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.
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 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
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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Here is a list of my favorite business tools that I use and I couldn’t do business without. I wanted to share them with you because I love them and they may be beneficial for you in your business, as well! If you have any favorite business tools that you love that I didn’t mention, be sure to leave me a comment and tell me about it! (And just so you know, this post does include some affiliate links. But I only share things that I use and love!)
My Favorite Business Tools
- Planoly – I absolutely LOVE using Planoly for Instagram! I batch my graphics every week, then upload them all to Planoly to schedule throughout the week. While IG doesn’t allow a third party app to actually post for you, it does make it super easy to post when it is time. One of the things I love most about Planoly is the ability to rearrange my scheduled posts on my feed and make it look “pretty” before actually posting. This is a great way to do it if you have a grid and want to keep it looking a certain way! Try it and let me know what you think!
- Tailwind – Tailwind is a site/app that I use for Pinterest. I know that I am not using it to it’s full potential, as I am still getting it all figured out, but I love the ability to schedule posts on Pinterest! I don’t always remember to get on and pin consistently, so Tailwind helps do that for me, once I load up the queue. You can also join Tailwind tribes in your niche and share your content there to be shared by others!
Read Three Simple Ways To Be More Productive
- Gsuite – Gsuite is great for email, docs, google drive, calendar, and more. I even have my gmail set up with my domain, so my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And I love Google drive for creating, storing, and sharing documents. It’s a great way to save things that I want to be able to access from any computer or device. It’s also great for being able to share things between my clients and myself when I am working with them on web design or branding.
- Acuity Scheduling – This is an awesome tool for allowing clients to schedule appointments with me, whether it is a free 15 minute clarity call, or my 45 minute paid brand strategy sessions. I can create my calendar based on my schedule and they can choose a time that works for them. I can also ask them to answer some questions when they book to help me know what they are wanting out of the call, and they pay right when they schedule the appointment. And I love that it emails both them and me a reminder the day before!
- Zoom – Zoom is a fantastic tool for video conferencing. I often use it when I want to “meet” with a client online and want to be able to see each other and record the video content. You can use it with groups of people as well, and can see each person who is part of the meeting. Being on video is not a requirement, though, for someone who would rather not. You can also mute people other than the speaker so you cut down on background noise and other distractions. It is also free for up to 40 minutes of screen time (I believe).
Read How Branding Your Direct Sales Business Can Grow Your Business
- Canva – This is a website that I use pretty much every day! I most definitely could not do business without it, because it is how I create all of my graphics! A lot of people use PicMonkey as well, but I prefer Canva for most things. And I love paying for Canva for Business so that I can save my brand colors and fonts. It makes it super easy and quick to create branded graphics for my business! If you need any assistance learning how to use it, just reach out!
- Trello – Trello is an awesome tool for all kinds of things, to do lists, content management, project management, and more! I use it for all of the above. You can create boards privately and use them yourself, or you can add others and have team boards. In each board you can add lists and cards and move the cards around. In the cards you can add comments, checklists, upload files, colored labels, due dates, etc. It’s pretty fantastic!
- Stock Photos – There are several stock photo sites I like to use, such as Pixabay and Unsplash, but one of my favorites is a monthly subscription one with “girl boss” type photos. Each month I have received 25-50 photos and they are fantastic! Many of the “girl boss business” type photos I use on my blog and social media come from this service. I highly recommend it!
- Siteground Hosting and the Divi Theme – As a web designer, these are two of my favorites! Siteground is my favorite site for hosting your website and Divi is my all-time favorite theme! I love how customizable Divi is. I can create all kinds of very different websites!
Read Six Easy Steps To Start a Blog
What are your favorite business tools to use? Leave a comment and let me know!