"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. "
- Helen Keller
Let us begin by asking ourselves a few questions. Am I creative? Do I want to be independent? Do I like to take risks? Am I good at multitasking? Do I do get along well with people around me? Am I good at cooking or handicrafts, fashion, numbers, designs? Am I tech savvy? Do I understand and use social media? If the answer to all of these is ‘YES’ then, you are in the right place to start and run your own home-based business. Running your own business requires fuelling your passion more than money. If you have an idea that you want to turn into a business that will fetch you an extra income and give you the flexibility to work when and where you want, then continue reading and live the life of your dreams.
Considering the current COVID situation, with the economy taking a hit and many individuals losing their jobs, it is important to have an alternate source of income by running our own small business to ensure sustainability. And I am sure, those who already have businesses might have realized how important it is now to have your presence in the digital world to reach out to your customers. It is dreadful to think how an apprehension to accept digital platforms can risk our business and our income. But its better late than never. Sounds great, but how do we go about it? Where do we start? All these thoughts are running in your mind right now and you cannot wait to read more, right? Well, let us cut to the chase.
In many cases, the idea of starting or running a small home-base business must have sparked when you realized what kind of customer needs would you cater to. For example, Airbnb started with renting out homes to earn extra income; OLX is an online platform to buy and sell used products; Pearson provides online education; NestAway offers affordable rental solutions; SWIGGY and Food Panda deliver food to homes; Urban Clap caters to small domestic needs and so on. All these enterprises would not been known to you if they had not made their presence digitally.
All of them started out small and made it ‘BIG’. If we take a moment and reflect on how they came up with their unique ideas and what made them successful, then it is never too late to follow them or be inspired by them. Most business with an online presence continued to bring in profits and were some of the least hit enterprises during the lockdown owing to the COVID crisis. This will continue to be our new reality and we will have to look at different, more creative ways to do things.
Before we learn how to build a digital presence, let us first understand what digital marketing is. In simple words, we can put it as any form of marketing that exists online. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
In offline or traditional marketing, our customers can see, taste and feel our product or service, bargain for discounts before buying the product or accepting a service. This traditional marketing strategies involve printing ads, phone calls, or physical door-to-door presence. While leveraging our presence in the digital world, it requires a different strategy to ensure a buy-in. Digital channels are places where businesses use social media, emails, websites, etc. to connect with customers and build relationships that are long lasting.
Looking at the current COVID situation, many business owners have started embracing Digital Marketing, but be mindful again as this would call for more competition from your rivals who are thinking along the same lines. However, there is nothing to worry because your customers and consumers are also relying on digital platforms to learn about your brands, products and services. Justified?? Great. Digital Marketing has many options and strategies that you can explore and by adding a dash of your creative talent and experimenting with marketing tactics on a minimal budget, build and watch your empire grow.
Ready to try Digital Marketing? Here is a list of steps that will enable you to realize your dream.
- Create responsive websites for your ads to make it more mobile-friendly.
- Establish a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, You-tube, create blogs and so on, to create brand awareness and generate leads.
- Create content or hire someone to create a business website and content to meet your audience’s needs during the buying journey.
- Your content should be in line your buyer’s goals and challenges in relation to your business.
- In order to reach your target customers, ensure you provide quality service or products.
- Add quality videos, catchy taglines, content and clear images of your products and services to attract customers. Create banners, posters and flyers and advertise your products and services on social media platforms.
- If your product is sold, ask customers for feedback and thank them.
- The journey does not end here. Thank your customers even if they have not purchased your product.
- Offer surprise bonus, sales and discounts on specific occasions and on specific products.
- Ensure to follow-up and cater to their needs and solutions they seek.
- Build up and improvise your product or service.
- As your business grows, expand your marketing strategies and try out multiple digital selling platforms.
- Viola! This is just the beginning. As you set your foot into the digital world, you will be amazed to see how your Digital Market creates and opens new doors. When there is a will, there is a way!
Digital Marketing is the way forward to reach out to a global audience. Remember, you are not the only one. Seek advice from experts and support of your family members and make a start. Your buyers are waiting for you; take a leap and give wings to your dreams. Happy Marketing!