If more of your friends and family seem to be selling something these days, there’s a good reason. Across the globe, 60 million people have added direct sales to their resumes – eager to grab their piece of the $114 billion direct sales industry that includes everything from cookware to cosmetics and brands as notable as Amway and as new as Acti-Labs.
The benefits of direct sales as a side business or even a career are obvious – work when you want to, where you want to – but the truth is that a lot of direct sales professionals don’t see much of that $114 billion. That sounds harsh until you consider that more than 91% of reps work only part time, and many of these are working toward a goal like paying for an upcoming vacation versus seeking financial freedom. On the other hand, full time representatives who commit to the business can make six figure incomes.
Don’t let the hype fool you. Getting into direct sales means work and plenty of it, and the people most likely to succeed are those who use all of the available marketing tools. One of those tools, ostensibly one of the most powerful in sales, is social media. Using social media to build a direct sales business isn’t about pitching product to friends and family, though. Here are the basics strategies you need to employ ASAP to get your direct sales business off the ground.
Establish Yourself as a Brand
If you’ve made a few sales through your personal Facebook page, you’re ahead of the game but keep pushing people to buy and you risk annoying friends and family. Instead, take a tip from the pros and make a page and profiles specifically for your business.
Answer the Question “Why Me?”
Next, make a list of what makes you uniquely qualified to promote your product – this will become the basis of your personal brand. What do you offer that other reps don’t? Local delivery, family-friendly recipes, a newsletter, your background in the beauty industry or…? Finally, consider why you love your product so much. Keep all this in mind every time you post!
Give More Than You Ask
Successful selling is about more than asking people to buy product. Social marketing gives you an opportunity to give potential customers something before you ever hit them with a sales pitch. Blogging is an excellent way to make your marketing all about the customers because posts that teach, inform, solve problems or entertain create brand recognition and give people a reason to keep coming back to your page.
Never Stop Creating Content
Whether it’s blog posts or Facebook content, potential customers already in your network need to be reminded that you’re there to help solve their problems with premium cookware, easy to wear dresses, natural wellness products or whatever you’ve decided to sell. Even better, the content you create will attract new customers via search. Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to content – 80% of blog and social posts should be informative or entertaining and 20% (or less) should be sales pitches.
Keep the Conversation Going
Social media networks use algorithms to determine what users do and do not see, and most of these reward pages and users with high engagement by showing their posts to more people. You can promote engagement on your social profiles by asking questions, asking followers for tips, resharing users’ own posts, hosting online events and giving your most active followers recognition. Custom hashtags are a great way to keep on top of what your fans are posting about you.
Don’t Be Impatient
Making a few quick and easy sales may convince you that the dollars will keep rolling in but building a direct sales business is like building any other business. Take the time to cultivate relationships and make your sales strategy subtle. Let customers find you instead of constantly pushing your message. In due time, you’ll begin to see amazing results.
Direct sales companies like Amway are beginning to recognize the benefits of social media and are even creating their own social marketing portals for sellers. But if your business’ brand hasn’t yet set you up with custom social tools, there’s plenty you can do on your own to boost your sales and build your business. The best part is that social media marketing is virtually free. As with anything else, however, the amount of success you get out of direct sales will depend on how much energy you put in. Good luck!
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