Thursday, June 14, 2007

Offline Advertising Tips for Your Home Business

Many people jump into online business enterprises and neglect real-world or offline advertising opportunities to grow their operations. A good mix of offline ads with your online campaign is good strategic planning. It helps present your message and even reinforce it for those who have already spotted your online presence. Plus you can target people who have Internet access and email capabilities by remembering to add your URL or web site address and / or your e-mail, autoresponder or ezine subscription address in all of your promotions.

To make the most of your offline advertising, here are a few tips from the pros:

1. COMPUTER RELATED – When placing print classified or display ads targeting a website, target magazines that have a computer related section for your ad, when possible. This will help attract people with Internet access and email.

2. LISTS – Purchase or rent postal mailing lists and set up regular direct mail campaigns. If you make sure the lists include email addresses, you’ll be able to cross promote via email and know they probably have Internet access, too, to help draw them to your site.

3. COMMERCIAL SPOTS – Check into commercial spots on local cable television. Pricing ranges vary, and you could get a bargain early morning spot & catch business people who are early risers. Target your campaign around shows that feature Internet use / computers, too, when you can. See about being in the same spot just before or after a regularly scheduled program to target the same readers over and over, so that they’ll commit your site to memory and click it on.

4. DECKS / MAILERS - Advertise with other businesses in card decks or direct mail packages. Check to make sure they are targeted for your audience.

5. EVENT MARKETING – Create a CD-ROM, disk or DVD about your website, products and services. And distribute them at trade shows, workshops and other special events. Note: Have your contact information and website on the cover in case the items do not function right when installed.

6. FREEBIES - Give away free pens, pencils, mouse pads, note pads, yellow stickies, etc. that carry your website on them and contact information. Put your advertising on the mouse pads and give them away at computer or internet events.

So reach out and advertise offline to compliment your online strategy. And remember to include your URL or web site address and / or your e-mail, autoresponder or ezine subscription address in all of your promotions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why It Is Important To Have A "Why" Before You Start A Business!

In today's society we often put a lot of emphasis on how things are done. Present a plan with lofty goals to the board of directors of any company and surely they will ask you how you suppose those goals will be met. Apply for a mortgage and you will be asked to demonstrate how you plan to pay it off. Give a professor the correct answer to a complex question and you might be asked how you arrived at your conclusion. The How is often so predominant that the Why is sometimes completely forgotten as if the Why is of less importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Why you want something is infinitely more important than how you think you're going to achieve it.

To find out what your Why is start with identifying what it is that you want. After all, if you can't visualize what you want how could you ever hope to realize it? This seems easy enough but apparently it's a bit more challenging than one would think. Ask an adult to write down everything they want on a list with a minimum of 50 items and you will find that for most it turns out to be quite difficult. Stating that you want a certain amount of money, want to quit working or just want a bigger car than your neighbor can cause people to experience discomfort. After all it may make them appear greedy or lazy and that's not generally considered positive. So they try to come up with something that's socially acceptable and in doing so make what they want subject to the opinions of others. Kids on the other hand have no problem here. They'll come up with 50 items and more in no time, listing things you didn't even know exist. They don't worry about what others may think of it, whether it makes them look greedy, lazy or whatever. All they know is that they want it.

After you have identified what it is you want, then you get to the Why. Why would you want all those things? Again, kids have the upper hand here. They'll be quick to point out why they want it all: mostly the fun they will have and the popularity it will give them. Ask an adult why they want something and you'll enjoy watching the expression on their face. You'll see them searching for an answer. Why would you want to be rich? Why would you want to quit working? What would you do if you no longer had to go to a job every day? You may decide you want a bigger house than anyone in your family before you ever had. But what does that do for you? Would you sleep better? Would it make your life better? Or is it because you just love cleaning house all day? Whatever it is, it's important that you know.

Exactly how you plan to achieve your goal is far less important, especially in such an early stage. Too much focus on the How early in the process can have a devastating effect. It could paralyze you. If your financial situation is so bad that you are actually below broke, achieving financial independence can seem so far fetched that reaching it appears impossible. You might sell yourself on the idea that it's so far out of reach that you couldn't possibly make it happen in this lifetime. As much as that may seem true at the time, it doesn't have to become your reality. However in order to get there you will probably have to overcome some serious hurdles. And for that to happen you need a reason to get up and take the necessary action. That reason needs to be strong enough to pull you through the tough times that inevitably will come. That reason is your Why.

History is packed with unbelievable stories of accomplishment. People facing seemingly insurmountable odds who overcame obstacles you wouldn't believe. Individuals with relentless determination who decided to push on in situations where most people would give up. Why is that so many people throw in the towel when things don't go their way and only a small number of people seem to persevere? It's not because they're genetically stronger and it's not because they've been dealt a better hand in life. What sets them apart is their Why. That's what keeps them in the game. Their Why is so strong that whatever gets in their way they will find a way to deal with it. They don't have all the answers, but what they do have is an inner conviction that they can and will find them.

Working on your Why is one of the best ways to improve the chance of reaching your goals. So make sure that you know what your Why is. Find it and refine it over and over again. Make it so strong that achieving it becomes an absolute must for you and the How will magically reveal itself to you over time.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

How to Use Articles to Market Your Home Business

For many internet marketers the favorite place to start is articles. Quite simply because it's such a perfect fit for building their opt in list and attracting traffic to their web site as well, because many people are looking for the content they are providing. People go online for the simple fact that they are searching for fresh content.

There are many webmasters using article submission sites to find content to use on their own website or newsletter. If you have a link to your website or business opportunity in some of these articles you will be rewarded with a backlink when they make use of the content you delivered on their web sites.

It's a pretty sure bet that anybody can do if they for instance write about their favorite hobby or passion. If you can tell a short story you can write an article!

If you decide to write an article you want it to draw peoples attention and gets them to act by for instance signing up for a newsletter (and thus building your list) or doing something else what you might want to mention in the resource section belonging to your article.

A great way to get people click through to your web page is to offer them a sequence of articles (after you have let them taste your first free article enabling them to get hungry for more) if they are willing to perform an act of lets say signing up to your newsletter or subscribing to for instance your members only site. It makes perfectly good sense for your visitors to take action if they enjoyed the first (free) article you offered and they want to learn more on the topic you presented.

Most articles miss the logic of this emotional driven appeal to find out more. By offering a 300 to 500 words appetizer you are appealing to peoples curiosity. Taking action for your audience is only a small step by then.

If you want to publish you article you can chose Article Directories. There are very many on the internet. But as a matter of caution I suggest that when you approach an article directories a good advice would be not to treat your article as a sales piece in stead of a content piece. The Article Directory might not be willing to accept the article you offered for inclusion in their directory. And you will go back to your writing board again.