1. On Line Advertising – Within the Direct Selling Industry we have several on line sites that allow companies to advertise for representatives. Many sites sell banner ads and feature different companies. They often times have a waiting list to advertise so you will need to contact them early in order to get proper placement. Listed below are a few sites:
2. Direct Mail – Designing a product direct mail piece that incorporates a message that highlights the business opportunity has proven successful for many direct selling companies. Mail pieces sent directly to your highly targeted market via direct mail can deliver a terrific return on investment (ROI) when tested properly. We have used two lead data base companies. Reference USA (http://www.referenceusa.com/) and InfoUSA (http://www.infousa.com).
3. Postcards – Product and opportunity postcards are a form of direct mail, but they warrant their own category. Postcards are cheaper to produce and mail than full-blown direct mail packages or sales letters, and they are great for generating leads. We encourage companies to design and develop a process that teaches advocates how and where to use postcards.
4. Yellow Pages – While you might think this method of advertising died many years ago there are still baby boomers that use the yellow pages. In addition the digital Yellow Pages now exist. Yellow page ads need to be benefits-driven, with your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) stated clearly and boldly (remember, this is the one place where your prospects will see your ad alongside all of your competitors). You want your ad to stand out from the clutter. Use a direct response type of ad, and again, free gifts or premiums work well here.
5. Newspaper/Magazine/Journal Ads – Space ads in relevant targeted newspapers, magazines, trade journals and penny savers can expertly target people looking to earn extra income. By purchasing remnant (or previously unsold) space, you can get large discounts. Note that with print media, sometimes you need to provide your advertising designs a month or more before it will run and be flexible on use depending on space available. We recommend having 4-5 ads predesigned and ready to use when the representative calls for remnant placements.
6. Radio Ads/TV Ads/Infomercials – As we look to target different communities, you might be surprised how inexpensive you can get these types of slots, especially if you use remnant advertising. Take some time to get rate cards from different stations and then contact the representatives. When they have remnant space they will call. Often times your first test slots will be highly discounted.
7. Flyers – Encourage advocates to hand out company-approved flyers. Be sure to have preapproved flyers for sale. Make sure the style; branding and contact information is always included. Keep in mind the flyers need to be targeted to include not only product but also your business opportunity.
8. Networking – Your local Chamber of Commerce, trade shows, seminars, and anywhere your potential advocates hang out are all good opportunities for networking. There are several networking business groups to explore. Encourage your best networkers to join these groups to help build awareness of your products and opportunities. www.meetup.com is a great place to start.
9. Trade Shows – Having a trade show booth designed and ready for use is always a good idea. There are many opportunities to showcase your product and business opportunities at local trade shows and BBB events.
10. Door Hangers – Many times you can engage young people in helping to distribute flyers and door hangers. If you have them designed and available people will use them. The key is educating people on there use.
11. Card Decks – These stacks of index cards are mailed to targeted audiences. Each deck can contain anywhere from 50 to 200 cards or so, each with an advertisement or coupon. They may also double as a business reply card on the back. Since your ad is mixed in with tons of others, it’s especially important to have a great headline and layout that will stand out from the clutter. In most cases these are product focused.
Card decks are inexpensive because all of the advertisers are sharing the cost of the mailing. They can cost as little as three cents a prospect for large mailings. Even for smaller mailings, they are generally cheap, which is good for testing. As we each marketing opportunity, doing a complete cost analysis is critical to determine what programs are working best in your area.
12. Value-Paks – Similar to card decks, “value-paks” are little booklets with multiple ads. They are mostly used with coupons, rather than business reply cards. Product focused ads work best and again track results to see what works in your area.
13. Catalogs -Since advocates will be reluctant to purchase large quantities we recommend printing more than you will need in the first initial run and then use as promotional give a ways through incentive contests. Not only do you get a better price through large orders but also your field organization will be more apt to give away if they received them free.
14. Seminars/Teleseminars/Webinars – Product seminars are a great way to bundle up all of your products and sell them from the platform. It’s very inexpensive to rent a space and put on a 2-hour presentation for your target market on something that interests them. You position yourself as the expert, and you get to pitch your products and business opportunity. Be sure to record the event and offer it to other prospects that may not be able to attend the presentation in person.
