I first published this blog back in 2019 when we had all had a "normal" summer. Since the coronavirus lockdown and the ongoing pandemic, many small business owners are starting to adapt to he new "normal and are getting back into some sort of routine. Most children are back at school and aside from local lockdowns, you may find you have more time to re-connect with your own business and marketing activities.
Personally I put a lot of this on hold during lockdown and was really aiming for servicing existing work an supporting my children with home school activities so I'm excited to get back to growing my business and putting my updated marketing plans into action.
It’s now been a few weeks since the flurry of new term excitement and no doubt life is falling back into your autumn routines of work and life. This blog post is all about some suggested steps you might like to take to re-connect to your business.
Content! Think of 4 topics that you could focus on for the rest of the year
Obviously, I am biased as a content specialist, but having a content plan in place is always a great strategy to connect with your customers and potential clients. Spending time thinking about your content plan can help you re-focus your marketing efforts to respond to client needs. You could be answering FAQs, adding value or solving customer problems.
I recommend thinking of 4 overall topics or pillars that you can talk about for the next four months and these could form the basis of your blogging, email and even social media messages, freeing you up to spend more time with your clients or starting to plan for 2021.
Contact your existing customers
This may seem obvious, but if you have had a period away from social media or customer work, do check in with them. You could either create a simple email or make a telephone call or you could even create a branded email to let multiple people know your availability and any special offers you may have.
Use this contact to take the opportunity to talk through work that is already underway. Alternatively, share a useful piece of business news, or provide input on something you think you might be able to help them with. It’s been said before but is so true, it’s much easier to keep and existing customers than it is to attract new customers.
When did you last refresh your home page?
As the virtual “shop window” of my service based business, my website has been quite neglected.
It is of value to check your website again and you can make some quick and easy changes that won’t cost a lot of money buy might improve the impact of your site. In my case this involved looking at my Google Analytics and realising that my most visited page, the home page, needed a refresh and some depth added to ensure that it really reflects both my current offering and how I want to present myself to potential clients. I think this will always be a work in progress!
If you are thinking of doing something similar, I would suggest thinking whether your current site communicates your value effectively. You may feel that you want to do a complete re-vamp but there will be tweaks that you can make instantly to improve the flow. Definitely remember to update your availability post Covid 19 or even share your latest piece of customer feedback. Have a look at your most popular pages and visit them to make sure you are happy with how your business is presented.
What do you want a website visitor to do when they visit your site? Sign up to a newsletter? Do you have the link prominently displayed? Check out your latest packages? Have you put a button on the page to take them directly there?
Batch images for social media
Similarly, after a few weeks away from social media, it can feel like a slog to be creating content for your channels. Aside from the potential to talk to new customers, it can also help with developing and enjoying your supportive collaborative community of business owners. They can help reduce some of the sense of isolation that people feel when they work for themselves.
To take away some of the pressure and bring back some of the fun of social, take some time to find a batch of images for your content whether that be from your own stylish flatlays and photos, from sites like Unsplash or even Pinterest and stock photo stores. Wherever possible remember to credit the image and check for permission if needed before posting.
If you would like some help to get back in the flow pick a theme or topic for your images, whether it might be a brand colour or feeling or a particular style that you want to embrace. I try to make mine align with my green brand colours, my love of nature and some of my brand values of being calm and approachable.
I recommend also scheduling these posts in either Planoly or Later. Even if you aren’t ready or don’t have time to caption them, you could put one or two word prompts for when you come to write the captions. Personally, I find this saves me loads of time and still allows me to be spontaneous in creating the message on the day or the day before. The other benefit of scheduling is that it will allow you to curate a certain look or pattern for your feed.
One of the classic 4 P’s of marketing – Place.
Aside from your website or existing channels, take some time to pick one new way to meet potential customers over the next three months. That could be that a local face to face networking event or a new virtual place that you have discovered your ideal clients hang out, maybe a particular Facebook group, Pinterest or trying a more targeted approach to LinkedIn. Now that face to face networking has been limited, take a look at some of the online groups you participate and see how you can make genuine connections that way, by offering value and sharing your expertise.
Would you like some 1-2-1 tailored marketing support and brainstorming?
If you would like some support with developing or executing your marketing plan, please get in touch with me and we can have a quick call to discuss your requirements.