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How to Generate Home Based Business LeadsOne of the best strategies to follow, when trying to generate home based business leads, is to begin by formulating a profile of your ideal customer. Once you define the common characteristics of the prospects who go on to become your regular customers, you will be ready to develop an assessment test that you can apply to any method of sales lead generation that you are evaluating. That test will have two questions that are something like this: Will my ideal customer be receptive to this method of contact? And, Do I think this method will identify a large number of prospects that match my customer profile?
Elsewhere on this site, the article "How to Generate Small Business Sales Leads" summarizes a number of lead generation techniques that can also be used to collect home based business leads. But you may find many of them too expensive if you are in the early stages of a startup. Below is an additional list of low-budget lead generation ideas.
BrochuresA well written brochure can be and should be a stand-alone selling tool that can explain your business, answer questions and generate interest all on its own, without you needing to be the with the reader. Instead, you need to be by your phone, or e-mail, so you can respond when the brochure spurs your prospect to contact you either for information or for a sale. Hiring a professional to design and write a brochure for you can be an excellent investment, especially if you can use the copy again as content for your website or for other print formats. If you believe a brochure will appeal to your potential customers, interview a number of writers and designers, and look at their portfolios. You should look at websites that they have designed and written, as well, if you also plan to have them modify the brochure text so that it can become content for a website.
Business CardsBusiness cards are often underestimated. They can tell much more than just your business name and address, and they should when you are running a home based business. Go online to look at galleries of business cards displayed by printing or design services, and look at the cards posted in you local stores or restaurants. A good business card finds a way to communicate what product or service your business provides, and it sums up why your business is the best at what it does.
Sounds like too much to fit on a card? Again, you need to look back at your customer profile. What do you prospects want to know about you? Your profile may tell you that customers like your selection of products, they like that you are certified, or, they like that you make free estimates. Any one of those is a potential key message that you need to fit on your card. Most cards waste their chance to connect with readers. Don't just follow the formula you see other businesses use for their cards. Instead, make your business card a true sales tool and then look for all of the free, or very low cost places where you can post it. And don't forget to staple one to each copy of your brochure!
Promotional Card DecksYou've seen them in your own mail. Do you open the deck and fan through it to see if there are any interesting offers, or businesses you didn't know about? If you live in the new suburbs, where shopping has become disconnected from a town center, or a Main Street of stores, then you probably do look for the card of a business or service that you know you are going to be in need of sometime soon.
Card decks are much less expensive than a tailored direct mail campaign, and they are in some ways perceived as a different type of "junk" mail by residents, who may quickly sort out and discard many other commercial mailings, while they will go on to open and look through the card deck because it has "multiple" interest. Put simply, you can throw out an envelope of any size, once you glance at the return address, and know that you are simply not bothering to read all the literature on a water softening company, a frequent-flyer-miles club, etc. But, when you throw away an unopened deck of promotional cards you don't know what you've chosen not to read about. For many people that lack knowledge holds a little hint of adventure, and so they open the deck to find out what's in it.
Certainly none of these methods of generating home based business leads is something you've never heard of before. But that's the point. You are familiar with all of these low-cost methods of self-promotion because you see them all the time. What you may not have considered is that you see them all the time because they work. When these methods are used to deliver researched and honed key messages that set your business apart from the pack, they can be both powerful and comparatively inexpensive.
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