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Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

handshakeMany of the direct sellers that I work with tell me that they wish their direct sales companies would do more with social media. They want their companies to provide training and tools to use social media more effectively, and are surprised when their company’s policies and procedures more or less prohibit contact with prospects through social media at all.

What I often say to these direct sellers is that now is the time for you to help your companies.  They’re still figuring this all out themselves, and your experience can be helpful.  While your companies may not take every suggestion you have (after all, they can see the big picture of the entire company, while you can only see your part of it) your input can be useful as social media policy is drafted.

Here are some of the issues going on as your company considers social media.

  1. Policies & Procedures Outdated.  The policies and procedures of your company may have been written before social media was invented, and that’s why it’s so unclear what you can and cannot do.  As a direct seller, there are 2 things you can do.  1) When in doubt, ASK!  If you’re not sure what you’re allowed to do, ask your company; and 2) Ask your company for specific policies & procedures related to social media.  It may be time for an updated version of this document.
  2. Inappropriate Postings by Your Peers. One of the big concerns that direct selling companies have about social media is when consultants blur the lines between personal and professional, and begin posting things for their friends that don’t reflect well on the company.  The best thing you can do is make a decision…how will you use social media?  If you’re going to use it for business or include a link to/mention your company at all, then clean up your profile, and be sure EVERY single thing you post is appropriate for your company, your customer, your kids, and your momma to see.  One of the big hang-ups companies face when deciding whether or not to allow social media usage is the stuff that’s already out there that is NOT appropriate.  So if social media is important to you for your business (and it should be), you need to say something to your fellow consultants when they post inappropriate things.  Only when we all work together will we bring this industry forward.
  3. Ask for Training and Resources. Companies are still trying to figure out how best to support their sales force in social media.  If you believe that you need specific types of training, and it would be beneficial to you to have certain company resources (such as a Facebook fan page, recruiting videos, etc.) available, let your company know!  Social media is new to many direct sales companies, so it will often be helpful for them to know what it is you need.  One of the first questions I ask of a company when they bring me in to help them craft a social media strategy is, “What have your consultants been asking for?”

The direct sales industry is moving forward into social media, and it will truly be a collaboration between consultants and companies that has the greatest, and most successful, impact.  If it is important to you as a direct seller to have the tools and training you need to succeed at social media, communicate with your company.  And as a direct sales company, be sure you’re tapping into your socially-connected sales force, so you know the kind of support that your sales force is looking for.  A collaborative effort will bring forth the best results.

What’s your take on this issue?  Would love to read your comments below!

Photo Credit: Andyrob

Note to Readers: Within the next few days, I will be moving my blog over to my new website at http://jenfongspeaks.com.  While blog content will be shared between these two sites for the next couple weeks, eventually everything will be moved over.  If you subscribe to this blog via email, you will need to update your subscription in order to continue to receive content from my blog.  If you’d like to update your subscription now, just click here: Subscribe to Direct Sales and Social Media by Email

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crowd by James CridlandThe true value in using social media to find more customers for your direct sales business comes from going where the people are.  It’s a basic rule of sales, based on the law of averages…the more people you have access to, the more likely you are to find people who want to buy from you.  Unfortunately, some direct sellers translate this into thinking they need to join EVERY social media site that’s out there.  People often ask me, “is there a way to update all these sites at the same time? I need to have time to work on my business too!  And do I need to be on EVERY site my prospects are on?”

These are GREAT questions.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I recommend that you avoid services such as ping.fm that allow you to update your status on multiple social media sites at the same time. The audiences for each of these social networking sites is different, and the way you should be interacting with them is different.  Plus, relationship building requires your presence.

But then how do you ever get the rest of your work done if you have to visit each site individually?  If you’re in direct sales, you need to be meeting with customers, hostess coaching and doing parties (if you’re in party plan), providing customer service and follow-up in order to generate rebookings/reorders, etc.  There are simply not enough hours in the day to add a multitude of social media sites and build relationships on all of them well.

schedule by jrvetstonYou know what?  You are absolutely right.  There AREN’T enough hours in the day to be on every social media site there is, and still run your business well.  And that’s why you should be choosy.  As the title of this post says, less is more.  Rather than trying to find every single prospect that may possibly exist on every single social networking site that’s out there (and then not be able to do the relationship-building activities required to turn them from prospects into customers), instead focus on just a few sites with the highest population of your targeted niche market.

