How have you been? I took a brief intermission from the blog after relaunching Pinterest to Profits a couple weeks ago. I’d love to say that I was relaxing on a beach somewhere but this mama was still hustling. Here’s why.
A few months ago I made an observation about many of the readers and students in my course. Over 10% of them were doing direct sales businesses.
I’d never done direct sales and pretty much had sworn off doing direct sales because in the past I hadn’t had the best experience with a few other consultants. I am a bit of an introvert and I am terrified of coming off too salesy. I began thinking about my social media/online marketing strategies and if I could implement those so I could generate sales without ever having to pressure a customer.
I realized that for the beautiful women that read this blog and have chosen to pursue direct sales this could be ultra helpful for you. So I did one of my favorite things, I dove right in and signed up for a direct sales company (MLM, multi-level marketing, network marketing) so I could do a case study for you!
Yep! I joined a direct sales company. You heard me right…
And boy it has not been what I expected at all!
I signed up with LipSense at the end of November, which was crazy in and of itself because I was working like mad trying to get things ready for the launch of Pinterest to Profits all of December and early January. Fortunately, I was able to carve out a few hours per week to devote to my new business adventure.
I started a new business page and group on Facebook, and a brand new Instagram account. I invited a few of my friends to join my group and had about 120 in my group and about 170 that liked my page. Small potatoes so far, right?
Well, two months in I am at over 1,400 followers on Instagram, 1,400 in my Facebook group and 7,000 on my Facebook page!
How? Making strategic investments and creating a social media strategy that works!
As you guys know this isn’t the first business I’ve ever started, so I’ve got a trick or two up my sleeve. One thing that I do that has helped me ensure that each of my businesses become profitable is that I don’t take a profit from my business for at least the first three months.
Any profit that I make in those first three months is immediately reinvested back into marketing, tools, and resources or inventory. Instead of collecting profits in those first few months I make strategic investments that will grow my business.
If you invest in yourself and in your business you will take yourself more seriously. You will be committed and by reinvesting your profits you will have the tools and resources you need to grow.
In my opinion, the reason why so many small businesses don’t succeed is because they don’t have the right business mindset. They are so focused on making money right now that they don't see the big picture and where they could be at in two or three years from now!
By making smart investments I have made thousands of dollars in sales and have 21 brilliant girls on my team! Teaching female entrepreneurs how to build businesses is my passion (hence this blog) so the fact that I get to coach them on how to build their own profitable business and create financial freedom is so fun for me!
UPDATE: 6/9/17 I now have over 260 girls on my team! With over 140 that I personally sponsored
Now, there is a right way to approach direct sales and a few VERY wrong ways to approach direct sales.
Do nots of direct sales
Fake friendships - Everyone has had the friend they haven’t talked to since second grade that all of the sudden hits them up to buy their new and incredible product. Don’t be that person. Yes, network marketing can include talking to your friends but don’t pressure them, don’t be salesy, and always keep it real.
Bait and switch invite a friend to lunch to “catch up”... but really talk about your products during the entire conversation. - You may think getting your friend in person will increase your likelihood of a sale. Which it probably will, but it also will probably ruin your friendship for life. If you really would have gone to lunch with them before selling your product, then cool, go to lunch! But, please don’t corner your friend and try to sell them your product the whole time.
Sacrifice friendships for a sale - Really think about it. Is it worth it to lose a friend just for a small sale?
Do's of Direct Sales
Leverage social media - I am serious when I say there is great power in social media and you can do it without spamming your friends. I make it a rule to only post about once a month on my personal pages. For me, I have found that that is an okay balance. The remainder of your posts should be on your accounts that are specifically for the product you are selling.
Share why you love the products and how it can help benefit their life - Remember sales isn’t about you, it is about them. Think about the direct benefits for the user. So for example, for LipSense I talk about how beautiful and confident they will feel or how much healthier their lips will be. See? Isn’t that way more persuasive than buy now, buy now, BUY NOW!!
Make strategic business investments - so many businesses fail because of fear. It totally can be scary when you are starting your own business to make additional investments, but those that are super successful are the ones investing in their business and thinking outside of the box! For example, if you do a giveaway that costs you $15 but because of that giveaway, you make $30 in profit that is a 200% return on investment, which is amazing! Start with small risk/small rewards and work your way up from there.
Set long term and short term goals - if you are building a business chances are that you want to have it last! The “don’t” strategies will burn out your business as soon as you have sold to all of your friends and family. You need to leverage other ways of marketing to reach outside of your immediate network of people.
Treat others how you would want to be treated - The Golden Rule has been told to us since we were children, but sometimes it is so hard to remember it! If you were in your customer's position would you want to be aggressively sold to, or would you want someone that shows you the benefits, lets you order when you are ready and truly cares about your happiness, not about a quick buck?
One of the beauties of multi-level marketing companies is that there are two ways to earn.
- Through sales
- Through building your team
Making sales is a short-term goal. You want to make the sale so you can have money in your pocket today. Building a team is a long-term goal. Your team most likely won't make you much money in the beginning. You will spend hours training them and helping them build their businesses so at first your “hourly rate” or return on your time investment will be lower. But as you nurture your team and coach them the income will build and so will your profits.
Direct sales can be an amazing way to start your own business from home and if you get in with a great company and a super awesome mentor you can even replace your full-time income working in direct sales.
I personally chose LipSense/SeneGence because I love their products, it is only $55 to get started and it is growing so quickly there is a huge opportunity to grow. If you want to read more about why I love the company and how to become a LipSense distributor (plus get awesome business coaching from me for FREE!) check out my post here.
If you are going to do direct sales please remember to sell without being salesy, don’t sacrifice friendships and treat others how you would want to be treated.
Have you ever been in direct sales? What was your experience?