Category Archives: Advertising

Advertising On Forums: Tips and Tricks

Learning how to advertise your direct sales business online can mean a definite increase in sales for your business. The thing that you need to keep in mind, however, with direct sales is that there is often a different set of rules for online advertising. Here are some tips and tricks for advertising your direct sales business online through forums.

ary74 / Pixabay

First of all you want to decide on your target market (or markets). Are you hoping to target stay at home moms? Maybe you are hoping to contact real estate companies in hopes of getting them to buy gift baskets that you have put together. Once you have determined who exactly you are trying to get to purchase your items for sale you will have a better idea of where online you are going to want to be advertising.

Forums can be a great place to advertise your business. You can participate in the forums –offering genuine support and advice when needed, which not only builds trust among the online community you are participating in, it is just simply fun to do. Then when someone is looking for a product that you may offer, you can casually mention that you are a rep for a company that carries what they need and the person will be encouraged to make a purchase from you since you have spent the time and have built that level of trust. Make sure to follow the rules and regulations of the forums that you would like to potentially advertise in. You do not want to be reprimanded for spamming.

If you are not allowed to post advertisements on online forums, then look into the possibilities of signature advertising. All you need to do is create a catchy tag line to encourage people to click on your link and hopefully make a purchase. You could also implement signature advertising in emails that you send too, that way each time you correspond with someone you are advertising your business.

These are just a couple of ideas that you can implement while advertising online. Just be aware of the rules whenever you are advertising so you do not end up spamming. This way you’ll be off to great sales in no time.

Why Every Business Should Use Email to Increase Sales

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Over the years, email has proven itself invaluable to raising businesses’ sales. Many of today’s biggest companies began on an email base, in fact. An extremely widespread and inexpensive form of marketing, it even allows businesses to track the results of their ads. For these reasons, every business should use email to increase their sales.

Everyone has an Email Account

Nearly everybody owns an email address. Students and working people often check their email daily, and everybody with an email address checks it from time to time. The number of people that email marketing extends to vastly outnumber the numbers that billboards, radio advertisements, and TV advertisements reach.

Quickly Track ROI

Another benefit is that email marketing offers one of the easiest forms of ROI to track. One dollar spent in sending emails can return up a direct profit due to its ability of sending custom, client-tailored messages for new subscribers or frequent buyers. This means a firm can mostly bypass billboards, radios, and TVs advertisements, which cost thousands of dollars yet only permit a very simplified, brief explanation of a product, unlike an email with pictures and links.

Tailored Campaigns

Email marketing means more direct opportunities to motivate people to buy. To take full advantage of those opportunities, a company should track the results of various emailed ads, observe which ones bring the most clicks, reads, and most importantly sales, and improve the less successful campaigns.

Knowing how to craft an email ad, however, calls for a little thought. Experts consistently advise companies to relativize email advertisements (especially the subject line) to the individual, wisely stating that people tend to respond more when they feel a company is going to them, rather than asking them to come to the company. The experts recommend targeting emails based on interests, purchase history and how often the customers have engaged with past emails (e.g. a clothing store that is tracking buyers that bought shirts would do well advertising shirt sales in emails or relevant accessories such as scarves and jackets).

Advertise Deals

In addition, coupons and discounts can incentivize a reader to subscribe, and drum up interest from current subscribers as well. A business that acts like it is giving something earns popularity and increases its sales. Sending such emails on holidays and weekends, some say, bring special business, but they help year round, too.

Control of Messaging

Lastly, focus on the text of the email, as many email recipients install picture-blocking software. So pack the most important information about a product into the first two sentences, and, when including links (a useful idea), incorporate them into the text, not only into the pictures. Following these tips pays off. One company reports that, over the course of a month, 94% of their email recipients spent money at their car shop. And a shoe business raised sales on a particular shoe by 700% with a course of emails. Numerous additional success stories exist; to see them, visit the following link: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/
Widely used in mass marketing, email marketing effectively and quickly raises sales, and allows businesses to have one on one catered interactions with their customers every step of the way.

Bonnie Mahan is the owner of Skyvertising.com, a leader in aerial banners.

Should You Get Your Own Domain Name?

Owning a direct sales company is one of the most well-known avenues for helping to generate extra income for your family’s budget.  A major benefit of working with a direct sales company is that, quite often, they provide you with a free website to send prospective team members.  While this company website might do the trick in a pinch, if you want to see your sales and your team explode, consider purchasing your own domain name.