In my opinion, the best sites for direct sellers to focus on are Facebook (#1…biggest social networking site with the most people who are mostly in our main demographic), Twitter (when you’ve dried up that group of family & friends and are ready to build relationships with new people), and LinkedIn (where you can connect with people that may become business building recruits.)  You may also find niche-specific groups that are specific to your target market, where you’ll be able to build the relationships that lead to success.

Now this is not to say that new sites won’t emerge in the future (and when I know about them you can be SURE I’ll write about there here, so be sure you’re subscribed.)  But for now, if you’re just getting your feet wet in social media, start with Facebook.  Most connections are based on an underlying relationship that’s already established, and it’s a great and comfortable way to get started in social networking.  Plus the viral-sharing capabilities in Facebook make it a great way to share information without spamming anyone.  (And DON’T be one of those direct sellers posting things like “Join my business!” “We’re having a SALE!” “I need 2 more hostesses this month.” People don’t like it and they will ignore you in large measure.  While you may get 1 or 2 customers from this strategy, you will gain a lot more over time if you skip the spam and employ a thoughtful content-marketing strategy.)

So remember, less is more!  Don’t join every social networking site there is and overwhelm yourself.  You also don’t want to get so busy with social networking that you forget your income-producing activities!  By being strategic in the sites that you join, you’ll experience a lot more success in your social media marketing.

Now it’s your turn!  What sites are you a part of?  How do you manage the time and relationships?  How does it relate to your overall business?  Would LOVE to read your comments below!

Jennifer Fong

Photo Credits: James Cridland, jrvetson (Creative Commons license on Flickr)

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CB104391What leads to success in social media marketing?  As a direct sales professional, this is a fair question to ask as you weigh the time commitments involved against the expected return on investment.  Is social media going to provide the results that you hope for?  How long will it take?  Is it worth the effort?

As a social media consultant and trainer, I have the opportunity to work with both companies and individuals as they plan and implement a social media strategy.  And I have noticed a real indicator of success.  In fact, within 24 hours of working with a company or individual, I can pretty much tell you who is going to experience the most immediate success.  Perhaps it’s not so earth shattering or surprising what the key is.  What I have noticed is that those people who will be successful in social media is that they are willing to TAKE ACTION.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  People who are willing to dive in head first, once they understand the benefits of social media for their business, are the ones who will be successful.  They don’t worry or let fear hold them back.  Instead, they start smart: identify objectives and narrowly focus on a specific target market.  They choose the tools that will help them meet their objectives.  And then they dive in with confidence, focused more on connecting with others than they are on what they might do wrong.

I was recently working with a direct sales company on their social media strategy, and before I was out the door they were already assigning action items to staff.  Before a week was up they already had a plan and a presence in social media, and within a week their Facebook fan page already had over 200 fans.

On an individual level, I have a student in one of my social media classes who downloads all the materials BEFORE the class session (I post them 24 hours before each class) and works through the materials before coming to class.  That way he’s already familiar with the application we’re talking about that week, and he’ll get even more from that week’s session.  He also knows the right questions to ask, and is ready to put himself out there so he can be successful.

In both of these scenarios, it’s the TAKE ACTION companies and individuals who will be the most successful.  Are things new?  Absolutely!  But with a plan in place and the instruction to back it up, these people are willing to focus on the goal, and as a result are displaying the confidence necessary to get the job done well.  Social media is all about jumping in and experiencing it, and also projecting the confidence which leads to success.  By avoiding hesitation and getting started in a smart way, people and companies are setting themselves up for success.

What do you think?  How does this relate to your start in social media?  Would love to read your comments below!

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UnitedAirlinesHave you heard about the United Airlines debacle?  Basically they smashed up a band’s high-end guitar that was checked, and then refused to take responsibility.  The band member promised the UA rep that denied his claim that he would produce 3 videos online about the experience, and the first was recently posted, and now comes up 3rd on Google when you search United Airlines.  Within a week, the video had received 3 million views.  Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

You can read more about it here: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/united-airlines-and-consumer-generated-turbulence/

The lesson here for direct sales companies is the importance of monitoring and customer service in a social media age.  As United Airlines learned to its detriment, ignoring a customer service issue does not make it go away these days.  Social media is “the great equalizer” and people can cause a public relations nightmare for a company if the issue is not addressed.

