Tag Archives: direct sales business

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.

Rules of Direct Sales Businesses Online

Direct sales companies abound.  Look around and you’re likely to see someone advertising how you can lose weight or make money from home.  The opportunities all sound good, but how do you decide which one to buy into?  Determining the rules of any direct sales company, especially when it comes to selling online, is critical if you would like to make use of the internet to do your business.

Didgeman / Pixabay

It wasn’t that long ago that direct sales companies only had a website that explained their opportunity and how you could join their team.  That has changed dramatically within the last ten years.  Not all direct sales companies have the same rules when it comes to selling online.  In fact, some may not allow their associates to sell online at all.

Most direct sales transactions are completed person-to-person, face-to-face during a party or demonstration.  Some people don’t want to wait for a party to get what they want, however, and will often turn to the internet.  If the parent company has a website, the prospective customer will likely find what they want.  However, if they want to develop a relationship with the company, they may also choose to find a consultant.

How do you know what a direct sales company’s online sales rules are?  Of course, the easiest way to find out is to ask, but not all companies may be forthcoming with their information.  You may have to ask for additional information by signing up on their website, but be prepared to be approached and encouraged to “sign on the dotted line”.

If at all possible, refrain from joining any direct sales company until you’ve had ample time to thoroughly read over their materials.  Know ahead of time what their compensation plan is, how they help you succeed in a business, and also what online marketing you will be able to do.  What do you do if they won’t give you this information?  Thank them for the opportunity, but tell them you’re not interested and you’d rather not be contacted again.

If the company will allow you to have an internet presence, don’t settle for using just the website that they provide.  You can create a separate website, with your own domain, which will link to the main company page.  Having a personal website gives you much more freedom in meeting your prospects’ needs, as well as those of your team members.

Remember, if you’re looking into a direct sales company, don’t be afraid to ask questions – particularly about their rules for running your business online.  If you don’t get the response you would like, consider a different company.  You want to find one that will support your interests and success as much as their own.

Blogging About Your Direct Sales Business

You’ll want to employ every available option to promote your direct sales business, whether you do it online or offline. One of the most effective online ways to promote your business is by blogging about it. This helps you get the word out about your product and what it does as well as present you with new recruiting prospects. Blogging can help your business reach a whole new level.

Sophieja23 / Pixabay

Don’t make this a personal blog except when it comes to sharing positive experiences regarding your product or products. Keep to the rules of your company so that you don’t get into trouble. Invite people to comment on your blog with their experiences. Remember to post regularly so people keep coming back.

If you’re selling a product that improves something, you may try making your own video of before and after results when your product was used. This works particularly well with cleaners, makeup and kitchen products. The results can be viewed clearly.

Make a list of your goals for blogging. Consider what your readers will be like. Design your blog with those people in mind. Focus on a single area and build your blog from that.

You can share things with your readers such as specials or new products that will be coming up. A sneak peak can be offered before they’re on the market. Talk about things indirectly related to your business. For example, cooking products lets you blog about recipes you’ve tried using your product. Most of all, blog with your readers in mind.

Controlling Your Personal Search Results

While direct sales takes several important things to make successful, it all really comes back to the age old skill: Building Trust. With new technology, your ability to build trust with your clients goes far beyond your direct conversations with them. They are now one Google search away from knowing a lot more about you and your products. Are they going to see your glowing testimonials, or will they find the ravings of the one unhappy client that you’ve had in 10 years? Will they learn about your vast experience, or see deal-killing tweets about possibly making a move to a bigger company?

Hebi65 / Pixabay

This new openness that the internet provides could definitely crush your business…or it could take it to a new level. Below we will go through a few “must haves” that everyone in direct sales should incorporate into their portfolio to help strengthen your business.

1)      Wikipedia Page

I’m sure most people thought that #1 would “a website”. The truth is that while we will definitely mention a website on this list, a Wikipedia page is much more important. Wikipedia is arguably the strongest website in the world, which means that if you create a page for yourself it will almost definitely rank in the top 1-3 spots for your name. It also allows you to give your bio/resume as you would like it to be seen.

The best part about a Wiki page is that even if you have a common name, Wikipedia will still be stronger than the other websites that might be owned by people who share your name.

