Six years ago, when I started my first online business, I had so much to learn. I was eager to let people know what I was doing and excited for the possibility of success, but I really had no idea how to go about doing it. Honestly, I did a lot of things right, but there are a lot of things I wish I had done better. Now, with several years of experience under my belt, I see how I could have done things differently. (Translated: Less Spammy) If you’re new to direct sales and find your friends and family practically “make a run for it” when they see you coming, I’ve come up with a simple list of 5 tips to help you in your new direct sales business-including a couple that will allow you to still keep your friends!
Thankfully, when you know better, you do better, right? Just keep in mind: Doing things the right way, is often not the easy way.
Tip #1: Create a business page for your BUSINESS on Facebook
Facebook is a great place to grow your business. Your personal page, however: is not the place. You need to keep in mind, most people join social media for the social aspect. Create a page for your business and invite folks to like/follow you there. I can almost guarantee if you’re posting about your business on your personal profile everyday your “friends” feel spammed. You won’t grow your business if you’re “hidden” from their news feed or unfriended. Let folks choose to follow you and make it worth their while by adding value in what you share. It might seem more “convenient” to continue posting on your personal page, but convenience doesn’t mean it’s the best move for your business.
Tip #2: Start a Facebook group
Different from your business page, a Facebook group is usually a “closed” community. It allows your customers to get to know you and your products betters. I’ve found this to be an important key to being successful. It allows me to connect with folks better, plus, I can control who is in the group (and who isn’t). Think of your business page like meeting your customers for dinner at a restaurant; your group is like having them over for dinner at your house.
This is where I think a lot of people go wrong. Bigger is not always better when it comes to your group. If you have a group of 5,000 people but only 25 people are reacting to what you share, what good does it do? I know it goes against what some think, but if you’re really interested in creating relationships with your customers,- and not just trying to sell a product – a slow growing group is a good thing.
Before I understood this, I asked people to blindly add their friends to my group. It grew my group, but it did not help my sales one bit. Facebook algorithms are hard to keep up with, so trust me on this one. Posting in your FB group with a bunch of people who don’t ever interact means you’ll show up less and less in their news feed. In the long run, this hurts YOU and your business. You can read more about this here.
Tip #3: Be Yourself.
Let’s face it, there are 892,124 other people in your company that customers can shop with if they’re looking for the product you sell. Separate yourself from the pack by making sure your personality shines through. Work on building relationships with people and make sure you’re adding valuable, purposeful information to your group. No one wants to be sold to all the time. For me, when I share with my VIPs I try to think of it as hanging out with my friends. If there is something I’d want to share with my girlfriends, I’ll share with my group.
Just like in real life, not everyone’s going to feel connected with you. That’s a risk you have to decide for yourself, if you’re willing to make. You have to be okay with knowing you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Trying to hide who you are (or pretending to be like someone else) is a far greater cost, than losing a sale in my opinion.
Honestly, people who don’t get you, probably aren’t going to be your best customers, anyway. I’ve found, I prefer to shop with people I trust and have built a relationship with far more than someone who is just trying to get sell me on the latest “unicorn”.
Tip #4: Stay in Your Lane
When you first start out in anything, there’s much to learn. One of the most frustrating things for me when I first started, was how easy it was to fall in the comparison trap. I found myself comparing the progress I was making in my business to others.
I worried about how some women in my line of business just seemed to grow their team, gain more followers, and make more sales faster than I. Scrolling through my news feed, I’d stress out as I saw other women posting about how amazing their life seemed: how much money they were making, looking flawless as a SAHM with 3 kids, working their business only during nap time and still getting weekly mani/pedis and tweeting out quotes from the latest personal development book they were reading. “Okay”, I thought. “I may as well just quit while I’m ahead. I’ll never be able to do all that.”
I’m going to tell you right now everyone’s business is different, because none of us are the same. I see so many people that are new to direct sales struggling to keep up because they are busy trying out everything they see. It’s a hard lesson to learn.
You’ll never grow your business if you’re too busy watching what others are doing.
Sure, there are many women out there who have it all together (or seem to) but I want to encourage you to learn from them, not waste time wishing your business was like theirs. If you can’t do that, decide right now to unfollow them on Social Media. You’ll be less distracted and more focused.
(Just between you and me- I can almost guarantee most of of what is shared on Social Media is a “highlight reel”, anyway. The behind the scenes stuff, from even those that seem to have it all together, is probably not as glorious as you think!)
Yes, there is a ton to learn when you’re new…but if all you’re doing is watching what others are doing, and not putting action into it, you’ll never grow your business. If you worked in an office you couldn’t just sit and watch your co-workers all day and expect to get paid, right?
Tip #5: Work YOUR business like it’s a business.
Unless you’ve signed up with your company to add a hobby to your life, be prepared to work. There is often a misconception that making money in direct sales is simple and you don’t have to work hard to be successful. Ever see the infamous post on Facebook: “Make full time income, working part time!”? Ever hear the saying, “If something sounds to good to be true, it usually is!”? The two statements go hand in hand.
Look, don’t get me wrong, if you’re doing something you enjoy it won’t be difficult work to do, but it will still be work. There will be easier times in your business and there will be times that seem hard. Some days, you might wonder why you started and think about quitting, and other days you’ll be glad you are sticking to it. Just like with any job, you can’t just show up when you feel like it.
Being consistent is key.
You can’t expect to show up every once and a while and expect to get paid. Success in direct sales comes from the same things that make any other business a success; know your market, find them, add value, and service them well.
Being in direct sales continues to be a rewarding experience for me. Helping to support my family while doing a job I love is a huge blessing and I’m especially grateful for the opportunity. When you’re starting out it can seem overwhelming with all there is to learn, but if you stick with it- realizing your success is dependent on how hard you work, understanding the importance of connecting to people and building relationships, and just keep swimming- even during the hard parts- you’ll find it’s worth it!