November 6th, 2017

Vital Steps To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

Vital Steps To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

Social media can be a good source of traffic for your website. You can use it for free, or pay for ads to speed things up. The one thing it definitely requires, however, is time. Done right, it’s more than worth the time. Done wrong, a time waster. You need a solid social media marketing plan to help you save time and do things right.

A social media marketing plan will help you decide what you want to do with your social media accounts. When do you post? What tools do you use? Who is looking at your social media posts anyhow? It’s time to start planning. Get things moving, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Step 1: Where Are You Now?

Before you can set goals, you need to know where you are now with your social media accounts. Which ones are already doing pretty well for you? Which ones need improvement? Are there any that really aren’t worth your time, at least for now?

Consider the overall look of your social media accounts. Are they consistent with your brand?

When you run a home business, you probably want a more personal look. Many home business owners use a photo of themselves for a profile photo. The best alternative is to use your logo, or something clearly based on it.

Create a spreadsheet of all your business social media accounts. I have a basic one here to get you started. Keep using this to track growth and to consider which networks are doing the most for your business.

social media accounts

If you’ve considered adding in another social media account, now is as good a time as any. Set up the basic account now. As you progress through making your social media marketing plan, you’ll get it set up properly.

Step 2: Check Out Your Competitors

You should also look at what your competitors are doing. Don’t stress too hard about their numbers, especially if they’ve been using social media a lot longer than you have. You won’t catch up overnight.

Look more at the kinds of things they share, images they use, and what they write. You aren’t going to copy them, but you can get some ideas as to what works for them. You can adapt some of these things to your own use. Many networks make it easy for you to see how many likes, comments, and shares some else’s posts have.

You don’t want to copy them, and you don’t want to steal from them. You only want to see the kind of content that does well in your niche. This will give you some ideas for things you can share that may also do well.

Step 3: Who Is Your Target Audience?

If you don’t know who you’re targeting, it’s very hard to figure out what you should be creating and sharing. This is something you should know for your home business in general, not just for your social media marketing plan. Still, it bears repeating. Know your target audience. This may include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Location
  • Job
  • Preferred social media networks
  • What they need that you can provide

Step 4: What’s Your Purpose?

Whether you call it a mission statement or a purpose, know what you mean to use each social media account for. Some networks are better for interaction with potential customers and clients, for example. Others are better for driving traffic. Your purpose will guide your social media marketing plan.

In each case, decide how you can best use that network to help your customers and build your business. People are more likely to follow you on social media if they know what to expect from you. They love experts.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get a little personal. Being personal can be very good for a home business. It emphasizes that there’s a real person behind the account. Make sure that the personal side is also sufficiently professional, and not too offensive. It’s usually a good idea to stay away from controversial subjects such as religion and politics unless that’s what your website is about.

Step 5: What Is Social Media Success?

The success of your social media marketing plan can be hard to define. A huge following sounds wonderful, but what does it really get you? Traffic to your website is good, but only if it converts in some form. Sales and subscriptions are often your most important measures.

Shares are also important to measure because they go beyond the people following your account. Shares are what spread the word. You want people talking about what you share on social media, even if it wasn’t linked directly to your website. Shares that take people to your website are good, but ones that bring attention to your social media account can be a help as well.

Generally speaking, what happens on your social media account is only a part of the picture when you consider its success. It needs to have a positive impact on your business as a whole.


Hootsuite - Social Relationship Platform

Step 6: Optimize Your Profiles

Your social media profiles aren’t only there for people to look at. They can help with the search engine optimization of your social media account. It should be clear that each account is associated with your website.

You should know what size images do best on each social network. Hootsuite has a good guide for this. Use the right size image for each of your profiles, and keep image sizes in mind for your posts. This is one time that size matters.

What works best for each network varies. Facebook, for example, has a lot of information you can fill out about your business. Pinterest has a fairly simple profile area, but you will also need to optimize each board, choosing good names and descriptions for each one.

Step 7: Follow Your Target Audience

Social media should be just that, social. If you want to know what your ideal customers like to see on social media, follow them, at least on the social networks that make this possible. Don’t follow random people on Facebook, for example.

