Uncommon Sense: How to Achieve Independence Without Isolation in the Promo World
There is a major problem in the promotional world. It’s one we’re too quick to ignore, too comfortable minimizing as part-of-the-biz, and one that is costing us money. That problem is professional isolation.
You read industry publications, you’ve developed expertise that pays off, and you budget for trade shows—to meet your peers, to find good ideas and to generally make connections. But at the end of the day, whether you’re a one-person distributorship or a one-stop-shop with a tight-knit team … you’re still on your own. Leads? On you. Problems? You. Successes—hard-earned, but also hard to share as widely as you deserve.
This situation has led hard-working distributors to feel
- Disconnected – others don’t know their pain points, their progress, or understand their day-to-day needs
- Deprived – the door is shut on them while others are in the right rooms
- Discouraged – that this is just how it is
If you’ve ever faced one or more of those challenges, you’re not alone.
The Costs of Professional Isolation
Harvard Business Review published an article about how burnout at work can also directly stem from isolation. According to the article, "the social repercussions of this discomfort directly impact work productivity because people disengage."
Isolated distributors who lack a meaningful community may experience effects that are harmful to your company’s financial health.
- Research from the University of California – Irvine demonstrated, “obesity reduces longevity by 20 percent, drinking by 30 percent, and smoking by 50 percent, loneliness and isolation in the workplace reduces it by 70 percent.”
- Forbes found that, on the scale of the office and of the industry, professional isolation decreases productivity and costs you revenue and wealth opportunity.
Isolation keeps you from the growth and the cash you deserve. So, how do we combat this? The Harvard Business Review article recommended to “build developmental networks. These networks are ... groups of colleagues you routinely turn to for task advice or emotional support.” So, while it’s essential to be a part of a network, what network we choose is just as important.
The Costs of Caring
This problem isn’t new. And there have been organizations over the years that have offered connection, support and even incentives to small distributorships. But the end of the pitch usually comes with a steep ask: connection in exchange for your company identity, and even your independence. Some may say that’s just business. But one organization disagreed.
A Better Way
AIM Smarter is an organization by distributors, for distributors, led by people with direct experience, reacting to needs we saw because we saw them in ourselves. The glue of our community is the unique advantage of being a collective of members—namely, we want you to stay you. Keep your name, keep control, stay independent, but work together for a leg-up.
AIM was born from a group of distributors banding together to get what they deserve without giving up what they’ve earned. A belief that instead of waiting for a solution, we could make one—one with the benefits, services, and freedom that just weren’t present in the market.
$2 billion and 2,200 members later, we are onto something.
Get the Connection You Need, and the SPACE You Deserve
We’re connecting the ambitious, the experienced, the mavericks and the all-stars all in one place. Are you one of those? Join a team that "gets it." And, we take that seriously: Every single day, we talk to distributors about what they need to grow their business, from marketing services to supplier relations, technology tools to full financing. And we’re a fun bunch too!
The membership and services offered—from technology, to full business funding and marketing, to preferred pricing with suppliers—are part of the full package we give you. At AIM Smarter, we directly combat professional isolation by connecting you to a real community. A community of members like you, who get you.
S – Support:
Pick up the phone and call a dedicated project manager—an extension of your team with the expertise and tools to get it done.
- Project tracking? An inside contact at a supplier? PO management? Handled.
Work with people who get our industry, who get your frustrations ... and also know how to fix them.
- The best shoulder to lean on comes with solutions you can count on.
P – Projects:
Social media marketing, logo vectorization, embroidery DST files—we can help with it all.
- AIM Smarter has an in-house design agency that makes your visions reality, from brochures to email campaigns to cutting-edge videos.
Get targeted, online shopping experiences for end-buyers with unlimited company stores.
- We’ll build it, you make the sales.
A – Assistance:
- Our AIM Tech Suite helps you make sales and source product—we’ve got an industry-leading live inventory of millions of searchable products with helpful filters.
- We offer a complete e-commerce web solution with pre-loaded product databases + virtual samples tech to help you close.
- Streamline tracking, fulfillment, and strengthen your order process. Save paper, time and stress.
C – Community:
Go to trade shows? Us too.
- At every major industry show, we’ll have faces you recognize and a hospitality suite that will become your home-away-from-home.
Got a phone?
- When you need help, give us a call. Reach a human, not a computer.
- AIM is our members, not just our staff. We have an exclusive, active and fascinating Facebook group with daily posts, engaging threads, and opportunities to connect with others in the industry who share insights and offer a hand.
E – Events:
We reinvest in our community with a series of AIM-exclusive events, letting you network, grow, and get in-person deals.
- AIM XP: our innovative national sales meeting and award ceremony
- Peer2Peer: a VIP and top-selling member event with deluxe sessions in deluxe settings
- AIM Power Meetings: a unique jumpstarting event that boosts members by creating personal sales connections directly to major suppliers
The 'You Matter' Approach
AIM has a reputation as the community that cares. We do things a little differently, and we’re not stopping any time soon. With AIM, you get as much or as little as your business needs. You’ll keep your identity, your freedom and get access to the SPACE you need to thrive ... and you’ll never have to be alone again. Isn’t it worth a call?