Marketing is crucial to home business success. It requires identifying your product or service’s uniqueness, how it helps others, and the groups of people most likely to buy. Once you know all that, you need to use marketing strategies to get your message to your market. Here are some of most effective and low-cost marketing tactics:
1) Tell your network of friends, family, and acquaintances
While they may not need your product or service, they may know people who do. So don’t be afraid to tell people you know about your new business.
2) Business cards…hand them out to everyone
For as cheap as they are, people are really stingy with business cards. Leave them in public places, hand them out to people you meet during the day, put them in your bills, etc. You can make business or drop cards with a computer and some business card paper. For example, I have homemade business-size cards that say, “Free Work-At-Home Jobs, Information and Scam Alerts. http://www.workathomesuccess.com.” Or check out VistaPrint, which has very affordable pricing on business cards and other print marketing tools.
3) Press releases
Post them online to improve search engine ranking and send them to your local media outlets. Also, take advantage of the free HARO report, that provides information about media sources looking for experts to use in their stories. Make a point to find at least one thing to pitch media about your business. Remember though, your pitch isn’t an ad. You’re goal is to provide a news story for which you and your business would be ideal experts.
4) Article writing
With Google’s update that penalizes websites for questionable links, many have turned away from article marketing. While article marketing (or guest blogging) may not offer the SEO benefits it once did, it is a still a good way to get your business in front of other people for free. Website owners and bloggers will happily post a quality article for free because they need content. In return, you article has information about your business with a link back to your website. Further, many websites pay for articles, so it can become another source of income.
Many blogs and websites offer affordable advertising. Just make sure the site targets the market you want to reach. Other options include Facebook ads, which are ideal because you can narrowly target your market for maximum results.
Search engines love blogs because content is updated frequently. Blogs help you stay in touch with your market and set you up as an expert in your industry. Successful blogging, like all other forms of marketing, focus on providing information, entertainment, and other content their target market wants to read.
7) Networking online and off
Twitter, Facebook and other social networks are a great way to reach your market. To avoid wasting time, develop a social networking plan and stick to it. Don’t forget offline networking options such as through your local Chamber of Commerce or Meet-Up.com.
8) Offer freebies such as reports, samples, etc.
People like to get free stuff. It’s an easy way to get your name in front of potential customers and build your credibility as an expert.
9) Create a newsletter
Email lists are the bread and butter of most online businesses. Offer something free to entice people to join your list. Email them tips and information related to your business to build rapport. Keep direct pitches for customers at a minimum, and when you do send special offers, make sure it’s something that would benefit your email list.
10) Hold an event such as a grand opening, expo or sale
You can have an online virtual summit or expo or webinar. If you’re starting a direct sales or other product-based business, hold a party in your home to show off your goods. Events are a great way to jump start your business to get sales quickly.
The options for marketing are endless. To make sure your marketing messages resonate with your potential clients and customers, consider getting books on copywriting, marketing and publicity to create a marketing plan that works for you.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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