Being involved in direct sales (network marketing/multi-level marketing) is a great way for anyone to work from home. With a minimal investment, anyone can begin adding extra money with the right techniques and elbow grease. With so many people selling the same products, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to not get lost in the shuffle. It IS possible to make money if these mistakes are avoided.
I have the privilege of working with direct sales entrepreneurs who sell all different products and many of them are making the same mistakes. If you are new or even seasoned to direct selling, you may be shocked at some of these mistakes and may not even realize that what you are doing could be costing you sales — or even friends!
The Top 5 Mistakes Direct Sales Entrepreneurs Make
1. Facebook Abuse: It is great to let everyone know that you are opening a new business, but your Facebook book personal profile is NOT for selling. As a matter of fact, it is against Facebook’s terms of service. I have seen entrepreneurs who have broken this rule and have had their personal profile converted into a business page by Facebook and even lost some of their content. It’s not worth it to lose your Facebook account.
Start by opening a business page. You can make a post on your personal profile letting them know that if they want to stay up to date with what you are doing in your new business venture, they can head there. You can mention this again every few months. Remember: your friends and family 90%+ of the time are NOT your ideal client so spamming them won’t make them customers.
2. BUY MY STUFF: Those who have business account on social media can be guilty of the dreaded BMS or “Buy My Stuff” Syndrome. This happens when every post is about product, joining their team, how they love their stuff etc. No one wants to see a feed of that. Push marketing is also not going to get people to buy. You want people to build a relationship with you. Sure, you can implement in what you sell because you DO own a business after all, but keep to the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you are providing value and 20% of the time you talk about your business.
3. Lack of Personal Branding: YOU are your brand. You are not defined by the product that you sell. It breaks my heart to see people name their business based on the name of their direct sales company. For example: <insert name here> <XYZ representative/consultant> or putting the type of business into their page name. If the company ever shuts down or you change directions, you are starting all over again. That is — believe it or not — really tacky. Name your accounts after YOU or the name of your business that does not directly tie into the company.
4. No list: The hard truth is that you do not own the people who visit you on social media. If any of your social media sites shut down, you lose it all. (If you think it can’t happen, remember My Space? You may not. That’s what happened and how obsolete it has become). Take your potential clients offline and build an email list. This is where you can communicate with them. Having a list is like holding a fistful of dollars. Start with a provider like Aweber (this link is an affiliate link, which means if you choose this service, I get a small commission for suggesting it to you) for just $1! If you need help setting all of this up or if your head is spinning, virtual assistants are great for this ( I love doing it!)
Note: MailChimp has free options and other companies like MadMimi. Being in a direct sales company is against MailChimp and Mad Mimi’s terms of service. Aweber is accepting of it. Read the terms of service carefully before you open an account.
5. No Website: Yes, your company may provide you with a website from which your customers can purchase and you may or may not pay monthly for it. That is not enough. You will need a PAID website of your own on WordPress (my choice). It’s an investment, but your website is yours. You can provide value, grow your list and also sell your own products if you choose with even more revenue. Sure, you can grow a business without one, but why limit your potential? Why look like everyone else? Be professional by having your own site that is branded to YOU!
Love this topic? An in-depth series is coming your way that touches on each of these if your head is spinning around in circles! Need help with any of these items? I love working with direct sales entrepreneurs. Get started here.
Heather Santo is a certified Virtual Administrative Consultant with over 15 years of customer service experience. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting. She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently. She specializes in Aweber, Pinterest, WordPress Thesis, Gratitude Concierge Work and social media content graphic creation.
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