This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, Becky and Jeremy reflect on the ways their business changed and was challenged during 2023. Listen in to learn how proper planning lead to some of their biggest successes; where they pivoted to better meet the needs of their customers and clients; and where they expect to see continued growth and new opportunities throughout 2024!


Time based notes:

  • 1:59 Big wins from 2023
  • 2:07 Working with corporate clients
  • 5:50 Speaking engagements and travel
  • 9:35 Modern Direct Seller Academy
  • 11:45 Business pivots in 2023
  • 11:58 Staying level vs. trending down
  • 14:29 Staying on Facebook
  • 17:05 What’s coming in 2024
  • 17:12 Digital Marketing Champ course
  • 18:35 Creating new partnerships
  • 19:15 Building space into calendars
  • 19:51 Adding to Oh My, Hi


Wrapping Up and Reviewing 2023 with Becky and Jeremy

This week marked our final 2023 episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, where we not only looked back at the year we’ve had, but also looked forward to 2024. There are many ways in which our business changed and was challenged, and while we did successfully plan for some of our biggest successes, we also pivoted to better meet the needs of our customers and clients, and we expect to see continued growth and new opportunities in the new year!


Where we saw wins in 2023:

 Corporate clients. One of our biggest wins in 2023 was ramping up the corporate work that we’re doing, which took a while to get going. We started this back in late 2022, and we finally picked up steam in Q1 and early Q2 this year. I have had the privilege of partnering with some incredible clients, traveling, and speaking on stages. You’ve heard many of their voices here on the podcast; we’ve had a lot of corporate podcast guests over the last year. And, financially speaking, this definitely has been the biggest growth area for our business this last year, too.

But, maybe what we don’t talk about as openly is how we’ve zigged and zagged quite a bit on the corporate side. We initially set out to serve our corporate clients with a back-end software that we were developing, and we really looked at scaling that, or finding companies that were looking at entering direct sales, and offering that software as a solution for them to help them get started and scale quicker. So, we started there. But, our corporate clients were all actually asking for training. I mean, it’s really hard to move from a software when you’re already established and working with a specific software provider. Trying to find new businesses that were going to be entering direct sales proved to be difficult. So, those corporate clients were like, “No, we don’t really want software, but we’d really love you to do some training or speaking or something like that.” So, that was how we ended up pivoting into that type of work with them.

And, it’s a lot of fun and exciting and interesting. We started really looking at training, but scalable training—so licensing a lot of our content to corporate clients—and what we kept hearing over and over was that most of our corporate partners wanted customized training, whether that was speaking at an event and using examples that were relevant to their brand, or developing a toolkit customized to their specific brand. And, it’s been exciting to be able to see behind the curtain on their side, as well on what challenges they’re facing and how we can provide a solution to help them get more customers, to help motivate their field, or to create excitement and energy around some challenges. And, I really loved that part of the work here in 2023.

 Modern Direct Seller Academy. This year, we launched our Pro level of the Modern Direct Seller Academy and have a nice group of Pro members that are getting more individualized feedback on their business, and coaching and strategy; that’s been a total blast.

We also doubled our enrollment in Academy VIP, which is our very high-touch program. So, we’ve been able to figure out how to make that work and really provide that one-on-one at the VIP level. We launched a quiz to discover your direct sales super power. We had a podcast episode every week. We had some new really cool downloads and freebies on AI and creating that 90-day plan. So, there’s been a lot of content that we’ve created and we’ve put out there this last year, as well. That always fills my cup. I love hearing from our Academy members on how they’re using that and being able to really adapt and grow as the industry continues to grow and evolve, as well.


Where we saw challenges in 2023:

Modern Direct Seller Academy. At the beginning of 2023, when we were doing some planning for the year, we had big goals for growth in the Academy. And, the base-level enrollment has pretty much been flat. Based on industry trends, and coming out of COVID, with more people going back to nine-to-five jobs, staying flat when the industry in general has been trending down could be classified as a win, even though we’re putting it here as a pivot.

It’s so easy to compare numbers year over year and have that desire to be on the up and up. We all want that upward curve on our growth chart. But, when we’re talking about the Modern Direct Seller Academy as a whole, the number of students that we’re serving is essentially flat at best. And, it’s easy to look back at those goals that we set at the beginning of last year that were pretty aspirational, and land here at the end of the year being like, “Okay. We missed in that area. We did not grow to the same level that we anticipated growing in.” So, it’s easy to see those numbers and put this in the “challenge” category or the “Wah-wah. It didn’t quite pan out the way that we had hoped.” But, I definitely am proud that we’ve maintained, and still been able to serve the number of students that we have, and been able to also adapt a lot of our content and our training to better serve them to be in a position where they’re set up for growth in 2024.

