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Tips and insights from the blog team at Calliope - Presence in media for branding and polishing graphics, writing, social media, and online presence for yourself or your small business.

How to stand OUT while signing UP (Direct Sales Edition)

Well, it's official... everyone and their mom is trying direct sales. We personally think they can be great. Direct Sale Companies give the sales representative/ brand ambassadors (and any other flowery marketing term) the things that are on EVERYONES career priority list... those items typically include: working remotely, competitive pay, absolutely no glass celling, doing something you are passionate about, being able to travel, making your own schedule, and working with a productive team. It is easy to see why so many people are signing up. 

I am sure we are all being inundated to support, buy, sign up, or subscribe to another product a friend is now promoting. Our social media feeds are being littered full of the requests for virtual parties, hosted parties, promo here, or there. These solicitations are not coming from the giants of retail marketing but rather Suzy, your next-door-neighbor. 

Working with my clients, I get asked a lot about how to make themselves stand out with a sudo-franchised business with thousands of other sales representatives fighting for your mutual friends attention. So, we wanted to compile a list of how you can stand OUT while signing up for a direct sales company. 

1. Is this the right fit for your personality?

Direct Sales are not for everyone! They are not! Swear it! If you are not the type to happily tell everyone what you sell, let it permeate into your social life, make business friends and business trips a constant in your calendar, then maybe you are not made for direct sales. Friends and acquaintances who have succeeded are unashamed to tell people what they sell, they hear the criticism and ignore the nay-sayers (knowing that you can't please everyone), they promote, they are super active on social media or email marketing, they drink the direct sale companies kool-aid if you will, and follow the promotion plans to a T. If this sounds like something you can do, excellent, you can make some serious cash!

 

2. Find the right company for YOU!

I see it all the time, friends signing up for a direct sales company because a friend has been super successful and has earned a Mercedes in the brand's custom color. Or their parents need one more person on their "leg" of a sales team. $200 later, you are selling a brand you could care less about. The key we have observed is to find a company that fits into your already established personal "brand". Do you already share story after story of cloth diapers and alternative medicine? Then maybe you should try one of the "granola" brands selling essential oils. Or do you post selfie after selfie of post workout sweat? Well then maybe you could try Beachbody or ItWorks! Check out our quick reference list below. 

You Post:

  • Fashion/ Style  - Check out {Origami Owl, SouthHill Designs, Paparazzi, Miche}
  • Fitness/ Health - Check out {Beachbody, ItWorks, doTerra, Young Living, Rodan&Fields}
  • Makeup/ Personal Aesthetics - Check out {MaryKay*, Jamberry, Avon*, Younique, Jutsuru}
  • Parenting or Books - Check out {Usborne Books, Discovery Kids, Simply Fun}
  • Home DIY or Savings - Check out {Scentsy, ACS}
  • Adult - Check out {Pure Romance}
  • Food and Restaurants - Check out {Pampered Chef, ManCave World Wide, trading Vineyard}
*original bitches

The list can go on and on... but find something that you CAN back 100% without it feeling counterfeit or forced. 

 

3. Before you pay or sign up, check their logo/image clause in the contract. 

Every direct sale company will have a logo/image clause in their initiating contract. This is done to protect themselves and the brand they have created, and rightfully so! The key here is to check for companies that let you have some creative discretion with how you brand your independent store image. Do they allow you to have a custom and creative URL (ex - Greenfoodwithgwen.com) that can redirect to your "custom" store front? Will they allow you to put your own logo for personal branding on the same business card as their logo? Heck, can you even order your own business cards? Check out the terms of the contract and find a company that will allow you some flexibility. Then capitalize on that freedom. Create your own logo, business cards, custom URL that redirects to your "storefront" website. There are so many ways to differentiate yourself from other brands and even friendly competition. The key way here is to make yourself unique. 

 

4. Check out the residual/ passive income and weigh those against bonuses

The sales schemes and machines that each direct sales company has in place is a expansive and intricate algerhythum that is made to make everyone a load of cash. Ask your mathematician friend to crunch some numbers for you to see what really is the best deal. Some bonuses might outweigh the sales level maximum incomes. Do the math. 

 

5. Research reviews and success rates

Do some research before you go to the "party" to find out more about the company and how many people truly are successful. What are the stories from those who didn't succeed? What was the tipping point for those who were successful?

 

6. Drink the kool-aid, go for it, make that first sales goal the first month

Its easy to see the appeal and sign up but how do you actually become as successful as the "president" or "executive" that was at the direct sales party? Well, you have to go for it. If you listen to their testimonials, they were mostly all in a place where they had to succeed or some serious result was going to befall them. Now, I am not advocating for you to not pay your mortgage for months then sign up as a means of motivation but your should find something that you want to work for. Quitting your day-time job? Paying off debt? Moving to Australia? Find your dream, work hard, and make that first sales goal in the first month or face the music that you may not be that "into" the company you signed up for. 

