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.
Have you ever experienced a season of change, maybe a life-change, and felt the urge to make changes in your business? Or, have you experienced changes in your business and felt the urge to make changes in your life? Maybe you suddenly realize that things in your life or business are going in a different direction than you had planned and you realize you need to make some changes?
We all have seasons of change at some point in our life or business, and that’s where I’ve been at lately.
It’s not unusual for women who own their own businesses to find that their life experiences affect the way they do business. Changes in their interests over time can affect their business. For me, the life change was getting pregnant with my first child. (Oh, and it’s a girl, by the way!) And as I am journeying through this pregnancy and change in my life, I’m realizing that my business is going to shift a bit as well.
My first two businesses
But, before I get into that, I want to tell you a little about myself. My business experience started in 2015 with my very first direct sales business. I attended a Norwex party online and fell in love with their cleaning products. It has done wonders for my husband’s allergies and our health in general and I knew that I wanted to promote the product, so I joined and started working the business alongside my teaching job.
While I still love and use and occasionally promote (but not as actively) Norwex, in 2017 my business transitioned into creating websites for women in direct sales. I had created a website for myself, mostly by figuring it out on my own, and realized I really enjoyed it and it was something I could help other women like me with. I started Melissa Mackey Brand Co and used that platform to share about web design, branding, direct sales tips, etc.
Then later that year, I was introduced to Color Street. Several of my friends had signed up with this brand new dry nail polish company right when (and some even before) it launched. I was excited to try the product and loved it, but wasn’t interested in the business opportunity at the time. Last July (2017) I agreed to host a party as I loved the product, but said “no” to the opportunity. I said “no” several times after that, but finally in September, I realized that I was wearing and promoting the product and could be earning commission and free product! So, I signed up, thinking I would do this business “on the side.” Ha!
Anyone who knows me very well knows that I can’t do something like a business half way or “on the side.” If I’m in, I’m all in. So I went all in with Color Street. But because of this, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the web design business. While it is possible to run two businesses at once, I knew that it wasn’t for me. I needed to focus on one at a time, especially as I was still teaching full time at this point! So I once again made a transition in my business.
And now to where I’m at now. This current blog space started with content from my previous website – my direct sales web design business. Now you’re going to see a bit more variety in the content on this website.
Since I am expecting my first child, I am making yet another transition. A Colorful You will become more like a lifestyle blog. The existing content on direct sales and business topics will be joined by blog posts on topics like pregnancy, parenting, and a variety of topics on working from home (like getting started, working at home with children, staying motivated, taking care of yourself when you’re busy, and keeping all the balls in the air as a working mom, for example). I’ll have some content related to direct sales and marketing, but that will not be the entire focus of my content.
My hope is that this space will become a well-rounded, informative and entertaining blog, for moms, soon-to-be moms, and those who work from home, whether they have children or not, to learn and see that they’re not alone in the things they experience and the struggles they deal with.
Have you ever dealt with seasons of change? What kind of changes did you make in your life or business? Leave me a comment and tell me about it!
7 Things I Stopped Doing In Order To Grow My Business
You often hear people talking about what they did to grow their business. But sometimes there are things you are doing that you need to stop doing in order to grow your business. Here is my list.
Doubting myself. Ah. This is a big one! It is so easy to let those thoughts of doubt creep in. You wonder if you are good enough, have the right skills or the right personality, you think maybe you can’t do it and are afraid you will fail. Guess what. Those doubts are holding you back from what you can accomplish! I ran across a quote recently that I love that says, “You are braver than you feel, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I love that, because you ARE! We all have moments of doubt, but when they creep in you need to kick them to the curb and not let them define your success. Don't let your doubts define your success. Click To Tweet
Listening to my fears. This one kind of goes along with the last. Along with doubts come fears. Many times it is the fear of failure, but sometimes there can be a fear of success, as well. And that fear can hold you back from growing your business. Don’t let fear get in the way. Do it scared, just do it.
Comparison Do you ever look at another consultant or competitor and compare yourself to them and their success and just want to give up? Yeah, that happens to all of us at times. It is so easy to look at what someone else is doing and how great their business seems to be going and think we can’t do it, get jealous of their success, or feel inadequate. But just like an iceberg, we are only seeing part of what is going on and not what is underneath all of that success. We don’t see all of the hard work that has gone in to getting them where they are at now. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle! Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle! Click To Tweet
Copying and pasting others. Do you ever see what someone else is doing great and want to copy them so that you can get the same results? They post a fun graphic on FB and get lots of engagement on it, so you are tempted to steal their graphic and use it as well. Yes, I said steal. Because it is stealing! Don’t do this! Not only can it land you in FB jail and piss someone off, but it is illegal! You cannot just take graphics you find online (or on google!) and just use them for yourself! Don’t get yourself in trouble and/or get put in FB jail, or worse, sued and fined! Yes, it most definitely happens, so that is not a risk I am willing to take! Get yourself a free account on Canva.com and make your own graphics! There are also lots of phone apps that you can use to create cute graphics as well. Stand out and brand yourself! And while we’re at it, try to stay away from using your company’s graphics as much as possible. Yes, they are created for you to use, but if everyone in your company is using the same graphics, then you are not branding yourself and FB may decide to block you (put you in jail) because you are “copying” and not being original. Check out my post on Branding Your Direct Sales Business: The Complete Guide for more branding tips.
