Direct Sales: Business or Hobby?

Direct Sales: Business or Hobby?

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?

Changing the Negative in Direct Sales

Changing the Negative in Direct Sales

Direct sales and network marketing often get a bad rap. You’ve seen it, right? A lot of people only see the negative in direct sales. But not all direct sales consultants are bad! Not everyone is spammy and only focused on selling to their friends and making money. There are many awesome direct sales consultants! But how do we change this negative outlook people have? It’s not going to happen overnight, but here are some things you can do to help.

Focus on relationships

This is one of the best things you can do! Many direct sales or MLM reps focus on selling and marketing, and not in a good way. The are so focused on selling their product that they just spam all of their friends and family and don’t put relationships first! People do business from people the know, like, and trust. And people are not going to know, like, and trust you if they don’t feel that you are authentic in your communication with them or don’t feel like you care about them. So before you try to sell anyone anything, build a relationship with them and keep that at the focus! Show off your personality in your social media posts and let your followers get to know you. Ask them questions and get to know them, as well! Create engagement on your page and build those relationships.

Focus on serving

Serving others, that is! Don’t be self-serving. People will see right through that. If all you care about is what other people can do for you and your business, you will not get very far. Focus on how you can serve others. Most likely, your product can help someone in some way. But instead of focusing on sales of your product, focus on how you/your product can help others. Don’t push it down their throats, though! If they didn’t ask for your help, it may not be wise to give it. Be sure you are serving people and not annoying people. Customer service can go a long way!

Stay positive

Many people in direct sales get caught up in the negative. Whether its being negative about their business or shaming someone else’s or a different company. Don’t be one of those people! No one wants to be around someone who is negative all of the time. Take the high road and don’t talk bad about other companies or other consultants. Just focus on your own business and what you can do to grow, not on what someone else is doing. Things will happen in your business or in your company that you don’t like. It’s just a part of doing business and life. Those negative things don’t need to be shared with everyone. If you are always negative, no one is going to want to follow you or buy from you. So stay positive and give people a reason to want to do business with you!

Offer value

This kind of goes along with serving. Make sure you are providing value in your business. Instead of sharing about your product and company all the time, share other things of value that your audience is interested in. Not everyone loves your product as much as you do, and they don’t only want to see/read about your product. Bummer, right? 😉 Make sure to add value in ways that don’t have anything to do specifically with your product. Ask questions to engage them, post articles that your audience might find interesting, post something humorous, ask advice, etc. Get to know your audience and your target market and post things that they would be interested in.

Bottom line: Show people by your words and actions that not all direct sellers are spammy and just out for sales! Build relationships, put people first, provide value. Be a step above the rest!

What tips do you have that you would add? Share them in the comments!

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