The importance of personal branding in direct sales is a topic many direct sellers ask about.
- What is branding?
- Do I need a personal brand?
- Don’t I already sell for a brand?
- What’s the difference?!
Direct Sales is a unique but growing sales model. Your mother or your grandmother might have only heard of companies like Tupperware, Avon and Mary Kay. Today there are hundreds of companies using a sales force of consultants, demonstrators or presenters to get their products to consumers. There is no retail, brick and mortar store-front to display products or distribution to “stores” for these companies.
Unlike the direct sales company of your mother or grandmother’s time, today’s direct seller can reach far beyond the neighborhood by doing business through social media and the technology of the internet. Text on a screen can be very impersonal, so putting your personality into what you are sharing become critically important to recreate that in person experience. This is personal branding. Injecting YOU into what you sell.
Relationship is of primary importance. As a direct seller, building the relationship with your customer is a large part of your business. But there are a lot of other people out there representing the same company, selling the same products and vying for the attention of some of the same customers, hostesses, and team prospects. Setting yourself apart from those other representatives in your company will work to your advantage. But how do you set yourself apart without shouting from the rooftops (which could actually drive people away)?
1. Stand out from other consultants by showing your unique qualities. Whether you are quiet and sweet, quirky or as funny as a stand-up comedian, amplify that part of your personality to help your ‘audience’ get to know you. As people get to know you as a person (and not just a consultant or demonstrator), they will follow you as their go-to person for your company’s product. Since they could purchase from many others, you want customers to think of YOU when they think of your company. I call this the 3 Ps of Social Content, and you can get my free e-book HERE. Personality, Purposeful value, Promotion. These are the important 3P’s.
2. Personal branding is as unique as you are. Put yourself into your brand by:
- Creating and establishing a look. Choose a few colors that represent you and your brand. Use one or two consistent fonts and graphic designs (your own creations) so that people begin to recognize you by your look.
- Your voice. How you “speak” through social media and the tone you convey shows your personality and allows people to “hear” what you have to say. This is separate from how your corporate office describes or sells your product. You are bringing your way of talking and your sense of humor, your level of expertise about your product.
- Be purposeful about the impression you want your customers to have of you. Decide what you want that impression to be so others don’t make up their mind about you without you standing up and saying this is who I am.
As you share your authentic self and your voice with your audience, you will begin to attract your tribe. This group will be where your potential hosts, customers and team members come from. As you grow this group, realize that you aren’t going to appeal to everyone. If they don’t get your jokes or they’re not engaging, decide to let them go, they’re not your ideal customer. One bit of caution with sharing your personality though: remember if you speak very bluntly or throw in the occasional four letter word some people might not appreciate you being that authentic. But if that’s you and you are willing to own it and handle losing the potential customers that may turn away, then fly your flag and find the tribe that goes there with you.
Be authentic without being too personal. You curate what you want people to know about you. While people may enjoy hearing a little bit about you being a Mom to three darling children, they may not be interested in hearing all about the details of the virus that just ran through your home and what kind of clean up you have been doing. It’s important to know the difference and know where to draw that line. You are sharing your personality, but not all of your personal information.
Add value for your customers in what you share. By providing extra tips and tricks, bonus information or gift with purchase (as you are able), you are providing service beyond the sale which will keep your customers coming back for more. Provide information that your brand isn’t sharing, including tips for using your products. You can also give your followers things your brand is doing but do so in your own voice. If you are sharing the same images and the same copy as everyone else in your brand, you won’t stand out at all. Add your spin on their topic and make it your own.
Be sure to check out the Policies & Procedures your company has regarding use of images and social media. You don’t want to go too far down the path of setting up your own cyber world without knowing exactly what you can and cannot do. However, within those guidelines, do everything you can to show off who you are and why people should be coming to you instead of the consultant down the street.
Remember, your company sells your product. You sell yourself. Make sure your community sees that.