When you’re working in a direct sales business, there’s a really good chance that you’re active on social media. In a digital world where so many people are present, setting yourself apart and infusing your personal brand with authenticity is the key to connecting with your ideal customer or business partner.
But how do you approach social media as both a person and an entrepreneur?
My approach, cultivated across more than a decade of working in digital branding and direct sales and building multiple successful teams and business lines, is to have a strategy of offering tremendous value.
I’ve learned along the way that a lot of work and time goes into being present on the web in a positive and successful way -- more than many people expect. It’s a long journey, but the results are real, and the lessons I’ve learned shape what I’m sharing with you today.
Before you can have a strategy, you have to understand that what you are doing is marketing yourself and your business. To be a serious contender in the crowded world of social media, it’s not enough to just repost the social media images and graphics that your company gives you. You have to think about connecting with your audience and leading them on a journey, so you can get the outcome you are seeking.
You have to think strategically -- not tactically.
The way I go about this in my own business it to show up as a real person. I want to show what sets me apart from everyone else who is working the same business with the same product.The difference between me and everyone else is just that - ME.
But that’s easy to say and sometimes difficult to put into practice. How can you get started on creating your authentic social strategy? Here is a three-step process that will get you off to a great start!
First, choose your platforms.
It’s tough sometimes because we feel like we have to be everywhere on the internet -- and that’s just not sustainable. Most likely, one or two platforms feel good and natural to you. Do you like Instagram for the photo content and stories? Does Twitter make you happy? Are Facebook groups your jam? Choose your favorite platforms - no more than 2 - and then take the time to study them. How do people engage? What is trending? How do people find new and inspiring content? Don’t just copy the same content on both platforms. Your audience is different, and your strategy needs to be, too.
Next, have a plan for consistent content.
You need to consistently show up on your intended platform. This doesn’t mean every day - but your audience will start to expect to hear from you, and you don’t want to let them down. Make a plan for once a week, twice a week, whatever works for you -- and then create a schedule for the month ahead. This lets you have a birds eye view.
Now that you’ve got platforms and a plan, it’s time to create your content.
This is a huge stumbling block for so many people, and it’s one of the areas I dig into in my Beauty Boss Collective community. Your content is going to come from your heart and your authentic lifestyle -- but for many people getting started, it helps to have a framework. One that I really encourage is to create content that follows HIRE:
- Build a Relationship
Everything you post -- whether it’s a personal update or a sale for your business -- needs to fit into HIRE (or your similar guiding framework.) Finding and sticking to your framework will really help you to remain authentic as you post and sell via your social platforms.
To me, being authentic means being a real person, unapologetically showing up and sharing how my product and brand has transformed my life -- and how it could transform yours.
It’s about sharing life when life’s not perfect -- and allowing someone to see themselves in your story. Your customer shouldn’t buy from you because they feel pressured, but because they see you and want the experience or lifestyle that you’ve shared. Obviously, we are businesspeople, so the selling is important -- but even more important is serving others and giving them great value.
If you’re just there to make the sale, people will see that and that will eat away at your authenticity.
Unfortunately, direct sales has gotten a bad rap across the years, and a lot of women have burned bridges and ruined relationships by focusing solely on getting the sale. Those of us working in direct sales today, who know and love and trust our products, have the responsibility to transform this industry. The way we do that is by being professional - and being authentic.
Melanie Hernquist is an entrepreneur and designer with a mission to help fellow women entrepreneurs build businesses they love -- while bringing other women along for the journey. She seeks to be a force for good and a creator of communities where women can change lives through entrepreneurship. Her latest venture, the Beauty Boss Collective, is designed to help you show up online and in person as the best possible version of yourself -- and create massive results in your business.