The Key to Home-Based Business Success
If you are looking for a way to earn extra income or even quit your job and work part-time to bring in a full-time income, the chances are that you’ve encountered any number of home-based business opportunities.
Some home-based opportunities fall into the category of traditional networking marketing, where you sign up with a company to sell products and the opportunity to your network of contacts.
Typically, this involves house parties or a variation of house parties, and exhausting your friends, neighbours, and family members with requests to host parties or to give you the contact information of their friends and colleagues.
Increasingly, however, home-based business opportunities are Internet-based. The lure is seductive, in that the idea of building a home-based enterprise with a computer, keyboard, and mouse is extremely appealing.
And there is definitely money to be made and many legitimate Web-based opportunities. How, though, do you separate the fly-by-night operations from those that are credible?
In two words, it’s marketing and advertising.
The ability to market and advertise a networking marketing plan is key to its growth and success. After all, there’s an enormous amount of competition out there, and the company that has marketing and advertising expertise will always come out on top.
So, when you’re looking at home-based business opportunities, the first things to consider are who does the marketing and advertising, and who assumes the cost of marketing and advertising.
When you think about it, it all comes down to synergy. In simple terms, it means that two or more entities come together, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the real world of home-based business opportunities, it means that two or three companies enter into an agreement and form a network marketing company.
In the best possible scenario, each of the companies has a specialty.
One company might specialize in, for example, wellness products, while another’s expertise might be in helping people build businesses.
The third company might be a marketing company that has knowledge and experience in Internet marketing.
While each of the three companies has an area of expertise, together they can achieve much more than any of them could separately.
Of the three companies, it can be argued that the marketing company plays the most pivotal role.
And, increasingly, Internet marketing companies are partnering with product and business companies to profit from the network marketing opportunity.
What does that mean if you’re looking for a good home-based business?
It means that you don’t have to do the marketing and advertising yourself.
That is a huge plus for any opportunity.
After all, you’re probably not a whiz at Internet marketing, so an opportunity that does the marketing and advertising for you will ultimately add to your bottom line.
You don’t have to spend a fortune in marketing costs, yet you reap the benefits from their efforts.
Of course, the other two companies involved are also important.
Again, if you’re not experienced in setting up and running a business, having a company that specializes in helping people like you create their own businesses is invaluable.
Likewise, a company with a desirable product and a sterling reputation will also help you succeed.
But when you’re beginning your review of home-based business opportunities, always look at the ways in which the company will promote the product and the opportunity.
In doing so, you’ll always come out ahead.
How You Can Make Your Advertising Pay Big Dividends
McGraw Hill once commissioned an extensive study to determine what marketing weapons make a company famous in its market.
The study showed that advertising created more product, service, and brand awareness than all other marketing strategies combined.
Advertising stays in front of your prospects when you can’t be there. Studies also show that advertising inspires confidence from your current clients.
When current clients see your ad, it reinforces their belief in you.
It makes them feel like they made the right decision to be your client. But advertising can also waste money if you don’t use it properly.
To avoid wasting money, keep these three tips in mind.
Don’t spend money on advertising if the majority of its listeners/viewer/readers will never buy your type of product or services.
An examination your audiences may easily show you that a high percentage of their listeners or readers are not business people, yet you will have to pay to reach all of them.
Conversely, there are more specialized advertising methods that target a far greater percentage of your potential buyers.
If you do advertise, do not expect that a single ad, or even a few ads, constitute effective advertising.
Effective advertising needs to be consistent and steady. Today, repetition and concentration are the keys to successful advertising.
Every business action requires some kind of cost justification.
Does the effort justify the cost?
Company X advertised its professional educational materials.
When it seemed as though the advertising was not working, the company was going to cancel its ad campaign. Then it discovered a startling correlation between its advertising and its direct-mail efforts:
Its direct-mail response went up by 30% in the months it advertised to the same audience.
This is typical.
