I recently had the pleasure of talking with British Hill. British was awarded Compass Coach of the Year for 2009 and was the first Presidential Ambassador and Vice President level representative with Compass. She was also honored in the DirectSellingLive.com Women of Power 30 list as well as an honorable mention in the 50 most influential people in direct sales.
British and I had a wonderful conversation about how she found herself in the direct selling industry and how she maintains such a strong brand over multiple platforms online. Listen to our conversation below to hear her tips and advice on growing and maintaining a direct selling business on the web.
To find out more about British Hill visit her at MindSetMatterMost.com. Follow British on Twitter or send a Facebook friend request, be sure to mention this interview in your Facebook message.
I’m here today with British Hill. British has a pretty extensive history, she has been an on-air host with the Home Shopping Network, she’s been a spokesperson for the Carolyn Strauss Collection, she’s an accomplished public speaker, she’s a presidential coach with Compass, very much involved in direct selling now, so British thanks so much for taking some time to talk to me today.
Oh you are so welcome. Thank you for your request. I’m excited to be here with you, Chris. Thank you for all that you’re doing, by the way, for the MLM direct selling profession.
So I guess first of all, how did you really get into direct selling? You have such an interesting background. You’ve obviously done a lot of work on TV as a host. What really kind of got you to segue into direct selling?
Awesome question. In fact the direct selling side of my life came first before the work that I do in television hosting, but I’ve always had a love for the direct selling network marketing profession.
What got me started, quite frankly, was frustration. Many, many years ago in my own job at the time and one of my co-workers said “British, I would love to invite you to this event that I’m having this weekend” and I had no idea. I knew she sold lipstick, I knew she had a side home-based business, but that was about it. And for whatever reason that day, I was just in a bad place at work and I thought “Oh my gosh, there must be something else, I feel so trapped”. It was just like everybody, you have those days, and so she caught at the right time because interesting enough this woman had asked several times before to go to meetings or get on a conference call and I would always decline, but this time I said yes.
So I attended a weekend regional event for this particular direct selling cosmetic company way back in the mid ‘90s actually and I’ll tell you that meeting changed my life, it really did, because I immediately felt the energy of the people in the room. I was absolutely awe stricken, I was in awe with the magnitude, the amount of women, it was primarily a female company and these women were going up on the stage and talking about how they were able to accomplish this and accomplish that as a result of building their direct selling businesses.
But when I left – by the time the event was over and I left that evening, I knew that this was something I needed to take a deeper look at and it was – beyond the fact that their products were great – it was really because of the feeling that I got while I was there. And that it was clear to me that these were regular every day women with ups and downs and problems just like everyone else, but they had found something that gave them hope and that made them realize that they can absolutely create the like of their dreams and I had never seen anything like that before.
So that was my first introduction, Chris and then after that, I started to kind of dibble and dabble a little bit in the direct selling industry. I have been in a couple of different companies and had to achieve some level of marginal success, but not very much. For the most part, my first maybe five, six years then I quit and then I came back two years later. But in my building my believe period, that’s what I call it, building my believe period, never really had a check probably more than $300.00 in that whole time. But what became very clear to me is that the direct selling in network marketing, MLM profession, was so much more than product. The service, it was really the personal development and that’s what got me most excited, the fact that you can create an unlimited income for yourself when you line up with the right company and you give it enough time was also exciting. But from that point, it was the opening of my eyes and to this day, it’s something that I’ve always done right alongside anything else I’ve done in the corporate, or television industry.
Let’s talk about on-line marketing a bit, I’m sure there’s a huge focus, obviously, on face-to-face, picking up the phone and getting on calls. But I’ve seen you personally, you’re very active online. You have an active YouTube channel, you have a number of different websites, active in the social networks. How, or maybe at what point, did you kind of shift to saying “hey, there’s a lot of tools available on-line to expand what I’m doing in more traditional direct selling where you’re doing meetings and face-to- face and phone calls. How have you been able to kind of transition and extend more on the web to grow even further?
Well for me Chris it was a really a matter of necessity and it was also a matter of what I do next, who do I talk to now. I really looked at the web opportunity as a way for me to expand my warm market and quite frankly, create a warm market out of one that was cold and so I just use it – I used it and to this day, still use it as an extension. I’ve always been a little – I’m intrigued with the whole idea of the Internet and being able to connect with people all over the world as a result of being on it and so I said “’well, let me put this great tool called the internet to use”. What better way to do it than to use Facebook and I’m not as active on LinkedIn, but I am very active on Facebook and make sure I have websites and all.
