Cynthia is a business management professional with over 15 years experience. With a proven track record for exceeding sales goals.
So you started a direct sales or Multilevel Marketing business. What do you do now? Just starting out there are many mistakes that you should avoid. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of this new and legit work-from-home opportunity. Though your upline leader told you that you can sit in your pajamas and make bank, there is much more to it than that. You need a strategy. You also need to completely understand the do's and don'ts of how to promote your DS or MLM bussiness.
Sure you can post on all your social media channels while sipping coffee in your pajamas! Will that make your direct sales business successful? Probably not. There is much more to being successful than just posting sales ads all day on social media!
There are several promotion styles that will do nothing more than alienate you from your friends and social media followers. To have a successful bussiness without offending your following you should avoid:
- Posting in yard sale groups
- Adding everyone you know to a VIP group
- Over-posting sales ads
- Adding new friends or followers solely for business purposes
- Posting in your pajamas
- Using tons of emojis and hashtags
This may sound a little harsh, but all these things will have your friends and followers quickly running for the hills. No one wants to be added to a group without their permission or knowledge. Posting in yard sale groups on Facebook makes you seem desperate for sales and it just is not very professional. Doing so will likely get you banned from these groups as well. Sure network marketing tells us you want exposure, and to build your downline. This is not how to acquire a sales force.
If you are adding new friends or followers solely with the hope of selling them your product, you will be disappointed. While many people do have luck gaining sales through social media, adding people for that sole purpose is very unprofessional and you will likely be disappointed in the outcome.
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is over-posting sales ads. This is a quick way to have people unfollowing, or hiding you from their timeline. People are following you, for you! They do not follow you just to have products and sales pitches in their feeds 24/7.
Stop posting pictures of you in your pajamas! Seriously, though you may do much of your promoting while in your pajamas, it is just unprofessional to share that with the world. No one likes going to the Walmart and seeing people shopping in pajamas. They do not want to see someone promoting a business in them either.
As a general rule using 20 emojis in a single post makes it look like a 5th grader posted it. It does not look professional or build trust in you or your brand. Generally overusing hashtags makes you look desperate as well. Try to stick to one or two that are directly related to your post, and make your post longer than a small sentence. With the exception of Twitter where you are limited to a certain length.
Now that you understand the basics of how not to promote your business. Let's talk about how to successfully market and promote.
- Be professional at all times
- Use social media to post more about you, than your products
- Ask followers before you add them to VIP groups
- Dress professional in live feeds and selfies
- Limit the 'sales posts' you put on social media
- Use the products you are promoting yourself
- Never make false claims
Being professional at all times should be a no-brainer. Though I see it time and time again, bickering and rude behavior is extremely unprofessional. Especially when one or more reps from different direct sales companies get into a debate over who has the best products. Be the bigger person, and walk away. If you feel the need, block the person disagreeing with your products claims and get back to business.
Using your social channels should be more about you, your life and family than about the products you sell. People want to know you, not the latest mascara or skincare line your company just came out with. This builds trust in you. Without trust you cannot retain a returning customer base.
Stop adding people to groups. This is one of the most annoying tactics from direct sales and multilevel marketing reps! I get added daily to around 25 groups; all are sales-related. I have only ever added myself into two direct sales groups; this was because I trusted the poster, and I was not added without my permission. Adding people without their permission is like coming into their home and setting up a party without being invited. If you wouldn't do it in person, do not do it online! Give the option to be added.
Dress for success! I do not understand why this is so hard. Any salesman anywhere maintains a professional appearance at all times! Anyone with a direct sales company or MLM company should be doing the same. Sure your pajamas are super cute with unicorns and rainbows, and you're sipping coffee and raking in sales. Guess what? No one cares about your pajamas. Pajamas are like bathrooms, you shouldn't take selfies in them! It is unprofessional, think of your image at all times and dress for success.
