With social media platforms being a current hotbed for marketing activity, it is easy to overlook hundreds of opportunities placed in front of you each day to promote your business. If you are ignoring them, there is a good chance your competitors are as well. Here are a few unique marketing ideas for small home businesses that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Pick Up Business Cards and connect with their owners. You thought you should just litter your own cards around? No. People leaving their cards around town are looking for more business. They may be open to joint venture opportunities. Introduce yourself and express interest in co-hosting a local event, trading advertising space in your websites or newsletters, etc. Your direct competitors may not be interested, but the owner of a complementary business may.
Start a Referral Program. You do not need some fancy ecommerce 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 are only paying out when it works.
Guest Blog. Maybe you are not interested in starting your own blog. That does not 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 is simply an online catalog. Stick to those sites that speak to your target market for best results. (Further Reading: Guest Blogging for Your Direct Sales Business)
Make T-Shirts with Your Website on the Back. Forget the front. No one, especially a potential lead, wants to be put in that awkward position of being caught staring at your chest trying to figure out your URL. Put it on the back. People behind you in the checkout line, at your kid’s basketball game, at the park will have ample time to read it and make a mental note. Pick up shirts for your kids too! This is a small investment of only a few bucks if you go through a site like Vistaprint or CafePress. (If you are a direct sales rep, consider redirecting your company-given, lengthy URL to a shorter one.)
Partner with Small Local Businesses. Identify your micro-niche market and connect with them through other business’ existing relationships. For example, let’s say your target market is busy moms. Suggest a joint venture to your local mom-and-pop pizza shop. They put your stickers on their delivery boxes; you hand out a coupon to your customers as door prizes or with your monthly invoices. Maybe new moms are your ideal customer, see if your local hospital gives out gift baskets to new mothers and ask how to get your product or a gift certificate for your services included.
Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out). You are not going to be looking for source opportunities – unless you want to – you are looking for the Friday emails that include gift bag requests. If your home business deals with tangible products this could be a great opportunity to get your goods in event gift bags or blog giveaways at no charge.
Follow-Up on Leads – You wouldn’t believe how unique this marketing idea is…because so few home business owners actually do it. When you have made a connection and have been given contact information, do not rest on your laurels and assume they will contact you if interested. Make the first move. Send them a quick email letting them know you enjoyed speaking with them (include your custom email signature). Send them a personal invitation to your next event. Do not miss out on a business opportunity for lack of follow-up.
This is just a sampling of creative ways to market your home business. What would you add?
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