Marketing is crucial to home business success. Without marketing, people can’t find you and buy from you. But marketing is much more than placing an add or submitting your website to search engines. It starts with determining your product or service’s uniqueness; what sets you apart from the competition. Then you need to learn what your marketing wants or needs related to your product or service, and where your market can be found. Finally, 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. 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.
4) Article writing. This is one of the best ways to get your business in front of other people for free. Website owners and bloggers will happily post a quality articles for free because they need content. In return, your article has information about your business with a link back to your website.
5) Advertising. Many blogs and websites offer affordable advertising. Just make sure the site targets the market you want to reach.
6) Blogging. 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.
7) Social 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 many 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.
10) Hold an event such as a grand opening, expo or sale. Events are a great way to jump start your business.
The options are endless. Consider getting books on copywriting, marketing and publicity to create a marketing plan that works for you.