But first let’s talk about why I believe it is the enemy to majority of consultants when starting up your business.
You’ve gotten that bright pink new box in the mail and you are ready to tell the world all about it. This is a good thing! Take a picture of the box and post it on your personal profile and tell everyone how excited you are for your new business adventure!
But…..beware of jumping on board to make your VIP Customer FB group just yet. This is the #1 mistake I see in so many consultants and why I believe many of them FAIL. Yes I am going to say it again because it is worth repeating. The #1 reason I see consultants FAIL is because of their excitement to make a VIP Customer FB group.
But why? It is so easy to find so many pictures and ideas and fun games. The Thirty-One FB groups out there to get ideas and photos are endless. And then don’t even get started on Pinterest and the infinite number of ideas there. Yes, when done well a customer group can be amazing. But we will talk about the good parts later. Let’s get back to the reason it will make you FAIL.
Here it is. Here is the down and dirty reasons I believe you should STOP right there and wait for your customer group or at least know why I think it can FAIL you.
- It is a Crutch.
- It is a False Sense of Hope.
- It is Lazy.
- It is truly an art form that is VERY hard to learn.
- Your friends and family truly don’t care about it.
So let’s break these down one by one.
- Crutch – Most of you will see it as your way to communicate with everyone instead of taking the time to reach out to your family and friends as individual people that you care about. I can not tell you enough how much the key to this business is RELATIONSHIPS. The only way you are going to build relationships is if you pick up the phone, send out personal texts or personal messages on FB that mean something or meet face to face. These are all personal. A Book With Me Now picture in your FB customer page for 200 people to see is NOT PERSONAL. Posting on FB is taking more time than you realize too. How much time did you just spend searching for that picture? Did you get distracted and find something else shiny? Did you end up scrolling through your feed when you swore up and down you were just going to get on FB for business? The only way you are going to really book parties consistently is if you build relationships and you personally ask. You can not let your FB customer group be your crutch to the outside world. You have to get personal. You have to.
- It is a False Sense of Hope – I can not count the times I have been talking to a consultant who is down in the dumps because she can’t book a party and I ask questions and do some digging only to find out her only means of doing so is by posting on her FB Customer group page. She then proceeds to tell me how she has no interaction in her group. No one plays her games unless she is giving something away. No one likes the posts. No one comments. Her friends are duds. They just don’t do anything. Well, from a director’s stand point I will be blatantly honest here. I want to pull my hair out!!!!!!! I want to scream from the top of my lungs and tell you to shut it down. Stop right there. But for starters we wouldn’t be off to a very good start with our relationship and you would probably think I was crazy. (And I am crazy but you will learn if you haven’t already that I am a different kind of crazy. Not usually mean crazy. lol) Secondly, I have to own up to the fact that I failed you. I didn’t teach you the rights and wrongs about FB and how hard it truly is. You see the thing about your Customer Group on FB is that the basic idea you need to have in your head for the moment is that it is a COMMERCIAL. When was the last time that you were sitting in your living room watching a commercial about Laundry Detergent that looked so good to you that you stopped watching the movie you were watching, got dressed, got in the car, went straight to the store and bought that detergent right then and there because you just had to have it? You have never done that I have guessed. But the next time you went to the store you did remember that you wanted it and you bought it. Well, I do like to think our totes, bags and purses are way more exciting then laundry any day but the point is still the same. I am more than likely not going to see your post in your customer group about booking a party and right then and there say, “yes ME ME pick me”. I may however start to get the idea in my head and think about the last tupperware party I was at in 1999 and how it would be fun to have a party again. Then before you know it. “Oh look at how cute Susie Smith’s new baby is. She will be such a great mom.” “Why does John Johnson always have to post about political things?” “No, I do not want to feed your animals in farmville”. Distracted. They moved on to something else. BUT instead if they are in fact seeing your commercials you have to ask them personally!!! Personally!! Texts, calls, personal messages and in person.
- It is Lazy – Let’s be really honest here. You don’t want to work. You don’t want to pick up the phone. (OK, that one is more of a fear more often then not then just being lazy). You think it will take forever to text each person that you know or all of your customers. This is my big buzzer here…….AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Wrong!! Remember how we talked about how you would get distracted on FB while you were looking for all of these beautiful pictures? Well it happened again. In the amount of time it took you to look up that picture I am willing to bet you that you could have sent out at least 50 texts. I am telling you copy and paste can be REALLY fast. Make a nice personal message and copy and paste it but take the time to quickly plug their name in the message. It is super easy. I swear. If you like lazy. This is lazy but effective!! And if you want to make it personal. Be personal!! Ask them about their day. Ask them about their kids. Ask them about work. Asking questions is more likely to get a response. NO more excuses. NO more being lazy. Let’s do some real work and message and call people personally.
- Art Form – FB is not easy. Like google we don’t know how to crack all of the codes. We don’t know all of the reasons it shows you some people’s posts and not others. There are times of the day that are better to post then others. There are advertising techniques that work for one generation but not others. There are things that some think are interesting and some that aren’t. There are rules and rules and more rules. The list goes on and on and on of how to be effective on FB. And here is me being super transparent. I have been in this business as of today 3 years and 5 months and I still have hardly a clue how FB really works and how to be effective in my customer FB group. But in 3 1/2 years I have averaged 6 parties a month with $3000+ a month in personal volume (PV) and have become an Executive Director. I did NOT do this by putting all of my bank in my VIP Customer FB group. I got personal. I still get personal. I build relationships. I like people. I talk to them. I message them. I show them I care. If you are ready to study FB hard and find some books and seminars and teach me all about it I am all in! Please do! But until we really know what we are doing let’s just dabble in it. Let’s not put all of our time and efforts into FB.