Because there’s no barriers, there’s no borders and one thing I did, and I want to make it’s clear to your listeners, is that I did not go into internet marketing thinking that “well, now I can just be this person some place in a room that never needs to build relationships and here comes everybody” – no. I knew going in that I would still need to develop a relationship, but I considered the Internet and Facebook and the social networks as a way to meet new people, to build my brand by making sure that I am portraying and displaying myself in a way that is congruent and relevant to the business I’m in, personal development and coaching, and then trusting that people will come and they did, they really did.
One thing I became was very consistent with it, and that’s an absolute key, you have to be consistently visible on these sites. Sometimes people will think “okay, well I want to start building a business online and I’ll just kind of show up every blue moon, or I’m gonna show up for a week and then I won’t be back for a month” – it doesn’t work like that – you really have to be consistent. So the transition happened for me when I realized that I needed to go outside of my circle of friends and family in the live world and that I needed to expand and one of the easiest ways for me was to do it on-line. I like the idea of being able to do it, as I like to say “at home, with no makeup on.”
One of the things you mentioned is really true – is establishing yourself as an expert – and I think part of that is, one thing I always push for, is you have to have good content. People have short attention spans. I think part of becoming an expert is really developing that content and when I say content, that might be weekly blog posts, that might be videos. Would you agree with that? How do you kind of stay on track to have that consistency with content and make sure that it’s helping you to actually convert at the end of the day?
I would completely agree with that Chris and it can be one or all of those things. Again, don’t overwhelm yourself. As a coach, I’m very careful in making sure that people take baby steps, especially if they’re starting out something new, find that thing that works for you. If you try to look at your entire big picture at one time, it’s likely you’ll get overwhelmed and you’ll do nothing at all.
So do a bite size baby step and that might look like for you starting up a blog, what do you start the blog up about? I’m much bigger starting a blog on, becoming the expert, as opposed to flat out starting a Compass blog, or Arbonne blog.
For me, or in someone that might be in skin care, or whatever kind of – the health and wellness company, start up a blog that’s about helping wellness in general, okay.
Then, of course, naturally when you are posting in that, minimum once a week, various general articles on how to be healthier, how to be well and all those different things, naturally people are gonna want to know “well what are you into, well what you recommend” and you can – as you know Chris you can do hyperlinks that’ll connect to your replicated site and things of that sort. But you want to make sure that you’re giving solid content. Content that is of value, whether they buy form you, or become a distributor on your team or not, that will become an aftermath. That will become a side benefit of you putting more emphasis on general, relevant content that they will be able to feel as like “wow, I’m getting a lot of free stuff from this person.”
I think those are some excellent tips. The one thing though is I think that there’s a lot of people out there that, for whatever reason, they just don’t have the motivation, the know-how, to really dive head on and I think for those folks. They really look to the company provided tools and don’t necessarily get too far out of that.
We’ve seen a lot of negative sentiment around the typical company replicated sites, that’s one area that we work on, trying to provide better tools for it. If you were to talk to a room full of direct selling executives and CEO’s, what would you advise them to think about, in terms of providing tools for the mass group of newbies that need some better tools right off the bat and don’t necessarily have the time, or the know-how, like I said, to figure out how to create a blog, to go through an Internet marketing training and so forth. Is there anything that you think the industry as a whole some of the directs on companies could do to make it a little bit better for people starting out?
Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, Chris and I agree with you 150 percent that replicated sites – let me just put it this way – they’re not really built or I don’t even really know, meant to convert. And that’s a whole another story – but I would absolutely – if I was in a room full of executives and CEO’s, owners of network marketing companies, I would absolutely say that they should provide more tools and resources. If nothing else training to their core distributors.
I would also say that the sites need to be a bit more friendly in terms of conversion, they’re not, and which is one of the reason why I am an advocate for distributors, connecting with people like you and your company Empowerkit and what you offer. Because I think that the sites at this moment are just not made to replicate.
That’s why when I hear people say “oh, just send them to your website” I’m like that’s not gonna do it, you need to have a conversation with them first, or as a distributor, you need to have a portal, a web page, a something that you can pass them through first so that they can meet you, connect with you, all of that before you then send them to your replicated site. Your replicated site should be the place that you send them when they are ready to enroll, or to buy, period.
So I would say, my wish list for the people who have control over this, is that they build out the replicated sites a bit more so that it becomes more of a conversion place, as opposed to just a place to come and get signed up, because today that’s what it is.
And if they don’t know how to do that, then they need to connect companies like yours so that they can partner and find out how. Because at this point it’s not that way, but they really do need to have a place where the replicated site has more of a personal touch. I would love to have video on replicated sites, so that when I send my prospect there, they can actually hear from me, see me, connect with me. Because people join people they know, like and trust, they really don’t join folks that they can’t, or have not had some sort of connection with.