Networking + Marketing Series for Network Marketers; Your Modern Day Ribbon Cutting

Congratulations, you’re in business! Today’s post is the first in our newest blog series, “Networking + Marketing for Network Marketers”. As I mentioned in yesterday’s introductory post, our job as network marketers is to be consistently growing our network of influence, thus increasing our reach and creating a broader audience to whom we can market our products and services.

This is how business is done in the “real world”. The problem is, because most network marketers have never been in business before, they run through their initial list of 20-30 people, achieve mediocre-moderate success and have no idea where to go from there. In other words, they never learn how to grow their network!

We’ll be covering ways to grow your list, as well as mapping out networking and marketing strategies for your business throughout this series. Today though, we are going to begin with that initial list of people you already know… after all, they play an important role in the launch of your business!

FullSizeRender (32)When I was very young, my parents opened up a retail furniture store. I was too young to remember it, but we’ve had a photo of the ribbon cutting hanging on the wall in my parents game room for over 20 years. Our friends and family are all gathered around the entrance, and yours truly was holding a giant pair of scissors. The local newspaper was there (courtesy of living in Small Town, USA) and the announcement came out in the paper the next day.

That was in the early 90’s. This day in age you don’t need a retail storefront + newspaper coverage to launch your business. The world wide web is your store, and social media is the only media source you need to cover your modern day ribbon cutting:

When you launch a new business, your very first step should be to work as quickly as possible through the list of names you already know and let them know you are open for business. I’ve done several launches over the years, and they always begin in this way… the first month is full of reaching out to contacts already in my network, informing them of my recent launch, and asking them how might product, service or opportunity might serve them.

That’s the key: “asking them how my product, service or opportunity might serve them.” After all, that is the point of business: to provide products, services and opportunities that provide value to others.

Here’s a few key strategies you can implement to launch your business:

1. Social Media Announcement: When announcing a new partnership I ALWAYS begin with a social media post. This includes a photo, usually of me and of the products/services I am marketing. When launching my blog, I made the announcement with a video. When launching my book, it was a photo… followed up with a video trailer a few days later. When recently launching my newest mlm partnership, I posted a photo with my starter kit announcing my resignation from my prior company, my new partnership and highlighted a few key reasons why I made the big change [see example here].Think of your social media post as your own mini-newspaper article. Short, sweet, and bold enough to catch the eyes of the news-feed scrollers as they stare bleary-eyed at the screen their holding in their hand. Keep the most pertinent information ABOVE THE FOLD, so those scrolling by with simply a mild interest will recognize what the announcement is without having to stop and “read more”. If your announcement warrants a longer explanation, state the bulk of the announcement FIRST… followed by the details so those who are interested in getting the “whole store” can stop an read in interested.Social Media today is all about vying for the attention of the eyeballs that scroll through the screen. Your post should be eye-catching, and native to the channel in which you’re using. What does that mean? Think “sharing” more than “advertising”. People are on social media to SHARE, not BUY (we will dive super deep into this in a later post)… think of all the graduation, engagement, wedding, new baby, new career, new house announcements you’ve “liked” over the years. Let these posts be your guide as you make your own significant announcement… the launch of your new business!

2. The People Who Love You: I recently heard this phrase and instantly fell in love: When launching your new business, start by making a list of the people who love you so much they would buy dirt from you. What? Genius. These are the people you’re going to call first. After making your social media announcement your next step is to get on the phones and inform your Dirt List contacts of your new business. Let them know what you’re doing, and that you’d love to have their support and help them become one of your very first customers. With these contacts, it really is that simple!Next, make a list of the friends/family you see and talk to regularly. Think about who comes over to your house for birthday parties or football games… who have you travelled with… who do you stand around chatting in the break room with… who are the last 10 people who sent you a text message? These people are your ribbon cutting attendees. In other words, the first people you will invite to take a look at your new products/service/opportunity.Every company is different, so get with your sponsor or upline in your primary company regarding specific inviting language and practices. Follow the system that’s been working for the people who’ve already succeeded in your company.

