Today, Brenda and Windy answer social marketing questions from small business owners live on the podcast. Today’s questions include how to choose the right engagement posts to encourage interaction in your Facebook groups, how to get your name out to local businesses, and sponsoring tips when you work in direct sales and want to share the opportunity.
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Brenda Ster: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of direct sales social marketing with Sassy Suite. I’m Brenda Ster, and joining me as always is Windy Lawson. Hi Windy Pants.
Windy Lawson: Hey, Brenda… Hey girl, hey!
Brenda: Hey! Today, everybody, is one of our favorite episodes, Ask the Suite, where we answer your listener questions. We solicit over in our Elite Suite premium coaching group for everyone to pop us some questions, and then we choose our very favorite questions of the thousands that are submitted — or the tens that are submitted — and we choose four or five to answer live on our podcast. So let’s get right to it, Windy, who air-who asked us the first question today.
Windy: Alright, Brenda, here we go. Katt, a LuLaRoe retailer from Madera, California asks, why do some engagement posts like silly questions get good reach and response and others, nothing. I’ve been doing getting-to-know-you questions, so she’s been posting getting-to-know-you questions, each week and the first two weeks were great with about 40 or 50 responses and then it was down to five or ten.
Brenda: Well, there is some strategy there. There’s a little bit of social psychology going on here, so Kat, that is a great question. And I know Katt is also active in our Suite Community, so I appreciate her submitting this. So her question is, “Why does… let me start with the first part, why do some engagement posts like silly questions get good reach and response and then others nothing.” There’s a few things going on here in psychology. I wanna talk a little bit, first, about the idea of low-risk social content. Social content that is low-risk, when you’re just getting to know people, low-risk content is gonna be content that is non-committal and non-controversial. So non-committal cont–like if I were to say “hey, Windy, wanna book a party?” Or “who wants to book a party?” And there’s gonna be crickets, right? Because that’s asking kind of for a big commitment.
Brenda: Like I have to book a party? Versus, um, low-risk content — uh, comment with your favorite nail color or something low-risk, right? So, something — something opinion-based.
Windy: Hashtag pink!
Brenda: Hashtag team pink! So there’s, there’s a little bit of social psychology. So without knowing Katt’s exact questions, but I think I can speak sort of broadly to the idea of some engagement posts that a community views as lower risk as you’re starting to warm people up, lower risk content is gonna typically have a better engagement. The other things that we wanna make sure we weave in — and this is, this is the thread that we pull through as related to somebody’s personal branding — we also want to weave in a little bit of personality, our own personal opinion, into some of those low-risk posts, so that people are getting to know you. So this is a tricky line to find ’cause if it comes off as too personal, it actually could be perceived as promotional. And if it’s too vanilla, and doesn’t include any Katt in there at all, then people are like, “well, I don’t even have any context for why she’s asking me this,” and they might ignore it also. So, there’s a fine line that we have to find between the low-risk engagement content, the — a little hint of personality, where you’re weaving in a little bit of your own story or humor or answering your own question, that’s inviting people to come along. And — and so, you know, the next thing I wanna mention is she wrote, “I’ve been doing get to know any questions and the first two weeks were great, 40 to 50 responses, then it’s down to five to ten,” the other thing to consider is if people have already responded, they might be looking for what even, what might be the next type of engagement ’cause they’ve already done sort of a get-to-know-you post. Which means now we start to add in a little bit more ask, more let, maybe less risky content. Or more… more… what am I saying here? Low-risk versus increasingly more engagement that’s part of your community or your personal brand. So I think, Katt, your question is great. It speaks more to social psychology. And at the end of the day, what really ends up happening is if you, and Katt’s really giving some good insight here ’cause she’s literally telling us, she’s looking at her analytics – 40 to 50 responses down to five to ten? If your analytics are saying, “my community is sort of disengaging, I need to change my strategy, I need to try something new.” They’re literally telling you. And the way they tell you is either through their engagement or through their silence.
