Is your direct sales business ruining your friendships?
Is direct sales ruining friendships for you? Have you noticed people unfriending you on Facebook, not responding to your messages/texts/calls, not wanting to hang out with you, etc? It may have something to do with the way you are running your business. Direct sales doesn’t have to hurt friendships! It can actually help them!
The #1 rule in business, especially online business, is build relationships! Building relationships and connecting with your customers is crucial in any business, but especially in direct sales. I say this all the time, but people need to know, like, and trust you before they will buy from you, and even more so if they are going to be a repeat customer!
So your main focus with your business should be building relationships, not selling. Don’t worry so much about the sales – those will come when you connect with people. Treat your customers like a real person, a friend even, not just a sale. Take care of your customers. Get to know them and allow them to get to know you.
Stop adding people to groups
I feel like I should put this one in all caps and shout it from the rooftops. STOP ADDING PEOPLE TO GROUPS! Most people cannot stand this and it just turns them off from your business. So, if you are doing this, it is very likely hurting your business, not helping it.
Now, Facebook has pretty recently changed some things so that people have to accept an invite to a group, but still – they’re probably not going to if they were just added without their permission. Plus, a smaller engaged and interested following is waaaay better than a larger unengaged, uninterested audience. Really, truly. Quality is much better than quantity.
Having tons of people in your Facebook is not good for your business, especially where Facebook is concerned. According to Facebook, having an engaged following is more important than a large following!
Don’t do business on your personal profile! That is against Facebook’s policies and you could find yourself in Facebook jail if you do. This is a great way to get unfriended, unfollowed, and marked as spam.
Facebook business pages exist for a reason….for business! This will help keep you from ruining friendships if you keep your personal profile for your personal life, things that your friends want to see and interact with you on, and keep your business to your business page where anyone who wants to keep up with your business can “like” it and follow and interact with you there.
Now I’m not saying you can’t ever share or post something related to your business on your personal profile, but it should not be very often, especially if it is a “sales” post. Keep most of your business related content to your business page so you don’t end up annoying your friends and ruining friendships. If all they see is salesy, spammy posts on your profile, they’re going to assume that’s all you care about. They’re going to assume that you are just a sale to them, more than a friend. And you don’t want that.
Don’t be spammy or salesy
People do not get on Facebook to be sold to! If you are always just posting salesy stuff, even on your business page, you will be turning people off of your page. You should be posting only one, maybe two sales post out of every 10 posts and other types of posts for the other 8 or 9. Think encouragement, motivation, inspiration, how-tos, behind the scenes, helpful info, tips/hacks etc.
Give them a reason to want to follow you, see your posts, and come back to your page. Plus, this will help them get to know you, which helps them to like you and trust you and buy from you!
This is so important! People can see right through inauthentic people! Your followers, customers, and friends want to connect with you on a real level. They don’t want to have to be afraid that every conversation they have with you or every post they see is going to have to do with promoting your business or trying to sell to them somehow. They will see right through that and will not want to interact with you.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself, be authentic, and even get vulnerable. Connect with your followers and customers genuinely, because you truly do want to get to know them, not just to get a sale.
Is it possible to do direct sales without being spammy?
Have you ever wondered how to do direct sales without being spammy? Is that even possible? You may already be in direct sales or network marking or maybe you’re thinking about joining, and you may be wondering if there is a way to do it without being spammy. I’m here to tell you, there is! It seems like everywhere you turn online, there are direct sellers spamming like crazy, on their profiles, in groups, and everywhere they can. Is this the only way to get sales and do business? Absolutely not! There are much better ways! Here are a few tips.
Business page vs personal profile
First things first. Do business on a business page, not your personal page! Facebook created business pages for a reason…for businesses! It is actually against Facebook’s terms of service to business on your personal page. You could risk getting put in Facebook jail. And yes, that is a real thing. Don’t risk it! It’s not worth it.
People don’t get on Facebook to be sold to! If you are doing business on your personal page, your friends and family are going to get annoyed and unfriend or unfollow you. You don’t want to lose friendships because of your business, do you? I didn’t think so. Using a business page for your business allows people who are actually interested in it to follow you and engage with you over there, and allows you to build relationships and stay friends with everyone else! Which in the long run is better for you business, anyway!
Second… DON’T ADD PEOPLE TO GROUPS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION! Sorry to yell at you, but this one is a big no-no. People are starting to get very annoyed, to say the least, at getting added to groups that they don’t want to be in. This will not only hurt your relationships with your friends/family, but it will also hurt your business and your group, as well. Many, if not most, of the people you add are not actually interested in being there. If they do not leave the group, then they are just empty group members, not engaging with your group or buying from you. Adding people to groups is just a great way to make people mad and turn them off from your business. Let them request to be added themselves, or send them a message first and see if they are interested in being a part of it!
My first two points touched on this, but one of the most important, if not THE most important, things you can do is to build relationships. Building relationships is really the key to growing your business. People don’t want to do business with a company. They want to do it with a person. And they don’t want to buy from just anybody. They want to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. So build that relationship (AUTHENTICALLY!) and let people get to know, like, and trust you. The real you. Engage them in conversation, get to know them and let them get to know you, serve them, provide value, etc.
Don’t just try and sell your product all of the time. 80-90% of your social media posts should be about things other than selling, and only 10-20% should be about your product. This means that you need to be providing value and engaging your followers.
