Work Smarter

I have always struggled with the concept,”working smarter”.  I think it is finally starting to sink in…. since I have my own business.  Over the last week or so, I have been talking to friends in direct sales who have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Some because of life while others are learning to find a balance between home, work, business and family.

Working my Thirty One business full time can sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Now if I could lose weight while doing it, it would be perfect but sadly, it just seems I spin my wheels and get stuck in non-productive activities.

Building a direct sales business (or any business really), doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful.  The best part of direct sales, is the ability to make your own hours so whether you have a few hours a week or several hours every day to work your business, you want to be able to get results and reach your goals, right?

So, since you aren’t loosing any weight by spinning those wheels, why not try these five ways to work smarter in your direct sales business (or with any goal).

#1. Know your goals & break them down into action steps.

The best way to work smarter is to actually know what your goals are and the activities you need to be doing to reach them. I am great for saying I want to make “$1000 or more per month income from my business” or “I want to promote to Senior Director” but knowing what the steps are to get there are not always as easy.  Saying it is great.  The truth is you need to break it down into smaller milestones and activity goals so you know what to focus on each day, week & month to reach them. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

How many parties/shows/demos will it take per month?  How many customer orders?  Of course recruiting plays a big part, so how many do you need to add to your team?  Honestly when breaking down my goals, I focus on things I have control over.  Yes, team sales play a factor because I can’t control what someone else does in their business.  Break down your goals, how many parties or customer orders do you need each month? How many active team members do you need to promote?  Once you have the monthly activities,  you can break them down even further to weekly goals and daily activities.

#2. Work your Business Like a Business.

I know you have heard it 1,000 times.  If you want to earn the income of a business, you have to treat your business like a business.  If you have a “day job”, think about the things you do going into work on a regular basis to earn a paycheck.  Yes, it is the same with a direct sales business. Your business is “flexible BUT NOT optional”.  You still have to put in the hours and work to have a paycheck and grow your business.  Create a schedule to work your business which fits into your current lifestyle and family.

#3. Focus on Income Producing Activities.

This is an area I struggle in.  Now you have a schedule, you are ready to treat your business like a business by learning where to focus your limited time. I sometimes find myself wasting time on things which don’t generate income or move me closer to reaching my goals. Social Media can be a time sucker.  Re-creating tools and training can be a waste of time.  What are income producing activities?  Things which lead to a cash transaction like customer orders, parties, recruiting and team building. You should focus 80% of your time on direct marketing, follow up, building relationships, holding parties, recruiting, and helping your team build their business.

#4. Set up Streamlined Systems

Systems equal success & less stress. I can attest to this since I have set up a system which seems to work, at least with follow-up.  I am still a work in progress for hostess coaching.  Don’t have a system?  Start by writing all the things you do in each area of your business.  Now, write down the ones you should be doing but aren’t.  Where can you batch similar tasks together to save time?  Can you delegate activities?  How about automated emails or training videos or documents with frequently asked questions you can refer people to?  With these things, you can streamline the processes in your business so you don’t jump around or or miss out on important steps in your business.

#5. Develop a mindset of success & stop procrastinating.

Don’t let your fears rule your thoughts. Don’t let procrastination hold you back.  Don’t make excuses.  Procrastination is the #1 killer of productivity.  It is a form of fear. It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  YIKES!  Scary stuff, right? The only way to overcome procrastination is to make a real commitment to reaching your goals.  Have a plan, have set goals with activities and have an accountability partner to connect with to help you stop procrastinating.

Basically, ask yourself these three question before you do any activity:

  1. Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  2. Will this make the best use of my time?
  3. Does this honor my mission in life & business?

If the answer is yes, go for it!  What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Saturday Spotlight: My Online Party

Today’s spotlight is on a new party platform introduced to me by Desiree Wolfe.  Now, when Desiree endorses something, I listen.  So, I checked it out and I really like it.  Being the non-techie person I am, I am a little shy BUT Leah has assured me, it is easy and she is there to help.  So here is a little bit about myonlineparty from Leah Ford….

The Direct Sales World

If you have been in the DIrect Sales world for long. You know all of the different ways Facebook is amazing for your business. It’s a place to connect to women all of the world. Your friends are on Facebook, your family, old school pals. You can connect with these women in several different ways. Groups, Pages and through personal messaging.

But it’s also a hotbed for distractions. Not professional. It’s also limited on what you can do and how often you can do it. Even the features and functions of Facebook are limited. It wasn’t created for Direct Sellers to Host events on.  While it’s great for those day to day connections. You lose when trying to gather these women together and show off your products.