Windy: You wanna know what your group likes? All you have to do is see how they respond.
Brenda: Right, ’cause if they like it, they’ll tell you in commenting; and if they don’t like it, they’ll tell you in silence.
Brenda: Exactly. And the idea then is to say, okay, I want to leverage the things that are high-engaging and do more of them because then that helps my Facebook reach — because Facebook favors things that we engage on, which is why we comment on something and then see the next thing pop up from that page or group — and that’s literally working within the context of how the Facebook algorithm works. Good question, Katt, thanks for asking. Our next question, Windy, I’m gonna ask you, this is from Michelle, a Vantel Pearls consultant in Whitewood, South Dakota. I have never been to South Dakota. Total side-bar. Interesting, weird little factoid about me, I’ve never been to South Dakota. Now we know. Okay, so this is from Michelle… Michelle says “what are the best ways to get your name out in your local area without spending a ton of money? I use a lot of what you have told us to do in the Suite… I still don’t seem to be reaching the locals like I should be.”
Windy: Okay, Michelle, I understand. I don’t know how big Whitewood, South Dakota is but if it is, if it’s — if it’s, well it doesn’t even matter how big it is. Whether it’s big or small, having a presence in your local community is, you know, some people don’t wanna do all of their business online, they wanna have that local presence, too. When I was actively selling, I did a lot of vendor events. I did a lot of local networking to get my name out there. Some vendor events you can do for — you know they’re not — not all vendor events are the State Fair that cost you an arm and a leg to be in. So there are, there are relatively more, not, I don’t wanna say inexpensive, but they’re just… there — there are vendor events that don’t have the high entry fee that you can still get out into your community. The other thing is actually talking to people. Michelle, are you talking to people? When you’re out and about? Are you letting — are you being, you know, friendly and warm and welcoming and making friends and doing all the attraction marketing things we talk about online, in person, right? Sharing your business with other people when you meet them? I know that it’s it can be hard, particularly, if you’re in a new area. You don’t have a warm market, that you’re working, it can — it can feel it’s an uphill battle, but it can be done. Another thing I’m gonna mention to you, and again, I don’t know how big your community is, however, with Sassy Direct, which is our social hub, you can, by creating an account on Sassy Direct and getting on our directory, you can show up in local search. So if people are searching in your area for what you sell, no matter where you live, but if they’re searching for what you sell, in your town, they can find you that way. So that’s a, from a — from an online standpoint, that’s an easy way of people find you in your local community.
Brenda: Exactly, and I think that’s an important point. Now, the Suite, we do tend to focus almost exclusively on online-based social strategy but it’s re-creating that in-person experience and so many of us have daily in-person activities, whether it’s with your co-workers or with your PTO or with parents at your kid’s school or with your church or with your volunteer organizations, or with your sports leagues. We’re — we’re engaging with people all the time, and that same sparkly attraction is what people are gonna say, “wow, I wanna learn more and I wanna engage with her.” And you invite them, “hey, you know, are we friends on Facebook, come on over and friend me on Facebook,” and then make sure your funnels on your personal profile or working. So there’s a lot of that in-person attraction strategy that’s still working in our daily life, and we have to simply re-create. And now, this is… I’ll be the first to admit, I never leave my house, and it’s sort of become a weird little joke because I never leave my house, so much so that we built — we bought a new house and put the office right in my house, so I don’t have to go anywhere. But I do participate in my kids’ school activities, and we joined a church, and I still talk about what I do, and I still have an elevator speech, and I still give out my business cards, and I still invite people to join, you know, join our community as simply a part of my day-to-day interactions in my local community. And, you know, Windy said something right at the beginning of her answer I thought was insightful. Not every vendor event, is — needs to be the State Fair that cost you hundreds of dollars to join. And when in doubt, create your own and invite people. Invite, you know, offer value to your local PTO, offer value to a local, a church or fundraiser, or philanthropy and donate the hostess rewards, of whatever would be equivalent to hostess rewards for your business, and see if they will help you market in your local community by leading with value to a fundraising type of organization and be the organizer. Be the leader to — be the leader in your community to build the relationships in your local community by truly leading with value. And it doesn’t have to be expensive when you’re trying to seek out vendor events. One of the things we hear a lot is vendor events are so hard to find. Yeah, they are, ’cause there is a lot of competition for them. When in doubt, make your own. Swing to the other side of that pendulum.
