Using Events to Grow Your Business
- [2:44] What is life for Rebecca without direct selling
- [3:52] What’s so interesting about events?
- [4:52] Should you run events alone or with a team?
- [5:46] How to use social media to promote events
- [6:13] How to identify which event is right for you
- [7:18] Our main goal for events
- [8:01] How are events converting from lead to a sale or recruited as consultant
- [9:30] Events follow up – how to keep them in the loop
- [11:34] Rebecca’s mentors
- [13:03] The benefits of direct selling lifestyle
[0:38] Jen: Today we’re talking to Rebecca Thomas. Rebecca is from an Australian party plan company, and we’re going to be talking about how she uses events to grow her business. Welcome, Rebecca. Thank you so much for being with us today.
[0:51] Rebecca: Hi Jen, thanks for having me.
[0:52] Jen: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?
[0:57] Rebecca: Well, I’m originally from New South Wales and moved North Queensland 11 years ago to help my partner build his own company, and worked in child care hospitality and tourism and other industries after having my two little toddlers. I’ve got three children. One of them is a teenager and the other are two little toddlers, four and nearly three. So after having them, I wanted to get out of the child care industry, and wanted something of my own to really have for myself. I looked into the direct selling industry and the company I found just suited me because it was based around empowering women and just uplifting and motivating and making them happier and healthier. It was just the company for me, basically.[1:41] Jen: So can you give me a little overview of your business? [1:45] Rebecca: Basically, I work for a company that empowers women to live happier, more sexually fulfilled life, basically. We specialise in pamper products, lingerie, beauty powder products, massage items, adult toys, a wide range of novelties, everything. [2:01] Jen: So this is going to be a really sexy interview then. [Laughs] [2:04] Rebecca: Yes. We do all kinds of things. We do those kinds of parties, basically. [2:10] Jen: Can you tell me about your level in that business? [2:13] Rebecca: I started 12 months ago, just on a whim, just for fun. And within about three months of starting, the founder of the company offered some really fabulous training that led me down the road where I’ve now signed up 11 girls. I signed up my last one two days ago. So I have now a team of 12 as we call ourselves the dirty dozen. So 12 girls in 12 months is not too bad, considering that I never expected to have a team or have sales as big as what I have at the moment. So, yes. [2:44] Jen: If you weren’t in direct selling, what do you think you would be doing? What do you think your life would look like? [2:48] Rebecca: I’d still be pottering around the house just chasing kids around being a stay-at-home mom. I’m trying to put up something else to do, for myself, basically. The company that I’m with has given me confidence to go out and actually start exercising. I go to the gym and meet other ladies and just get out and be social in the community. Whereas before, I just stayed at home with the kids and my whole life revolved around my family. Whereas now, I take the time for myself, for my business. [3:16] Jen: Would you say you went into this looking for those things or it’s just something that come out of it as a bonus? [3:24] Rebecca: I think, possibly subconsciously, I was looking for it because at home, with the kids, all the time, I needed the social life and yes, I was just ripping my hair out so I wanted to have adult conversation again. An actual adult conversation that we could have a laugh about. So, yes, it was just – I was looking for the social life and the friendship and a little bit extra pocket money but I found the confidence to build much more out of it. That was wonderful. [3:52] Jen: That’s great. I know you’re excited to talk to us today about using events to grow your business. Can you tell me why you’re enthusiastic about that particular topic? [4:01] Rebecca: Definitely enthusiastic about the events topic because when I first started out, I didn’t expect to be using my business to do events at all. I started out and I’ve offered to do a just a stall at a local movie cinema. I went in there and just got so much enthusiasm from other ladies and so much attention. And I thought this could go really well at markets and just about every way you put it. So, wedding expos, market stalls, places like that. Yes, and specially the in home parties that’s an event in itself. We can turn them into fund raising event. We often do fund raising through our in home parties so we raise funds for the McGarth Foundation or Young Grief Foundation and many other charities that we can get on board and help out through our company. [4:52] Jen: Sounds like you’re using – you’re incorporating events into your business on lots of different levels. Do you run these events on your own or is it something that you do with your team? [5:02] Rebecca: I do run them on my own, but I encourage my team to come along because it’s always good for them to be there for training purposes and just to help inspire them to see what I do and to help them get some leads along the way as well because they get to meet people and generate their own leads and build their own confidence in the community. [5:20] Jen: So, how often are you running these events? [5:22] Rebecca: I definitely try to do one event a month. At the moment – this year it’s been a bit of an influx with events so – and it was looking like it’s going to be towards the end of the year as well. I think it just depends on the time. Last year, I was all mostly in home parties, but this year it’s all events and fund raising staffing [5:46] Jen: And how do you promote these events? [5:49] Rebecca: Definitely, has the power of social media. The first event that I did was a rather big event that I was advertising to the whole community and we had local radio, we’d hand out flyers. I just walked through the shopping center and talked to people, tell them what the event was, where it was and invite them along. Basically, every avenue that we can, that we can afford to, is how we do it. [6:13] Jen: So if you’re participating in local events like markets and trade shows, how do you go about finding these, and how do you decide whether those audiences are going to be relevant to your business, particularly your business? [6:25] Rebecca: Since my business is based around women, basically, I hang out – most of the market stalls, wedding expos, and the event cinema’s [[6:37] inaudible] a night that’s just for the ladies. So those sort of events that I can really get in and be with the ladies without the men there to look over their shoulder and [crosstalk] [6:48] Jen: Yes, making them feel a little bit more comfortable about. [6:51] Rebecca: Yes. [6:52] Jen: Okay. And so – how are you finding out about these types of things? Is this something that you are researching online, or? [7:00] Rebecca: Yes, definitely. Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, all those and just local council event pages, and the local newspaper and the radio, everybody that’s got something coming up, yes. [7:18] Jen: Okay. So what is your – would you say is your main objective for events? Are you looking at sales of product or are you looking at sponsoring, or is it a little bit of both? Or does it depend on the type of event? [7:29] Rebecca: It does depend on the type of event because – and it is, you are sort of looking for both because from making the contacts you eventually somewhere down the line you want to make a sale, so, yes. The first point is just about getting out and meeting people and getting noticed in the community and then people know that you’re a stable business and you’re here to stay, and friendly and yes, get out there and be social in the community and from there your your customer database and the people that you meet – Take note of the people that you meet. Get their information and ask them. [8:01] Jen: So how often do people turn party bookings into more than that? How often are people after a party interested in becoming a consultant? [8:13] Rebecca: Well, one a month for me, so far. For the last 12 months. [8:19] Jen: So where do you say the best results is? Is it the sales of products than the actual sponsoring itself? [8:26] Rebecca: For me, I’ve got a lot of benefit out of the sponsoring and building a team so I can watch my team grow and I’m learning how to train them and get them to make their own sales. And that – seeing my team get out there and do the parties. It inspires me along to it like, “Oh, I haven’t done a party in a while. I need to go out and start doing that as well.” So it’s really just about driving each other along to have a fun business and profitable business. [8:53] Jen: So what are your top tips for making an event successful? [8:57] Rebecca: Have fun and be organised, basically. There’s a lot of steps into organising event that is going to run smoothly. I didn’t realise after until I did my first few and had my first little faux pas and that’s why I started studying. I’m now studying to be an event manager so that’s giving me the knowledge that I can pass down to my team as well to help them run their events in a successful way with organisation, basically, as the key. Be confident and organised. [9:30] Jen: How do you follow up on your events and how do you measure their success? [9:34] Rebecca: I keep a customer database of everybody who has, like, I’ll do competitions or get peoples email addresses and phone numbers so I can follow up with a phone call or an email within a couple of days. Any interest I get from that I add them to the groups that I’ve got on my social media pages so I can keep them informed about specials and things like that. And just a monthly updated email of, “Hi, how are you going? This is a special [unclear] offer and these are the rewards we’ve got going, so, yes, just keeping your customers in the loop and finding out what they want and what makes them happy, basically. [10:14] Jen: So in your opinion, do you think that running events is for everybody in a direct selling business?
[10:19] Rebecca: You should definitely incorporate events into your business in some way. Running the big events is probably not for everybody because a lot of organisation involved and unless you’ve got the time and the team behind you to help you organise the big event then it’s really going to be a hassle for you. Getting out there and getting into the market, going to other people’s events and incorporating your business into community events is a great way to advertise and be noticed. [10:50] Jen: I can imagine that the cost to be involved in some of these events can range quite significantly, can you tell me a little bit about that? [10:59] Rebecca: Yes, definitely it ranges. Some of the events you can get for free. Like, basically the movie event that I did. You’ll pay for a movie ticket and you get to go and setup your stall, you donate a little prize, or they do a lucky door prize for the ladies so one of your prices gets – you can donate as many prices as you want. I only donate two or three just so my products are getting out there into the audience and they’re getting a little gift from me. I like to pamper them with my products when they come pass my table and yes, it’s just a great way to get out there and meet people. [11:34] Jen: Do you have a mentor or someone that you look up to that helps you in your business? [11:37] Rebecca: Definitely. I’ve got a few mentors. Tess Guthrie who runs a Facebook Page and a website called Lust Business Motherhood. She does blogs about how to run your business successfully and stay organised and she used to be a direct selling consultant herself and she’s now a teacher and training other ladies how to run successful businesses. Also, Melanie Parker who’s a party plan consultant or was a party planning consultant, and now she’s training other ladies how to do it. And Denise Duffield-Thomas who’s just luckybitch.com. She just inspires people to be lucky, get out there and earn your riches, and the founder of the company that I work for she just motivated me along in so many ways with training and extra knowledge and support every time I’ve needed it. So they’re the four women that are go-to people at the moment. [12:37] Jen: Okay. Do you have any other resources that you – do you read any books or anything like that? [12:44] Rebecca: At the moment I don’t have much time for reading because I’m just so busy with organising events [12:49] Jen: I feel you. [Laughs] The struggle is real. [12:53] Rebecca: And in amongst organising all these other events I’m organising my own wedding and holiday and all of that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for running my own business. [13:03] Jen: For that I’ll take you to my final question. Can you share the benefits of this lifestyle to you? [13:09] Rebecca: Firstly, it gave me the confidence to give my partner a kick up the bum after 11 years and we’re engaged and we’re getting married in 94 days and we’ re also on our honeymoon in like… [13:20] Jen: But who’s counting. [Laughs] [13:21] Rebecca: I’m counting every day and there are also now pre honeymoon which is paid for partially by my direct selling business and just the confidence to be out there in the community, meet lots of new friends and people around town and be inspiring to other women to train my team, basically. [13:40] Jen: Well, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing your insights on using events to grow your business. I think we can all learn about how we can incorporate those and just make it part of something you do. So thank you so much for sharing that with us. [13:54] Rebecca: Well, that’s no problem. Thanks for having me. [13:56] Jen: Great!