The Best Ways to Advertise Your
When you start your own home-based business, advertising is everything. In order to build a strong clientele you need to get noticed. Use both online and traditional market-based methods.
The necessity of the Internet is inescapable for today's businesses. People head straight for the computer when they are looking for something. This goes for businesses, especially. Why go thumbing through a phone book for something you can just type into a search engine? Some websites even offer a place for reviews of local businesses where previous customers can rate how they were served. This provides a lot more information than an entry in the yellow pages.
That is not to say that new business owners shouldn't use traditional advertising methods. A healthy balance of online and offline marketing is important to cover all your bases. Plenty of people still prefer the traditional methods of finding a business. Plus, the amount of Internet scams turns some people off to websites in general.
It is important to have an interesting, professional-looking website. Make it unique and pleasant to look at. Provide vital and important information right away on your page. If people find your site and it is uncomfortable to view or impossible to read, they will immediately click away. There goes your potential customer. Another reason they will click away is if they can't find what they are looking for. Don't frustrate someone who is looking for your pricing, hours, delivery area, product information, contact information or anything else. Attention and focus levels are low these days. Keep things interesting and simple.
The website side of your advertising is of central importance if your business is Internet-based. Other marketing methods fail to be as important when the bulk of your clientele are attracted through the Internet. Make sure you use correct spelling, grammar and etiquette on your website. Otherwise you will come across as unprofessional, which will eliminate a great deal of your potential customers. Use a professional tone when conveying information, but stay friendly. Another way to scare off customers is to sound condescending or elitist.
Submit your website address to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and others. Check the specific requirements of each search engine and follow them closely so that your website is not rejected. Too many tricks that are often employed to get noticed, such as hidden keyword saturation, are a surefire way to get banned. That takes weeks, if not longer, to reverse, and no one needs that when starting up a business. Be careful if you are having someone else build your website for you. Make sure that person is trustworthy and dependable, for this reason and many others.
Two other options for online promotion are Internet forums and article directories. Write original material on topics within the field of your business. You can distribute articles on the web through article directories. Your bio box will contain your contact information and website link so that those interested in knowing more will click the link. Viola: you have a potential customer who already has confidence in your product or service.
The older methods of advertising are still very valid, as previously stated, so don't drop out of the print world yet. If you have a home office, you can easily print business cards and flyer's yourself. Office supply stores sell the materials, and often your own software contains templates.
Advertise in classified listings. Contrary to the beliefs of the younger generation, people still read the newspaper. When advertising in classified listings, keep it short and sweet. Get the important information in and get out. Much like blurbs on internet search engines, the first few lines are what get absorbed.
The phone book yellow pages are still the trusty standby, and it helps any business to have a presence there. There are more yellow pages companies than you can shake a stick at now, however. Learn which the most popular and frequently used versions in your area and stick with that. You don't want to go broke advertising in all of them.
Lastly, don't forget the power of word-of-mouth. Get a few people talking positively about your home-based business. You can't imagine how far that can go.
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