It happens every year, your business slows down during certain parts of the year – the main one being the holiday season in the later part of December. Does this mean you completely shut your business down?
For the self-employed or entrepreneurs who rely upon steady cash-flow and lead sources, this can be a rough time.
So does this mean we just shut down and wait until things start to pick back up?
Or can we use this down-time effectively to get us prepared for the new year?
Prepare yourself to be different and to take risks next year by trying new methods to grow your business. Perhaps that entails trying new marketing strategies to reach out to past leads or customers or research new and effective ways to drive in more traffic and leads.
Whatever your goals are, use the “holiday down-time” to build a foundation and to set your business on the path to success for the coming year.
So, instead of getting down or taking the easy route of doing nothing, challenge yourself and try some or all of these strategies that will help your business:
1. Review what you did in the past year
Down-time might be the best time to take a good hard look at what you did in the previous year.
Were you able to drive in more leads or increase traffic compared to last year?
What marketing strategies did you do this year that worked and what didn’t work?
Without knowing what worked and what didn’t work – how will you be able to make decisions for the next year?
Create a simple spreadsheet and jot down every strategy you did and note down the metrics month over month to see the results. And if you have access to your Google Analytics – even better. Compare your website metrics month over month to see where your traffic was coming from or to see if there are any places for improvements.
2. Create a Strategy
Once you have analyzed your strategies from the previous year, you will now be able to narrow down a strategy plan of what you want to do for the next year.
When you sit down to create your strategy, make sure you think about your target market, your target geographic areas and the best methods to reach this audience. Once you have narrowed down your target market, this will give you a better idea of which platforms you can utilize and how to utilize them to reach your market and to increase conversions.
3. Create Content
Content will help you achieve your goals that you set in your strategy in terms of driving qualified traffic and leads to your website.
Creating content and posting it on your website and other online platforms has the ability to drive leads and sales, engage customers/buyers/influencers as well as boost your overall online brand awareness.
To create compelling content, it requires you to be in a creative space without the phone ringing or your email inbox filling up. So take advantage of the down-time during the holidays to get in a content zone.
4. Set up your Drip Campaigns
If you haven’t already adapted drip campaigns or email marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy for your business, you are definitely missing out.
This might be a good time for you to do some research on the benefits of drip campaigns and email marketing and how it has the potential to convert past customers into active, qualified leads.
If you are already utilizing email marketing as part of your marketing strategy, then use this time to create your email content, monthly newsletters or start segmenting your lists to put the appropriate contacts into different drip campaigns to re-engage with prospects.
Remember, don’t let those past prospects get away just yet. If you can automate the process to create an automated drip campaign, you never know who might be ready to buy from you!
5. Create Videos
Have you ever thought about creating videos for your business but always had something that got in the way? Well with the down-time over the holidays, no more excuses!
Set aside some time to create some compelling videos about your business or the products or services that you offer. Videos don’t need to necessarily be created in a professional studio. They can be as simple as sitting in front of your laptop and recording yourself.
Give it a try because videos have the ability to increase conversion rates and really help to engage with website visitors and leads. YouTube is the second largest search engine, so open up a YouTube account for yourself and start recording!
6. Clean up your CRM
The down-time during the holidays can also give you some time to go through your CRM and re-organize it.
Take a look at every contact in your CRM and start creating groups or segments within your CRM to better organize your leads, customers and prospects.
7. Get your Accounts in Order
Keeping accounts up to date during the year can be difficult and dreaded task. This might also be a good time to organize accounts and/or get all your documents organized prior to the dreaded tax season so you aren’t trying to play catch up when the time comes.
8. Become Goal Oriented
Setting goals for you and for your business on different aspects like sales, website traffic or even increasing your social media presence will help motivate you to achieve those goals that you set.
Once you figure out your strategy for the coming year, creating goals should be the fun part. Create goals that are achievable, yet will challenge you to exceed your expectations and will push you.
9. Take a Course
Make it a goal to challenge yourself. And maybe that challenge will include you learning something new that will help benefit your business.
Take on something that you have always wanted to learn and sign yourself up for a course to finally meet your goal of learning something new.
10. Reach Out to Cold Prospects
The holiday season is a great time to reach out to cold prospects that you have in your CRM through a simple and automated email marketing campaign that you can send out. While you are cleaning out your CRM, create a list with cold prospects and easily send them an email blast telling them about the new things to come next year with your business.
Use the holiday season to re-engage with your customers and to get yourself organized for the new year!