Business Tips and Tricks

Marketing to Millennials

This old lady struggles with expanding my customer base or should I say bridging the generation gap.  I know Thirty One (and other companies) provide simple solutions for millennials (the 18 – 35 year olds) but sometimes I just miss the mark. Thank you Nika Stewart for some great tips on how to reach the largest living generation!

I remember reading the newspaper (delivered to the house by a paper person) every morning.  It was how I got the news. I got gift ideas from television commercials or catalogs in the mail.  I learned about fashion by flipping through magazines. Yup, I’m old.  Now those things have been replaced with smart phones and social media.  A simple touch of a button and everything is at your fingertips.

Millennials can usually be found buried in their phone ignoring traditional media ads.  They are always engaging on Snap Chat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and occasionally Facebook.  I’m sure there are some new things out there too but I don’t know them yet.

So as a direct seller who is looking to expand your business, how do you reach these tech savvy consumers when you are an old timer?  Here are some tips from Ghost Tweeting and Nika Stewart:

#1 Social Media

You will find the millennial on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter on a daily basis. Social networks are the primary way they get their information. They’re scrolling through feeds searching for a laugh, for inspiration, for food, and for news.  To them it is not a dark hole to get lost in, it is where they get news, inspiration and connect with friends.  We used to pick up the phone and TALK to people. I actually miss the days of talking on the phone.  Social media is a black hole for me which soaks up time or at least it is my perception.  Maybe it is time to change the  mindset!  So, how do you create content to appeal to them?

Lighten up: Want to have your posts shared creating a wider customer base?  Make it funny even if it is serious.  Find trending topics, add your product information and post silliness.  “70% of millenials say they share content because it makes them laugh”. Think of how many more people you will reach this way.

Provoke an emotional response: Millennials want real, they want gritty, and they want to be moved. Get deep and create content to tug on their heartstrings.  

#2 Engagement

How many times have you posted on your personal page, your VIP group or even on your business page and heard crickets?  You are consistently posting maybe a few times a day (on your own or with the help Cinchshare) but no one is engaging in the posts.  First, did you have a call to action in your post?  The truth is, you are not working the social media circuit if you’re not engaging with your followers.

Millennials are hungry to be part of something bigger, and they need to be accepted. Nothing provides acceptance like addressing users personally. This means commenting back, responding, and keeping conversations open. Users who are engaged with accounts (not just broadcast to) are much more likely to share, recommend, and tell friends about the brand they feel a bond with. 

Do you respond to comments or just “like” them?  Do you engage those who comment in conversation or do you just talk to everyone?  Go back through your posts and see what posts get the most interaction.  In my VIP group, it is usually contest or questions; so why would I change this up on my personal or business page?

#3 Video

Facebook LIVE was a game changer when I started doing regular posts but I got out of the habit.  I find it easier to type my content or put it in pictures than I do talking in a video.  Video marketing is the gold standard these days, everyone is doing it.  According to Animoto (I rediscovered this again), “80 percent of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision.” 80 percent! Yes, you need to do video.  It doesn’t have to be you personally, it doesn’t have to be long or perfect – it just has to be a video with a message.

Millennials want to be informed as well as entertained, so create video content to demonstrate expertise in your field while keeping your brand relevant and lighthearted.  I know for us “old timers” this could be tough but it is definitely going to be a game changer.

Video options include: customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes livestreams, demonstrating products in action… get creative! Video provides an unprecedented opportunity to make a meaningful connection with the masses.  I have been working on some and sharing the ones ThirtyOne does to keep things fresh.

The marketing landscape is changing and the baby boomers (like me) will either be left in the dust or decide to move forward stepping out of our comfort zone.  The days of formal presentations, and slick ad campaigns is gone.  The traditional marketing no longer works.   The sooner we embrace new methods for reaching customers especially this generation, the sooner we’ll see our business grow.

How are you changing your business to  grow?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Beware of This Invisible Competition!

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message:

As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:7). To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live set-apart lives – to be sanctified – we must spend time with Him and allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.

God loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants much more for us than that! God’s plan is to make us more like Himself… to sanctify us. He is Yahweh M’Kaddst, the Lord our Sanctifier.

Let’s take this street level. I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are pretty full. They start early and end late. Once the sun rises, it seems that coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in my house. An invisible competition brews daily that vies for my time and attention. The competitors are often “good things” that end up to be “time-robbing things” that keep me from God’s best and God’s presence. When I’m kept from God’s presence, I’m also kept from growing in His divine grace: major loss for me.

Have you been there?

Does an invisible competition brew in your home and heart too?

I’m thinking: Yes. We all struggle with this.

So what are some of these “good things” that end up being “time-robbing distractions”? They look different for each of us. We are all like snowflakes and fingerprints: unique. A few good things that come to mind are over-commitment, activity overload, electronics, excessive shopping, volunteering at church or community service. Yep. Went there. Again, none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they can become a hindrance to sanctification if we allow them to take precedence over our personal growth with Christ.

A big one for me is electronics. Let’s put our computer lives under a spiritual microscope for a moment. I’m an e-girl. I love my MacBook Pro computer, my iPhone, email, instant messaging, and the World Wide Web. Though I’m admittedly fully immersed in the e-life, I’m also cognizant of the fact that the e-world has become a dangerous addiction and spiritual deterrent to many.

I struggle with this personally. These electronic forums host a powerful and efficient opportunity for us to connect with other people 24/7. While much of social media, online surfing, and emailing is innocent, encouraging and fun, they also present us with opportunities to sin and to become distracted from set-apart living.

Over the past several years, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, games and texting have replaced many of our face-to-face conversations. For some of us, time with electronics has replaced and/or diminished our devotion time with the Lord. Online activities have become a new source of temptation for us, an opportunity to live a fantasy or a momentary escape from the daily grind.

A friend of mine recently said, “My computer whispers to me.” Yikes! Mine does too. I readily admit, at times I don’t manage my time efficiently because I give in to the lure of e-life by responding to an audio alert indicating “I’ve got mail,” or to a notification that someone has left me a message on a social media site. As a result, I waste time because I have spent it unwisely – therefore, robbing myself of productive time.

We are warned against this in Scripture. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

Now, hear me clearly on this: I am not saying that electronics or computers are bad. In and of themselves, they aren’t bad. I’m simply suggesting that it would be wise for each of us to prayerfully consider the amount of time and energy we devote to these things.

How can we be set apart in our e-life? How can we establish healthy e-boundaries that will protect our purity and our time with God? Perhaps we could start by taking an honest look at the amount of time we commit to our social e-lives versus the amount of time we commit to spending in God’s Word and in His presence each day. (Did that sting? Rest assured it stings me, too.)

The good news is that we can turn to God for direction in all of this. His Word points us to a vital promise of wisdom that will guide us in holiness. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV). How awesome is that? God loves us so much that He offers us an endless supply of wisdom. We just need to ask – so that we are enabled to walk in His wisdom and to live each day in His holiness.

Are you holy as God is holy? Do you want to thrive in His divine grace?

When we determine to grow in sanctification and allow God to lead us to deeper places of divine grace, those around us will see the hope of Christ in us. Isn’t that where we want to be?

No matter where we find ourselves on the path of sanctification, it is encouraging to remember that God’s not done with us yet. God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Customer Service Tips

Saturday for many mean a day off.  If you can call shuttling kids to activities, errands, sporting events or cleaning a day off.  For those in direct sales during the busiest time of the year, it means working your business – parties and/or vendor events or maybe both.

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So, how do you capitalize on this time of year?  The best way is to provide your customers with the BEST customer service they have ever received from any business or business owner.  You want your customers to remember you.  Here are some tips from Party Plan Divas to help you become remarkable:

1. Stay in contact with your customers on a regular basis. Don’t just rely on your company’s newsletter or Social Media outlet.  Pick up the phone and make Customer Care Calls for special events (holiday, new catalog, etc) The more often you are in front of your customers – the more often they think of you.