Why would owning your own domain name be a good idea?  There are actually several reasons.  Here are six reasons to consider before deciding to purchase a domain name or not:

1.  It’s simple to remember. As an associate of a direct sales company, “your” webpage will lead prospective clients to the company, using a URL similar to this: http://www.parentcompany.com/yourname.  If you purchase your own domain name, your website address would look quite different: http://www.yourdomain.com.  It is much easier for a prospective customer or team member to remember the second domain name.

2.  It sets you apart. Choosing your own domain name allows you freedom to add your own personality to your business.  You’re not required to maintain the company’s status quo if you have your own name.  Your business reflects you and helps you stand out from the crowd.

3.  You know how you’re doing. If you have your own domain, you can track the number of visitors to your website, and you know how they’ve found you.  You can try different marketing campaigns and see which one is bringing in the most traffic. Having a company website doesn’t allow you this option.

4.  Give them something extra. Having your own domain name, as opposed to a company website, also allows you to offer your clients and team members extras.  Do you want to provide content to help your team members?  Consider writing articles that will give them tools to grow their business.

5.  Multiple emails come in handy. Just imagine, instead of having all your company email coming to one address and having to plod through each and every one, you could have an email address to match each function of your business: one for those requesting further information, one for a newsletter that you’ve started, one for comments/suggestions, and one that’s dedicated to team members only.

6.  Who do you want to benefit from all your website traffic? If you do spend a good deal of time marketing your business and people go to your company’s website, who will be the one to benefit most from it?  Your parent company, of course!

Having your own domain name, however, lets you have prospective customers and team members go to your personal website first. If they would like further information, you can link to your company website.  By doing this, you will have gotten “first dibs” on the prospect rather than their having to search a large website to find you.

While these six reasons for having your own domain name for your direct sales business aren’t the only ones, they are something to consider before you choose to “just” use the site your company has provided.  The reasons for having your own domain name are varied, but ultimately the choice is up to you.

Pull vs. Push Marketing

All marketing strategies come down to two: Pull marketing and Push marketing. Pull marketing means that you use advertising and promotional methods designed to entice, or pull, a prospect into buying your product or service. You make them WANT to buy it. Some ideas are “buy one get one free,” or “half off.” You increase the urgency by making it a time limited offer. Pull marketing is more pro-active than push marketing.

geralt / Pixabay

Many people see the advantage of pull marketing. Rather than “snowing” your customer into buying your product, you’re presenting the facts about it and inviting them to come in and try it out. It seems much nicer to do it that way.

Push marketing uses a strategy that’s geared toward making your marketing and distribution avenues want to promote your product for you. Consumers rarely see this marketing. It can include such things as bonuses, kickbacks, or wholesale discounts. It’s all about getting the retailer to promote your product over a competitor’s product. Another form of push marketing is getting the customers to “push” your product by offering incentives for them to tell others about it.

While some business owners prefer one over the other, it should be noted that nearly all really good advertising campaigns use a portion of both. Almost all products can be effectively marketed with either pull or push methods, or a combination of them. Whichever you choose, the important thing to keep in mind is to stay in control of everything and act on your decision immediately.

Uniqueness is Crucial with Online Direct Sales Promotions

When you join a Direct Sales company, no matter which one it is, you may feel like just one in a crowd of many hundreds, possibly even thousands, of consultants. If there are several people from the same company in close proximity, being unique in a sea of many is crucial for your online direct sales business.

Be Unique

stux / Pixabay

One way to make yourself stand out from among the crowd is to have a webpage associated with the parent company that you’re working with. You may have already been given a company webpage, but everyone has one of those. The name of the game is being unique, and a company page doesn’t say that.

Before purchasing a domain name, however, read up on your company’s rules for online marketing. You don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize your standing with them. If they don’t have a problem with it, by all means, create your own web page.

Optimally, you should already have a domain name picked out before you start your business, but don’t feel locked in to having the company name as part of it. In fact, you can choose something different from the company name so you can keep the domain if you ever separate from them. Come up with some ideas and then see if they’re available. Don’t be afraid to purchase more than one if you really like the name. If at all possible, try to find a name with a dot com extension – not that they’re any more valuable, but they’re more recognizable and easier to remember.

After you have your website domain purchased, you can begin to fill it with unique information. Don’t use only the information provided by the company. Add other value to the site, as well. If your company sells cookware, why not include great recipes that can be made with that cookware. If your company sells toys, provide articles that extol the virtue of playing with those particular types of toys. The options are endless and are only limited by your imagination.

OK, you have a domain; it’s filled with original content that compliments the product your direct sales company has to offer. What else can you do to stand out in the crowd? What else will make your online presence unique from the many other consultants or associates? Why not try adding audio or video to your website?

