This is the best Instagram scheduler I’ve found.
I’ve been testing a site called Later for a couple months now. Apparently I’ve had an account for a couple years but never dove in. I have fallen in love with so many features on this site, that I paid an annual plan. I get ZERO kickbacks from this company, I just want to give you an honest review of a tool I love.
Here’s the features I love:
I need something reliable and easy to use. And I need something that posts for me. I schedule and BAM! It posts for me. Auto posting at it’s finest.
Yeah. Need I say more? It’s free to post 1 post per day to Instagram (or any social media platform you choose).
The hashtag generator is what sold me 200%. I bought in to the annual fee of $190 per year because I wanted the daggone hashtag generator. Was it worth it? Every last penny. I spend a lot of time creating my Instagram posts. And it won’t do me a bit of good without some great hashtags. Time=money. And the amount of time it took me to research my 30 hashtags was INSANE. So this feature alone…is my favorite by far. But it’s on the paid spectrum. And again, worth every penny.
I love seeing the analytics. I love how it’s broken down. I can view all my posts, see which ones are working, which isn’t. I can quickly see the style, the thought behind the post, the feel of it. And then see what’s working. You can see these for free on Instagram, but not anywhere near to the extent you can on Later’s analytics.
I love the emoji search bar and being able to have that right there when I’m doing my Instagram post. It just makes me smile.
Again, I have nightmares of counting hashtags LOL! When I get in Instagram mode, I start scheduling and don’t stop. Having that hashtag counter is a time and sanity saver.
I made a video to show you exactly how to post and show you all the features I love above. You can also watch that here on YouTube:
Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial
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Turkey Trots are one of the coolest things EVER during November, and you need to get a jump on the details NOW!
So if you’ve been around direct sales for awhile, chances are you know all about the Turkey Trot! The idea is that you get 6 people to collect $100 in orders. Then you submit as one big party and divide up the hostess benefits, right? Most of us are experts at this. But if you’re new, it can be very confusing. So to help out our newer consultants, and make sure they can be just as successful as the pros…I made this quick training video in order to show our newer consultants just how to run a Turkey Trot!
But I BET…I can show some old dogs some new tricks too…so don’t think you got this down old dogs!
Throughout the year, they will be named all different kinds of things according to the season or holiday, but the concept will always be the same!
- Snowman shuffle
- Reindeer romp
- Cupid shuffle
- Boo bags
- Summer 6 pack
- Firecracker frenzy
- The name may be different, but the concept is exactly the same!
Watch this QUICK VIDEO to explain how to do one:
And why on Earth would you want to do this?
Let me tell you a little turkey story…
Once there was this customer. She was too scared to commit to collecting an entire party by herself. She wasn’t confident her friends would support her. So she came across this crazy nut job of a consultant, who was offering prizes for collecting HALF of a party. So she decided to give it a try. Because even though her consultant is nuts, she’s kinda fun and it couldn’t be that bad to collect $100 in orders, right?
Just like that…you got her to book a party. You helped her overcome a fear of direct sales that she didn’t even know she had. And now you have a lifelong hostess and happy customer. Along with lots of new gobble gobble friends of hers that want to try next time 🙂
Here’s 5 books you need today.
Not tomorrow, or the next day, or the next…like today. And I’ll be honest here. I listen to audio books. And when I love it, I have to order the paperback because I have this incessant need to highlight anything important in my life. If they made highlighter paints, my kids would glow, for reals.
These 5 books will kick your butt into gear and make things happen.
I’ve been on a kick this month. I get up at 5:15 every morning, no breaks here.
I walk 2.5 miles and listen to audio books the whole time. Why you ask? Because I was a little lost and burnt out. And books always breathe back the life in me.
Yes, Melissa gets burnt out too. I had one of the most successful years of my 10 year career in direct sales. And quite frankly, when it was over, I gave a sigh of relief and said…I’m taking a break.
Say what…yes. For a whole month and a half, I have done what needs to be done. And worked on myself, my family, and my home. And it’s been amazing. But…I’m ready to jump back in full force.
