There’s a reason why schools give the summer off. No one can be at the top of their game year-round, and sometimes the pressure of powering through the school year culminates in a slump that sends high-performers directly to the guidance counselor in need of a pep talk.
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These same studious overachievers often grow up to become successful entrepreneurs. But in the real world, there’s no extended summer vacation or guidance counselor to turn to for motivation.
The good news is there are actions you can take to break a business or marketing slump instead of waiting for it to run its course. Here are five to get you started.
1. Use social media to connect with people who open your email campaigns.
When it comes to getting messages into the hands of your target audience, there’s arguably no better tool than email marketing. However, it’s not the only marketing channel you can use to get in front of potential clients.
If email subscribers are opening and responding to your newsletters, they’re expressing a genuine interest in your products and services. You can take those customer relationships to the next level by making more personal connections online via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Reach out to these subscribers socially, and see if they have any questions or pain points you can address. Take an interest in the content they share — like it, comment on it and share it with your followers. Start real conversations that engage your followers, as well as their friends and family. Connecting in this way helps clients form a more personal bond with your brand.
2. Evaluate your social media profiles.
Incomplete or inaccurate social profiles come across as unprofessional and can lead to confusion. Update your social media accounts and always put your best foot forward!
At minimum you should:
- Make sure your contact information is up to date. This includes updating your website, email and phone number. If you operate a brick-and-mortar storefront locally, you’ll also want to include your current address.
- Refresh your photos. Make sure your headshot is current, professional and easily recognizable. And update your cover photo; it’s the most valuable piece of real estate on your profile. In fact, it can be used for anything from a branded banner to a virtual business card to a bona fide CTA.
- Highlight any recent achievements and awards. Sharing achievements bolsters your credibility and sets you apart from competitors, and LinkedIn and Facebook have dedicated sections just for that purpose.
3. Do an internal morale check.
When your business is in a slump it can be easy to look outward and blame the market. But sometimes, the real problem hits a little closer to home.
Entrepreneurial slumps are often directly connected to drops in workplace morale. Do an internal temperature check to gauge the motivation level of your employees. Consider interviewing them individually to get a more candid view of the situation.
If you determine morale is low, try engaging in some team building exercises or offer incentives, such as time off, to help motivate your employees.
4. Sign up to volunteer or support a community event.
Sometimes the best way to help yourself out of a slump is to help someone else. Volunteering and helping out with community events gives your mind a welcomed break and is a truly gratifying experience.
Get the entire team involved. Designate a volunteer day and close your offices for the afternoon. Helping as a group is an easy way to bring your staff closer together while doing some good in the world.
Bonus Tip: An active presence within the community is a great way to gain some positive recognition and earn your company a reputation for giving back! Who wouldn’t want to do business with a big-hearted company like that?
5. Show a little customer appreciation.
In life, a little appreciation goes a long way. Studies show that cultivating a sense of gratitude can improve your overall health.
It may make you a better entrepreneur, too. Fostering gratefulness can shift your perspective away from the negative and help bring you out of a downturn.
Start by thanking the lifeblood of your business: your customers. There is no shortage of options here. Whether you organize a happy hour event or send a few handwritten thank you notes, the point is to make sure your clients know how grateful you are for their business.
Plus, showing appreciation for your small business customers is a great way to stay top of mind and inspire referrals and repeat business.
Want to get back on your A+ game? Don’t stand by idly and watch an entrepreneurial slump put you on the path to failure. Be your own guidance counselor and use these practical tactics to get your business back on the up-and-up again!