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Want to know the secret to work-at-home success? Along with providing value, it’s marketing. If you want a job, you have to market yourself. If you have a business, you have to market it. It all comes down to this: All successful businesses have a clear, effective marketing strategy. In this week’s “From the WAH Experts,” I ask successful experts:
What is your all-time most effective marketing strategy?
John Turner, QuietKit
The most effective marketing strategy is providing exceptional customer support to existing and potential customers/users. The costs here are often very minor for the results, and if you can go above and beyond what others offer in terms of customer support (which isn’t a high bar), your customers will go out of their way to rave about you, providing a great word of mouth channel at a low cost.
Michael Beck, EarthClassMail.com
In one word, EMAIL. It is the best bootstrap strategy because it literally costs nothing to get started (MailChimp is free!). You can dip into your subscriber pool anytime you want traffic or revenue. You own the contact info forever, even if they unsubscribe you can still retarget those emails on various ad networks.
If you run an e-commerce site, collecting emails is really easy – anyone that transacts can get opted into your list (there are always cart abandonment recapture emails as well). A lot of entrepreneurs have subjective apprehension when doing something like that, but it’s legal and it works.
If you run a content site, collecting emails is harder, but totally achievable with some effort. If you’ve got a little bit of money to spend or can get sponsors to pony up a prize, getting emails through sweepstakes is extremely cost effective, especially running ads on social sites. You can always just buy lists too, but I would lean on that as a last resort because the quality tends to be lower than the direct collection.
Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates
As a keynote speaker and a workshop leader who works out of my house, I’m in a business where it’s easy to spend six figures a year on marketing. And initially, I was doing the same thing. Then I completely changed my strategy. Today, I spend almost nothing. I generate business the old stodgy, old-fashion way: We simply concentrate on doing the best possible job for each one of our clients. There’s no marketing anywhere as powerful as a satisfied customer. And I price my services to position me as the most affordable speaker of my caliber and credentials available. And since I initiated that strategy, referrals and word of mouth generate more business than anything else I do.
I don’t send out thousands of glossy one-sheets and brochures, and my website might not be as slick as some, but I’ll happily match the quality of the presentations against anyone in the industry. At any fee. So clients are delighted to refer me to their associates.
Kayla Ethan, Rebates zone
That is highly dependent on the nature and size of the business. However, for small B2C companies, I have found through personal experience that social media is an excellent tool which can provide some really cool insights about your customer base, especially if complemented with info from Google Analytics.
It takes some time and effort, but once you are set up on Social Media the results can be really good. I recommend setting some budget aside for boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram. This is one of the best ways to advertise for small businesses, just make sure that you set the targeting options to the exact people you want to reach.
Once this was possible organically, sadly Facebook has introduced new rules that make it very difficult. But, it still remains a very good way.
The most effective marketing strategy I have implement for my business was to create a brand presence around my industry with influential bloggers. Seeking out bloggers who have credibility takes time and patience. Once I was able to compile a qualified list of bloggers I started sending out personalized emails trying to build an authentic relationship with each blogger. Offering incentives like review items, discounts and giveaways help sweeten my chances of getting my brand on their blogs. Even though the links are no-follow and have no SEO benefits, the brand awareness it brought was well worth the effort. Not only did I gain a lot of traffic to my e-commerce site, their endorsement enhanced my business image and credibility. It’s the most effective marketing strategy I have implemented because having people talk about my brand in a positive and sincere manner is the most valuable form of word of mouth marketing.