So here’s why you need these particular books:
Sometimes life doesn’t mesh with work. Sometimes work doesn’t mesh with life. Sometimes we try to make excuses to do anything BUT work. And sometimes we use work to escape from life. Yeah, she just said that.
Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden:
This is one of the first books that really catapulted me into action. A book about not taking the easy way out. About what hard work really means and why you need to do it. If you’re in business, this book is a must for the mere fact that you need to hear someone say…PUT IN THE WORK YOU TOOL!
You are a Badass:
I really can’t say enough about this book. I do not like cussing in any public forum. But…I may cuss a little in private. My best friend is from New York, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Just sayin’. However, I have children. My children should not see it or hear it. So you’ll never catch it in my business or social media. In fact, muggles won’t hear me cuss at all. Unless we’re on vacation in some foreign country and my bestie has gotten me intoxicated in public. LOL
But…this book, although she cusses more than 10 sailors in a bar at 2:45 am…is a life changing experience. Literally changed my life. I went from fearing for my future, to planning my future in 24 hours hours. And not just planning and mapping, but ACTION. Like, I did it. I launched Directly Social BECAUSE of this book. You must read it if you can overlook the cussing, it’s worth every cuss word! And then some. You are worthy of more. You need this book.
The Energy Bus:
Oh gosh I love this book. Like, there aren’t many books where you need to read it more than once, but this one you will. This one teaches you how to kick people OFF YOUR BUS! I’m so in. Any book who actually tells you it’s okay to kick ignorant, small minded, negative thinking, negative rearing, people out of your life…is something I will GIFT to people I love. Because we don’t hear it enough. The energy you give, is the energy you will get in return. And the energy that you allow to take up space in your life and around you and your loved ones, will consume you. Whether that’s positive or negative energy, it’s your choice.
This book will change your thought process. Forever. It is a must read and an essential part of growing up. Like, I will PAY my children to read this. Just because they need to hear these words at some point in their life.
Girl Wash your Face:
I recently read this book and have to say that it’s not up ally. It’s girly and emotional and I loved it. It had this element I don’t get much of, and I really needed to plug that into all the kick a$% reading I was doing. I loved the “girl power” messages and the remembering to slow down and like pay attention to your kids and husband part we all sometimes forget, right? No one is immune, we’ve all had to real it back in at times.
So I definitely think this was an amazing read that really balanced all the other material I’ve been immersed in.
Finish: Give yourself the Gift of Done:
Dude. This book. This guy. He’s like my sarcasm spirit animal. He is a no nonsense, say it like is, crazy cool dude. Well, from what I can see. He could be a tool in person (hope not, sorry Jon…), but I’m super impressed on paper and Facebook. He seems like the real deal, and I don’t say that about many people.
He’s a Dad, he’s a husband, he’s working his butt off while trying to inspire others and build his own business. And the words in this book are SO GOOD. He talks about goals in a way you’ve never heard. He gives you permission to fail. But fail forward. I’m actually reading this book right now, almost done. And then I’m going to have to do a video because I am JACKED UP excited about it.
And I know you will be too. If you need a new perspective for your goals, this is it.
So there you have it. Get something done today. Invest in yourself. Get up a half hour early. Or commit to listening to the audios on your commute to work or lunch hour. You will be better for doing it. You will have a fresh new perspective and go get’m attitude. And we all need that from time to time.
Prospecting is about consistently generating new leads for your business, outside of your family and friends.
Who wants to start building business outside of your family and friends? New leads mean new business, new parties and new business partners.
So let’s start with the basics, what is a LEAD?
Lead = Contact info received (to be able to follow up with)
So, if you do not get contact information, you have not generated a lead, period.
You have no means of follow up and that potential lead is pretty must a lost cause.
So how can you start to generate real LEADS for your business?
I train to the “Power of 3” – set a goal to talk to 3 people a day about your company (product, party & opportunity) and generate a lead from them (contact info).
Once again, if you do not collect contact info, it is NOT a lead!
