Seasonal or Slow?
Unless your business is seasonal,you’re probably slower in the summer. As I write about in my personal blog,Appetite for Life,summer is a great time to re-group for a busy fall.
Summer is also a time to build your connections.
How can you build your connections when it’s slow?
If you have regular customers,they usually will take some time off during the summer,right? While they’re away,start talking to new people. These new people will become your future customers.
When your regular customers come back from vacation now you have them and your new customers. It’s a less stressful way of building your list than trying to do it when you’re busy.
How I doubled my business over one summer
Case in point. Back in my Starbucks days,there were definitely a few weeks during the summer where the whole town seemed to be on vacation. My first reaction,like most,was to take it easy.
After my first summer,I realized there wasn’t a lot of time in the fall and winter to build my business. When the next summer rolled around I was ready.
I had my baristas talking to their friends as future employees. I had special events in the store to celebrate the customers who were still around and had them bring friends. As a team we delivered beyond legendary service to our morning customers getting them in and out in record time (still with a person comment to each) building trust that we’d get them to work on time.
The following fall was incredible. The new customers we made during the summer had become loyal regulars. When our regulars returned we had almost doubled our customer counts!
How does this translate to your business on using social media?
If you’re going through a slow time,jump on Facebook,LinkedIn or Twitter and get involved in discussions. Margorie Clayman a new Google + connection has a wonderful blog about places to engage called,Twenty of my favorite ways to engage online. Here’s how to get started:
- Choose a place to engage (Twitter chat,LinkedIn Group,Facebook Group or Page,Blog).
- Set up time in your calendar. Go there on a regular basis.
- Listen first. Hear what people are talking about.
- Add to the discussion. Eventually there will be a question or topic that you can’t help but respond to. Jump in.
- Connect with a few people. These are usually people you can relate to.
- Offer value to them. Answer their questions. Engage them in a chat (that happened with a Facebook connection and myself this morning).
- Always have something to invite them to. This is a great suggestion from Michael Port’s –Book Yourself Solid. What free events,seminars,or community events do you know of that would be beneficial to them. Keep a calendar of these and invite your new connections to them.
- Connect to their pages,blogs,etc. When you show true interest in what they’re doing,they’ll return the favor.
- Take it offline. As your relationship develops,take it offline if you haven’t already. Get to know them as a real person. If you can’t physically meet them offline,then message them directly.
- Stay in touch. This doesn’t mean sign them up for your newsletter because they talked to you. (I hate that!) Instead make it a point to touch base with them on a regular basis. Maybe it’s to check up on something going on in their lives you found out about. Maybe it’s following up on a question. Just stay in touch.
By following these 10 steps througout the rest of the summer,you’ll have a bunch of new people to stay connected with come September.
Love to hear your thoughts…
Photo credit:craigemorsels via Flickr under creative commons license