- Friends and Family Don’t Care – This one can be hard to swallow. But they don’t. They bought a bag from you. If you were lucky they had a party for you. They smiled and told you good luck when you told them you were starting a new business. But on the inside they more often than not said, “She is not going to make it. No one makes any money in these businesses. She is just going to end up with a bunch of bags,” In fact did you ask them if they wanted to be in your customer group? Or did you just add them in there because you assumed? Let’s go back to the name of the group. It is called a VIP Customer Group. Do you see that name Customer. That is who needs to be in this group. Customers. People WHO have asked to be in the group. People that WANT to be in the group. People that YOU have asked to be in the group and they said yes. Once you get to the point that you have a large group of customers in the group that are there because you want them to be that is where it gets fun. That is where you will get more interaction. Not a lot. Not enough still to rely on for your business. But a good start.
So there it is. The many reasons I think FB is not going to help you but instead assist you in FAILING. It sounds ugly I know. But I have watched it all time and time again. There are nothing but true stories here. No fiction in this writing.
Ok, so I promised you I would tell you how it can be good. Again if I am being transparent here I am not that good at it either. But I will share with you the few things I do know.
Oh, and please remember that it is a commercial. You are working on really good commercials. Entertainment per say.
- People like “real” pictures.
- Be sneaky.
- Use the 80/20 rule.
- Do a giveaway.
- Have a sale.
- Be consistent.
- Bundle parties.
- Opportunity Events.
- Have fun.
- Don’t get your feelings hurt.
- Real Pictures – Plain and simple. We are drawn to pictures of kids, pets, beautiful scenery, etc. They will like pictures of your items in use. The inside of your purse. What you put in your Large Utility Tote. Your kids taking their lunch to school in their thermal and yes, even what is in it. Be real. Be authentic.
- Be Sneaky – Every chance you get have thirty-one in your pictures. Taking a picture of your kids at their ball game. Have the thermal sitting next to them. Taking a picture of a road trip. Post the bags that helped get you there. Put it every where! And don’t forget the jewelry too.
- 80/20 rule – The rule of thumb for your business on FB is to post 80% of personal/fun/recipes/orgnaizing/diy/pinterest/helpful/funny type posts to the 20% selling/booking/recruiting. This means that 8 out of 10 posts are NON thirty-one. Yup, non thirty-one. You are instead helping them with recipes and DIY. Or posting funny memes. Having fun! NON Thirty-One. You then get 2 of 10 posts to talk about thirty-one. The end. You can not drown them in thirty-one.
- Giveaway- Now don’t give away the bank but it will draw the people. Be consistent. Some do it once a month. Some once a week. It is your business and you decide. But make it purposeful. Do it because they add more people with permission to your group. Or do it if they order “x”. Or play some fun booking game. But this will keep people paying attention and waiting for the fun. Change it up. Do not keep doing the same type of games either. And DO not giveaway the bank. Give discounts on orders. Or extra stash you have laying around.
- Flash Sale/Auction – Once you have established a stash like many of us from retired items, extra specials and free items you are ready for a sale. This will again draw people to your page like crazy if you do it right. Treat it like a party. Hostess Coach yourself just like you would any other hostess. So yes, text, call, message, etc. DO Not rely on just the event you make!!!!!!!!!!!! Read this blog called the Death of the FB event (yes I sound like a hate FB but I do actually love it for other reasons lol) to see all about hostess coaching. https://teamdazzlingdiamonds.com/2015/03/18/death-of-the-fb-event/
- Be consistent – I can not tell you enough how this is key to your group. You can not go from posting 3x a day to not posting for a week and then wonder why no one pays attention. When you are really ready to take FB seriously you have to invest in a program like cinchshare.com or postmyparty.com. Plain and simple. You do not have the time to post 3x a day and be consistent. You don’t.
- Bundle Parties – These are part of being consistent. You post the bundles all in one album and hold a party of your own for 3-4 days over the weekend and giveaway the hostess benefits like a mystery hostess party. Do you get huge sales every month from these? Sometimes but sometimes you get nothing. But remember it is a really good commercial. I bet they looked. And they saw more items that interested them. You planted a seed. Do it every month like clock work. Be consistent. Mark your calendar and put the party in your back office every month.
- Opportunity Events – These are a surprise element. You never know if you don’t ask is the motto here. Hold an opportunity event once a month or every other month in your group. Trust me on this one. You will be surprised at who joins in on these. Some events will have none. Some events will have tons. But the key here is consistency. A good commercial again.
- Have Fun – Key element. That 80% has to be fun and interesting. Use pinterest. Find groups that you like and copy them. I am part of some coupon groups and such that I find fun and interesting because they give me great tips. Find things like this that interest you and copy them. But make it FUN.
- Feelings Hurt – It isn’t personal. If they aren’t liking or commenting it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It means something isn’t working right. You haven’t broken the code yet on how to make FB work for you. It isn’t easy. It can be done. But it is a commercial it is not feelings.
Well there you have it. My long winded, somewhat rant about FB. Will you let it FAIL you?
Executive Director at Thirty-One Gifts
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