Content Marketing and Your Direct Sales Business

If you have been around visiting business blog or follow business people on Twitter, chances are you have heard about content marketing lately. It has become the new buzz word but it is an important one for your direct sales business. It is especially important if you plan on blogging and promoting your business on the internet.

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Here are some facts about content marketing.

Content marketing is much more than article writing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, its definition is:

… a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

It is a form of writing that directly speaks to your reader by creating content that will change or enhance your reader’s knowledge and encourage them to eventually make a purchase.

What is Content Marketing specifically NOT –
Is is not a sale pitch in the form of an article. It is not the constant barrage of “buy from me”.

Content Marketing is a smart form of sharing your information with your reader that offers them valuable information on a consistent basis so that they can decide when, if, and how often to convert a sale. By not slamming them on the head with sales pitches, you are going to be much more effective in your delivery of product information and other information that they will want to know. Plus using your content through your social media channels, you will offer those followers intelligent content that they want to read and that they are interested in too.

This is why blogging is so important for your direct sales business! Without a blog, you do not have a format in which to communicate to your online customers and potential customers the intelligent content you want them to read. To convert a sale on the internet without content, that means you are relying solely on linking and ads. While in some formats that will work, for long term success you need a more visible action that is proven to work by millions of small businesses and their satisfied customers.

Case in point… this entire blog is an example of content marketing. Think about that and decide if it works for your business.

Need help? Ask me about my writing services

You Can be Shy and Still Network Your Business Successfully

Some people are scared of the networking process. Talk to them about speaking to strangers and they are panicking!

If you are naturally shy and the idea of going to a business function, shaking hands with strangers and making small talk makes you sweat and scared, it’s okay! Here is a news flash! You don’t have to go to an actual business event to network. There are opportunities to meet new people in everyday situations that you can utilize. Heck, you are probably already networking and don’t even realize it. But check out the following tips to help you network, even if you are shy.

Friends and Family
Many of you tends to hesitate to go to friends and family when you need help with your business. But these are the people that are rooting for you and probably would love to help you succeed. Ask your friends and family to spread the word about your business and the services you offer. Let them know you are not expecting them to buy anything from you; just put in a good word about your business to others. In return, treat them to something special from your inventory or a discount if you can.

Neighbors
You may talk to you neighbors casually from time to time or maybe your best friends. Talking to your neighbors about your business is an excellent outlet or networking and marketing. They may know someone who is looking for your services and in a small town or neighborhood, word of mouth is an excellent way to recommend others.

People You Know Because of Your Children
If you have children, This is the perfect networking opportunity. If you have an infant, you may want to consider joining an exercise group for new mothers. If your child is a bit older, you probably find yourself at the park several times a week. And if your child is in school, you are surrounded by other parents on a daily basis.

as you get to know other parents, take the time to get to know them and let them also know about your services. You can trade resources and offer to tell others you know about their business and they can do the same for you. The next time these parents need someone who offers the type of services you offer, they will think of you.

Volunteer Groups
Volunteering will make you feel good, and it can also help grow your business. You will be meeting lots of people that have a common interest and they will be interested in you and what you do for a living.

Sharing with others about your business does not have to be hard or scary. Networking is all about sharing common resources and cross promoting each other. If you care enough about others and their business, they will do the same for you. No Shyness involved!

Want to Know Your Customers Wants and Needs? Try an Online Survey

One great way to get your visitors opinions on your website, products, or services is through the use of an online survey. The online survey can be done via email or through the web using a link on your site. Using an online survey brings you many advantages as well as a few disadvantages. Let’s look at some information about surveys to see if it is a good fit for what you need.

The participation rate of online surveys will vary dramatically for each use. The average response rate is said to be around 30%, however, some people report results as low as 2% and some claim their results have been as high as 90%.

One huge plus is that online surveys are both easy to implement and cost effective. You also start receiving the results almost immediately after you set it up. This is a huge plus as you can start implementing any changes your visitors recommend right away. Note that your results can be skewed if someone fills out the survey more than one time which can happen.

To get a good response rate you can add your survey in a pop-up window as your visitor is leaving your website. Another tip is to keep your survey page in a similar format as your web page. This way your visitors will know the survey is from you and not a third party.

Make sure to keep your survey short, as many people will not take the time to answer a long survey. Ask only a few questions on each survey for the best response rate. If your first page looks short, people will be more likely to take the survey.

If you would like to further increase your chances of a high response rate, you can offer an incentive. Keep your incentive simple and easy to follow through with. Setting up a digital product as the incentive will easily allow it to be easily delivered and downloaded by your visitor. Be careful with this one though as people will reply for the free item only and they may or may not be familiar with your site or product.

One other option is to set the survey page up on your website and send the link of the page to your mailing list. This targets those that know about your business and are interested in helping you out as they are already a client or customer, or a potential one.

Using surveys is a great way to reach your clients and get their opinion on that they want and need so that you are able to better serve them. Keep it short, simple and sweet and you will get the information and the response you are looking for.