Monthly Archives: November 2013

Non Business Gifts for Direct Sellers

As a direct seller can write off any business related expenses, you may want to give them something that does not relate to their business.  Here are my suggestions of items that I would like to receive but I know that not everyone will agree.  Consider the recipient and what they may or may not like.

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Massage – Working as a direct seller is hard work and can cause a person to tense up.  A massage is a great way to relax and let those muscles loosen up.  If you are not sure if your recipient has had a massage before, it may be best to start with one for half an hour.  Provide a gift certificate that is good for a massage at whatever salon or business you select.

Manicure/Pedicure – For some, this is the ultimate when it comes to indulgence.  If you know that the person you are buying for has a preference of where to go, make sure you purchase this service there.  If you do not know, ask around.  Chances are someone in your circle knows of a good place they can recommend.  Depending on your budget, go with a manicure first and a pedicure second if you can afford both.  Remember that some people do not like having their feet touched.

Babysit – If the direct seller you know has kids offer to babysit them one night so that she can go out and enjoy herself.  She may already be paying a babysitter when she is doing events and cannot justify a babysitter to go out and enjoy herself.  Take this out of her hands by offering to babysit so she can spend time with whomever.

Items from Other Direct Sellers – Quite often, people will see items that they want from other direct sellers but they do not purchase them for a variety of reasons.  This can be a great way to find a gift for your friend.  Discover which companies they like and then purchase something.  Many will offer a gift list registry if requested.

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Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Advertising on a budget can take time, effort, and some know-how, but it is possible to undertake a marketing campaign without an investment of undo amounts of money. The way to participate in a marketing campaign without much money is to be inventive, resourceful, integrated, and to take an approach that is active, even creating an event around which to create a natural buzz. Here are a few ideas to jump-start marketing on a budget.   Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Create an email list serv.

Create a list serv around your product by offering free samples outside stores or libraries, public places, etc. and then ask people to fill out a survey, give some feedback, or give a testimonial. Create an email list serv around the people who respond.

Throw an event at which the product is sponsored or featured.

Try to get the local newspapers or blogs to cover it. A plug here for your product will be a great way to get a word in edge wise in terms of media attention. If a product give-away works, try to make it fun and memorable, even newsworthy. When starting their ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, Ben and Jerry, the company’s owners, used to plan ice cream give aways, which became part of local charm.

Develop your own creative ads.

Develop your own print ad by working with a graphics artist who needs experience. You can partner with them and make a trade. Have them develop your ad practically for free, with the idea that he or she will benefit from doing the ad in terms of being able to list it on his or her vitae as a piece of work for their portfolio.

Sample your products.

Develop free give-aways to stores and businesses in the hope they will buy the product. Free samples can be a great way to get your foot in the door in terms of selling products. If someone tries your product and really likes it, they are likely to buy more to take home and share with their friends and family. If you don’t have a product or service that you are able to give away, you can still try to show off samples of your work.
Be creative.

Finally, try to be creative. Think outside the box about how to reach new audiences. Participate in craft fairs or farmers’ markets if the product is specialty or food-related. Have fun with the marketing, relax, and get creative. If you aren’t sure where to start or you aren’t familiar with the different marketing choices available to you, check out your local marketing exchange to gain connections and get ideas on where to post your ads.

Use Social Media.

It’s free to sign up for social media. Facebook and twitter are great ways to share news about your product. You can post reviews, giveaways, or coupons to encourage people to like you page or try your product. You can use your social media as a basis for all your other efforts. You can get the word out about any giveaways or post promotional ads you have created onto your page.

Starting a company can be a daunting task. You may know you have a quality product, but don’t know how to spread the word. You don’t have to have a big budget to start marketing your product. Believe in yourself, the product, and create a to-do list to check off the strides you make. Remember to be honest in your assessment and do your best to create a buzz around your product.

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Tips for Using Social Media for your Business

The world of social media can be used for much more than just talking to friends and keeping up with the latest dating drama in the news. Social media can be used to promote business, and drive traffic to your web site, blog etc.

Social Media Week 2012 SP

Social Media Week 2012 SP (Photo credit: Fora do Eixo)

There are a few tips that I can give about using specific platforms to help with that. Twitter is a great platform to use to let your followers know when sales come up, or when you are offering special discounts. Twitter, like with all social media platforms can take some time to build your following, and online presence. Once you put in the time and effort though to get it built up twitter can become a very powerful tool to let a large number of people know about anything quickly.

