Kelsey Humphreys chats with Lindsay Moreno about her advice for other franchisees or MLM business owners.
Lindsay Teague Moreno is an author, pod-caster and business owner whose business has been known to bring in seven-figure months. In just two short years, she built a seven-figure personal income selling Young Living Essential Oils, using only social media. She did it with three little girls at home, learning by example from her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, all entrepreneurs. (If you’re wondering, the latter did hair out of her home, dying and then straightening it using a literal iron.) She has since built nine businesses surrounding her Young Living empire, some of which she sold for millions of dollars. Social media may open many doors.
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Her Amazon bestselling book, Getting Noticed, is a road map of how she grew several businesses online from scratch. Her podcast, Boss Up!, only recently published its twentieth episode and already has over 1 million downloads. Last year, CNBC featured Moreno’s sales business, which is projected to bring in $250 million this year and has grown to a team of over 400,000 members in four years.
Floored by her success and skeptical of the multi-level marketing (MLM) model, I was excited to chat with her about how she did it and her advice for other franchisees or MLM business owners. Here are my top seven tips for social selling success from my conversation with her.
Make sure you love the brand.
We’ve all seen it happen over and over again in our own circles. Franchises that open and close within the first two years. Friends who are so excited for six months and then never mention their new business again. If you want to truly be successful as a franchisee, distributor or consultant underneath someone elses’s brand umbrella, you must love that umbrella.
“Before you can make a business out of anything, you have to believe in the product that you sell,” Moreno said. “I have a lot of people who will come to me, and they just want to get rich fast …. I don’t spend my time with them, because that’s not what we’re here for. If you want to sell a product, you have got to love it. If you love the product, you can absolutely make a business out of it.”
Find your own way of doing business.
Moreno is successful because she broke all of the existing network marketing molds, especially when it came to her industry, essential oils. This task can be difficult to figure out since your corporate office will have its own set of guidelines and standards, but if you want to stay passionate about your business, you have to put your own spin on things.
“I don’t think that you have to run your MLM business like an MLM business. I don’t,” she explained. “I didn’t go in with any pre-existing expectations about how it should be. I think that the person that’s going to do great at it is the person that walks in and is confident to say, ‘I’m going to do this the way that it’s going to work for me.'”
For the record, Moreno did have her fair share of struggles with Young Living corporate since she had such a strong, fast-growing brand of her own. Over time, they got to know each other better and smoothed out their relationship. Moreno is a risk taker, clearly the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” type — make sure you’re comfortable with the risks you’re taking.
Hustle hard the first few years.
Moreno shared that she would open her eyes and immediately pull her laptop up onto her bed to start working. She worked as much as she could with young kids at home, and asked her husband for the ability to immediately get back to work when he got home in the evenings. “I was working 100-hour work weeks, easy. I was working that much. I’d pick my computer up in the morning, and I go to sleep at 3 a.m. I knew that I had to for these two years.”
The payoff was definitely worth it for the Morenos. Soon, she was able to bring her husband on board, and now the family has complete freedom and flexibility. Ask yourself, are you willing to go all in and all out for the first few years? Because all of my guests on The Pursuit have confirmed, that is definitely what it will take.
Create your own culture.
Now at the helm of multiple businesses with a small team around her, Moreno believes strongly in hiring by trusted referral. She has hired friends or friends of friends that she knew would be stronger in areas she is weaker.
If you are starting a family business with your partner, that plays a huge part in culture and morale as well. The Morenos keep things moving by separating responsibilities and staying out of each other’s way. “The best thing that we ever did was we sat, and we did a SWOT [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats] analysis on each other and on ourselves, figured out what we were good at and what we’re not. Then, we created our lanes. This is what I do. This is what he does.”
If you’re having trouble with your employees or team members, Moreno says you have to check your own attitude. Negativity or positivity trickle down from the top and spread quickly, so make sure you’re setting the right tone and make sure you’re there to help. “My group knows that I love what I do every single day. It’s a privilege to be able to do it. I work for them. What can I do for them? … I want success for them as much as I want success for me.”
Craft your own authentic brand.
Moreno looked around at other oil brands on social media and didn’t like what she saw. She intentionally decided to create her own recognizable brand that was the opposite. Photos were outdated and earthy, so she created new chic photos with bright colors. Others were informative, so she decided to be conversational.
Most people who try to sell online, especially within network marketing, are not creating a brand that attracts ideal customers. “Their sales pitches are bad. Their photos aren’t engaging. They are not conversational. There’s no rhythm for the person that’s reading,” she shared. “Of course, people are just going past everything that you write because there’s nothing there for them.”
Remember that for most products, it’s not business, it’s personal.
“You need to let people like you. They have to connect with you as a person because in reality, people aren’t buying that product [the first time.] They’re buying you, and they need to know you. They have to trust you, and they have to like you. Say, Look, hey, I like you. You like me. We’re alike. We have done things together before. You can trust me. This product is really good. That’s exactly what I did.”
Use social media, not to find customers, but to attract them.
This is Moreno’s No. 1 piece of advice for any and all entrepreneurs and small-business owners. “Be really, really smart on social media. You can do everything faster, smarter, cheaper than ever before on social media,” She warned against the idea that social media is overused and oversatured. “If you’re really smart with it, you can build an audience that’s so captive and loves you and loves everything you do and buys everything you sell.” Her personal tactics include posting five or six fun, personal, non-business posts for every one product post she publishes. She writes posts with a conversational tone and brutal honesty.
“I’m an open book for my people. I don’t hide things. I don’t want them to feel like I am a magical unicorn. I want him to feel like I’m the person next door that can say, ‘Hey, can you help me really quick,'” she added, “I try to stay away from all the things that make people turn off from MLM, and because we were able to do that, we became really accessible to a lot of people that would have never said yes to it.”
Be yourself and share sparingly about the product, and people who know, like and trust you will begin to lean in and listen.
Stick with it.
When I asked Moreno the biggest mistake she’s seen entrepreneurs mistake I was surprised by her response. Simply most people quit too soon. She said if you want to be a business owner, you have to “get some grit.” Don’t believe because one past idea failed, or even your last whole business failed, that your current project will also fail. Most ideas and businesses fail, she says. You have to get through some trenches before you arrive at the flexibility and freedom she now enjoys.
“I always find that whenever something really good is around the corner, that’s the time where I feel the most beat down, where I think, This is not going to work. What am I doing? People are laughing at me. This is really dumb. What have I gotten myself into? I think people walk away when tough things come or things don’t go like the way they think they will. They walk away completely, rather than taking a day a quitting tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day to quit. Today is not the day to quit.”
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