“Direct selling on Facebook: You’re Doing It Wrong” is probably a title that makes me sound like an expert. I’m not. But I definitely know what not to do, because I’ve been taught better.
I recently signed up with a direct selling company. There were a few different reasons that drove me to this decision. I have been a customer of this company for some time and love their products. They are a cosmetics company that built a direct selling model, whereas most are direct selling companies who build cosmetics lines. They are known and trusted by celebrity makeup artists across the country, and their products are developed and tested by those same artists. And I really wanted to further round out the portfolio of services I could offer as a fashion and lifestyle blogger. I knew that providing my readers, subscribers, and community with a product I believe in was another great way to diversify myself and provide value to those I serve.
In so doing, I have found myself faced with a legion of new people on my timeline, my news feed, and in team groups. Unfortunately, many of them are blatantly disregarding the very basics of direct selling on Facebook. I’ll admit, I watched one of them do a live video today that struck a real nerve, you guys. So of course I had to come write about it.
Direct Selling on Facebook: You’re Doing It Wrong (And How To Do It Better)
So the live video that I watched today – the one that left me riled up enough to make this post – wasn’t all bad. She shared some real personality in the video. Showed her son playing, gave a shoutout to her dad, the usual sort of thing. It was all going just fine… until she broke a cardinal rule of direct selling on social media. As the words came out of her mouth, I could feel myself cringe. I slammed the X-shaped close button so hard, my mouse is probably still upset about it. I can barely bring myself to type it, but here goes: she said “I know I go live about my company and my products a lot. But if you don’t like it, you can go ahead and unfollow me.” *Insert me shuddering, eye twitching*.
Do you know what kind of message this sends to your community when you say these words? Or any variation of these words, really? You are literally telling people that you do not value their connection enough to bring them the kind of content that they want to see. You are saying, in no uncertain terms, that they are not valuable to you unless they are a potential customer. Is that really the kind of message you want to be sending on your personal profile? That’s fine if it is, just don’t be surprised when you hit the edge of your warm market and nobody else wants to pay attention to you. Don’t come crying to me. (Or anyone else, for that matter, because you will probably have nobody left.)
Harsh, right? If you’ve been committing this cardinal sin, there’s still hope. You can be an effective direct seller on Facebook without driving away your friends, family, and real-life connections. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. All you have to do is let your community know that you value their friendship more than you value them as a source of income. Let me say that again, louder for the people in the back. All you have to do is let your community know that you value their friendship more than you value them as a source of income.
Be real. Be your authentic self. But make sure you’re sharing things that are of value for more than just 10% of your followers. Not everyone will want to tune in to watch you do your makeup every single day. And if you bog down their feeds with your products twice a day, every day, you’re going to drive more people away than you’re going to attract. And nobody wants that.
The people on your friends list added you as a friend for a reason. That part of the battle is already won. Whether you’re family, friends in real life, or just acquaintances on the internet, they’re already part of your circle. Now let’s keep them around with something that is actually interesting and/or valuable to them. Something that serves your community in a different way than learning how to do a cat eye or watching you put your eyebrows on. I can’t tell you exactly what that interesting and/or valuable content will be – it could be anything from a new recipe you tried to your new living room decor and furniture to your review of the shrinking garden hose your mom bought you.
You need to be giving people what they want, because at the end of the day, yes it’s your business, but you have no business without your followers. Yes, some people are rigidly anti-direct sales and will unfollow you as soon as they learn that you’re selling something. But the vast majority of them will put up with your occasional sales-based post or video, as long as you don’t totally let it consume you and detract from the value you had originally provided them.
Everything I know about direct selling and social media marketing, I learned in The Suite. If you enjoyed this post, head over to Brenda’s group and you’ll find way more nuggets of invaluable wisdom eagerly awaiting you. Have thoughts you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!