Question: What’s stopping your customers from buying a cheaper knock-off version of your products at a pharmacy or department store? Or if you sell a somewhat popular direct sales product, what’s keeping those customers from placing orders from other distributors?
It’s all about YOUR PERSONAL BRAND.
OverPay For (and what you can learn from it)
Take Starbucks as an example. A recent article in Pacific Standard Magazine explored how the inflating cost of coffee is affecting Starbucks customers. Interestingly…it’s not! At least not for customers who order the specialty drinks.
For instance, the profit on Frappuccinos is already so high that it covers the rising wholesale cost of coffee. Starbucks will absorb that loss themselves and STILL make a killing.
That begs the question… why are customers willing to spend $4.35 on a Venti Caramel Frappuccino in the first place? Is it really the caffeinated drink they’re paying for, or the experience?
I think you know the answer.
Hate it or love it, Starbucks has created a genius brand. A tone, a look, a symbol that transforms a cup of coffee into a cultural experience that more than 60 million consumers will splurge on every single week.
The Big Lie of Direct Sales
Don’t ever believe that “the products sell themselves.” It’s simply untrue! It’s a lie that hooks a lot of newbie direct sellers into the business, but makes success almost impossible.
YOU are the face of the company to each customer, and YOU are one of the most important determining factors of the sale. Even if 100% of your sales are made online, your PERSONAL BRAND is still what’s on display.
If your brand is not compelling, customers will not click! They’ll buy the products from someone else, or look for a competitor.
How to Improve Your Personal Brand
If you haven’t already developed a personal brand for your direct sales or MLM business, it’s not too late. Here are 3 steps to help you get started:
1. Be Yourself
Customers recognize authenticity, so just be you! Think about your interests, values, and vision. What makes you excited? How can your products benefit those areas in your life?
For instance, if you’re an outdoorsy hiking/camping/fishing type of person and you sell Kangen Water® water ionizers, find out everything you can about how your fellow outdoor folks will benefit from the alkaline water, and all the convenient ways you can incorporate the water into your hobbies.
Define your specific niche, become the expert, and educate your readers.
The more refined your brand, the stronger you will attract your ideal customer. This is when it goes viral! Your happy customers will want to share what they’ve learned from you in their inner circles, and they will refer their like-minded friends to you.
2. Target Your Customers
Your personal brand will only be effective if it’s targeting your niche market. Using the example above, if you’re establishing yourself as the Ultimate Kangen Water® Outdoorsman Expert, your message might be lost on senior citizens looking for the health benefits of the water, right? So make sure you’re speaking the right message to the right audience.
This is what Attraction Marketing is all about – understanding your ideal customers, targeting them with thoughtful social media promotion and marketing, and establishing your brand as the authority so they come to you first.
3. Speak Your Voice
What does your voice sound like? Everything you write – blogs, social media posts, emails, etc – should sound exactly like you. When your customers read your words they should feel like they’re talking to the real ____ (insert your name). This isn’t the time for formal language (unless speaking like a Harvard professor is your thing). Customers are seeking a personal relationship in this transaction, so ditch the impersonal writing and infuse everything with your very unique voice.
4. Design Your Buying Experience
When you walk into a Starbucks, you know exactly what to expect. Nothing should surprise your senses in this predictable setting – the background music, coffee aromas, earth-tone colors, comfy chairs and couches, etc. Every fall, millions of people line up to purchase their first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. And in all 20,891 locations, the order and experience of your coffee transaction is exactly the same.
Your customers should have a similar experience when they choose you as their distributor or consultant. Give them many reasons to talk to their friends about you. And remember, it really is okay to be predictable!
Here are some ideas:
- Direct customers along a logical sales process: website content should lead to the opt-in, follow-up phone call should come after the first Welcome Newsletter, etc.
- Brand your business with your own logo and slogan
- Make customized gift tags for product samples
- Purchase personalized professional stationary, flyers, magnets, bumper stickers, etc
- Post a blog article the same day(s) of the week, every week
- Post a Funny Friday Facebook Photo every week, featuring your customer’s humorous photo submissions
- Throw the same seasonal events, parties, and promotions every single year that keep people talking. Wouldn’t you want to attend a 5th Annual Winter Solstice Party with free giveaways?
How have you developed your own personal brand? Let us know in the comments below.