This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, Becky and Jeremy are giving listeners a peek behind the scenes of their business by answering questions from you! Listen in to hear not only their home office updates, but also how their lives adjust to their growing business, the ways they see direct sales continuing to evolve to meet people’s needs, and of course, what they’re bringing their customers in 2023.
Follow us across social media and ask your own questions @ModernDirectSeller! And don’t forget to sign up for our content creation workshop on May 15 at ModernDirectSeller.com/Workshop.
Time based notes:
- 1:47 Home office update
- 4:40 Update on Emiliano’s
- 6:03 Becky’s increased travel
- 8:23 Pivots and evolutions in direct sales
- 13:16 Start successfully in direct sales
- 16:38 Updates to Oh My, Hi
- 21:15 Content creation workshop
- 23:10 Jeremy’s favorite office supply
- 24:18 Jeremy’s favorite beer
Starting Successfully and Preparing for Change with Becky and Jeremy
Recently, Becky and Jeremy jumped on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast to answer questions from listeners and share a behind-the-scenes look at their business. Read on not only for their home office updates, but also to hear how their lives have adjusted to their growing business, the ways they see direct sales continuing to evolve to meet people’s needs, and of course, what they’re bringing their customers in 2023.
The first question came in many forms for Jeremy, as listeners wanted to know how the home office addition has been going.
Jeremy: I mean, it’s going. That’s the best part. It took about a year to get plans approved. And then, we just kind of sat and waited and waited and waited and waited. So, we’re finally going. and it’s going pretty well. We haven’t run into any big issues or anything. I think they’re done tearing up the yard. We’re actually building the structure up, and at this point, they’ve put the second floor down. So, it’s going well.
Becky: And, a little bit on a personal note, this is really fun for us because my dad is a contractor. So, it’s my dad’s business that’s doing the work for us, and my brother works for my dad. So, we get to see my brother and my dad almost every day as they pop over and destroy our garage and start framing up the new office that we’re building. And, the kids are loving seeing them all the time. In fact, yesterday, Cody was home from school, and he ran inside and said, “I need an umbrella and some sunglasses.” And, my brother set him up with a chair up on the roof to supervise the second floor install. So, the whole family is having a lot of fun with it.
And, I am getting really excited to reach the point in the project where I can start thinking about furniture, and how we’re going to lay out the new office, and really what it’s going to actually look like, because it’s taken us a while to get to the point that we can visualize what that floorplan will be. That’s going to be the next really, really fun part.
Jeremy: I will say, maybe the one downside is that it is still a little bit loud. But, it’s getting better. I’m sure Becky’s posted pictures online, but the office is being added on top of our garage, and our current office shares a wall with where all the construction is going on. So, we’ve had some incidents of things falling off the shelves as they hammer on the other side of the wall, or, you know, her dad and brother showing up in the window while she’s doing a Live. All kinds of funny stuff.
Becky: Just part of the adventure. But, shout out to Zoom, because I am so impressed that the audio really blocks out all the background noise. I’ve asked the participants that are on Zooms with me, and they’re like, “We don’t hear anything at all.” But, over here, I’m like, “I have no idea how you can’t hear the background noise,” because it literally is banging on the wall, things falling down off the shelves… It’s pretty noisy. That’s just how it goes.
The next question came from Cyrus Reyes, one of our amazing Modern Direct Seller Academy members, who wanted to hear Jeremy’s update on the Mexican restaurant that knows their order.
Jeremy: So, Emiliano’s is our neighborhood Mexican restaurant. Shout out to Emiliano’s! And, we’ve spent an absurd amount of money there over the 15 or so years that we’ve lived here, but I think we’re finally officially regulars. We go in to sit down. The giant Cadillac margaritas come out. The queso dip appetizer comes out. And then, we switch up the orders for food all the time, so they don’t have our orders memorized, but they do have the kids’ orders memorized, because they always get the bacon and eggs. Cody gets the side of beans. And, McKenzie gets the flour tortilla. So, I think we finally made it. Life goals achieved.
The next question for Jeremy was: How do you feel about a bit more travel in Becky’s schedule?
