for 2018. My new direct sales business gave me the freedom to be able to quit my teaching job and work from home. And what a blessing that has been! I am not sure how I would have managed to get through my first trimester with pretty bad morning sickness while teaching full time. It was definitely the freedom I needed.
I also was able to take my husband on a really nice vacation to Jamaica using money I made from my business. It was amazing to be able to have the freedom to go on that vacation without worrying about the cost!
My 2019 Word of the Year and why I chose it
And this year. My 2019 word of the year. This year my word is Discipline.
This year I am choosing the word discipline because it’s something I desperately need more of in all areas of my life. I am often not a very disciplined person, maybe even more so now that I am working from home and at home all day with the freedom to do what I want.
My home life needs more discipline: taking care of the laundry regularly instead of waiting for it to pile up and we’re running out of underwear (someone tell me I’m not the only one who does this); doing the dishes every day instead of letting them sit in the sink for days; cleaning the bathrooms before the get disgusting; and generally keeping up with housework and doing what I know needs to be done around the house, even though I don’t always want to do it. It takes discipline.
My business life also needs more discipline: sending hostess packets to my hosts each month and keeping up with mailings in a timely manner; hostess coaching and partnering with my hosts; chatting with those interested about the business opportunity instead of making excuses; writing the blog posts that I say I’m going to write; keeping up with my social media posts since I am running an online business; cleaning my office and keeping it organized instead of letting it get messier and messier; and actually doing the work that I know I need to do to run my business instead of wasting so much time scrolling Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest. It takes discipline.
In just a few months (June) I am due with my first baby. I don’t want him/her (we should find out soon!) to grow up and learn to be lazy and undisciplined like me. It is important to me that I set a good example for my child. I want to be able to create routines and have the schedule that my baby needs. It will take discipline. I know that I need to work on this NOW and not wait another moment.
As a direct seller or network marketer, you may have heard about branding your direct sales business and how important that is. You may know that you need to brand yourself and not your company. But how do you do that exactly? Where do you start? What steps do you take to do it? Do you just need a logo? Some colors or fonts? What exactly does branding mean?
Branding is more than just visuals, although they are important. It is also your voice, your personality, your message, etc. Branding is knowing your target market and who your ideal customer is. Did you know that branding your direct sales business can help grow your business? We’ll get to that in a minute!
But before we get into the how, let’s talk about the why. Just so we’re all on the same page here, mmmk?
I also gotta make sure and mention something. You’re doing business on a Facebook business page, right? It is against Facebook’s terms of service to do business on a personal profile. We wouldn’t want you to get put in Facebook jail now, would we? Yes, that’s a real thing. There’s lots I could talk about on this subject, and there is a way to use your personal profile to your advantage, but for now, let’s just stick to doing business on a business page, ok?
Why Branding Your Direct Sales Business Is Important
It helps you stand out
When you have a clear brand for your business, it will help you stand out from all of the other consultants in your company. You will be representing yourself as your own business, not just your company. This means you will be seen as a legit business owner, not just another consultant. When you stand out from the crowd, you will get more followers and more customers. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, and don’t copy someone else! Stand out, be yourself, and be authentic! Customers will appreciate this about you and choose to buy from you.
This means that you want to make sure you are branding yourself, not your company. Create your own brand around your YOU: your personality, your voice, your target market, etc. Your company already has its own brand. They already spend money marketing their brand. You don’t want to be “just another Scentsy* rep” (*insert your company here). People will choose to do business with you because you are YOU. You don’t want them just going and looking for just any rep; you want them to specifically want to come back and do business with YOU.
When you brand your business apart from your company you become recognizable, especially if you are consistent in your branding. Why is this important? If your visual branding is on point your customers will easily recognize you when scrolling through their news feeds. This makes them more likely to stop and read what you have to say. You want them to stop on your page and get to know you so you can begin to build a relationship with them. Relationships are very important in business!
