If you build it they will come. At least that’s what most new business owners and freelancers think. The truth is quite different. Along with providing a great product and/or excellent service, you need to market your home business. In fact, I’d argue that your major job, once your business delivery systems are in place, is getting the word out. People can’t buy from you or hire you if they don’t know about you.
The challenge is that there are so many different ways you can market your home business, and it can overwhelming. So this week we asked work-at-home experts to share their advice on how to find and attract buyers to your home business.
Here are my tips to market my website:
1) Collaborate and network with other bloggers. This has been an excellent way to build a nice, internet presence on well-known websites. It takes time to reach out, and pitch your ideas to these other bloggers. And a lot of them won’t show interest. But when you start to get a few, you’ll get a snowball effect of other bloggers who become more willing to share your site and information.
2) Email marketing. Email marketing is useful as long as I’m not sending them out daily, and asking people to buy more stuff. The best emails have been when I offered people instruction guides on how to take care of their bearded dragons, or leopard geckos. Or other types of pets that would eat crickets. These are effective as long as they’re done in moderation.
3) Get active in forums. Forums are a great way to help other people within your community. You can’t be blatantly promoting your website or product. But if you find a forum, that allows you to put a link to your site in the footer of your posts, then your site can get some exposure when offering help to others.
1) Consider where your audience hang out and at what time. Use the insights you can find in Facebook to make sure you send out your posts at a time that your audience are online
2) Use Video and Facebook Live: This helps your potential clients know you and like you! As you work from home, make sure you have a tidy clean space – even, if, like me the non-video areas are filled with kids toys and washing!
3) Use the fact you Work from Home in your marketing. I utilize technology just as Zoom to make sure I can still have meetings and coach clients.
Heather D. Nelson
1) Social Media! This seems like a no-brainer these days but depending on the target market, certain social media platforms lend themselves better to the business model than others. Being a creative type, I utilize the ‘big three’. Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. I target my approach on each platform to showcase the content I need to drive my target demographic BACK to my website/blog/books/etc.
2) IRL Networking. Despite the modern advances that help us WAHM’s out, there is still something to be said for good-ol-fashioned who you know. I’m ALWAYS prepared to hand out a business card, speak to my work, invest in new endeavors to broaden my network, etc. You never know what NEW connection can lead to your NEXT paid gig!
3) VERY Targeted Paid Marketing. I emphasize the word VERY targeted simply because there is so much temptation to blast market in every possible way, but juggle the WORK with the AT HOME part means focusing your energies on what is fruitful and NOT casting quite as wide a net. I do super limited paid marketing efforts to drive sales/traffic to my latest
product, and the side effect of those is that I also raise awareness of my website/social media platforms/blog and thus have a broader audience to snag future freelance gigs down the road.
Social Media is by far the best marketing tool a business has. There are both free or paid options to suit any budget. To get yourself set up properly, here are three key points you have to remember.
1) Try and maintain consistency with your social media handles. This means that customers who do not use one platform will be able to find you on the platform they do hang out on.
2) Speak your brand through your images. If you are light and less serious, go for images that reflect this. If you are going for the super serious look then stick to darker colours. People buy from those they know and connect with so speaking your brand is important so that your ideal client feels they can connect with you.
3) Use tools to streamline the process. Scheduling tools can help save you time and remain consistent in posting. No one wants to follow a business that has tumbleweed blowing through their social accounts! You need to show up and be consistent.
1) Get crystal clear on who do you want to serve, what keeps them up at night, what are they dreams and hopes and where do the hang on online (what blogs do they read, what top experts do they follow, what podcasts do they listen to). Then make a plan of making yourself visible in front of their eyes, by being featured on those places: become a guest blogger for those websites and share your best tips, apply for being interviewed on those podcasts, follow those top experts on social media and engage with their followers. This is the most natural way to attract your ideal audience back to your own website.
2) Offer amazing free value before anything else. Don’t write average blog posts , write stellar ones. Network in the Facebook groups where your ideal clients are and offer your help, answer their questions, start a conversation. In my first month of business I generated more than 400 leads with this strategy, while working part time.
3) Make email marketing a priority: have a strategy in place to build your email list and then have another strategy for nurturing that email list. If I lost everything in my business over night but still have my email list, I am confident that I can rapidly rebuild everything.
Today a huge number of professionals are running their own businesses from their home and the number is growing everyday. But running a WAH business successfully needs sheer flawless marketing. Three most effective marketing tips for WAH business are mentioned here.
1) Social media marketing- In addition to being regularly present in all social media platforms, be member of different social business groups and blogs. Regularly comment on those social groups and blogs to actively involve in those communities and sometimes publish attractive contents to prove yourself as an authority of your trade. This will establish you as a serious business entity to different business community and people will ask for your service whenever
they need things you provide.
2) Meet people physically – Only through online promotions you can not reach the primary marketing goal of your WAH business – introduction. Physically meeting the influential peoples in different trades can provide very effective introduction for your WAH business. Regularly attend various industry events and meet different business personalities to physically introduce yourself along with your business cards. Keep frequent contacts with entrepreneurs and ask for business referrals.
3) Mail directly to people- Another very effective way to market your WAH business is direct emailing to people. Search online for people or business that might be your potential clients and create a contact list of those possible leads. Send direct emails to those contacts introducing and informing about your business. Provide your business details and how your business can provide real help to them. Frequently send emails to your potential clients as reminder and your new offers.
1) Have an opinion and a voice. You never know who is listening, watching, or reading your original content. That is unless you’re not putting out any original content. It’s okay to disagree with the majority and have your own opinion. Often, that is the content that gets the most attention. It’s also a great way to market yourself and be found. Your website and social media profiles are not enough for your clients to know, like, and trust you.
2) Birds of a feather flock together. You should never have to try and be something you’re not to fit in. Nor should it be hard to communicate with others. When you find clients who get you and you understand them, go where they are. Wherever they are you can bet others like them will be there too. Whether you call it a tribe or community you want to market to the right market.
3) Don’t be all things to all people. Narrowing your market is one of the best ways to reach your market. Knowing exactly who your market is will allow you to serve them better. You’ll be able to meet their needs before they know they have a need. Trying to please everyone is generic. No one wants to buy or wants to be a generic brand.
Note from Leslie:
This week’s experts had great ideas. You’ll also notice many were varied. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing. Here’s what I recommend:
- Who is your most likely buyer? People respond to offers (ads, articles, social posts, anything you put out in the world about your business) that speak to them. A generic “come learn about my business” in a generic place won’t get result. Instead, you need to speak directly to the most likely person to buy from you. That means you need to know who they are. What is their age and gender? What is their need that you can fix?
- Where does this buyer hang out? You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money by putting your offers directly in front of your potential buyers in the place they go to get answers about what you offer. If you sell widgets to millennials, you should have your offer on a website or in a magazine that millennials read to learn about widgets.
- What type of message will your market respond to? One you know who and where, you need to know how to make your market respond. That means learning to write messages (or videos, etc) that your market will notice and respond to. It helps to learn a bit about copywriting, but also, if you use content marketing, writing articles and content they desperately want.
Once you have the above questions answered, now it’s time to figure out what will reach them. Remember, you want to put yourself in front of your market. It your market doesn’t use Twitter, you don’t need to Tweet. I could be you need to use a social media platform that you’ve never used like Pinterest or Instagram. If you’re market likes videos, you may need to use YouTube.
Some great options for marketing include:
- Social media
- Email marketing (creating your own email list is an absolute must)
- Sharing content where your market hangs out such as article on other blogs
- Expand your exposure through publicity and being a guest on video or podcasts