A year ago if you had mentioned any direct marketing to me I would have shut myself off from listening. This was mainly due to the often horrific marketing methods that some of the network marketing companies used, especially on social media. 

The sad truth is that some of the direct marketing companies marketing tactics gave a bad name to the whole industry. I’ve seen some really great products sold by network marketers, but unfortunately, because of the strong way they were shoved down my throat, I chose not to buy them.

The good news is that many of the direct marketing companies have now caught on that social media can be an amazing platform to not only sell their products, but recruit new distributors as well. However, just like any other business, there’s a right way and a wrong way to utilize social media for direct marketers.

Brand Yourself

I see tons of people promoting the brand of the company they are representing. This is not a good idea for a couple of reasons – one, what if the company goes out of business, or what if you decide to switch companies? These are both very common in the direct selling industry.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you represent a health-related product. You could brand yourself as a health and wellness expert. You are the store and the direct marketing company is your main supplier, but you could also have other products in your store, such as yoga mats or other exercise equipment. You could hold fitness classes.

Just remember – you are selling the exact same products and opportunity as hundreds of thousands of other people. By creating your own brand and expertise, you will stand out.

Be Direct

Network marketing can be a great business model if you have the right company and upline behind you. I was invited to a “coffee meeting” with the promise of one thing, but had a bait and switch happen when the hostess revealed that her upline was in town and was there to do a presentation. Whether it is online or in person, don’t lie about your business. Be up front about what you are doing and be proud of your company.

On social media, I see people being oh-so-coy about their opportunity, giving super vague promises like, “Make tons of money!! PM me to find out how!”. Wrong. The better way to do it would be to give a real-life example, such as posting a great vacation photo and saying, “I just got back from a great vacation! I made extra money to pay for it by starting a part-time business. You can do it too! PM me for details.”

Build Relationships

At the coffee meeting that I got blind-sided at, the upline representative told us that their business was so easy because all you had to do is “blast this stuff all over Facebook”. That will get you blocked and unfriended faster than a comet.

Just like any other business, remember that Facebook and the other platforms are primarily social – people go there to share with family and friends. Think of using social media as networking and follow the same principles. You wouldn’t run up to someone in an in-person meeting and immediately start selling them on the spot – you would get to know them and build up trust and a relationship. Then you may be able to do business with them.

Be Social

One of the biggest faux pas I see from newbie direct marketers is that they post about their company ALL the time. People also want to hear about you, and something about your expertise.

Let’s go back to the example about the health and wellness expert – you could post about other health-related issues such as drinking more water getting enough sleep. Share other people’s articles and show that you are an expert in the health and wellness field. People will be more likely to listen to you when you tell them about your opportunity because they will see you as the expert.

Finally, check with your company. Many of the big direct marketing companies have social media training now. I have had a look at some of them and there is some helpful guidance.

You can also subscribe to my newsletter and get great tips delivered to you weekly. I’ve had several direct marketers as clients and they have done a great job with their social media.

Debbie Peck Digital