Another great question in my inbox today:
Kelly, I’m very interested in direct sales as a business model because I think that building a downline has the greatest potential for developing a great income overtime. But I want to work exclusively on the internet and I wonder if that is going to work or not. Do I have to hold parties or other events in order to succeed at it?
I’m a huge fan of direct sales. I was a Home Interior’s gal when my son was a baby though you wouldn’t know it by my bare walls today ;) I adore Pampered Chef, Mary Kay and many other direct sales businesses. These ‘ready to wear’ businesses are perfect for many work at home moms.
On the flip side, I’m not a huge fan of ‘networking marketing’ when the emphasis is on the downline rather than products. Those programs are stinky and hurt far more people than they help.
Can you do direct sales entirely on the web? The answer would have to be that it depends on the company you choose.
Some direct sales companies have created such a long list of restrictive rules about marketing on the web that they literally tie their representative’s hands behind their back. Some forbid the use of their business name online. Others allow you to mention them but provide no online marketing support. Some businesses have gone to the length of providing representative websites but then make it against the rules to create web links that point to them.
If you’re serious about building a business online you will want to do research to find companies that embrace internet marketing and give you as much leeway as possible for promoting your self on the web.
You’re looking for a company with as many of these features as possible:
- Great products
- Direct product shipping
- Generous commission structure
- Good team/downline organization
- Ecommerce ready representative websites
- Freedom to market yourself on the web
A direct sales company that is surprisingly web friendly is Watkins. I say surprising only because it’s one of the oldest companies and they are usually the stodgy ones. My friend Melanie has built a very successful Watkins business by taking advantage of internet marketing. Watkins is WAHM 2.0 friendly. Melanie blogs and is quite active on Squidoo, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
Do you have a direct sales business that you find to be WAHM 2.0 friendly? Email me about it, tell me how the company embraces the web and I’ll feature it in a future post