It is CRITICAL that you monitor your brand, so you know what’s being said, and you can address customer service issues when necessary.  At the very least, you should be checking SocialMention.com daily, and you should have alerts set up.  Gone are the days when things could get pushed under the rug.  You need to be proactive so you know what’s being said by those who KNOW how to use social media tools to get the word out.

United Airlines ignored its social media savvy customers and is now going to have months, or even years, of fallout.  Let this be a cautionary tale, and don’t let this happen to you.

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CB060536Recently I shared a statistic on Facebook, that was shared by Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon, at the DSA Annual Meeting.  The statistic was that 80% of women in direct sales use the income that they make to feed, clothe, and educate their children.  While the statistic itself speaks volumes about the impact that direct sales is having on the next generation, I want to talk today about what happened AFTER I shared that statistic.

Facebook allows people to “comment” on things that you post.  Well after I posted that statistic, many of the direct sellers I am connected with on Facebook began to share their personal stories, about how direct sales has made a difference in their lives.  It wasn’t hype.  Rather, it was authentic testimonies of how direct sales is REALISTICALLY making a difference to them.  And I know that people who observed that interaction on Facebook may have walked away with perhaps a different perspective of the power of this industry.

That got me to thinking about how social media can be used to spread the “good news” of direct sales.  All too often direct sales gets a bad name in social media circles, due to over-enthusiastic sellers who feel the need to hype the opportunity, selling “get rich quick” scenarios that don’t work for most.  The result is a mistrust of the industry in general, because people don’t want to be scammed.  But if instead we focused on the genuine facts…that most people make a few extra hundred dollars per month in social media…we might get a much better response.

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson, DSA VP Communications & Media Relations

I turned to Amy Robinson, Vice President of Communication and Media Relations at the Direct Selling Association, to get her take on all of this.  Amy spends her days talking to reporters about the direct selling industry, maintaining the EXCELLENT DirectSelling411 site, and providing the evidence and facts that people need to make informed decisions about our industry.  Here’s what Amy shared with me.

Amy believes that social media may be a really powerful tool for us as direct sellers to share the FACTS about direct sales, minus the hype.  “Social media is such a powerful medium.  You can be your own publisher, and it’s essentially free, but you must use it in the right way,” she said.  “Our society is such a sound byte society.  Direct sellers must remember that people don’t want to read LONG things in social media.  So when you’re sharing information about your opportunity, get to the point quickly, and help people see THEMSELVES in what you say.  It’s not just about you and your story.  People must be able to see success as they define it for themselves, if they are to believe that direct sales is something that can work for them.”

One resource that the DSA provides to help direct sellers and consumers get the facts about direct sales is the http://www.directselling411.com site.  While I will provide a post soon that goes into this great site in detail, it’s important for you to be aware of this site.  As I’ve said, we need to avoid HYPE when talking about direct sales in social media forums.  People are hyper-aware of hype, and it’s better to provide honest information that can help people make an informed decision.

Direct Selling 411 helps with this.  It’s a forum that lays out the facts about direct sales, lets people ask questions, and helps them find DSA member companies.  DSA members all agree to comply to a code of ethics that protects both consumers and consultants, so DSA membership is a big deal when considering an opportunity.  Amy shared that the feedback they’ve received at the DSA from consultants about the site has been phenomenal.  They absolutely LOVE having a 3rd party site that provides the FACTS.  It’s a great way to share the validity of direct sales with people that have questions.  And it’s a tool to help people be more comfortable with direct sales in general.

When we use social media tools to share the FACTS about direct sales, it helps you promote your own opportunity in a realistic way, while also promoting the industry in a positive light.  And when that happens, everyone wins.  So the next time you talk about your opportunity online, remember that the key is HONESTY and AUTHENTICITY.  By avoiding the hype, you will be a lot more convincing, and people will be able to see how direct sales will work for THEM, so they can achieve THEIR definition of success.

What do you think?  Have you promoted your opportunity online?  What were the results?  Would love to read your comments!

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dsa-meeting-jen_talk_show_small

Jennifer speaking at the 2008 DSA Annual Meeting

In 2008, I spoke on the main stage of the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) Annual Meeting in front of 1,000 or so direct sales executives, and stated that I believe that social media is the future of direct sales.  There are so many parallels between what we do as direct sellers, and how social media operates.  What are some of the activities of a successful direct seller?  Networking, Providing valuable information, Developing relationships which lead to people buying our products and joining our teams.  And these are all activities that lead to successful social media marketing as well.

