Strong business owners in it for the long haul understand that, inevitably, there will be ebbs and flows over the years. When things get rough, long term thinkers don’t sit back. Instead, they dig into their marketing efforts and hold strong.
Your goal as a marketer is to stay in front of people. As a positive force in your community, your job is to reach out as a human being. Your business is a spot of light during tough times.
While most business owners will agree with this sentiment and want to keep their businesses visible, it can be difficult to navigate new situations with your marketing. How do you stay visible without seeming pushy? How do you bring in new business during a recession?
Let’s look at marketing strategies you can put in place to keep new leads coming in and gain referrals from previous clients.
Stay Active on Social Media
Customers expect to find legitimate businesses on social media. Many people will use this as a means for connecting with a business when they have a question. They expect to be kept up to date on any changes at a business or sales when they follow companies accounts.
Businesses can use this as a way to better connect with their customers. Today, the best means of connecting is with video content. For example, a landscaper could post videos showing yards they’ve transformed. A dentist could post a tour of their office, or do a live video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube where you answer questions. By posting video content on your social media account, your business connects on a more human level.
Make sure to stay on top of your inbox and reply to any messages sent your way.
Pro tip: Use tools like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your social media posts out ahead of time. You can also use these tools to create a social media calendar. Staying consistent with your posting schedule is a good way to build trust with your audience.
Build a Website With Strong Search Engine Optimization
Like with social media, customers now expect to find your business when they perform an online search. Build a website full of strong content with appropriate search engine optimization techniques so your website will be at the top of local rearch results where clients expect to find you.
Take the time to research your keywords and build relevant content that will be helpful to your ideal customers. This content is also something you’ll be able to share with your social media following.
Send Thoughtful Postcards
There’s nothing like holding a tangible object in your hand to connect with your customers. While you may have their attention for a brief moment as they scroll online, you capture their attention in a unique way when you do so with a glossy postcard in the mail.
Fortunately, direct mail is much easier than it used to be. You can create a branded glossy 6 x 9 postcard online, using templates for the design and integrated mail campaign tracking and list builders to help manage your direct mail marketing. The website Wise Pelican has some of the best services for this. You can manage any size campaign with their site.
What should you tell them about on your postcard? Keep your marketing message kind, thoughtful, and positive. Let them know that you’re thinking of them and that you are available when they need you.
If you currently have a list of past clients, you can create a targeted message specifically for those you’ve worked with in the past. Alternatively, you can select an area you want to connect with and create a targeted message to reach new potential clients in an area.
Direct mail is a great way to stay top of mind, connect with a targeted audience, and leave a fresh positive impression.
Connect With Previous Clients Through Care Packages
If you have a list of people you’ve worked with in the past, now is a great time to let them know you’re thinking of them. You have some ideas about who your clients have been. What kinds of things they enjoy. You also have an idea of what your business provides for them. With these things in mind, you can put together specially crafted care packages for some of your best past clients. If you have branded merchandise, this would be a great thing to send along in your care package.
Include a card letting them know you’re thinking of them, you hope they’re doing well, and you are around if they need you.
While your past clients may not be in need of your services right now, they’ll have a new positive memory of your business in their mind. This is a powerful thing in case they need your services in the future, or their friends come looking for referrals.
Be Involved In Community Events
Your business is a part of your community. As such, it should be visible at local community events. There are many different ways this can be done. Keep an eye on things happening locally that you might get to be a part of, including things like town parades, local events you can sponsor, and fairs where you might hold a booth. You can also create the opportunity to be involved locally by teaching a class or holding a contest.
Join Charitable Events
Another way to be involved in your local community is by starting or joining charitable events or becoming a regular member of a local charity. Keep in mind this is a time commitment. Ultimately, you should make sure you are joining a charity that you truly care about, that aligns with the vaalues of your business, and that you will enjoy giving your time to.
Network With Relevant Businesses
If you are a local contractor, your clients may sometimes also need landscaping services. If you are a realtor, your clients may also be in need of a house cleaning company or professional movers.
By networking with relevant businesses in your local community, you have the opportunity to give referrals and also receive them. You can also join forces and co-advertise with these relevant businesses. The stronger your network becomes, the more likely you’ll be to hear first when there are local community events coming up where you might advertise or other marketing opportunities to help grow your business.
Do A Little Each Day
Consider your marketing as a long term strategy. It may be overwhelming to consider all the tasks you would like to accomplish to reach your marketing goals. Do a little bit each day. Create a new video for your social media and practice engaging with your online audience. Build a direct mail campaign to reach out to past clients one day, and then build a new campaign to reach out to a new neighborhood the next day. Make a plan to create a list of local community events one day, and then dig deeper into the ones you find most promising the next day.
Your business is here for the long term. Take your marketing one step at a time and continue to grow your funnel for enduring success.