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!

Website Mistakes You May Be Making

Website Mistakes You May Be Making

When someone lands on your website, you want them to stick around and stay awhile. You want it to lead them to making a purchase or signing up for your email list. You want them to feel right at home. But are you making some website mistakes that are keeping those things from happening? Let’s find out!

Website Mistakes You May Be Making

5 Website Mistakes You May Be Making www.melissamackey.net

Not creating an intuitive user experience. When someone arrives at your website, what do you want them to do? Do they know what to do and where to go? Can they easily find the information they are looking for? Do the design and aesthetics lead them where they should go? Is it easy to read and easy to navigate? You should think about all of these things when you are designing your website, so that you create an exceptional user experience (UX). Think about the navigation of your site, the buttons, links, etc. Make sure it is easy to read and easy to find information. What kinds of information will your customers or readers want to be able to find? Is it easily accessible?

Go look at your site and think about it as if you were one of your customers. Look through all of the pages and links, and see what kind of experience your users are having. You can even ask someone not super familiar with your site to check it out and give you some feedback as well! Oh, and yes, you want users to be able to easily find information, but don’t overwhelm them either, mmkay? No more than 6 options on your navigation bar. If you have more than that, you can always add drop down menu options.

Read When Should a Direct Seller Start a Blog? (And How To Do It)

Not optimizing it for search engines. You could be missing out on a whole lot of potential traffic to your site if you have not considered your SEO (search engine optimization). The plugin Yoast SEO is a very good and very popular plugin that can help with this! It is pretty easy to use once you get it installed on your site and start messing around with it. If you haven’t already installed Yoast (or something else for SEO), go ahead and do that now! You should start using keywords on your pages and posts, adding alt text to your images, adding inbound and outbound links (as appropriate), and more! For more information on SEO, my friend Vivian from Vivian Says has a fantastic course you can check out!

Not having a CTA (call to action). You want to make it clear what you want your visitors to your website to do. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Sign up to download an optin/freebie? Join your Facebook group? Send you a message? Sign up for a discovery call? Purchase something? Tell them! Give them a link, a button, an easy way to do whatever it is you want them to do.

Each page should have some sort of call to action, so the visitor knows exactly what they should do next. This will also help keep them on your site longer, looking around, and will make them more likely to join your list or make a purchase! It will also help with your analytics, which in turn, will help with your SEO, if it looks as if people like your content and want to stick around!

Check out my mini course, It’s All a Bunch of DS to learn how to stand out in your direct sales business!

Not mobile responsive. Many website themes these days automatically account for mobile responsiveness, but not all. If you have not checked your site to make sure it is set up to be mobile friendly, you will want to go check! Check it on both a smart phone and a tablet. You’ll want to make sure it is looks right and easy to use on both kinds of devices. If not, you will want to check with your theme, designer, etc and get it fixed asap! Many people just use their phones or tablets to surf the web, browse Pinterest, check Facebook, etc, so many of your website’s viewers will be on some sort of mobile or electronic device other than a computer. Make sure it is intuitive for them, as well! They will not stick around if it is hard to navigate.

Not updating or backing up your site. This may seem like the least important item out of this list, but it is a biggie! You need to make sure you are keeping your site updated, and make sure you are backing it up regularly! If you don’t access your site regularly, you need to make a plan to at least go in once a week and check to see if any plugins, your theme, or WordPress needs to be updated. You should also make sure to back up your site often, so you don’t ever lose anything! There are plugins like UpdraftPlus, which will help you to do this easily. Go download this plugin, or a similar one, right away and get your website backed up if you haven’t done so!

What other websites tips do you have? Which of these are you going to work on first? Leave me a comment…I love to connect with my readers! 😉

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