If you’re like me you took a little well-deserved vacation over the summer. Entrepreneurship can be a grind and some down-time can be hard to find. I took the kids up to Grandma’s in Estes Park, CO for hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we spent a few days in the Sonoma, CA area for my husband’s Ironman race (he finished!).
The summer season can also be a slow time for many entrepreneurs as their customers head to grandma’s or Cozumel or the cottage. Often that means they fall behind in their client and income numbers and struggle to make the remainder of the year match their dreams.
Now is the time to bear down in your business and get sales flowing in so that you can reach your goals for the rest of the year.
As summer winds down, use these 7 tactics to get your sales pointed back in the right direction. If you feel like you need more help, why not get a quick Marketing Health Checkup?
1. Return to Referrals.
Guess what? You have friends and business acquaintances that are in the same boat. Pick up the phone and call them. Ask how you can help them, and ask if they can help you. The most important thing here is to actually make the call .. not text, not email .. real talking. The second most important thing is that when you talk to them you are crystal clear about describing your ideal client and the problem you solve for them.
2. Join a new networking group.
Get on Facebook now and look for not just your local chamber of commerce but also ones for other cities/towns that are within a reasonable drive. Every one will have an event calendar with ongoing networking meetings in it. Contact them, find out the requirements, get your business cards and 20 second speech ready, plan it, and go! If a chamber is not right for you, what about joining one of the many meetup.com groups? What about giving a free class through a meetup? This tactic is your opportunity to bring in some fresh contacts for referral partners, generally widen your circle of influence, and create more chances for sales.
3. Have a Flash Sale.
This is a classic marketing technique .. you’ve heard it since you were old enough to know what an advertisement was: End of Summer Blowout! Summer Sale! You can do the same thing. It’s not cheesy, it’s just a way to attract attention and get clients in the door. This works just as well if you are selling a physical product or a service offering. Make it a limited time offer. If you are service oriented you may want to just offer it to new clients. If you have a book on Amazon/Createspace maybe it’s time for a 1 week sale to bump book sales (and presumably get more folks into your sales funnel).
4. Review what’s worked before.
Some of you are sitting on gold, and you’ve forgotten about it. Maybe you have a blog post that had way higher views and reader comments than anything else. Maybe you have an old webinar, course, or product offering that did really well at the time. Maybe you have a physical product that sold great then eventually dropped off. If any of that rings a bell go ahead and dust it off and look at how you could repurpose it, revamp it, re-post it (or in the case of a blog post just refresh it to be more up to date) or otherwise make it work for you again right now.
5. Give your online presence a bump.
Yep, drop some money on Facebook, Google, whatever social media channels you use. For Facebook, create a custom audience specific to your demographics, psychographics, and geography and have it ready to Boost a few posts. (Obviously .. ) Facebook converts that money into potential customers reaching your content: at that point it’s your job to turn them into paying customer. If your sales funnel is ready and your audience is tailored to your ideal clients this tactic will show results right away. You don’t have to break the bank, just spend enough to see new people coming in.
6. Reengage your list.
For many of us our email list is our lifeblood. Unless you are constantly on top of it it can get stale: old addresses, people not opening emails, click rates going down. There are many involved tactics related to reengagement campaigns but here are some straightforward ones to consider.
- Work harder on your email Subjects. Did you create a sense of urgency or curiosity? What did you do to draw the reader’s attention? Did you call out to your ideal client to solve one of their unique problems?
- Revamp your email format. Did you recently receive an email that you just thought was beautiful, readable, and visually compelling? Could you and/or your web person reproduce that or at least adopt some of it’s ideas and elements into your emails? Alternatively could you just switch over and use one of the great templates provided by your email system?
- Add a short term contest to you next few emails, making sure that to enter they need to see any fresh content and offers you have setup.
- If you are a ‘once a month newsletter’ type of emailer, consider increasing the frequency to get more visibility.
7. Lean out.
If you are like me I have a tendency to forget to look at my numbers. Many times this means that I sign up for recurring payment resources that magically bill my credit card every month. All those things are great but eventually I stop using them or forget to complete them but I keep paying! Check your last few credit card statements to see if there is anything you could cancel. Cancelling things you aren’t using not only increases your profit margins (and therefore gets you closer to your income goals!), it often means less mental clutter.
I think it’s worth you satying in touch and getting a Marketing Health Checkup. I think you’ll find it invaluable.
I hope you can use some or all of these tactics starting this week. Each one will incrementally help you ramp things back up and point your business at the 2016 goals you set at the beginning of the year. Do you have other end-of-summer business techniques you use to get out of the slump? Please share in the comments!