Literally everyone, and their mother, is doing some form of direct sales these days. Or they’ve started some sort of personal, small business, and they’ve taken to the Internet to market their product or themselves.
Yup, I’m totally guilty. Not only do I have my Personal Training and Nutrition business with Brick Fit Life, but also recently became a consultant for Beautycounter. Which means I am now one of those annoying people that is constantly posting promos and links on social media in hopes that I can drum up some business. Because let’s face it… If you’re in the beginning of stages of direct sales or a small business, you’re probably super broke. I happen to be super, duper broke. And marketing is HUGE when it comes to the success of any business. So FREE marketing is incredibly enticing for those of us that don’t have the capital to pay for advertising but also really need to make money, you know, to like eat and live and stuff… So yeah, social media happens to be (mostly) free and also effective. Of course, I’m going to take advantage of that! And you should too if you’re in my shoes.
But, I also realize that nobody likes to be sold to. It’s not anyone’s hobby to go to the car dealership and get pitched at all day. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, and it makes people defensive. And when you come to your social media page to unwind and end up seeing a bunch of spammy posts offering products you don’t even want, it can cause these feelings to surface, making what’s supposed to be a pleasurable activity really irritating.
I get it.
Trust me, this is not what I want anyone to feel, especially when it’s related to my business. But please understand, this is the best most of us can do and we need to promote our businesses to be able to support our families and ourselves.
My first piece of advice:
If you see someone promoting their personal business and it makes you uncomfortable, check yourself. Why are you taking this so personally? Why do you feel like this post is directly specifically toward you? Because it’s not. It’s directed toward those that might be interested in what’s being offered. The trouble with social media and its constantly changing algorithms, though it does have many advantages, is that in order to reach a few people who actually want what I’m offering, A TON of people that ARE NOT interested in my business have to see it as well. So, if it’s not for you, understand that it might be for someone else, and just keep scrolling…No harm, no foul.
Now, here’s where it gets tricky. A good friend or family member that you love has started a direct sales or small business and you really don’t want to buy what they’re selling or you legitimately cannot afford it at the moment. What do you do? How do you tell them, “Hey, I like you, but I’m not going to buy your sh**!” Well, you could just say that and they’ll probably understand and thank you for your honesty. BUT there are quite a few other options you can try as well! In fact, there are several ways you can directly support their business without actually spending any money!
Here’s how you can specifically support MY business, but I’m sure many of these examples will work for other friends you know as well!
#1. Like and Share!
Let’s just go ahead and get the most annoying one out of the way! Yes, I realize how obnoxious it is to ask people to “Like and Share!” But guess what? People won’t do it unless you ask for it. Not only do statistics show you have a better chance of your post being liked or shared if you ask for it, but I’ve personally experienced this. But here’s the thing… I’m not going to ask people to like and share EVERY post. In fact, some posts I do NOT want shared. Especially since making my accounts public, I am very wary of posting and sharing things related to my family and friends. But I have a lot to gain from my business posts being shared because it gives me a MUCH wider reach, and therefore, a better chance of finding someone that actually wants or needs what I provide! So if you see “Like and Share” on my posts, please just humor me. You don’t even have to read the post, I promise. The more my posts are shared, the less the I will have to post overall.
#2. Subscribe to my email list!
Yes! I have an email list, and you should be on it! It comes with updates on my blog and current promotions I’m offering! It’s actually the best way to stay up-to-date on my business in case there ever came a time you did need one of my services or products. But even if you never purchase from me, you’ll have all the info to tell others who will want to purchase with me exactly what I do! You can subscribe to my blog on my home page or you can just shoot me your email directly and I can add you myself!
If you’re on Instagram feel free to tag and hashtag me. This is kind of similar to liking and sharing on Facebook. It broadens my exposure so I’m getting more quality out of each of my posts, so hopefully I can decrease the quantity of my posts overall. #BrickFitLife
#4. Click the flippin link!
I post links to my blog and website all the time on social media. CLICK IT!!! The more traffic that’s driven to my site, the easier it is for those looking for my services to find it!! Seriously, just click the link.
#5. Give references!
YOU may not want what I’m selling but someone you know might! Tell them about me! Nothing promotes a business better than word-of-mouth. Not even social media! If you personally vouch for me I am much more likely to gain that client than by posting and crossing my fingers someone who needs me sees it. So please, take the info I share on my social media and share it with those you know are interested!
#6. Promote me on YOUR social media!
Let me give an example. I post FREE recipes on my blog all the time. Let’s say you see one you like and you end up making it. Snap a photo, post it to your page and tag me! Sharing my posts is cool, but when you can make it personal, your friends are more likely to take note! And when I can get your friend’s attention I can broaden my reach.
#7. Share my business cards!
So you’re not a fan of liking, sharing or promoting on your own social media. That’s totally fine. But you can still promote me by sharing my business cards and telling people about me directly in person. So, if you want to support me but don’t really like the whole social media thing, let me know and I will make sure to get you some cards! Even if you’re out of town, I can mail them to you! 90% of my business can be done online or over the phone! No reason to assume I can’t help someone. If they need what I offer, I will find a way!
#8. Host a party!
This option may end up costing you a dime or two, but it absolutely does not have to!! I’ve mentioned word of mouth a few times already, and especially with Beautycounter, it is so much more effective to show people the products in person and tell them directly about our mission. You can literally just invite people over and I can do the rest! It doesn’t have to be formal or extravagant. In fact, it’s better if it’s not! I want people to be comfortable and open to hearing about why we believe in safer beauty products. So no need to go all out!
Join my team!
I was hesitant to include this one because, technically, this will cost you money. I mean, any business requires some sort of initial investment. BUT it also provides the opportunity to make your money back, and much, MUCH more. All while simultaneously helping people. So, if you’re at all interested in Beautycounter or safer products, join me!
A personal note:
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I, personally, am not in either of my businesses to get rich. Would I be mad if I did get rich? Heck no. But that’s not my driving motivation. I provide the services and products that I do because I truly believe in them. I believe that your health is your greatest asset. I believe that if you’re going to spend your hard earned money that it should be on something that promotes your health and wellness. I would never sell anything I would not buy for myself. NEVER. So please understand that and keep that in mind when you see my posts.
But I also feel that there’s something wrong with the way we spend our money in general. We can walk into Target or Costco or the mall, any day of the week, spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and not think twice. I am absolutely guilty of this as well, so this is not me on a high horse. But I think it’s interesting that we can do that and line the pockets of already rich companies and CEOs, yet we are so resistant to spend that same money on a friend’s product or business. Even though that money would put food on their table or pay for their daughter’s soccer camp or their son’s braces. Think about it for a second. Why is that? I want to encourage you that if you DO have the money, or if you would otherwise spend that money on a product from a brick and mortar store, that you first see if you can find what you’re looking for from a friend. I’m not asking you to buy things you don’t want or need just because someone you know is selling it. I’m asking you to redirect already allocated funds to someone who truly needs it. Trust me, Target will be fine if you don’t buy their face wash. That corporate gym won’t notice that you’re no longer a member because you’ve hired me to train you instead. But for me, it makes a world of difference. More than you probably know…
But at the end of the day, even if you never spend a dime with me, just know that you CAN still support my business and your support is very much appreciated. So, from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of any other friends’ business you might support as well, thank you!