Having a home based business requires a different business model than those with a store-front location. Where a marketing advantage may be in having a great location and relying on that visibility plus factor, a home based business simply markets around having this luxury to help drive traffic to its doors.

Here are 5 ways to drive traffic to your home based business:

1. Get Out. Most home based business entrepreneurs are doing this already but there is something to be said to growing awareness for what you do by doing this simple thing, but doing it consistently and often. Attending an occasional networking event, luncheon and maybe joining a leads group will not provide you with all the exposure you really need. It’s a start. You need to be out constantly, building your network. How? Find people whose businesses supplement yours, who share the same target market and build a rapport with them. Ask them for referrals and in exchange offer their clients a special discount or package incentive. You may also offer to refer your clients to them in return. You’ll want to build your network to a minimum of 50 contacts (ideally 100 – and it can be done!). Keep your networks active by building a special communication specific to them telling them what is new in your businesses, give them exciting news, and feature one of your contacts each month.

2. Use A Compelling Traveling Presentation To Bring Them In. Let’s say you have a business that requires customers to choose from a set of products to purchase from a display you have set up in your home. Maybe you offer services that you only provide out of your home such as a styling salon or spa services. You will need to submit to the fact that some prospects are just not comfortable going to a stranger’s home to do business that is otherwise typically found as a store front location. Having a traveling presentation that communicates value, creditability, gives a persuasive offer and call to action, and includes testimonials will help you ease any discomforts a prospect might initially have. Your traveling presentation is also a great alternative to those that may still show reluctance to going to your home. Be sure your presentation is simple, short, to the point and visually appealing.

3. Build Creditability. Because you are a home based business, it’s important to establish creditability because the “perception” people have is that your business isn’t real unless there is a store front or office location, they have seen your ads, read about you somewhere, or heard of you through word of mouth. You’ll need to pay extra attention in this area and work hard at building your creditability. A few ways you can do this is to pitch a story to a targeted magazine or newspaper about your type of product or service, contribute to a local column, blog, join an online discussion with members of your target audience, request to set up a small display area within one of your network’s store front location, or use your website to show that you are a professional business by spending the extra dollars in hiring a professional to build a visually appealing and informative website.

4. Don’t Sell In Your Ads, Drive Traffic Instead. Because you don’t have a store front location where anyone can just walk in, you’ll want to use your advertisements to do something other than to just sell. You’ll need to use your ads to persuade potential customers to either pick up the phone to get more information or to set up an appointment. You may want to use your ads to simply drive traffic to your website, which in turn, your website’s job is to persuade people to purchase online, make an appointment, or simply pick up the phone to call you.

5. Utilize Your Partnerships. Join forces with your partners, affiliates, or joint ventures and combine products or services to create a compelling new offer. Market the offer together by splitting an ad, cross promoting in both your email blasts, on websites and social media websites (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, SelfGrowth, etc), or submit a press release.

These are just a few things you can implement to begin the flow of lead generation and ultimately getting new clients. Once you have a steady stream on clientele, your next priority should be client retention and building repeat business but we’ll save that for another article.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that what ever marketing strategies you implement, the important thing is to be consistent. It takes time to build that momentum. Be sure to always ask how your customers found you and constantly measure your results.

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