So you’ve decided to take the leap. You’ve saved enough money for a down payment on a house, and you’re ready to buy that fixer-upper you’ve always dreamed about. You chat with the real estate agent, settle on a price, and make an offer. To your delight, the seller accepts, and you’ve just become an owner-occupier. Congrats!
Now what? You’ve got a house, but unless you’re prepared to fix it up and sell it yourself, it’s just a matter of time before you have a spare bedroom again. How can you fill your days since you’re no longer a professional athlete or a college kid? What can you do to stretch your savings and earn a decent living?
If you’re looking to start a business in San Antonio, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about marketing yourself and your local services online. Whether you’ve got a product to sell or a service to offer, this guide will help you figure out how to properly market yourself in your spare time so that when you’re ready to go full-time, you can hit the ground running.
Find Your Niche
It’s easy to get distracted with all the shiny objects in your spare time. You’ve got Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep you busy, and sometimes it’s hard to focus on one thing for more than a few hours at a time. If you want to be able to market yourself full-time, you’re going to have to hone your focus and find your niche. The good news is that the internet makes it easier than ever to research and find your perfect match for customers. When you have a spare minute, you can easily research a market and find demographics that may be interested in your product or service. You don’t need to commit to a full business plan yet, just take some time to see what you can find.
Make Sure Your Website Is Up To Date
Before you put pen to paper and start building your business, you need to take the time to update your website. It’s important to keep your prospective customers well-informed about your business and what you have to offer. This is why you should always update your website with the most recent information about your company and services. If they’re not using the latest version of a website builder, they may not be getting the most out of their website. If you’re doing this yourself, take the time to look for tutorials or hire someone to help you. When you have a spare minute, you can use this time to make sure your website is ready for the big-time. It will make a world of difference when you eventually do decide to put up a website and promote your business online. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of headaches in the future. Having a well-maintained and updated site is better than having a site full of broken links and glitches.
Pick Your Platform
There are hundreds of different websites and forums that you can use to promote your business. The most important thing is that you find one that suits your needs. For example, if you’re looking to market your plumbing services, you may decide on a website builder with plumbing templates or platforms that you can use to launch your own website. Alternatively, if you want to sell your photography skills, you may decide to use a free platform like WordPress or Blogger to build your site. Just remember, the internet is made up of many different platforms and websites. It can be tricky to find one that’s perfect for your needs. You’ll have to do some research before you make a decision. Once you find the perfect platform, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Choose a Domain Name And Register Your New Website
A domain name is the address of your website. For example, let’s say you want to create a photography website. Your perfect domain name may be something like [http://photography.com]. When someone clicks on this link, they’ll be brought to your website. Ideally, you want to find a short and sweet domain name that’s easier to remember and types faster than your current site’s URL. When you have a spare minute, you can use this time to register your new domain name and put up your website. Even if you end up choosing another name, you can always use WordPress’s “sockpuppet” feature to create a backup of your site in the event that something happens to the original. The downside to this is that it can be a hassle to update your website when you have an active Twitter account. You’ll have to wait until you have time to delete your Twitter account and then create a new one with the updated content. If you’re looking for a hassle-free option, consider a free website builder such as Squarespace or Wix.com.
Curate A Marketing Plan
Once you have your platform and domain name, it’s time to put some thought into your marketing plan. This is going to be the bread and butter of your business. The first thing you need to do is research the different marketing channels and tools that may exist in your niche. There are hundreds of different options when it comes to marketing, and you’ll have to choose which ones appeal to you. Once you have a list of the top 10 or so options, it’s time to narrow it down to 2 or 3 specific platforms and/or strategies. Remember, you’re under no obligation to use the services that you choose. You can always change course at any time and use a different method of marketing. If you end up loving a certain platform or strategy, you can always revisit the decision and use it for the rest of your business career. In the meantime, you can use the rest of your time to grow your business and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Build A Social Media Audience
One of the fastest ways to get and keep customers is to have a vibrant social media presence. For a business to be successful, it has to have a strong social media presence. To put it simply, if you don’t have a social media account, you don’t exist. You can’t buy social media followers or, at least, not yet. If you want to be able to market your business online, you’ll have to get yourself a Twitter account (free) or Instagram account (also free). To get enough subscribers to grow your account’s credibility, you’ll have to spend money. Luckily, there are various tools and tricks to help you get organic reach on social media. Some of the well-known platforms and their respective tools include: