Tag Archives: direct sales

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

Keeping in Touch With Your Customers Using Technology

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When you are involved in direct sales, keeping in touch with your customers is an excellent way to ensure that they will book parties with you and purchase your products on an ongoing basis. The Internet provides those who run direct sales businesses very simple and convenient ways to stay in touch with their client base. So just what are some ways that you can use the technology of the Internet to keep in touch with your customers?

Blogs

You can start a blog to keep in touch with your customers. A blog is basically an online journal and a great place to inform people of your business. With your blog, you can include informative articles relating to whatever product you maybe selling, keep your customers informed of product specials that both your company and you personally are offering and allow them to make comments about your posts should they have any questions. Blogger.com is a popular place for many to start blogs.

Forums

You could start your own online forum to communicate with your customers. It is really quite simple to start your own message board. You can start different forums to deal with customer questions on specific products, customer complaint issues, product specials and even a forum where you can chat with your customers about any topic.

Yahoo Discussion Group

Starting an email discussion group like the ones available through yahoo is yet another way that you can keep in touch with your customers. You can make your group available for discussion or use it to release a monthly or even weekly newsletter to inform your customers about your business.

Mailing List

Starting a mailing list is yet another way that you can use the Internet to keep your customers informed about the goings on of your business. Just make sure that before you start sending out information about your business to your mailing list that you pay close attention to what would be considered spamming.

These are just some of the great ideas for using technology to keep your customers informed about your business. Utilizing the convenience offered by these tools is a smart way to build up your business.

Effectively Using Social Media in Direct Sales

Social media is definitely one of the most powerful tools that a marketer has at their disposal, and an even better tool for direct sellers because like direct sales, start-up costs are either free or very minimal. Utilizing social media means that you have the ability to reach thousands or even millions of people at no cost. The problem is that 99% of the time, social media is being used inefficiently, and it just ends up being a waste of time.

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So the question becomes: “How to use social media efficiently and effectively in direct sales?”

1)      Choosing the channels that are most effective for your product

One of the most common mistakes is the idea that more is always better. Many people in direct sales embrace this philosophy and think that if they scream their message through 10 social media channels instead of 1, that they will be 10 times more effective. The truth is that while using more channels isn’t always a bad thing, just using more channels for the sake of having more is definitely a bad thing.

Each social media channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, which will help you select the right social networks to use. For example, if it’s a product that you need to demonstrate or show a visual proof for (for example a guitar or instrument), then Youtube is going to be a great option. If it’s a product set like a clothing line that is constantly releasing new products, then something like Instagram is going to be a better fit.

So first, analyze the products you are selling and the market you are selling to and focus your time on the social channels that are going to produce the best results.

2)      Separate channels based on the messages you are sending

This is especially important for situations where you are trying to both sell products, and get people under you to sell products (so that you benefit from their sales as well). In situations like these, it’s important to realize that there are some people who might be interested in the products themselves but not selling, and others who might like to sell but have no desire to purchase the products.

To do this you need to split messages into separate channels based on what you are trying to accomplish. A lot people see their close friends as a pool of potential sales colleagues, so a channel like Facebook is probably better for recruiting efforts. This allows you to take channels like Twitter and Instagram that are less personal and really leverage those to make direct sales.

3)      Separate Your Personal Channels from your business channels

This is the single biggest mistake that direct sales professionals make. They spend time screaming on their social media channels about other companies, or idiot drivers they see on the road, or general bad experiences…and then they try to post about their products. There is absolutely nothing wrong with venting or posting personal feelings or experiences on social media, that’s one of the reasons it’s there. But if you want to be a highly effective direct sales professional, then every post, photo, video, etc. has got to be about building the brand in some way. There just isn’t room for personal posts mixed in with business posts. You will alienate people, lose followers and attention to the brand, and ultimately just waste your time.

These aren’t brilliant points that dive into the deepest depths of social media, or that will let you sell a million products this year just using these tips. However, these are mistakes that most people in direct sales make on a daily basis. If you can simply inject these 3 principles into your social media strategies, your direct sales business will definitely be more efficient and more effective than it is now.

Author Bio

Patrick King is a Search Engine Marketing Manager for Premier Laser Spa. In addition to that, he is a highly respected business consultant who works heavily with direct sales professionals in developing their start-ups and taking their companies to the next level.

Are Parties Necessary for Direct Sales Success?

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People who are considering a home based business in direct sales begin to think about companies that use party plans as a means to generate income. Party plans encourage prospective customers to host a party in order to earn free or discounted products. Are parties necessary if you want to work in direct sales?

