Business Tips and Tricks

Time for a Personal Rebrand?

Life has thrown me a curve ball and I don’t mean I am playing a game of baseball…..

Over the last three months, my direct sales business has been struggling.  Maybe it is me who has been struggling.  My bag is FULL – MS stuff, recovery, family and trying to continue my business to pay the bills.  It has been some of the worst months in three plus years.  Have I wallowed in a pity pot for a little bit?  YUP!  Did I beat myself up?  YUP!  I totally get how business fluctuates.  I am always grateful for a supportive network of other women business owners who help me to put things in perspective.

I know you are wondering………”what does this have to do with personal branding”, right?  During all of this, I have been thinking about my personal brand.  A way to incorporate my direct sales business with my angels.  I love both but trying to split my time has wrecked havoc on my health (or should I say my thought process).  I know, splitting my time between two loves is not good for either business, right?

What happens when your passion changes over time? In a recent article Dorie Clark‘s quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” Clark emphasizes, “Your path may make perfect sense to you, but how can you persuade others to embrace your new brand — and take you seriously?”  This is where I’m at right NOW!  I have been in direct sales for 8 plus years and I am known for it, as I transition or merge the two, I need to get my current customers on both sides to embrace my new brand.

A personal rebrand isn’t easy! I mean isn’t it easier to continue along the same path where people know you for what you do best — or at least what they think you do best.  Over time, as your passions change, it’s only natural to pivot into new areas. Remember,  multiple rebranding will hold you back and create confusion, so follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to take your brand to the next level.

#1 Reflect: 

The first step in branding is to reflect on who you are, what you’ve accomplished and how you want the world to see you.  Search yourself on google – search your name, your business, or something people identify with you.  Ask friends you trust for their help.  Here are some  questions to help you to define your brand:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you good at?  
  3. What do you write about, talk about and share share about?  

#2 Define Your Personal Brand: 

You want  to simply stand out in the crowd by focusing on your unique gifts and what makes you different.  Is it something people relate to you?  When they see it, they think of you.  Is it a tagline?  Make a list of all of the things which make you stand out from the crowd.  In direct sales, this is extremely important because you want loyal customers, right?

#3 Create Your Brand:

Now you need to become visible, get yourself out there. Create an active social media presence with a personal website.  If you are in direct sales, you can usually change your URL to a catchy phrase or something which makes you stand out.  I used Go Daddy to change my direct sales website URL to “partywithHope”.  It is short and easy for customers to remember.  As for my angels it is simply a Facebook page of called “Hope’s Angel Connection”. PLUS  I always use my angel wings as a watermark on my graphics as a reminder of me!

#4 Connect to Others: 

Now you have a personal brand.  The next step is being visible in the arenas where you want to be successful. Know who you want your audience to be – stay at home moms, professionals, etc.  Get reviews or endorsements from customers, attend events, and network, to bolster and lend credibility to the brand you are marketing.  Don’t be shy about it – wear your brand every day.  I always have a ThirtyOne bag AND an angel charm on – each draw people into conversations.

Yup, it is really this simple. Remember, the success of personal branding depends on how well your audience understands your vision, and what you do best, as well as your authenticity. Share your brand with us!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

I’m The Best!

Okay, I have your attention, right?  You are probably thinking “Who does she think she is?”.  “What makes her the best?”

Although, I have some skills and have received a few awards for my work – I wouldn’t say I am the best.  “Doubtful Debbie” is always lurks in the corner.  Just when I think I have built my confidence up to where it can’t be shaken, she pops her head!  Since MS has entered my life, those inner gremlins seem to come more often.  Add to it, relapse and recovery and those gremlins have a field day.

In direct sales, as in most businesses, self-promotion is important but we need to say it without actually saying it.  I mean, isn’t branding part of the key to growing our business?  Not always an easy task, right?  I am guessing I am not alone since Entrepreneur magazine did an article about it.  Here are some tips:

1. Identify what you’ve done and and what you’re good at.  This has always been difficult for me.  Believe it or not, I didn’t think I was good at anything for many years.  While working in the non-profit world, I was a behind the scenes girl.  The one who let everyone else get the fame and glory.  I got my share of rewards but I never felt like I truly deserved them.  I am learning to share my achievements along with my failures through blogging.

