Welcome to August, synonymous with the summer slump. The weather is hot and sticky and half your customers are probably on vacation. As a small biz owner, keeping your business (and your profits) consistent can be a challenge. What’s a Million Dollar Party Girl to do? Reinvent, innovate and turn a hot summer into a hot selling season, of course!
Here’s how I get it done:
Women are the queens of reinvention. Give your marketing strategy the same priority that you give your hair color. Change it up to give your biz a fresh look. What works during the busy times might not work during the lean times. Your summer marketing makeover should include attending networking events (where your ideal client is hanging out) and at least one biz conference to stimulate your ideas and strategize with like-minded people.
If you’re a direct-seller who can’t get anyone to “book a party”, stop asking people to book a party. Seriously. That’s so 1990's. Find out what your clients are interested in and reinvent the old school “home party” to bring your biz into the 21st century. Use words like Happy Hour, Ladies Night Out, Wine Tasting, Focus Group, Sample Sale, New Line Preview or Exclusive VIP Customer Event. Every small biz owner can build customer loyalty and gain new business during the summer with a VIP Customer event. Think outside the box and whatever you do, make sure there’s air conditioning. And wine.
Reinvent your social media marketing strategy to engage and connect with customers, even when they are on vacation. For example, create a contest and ask your customers to take a picture of themselves using your product while on vacation and share it (tag you) on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I got tagged on a picture of a 9-month-old “reading” my book, Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl, with the caption, “Start ‘em young”. Smart mom, smart baby.
Don’t sweat it. Embrace the obstacle and turn it into your biggest opportunity. Here are a few HOTmarketing ideas:
- Offer a “hot deal” on the hottest day of the week. Example: Customers who shop on the hottest day of the week get 10% off or a bonus gift with purchase. Create a buzz by posting the weather updates on your social media sites with headlines like, “5 Day Forecast calls for a chance of savings.” A 98 degree day in the middle of August could be your best biz day of the summer.
- Create a “hot date.” If you’re a direct seller, bring wrapped presents (use red wrapping paper) to your event marked with dates you want to work. Anyone who books an event on your hot date, gets a hot gift. By the way, size matters. Check your inventory for the biggest items at the lowest price. Or, put a small item in a medium sized gift bag with lots of tissue paper.
- Have a hot online sale/contest via a Twitter party or Facebook event. Post and tag the names of shoppers, and winners, to get the party started. If no one has shopped in the first hour, tag your sister and congratulate her on shopping, and winning.
- Use social media the right away. If your biz posts are salesy (buy from me!) and more frequent than once a week, that’s called spam. Add the social to your social media posts. Your “friends” want to see your wedding picture from 1985, not a sales pitch about your biz. You can be innovative, and more social, with your biz posts by taking fun pics of customers using your product, highlights of biz events or your adorable dog eating your brochure. I’d “like” that.
At the end of the day, your business is what you make it. You can buy into the “summer slump” excuse, or you can put on your flip-flops and get out there to make something happen. Keep cool.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media andbloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.