Today’s episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast is all about creating your own sales toolkit! Now that the spring selling season is approaching, it’s time to evaluate what’s really working in your business and decide where you should focus your time and energy through the rest of 2023. From hosting parties to posting on social, this is your reminder that showcasing your value and utilizing strategies that build your personal brand will grow your network more than any new trend. And when you show up authentically, you’re doing better for your buyers—and for yourself.
Time based notes:
- 1:36 Tried and true parties
- 3:07 Leading parties with value
- 8:03 Building your personal brand
- 10:02 Creating high-value posts
- 11:03 Using long-form content
- 14:00 Diversifying off social media
- 14:35 Combatting burnout
- 16:57 Choosing the tools that work for you
Design Your 2023 Direct Sales Toolkit
Now that the spring selling season is approaching, it’s time to evaluate what’s really working in your business and decide where you should focus your time and energy through the rest of 2023. What do you want for your business? How do you like to run your business? Where are your customers hanging out? Where can you provide the most value—because you don’t need to do it all. Maybe you want to have a full toolkit and have lots of options, but you can pick and choose how you want to run your business your way.
Today, I want to share with you a few of the themes and trends that I’m hearing, not only from coaching conversations that I’m having with my students in the Modern Direct Seller Academy, but also with my corporate clients. I feel like I bring a unique perspective in the sense that I’m hearing from actual, boots on the ground direct sellers, as well as on the corporate side, where their priorities are and where they’re seeing shifts at a bigger level.
Let’s jump into a some big-picture topics.
Discover the problem with “parties”
The first thing I want to spend a little bit of time talking about is this idea around nobody wanting to do parties. I think there are a couple of things going on here. I know that many of my students don’t really want to be doing parties; it’s not the most enjoyable, exciting part of their business. But the reality is, parties bring in new customers. When you have a party, you get in front of an entire new friend circle, plus you have your host vouch for you, saying that you’re the real deal, that you’re someone that their friends should be connected to in order to learn about products and learn about business.
Parties are a tried and true way to grow your network. Not to mention, if you’re part of a company that has a nice host reward program, you can really reward your host for vouching for you. So, there’s some clear benefits. It’s a very duplicatable strategy. And, especially if you’re just getting started in direct sales, it’s an easy format to share with new teammates on how to get out there and build their biz and get in front of new audiences, especially if they don’t already have that built-in network.
So, we that this is part of the marketing mix. Yet, we also have this resistance around parties. And, I think there’s a couple of things going on here. I think that, one, we’ve done parties for a long time, right? We’ve kind of seen it done. We’ve seen Facebook parties. It looks like the same thing over and over and over. In fact, not only do we as direct sellers know what they look like, but our hosts have come to know what an online party looks like, as well as our customers. And, one thing that they know by showing up is that they’re going to be sold to, right? Let’s just get real: When you are invited to an online party, there is an intent for you to make a purchase. And, I think in the world that we’re living in today, we have to reframe the value that we’re providing around our parties. What can you teach somebody? What can they learn? What can they walk away with as a result of coming to this party? Even if it’s just entertainment or social time with their friends, what are they walking away with and feeling like, “Wow, that was really worth an hour of my time”?
And then, I think there’s this worn-out way that we’ve run our Facebook online parties for a really long time. And, let’s just put it out there: People are getting bored of it. They want something new and exciting, and they want to be entertained as well. So, for those that are still doing parties, I’m definitely seeing a lot of success around the Party in a Post format, where you’re bringing people into your customer group and you’re running the party right there in the group. We’re seeing some great success there. Overall, I think it really is reframing how you’re running your parties to lead with value and to show up for those hosts and those guests and build that relationship.
Beyond that, I have to say this: Don’t call it a “party.” Call it a “workshop.” Call it an “event.” Call it a “class.” Call it really anything, because “party” implies that you’re coming to a “direct sales party.” Some girl is going stand in the front of the room and sell you things, or you’re going join a group on Facebook and get 14 trillion follow-up messages. So, freshen it up. Your customers want that from you; your hosts want that for you. And frankly, you’re going to have more fun switching things up and trying things in a different way.
So, we know parties still work. But, if you’re not a party person, then don’t do parties. There are other ways to grow your audience and get in front of new people. The bottom line of a party is that you’re opening up your circle and you’re getting in front of new customers. So, if you choose to pick a different sales strategy to open up your network and get in front of new people, then you actually don’t need to be doing parties.
Personally, I got to a point in my business that parties were icing on the cake. If somebody wanted to have a party, I was definitely going to have a party with them. But, it was not my favorite sales strategy, either. I had other strategies to grow my audience and get in front of new people. I would do a lot of vendor events on the weekends. I was in networking groups and connecting with other women that I knew would love the products that I was selling. I also was hanging out online and doing a little bit of street social selling, where I knew certain people were not interested in coming to a party, but they would love to have a conversation online, and I had a lot of value that I could provide in that conversation.
So, when you’re thinking about expanding your network, you’re thinking about growing, you’re thinking about getting in front of new people… That’s required in this business. We can’t just keep selling to the same people over and over again. So, I want to give you permission to really do it your way. Think about how you can grow your network and how you can get in front of new people, even if parties are not the solution for you.
Build your individual brand
If you’ve been hanging out with us online or on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, you’ve heard me talk building a personal brand before. But, there’s lots of different ways to do that. The bottom line is: Do not copy and paste messages. Do not just post your corporate company branded images. You need to make it your own. And, you can do that with your own pictures, with your own graphics, your own colors—your own traditional marketing “branding.” Or, you can make it your own just by showing up authentically as you.