On a call I did yesterday with the beautiful Sarah Robinson of Direct Selling Leaders, I shared that most people don’t walk around with a sign around their necks that says “I’m looking for an opportunity.”  They also don’t walk around with a sign that says they are looking for products like ours to solve their problems.  However, in social media forums, people DO talk about their problems and needs, and when we do targeted searches and build relationships with people, this makes it very easy for us as direct sellers to specifically reach out to those people that ARE interested.  And that greatly improves our success rate.

So here are some specific things that I believe social media can do for a direct sales business:

  • FIND PROSPECTS who are looking for your products and opportunity right now
  • Provide BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE than you ever thought possible
  • Position yourself as an EXPERT that people go to for product recommendations
  • BUILD COMMUNITIES of people that want what you have to offer, and who will refer their friends to you
  • SUPPORT YOUR GROWING TEAM members, and help them learn from one another
  • Grow professionally as you LEARN from the best of the best

All of this will result in additional income for your business.

Now it’s important to note, this does not REPLACE your core business activities: booking parties, selling products, recruiting new distributors.  Rather, it enhances these, because social media gives you access to MORE PEOPLE.  It also enables you to specifically target your niche market through keyword searches, so your efforts are more efficient and productive.

So what do you think?  Are you using social media marketing for your direct sales business?  What results have you seen?  I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!  And if you’d like to receive more articles about how social media marketing can help your business, why not sign up for my newsletter?

Cheers!
Jennifer

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Guest Post by Julie Anne Jones

I’m going to be brutally honest with you…when I first began working with Jennifer Fong, I was certain that the whole “social media thing” was going to drain my time and stress my already packed schedule beyond it’s limits. Since we were putting together a course to offer to my client list called “Social Media Made Simple for Direct Sales Professionals,” and since I was the moderator, I had no choice but to at least be somewhat educated around the topic of using social media as a business tool. But I’ll honestly tell you, I probably wasn’t the most willing student Jennifer’s ever worked with.

We started with the one area where I already had a prescence – Facebook. I had a fairly active profile and a group called Direct Sales Success Made Easy with Julie Anne Jones that was filling up fairly quicky. I really didn’t know exactly what to do with all these people who were friending me and joining my group, but I was open to learning. Jen helped me tweak my profile and shared some simple tips for connecting with and supporting the members of my group.

Next we moved to blogging, LinkedIn, and Twitter. What I loved about what Jen was teaching me was the fact that her strategy for building relationships online so closely mirrors what I teach direct sellers to do in their businesses and at their parties; give people value, be authentic and build the relationship without trying to sell them anything up front.

Throughout the course of learning how to use these tools and this philosophy, I noticed a few things started to happen:

  • I was getting increased traffice (as in DOUBLE THE HITS) to my website
  • I was adding followers on Facebook and Twitter like crazy
  • My blog was getting a ton of hits and people were seeking me out after having read it

In short, my business was exploding! And all with, really and truly, I swear, only about a 30 – 45 minute investment each day. So, while I know I’m still in the beginning stages of learning about how to use the power of social media to grow my business and support my followers, I’m a converted believer. I don’t know exactly what my marketing strategy for my company will be in the coming years, but I do know that social media will always be a strong part of that plan.

So, the bottom line is, I’m an absolute believer now. Before I found Jennifer and her social media training, I’d been saying “I need to find a way to reach my niche audience on line” but could never figure out where they were “hanging out.” These social media tools have lead me to my niche and expanded my reach to new consultants and companies.
Julie Anne Jones is a direct sales coach and trainer and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales.
As a former direct sales professional, Julie worked a party plan business for several years, consistently holding three parties per week and winning national awards yearly. She also built a National multi level marketing team through internet networking. For the past 6 years, she has focused entirely on coaching and training other leaders within the direct sales industry through live training as well as extensive webinar and tele-course training.

To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, visit her at www.julieannejones.com or check out her blog at http://julieannejones.com/blog.

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Guest Post by Lisa Robbin Young

There’s a horrible face of direct sales that, to my chagrin, I see more and more often now that I’m a coach.

The face of fear.

