What You Need to Know Before Starting a Direct Selling Business

What Company Is Best For You

When deciding if a direct sells business is right for you, there are many options to consider. There are a lot of reputable companies out there that will enable you to make a nice commission income for selling their products. While some companies might be a perfect fit for what you’re looking for, some companies might not be so helpful. So, how do you decide which company is best for you?

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

When searching for the best direct sales company for you, the best advice would always be to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research. Here are a few questions you could ask before taking that leap into a new direct sales business venture.

1. How much money will you make? Beware of the get rich quick schemes and companies that promise you will make thousands of dollars in your first week. It takes time to build anything of worth, and your direct sales business is no different.

2. Do I have to meet sales quotas? Sales quotas are mandatory with some companies that you sell a certain amount of product within a certain timeframe. If you are not very experienced in sales, this can be very stressful for many people and can cause many to leave a company.

3.What are some consultant success stories? Getting the testimonies of other consultants or reps that have been in the business for over 1 year is a great way to gauge the success of a business. Is there a large turnover rate with reps? What advice can other reps give you to help your business grow?

4. Is training provided? When starting a direct sales business, training is the key to your success. Ask if training is available to you and how often will you will receive it. Be sure to question if training is free or will it cost you extra. What about support? Do they have a consultant’s support group or are you on your own to figure it out?

5. Is their plan based on multi-level marketing? Multi-level marketing or MLM is a strategy in which the reps get paid for their sales as well as the sales of their team members or those they recruit to the business.

6. Are there any monthly charges? This is a very important question to ask. Are you required to pay for products each month, shipping cost, training cost, hidden fees, sales quota fees or late charge fees? Be sure to count up the cost before you set out to build your new business venture.

7. Are there any contracts? With some companies, If you decide the business is no longer for you, are you penalized for terminating your membership. You are required to sign a binding contract with the company stating that for a certain amount of time, you will continue to pay the monthly fees regardless of if you are an active rep or consultant.

Most people start their own business so they can have flexible hours, be their own boss and the supplement or replace their income. Patience is a virtue that many try to skip. Business building takes time, patience and hard work. Keep your real goals and mind when you are evaluating the companies out there. And remember to ask questions!

Are You Using Marketing Contests to Drive More Leads to Your Business?

Are you using a marketing contest from time to time to generate more leads to your business? Marketing contest can be a great way to increase the exposure to you and your business in a much more intrigue and unique way.

This is happening because:

  • It contain a prize within in.
  • can offer a great value to its participants or winners.
  • It is time limited.

So all those are increasing the opt-in rates to your landing pages and give you more exposure. The contest can be run as a joint venture by few marketers that use it in a collective form to benefit from it all together or by a top marketing leader that can offer much more incentives to the involved winning participants.

These incentives can include:

  • Free tickets to events (such a self growth, success and etc.)
  • Free training materials.
  • Free or limited time access to marketing system or alike.
  • Free consultation or mastermind sessions.
  • and so forth…

I’m sure you can think of many more creative ideas to go along with this. A good point to take into consideration here is to layout an inviting video on the landing page that gives quite enough information from one hand and kind of appealing offer from the other hand so that it will cause curiosity to the visiting people of the site and make them register to get more detailed information.

As final note: You need to pay attention not to exaggerate with putting out contests all the time so people wont get the impression that this is your main concern.

What Recent Holiday Retailer Traffic Tells Us About Affiliate Marketing

For anyone marketing online, it probably comes as no surprise that 2013 was another banner year when it came to holiday retail spending/buying on the web. The major leading digital business analytics firm comScore reports that between November 1st and December 31st – over $46.5 billion was spent by online shoppers. They also reported the two busiest days were Cyber Monday and the day following it, with a total of $3.15 billion spent.

For those like me who are heavily into affiliate marketing, this is one of the best times to rack up sales and earn commissions. Shoppers are simply in the right mindset to buy, and more of them are now purchasing their items and gifts online. Affiliate marketers have to take advantage of this “feeding frenzy” and get their sites or affiliate links to the forefront with extra advertising, more content creation and timely posts.

Like past years, this is the time to do that extra advertising and increase your spending. This year I did a press release each day via PRWeb during the weeks around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I have always found it beneficial to create content that’s directly related to these shopping days, heavily promoting any discount coupons and deals from the companies which I promote with my sites. This also creates links/rankings for vital keywords in Google News and Yahoo News around those special holiday shopping events.

However, I just don’t concentrate on the search engines, I also increased my Facebook ads and Tweets to make sure I was receiving traffic from social media sites. Just like other online marketers, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have taught me never to rely solely on just search engine traffic, it can all disappear in the blink of an eye.

That said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that 40% of traffic to retailers this holiday season, came from search engines according to Experian, a marketing services company. Apparently this traffic was down by 13% from last year, perhaps because many shoppers are using Google paid product ads to find the items they want. One also has to factor in the growing influence of social networking platforms and forums on the delivery of online traffic.

Affiliate marketers must also take advantage of these social networks with branded Twitter feeds and at least a Facebook Fan page. Highly targeted ads on Facebook can pay off, and many marketers are reporting good results. For me personally, I didn’t find my FB ads as effective at driving large amounts of traffic as press releases or even the search engines – at least not directly from Facebook but I have seen an increase in direct traffic to my site. This kind of traffic is really hard to judge, but it’s probably coming from more exposure of my brand on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Done properly, one’s social media’s fan/follower/subscriber base should be a year round marketing project, building up loyal fans with relevant posts and informative content. After all, during this holiday season, one report shows a 39% jump in traffic coming from these upstream social networks and anyone doing affiliate marketing online can’t ignore these numbers. On Facebook especially, what has really worked well for me is offering handy free guides/videos to get potential buyers onto my lists and into my marketing funnels. Since everything is based on the “sharing” of content, this content can’t be too commercial, or it will turn people off instead of on to your brand.

Experian also reports that discount coupons are losing favor with the buying public, but I would have to disagree with their findings. Then again, I am a little biased because I have effectively used discount coupons in my affiliate marketing for over 10 years. During the peak holiday shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my promoted companies offer some of the best deals of the year and this is reflected in higher sales. Potential customers are also looking for the best deals at this time, and the affiliate marketer must take advantage.

While all this marketing may make you feel like a used car dealer wannabe, I have always thought of this as a “win-win” situation where the customer gets a great deal and the affiliate earns a small commission. From the beginning, I have always put the emphasis on providing valuable content first and the coupons/discounts as a follow-up or a bonus. If you’re an affiliate marketer and you’re not offering a coupon or discount – just keep in mind, many shoppers (online and off) are postponing their holiday buying until they see these great deals and what discounts each merchant is offering.

If you’re not gearing your online marketing to these special discounts, you may be leaving a lot of sales on the table or for other marketers to acquire. During the holiday shopping season, I simply make sure my subscribers/followers/fans know about these great bargains and we both walk away smiling. And as the above statistics show, more and more customers are turning to online retailers to get the items and gifts they want for the holidays. Affiliate marketers must simply follow the money if they want to survive in this very competitive game.