If you’re in network marketing, you are in competition with everyone else selling the same product you are. That can be an overwhelming thought to grapple with, especially if you’re in a popular network.  It used to be that geography was the main determinant of your success.  If there was another Avon lady on the block, that wasn’t good news for your business.  If you were the only one in town, you were able to dominate the market.  In today’s day and age, social media has removed all geographic barriers.  That makes it simultaneously more difficult for you to succeed because of increased competition, but also allows you to reach a market with fewer boundaries.

The differentiator? YOU. The product is no longer the star of the show.  Please buy from those that they know, like and trust.  It used to be that people got to know you because they lived close to you, worked with you or your kids had activities together.  Now, you can use social media to get to know people.

In general, people tend to like and trust those most similar to themselves, so working within your personal brand niche is highly important.  Make sure your brand niche is something you can easily represent and use to relate to the struggles of others.  You can’t necessarily sell to women over 40 if you’re a 20-something male.  As a woman over 40, I’d be more likely to purchase an anti-aging skincare regime from someone in my own demographic bracket who could share her own personal story.  Through defining your niche, getting into the mindset of those you want to work with, and relating to them on a common level, you allow them to get to know you. 

Exposure also counts.  The more frequently your prospects see you on social media, the more they get to know you, albeit virtually.  Consistency over time builds trust.  The more interactions you have with your target market, the more likely they are to like you.  This is known as the exposure effect, and it was the basis of a University of Pittsburgh study in which a female student attended a certain number of classes (0, 5, 10, or 15).  In the group that had been exposed to her the most times, she was deemed by the other students in the class as more attractive and familiar*  It can be used to build affinity with your social media followers as well.  Make sure you are posting regularly, and posting things your target market will relate to.

To build trust, you must also make deposits into the relationship bank.  Offer value with nothing expected in return.  You can do this by providing information, advice, and support without trying to sell.  You can’t make a withdrawal without first making a deposit.  Gary Vaynerchuk illustrates this concept brilliantly in his book, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.  In your case, your “jabs” are the times you present value on your social media platforms without expecting anything in return.  Your “right hook” is your sales pitch.

In short, in order to create affinity with your potential customers, you need to develop a relationship.  Show them you are similar to them, relate to them on an emotional level, and then build trust.  Offer social posts of value without selling.  Demonstrate consistency over time.  All those things will help you build a following on social media that results in loyal customers over time.
*Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 28, Issue 3, May 1992, Pages 255-276

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