I’m just going to say it. Whoever came up with the idea to host Shopping Parties online, is a genius. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE an excuse to get together for a night of shopping with my Ladies. However in a time where, quite literally, time is money, and FREE time seems harder and harder to come by, an Online Party is an ideal solution. Hosting an Online Party means that guests don’t have to take time away from their families and busy schedules to attend, your Hostess isn’t fretting over a clean home and party snacks, and you aren’t lugging around your stock from party to party. I typically head to Facebook when hosting a Silver Icing Party, however these tips apply to any business, as well as any social media platform.
Make Your Hostess Feel Special
Always begin with your Hostess in mind. Your Hostess is bringing you new business by hosting an online party, so always be sure to show her that you value this opportunity, as well as her! I always make sure that my Hostess is involved in Party Planning, from game selection to highlighting her favourite items if they are available. While I maintain a script or flow to each of my party’s (which we will talk about next), I do make personalized graphics for each party. This sounds like it would take a lot of time, but in less than 5 minutes I can make the graphics I need to personalize a party, and that special touch does not go unnoticed, especially if Ladies in various friends groups all host parties with you. All of these small things show your Hostess that you value the opportunity she is giving you.
Have A Script
HAVE. A. SCRIPT! I find this to be one of the most important pieces for me! Almost everything I want to say during my online party is preplanned, and ready to post. There are certain things that your party guests will NEED TO KNOW – size charts, shipping and return policies, current Promos, etc. These things aren’t going to change party to party. Having them prepared ahead of time keeps information consistent, and ensures that Party Guests get the information they need to feel confident in making a purchase. At the same time, the personalized graphics add variety to the mix. This added touch can make the party seem more personable when you aren’t able to be physically present to show off your own winning personality.
If you don’t already have a script, take some time to jot down the main points you know you need to share in every party you host. This will be a great starting place to begin building your script! Always, ALWAYS remember to personalize it and make it reflect you and YOUR PERSONAL BRAND! Don’t just copy and paste what your company group shares, or what you’ve seen your upline do. Make it your own, personalize it to each party with your graphics, and make it reflect your Personal Brand on a smaller scale.
Select A Manageable Timeline
I’m very selective with my calendar. Before I even begin booking Parties, I go through my calendar for the next few months and block off time frames. If I am going to be hosting a fun event in my own group, I won’t book parties for that week! I don’t want my Hostess to feel like she is missing out on a fun opportunity that won’t translate into Hostess Rewards for her.
There are a few things to consider when beginning to plan for your party:
* What works for your schedule?
* Does this mesh with your Hostess?
* Consider what shoppers will ‘need to know’ before diving in to the actual shopping (shipping/returns/sizing/promos/etc).
* Take your company sales model into account, including any current sales or promotions you may want to feature during the party.
* Consider the Hostess Promo requirements.
With all of these points considered, I keep a calendar and party schedule that I pretty much always stick to.
This is a very different environment compared to your group, so be on your best behaviour! Depending on the day my posting in my group can be borderline uncalled for – but I know my group, and they know me, and we all know I get excited, and when I get excited, I share. In a Party, the environment is totally different. I try to keep my posts to a minimum, and include a mix of sales, engagement, games, etc. Find ways to show the party guests who you are (AKA your BRAND), without being overbearing.
‘Available’ means something different for each of us! You need to define what it means to you, and communicate that clearly to your VIP group, as well as in any party you have. Because this is all happening over the Internet, people forget that you aren’t just waiting on the other side of a screen to answer their questions, especially if you work another job outside of your online business. Clearly state when you will be available, and let your Party Guests know that you will get back to them during those hours. Guests will have questions, and if they feel like you are leaving them hanging, it could be a deterrent to them for future engagement.
This is crucial to transitioning your Party Guests to Group Members. Respond to comments, participate in your own games if it is warranted, choose engagement posts that reflect your personal brand. Also, look for opportunities to link back to your group, that don’t include your main ‘Come Join My Group’ post. Playing a VIP game? Have a standing FB Live night? Invite party guests, and post a link to your group so they can join the fun over there. Build tiny relationships during the party, that you can then foster in your group.
Online Party Professional Development
If you are looking for a more in depth look at HOW to run a Facebook Shopping Party, I found a lot of value in the Epic Live Facebook Parties video course. Not only was able to take what I learned and apply it to my own Online Party format in a way that worked for me, and for my company’s sales model, I also tied a lot of the training pieces into my main Online Community! I highly recommend it for anyone who runs either a shopping group or shopping parties via Facebook!
If you can successfully harness the power of the social media platforms already at your fingertips, you’ll be Hosting a successful Online Party in no time. I’d love to hear your success stories below!