Five Ways To Market Your Home-Based Business

Learn some ways to pump up the volume on your home-based business with these marketing tips.

There are many businesses that you can start and run from your home. With today's technology, your imagination and the marketplace are the only limits. To be successful, whether you are a web designer or selling widgets online, you must let people know that you are out there, and precisely what kind of service or product you offer. You do this by marketing your business in a number of ways, many of which do not have to be expensive at all.

1. Join your local chamber of commerce, as well as any relevant professional organizations. You may even want to join more than one chamber of commerce. In many cities, there is a woman's chamber of commerce, a Hispanic chamber of commerce, and so on. Also attend fundraisers and other events in your community where you will meet other people who are not normally in your social sphere. In other words, network! Get those business cards flowing. An important caveat: when networking, be authentic. People distrust others who they perceive as showing interest in them only because of the business or contacts that they might provide.

2. Give exceptional customer service. Go above and beyond. Send thank you notes to clients. Do follow-up calls. Always be cheerful, friendly and professional. By providing exceptional customer service, not only do you get repeat business, but also you get the best marketing tool of all""word of mouth. Word of mouth is like a legal pyramid scheme. If you get referrals from five people, and those five people each refer five more people to your business, well, you see where that leads. Word of mouth happens most often when individuals feel a connection to a company. You can create that connection, and your customers will sell your business for you. A way to keep this synergy going is to offer customers a discount for each new referral that utilizes your service. One client of mine gives me so many referrals that she only pays about half of the cost of her own service. Her stated goal is to provide me with so many referrals that she eventually gets my service for free!

3. Develop a web presence. In order to be seen as with the times, you must have a website. You may not actually sell your product or services on the site, but it should explain clearly and concisely what you do, which is a form of sales in and of itself. It should be professionally designed, as it is a reflection on your company. Today's websites are high-tech business cards. For example, once you've joined your local chamber of commerce, chances are, you will be offered the opportunity to link to their site. Make yourself clickable and get a website. Once you have, put a signature line on your outgoing emails that includes your URL.

4. Put your company in print. There are a variety of ways to do this. The most common ways are to print brochures and place ads in newspapers, but you should also try some getting some free advertising. You can also create your own newsletter, which you can send out to potential clients. You can identify potential clients through the relationships that you have built networking. Try to get to know individuals who offer complementary services or products, as you may decide to share client lists. You need not even pay postage, as email versions of newsletters are becoming very popular. Just make sure that you have permission to send the newsletter if you choose the email option. No one likes spam, and that is a surefire way to lose customers.

5. Become your own publicist. Make sure your company is visible. Put a magnet on your car, hand out bumper stickers, wear and give away tee shirts with your company's logo. Send out press releases to your local newspaper and television stations if you offer a service that is new and interesting to your community. Of course, you will need to present it so that it appears interesting, even if it is old hat to you. You may want to invest a friend's objective assistance in writing press releases. You can gain even more exposure in the community by offering to give talks or workshops on your area of expertise.

Be patient and persistent. Regardless of how you choose to market your company, you will need to wait for the results to pay off. If you decide to advertise in newspapers, make sure that you advertise for a minimum of three months in a row. If you are sending a newsletter, make sure that you do it consistently. If you join organizations, make sure that you are active in them and give relationships time to develop. Eventually your business will reap the benefit of the multiple marketing efforts that you have made.

© High Speed Ventures 2011