If you have spent any time at all on the internet, you’ll have seen the popularity of websites such as YouTube. Audio (podcasts) and video (webcasts) files haven’t been added to very many business websites yet, so if you put one on yours you’ll be seen as an innovator – someone to emulate as the popularity of the business tool expands. Besides, as well as being able to communicate with your team and prospective customers on a different level, podcasts and webcasts are just plain fun.

Regardless of the fact that you are running a direct sales business and have been given the same training and tools to do so, you don’t have to be like everyone else in the company. There are ways to make your online direct sales business stand out. Create your webpage with your own domain name, provide great content that will drive people to your site, and then add audio or video segments for your customers and team members to enjoy. You’ll be glad you took the initiative and decided to be unique.

Ways to Use the Internet to Promote Your Business

One important tool for any direct sales business is the Internet. Using the Internet enables you to reach a wider audience than your neighborhood which can result in additional sales. There are a few good ways you can build your direct sales business online.

Using the Internet to Promote your Business

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The first step is to build a website that lists the details of your business as well as your contact information. You can do this yourself or you can hire someone very inexpensively using a freelance bidding site like oDesk or Fiverr. You should put the address of your website on your business cards and flyers as well plus anywhere else that you think people might see it.

Next, you need to promote your business online. Submit articles to article directories using product names as clickable links back to your site. This will help you gain ranking in search results. Join forums related to your products and always put a link to your site in your signature in forum posts and emails. Then post on forums frequently to build up trust and drive traffic to your site.  The more that people see your name and your website in front of them, the more likely they are to actually visit it.

You can also host online parties instead of doing party plans the traditional way. This usually involves booking a chat room and inviting friends and other interested people to join. You can play word games such as unscrambling the names of products or have guests search your site for product information and award a prize to whoever finds it first. Toward the end of the party, open up the floor to questions and then take orders.

If you have a decent budget, you can also promote your business using paid advertisements online. This can also be helpful if you want to recruit people for your downline for a multilevel marketing company.

How a Blog Can Help Grow Your Direct Sales Business

Having a website for your home based business is almost a necessity in today’s high tech, internet-crazy world. Having a website might not be enough, though. Take a look to see how a web log, or “blog”, can help grow your direct sales business as well.

Nemo / Pixabay

Many direct sales businesses offer their sales associates a website that links directly back to the parent company’s site. You might even have taken a bold step and chosen to purchase a domain name and created your own business website. Those are both good ideas, but perhaps you should also add a blog to your arsenal of online marketing tools.

You want to use every available option when promoting your direct sales business, whether offline or online. You wouldn’t think of starting a new home business without purchasing business cards. Why would you consider having one without using a blog to help generate leads and possibly recruit new team members?

A blog can be effective for promoting your business. It can also help you meet new prospects, either as customer or as part of your downline. Blogs can also be a creative outlet when you’ve had to deal with the restrictions of some direct sales companies. A blog can truly help your business reach a new level.

Before you jump on the blog bandwagon, however, you need to read and understand your company’s policy about using the internet for marketing. If they do not allow personal internet advertising it would be better to set this idea aside. Use whatever means they allow to do your marketing.

Consider your goals for having a blog and write them down. Know what you want to accomplish with your blog before you write your first sentence. Think about the people that will be reading your blog, usually your prospective customers or downline, then design your blog with them in mind. Find an area to focus on – whether sales, recruiting, or training – and build your blog around that focus area.

Blogging about your direct sales business gives you an outlet to discuss new products and specials that will be coming up, and gives your team members and customers a sneak peak at new items before they are available. Blogs also allow you to share things that may be related to your business but not a direct part of it. For instance, if your products relate to cooking, use your blog to post recipes for your readers to enjoy. Try to remember who your target market is and provide them with things they will find valuable.

It is easy to see why blogging has become so popular. Millions of people use their blog to express themselves every day. Why not take advantage of this tool and use it to help your direct sales business grow? All it takes is a little bit of time and thought, and a desire to offer your customers and team members another outlet to success.

Creating Your Brand with User Names

Have you ever thought about how the username you set up for yourself talks about you and your brand? I’m not talking about the name you might use within your companies website or any forums they have, but on other sites where your potential customers see you.

Username for a userpage

Username for a userpage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s say you decide to go on a forum to promote your product. First of all, most forums have rules about self promotion but we are going to ignore that for this instance. this example also assumes that it is a forum with all sorts of information and discussion so where you are posting about your business is just a small part of the forum itself and may not actually be seen by that many people.

What type of username should you set up for yourself?