How the “Power of 3” Works:
1. On Sunday night, you would make up 15 marketing bags to hand out during the week (M-F).
2. These prospecting bags should include business info, mini catalog or mailer, a sample (if you offer samples) and some hard candy.
3. Tie the bag shut with raffia or curly ribbon. Don’t skip this step, women LOOOVE this!
4. Add a post it note on the front of each bag.
5. Take 3 bags with you each day, put them on your passenger seat and do not go home until you have handed out all 3 of them! You are going to have to actually get out of your car and talk to people! (Whaaaaat???)
6. The post it note will remind you to get their contact info.
Work the Numbers:
If you did this every day, for 5 days a week, you would generate 15 new leads a week, or 60 new leads a month. Statistics say that 3 in 10 will buy or book from you and 1 in 10 people will join your team! Is it worth you taking the time to do this every week? ABSOLUTELY! Imagine how great would that be for your business! And if you are a Leader, you can always encourage your Consultants to do the same.
My 90 Day Challenge to you!
Try this technique out for the next 90 days (basically Sept-Nov) and see what happens in your business! I guarantee it will be worth your time, but you must commit to making the prospecting bags up weekly and follow up with those you give them to within 2-3 days each time. We are only talking about 3 people a day, you can do it!
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Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial
Have you ever done a RESTAURANT Party??
This is so much fun and so easy to do!
I recently went to one held by another direct sales company (at an Applebees Restaurant) and was SHOCKED at how well it was going for her!
I am a people-person, so I started conversations with the other guests there and they were talking about what a great idea this restaurant party was because there was no “sales pitch” and they could come and go as they pleased, and could eat dinner or get drinks if they wanted to! How awesome is that??
This consultant basically had 2 parties going on at the same time, with 2 different hostesses.
She didn’t even have it in a back room or anything, her party was at 4 tables near the back of the restaurant, but still in the dining room. One table in the middle had a simple product display. So what do the hostesses love about it? Well, you know me, I totally asked them! They said they loved being able to host it somewhere NOT at their home, where they didn’t have to clean or cook, or kick out the hubby and kids for the night! It more like a Girls Night Out where people stop by during a 2-3 hour time frame. This restaurant offered 1/2 price appetizers during a certain time period, so the hostesses each ordered a few for their individual tables. When the guests came in they sat down for a bit with their hostess, had some appetizers, maybe got themselves a drink, checked out the product display, grabbed a catalog, asked questions, placed product orders and left (or hung out)! Fast and simple! In fact, it turns out that most of them were actually on their way home from work, so they just stopped by on their way.
Top 5 reasons to host parties at a restaurant:
1. Free or cheap venue (especially if you hold it in the regular dining room)
2. Open house style, people come and go as they please!
3. Food — potential 1/2 price appetizers, drinks and hostess can buy or guests can buy themselves
4. Super easy for the hostess — no cooking, cleaning or kicking out family
5. Perfect “girls night” feel
This is a great out-of-the-box booking idea, something different.
What have you go to lose? Choose your favorite restaurant, I am thinking a local Mexican place margarita specials is gonna be my go-to place! Who wouldn’t want to come to that?? 😉 Why not start by just hosting your own party at the restaurant? In fact, maybe you book one every month during the first week of the month to share new products, specials, etc and invite your entire customer group and friend/acquaintance circle to your local Girls Night Out event.
Don’t forget to join DIRECTLY SOCIAL on Facebook for more tips and tricks!
Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial
Every week I call Consultants and every week I am leaving voicemails that I am not 100% sure that I am reaching the right person.
Why do you say that Melissa? I’m SO glad you asked!
Because I get things like “Yeah – it’s me, leave me a message!” Who is me??
Your outgoing voicemail is a business basic and a top priority!
Here are some quick DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to your voicemail message.
“Hey there! Thanks so much for calling, this is Susan Smith with Cupcakes R’ Us! I am sorry that I am unable to take your call right now but it is very important to me. Please leave your full name, phone number and best time to reach you and I will return your call as soon as possible. I look forward to talking with you soon….”
Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial
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Summers are just crawling with lots of awesome local vendor table opportunities.
