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Jan
14

Marketing Offline Can Increase Your Online Business

By

jill-new14The Internet can be a scary place for those looking for a home-based business opportunity. The fear of not connecting personally with others is one concern and many people have been “taken” by online scams in their search for a legitimate business and are fearful to take any more risks. One way to overcome fears such as these is to market your online business locally. By simply offering the person a contact that they can speak to and possibly even meet face to face you will making the statement that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

It is effective to market your online business locally primarily because potential customers and business recruits prefer to have the option of speaking with the business owner face to face. By attracting customers locally, you can maximize the opportunities to meet with them. You will no longer be that “someone they found online,” but someone that they will be able to relate to and feel confident doing business with.

But how do you market locally? Here are some excellent tips:

Besides the common local advertising routes, such as Newspaper Ads, Yellow Pages, Etc., another effective (and inexpensive) way to advertise locally is to post business related flyers around your community. Many grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, and office supply stores offer bulletin boards for this purpose. Make yours stand out and be recognized, yet professional enough to warrant someone trusting you with their business. Also, if possibly have a tear-off section on your flyer so they can take your number and leave your flyer.

Look for events geared toward small businesses. There are organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, that hold events across the nation to help promote the small business owners. At events such as these, you can purchase a booth and make hundreds of local contacts, as well as sales, all in one day.

Reach out to your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, get involved in community events and become known to those around you. Pass out flyers and hand out business cards to everyone you meet. Door Flyers also work well for marketing – pick one neighborhood a week and go door to door. Be consistent with your marketing with door flyers, too. If a potential customer sees your ad repeatedly, they will feel more inclined to use your services in the future. Magnets can be great promotional items as well. You can have magnets printed with your business information and hand them out to people that you speak to about your products. Potential clients can keep these on their refrigerator or filing cabinet. You can also leave flyers, magnets or even catalogs around town in places like doctor’s offices, hair salons, etc.

Volunteer in your community. Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing, Inc. suggests, “Volunteer at school events such as PTA meetings or community functions. When your child’s school needs a flyer, volunteer to do it and attach your card to it. Look to see where you can also inexpensively advertise. Often ads in the kid’s yearbook or community events newsletter will get your more exposure than the expensive ads in the daily newspapers.”

Direct mail is another great tool for gaining local clients. Get the Yellow Pages out and write a professional letter or send your brochures or postcards to those that would be interested in your products or services. Send a mailing to local businesses that my be interested in offering your products to their customers. For example, if you sell home décor products, send a professional letter to real estate agents in your local area. In the letter, describe how your products would be valuable for them to use as thank you gifts when they sell a home.

It’s important to talk to everyone you possibly can about your business. You can find prospective customers in line at the grocery store, while waiting at a doctor’s office, or even while playing at the park with your children. Let others know that you are excited about it and believe in it. If the people around you hear the excitement in your voice, they may become excited about your business, too! You’ll be rewarded with more sales and a business that prospers from year to year.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart‘s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries and the author of Do Life Different and So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She speaks to audiences around the country about faith and business topics. Learn more about Jill at JillHart.com and connect with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SpeakerJillHart) and Twitter @CWAHM.

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