This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, Becky and Jeremy reflect on the ways their business grew and changed throughout 2022. Listen in to learn where their planning lead to success; where they pivoted to better serve their clients, meet their shifting goals, and improve their online presence; and what trends they expect to see in direct sales as we move into 2023!
Time based notes:
- 1:28 Business wins from 2022
- 3:28 Business shifts in 2022
- 4:58 “Flow” in 2022
- 8:08 Revenue statistics from 2022
- 11:31 Looking forward to 2023
- 13:16 Work/life balance
- 16:15 Business updates in 2023
- 23:32 Industry trends in 2023
Wrapping Up and Reflecting on 2022
This week marked the final episode of 2022 for the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, where we not only looked back at the year we’ve had, but also looked forward into 2023. I could not be more excited to share those reflections with you! There are plenty of places where our planning led to success, but plenty of others where we found ourselves pivoting to better serve our clients, meet our shifting goals, and improve our online presence. Let’s jump in!
If you’ve been following along with us, you know that when 2022 began, my word of the year was “flow.” My goal was to be in the flow, to keep things flowing, and to have everything happening in a flow state of mind. And, reflecting back on this year, I definitely think we felt the flow, even if it was a bit more “go with the flow” in many ways. Some of that came as we shifted to better meet the needs of our corporate clients. Some of that came as I stepped into doing more speaking and training—even some keynotes, which is exciting. And over the course of 2022, I facilitated over 170 live trainings, whether that was an Academy group coaching, a collab and connect, office hours, a corporate training… That’s a lot of training hours.
Of course, part of that flow was also cash flow. I always find it interesting to see where others are at revenue-wise, especially if I’m looking at their business model, or it’s somebody that I’m learning from. And so, overall this year, 55% of our revenue came from the Modern Direct Seller Academy, from level up, from VIP, from courses that we sold. We had about 30% of our revenue coming from the corporate side, from consulting, licensing, and speaking. And, we had about another 15%, which includes a lot of smaller things in our business, like the Modern Direct Seller Shop, which we launched this year; as well as some coaching; a lot of what Jeremy does around hosting websites; a little bit of website consultation and development work; and Oh My, Hi.
So, this year, I joked a lot about my two Post-It Note strategy—a way for me to stay focused and not go too many different directions in our business. I think we’ll probably continue to get better at refining exactly what we’re offering and how we’re showing up to the world, but those two Post-It Notes were “Academy” and “corporate,” and really, those made up 85% of our revenue this year. So, that’s pretty on track!
As we reflect on 2022, I also think it’s important to dive into what made some of our strategies successful, what’s coming next in our business, and how we plan to get there through 2023.
Where we saw wins in 2022:
The data. This year, in total, we served over 1,000 paying customers, which is a pretty big deal. Most of them were in the U.S., but our second largest customer base is in Canada. We also had a big shift in our corporate business strategy this year. In total, we’ve had eight corporate clients actually paying us, not just having conversations or joining us on the podcast or sending proposals. So, we’re super proud of that. Also, we’ve recorded this podcast and shared it with you every single week, and sent countless emails!
Corporate clients. This is a place where we saw some adjustment over 2022. When we initially launched off into the corporate side, we thought we would be working with early-on companies, helping them with back office software, helping them get training systems set up, and doing more on the software side. But, as we started talking to more companies and figuring out what their needs were, we found that we actually had to help them streamline existing training, or that we had to go in and do live trainings for their consultants. So, it was probably 8 or 9 months into the year before we finally hit our stride and had our offer nailed down. Now, we’ve got a plan, systems in place, and people on the team to help launch into 2023 with success!
The Modern Direct Seller Shop. Our Shop has seen a lot of growth. It’s somewhere that we strayed from that two Post-It Note strategy we started with, but as a sideline project, it replaced the Modern Direct Seller Box, it gives our clients new choices, and it allows additional opportunities and incentives for us and our customers.
Oh My, Hi. We did a really big update on Oh My, Hi. A lot of it was on the back end, so it was transparent to some users, but it improved a lot of the processes, such as making billing more seamless. There were also plenty of front end and usability improvements, too, such as adding new color schemes and Canva templates. We’re glad that’s done and updated!
What’s coming in 2023:
Balancing business and life. I think that work/life balance is always a problem when you love what you do, but you want to work a little less. For me, as much as, yes, I want to cut back on my hours this next year, we’re also in a season of business that’s exciting. There’s a lot of growth happening. And so, it’s hard to just not work when we see the potential, and we see all the good things that are coming.
Even so, I’m proud of the ways we work our business around our life. We’re able to drop our kids off and pick them up from school every day. We have my nephews at our house a couple of days a week after school. And so, though we work while they’re at school, it’s not uncommon for us to sit back down at our desks at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, and wrap up our work in the evenings. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, looking into 2023, I’d like to do a little bit less of that, or at least just feel like it’s optional. Instead of being in a mode of, “If I don’t work for two hours tonight, then it’s gonna come bite me tomorrow,” I can say, “I’m feeling really motivated tonight. I want to sit down and knock out a brand-new training.”