My Online Party

My Online Party was created by a Direct Sales consultant for Direct Sales consultants. Seeing a need for a more professional way to run parties. Without the hassle of graphics being used, or how often you post. My Online Party was created with so many features that Facebook doesn’t offer.

You can set up and run your party the way you want. With Buy Now buttons that you can put right into your party. Your Live feed pinned to the top of your party page. A comment section that you can schedule posts right into. Plus we have that intimate and distraction free setting, where your guests won’t get sidelined by their friends, family and coworkers blowing up their newsfeed with notifications.

  • You can share any graphic you want
  • You can post as often as you want
  • My Online Party is a distraction free zone
  • We have a scheduler built right in to automatically post to your party
  • We do not police your products
  • You can live stream right to your party and it stay pinned to the top.
  • You can also share your desktop screen with your guests *Have a guest having issues checking out? With My Online Parties streaming capabilities you can share your screen with your guests.
  • You can run a dual stream with you and your hostess LIVE. (Imagine the possibilities with having your Hostess right in the party with you. Talking about how much she loves your products!)
  • We send out 4 emails reminding your ladies of the event.
  • You are able to create party buttons for your website, blog, pinterest which is built right into your party page.
  • Friends aren’t on FB? No problem each party gets a unique link which can be shared via text, email, messenger.
  • Each party is exclusive

My Online Party Is Changing The Virtual Parties World

With so many features offered you can see why people are changing the way they do their online virtual events. With no limitations on My Online Party, you can bring your virtual parties to the next level and stay on the upcoming trend of live streaming!

Don’t let the fear of not knowing how My Online Party works, stop you from giving it a test run. We offer a 7 day FREE trial of our platform. We also have an amazing support team, that will answer any and all of your questions.

Have a new feature you want to add to My Online Party? Let us know! We need to hear from you, on what you think will make your parties amazing.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Join us for my inaugural “virtual vendor party” on July 26th at 9PM.  Want to join in the fun?  Comment below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter on Friday

Have you started to countdown to the end of the day?  Are you overwhelmed? Are you exhausted?  Do you easily get distracted?  Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, we have all had these feelings.

Some days I have even thought “it would be easier to go back to work”.  Who am I kidding?  These feelings are usually a result of playing the “comparison game” then trying to follow what someone else is doing.  The result, I am headed in a 100 different directions making no progress at all.  So, I usually

No, it isn’t easy but you have to decide if you want to focus or give up.  Yep! Are you going to focus on one direction, one massive goal or give up and give in to all all the competing images and blogs and social media streams?

Listen. I get it. I fight the comparison game too!

I love the opportunity to get my cup filled from the AMAZING Carrie Wilkerson on a regular basis as a leader with Thirty One.

Staying focused is not easy.  It takes practice.  Here are some tips to help:

1. I am on ONE thing at a time.

Yes, ONE! I have a daily checklist of the things I must get done every day.  I work each thing one at a time.  I close the tabs my computer so I’m not scrolling through Facebook or watching for alerts to come through, or watching for incoming emails. One thing at a time. I used this same theory years ago with paper.  It worked then and it works now!

2. Invest (pay ) in ONE course or seminar or conference per year.

I know there is ALOT of FREE classes and offers out there.  I have signed up for many of them and then don’t attend.  I’m trying to focus on ONE skill for the year. No, it isn’t easy.  I have been the “I want the magic wand” type of girl and it just hasn’t worked.  So it is time for a change.  If you are going to pay for a training, find the person who you connect with.  Honestly, I have paid for lots of classes and got nothing out of some of them.  I have followed lots of coaches but have found only two whose tips have really helped me in my business.  Guess what?  I’m sticking with them.  Will I still take some free classes?  YES!  But, I won’t be spending money to “try them out”.

3. I am intentional on social media. 

This is a work in progress for me.  Learn your audience.  I actually did a poll in my VIP Facebook group to ask them what things would be helpful and fun for them.  I used to watch my friends and do what they did but I stopped because I usually end up feeling inadequate which is not helpful in growing my business.  I use Cinchshare to ensure consistency in my posts BUT I also jump in and share things at random.  I always make sure I stop in to see who has liked or commented on posts.