Jeremy: I think it’s good! You’re traveling, so business is growing, and we’re getting new customers and clients. All that stuff’s great. I mean, we had the COVID period there, where neither one of us was really traveling, and we were both here. But, before COVID, you were in the field, and you would go do, like, a show somewhere and pack up all your stuff and be gone for the weekend. So, I’m used to hanging out with the kids by myself periodically.
The next came in for Becky from Bethany Vargas: What is on the horizon for social sellers? How do we keep pivoting and showing up for customers in this sales roller-coaster world?
Becky: Yeah. I mean, I think that we’re in it, right? Every day, things are evolving in the direct sales space. And, I think what we’re seeing a lot more of right now than ever before is just having so many sales channels available to you. So, rather than joining a company and having your checklist of “Do number one, number two, number three, and you’re launched,” I really think it’s dependent on who the person is and how they want to run their business. So, I’m seeing a lot of companies shifting and pivoting a bit.
So, there’s kind of “choose your own adventure” paths. And so, you can really zone in on “Hey, I’m a social seller, and I want to be an influencer, and I just want to sell in the DMs.” Or, “Hey, I love virtual, and I have no intent of going out in-person and doing anything in-person. How do I be successful running virtual parties?” And then, this third track all around in-person and doing vendor events and pop-up events. So, I think as our buyers have become more sophisticated, it’s required direct sellers to get a lot more sophisticated as well. And, I’m seeing a lot of shifts in that direction, just recognizing that things look a little bit different in the sales landscape today.
But, as much as things have shifted and look different, it still comes down to building relationships and connecting with people—a lot of that hasn’t changed at all. And, I think the best thing that you can do as a direct seller, no matter what is happening in the world around us, is really focusing in on what you love to do in your business, and getting really, really good at that, and taking care of your customers and building those relationships.
I think it’s an exciting time. And, I know that it does feel a little bit like a roller coaster, especially after the last couple of years that we’ve had, but I do feel like things are leveling out now. And, we’re getting used to the new normal—just in time, probably, to pivot again if something changes or something looks different. But, I also feel like that’s just the nature of being a business owner. And, I know we feel that, in our own business, as soon as we figure something out, and it’s working really well, you know, it might break or it might not go as planned and we’re back to the drawing board and really thinking about how we can reinvent ourselves and stay relevant and better serve our customers. So, as long as you’re keeping the outcome and the goal in mind of serving your customers, I think the sales methodologies to get there is really just the vehicle, right? There are so many different ways that you can be successful right now in this industry, so everyone can pick and choose their own path and take care of their customers in a big way.
Jeremy: I would add that I think the “choose your own path” philosophy is great, right? Because, I mean, not everyone enjoys selling the same way, and if you’re trying to be pushed into selling a way that you don’t enjoy, communicating with people, selling, whatever, you’re not going to continue to do it. So, the “choose your own path” is kind of great in that regard.
And then, the other thing I would say is that I think personalization is key. Like, you shouldn’t just copy and paste what home office gives you, and can’t just broadcast generic stuff out there. You’ve really got to personalize it for your customers to really get their attention.
The next question came from Sabrina Hudson Gage: If you were to sign up as a new consultant, what’s the first thing you would do?
Becky: Ooh, this is a good one! So, I think launching anything, whether it’s a new direct sales business or a new product, requires creating some buzz and some excitement around it. People are curious. They’re interested. They want to know what you’re up to. So, I think I would start with some teasers. I would tease what I was up to, and what I was doing, not only on social media, but I’d also leverage my email list and my blog and all of my channels to kind of say, “Hey, something big is coming! And, I’m really excited to reveal all the details.” Then, of course, I would make a big announcement. And, I think the biggest thing is, I would leverage all the platforms that I have a presence on. So, it wouldn’t just be a post on Facebook. It would be a YouTube video. It would be a blog post. It would be an email blast. It would be a series of posts across social media.
And, I think I would invite people to learn more by messaging me directly. That is something I’ve done a lot of training on lately, is this concept of permission-based marketing and saying, “Hey, would you like to learn more?” before assuming that anyone wants to learn more. That opens up that conversation, where you can send a direct message, and you can connect with them, and you can share more of the details of what you’re up to.
