It’s that time of year again … pages of backpacks, notebooks and back-to-school clothing fill every circular that hits your mailbox. And you’re off to the races … the races being the mall, plus every other store in between.
You’re in the same spot you were last year this time, getting ready to head off to work while your kids head off to school. Back to hugging them goodbye in the morning and seeing them just long enough in the evening to say I love you and tuck them in.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the easier schedule of the summer lasted all year long? No more spending all your hours away from your kids just to earn enough money to cover the essentials and pay daycare?
Take it from someone who knows both sides of the deal here and believe that there’s no time like right now to make the transition from the regular grind to working from home. As the proud Mom of a 2005 honors graduate who’s heading off to college soon, I know first hand what a major impact working from home has had on his success.
When my son was very young, I worked a full-time job away from home, plus at least one part-time job on weekends. This meant that my son was in daycare while I worked. As a single parent who didn’t receive child support (for years) though, I had no other choice.
A few years later in the 1990’s, I decided there had to be a better way so I started a part-time medical billing service from my home. This allowed me to give up the outside part-time job and gave me the practical means of earning the much-needed income. Best of all, it gave me the priceless opportunity to take care of my son while I worked. I quickly saw that I was onto something great here … what a concept!
I moved from the east coast to California with my son in 1995 where my first full-time job was with a consulting firm co-owned by a professional speaker. After some negotiations with my boss, we entered into an agreement by which I would work mornings in the office, leave to pick up my son from school in the afternoons and work from home the rest of the day. It worked out incredibly well … so well in fact, that in 2000, I decided to leave the consulting firm and start my own full-time home based virtual assistant business.
Starting from scratch, I knew that gaining exposure for my business was essential if I wanted to be successful in my new venture. I also knew that traditional forms of marketing are very expensive and quickly gobble up the profits, particularly in the early stages. However, I also remembered a technique that I used successfully for my former employer.
Besides being a consultant and professional speaker, he was also an author, so his goals included increasing his number of speaking engagements and selling more copies of his books. He hoped to accomplish these goals by establishing himself as an expert in his industry, which meant having his work published by every major magazine in his field.
Committed to accomplishing his goals, he gave me a list of those publications, so I drafted a query letter based on one of his story ideas and e-mailed it to the editor of one of the magazines. The editor responded in short notice and offered my employer an article assignment. They published my boss’s article soon afterwards and featured it on the cover of the magazine, producing an onslaught of calls to the office!
Writing and submitting that one article produced several paid speaking engagements. This new marketing intrigue fascinated me, so I fine-tuned my article submission process creating logs and checklists, and within a few months, my boss had accomplished his goal of publication in every magazine on his list!
Even online and in-print publications we hadn’t contacted began calling and e-mailing in request of articles. The results of writing and submitting articles was so successful that we put other major marketing techniques on hold so my boss could travel to his paid speaking engagements.
As my interest and experience grew in this area of marketing, I knew that if it worked for my boss that it would work for other professionals as well. Soon, I was earning over half my income handling article submissions for other professionals.
Then I realized that if this technique worked for other professionals that it would work for me too in building my own business. And it has worked for me!
This same marketing technique, which I call marketing with articles, has been the success behind my own business. I’ve used it to expand my client base and build my virtual assistance business into a solid income-generating company, which has allowed me to work full-time at home for the past five years. As my son is getting ready to leave for college, my personal goal now is to help other parents be successful in achieving their career goals while living the dream of staying home with their children.
The concept of marketing with articles does not require a professional writer. Anyone can be successful in building their business and gaining credibility as an expert in their industry or area of expertise by writing and submitting free reprint articles to online and in-print publications. The key to success is in reaching your target audience with resourceful information that is valuable to them.
Editors of both online and in-print publications are in constant demand of quality content for their readers. They have a continuing need to publish content that appeals directly to their target audience, which is where you come in. By writing and submitting free reprint articles to publications that reach readers in your market, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and gain a generous amount of exposure for your business.
True, you aren’t earning money for actually writing the articles, but you are earning a huge payoff here. Not only do you establish your credibility as an expert in your industry or area of expertise, but you earn significant exposure for yourself and your business. Most editors will include your byline with your articles, which gives you the opportunity to include your name and contact information, plus the URL of your web site. Readers come to recognize your name and relate it with certain topics. The more articles you write and submit, the more exposure you gain!
The marketing with articles technique helped turn my dream of working from home full-time into a precious reality that has made a positive impact for both my son and me. As he goes off to college, he’ll be leaving with all the benefits of having had a mom who found a way to support him financially without the high cost of being away from him all day. Me, I’ll have the benefit of knowing that the bittersweet wind I’m putting beneath his wings comes from my deepest desires for his complete success!