Being a Social Media Influencer/Blogger is the new trending “thing”……. but if we take a look, it kind of really just looks like…… Network Marketing? Do you agree? Same concept, just maybe wrapped a little differently?
I personally have always hated the terms network marketing and direct sales. They seem spammy and just icky (and let’s be honest…when people do it INCORRECTLY, it is.) but Social Influencer sounds almost “cool.” Right? I mean in the end, it’s what we all are. The big difference is how we go about influencing. So Let’s get into it.
In my opinion, the term Influencer gives network marketing a well deserved makeover. Fact is whether you recommend a specific company or you get on Instagram and recommend 10 companies (who pay you or give you perks), you are Network Marketer, a Director Seller and/or and Influencer. Thousands of ladies are flocking to this industry and even Instagram with hopes of building a business, gaining flexibility and even doing it full time. I mean for a pretty low investment, whether on Instagram or for a start up kit, you can be well on your way to running your own business in less than a week and have it be either free or usually less than $200.
The concept? Share your favorite products to those your are connected to and while you are at it, inspire some of them to join your team and teach them what you have learned along the way. The more people you help, the more money you are going to make.
Same concept as Instagram influencers. The larger the following one has, the more someone is going to make because, well they have more people to influence. The concept has been around forever. Now things are just shaped a little different partnering with large corporations and then incorporating some of these amazing products coming out of these cutting edge companies. And let’s be honest, these products are actually pretty good, kind of incredible really. Beauty Counter, Rodan and Fields, Younique, Modere & of course Scentsy (the official home fragrance company of Walt Disney)are just a few examples of some high quality products that everyone is going crazy for.
With Instagram booming, I’ve seen more and more people as well as influencers add multiple direct sales companies to their portfolio, and do very well at it. Then the group of regular network marketers quite honestly self sabotage themselves right from the start. Their mind set…sell, sell, sell instead of building a community. It’s just plain old school. People don’t want a sales person, they want a friend. They want to feel like they know you.
It truly kills me because I really love the industry and I want you to succeed. Stop doing the spammy, icky sales tactics and put in the time to share you and build friendships online.
Here are four mistakes Network Marketers/Influencers are making and what they can ACTUALLY do to create a thriving business.
Mistake #1: Creating a Facebook Group and adding people without their consent: The first mistake every single network marketer makes five minutes after they buy their “starter kit” is creating a Facebook Group and adding anyone they can think of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been added to these groups.
It’s not that I don’t WANT to buy your products, in fact, I probably love the product but because I was added to a group, I would purposely never buy it. Why? Because I’d like to opt in and make that decision for myself. Unless these people are your absolute best friends, I can promise you, you are doing yourself a major disservice by doing this. Not only is it annoying to get notifications from a group you never signed up for, but it shines an overall bad light on you and your product and that’s going to be a difficult “bad impression” to shake for most people.
Instead, ask people if they’d be intersted in joining your group and let them know you think they’d really love it or benefit from what you are sharing. That you plan to give value, tips, tricks ideas and it won’t just be an entire spam fest. Or better yet, read what I have to say about mistake #2 and just grow the group organically over time.
Mistake #2: Branding yourself as solely an ambassador of the product: If you every time I open my Instagram or Facebook accounts, all your talking about is how amazing your new mascara is and giving me the latest promo, I probably won’t pay much attention. If your entire feed is full of marketing flyers, or photos of what you sell with zero value, you can bet I will mute your account or unfollow you. Instead ladies, you need to brand yourself separate from the products you are selling. Let them get to know YOU!!
Before you even get started with your business, I suggest you sit down and you really create a personal brand for yourself. Ask yourself who you are, what makes you different and why people should follow you. What are your pillars? Meaning if you were to create a list of 5 value items that you could provide people, what would they be? Many of you may not like this tip but you need to share more of you, your knowledge and your life rather than just what you are selling. People will not buy from you if they don’t know you, period.
You need to provide value that will attract people to you. Your lifestyle online and even in person, needs to make people feel like they are opening up their account and hanging out with their best friend. Once you attract people and build your community, you can leverage that following and pretty much sell anything you are passionate about.