Opportunity Conference calls are excellent methods to market your product and business opportunity. They can be pure content for strengthening social proof and building up anticipation for a new product to be released in the future or focused on the business opportunity or both. For best results we encourage you to set a specific time each month for these calls to take place so advocates can drive prospects to the calls. If advocates can count on the company to hold these calls they will work to bring their best prospects.
15. Recorded Messages– As a part of your advertizing campaign we always like to have a pre recorded message that people can call into to find out about the company, it’s products and opportunity. This recorded message should be no longer than 10 minutes and be very targeted with a simple call to action. An 800 number always helps to increase calls.
16. Gift Certificates – It’s generally known that people will usually spend more than the gift certificate amount. In fact, when people have a gift certificate they usually bring a friend with them.
Here’s a great way to use gift certificates to get referrals: Send a letter to your advocates with three gift certificates. One they can use for themselves, and the other two they can give away to friends or relatives, which are of a lesser value. They keep your advocates happy (and happy advocates are more likely to speak highly of you to others) and they compound that fact by letting your advocates give the certificates to others, to whom they will sing your praises.
17. Coupons – Like gift certificates, coupons are also a great way to “touch” your advocates and their customers. Be careful to not discount your product or services, instead use other types of promotions. Keeping the value and perception of your products at a premium helps in your overall branding.
18. Contests – Designing and developing the right incentive strategy is critical to your business. We recommend a 12-month calendar of events, coupled with a corresponding incentive contest. People will follow the money so make sure you have carefully thought out your promotions to make sure you are reinforcing the correct behaviors.
19. Celebrity Endorsements – They aren’t as expensive as you might think (unless you try to get Matt Damon or Tom Cruise). The key is that you need to use celebrities that your target market recognizes as such.
20. Event Marketing – Look to become an event driven direct selling company. A 90-day plan is something that many companies endorse. If you can help your advocates create a 90-day plan of action you will be reinforcing a proven growth principle. 90-days is just long enough to get people focused on their goals. Once the period is over you create another 90-day plan. It’s magical and really works.
21. Word of Mouth / Viral Marketing – Get new advocates to become a product of the product. If they can develop their own success story around each product there stories will become personal and more impactful. Teach the art of story telling.
22. Newsletters – Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your advocates. By recognizing their accomplishments, showcasing their success’s and showing their photos you quietly say “your important to us”! Newsletters can be physical or delivered via email (email is obviously much less expensive to produce and deliver).
23. Press Releases/PR- Announcing a new product is a great time to produce a press release. PRweb.com will, for a small fee allow you to publish your own. By doing this you build content for your web site and help to increase you’re on line presence.
An easier way to get PR is to respond to requests that media sources already have for experts. Sign up for a free service like HelpAReporterOut (www.helpareporter.com) and you’ll get emails with media requests that you can respond to.
24. Blogs, Podcasts, etc. – Maintaining a blog or podcast is a good way to get prospective advocates to learn about you and to communicate with them. By building a distributor library of educational materials you help new people learn from those before them. Using podcasts or even videos are much easier for advocates to watch and listen to.
25. Email Marketing – Email marketing, which can include email newsletters, is a great way to communicate with current and prospective advocates. Via auto responder sequences, which are pre-written emails set to go out over a set period of time at specific intervals, you can really influence current and prospective advocates, and get them to purchase and/or purchase more from you.
26. Business Luncheons – Hosting a business luncheon presentation in the conference room of a restaurant has many advantages. With a 60-minute time line you have the opportunity to tell your product and business opportunity story to a very captured audience.
27. Online Marketing – Online marketing includes numerous tactics such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media optimization, aimed at getting relevant internet surfers to learn about and visit your website.
28. Referral Programs – Having a well-defined referral program will help encourage those who are not interested in the business opportunity to still recommend people to the company. Sometimes called connectors, these people may not be interested in joining now but have many friends they can connect you with.
29. Selling and Sponsoring Culture-Everything you do must focus advocates on Selling product and sponsoring others.
30. Power of the Network– Keep in mind the most powerful advertising tool you have is the thousands of men and women who love your products and enjoy the earnings opportunity. Trusting the compensation plan to do its job is very important. If the plan has not been designed correctly the desired results will not happen.