Stay-at-Home Marketing

Stay-at-Home MarketingBy Diana Gomez

Whether you want to escape the nine-to-five grind to be on your own terms or you’re furthering a small-business dream that also allows for more time with family, there’s a lot to learn about making it on your own. Although it’s a constantly evolving learning experience out there, there are lots of tips and tools to help you along the way.

When it comes to effectively marketing your small business without investing big bucks in an outside firm, here are a few ideas to get you going or give you the boost you need.

1. Get a website that wows

Can you do this on your own? Sure! There are a lot of free and easy templates out there that will enable you to do this all by yourself.

WordPress is a popular one that has many facets, tools and add-ons you can learn about as you go. Or get yourself a Tumblr page to get you started until you can get around to the more time-consuming page-building stuff. Programs like Adobe Muse have made it easier than ever for an amateur to build the perfect site from scratch.

No matter what you use, make sure your site is simple but effective. Say no to a busy front page that confuses people. Make sure your contact info is all there and the site is always current. And use searchable keywords in the front and backend of the site so that your potential visitors can find you.

2. Get engaged

With social media, that is! Find out what works for you and really go for it. Don’t get too bogged down with platforms that are no use to you. For example, if you have a baking business and you’re prone to photographing your cupcakes, you may find a huge customer base on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram — platforms that respond to visual stimulation. However, if you’re more in the tech and business realm, you may find more response on sites like Twitter and Quora.

Once you realize where your crowd hangs out, reply to your customers by asking questions and responding to comments. Stay in the loop. Get engaged.

3. Automate (some of) your social media presence

While you do need to stay involved with your following, it’s not ideal to have two-dozen tabs open all the time in order to do so. Don’t get flustered with switching screens. Get organized with a tool like Hootsuite.

Hootsuite is one social media dashboard that lets you access your social media accounts from one interface. Check out your Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, WordPress and more all in one neat little spot. Schedule updates to appear throughout the day across the board.

It also gives you custom analytics of all of your social media campaigns so you can monitor them yourself and make changes if something’s not working quite right for you. Not finding a lot of action on Twitter? Maybe your business could benefit from creating tutorial videos, a popular way to get hits on YouTube, and subsequently, to your website.

4. Let social media come to you

Yet another useful tool for monitoring social media, which helps to generate a following for your business, is called Nutshell. This app keeps track of any and all activity for you and sends a comprehensive update of all chosen accounts straight to your Inbox. This way, you don’t have to stay on Hootsuite all day, which can be distracting. Simply log in when Nutshell says things are happening.

5. Get your name out there

Don’t stop at social media: Try to get your site linked from trusted, reputable websites. Google, Bing and Yahoo pay attention to valuable links like these when ranking your site, so engagement really is key. Have contests, write guest posts, and become an expert that bloggers want to reference.

A good tool to help with getting backlinks? Buzzstream. Basically you can plug in a URL and Buzzstream will dig around the back of that site to find all the contact info you need: e-mail addresses, phone numbers, Facebook and Twitter accounts, the works. This is time-consuming research you can avoid and instead stay busy creating and marketing your product. Make a point to make one new connection with another influencer in your field each week.

6. Get organized

Even keeping track of all the advice you’re bound to find online can be daunting. However, it can be done with a site called Evernote. It works just like a notebook, letting you copy and paste notes, links and more into pages you can keep organized and access from anywhere. You can also make to-do lists and set reminders so you don’t have to hire a secretary. With its ability to sync across all of your devices, Evernote is kind of like having your own personal assistant to go.

So there you have it. It’s not all the advice you’ll ever need, but it’s more than many know going into the work-at-home world. Remember to persevere through the tedious stuff for soon you’ll find your stride and better enjoy your new found freedom.

What’s your motivation for working from home?

Diana Gomez is the Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America, where she is instrumental in the implementation of marketing and social media strategies for USA and Canada. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase. Check out Lyoness on Facebook.

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