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Marketing seems to be one of those words that scares many people.  Think of marketing, and most people think of advertising, magazines, TV ads, brochures, business cards.  While those can be part of a marketing strategy, and are very much marketing methods, they’re only a small aspect of marketing.

Marketing, at its simplest, is the things you do in order to sell your stuff.  From a simple link in an email signature to a full-blown advertising program on radio and TV, everything in between is marketing.  It’s the getting your business name and products known in your desired marketplace.

Marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Within the Work At Home Mom community, very few WAHMs have a fortune to spend on marketing!  I’ve read of recommendations to allocate 5-10% of your overall budget to marketing; however I see a few problems with such a blanket statement.

–    Many WAHMs are bootstrapping, paying for things as they can and don’t actually have
‘budget’ as such.  In this instance it’s impossible to say how much 5-10% is.

–    When you’re starting up, it’s likely that you’ll need to pay more than 5-10% for the first year or two.

–    A lot of WAHMs do what they do to add to the family budget.  Because of that, there is literally no marketing budget.  Marketing is based on what can be afforded at the time.

Some of the other marketing issues that I’ve noticed in the Work At Home Mum community are; lack of a Marketing plan (and often no Business Plan either), not having identified a target market, offering what they think their market wants without in-depth research, the ‘throwing mud at the wall in the hope some sticks’ syndrome, lack of easily identified branding, and not taking advantage of free marketing opportunities.

Does this all sound very bleak?  It’s not meant to be.  Putting a marketing plan in place, one that works for your budget, your business and your target market, is relatively simple.  It’s not easy, it will take some work and effort on your part, but it is simple.