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Strategies for success in direct sales, from an Executive Flamingo Paperie Partner

strategies for success

So you’re looking for a new way to earn some money. Direct Sales seems a good option with its flexible working hours and it looks like it has some good prospects. But you haven’t quite worked out how to fit it in to the nooks and crannies of life. I’ve been in direct selling for over 12 years now and promoted to Executive Partner with Flamingo Paperie in the first month it launched. I have 4 children aged from 2 to 12 and as you can imagine that keeps me very busy. The flexibility of direct selling works really well for me and my strategies for success in direct sales are really different ways you can make your chosen company work for you.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

My strategies for success are based on my experience with Flamingo Paperie, a direct sales company that produces cards, gift wrap and stationery but I believe these ideas could be adapted to most direct sales businesses. If one way of working seems to fit your lifestyle but the direct sales company you’re looking at doesn’t offer it then my top tip is to think twice before you join. All my strategies for success are possible if you become a Flamingo Partner. You don’t need to turn your life upside down or find more hours in the day. Here are ways you can make it work by using what you already have or do.

10 Strategies for Success in direct sales

1 Add it on to something else you’re already doing

It doesn’t have to be either/or. It’s unlikely that you will want to drop everything else to try and make room for a new business. Choose a product that will compliment your lifestyle, hobbies or other business. If you’re making crafts for sale then gift wrap will add an extra to your service, or a greeting card to go with a gift gives you the ability to offer the complete gifting package.

2 Take it with you

Can you take your products to the office, to the school gate, to yoga class, to toddler group or wherever you go on a daily or weekly business? Use the networks you already have to show off your products and attract repeat customers.

3 Use your products

In theory you don’t have to like to your products to sell them. A good salesperson might be able to sell water to a well but it does help if you love what you’re selling and use it regularly. Not only does it give you confidence in what you’re selling but giving your products, in my case by sending cards or wrapping presents in style, is an opportunity to show them off.

4 Raise some money for a good cause

Are you involved in a community group or is there a charity close to your heart. Use your products to raise some money. Offer 10% or more of your sales to your cause. People love to help and love to feel that others are benefitting from their purchases. Make use of that and help others while building your customer base with some good publicity.

5 Enhance your subscription box

If you already run a business that sends out a regular subscription box then use the new products to enhance your box. Gift wrap or tissue could be used to wrap the contents while advertising the same gift wrap and tissue for customers to buy for their own wrapping needs. An appropriate card could be included to match the theme of your box or the time of year, again advertising the range of cards available for sale. The average person in the UK sends 33 cards a year. Be creative with how you present your products, this will make you different to the rest and attract others to your business.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Joba

6 Add the personal touch

Do you run a company that provides a service to others, or does your partner or another family member? For example, I know estate agents who like to give a ‘New Home’ card to their clients when they pick up their keys. Or a Vet who likes to send a sympathy card when a loved pet is put to sleep. I have a customer who runs a Beauty Salon who likes to send cards to her clients when they have get married, have a baby, suffer a bereavement etc. Sending greeting cards can add a very powerful personal touch to your business.

7 Treat your employees

Similar to the previous idea but if you already employ staff then can you use your products to treat them? Can you reward them for a job well done? Send a birthday card or occasion card to show you take note of their lives outside of work. Personal touches make people feel valued and that builds loyalty within a workplace. Little acts like these can make you stand out from the crowd as an employer.

Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you should build one with your employees first.

Angela Ahrendts

8 Provide a community service

No I don’t mean of the criminal penalty kind! Do you live somewhere that people find it hard to access the products you offer? I have a good friend of mine who got so fed up of hearing her neighbours say they were off to town for a birthday card that she asked to take one of my baskets of cards to have at home so she could offer a better and more convenient service and product to her community.

9 Help a hospital or care home

Do you work in or visit a hospital or care home on a regular basis? Similar to the community service idea, many people who live or work in these places have great difficulty in getting to shops to purchase things. Bring your ‘shop’ to them. Ask if someone can care for your ‘shop in a basket’ which you can leave in a safe, convenient place for them to buy from when they need to.

10 Build an online business

Do you spend time on social media? Are you a Pinterest addict or an Instagram lover? Use that time to build a business. Share images of your products with links to your direct sales website. No need to even buy stock, just let people love what they see and tell them how to click and buy for themselves. Rather like affiliate marketing but usually with higher profit margins. If you’re already doing affiliate marketing then treat your direct sales business as an extra string to your affiliate bow.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

Whatever you do, however you do it, get started. Don’t put it off by waiting for the prefect business model to come along. Find the products you like then make the business opportunity work for you, in your situation. Use the strategies for success that fit with where you’re at. Start there and build out as you grow.

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What’s Special about Flamingo Paperie

Other than the quality and affordability, which Flamingo cards and gift wrap has in abundance, what makes them any different to other greeting cards on the market? In short – what’s special about Flamingo Paperie?

What's special about Flamingo Paperie

Recyclable

All Flamingo gift wrap and gift tags are recyclable, 100%! That’s quite something in a day where there is still a myth spread on social media that only brown paper can be recycled. The gift tags all have jute string ties and jute is totally biodegradable and therefore compostable.

If you’re still not convinced whether you can have pretty wrapping paper without harming the environment then read my guide Is gift wrapping paper recyclable

What about the cards? Good question! All the greeting cards without effects added are 100% recyclable. Until now the glitter on some of the cards wasn’t environmentally friendly but Flamingo have just launched the first cards with eco-friendly vegetable based glitter.

 

Happy Anniversary

‘Happy Anniversary’

now with eco-friendly, vegetable based glitter!

It’s unclear whether foiled cards are recyclable or not. Many recycling plants won’t accept them but there is some research done by interested parties to suggest that this might be unnecessary.