2)      Digital Resume

This could be as simple as creating a free 1-2 page website on Weebly.com or Wix.com with an introduction and summary, and then a resume. The best part about an online resume is that it’s never going to be the “official” resume that you turn into employers so you can do whatever you want with it. If you’d like to showcase your portfolio, or make it visual with graphs and show how much money you’ve made for your clients.

If you are smart, you will even include additional lead forms so that you might get some leads just from people who happen to stumble onto your digital resume.

3)      Social Business Pages

The biggest thing told to college students nowadays is to make your social pages “private”. Well yes, you should definitely do that…but why would you ever stop there?

Take your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and go ahead and make additional business pages. This can really just be another profile page for yourself but just focus it entirely on your business.

The nice thing about these pages is that when you make your personal pages “private” over time the search engines will usually display your business pages when people search for your name.

4)      Public LinkedIn Page

This is something that everyone should already be doing anyway. Believe it or not, while LinkedIn usually ranks well it’s probably not ever going to be the top result for your name. However, it might usually be the first thing that people click on. Because LinkedIn is such a well-known social site, a LOT of people will skip over the first few results and skip right to your LinkedIn page. While this is just another digital resume of sorts, it will receive quite a bit of traffic.

5)      Write Articles about your industry

While “Authorship” in search results has gone away, your articles still have quite a bit of strength. If your articles are published on a high quality site, with your author bio, then that’s the main thing.

After that, make sure that you are linking to your article(s) and sharing them on social media to increase that strength.

These articles let you showcase your knowledge of the field, and give you a level of credibility that most professionals in your field might not have.

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Author Bio:

Patrick King is the Search Engine Marketing Manager for Premier Laser Spa, a company with over 22 locations around the country. When he’s not managing the dozens of websites that Premier has, he is avidly exploring the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

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.

How to Know Which Direct Sales Business is for You?

geralt / Pixabay

geralt / Pixabay

As you’ll be spending a lot of time with your direct sales business product, or products, a good way to know which business is for you is by how you FEEL about it. The business you choose MUST be one you’re passionate about. If you’re not, boredom will set in.

Another consideration is how much the startup costs are. They need to be affordable to you. Also, keep in mind the amount compared to what you’re going to get for it.

A huge factor in your choice should be what your commission rate will be. You’re not in it just for fun. You want and need to make some decent money in this direct sales business. Don’t choose a business where you work constantly for only a small commission.

Will you be compensated for building a downline? If not, there’s no real incentive for you to try to recruit others into the business. You’ll want a company that rewards you for bringing in others.

Find out ahead of time how much control you’ll have over what you sell. Do they have a set price or can you decide on what you sell it for? Can you choose how you’ll sell you product? You may want the freedom to do these things.

You’ll want to know if any sort of training will be provided by the company or if you’ll just be sent on your way. Most people don’t enjoy flying by the seat of their pants. Company support is important.

Consider these things before making the commitment.

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.

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

SplitShire / Pixabay

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.

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Help in Branding Your Direct Sales Business

Face it; to your customers, you are your direct sales business, and a big part of what that business is in their eyes. No matter what products or services your business might offer, how your customers perceive you makes up a significant part of the overall business brand. Choosing the right product or service is important, of course, but if you want your business to succeed, you need to promote the brand – and yourself – in the best possible light. Here are a few tips to show you how to do just that, using one of the most powerful tools available to you: social media.

1)      Choose the right social media networks.

Social Media Camp 2009 - Using Social Media fo...

Social Media Camp 2009 – Using Social Media for Small Business (Photo credit: deanmeyersnet)

Different social media services are geared toward different objectives, and you’ll want to set up accounts that will be most effective in reaching people who are likely to become your customers. Facebook is by far the largest of the social media networks, and it appeals to those who are into more informal and casual exchanges. Twitter is kind of an online soapbox, where people make brief announcements about pretty much anything that comes to mind. Yelp is a good resource to let people know what you’re about, where you are, and – by other people’s reviews – what it is like to deal with your company. And while Linkedin is a more professionally-oriented network, it offers access to many groups of people who share common interests beyond their careers, and might well be a good resource. There are, of course, many other social media sites and services that may serve to help you establish your presence and brand, but these few are good places to start.

