Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stop Gifting Your Customers to Other Consultants

Whether you have been in your direct sales business for years or are brand new, one thing you have probably figured out by now is that you work hard to acquire and maintain customer relationships. Now, I'm not saying that there is a LACK of customers, by any means. In fact, at Successfully Social we do our best to continually encourage you to approach your business with a mindset of abundance. But come on people, you still need to make smart decisions! I am willing to bet that many of you are handing your hard earned customers to other consultants in your company without even realizing it. But that all stops now!

So wait, I know what you're thinking..."NO, not me, I am not doing that." Okay, fair enough. But are you sure? No, I don't think that you're actually taking your customer's phone number and texting it over to the competition. But did you realize that every time you share a product pin from another consultant, every time you share a YouTube product demonstration that another consultant has created, even every time you grab someone else's Facebook party posts that they've shared in a consultant group, you are running the risk of introducing your customers to that other consultant. And I'm quite sure THAT wasn't what you had in mind, right?

Let's take a look at Pinterest first. So often we are jumping on Pinterest quickly in the car line, waiting at the doctor's office, etc. We see something we like and we pin it, if for no other reason so that we can come back to it later and check it out. Sound familiar? But what you might not realize as you're pinning that super cute product usage is that the consultant who originally took the pic and put it up is likely leading people who click all the way through on it over to her blog or her Facebook page, where she then has the opportunity to sell to those folks that ended up there. So then when you re-pin it quick just from that little preview screen without following that link and seeing where it goes, you could be unwittingly advertising for her to all of those friends, customers and hostesses who follow YOU on Pinterest. Instead of going down that road, when you see a product use idea pic you like, take note of it, screenshot it if you like, and then make it a point to go back and use that picture as inspiration to take your very own pic of that item for use in your social media.

The other examples I have for you are pretty similar. Let's just say that someone from your company has created a stellar product demonstration video and put it publicly on YouTube to allow her fellow consultants to use it. Super sweet of her, right? Well, yes and no. While there are certainly many consultants who will share like this just for the sake of the sisterhood, the truly social savvy chicks know that not only will all these consultants sharing her video, liking it, commenting on it, etc. will up her YouTube visibility, but this smart cookie has probably also got that particular video leading into another video on a product, or even the opportunity. And when you're putting that video into a party or into your customer group, you're pointing your customers right at her and saying "check out how cool she is". good, right? So instead (y'all knew this was coming) make your own videos!! They don't need to be amazing production quality with professional sets, but they should be YOU. And a general rule of thumb is...if something has a long shelf life, make a video. If it's a one-off breaking news type event, just use Facebook LIVE.

Okay, finally, grabbing that whole Facebook party from a fellow consultant and calling it your own. Y'all, I get it, writing a Facebook party can be tedious. Particularly with changing monthly specials, new product announcements, etc. And okay, of these three examples, this one is the least risky, assuming you are paying attention to what you're doing. Most of the consultants who are sharing their Facebook party have obviously created it initially for themselves. Only makes sense, yes? So IF you're going to borrow some or all of the posts from a party please at least do yourself a favor and make sure that you've gone through it with a fine tooth comb and removed anything that references back to that consultant's team name, their website, their Facebook business page or albums on their business page, etc. You would think that this would be a no-brainer, but I can't even tell you how many times I have seen one consultant push another consultants info out inside a party. Talk about an oops. Please don't be that girl!!!

Alright, so in closing, as usual, I am advocating for you to create your own stuff for social media absolutely as much as you possibly can. And in particular, be wary in these specific areas.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hostess Coaching Checklist Printable

All this week on our Facebook business page, we have been going LIVE and talking about hostess coaching, so I put together this Hostess Coaching Checklist that you can use when you're coaching your direct sales hostesses. If you're not sure what I mean by the post cards referenced in the chart below, take a look at the post I shared to our group yesterday - there is a video I made explaining the hostess postcard system I developed a few years ago - it's done AMAZING things for my business!

Get the PDF version here on our Facebook Group.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Niche Markets = BIG Sales Opportunities

As with so many blog posts, I wrote this one in my head while getting a facial. Really! I don't know what it is about laying there, or at a massage, or in the tanning bed, that makes me want to blog...maybe it's just that my brain doesn't shut off. In any case, you'd be surprised how many of the posts here originated in my head during one of these three activities.

So, we've talked before on Successfully Social about your target markets, and how important it is to identify and work within that particular market that fits you, your personality, and your product line. But what about niche markets? They aren't really your target market, per se, but they are specific groups of people for whom one or more of your products makes a perfect fit. I'm going to give you a few examples, and then talk a little about WHY you want to pick a niche that works for you.