No matter what product or service you are selling, you will get better results when you shift your mindset from “how can I get customers/clients/sales” to “how can I provide value for my followers.” Ask questions, share info and tips and tricks, share behind-the-scenes photos, etc. Think about what other things your followers are interested in other than your product and talk about that. Build the relationships first, and the sales will follow. You will get better results when you shift your mindset to providing value. Click To Tweet It is very possible to do direct sale without being spammy, but it takes a mindset shift and implementing these tips. Tell me…what do you to to make sure you are not being spammy in your business?
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!
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! 😉
Ever had a Facebook party suck? Yeah, me too. Anyone and everyone who does Facebook parties has had at least one (probably many!) Facebook parties that bombed. Really. It’s true! Just ask them and see! Here’s what to do when that happens.
What to do when Facebook parties suck.
You see, it happens to all of us. Every single one of us. No matter how awesome of a direct seller we are. It. Happens. Parties that don’t get any sales. Parties where no one shows up. Parties that get cancelled last minute. Parties where the host doesn’t even show up! Parties with no bookings. Technology issues. Hosts that don’t follow your coaching or listen to you. Hosts that just don’t care or try. It happens.
So, what are you going to do about it when it happens? Because if it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Just you wait. (I mean, if it hasn’t happened yet, have you even DONE any Facebook parties??!)
Here’s what you can do. Cry about it. Throw yourself a pity party. Complain on social media. Vow to never do another Facebook party again. Decide that you’re the worst consultant ever. Quit your business.
You can do these things if you want. But will they really help anything? Are you really the worst consultant ever? Most definitely not, if you are working your business and trying to do things the right way! There’s a better way to deal with when Facebook parties suck.
Get over it! Shrug your shoulders and move on! Eat a bowl of ice cream and watch your favorite tv show. Have a dance party. Take a bath. Go book yourself another party to replace the one that bombed! Figure out what might have gone wrong (sometimes nothing!) and fix it if you can. Look up some Facebook party trainings. Ask someone who is successful for advice. See how you can improve your hostess coaching. Decide that one bad Facebook party (or several!) is not going to keep you down. Keep trying. Keep your chin up. Remember that you are awesome and you can totally do this!
Y’all, there’s no way to keep from having bad Facebook parties. It’s just part of direct sales life. You have to learn to pick yourself back up and keep on keeping on. You can do this! And if you need any help, I’m here for you! Just reach out and I’ll see how I can help. Really!
What Facebook party tips do you have? Share them in the comments!
Are you working a direct sales business or a hobby? First, let’s figure out the difference. Christy Wright from The Business Boutique says in in her blog post, The First Step to Turning Your Hobby Into a Business, “The first step to turning your hobby into a business is this: Treat it as a business…This will be easier to do if you understand the difference between a hobby and a business. A business makes you money. A hobby costs you money.” Hmm. Is your business costing you money, or is it making you money? If you aren’t able to say that you are making money with your business, let’s see what we can do to change that for you.
Is Making Money Possible?
First, let’s answer this question. Is it even possible to make money in direct sales? Some people don’t believe it is. But that is entirely not true. No, it may not be easy and it takes hard work and dedication, but it is totally possible to have a direct sales business that makes money! There are people in direct sales or network marketing businesses making anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars each month. I am one of them. And I personally know many others.
But none of us got there overnight. None of us sat back, posted sale posts to our personal profile every day, and got rich. We all put in the work. We learned how to effectively market our business. We figured out how to build relationships with our customers. We took courses and learned from industry leaders. We put in the time, energy, and effort that it takes to be successful and it paid off.
When your business is a hobby
See if this sounds at all familiar. When your business is a hobby, you are very likely just making the minimums that your company requires each month, if even that. You may get an order here or an order there. You have a party or maybe two a month. You are posting on your personal profile about your business every day and begging people to book parties with you. Does any of this sound familiar? Why is it not working? Why aren’t you making any money or getting customers, hosts, or recruits? Why isn’t it working for you?
Simply put, you’re not doing the work. You’re not treating your business like a business. You need to learn how to effectively market your business on social media (business page anyone?), how to build relationships with your customers, know your target audience, and keep a consistent party calendar. It’s not enough to just do a little bit here and there or halfway try. You have to be all in, determined to make it work. You should be focused on creating customers, following up with past customers, booking parties, hostess coaching, and recruiting. Every week.
When your business is a business
When you treat your business as a business, you are going above and beyond the minimums each month. Just hitting the minimums is not an option in your mind. You frequently follow up with past customers, stay in touch, and get reorders from them often. You party weekly, usually twice, maybe even three times, a week. You swear by Shari McAllister’s 10-8-2 formula, booking 10 parties every month, holding at least 8, and recruiting an average of two people a month. You rarely post on your personal profile, only just enough to intrigue people and let them know you’re still in business. You utilize your business page and post purposeful and relate-able content on there. You take courses on how to market on social media. You know your target audience and build relationships with them. You are consistent in your business. You show up every day and do the work that it takes to succeed.
One more thing….if you signed up for your company just to have a hobby and you are happy with where you are at with it, that is completely ok! You don’t have to do more with it if you don’t want to! There is nothing wrong with having a hobby business. This blog post is directed towards those who want to build a bigger business, but are still treating it as a hobby. 😉 Tell me… does any of this resonate with you? How are you working your business? Is it a business or just a hobby?
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.