There are 4 key elements in creating and growing a successful home-based business. The formula for success is to:
* Know YOURSELF
* Know Your MARKET
* Know HOW to Market
* Apply a FOCUSED plan of action
Know Thyself Now, “knowing yourself” might seem a little abstract or off in la-la land when thinking about the nuts and bolts end of running a home-based business, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you don’t have certain things defined in your mind, you are begging to be defeated by the first significant hurdle that is thrown at you. Further, if you aren’t 100% behind whatever opportunity, product, or service your business is centered on, that will show through in your marketing and push potential sales away.
You need to spend a few hours with yourself, envisioning the end result that you want to achieve by having your own home-based business. Have fun with the exercise, be as detailed as possible, and remove any limitations or “being realistic” from your thinking. The goal here is to have your dream scenario clear in your mind. Once you have your life vision, brain-storm about what subjects and interests you have that you are passionate about. What different things have you studied, read, discussed, or experienced that really get you excited? What do you find yourself talking about, or thinking about, or especially day-dreaming about? Imagine your perfect average day, and what you would be doing and experiencing.
Next, out of these visions and lists of passionate interests, pull out your top 3 values. It is important to have this list defined when you start looking for a business. Otherwise, you might find that your business is in violation of one of your most important values. In that case, even if your business is successful, you won’t be as happy as you would have if you would have chosen better. As an example, one of my wife and my most closely held values is having the ability and freedom to travel and experience new places with each other and our families. When first looking at potential businesses, we started to get involved with both rental properties and a traditional brick and mortar franchise. YUCK! The more businesses we would have in these arenas, the more tied down we would be, and working against one of our most treasured values.
Since you are looking into a home-based business, I’m assuming that just like our situation, you value the complete life freedom that comes with being your own boss and choosing how and when you work. That is important for you; DON’T ever give that vision up, no matter what!
Once you have your vision, passions, and most important values all in alignment, your next step is to make that all as vivid as possible to yourself. Imagine in detail your perfect day, write it down, and assemble a “dream board” of pictures that represent that dream precisely. Move one step beyond that and create a “mind movie” for yourself. A mind movie uses technology to pull in all those images (once you have them on your computer) in one place, adding some words and music together. Do all of that in powerpoint, and screen-record it so you can “watch your dream” every morning, and before you go to bed.
Know Your Market
Knowing your market is extremely important to your success. If you understand yourself and your goals, you’ve covered the first step that most people don’t get, but disconnected from everyone else, this doesn’t get you too far! To have a wider impact, and exchange high value to others for money, you need to understand: what problems your market has, what solutions exist to those problems currently, and how you can solve those problems better, quicker, cheaper, or more completely.
When you thoroughly understand your market and their problems, communicating to them directly, authentically, and effectively becomes very easy. The mystery to excellent copywriting simply vanishes, and communication is effortless.A cool trick I learned to aid in this process is to not envision a group of people as your target, but ONE PARTICULAR person (who represents a typical client or customer) and writing or marketing to that ONE person.
In addition to understanding the people whose problems you will be solving, you need to understand what solutions are already available, and how those solutions are marketed.Here is how to do some quick market spying and reconnaissance:
* Search “Your Main Keyword(s)” + Blog in Google
* “” “” + Ezine or Newsletters
* “” “” +Forum or Discussion Board
* “” “” +Articles
* Search Your Major Keywords (top 10 or so) and carefully note everyone on the first 3 pages, sign up for their newsletters, and carefully watch their sales process
* For additional keyword ideas, use Wordtracker’s free tool at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com
Know HOW to Market
I simply don’t have room to cover all of the many ways to market online in detail, but I will leave you some pointers. If you are serious about creating an income using the internet from home, don’t skimp on your education. Be willing to invest in the incredibly valuable knowledge you will need in order to make this work. (I have reviews of the top programs available depending on topical area, to cut down on your research time their. There is A LOT of information out there, and it is easy to get overwhelmed.) And, treat this like a business and not a hobby; this WILL require work! Also, and this is critically important, when you are marketing you MUST collect names and e-mails of visitors in order to continue building a relationship and marketing to them over time. All of the top internet marketers agree that the relationship they have with their list is their most valuable asset. As long as you always focus on bringing value and solving problems of your visitors and subscribers, you WILL be rewarded. With that said, the major areas that you could focus on to generate traffic to your site are:
* Free Search Engine Traffic utilizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
* Traffic from other websites (ex. blogs, discussion boards, directories)
* Social Media sites (facebook, twitter, stumbleupon, ezinearticles, youtube, flickr. For Content Sharing sites like YouTube or ezinearticles, you produce content with links back to your site, so that visitors are pre-sold.)
* Paid Search Engine Traffic (most notable Google, but don’t forget about Yahoo and MSN)
Again, I point you to all of the educational material you will need for any one topic at my site, there is just too much information to go into here.
Apply a FOCUSED Plan of Action
Amid all the great tools and neat tricks and new information, it is easy to get information overload. My best advice in this area is this: focus on the fundamentals, not gimmicks and tricks that will work today but not tomorrow. If you produce valuable information and content, you will attract people that WANT to give you money, not just visitors. And that will be a long-term result. Most importantly, choose just 2 or 3 ways to market, and focus completely on those. If you split your time on 10 different things, you’ll have poor results in all areas. If you focus on just a couple, you’ll see results much faster, and results that will last longer as well. Choose one topic in particular to become a master at, and several to be very effective at. If you nail down these four elements, your success is guaranteed, given enough time to work your plan.