  • Name
  • NameLocation
  • NameProduct
  • ProductLocation

I am going to say that the last one is the one you want to go with or some similar combination. But you need to make sure that whatever you pick is going to be unique enough that you can get it on whatever site you sign up for. This is now going to be a part of your brand.

But, before you decide on something, you may want to check some of the popular social media sites to see if you can get that for your username as well. Even if you have no clue how to use that particular site, or if you even will use it, grab your name before someone else. You may want to consider registering that URL as well as those can be very difficult to get.

Some samples of usernames:

  • AmyCandlesUSA – This username is way too general and likely is already in use.
  • AmyCandlesCO – Not too bad as we know Amy sells Candles and is in Colorado.
  • COCandles – This might be a bit easier to get on the various social media sites.

It is always best to get an ID that you can use everywhere. Even if the site you are using does not allow you post that you are selling something, they may allow you use to a tagline or a signature where you can include your selling information.

5 Methods of Marketing your Direct Sales Business

Advertising plane over Miami Beach

Advertising plane over Miami Beach (Photo credit: lonnypaul)

One of the biggest obstacles for anyone in business, no matter the type, is marketing and letting people know you exist.  If they do not know your business, they cannot support you.  If you are lost for ideas of where to look, hopefully this list will help you.

Network with Others

Find other direct sellers and let them know you are out there.  Offer to swap parties – you hold one for them, they hold one for you.  This can be a great way to get your name out there.  This can be tricky if you are not interested in their products but you want them to book with you.

Small Business Groups

Look around where you live and see if there are business groups you can get into.  I know in my city there are several different organizations for home based businesses to get together and discuss a variety of topics.  Sometimes they have an evening where you can show case your business whether by giving a small presentation or having a trade show.  You may want to look to see if there is a chamber of commerce where you live and what type of activities they are involved in.

Print Advertising

There are many consultants who use print media such as the newspaper or local bulletins to put their ads in.  I have not done this but have heard from others who have been successful with this.  Make sure you do some research before investing as this can be quite a commitment in terms of money and time.  Contact those who are currently advertising and see if they would be willing to tell you what type of results they are getting.

Social Media

These days, sites like Facebook and Twitter are huge.  If you are not using these types of media to help you with your advertising efforts, you could be missing out big time.  How to use these is another article, but get out there and start using them!

Internet

No article about marketing is complete without some information on using the Internet to promote your business.  There are many different places that you can look, some of which are paid and some of them are free. If you are considering paying, make sure you find out the statistics such as how many unique visits they get a month, how long people are staying on the site and anything other information they will provide.  Email other vendors to see how much success they have had through the site.

Marketing your business can be very time consuming but it is worth it to try a variety of avenues to see what does and does not work out.  If you do not have a large budget, then it is a good idea to stick to free sites as paying for an ad does not guarantee it to work out better than a free advertisement.

 

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Having a Website for your Direct Sales Business

When it comes to your direct sales business, it is a good idea to have your own website.  There are a couple of options if you are not sure what you want and like anything, each has its own benefits and disadvantages.

English: "updating the website from work&...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consultant Site

Most companies have a website that you can get through them to sell your product.  The advantage to this type of site is that it is easy to get setup and running as they have done all the work to create a professional site. You likely can customize it a bit with your own story and information.  One of the disadvantages is that this site will be very similar to every other consultant’s website so nothing will set it apart.  There may or may not be a fee for this type of website.  Find out if there are perks for having a site such as a customer newsletter or online leads.

Blog

Another option is to setup a blog.  These are popular as there are many sites where you can get one for free.  It is similar to having a journal online but you would use this space to talk about your business.  You might talk about how to use the product, how your business is going, specials that are coming up and information about the company itself.

A blog is about getting people to know you as a person and as a consultant and making them want to deal with you.  If people are choosing between consultatnts, they likely will pick the one they have gotten to know and like.

A disadvantage to using a blog is that you may have a hard time finding a setup or a style that you like.  You may not have the flexibility to set it up the way you want for a variety of reasons or have the knowledge and patience to get it working.

Website

A website is a site that does not change a lot but is more about getting information out than anything else.  A website is great if you want to have an easy way for people to find information and you don’t want to have to be updating it all the time like you do with a blog.  Of course, you could add a blog to your site or have an area for updates.

Remember though, before you set up a blog or a website, make sure you know what your company does and does not allow.  Some will let you have a site but you cannot name it after the company or sell product through it.  Others may have restrictions in how you advertise your site or represent yourself.

As with anything, if you are not sure what the rules are, contact the company and ask them.  You do not want to spend a lot of time and energy on something to find out it is not allowed.

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