Look for people who follow your competitors for a start. Follow them, and they might follow you. If they don’t, you can still see what they’re sharing, which gives you a better idea as to what they like.

Don’t spend a lot of time on unfollowing people who don’t follow you back. There are times when unfollowing people is a good idea, but that’s not because they aren’t following you. Unfollow because, for one reason or another, you don’t find their posts of interest to you anymore.

On sites such as Facebook, it’s easier to find your target audience in already established Facebook groups. Many will not allow you to post links back to your website or even your business’s Facebook page or group. You can learn a lot about your audience in these groups even when you can’t advertise directly. Watch your balance between wasting your time and learning.

Step 8: Plan Your Social Media Posts

It’s time to start planning out your social media posts. The style of posts will vary from site to site, as will the best number of posts per day. This is the largest part of your social media marketing plan.

Twitter and Pinterest, for example, are generally accepting of a large number of posts per day. Facebook and Instagram, not so much. Test how things go on your own account, however. Just because someone else says one post a day is enough on an account doesn’t mean they’re right for yours.

Over time, you will be testing your accounts to learn what times are best to post as well as how often. Coschedule has a good post on the best times to post on various social media websites. The times are based on the East Coast of the United States, and you may need to adjust based on where your target audience is located.

Quality should be a major focus when creating your posts. Don’t post any old thing just to fill a slot. The more interesting and/or useful your posts are to your audience, the better chance it will have of success.

Mix it up! Try using images, video, text posts, infographics, free products, links to specials, industry news, curated content, and so forth.

Don’t make it all about selling to your audience. Making money may be your goal, but that’s not what will build your following most of the time. Be interesting.

Step 9: Use A Scheduling Tool

I could not get by without scheduling my social media. I use Hootsuite. It allows me to schedule my social media for several different sites, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This makes it a lot easier to keep up on the job.

I also use the Revive Old Posts WordPress plugin. This automatically shares old posts from my blog. You can also tell it to skip certain categories and posts. That’s a big help when a blog post is seasonal or short term. You don’t want these things popping up in your social media when they aren’t relevant.

Step 10: Be Social

Don’t rely 100% on automation with your social media. It’s called social for a reason. Get on those sites. Like other posts. Share them. Comment. Interaction is key to many of these sites. It helps people see your account even if you have hardly any followers.

Step 11: Use Social Proof

I like using the Shareaholic plugin on my blog. Seeing that a lot of other people have shared a particular post can encourage other people to do likewise. You want to take advantage of the social proof this gives you.

When your accounts are new, with few followers and shares, the social proof won’t be much. You still want it. Your numbers will grow in time if you’re doing things right.
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Step 12: Review Your Results

Reviewing your social media results is an ongoing process. You can’t just do it once.

This is where you learn what worked and what didn’t. It’s not going to be as clear cut as whether you got sales out of a particular post.

Hootsuite’s analytics can give you a pretty good idea as to which posts worked best for you. Don’t assume that a post that didn’t go anywhere is a failure – it could also be the time of day you shared it, or something else happening in the world that kept people from noticing your post. A consistent failure of a particular type of post, of course, will be a good sign that something’s not right with it.

Also use Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from. People may be sharing your content on their social media directly from your site, which won’t show on Hootsuite. You might be surprised by things that catch on that you weren’t trying for.

You may find that you get the best interaction on your posts at different times than other people do. Pay attention to the results you get, not what other people say are good. Odds are that their target audience is somewhat different from yours. The results of others are a starting point, not a solid rule.

Can You Save Time On Your Social Media Marketing Plan?

All of this looks like a lot of work. That’s because it is. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to save time with your social media marketing plan.

Using a scheduling tool, as mentioned above, is vital. Your social media efforts will take too much of your work time otherwise. But there’s still more you can do.

I keep a spreadsheet of content I want to share regularly, for example. It’s set up so I can easily import it into Hootsuite. This greatly speeds things up for scheduling.