Charity

ALL Flamingo Christmas cards, including the advent calendar cards are charity cards. If you want to know more about that then I wrote about it in a bit more depth here.

 

Woodmans House

Woodman’s House

charity advent calendar card

Flamingo Partners, like myself, got to choose which charities would benefit in 2018 and we chose Macmillan Cancer Support, Together for Short Lives and the Alzheimers Society for UK donations. You can read more about Flamingo’s charity here.

Artists

Have you ever seen or bought a greeting card after liking the image on the front only to wonder who created it? You turn over the card and all you see is ‘Made in China’. Not so with Flamingo!

Flamingo are proud to promote each and every one of the artists who design for them. And if you read their profiles the artists are pretty pleased to supply Flamingo with their designs.

Flamingo Paperie are a design led company and are always looking for new artists. If you have something to offer, it could be your name on the back of the next new Flamingo greeting card.

You could be part of a very special Flamingo too!

 

Are you:

  • Running your own business and need to compliment your products with cards and gift wrap?
  • Needing a little extra income?
  • Looking for something flexible that you can shape to fit your lifestyle?
  • Someone who loves cards, gift wrap, stationery, Christmas and all things glittery!?

If you’d just like to get your hands on these charitable, ethical and desing led cards and gift wrap then you can buy them from my Flamingo shop. Shop now and find our what’s special about Flamingo Paperie.

what's special about Flamingo Paperie
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Easter cards why do we send them?

Flamingo Paperie Easter cards

When was the first Easter card sent?

According to Wikipedia people sent the first Easter cards just over 100 years ago at the very end of the 19th Century. At this time people tended to send postcards. Initially you could only write the address on the back of the postcard, along side the stamp. Postcard senders had to write on the front meaning that the illustration had to allow space for the writing. This changed in the early 1900s when the back of the postcard was split more like we see today.

What sort of cards did Victorians send?

Early images on Easter postcards and cards included the Easter bunny, sheep, flowers, eggs and often young girls who were a symbol of luck and hope. Easter carries a message of hope and new life so now we also might include butterflies and spring images, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere where Easter and Spring coincide. In Australia you might find an Easter Bilby instead of a bunny.

Where did the Easter bunny come from?

Flamingo Paperie Easter Wishes greeting card

It’s generally accepted that the Easter bunny originated in the 1700s in Germany. He was originally an ‘egg-laying hare’. German Lutherans took the tradition to America with them. Then, like so many things, once the Americans are doing it, we’re all doing it!

What are Easter cards all about?

There’s no doubt that Easter cards have their origin in Christianity. Relating to Jesus’ resurrection and the hope of new life, this is where most of our Easter images have their basis. It’s understandable that Easter cards were at their peak during the First World War. Then also the Second World War as people faced life and death situations and an uncertain future. Following the Second World War Easter cards declined and fewer are sent now than then. However, they are still very popular. With Mothers Day just 3 weeks before Easter it’s interesting to note that Mothers Day is the third largest card sending occasion in the calendar year, with Easter in fifth place.

Why send an Easter card?

Whether you are a Christian or not, sending any card at any time can lift someone’s spirits. There is a reason why the Greeting Card Association has as it’s industry tagline ‘send a card, deliver a smile’. That’s exactly what sending a card can do. While Easter may move its date each year it will always fall in Spring here in the UK. After an often cold, harsh winter here in the Outer Hebrides I know I love to see cards with flowers, animals, butterflies and eggs, heralding a new season with summer not far away.

Whatever your faith or none, an Easter card can bring hope and encouragement in tough times. Or perhaps just a reminder of what a beautiful world we live in.

So go on, make someone smile and send a few Easter cards this year!

If you’re looking for other ideas for Easter then I’ve made some suggestions here.

If you’re a busy person who’s a bit short of spare time to choose some Easter card then I’ve put together a bundle for you.

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Art of Gift Wrapping — Shiho Masuda

art of gift wrapping

Last month, I was invited to have a live interview to talk about my career as a gift wrapping designer at a local TV show in Hawaii. We talked about how I started my career and what projects I’ve been working on, then at the mid-point of the show, the interviewer asked me, “Why is the art of gift wrapping important?”
Image 1.jpg

To answer this question was important to me because that’s where my passion lies.

The art of gift wrapping is important because it helps us build an emotional connection with others. If hiding the content (gift) is all you want, putting it in a paper bag will do a fine job.

You want to wrap your gift in a beautiful presentation because you care about the recipients and want to express your feelings of appreciation, love and/or joy for them. The act of gift wrapping maybe physical but the real reason of doing so is emotional.

The art of gift wrapping is about building relationships and keeping connections with people important in your life.

In the world of internet and social media in which everyone focused on developing online interactions, taking the time to create something beautiful with your hands is a meaningful and heartfelt way to communicate with others.

I’ve been creating the art of gift wrapping for years for my family, friends and clients and the reactions I get from them are always priceless. Imagine instead of just a cookie-cutter mall wrapped gift, your friends and family will get these…

And this is why I’m passionate about teaching and sharing ideas of the art of gift wrapping so that you can reconnect with your loved ones through the beautiful art created by hand.

Just in time for the holiday season, this is an excellent way to start preparing your personal gifts. There are some awesome ways that you can tailor-make how you present those gifts to the people you love.

P.S. My new online course will help you do just that and it’ll be available next week at a very low price just for you for the holiday season. 😊 It’ll help you to learn and create the art of gift wrapping for your friends and family so that you can really “wow” them!

via How to Create More Intimacy and Build Better Relationships through the Art of Gifting — Shiho Masuda

If you love the art of gift wrapping then you can now get a monthly deluxe box of coordinated gift wrapping materials delivered straight to your door from Cards and Gift Wrap.