  • Professional Organizers: This is a perfect market to target if you're with a company like Thirty-One or Clever Container. If you can build a relationship with one or more organizers, you could consistently be getting orders from these people as they work within their client's homes. Better yet, take the really strong ones and turn them into recruits - they get to get product whenever they need it at a discount and you get a consistent team member. Win-win!
  • Animal Practitioners (Veterinarians, Groomers, Trainers): This is a natural fit for those companies that carry oils - DoTerra, Young Living, etc.Some of these practitioners might already be using oils, and some might not be familiar with their uses. What a great opportunity for you to take your products in and educate on what oils work well for what ailments, which might be toxic to our pets, and how they can use these oils in their practice. 
  • Estheticians: Obviously this is a great place for companies carrying skin care lines to market. Arbonne, Acti-Labs, Rodan & Fields, etc. Get in good with some local estheticians and let them test out your products personally before they start carrying them in-house. Again, this could be another great opportunity to gain a new recruit if she loves the product line and plans to start using it on her clients. 
  • Baby/Children Photographers: What a great niche for those that have stuffed animals or children's books, such as Scentsy, Noah's Ark and Usborne. Your items make great props for use in the photos, and a sweet little take-away bonus for the mom and child to bring home with them after the shoot. Huge value add for these photographers who are in such a competitive industry!
  • Real Estate Agents: Another hugely competitive industry filled with people who NEED to find a way to stand out. Anyone who carries cute home items, such as Signature Homestyles, Thirty-One, Chalk Couture, etc. could find a great niche here in providing items that agents can gift to their new homeowners at closing. How much fun is that? And how much more memorable than just sending a note with a gift card to the local supermarket?!
  • Professional Chefs/Bakers: More and more little boutique style shops selling cupcakes, gluten free items, ready-made meals, etc. are popping up all over the country. Companies like Princess House, Pampered Chef, Tara at Home, etc. should absolutely be targeting these shops and offering items from their line that would make life easier for these store owners. While this particular one doesn't necessarily lend itself to a lot of repeat business like some of the others do, this is still a great niche for consultants with these companies to take a look at.
  • Personal Trainers: Like little bakeries, personal training gyms are popping up everywhere. Often a "one man show", these people live and breathe fitness, and would be a great fit for companies offering supplements, such as Le-Vel, ViSalus, Modere, etc. or companies offering fitness wear, like Peach and RaesWear. Like some of the others mentioned above, this would be a great opportunity to potentially gain a recruit, as if the trainers uses it, the clients will buy it!!

Okay, so let's just say you fit into one of these niches. How do you work it? Well, with that niche, find out where they are at...what groups are they in? What keywords are they searching? What local events are they attending? Start devising a marketing strategy where you are targeting them specifically - with JUST those products in your line that would be applicable to them. So say you're with Scentsy and you're going after photographers...your first step is to find ONE photographer. Someone you already know, or someone locally that you find through a mom's group, local Facebook group, etc. You're going to GIFT her with 2 or 3 Scentsy Buddies, in exchange for her taking a few pics for you and writing a testimonial. Then, create a postcard showcasing one of those photos and explaining how you offer adorable props that moms will love. Paint the picture for them. Include a link to a landing page/Facebook business page that is all about JUST this aspect of your business, and includes the photos, testimonials, etc. that you've gathered. You're going to need to put some time and effort into this, but when done well this can pay off in HUGE ways and solidify you into the niche market you are going for.

So, share in the comments, who has some other niche market ideas I didn't cover here? I know there are a ton more!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Try This Trick to Increase Your Productivity

To-do lists. We all have them. Whether you keep yours digitally, on paper, or, God forbid, just in your head, odds are you've got a never-ending list somewhere of all the tasks that you should get accomplished. For me, working from home, I have a list that encompasses business related things as well as "life stuff". Yep, all in one list. Cause there is only one me, so why have two separate lists? Makes sense, right?

Personally, I have an on-paper list...which I realize is somewhat odd, being an otherwise digital style girl. But I have found that when I can actually X out an item on a list I find that far more satisfying than just striking it out on the computer or deleting it off a digital list. Personal preference I suppose. In any case, I have a calendar with a two page spread for each week, and in each of those days of the week, I write the tasks for the day. Yes, I do write ahead into days where I know I have a task coming up that will need to be done, but maybe not til next Wednesday or something. Putting my tasks to paper is my brain dump. If I can get it out of my head, it's more likely I will actually get it done on time. And no, things don't always get done exactly on the day that I planned them to. I'm still human, after all, and some days you just don't feel like working.

So, enter what I like to call the "30 Minute Day". This is a concept I started doing a few years ago when my task list was getting long and I was feeling overwhelmed. It's NOT something I do every day, or even every week...just when I need to. Basically, I take a look at my task list and figure out what stuff on there I am procrastinating on that I really need to get a move on, or what stuff just HAS TO get crossed off that list. Ideally for me (again, working from home) that "must do" list is going to be a mix of business and personal tasks. Often you'll find things on my list from "create more team group interaction posts" to "fold laundry" to "plan menu and make grocery list" to "write blog post on vendor events", etc. Ya know, all that "stuff" that isn't difficult but just isn't done. I am sure you can relate.

