title:Turn Your Hobby Into A Worldwide Success With The Internet author:Lori Osterberg source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_6794.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:business_and_finance article:

Many people start a home based business, sell to a few family and friends, then close the business down because they lack the one thing they need: new customers. The wonderful thing about the Internet is you have an unlimited supply of ?potential customers?. You have the ability to reach out and promote yourself to millions of people all over the world.
Start By Building Your Business
Your hobby is your passion, right? You do it because you love it. And if someone buys what you do, all the better.
But what if you could turn your hobby into a full time business that not only supported you, but also provided you with an income that would change your lifestyle?
The key is to think about selling before you rent your first booth at the local fair.
Let?s imagine you bake brownies, and after winning several competitions, you know you have one of the best brownie recipes in town. You package them up, and take them to your local holiday fair.
You?ll probably sell quite a few brownies during the fair, but what about the day after? Will people remember you, and have a way of getting a hold of you to order more?
If you?ve planned ahead, you?ll be selling your brownies all year long ? with the help of the Internet. And it all starts with a website.
Build an Eye-Pleasing Website
Whether you tackle design yourself with one of the many template-driven systems online today, or hire a designer to take on a more customized look, the key is to get a website up to help you market your product line.
While there are many things necessary to make an eye catching, professional website, I consider the top 5 characteristics to be as follows.
1. Every site should have a solid, clean, professional look. The look and feel of your site should carry through from one page to the next. Always avoid looking homemade; people have a harder time completing the sale if the site isn?t professional.
2. Your navigation should be easy to understand and easy to maneuver. Make sure your navigation buttons carry through from page to page, and are easily understandable to your visitor. Your ultimate goal is to have your visitor buy ? lead them to the order button, and make it an easy process.
3. Have a message that speaks directly to your visitors. Content is king online. A site full of relevant information will always capture the attention of a visitor over a site without. People go to the Internet for information. Give them what they are searching for. No matter what you are selling, creating several pages of information relevant to your product and industry is a must.
4. Impulse shopping is the only way to sell online. Have you ever been to a website, seen something you loved, the price was write, so you decided to buy? When you clicked on the shopping cart, it was easy to input your credit card information, and the sale was completed within a few short minutes. That?s impulse selling. No forms to fill out and fax in. No phone numbers to call in the order the next morning. You instantly buy when the desire is high.
5. Continual marketing allows you to connect with your customers. Your current customers are your best prospects for repeat business. Creating online techniques for continual selling, such as an ezine, allows you to stay in touch with your prospects and customers. This is a necessity for any Internet savvy business.
Forever Marketing
There are two kinds of hobbyists: those that turn it into a business, and those that don?t.
To turn your hobby into a business, you must market to every person that buys your product. You can do that in one of two ways.
First, list your website on everything you create for your business. The labels on your product, your business cards, your brochures, and your advertisements. Everything that comes into contact with your customer should provide a way to create more sales. When they try your product and love it, they need to have a way to get more.
Second, ask your customer to be put onto a mailing list for special promotions. People love deals. They love coupons. And if you promise them a coupon to get a discount ? they?ll sign up instantly. And you gained access to market to an existing customer for years to come.
When people visit your website, the vast majority will not make a purchase from you at that time. But if your site provides good quality information, and has a desirable product/service, you will attract attention. Your goal is to capture these people.
Ezines, or electronic newsletters, are one of the best ways of staying in touch with your potential customers.
Ezines also allow you to develop a relationship with your potential customer. Think back to all the sales you?ve made in the past. Most of your sales probably came from people that you had contact with. You met face to face, talked for a few minutes, and established a certain level of trust. Repeat sales came because they trusted you and your product, and felt comfortable doing business with you.
That same process must be built online. Because your potential customer may be several thousand miles from you, the ability to meet in person is difficult. If your customer is half way around the world, even talking on the phone can be next to impossible.
Incorporating special promotions into your email campaigns and ezines allows you to connect in a personal away with each of your prospects. You can continually offer new sizes or product combinations, and provide exposure to your business and products over and over again. No longer do your customers have to visit the fair to purchase your product; they can complete the sale any time of the day from the convenience of their own home.
And that will help you turn your hobby into a profitable business.
Copyright 2006 Vision Business Concepts Inc
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