Maybe I was lucky as a young “orphaned” consultant, because I never really saw fear rearing it’s ugly head in my business.

But now that I work with other consultants regularly, I’m hearing the tell-tale signs of decades of fear that have permeated our industry.

“I’m afraid to give that booking to my new recruit because it means I’ll loose that train.”

“I’m afraid to share my ideas with others because it means I have to work harder in my own business.”

“I’m afraid of the fact that there are SO many other XYZ consultants in my area.”

And this is not your run-of-the-mill, everyday “fear”. This fear has a distinct aroma…

“I’m afraid to share the opportunity with her because she’s such a great hostess!”

“There are so many direct sales companies now selling the same kind of stuff, it’s just hard to compete.”

…It’s the fear of competition.

Its an easy trap to fall into. The belief that everyone and everything out there is “just like you”. Sadly, this problem is most apparent when examining teams within our own company – and even within our own downlines.

Top leaders in some well-known companies even propagate this nonsense by having consultants sign non-disclosure agreements at training events. I’ve not yet seen this at the corporate level, and hope I never do! The very thought that direct sellers would be reluctant to share what is working for them with others seems the antithesis of the direct selling concept: a rising tide raises all ships.

How does this tie into Social Media?

Social Media is a possible cure for this cancer we know as fear.

Via blogs, social media, and even newsletters and personal (not company owned) websites, a consultant can express his/her uniqueness – that thing that sets them apart in the marketplace.

The title of this post is one of the mantras that pervades my coaching: YOU, the consultant, are the most important product your company has to offer. It’s not your catalog items, host benefits, or even the comp plan. It’s the very nature of who YOU are, and what YOU bring to the table that makes you a valuable piece of the direct selling puzzle.

Think on this: at every party/presentation you attend, what is the ONE product that every guest will experience before the end of the evening? And what one product is very likely to NOT be in the catalog everyone is holding in their hands?

The consultant.

You make the difference. As a consultant, you are the face, the living breathing, interacting product that clients come to know, like, trust, and even make repeat orders for when they book parties over and over again.

The consultant is the best selling product of every direct sales company. When that product is no longer available, the company no longer exists.

So if it follows that you are a best-selling product, and you’re NOT in the catalog, shouldn’t SOMEONE be marketing your skills, abilities, availability and the benefits that you provide that are unique to you?

Enter Social Media & Online Marketing.

Social media is a communication platform that can no longer be ignored or poo-pooed. Jen is one of a handful of people that understand and communicate the value of that platform.

But social media is just one piece of the online markting puzzle. In Jen’s “preaching to the choir” post, she mentions newsletters. While not exactly a social media platform, content-driven communications are what separate the social media leaders from the also-rans.

Look at any trainer in the direct selling industry today and they are all using e-zines to reach out to their lists in a value-added way. I do it (online marketing for direct sellers is my specialty), Jen does it – even Tony Robbins does it! A newsletter/ezine is the single most effective way to consistently reach your target market.

Target marketing is another key coponent to your effectiveness in business. But Jen asked me to stay on the social media topic, so you’ll have to find me on my blog to hear about that.

Content is NOT a coupon or an announcment about the ‘greater than sliced bread’ offers your company has coming up next month. It’s not an enticement to “book now before my calendar is filled”. Those things have their place in a newsletter, but in reality, should make up no more than about 25-30% of the total content in the newsletter.

What kind of content CAN you include? Tips, hints, time and money saving ideas related to your product line are all great places to start. You can even recommend (in passing) a product from your collection that fits perfectly for the tip. But the content should be valuable whether or not you recommend your products or services. THIS positions you as an expert that is more interested in helping your target market than hawking your wares to anyone that’ll open your newsletter. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to share a little bit about who you are as a human being – a person with successes, kids, flaws, cravings, faux pas – warts and all.

It will require a little more work on the front end, but the return on investment is huge. Like Jen, I enjoy a very high open rate on my newsletters, which only confirms that I’m providing content that works for my market. And because I can monetize that traffic, it also yields a tidy little income from people across the country (or around the world) that I would NOT have earned any other way. It’s hard to do a party in California when you live in Michigan!

And content that you create for your blog can be re-used in your newsletter (and vice versa). Repurposing is TOTALLY acceptable, and it cuts the workload down. I frequently post my ezine articles to my blog for people that haven’t already subscribed.