You will also want to keep a list of things you want to post in the future but haven’t created yet. Brainstorm a bunch of ideas all at once. Even if you can’t use them all right away, the idea is there, waiting for you until you’re ready for it.

Repurposing content is a big time saver as well. A blog post may be adapted into a video or podcast. You can make an image with particularly useful points from a post, and share it on your accounts. You can even change the image on your post to freshen it up.

Using stock photos is a lot faster than creating your own much of the time. There are a lot of sites with stock images you can use for free. Be very careful that you understand the terms of use on any image before you use it.

One of the most important time savers with social media marketing is to plan when and how you are going to use it. Automation allows you to post even when you aren’t on the site, or even awake. Don’t spend too much of your working day on your social media once everything is scheduled out.

Fifteen minutes or so at a time is plenty to check your social media sites, interact as necessary, and get onto more productive things. Pick one or two times a day to check on your social media, and stick to your limits. The social media vortex can suck up too much of your time if you let it.

Reconsider What Isn’t Working In Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Just because you start using a social media site doesn’t mean you have to keep using it forever. If you find that it consistently fails to give you good results, ease up on it or leave it entirely. Your marketing energies should always be focused on things that work. The more time you spend on things that aren’t working, the less you have for the things that are.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

November 3rd, 2017

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall – Have You Checked Your Fire Extinguishers?

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall - Have You Checked Your Fire Extinguishers?

On November 2, 2017, Kidde issued a recall of their plastic handled fire extinguishers. This impacts about 37.8 million fire extinguishers. It’s a great reminder of why you should pay attention to product recalls. No one wants their fire extinguisher to fail them.

Take a moment right now to find your fire extinguishers. If you don’t have any, consider it a reminder that a fire extinguisher is a good addition to any home.

Check the Kidde fire extinguisher recall page on their site. The fire extinguishers may have been purchased in the United States, Canada or Mexico. Customers in Mexico have to call in; customers in the US or Canada can fill out an online form.

I did this for our four Kidde fire extinguishers. You fill in a form with your contact information, including mailing address. They have you look up the model number, and then fill in the serial number. When we did this, they confirmed that our extinguishers were recalled, and said we will get new ones within 15-20 days, along with instructions on what to do with the old ones.

The problem with these fire extinguishers is that they can become clogged and not spray. There’s also a potential for the nozzle to come off, which could cause an injury.

Talk About Your Emergency Plans

We used this opportunity to talk to our kids a little about how to use a fire extinguisher. Hopefully, they never need to use one, but if they do, it helps if they have a vague idea what to do. We didn’t have them try one out, however.

Another good thing to discuss at times like these is what to do in the event of a fire. Kids, for example, should be more focused on getting out of the house than on trying to put most fires out. They need to know how to get out of the house and where to meet. They may need to know neighbors well enough to feel comfortable knocking on doors to alert them or ask for help.

A recall like this is a great reminder to keep an eye on product recalls in general. You can follow RSS feeds from the CPSC to make this easier if you like, or just check the website here and there. Local news will usually cover the big recalls such as this one, but not the little ones. If you haven’t checked yet, make sure you know if the Kidde fire extinguisher recall impacts you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

November 1st, 2017

40 Home Business Gift Ideas For Entrepreneurs

40 Home Business Gift Ideas For Entrepreneurs

Birthdays and holidays are a great time to get others to help you improve your home business. It’s hard to know what to ask for sometimes, but even harder for others to know what gifts you want if you don’t ask. I’ve gathered some ideas to help you build up a list of home business gift ideas.

Education

Udemy – Udemy has a lot of online courses that could be very useful to anyone running a home business. You could learn to develop apps, improve your social media or writing skills, learn about digital marketing and more. The courses are reviewed by students, so you can see which are likely to be worth your time and money.

Conference Tickets – If there’s a conference coming up in your industry, wouldn’t you love someone to get you tickets? They’re a great way to catch up on what’s happening in your industry and make new connections.

Books – Get on Amazon and find books related to your industry that you’d like to read. Add all of them to your wish list. Here are some selections to get you started.

