How to market your small home-based business

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If you want to take your business to the next level, then marketing is key. You have to market your company aggressively, because if you don’t then you may struggle to stand out from the other local businesses in the area. A lot of home-based business owners make the mistake of thinking that they do not need to market at all, purely because they only operate out of their own property and that they don’t need to make a huge amount of money to cover expenses. Although these are valid points, you still need to make sure that you are not selling yourself short, and that you are putting yourself out there and in front of the right people.

How to market your small home-based business

SEO

Every home-based business should have some kind of website. Owning a website isn’t free, but it is possible for you to optimise it without spending at all. SEO is all about trying to include phrases or keywords across your site so people can search for terms that relate to what they want, and ultimately come across you. Using keyword search tools can give you very important insight into what the market is seeking, so you can then work to provide it. SEO is also about putting keywords into your home page content, as well as in your meta title and meta description. This will again, help people to find your site.  Even if you’re not selling anything like a product, you may still need to learn SEO.  Basically, any website needs to learn these techniques to stand a chance of ranking on the most popular search engines.  Even bloggers need to learn how to do SEO.

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Social media

Consumers in this day and age tend to trust word-of-mouth more than anything. It is very easy for you to reap the benefits that come from this if you simply try and make sure that your company has a social media page. If you have a solid page, then you will find it easier to communicate with your market, and you may even find that you can reap the buzz that your audience generates for you. If you can be responsive and if you can talk with the people who engage with you, then this shows that you truly care, and it also helps you to increase your loyalty in general.  It can also encourage customers to speak positively about your business and tag you when they do.  This will all help to ensure the longevity of your business.

Be a guest

Sharing the expertise that you have through interviews or even through articles is one of the best ways for you to make sure that you are getting yourself out there and in front of your target market. It may be that you land some kind of spot on someone’s website or that you manage to get interviewed on a podcast. Articles and even blog interviews give you the chance to show off your skills and your credibility in a way that is genuine, not to mention that it is a good way for you to show off what you can do. It’s far better when compared to a traditional advertisement so keep this in mind.

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Press releases

Free publicity is great for your credibility, and it will also work wonders for your market response too. The trick is for you to try and submit any newsworthy ideas that could possibly relate to your company. A press release is not an ad at the end of the day, and you cannot send an email that mentions your business to a newsroom. You have to make sure that you have a PR pitch, and you also need to include some kind of hook as well. It may be that you have achieved an award or that you have volunteered for a good cause. If you can do this, then you will so find that it is easier than ever for people to take note of you and that you can also reap the benefits that come with having people talk about you for free.

Joint venture

With a joint venture, you will choose to partner with someone who works in a similar industry. This will usually be done in the same way as a cross-promotion. There are many ways for you to try and form a cross-promotion too. You could choose to work with someone who promotes your company for you and in exchange for this, you give them a percentage of the sales. You might also want to provide them with your services if you believe that you can be of help to them. Either way, you really do have a lot of options here to ensure you launch a successful business by collaborating with the right people.

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SMS marketing

SMS marketing is ideal if you want to tell people to buy from you, right now. This type of marketing is ideal if you want to evoke a sense of urgency or build on customer relations. SMS marketing is the most cost-effective way to reach out to your customers. It can be used for a variety of purposes such as sending reminders, alerts, invitations, deals, and promotional messages.

This type of marketing has a higher open rate than email marketing and it is more personal. You can also use it to send messages when you are not available or on the go.  Just make sure you have permission to market to your customers in this way first.  Never use a customer's mobile phone number for marketing if they haven’t opted in to receive communication in this way.

Affiliate programs

It’s important to know that affiliate programs work in a very similar way to joint ventures. A business will promote your product or your service and in exchange, they will get a commission based on the sales generated.  There are lots of bloggers using affiliate networks to promote products and services in their niche.  The difference here is that a joint venture might be a one-time event, but with affiliates you have them set up and running for quite some time. You may need to invest in some software here so you can track what sales are coming from where, but other than this, you may find that they are very good at helping you to bring in sales and to increase your brand awareness.

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Forums

Forums really are your friend. Participating in online groups gives you the chance to get your product out there and in front of the right audience. Sure, participating in online groups can be time-consuming but at the end of the day, if you can do it well, then you can reap a lot of benefits. It also gives you a way to share your expertise and your general credibility as well. If someone is in a difficult situation and you are able to help them, then this is something that they will not forget, and you may even find that you can do this without directly promoting your company. This is a great way for you to get some positive exposure and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to make sure that you are not blowing the bank, just trying to reach your audience.

Create content

If you are not creating content, then you are missing out. Visual content has a way higher chance of gaining traction, especially online. Fortunately, it is not difficult or even expensive for you to craft a simple, promotional video. Sure, it is possible for you to pay a professional to do it for you, but if you are willing to put in the work, then you may find that you can do the whole thing yourself. It is very easy for you to make a video on your web camera or even for you to do this on your mobile phone. 

Final thoughts

Marketing your small home-based business is a difficult task. You need to find the right marketing channels, create content and update it regularly. Once you’ve worked out the best marketing channels for your business then you will reap the rewards.

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