I am constantly amazed at the number of people I come across who want to operate a business online from home – but not put in what’s required to meet their target audience! You can’t just put up a website and say ‘here I am world, come to me!’ because that just doesn’t work.
You have to go where the people are and that means a number of things, depending on what your business is. But here are some suggestions:
- Find out about local business networks and attend networking events – it’s worth getting to know local business owners as they’ll help you learn about operating a business in your location, but also might have need of your services or products.
- Find out about local industry associations where your target audience may congregate and get amongst them. They aren’t going to notice you exist unless you let them know – so go to them.
- Are there industry association newsletters for your target audience that you could write articles for?
- Seek out the same online, i.e. global industry groups – there are two types in particular here. Both people in your line of work (you can learn from them) and your target client base (you can learn from them also). By way of example: I service a number of public speakers so hang out with public speakers at their networking events, receive their newsletters and keep informed about their industry.
- Join online discussion forums – both with your peers and your target audience and participate. People won’t know anything about you, unless you join in.
So, it is important to go to the people and let them know you exist. Whilst some will find you online there is still a large number of people out there who do not automatically search online for a service or product – they’ll either use the Yellow Pages (and call the first business they see listed in their area) or they’ll ask someone else who they use? KMT