Direct Sales: Business or Hobby?

Direct Sales: Business or Hobby?

Are you working a direct sales business or a hobby? First, let’s figure out the difference. Christy Wright from The Business Boutique says in in her blog post, The First Step to Turning Your Hobby Into a Business, “The first step to turning your hobby into a business is this: Treat it as a business…This will be easier to do if you understand the difference between a hobby and a business. A business makes you money. A hobby costs you money.” Hmm. Is your business costing you money, or is it making you money? If you aren’t able to say that you are making money with your business, let’s see what we can do to change that for you. Direct Sales Business or Hobby

Is Making Money Possible?

First, let’s answer this question. Is it even possible to make money in direct sales? Some people don’t believe it is. But that is entirely not true. No, it may not be easy and it takes hard work and dedication, but it is totally possible to have a direct sales business that makes money! There are people in direct sales or network marketing businesses making anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars each month. I am one of them. And I personally know many others. But none of us got there overnight. None of us sat back, posted sale posts to our personal profile every day, and got rich. We all put in the work. We learned how to effectively market our business. We figured out how to build relationships with our customers. We took courses and learned from industry leaders. We put in the time, energy, and effort that it takes to be successful and it paid off.

Read 7 Direct Sales Myths Busted

When your business is a hobby

See if this sounds at all familiar. When your business is a hobby, you are very likely just making the minimums that your company requires each month, if even that. You may get an order here or an order there. You have a party or maybe two a month. You are posting on your personal profile about your business every day and begging people to book parties with you. Does any of this sound familiar? Why is it not working? Why aren’t you making any money or getting customers, hosts, or recruits? Why isn’t it working for you? Simply put, you’re not doing the work. You’re not treating your business like a business. You need to learn how to effectively market your business on social media (business page anyone?), how to build relationships with your customers, know your target audience, and keep a consistent party calendar. It’s not enough to just do a little bit here and there or halfway try. You have to be all in, determined to make it work. You should be focused on creating customers, following up with past customers, booking parties, hostess coaching, and recruiting. Every week.

Read How to Sell as a Direct Seller

When your business is a business

When you treat your business as a business, you are going above and beyond the minimums each month. Just hitting the minimums is not an option in your mind. You frequently follow up with past customers, stay in touch, and get reorders from them often. You party weekly, usually twice, maybe even three times, a week. You swear by Shari McAllister’s 10-8-2 formula, booking 10 parties every month, holding at least 8, and recruiting an average of two people a month. You rarely post on your personal profile, only just enough to intrigue people and let them know you’re still in business. You utilize your business page and post purposeful and relate-able content on there. You take courses on how to market on social media. You know your target audience and build relationships with them. You are consistent in your business. You show up every day and do the work that it takes to succeed. One more thing….if you signed up for your company just to have a hobby and you are happy with where you are at with it, that is completely ok! You don’t have to do more with it if you don’t want to! There is nothing wrong with having a hobby business. This blog post is directed towards those who want to build a bigger business, but are still treating it as a hobby. 😉 Tell me… does any of this resonate with you? How are you working your business? Is it a business or just a hobby?

When Facebook Parties Suck

When Facebook Parties Suck

Ever had a Facebook party suck? Yeah, me too. Anyone and everyone who does Facebook parties has had at least one (probably many!) Facebook parties that bombed. Really. It’s true! Just ask them and see!

Have you ever had a facebook that sucked? It just didn't go well? Here are some tips for how to deal with that. www.melissamackey.net

What to do when Facebook parties suck.

You see, it happens to all of us. Every single one of us. No matter how awesome of a direct seller we are. It. Happens. Parties that don’t get any sales. Parties where no one shows up. Parties that get cancelled last minute. Parties where the host doesn’t even show up! Parties with no bookings. Technology issues. Hosts that don’t follow your coaching or listen to you. Hosts that just don’t care or try. It happens.

So, what are you going to do about it when it happens? Because if it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Just you wait. (I mean, if it hasn’t happened yet, have you even DONE any Facebook parties??!)

Here’s what you can do. Cry about it. Throw yourself a pity party. Complain on social media. Vow to never do another Facebook party again. Decide that you’re the worst consultant ever. Quit your business.

You can do these things if you want. But will they really help anything? Are you really the worst consultant ever? Most definitely not, if you are working your business and trying to do things the right way! There’s a better way to deal with when Facebook parties suck.