Google+ is another great tool that can be used for business purposes. You can actually go into Google+ and set up a page for you business, or company. When your business or company posts anything on that page and it gets 1+ clicked on it can help it show up more in the Google search results pages. You can also set up a small add with images that will show in the side bar of the Google searches when your product is being searched for.

Some of the hardest things to do with social media I have found is to have the patience to keep working on it consistently, even if the results are not immediately apparent. Putting in some consistent time even just a few times a week will really start to add up.

One of the most important things I can stress about gaining followers/likes etc. is to keep it personal. Don’t just go around saying here add this link, like this, click this! That just turns people off as spam. Instead I suggest you get involved in the online world of whatever your product maybe. If you are selling soccer balls then go find some of the best forums and websites where soccer players chat. Spend some time getting to know the community, and build your reputation up. As you begin to build a reputation in that specific niche’ it is much much more likely that others will want to follow your sites. Try not to be pushy, but don’t be scared to venture out into the unknown a bit as you learn. With time, and consistent effort results are sure to come, don’t get discouraged normally big success takes time.

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My name is Ryan Crappa. I am 26 years old, and just got married this last May. I am a marketing student currently attending Snow College in Ephriam, Utah. I love to write, and recently have gotten more into the blogging side of things. I currently do two blogs, and I run a third that a few friends also post on. If you would like to know more about me feel free to check out my blog at http://avsblogz.blogspot.com/ and leave me a message! I will get back to you ASAP.

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Paying for Training

Attending various training sessions with your direct sales company can add up.  But if you have enough notice about an event and have time to plan, you won’t have to struggle at the last minute to find the funds to attend.  Chances are your company has at least one big event each year, their convention, and you will need to spend a few nights at a hotel and spend money on meals.  Not to mention, there are likely going to be articles for sale from company clothing, to supplies and product that you will want to take home with you.

Money cash

You will likely need more than pennies (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Share Costs

If you have to drive somewhere or overnight, see if there are other locals that are going.  See if you can share the cost of gas and a hotel room.  No one local?  Not a problem, chances are there are others looking to share hotel rooms.  Post on company message boards, Facebook pages or wherever others congregate to find someone to share.

Company Incentives

Check to see if your company offers any type of incentives to help you get to your training events.  They may offer the chance to win your convention cost, you may be able to get a discount on registration or maybe you can earn points towards your hotel stay.    Even if you cannot earn anything towards your convention, you may be able to win products or sales supplies.

Reward Cards

Get a credit card that has reward points it to help pay for airfare if you will have to fly to the convention.   Depending on the card, you can use rewards for a multitude of items that may help towards your costs if you do not have enough for the airfare itself.  Being able to redeem for $20 towards office supplies is $20 towards your trip as you are not going to have to spend the cash.  Talk to your bank and find the right card for you, you can find free cards that give rewards as you do not want to have to deal with an annual fee.

Set Money Aside

Set aside 10% or $50 of every party that you do to help pay or take all your commissions and overrides and put them aside.  If you need all the money that you make at your parties to cover your bills or other expenses, challenge yourself to doing one or two more parties a month.  If you cannot find the time to do more parties, learn more about how to upsell to make more sales or promote yourself in other places to make extra sales.

 

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Attending Trainings: Should You?

Chances are you have been invited to various training events within your company.  Some are local, some require a bit of driving and some will require you to get on a plane to get to them.  But is it important for you to attend and how can you pay for such an event?

English: Trainings in International Academy of...

Training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think the first thing that you need to ask yourself is what are your goals with your direct sales company?  Are you doing this for some extra cash in your pocket, are you hoping to make this into a part time job or are you looking to do this to make full time cash and make a full time wage?

Extra Cash

If you are selling just to make an extra hundred or two hundred bucks a month, the trainings likely will not end up being worth a lot for you.  I would recommend attending anything local but do not spend a lot of money to attend those where you will have to drive and spend a night at a hotel.  Chances are you will spend more than what you will be inspired to make when you get home.  Phone call trainings would also be good to attend as they only cost you your time and long distance (which is tax deductible if not included with your plan).

