I know, the idea of taking your home business online can seem like a totally different universe. And the idea of exploring a different universe is scary.
Trust me, it’s not.
It can be fun, educational, and ultimately, very profitable. Sure, there are some things you’ll have to learn and practice. You’re going to make some mistakes (we all do it). Then you’re going to learn from those mistakes and get better and better. As a business owner, you’re probably used to stretching yourself and getting out of your comfort zone (at least, I hope you are!).
Growing your home business online and turning leads into paying customers (which is awesome!) is just an extension of what you are already doing. If you’re not marketing your business online, you’re missing out on a steady stream of business. We’re talking about people finding you instead of you always having to go out finding leads.
Below are my top four need-to-know tips for marketing your home business online. Yes, you can do’em! I believe in you because you’re an entrepreneur like me. If I can do it, you can, too.
Know Your Target Market
Yes, this sounds obvious, but so many home business owners somehow forget this Kindergarten-level marketing rule when using the Internet to grow their business. As I said, growing your business online is an extension of what you’re already doing. So, when you’re creating content (blog posts, website pages, videos, audio, etc.) always keep your target market in mind.
What questions are they asking? What problems do they have? Build content around that, answering those questions and solving those problems.
Get into Facebook groups that are in line with your target market and meet people. Pay attention to the questions they ask. Get on message boards where your target market interacts. Attend events. Develop relationships.
Go where they are!
Create Content Your Market Wants (Give Value!)
This is one of the biggest mistakes when I started taking my business online. A lot of the content I created was too salesy. I was trying to go after the sell way too early.
Once you have a good grasp of what your target market wants (the questions they’re asking and the problems they’re having) you can start creating content around that. It’s all about giving value.
Give, give, give!
For example, if you’re a personal trainer or a nutritionist and you keep seeing people ask questions about how to lose weight fast, then create some blog posts or short videos around that. Now, you may know that losing weight fast isn’t always the healthiest way to go about it, but you need to meet your market where they are.
Use the words they’re using. Once you create some tips and advice around how to lose weight fast, you can lead them into other content you create about losing weight and keeping off, for example. But initially, create content that serves their needs up front to attract them. Then provide additional content that helps them move to the next step.
What’s that next step? Closer to your product, service or opportunity. Educate them. Provide value. Remember these six words: “What can I do for you?”
(Psst… if you want some awesome secrets pro writers use for writing money-making blogs (who doesn’t?), you can get my free eBook here revealing six top secrets.)
Make Your Website Welcoming
This was another thing I got wrong with a few websites I launched in the early days. Again, I was focusing too much on making a sale.
So, don’t be salesy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have pages, sidebars or buttons for people to eventually purchase something (if you have a product) or contact you for a consultation. But don’t put that all up front.
Be welcoming. Approach your website or blog with the mindset of serving.
How would you treat people who walked into your home? Roll out a big, warm welcome mat.
Be Yourself – Don’t Be Weird!
Always be yourself, online and offline.
So many people become a different person when they start creating their website or blog. If you are writing a blog or creating a helpful video, just be you. Be conversational and talk or write as is you were just talking to someone in person. Don’t make it weird.
If you’re more technical, then be technical. If you use humor, then be funny. If you focus more on being informational, then focus on providing information.
You will attract a lot more people by being authentic than you will be being someone you’re not. Don’t overthink it or over-complicate it. That will keep you from just doing it and learning as you go.
This is a huge key for your About page. Tell you story in an authentic way. People connect with stories. (See my About page here.) Your About page should showcase your personality and passion for what you do. What do you want people to know about you? Click this link for a great four-part formula on how to tell your story in a way that really connects with people.