Branding your direct sales business successfully will not only cause your customers to recognize you and your brand, but it will help them to remember you as well. When they remember you they are more likely to buy from you. Repeat buyers are huge for your business, so stand out and be remembered! If you are copying what everyone else in your company is doing, you are not going to be remembered. Create your own graphics with your branding, come up with your own posts, and do things your own way!
Your brand will also follow you if you ever change directions or companies. This is why it is important to brand YOU and not your company. If you ever decide to switch you won’t have to start all over from scratch. You will already have a brand and (hopefully!) a loyal following. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your customers to think of when they think of you? How do you make them feel? These are all good questions to ask.
It helps you grow the know, like, and trust factor
When you are recognizable, memorable, and stand out from others in your company, your customers are more likely to come back to your page and your business. They will get to know you, your personality, and your message. You will be able to build a relationship with them. When they get to know you, they will realize they like you and learn that they can trust you. This is huge for your business because customers buy from people they know, like, and trust.
In order for them to get to like you and trust you, you have to provide value. You can’t just promote your products on your page all of the time and think they will buy from you. Provide valuable content. Engage with them. Ask questions. Share other information that your target audience is interested in that doesn’t have anything to do with your product. Work on building those relationships, knowing that your branding can help with that!
So, what exactly is branding? Like I said before, branding is not just visuals, although that’s what most people think of it as. It is more than just a logo, colors, or fonts.
Your brand is how others perceive you and your business; how they feel when they come across your posts or think about your business. You can help define that through your vision, message, values, voice, personality, target audience, customer service, visuals, etc. These should be unique to you and will help you connect with your customers.
Have a clear message and vision
If you have branded your business successfully, then your business and brand should have a clear message coming across to your customers. They should know exactly what you stand for and what your business is all about. Let’s face it, for most of us our business is not just about selling a product. There is usually another driving force behind it.
Maybe you are all about helping women feel more beautiful and confident. Perhaps your goal is to help people be more organized, help people get healthier, make people’s lives easier, etc. Your brand’s vision and message should come across to your customers through your branding. You should have a specific brand voice, personality, etc, that is unique to you.
Know your target market
When you try and market your business to everyone, you end up looking “watered-down” and appealing to no one. You need to have a specific market for your business and who you are marketing to. And be specific about it! Instead of just saying your target market is “women who need better skincare products,” come up with a specific “person” who you are marketing to.
Maybe “she is a 55 year old women who can’t find a good skincare product and wants something moisturizing and good for dry, aging skin. She used tanning beds when she was younger and did not take care of her skin…” Keep it going and be specific! Not only will you attract people like your ideal client, but you will be attractive to others as well when you know exactly who you are marketing to!
If you haven’t already done so, take some time to sit down and write down your brand’s mission, vision, goals, values, and your ideal customer. These are all going to play a part in your brand message. Make sure you know your “why” and what your business stands for. What do you hope to accomplish with your business? How do you serve your customers/clients? What problems do you solve? What are you passionate about?
You can even think about your personality and how that is incorporated in your brand. Is it fun, light-hearted, humorous? Is it serious and professional? Make sure whatever it is, it is authentic! Authenticity is huge because that is how you will connect with people!
Make sure you take time to think about all of these things and write down anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can always refine it later. You may want to start by writing down some adjectives that you want to describe your business. Just get started on it and see how far you get.
Be sure to download my Brand Workbook as you are working through it! Just enter your name and email to get access to it!
Time For Visuals
Finally, it’s time to work on your visuals! Here you are going to want to come up with three to five consistent colors and two to three fonts to use in your branding. You may want to think about other patterns and brand elements as well. Be sure you think of your target market and your brand message when you are coming up with these. For example, if you realize your brand is going to have a very professional image, you probably don’t want lots of bright, neon colors!