I was listening to an episode of The Mel Robbins Show the other day, where they were talking about creating a new business idea and how really, if you’re being authentic, and you’re being genuine, it’s never been done before. It is authentically, genuinely you. And, that concept just really resonated with me, especially in our world of direct sales. So often, I think we feel like we need to really do things totally different to build a personal brand, or have our own logo, but honestly, if you’re just showing up as you, then it’s personal, and people are going to resonate with that. Put it into your own words. Share your own story. Make it personal, even if that means that you’re posting less.
Post with a purpose
There’s this concept out there that I’ve heard it over and over, that you just need to post more. “Post 10 times a day. Post and pray. The more you post, the more people will see things.” And, if you’re still hearing that, I’m here to tell you that is not the case. You do not need to post more; you need to post and make it high-value. This is where you put it into your own voice and showcase your personal brand, even if that means you’re making three really solid, well-done posts throughout the week instead of eight per day.
I want to share with you a little formula that might resonate with you. In fact, we have a free download you’re probably going to want to go grab over at ModernDirectSeller.com/Content. We’ve put together a framework around creating content for your business that really emphasizes long-form content. If you’re not familiar with that term, “long-form content” means it could be a podcast. It could be a blog post. It could be a YouTube video. It’s basically any kind of content piece that you’re putting out there that’s longer than a few paragraphs—not just a cute little caption on social media. And, in that download, we have seven examples of long-form content. One might be sharing your story. One might be sharing why your product is better than other things out there. One could be, you know, “something that you might not know about our company,” or “this particular product.”
Each of these long-form content pieces are multiple paragraphs at length, and we’ve put them together in a fill-in-the-blank format for you. So, as you’re starting your week with one piece of long-form content, then you can pull out multiple sections of that long-form content to create what I like to call “short-form content.” This could be a social media post. It could be a quick caption. It could be a question you’re asking your audience—maybe a poll. It could be a “did you know?” The list goes on and on. But, the idea here is to work smarter rather than harder, breaking this long-form content down into smaller chunks that inform your social strategy. And, of course, you can sprinkle in some fun engagement posts, just to get people talking in the mix of that. But, the idea here is to be strategic about what you’re creating.
Also, know that the algorithm in social content right now is a little bit tough. Let’s level with that: It’s a little challenging out there in the world of social media. We know that not all content gets the same visibility. So, when you’re making a post, you want it to be genuine. You want it to be authentic. You want it to be high-impact and high-value. We have to create really good stuff to get shown on Facebook and on Instagram, even to our followers, or likers, or people that are already in our network. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people, just in the last week, around analytics. Like, “Oh, I’m looking at my numbers, and it says my engagement is down in my group. Like, what is it? I’m not doing anything different. Why aren’t things getting shown as much?” So, how do you start and lead with this longer-form content, and break it down into smaller pieces to create the shorter-form content? That might be something just to think about as you’re also thinking about, “How do I show up on social right now?”
And then, I think diversifying off of social media is key—and you’ve heard me say this time and time again. If you haven’t built that email list yet, today is the day. Or, if you’ve been wanting to create a blog to have your own little corner of the internet, go start your seven-day trial of Oh My, Hi! and show up for your people in a new and different way without being totally reliant on the social media algorithm.
Avoid trying to do it all
To wrap up, I want to say that there’s a struggle as direct sellers or business owners with feeling like you need to constantly be on, and we’ve had this struggle for a really long time. But, right now, I’m seeing that there’s a sense of burnout happening industrywide. People have worked really, really hard for a really, really long time and are starting to kind of fall into a slump. They’re feeling like, “I just have to be on all the time. I have to be there for my team. I have to be checking in with my customers. How do I do this in a sustainable way?”
So, if you feel me on this, if you hear me on this, I just want to let you know, I see you. I know that this is happening, especially among our leaders, or those that have been in the industry for 3 or 4 years. We’ve seen the seasonality of the business come and go, right? And now, we’re really on the other side of it, navigating, “Where do we go from here? What does this look like?” And, I think for many in the industry, they’re feeling like they just need to do more. “I have to get out there. I have to post. I have to talk to people. I need to do in-person. I need to do online. I need to know how to do everything.” And, in some ways, it is somewhat true. Our buyers are more sophisticated. Our consumers are wanting to shop in different ways than they have before, and we’re going through this transition of, “How do we really meet them where they’re at, and how do we serve them in the best way possible?”
I really like to think of it as a toolkit. You have a toolkit of all of these different ways to reach your customers. All these sales strategies that you’ve developed over the years. You could do an in-home party. You could do a vendor event. You could do social selling. You could do personal shopping. You could do Facebook parties. You could do a Party in a Post. You could do a Zoom party. I mean, the list goes on and on and on and on. So, as the business owner, this is your opportunity to pick and choose how you want to run your business. You should not be constantly on. You should be working your business consistently, yes. But, “consistently” does not equal “constantly.”
So, I really want to challenge you to double down, pick those strategies that you love that work for you, put things into your own voice, do it authentically, and really do it your way. I want to challenge you to grab your journal, grab a notebook, and spend a couple of minutes just reflecting. Where do you do your best work? How do you like to show up for your audience? What does your audience like to hear from you? What kind of content really resonates with them? How can you make the biggest difference in their lives? If parties aren’t your jam, pick a different way to grow your network and expand your circle. But if you do that consistently—not constantly, just consistently—then you’re going to see some great, great results in your business this year. It’s that simple.
Launch your own user-friendly, personally branded website at OhMyHi.com.
Take Action: Which area of your business should you switch your focus to this Spring?