Not all direct sales companies require their associates to conduct parties. In fact, some direct sales companies don’t require parties at all. You may want to look further into companies offering a different plan for marketing if you are not comfortable talking to crowds of people.

Melaleuca, Avon, and World Book, among others, do not require a party plan. So, are they necessary for success? Obviously, the answer is no. Even people that are associated with party plan companies can succeed by using other marketing plans. It happens every day, you just have to do some research and determine what the other options are.

Direct sales success really depends more on you than on the method of marketing the product to potential customers. If you don’t believe in the company and the product, it doesn’t matter what you do – you won’t be able to make your home business a success. Here are some ideas to help you succeed whether you’re using a party plan or not:

1. Familiarize yourself with the business manual you received in your start-up kit.
Make a list of questions you have and then contact your upline sponsor as soon as you can. Understanding what is expected of you, what you can and cannot do to market the product, and how the company will pay you will make all the difference in how you conduct your business.

2. Follow the instructions given to you during training.
Most likely you will be told to make a list of everyone you know. This will be your master list, the first people you will contact about your new business. If you don’t complete this task, you’re not going to do the rest. Swallow your pride and ask for your money back. This company is not for you.

3. Begin networking with other business owners.
Join the local Chamber of Commerce and get plugged into regular meetings. You must promote your business if it is to grow, and networking with other business people is a great way to let others know about your company.

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 Can I Choose a Legitimate Direct Sales Company?

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Once you have decided that you’d like to get into the direct sales business, you face a daunting task: choosing a legitimate direct sales company. There are so many of these companies to choose from that it can be hard to know where to begin. If you want to choose a multilevel marketing company, some research is in order.

Choosing a company that has a good reputation in your area is one way to stack the odds in your favor. If you know anyone who is involved in party plans, either as a host or as a customer, start asking some questions. Try to get a feel for which companies are well-known among your group of friends.

One good way to decide if a company is worth your time is by asking your contact if you can attend a show or party in your area before committing to the job. This should give you a better feel for how everything runs and also enable you to talk to someone who is actually working for the company.

You might also want to do some investigating. A search on the Internet should glean plenty of information about the company you are interested in. Although people can certainly post false information on the Internet, look for a general trend of either positive or negative comments.

You can also contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find out if any complaints have been lodged against the company in question. The BBB can’t tell you if the company is legitimate but they will be able to tell you if they have received complaints about them. If you are unsure, you can also check with the Direct Selling Association to see if the company is a member and check their reputation.

Is Direct Sales Business Right For You?

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Owning a direct sales business isn’t for everyone.  Some people just don’t have the necessary drive to succeed.  However, using these five points you may be able to decide if a direct sales business w Why should someone shop with you instead ould be perfect for you:

1.  Be your own boss. You’ve worked for others long enough.  You’re ready to strike out on your own and start your own business.  Be sure you have done some research about what owning your own business entails before charging forward with your plan.  Know how much your initial fees will be, how many other associates are in your area, and what kind of compensation plan is available with the company you choose.

2.  Success breeds success. Someone you know may be working in a direct sales company in a different town from where you live. She’s very successful at what she does and her enthusiasm is contagious.  She invites you to be part of her team, but take your time making a decision.

Before you sign that contract and pay for your start-up kit, do some research to see how successful she really is, as well as doing some checking on her upline.  If you find that they have a successful upline that is supportive of her, as well as a satisfied downline, perhaps now is the time to sign on.

3.  Belief is important. You have found a product that you feel is perfect.  It does exactly what it was advertised to do, and it is something you can’t see yourself doing without.  In fact, you’ve told all of your friends about it because it’s so good.  If this describes you, you may have found the perfect direct sales company to work with.

You must love the product your company offers in order to be successful at selling it.  This is the first, and most important, decision to make before choosing a direct sales company.  If you don’t love, use, and believe in the products you sell, it will be evident to those you approach.

4.  Do you love it? If the direct sales company you are considering is associated with an activity, is that activity something you’re passionate about?  Having a passion about scrapbooking, cooking, or whatever the activity, will help your customers see that you’re trying to share something with them rather than trying to “sell them something”.

5.  How flexible are you? Are your children at an age where they don’t need you quite as much as they used to?  If you have some flexibility in your schedule, direct sales might be a viable option.  Not only can you choose the days and times that you work, you also have some degree of control over what you earn.  If you are serious about growing a business, you are only limited by the amount of time and effort you use to do so.

If you think you have found the direct sales company that you can get behind 100%, congratulations!  Take your time learning all you can learn and then step out into your new life.  You may find, after doing your research, that you and direct sales are perfect together – a match made in heaven.