Melanie is an independent consultant with Arbonne, which is a health and wellness internet marketing company. She currently lives in sunny Australia, after taking the plunge to move over a couple of years ago from Scotland.
You can order products from Melanie at www.melaniewood.arbonne.com or contact her via her Facebook page Melanie Wood – Arbonne Independent Consultant, where you can find out about free trials of the all product ranges and up to 40% on orders.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Melanie, it is great to see you!
Can you tell me a bit about the business you are in?
My business is in the health and wellness industry. We are a network marketing company; we share an opportunity with people and we share products. It’s all about sharing so it’s entirely up to them if they want to come on board as a business builder or as a consumer of the products. We basically educate them on another way to make an income and another way to use pure, safe and beneficial products.
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been doing it for over two years now, about two and a half years.
How did you get into the business?
My sister in law was talking about the products at a family meal. She spoke about how they didn’t have chemical, were gluten free and how much she loved them. She asked me to come along to a presentation in Glasgow to hear about the business and products. It really wasn’t something for me at first and after I tried the products, I loved them and that’s when I considered doing the business and that’s what I’ve been doing now since then. So, I jumped on board pretty much as soon as I heard about it.
How long do you spend on it? Is it a full time business?
No, I work my business part time, so I work my business alongside my full time job, around 10-12 hours a week.
How do you fit it in?
I do things before work, so dropping products off or meeting people for a coffee and telling them about the business, or making some phone calls/sending emails. The same after work; dropping products off, collecting products, so that’s during the week. At weekends I have more time to go to markets, hosting events, so those are the other types of things that I do; meeting people one on one about the business, doing group presentations or product drop offs, or phone calls and emails.
You’ve really answered this question, but why did you choose this sector? I suppose, because you liked the products?
Yeah, probably. It’s not something I saw myself doing was network marketing. It was the products for me because I had bad skin. The products really sold me in terms of what they could do for other people, if they had skin conditions. Also the income opportunity that’s attached to it, and that I would be able to help other people in their life as well.
What do you enjoy most and least about having your business?
The business comes with so much personal development; that’s the biggest thing for me. The opportunity to become a better version of myself so that’s probably the absolute most for me and being able to help other people in that same situation. To be able to coach and mentor people. I wouldn’t really say that there’s anything I least like or anything like that about the business because I get to meet new people. I get to help people with their skin conditions. I really do love everything about it.
Are there any aspects you find frustrating?
I think the biggest thing is probably the fear factor of picking up the phone or speaking to someone that you don’t know. In the beginning that’s really quite difficult. It’s not something that people like to do. It’s something you need to constantly keep doing to get over that fear. Sometimes I still get the feeling that I maybe don’t want to go out of my comfort zone and speak to someone because it’s maybe in their workplace and it’s busy. That’s the only thing but again, that’s about developing yourself through the personal development, so it becomes easier to do, that was mainly in the beginning.
You talked about how you came about the business, was it always your plan to work for yourself eventually or did that only happen when you found out about the business?
It only happened when I found out about the business. I love what I do in my full time job but it’s not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life but before this business, I didn’t know what else I could do to not have a boss. The business came into my life at the right time, because I didn’t want to work for somebody else anymore. I wanted more of a challenge, I wanted to be more financially independent.
How do you promote your business?
We don’t pay for advertising, so the business is me, so I’m the advertiser. It’s about me meeting people and building relationships with people, building up a client base of product users. I moved to Australia not long after I started so I don’t know people, basically its cold marketing. When I’m out and about having coffee or lunch, or going to the gym or other things I do, I meet people and I chat to them and see whether this is a fit for them and I ask them to come and meet me for coffee. My full time job is in childcare so there’s a lot of children with different allergies and skin conditions so then I’ll speak to parents and say, why don’t you give some products a try for a couple of days. It really varies, it’s all about asking people to come and hear about our opportunity or asking people to try products or to host an event. Again, just building relationships with people, sometimes for months before I even speak to them about the business.
Do you find social media effective?
Yeah, I’ve been using it a lot more recently to get referrals. I ask my Facebook friends to post for me and putting them on their page to attract more people and to get into their network. I’ve got my own business page. I post a bit about my lifestyle and about the products and again, asking for referrals. I link Twitter to my business page, so I get a lot of followers from that, so it’s a really good tool to have in building a business.
Which method do you find most effective in promoting your business? Is it the one to one’s or social media?
I think with the business, it’s more about me asking people. With the products, I think referrals through social media is the biggest part of that, it’s probably quite separate.
How has working for yourself benefited you?
It’s gave me confidence and self-esteem, that I can actually go out there and do something else, but you don’t have to give up what you’re already doing to build a business alongside. It’s given me the hope that there is actually something else out there and you can build a business and become independent. It’s the personal development for me and being able to pick and choose when I work, rather than someone else telling me to. You’re taking control of when you meet people, when you drop products off and when you collect them.
What advice would you give someone who’s just starting up in any business? Is there anything you’ve learned the hard way?
I would say that you should follow the system, if there’s a system in place then you know that it works and I think to deviate away from that, like I have done in the past and it hasn’t worked. I’ve then went back to following the system. If it’s not a business with an infrastructure, find someone else that has that same business and follow what they’re doing. It’s about following the people who are already successful in that business is the way you’ll succeed.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
I see it getting to the point that I won’t have my full time job and also, giving me that time back and financial freedom and being able to help so many more people in that time. I can help them have more time to spend with their family, with their children. Helping people who maybe don’t like their job or they need some more income, building a team and culture who promote positivity and promotes helping everybody.
Do you see yourself expanding into other businesses?
Yeah, now knowing I can do this and I can go into business for myself, it has made me look even more into what I want to do. What I want to branch into is the personal development that I’ve learnt from the business, I want to take that further and help other people, in terms of public speaking and coaching.
Great thanks Melanie, you are certainly an inspiration and I wish you success in your current and future ventures!