If you’re not sure what colors to choose you may want to google “psychology of color” and do a little research on that or check out this article to help you get started.Design Seeds is a really great website with color palettes that you can look through to help you choose colors that go well together. Creating a Pinterest board and adding pins of images that you feel reflect your brand can also be helpful. You will probably notice a common theme throughout!
If you need help choosing your fonts, I’ve found a couple of websites that might help. Here is an article that talks about font pairing that might be helpful. This is another one that is about choosing the right font for your brand. You can also google (or search on Pinterest) things like font pairings or choosing the right font for your brand.
Another thing to think about is a logo if you don’t yet have a one. You may want to find a professional (or at least someone with a good eye for design) to help you with one if you don’t have the skills to create it yourself. Investing in a logo is a great thing for your business. If you don’t have the money to invest right now, you can always find and use a nice typeface you like and just use that. Make sure to check that the license allows commercial use!
Now that you have figured out your brand visuals, you can take it a step further by creating some branded graphics! Make sure you stick to your brand visuals for every graphic you make. All of these visuals are things you are going to use on your FB business page, IG page for your business, blog post images, etc. (And yes, I said FB biz page, NOT personal profile! )
If you want to create your own and not pay to have someone else do it for you, Canva is a fantastic and easy-to-use site to create graphics! There are others, such as PicMonkey, and lots of phone apps you can use as well, but Canva is my go-to site for most all of my graphics. You can use the free version or you can upgrade to the paid version to save your brand colors and fonts (my recommendation).
If you have never used Canva or other graphics software check out this blog post by my friend Erin from Alexander Design Company. She gets a little more in depth in Canva and even links to some helpful tutorials that you can check out to learn how to use it. It is a great skill to have in your business, and the more you use it, the better you will be! Of course, you can always hire someone to create your graphics for you, but it is good to at least know how to do it.
You will want to make sure your graphics have a consistent look, style, and feel to them so that when people see them they start to immediately recognize them as yours. Keep in mind all of the things we have talked about up to now (your brand message, voice, personality, ideal customer, colors, fonts, etc.) when you are creating your graphics. Here is where you get to pull it all together!
Now that you have your brand created you will use it across all of your social media platforms. When you post photos or graphics on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever social media platforms you use, make sure they reflect your visual branding. Your content should have your target audience and ideal customer in mind, your voice and personality should shine through your posts, and your message should be the same across all platforms.
When you do all of these things you will have successfully branded your direct sales business. Now will stand out from all of the other consultants in your company.
You did it!
Congrats! You did it! I am excited to see how it turns out! Leave me a comment and tell me about your new brand! I’d love to hear and even check it out!
It’s officially spring time and talk of spring cleaning is everywhere! While I know I need to spring clean my house, I am going to put it off for now and spring clean my business, instead! 😉
7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Direct Sales Business
Do you have empty likes on your Facebook page? You know, those people who are never going to buy from you? Maybe other consultants in your company or people who liked your page through a like ladder of some sort? Having those people on your page is actually not good for it! A small following of people who engage with you is way better than a large following of people who don’t care about your business. They are unlikely to engage or ever buy from you, so it is a good idea to just get rid of them! Go through FB page “likes” and delete anyone who is unlikely to actually buy from you. A small following of people who engage is better than a large following of people who don't. Click To Tweet
How organized and clean is your office? Did you make a resolution in January to keep up with the office organization and paperwork? Yeah, me too. Has that already gone by the wayside and become clutter? Yeah, mine too. Take a day to really organize and clean your office and paperwork and set up a system for keeping it that way.
How is your system for customer follow ups? Take some time to go through your past orders from the year and follow up with anyone you have missed! And make sure you have a system for follow up so no one gets left behind.
If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you started out the first of the year with a bang and a determination to rock your business this year. But somewhere along the way reality sets in, fears creep up, doubt rises, and motivation fades. If this is you right now, then go back and revisit your “why!” Do you have a mission statement for your business? Maybe you need to dust it off and get back on track. Spring cleaning time is a great time to do this!