Equipment

Microphone – If you have ever considered starting a podcast or posting videos, a good quality microphone would be a great investment. The Blue Yeti is a popular choice, but there are many to choose from.

Camera – How good is your camera? The ones in smartphones are pretty impressive these days, but if you want to get serious about high quality photography on your website, a better camera may be in order.

Second Computer Monitor – I love having two monitors in my home office. My setup isn’t ideal, as one is attached to my laptop, but I’ve still noticed how much it helps having a second computer monitor at times. The most useful setup is usually to have them side by side, which doesn’t work with keeping my hands at a good level with my laptop. Even with that disadvantage, having two screens is worthwhile so that you don’t have so much clicking back and forth to see different pages.

Noise Cancelling HeadphonesNoise cancelling headphones are great if you have a lot of background noise in your home office. You can get ones that will work with your phone if you have to call people, or just use them to listen to music while you work.

Portable Charger – I love my portable charger for those days when we’re on the go. It’s not necessarily just for work – they’re great when you go on vacation too. It’s nice not having to worry about running out of charge on my phone or camera while out and about.

Moleskine Notebook – If you like to take a lot of written notes, a moleskine notebook is a great choice. They’re attractive and functional. You can step it up a little with a Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook. It allows you to digitize your notes.

Tablet Computer – A tablet computer such as an iPad Pro can be very useful if you want to work on the go. It’s so much easier to carry around than a laptop.

Laptop or Desktop Computer – A new computer can be a wonderful gift if yours is getting old. Something a bit faster and less cranky is always nice.

Smartphone – Maybe you update your smartphone regularly, but if not, a new smartphone can make an excellent gift.

Smart Speaker – A smart speaker such as Amazon Echo or Google Home will be welcomed by many people. They’re a nice way to play music in your home, and they can answer questions for you. There have been problems here and there, and there can be privacy concerns, but those don’t seem to limit the interest much.

Whiteboard – A whiteboard is good for brainstorming or visualizing goals. It’s an easy way to keep ideas and goals in sight while you work.

Sit-Stand Desk – I love my sit-stand desk from Autonomous. Appropriate heights can be programmed in, making it easy to change positions throughout the day. They say either sitting or standing all day is bad for you, but changing positions is better. You don’t have to get a full size desk – there are units that simply lift the keyboard and monitor on the desk you already own..

UPS Battery Backup – Having a UPS battery backup is a huge help if you use a desktop computer. You don’t have to worry about losing all your work if the power goes out. It’s less important with laptops, since they already have batteries.

Backup Drive/Personal Server – Having a backup drive or personal server can be a lifesaver if your computer dies. My husband’s computer inexplicably quit working recently – won’t even boot far enough to turn on the monitor. Fortunately, his hard drive was fine. Also fortunately, we have a backup drive of our files anyhow. You don’t want to lose all your home business files because your computer goes kaput.

USB Flash DriveThese little drives come in handy so often. They’re great when you need to move data from one computer to another. They come with enough storage now that they can do some good work as backup too.

Alternatively, sign up for an online backup service. These can be very reasonably priced, and your data will be safe even if your home is subject to a disaster.

Office Chair – A good, ergonomic office chair is a must if you spend long hours working in your home office. You don’t want to be hurting at the end of the day due to a poor quality chair.

Laptop/Messenger Bag – My laptop bag was one of my favorite gifts several years ago. I still use it any time we travel. It’s so nice having an easy way to carry my laptop.

Square Card Reader – Square is great for home business owners who sometimes take credit card transactions in person.

Fitness

Basic Exercise Equipment – Some basic exercise equipment to be kept in your home office makes it easier to get a quick workout in during your work day. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Some hand weights are a good start.

Exercise Ball – An exercise ball is great for core exercises. It’s also useful as an office chair.

Treadmill Desk – For those who are more ambitious, a treadmill desk may sound like a good plan. It may be more difficult to type while using one for some people. If you can make it work for you, it’s a great way to keep moving while you work.

Gym Membership – Not only will a gym membership help you get fit, it gives you an excuse to get out of the house more often.

