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Thanks for checking out my new blog series! The Remote Job for Moms series will feature remote jobs that are perfect for moms to start. Some will be employee-type jobs, while others will be more focused on self-employment, allowing you to build a business from home.
This remote job spotlight is on direct sales.
You probably have a friend (or 30) who try to get you to buy their products from LuLaRoe, Avon, Plexus, or one of the other bazillions of direct sales companies that seem to exist today. Yes, it can be annoying if you know someone who constantly pesters and tries to get you to join their team.
But if you dig a little deeper into the business side of things, these direct sales companies can offer an excellent opportunity for business-minded mamas.
What are Direct Sales Companies?
In its simplest form, direct selling is the process of selling a product or service face-to-face or online, but not in a typical retailer way. Direct sales companies are the ones that make those products or services. A direct seller would be you, the one who sells the product or service to others.
As a direct seller, you’ll be the middleman between the customer and the company. If you own a blog and do some affiliate marketing, you kind of already do this. You promote a product that someone else sells and you get a commission for doing so. With direct sales, you’ll typically need to buy the products you want to sell at a discounted price from the company. Then, you’ll sell them for full price to your customers, keeping the profit.
Direct sales companies get a bad reputation (some of them deservedly so). There have been quite a few that have been dubbed multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, or pyramid schemes, because of their structures that don’t seem to allow sellers to make much money unless they get hundreds of other sellers signed up below them. LuLaRoe has been in the news for it quite a bit over the last year or so, in fact.
But there are some incredible companies out there that I’ve personally seen my friends and family find success with, so I know it can work for the right people.
Types of Direct Sales Companies
There is such a variety of direct sales companies out there now that you can probably find something you’d love to sell. Here are a few examples of products these companies offer:
- Jewelry and accessories
- Skincare products
- Health supplements
- Diet programs
- Organization and home products
What Do You Need to Start Selling with a Direct Sales Company?
Most direct sales companies require you to purchase an introductory package to start selling. Some are extremely well-priced at $50 or below, while others require more of an investment. The starting package will contain things like sample products, marketing materials, brochures, and detailed product information to get you started. You might also get a website included in the cost to help you sell to customers online.
Most of the time, the introductory package is a good start. But to be successful in your business, you might consider investing in the following additional items:
- Your own website with your own hosting and domain. The ones these companies provide are very limited and not helpful for SEO purposes. They also don’t typically look very professional, nor do they let you host extras, like a blog.
- A computer or laptop for connecting with customers, tracking orders, checking emails, etc.
- Business cards with your name and contact information.
- A booth for selling at local fairs and events.
- Extra products to sell and share when you host parties.
Direct selling can be a big investment, but starting off on the right foot can also help you get a good return on your investment quickly.
Don’t forget: Social media is extremely helpful in building a successful business (for almost any kind of business!). Once you’re ready to jump into a direct sales company, be sure to start growing your social media accounts to draw in more potential customers.
Need help with your social media marketing? This book should help: Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing: How to Stop Wasting Your Time on Things That Don’t Work and Start Doing What Does (Buy it here!)
How Much Can I Make in Direct Sales?
Honestly, everyone’s experience in direct sales is going to be different. It’s not just the products you’re selling that determines your success. It’s also your personality, your audience, your marketing, and your business skills. The company and its products are actually just a small piece of the puzzle.
Realistically, most people who are good at selling might still only make a few hundred extra dollars a month. Those who work with a company for a while, build up a large customer base, and get plenty of people to join their teams can easily earn thousands per month. I’ve seen it happen with two friends of mine, but those aren’t typical results.
Legitimate direct sales companies are very transparent about expected earnings, though. You can usually find a chart on their websites that detail how much you might expect to make at each tier of the program. I personally wouldn’t join a direct sales company if it didn’t provide sellers with this information.
The Best Direct Sales Companies for Moms
The following companies are ones I recommend based on the successes I’ve seen with my own network of family and friends (who are mostly mamas!):
Usborne sells books for kids of all ages, so moms should find it easy to network with other moms for sales. Usborne books are so adorable and creative, ranging from informative to super fun. Starter kits are only $75 or $125, so it’s not a bad investment to get started.
Instead of just hosting home parties, you can also get your community involved for more selling power. Usborne allows sellers to set up fundraisers, book fairs, and other fun events to sell more books!
I’m actually a DoTERRA Essential Oils rep because I adore the products and everything it stands for. I’m an essential oils fanatic at heart and this company has so many incredible products to choose from. A co-worker got me involved in the company and, after falling in love with its products, I decided to hop on her team and start selling.
I don’t actively sell DoTERRA only because I realized direct sales just isn’t my cup of tea. Still, I get orders from others sometimes. When you have a product that basically sells itself, it makes my job so much easier (I am in no way a salesy person!). The best part is that you can be a representative (officially, Wholesale Customer) without ever having to place a monthly order. You’ll still have access to the wholesale rates so you can make a profit when you sell them to others at parties or events. You just won’t get the typical compensation and bonuses that come along with being a Wellness Advocate.
I know a couple of women who are doing incredible on this program. Rodan + Fields is a skincare line with products that focus on everything from anti-aging to acne. The thing that’s so great about this company is that it literally seems to have a product for almost anyone to fix whatever skincare challenges they have, so you have a lot of people to market to.
People who sell for this company seem to live and breathe it. They become so invested in the products because they personally use them. Rodan + Fields also hosts events and offers tons of programs and incentives for sellers to live their very best lives.
Fundanoodle creates educational, play-based learning toys and activities for kids. This company is perfect for moms who want to build an online or in-person shop filled with stuff for kids. You can become an ambassador for Fundanoodle and earn commission with affiliate links, or you can opt for buying products at wholesale to sell in your shop for a profit.
Ambassadors earn 10% commission on everything sold through their links. You can share products through email newsletters, blogs, social media posts, and more!
Grow a Business with Direct Sales
Selling to friends, family, and strangers is not for everyone. The pushy people in direct sales also don’t represent the direct sales world well. If you have some selling chops and stand behind the products you sell, the process should come naturally to you.
Have you considered joining a direct sales company to make extra money or even replace your full-time job? Or, do you work with one you’ve had success with? I’d love to hear your thoughts – drop a comment below!
Amy is a mom of two, freelance writer, and blog manager who works with family-focused businesses to improve their content strategies. You can find her published work on Reader’s Digest Online, MSN, Niche, Frugal For Less, and other lifestyle publications.