The more penetration you can get to the same audience, the better the possibility that you will get noticed.
In today’s commercial clutter, you get noticed only by continually reaching the same potential customer with a consistent theme, message, look, and feel.
If you advertise in a ezine, newsletter, etc.), you will find that most publications will rent you their mailing lists.
Solo ad advertising.
In this form of advertising you can use email list made by someone else to send and promote your own business.
It’s called solo because the only or ‘solo’ promotion that you do here is your email and nothing else.
Generally the people to whom these email reach are used to opening such mails and thus the traffic that you get is good.
This means you can direct mail to the same audience to which you are advertising!
This is a very smart usage of marketing dollars. Look at the lifetime value.
If you have an inexpensive product, your advertising has to deliver a high number of leads, or every lead has to turn into a repeat customer.
For example, say your average customer spends $25 with you.
If you are spending $1,000 per month on advertising, you will need to attract 40 new customers per month to break even on the ad, not counting any of your other costs, such as product costs and overhead.
If those customers are one-time buyers, then you have to find a way to make your advertising more effective or less expensive.
If they become regular buyers, then you can accept lower response rates.
The key here is to look at the “lifetime value” of a customer. A customer who spends $25 a month and comes to your store only once is only worth $25 to you.
But if you can get that customer to be a repeat customer, then that customer is worth $300 a year, or $1,500 over five years!
Most business people do not understand the power of advertising; they do not realize that each new $25 customer is potentially a $1,500 customer!
Advertising brings in the customers, but it is your job to keep them buying from you.
Advertising promotes word-of-mouth
Often, a loyal customer will see your ad while with a friend or business associate. Your customer will show your ad to the friend and say,
“Hey Joe, now this is a really great company/product/service.”
Joe will come into your business, and you will ask him how he heard of you. He will say that his friend referred him and never think to mention that it was your advertising that prompted the friend to open his mouth in the first place.
A Neilson study tracked hundreds of ads and the response rate each ad generated.
Each month, a computer printout listed the ads and how much response each had generated. After a year of tracking the highest response generating ads, it was discovered that, for the most part, the ads that pulled the greatest response followed four primary rules:
Rule No 1:
Is it distinctive?
You must design advertising that is so distinctive looking that it pops out of the clutter.
So make your ad distinctive. Something that makes it STAND OUT.
Rule No. 2:
Tell me what you want to tell me.
If you page through a magazine, you will quickly notice that you do not read the ads that make it difficult for you to figure out what they are selling.
“Clever” is only better if it is “super clever.” Clever headlines that do not tell you what they are trying to sell are simply not effective.
A good headline follows these four criteria:
- It tells you what the product or service is.
- It starts with the word you or your (not always, but mostly).
- It contains a benefit to the reader.
High-response-oriented advertising focuses like a laser beam on the benefit to the customer.
- It makes the consumer want to read on.
The headline is the ad for the ad. If the headline isn’t good, no one will read the rest of the ad.
Responses to ads have jumped tenfold by simply changing the headlines.
Rule No. 3:
The body copy should…
Be curiosity driven, unfolding the story you want to tell.
By highly benefit oriented. So many ads talk about features, when it is benefits that motivate buying.
Give you a reason to take action now!
Can you offer something for free that will help you engage the potential customer?
Rule No. 4:
Ask for the order.
Too many ads do not give explicit instructions as to what action you would like the customer to take: “Order today and save,” or “Call us today and receive this free….”
You must always ask for the order!
Advertising is a powerful tool for becoming a well-known player in any market.
Even if you take a small schedule and a small ad, by consistently letting it run in an appropriately targeted vehicle, over time that ad will have an impact.
People will see your logo and it will register.
Advertising supports everything else you do in your business. But it is only part of a total package.
You must have other marketing, and you must make sure, ultimately, that you are treating the customer like gold.
Happy customers will spread the word faster, and advertising will help facilitate that.