Running a business out of your house is a challenge. And while it can keep your start-up costs low, you're likely not attracting much attention or pulling any foot traffic like a conventional business does. So how do you get the word out about what you're doing and market your home business?
Best Local Promotion Methods For At-Home Entrepreneurs
1) Buy Small Business Classifieds
While they may not get a wide reach, local classifieds can get you the right reach. You're a local business right? If you're operating out of your home or garage the easiest way to start selling is to sell to those nearby.
Local classifieds are also a cheap way of advertising. Generally speaking, they're less expensive than a conventional print ad (like a sign or billboard) and they help make your name known in the community.
2) Run Digital Ads From Home
One of the best ways to raise awareness for your new business is to run digital advertising campaigns on places like Instagram and Facebook. Using Facebook Business Manager can help you narrow down your target audience significantly and increase your exposure.
Remember, you can use the same tool for both Facebook and Instagram ads. PS. Using Business Manager is also not just boosting a post on one of Facebook's platforms (which is not as effective a method of reaching new customers).
Small businesses experience success on these platforms all the time because of the intuitive algorithms built into them. These algorithms smartly target (and re-target) users who are more likely to be interested in your product or service.
3) SEO For Local Businesses
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is possibly the most powerful tool for small businesses out there. Word of mouth still means a great deal when it comes to spreading the news about your business, but in general, more people are turning to Google than ever for recommendations-not their friends.
Getting your business listed on Google for local search results (see our article on how to set up a Google My Business account) and appearing on the first page of results for search queries related to your product or service will bring you more leads than your #1 client. Cracking the code on ranking is tough, but some basic tips are:
- Have a unique business name that stands out from other searches
- Have search relevant content (i.e. answers to popular questions) on your website
4) Attend Local Markets
Does your neighbourhood or town host farmer's markets? Street markets? Night markets? All of the above? Markets are a fantastic way to market your home business.
If you're still in the bedroom or garage, you're not getting any of the foot traffic retailers normally receive, but going to markets gets you some guaranteed traffic. Some reasons to get out to local markets are:
- Markets are only on certain days and at certain times so are more like an "event"
- They're great at drawing visitors looking for anything and everything
- Visitors can discover you when they might otherwise never have heard of you
- Your business gets an opportunity to demonstrate what you do or what you sell right in front of the consumer
- Markets are a great place to network with other business owners in your area
5) Attract Local Press
If your business does anything that the local press might find interesting, do what you can to bring their attention to it. For example, if your business is involved in a local initiative, works with a charity, or instigates any community events, is there a reason other people might want to know about what you're doing?
While the end to these activities may not be to raise brand awareness, but rather to benefit your community or those in it, you don't want to miss out on the potential to get your name out there.
Don't Wait to Get Started!
There you have it! 5 ways to start marketing your home business. Feel free to employ one or all of these techniques, as they each can be implemented in different ways but still hold a place in your overall marketing strategy. We hope this list proves useful in your journey as you work toward taking your business from the bedroom to the big time.