All businesses have ups and downs and, while frustrating, it isn’t unusual.
Some days, weeks, and months are amazing! Your business is humming along. You feel great about the direction and services/products you offer. You can’t imagine doing anything else.
And then sometimes... everything feels off, business slows down, and you’re wondering what happened to your groove.
Obviously there are many chapters in any business’ story, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging when you're wading through a boring part in your business!
Here are my five suggestions for moving the needle in your business when you’re feeling stuck!
Don’t Neglect Your Current Audience
It can be easy to get sucked into the idea of getting in front of new people, but don’t forget the audience you already have is also waiting to hear from you.
Established customers have already proven to know, like, and trust you enough to give you money or join your email list. Don’t leave them out in the cold.
A few ways you can show some love to your current audience:
Send your email list a special offer or promo as a thank you for being there.
Consider a targeted ad to your Instagram or Facebook followers to re-engage them by offering them something special, too. Make sure you use unique discount codes on different email and social media platforms so you can track where your conversions/customers are coming from.
Show Up More
I’ve often said the secret to marketing is showing up. It isn’t a fancy statement, but it is true!
You don’t have to show up everywhere at all times. In fact, that’s a good recipe for burnout.
Instead, think about where your people are and where they hang out (online and off).
Are you showing up there enough? We haven’t met, but I can almost guarantee you’re not showing up enough because MOST people don’t.
Are you talking to your audience in ways they can understand and relate to?
Are you inadvertently using jargon or industry terms someone outside your industry may not understand?
Are you showing you understand their needs by using the same kinds of language and terms they use to describe what you do?
Are you being clear with your audience about the next steps they need to take to work with or purchase from you?
Are you talking/showing the benefits of your work/what you sell more than just the shiny benefits?
Reconnect with What You Love About What You Do
Our businesses are like a long term relationship - there will be highs and lows and times when you are ready to be done forever.
Sometimes this is a sign of burnout and sometimes you are just in a funky place with your business and you need to rediscover what you loved about it in the first place.
If you are feeling disconnected, read your review (which is really just people saying nice things about your business) and try to find the thread of why you do what you do.
If you’re still in a rut or feeling off about your business, you may need a break or a deep reevaluation of your goals (and you may need to find a coach or therapist for this piece, you don’t have to do it alone).
Get in Front of a New Audience
While you are showing love to your current audience, don’t rely on them to carry your business entirely.
Look for ways to get your product/services in front of a new-to-you audience.
If you tend to use the same types of hashtags on Instagram, it may be time to experiment with different ones.
Make sure you are engaging on social media, not just posting. Posting is broadcast media. Having conversations and asking questions is social media.
Do you need to start networking? Or dive deeper into networking you are already doing? Or branch out into new areas?
Do advertisements or sponsorships make sense for your business?
Take a Break
This may sound counterintuitive at first, but if you feel as if your business isn’t getting traction or seeing growth it may be because you need to slow down instead of constantly pushing.
If you are in constant movement or reaction mode - always going, always thinking, always trying to be one step ahead of what your customer might want - you aren’t giving yourself time to think, plan, adjust, or rest.
Not only do you run the risk of burning yourself out, you can also risk confusing customers if they struggle to understand what you do because you haven’t planned your messaging or it keeps changing.
Set some boundaries around your work time and your personal time.
Get a hobby - something that isn’t connected with what you do and something you won’t attempt to monetize
Take a break - a real break...when was the last time you didn’t think about work for an entire weekend? Giving yourself real space and time away from work can move you forward because you’ll approach your work with a different perspective, maybe have new ideas, and won’t be on the verge of burnout.
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.