Social Selling: How Direct Selling Companies Can Harness the Power of Connectivity….and Change the World
by Jonathan Gilliam
Mr. Gilliam’s book claims that direct sellers such as Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware and Amway were made for social media, and promises to show you how to leverage your direct selling expertise to make you a social media and mobile powerhouse.
I whole heartedly agree that direct selling and social media are a natural pairing, like peanut butter and jelly. They are both based on relationship building. One-on-one, old school networking with other people. These talents required to be successful at direct selling are the same talents required to use social media effectively. First build the relationship, engage, educate, then close the sale, and in the process create a brand ambassador (or even a trainee) for your company.
This book does bring to light the awesome opportunities that direct selling and social media can generate. Where it falls short however, is in giving the reader a clear blueprint, an action plan, to move from theory to actual implementation. Yes, Pinterest is a great platform to promote and sell your products online… so how do you do it? It kind of leaves the reader hanging. The book is filled with catch phrases (which are completely true) like “Content is King” and “Engage and Educate”. Subjects that if you have been involved in social media for five minutes you pretty much already know. It provided me with no additional knowledge, but rather reaffirmed long held beliefs.
On March 28th, I had the pleasure of teaching an introductory class on Facebook Ads to small business owners at CBT College’s West Kendall Campus. This introductory class was free to the business community and its primary purpose was to provide businesses with techniques to promote their business online, via social media platforms, in order to make money online.
Below is the presentation Feel free to share it with friends and be sure to contact me if you have any questions. Tweet me @CompassB.
I love this video from Mari Smith on how to get great audio on your videos (even with your smartphone).
The first thing to remember about social media it that it was not made for business, or for marketers to sell a product. Social media is a marketing channel that was originally created for consumers. In this medium, the consumer is not passive. They not only receive content, but review it, curate it and create it. Therefore in order to successfully use social media for business you must first be willing to listen, communicate, and then share.
Begin by building a social media strategy you need to have a clear picture of the follow three factors:
Your Goals – What do you want?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What are the most effective tools to meet these goals?
Your Audience – Who are you going after?
- Are you targeting consumer or businesses, or both?
- If consumers, segment by demographic and other information
- If businesses, segment by industry and the decision makers job title
- What are your prospects most pressing challenges (their pain points)?
- How can I help them overcome them?
- Who are their influencers?
- What information is crucial to them at the time of purchase?
Your Brand – Who are you?
- Who are you? What does your brand stand for?
- If your brand could be summed up in one word or phrase, what would it be?
- What is the outcome, final results, you offer your clients?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- What is your value proposition?
- Who are your competitors?
It is clear that the scarcest commodity of an entrepreneur is time. Small business owners often wear many hats. They are the CEO, accountant and marketer, and even the janitor on occasion.
It isn’t surprising therefore to the find reports such as the “Makings of a Successful Entrepreneur,” published by the Kauffman Foundation, verifying the notion that the big challenge for successful entrepreneurs is the stress of time management and maintaining a balanced life.
Below are three tools that have helped me in my quest to better manage my time.
Track your time
This exercise will surprise you. It surely surprised me. It made me take a good hard look at how I spend all my time. It made me realize two things: that I had more available time than I thought and that it was being mismanaged spent on things that were not conducive to getting you the results I wanted. My favorite tool for this exercise was Toggl. It’s an online time tracking tool that is simple and easy to use. It is also free. I use it at my computer and on my iPhone (of course, it has an app).
Get your priorities in order
To do this I love to use Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. Set your priorities according to this matrix and you are well off to a good start.
Set a schedule and stick to it.
Now that you know where you spend your time, create a schedule that includes EVERYTHING, your personal life as well as you business. Creating a schedule for all of the things you need to tackle on a daily or weekly basis does wonders for relieving pressure. It gives you a complete list of actions to be taken and it obligates you to put them in writing (so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them).
What techniques, tools, tricks and tips have worked for you?
This week, the Social Media Club of South Florida offered up a challenge to its members, a blogger challenge.
Blogging is vital to small businesses for so many reasons.
- It anchors your valuable and useful content in one location where everyone can find it
- It gives you a platform to put your talent and knowledge on display, and position yourself as an expert in your field
- It can make you a resource, a solution to a problem that your prospective customer might have
- It builds trust and enhances your online reputation
We all know we need to blog more, but it tends to be put off or set aside. Well, no more! I have accepted this challenge, and for the next month will write one blog post a day. Care to join me? Here are the rules.
- There is no word limit
- The post can be text, a photograph, a video, a podcast, or mixed media.
- The blog must be a personal blog or your own company’s blog
- Comment on each others’ blog posts!
I will post my fellow bloggers sites in another post, and welcome everyone to follow them, comment on their posts and start blogging as well.
FREAKONOMICS THE MOVE (2010)
Freakonomics: The Movie is Chad Troutwine’s documentary film adaptation of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. This movie weaves brief, diverse tales aimed at answering the question:
What really makes people do what they do?
If you understand the factors that motivate people to action, you just might be able to motivate them to become your biggest customer. Find out more about this movie by clicking here.