2. Practice your communication.  I LOVE these key phrases to help – “I’m passionate,” and “I did [this]” or “I worked hard [at that].”  When I share about my my passion for Thirty One, people respond.  When I share about my passion for my angels, people respond.  They get interested, share their stories and then usually shop.

3. Tell everybody.   This is definitely hard for me but I am getting better.  I mean if we worked hard and built an AWESOME business – shouldn’t we be able to share it with the world?  I mean when people meet me and they ask what I do, my answer is “I’m a Director with Thirty One Gifts, a blogger and a crafter”.  This starts the conversation rolling and allows me to share my passions with them.

4. Be prepared to prove it.  Don’t just talk about how awesome your product is – make sure you are using it so they can see it.  I had a consultant tell me once , no one took her business seriously. Then I realized she had LOTS of Thirty One bags at HOME!  She never carried one with her.  Now she is a walking billboard and she is getting sales.  I always have product (Thirty One and angels) with me and I include my blog on all of my business cards.

5. Get creative.  For me, sometimes it is tough to get creative.  I offer my customers great service – I try to remember birthdays and key events in their lives so I can celebrate them.  My VIP customer page offers some fun without promoting sales.  I haven’t found an unusual way to promote myself except by blogging so maybe it will catch some attention.

6. Be generous. Promote and encourage others who are doing a good job and offer your help to those who ask for it.  Giving back and making a difference in the life of others is the thing which keeps me going.  From chemo comfort bags to Fight Hunger Campaign to mailing an angel to someone who needs some cheering up.  Helping others is what I like to do.

Are you “THE BEST”?  Brag a little… tell us what you are the best at!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks

Building A Brand

When you are out shopping, and you see something (a cup of coffee, a wine glass, an angel, etc) does a person jump into your thoughts?  For example, when I see “wine” I immediately think of my friend Desiree. Or when I see LARGE mugs of coffee, I think of Lori.  You get the picture.  Hopefully, when you see “angels”,  you think of me. No, I’m definitely not an angel BUT angels have always been a “thing” for me.  For me, it is a sign of my efforts to give back or pay it forward to those who are struggling.  It also reminds me of my many angels watching over me.

So, where is all of this leading, right?  Almost everyone is on some form of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and the list goes on.. The truth is having a presence for your business on social media is just smart marketing!   it allows use to share our business without pushing sales all of the time.  I’m sure you know someone who has launched their business (direct sales or store front), while using their personal social media account.  It is a way for people to get the word out about their new business.  BUT at some point, they and so should you switch to a business page. I have a business page on Facebook and Instagram (click to check them out).

Why? Not only is it just a great business practice, but it helps to keep the two worlds separate.  Believe me, your family and friends will appreciate not being bombarded by business news. Now, I’m not saying you won’t share things on your personal page BUT it will be far less than it was before your business page.  On your Facebook business page, you will have a whole range of tools to help you measure performance and to help you engage with your customers and make more connections. As your connections increase, so does your brand awareness! You want your customers to be clear you are their business (for me Thirty One) connection!

Facebook
Create a Facebook business Page so you can  get discovered and connect with people. With a Facebook business Page, you can communicate directly with customers, help them learn more about your business, offer customer service and tell visual stories. Don’t get me wrong, things can and will trickle over to your personal but personal should be personal!  There are LOTS of tools provided with a business page, so you can gain insight on how your customers are interacting on the the content you share so you can fine tune your message – and it is SEEN!

Instagram
Did you know more than 500 million Instagrammers are discovering new things every month?  I was surprised I have more followers on Instagram then I do on FB!  So, I have started to be consistent on Instagram as a business account.  Like Facebook Pages, Instagram business profiles connect people and businesses. Use Instagram to share your direct sales journey, connect with your audience and generate interest. You can even link your Facebook Business Page with your Instagram account.  I am having lots of fun sharing things on Instagram and connecting with new people.

You can actually drive sales and potential recruits to your business via social media.  With your personal brand, your audience will grow – I was shocked how fast mine did.   The law of averages works great in direct sales – and as your followers increase your sales and team will also.

