Without doubt, we are in very trying times for our friends and families as well as our businesses. The rate of news coming through from the Government is sometimes confusing but at least information is flowing, plenty of it!
For all businesses, online, bricks and mortar, home working, freelancers, etc. the times are uncertain, but I do believe that continuing marketing is vital for your business now (open or closed) as well as a golden opportunity to be prepared for when we are all back on track.
Obviously, marketing budgets may not be at the top of your list currently, but there is a lot you can do for yourselves while you may be less busy, and these tips will put your business in a strong position for when businesses are back and are cost-effective too.
Here are some things to try
Be a leader
Don’t be a sheep and follow the crowd, shape yourself up as the leader of your industry locally and be the place to go and get the right information that is relevant to your business and your customers. By this we mean, develop blogs that can answer your customers most obvious questions,(before they ask them) so they can get the information they need to consider your services in the future. These blogs ideally would have EVEN more impact if they are videos, as people are lacking that eye to contact at the moment, being able to see you discussing solutions and support within your industry sector, will be well received and hopefully remembered.
Let’s use our time wisely why we are locked down. If we go back to basics, maybe it’s time to check your copy on your website. Are your services still relevant? Have you provided alternative contact arrangements? Can you offer virtual appointments now? Making some of these changes and being seen to do so will instil confidence and trust in your customers, for when they come back.
Maybe also look at any marketing collateral, social media content to see what needs updating. and if you are really keen to get in my good books, take some time to develop a blog strategy and a social media strategy so you have a workable plan to take your business forward when the time comes.
Google My Business
I often refer to this when I speak to people about their websites and people are always very non-plussed and say, “yes we have it, but nothing really happens with it” But maybe you aren’t using it to the full potential? We will be blogging about how you can improve on that this week too. But rest assured it is a very valuable tool that can be a great way to communicate with your customers and keep them in touch with your business.
We always have good intentions to leave reviews and ask for them, but time passes quickly and then it seems too late for both parties. But now could be a great time to reconnect with past customers and ask them to review your past services. They may well be less busy themselves and could act as a reminder of your services for the future.
TOP TIP: Don’t do them all in one go as you may have a glut of reviews in one day, but maybe add it to your things-to-do list and send a couple of requests every day so they slowly build up.
Social Media tidy up
We all have good intentions (even me) to promote ourselves more on social media. Now maybe is a great time to optimise your LinkedIn profile, as we have more time and if work is slow it could be seen as a really positive move for you and your business. Once optimised, use LinkedIn to interact with your industry peers and colleagues. As we are in small family groups, it is also a way to keep talking about your industry/services publicly which may be of use in the recovery period.
This might seem an odd time to send follow up emails, but it looks professional if your recent appointments are at least acknowledged and bookmarked for better times. You could enhance your follow up email even more, by creating a personalised video and adding it your email so you can actively speak to your potential client, answer any burning questions they may have had at the appointment and provide them with all of you contact info and outline prices to reignite this business in the future.
I hope these tips are something you have time to whilst we are housebound. They could make the difference between your business surviving in the recovery period. Don’t be a stranger to your potential customers and do take the time to continue with your marketing as much as you can, and if we can help and advise, please do get in touch.
We are sharing as much small business news as we can via our social media group on Facebook and the Thirsty Thursday business platforms. Let’s all keep our business community going. To get involved with either of these groups and pages, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07971 065941.