Activity Tracker – It’s far too easy to be sedentary with many home businesses. A good activity tracker can be that little bit of encouragement needed to get up and move.

Decor

Posters or Art Prints – It’s your home office – it doesn’t have to be plain. The kind of posters or other wall decor depends on what you like and how professional your office needs to look. If you have clients come in, you have to consider them. If no one ever comes to your office or sees it on video, it’s all about you!

Fun Stuff – What do you like? My office has dragons, some Harry Potter stuff, Doctor Who stuff, Star Trek stuff… you get the idea. Go to Think Geek if you need ideas.

For The Home

Smart Thermostat – A smart thermostat makes it much easier to control the temperatures in your work environment. You can set up the basic program for what you usually want household temperatures to be, and change if if needed using your smartphone.

Fire Safe – A fire safe is the perfect place to put all your important documents, both for your business and your personal life. You can even keep your backup drive in one. You may never need fire protection for these things, but if you do, there may not be time to think about how to save them in the moment.

Shredder – Having a shredder is a great way to take care of those papers which shouldn’t be thrown directly into the trash. Most are also good enough to shred old credit cards too.

Video Doorbell – A video doorbell, such as Ring, can help you decide whether or not it’s worth it to answer the door during your work hours.

Food & Drinks

Stainless Steel Water Bottle – I love my stainless steel water bottle. It’s one of the ways I make it easier to drink water throughout the day. The straw lid I use minimizes the chances for a spill, which is great.

Travel Mug – A good travel mug will be loved by anyone who drinks their coffee or other hot drinks on the go. They help prevent spills, which is great for having your coffee in the office too.

Coffee – Some good coffee, or just some gift card to Starbucks or a local coffee shop, will be welcomed by many home business owners. A good source of caffeine is a great help most days. A good coffee maker is also worth considering.

Chocolate – For those who don’t drink coffee (me!) or who just love chocolate (also me!), some good quality chocolate is always a welcome gift. It makes a quick snack while working or taking a break.

Healthy Snacks – Having some healthy snacks available to grab and go is great for those busy days.

Help

Childcare – Whether you offer to take the kids yourself or pay a babysitter, having the kids out from underfoot can be a huge help to the home business owner. This is especially true when kids are small and clingy.

Relaxation

Slippers – Is the floor of your home office ever cold? A nice pair of slippers will help you deal with that in comfort.

Massage Equipment – At the end of the day, a massage will probably always sound good. It’s much easier to get one if you have the right equipment. Alternatively, a gift card to a good local spa would be a great idea.

Big Red ButtonFor those days when you need to pound something in frustration. We all have those days.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

October 30th, 2017

Important Factors You Should Consider In A Remote Job

Important Factors You Should Consider In A Remote Job

When you want to find a remote job, it’s easy to forget the other things you should consider. There are a lot of things that go into making a job the right match. The ability to work at home should not be the only thing you think about. Here are some other factors you should consider in a remote job.

Salary

How much do you need to earn from your job? You won’t want to stick with a job if it doesn’t pay enough for you to live on. There are times when you will need to accept a job at a lower salary than you would like, but for the long run, salary is important.

Employee or Contractor?

Many companies prefer to hire remote workers as independent contractors rather than employees. This has tax implications for you. Your employer does not withhold taxes if you are an independent contractor.

Benefits

What kind of benefits does the company offer? If the job is part time, there may be few to none. A full time remote job, on the other hand, may offer benefits. You may be able to get health insurance, paid vacation, 401k and more. Some even offer gym memberships.

I have also seen companies offer remote workers a budget for renting a coworking space. This gives them a more professional space where they can interact with other people.

Do You Ever Go To The Office?

Not all remote jobs are done entirely away from the office. Some require you to go to the office in person. How often you go in varies quite a bit from employer to employer. Some will want to see you every week, while others may only need your presence once a year or so.

How Strict Are Work Hours?

Just because you have a remote job doesn’t mean you can choose your work hours. Many employers want their remote workers to work some standard hours. This makes collaboration easier. It’s very hard to plan meetings or discuss a project with coworkers if you all work your own hours.

How Do You Keep In Contact?

There are a lot of ways to keep in contact with remote workers. Slack is a popular option for keeping in contact. It allows teams to chat, share files, and more. Apps such as Dropbox and Trello are also popular choices. It helps if you are familiar with these.

Company Culture

You aren’t in the office, but company culture may still have an impact on you. Consider the number of hours you’re expected to work. What time of day are you required to work? Is this flexible or not? How much interaction will you have on a regular basis with coworkers? Will you work more as an individual or as part of a team?

Even when you’re remote, you will find that a small company is very different to work for than a huge one. Small companies may be more flexible, not just in the times they expect you to be available, but in considering new ideas. A bigger company, on the other hand, may offer more security.

Growth Opportunities

Just because you aren’t in an office doesn’t mean you aren’t interested in career growth. Find out what opportunities may be available to you. This includes job training, help with college tuition fees and professional certifications. Even if you don’t want to go into management someday, any help your employer gives to keep your skills up to date will be important.

Home Office Requirements

Depending on the kind of remote job you get, you may have to provide your own equipment. You will need a reasonably recent computer for most jobs. Your internet connection may need to be wired rather than wireless. If you are going to be on the phone a lot, they may require that you have an office with a door. You may need a noise cancelling telephone headset.

Some employers will give you a budget to buy equipment to suit their needs, while others may ship equipment to you, rather than depending on you to provide your own.

Work-Life Balance

One of the challenges many remote employees face is keeping a good work-life balance. It’s easy to spend too much time at work when your work is at home with you.

If a company expects a lot of on call time or overtime, it may be very difficult to maintain that work-life balance. Look for jobs that understand that when you close your home office door, your work day is over – unless you don’t mind the lack of balance.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

October 26th, 2017

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Hired For A Work at Home Job

 

7 Reasons Why You Can't Get Hired For A Work at Home Job

Looking for a work at home job is frustrating. You get past all the scams, find great looking jobs to apply for, and still no one will hire you. You might not even be getting to the first interview. What’s going on? Why is it so hard to get hired for a work at home job?

Hah. Wouldn’t you like to know?

No, seriously, wouldn’t you like to know?

I can’t really say why a particular person doesn’t get a particular work at home job, or any job for that matter. I’m not involved in processing resumes or making interview or hiring decisions. There are, however, some common reasons that make getting the job harder. Consider them, and see if they apply to you and your job search habits.

1. Applying for every job under the sun.

Otherwise known as throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s not really effective, really messy, and turns potential employers off.

They can’t tell that you’re applying for every job everywhere, but what they can tell is that you aren’t paying enough attention to the specific requirements their job has. Work at home employers receive all too many applications from people who have no relevant experience and give no indication of having read the job listing beyond the phrase “work at home.”

Be picky about which jobs you apply for, and make it show on your resume. List the skills you have that they ask for in the ad. Use the same keywords if you can. You don’t want to copy their ad into your resume, but when you have a matching skill, use the same or similar phrasing. This will help you get through any automated sorting of applications.

Do not claim skills or experience you don’t have. It does you no good to claim a skill that way and then be unable to do that job or even talk up the skill correctly in the interview.

2. Poorly written resume.

Does your resume look professional? Does it reflect the skills and experience requested in the job posting? What about typos? Other mistakes?

If you aren’t getting anywhere in your job search, you may want to consider having a professional resume writer take a look at it. Yes, this costs money. Yes, you will still have to adapt it for each job you apply for. And yes, you may have to break it up into segments to cut and paste into online job applications with companies that don’t want the full resume. Make sure you answer every section on an online job application.

A well-written resume will make all of that easier. If you don’t want to pay someone else to do it, at least get a current book on resume writing and review your resume carefully. Styles have changed somewhat through the years, as most resumes are no longer submitted on paper. Make sure your resume works with current expectations. Remember, the company wants you to benefit them. Focus on their needs in your resume. If you were an excellent employee for someone else, share the specific achievements that might benefit a new employer.