2)      Make it personal, but keep it professional.

Endeavor to behave on the social media sites the same way as you would at a party you were having in a friend’s home. While you needn’t be shy in singing your business and/or product’s praises, avoid the temptation to sell. If others find you well-informed and likable, they will be much more inclined to look favorably at what your business has to offer. You want your brand – your business, your products, and yourself – to be invited to other parties, and for your prospective customers to want to come to your parties.

3)      Are paid accounts and ads helpful?

Many social media sites require that members who sign up primarily to promote their businesses take out a paid membership. The cost isn’t very high, and beyond helping you avoid violating the sites’ terms of service, paid accounts often allow you to post additional promotional materials and ads. Adding more compelling information about your product or service can prove useful, so long as you don’t overdo it.

4)      Include links to other sites and blogs that will enhance your brand’s image and visibility.

In addition to enhancing the perceived value of your brand among other members, additional links will increase your standings in the search engines’ algorithms, and can make your page and your brand-affiliated websites rank higher and appear closer to the top of people’s searches.

5)      Keep an eye out for what others are saying about you, your product/service, and your brand.

Knowing what about you and your business/brand is showing up on the web can be an invaluable tool. Run Google searches, sign up for Google Alerts, and access sites such as http://freepeoplesearch.org. You may find that your business/brand is being praised on other forums that you hadn’t known about, and which you might want to join, as well. You might even approach the people who say nice things about you and ask them if it’s okay to use their comments as testimonials on your other forums. Their responses will usually be positive, especially if you give them a nice thank you gift and some recognition. You might also find some negative comments, which you’ll want to address, either by resolving any underlying problems or by presenting your side of the situation.

Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be on your way to expanding the positive awareness of your brand. The more people know – and think positively – about your business and your brand, the bigger your customer base will be. And that is, after all, the name of the game in your direct sales business.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from free people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.

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Starting your Direct Sales business and How to Finance It

Want to start your own business but do not have the money to do it?  Here are some methods to help finance your startup and get you going.

Direct sales can be a very exciting industry, and when you find the company that suits you, you are ready to jump in with both feet and get started.  Unfortunately, sometimes having the money to get started, even an amount as little as $20 can be difficult to find, but there are some things that you can do to help you with this.

Money cash

Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Have a Party – One of the best ways to get started is to host your own party!  If you have found someone to sign up with that is local to you, see if they will come over and do a party for you and give you all the sales.  If your friends know this is going to be your debut party, they will likely come out and support you.  Not only does this get you your kit, but it also gets you started on any new consultant program that your company may offer.  Be prepared to sign on the dotted line the day of your party, or else the consultant that did your party will be within their rights to keep all sales and you won’t get the proceeds to signup.

Odd jobs – Can you do some odd jobs for friends, family or others?  Check your local classifieds for people needing help with various things like house cleaning, dog walking, lawn mowing or anything else you are capable of doing.  Before too long you could have the money raised!

Garage Sale – if the weather is nice, haul any unneeded items you have onto your driveway or lawn and try to sell it.  Once you get started sorting out your house, you will be amazed at much you can find to sell.  Remember that you will never get as much for your items as you think they are worth, for instance, books will sell anywhere from a nickel up to 50 cents (at least where I live).

Borrow – See if you have a relative or friend that might lend you the start up fee or help you in some other method.  Maybe you can ask a few different people to help you out.  In return, you will want to pay them back and you may want to offer them a discount on product or something else as a thank you.

Charge – Do you have a credit card with some room on it?  While it is always best to buy things with cash, you can put your kit on credit.  Make sure you take any money you make at the party to pay it back before you start paying interest on it.

Payment Plan – Does the company you are signing up with have a payment plan?  If so, use that.  Or you may have to choose a lower level kit than what you want, and work on building it up with profits.  There is nothing wrong with doing this.

While direct sales may be cheap to get into, sometimes cheap is still hard for some people, and they are joining a company to make money.   Don’t forget that there are additional costs in direct sales that you will have to have money to pay for, even if all you get are new catalogues.

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