3. Your Launch Events: The next step in your modern day ribbon cutting is to host your launch events, either live and in person or virtually through social media. These will look differently depending on what company you’re with and what your product/service is, but they essentially come down to the same thing: an opportunity for you to invite the people on your list above ^^ to take a REAL look at what you have to offer! Brian Caruuthers calls these Private Business Receptions, and teaches his team to host one live event, and one virtual event for their non-local network. At our company, we call these BBLs (Big Business Launches) and also host one live event locally, and a virtual event done through facebook.Here’s the key with your launch events: do not do them by yourself! You want to have your launch EARLY in your business… meaning, you will likely not have the business OR product expertise to effectively share about your new venture (yet). This is your time to share your own story about WHY you joined the business, then sit back and let your sponsor or upline shine. You get to listen and learn, which will prepare you to host similar events for your own team in the future!

4. Effective + Ethical Follow-Up: Have you ever heard of the NFL? No… I’m not talking about the National Football League. I’m talking about the No Friends Left Club… and believe me, this is not an organization you want to become a member of. Many people equate membership in the NFL with joining an MLM, however when done effectively and ethically, your follow-up doesn’t have to cause your friends and family to run for the hills every time they see you coming.In business, the fortune is in the follow-up. When you invite someone to take a look at your product or opportunity and they express any level of interest, it is simply good business to follow-up with them in a timely manner, every few days, offering to provide additional information to help them make a decision. If you see this as “bugging” your friends and family, I have one thing to say to you: get over it.Now here’s where the line gets fuzzy: Network Marketers induct themselves into the NFL club when they don’t properly learn how to expand and grow their network, and thus base their ENTIRE business success (or more often, failure) on the response of those first 15-30 people on their list.

FullSizeRender (32)Look again at this ribbon cutting picture. The people in this photo were my parents’ closest family and friends. Many of them bought furniture from their store, both soon after the grand opening and in the years to follow. But here’s the thing… imagine for a moment that my parents never attempted to expand their list of potential customers beyond this group of people. What if, instead of implementing strategic networking and marketing techniques to grow their business, they chose to revisit this group over and over and over again… calling them every few days to ask if they wanted to come in and buy something, or go to work in their store.It wouldn’t take very long before these people… their CLOSEST family and friends… began dodging their phone calls.

You see, the problem is NOT mlm, but the practices many people employ when attempting to market and grow their mlm business.

Let’s get this one thing straight right now: Your business success or failure is in no way depending on the responses of the 15-30 people on your initial list. Whether every single one of them becomes a customer or consultant OR if not a single one buys a single thing from you, it doesn’t matter. Your business success or failure is dependent on your own ability and willingness to consistently grow and market to your network over the first 3-5 years of your business.

So why do we even bother talking to our family and friends at all? Because when we start something big in life, we tell the people we love and care about (and who love and care about us) FIRST. We do it when we celebrate birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings and babies… and we do it when we celebrate business. It’s as easy as that!

Following up with the people on your initial list who’ve expressed an interest in what you’re doing is key. Follow-up frequently, intent on providing good customer service without being attached to the outcome. One of the easiest ways to detach from the outcome of your invitations is to consistently be growing your list of people you know who you can be inviting. When your list gets small, you get desperate. We all do! Effective networking is the remedy for this desperation.

Later on in this series we are going to dive in to some specific ways you can meet new people and grow your list every day. Then, we’ll put together strategies for ongoing networking and marketing both in person and through social media to help you grow your business.

If you got value from this post, please like, comment, tag and share with the people you know who could benefit from it as well. If you are not subscribed to my list, you will want to make sure you become a subscriber BEFORE this series is over, so you can receive my FREE Networking + Marketing Cheatsheet to help you as you move forward. You can subscribe now by entering your name and email below: 

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Jordan Maylea Ramirez

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