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I talk to people all the time who tell me that a home business just didn’t work for them. When I ask specific questions about what they did or didn’t do to build their business, I find that most failed to develop and implement a successful marketing plan. You cannot make money in your business if you don’t have people buying what you have. And you can’t get people to buy what you have if you don’t let them know about it.
But marketing isn’t just about putting your name in front of people. It involved understanding your market and crafting messages they’ll respond to. Here are some tips for developing a successful marketing plan:
1) What are you offering and why is it different from everyone else? You can be different in many ways. Your product or service might be different, or how you deliver it can be different.
2) Who will benefit from what you have? Women? Single people? Kids? etc. This is about identifying the most likely people who will buy. Don’t go into marketing thinking everyone will love what you have. That may be theoretically true, but you have to identify why people buy. For example, many people want to work at home, but moms want to work at home for different reasons than baby boomers. I need to develop marketing specific to each group if I want to attract them to my site.
3) How will they benefit from what you have? Become thinner, richer, stronger, etc? Ultimately, marketing isn’t about how great your business is, but what your customers can get from your business. Determine the benefits your customers will receive by using your product or service.
4) Where do these people hang out? What magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? To put your message in front of your target market, you have to know where they hang out. You need to put your message in places they are most likely to read it.
Use the answers to the above questions to create marketing materials (ads, articles, blogs, websites, brochures, publicity, etc) that speak directly to your market. Develop a plan that involves marketing your business everyday whether its giving out business cards, running an ad, writing an article, or calling someone.
Visit your library or bookstore and get books on copywriting, marketing, and publicity. Below are some of my favorite marketing resources: