Saturday, 2 November 2019

Marketing & Sales

z10 Offline Marketing Ideas for Your Home Business

Affordable and Effective Offline Marketing Strategies

Offline Marketing Ideas
The Internet has made marketing to a wide audience faster, easier, and more affordable. But that doesn’t mean offline marketing is obsolete. 

Here are 10 offline marketing strategies you can use easily and affordably to promote your home business.

1. Business Cards

Business cards are cheap and effective, but many business owners are stingy about using them. Business cards make you look professional and are easy to share at any time.
2. Networking
Many people veer away from professional networking because it can be scary and often feels like a sales. But done right, networking is one of the best ways to build a home business.
3. Press Releases/Media Pitches
Press releases offer a great deal bang for your promotional buck. Not only are they free, but they boost your authority as well.

4. Coupons

Who doesn’t like to save money? Coupons are a great way to lure clients and customers to your business. This is especially true for people who don’t know you or your business. People might be more willing to try out your product or service for a discounted price.

5. Flyers

Flyers might seem old school, but they still work because they can keep your name and brand in people’s minds as they go around town and see your posting.
6. Direct Mail
While direct mail can be expensive, it can be worthwhile if you have a compelling offer and send it to a targeted list. Direct mail can be an especially great way to re-engage past prospects, leads, or customers/clients that you’ve lost touch with.

7. Print Articles

While pitching large national magazines and newspapers might seem ideal, you want to think about the resources your target market reads. 
When writing an article, focus on solving a problem for your market. This not only helps the people who read it, but it will entice them to want to learn more about you.
Before sending your article out, make a list of media outlets that might print your piece. 
8. Media Giveaways
Have you ever listened to the radio and been asked to be the third caller to win a prize? Those prizes are usually offered by local businesses in exchange for free publicity. While giveaways can be tangible products, they can also be services, such as a free consult.

9. Seminars/Speaking

Like publicity and articles, seminars and public speaking present you as an expert, thereby increasing your credibility. They also give you a chance to show off your stuff, and entice people to hire or buy from you.

10. Trade Shows/Events

Trade shows and events give you a chance to sell your goods and services, but also offer networking opportunities.

50+ Ways To Market Your Home Business
Create a website. Today you don't need to know coding to have a professional website.
Create a blog for your business and post relevant articles and tips
Optimize your website or blog for search engines in what's called search engine optimization or SEO.
Send a press release to local and relevant media outlets.
Host an open house to share your new business
Create and send out mailers to your target market (include a coupon)
Advertise in local coupon books or newcomer programs
Start collecting email addresses and send out a newsletter, updates and offers with useful information or coupons. Consider using these free or cheap email partners. Just be careful not to alienate your list with too many offer. Email subscribers need to be valued and nurtured.
Create content upgrades to encourage more email sign ups.
Set-up a business Facebook page and use it
Create a Facebook Group to interact with your market
Set-up a Google+ account and use it
Set-up a LinkedIn profile to promote your business
Set-up a Twitter account and send out promotions and useful info to your customers and followers
Consider using Pinterest to reach your market. 
Share news, updates and other important information on social media.
Use a social media service to loop and repost your best online content automatically.

Start an affiliate program to build a team of people to promote for you.
Speak, teach or consult to local community education centers, associations, businesses or other groups interested in your topic.
Be a guest on a radio show or podcast
Create a Groupon (or a deal-a-day) promotion
Wrap your car or use vinyl lettering to advertise your business
Create a wacky promotion (like spend $25 and get a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries)
Get testimonials or endorsements to increase your credibility. Post them on your website/blog, social media headers, and print materials.

Set-up referral relationships with other relevant businesses
Network. LinkedIn is a good place for this, but not the only place. Remember, you want to go where your market goes, so consider online and offline sources where you can meet, mingle and offer to help others.
Run a friends and family promotion
Set-up a customer-oriented competition to earn free product (whoever eats the most donuts in one minute gets free personal training for three months)
Host an online contest
Sponsor a good cause or a local event
Throw your own product party or have friends and family host a product party on your behalf. It works for direct sales reps, it can work for other businesses. If you have a B2B business, you can do a presentation for a business. 
Advertise your business on local bulletin boards
Use Pay-Per-Click advertising on certain keyword searches. Just make sure you have a good understand keywords and copywriting so you don't waste your money. 
Don't forget your existing customers. It's easier to sell to a current customer/client and to get referrals from them, than to sell cold.
Create a brochure
Create a business cards. Don't be stingy. Hand them out to anyone who might be interested in your business, or knows someone who might be interested in your business.
Teach a local class offering tutorials and education around your business topic or area of expertise
Start cold-calling (also referred to as prospecting)
Attend a tradeshow and network with other vendors
Host a booth at a relevant tradeshow and prospect for customers
Set-up a storefront with Etsy to sell handcrafted goods
Become an Ebay seller and integrate it into your business
Set-up an Amazon storefront to sell new or used product
Advertise for free on Craigslist
List your products on
List your products on
Write an article on a topic close to your business and submit it to other sites or blogs.
Set-up a link exchange on your site for legitimate, non-competing businesses (You list their site and they list your site -- this will help with SEO)
Start commenting on other people’s blogs to boost your SEO and expand your reach to readers on other sites.
Search for forums around topics relevant to your expertise or business and begin posting and commenting. Focus on offering help and value, not on self-promotion.
Create a customer rewards program to inspire repeat business
Show appreciation to customers via email campaigns, social media comments, rewards, thank you notes or coupons
Display your brand by creating t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. You can use sites like Caf├ę to create a variety of swag.
Create a memorable logo using free or affordable online providers
Barter with other businesses for free advertising (you give free products/services and they promote your business)
Put a coupon on the back of your business card
Create a Unique Selling Proposition for your business and use it throughout your marketing
Run a SWOT analysis to better understand your competitors and competitive landscape -- then adjust your marketing accordingly
Give away free product to get customers interested (if you are a catering business ask a local business if you can set-up a food truck and offer free lunch for their customers)

Online Marketing Tools to Grow Your Home Business
Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to promote your business and engage with your market for free. 
Buffer is a social media management platform that offers both free and paid plans for social media management. 
Similar to Buffer, HootSuite allows you to manage up to three accounts within one dashboard under its free plan. Not only can you schedule posts in advance, but you can see what’s going on in your feeds, as well as like, comment, and share within the HootSuite dashboard. 
 Email is one of the best ways to connect and build rapport with your market. 
The company's forever free plan is free of charge for up to 2,000 subscribers, and allows 12,000 emails per month. MailChimp includes sign-up forms, autoresponders, and basic stats about your email efforts.
Search Engine Optimization
One of the most important benefits of search analytics is the information it provides such as keywords people are using to search for and find your business.
A main benefit of using is that it is free and you do not need to create an account. It also will deliver up to 750 long-tail keyword suggestions.
SEO Book
This website offers a host of free and paid SEO tools. SEO Book does not require you to register, but after that you can do a keyword search, generate meta tags, and spider your website to see how search engines view your site.

Website and Marketing Analysis
A crucial task in running a business is analyzing data to determine how best to market your products or services. 
Google Analytics
Google offers a free web analysis service called Google Analytics. 
HotJar will also provide information on the state of your sales funnel, which are the leads, prospects, and customers that interact with your site.
Sprout Social
This website offers tools that provide data on your social media engagement. The tools must be purchased; however, they come with a free 30-day trial. Sprout Social provides information from all major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Graphics and Logos
Visual content has become increasingly important in marketing. A graphic or video is more likely to attract your market than solely plain text. As a result, having graphics as part of your website articles, social media posts, and other marketing materials is crucial. Many sites offer free images as well as several online graphic editing tools for use in marketing your business.
Create almost any type of graphic, such as a Facebook banner, blog post picture, or ebook cover using Canva. It offers many free images or you can upload your own. You can also add other features to your image, such as text overlays and shapes, and then download or share it.
Similar to Canva, PicMonkey is fairly easy to use and offers both paid and free options for its service. You can upload and edit images, for example, by cropping, resizing, or adding text.
Video Hosting
Video marketing is increasing in popularity. You can offer video tours, tutorials, and a look behind the scenes to help your market learn about your business. The challenge of videos is in hosting them for free or at low cost. The obvious resource is YouTube, however, you may decide on another option.
The company offers a free forever plan that allows for three videos. Wistia's features include a customizable player, embedding and sharing, lead generation tools, and integration with third-party applications such as MailChimp.
This site provides video hosting, interactivity, marketing automation platform (MAP) integration, over-the-top (OTT) content services, and ways to monetize your video content. Brightcove offers several marketing plans from which to chose.
Publicity is one of the best forms of marketing because it’s free and represents you as an expert in your field. The difficult part is getting the media to notice and interview you. While you can have a public relations plan that includes sending press releases on a regular basis, there are a few free resources that may make it easier to find media outlets that need your expertise.
The HARO Report
The Help a Reporter Out (HARO) report is a well-known resource for matching media and experts. Simply sign up as a source, and scan the three emails sent each weekday for media sources needing help on a story. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and blogs and podcasts use the HARO report to find guests and experts.
Source Bottle
Source Bottle is similar to the HARO report in that it connects journalists and bloggers to knowledgeable sources. However, Source Bottle allows you to search and pitch opportunities online, instead of waiting for an email.
Feedback and Engagement
One of the best ways to ensure you’re providing optimal services or products to your customers is to ask them. A survey is a useful resource for finding out how your customers feel about your business and gives you insight into how to attract new customers.
Use SurveyMonkey software to create a survey with multiple choice questions and text answers. 
Customer Relations Management
Customer relationship management software can record significant facts about your customers, such as birthdays and other important dates, and keep track of your communications with them so they know you value their business.
This open source software helps you manage your workflow, sales pipeline, and customer service. SuiteCRM can also help you create campaigns, send out mailings, and automate marketing tasks.
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