A better way to deal

Get over it! Shrug your shoulders and move on! Eat a bowl of ice cream and watch your favorite tv show. Have a dance party. Take a bath. Go book yourself another party to replace the one that bombed! Figure out what might have gone wrong (sometimes nothing!) and fix it if you can. Look up some Facebook party trainings. Ask someone who is successful for advice. See how you can improve your hostess coaching. Decide that one bad Facebook party (or several!) is not going to keep you down. Keep trying. Keep your chin up. Remember that you are awesome and you can totally do this!

Y’all, there’s no way to keep from having bad Facebook parties. It’s just part of direct sales life. You have to learn to pick yourself back up and keep on keeping on. You can do this! And if you need any help, I’m here for you! Just reach out and I’ll see how I can help. Really!

What Facebook party tips do you have? Share them in the comments!

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Changing the negative in direct sales

Changing the negative in direct sales

Direct sales and network marketing often get a bad rap. You’ve seen it, right? A lot of people only see the negative in direct sales. But not all direct sales consultants are bad! Not everyone is spammy and only focused on selling to their friends and making money. There are many awesome direct sales consultants! But how do we change this negative outlook people have? It’s not going to happen overnight, but here are some things you can do to help.

Changing the negative in direct sales. www.melissamackey.net

Focus on relationships

This is one of the best things you can do! Many direct sales or MLM reps focus on selling and marketing, and not in a good way. The are so focused on selling their product that they just spam all of their friends and family and don’t put relationships first! People do business from people the know, like, and trust. And people are not going to know, like, and trust you if they don’t feel that you are authentic in your communication with them or don’t feel like you care about them. So before you try to sell anyone anything, build a relationship with them and keep that at the focus! Show off your personality in your social media posts and let your followers get to know you. Ask them questions and get to know them, as well! Create engagement on your page and build those relationships.

Read Is Your Direct Sales Business Ruining Your Friendships?

Focus on serving

Serving others, that is! Don’t be self-serving. People will see right through that. If all you care about is what other people can do for you and your business, you will not get very far. Focus on how you can serve others. Most likely, your product can help someone in some way. But instead of focusing on sales of your product, focus on how you/your product can help others. Don’t push it down their throats, though! If they didn’t ask for your help, it may not be wise to give it. Be sure you are serving people and not annoying people. Customer service can go a long way!

Stay positive

Many people in direct sales get caught up in the negative. Whether its being negative about their business or shaming someone else’s or a different company. Don’t be one of those people! No one wants to be around someone who is negative all of the time. Take the high road and don’t talk bad about other companies or other consultants. Just focus on your own business and what you can do to grow, not on what someone else is doing. Things will happen in your business or in your company that you don’t like. It’s just a part of doing business and life. Those negative things don’t need to be shared with everyone. If you are always negative, no one is going to want to follow you or buy from you. So stay positive and give people a reason to want to do business with you!

Read 7 Things I Stopped Doing In Order To Grow My Business

Offer value

This kind of goes along with serving. Make sure you are providing value in your business. Instead of sharing about your product and company all the time, share other things of value that your audience is interested in. Not everyone loves your product as much as you do, and they don’t only want to see/read about your product. Bummer, right? 😉 Make sure to add value in ways that don’t have anything to do specifically with your product. Ask questions to engage them, post articles that your audience might find interesting, post something humorous, ask advice, etc. Get to know your audience and your target market and post things that they would be interested in.

Bottom line: Show people by your words and actions that not all direct sellers are spammy and just out for sales! Build relationships, put people first, provide value. Be a step above the rest!

What tips do you have that you would add? Share them in the comments!

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Facebook Parties: Group or Event?

Facebook Parties: Group or Event?

Should Facebook parties take place in a group or an event? I hear a lot of direct sellers ask about this and there are a lot of different opinions! I want to share my opinion with you and why I think the way I do. Now, you can choose to do your parties however you’d like, but in my experience, doing parties in private events from your personal profile is the best way to go. I’ll share some reasons why.

Should Facebook parties be held in a group or an event? Get your answer here! www.melissamackey.net

Facebook parties in a group

A lot of consultants do their parties in a group. I know it is very popular, especially in some companies. And while there may be some benefits to doing a Facebook party in a group, in my experience, the negatives outweigh the positives. By doing parties in groups, you risk more of a chance of making your customers (or potential customers) upset. It means a higher potential of people who may mark your group as spam if they are not happy about being added to a group. This means a higher chance of you getting put in Facebook jail. And of the people who do stay in the group, most of them are not interested in the party and do not engage. And that doesn’t make for a very good party!

