How This Stay Home Mom Found Direct Sales Success – And You Can, Too!
Welcome to the Street Smart Wealth Podcast, show #113. Click the icon, top left (right between to two title links) to open the player and listen in!
Sometimes, it’s easy to look at someone who is successful in Network Marketing and think –
it must have been really easy for them to reach success because of XYZ.
We think this often, without knowing the whole story. I know I sure did.
So, today, I want to share a little of my Direct Sales journey and how it all unfolded, from zero to hero, so to speak….in case you might be thinking it must have been easy for me.
Are you looking for coaching to be successful in your Network Marketing business? Want to also learn how to generate your own leads online? My Inner Circle Coaching Program may be just what you need. Learn more at – JackieUlmer.com/coach
iTunes Show Review Shout Outs!
Shout out to HappyHL, who writes – I recently began working in direct sales. I went to Google and typed in some random wording about this and found Jackie!! I’ve been listening to her podcasts over the past couple of weeks and so many times. I am always inspired by her! I keep hearing “don’t give up” and I keep on going. Thanks Jackie!
Do YOU want a shout out? Do you have people on your team who you want taking action, refer them to the podcast!
How Network Marketing Success Finally Happened for Me
Thanks for taking some time to listen to or read my story on how success happened for me, the successes and the failures. I’m not an instant success, by any means. I am here to paint a picture for you of what is possible, and then to truly help you create a lifestyle business – one you love and that really doesn’t feel like work at all. And, one that provides true freedom – both time and money!
Maybe what you are looking for is to build something you love; do work that is meaningful to you, and maybe even change the world! And, you might even be saying – to heck with all of that, just help me fire my boss and get out of this corporate cubicle!
I have done just that – created a true “pinch me” business – one that I love and that I jump out of bed daily, ready to do more, and reach more people.
So, Whatever your reason is, I can help you achieve it.
I’m so glad our paths have crossed.
First, it’s important to know that I am a very ordinary person, with no special skills or education. In fact, I never finished college. I consider myself “Street Smart”, however, because I am self taught and very passionate and driven about education that interests me. When I started, I had never taken a formal computer, web design or internet marketing class.
I began building a Direct Sales home business (offline) in 1994, and in 1999, I took my business to the Internet. I was an average home based business owner (a mom with two pre-school aged children, a husband gone half the month and a huge desire for more, ha!) before the Internet. I was not setting any records. I had success and did make money, but much of it was a struggle; much of it consisted of ways of doing the business that did not appeal to me.
I made my warm market list; contacted people and developed the skills I needed to talk to people about my business. I joined networking groups, the Chamber of Commerce and did all of the traditional methods you hear about. I struggled with contacting people in the beginning, and never wanted to be someone who chased my friends, family, neighbors and anyone who came within “3 feet of me!” Heard that story before?
I’ve been fortunate in that I had a great career before motherhood and Network Marketing came into the picture. I was in sales in the airline industry. It was a dream job, traveling the world, wining, dining and wooing travel agents and travelers and doing all of this on an expense account. It was a blast.
The problem? It did not mesh well with motherhood. So, I traded in my traveling boots and expense account for diapers and baby talk. I have not looked back.
I did, however, begin to look around, at some point. Motherhood was great, but living on one income is tough. And, my desire to have something of my own led me to begin researching home based businesses.
My father had run his own business since I was very young, and I loved the fact that he made breakfast everyday, was home for lunch, and always able to set his schedule around our many events and activities.
Entrepreneurship runs in my blood and I was determined to find a fit.
After researching different options, I started a word processing business. I had a computer and put it to work.
Small problem – time and money. My income potential rested solely on my ability to produce as well as market my services. Not so easy with a tiny baby.
I went back to my research to determine what would be a better match, without requiring a big capital investment. The options were pretty limited.
We looked at Franchising. Here are some resources on how they compare –
But, that was not going to work with a family, and the cost was crazy!
All roads seemed to be pointing me to a profession called Network Marketing, MLM or Direct Sales. It seemed to be the best option for me in terms of income potential and time freedom. But, all of the things I was reading were not positive. In fact, there were some serious “negatives” regarding the industry.
As I furthered my research, though, I did get excited by the stories I read about ordinary people creating extra-ordinary lives through this industry. I liked the idea of self improvement and developing my people skills further. I liked the “team concept” and the ability to improve my own life situation while helping others do the same. It seemed to be a very equitable system.
