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Need Extra Cash? Learn How to Be a Social Seller

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Move over, Mary Kay -- there's a new direct sales leader on the block. Stella & Dot is the darling of the industry with its modern jewelry and newly-launched clutches. Its nearly 20,000 stylists have rung up sales totaling more than $100 million in the last year.

Tory Johnson, ABC News’ Good Morning America workplace contributor, says you too can rake in the dough as a successful social seller. Here are some of Johnson’s tips:

Be Sure!:  Be sure you're willing to sell. Don't be fooled by anyone who says, "Oh it's not really 'selling,' it's just 'sharing' stuff you love." It's called "social selling" and "direct sales" for a reason. If you think you can just put products "out there" and have tons of cash flow in, it won't happen on its own. Making money at direct sales takes work. If you're never going to make a cold call, never demo a product, never chat up your wares, then it's not going to work for you. Do an honest assessment with yourself.

Choose Products You Prefer:  Select a company that mirrors your personal interests. There are dozens of categories to choose from: cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, cooking, clothing, vitamins, and so much more. Rep products that you personally would use. When they become part of your routine, you'll be more comfortable selling them. In fact, Chrissy McManus, a Stella & Dot stylist, wears the jewelry regularly. She's an ideal customer, which also makes her a perfect stylist.

Time is Money:  Recognize what you'll get out money-wise is directly connected to what you put in time wise. The median income in direct sales is $2,400 annually. A part-time gig that brings in a couple hundred bucks a month is perfect for many people. But if you want a full-time salary, you'll have to make it your full-time business. McManus of Stella & Dot spends at least 15 hours a week on her business and is averaging $50,000 a year. The beauty of direct selling is that it offers the flexibility to ramp up or down as time permits and bills warrant.

Be Prepared to Pay:
  Prepare to pay to get started. Expect to pay a start-up fee to get going, which should be under a couple hundred dollars -- tops. Stella & Dot's starter kit is $199, and includes $350 of jewelry, plus all of the training materials to get going. And here's the key: you have up to one year to return all of it and receive up to a 90 percent refund assuming it's in new condition. That's the sign of a legitimate opportunity: Can you get the majority of your money back if it's not for you? (ManCave, the grilling company which hosts "meat"ings, says its starter kit is $149 and can be found here.)

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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