Once I've got my list, I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes and start on one of the business related tasks. So that first 30 minutes I will be doing nothing but working on those team interaction posts. The whole time. If by some miracle, I happen to get them done with time to spare, I'll start scheduling them. When the timer goes off, I stop. Whether I'm finished or not. Yes, really. Then I set the timer for another 30 minutes and I tackle one of the personal items on the list, like folding laundry. In my house, that absolutely won't get done in 30 minutes, because I have a tendency to wash a ton and then leave it in like 8 laundry hampers waiting to be folded (raise your hand if you're that girl, too!!) So when the timer goes off, I stop folding laundry and leave the rest for later. Now I set the timer once more for 30 minutes, and this 30 minute block is a BREAK. I can do whatever. Watch some Netflix, play on my iPad. I can do anything I want, EXCEPT go back to that work or the laundry. The break time is essential, and I promise, even though you are technically working fewer hours, you will accomplish more, because your mind has time to relax. Try it.

When break time is over, the cycle starts again. 30 more minutes towards a work task, then a personal task, then a break. I cross more off my to-do list on my 30 minute days than you can imagine, and more importantly, I feel like I can conquer the world!! I dare you to give it a shot.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Three Ideas for Your Direct Sales Business This Spring

Spring is here in the direct sales world, and recently on Successfully Social's page we heard from our members that they wanted to know how to run their businesses in spring. In fact, it was such a popular inquiry that we made it the topic of our Facebook LIVE series this week. So, that said, here are some ideas you can use for your direct sales business right NOW while spring is in full bloom.

But before I get started, let me preface this by saying that both Kelly and I believe that you need to be full steam ahead with your business all year long...not on again off again with the changing of the seasons. Remember that the actions you take in your business right now will have long reaching consequences in the months to come. If you don't believe me, take a look at your calendar...if you took a month off around mid-December to mid-January, are you still feeling the pain of that 75-90 days later? Trust me, give it your all year round and you won't hit that bookings slump that many of your direct selling sisters fall into a couple times a year. Okay, enough with the PSA, let's get to our topic.

1. Go get those Mother's Day orders. Aside from the December holidays, Mother's Day is one of the biggest shopping occasions of the year. And what completely rocks about that is that just about all of our direct sales companies have things that mama would love! From skin care to jewelry to purses to cookware to candles and more, direct sales is an industry geared primarily towards women (and let's face it, women are also the ones most likely to be shopping for mother's day - for their own mom, their mother-in-law, sister-in-law, their grown daughters, etc.) So how can you capitalize on that? Well, I suggest creating three product bundles at three different price points, maybe a $40ish, $75ish and $120ish. Make some cute graphics showcasing these bundles and put them in your Facebook VIP group. Then take those same images and create a printable PDF or printable image with each of the bundles and a little checkbox next to each of the three images. Put on all of your contact information/how to order information and give it a big fun title at the top like "I'm Making Mother's Day Easy For You This Year" and let all those mamas in your VIP group know they can print that out, check off the one they want, and give it to their hubby - you'll take care of the rest. You get some extra sales from the dads, and mom gets what she wants for a change. Win-win!

2. Get out! Outside, that is. Host a Sip and Shop or Spring BBQ for your customers and previous hostesses. For many of us, the weather is starting to get gorgeous and people are ready to get out and about. If you haven't hosted your own spring launch yet to show off new items your company has come out with, now is the time! You can do this poolside, in the backyard under the trees, or even at the playground and let them bring the kids. Do it as a mystery hostess and offer up tickets towards winning the host rewards for anyone that orders.

3. Spring Clean. If you didn't take my advice in the post about turning your retired inventory into bookings, you might be sitting on a bunch of retired items that you're no longer using. Maybe it's time to let some of them go - you could use the idea from that post I just referenced, or you could do something quick like snapping pics of them and selling them off auction style in your VIP group. Then take that cold hard cash and reinvest it in yourself and new products you don't have yet in your display. And side note, think mid to high price range items when you're adding to your party display - people will buy a $10 or $15 item sight unseen, but when it comes to the $90 stuff, they want to be able to see before they buy. And who can blame them?!

Will you try any of these ideas? What else are you doing to make your spring spectacular? Share below.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Integrity & Your Business

All week long on our daily LIVE over on our business page, we've been talking about integrity in business. How you conducting yourself professionally (and personally!) reflects not only on your business but also on that of your parent company as a whole. Today I wanted to continue that discussion. Here are links to our LIVES if you missed them. 

So, have you seen these bad behaviors by someone online? What's your take? Do you agree that it's things like this that contribute to the negative impression some have of our industry?