How I Would Set Up My Social Media Presence as a Direct Sales Consultant

When I was a consultant with a direct selling company, social media was not as prevalent as it was today.  People didn’t even have a name for it yet.  Yes, I participated in social media for personal use, but I didn’t even contemplate using it for business.

My, how times have changed.

Those of you who know my story know how the direct sales company I founded began using social media, and the amazing results we experienced when we weren’t even good at it (Facebook became one of the top 5 referrers to our corporate website consistently, and people were spending 3-5 times the average visit length of any other referrer.)  But I sometimes think back to those days when I was a consultant, and what I would do if I joined a direct sales company as a consultant today.

So today I decided to share with you exactly what I’d do with social media.  Keep in mind that before I did ANY of this, I’d first get as many parties booked as possible (or appointments made if it was an MLM), and would begin hostess coaching.  I’d also make sure I knew how to do a demonstration, and understood the product line.  Then here’s what I’d do with social media, specifically (This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of everything you need to do to run a successful direct sales business.  This is just the social media part):

  1. First, if it wasn’t already in my company training, I would add social media elements to my hostess coaching process.  Since getting as many parties as possible on my calendar would be my first priority, I’d want to have the hostess coaching covered first.
  2. I’d make sure my personal website was set up with my company, and then I’d add the company and link to my Facebook profile.
  3. I’d add my business to my LinkedIn profile, and include a link to the opportunity section of my personal website.
  4. I’d set up a customer group within Facebook, add my contact info, and begin populating it with content related to my product line.  I’d invite every customer I worked with to connect with me on Facebook and join my Facebook group.
  5. I”d create an e-newsletter with advice related to working from home successfully.
  6. I’d start sharing tips related to working from home, as well as my product line through my status updates.  (Not ads…tips.)
  7. I’d search keywords related to my product line, to see what the people who would be looking for what I had to offer were talking about.  I’d build relationships with people whom I thought might be good prospects.
  8. I’d search out online groups related to my product line, as well as working at home, and get to know people.
  9. I’d start a blog related to my opportunity.  I’d offer general advice about running a successful home-based business, and provide a place to sign up for my e-newsletter on the blog.  The goal of my blog would be recruiting.

Now I would also be focusing on the training from my company, getting good at the demo, calling my friends and family about the business, networking, etc.  The social media part is only one small part of the overall package for running a successful direct sales business.

You may notice that I did not include a Facebook Page in the list above. If I were starting a direct sales business I would not be spending time on a Facebook Page.  That level of visibility is the company’s job.  My job is relationships with individuals.  I think that time people spend building and populating Facebook Pages, in addition to their Profiles, is better spent booking, selling, and recruiting.  You can read more about my thoughts on a Facebook Page for independent direct sellers, based on my experiences running the operations of a direct selling company, as well as helping direct sellers and direct sales companies around the world use social media successfully, here.

How does my plan compare to what you are doing?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

6 Responses to How I Would Set Up My Social Media Presence as a Direct Sales Consultant
  1. Barb Orozco
    September 10, 2010 | 9:05 am

    Jennifer: I’m wondering if you could elaborate on how to use social media elements in our host coaching process, please? Would love a whole post on it! I searched your site 1st and didn’t see it, so if you have already explained it somewhere, please point me in that direction.
    Thanks!
    Barb

  2. Deb The Sales Trainer
    August 27, 2010 | 10:14 pm

    Good list of uses and why on social media. I am with you all the way and my big focus is on the connection of the different communities. Direct sellers can and should take advantage of social media. It is important to have the cycle complete though. Many only focus on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and yet the blog is the key piece that brings it all together and is often forgotten.

  3. Barb Orozco
    August 27, 2010 | 6:08 pm

    Excellent list, Jennifer… I’ve printed it off for ongoing implementation. I’m noticing, though, that “client-facing blog” (with general product tips, ideas for client use) isn’t listed… have your thoughts changed on that? If so, what is your current thinking, please?
    Thanks, Jennifer!
    Barb

  4. Lori Sauerwein
    August 27, 2010 | 10:57 am

    Great tips, Jen. Nice and concise. I would add one more thought to keyword search, though. Focus not only on keywords related to your product/business, but also to your personal passion.

    We’ve found a lot of consultants searching the same keywords end up interacting on the same group pages and with the same prospects. But, if search based on your likes and passions, you have the opportunity to cast your net a bit wider. You have a different foundation to build the relationship upon, but there’s still a basis for creating trust, listening to needs and offering grounded in your products/opportunity.

    Great insights, Jen. Thanks so much!

  5. Lisa Robbin Young
    August 27, 2010 | 9:10 am

    Jen,

    Great overview. Love the insight on not just the “how to”, but the “why”.

    Another great advantage to groups is that you can make them private, and competition can’t siphon off your members.

    My approach would be different, though, because I’m a strong believer in increasing sales first (which ultimately builds confidence for would-be leaders). In my experience, it’s lead to more recruits that “stick” after the 3 months, because they aren’t just looking for quick cash, but love the product and are more in alignment with the organizational vision.

    Another reason it works is because so many consultants still muck up the building of a website for recruiting purposes. They start talking “ground floor” and “unlimited opportunity”, which starts to reek of too much hype and all the wrong things to a prospect.

    Wonderful tips, Jen. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Jennifer Fong
      August 27, 2010 | 10:35 am

      Great point Lisa. I probably should have mentioned that this is just for myself, as an experienced direct seller. I appreciate your comments!

      Jennifer

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