Finally, after exhausting all other business options and doing as much research as I possibly could, I decided to jump in and become a Network Marketer.
I was an extreme skeptic when I finally started in the profession. I was leery of talking to my family, friends and others and letting them know that I had joined one of those things. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you felt this way?
One thing I knew, though – I wanted the income and the lifestyle that a Network Marketing business offered. And, I did not want to put my children in day care. This was my “why”, and my commitment to it was all-consuming.
Today, after more than 20 years in Network Marketing, I have made nearly every mistake that could possibly be made, yet still managed to build a multi-million dollar business, and created a downline of over ten thousand with several different companies.
My early attempts at building the business were not pretty. In fact, I would love to have a recording of my early phone calls to prospects, just to prove to people that there is hope for anyone in this business. If you are determined to make it, you will. If there is anything you are struggling with. I am here to assure you that it can be overcome if you are serious, committed and willing to accept nothing less.
As time and experiences ticked away, I improved and learned from earlier “failures.” I learned to use these experiences as educational building blocks and to continue to get better with every day.
About 6 years into my business, I literally stumbled on the internet.
I was aware that DOT COM fever was taking over, but I was green beyond green and it had not yet piqued my interest.
Here’s what happened –
I attended an internet seminar to learn what to do with this website thingie my company was giving me.
I got intrigued and then passionate.
Went to library and checked out every book. Today, I still have a pile of books on internet marketing surrounding me – the latest. I still love Crush It, Launch by Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard’s Millionaire Messenger , Michael Hyatt’s Platform and others.
Never stop studying and being a student.
You’ll hear a lot of debate about “old school vs. new school” marketing techniques in Direct Sales. Both work, and never think otherwise. I do believe that you should always notify your warm market list about your business. Remember this – everyone who goes online looking for a business has a warm market already, and chances are they know someone with a business that might interest them. But, they have not been notified. ****End Disclaimer****
Now, you may be thinking that it must have been easy for me to transition to the Internet; perhaps I already had a computer background. Maybe I already knew the inner workings of the Internet and had a head start. I want to reinforce this point, in case you are doubting your own abilities. The reality is, I knew that the Internet existed; I knew there was a website called Yahoo for finding things (although I never knew how to get back to where I started); and I knew we had an email address, which rarely contained anything of value.
I was just a stay-at-home mom who wanted to create something more for my family and future. I didn’t want my husband to have the stress of supporting a family of 4 on one income. I didn’t want to leaf through travel magazines and wish we could travel, too.
That was it! I was greener than green. Here are words and concepts I knew nothing about –
URL – had no idea what that term meant.
Domain name – See above.
Auto responder – that sounded WAY too techie to even think about. Even lead capture or splash page.
Search Engine, Optimize, Pay Per Click – all foreign terms.
Social Media Marketing – that term didn’t even exist!!!
Here is what I did know –
The facts and figures associated with this growing phenomenon called The Internet was/is staggering. I wanted to be a part of it. I knew it was the answer to my prayers for growing a successful business. I knew this was going to be my ticket to success in MLM. I knew that it was going to take some effort, and it would be the best decision I would ever make. I knew this was how a stay-at-home mom with small children was going to make Network Marketing work!
I was sold. And, there was no turning back for me. I rolled up my sleeves and got busy.
Here’s what happened – it exceeded my wildest expectations. It created exactly what I wanted in a business from home and in Network Marketing and Affiliate Marketing.
It allowed me to toss my advertising and paid leads list; stop hanging out in coffee shops waiting to be no-showed by my prospect; stop spending hours at weekly meetings; and, it allowed me to have my business out in front of big numbers of people without even needing to be physically present.
Pinch me! It was a dream come true, and quite honestly, I’m still lost in the dream! Except, it is really happening.
Here are a few of the benefits of finding people through the Internet; or rather having them find you!
1. More Qualified Prospects – it’s a self help world and people use the Internet to find solutions. Once they land on your website, they are a much more highly qualified prospect for your business because of the way that they located you.
2.People come to YOU – that’s right, they find you through a variety of different ways covered in this book, and they essentially ask you to tell them more about your business. What more can you ask for?
3. Target Marketing – the Internet allows you to find those people who are a likely target market for your business and your products because of the way it is set up. If you make a list of everyone you know, a large percentage of those on your list are not looking and not interested. It’s much more fun and profitable to work with people who come to you already interested.
