Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 to 15 months, it’s no secret that there is a global economic slowdown. Businesses across all industries will undoubtedly experience this downturn in some form or fashion.
Sadly some companies are reacting to the slowing economy in a totally disruptive and destructive manner. They are going underground and operating their business from a ‘bunker-down’ mentality. They see themselves as hibernating during the bear economy; waiting out the recession and only resurfacing once things get better.
If this sounds like you, then stop it! Stop it right now. Going underground with your business means you’re off the grid; off the consumer’s radar. Just because things are slow doesn’t mean that your marketing efforts should come to a screeching halt.
Yeah, I get it, you want to save money, but cutting back on your marketing budget and activities is not the answer. Consumers and prospects need to know that you are still in business. Your brand needs to be seen. You’ve heard it before, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. A slow economy doesn’t have to be your reality.
Here are five ideas to get you out of the bunker and help you create your own thriving economy.
Survey your existing customer base.
Surveys are a great way for you to reach out to your current customers to see where they are in their business and the challenges that they are experiencing with the slow down. This information can help you to determine how you can help them.
Or you can use the survey to find out how they found your service in the past, what suggestions they may have for improvements or what other services they may like to see from you.
Contribute articles to your local paper, trade publication, and online directories
Now is the time for you to be seen. Create content that adds incredible value to your readers. Select one of the topics from your survey where people are struggling. Write the article around the solution or give a list of resources for them.
The article should be all about helping the reader, not about you. A good article is about 600 – 750 words long. Start with an introduction, your 3 to 5 ways to help and a conclusion. Done.
The resource box or the About the Author box is where you get to list your name, company and contact details. The resource box makes for a great lead generation tool.
In this case, writing articles is a win-win situation. Your readers get some great tips or information and you get personal and product acknowledgment.
Get Social – literally!
As I mentioned before, now is the time for you and your business to be seen. Attend networking events so that you can do the meet and greet. Focus on just 2-3 people so that you make quality connections.
Before ending the conversation, make sure you close with a call-to-action with each person. Make plans for the follow-up coffee meeting, business appointment or information follow up via email. Get out your phone diary and ask, “So Bill, I’m free next Wednesday or Thursday? Which day is best for you? Morning or afternoon? It’s up to you to keep the lines of communication open. You only win the business if you follow up.
Splinter your Business
Take a look at your overall business. Is there a portion that you can splinter off and sell as a separate product or service? There may be areas where your clients could use help, but don’t want or need the entire product or service package.
By splintering off a section of your business, you don’t have to develop something new; you are in essence repackaging something that you already have. I’m all about repurposing these days as it really saves you time and money. Who knows…. this might just turn into the new big product or service offered by your company.
What portion of your business can you segment into a new product?
Say Yes to Speaking Opportunities
Yeah, I know. Some of you who just read that are freaking out right now, which is why I saved this one for last. Remember I mentioned earlier that your goal is to be seen. What better way to have your brand recognized than when you get to be the center of attention discussing the solutions your prospect desperately needs?
Now I’m not saying you have to get up in front of 500 to thousands of people. Smaller groups are sometimes the most ideal. Say yes to speak at Chamber of Commerce meetings, networking groups, universities, at trade events, or whatever opportunities present themselves to put you in front of qualified buyers. Speaking gives you the chance to position you and your brand as an industry expert. Last time I looked, people want to buy from the expert, not necessarily the new kid on the block.
So there you have it; five ideas to get you out of the bunker and to begin connecting with past and existing clients and develop relationships with new prospects.
I want to hear from you. What other ideas do you have for getting out of the ‘bunker-down’ mentality?