How to Use Your Marketing Background to Help a Start Up Business
I love marketing! There are few people that can say that they love what they went into or that they actually pursued a career within the field for which they went to school. I am one of those strange people that always knew from early on that I wanted a career in business, but I just wasn’t sure which particular area. For me, I didn’t want to just be stuck behind a desk. I wanted to pursue something that would allow me to use my skills and personality. I’m not saying that I’m a business whiz, but I think that I’ve done okay. When I was faced with that I wanted to do to keep myself marketable and bring in some income upon the birth of my daughter, I thought that it was high time to use the skills I had.
I went into marketing for two reasons: my love of writing and my ability and willingness to interact well with people. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I’m not great at either of these skills, but for the most part I think it is these elements that have kept me going. I love writing, it’s my outlet, my passion, and I think that I’ve developed a pretty broad portfolio over the past twelve years using this skill. So how could I use my background and skills to make me a successful stay at home mom?
Though I still have a lot of work to do before I am truly successful, I think that it’s about finding a niche that you know a lot about and going full force. I knew that I had the marketing expertise and I have found it serves small start up businesses in my area quite well. I have worked with several companies now for which I help them to develop and execute grassroots marketing. When you are just starting up, no matter what your business is, it’s all about promotion. Of course you have to offer a quality product or service that people really want, but I’ve seen some pretty strange products out there that do quite well due to excellent promotion. Fortunately for me, promotion was my area of expertise within marketing and I happen to be someone who is not afraid to talk to people. I have found that my niche is new moms or mothers of growing children. I have been able to partner up with businesses (mostly local) who struggle with how to get the word out to this particular niche. You have to go to the places they go to, think like they think, and essentially create an offering that they can’t refuse.
If you are able to focus in on your target audience and learn about that particular demographic, it makes the job of marketing to them much easier. This is true for any business, but is a great way for any start up business to get into the minds of their consumers. I’m not a huge fan of spending a lot of advertising dollars until a business is established, but if you are going to spend anything in this area, be sure that it’s impactful. Advertise in publications or on sites that you are sure your target audience will read or visit. Promote your business in the places that you know your target audience will go to–for me it’s a matter of talking about the companies I represent at mom club meetings, at mom-to-mom sales, or by posting information on mom boards. Figure out the most effective ways to reach your audience and then go for it.
There’s certainly much more to marketing than I am representing here, but to get yourself up and running as a start up business you need to think like your consumer. This is half the battle that I saw even big corporations struggle with. I use this in my own business–who will use my freelance writing? How can I get my advice about parenting and my own experiences out there to the masses? It’s a matter of thinking through what you would find to be effective if you were the target and then sending an effective message. I have a lot of work to do, but I know that my love of marketing will not only help me to get more established, but will also help the start up businesses that I represent to be successful.