Along with revisiting your mission statement and your why, what about updating your FB business page about section? You should update this every so often and keep it fresh and up to date. Your about section on your FB page and your about page on your blog are two of the most-read parts of your page/blog! So keep them interesting, and make sure you update them often!
How are you on keeping up with your social media platforms? Do you sometimes struggle to stay on top of them? Yeah, me too. One thing that helps me is to frequently sit down and batch my graphics. (I hope you are creating your own graphics for your social media platforms and not using others’ graphics!) I sit down and just focus on creating a bunch of different graphics at once. Then I schedule them on my social media platforms. If you can get into a routine of doing this every so often, it can help you stay on top of things!
Ok, let’s talk email inbox. Are you someone who likes a clean and organized email inbox or is yours like mine where every email you’ve ever received is still sitting there? Yeah, I am going to be working on this list, too! 😉 Go through and delete anything you don’t need, organize emails you are keeping into folders, and make sure to unsubscribe from emails and lists you don’t really need/read.Then start fresh and keep it clean and organized!
Well, there you have it. 7 ways to spring clean your business! First, leave me a comment and tell me what you are going to do to spring clean your business, then go get started! And be sure to come back when you’re done and tell me what you did and how it went!
Do you struggle with engagement on your Facebook business page? You are using a business page, right? (It is against FB’s Terms and Services to do business on your personal profile.) Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk target market, then I will give you some Facebook post ideas for better engagement! (But don’t just scroll down to that and skip this first part! It’s important, too! 😉 )
I think we all struggle with engagement at times. It can be tricky to get people to see our posts and get engagement with FB’s algorithms. But, I said tricky, not impossible. While I am not an expert at this, and I am still learning and figuring out how to best do this, I wanted to share some things that I have learned that may help you, as well.
First, you have to know your target audience.
If you don’t know your target audience, you don’t know who you are trying to connect with, and you will end up connecting with no one. Which leads to no engagement. So the first thing you should do is to create your ideal customer avatar. Know exactly who he/she is, family structure, job, likes/dislikes, struggles, etc. The more specific you can get, the better! Then, when you post on your Facebook page, make sure you are posting for that person.
Now you might be thinking that narrowing your niche may impact your business negatively. I mean, won’t only “speaking” to one person mean that I only connect with that one person and I hurt my business? No! Just the opposite, in fact! When you try to be everything to everyone and connect with everyone at the same time, you end up connect with no one! Really!
I mean, wouldn’t you speak differently and post different things if your ideal client is a 25 year old single guy vs a 40 year old woman with children? So if in some of your posts you are speaking as if your audience is 25 year old single men, and in some posts you are speaking as if your audience is 40 year old moms, who are you going to connect with? NONE OF THEM! This is why you need to choose ONE ideal customer who you are going to speak to in your business. Then you will end up connecting to lots of people just like that one!
If you are just selling all of the time, your audience will tune you out and stop following you because they are annoyed with all of the selling. No one gets on Facebook to be sold to! That’s what Amazon is for! 😉 The best thing to do is to follow the 80/20 (or 90/10!) rule. So that means out of every 10 posts, only one maaaaaybe two, should be about your products/salesy. The rest of your posts should focus on building that relationship and engagement. And make sure you are doing business on your business page, NOT your personal profile! Mmmmkay?! Ok, now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s move on to the engagement post ideas, alright?
Here is a list of 15 post ideas that you can use for engagement. If you are not used to getting engagement on your page, don’t be alarmed if it takes awhile. You will have to “train” your followers to engage with you. Start with super easy things where they can just give a simple answer, like multiple choice, or this or that. This way, all they need to do is say, “A!” Then you can move on to things that require longer answers, such as fill in the blank and asking for help/advice or asking a question. Don’t expect too much of them yet; wait until they are used to engaging with you on your page!