You can take a look at my Jilleysue account and see all of my pillars and what I share with people on a daily basis. Although my direct sales business is one of my pillars, my accounts online are about me, my passions, & my life.
Over the last 2 years, I have focused on the platforms I love and I have built an Instagram community (now over 20,000) by sharing my breast implant illness journey, affordable finds, holistic healing, home decor styling and more. People follow me because I post about things they can relate to and there is no obligation to buy something. I spend time engaging and post value and because I do this consistently and they trust me. They have chosen to follow my story and what I share in regards to things that I have gone through that maybe they are going through as well. Now when I share something I really love or that has worked for me, I have a community who is listening and will make a purchase.
I spent the first 4 years dabbling on all of my social platforms, never being consistent, opening multiple accounts and being obsessed with making it “look” perfect. Telling myself, I have nothing to offer. Comparing. Sound familiar? Are you everywhere at 50%? Are you inconsistent? Not showing up? Have accounts that have every post selling something? Marketing flyers? Posts that look like you are the company instead of an account that defines YOU? STOP WHERE YOU ARE LADIES!
My advice: Pick your platform, get consistent, show up every single day, choose your focus and share you. Start by building your following of like-minded people who actually want to follow you, who want the value you offer. Share what you know and what you love…then you’ll be able to sell something.
Mistake #3: General Recruitment DMS: Now network marketers, listen up & follow the influencers doing it well. There are no influencers who slide in the dms saying hey you’d love this swipe up or heyyyyy you’d be great at what I do. (when they don”t even know you.) Why do I continue to see this from people who join reputable companies? It’s a huge huge, huge mistake. First you give the company a bad name. These posts and these messages when you don’t know the person look desperate and it’s a tactic so far away from relationship building that if you are doing this, STOP NOW. You have to look a the psychology of it. Do very successful people typically flaunt what they are doing all over Social Media with their commission deposits with the total blocked out, hoping they will inspire someone to get involved? The answer is no.
You’ve seen this happen in posts and you see people who seem successful doing it, so you try and I’m here to tell you, you basically are throwing gum at a wall and hoping it sticks. People want to join someone they are inspired by and by inspired I mean, who they see growing, positive, happy and living. People love money, but they don’t trust money if that is what you are leading with. Stop!
Lead with you! Lead with your heart! Lead with how far you have come. Let people know they can trust you.
You need to be more strategic and more selective about who you bring on your team. Yes I do believe in private messages about opportunities but only after you have built a relationship with the person and you are connecting and chatting and talking. I’d rather have three quality people that I’ve personally talked with and trained and we have a bond, rather than some random follower who thinks, this is so easy, the product sells itself, and they can sit back and the orders flood in. You know as well as I do, great things can happen, but it sure isn’t going to come easy. You want people who understand that, who are willing to learn and are ready to make it happen. That comes from conversations and sharing value so that people are inspired to follow your lead.
Mistake #4: Try it out & be honest
This one is for the influencers and probably network marketers too. Don’t just start promoting crap becauase a company reached out and are willing to give you a top dollar pay out. People can see right through that. Be selective with who you work with, test things out and then give your honest feedback. When you do, you buld a community that relies on your word and will believe what you say. When you promote everything thrownat you, you lose who you are and what you are about.
At the end of the day, I think Network Marketing and Social Selling Influencing are both incredible places to be right now. Back in the day we had to rely on the word of these large corporations and let’s be honest, most of the time they lied to us. (Remember the “FAT-FREE” craze, the diet everything? All lies) Now we can depend on people just like you and I who try things out and provide us with incredible opportunities, a flexible schedule and the ability to make a lot of money — if you do it right. That is the key. You have to take a look at what you are doing and ask yourself, “Would I follow me? Would I purchase from me? Would I join my own team?” If not, then you need to pivot and become someone people can trust and depend on, not that spammy, icky sales person.
I truly hope this post gives so many of you an insight as to how you can your business work. You are amazing and if you are reading this, you already have a boss babe mindset so get out there and make the moola you deserve. Let’s chat more about this over on Instagram!