Part Time

If you are looking to make a part time income, then I would recommend a bit more for trainings.  It may be worth weekend training if it is close enough to drive.  Again, phone trainings definitely should be attended and talk to your upline about doing training calls on a regular basis.

Full Time

For those that want to make this a full time career with their direct sales business, it is best to attend any meeting or training that is it possible to attend.  This includes attending the yearly convention that the company holds.

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Watching Your Status

It is important to pay attention to your status with your direct sales company especially if there are repercussions for not making certain sales levels.

SALE

SALE (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers l’Action de grâce))

My company has changed their criteria a few times in the last year or two so it has become that much more confusing.   This year, I almost didn’t make my quota but I got a few phone calls, post cards and email reminders to let me know that I had the possibility of losing my status.  But, one of my demonstrators was on the list to not make it and did not get any of these reminders.  She didn’t end up having the sales required and she was de-activated as a consultant.

I found all this out when she contacted me to find out why she could no longer log in.  She was able to sign back up and move on, but this could have all been avoided if she had been watching her own status and where her sales were.

I also realize that I let her down as a leader as I was not paying attention to where my tea was at in regards to their sales and their status and warning them but at the same time, everyone is adults and i should not have to.

That said, it is a good idea to make sure that you are always familiar with your companies policies in regards to maintaining your status and where you on that list.  Are you short by a few dollars or do you still need a few hundred dollars before the end of the month?  Depending on what your requirements are, it’s a good idea to start drumming up business ASAP if you will need a few orders in order to make it.

Do you really want to lose your status due to not paying attention?

 

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Using Your Upline – They are There for You!

When you are working your direct sales business, there is a good chance at some point you are going to get stuck and you are going to need some help to move on.   When that happens, contact your upline for assistance!

a business team

Working Together (Photo credit: pennstatenews)

Your upline wants you to succeed.  Sure, part of it might be due to the fact that they make money when you sell product but chances are, they just want you to be happy and successful with your direct sales business.  That is what it comes down to at the end of the day.  Happiness.  If you are not happy with your direct sales career, you are not going to continue in it and you will not be putting out a good word about your company in general.

So that said, what sort of things can your upline help you with and what can they do?

Offer Advice – One of the biggest things that your upline can do for you is offer you advice.  There is a good chance they have been where you are and they got past it.  Can’t get sales?  Ask them what they recommend.  Have people interested in signing but they never sign on the dotted line?  See what your upline can tell you.

Make Calls – If you are having an issue and you need to deal with head office but cannot get anywhere or do not have the time to call, see if you upline can do it for you.  I have called on behalf of my team several times for a variety of reasons.

Resources – Maybe you are having a hard time figuring out what a product does or how to sell it?  Your upline can guide you through a presentation on a particular product or even an entire party.  Not sure how to fill out an order form or how to sort the party?  No worries, ask them!

 

 

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Corporate Social Media: 5 Ways To Bolster Your Brand With Social Media

If you are a business owneBranding with Social Mediar or manager and are looking to improve your marketing, then you have undoubtedly been exploring the concept of social media. Social media is the fastest growing communication platform in the world. More people than ever before are using social networking websites to stay in touch with their friends and family, as well as look for the products and services they need. This is what makes social media marketing such an excellent opportunity for any business. Below are five of the most important ways that you can bolster your brand by having a strong presence on social media.

1. Provide Valuable Content

Social media websites are set up in a way that makes sharing links to various types of content extremely easy for their users. Because of this, businesses that are consistently providing valuable, entertaining and useful content to their social media followings are seeing excellent growth in their marketing results. By sharing high quality content across all of your social media accounts that is relevant to your industry, you can establish your brand as an authority in it. This content can either be your own or something created by someone else, properly attributed, of course.  However, some industry professionals argue that you may not want to share your best stuff through these channels.  This is certainly debatable. They suggest, though, that your most sharable stuff should initially be generated on your site—on your blog for example (see section 4), and that the content can then be shared from there.

2. Connect With Leaders

Another one of the greatest ways that social media can improve your branding efforts is that it can allow you to easily connect with social leaders across a wide range of industries and topics. Connections mean everything in the business world, and it could clearly be good for your business to have connections with smart or influential people all over the globe. The possible benefits that could arise from this are virtually endless.

