There are many techniques to grow a business online. However, what it really takes to build a sustainable online business that sticks out is effort and imagination.
Rachel Perry and Amanda Holland both started out as direct sellers for a jewelry company. They would do home parties showing their merchandise to friends or catalogue parties where they passed out the catalogue with their products to generate sales. But when they met each other at one of their trainings, something happened. They immediately connected and knew that together, they could build something big.
It was the time when Facebook was growing and Facebook groups became popular. They knew that social media was their golden ticket, and after months of experimenting, they created a formula that was based on relationship marketing and spam-free sales – a way to have a sales party online via Facebook. That's how The Tag Team was born.
Growing An Audience With Videos
“We were building relationships using Facebook and grew our sales. Our friends started asking how we managed to do this, and a woman said to me that we could actually sell our formula to other direct sellers. We hadn’t even thought of that,” Amanda remembers.
That was in 2013, and only after a year, they both successfully doubled their sales and created a huge following. The formula was working. But Rachel and Amanda had also found another way to grow their audience. They started to create funny videos starring themselves.
“We started doing these minivan videos. At the time, we were both driving minivans because we both have three kids. We were living the mom life, that was who we were. We started doing videos once a week in our minivans. It was about delivering content, but in a fun way. There are times when we have been known to wear wigs and dress up,” Rachel says.
Even though at times they lived in two different states, they managed to produce weekly videos together. They both had video editing experience and at first edited their videos themselves, then they hired external help. “The reach the videos had was huge,” Amanda says. “It was hilarious to produce them, too. We were sitting in our cars, often with wigs on, and the neighbours would walk by and think: What is this crazy lady doing?”
To make the videos, they would first decide on a topic. “With direct sales, there were a lot of topics to pick from. Over Skype, we would map out our notes, create a script and decide on what we were wearing. Once we filmed our parts, we sent the footage to our videographer and got back the finished, edited version,” Amanda explains.
At the end of each video, they would always schedule in some time for their bloopers. “That’s what made them more real. I think this was what made us stand out, Amanda and I are very real. We're never going to pretend that we're something we're not. We have fun, but we make mistakes, and it's okay. I think that's what makes us relatable,” Rachel says.
They would invent entire new characters, dress up as them and make them sell products. They weren’t the first in their industry to train others how to sell, but they added a component to their training that was missing before: fun. “Of course, we didn’t just do funny videos all the time. Most of our videos are actually not of us in wigs. But we like to lighten things up, when it’s appropriate.”
The reason why their videos worked so well was because they didn’t just make fun in general, but they made fun of themselves. “We’re not the perfect, tiny people. We’re not afraid to point out that we wear Spanx or whatever it takes to make us look good. People always think that in business, they have to be so professional. Of course there are times for that, but there are also times when you can loosen up and be yourself,” Amanda says.
Make Your Business Explode
For the first four years in business, the Tag Team had grown it’s Facebook audience completely without ads. They used different marketing techniques, like running contests. When they decided on running ads, their audience grew to 160’000. “Even people who aren’t in direct sales watch our videos,” says Amanda. “Some videos address direct sales, but some are also just about being a working mom.”
Rachel and Amanda’s passion is to help sellers sell without being salesy. That’s what their formula is all about, and how they teach their clients to post content. “We tell our clients that they have to figure out who they are. They can’t be like us, they can’t copy someone else. If you are a person who doesn’t necessarily see fun in everything, then you shouldn’t make fun your jam. Clients have to figure out who they are, who their audience is, and what language they want to use to communicate their message. We often ask our clients: What is it about you that makes you likeable?,” Rachel explains.
“If you stop trying to sell to everyone, to the masses, and really niche down who you’re speaking to, that’s when your business explodes, “ says Amanda.
Fridays Are For Margaritas
Apart from their videos, the Tag Team is known for one thing in particular: Margaritas. “I don’t know how exactly they became part of our brand, but we started doing Margarita moments where every Friday, we would drink Margaritas and answer questions.” Margaritas became their thing, and something their audience connected them with. “I think every business should have something like that,” says Rachel, “a sort of mascot that could really be anything, but that makes people link it to your business and reminds them of you.”
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