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?
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.
- 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!
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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