4. No more overcoming Objections – the three biggest objections in Network Marketing are – is it Network Marketing (pyramid), no time and no money. By using a personal website and the tools I explain here, I never even hear those objections anymore, no less overcome them!
5. Time Leverage – I regularly sponsor new people into my business while I am at the beach, on vacation, sleeping, or anywhere but home, working my business. This happens because I have the tools set up online to find, sort and sponsor team members without having to actually be there. In other words, I don’t go out looking for leads, they come to me. I create marketing funnels and do marketing activities and those activities produce results.
6. Sort in, sort out – people sort themselves onto my site and into my business system online and they sort themselves out, if they are not qualified or interested, by simply clicking out. This is great because I invest my time in serious prospects and don’t waste my time with those not interested.
7. No geographical or time limitations – my business partners are made up of people all over my country; and all over the globe. I am not restricted by time zones, other commitments, etc., in presenting my business to them. They land on my website and preview everything without me!
8. Simple, repetitive follow up, which is the key – an automated follow up system allows me to capture a prospect’s attention, when the time is right for him or her. This is done through an automated email campaign.
9. Low Overhead – the required marketing costs online run around $30 – 70 monthly. Not bad for a full blown, full color “talking” brochure that will sell for me anytime, any place, regardless of where I am. I stress required because you may choose to expand some of what you do as you progress. One or two solid websites/blog and a great auto-responder are the required tools.
10. Finally, and please don’t miss this point – you now have a business that YOU truly own and can take with you anywhere. As much as I appreciate all that the Network Marketing profession has provided for me, it has not come without some costs, too.
One thing I learned is that while I can earn a great income with NWM, and create time freedom, I don’t truly own that business I operate under policies and procedures, and terms and conditions that I have no say over, and they can be changed at ANY time.
Compensation plans can be changed at any time, and the overall structure of the company can be changed, sold and dissected to the point that it may not even resemble the company I joined. I am not in complete control, and I have had several incidences with company changes that left me unhappy and with the realization that I would be starting over.
With my own website, and my own list, I can make whatever changes I want. I was able to easily make some changes on my website, to my autoresponders, and be in business with another company, almost without skipping a beat.
I could still generate leads and build a team. And, over time, I could create products and services to market to my list, and generate my own training and marketing company. I love this way of doing business and now I truly control my destiny, regardless of what my NWM company decides to do. After all, the NWM company is still corporate America itself, and those decisions can directly affect me.
So, I followed the coaching of some great internet marketers, not network marketers. Many are no longer around or have gone on to other things, but the principles they taught me are what I still teach today –
Capture leads there. Build a List!
Develop a relationship with those leads by providing content.
Be consistent and get to know your audience.
So, that’s what I did then, and what I still do today.
Success, even online, didn’t happen overnight, but wow, did it change things.
I soon was sponsoring more every month than I did in a year.
As of July, 2010, I had sponsored more than 1,200 people personally – people who have found me, come to me and requested to know more about my business. People who have sold themselves on a career in Network Marketing and a partnership together. As of the end of 2014, over 1,800 people.
I started being invited to do webinars, speak at events and asked about coaching!
WOW! These were all of the things I dreamed about in 1999, when I sat hunched over that laptop, breaking my back and building my website, ha ha, wondering what the heck a mom like me was doing thinking this would work!
But, work it did, and still does.
So, that, in a nutshell, is my story.
Today I am very focused on coaching and mentoring others to success in Direct Sales, developing a business online and using the tools of social media.
It really is a pinch me business.
1. Decide how serious and committed you are to your success.
2. Make some decisions around how you want to build your business. What methods will you use to reach people?
3. Are you going to marketing online? See the show notes for resource links!
4. Develop a yearly calendar – yes a full year, and then work it backwards into 90 day cycles and then daily action steps.
5. Put your blinders on and get busy.
6. Have faith that if I can do it, or anyone can do it, you can too!
Learn more about building an effective Network Marketing business both online and offline in my Direct Sales Online Coaching Program!
Has this show helped you? Tweet me – @jackieulmer and if you have a question for the show, add the hashtag #JackieUlmer
Good luck in your business
Do you have a question? Ask it at JackieUlmer.com/questions
Until next time – remember this – Hesitation Never Cashed a Check!
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