How to Keep Marketing During Busy Season
In person events are back with a vengeance, US borders are opening next week to international travelers, and the holidays are just around the corner. Each of these things indicates a busy season is upon us, which is a super exciting development. You’re trying to build a profitable business with longevity after all.
However, being busy now does not mean you’ll continue to be busy in a few months. (We did learn something from this pandemic right?) That means you should continue to put effort into marketing throughout busy season. So before I address HOW you continue marketing when you’re overwhelmed with work, let’s first be clear on why this is so important:
Every business has a marketing-sales funnel and it takes time to move people through.
Most marketing funnels have a version of these 4 steps.
Come up with an idea for your next marketing or sales campaign. (And let’s be real: we all know this can happen in two minutes or it could take 10 days for something viable to come to you.)
You create a piece of content, send out an email campaign, start reaching out to your existing prospects, go to networking events, and basically do all the things that are at the top of your marketing funnel. (i.e. your first touch with a prospective client or referral partner)
Then you have to nurture people through that funnel. You continue sending them additional content, schedule that lunch date, and follow up your meeting with emails, additional network introductions, and example ideas about how you could work together. And because you are an entrepreneur with good business practices, each one of these touch points happens with multiple days, or even a week, in between them. We don’t spam people right😜? Right.
A result of that non-obnoxious business practice is that moving people through your funnel takes time. In fact, it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a multiple months before you get to step 3.
You have reached that relationship level where your prospect has come to “know like trust” you/your company, which is the tipping point to them sealing the deal and purchasing your services.
What Happens When You Stop Marketing
Now, let’s say you put all of those efforts on hold while you worked on an event or focused solely on servicing your existing clients during the busy season. Well, that means when you finally do have the time to start marketing again your business will experience an even longer dry spell as you work to get your marketing efforts (Steps 1 – 4) ramped up again.
On the flip side, if you continue marketing throughout your busy season, albeit at a lower time commitment than during off-season, you would have a continual trickle of people moving through your funnel. Then when you come up for more air after the busy season is over or you would be starting at Step 3 rather than from Step 1 because you’ll already have people beginning to know and like you so they can get to the trust of Step 4 faster.
3 Ways to Keep Marketing When You’re Busy
Now let’s address how you continue marketing when you feel like you’re overwhelmed with client work and barely keeping your head above water.
1. Focus on relationship marketing.
Every conversation, touch point, email and genuine way of showing interest in your referral partners, past clients, and network is a form of relationship marketing. Keep in touch and you remain top of mind, which leads to more opportunities for referrals and repeat business – both of which are wins!
2. Cut the amount of content you’re creating by half.
Instead of creating a blog post every week, write one every other week. Instead of sending out an email campaign every other week, send out one monthly recap and move on. This will still keep you in front of your contacts without the pressure of your “normal” marketing efforts taking you away from client work.
3. Focus on the most highly-converting marketing channels and put the “nice to dos” on hold.
If you get more leads from Facebook, yet also spend a lot of time doing Instagram because you love it, this is the time where you focus just on Facebook and you come back to Instagram later. Alternatively, let’s say that video content on your YouTube channel or shared on your blog gets more engagement with your client base because they can actually see what you do in action. Focus on creating more videos and put the rest of your social media and non-video related emails on hold.
Here’s the beautiful thing about marketing as a small business owner or solopreneur:
You do not have to do all the things in order to continue producing leads.
Yep, big corporations may do all the things, but you have the ability (and really the necessity) to truly focus on one or two things that bring in the highest return for your time investment and get to skip the rest!
When you have more time, brain power and creativity, then you can start to bring back the other marketing tactics that amplify the number of leads coming in, the amount of traffic and brand exposure you receive, and push people through the funnel faster. While you’re busy though, let yourself off the hook… just not entirely.