2. Give Customers more than they expect.  There is no such thing as “too much” customer service. Send “Thank you” notes for no reason other than to say thanks. Offer discounts at random times throughout the year. Send free gifts with large purchases with no notice. The more people feel appreciated, the more likely they are to not only do business with you but send referrals your way as well.

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3. Resolve complaints and conflicts quickly. We want everyone to be happy with our products but the truth is sometimes problems arise – shipping delays, back orders, products malfunctioning, etc. Show your customers you really care by taking care of their problems quickly. Good Customer Service does not have a price tag. Never avoid a phone call or email. Personally take care of the problem as best as you possibly can.

4. Make it easy for your customers to find you.  Offer as many contact methods as possible, so when a customer reaches out, she feels like she will be able to get to you. Email, cell phone, social media, etc are all great contact methods. Make your contact methods easy to remember by using a universal business name as often as possible. (i.e. www.partywithHope.com, HopeWs31@gmail.com, facebook.com/Hope Heldreth-Wissel, Hope Wissel, HopeWissel.com)

5. Strong relationships is the basis of a strong business.  The more your customers like you, the more they will do business with you and encourage their friends to do the same. Interact daily on social media. Send birthday and anniversary cards. Create special Customer Appreciation events.  Your customers will feel important when they are included in these kinds of special events.

6. Always be polite.  You must always be very aware the things you say – both out loud and on social media – can never be taken back.  THINK before saying or posting anything. Take a minute and ask yourself “if this was the very first thing a potential customer saw, would she want to do business with me?” Make sure everything you put out into the universe is becoming of a direct sales professional. Use the words “you’re welcome”, “thank you”, “please” etc often. Be calm and polite even when they are upset.

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What is your best tip for building strong business relationships with your customers?  Share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Home Office

#BeYourOwnBoss

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The quaint streets of Sylva, North Carolina were my office last week.  Yes, I was on vacation BUT I was also a walking billboard for my business.  I started conversations and made connections.  I have to admit, it was out of my comfort zone BUT the streets of NC seem so much more welcoming then the streets in NJ.

One of the best “perks” of being of being your own boss and have a direct sales business is I get to have total freedom on how I run my business. Honestly, running a successful direct sales business can become an all-consuming task.  To keep that from happening, you have to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your direct sales business. I know, you are wondering is it worth all of the effort?  Let me tell you – it absolutely is!

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping everything manageable:

#1 You need to stay hungry for success.

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This is one of the toughest things for me.  Set goals for your business around bookings, sales, and recruiting and create a strategy for going after them on a daily basis. This helps you to stay focus and succeed in all three areas. Not only will it help you to keep creative, but you’ll be modeling things that your team can follow to grow their business.

#2 Keep an eye on your business facts and figures.

Keeping you eye on the numbers doesn’t mean just checking your reports to see if you and your team has sales.  I have gotten better with “organizing” my expenses BUT they still are not logged in my records.  The bottom line is that if anyone asked me what it costs me to do business, I would have to just guess. This is not good. You need to “know your numbers” before the end of the year and doing taxes so you have a true read on how you’re actually doing in your business. This means you need to organize accounts, track expenses, and keep everything up to date so you know where you are at any given moment. I use a simple tickler file to organize expenses, now the key is to put them on the excel spread sheet every month.  When you know your finances are in order, then you will know how your business is doing,  NO, it isn’t much fun but if you do it at least once a month, life will be easier.

#3 Stay Educated and Execute what you learn!2317e07863b5414d8ee1011c7062804c

Keep up to date on trends in your company and in the industry by reading magazines, blogs, and your company information and publications.  Things happen and you need to be sure you’re on top of any changes as soon as they happen. Some would recommend reading newspapers like Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal because the information in these publications can have an impact on you even if it’s not business specific. I find some of the best information coming from expert emails and newsletters, like Julieann Jones or Becky Spieth or Desiree Wolfe.  Reading is great but if you don’t DO SOMETHING with the information, there is no real value to you.  If you read something which sounds like a good fit for your business, make a plan and take action to try it. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you planned, you’ll learn from the experience – win or lose.

#4 Social media – pick two!

Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Google Hangouts and the list goes on.  It seems like every day there is a new spot to promote your business.  Overwhelming?  To me it is.  The key is knowing where your target market hangs out.  If most of your customers are on Facebook and Instragram, start there.  Be consistent.  Share and don’t constantly ask for sales. Don’t be that “pushy” sales person.  You want to be seen as a trusted expert in your product area.  I am consistent on Facebook by using Cinchshare.  I LOVE it.  The minimal cost allows me to plan my posts even when I am on vacation.  CLICK HERE to get a free trial.  Taking the time to post for a week will same you time and will help to increase your visibility online.  This is a great way to keep things simple.

What are your best tips for staying on top of the “business” of your business (or home projects).  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

How to Improve Facebook Interactions

Happy Monday!  It has been a whirlwind twelve days since the launch of the $1 offer at Thirty One Gifts.  New recruits learning the ins and outs of growing their business through social media.  I LOVE the excitement and being able to share so many tips from so many different resources.

How many times have you posted a picture or a message on Facebook and you hear crickets?  No one comments.  No one “likes” it.  NOTHING!  I usually blame it on Facebook’s algorithms!  Wouldn’t it be great to get LOTS of likes, comments and better yet some shares?

At Thirty One, we are all about sharing and not selling on social media.  Yes, I will highlight this month’s customer special BUT I will leave out the price.  Yes, I will show how I use my products and share the excitement of them.  NO, I will not say “I need XXX in sales to meet my goal”.  NO, I will not say, “I need XXXX to reach an incentive.  Why?  Because then we look desperate.  Who wants to buy something from someone who is desperate to sell something?  Wouldn’t you rather get excited about the product and its uses?

Here are some winning Facebook Strategies:

1. Update your profile picture:   I know, a no-brainer, right?  The truth is that people connect with real people. Replace your logos or product pictures with your smiling face.  How exciting would it be to meet someone for the first time and they say “I recognized you from your picture”?  I love when that happens.  Use the same pictures on all of your social media sites.  I change them all every other month to keep things fresh.

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2. Update your cover picture:  I do this monthly.  WHY?  People check back when there are new pictures in their news feed.  Avoid too much text or using more than 3 pictures in your cover picture. Websites like picmonkey.com or canva.com are great to make your own for even the most non-tech person.

3. Enter a description for your super amazing new cover photo:  This is a great tip from Lynn Bardowski: “this is a secret trick that few people take advantage of. Click on your cover photo and you’ll see the description section on the right. I’m betting you’ve never filled it out. Enter a greeting like, “Hey, (your name) here. Thanks for stopping by,” with a call to action, like asking your fans to join your email list. End with a link to your contact form and SAVE. Now, here’s the cool part. Go back to view your page and hover over your cover pic. The description will pop-up. Boom!”

4. Be more social: Another no-brainer, right?  Social media should be social, right? Believe it or not, when you begin to interact with people instead of trying to SELL, you will get a response.  Ask questions, show your funny side, inform, inspire and be you. Social selling is about building relationships, not actually selling.

5. Use your EVENTS tab: I will admit that I didn’t use the one on my public page very often – okay, never!  Did you know that you can click on “Manage Tabs” and move it up near the top so your Events tab shows under your cover pic. AMAZING, right?  Use that to create events for everything from Facebook Parties to Vendor Events to Product Reveals to Opportunity Events. Since your biz page is public, all the events you create are searchable like in a Google search.  This makes the possibilities huge. Include keywords in your event title to maximize your reach.

6. Schedule posts at the best times:  I have to be honest, I have heard a lot of talk on the best time.  The truth is that the best time is what works best for your niche.  The general rule for posts on Facebook are typically in the afternoon 2pm – 4pm on weekdays, 10am – Noon on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. I have found that mornings also work for my customers.  I use CinchShare to save time and it helps to post at the best times for my audience.

7. Create more albums:  Want to increase your ranking on Facebook?  It is based on the engagement on your page.  What gets the most engagement?  Photos and videos.  Albums can be themed for events, holidays, motivational quotes, customer favorites and more. You can also share the album link on Facebook Parties and Event pages to create a virtual catalog of your products.

So, who is ready to get visible on Facebook?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!