People are out and about and you can really take advantage of the inexpensive, outdoor vendor tables at fairs, community festivals, art shows, wine festivals, carnivals and more!
I have been to more than my fair share of events over the last 10 years and I’m STUNNED at the vendor table set ups many times. It’s like people just decided that morning, “Hey! I think I will go set up a booth today!” They’re messy, overcrowded displays that honestly look like yard sale tables! Let’s talk about 3 important steps when it comes to planning for a booth event!
1. Design with Purpose:
When you are talking about your booth layout, you need to design with purpose.
How much space do you have?
What do you want to have happen in that space?
Do you want a U-shape where customer physically “enters” your booth space?
Or do you want to have one single table out front?
Chairs or no chairs?
How many people can be in/at your booth at one time?
Where will you take orders?
Where does the excess stock and the carrying tubs go?
You need to think this all through long before you are at the event. I have been so many vendor events before where I completely skip over a booth because how they have it set up does not work, it is not welcoming and it is just awkwardly set up. Draw it out in advance or better yet, set it up in advance in your basement or office so you can get a good look at it and what you are thinking, sometimes you just need to “try it on” and see if it fits, kinda like that outfit you thought was amazing until you actually tried it on in the dressing room. What you think looks good in your head doesn’t always look good once you try it, right? Take the time to make this right!
2. Decorate with Intention:
People are attracted to your vendor table by what they see when they first glance at the table. People will judge and decide whether they will approach your table in the first 3 seconds of seeing it. You need to really UP your decor game. Spend some time researching tablescapes because that is basically what you are building here.
Every inch of your tablescape (and your booth as a whole) needs to work together and be visually stimulating. Pick a theme for your table. For example, this summer you could do a Fun in the Sun theme and feature a large beach towel as your tablecloth, sand buckets to hold catalogs, etc. Think outside of the box, stroll down the summer aisle at the Dollar Store and get creative!
3. Dress for Success!
Anyone who knows me know that I am not a dress up girl! I like to be totally comfortable, you will never catch me at a vendor event in a dress or even in professional dress because it is not in my personality, but you will always find me dressed for success. I ALWAYS wear logowear like it is a uniform when I do my events. I want people to know what company I am with as soon as they see me, whether they are coming to my booth, or if they see me out and about at the event.
Just like people judge your table before they approach it, trust me, they are pre-judging you too. Fix your hair, put on a little make up and be ready to meet and greet everyone you see! And let’s be honest, it’s not just them judging us, we tend to pre-judge them to, we all do it!! Make sure you’re dressed for success and you’re approachable and smiling! It seems sad that I even have to write about this part, but like I said, I have been a part of many, many vendor events and I have seen more bedheads and just-slept-in-this outfits than I care to admit.
This blog post was inspired by a recent vendor event where the entire event felt very bland and boring, and I got the impression that the guests at the event felt the same way. People were just kinda wandering around, glancing at booths. I was the most popular booth at the event, which is great for me, but it made me sad to see so many guests just buzz by the other tables without really stopping.
Have FOOD at your booth. Whether it’s a bowl of candy, cookies, popcorn, I don’t care. Have something that will attract people. And KIDS. How hard would it be to print out some coloring sheets and throw a box of crayons in a bowl for kiddos?
And don’t be boring. If you’re doing a theme (cause you should be), relate it to the theme. Do you want to be remembered for boring mints? Or do you want to be remembered for handing out Pop Rocks with a sticker that says “(insert business) ROCKS”. Your coloring sheets for the kids, relate it to your theme. Do something to stand out from the crowd. Crazy sells.
Next vendor event I have, I bringing a megaphone. And anyone who shouts “I love (insert business) gets $5 off their order that day. Why? Because it’s INSANE. And HILARIOUS. And the fun people will DO IT! And when they do, guess what? Everyone will turn around and LOOK at my booth to figure out what the fuss is all about. They’ll wonder why we’re over there having fun and laughing. And they’ll be next.
Have a great week everyone! What is YOUR favorite thing to do at a vendor event? Tell us below!
Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial