With the internet being in everyone's face nowadays, when many home based business people think of marketing they think of guest blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook pages, email campaigns, Youtube videos and click ads. But for many work at home businesses the best customers and the best ways to get them are right in their home town. With a bit of planning, elbow grease and talking you can find new customers without touching your computer.

Working With Charities

No matter your business, donating time, money, or your expertise to local charities, sports teams and schools are great for publicity.If you makes crafts, you can donate some of your products to a charity auction or for a contest. Your name will be prominently displayed as helping your community, and your product will be seen in your community.  

Donating your services are also quite useful, either completely free or at cost. Whether you design the charities website, mow their lawn, or help plan and prepare a banquet, the charity will publicly thank you, and you can get a nice testimonial out of it.

Even if you don't have a product or service the charity or community group can use, simply donating money, will almost always get you a nice little plaque and a nice mention on a website and at some of the events.
Showing community spirit and letting people know how nice you are, will always look good.

Networking Around Town

Is there a local Toastmasters, business association, writing group, charity, or hobby club that you are somewhat interested in? 

Join them.
Working from home can be isolating, so getting out and meeting people will keep you from feeling all alone, more importantly by making connections in real life, you are creating strong bonds that can lead to business. Even if a group doesn't seem like it will be good for your business, the people in it know other people who may need you. 

Don't join a group if you'll just be sitting there bored out of your skull, and don't join a group simply to sell your product. Show genuine interest, build up contacts, and casually bring up your business when people ask what you do.

Free Classes and Seminars

This will require work and you have to do it well, but offering free courses in your area of expertise can be one of the best ways to get business. Using your new community network, community bulletin boards, some internet advertising and even fliers, let people know you are offering a free one day class. Make sure to keep track of how many people should be coming by having them phone or preferably emailing you, and ensure you have access to a large enough room with all the necessary facilities.

This will cost you money, unless you can get a room and all the equipment for free, and you have to prepare very carefully, so don't rush into this or it will be a disaster. But you have people who are really interested in what you have to say as a captive audience, if you're prepared you can sell them anything. And even if you only get 2 or 3 people when you were expecting 50, roll with it, make the class more intimate, and make sure that handful of people will tell everyone they know how great you are.

These three methods are some of the best ways to get clients, get recognition and get money for your business within your community. Remember there is a world outside of your computer, and it's full of people waiting to hire you and buy your product. All you have to do is let them know your there.

Dan Clarke is a personal coach with a passion for helping people who work from home, whether they're simply telecommuting or have their own home business. With three of his own at home businesses he has found many ways to balance his working life and his home life, allowing him to support and enjoy time with his family.

Find out more at his website,  Be Happy Working at Home.

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