4. I have my work scheduled.

The truth is what we schedule… happens. Think about your hair appointment, dentist appointments or even lunch with your parents or kids.  Does it mean “You Must Have xx Hours Set’?  No, it means you need to schedule what works best for you.  I have found the consistency pays off.  Did you ever take up an instrument?  I played the piano for years.  It took lots of time practicing a little bit daily (30 minutes or so) moved me along faster than cramming 5 hours of practice in once a week. Be consistent and schedule.  Will my week look the same as yours? NOPE! I am up early and in my office usually by 6:30AM.  Hubby is off on Monday and Tuesdays so these are my weekends with limited hours in the office.  You need to set aside time for the things which are important to you.  I plan out my week each Sunday night.  I have a morning routine and an evening routine (hubby works swing shift).  It allows me to be consistent and work towards my goals.

I know this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery and I am sure you have heard these tips a million times.  I’m sure I have even written about them before.  Remember “you can’t get different results if you keep doing the same things”.  So are you ready to try something new?

Hope this was helpful and here’s to a ThirtyOne-derful weekend!

Is Your Facebook Group a Flop?

Do you have a direct sales business?  Are you trying to reach new customers or maybe just get your name out there?  Or do you have a customer group and all you hear is crickets?

Truth be told, I hear crickets ALOT.  There are days when everyone is joining in the fun (like for a contest or to give an opinion) then there are days when I can’t even get a “like” on a picture.

I have been looking for the right mix to keep things going in my group.  It is a lot of trial and error. So, I have been on the hunt for tips to get things moving again…

I started my VIP group because everyone does in direct sales, right?  Facebook is crazy! Who can figure out who is going to see what post?

#1 – Get to Know Your Tribe

I thought I knew my tribe – women who enjoyed hearing about the products I sell along with tips on how to use them. Some days I wonder.  You need to get to know them better. This way you can have conversations and get to know how you can better serve them.

#2 – Market Research

Okay, I am not talking about a full research study.  Listen to the questions being asked and the conversations happening. Then create your posts around those questions. It’s what your audience wants and you are just answering the need.

#3 – Accessibility

Being active doesn’t mean you are obsessed with posting and responding to your group, you are just accessible to your followers.   Check in periodically during the day so when they ask you a question, you can send a comment, and as a result they feel more connected to you.

#4 – Be the Authority

Having your own group will make you an authority in your own niche. Don’t let it scare you – if you don’t know, find out.  You want to be the go-to person and viewed as an expert in your field.

#5 – KLT 

You want to build your know-like-trust factor.  Being in business,  we know you are genuine and likable, so it will be easy to build your know-like-trust factor just by being you and providing AMAZING value to your tribe.

#6 – Promo

Believe it or not, your main goal is NOT to promote your offers, but it is a nice perk.  Your captive audience, know, like, and trust you so they will take you up on your offers. Just don’t slam them every day!

#7 – Help Others

This is the most important thing as far as I am concerned – you get to help your tribe. You have the chance to help out wherever and whenever there is a need. Someone asks a question, you can help by giving advice.  Maybe they need to vent about something (anything).  You get to be the listening ear.  I love being able to help so many on a daily basis.  Above all else, provide value for your audience.

Of course, once you get to know them, you will need to know how to get them to engage in the group.

The best advice I go was to have a customized URL for your Facebook group. I love saying, “Come join us on Facebook at Hope’s Purse Closet”.  Potential members can search for the link and it pops right up.

How many Facebook groups do you belong to?  Have you noticed, they all have a daily thread or theme days?  Some will take a topic to talk about, or ask a question, or allow others to promo their business. Daily threads work are great for participation.

Here are some ideas:

Motivation Monday
Tasty Tuesday
Ask Me Anything
Promo Day
Friday Free for All
Small Business Saturday
Sunday Self-Care

The key is to have a mix of general conversation starters, industry related threads, and promotional opportunities for the members.  To help things along, you will want to be the first to post a comment in the thread to get it rolling.

As the group grows, schedule a monthly rotation of the threads instead of weekly to keep things fresh.  I’m working towards this in my VIP group, just trying to find the right mix.

I believe in consistency in your posts so I use Cinchshare to help me keep consistent.  I have 2 posts a day in my group which are scheduled and then I add to it as I find random things.  I know, it kind of goes against the recommendations BUT I did say my group was a work in progress.  If you use a scheduler, be present in your group.  It doesn’t mean you should not stop in, comment or respond in a timely manner to comments.  I have alerts set up so when people comment, I respond in a timely manner.

I would love to have you share your best suggestions for getting and keeping your Facebook Group engaged.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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