Facebook parties in a business page event

This is another option for your parties, but again, not the best, in my experience. While it seem to make sense to hold parties in an event through your business page, it’s actually not currently the best way to do them. Business pages, including events, are public and cannot be made private. So any event you hold from your business page is a public event. Many companies do not allow for parties, giveaways, sales, etc to be held in a public forum. And with it being public, any friends of people posting/commenting in the party will see it in their news feeds. This could make for some potential Facebook spam reports, which you don’t want!

Read 15 Facebook Post Ideas for Better Engagement

Facebook parties in a private event

Doing Facebook parties in a private event from your personal profile is currently the best way to do them. You can make them private. Your friends/host’s friends can RSVP whether or not they want to go. There is a less likely chance that you will get marked as spam (as long as you are not being spammy). My favorite way to do parties is to use the Tag Team’s 30 Minute Facebook Party Formula. Whatever you do, make sure you are not posting too much, too often, to avoid being put in Facebook jail. But that’s more for another blog post. 😉

How do you do your Facebook parties? Leave a comment and let me know!

7 Direct Sales Myths Busted

7 Direct Sales Myths Busted

There are lots of direct sales myths out there. Many people don’t really know what it is all about. Maybe you have even thought some of these at some point! Let’s set a few things straight. These are just a few direct sales myths that I want to address.

Seven Direct Sales Myths Busted! www.melissamackey.net/direct-sales-myths

  1. Easy to do and easy money. Maybe you have thought this at one point. Many people who sign up for a direct sales company do so because they think it is easy to do and will be easy money. But if you are in direct sales already, you know that that’s not really true, at least not for most people! Having your own direct sales business is hard work! You really have to work hard at it if you want to succeed and earn money. Yes, some people may have a knack for sales and seem to make money easily, but many people have to work their butts off! Which is ok!
    Making money with direct sales is possible, it just takes work! Click To Tweet
  2. Your friends and family will be your best support. I mean as soon as you sign up and start telling your friends and family about this awesome new product, of course they are going to want to support you and buy it, right? Wrong! As sad as it may be, typically our friends and family are our worst customers and often worst supporters. Sad, but true. And if you are someone who gets lots of support from your friends and family, consider yourself blessed! As soon as you can get out of your “warm market” (friends and family), the better!

    Read How To Do Direct Sales Without Being Spammy

  3. DS people aren’t running a real business. A lot of people seem to think that you’re not running a real business if you are in direct sales or network marketing. They think it can only be a hobby. This is so not true! Yes, many people do it on the side or as a hobby, but there are also many people who are really, truly working it as a business and really doing well at it! Like I said before, making money at direct sales is possible, especially if you run your business like a business. And even though you represent a company, you really do own your own business in direct sales. You are not an employee of the company; you run your own business. As a direct seller you have to market your business, sell a product, oftentimes keep inventory, pay taxes, work hard, gain customers, etc. If you are truly working your business as a business, you will truly succeed and make money. Who can say your business is not legit, then!
  4. Pyramid scheme or scam. People who think that all direct sales or network marketing businesses are pyramid schemes or scams don’t really understand what they are. Pyramid schemes are illegal. Direct sales and network marketing companies are not pyramid schemes; if they were, they wouldn’t exist. In a true pyramid scheme, the lower level “consultants” cannot exceed the higher level people. But in direct sales, any consultant can start their business and exceed the income and level of their upline if they work hard enough. Direct sellers make whatever they earn. So if they work hard and do well, they will make more than the person they signed up under, who may not be working their business much at all. Direct sales is also more focused on selling a product than recruiting. Yes, you may get paid a little on your recruits’ sales, but it is typically not much. You still need to rely on selling your product.
  5. Only for stay-at-home moms. Yes, there are a lot of stay at home moms who use a direct sales business as a way to add some income to their family while still being able to stay at home, but not all women (or men!) in direct sales are stay at home parents. Some are not parents at all, some are people working full time jobs and doing this on the side, some may be college students who use it to help pay for college/rent/food/etc, and some are retired men and women who spent a lifetime in the corporate world. There are lots of different types of people in direct sales businesses! You can work it part time, full time, as a hobby, or however you want!

