The other day I posted a project on Freelancer looking for an IT specialist to do some work on WAHS to fix her slow load times. Within minutes, tons of bids filled my account. How would I pick just one? To make it easy I began to sort them, but most of them had good reviews and experience, so the next step was to read their bids.
Freelancer allows you to tag a bid you like, so I began the process of reading and tagging ones I liked. I had tagged about 4, when a new bid came in and within minutes, I offered him the work.
So what was different from this new bid compared to the the others?
He spoke directly and specifically to my need, and offered proof of his work.
Most of the bids indicated they could do the job of speeding up the site. Many provided links to sites they worked on. But the bid I picked, not only said he could speed up my site, but indicated how he could do it. He also told me how many sites he’d already done this work on through Freelancer (which I could check) and then he posted links to speed tests on GTMetrix so I could see the results of his work.
So what does all this have to do with you and wanting to work at home?
Whether you want a job, or are a blogger, or an Amazon FBA seller, or Freelancer….whatever it is you want to do to make money online, attracting someone to give you money for your skill or doo-dad is crucial to your success. If you don’t market, employers and consumers can’t find and buy from you.
But marketing is more than sending a resume or posting on social media or running an ad. As my example above showed, many people sent me their information and I suspect all of them could do the work. But I chose the one that specifically targeted my need.
One essential element new marketers miss is the importance of target marketing. Identifying the right market isn’t just about knowing who the ideal buyer is, but also, it makes sure your marketing message (or resume) speaks to them and can be found by them.
How to Use Target Marketing Get Hired and Make Sales
1. Know your market.
The whole world might like your product or service, but one-size-fits-all marketing is a waste of time and money. Instead you need to identify market segments, figure out what they need from your product or service, and then market to them directly. For example, many people want to work-at-home, but moms want to work at home for a different reason than baby boomers. A generic work-at-home ad would be easier to create, but a specific ad geared towards moms who want to stay home with children is going to be more effective at enticing moms to check out my business. A separate ad geared towards baby boomers will have the same effect.
For job seekers, knowing your market comes from studying the employers who need the skills and experience you offer. What are they asking for specifically?
2. Know where to find your market.
Similar to number 1, knowing where to find your market increases the likelihood that they’ll see your offer. Just because a website has a ton of visitors or a newspaper reaches millions of subscribers, doesn’t make it the best marketing avenue for you. You’d be better off advertising on a smaller website or periodical if it was focused on your market. For example, if you’re a real estate assistant, promote your business in the local real estate association’s newsletter, not the daily or weekly paper. The newsletter goes directly to real estate professionals who may need the services of an assistant.
For job hunters, finding your market starts with job boards, where employers post job openings. However, it can also mean checking industry specific resources (industry newsletters with classified ads employers might put a job opening in) or going to potential employer websites to see if they have job postings.
3. Give ’em what they want.
People don’t buy from you because they think you’re the best. They buy because they think you can fulfill a need. In my search for an IT professional, many of the bids had all sorts of bells and whistles touting how great they were. But only one spoke specifically to my need.
People buy solutions, so that is what you want to focus your marketing message or resume on giving. Too many people are self-centered in their marketing, focusing on features that say, “Hey, aren’t I great!” But marketing works best when you’re customer focused on the benefits your product or services offer that say, “Hey, look what I can do for you!”
The same is true for job hunters. The more you can explain the skills and experiences you have in terms of how they benefit the employer, the better the change you’ll get the job. An employer might need someone who can transcribe notes quickly. You can add that you have experience transcribing, or you can put that you have experience transcribing notes at 80 words per minute. Which do you think the employer will gravitate to?
Finally, offer proof that you can do what you said you can do. As a business owner or freelancer, that can come in the form of testimonials or a portfolio. As a job hunter, your education, certifications, awards, and references offer proof.
4. Have a plan.
The easiest way to market is to know what you’re doing each time you sit down to do it. I use a planner that has a column for each of my businesses, and under each a list of marketing strategies such as blog posts, articles, PR, social media and video. Each week, I go through and decide what I’ll do for each marketing tactic such as what topics I’ll write about on my blog or create a video about.
For the job hunter, your plan would include a system for searching for and applying to jobs daily.
5. Re-purpose your message.
Marketing requires many different strategies from social networking, article writing, ads, and so on. While you need to market every day, you also need to run a business. You can save time by re-purposing your marketing materials. For example, you can rewrite a blog post into an article to send to online and offline media that targets your market. You can turn that article into a slide show or video to post on your site other sites. You can put the video on a DVD and give it to consumers like a business card. You can have your tweets automatically sent to your Facebook page.
Even job hunters can do this by using a variety of strategies to network with potential employers (i.e. on Linkedin), posting a portfolio on a blog or website, or doing a video interview you can post online.
The idea here is that you want to make sure your message is received in the best way for the buyer to get it. Some people may not be on Twitter or Facebook, but they’re on YouTube, in which case a video would be ideal to reach them.
6. Track results.
Not all marketing works. You save time and money by eliminating marketing strategies that don’t deliver results. But you can’t do that if you don’t track results. This can be done in many ways. For example, your website host offers statistics that can tell you from where visitors are finding you. Or you can use tracking codes in your URL’s so you know from where people found and clicked on your link. Probably the easiest way is to use Google Analytics, which not only tells you where people are finding you, but also, what keywords they used so you can better know what exactly they’re looking for.
Another thing you can do is ask, “How did you find us?” when customers buy. Then focus your marketing on strategies and sources that work. Tweak or eliminate tactics that don’t work.
When it comes to jobs, tracking becomes a bit more challenging because employers are terrible at letting you know if they’ve received your resume, much less if they read it. You can track how many resumes you sent out, the date it went out, and when you followed up. If you’re not getting results, you can look at making changes to your work-at-home job hunt and resume to improve you odds of getting noticed and hired.
Marketing should be a part of your daily tasks, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm or consume all your time. By knowing and targeting your market, developing a plan, and assessing results, you can market efficiently and effectively.Missing out on jobs, clients or sales? Here's the one thing your marketing needs to make you stand out from the crowd. #marketingtips #jobsearchtipsClick To Tweet
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.
Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own.
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