Windy: We — we’re all DIY up in here. Can’t find a vendor event, just go make your own.
Brenda: Just go make your own! No problem, no pressure!
Windy: That was a great question, Michelle, thanks for asking it. Alright, Brenda… This one for you — is for you. This is from Char. She is a Ruby Ribbon consultant in Castleton, North Dakota. North Dakota and South Dakota today?
Brenda: Well, I’ve never been in North Dakota either. Now we know. So they need — they… I think we need to, we need to plan an event in the Dakotas.
Windy: The Dakotas are representing.
Brenda: They really are today.
Windy: So Char asks, what are your sponsoring tips — what are your sponsoring tips when your kit is not “kitnap-able”
Brenda: Oh, you know I love sponsoring.
Windy: I know you do.
Brenda: And I love Char, I know Char. She hangs out over in the Elite Suite. I love all, I love talking sponsoring. Okay, so this is a really great question, and this applies to everybody, whether your kit is a higher price point, whether it is something that’s simply not personal use-able… ’cause you’re getting a sample selection of something. And sponsoring in — at its core, sponsoring is about offering value to the prospect. And if you have a kit that’s not “kitnap-able,” and I’m all about, you know, saying, “let’s maximize our value by paying– by getting the kit and, you know, getting more than the cost of your retail kit.” So there’s a strategy there. Now, if your kit is not “kitnap-able” there’s a little bit of a different strategy but it’s still based on the same premise of leading with value. And it’s a little bit of a different idea. And the — and it comes down to this concept, you need to separate the price of the join from the value of the opportunity. And here’s what I mean by that. So, whether your join is $150 or $5000, it doesn’t matter, if your join, that’s a discreet price, and the price gets you a box of inventory or product or samples, or whatever your price of your — the box on your front porch is going to be. The value of your opportunity, however, is priceless. So you need to show, in your marketing, the value that is priceless to you. Because in all those other things that make it priceless, and those other things might be the community, the empowerment, the leadership, the social skills, the financial benefits, the things that you have gained through the value of your business. So it’s a little trickier because you have to expand your value offering to basically say the kit, the price is different from the value. The price is a discrete number. The price is $79, $159, $2000. But the value is priceless. And if it wasn’t priceless, you wouldn’t be doing it. Because we know that by virtue of you still doing it, by virtue of you still selling it, you truly believe the value of your opportunity is more than what you paid to join. We know that already. I don’t even have to ask that, we already know that or you wouldn’t still be selling it.