Moving away from Facebook. Within the VIP level of the Academy, we had grand visions of creating a private community space off of Facebook on a platform called Heartbeat, that way there could be more organized discussions that weren’t just mixed in with all the noise of Facebook. But, we really had a hard time getting people to engage there. And, I think part of it is that a lot of our members are running their businesses on Facebook. They’re already active on Facebook, spending a lot of time there, and trying to get them to go off of Facebook, to go interact on another platform, is just a challenge. So, we’ve actually decided to sunset that, and we’re going to go ahead and move away from Heartbeat, go back, and open the Facebook Group. It not only streamlines things for us, but it also streamlines for our students; it’s one less place they have to go to check things.


What we see coming in 2024:

Digital Marketing Champ course. I don’t want to spoil all of the fun surprises and events and activities and plans we have for the new year, but I am really excited that we are launching a brand-new Live course in January. So, this is all around how to create systems in your business and how to get your business working for you in the background. It’s a lot of the same themes that we’ve shared over the years on really diversifying and leveraging digital marketing, whether that’s text automation, or email automation, or websites, or blogs, or landing pages, or other platforms outside of social to really build your business, but we’re actually putting it into a course. And, this has been a long time coming. So, I’m teaching a Live course for six weeks, and then I will officially record that, and we’ll be adding that to our catalogue of courses and inside the Academy. I’m also excited that I’m teaching it Live, so I can get real-time feedback and questions and really nail down exactly what we want to include in the Digital Marketing Champ course.

Speaking engagements and corporate clients. I am already booked for a handful of corporate speaking engagements, and we have some cool partnerships in the works. I know a couple of them I can say out loud, like jBloom Designs—really excited to be working with the team at jBloom in 2024. Also, Tastefully Simple! I am going to be speaking at your leadership day and your spring event. And, there’s a couple more that haven’t officially been announced, even though we have contracts signed. So, I’m going to just leave it right there. But, excited for that, and excited to get out there and meet some of you in person, as well.

 Oh My, Hi. It’s been a little bit since we’ve talked about Oh My, Hi. For those that don’t know, Oh My, Hi is a platform where you can create a website and a blog with a super easy, mostly fill-in-the-blank interface, and it also has a lot of templates, so you can get up and running quickly. And, we’ve talked a lot about what we want to do with that, and how we can change it to best serve our users. And, what we are planning to do is add a little bit of a CRM functionality. And, we’ll also bring the email marketing inside of Oh My, Hi, so you’ll be able to do it right within your site-editing experience on the admin side. A real pain point for our users has been figuring out which email marketing platform they want to use, and then getting it integrated, and then having to set things up in both places. If we bring that inside of Oh My, Hi, we’ll be able to have a full end-to-end template.

I can’t give specifics right now on timeline, or exactly what functionality will be in there, but that is what we’re talking about doing for 2024. And, I think it’s exciting!

A finished home office. Those of you that have been following our home office addition project know that it has been a long time coming. It took over a year to get permits. And, once we finally got started, like anything, it took a little bit longer and cost a little bit more than we planned. So, I actually had this on my list for big pivots this year, but things took longer than we thought, whether that was executing a contract or building a new office. But, we’re working in here, and it is pretty darn magical, I have to say.

I’m going to record a whole podcast episode just with some personal reflections on how having a dedicated space for work has really changed how I am showing up to do my work, and also changed some of those work-life kinds of things. Like, I now have to be very conscientious to walk up the stairs in our home office, turn on all the lights, and sit down at my computer to work; whereas when my office was in our front entryway, it was so easy just to pop over and send a quick email. And, I think I got in a really bad habit of that over the last few years. Like, it was so easy just to blur all of those lines between business and personal, and having a little bit of a space has been really good for us. Not to mention, it is gorgeous.

So, I am thrilled for 2024. I can’t wait to kick off the year. I have so many big, exciting things that I want to accomplish this next year. And, I want to congratulate you on a big year, as well! You’re here, it’s the end of 2023, and I have no doubt you have big, big goals for 2024. Cheers to the new year!


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