Ok. So you’ve finally decided to start your own business. Congratulations. But how do you go about advertising your new business? You’ve got to generate some leads and some sales, right?
In the past you could choose to cold call or you could go door to door trying to sell your product or service. Of course, in neither of these methods did you pre-qualify a lead and you most certainly had to handle a truckload of rejection. Maybe you could choose to hire advertising experts to create a flashy but expensive advertising campaign. This could prove to be extremely expensive yet there is no guarantee of results.
Fortunately, you no longer have to do this. With the evolution of the internet economies of scale have been created with respect to advertising costs that enable the little guy to compete with the corporate giants. No longer do you have to cold call or pound the pavement or borrow big bucks from Aunt Martha to fund your marketing budget. With internet advertising not only do you make money faster but you cut your expenses tremendously. Hey, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep that counts.
It is imperative to create your own website. Nowadays it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do so. You can create a high quality site with relatively little expense. Even better is the savvy business owner who decides to join a home based business that already has its own website. However, this deserves a cautionary note. I would recommend setting up your own personal lead capture page even if you join a business with its own website. In this way you can capture and store all the contact information for your potential customers or buyers and not give away this information to the company.
There is a vast array of advertising methods available online. Good news: a lot of these are absolutely free. Yeah, you heard me right. I would recommend utilizing some free ad campaigns in the early days of your business. Find a site which allows you to submit free ads with, of course, a link to your lead capture page. Another tried and true method is posting banner ads. These are larger and in general I prefer not to use them. However, there are successful marketers out there who use banner ads.
It is always a good idea to give away free content to entice visitors to your site. The content must be interesting and useful to the reader. There are several ways to do this. Giving away free e-books that are short, simple and easy to read yet provide valuable content is a great way to attract more customers to your site. Who doesn’t like getting something useful and interesting for free? Another method which may work equally well is writing a periodic free e-newsletter. Submitting free newsletters, again with a link to your capture page, will certainly bring more traffic to your site. And more traffic means more sales.
Most business owners are so focused on marketing their own product or service they often miss one of the best and most profitable strategies on the internet today. I’m talking about affiliate marketing. What is it, you ask? Simply put, you can sign up as an affiliate on other people’s sites and agree to refer their product or service to some of the names on your lead capture list. You can create an affiliate link on your site which sends people to the other site. You will receive referral commissions when your visitors buy from the other site. There are some visitors to your site who will never buy your product or service. Why not make money from them anyway? And for your own buyers and customers you can cross-sell others’ products to them and make even more money from them.
No longer do you have to sell your house and your car just to fund the advertising budget for your new business. No longer do you have to spend hours on sales calls to people who are not even pre-qualified. The internet, with its global reach, can do your marketing for you. Even if you join a business with its own website, I would recommend creating your own website, or at the very least your own lead capture page. And whether you post banner ads or write free ads online you are not spending money to advertise. Don’t be shy about giving away quality content for free either. We’ve already discussed writing an e-book or periodic e-newsletters. Remember these drive people to your site. And don’t forget about the hidden secret: affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can bring in cash flow during the start-up phase of your business when your own profits are small. It also works during the mature stage of your business to build up profits even more. What are you waiting for? Kick start your profits with the right internet marketing and you will have a winner!
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