Brenda: So the value, you have to define what is the value of all the other things wrapped up in your opportunity. So, and like I said, all those other things are what you showcase in your social content. Because somebody out there… and this is an important point I’ll share a story. We talk about it in our sponsoring, when we do sponsoring-specific coaching and it’s — it’s very passionate to me, okay? When I joined a direct sales company, six years ago and, you know, changed the entire trajectory of my entire life — it truly did. And I was corporate, I was the senior Vice President. Nobody ever looked at me and said, “wow Brenda needs the blessing of direct sales in her life.” Because I didn’t look at a face value, like I needed it. I had a great job and a big salary and happily married and a young family and everything on social media is all glossy and shiny and happy. Behind the scenes, I was miserable in my job, and I couldn’t afford to leave, because I was kind of golden handcuffed to a job that I was paying our mortgage and… and I was on anti-depressants, and I was sad and crying all the time because I was traveling and I was away from my kids. So behind the scenes, I really was miserable and needed what direct sales, offered? I didn’t even know I needed it. I didn’t even know it existed, but because nobody looked at me and said, “wow, she needs the blessing of direct sales, let me show her the value of what it could bring her,” I never knew, so I ended up — I was a kitnapper and I spun that into value ’cause it truly changed my life, it changed everything about how my family lives from how I work and when I work and our financial stability — it changed everything for me and it’s all based on not a kit that I bought or a box of product or even necessarily the small side of what would call a business opportunity. It was about the value of the pict — what my life could become if I put the work in. And the value was my future and my children and my financial stability and my priorities and, and the community and personal development and leadership. And now I really climb up on my soapbox when I talk about how passionate I am and why I love this question, because it’s truly about separating the price of the join from the value of your opportunity and then extending that just a little bit, and Windy we’re not gonna have time for more questions but I’ll talk all day about this one, cause I love this question. The other thing is, and this is where a lot of people also in direct sales specifically get hung up, is they don’t wanna offer the opportunity because they don’t think somebody will say yes. I was somebody who desperately needed this business and didn’t know it, but I didn’t look like I was the person who needed it, therefore nobody would offer it to me, right? Sort of a counter-argument there. And it turns out I’m really, really good at this kind of business, who knew? Because this is literally in my wheelhouse. But nobody would offer it to me because I didn’t look like I need it. So now, let’s fast-forward just a little bit; I’m exactly the kind of person you want on your team because I have a business background, I am motivated, I’m self-directed, I have business skill. I understand sales and marketing, I’m the kind of person who could benefit from the value of this kind of opportunity. So, what I’m trying to say to Char’s question is if we are not offering our business opportunity and sharing the value, not just the price of the kit, but the value of all those other intangible things, we are denying somebody — we’re denying our prospect — you’re denying me six years ago, the opportunity to make our own value-based decision, and that’s a really powerful thing when you really think about it. You’re denying someone the opportunity to make their own value-based decision because you don’t know what’s going on in their own life, you don’t know what they need behind the scenes. You don’t know that I’m crying every day after work because I’m so stressed out about my day job or that I’m traveling too much, or that I’m trying to pay off debt, or that I’m trying to pay down something. You have no idea what might be going on behind the scenes of someone else’s life and the value of what you offer could be life-changing for them. But you cannot make that decision. You are — you can’t make someone else’s value-based decision. So if you truly believe — now I sound like I’m preaching and I kind of am — but, you know, if you truly believe that the value of your opportunity is life-changing or priceless or valuable, it’s quite literally your job to share the value of what that is and let someone else make their own value-based decision.
Windy: Because what kind of friend would you be if you didn’t offer?
Brenda: Mm, exactly.
Windy: You don’t want your friends to have all that goodness?
Brenda: Right? Which is why I mean, I joined a direct sales company as a kitnapper six years ago, and now I tell everybody, I literally tell everybody how this business can change your life. And we see it happening every day. I’m out there, Windy and I are out there championing the cause of how to market your businesses well because we truly believe it will change your life if you let it from the inside out.
Windy: Church with Brindy.
Brenda: Totally true. Oh my gosh, so Char, I love that you asked. I hope that was valuable, and I am sorry it took me an hour and a half to answer that because I love this topic, I get myself all wound up on sponsoring.
Windy: Char is gonna be grateful for that answer, ’cause that was a really good answer.
Brenda: So, I truly, I mean I will preach that from the mountain tops because I believe no matter what you sell, no matter what the price point of your opportunity is, it’s still based in value. It’s still… you have to believe that value, you have to package it up and you have to sell the value. You’re not selling the kit, you’re selling the value. Okay, hey, Windy… let me ask you a question. Stacy, a LuLaRoe retailer from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, ’cause we’re hanging out in the upper midwest, today. South Dakota, North Dakota upper Midwest all good. Okay. Stacy, a LuLaRoe retailer from St Cloud, Minnesota says, I have a number, a good number of super loyal local customers. I love on them as much as I can with loyalty rewards, but how frequently should I be following up with them or sending thank yous? I feel like if I do it after every single purchase it becomes robotic and not as genuine since I love to make a template and use the — use that the majority of the time if I can. But I feel like if I don’t have decent follow up — but I feel like I don’t have a decent followup for them because they’re always around. So she’s trying to find the balance of community versus follow-up. It’s a really good question.
Brenda: So what do you think?
Windy: I would contend that just because someone’s interacting in your group, that is not a proper thank you. And Stacy, I think this is a really good question, I think I understand — I understand where you’re coming from, if you feel like if you do it after every single person, it’s gonna be robotic. But let me ask you something, would you ever be offended because somebody sent you too many thank you cards? Ever? You wouldn’t. Right, you just wouldn’t it’s never, it’s…you can’t possibly be rude by being too grateful for someone’s business.
Brenda: Yeah, all it is is gracious. Like, thank you very much, thank you so much. And I have, there’s one person I buy from, she’s in our Suite community, and I get a hand-written thank — now I’m not saying, Stacy this is the answer and you should do it every time — but I either get a Facebook message or a handwritten thank you card. And sometimes she throws in a trinket of some kind, just a little something every single time I order from her. Every time. And I look forward to them because then they’re like, “Oh I really just… I know she appreciates my business. That’s what it comes down to. Even though I’m in her group, even though I like her page, even the I’m in her community, it’s that tiny little extra bit of service. There’s never, it’s never too late to say thank you. And it’s never too often to say thank you, right?
Windy: And, you know, having a good follow-up system is so important for your — to continue your business. Now you have — you said you have a great group of loyal customer — loyal local customers, so it’s not so much, your follow there is not necessarily that you’re trying to make sure they don’t forget about you. But really, at its core, follow-up isn’t about, it’s not about us, it’s about our customer, it’s checking in with them, it’s making sure that what they purchased, that it fits. That they love it, that the color looks good. Have you gotten any compliments on it? So I would say, I think — I would agree that you meet a good strategy, you need a good follow-up strategy, but I don’t think you can be too gracious when someone makes purchases from you.
Brenda: So let’s find the balance, then. Let’s see if we can’t split the hair just a little bit on helping Stacy maximize the efficiency here. Because she also mentioned that she didn’t want it to sound robotic or like a template. So I — I think, you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big giant handwritten note, and there’s mail and cards and man the whole thing. A private message on Facebook for a loyal customer that you engage with often can be just as effective.
Brenda: It’s showing that you’ve seen them and you appreciate their value, right? It does — or you can certainly do something that’s more like a system and it’s automated through a system like FIITFU or something like, something along those lines. But I don’t want it to seem like you have to handwrite a card every single time, every time to every customer. So, you can make some efficiencies or sometimes be a little heavier for a bigger purchase, maybe. And then a little bit of a more digital system or a private message or something like that, for maybe a smaller purchase. It’s about finding the right balance, the right efficiency and at the end of the day, making your customers feel appreciated.
Windy: Absolutely. Now Brenda.
Brenda: Good question.
Windy: Yeah, yeah Stacy, good question, thank you for that one. But Brenda, we are leaving the Upper Mid-West and we’re heading to Palm Beach, Florida.
Brenda: Oh hey, that’s don by you. Sort of.
Windy: Down in my neck of the woods now.
Windy: Liz, who is a Beautycounter consultant down in Palm Beach, Florida, asks, if you used to have a very active group but took a break, which my group knew I was doing, is it better to try and revitalize that group or start fresh with a new group?
