As a home business owner, we’re willing to bet that your craft comes first. Whether your business is service-based, creative, culinary, or techical, the reason that you struck out on your own is that you love what you do – and, of course, you do it pretty darn well!
As the owner, manager and workforce of your own business, it’s not surprising that promoting your brand can often take a backseat to everything else you’ve got on your plate.
But, as much as we’d love to tell you to let your craft speak for itself, successful brand promotion requires planning and proactivity.
Without it, even if you have satisfied customers, competitive pricing and a beautiful website, the number of new potential customers who’re going to find you will be pretty limited. And this is even more true of home-based businesses than of other brands, because you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store for people to peer through the windows of.
“But I don’t know anything about marketing!”, you cry! Well, that’s okay, because we’re here to help you get started.
Step one: Understand what you offer your customers
A problem that many small business owners face when putting together a marketing plan is getting out of their own heads, and into the heads of their customers.
After all, you know that what you do has value – you see it every day in your carefully crafted products, or the services you’ve taken pride in delivering to a high standard. Yet when it comes to articulating that value from the perspective of your customers, it can be tricky.
But thinking like your customers is vital to creating a successful marketing strategy.
When your customers encounter your brand, they need to immediately see what you can offer to them – and crucially, this is not about *you*, and how great you are at what you do, but about *them*, and the specific way in which you can make their life better.
For example, maybe your business is a pet grooming business – from your perspective, you wash, trim and brush dogs. But those aren’t the details your customers are thinking about. Their minds are on the end result: walking down the street with their happy, clean, pleasantly-fragrant pup, drawing admiring glances from all the other pet owners. And it’s that final image that your offer needs to focus on.
If you’re not sure exactly what problem you’re solving for your customers, ask some people who’ve bought from you previously what they got out of the transaction. The answer might even surprise you!
Step two: Craft your campaign messaging!
Now that you know what your customers are looking to achieve when they seek you out, you’re ready to craft your campaign messaging.
Start with the simple exercise of writing two or three sentences explaining what your home business offers to its customers in terms that make sense to them.
Make sure your message is tailored to one particular outcome for your customers, even if that means that you have to focus on one specific product, rather than your entire business offering.
For example, the business in the case above might write, “Pretty Pooches cares about the wellbeing of our furry clients! We offer an affordable grooming service in a welcoming environment. We guarantee happy, healthy, and exceptionally well-groomed results, every time!”
If you can’t narrow it down, write a few versions, and ask your friends and family to vote!
And there you have it: your core brand message, from which everything else (or at least a three-to-six-month marketing plan!) will flow.
Step three: Build your marketing pack
A marketing pack might sound intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be. Basically, what you need is some content to back up your campaign messaging. Some of it will serve as a hook to attract potential customers, and some of it will be there to provide a bit more context and information once they’re interested.
These are some things your marketing pack could contain:
- Photos of the outcome of using your products or services. These don’t have to be professionally taken (although that always helps!) – if you’re just starting out, a few well-lit photos taken on your phone’s camera will do.
- A couple of quotes from satisfied customers.
- Two or three blog posts explaining a bit more about what you do, or positioning yourself as an expert in the sector you work in.
- Case studies of previous projects you’ve delivered for customers.
- Plans to offer a discount or promotion at a strategic time in your sales cycle (to learn more about how to get the most out of offering discounts read our guide).
- Social media post ideas (incorporating your photos, quotes, links to you blog posts, and promoting your discounts of course!). Ideally brainstorm these all at once, and then you’ll be prepared to post them every few days without too much additional effort! (learn more about how local businesses can get the most out of social media here).
- A calendar so that you know when and how all of these are going to drop! Download Nodat’s free social media calendar to help schedule your posts.
Step 4: Go out and find your customers!
Now you’ve got your messaging, your marketing pack and your calendar, it’s time to get your content in front of potential customers. That means posting on social media, uploading photos and blog content to your website, and doing everything else you can to get your brand message out there.
And don’t be afraid to make it easy for yourself! With Nodat’s Hot Coupons platform, you can promote your business to people in your local area, accessing a whole new network of potential customers who’ve never heard of your business!
Make Nodat a part of your home business marketing plan today, with a free 30-day trial.
Nodat drives new and repeat customers using Hot Offers.
Get customers to come back to your business with timed “Hot Offers” that expire when the clock runs out.