 

7. Don't spam your friends

The bread and butter of theses companies is the consumers who actually love their products. Yes, adding another excited sales representatives to your team is important but having a product that people love is more important. Don't kick your gift horse in the mouth. Ask before you add people to groups or events. If someone says no or is not interested respect their request and back away. Try to be genuine in your connections to people who you may have lost contact with in the past. Just messaging a friend from High School that you haven't talked to since graduation and asking them to buy your latest Mary Kay product is not a way to get customers, its a great way to lose them. 

 

8. Post often, post positive, post reflective

If you email market or partake in social media; maintain your previous posting average but change up the content slowly. Don't go from 1 post per week to 10 a day. You will get "unfollowed" in an instant. Don't constantly post about money, its gross. Make your content reflective, relatable, and relevant to the other "you's" who follow your lifestyle or interest. Get friends and followers involved with posts that solicit a response, even things that do not pertain to your business or work, random interactions create a personal brand that you can fall back on when content is sparse. 

 

9. Consider getting a leased wall or shelf in a brick and mortar store

Digital and virtual are great. Heck we love them, but few things can replace the instant gratification of getting what you want when you want it. If you are successful in your direct sales company you should consider it. Renting a space in a salon, spa, or green market would only make you a visible authority on the brand and it's products and would be worth the $50 a month for a shelf in the local office waiting room.  

 

10. Work with us!

Calliope - Presence In Media has already helped successful presidents and executives in direct sales companies. We have edited and reviewed landing websites to help those capture more attention. We have created personal logos for use on business cards and promo materials. Sometimes, people just need assistance in defining their personal brand. Let us help you be even more successful. Contact us at hello@calliopepresence.com

What advice or experience do you have with Direct Sales? Anything else that you would like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Reasons Why Your DIY Design Just Doesn't Work

We see it everyday from our Calliope offices. Bad DIY design. You know the type... loads of fonts that don't coordinate, people who use comic sans to imply youth or horrible composition; this bad DIY design is rampant. With the accessibility of computers and programs that edit and create images, we understand why it is enticing from a logistical and financial standpoint to just create it yourself. Also, sites like shutterfly, tiny prints, and others allow you to create "designer quality" mailers and images with a few formatting tools from their online interface. It's an exciting time for the internet and those who want custom "professional" looking designs!

There are negatives though... we can not tell you how often we spot a tiny print, a shutterfly, or another large template site's work when we receive invitations, holiday cards, and announcements. What's frustrating from a designers standpoint is while the designs are beautiful and trendy, they lack the personalization of a slight filigree scroll or a more masculine edge to professionally selected and created design.  And in a world where voices are just getting louder, information is coming at us at alarming rates, and the lines between realitity and fantasy are blurred more and more... being unique and noticeable is a necessity. 

Bad DIY Design can be sneaky... you think a cute scroll font would look nice so you use it. Then you can't get over how perfect a chalkboard style font would look with a curly frame. Then you just have to add the chalkboard effect, a picture and a HUGE logo or monogram. One word...gaudy... like Real Housewives of New Jersey Gaudy! For the sake of showing real life embarrassing  examples, we have created a graphic that embodies the "TOO MUCH" theme. 

 

So these are some Reasons Why your DIY design just doesn't work. 

 

TOO MANY FONTS

As a rule of thumb... 3 fonts MAX! That's THREE! Uno, Dos, Tres (I feel like the genie from Aladdin)  Moreover, most designs can only handle or carry two fonts. Instead of junking up your design with more fonts, create emphasis and readability using additional formatting such as bold, italic, underline, size, or all caps/ lowercase. 

Here we have fixed the fonts. We took out the 5 fonts and chose two. One primary font to carry to quote and another on the word "off". This created a fun and feminine touch plus it transforms the quote from a fashion law to a saucy and flirtatious suggestion. 


TOO MUCH INFORMATION

Here the quotation marks are not needed. They junk up the space. It is assumed that the text is a quotation since we used the name - Chanel at the bottom. This example doesn't really show just how much can be taken away from a design  when you are looking to omit information. So, some things to ask yourself is:

1. Can I direct customers/ friends to another place for this information?

(i.e. there is no need to state a businesses hours, address, email, phone etc. Simply point people to your website or better yet, put a QR Code on the flyer and call it a day.)

2. Can I communicate information another way using fewer words or symbols?

& % $ # @ are all your friends and can express numerous other words or meanings simply by their placement. 

 

TOO MUCH STUFF

We personally like clean and simple designs but we can't tell you how many of our clients say they want "clean and simple" but in reality they want tons of embellishments. Less is more. We took out the double boarder, (the flirty "off." speaks enough to its girly appeal. Do as the quote says and before you hit print or save... take something off. 

 

There are of course loads of other design rules and tips but this will have to do for now. So follow Calliope - Presence in Media on all the major social networks, subscribe to the blog and you will stay up to date with the latest and greatest tips, tricks, news, and inspiration from the talent @CalliopePIM