This or that
Multiple choice (2, 3, or 4 choices)
Fill in the blank
Ask a question
Two truths and a lie
Play a game
Ask for help/advice
Behind the scenes/real life pic
Ask their opinion
There you go! Try it out for a few weeks, then come back here and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear how it works for ya! Do you already have your ideal customer figured out? Leave a comment and tell me about him or her!
What is a target market and why do I need a target market in direct sales?
Good question! Let’s chat! 😉 First, let’s talk about what a target market is. Dictionary.com defines it as, “A particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed.” That is a perfect definition of it. You need to know exactly who your audience is and to whom you are trying to sell. (How’s that for correct grammar? 😉 ) So, yes, you need a target market in direct sales businesses!
It may be easy to think, “I sell skin care products. Everyone has skin, which means that everyone is in need of my products. My target market is anyone with skin!” Or “I sell organizational products. Everyone needs to organize their home, especially moms, so moms are my target market.” While that second thought is slightly better, neither of those answers are really very good when it comes to talking about your target market in direct sales.
You can’t sell to everyone. Well, you can, but it’s not good marketing and won’t get you the results you want. If you try and appeal to everyone in your marketing, you will end up appealing to no one. If you have read any of my other blog posts, you have probably heard me say that before. Because it’s true! And it is an important concept to learn, even as a direct seller.
Selling to “anyone who has skin,” or even “moms” is not specific enough. Yes, you may want everyone to buy from you, be your fan, like your product, etc. But the fact is, not everyone will, and that’s ok. Not everyone likes Apple products, right? And they don’t market to just anyone. They have a specific idea of who they are marketing to. You probably have a good idea of who that sort of person is! And they have built a huge brand, just by marketing to that person!
So, you need to get specific. Think of your one ideal customer and market specifically to them, and “moms” isn’t specific enough! There are lots of different types of moms with different demographics! Moms can be all different ages, races, social economic status, education levels, marital status, personality types, etc. You need to figure out which type of mom you are going to market to.
You would probably market to a 45 year old single mom, who is working a full time job with 3 teenagers, differently than you might a married 25 year first time stay-at-home mom with an infant. Those two moms are going to most likely have different interests, needs, wants, and abilities. The mom with teenagers probably isn’t going to be interested in how to organize a toy room, like the mom with the infant would. And the mom with the infant probably isn’t ready to think about what kind of organizational products might be helpful in a dorm room, right? Neither is bad, just different.
Like I said, think of one ideal customer. If you could create a perfect customer and clone 100 of them, who would he or she be? Think about specifics like how old they are, their marital status, if they work or stay at home, if they have children (and how many and what ages!), their education level, what they like to do for fun, what stresses they have in their life, what kind of music they like, etc. Get specific! You can even give this person a name, then even find a picture of what they look like from a stock photo site. My ideal customer is Jenn, and I could tell you all about her! She is who I market to.
I mentioned earlier that if you try and appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. Your content will seem watered-down and will not really connect with anyone, even if you feel like you are putting out good content! If you try to connect with all sorts of different types of people, you end up not connect to any of them. They will just scroll right on past your posts, because they aren’t connecting with them.
But, on the other hand, if you are marketing to one specific type of person, you will connect with that type of person and lots of other people like him/her. You will start to attract a following of that sort of person, which if it is your ideal customer, you will attract lots of ideal customers! 😉 That’s what you want, right? Your idea customer just coming to you?! Try it, and see how it works!
Now, leave me a comment and tell me about your ideal customer! I’d love to “meet” them! 😉
I’m Melissa Mackey, a leader with Color Street and a new lifestyle/mom blogger. A former special ed teacher turned work from home mama who loves coffee, wine, Mexican food, donuts, horses, and Jesus. Passionate about helping women like you feel just a bit more put together without taking much time out of your day – dry nail polish for the win! Sharing my about my pregnancy and journey to becoming a new mom while working my business. Come alongside me in my journey through womanhood and life. Even though it’s messy at times. Let’s be our beautiful selves together.