I read this great article today by Chris Guillebeau that discusses the importance of building a highly-targeted list within your niche, rather than trying to get the whole world interested in what you have to offer. You can read the whole article here: http://www.copyblogger.com/preaching-to-the-choir/
What I love so much about this approach for direct selling is that when we use social media, we can really use this for success. We can specifically find those people who really want what we have to offer. And we’re providing VALUE to people through our content, so when they buy our products and services, they really meet the needs of our prospects. No longer are we cluttering inboxes with unwanted spam that just makes us annoying. Even if your list is small, if it’s a highly TARGETED list of raving fans that truly want what you have to offer, your conversion rate is much higher.
Consider this…the standard open rate for an email newsletter is about 5-10%. I’ve built my own newsletter list through the method of providing valuable content, and providing people with the opportunity to opt-in for more. Guess what? My newsletter open rate is currently 121%!!! That means that not only are the people who signed up for the newsletter reading it, but they’re forwarding it to their friends who are ALSO reading it. And it’s all done through a highly targeted list. Do I ever sell stuff? Absolutely, and I let people know about what I have to sell through my newsletter (and a tab on my blog). But I ALWAYS provide valuable content of interest to my niche in everything I send out. And that results in a market that wants what I have to offer.
You can do this with your direct sales business. Start by following the people in social media who are a good fit for your business, and building relationships with them. Provide valuable, actionable content through your blog that people can use right now without spending a dime. Provide a group for them to participate in, and online events that they can enjoy. And then, once they’ve opted in to your newsletter, provide targeted content and offers. Your response rate will be much greater than sending out a newsletter alone, without the relationships and value behind it.
What do you think? Have you built a targeted list through social media? I would love to read your experiences in the comments below!