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starting photography cameras

starting photography cameras

Working From Home - your Start-up Guide

Investment

If you have thought about working from home you have probably thought how great it would be to wake up when you want, go on holiday when you want, and for how long you want.

There are several things that you must remember though. You have to be motivated. This is YOUR business and to get it off the ground you have to be willing to put in an equal amount of time and investment.

You can start part time around your current job and build it into a full time career, or you can run it as a hobby. It is your business so what you want to achieve from it is entirely up to you. But you need to have the right amount of expectations and the right level of commitment. There is no point in throwing money at your business if you have no time to do anything with it, you may as well just … well … invest it and see what happens. Also, on the other side of the coin, there is no point having hours and hours of available time, but you don't want to invest any money to realise your vision.

Goal Setting

Self motivation is one of the biggest key factors in working from home. There are so many more distractions that always seem to deserve your attention much more than working on your new business. It is important to treat your business like a multi million pound business from the start. Value it, give it the attention that it deserves and give it the time to grow.

Setting yourself goals is a great motivator. Before you start your business take an hour or two to think about what you want, what you truly want to achieve or work towards. It may be something like paying off your credit card bill, or even buying that boat you have always wanted. Pick something that is close to your heart and is really important to you, otherwise it just won't keep you motivated. Make sure you write it down and remind yourself everyday what you are working towards.

Personal Development

Keep yourself up to date with personal development. Be inspired by the success of others. Learn and gain skills from others who talk and have written from personal experience.

Read lots. Get your mind open to thinking in different ways. It may only take one small change for everything to click in place.

Some books I recommend to get you thinking and inspired are:

The Richest Man In Babylon by Georges Clason

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Bettger

Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

All of these can be found on http://www.amazon.com

Starting

OK, so you have made the biggest decision of all and have decided to work from home. So what do you do now? What area of working from home do you want to do and can you do? There is no right or wrong business to get involved in, or one solution. It is all down to the individual as everybody’s circumstances are different.

There are many different options, and you will no doubt have to learn a whole new different set of skills to achieve your goals. But don't let this put you off. There are many businesses that you can join, run as your own business and get the full support and mentoring and all the tools to help you start up. A bit like a business in a box. You have to supply the commitment, time and investment, but the business is still your own.

What you don’t want to do is to jump into a business with your eyes closed. Working from home sounds ideal - and it can be. But there are also some facts that should be considered:

There is no secure income. You will get paid for the work you put in - there is no wage involved.

It may take you several months to begin working at a profit.

You will need to develop good time management. Although you can take a break and a day off whenever you want, remember if you don’t do the ground work on your business, the chances are you won’t have one.

Don’t start out with unrealistic income expectations. You will only be disappointed if you do not reach them. This may lead to you losing steam in your business before it has really got going.

So what sort of business do you want?

Do you want a solely internet based business or do you want an on and off line business?

Do you want to create and sell a product of your own, or do you want to promote and sell somebody else’s and collect a commission or a wholesale profit?

Do you want to create a web site of your own, or do you want a ready made website that you can promote?

All of these different areas are possible, you just need to decide what area you want to get into and how big a home business you want to achieve from it.

Affiliate programmes are one of the ways that you can start earning money on the internet.

One effective way of becoming an affiliate marketer is to create a website promoting other peoples products. This is a low risk way to start a business as you do not need to spend money on production of stock, packaging and shipping. In general there is no fee for you to join and you can leave at any time.

There are a few factors that you should consider if you decide to become an affiliate marketer.

Is the product you are promoting something you are interested in yourself?

It should be something that you believe in and would sell to your family and friends.

Does the product you chose fit in with the theme of your website?

You can advertise many different affiliate products and services on your site, but they must be related. If you have decided to sell camera’s on your website, you can also sell books on photography, camera batteries, camera cases, tripods, lenses, photography courses.

Would you buy off the affiliate’s website?

Take a look at the website of the affiliates product you want to promote. Would you buy anything from there? Is it easy to navigate? If it is not a good experience for you then your customers may think the same and will not buy.

How much commission are they paying you?

There are a couple of different area’s to consider here. You will need to look at the percentage they are going to pay and the monetary value of what you are promoting. If you have a high turn over of less expensive products, a lower commission may be more profitable than a high priced item that you make less sales with.

Is it a one-tier programme or a 2-tier programme?

All affiliate programmes are one or two tier programmes. A one tier programme is where you sell an item and receive a percentage of the profits for that sale. With a two-tier programme you can also make a commission for each sale that you refer. You can also promote the affiliate programme to customers and subscribers where you can then make a commission of all the sales they then make.

You may also want to check if your commission is a one-off commission or a residual commission. A residual commission is often payable on used-up items that customers need to re-order or pay a monthly fee for, like web hosting sites, health-supplements, flowers etc.

What advertising tools do they provide me with?

The affiliate programme that you join should not expect you to re-invent the wheel to promote them. Most sites will provide you with some form of advertising material like:

Banners

Text Links

Articles

Product Pictures

Classified ad’s

Testimonials

These methods should all be proven by the company you have decided to promote, to be affective in drawing in customers.

If you decide to go down the affiliate advertising route then make sure the company you choose has a great customer care and a guarantee with their products.

These websites will give you loads of affiliate programmes to choose from:

http://www.associateprograms.com/index.shtml

http://www.lifetimecommissions.com

This one will give you a choice of residual income affiliate programmes.

If you are looking to promote digital products like e-books then http://www.clickbank.com is an excellent place to start.

You are probably now wondering how you are going to create or get your hands on a website. I personally do not have much experience in html, but these days you don’t really need to, there are many programmes that you can use to create your own website without it. I have not personally built websites from the programmes below, but I know they are used by some of the top affiliate marketers on the internet and come highly recommended.

http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/

This software is new from Microsoft. If you can use MS Word you can make websites easily with this. Great for design, and good for someone who has a bit of experience with software.

http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver

This will give you the ability to create a web page easily and simply, or you can input code.

http://www.nvu.com (pronounced n-view)

This is a rival to dream weaver and will make creating web pages easy, even if you have no knowledge at all.

Check out all the links and compare cost and write up’s of the different programmes and see which one will suit you and your experience the best.

The content and structure of your website will mean the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one. Think of it like walking into a shop and finding half the stock on the floor that you have to rummage around. You will probably give up and never go back, if you even entered the shop in the first place. It is exactly the same with a website. If it looks confusing, unstructured and you cannot easily find what you are looking for, your visitor will give up, and go else where. Consumers will make a decision whether to stay on your site within seconds. It needs to be simple and follow a theme throughout so it makes sense to the viewer. The content needs to be interesting and informative about your products so the viewer gets to value your opinion and trusts you. It is important to use professional fonts and have links that work.

The About Me page is also an important part of your website. It is about exactly what it says - YOU. This is the page people will go to, to find out who they are dealing with. A few lines about yourself, which country you live in etc. with a photo will make you seem more real and trust worthy.

If you really don’t have a clue where to start designing a website, then it would be worth your while hiring a professional as it can make or break your online business.

Network Marketing

Network Marketing is another way you can begin working from home. These direct marketing companies have grown to offer some of the best training and income making opportunities in the world. They add a personal touch to business as it usually involves one-on-one contact and follow up with customers. This can create a huge referral market for your business which means less advertising costs and more profit for you.

The benefits of a network marketing business are plenty. It is an easy way to start up business, with a proven training system to get you selling products directly to the consumer. The hours you work are flexible, and the opportunity can create an option to earn from a part time income to a substantial amount of money per year.

There are two different initial sources of income. The first is a wholesale income which comes from retailing the products to customers. The second is to build a team and earn a commission from everything they retail. This can create a long term residual income. You basically earn money from the efforts of your team.

The great part of a network marketing business is that many companies will include website’s and comprehensive training from your own personal mentor, who is normally the person who introduced you to the business. They will guide you through start-up of your new business and will train you on how to use the website’s and advertise your business. If you do not have much experience with the internet, and are not sure how to get started working from home, then this type of business is ideal as it has already been tried and tested and proven to work. There is a real person behind it all that you can discuss everything with before you decide to commit. So you can be absolutely sure whether it is for you or not.

For more information on this type of business visit:

http://www.smart-work-win.com

One of the greatest attractions of a network marketing business is that anybody, of any age, race or religion can join and be successful. Whatever your education or profession, everybody joins the business at the same level. It does not matter if you are hopeless with computers, or you have no clue about running your own business. The support and training will guide you through. All you need is perseverance, to be teachable and ambitious.

Advertising

Advertising is where the majority of your time and effort, not to mention your money will go. As with many things in business, consistency is the key here. There is no point posting an advert once and wondering why you did not get any customers. Set yourself up a 90 day plan and stick to it. Pick 3 -4 different types of advertising and concentrate on consistently advertising your business using these methods for 3 months. By the end of this time, you will know whether they are worth your while to carry them on, or ditching them and trying something else.

Search Engine Advertising

Advertising on the search engines is an effective way to get traffic to your site, although you will have to keep an eye on the cost or it can mount up without you noticing.

Google AdWords is one that I use a lot and it does bring me targeted leads to my websites. These are the ads that you will find on the right hand side of the webpage, highlighted in blue if you are searching on Google. You pay per click (ppc) that you receive from your advert. The amount you pay is directly related to the keyword that produced your website to show. You do have full control over how much you will want to spend per day, and what is the limit on the cost per click that you are willing to pay. Obviously the more targeted key words will cost more as there is more competition for them.

AdWords is very easy to set up. Visit http://www.google.com and click on Advertising Programmes underneath the search bar. Then click on Google AdWords on the left hand side and they will give you full instructions on how to create a campaign.

One important factor in advertising with search engines is the keywords that you use. If you are advertising shoes, for example, your keywords should be related to the words in your advert, which will produce more targeted traffic for your site. You do not want lots and lots of untargeted traffic to click on your ad, as you will be paying every time somebody clicks on it.

To find variations of keywords and how often they are searched for per month visit:

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

All you need to do is type in a keyword, like shoes, and it will tell you how many people have search that word the previous month, and also other related keywords and how often they were search for to. One way to get the cost down on your keywords is to choose words that are more targeted. If you check how many people searched for shoes you will find a number not far off 550000. That is a lot of competition, and it would probably mean that there is a high cost per click on that keyword. If you choose something like wedding shoes, running shoes or red shoes, (providing you sell those items) you will find that the number of people searching for it is less, and will be more targeted.

Customer Service

This is one area that you should not skimp on. You have spent all that money and effort on advertising your product, so don’t ruin the after sales experience for your customer. If they have a query, answer it promptly and honestly and politely. You don’t want a disgruntled customer bad mouthing you on some forum - you know what they say about bad news and how quick it can travel!

Keep them posted with special promotions for your valued customers to encourage them to come back. You will soon realise that an auto responder system will become your new best friend. If you are unfamiliar with how these work, they are basically pre-written emails by you that then get sent out to your customers automatically. You can write what you like on them - special promotions and discounts, or letting them know of new products. This is a great way to follow up with your customers without you having to think about it. A little time spent in the beginning will save you many hours of work later on.

There are many different auto responders you can use, it depends on the size of your customer list and how much you want to spend.

http://www.ecoursewizard.com

This is fairly simple to use and inexpensive. There are different packages that you can join depending on the amount of subscribers you have.

http://www.prosender.com/

This provides you with unlimited auto responders, automated ad tracking features and great customer service.

Your may be familiar with the phrase, “The money is in the list”.

You need to build a list of customers and opt-in subscribers that you can then promote your service or product to. You will build trust with these people, as well as keeping your business name in their minds. You can promote your site and products to them. These people will form a huge part of the success of your internet business.

Although I don’t want to put you off starting your own business - I do just want to give you a word of warning - the internet can be a scary place. Most of the people are honest folk running their legitimate business. But there are also many unscrupulous people who just want to make a fast buck. Before you get lulled into different get rich quick schemes, do your research.

You can throw lots of money away joining different schemes that just don’t work. Envelope stuffing is one of them. You may have already seen the adverts. You don’t find out that it is a scam until you have sent your money for the starter package, only to find out that your job is to spoof other people into doing the same thing.

If you receive e-mails offering you a job that you have never applied for - then guess what, it is probably a scam. Other jobs target people looking for low skilled work, like typing from home, craft work and medical billing and are usually looking for unsuspecting people, which unfortunately the internet is full of. They usually ask you to pay the start up fee for the information, which is about all there is to the job.

Be careful with the wording of adverts you read. If they say it is fun, simple and highly lucrative, it probably means that it is boring, hard and you won’t make a penny.

Whichever area you go into I wish luck. Although there are up’s and down’s with working from home, the up’s do out way the down’s. When you see your business take off and you know that it has been down to your own hard work, the feeling is indescribable. You feel empowered - nothing can touch you!

About the Author

Lisa Neser has been running her own home based business for the last 2 years. For more information on an ethical home based business, with full training and support visit: http://www.smart-work-win.com

Starting a Photography Business

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