1. Foster a culture of action.
Trying new approaches and experimentation are critical to getting more clients. However, new business ideas tend to languish. Train your staff to initiate change and take action. You can do this by fostering a spirit of creativity within your company and building a culture of innovation. Challenge your employees’ conventional mindsets about your business. Emphasize the need to confront poor productivity, whatever its cause. Invite employees from all positions to share their ideas about improving productivity. And then, encourage your staff to act on these ideas by offering incentives.
For example, imagine a company in operation for ten years is suffering from having several poor reviews. The sales staff decides to take action by encouraging customers who are happy with the product to leave positive feedback. The Marketing Director offers a $50 voucher to any staff member who brings in a 5-star review. A few weeks later, the company has 30 new positive reviews, some of which are 5-star reviews. The company’s perception improves, and the sales department is getting new clients.
2. Run an experiment.
Trying new tactics is the key to getting more clients. You have a theory—perhaps you think that SEO will bring 30% more clients. The only way to know for sure is to try to confirm or disprove your hypothesis. Devise a strategy to achieve a clear and measurable goal. Decide what methods will be used and what resources and talent your company will need to test your theory.
3. Expand your digital presence.
Your online prospects are relaxing by the pool, or they’re stranded at the airport, and they’re not purchasing your product. But this doesn’t mean they’re not useful. Chances are they’re blogging, tweeting or otherwise sharing and creating content in their free time. Harness this increased availability by publishing more business content. You will increase your brand’s recognition and bring in new clients in the process.
Here are some great ways to grow your digital presence:
- Improve your website with a new design.
- Optimize your website for your target keywords.
- Regularly publish new content on your website.
- Share your content on social networks.
- Encourage people to share your content.
- Create videos and upload them to your Youtube channel.
- Create a podcast and publish it on iTunes and everywhere podcasts are shared.
4. Harness your full digital marketing potential.
Use a slow period in your business as an opportunity to try new online marketing strategies. Bring in new clients and increase your digital presence by improving PPC and SEO. Harness social media to increase brand recognition and find new kinds of users. And maintain a steady flow of new content to get the attention of clients and search engines.
Make sure to try some fresh approaches—don’t just recycle last year’s marketing strategy! Experiment with some new ideas and set exciting goals.
Incentivize your staff to brainstorm a new approach and get more clients.
5. Engage with your existing customers.
Use slow business periods to get your existing customers excited about your company, so they’ll remember you once peak season sets in. Solidify relationships with existing clients you will bring in new business through referrals. And, talking to your clients will help you fully appreciate their needs and expectations for your company. As you gather more information about your clients, consider how you can improve your business to become the only logical choice for your prospects.
6. Expand your line of products.
Another way to get more clients during a lull is to expand the products and services your company currently offers to reach new markets. Of course, we’ve already discussed the importance of understanding your clients’ expectations (Secret #5), experimentation (Secret #2), and taking action (Secret #1). But before you invest in a whole new line of products or services, be sure to justify this expense with data. Research and development often has a hefty price tag.
7. Repurpose and reposition content.
You have two basic options to reuse great content seasonally to get more clients and new business. First, you can market fresh content focused on the particular season. Create unique content based on the latest market data and hold events to match the season. Rethinking your content and marketing events every year ensures that your efforts are fresh and in line with the latest trends. This guarantees content that is up-to-date and tailored to your business.
Or, you can repurpose past content. You can do this by reusing the content you’ve already created for the season but supplement it with some exciting visuals. Change the old content, add to it, or redirect it to new audiences.
8. Be responsive to changing demand.
Plan for unexpected events to maintain or even boost your business. A well-known example is Walmart’s practice of stocking up on Pop-Tarts during hurricane season. The box store searched the data and discovered that shoppers stockpile Pop-Tarts before a hurricane. So, Walmart benefits from the seven-fold increase in Pop-Tart sales. And it does it by providing the unexpected item consumers want. Be the business that supplies consumers when their plans fall through. If you’re the only shop in town stocking umbrellas during an uncharacteristic downpour, you’re going to get more customers.
9. Put your brand everywhere.
Use any seasonal events and goings-on to your advantage. Think of brands like Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola advertising is so much more than its advertising slot on TV. It is ubiquitous. And so every time you reach for a soda, you think of Coca-Cola. You can use the season to do the same for your brand.
Take advantage of the blogosphere—it spans many topics and encourages creative content. If summer is your off-season, get your staff blogging about tennis, football, or the Summer Olympics. Choose events that are prominent in the news and associate your brand with these topics. Think outside the box about the kinds of topics you can write about, and you will get more clients.
For companies with a physical community presence, use this strategy for local events as well as national news.
10. Increase activity to seize more market share.
Unfortunately, marketing costs don’t decrease during your company’s off-season. But increasing your promotional activity doesn’t have to come at an additional cost. Recycle past content or take advantage of LinkedIn or Facebook advertising.
Going back to Secret #5, get in touch with your customers. You will distinguish your company from others in the industry if they are taking a hiatus. Increase your company’s activity while others are silent and you might just increase your market share.
So there you have it. Integrate these ten suggestions into your business practices and transform your off-season into a golden opportunity to grow your business.