Sales, sales, sales. The new DS or MLM bussiness you have started is new and exciting—to you. Not so much to all your friends who are following you on social media. Post less about what you have to offer as far as items for purchase, and more about you and your journey. Have a cute cat? Post about Mittens and how he loves to do this or that. Post about your good day, and even bad days. Do not post every 5 minutes about the latest essential oil, mascara, or skinny wraps. At this point in the game most people know about the products already. What people want is someone they trust and feel comfortable ordering from. When you do nothing but post sales ads it not only makes you look desperate, it makes the company look that way too.
As consumers, what people want is to see products. We want to see how it works, how it looks and so on. So when your company comes out with a new legging, wear it! A new lipstick? Wear it and post a selfie! Someone is bound to say 'I love that shade', and this is when you can reply with the product name and where they can get purchase it.
Making false claims is beyond irritating. If your product does not make me look like a supermodel, don't claim that it does! I am going to find out eventually that I still look like a middle aged chubby lady. So do us both a favor and only stick to the facts about the product. Nothing will cost you a loyal customer faster than a product not living up to your claims.
There are three key elements that you need to remember.
- You have to spend money to make money
- First impressions are everything
- Be a people person
So many new consultants and reps fail to realize that you have to spend money to make money. Having spent the majority of my life in business management I can tell you this is absolutely true. You will not always have to do so, but it you want to effectively market your products you need to own and use them yourself.
There is one thing in life we never get to do over: making a first impression. Within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone they have already decided what they think of you. If you bomb a first impression, you will not get the chance to try again. Even though so much direct sales takes place on social media these days, in-person contact is still an amazing marketing strategy. At the store, at a ball game, you name it, these are all potential places to build a client base. So use your products, and remain professional at all times.
One of the biggest suggestions I can make is to be a people person: online, and of course in person. Always be smiling, and engaging. You cannot have the personality of a pillow and expect to be successful. Create a dialog with people you meet. Compliment an outfit, talk about the weather, create a conversation. This is how you build a rapport with people, and create returning customers and new clients.
One of the biggest mistakes I see on social media is the lack of or misuse of a business page. Business pages should not be solely about sales posts either. You want to post original engaging content, as well as sharing other content that you find useful and within your niche. For example, if you have a cosmetics business, sharing tips and tricks for application would benefit your page.
Sharing third-party unbiased reviews of the products you offer is also a great way to build brand trust. Many of the DS and MLM companies have products available on Amazon, and you can easily share the permalink to the product on your business page. You can also find in-depth original blog post reviews of a product you offer and share those as well. Simply posting testimonials that you create is not the best selling technique. Finding content that you are not affiliated with that promotes your products or services is a much better alternative.
Be fun, be engaging and always be honest. Never use your page to degrade another company, or other products or services. If you do not have a business page you are missing potential clients. It is free to create a business page on Facebook, and it is a great way to build a client base without posting too many sales ads on your personal profile.
Go live on your business page on Facebook or schedule premiers when you can. Video content on business pages performs better than standard text and photo posts. Try using the products you offer in the video. Or simply engage with your audience with no promotional content.
Videos do not need to contain your products to help your pages overall performance. Video content on Facebook always reaches a broader audience meaning more potential traffic to pages.
Familiarize yourself with the use of the creator studio on business pages. It takes the guess work out of determining what posts are performing best. At a glace you can see your top content and total views.
Going live on a personal page is not as beneficial. Build your brand, create trust with the consumer. Personal pages will never reach as large of an audience of potential customers as a page will.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2016 Cynthia Hoover
Amanda on June 01, 2017:
Great information! I am just starting up my Legging Army business and I don't want to be "one of those" that harass and annoys people. I want to build a loyal customer base and have them appreciate my help and want to keep coming back! I am new to all of this and I have never been a "sales person."
iamradiantrose on April 10, 2017:
Great hub! I feel so left out...I don't have pyjamas with rainbows and such on them. Darn....but you're so right about what people do that is a deal breaker. It would be nice if more people read your hub and apply what you teach.