Ideally, companies would come on board with this, and start sharing more helpful content in their customer newsletters, but that is not the job of the corporation. Not to be too blunt here, but the company’s job is to help you sell more of their products and services. They’re in business to make money – and it’s reasonable to expect that their obligation begins and ends with their product line. That’s a forseeable, controllable situation for them. Consultants (in all their varieties) are an unknown.

YOU are in business to make money as well. So it behooves you to have your own method of consistently reaching out to your customers in a value-added way. The simplest, easiest way to meet your prospects where they are is the humble e-zine.

It can be text only – it doesn’t need to be pretty. It DOES need to provide value in such a way that people look forward to getting it, reading it, and USING it.

It is your responsibility as the owner of “You, Incorportated” to share with your prospects, clients, recruits, etc, the value of who you are, what you have to offer, and what sets you part in a field of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of other consultants in your very own company. When you do that, you don’t see competition anymore, because no one else is quite like you. You are the only you there is, and while this may sound a bit “Pollyanna”, it still rings true. When you no longer see yourself as a commodity, no one else can compete with you. Thus, competition fades, and all that’s left is YOU serving your target market to the best of your abilities – while your target market loves you more and more for it!

It’s the relationship you build that determines whether they do business with you (perhaps from across the continent) or the consultant down the street.

Social media, blogs, ezines, and the like make building and maintaining those relationships happen faster & more efficiently. Sometimes without those venues, it wouldn’t happen at all. And from an economic standpoint, you’ll stand a far better chance of surviving downturns when your income isn’t tied to your local economy, but is diversified across different localities. The Internet makes that possible for everyone.

But you can’t rely on your company to do it for you. That’s not their job. You’re a business owner, and it’s your job to promote YOU. If you don’t do it, who will?

(c) 2009 Lisa Robbin Young. All Rights Reserved.
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Lisa Robbin Young created the first certified Direct Sales Marketing Coaching program and teaches direct sellers how to transform their expensive hobby into a real business. Leaders, coaches and trainers look to Lisa for online marketing strategies that deliver results. Learn more about the Home Party Solution Live Workshop and sign up for her free weekly ezine, “PartyOn!” at http://www.homepartysolution.com

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42-16790355

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!

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Jennifer Fong

Jennifer Fong

Today’s post is firmly tongue-in-cheek, however it contains an essential message.  Those that have been through my training know that I am a firm proponent of content marketing through social media channels, which means that you do NOT spam the world with your products or your opportunity.  Rather, you provide valuable, actionable content that people can use right now without spending a dime, in order to draw people into a relationship with you.  Once they know, like, and trust you, then you have a much more potentially successful opportunity to share your business.

So in today’s post, I am going to share with you the very WORST types of status updates and tweets you might find from direct sellers.  Keep in mind these are all fictional.  But if it sounds even remotely like something you’ve posted lately, take heed!  You’ll be a lot more successful with content marketing.

Here we go…PLEASE don’t let this be you!

Bad Facebook Status Updates

  • XYZ Company is having a SALE! Buy my products right now and you’ll save 50%.  Shop now!  Here’s my link…
  • I have the greatest business on the planet! Have you thought about direct sales? Are you living your dreams? Join my team today!
  • XYZ Product cures cancer and will save the world (UGH! This one had BETTER not be you!!!)

Bad Twitter Tweets/Direct Messages

  • I saw you mentioned “Product.” I sell product! Here’s my link!
  • Thanks for following me! Click here so you can buy my stuff:…
  • You should join my company because it’s the greatest company in the world. Here’s my link…

Notice that all these are “me” focused.  They’re all about me and my product/opportunity.  Consider now some messages that are YOU focused.  People respond a lot better when it’s about them.

  • Let your white wine warm up a bit before drinking.  You’ll get better flavor.
  • This makeup tip will bring out your eyes…
  • Need a quick dinner tonight? Try this quick and easy recipe (Link to my blog)

See how now the messages are solving a problem for the reader?  Not all the messages immediately send people somewhere.  Instead, they are relationship builders that help a person know, like, and trust you before they ever spend a dime with you.  Once they like you and opt-in for your messages, they’ll be a lot more likely to buy or join.  Just like you can opt-in by clicking here for my newsletter. :)

And that’s just smart social media marketing.

What do you think?  Have you had experiences on either end of this type of marketing?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!

Jennifer Fong

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