Starting Your Own Business From Home? How Can You Network Effectively?

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If you're a stay-at-home mom who has recently ventured into the home-based sales business or another type of small business, you may be wondering where to begin when it comes to your marketing efforts. Even if sales don't come naturally to you, the success of your home-based business is directly tied to the number of potential customers you can get your products or services in front of, which makes networking crucial -- but putting yourself out there and meeting others who could help you can be difficult when you spend most of your time caring for your children and household. Read on to learn more about the most effective and satisfying networking options for a SAHM trying to enter the online marketplace.

What types of networking are most important for home-based sales and small businesses?

For many SAHMs starting home-based businesses, their target client base will primarily include other SAHMs. This can be a challenge (as some markets may be fully saturated with certain home-based sales businesses already) but can also provide the advantage of knowing your base intimately well without having to do too much market research. You'll want to make an effort to connect with other SAHMs who have extensive home-based businesses of their own in complementary but not competing areas. For example, if you sell freezer meals or kitchen supplies to busy working moms, you may find the networks of friends who sell comfortable lounging clothes or therapeutic supplements or facial creams to be filled with potential customers.

You'll also want to focus your networking efforts on gaining referral business. It's not enough to have a few individuals purchase from you, even if they enjoy the product they've purchased -- they'll need to tell a few friends, provide you with some public feedback online, or otherwise publicize their satisfaction with their transaction so that you can reap the rewards. Providing bonuses or free products to individuals who pass your name along to a few friends or who book their own parties to help sell your product can go a long way toward expanding your potential customer base.

What should you do to network effectively and build your business from home?

Once you've identified your target audience and client base, you'll then want to build up a broad and deep social network of mom influencers. With the advent of online social networking, this process is easier than ever. Rather than compiling mailing addresses or email addresses and sending out a mass blast that can be easily deleted without being viewed, you'll instead be able to invite social networking friends to publicly-viewable events with the click of a button.

To avoid being quickly unfollowed or viewed as a spammer, you'll want to keep your postings as infrequent as you can without dropping off the radar and maintain high quality. This means choosing catchy headlines and background photos, including all relevant information near the top of the page when you create an event invitation or order form, and proofreading meticulously to avoid any typographical or grammatical errors that could make your pages look less professional. You'll also want to take full advantage of keywords and other search engine optimization (SEO) tools to move your pages to the top of search results.

Finally, you'll want to have a content plan. If you're not able to generate new content on your own on a regular basis, you may want to enlist a writer or graphic designer to help you come up with posts on a weekly basis. Having a series of posts ready to go a few days to a few weeks in advance can significantly reduce your marketing stress while ensuring you have plenty of content to maintain your web presence going forward.  

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19 December 2016

Improving Your Web Presence

I have been a business owner for a long time, so I couldn't figure out why I was suffering from a lagging customer base. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get new people through the front door. However, a friend of mine suggested online marketing, and so I decided to give it a shot. I hired a company to improve my web presence by creating unique content for my website, and it made a world of difference. This blog is all about how online marketing can help you, so that you aren't left wondering how to boost your sales.