Slow seasons in business are to be expected.
As a freelancer or entrepreneur, you’ve probably experienced the natural flow of feast or famine, and those times of famine can be really stressful. When is my next client going to get booked? How am I going to pay for that printing invoice next week? How do I get more sales this month for my online shop?
Author David Finkel explains that it is especially common in service-based business (but I’ve also seen it happen in product-based businesses). Picture this: You acquire a new job or client and your top focus shifts to completing that job. In the meantime, your sales, marketing, bookkeeping, IT projects, and nurture content become neglected. Your sustainable workflow is seriously interrupted.
Can you relate?
I’ve been there. But guess what? There IS a way to beat that ebb and flow and have more predictability and consistency in your business.
The biggest mistake most entrepreneurs make when they ARE in a season of famine is they focus on the wrong things. So let’s talk about what to do when business is slow to help maintain consistency and regularity in business throughout any time of year!
Update your website
Your website or portfolio is like the handshake to your business. Make it count! In traditional style marketing and sales, people would go door to door or cold call their clients in order to give a first impression and land a new client or customer.
That doesn’t happen all that often anymore, and your clients are finding your website before they even meet you most of the time! This means we need to think about how images and copy on our site are representing our business.
What is your brand personality? Who is your ideal client? What are their pain points and needs and how do you help meet those needs?
If you don’t have a website or need a serious revamp, but not at a custom dollar sign…I got you! Check out Tonic Site Shop! They designed my website (which is custom), but they have AMAZING templates that are super user-friendly and will totally “WOW” your potential customers and clients!
Always Be List Building
No, email is not dead!
In fact over 90% of your potential clients and customers log in to their email every single day! As someone who wishes she would’ve started building an email list sooner in my business, take it from me—it’s a game-changer!
I have some tips and free guides for you here if you have no idea where to start:
My Email Marketing Toolkit includes all of my favorite tools from email service providers to subject line testers and more!
The 5-Step Checklist for Email List Building has some of my favorite tips for list growth!
Numbers, Numbers, Numbers
I think I just heard you grumble a little bit.
Finances, bookkeeping, taxes…those are all words I’m pretty sure creative entrepreneurs HATE, but unfortunately they’re a part of the deal. When business is busy, it’s so easy to forget about checking in and monitoring your books, or downloading profit and loss reports and getting a pulse on how that department is performing. Then when it’s slow, we dread looking into it because it’s now piled up.
Start creating habits of checking in every day or once a week for 15 minutes during slow seasons, so you stick with it during the crazy ones. Analyze your data and metrics in your email list. What’s your open rate? Are people reading your blog posts?
Write Blog Posts
If you haven’t been reading my blog much, then you might not know this but…blogging is NOT dead!
Blog posts are pieces of content that live on your website and are discoverable by the almighty Google. That’s a pretty big deal. If you want some organic search traffic floating through your website, consistent, valuable and relevant content on your blog is the best way to attract new visitors!
I have a mini course on SEO (search engine optimization) that can help you get the most out of your blog posts using keywords, images, etc…so if you want your posts to attract more visitors, make sure you check that out!
Add Some WOW to Your Client Experience
When things are slow is the perfect time to spice up and enhance your client experience. Go through your website and think about how a potential client or customer might be navigating your site. Do you make it easy for them to get in touch with you? Do they have lots of unanswered questions when they leave your site?
Along with this, analyze each step and touch point you have with your client when they do eventually book you. Are your invoices and contracts sending on time? Are they user-friendly? How can you make the process more efficient and personal? The goal with your client experience is to make them go “WOW” and tell their family and friends about you!
At the end of the day, slow seasons in business are tough. They’re uncertain, uncomfortable and unpredictable. But, the more you focus on tidying up your loose ends in business and making things as seamless, and dialed as you possibly can, when a new customer or client does come around, you’ll really start to see your business grow and take off!