Audra Annika James on Being a Business Coach and Mompreneur
Audra Annika James is a MLM blogger who provides valuable information for anyone who is struggling to break free financially. Here’s her story.
I’m honored to have this interview with you, Audra!. You have a lot of valuable information on your blog that I am curious to learn more about. So, let’s get started!
First off, how was your childhood, what did you want to become when you “grew up,” and what did your parents do for a living?
I actually had a tough childhood. I grew up being bullied from classmates from second grade until high school. There was a lot of family drama and strife. I wasn’t happy.
From a very little girl, I always wanted to be a pediatrician. My father was a locomotive engineer (he drove trains) and my mother was a RN but then stopped to be a stay at home mom.
Was there any Entrepreneurship in the family as you grew up?
No, not really actually. The closest I came was my paternal grandparents. They had the foresight to purchase a three-family home in Queens.
My grandfather passed away when I was a teenager, so my grandmother had to rely on his pension, social security and the rent from the other 2 apartments for income.
She wasn’t a rich woman, but she didn’t want the basics and was able to save money and be very generous to her grandchildren. If it wasn’t for that rental income, things would have been much tighter. I learned from her example to have passive income.
When did you discover internet marketing and what did you do?
Wow – a long time ago, actually!!! I always had this idea that the internet was going to be the future for entrepreneurship. Back in the early nineties (OMG, I’m dating myself!)
I remember using CompuServe and interacting with people on the messaging boards and forums to sell beauty products – at least I think it was beauty products!
Way later, in the early 2000s, I had purchased an internet marketing course and marketed a book I had written about renting rooms in your house. I created my own eBook, wrote a sales letter and actually had some sales!
What was the hardest lesson you learned from that time?
Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things you will do. It is rewarding when you work hard & smart, be consistent and never quit.
You will fail over and over again but you have to get over the disappointment of that failure, learn from it, and move on. I made a million mistakes!
One of the biggest mistakes was thinking that I could just quit my job and go full force with a business as a newbie. When you are working that takes time from your business, sure, but you can still pay your bills and – most importantly – allocate funds to invest in your business!
Do NOT quit before you are sure that your business can sustain not only itself but your basic living expenses as well.
What can network marketers learn from overcoming adversity?
It is a fact that you will fail your way to success. Even the most seasoned 7 and 8 figure network marketers fail ALL THE TIME. Get used to being told “No”. As you keep collecting your NO’s, your YES’s will not only be much sweeter but will come more frequently in time.
You will make mistakes. People may leave your team. Someone will say yes and then change their mind – or work with someone else. I don’t mean to sound bleak, but ALL of this happens all of the time – it kind of goes with the profession.
You have to learn to not take it personally and move on. The beauty of attraction marketing is that there are always people who will love to work with you! Don’t let a NO stop you! Don’t let a mistake stop you!
What is the biggest problem you see with new network marketers, and what should they focus on in the beginning?
New network marketers I think fail to understand that this is a profession, and as such, they need to be trained just like in any other profession.
The beauty of this industry is that you can learn on the job! But before you start trying to market your business on social media, learn how first from a professional (or two, or three)!
There are 2 ways to market your business: online and offline. You should do both, but prospecting should be your priority in the very beginning.
But before verbally vomiting on your friends and family, practice with your team or a trusted friend. We tend to get so excited to have found our new opportunity. We are shown the business model and can’t wait to get everyone we love involved.
That’s a natural reaction and you SHOULD get excited! But there is a right way and a wrong way to approach anyone.
I highly suggest that newbies start with some professional scripts (like Dani Johnson, Ray Higdon, Tom “Big Al” Schreiter, Todd Falcone or their own company’s training). Practice the scripts and put your own personality/spin on it so that you don’t sound like you are reading.
Can you explain what the “hub & spoke” strategy is?
Sure. If you think of a wheel, the center of the wheel is the hub and spokes from that hub form the circle. This is an easy to way to describe how you should think of using social media.
On the Internet, you own your own space: that is, your website or blog. The blog – your internet real estate – is the hub. To bring people to your blog, you must distribute the information from your website (that is, a blog post, a free report, or other valuable content) via the spokes. The spokes are social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Since you don’t own the space on the social media platforms, you want to direct all the friends and followers you make to your website – where they get added to your list because they sign up to receive valuable information from you.
