Direct selling has come a long way in the past few decades.
Gone are the days when direct selling meant salesmen knocking on people’s doors to sell practically anything under the sun. Today, direct selling companies are all over the Internet and social media.
And for good reasons.
With the advent of social media platforms and apps, direct selling companies are finding it easier to reach a wider demographic. They are also able to target their niche markets better than ever before.
Most importantly, direct selling is now enjoying a resurgence by appealing to a whole new generation: Millennials.
Direct Selling is a Hit for Millennials
The millennial generation is the largest demographic since the Baby Boomers. Millennials are tech savvy, ethnically diverse, and socially aware.
They are a lot more segmented as a market due to the swift expansion of communication platforms like the Internet and cable TV. Millennials like to see themselves as unique, so you will find them broken up into many interesting subcultures. They also value customization and personal touch in their products.
Generally, Millennials are more flexible and fluid in terms of fashion and style. They put a high value on convenience, loyalty, and recognition.
Also, they are more into entrepreneurship and startups than doing a 9 to 5 office job. In a world where the idea of climbing the corporate ladder is more uncertain than ever, Millennials want to do their own thing.
So, how do direct selling companies connect with Millennials?
1. Go where the Millennials are.
This means being present on the platforms they are on. “Older” Millennials (born from about 1980 to 1990) tend to stay on Facebook and Twitter to connect with the online world. The younger ones (born around 1990 to 2000) are more into Instagram and Snapchat and custom apps.
Direct selling companies need to cover all these bases and adopt the right content, voice, and imagery that fits each platform.
2. Make direct sales more flexible to appeal to their on-the-go lifestyle.
This generation is all about doing their own thing and making a unique mark on the world. The one thing Millennials dislike most is feeling like they’re following the heard and doing what everyone else is doing.
Companies can encourage Millennials in direct marketing if they provide flexibility and convenience to let them do what they want, how they want, and on their own time.
Millennials as consultants need the space to inject their personal voice to the company’s brand. They need to be allowed to be creative.
Millennials as customers need the comfort of using the product or service without hassle or time restraints. They loathe restrictions and will rebel against them.
3. Adopt new technology and encourage Millennial consultants to do the same.
There’s nothing more enjoyable for Millennials than using a new device, tool, app, or program. They’re fluent in Internet language, after all.
Use their fluency to the brand’s advantage. Encourage millennial consultants to use new tech and gadgets to get a wider reach.
Try live-streaming, or making brand-relevant GIFs and memes. Millennials already engage in these activities, so all you need to do is re-frame this for the company’s purposes.
Direct selling companies will find it easy to build communities when their millennial consultants are hyped and excited about their products themselves.
4. Take advantage of teachable moments.
Millennials aren’t just smart. They are witty and clever, too. They appreciate and crave learning new things that can help them succeed in their chosen fields. They aren’t satisfied with merely working and making money. They seek to transform themselves.
Direct selling companies can take advantage of the Millennials’ desire to learn while they earn. They can encourage budding entrepreneurs not just to be distributors, but to be real experts in their niche. In turn, these young people can use direct selling as a first step into the world of business.
It’s safe to say that the Millennials rule the Internet. Millennials in direct selling will boost a company’s social media channels. This is an opportunity that companies shouldn’t take for granted. Keeping up with the times means inviting the younger generation into direct selling.