Make certain that your resume is accurate as well. If a potential employer checks with your previous employers and finds out you gave them inaccurate information, you probably won’t get the job. This may include dates of employment and salary history.

3. You aren’t checking your spam folder.

The trouble with email is that it doesn’t always go where it should. If you have any sort of spam filtering on your email service, you might be missing emails from potential employers. If you don’t catch these, you could be missing out on opportunities.

I absolutely do not mean unsolicited emails from people claiming to offer work at home jobs. This is a common form of work at home scam. What you want to be on the lookout for is email from companies you have applied to. Sometimes these hit the spam box too, and if you aren’t checking, you’ll never know they wanted to hear from you.

4. You only apply to the big companies.

It’s very comfortable applying to the big companies that offer work at home jobs. They have solid reputations as employers. The problem is that everyone else does the same thing. They may get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single opening. The odds that they’ll notice you aren’t that good.

So long as you’re careful, you can and should apply to smaller companies too. There are lots of smaller companies that use home based workers. They’re harder to find, but that means less competition when you do find them. You can find a lot of companies on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Prepare yourself for your job hunt, network, and look for more places to find companies willing to hire people to work at home. All these things will improve the odds that you will get hired for a work at home job.

5. You aren’t changing things that aren’t working for you.

Sure, it’s easy to say that it’s hard to land a work at home job. It’s even true.

But if your job hunt is getting you any results, change the one thing you have control over: what you’re doing. Change your resume. Rethink the jobs you’re applying for. Take some time and just figure out why things aren’t working out.

Check your social media accounts too. Are they messing you up? Many employers review potential employees’ social media accounts. They can learn a lot about you this way, and if you aren’t prepared, your social media presence can damage your chances toward a job.

6. You aren’t prepared for interviews.

If you’re getting as far as the interview but not getting the job, something’s right with your resume but wrong with your interviewing skills. You need to prepare better for interviews.

Read up on how to interview for a job successfully. Have questions ready, not just about things like salary and benefits, but about the company and the job. Remember, employers want to know how you can benefit them. They don’t want you to focus on how they can benefit you when they haven’t even offered you the job yet.

Be prepared to state why you’re a match for the job. Wanting to get hired for a work at home job is not enough. That’s about you, not about the job.

If the interview is over the phone, you don’t have to look professional, but you certainly have to sound professional. It may help to practice phone interviews with a friend or family member. Just as with an in-person interview, make sure you’re on time for a phone interview. If you miss that call you can’t bet on them calling you back.

7. You don’t follow up when it’s appropriate.

This one isn’t relevant to all employers. Some very specifically request that you not follow up on applications or interviews. If that’s the case, follow their instructions.

Other companies, however, welcome inquiries as to how your job application is going. They’re fine with you calling up and asking about your application. It may even show them that you’re strongly interested in the position.

A thank you note may also be appropriate after an interview. It’s not always necessary, especially if the company prefers that you do not contact them until they say you have the job, but it can be useful at other times.

What Does It Take To Get Hired For A Work At Home Job?

It doesn’t take anything all that unusual to get hired for a work at home job. Just as with any other job, you have to be qualified for the job you’re applying for. You have to impress the interviewer.

The main difference you may expect between a work at home job and an outside the home job is questioning about your home office setup. Interviewers shouldn’t ask about your family – that’s generally off limits for legal reasons. Your ability to work at home, on the other hand, is a legitimate concern.

Some jobs will want to know how quiet your workspace is. If you’re talking to people on the phone, they may want to know that there won’t be any background noise.

If the company is not providing your equipment, they may want to know what kind of computer you have, your internet speed and so forth. They may want to know if you have wired connections for your phone and internet, rather than wireless. These questions may have been on the application, but don’t be surprised if they come up again in an interview.

You will probably also be asked about how comfortable you are with remote work. If this is your first work at home job, you won’t have direct experience to refer to. Instead, think of times you have been independent as you work, and how well you work without direct supervisions. Have examples ready if at all possible.

Overall, the process may not be all that different from landing any other job. You have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. Keep your focus on that, and maybe it won’t be too hard to get hired for a work at home job.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.