3. Communicate Openly

Social media presents a unique opportunity for you as a business owner or manager, which is that you will be able to communicate with your current and potential customers instantly and publicly at any time. Communication across social media websites is very open and visible, which can be a great way for you to show excellent customer service and really prove to your followers that you care. Brands that communicate honestly and transparently with their followings often see the best results on social media.

4. Start A Blog

By having a blog that is updated regularly, your business can see some great improvements. To start, you will have a steady stream of new content that will be picked up by search engines, which can increase your website visitors and attract targeted customers. In addition to that, this content can be shared through your social media accounts. People can read it, share it and communicate with you about it, which reinforces your brand in their minds.

5. Highlight Your Customers

Shining some light on your most loyal and interesting customers through your social media accounts is one of the best ways for you to cast a positive light on your brand. This will give you a chance to attract new customers while also letting your dedicated followers know that they are appreciated. This can only reflect positively on your brand, and is something that people will often strongly connect to.

These are just a few of the ways in which social media marketing can allow you to bolster your brand and see more success in your business than ever before. You can find the best online marketing company today to get started and learn exactly how to implement these strategies.

3 Tools to Keep Your Social Media Updated

Everyone is busy these days and that is especially true of the direct seller.  If you are trying to make an income, especially one to support a family, then chances are you are scheduling all sorts of events and parties and social media is something that goes to the background for when you have time.  Thankfully, with a little bit of pre-planning and work, you can have social media working for you when you are not able to.

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 24, 2009) Chief...

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 24, 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many different programs out there that can help you with your social media efforts:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and others.  Each program may not include all the various social media platforms but they include enough that you will have a presence.

HootSuiteHootsuite is a program that runs on the web which means you have to log in to the website.  Youc an set up a variety of different social media and different notifications.  I have mine setup for Facebook, Facebook pages and Twitter.   I can check my activity for those locations and see private messages as well.  You can interact and anything else you may need to do via this program and avoid logging into the applications themselves.    You can set updates to post at a defined time in the future so you do not need to remember yourself.  The free application has a limit of five different profiles but if you require more, you can pay for more access.

http://hootsuite.com/

TweetDeck – I am not as familiar with this program as I am with Hootsuite.  It does much of the same thing but it is a program that you download onto your computer instead of going onto the Internet.   Again, you can set what information you follow and see and you can pre-schedule updates.    It is also free to use.

http://tweetdeck.com/

Bufferapp – This is another web based program but it works a bit differently.  You cannot interact on this but instead, you can use it to pre-schedule your updates.  On the free plan, you can only schedule 10 items at a time which may be plenty if you are only posting an update every few days.  And quite honestly, you probably don’t need more than that.

http://bufferapp.com/

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Gifts for Direct Sellers: Business Related

If you have a direct seller in your life, there are some things that they may be wishing for as a gift.   It may be something that they cannot justify for themselves or something that they have not been able to find.  Regardless of the reason, here are a few ideas to consider.

Gifts

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

Planner – Depending on the type of planner that someone uses, the price of them can add up.   But, once they have one, it does not have to be too pricey to buy refills each year to keep it useful.  If you know that they have been dreaming of a certain planner, the holidays may be a good excuse to get it for them.

Tote Bag – Carrying everything a person needs can be a hassle.   But with a good tote bag, it does not have to be.  One with zippers is always great as you can put items in those pockets and not have to worry about losing it.  Too many pockets can be a hassle though as you can spend a lot of time searching all the pockets to find something.

Gift Cards – If you are not sure what they may want, or are afraid you may pick the wrong thing; you cannot go wrong with a gift card.  Office supply stores can be a good choice or a general store like Wal-Mart or Target can be good as they are one stop shops for everything.

Time – Time is always a great gift to give!  It does not cost you anything except giving of some of your time.  Maybe you know your direct seller friend has a trade show coming up and they would love some assistance; volunteer to help.  You might know that they have a huge order coming in and you could offer to help sort it.  Or if they have little kids, you may offer to help by babysitting sometime.

Books – There are so many books out there that can be helpful for a direct seller – how to increase sales, how to better use your time, building a social media following or even how to relax.  What books would be helpful depends on the specific person and what they may need help figuring out.

 

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