    Check out my mini course, It’s All a Bunch of DS

  6. Crappy products for a high price. If you have tried very many products from different direct sales companies, you will know that this isn’t true! Most of these companies have really great products! Most of them are deserving of their “high” price, because they are good quality products. And many of these products you can not buy the same type of product or the same quality of product anywhere else! Just try some and see! 😉 Besides, you are also paying for the relationship and experience of having personalized service and a knowledgeable consultant. Plus, a company is probably going to pay for marketing their product, no matter what. Maybe it’s through TV and magazine ads, bill boards, radio, etc. Or maybe they can pay real people to promote their products through direct selling.
  7. All direct sales people are annoying. I can totally see why a lot of people may think this is true. I mean, sometimes you look through your news feed and every other post is someone trying to sell something. Or you are constantly getting private messages from people trying to get you to buy something. Or you are frequently added to a direct sales group that you aren’t interested in. I get it. There are some really spammy marketing tactics being used by many of the people in direct sales. BUT! Not all direct sales consultants are like that! There are LOTS of people who are doing it right, and there are coaches and other people like me who are trying to help make a difference in teaching people the right (non-spammy) way to market their direct sales business.

What other direct sales myths have you heard or once believed? Leave a comment and let me know! SaveSave

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How to do direct sales without being spammy

How to do direct sales without being spammy

Is it possible to do direct sales without being spammy?

You may be in direct sales or network marking or thinking about joining, and you may be wondering if there is a way to do direct sales without being spammy. I’m here to tell you, there is! It seems like everywhere you turn online, there are direct sellers spamming like crazy, on their profiles, in groups, and everywhere they can. Is this the only way to get sales and do business? Absolutely not! There are much better ways! Here are a few tips.

How to do direct sales and network marketing without being spammy. Direct sales or network marketing tips. www.melissaamackey.net

Business page vs personal profile

First things first. Do business on a business page, not your personal page! Facebook created business pages for a reason…for businesses! It is actually against Facebook’s terms of service to business on your personal page. You could risk getting put in Facebook jail. And yes, that is a real thing. Don’t risk it! It’s not worth it.

Besides, people don’t get on Facebook to be sold to! If you are doing business on your personal page, your friends and family are going to get annoyed and unfriend or unfollow you. You don’t want to lose friendships because of your business, do you? I didn’t think so. Using a business page for your business allows people who are actually interested in it to follow you and engage with you over there, and allows you to build relationships and stay friends with everyone else! Which in the long run is better for you business, anyway!

Read How branding your direct sales business can grow your business

Facebook groups

Second… DON’T ADD PEOPLE TO GROUPS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION! Sorry to yell at you, but this one is a big no-no. People are starting to get very annoyed, to say the least, at getting added to groups that they don’t want to be in. This will not only hurt your relationships with your friends/family, but it will also hurt your business and your group, as well. Many, if not most, of the people you add are not actually interested in being there. If they do not leave the group, then they are just empty group members, not engaging with your group or buying from you. Adding people to groups is just a great way to make people mad and turn them off from your business. Let them request to be added themselves, or send them a message first and see if they are interested in being a part of it!

Relationship building

My first two points touched on this, but one of the most important, if not THE most important, things you can do is to build relationships. Building relationships is really the key to growing your business. People don’t want to do business with a company. They want to do it with a person. And they don’t want to buy from just anybody. They want to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. So build that relationship (AUTHENTICALLY!) and let people get to know, like, and trust you. The real you. Engage them in conversation, get to know them and let them get to know you, serve them, provide value, etc.

Read Is your direct sales business ruining your friendships?

Selling all the time

Don’t just try and sell your product all of the time. 80-90% of your social media posts should be about things other than selling, and only 10-20% should be about your product. This means that you need to be providing value and engaging your followers. No matter what product or service you are selling, you will get better results when you shift your mindset from “how can I get customers/clients/sales” to “how can I provide value for my followers.” Ask questions, share info and tips and tricks, share behind-the-scenes photos, etc. Think about what other things your followers are interested in other than your product and talk about that. Build the relationships first, and the sales will follow.

You will get better results when you shift your mindset to providing value. Click To Tweet

It is very possible to do direct sale without being spammy, but it takes a mindset shift and implementing these tips. Tell me…what do you to to make sure you are not being spammy in your business?

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