With social media platforms being a current hotbed for marketing activity, it’s easy to overlook the hundreds of opportunities put in front of you every day to promote your business. If you ignore them, your competitors have a good chance too. Here are some unique marketing ideas for small home businesses that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Pick up the business card and connect with their owners. Did you think you should be littering around with your own cards? no People leaving their cards around town are looking for more businesses. They may be open to joint venture opportunities. Introduce yourself and express interest in co-hosting a local event, trading ad space on your website or newsletters, etc. Your direct competitors may not be interested, but may own a complementary business. I love picking out business cards Mu and Erin Condren.
Start a referral program. You don’t need some fancy e-commerce shopping cart or software to start your own affiliate program. Offer your customers a discount or free product for referring sales. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and you only pay when it works.
Guest blog. Maybe you are not interested in starting your own blog. That doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from sharing your expertise on other sites. That link in your author byline will still direct people to your website, even if it’s just an online catalog. Stick to sites that speak to your target market for best results.
Create t-shirts with your website on the back. Forget the future. No one, especially potential leads, wants to be in the awkward position of being caught looking at your chest trying to figure out your URL. Put it on the back. People behind you at the checkout line, at your kids’ basketball game, at the park will have plenty of time to read it and make a mental note. Get shirts for your kids too! It’s only a small investment of a few bucks if you go through a site like Vistaprint or the like Cafepress.
Partner with small local businesses. Identify your micro-niche market and connect with other businesses through existing relationships. For example, let’s say your target market is busy moms. Suggest a joint venture at your local mom-and-pop pizza shop. They put your sticker on their delivery box; You give your customers a coupon as a door prize or with your monthly invoice. Maybe new moms are your ideal customer, see if your local hospital offers new mom gift baskets and ask how you can get your products or gift certificates for your services.
use lose (Help a reporter). You’re not looking to source opportunities—unless you want to—you’re looking for Friday emails that include gift bag requests. If your home business deals in physical products, this can be a great opportunity to get your products in event gift bags or blog giveaways at no charge.
Reply to an email. If you’re a busy entrepreneur, you may have some unanswered emails in your inbox as we speak. Even if said email is personal in nature, it can help generate business through your signature. You can create a custom signature in most email applications. You can take it a step further and use a service like WiseStamp.
Send a thank you note. Even if your business operates online, there are benefits to offline communication. It sets you apart from your competition, and it gets people talking. Personal referrals are your best source of new business. Take a moment to send a thank you or special occasion card to a client.
Read and comment on an art-related blog post. A popular way to spend a few extra minutes is reading recent blog posts related to your business Before going, please leave a comment. It’s still a great activity to generate long-term traffic to your site.
Update your social networking status. If you rarely update your social profiles with anything other than links to your own content, use your free moment to connect with your followers on a personal level. Please ask questions. Share something that isn’t yours. Let them know that there is a person behind the profile and not just an auto-feed app.
Follow a recent proposal. Many home business owners lose clients every day because they wait and pray after submitting a bid. to occupy. You might find that your proposal was never accepted, they had more questions or maybe your potential client didn’t have time to answer. A quick email can ease your worries.
Claim your local listing. There are over 100 search engines and directories that can list your business in their results. Don’t miss those sales. Yahoo! Small Business can help you quickly identify these opportunities and easily submit your business for inclusion.