So, I would take it from all of those big social media channels and bring it down to conversations, even if that conversation landed in an invite to a launch party, or an info session, or a Zoom call, or an event where they could hear personally from me, in my own words, what I was up to.
That’s a pretty tactical answer, but that’s how I would approach things if I was starting fresh and launching my business, and you could really apply that to a product or anything else you’re doing.
The next question throws it back to Jeremy, because everyone wanted to know what he’s been working on lately.
Jeremy: I am finally getting back into Oh My, Hi! So, we did a push in February, which was actually a big change, where we added the visual builder, visual editor, and some other stuff. And now, I think we’ve got the core and the guts all good, and so now we’re adding some more features and enhancements.
Becky: So, for those that don’t know what Oh My, Hi is, say a little bit more about it.
Jeremy: It’s basically a simple way to create your own website and blog or landing pages. It has a simple fill-in-the-blank type interface on the back end. And, it comes preloaded with some templates for blog posts, and landing pages, and the homepage to give you a good starting point, but then it also has drag-and-drop flexibility to move things around if you don’t necessarily want to use the templates that we have. So, we’re trying to keep it easy for everyone.
Becky: Keeping it easy for everyone, but also giving them a place to put all of their content, right? We’ve talked about this time and time again, but social media is so short-lived, right? You make a post, it’s there, and it’s gone 24 or 48 hours later. But, with Oh My, Hi, you can create content, and it’s going to gain visibility over time, and also diversify really where you’re showing up, so you’re not reliant on just one platform.
So, tell us a little bit more about the new features that you’re working on. What are those new things that you’re adding, those new bells and whistles?
Jeremy: Well, the first one is what probably gets asked for the most, and that is the ability to change fonts. So, right now, the fonts are pre-selected and hard-coded; you can’t really change it. So, we’re going to add the ability to choose from probably seven or eight different fonts. You’ll be able to pick a header font, and you’ll be able to pick a body font, so that way, you can customize the look and feel a little bit to more align with your brand. We’re still trying to keep it simple, just having one place to set it and it’ll globally work for the whole website. But, adding a little more flexibility on the design side.
The other one is being able to add more forms. So, right now, on the homepage, there’s an embedded contact form where people can send you a message, but we get asked a lot to be able to add more forms. And so, you’re going to be able to add unlimited forms, which you can use for anything you need a form for. So, one common one might be a sample request form, right? You could have a landing page on your site where you talk about your business and how they can get a sample, and they fill out that form, it’ll shoot you an email, and then you can send your prospective customer a sample.
Becky: I’m really excited about this one, because I think there’s so many different uses for forms. Of course, people contacting you to reach out, we already have that. But, like you said, a request for a sample, or even an RSVP for a party or an event. We talk a lot about the importance of getting those RSVPs early so you can start building that relationship with your party guests way before the party even begins; this is going to be an easy place to do that.
And, there’s unlimited forms they can add with this new feature. So, they could really create a new form, or duplicate the form for every party they’re doing, or a catalog request… I mean, really, the list goes on and on about how you can gather information from people—whether that’s their name, their email, their mailing address, their phone number—and put it together in a really seamless way.
Jeremy: Those are probably the two big ones. There’s some other behind-the-scenes cleanup-type stuff, but those are the two big ones we’re planning to get in by May 15.
Becky: And, speaking of May 15, we have a workshop that we’re putting together that’s all around the direct sales content creation shortcut. Many of you are familiar with our long-form content framework, and how to take long-form content, like a blog post, or an email, or a YouTube video, or a podcast episode, and taking that content and breaking it down into shorter chunks that you can drip across your social media channels. So, what we’re putting together is a 12-week content plan. It is a fill-in-the-blank system that’s going to work hand-in-hand with Oh My, Hi or any other kind of platform that you have. So, I’m really excited for this workshop. It’s at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern on May 15. And, if you haven’t already, you can sign up and save your seat over at ModernDirectSeller.com/Workshop.
Launch your own user-friendly, personally branded website at OhMyHi.com.
Take Action: What is one way that you can adjust to meet the changes affecting the direct sales community?