September 27, 2012 in Working From Home
One rainy day when I lived in Scotland I took my two young boys to the local indoor play area. I started talking to another harassed mother, Karen, who was also trying to stop her children being attacked by or attacking other kids. She told me how she had given up her career and moved with her husband to a new town.
She said she would love to do something herself, and earn a small amount of money for the odd pair of shoes, or a treat for the children but that she was not sure where to start. I told her about my business and 2 months later she joined..and loved it.
Don’t get me wrong I am connecting with some great people online who, because I now live in Africa, I would not otherwise meet. Still, it takes longer to develop the trust and rapport that can be so immediate when meeting face-to-face.
I am currently working through The 26 Week Marketing Internet Marketing Plan and the author, David Bain, wrote a post about Offline Marketing. Many people are now neglecting Offline Marketing Strategies, concentrating purely on the online ones without realising how they compliment each other. In addition, believe it or not there are still people who do not use the internet, over 35% in Europe alone, the percentage decreases for America but is significantly higher in Africa and Asia.
When you go out look around and you will start to see Notice Boards at supermarkets, cafes community centres etc. which are advertising products, services or job opportunities. These are all potential places for you to pin a small flyer and advertise your product or service: please ask before you post it. There will also be opportunities for you to leave leaflets such as the counter of your local takeaway, doctor’s surgery waiting room etc.
Many of use rely so heavily on the internet we sometimes forget snail mail or the local postal system. However, been a greeting card retailer I appreciate the power of receiving an item in the post: the anticipation and excitement of opening an envelope can really make someone’s day: remember what you children are like on their birthdays. That is why I still physically send brochures to my existing customers as they are more likely to read a magazine or brochure with their cup of tea that the screen of the laptop or Ipad; have you identified your target customers and are they in the same category? Secondly, brochures have a greater shelf life than emails and if attractive customers may leave them on their coffee tables for their friends to see, thereby increasing your marketing reach.
3 Telephone Calls
I realise that thought of picking up the phone to a potential customer or prospect may send you into a cold sweat so to make it easier only do this when you have made your initial contact online. If you agree the time of your call the customer will be willing and open to receive it.
4 Face-to-Face Meetings
As I highlighted in my encounter with Karen meeting and talking to someone face to face builds rapport and trust very quickly. It is also a useful tool for existing customers or prospects to inform them of the new products or services that you can offer. Believe me, if you take the time to meet people, at their convenience, their level of trust in you will increase dramatically and therefore so will sales. It is all about the personal touch and making them feel special.
Once you have greater confidence in your business and yourself seminars, and then conferences, are a great way to build your image as an expert in your business and then to sell your product. Have you noticed the power of some speakers, such as President Obama. Dav Van Hoose, a top American speaker states that it is actually easier to sell your product to more people than on a one-to-one because of the energy and emotion you can create in a room full of people.
I strongly recommend that you find and join a local networking group. Not only are you marketing your product and building up your own reputation but, as it can be lonely working from home, you will meet some great contacts from whom to bounce ideas off. You may also find some products and services that will grow your business.
7 Radio and Television Interviews
When I was 17 I was raising money for A Raleigh International Expedition to Chile. I visited my local radio station to see if they would advertise a car boot sale I was organising but instead they interviewed me about my forthcoming trip. I was amazed by the number of people who heard the interview, especially as I thought very few people listened to that particular radio station. If you a promoting a particular event, charity fundraisers work very well, and you have the confidence, approach your local radio or television station and see if they will support you or interview you about it. You will be amazed by the exposure you receive.
Offline to Online
There are some great offline to marketing methods which should not be overlooked. They build up your brand, help sell products and can be used to drive traffic and leads to the online part of your business. Use both successfully and watch your business bloom.
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