Brenda: Liz, girl. Don’t you be all starting a new group. Don’t you start a new group. You know what you do? You mea culpa, you say I am back with a vengeance and who’s here to party. You mea culpa, guys. I am so sorry, I disappeared on you for three months, and I’m back. And I am ready to roll. So, and then you dive right into your social strategy, but you fall on that sword, you mea culpa, you post it, and you move forward. If you tip to back in, you’re like, “Ah I… I don’t know if they’re gonna be here, I don’t know, I don’t know.” You go right to the front of the line, you be bold. Say, guys I’m back, thank you for your patience — ’cause especially since you knew that you were taking a break — your group knew you were taking a break. They are likely gonna welcome you back. Now, it might take a little bit of time to retrain them, to get them back to… Oh, Liz? I forgot I was in this group.
Brenda: It might take a little bit. So what we started off with, Katt’s first question when we started this podcast, was, start with low-risk engagement content. So you might need to do a little bit of re-training to get Facebook to recognize your group as being active again and pushing it back up into news feeds. If you’re friends with people in your group, I would also suggest you go out and start actively liking and socializing with them on their personal profiles, do a little bit of warm marketing. I wouldn’t be all spammy and saying, “come join my group and hey, I’m still here,” but there’s no reason you can’t like or comment on their social content, if you’re friends with people who are in your group. Because they’ll be like… Oh, Liz… I remember Liz I like Liz. And not to mention it will help Facebook see you as being active with those people and push that back into newsfeeds. So, but I am personally a fan — don’t disappear and don’t start a new group. I would do a mea culpa. Okay, and be like you guys, I disappeared, I’m back now, I own it, and I hope you stick with me and let’s start from here, and then keep going. That’s what I would do.
Windy: You can do this, Liz. We believe in you.
Brenda: You can do it, girl, you can do it. You can do it. I feel like there’s a meme in there like a Rob Schneider going “you can do it, you can do it.” It’s from some corny movie I can’t even remember which one but it’s like “you can do it!”
Brenda: I don’t remember which one it is, but I can vividly picture that in my head.
Windy: Yea, I always think of Tony Little on the Gazelle.
Brenda: I don’t know what that is.
Windy: What? The gazelle machine. He was like the guy in the 80s, or maybe 90s, and he had like that, he had like that the permed mullet and it was the Gazelle work out bike, and he was like you can do it.
Brenda: I don’t know what that is.
Windy: Okay, well…
Brenda: You literally just dated yourself by saying it was in the 80s.
Windy: I think that — I think that — I actually think it was in the 90s, but he had 80s hair, that’s what I was going with.
Brenda: What? He had a like a permed man mullet. That’s not a good look. Yeah, that’s not a good look for anybody.
Windy: I’m gonna have to find that. Dear podcast listeners, you’re gonna have to be on your own to find the Tony Little Gazelle commercial, but I promise you, I will make sure Brenda has seen it.
Brenda: Okay, or anybody who happens to be listening and stuck with us all the way to the very end and knows what Rob Schneider meme and movie I’m talking about, send me a message because I don’t even know which one it is. All I can think of is, you can do it, you can do it. It’s Rob Schneider doing some impression. Anyway, whatever. Sidebar anyway, guys. Okay, so thank you for Katt, Michele, Char, Stacy, and Liz and the questions we had today, they were fantastic Ask the Suite questions. We do an Ask the Suite podcast every month. So if you liked this podcast, stick around, we will do more everywhere you get your podcast you can find us there on iTunes and Google Play. And if you’re interested in learning more about social marketing strategies for home-based businesses, we have two Facebook groups you can come hang out in. One is the Socialite Suite on Facebook, it is our free open community, and it’s about — really more community networking and support. And then, Windy and I run our premium coaching group called the Elite Suite where we do live coaching every weekday, we have a monthly sale strategy session, we have a lot of challenges, we have a free graphics pack and so much more. And right now you can join the Eelite Suite for only a dollar — that is one dinero for your very first month and learn more about that at theelitesuite.com. As always, thank you for tuning into Direct Sales Social Marketing with Sassy Suite and we will see you in the Suite, y’all. Thanks Windy.
Windy: Bye!! Bye guys!