As the current economic climate becomes more unstable, many are moving towards home based business opportunities. It is critical that these individuals learn to effectively generate home based business leads. The difference between thriving or dying in today’s competitive market hinges on the ability to consistently generate leads for the business. While advertising and marketing for a small business may share some similarities to that of a major corporation, the methods and strategies used are very different.
A home business owner should start with a thorough knowledge of their target market. For example, an understanding of the primary customer base would be critical for a cake decorating business. This target market might include: engaged couples, parents with young children and civic organizations who conduct regular fund raising dinners. A thorough understanding of the target market will help guide the rest of the lead generation process.
Determining where to connect with the target market is the next consideration of the home based business owner. In the example of the cake decorator, let’s assume the business owner has decided to target the wedding cake segment of the market. The business owner would look for points of connection where engaged couples would be researching wedding preparations. Some of these connecting points might include tuxedo shops, wedding dress shops, limousine services, DJ services and local churches.
The next element in the lead generation strategy is a creation of awareness. This would be accomplished as the cake decorating business is introduced to key people at each of the aforementioned connecting points, as a resource for couples planning their weddings. An offer to cross-promote the business of the other would be appropriate. As part of this cross promotion strategy, it would be appropriate to leave brochures, business cards and even photographs of cakes to give a sampling of the home business owner’s work. To put some real power to the home based business lead generation process, the owner would actually take a sample of one of their cakes as a “gift” for each of their connecting partners. Creating synergy with other business owners is the key to making this strategy successful. When a strong impression is made, these connecting partners essentially become a volunteer sales force to the target market on behalf of the home based business owner.
Offering exceptional value is critical for generating leads for your home based business. A small brochure on the top 10 mistakes to avoid when planning your wedding would be of great value to the target market. Distributing this brochure at the connecting points and including a tagline, showing the information being provided courtesy of the home based cake decorating business. Creates value and personal branding for the home based business.
The strategies mentioned above involve localized, face to face marketing techniques. Consider a variation on the previous strategies when dealing with a business that is using the internet for generating home based business leads. For example, a home based business that sells cleaning products would utilize the same principles for identifying a target market. In this example the business owner has chosen to those looking for environmentally friendly cleaning products.
The business owner would begin by finding online connecting points. A great starting place would be community groups that deal with “green” living. As the business owner interacts in the community, they would include their website in their forum signature. The business owner would become part of the life of the community by making regular informative posts that discuss the benefits of using organic cleaning products. Additionally, the business owner would want to create a small report listing 5 things to look for when choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products. The report would be offered freely to anyone interested in receiving it. This online report would have a tagline indicating that is being provided courtesy of the cleaning products business. Those participating in forum discussions with the business owner and those requesting the free report are all examples of home based business leads that have been generated from taking a few small steps.
Relationship building is the key to generating home based business leads in your marketing efforts. These strategies can be implemented for both online and offline home based businesses.