Every successful home business needs a solid marketing strategy if it's going to generate additional income for your household. If you've decided to work at home, and you're spending more money on marketing than you're making in sales, it's time to start over from the beginning. It's important that you lay some groundwork first, and then build on your marketing plan.
Craft an "Elevator Pitch"
An elevator pitch is a marketing pitch for your business that you can share with someone during the duration of a short elevator ride, 30 seconds or less. The elevator pitch defines who you are and what you do, and it allows you to do it quickly. You may only get one short chance to pitch your business to a complete stranger, and you never know - they might be a potential customer.
Your elevator pitch could be written out in one or two paragraphs, or it could be one sentence. For example, you could say something like: "I paint custom window displays that can attract more customers to your store."
If your home-based business is geared toward making money on the internet, you still need an elevator pitch. Some of the best internet businesses use them, and you may not even realize it. Examine websites that are selling products, and look for their elevator pitch (it's short enough that you can read it in one or two seconds). This could give you examples on how to craft your own.
Make sure you have a supply of business cards with you at all times. This is part of the strategy that goes along with the elevator pitch. If you just have a few moments to talk to someone, give them your elevator pitch and your card. Make sure the card has all of your contact information on it, including your website. You could have the most state-of-the-art website on the internet, but if no one knows where to look for it, it won't do you any good.
Word of Mouth
Even if you're working at home and running an online business, word of mouth should still be part of your marketing strategy. In most cases, your friends and extended family will want to see you succeed. Whether you're at church or at your monthly knitting group, these people can help get the word out about your business. Tell them you're looking for more clients, and ask them to ask around. Chances are, they know someone who needs your services. Chambers of Commerce, and other groups where you network with other business owners, can also be a source for new business.
Offer Free Seminars
Teaching a free seminar can be another way to market your home business. You can find spaces to rent for a one-hour seminar for relatively low rates. Your local library or a YMCA are two examples. Give away free information that's beneficial to people, and in the process you can teach them about your business (and how they can benefit from your services).
These are examples of low-cost or free methods to market your services. If you start implementing these plans, it can go a long way toward building a successful home business. You'll eventually be able to expand to more expensive marketing techniques as your business grows.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.