If you are like me, you want to know how can all of this turn interest into sales, right?  First, make sure ALL of your upcoming events are on your business page.  Hosting a fundraiser, be sure to add it as an event.  Then make sure there is a link to your website for people can order.  I have a “mystery host” party link on my site all of the time.  WHY?  Because, people like a chance to win. My disclaimer is “the party must reach at least $300 in sale” before a winner is selected.  WHY?  Because if it doesn’t reach the level you set,  you can benefit from those Hostess Rewards when you close out the party for the month.  Flip those Hostess products into incentives if you want to generate more business!

Once your business is setup on social media, you have another way to provide friendly, helpful customer service for your customers.  It is also easier for your customers to tag you and share your business with their friends and family.  The ultimate goal is then reached by you gaining more customers!

Share your brand/logo with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Are You Missing One of These in Your Business?

Thank you Christie Browning for today’s tips….

I love my business. If you know me, you know it!!!!  Whether it is my Thirty One business or my handcrafted angels, I love having my own business.  I love the flexibility. I love the freedom to take visions to fruition.  I love sharing my love with everyone.  Now, I will be the first to admit on any given day I miss out on opportunities.  On those days, I tend to be more focused on “making money” to pay bills, so I blow past some of the things I need to have a successful business.  Don’t get me wrong, making money (and paying bills) is what we work for.  The truth is, I can’t sustain my sales (neither can you) if your business isn’t built on a strong foundation.

#1 – Know where you’re going and why you want to get there

I know we have all answered (or at least tried to) the question of our why…. We need to know what it is to be successful, right?  I have talked about the emotional why many times – it is the real root of why you want to be in business.  It is the inner motivation which pushes you when your tired, you want to give up, you are out of your comfort zone, and to push past your fears. Why is being a success important to you?  What will you gain if you are successful?

I struggle with tapping into my emotional why. as a result of my MS.  The key to the emotional why is your ability to paint a vivid picture of what “success” looks like to you.  It isn’t the same for everyone!  By identifying what the finish line looks like, you will know when you cross it, so you can celebrate and know you’ve arrived!  Your finish line might be clearer as you get closer to it but you need a visual picture NOW. The visual should touch your heartstrings and drum up some emotions when you think of it.

Key #2 – It’s your business – make it so!

You are designing YOUR business so make it yours!  I know it sounds crazy BUT how many times have you tried to copy someone else’s business (especially in direct sales) because they have risen to the top of the company?  I have been there, done that and got the tee shirt.  It doesn’t work!  I am learning (yup, took me 7 years!) my business will be different and might probably come together in a different way because it is MINE!  Be sure to design your business around your strengths and passions. Structure it around your time and calendar whether it is a part time or a full time gig.  You get to call the shots.  The key is to be sure to be true to yourself .  Remember your customers buy because they trust you – stand out in a crowd for what you want your business to look like.

Key #3 – Put the right process in place to win

I don’t know about you BUT I LOVE vendor events and home parties.  I LOVE connecting with people face to face.  Some would say it is the glamorous side of our direct sales business.  The truth is, success is made behind the scenes, in the nitty-gritty facets of your business (the parts we may not like).  Just showing up at events or parties is not going to keep your business consistent nor is it going to guarantee you success.  So, what system do you use to keep track of all of the “other things” you HAVE to do?  Do you have set days for follow-up with customers?  Do you know your target market?  I use a tickler file and LOTS of notes on my planner to make sure I keep up with order follow-up, mailings, booking leads and so much more.

Key #4 – Making the noise to bring in the biz

For some, marketing is the fun stuff!  For others, it is a hodgepodge mess.  You need to know who you are as a business and who you are trying to serve.  Do you know what your brand is? Branding is simply something which when people see it they think of YOU (and the ripple effect is thinking of your business).  It is the tone and feel of your business – such as the colors, images, and graphics you use.  I ALWAYS say “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day” – my customers expect it.  LOL.  Angels have become a part of my marketing…. they are part of my team logo as well as the watermark I use in all of my graphics.   What do you want their experience to be like after they interacted with you and your company? I want my customers to know I am all about making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.  I want them to know I am a down to earth “take me as I am” kind of gal.  The key to great branding is to be true to you. Don’t try to be something your NOT because it won’t connect with or feel authentic to your customers. Your brand is an extension of YOU and should be reflected in all you do, say and show.

I know this sounds like A LOT so take it slow and easy.  Start with one and work your way through…. Which one will you start with?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

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!