Welcome to summer! While many of us will use these warm days to take vacations, relax and dial it down a bit from work, if you own your own business or company you know you can’t just put the brakes on completely. Come the fall, when you’ll be gearing back up, you’ll want to make sure your sales pipeline is adequately filled or the dry autumn months could lead to a cold hard winter.
But you may think that EVERYONE else is on vacation so why bother? Well, while it’s true that many people will take vacations, close early on Summer Fridays and generally slack off, not everyone is laying on the beach and certainly not all at the same time. Business is still getting done, deals are still being made and sales are happening.
So what can you do to take advantage of the summer slow down but still keep your head in the game? Think of summer as a time to reflect on your business and plant seeds that you can harvest the rest of the year.
Here are three things you can do to keep your marketing going while trying to get in some beach time as well:
1. Ramp Up Your Social Media
Assuming you have your social media infrastructure in place (Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc), USE IT! Spend some time manually visiting each one of your own accounts and engage with what’s going on there. While we’re big fans of automating many tasks of social media marketing for our clients using tools like JetPack and Hootsuite, nothing beats rolling up your sleeves, logging in your own account directly and reading, sharing and interacting with other people in your social media networks. You know how you feel when you actually take the time to respond to a post or ask a question and all you get back is the deafening silence of automation in response? Asking questions on LinkedIn, retweeting people on Twitter, repinning on Pinterest and liking other posts on Google Plus and Facebook is the extra mile you should go to show your followers that yes, you are a real human being that exists in the real world. This is a also a great time to update your followers, adding new ones, deleting others and generally doing a little social media house cleaning. And what’s easier than PARTICIPATING in your own social media than by using your iPad or smart phone while hanging out on the beach? It’s easy, quick and very beneficial to your own social media and your SEO efforts. Good bang for your buck.
2. Do Some In-Person Networking
Many people think that summer is the worst time for networking because nobody goes to events in the summer and that’s just not true. Yes, attendance is down and many people do NOT go but many still do. Here’s your chance to talk to people you may not have had the opportunity to talk to in the past. There’s less competition for time and conversations. Now might be the perfect time to have fewer but more in-depth conversations with those that do show up, like you, who still value the number one way to grow their businesses — referrals from networking! Get out there, leave the serious dress clothes at home and go business casual to put yourself in the mood for some relaxed conversations with new prospects, friends and colleagues.
3. Write Some Blog Posts
We’ve talked extensively about the importance of being a “Content Creator” as a means to improve your SEO and Internet marketing in general. Now’s the time to come up with 3 to 5 blog posts that you can write, at your leisure. The slower pace of the summer is a perfect time to reflect and think about your business goals and objectives. Find inspiration in your thinking that can generate a few thoughtful blog posts that you can roll out over the course of the next couple of months. Don’t think of it as homework but as a time of thinking, writing and reflecting. What do you wish you had said? Sucess stories you were proud of? Observations you made or lessons learned? Write them down and publish them on your blog!
IN SUMMARY: These are fairly painless tasks and important marketing tactics that you should be doing all year round. So if you’re doing them anyway, good for you! Keep up the good work. If not, the summer months are a great time to start. And while you’re at it, make it a goal to read at least one business book to provide added inspiration and ideas. What things do YOU do to market your business during the summer?