It’s true that home businesses are a little more modest in terms of how they can market their presence, but that doesn’t mean this is impossible. After all, aside from the verified tick (which thanks to the actions of a certain erratic billionaire may not longer be the case), your home brand’s Twitter page will look very similar to the page of a multi-national business like Coca-Cola, given the formatting of the page and utilities on offer remaining the same.
Social media is a necessary element, but not necessarily your only outlet. You might find that sponsoring certain initiatives in your local environment can also connect you with your community, and on a small scale, drum up a few extra clients or orders for the value you offer.
Now, it’s important to make sure you do this for the right reasons. It’s always quite amusing to see a Dad sponsor his child’s local football team only to magically see their child playing full games off the bench every match.
In this post shared by a guest author, we’ll discuss the potential scope of sponsorships for home businesses, and also the difference you can make with such a unique promotional effort:
Look To Local Figures/Initiatives Of Interest
It may be helpful to work with local figures or initiatives that can not only help you do some good, but also get your business name out there. For example, it might be that a local resident is running a marathon for cancer research. It might be that with your meagre funds, you can donate to their fundraiser a little, and make sure you promote them through your social media channels.
It’s not exploitative to support, champion, and be part of the worthwhile initiatives in your local area, provided you’re not getting anything out of it. If your support is coming from a good place, and you genuinely believe in the cause, then there’s no foul. It may also mean that your business is noticed by other individuals, inspiring them to do the same. If you run a local seamster service based in your home studio, for instance, you might help them fit the costume they’re running in, or sew their patches on their running gear in promotion of certain causes.
As you can see, while you might not be able to throw money around as a general rule (home businesses tend to be run on a relatively modest budget, and thanks to low overheads, this is more than possible), you can still offer your support and place yourself alongside them.
Of course, as a home business, you’re probably not going to bring out your own fashion line or range of highly branded items. That said, you might find that merchandising, especially merchandising within your specific discipline, is more open than you think.
Let’s say you run a dog training service out of your home and in your large garden. It might be that having merchandised pet accessories could be perfect for those clients who stick with you, promoting your business to other dog owners, and also developing a nice item that will remain ‘in-theme’ with your business.
Think of all the tiresome shirts, caps and tote bags you’ve seen blazing the label of your local businesses. Something new and fun like this can really turn heads, even if it seems simple on the surface.
Social Media Personalities
It’s not uncommon for social media personalities to be sponsored by smaller businesses. Sure, you might not be able to use the biggest influencers on each app to showcase your products or service, but don’t worry, internet “figures” are a dime a dozen.
Find one you really do appreciate. It might be, for example, that a social media influencer is showcasing their life with a certain disability, showing that with the right support, you can still live a happy life if you keep your enthusiasm high.
Might it be that your home tutorship services to train live-in carers as they take their exams to be fully qualified would benefit by sponsoring this individual, asking them to talk about your service for a shout-out? This might help you fund content you wish to see, even in a modest way, and better connect with an audience who might actually be interested.
This is a specific example that is unlikely to perfectly match with those reading this, but there may be a good amount of crossover between this effort and your own business style and priorities.
Fundraising For Important Causes
It might be that your home business has little reach. If you’re a local wedding photographer based out of your home studio, it might be that you volunteer your services in order to help a local fundraising drive with your church, with a local charity store, or for a community event.
Again, this might not translate into perfect clients you solicit while you’re at the event, but it can certainly help you get your name, your skills, your talent, and your business out there. Bringing that value-added approach is a healthy way forward, perhaps the healthiest initiative any business can take.
After all, home businesses rarely have a large marketing budget, or perhaps even a marketing budget at all. But you might find that applying your value voluntarily, really showing people what you have to offer, will naturally draw attention. They may take a chance on you compared to other small businesses in the area.
Signage Can Be Helpful
A simple, well-designed sign placed above your home studio overlooking the road can help signify that you operate here, and your contact information. You don’t need this, of course, if you’d prefer privacy.
However, signage in the local newspaper, as a well-designed poster you pay a small sum to hang in the local store window, all of this can make a difference. In the same way, posting in your local business group for the area can make members aware of any promotions you’re running.
Deliver Your Value To Local Residents
As a home business, you may be able to acquire clients from all around the country, such as if you’re a graphic designer working online and remotely.
It could be that in order to drum up a little more support from your local area, you offer better deals for them. This insulates a promotional approach that won’t cause distress to your other clients, and can help you keep acquiring clients that allow your work to keep ticking over, especially during the slower times of year.
It might be that you’re happy to provide a discount for your professional services by illustrating and designing the posters for a local small farmyard music folk festival talking place. A small discount for a project of this size could help you both acquire the business, and maybe even set up an annual client.
There are many ways your business could be ideal for this approach. If the local high school is putting on a large theatre play, perhaps you could offer a relatively cheap commission for crafting all of the children’s costumes in line with the school production designer – as schools will have a budget for putting on this show.
Local residents may or may not be your main clients, but ignoring them may be a mistake.
Local SEO Works Wonders
We’ve mentioned local approaches to marketing in this post, and quite frequently. This is because a home business rarely penetrates far past this space unless they offer a tremendously valuable product noticed nation-wide. For example, if you’re one of the few people who fashion handmade snooker cues in your garage workshop, then you might be able to curate a national clientele.
If not, then there are alternate means. By focusing on your local area, you can expand your online marketing, too. With an SEO agency, landing pages on your website for each of your services, and a blog or content you post semi-regularly with good use of keywords, you can grow in the search rankings when people search for a service and then the area after the query. So for instance, if your village is named ‘Generic Village,’ someone typing in ‘Seamstress Generic Village’ has a higher chance of seeing you; thanks to the content you’ve primed.
Ironically enough, good SEO practices can also help you extend your branding platform beyond just your current area. It’s always worth trying because many SEO agencies have scaleable packages that can be primed for your budget.
Network With Local Businesses, Too!
You don’t always have to be an island, it might be that working with other businesses, such as being commissioned by a local business to design their logo and getting a shout out on their Instagram as part of the deal, is absolutely worth your time, too.
When you’re a home business, you have the chance to be fluid and flexible with the marketing you find. For instance, tattooists that may have a home shop may post pictures of every tattoo they perform on social media, effectively creating a public portfolio of work.
If you can leverage that in a partnership or basic alliance with other companies, even if you interact with them in a friendly manner on Twitter, you’ll enjoy more reach than you thought possible.
With this advice, we hope you can better think about marketing and sponsorships as a home business, in the best way!