Oh My, Hi. We did a Version 2 upgrade for Oh My, Hi in middle of the year in 2022, but we have more that we want to do. One big thing that people have asked about is having more layout options when it comes to pages, because with Oh My, Hi, while the beauty of it is the simplicity, it’s not as customizable as some would like. So, we’re talking about adding some different layouts while still keeping the fill-in-the-blank style, so it’s simple and accessible for everybody to use.
Website updates and development. One big project we’ve been talking about that we’re finally going to do early in 2023 is fully revamp the dashboard that Academy members see when they log in. Right now, it’s very generic; it points you to where you can find the courses and digital content, or join the Facebook group, but we’re making it even more useful, and adding key things that our members want to see. It’s going to increase search functionality, it’s going to help members navigate through our content, and the action that they’ll be able to take will really help them move the needle in their business.
We’ll also be adding gamification. One of the motivations for creating the Modern Direct Seller Shop was because we’ll be able to use that as a reward for some of the gamification that we plan to add to the site. If you’re in the Academy now, you know when you do your daily ABCs, you get a little bit of confetti. And, if you hit the Consistency Champ each month, then you get some shop credit. That was a bit of a pilot program this year to see how it went, how people were engaging with it, and what they liked about it. So, we’ll be using some of that data—plus some surveys and focus groups—to really create this dynamic dashboard that’s going to get people excited and motivated. For example, with the revamp, if you finish an Academy course, you earn points, and if you attend live events, you earn points, and then those points can be redeemed for swag in the Shop!
Academy Course 8. A new course has been on my list, and we’re going to record it in 2023! This will be a much more advanced course on online marketing for direct sales businesses. So, we’re going to talk about all the different ways you can market your business beyond the most typical act of selling strategies. We’ll talk a little bit more about blogging, about podcasting, about Pinterest, about YouTube channels, things that look a little bit different and are designed for seasoned direct sellers that are really looking for a new way to run their business.
Our new office space. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a little bit, you’ve heard me talk about the addition that we are building onto our house. It’s a huge studio space that will have a full kitchen, a bathroom, and a separate entry to the house, which will give us a great place to focus and concentrate and create some additional work/life balance. We’ve had plans drafted for almost a year now, so fingers crossed that we get approved and get those permits ready for us to actually break ground on that project, because so far, it’s been another great example of needing to go with the flow this year!
Our direct sales predictions for 2023:
Relationship sales. You’ve heard me say this many, many times, but relationship sales are what will win in 2023. We can no longer be reliant on social media algorithms to show what we want them to show to our people. So, building personal relationships and focusing on incredible customer service—one-on-one conversations with our customers, our leads, our hosts, and our teammates—is going to be more important than ever. I expect that we’ll be moving away from that trend of broadcasting and putting things out there for the masses to see. Whether it’s over text or DM, I think it’s going to be more important than ever to make sure you have a direct line of communication with those people that you care about that you want in your network.
An example to bring this to life might be if you send a text that says, “Everything on my site is 20% off. Go shop! Here’s a link!” Versus reframing that and saying, “Hey, I thought of you. There’s an amazing sale going on, including your favorite ___! Can I send you the link to take a peek?” So, you’re creating conversation and making connections with people in a really real and authentic and conversational way, even if you’re leveraging technology and automation to do that.
Meeting your customers where they’re at. This kind of goes right along with building relationships. Think about, do your customers like to shop in-person? If so, let them shop in-person. Set up a personal shopping appointment. Schedule an in-home event with them. Are your customers hanging out on Facebook? Do a Facebook virtual party. Do a party in a post. Are your people hanging out not on Facebook? Great! Set up a Zoom party with them. Think about the different ways to let your customers shop the way that they want to shop instead of trying to force them into, “This is how I always do my parties. This is how I do my shows.” You really want to meet them where they’re at, and where their friends and their network is at. So, take that into consideration as you’re booking parties and having sales conversations.
Building your brand outside of social media. I’ve been saying this for years, because it’s how we started, but also because I’m seeing this more and more. I think people are getting frustrated with social media. They’re getting frustrated with the algorithm. They’re getting frustrated that visibility is down. So, how do you diversify where you show up? How do you build your brand? Where are you hanging out online, to really show up for your customers in a way that they can truly connect with you? Whether that’s a blog, or that’s texting, think about where you’re hanging out, and how you’re building your brand, and do that with intentionality.
Our customers are getting more sophisticated. They’re smart shoppers. They see through copy-and-paste messages and canned Facebook parties, because they’ve been there, done that. So, really reinventing and reimagining the community that you’re creating for your customers and for your leads is going to be absolutely huge this next year.
I feel that in our own business, too. We’re really rethinking what we want the Academy to be like, and how we want people to experience that from the very beginning. And so, I would challenge you here in the new year, as you’re coming up with refreshed strategies and new energy for the new year, just think about that community you’re creating. Where’s it at? Who’s a part of it? How do you connect with people? How do you do that at scale, but in a really authentic way?
I appreciate you sticking with us, wrapping up 2022 with us, and hopefully getting as excited as we are to kick off 2023 together! I wish you a wonderful New Years and an amazing start to 2023!
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