Marketing strategies are one of the key elements to running a successful business. This rule can equally be applied to large businesses, small ones, those managed from corporate offices and those who are based at home offices.
More and more professionals, particularly those who are self-employed or freelancers, are working from home. The trend isn’t going away anytime soon and will surely accelerate in coming years.
It makes sense – as more and more digital tools are developed, it’s becoming possible to conduct all aspects of running a business from home. Indeed, a home business can compete as effectively as any company that works out of a conventional office building.
With the help of software and social media, you can build and advance your brand and market your products or services, setting you on the road to a substantial profit. To be most effective in your home business, however, you should combine app, a web presence and some tried and trusted old school methods in the most advantageous way.
Here are some tips to help you get there.
#1. Construct a compelling landing page
Your landing page — the one that pops up first when someone visits your website — is a major marketing tool. Look at it as your store window, your primary ecommerce tool. It announces to the world what you do, how you do it, and why your services outshine those of your competitors.
This is why your landing page – or home page, if you will – should attract attention immediately. When visitors land on a site they spend just a few seconds perusing it before deciding whether to look further or to move on to another site. You should design the page so that it is welcoming and easy to comprehend at a glance. It should reflect your personality and your brand and have a relevant title, preferably one that uses a verb as it forces you to say what you do rather than just who you are.
Another crucial aspect accompanying your home page is to provide metadata. This information, such as a page description, keywords and taglines, is picked up by the search engines.
#2. Get the best office help
Much of the assistance once given by secretaries, receptionists or office assistants is now done by business executives themselves. But these chores can eat up your working day and leave you with little time to do any real work.
You can still obtain assistance with those tasks, however. It comes in the form of useful apps. Digital tools are available to assist you in handling routine tasks, such as managing your time, preparing documents, or handling your finances.
Other programs can help in more sophisticated ways, such as customer relationship management. Think of them as additional staff that comes with a cost that is far lower than hiring employees.
You might also want to join online forums that discuss aspects of your work and can provide useful information that can save you time and money. It’s always useful to share experiences and take part in discussions with peers. It can only help you improve your business.
#3. Set up your home office like a regular business office
We’ve all heard of people who set out on their path to fame and fortune working from their garage, kitchen table or living room. But, in most cases, that was just at the start of everything. Working efficiently from your home in today’s world of digital innovations and sophisticated technology means setting up a special space in your home dedicated only to your office.
Think of aspects such as a good amount of natural light, a good source of power and close proximity to your wi-fi link. You will not want to intrude on others in the house and, if possible, you will want to avoid noise and distractions if you can. Make it clear to others that it is like going to a regular office, where you cannot easily be interrupted, only it happens to be in your home.
Remember that a home office is literally an office in your own home, which means you need to take care of it in the same way you take care of the rest of your house or apartment, and that implies your regular maintenance tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and other household chores.
Keep your office neat. If you are like most of us, you will work better without clutter around you. Make it easy to find files, books or papers that you regularly use without them lying randomly on or near your desk.
This may very well be the most important aspect of turning your home office business into something big.
Social media have become the preferred method of communication in our society today, hence it is vital that your business work with the variety of social media that is out there. You should, however, select the social media platforms that work best for your business.
Use social media buttons on your home page to indicate your presence on them, and make sure they cover social media channels that you actually use. Pick where you share the hype. Some business profit from being promoted on Pinterest, but that applies for more creative industries. The same goes for Instagram. Some can benefit from Reddit. Most work great with Facebook and Twitter.
Provide comment boxes, contact forms or other ways in which you can communicate with your customers. Some comments will be useful for you; even criticism can help, enabling you to make changes that will be beneficial to your business. Clients appreciate interaction as it shows you care about them and how your business affects them.
Blogs can work effectively for many businesses. Encourage guests to send blog posts for your site; they will bring a different perspective and help to market your product or service more efficiently. In return, you too should offer to write guest blog posts.
Social media presence demands regular attention. Updating your blog is a must; otherwise, followers will become tired of seeing the same outdated information and you will lose them. Always upgrade and put personal effort into your content.
#5. Interact with your followers
Giving away something for nothing is a strong attraction. Even a relatively inexpensive item can be appealing if it is free. You could set up a contest, giving away free products or services. People will want to take part and at the same time will learn about your business.
Of course, there are other things you can give away for free, to loyal followers. For example, if you have a newsletter, offer exclusive content to your subscribers. It can be a PDF tutorial, special offers or discounts.
Basically, if you give something extra to those who show interest in your product, you are more likely to make a sale. If you stick to that method, your business will grow – and this applies to all business, not just those whose headquarters are a home office.
Set up your office today. Go!
Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. It’s as simple as that.
The Internet has enabled business owners to work from home in ways that were not possible previously. But it is important that you not only use many of the tools that are available to you, but also that you use them in the right way.
Follow these tips and your home office will produce a business that is efficient, effective and profitable. Most importantly, develop a long-term plan, find what methods work best for you and your business and don’t stop. That’s the only way you can move forward.