You distribute your blog posts & content (your hub) to your spokes (social media platform) so they can come back to your site for more. When people like your stuff, they will happily come back to you and also share it. Sharing valuable content in this way is the beginning of attraction marketing.
I love your blog? How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is the daily traffic like to it?
Thank you!! This version is a little over a year old. I haven’t been as consistent as I should be, but I still get traffic and leads! I honestly do not monitor traffic – I know I should, but the metric I focus on are how many leads I get on a daily basis.
Why does branding yourself matter, especially if you’re an internet marketer?
Branding yourself is the most important thing you can do. Your band is an extension of yourself – your personality. Your brand is what attracts people to you. People don’t join companies; they join people.
The important thing to remember is that when branding yourself, you are leaving yourself open to unlimited opportunities.
The biggest earners in our industry don’t just promote their primary company. They are also affiliate marketers and many have their own products and services.
You may want to branch out to have multiple streams of income as well! Don’t pigeonhole yourself by promoting your primary business – promote you!
What is your favorite social media platform right now, and why?
Wow, this is a harder question to answer than I thought! I got early and consistent success with Twitter. I love the fact that I can pre-plan my posts, automate them and rotate them so that all of my content can be reached by new followers.
It is far easier to get followers on Twitter than some of the other social media platforms. But it is easier to be more interactive and prospect with individuals on Facebook.
I create videos for many of my blog posts and they get posted on YouTube, so my following has grown organically there.
I want to focus more on Facebook and YouTube moving forward. But Twitter is where I got my early success and start, so if I was forced to pick one, Twitter would be it.
Many people spam on Facebook and turn people off. What is the right way to prospect on Facebook?
Just be normal. Treat your interactions on FB Messenger or comments on posts just like you would talking to someone in real life. Just like you wouldn’t go up to a stranger and say “Hi, my name is Audra. I saw that you like lotion on your post. Want to join my business? We have the best lotion ever. Check out this link. We make a ton of money!” That’s ridiculous!! So don’t do it.
I join groups and interact on pages in Facebook. I approach people by first following them (if I can) and commenting on a post they made or replying to a comment they made on another page. I check this person out a little bit. If they seem like they would be a good fit for my team OR I just want to connect professionally, I send them a message introducing myself and saying hello.
I have used scripts in the past, but I always altered them to suit my personality. Think about it: if I am using a script, don’t you think others are too? Use the script to get the general idea/approach and then just chat normally.
As a rule, I NEVER send someone a link unless they ask for it. Once I have gotten to know someone a little bit, and I find out their problem, I ask them if they would like a solution (if I have one). That solution could be a link to my blog post which answers a question, free training, or a product from my primary business.
There are two key tips to prospecting on Facebook for me. 1) Keep in touch. The conversation where the prospect reveals their problem may not be for a while. Don’t be in a rush. Make a friend. And 2) if you send them a link, follow up with them to ask them about it.
Many people will take links but then forget to view it or get back to you. Get back to them. As long as you have the attitude of helping others, you will succeed.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
Don’t make me choose! Right now, I am loving Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One”.
I heard him speak at a company event, and immediately purchased his guided meditations and his book. This book appeals to the logical nerd in me. He actually explains the proven science behind the law of attraction!
I am a Christian and a spiritual person, so faith isn’t foreign to me. But there is something special about being able to prove that faith works! This is a book I will be reading over and over.
What are your goals for 2017?
I have lots of them. 🙂 I am working on non-monetary goals to grow my business. One is consistency. I want to get better at being more consistent and putting my business first as a priority.
I will also track my progress by number of leads per day, the number of people on my team, number of followers on social media and the number of Nos I will get each day through active prospecting.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe
This is my favorite quote because it frequently reminds me to never give up. That when things get hard, that’s actually a sign that you will have a breakthrough. When I look at that quote, it reminds me that no matter the adversity, I will get through it.
Honorable mention goes to Zig Ziglar. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” Motivation helps me through the day. This quote reminds me that successful people motivate themselves all the time, and that I should too!
It is really an honor to have been asked to be interviewed. Thank you so much. I hope this helps someone! 🙂
Thank you so much for this interview, Audra! This interview has so much honesty, clarity, and proven techniques to truly have success inside network marketing. I definitely hear your experience and know you’re speaking from experience.
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