The social selling industry (what used to be called “direct selling”) began over a hundred years ago when brands started working with independent sellers to sell their products door to door. Iconic images of door to door encyclopedia salesmen, vacuum salesmen, and carpet salesmen still persist in the cultural imagination.
Yet, the social selling model has evolved dramatically over time. The recent rise of social media and the expansion of the gig economy have fostered explosive growth in recent years. Increasingly, online social tools are being used to find, research, and engage prospective customers with relationship building strategies. Today, the social selling industry is worth $180 billion globally and is growing at a rate of 10% per year.