Sell, Sell, Sell. Is selling your products all you are trying to do with your business? There is so much more to a business than just selling a product! Don’t just sell, sell, sell. Build relationships! Engage! Be authentic! Get to know your audience! Make sure they are able to get to know you, like you, and trust you before you try to hard sell them anything. Work at building authentic relationships and the selling will follow. If you are in direct sales, check out my post, How to Do Direct Sales Without Being Spammy!
Doing it alone. Do you ever think you have to do it all alone in order to succeed? Most of the people who have thriving businesses did not get there by themselves. They had other people alongside them encouraging them and giving them advice along the way. Don’t have someone like that? Find someone! Is your upline not helpful or non-existent? Don’t let that stop you, find someone else. Maybe it’s another consultant, a different upline/team, or your downline. Maybe it’s a business coach you find or a friend or someone in a FB group for direct sellers or entrepreneurs. If you don’t have any support in your business, I would encourage you to check out this group on FB: The Socialite Suite with Brenda Ster. It’s a great group to get advice and encouragement.
Negative talk. Your mindset and self-talk can really make a difference in your success. I didn’t used to really believe it, but I do now. When you believe in yourself and think and speak positively about yourself and your business, your positivity will affect your outlook, your confidence, and your business. Come up with some positive affirmations and mantras (even if they are not yet completely true) and start speaking them every day. Write them down somewhere will you will see them every day to remind yourself. Mine is, “I attract motivated direct sales leaders who want to do business with me. I am the direct sales website woman.”
So there you have it. 7 things you need to stop doing in order to succeed in your business. What are you going to do about it? Did one (or more) of these 7 items stand out to you? Which one are you going to stop doing? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to help you along your journey!
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?
You know those posts where they ask everyone to share their Facebook page or Instagram link and everyone is supposed to “like” or follow everyone else’s links to help them grow their following? We call those “like ladders.” Almost every business group that I am in have certain days where they do this. For some reason, there is this idea out there that the goal to growing your business on social media is to get as many followers as you can. Maybe at one time it was true. But is it true now? Do like ladders really help your page? Let’s talk about it!
When you participate in a like ladder, are those people typically interested in your business? No! They are just hoping to get “likes” in return and secretly (or not-so-secretly) hoping to convert you as a customer. They are never actually planning to buy from you or even engage with your page or business. That is what we call “empty likes.” They do nothing for your page or business. They are just…..there. And if those people are not engaging and there is no chance in you converting them to a customer, why keep them or even try to gain those likes in the first place? How is that going to help your business? It is just going to drag your engagement on your page down, which is actually very bad for your page and your business. Empty likes are not going to help your page! They really just drag your engagement down! Click To Tweet
Speaking of engagement, you may have heard about Facebook’s “algorithm.” It’s sort of like this secret algorithm that nobody really knows exactly what it is, but they are constantly trying to figure out….and it is constantly changing! But one thing we do know, is that Facebook does not care about numbers of “likes” on a page. It cares about engagement. So if you have tons of “likes,” but no one is engaging on your page, then Facebook thinks your page is not important and will not show your posts to many people in your news feed. On the other hand, if you get lots of engagement on your page from your followers, Facebook thinks your page must be awesome and so they show your posts to more people in your news feed. It’s kind of like they “test” out your posts at first. They show it to a few people, not many, and then see what kind of engagement it gets to decide if your post should be shown to more. So engagement is huge for the Facebook algorithm!
So, which is better? Quality followers or the quantity of followers? Quality followers, people who actually want to like your page and engage with it, is way better than the quantity of likes on a page. I know this can be hard to accept, because we all want to grow the number of followers we have. Buuuut, a small, but engaged following is going to be way better for your page than a large, unengaged following. Numbers really mean nothing. Engagement does. So don’t focus on how many likes you have. Don’t compare your number of likes to someone else’s! Only focus on your engagement. Focus on attracting quality leads to your page. When you see these like ladder posts, DON’T participate, no matter how tempting it is! Remind yourself that it just going to hurt your business! If you are realizing that you made some mistakes in the past, don’t fret! There are always things that you can do to turn your page around and help your page’s engagement.
So, what next?
You can start today by cleaning out your likes on your page. Go through and delete the people who have liked your page from a “like ladder” or something of the sort. If they are someone who is not going to engage on your page, then there is no reason to keep them around. Time to let them go! Bless and release. You can do this in the settings of your page, under “people and other pages.” Then, work on teaching your followers to engage on your page. Post simple questions, such as “this or that,” “A or B” type of questions and engage back with anyone who comments! Ask them a followup question. Show them that it is ok for them to comment on your page and that you will engage them back in conversation! It may take some time, but you can work to grow your page’s engagement over time.
What are you going to do TODAY to help your business grow? Are you going to go through and delete empty likes? Start posting engagement posts and respond to all comments? Train your followers to engage with you? Tell me in the comments below and let’s celebrate your growth together!
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.