Now that you have most of the nuts and bolts of your business plan in place, your biggest concentration should be on how you are going to market your business. You can have the best business idea and the greatest product, but if no one ever finds out about it, you aren’t going to have a successful business.
There are so many different areas we could talk about with this and there is no way I can possibly cover them all! Each of your marketing plans will be different as you have different markets to reach. I know many of you have already formulated some sort of marketing plan so you have a good start. I am going to share with you just a few different mediums you can use to market your business along with creative ideas for marketing.
My biggest advice to you would be to look for every possible way to gain free advertising when you are first starting up. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars advertising and receive no results from it. So, be very cautious before you spend money on advertising-especially at first. The time and place will come when you can pay for advertising, but it’s better to secure as much free advertising as possible.
What is free advertising? Well, basically, anything which promotes your business without you paying outright for the advertising. There are thousands of ways to get free advertising. Here are a few ideas for starters:
Become a Local News Story- If you live in a small town, you will especially have an advantage in breaking into the local media. Your local newspapers and radio stations have to come up with lots of news to give out everyday. Capitalize upon this and become news! Many newspapers are especially interested in featuring stories about teen entrepreneurs. Call or email your local newspapers and tell them about your business and they may very well be interested in writing a story on you! You can also consider contacting other magazines, newsletters, websites, email newsletters, and so forth, which are directly related to your line of business. You might also contact your state or area homeschool newsletter-if there is one available. They’d probably enjoy spotlighting a local homeschooled teen starting a business.
Become an “Expert”- If you have a website, you especially need to do this! Write a few articles on a topic that is pertinent to your business and submit these to various websites, homeschool magazines, and so forth. Include your bio at the end with a short description of your business and website link. Be sure to submit these articles to free content websites such as: http://www.ezinearticles.com, http://www.family-content.com, and http://top7business.com/submit and you will soon find your article showing up all over the web! Conduct an internet search to find many other such websites. I have been amazed at how successful this has been for me. If you do a web search for “Crystal Paine” you will hundreds of articles posted on different websites-all advertising my business and website. And these are articles that others websites have picked up and added to their website from Free Content Websites!
Spread the Word! Make up flyers, business cards, and brochures and put these anywhere and everywhere you can. These cost you pennies a piece and can be very effective, especially if they are catchy and eye-appealing. (Be sure to have a few other people review them and give you their honest opinion before you start handing these out.)