Along with providing quality good and services, marketing is one of your most important daily activities. Without marketing, you won't have customers or clients; and as a result, you won't have a business.
The challenge is in finding your market and enticing them to check your business out. Below you'll find 50+ ways you can market your home business, but before you start marketing willy nilly, you should first answer the following questions:
1. Who is your target market? Many home business owners erroneously say, "everyone," but even if your product or service has wide market appeal, you want to narrow your choices down. You can do this by determining what problem your product or service solves, and then figure who needs the fix.
2. Where is your market? The most successful home business owners connect directly to their market by going to where the market hangs out. This includes websites, blogs, social media and even offline options such as service or hobby clubs.
3. How can you entice your market to check out. The best way to do this is to write offers that solve your market's problem.
Once you've answered the above questions, you can use the list below to find options that fit with your product and market.
50+ Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Home Business
- Create a website. Today you don't need to know coding to have a professional website.
- Create a blog for your business and post relevant articles and tips
- Optimize your website or blog for search engines in what's called search engine optimization or SEO.
- Send a press release to local and relevant media outlets.
- Host an open house to share your new business
- Create and send out mailers to your target market (include a coupon)
- Advertise in local coupon books or newcomer programs
- Start collecting email addresses and send out a newsletter, updates and offers with useful information or coupons. Consider using these free or cheap email partners. Just be careful not to alienate your list with too many offer. Email subscribers need to be valued and nurtured.
- Create content upgrades to encourage more email sign ups.
- Set-up a business Facebook page and use it
- Create a Facebook Group to interact with your market
- Set-up a Google+ account and use it
- Set-up a LinkedIn profile to promote your business
- Set-up a Twitter account and send out promotions and useful info to your customers and followers
- Consider using Pinterest to reach your market.
- Share news, updates and other important information on social media.
- Use a social media service to loop and repost your best online content automatically.
- Start an affiliate program to build a team of people to promote for you.
- Speak, teach or consult to local community education centers, associations, businesses or other groups interested in your topic.
- Be a guest on a radio show or podcast
- Create a Groupon (or a deal-a-day) promotion
- Wrap your car or use vinyl lettering to advertise your business
- Create a wacky promotion (like spend $25 and get a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries)
- Get testimonials or endorsements to increase your credibility. Post them on your website/blog, social media headers, and print materials.
- Set-up referral relationships with other relevant businesses
- Network. LinkedIn is a good place for this, but not the only place. Remember, you want to go where your market goes, so consider online and offline sources where you can meet, mingle and offer to help others.
- Run a friends and family promotion
- Set-up a customer-oriented competition to earn free product (whoever eats the most donuts in one minute gets free personal training for three months)
- Host an online contest
- Sponsor a good cause or a local event
- Throw your own product party or have friends and family host a product party on your behalf. It works for direct sales reps, it can work for other businesses. If you have a B2B business, you can do a presentation for a business.
- Advertise your business on local bulletin boards
- Use Pay-Per-Click advertising on certain keyword searches. Just make sure you have a good understand keywords and copywriting so you don't waste your money.
- Don't forget your existing customers. It's easier to sell to a current customer/client and to get referrals from them, than to sell cold.
- Create a brochure
- Create a business cards. Don't be stingy. Hand them out to anyone who might be interested in your business, or knows someone who might be interested in your business.
- Teach a local class offering tutorials and education around your business topic or area of expertise
- Start cold-calling (also referred to as prospecting)
- Attend a tradeshow and network with other vendors
- Host a booth at a relevant tradeshow and prospect for customers
- Set-up a storefront with Etsy to sell handcrafted goods
- Become an Ebay seller and integrate it into your business
- Set-up an Amazon storefront to sell new or used product
- Advertise for free on Craigslist
- List your products on Overstock.com
- List your products on Ecrater.com
- Write an article on a topic close to your business and submit it to other sites or blogs.
- Set-up a link exchange on your site for legitimate, non-competing businesses (You list their site and they list your site -- this will help with SEO)
- Start commenting on other people’s blogs to boost your SEO and expand your reach to readers on other sites.
- Search for forums around topics relevant to your expertise or business and begin posting and commenting. Focus on offering help and value, not on self-promotion.
- Create a customer rewards program to inspire repeat business
- Show appreciation to customers via email campaigns, social media comments, rewards, thank you notes or coupons
- Display your brand by creating t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. You can use sites like Cafépress.com to create a variety of swag.
- Create a memorable logo using free or affordable online providers
- Barter with other businesses for free advertising (you give free products/services and they promote your business)
- Put a coupon on the back of your business card
- Create a Unique Selling Proposition for your business and use it throughout your marketing
- Run a SWOT analysis to better understand your competitors and competitive landscape -- then adjust your marketing accordingly
- Give away free product to get customers interested (if you are a catering business ask a local business if you can set-up a food truck and offer free lunch for their customers)