Did you know that we are living in what some are calling a “Gig economy”? Get that puzzled look off your face, it’s really not that complicated. I am not talking about Gigs of memory for a computer or anything that brain numbing. I am talking about living in a society where just about everyone has a side gig or hobby, job whatever you want to call it. I am no different.
About 10 years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of direct sales. No, we are not talking about your mom’s Tupperware party. I actually became a Thirty-One Independent Consultant. Didn’t do half bad at it if I do say so myself. I have moved on though and am embarking on another adventure, which we will discuss in another post.
Anyway, so not the point of my post… I am sure you have all been bombarded at some time or another with invites to a Pampered Chef party, a Thirty-One party or even, gasp, a Pure Romance party. While, they all have the in-home party market mastered, they have been hit with a new craze… drum roll, please… online parties. I don’t need makeup or even pants to hang out with my crazy friends. We can do it on Facebook. Hey, I’m on there anyway, mind as well shop, right?
I was curious how the direct sales industry is embracing this whole social media marketing craze. Best way to see whats going on is to jump into some parties. So I hit up a Chalk Couture (CC for short) party and also a Paparazzi Jewelry party on Facebook. There were some similarities and some differences between how the two different consultants handled social media.
CC was a live Facebook event. Leading up to the event there were some videos about some of the cool crafts that could be done and how the company worked. There were also videos about the business opportunity. Sorry, I didn’t save the videos but I am sure if you YouTube it you can find some. Anyway, the day of the event she did 2 different designs, via a Facebook live, that we, the invitees, had voted on through a poll earlier in the week. It was actually really cool to interact and ask questions, while watching her create the signs. Below is an example of one of the designs she did.
I also was invited to a Paparazzi Jewelry party online. This one was a little different. It was an actual Facebook group event. So I have to request to join the group and then join the event. Slightly a pain in the butt, but hey whatever works, I guess. The Paparazzi consultant posted some helpful tips leading up to the “party.” Below is a an example of one of her posts. (Please be aware, I didn’t include the consultants name in the screenshot.) I do have to say that her posts weren’t just the endless stream of text. She did a great job of including eye catching graphics. There weren’t very many videos though, well to be honest there weren’t any videos. She did post photos of people wearing the jewelry and did some sneak peaks of her inventory.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Would I shop this way again? Heck yeah!! A glass of wine, my favorite PJs and whatever Disney show on TV… what mom couldn’t ask for a better party. Let’s talk about what I liked, disliked, and ran from…
- Both consultants get points for posting to get interaction. Of the two, the videos were more engaging for me.
- Both consultants engaged prior to and after the actual event. Preferred the CC engagement cause I got $$$ off of a purchase. Who doesn’t love free money for being on Facebook.
- Both consultants were consistent about their messages but not salesy (I made that up). They both talked about subjects like:
- Why they are in direct sales?
- History of the company
- Mission of the company
- Product descriptions
- Business opportunity
- Both consultants understood their audience and found common ground. I know the majority of us were moms, with crazy schedules. The consultants made sure the party time suited the majority of us (like after the kids were in bed).
- Both consultants kept their live events super short. They had notes and kept the party moving along and recognized that our time was precious. It was time well spent.
- Both consultants from the onset had a clear schedule of events. They told us repeatedly and stuck to it.
Both of these direct sales people used different techniques, but in the end their goal was met – sales and parties booked.
Tell me your experiences with direct sales… you never know you just might have a great idea for my next gig.