Starting a business is a big life decision. For some people, it means sacrificing a few hours of sleep each night to get things started, and for others, it means quitting their current job and putting it all on the line to succeed.
With so many people dreaming of being their own boss though, all industries are becoming increasingly popular. For that reason, you might be struggling to promote your home business. Here are some ways to turn that around.
#1 – Engaging with Others Using Social Media
Engaging with your followers on social media can go a long way. At first, you won’t have a lot of followers, if any, that will comment on your posts or like your photos. But, if you regularly post relevant content then you’ll slowly start to amass followers who fall into your target audience.
Once you start seeing posts and comments on your page, make sure you respond to them as soon as you can. This includes any messages you’re sent – Facebook, in particular, has a “responsiveness” indicator that everyone can see. The quicker you respond; the better your business’s page looks.
Taking the time to engage with your followers goes a long way. It shows that you’re active on social media, that you care about your customers as well as your business, and it paints a positive picture of your business.
#2 – Invest in Paid Advertisements
Of course, if you’re on a tight budget then buying ads is most likely out of the question. But if you have even just $10 to spare, throwing up a Facebook ad with a targeted local audience could go a long way. The main platforms to consider for this are:
- Google Ads
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend then your best bet is to go with a few Facebook ads. Google Ads isn’t as successful when only a small budget is used, whereas Facebook has proven to be.
So, do some quick research on how to design a decent ad, set up a Facebook campaign, and see how it performs. At the very least you’ll have a handful of new page followers!
#3 – Writing (a Few) Blog Posts
Blog posts are another great way of engaging with your audience, not to mention they can be used as part of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
Aim to publish one or two blog posts each week, and make sure that they’re on topics relevant to your industry. Here are a few tips for keeping your readers interested in your blog:
- Write about topics which would genuinely interest your readers
- Post a few images throughout your content
- Avoid long chunks of text (use headers, lists, images, etc. to break it up)
- Don’t be afraid to revisit your old blog posts and update them!
- Share your blog posts on social media to maximise the post’s exposure
Perhaps you already publish blog posts, great. If so, keep pushing out interesting content that appeals to your readers and consider using them as part of a bigger SEO campaign. Although this is a slower online marketing approach, it pays off.
#4 – Consider Contacting an Agency
Are you able to spend more than “a little”? One option you could consider is getting in touch with a marketing agency who can spare you the stress and promote your business for you. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, here are some popular services that an agency can provide:
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Management
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Landing Page Design
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The success you’ll have with a PPC agency will vary depending on your ad budget, your industry, and your business as a whole. It’s also worth noting that these agencies use a process called AB testing to find out what appeals to your audience and which ads perform better. In other words, it can take a couple of months before you see the results you were hoping for.
For that reason, when you reach out to a marketing agency you should expect to be working with them for several months at least.
#5 – Start a Referral Program
Already got a small client base built up? Fantastic – you’ve got all you need to start running a referral program.
Rewarding your customers for bringing you new customers is the most effortless way you can grow. You might decide that a simple discount is the best reward. However, you can also get creative with this: if you’re running a home bakery then maybe reward your referrals with cupcakes!
There are a lot of directions you can take this and if you find a reward that inclines people to refer others to your business, but which doesn’t take a chunk out of your profits, a referral program can be incredibly successful.
#6 – Attend Entrepreneur and Marketing Events
Events are one of the best ways to throw yourself in the deep end and surround yourself with other people like you who want to learn what more they can do to grow their business and make it successful.
At these events, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the basics of marketing, hear success stories, and listen to some of the best marketing minds in the industry.
One of these minds is Gary Vaynerchuk, a praised marketing expert who tells it how it is. He hosts events all over the world and anyone, even experienced business owners, can benefit from listening to his advice. He’s not the only one – there’s plenty of other marketing events that you can find which will help you get started with promoting your business.
#7 – Start Publishing Newsletters
Newsletters aren’t just a way of keeping your current followers informed on your business, they’re also great for attracting new followers.
Years ago, most people would mainly recognise a newsletter in its paper form, and this is still very acceptable. That said, building an email list and sending out digital newsletters to people who sign up can be more beneficial. You don’t have to worry about printing and distribution costs, uninterested readers can unsubscribe with ease, and a digital newsletter can include links to your website.
There are plenty of tools that’ll help you design a send out newsletters too. A popular service is offered by MailChimp, whose free plan lets you have an email list of up to 2,000 emails and lets you send up to 12,000 emails each month. Want to start sending email newsletters? This is the best tool to start with.
There you have it – 7 methods which will help you grow your home business. In an increasingly competitive environment it’s getting harder for small businesses to get their fair share of clients, but don’t let this dissuade you! Sure, a little money will help accelerate your growth, but there are plenty of ways to promote your home business for free – these are just some of them.