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!
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! 😉
Here is a list of my favorite direct sales business tools that I use and I couldn’t do business without. I wanted to share them with you because I love them and they may be beneficial for you in your business, as well! If you have any favorite business tools that you love that I didn’t mention, be sure to leave me a comment and tell me about it! (And just so you know, this post does include some affiliate links. But I only share things that I use and love!)
Planoly– I absolutely LOVE using Planoly for Instagram! I batch my graphics every week, then upload them all to Planoly to schedule throughout the week. While IG doesn’t allow a third party app to actually post for you, it does make it super easy to post when it is time. One of the things I love most about Planoly is the ability to rearrange my scheduled posts on my feed and make it look “pretty” before actually posting. This is a great way to do it if you have a grid and want to keep it looking a certain way! Try it and let me know what you think!
Tailwind– Tailwind is a site/app that I use for Pinterest. I know that I am not using it to it’s full potential, as I am still getting it all figured out, but I love the ability to schedule posts on Pinterest! I don’t always remember to get on and pin consistently, so Tailwind helps do that for me, once I load up the queue. You can also join Tailwind tribes in your niche and share your content there to be shared by others!
Gsuite – Gsuite is great for email, docs, google drive, calendar, and more. I even have my gmail set up with my domain, so my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And I love Google drive for creating, storing, and sharing documents. It’s a great way to save things that I want to be able to access from any computer or device. It’s also great for being able to share things between my clients and myself when I am working with them on web design or branding.
Acuity Scheduling – This is an awesome tool for allowing clients to schedule appointments with me, whether it is a free 15 minute clarity call, or my 45 minute paid brand strategy sessions. I can create my calendar based on my schedule and they can choose a time that works for them. I can also ask them to answer some questions when they book to help me know what they are wanting out of the call, and they pay right when they schedule the appointment. And I love that it emails both them and me a reminder the day before!
Zoom – Zoom is a fantastic tool for video conferencing. I often use it when I want to “meet” with a client online and want to be able to see each other and record the video content. You can use it with groups of people as well, and can see each person who is part of the meeting. Being on video is not a requirement, though, for someone who would rather not. You can also mute people other than the speaker so you cut down on background noise and other distractions. It is also free for up to 40 minutes of screen time (I believe).
Canva – This is a website that I use pretty much every day! I most definitely could not do business without it, because it is how I create all of my graphics! A lot of people use PicMonkey as well, but I prefer Canva for most things. And I love paying for Canva for Business so that I can save my brand colors and fonts. It makes it super easy and quick to create branded graphics for my business! If you need any assistance learning how to use it, just reach out!
Trello – Trello is an awesome tool for all kinds of things, to do lists, content management, project management, and more! I use it for all of the above. You can create boards privately and use them yourself, or you can add others and have team boards. In each board you can add lists and cards and move the cards around. In the cards you can add comments, checklists, upload files, colored labels, due dates, etc. It’s pretty fantastic!
Stock Photos – There are several stock photo sites I like to use, such as Pixabay and Unsplash, but one of my favorites is a monthly subscription one with “girl boss” type photos. Each month I have received 25-50 photos and they are fantastic! Many of the “girl boss business” type photos I use on my blog and social media come from this service. I highly recommend it!
Siteground Hosting and the Divi Theme– As a web designer, these are two of my favorites! Siteground is my favorite site for hosting your website and Divi is my all-time favorite theme! I love how customizable Divi is. I can create all kinds of very different websites!
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?
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!
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!
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!
I’m Melissa Mackey, a leader with Color Street. I am a busy wife and teacher-turned-work-from-home woman. I love the feeling of being put together, even when I’m in yoga pants, so Color Street has been a game changer for me! I also love helping other women in direct sales brand themselves apart from their company and stand out.