This week a local business owner reached out to me with this question:
My business has seemed to hit a flat spot. I never really had to advertise before. Word of mouth always seemed to help me a lot but it’s starting to fade out. Now I just want to get back to what it was like before. Is it better to make a website yourself or have one made? Is it actually worth paying for advertising on Facebook?
I think that every business owner relates to this problem of feast or famine at some point in their business. As soon as you get busy, you stop your outreach and marketing efforts to meet client demands and, before you know it, your pipeline of new clients has dried up.
I want to share with you part of my response to him. And I want to share strategies you can employ to avoid the feast or famine cycle in your own business.
Stay Consistent With Marketing/Outreach:
One thing I noticed about this business owner was that he was referencing a period of time where things were really busy unlike how they are now.
A very quick Facebook search showed me that he had been very intentional about posting to Facebook regularly up until about 8-10 months ago. I assume the period of time he was posting consistently to Facebook was exactly when he was his busiest!
I think you need to get serious about free advertising on Facebook. Post reviews from past clients on Facebook. Try to post on Facebook and Instagram daily. Not just progress/work-related photos but maybe also what your family business is up to. You can be personal on your Facebook page. Have you reached out to local businesses to partner up?
His audience hasn’t heard from him in a while and it’s time to focus back on past clients and nurture that audience.
If you have social media and an email list, prioritize those moving forward – even when you are at your busiest! You’ll see the payoff when your pipeline of prospects is full and growing.
Analyze What Worked in the Past:
If you have had a successful time in your business, it’s time to look at what led up to that period of success and create a strategy around what worked. Here is what I told the local business owner:
“One more thing: go back to think about the most prosperous time in your business. What did you do at the time to generate buzz? Replicate that!”
Look at your best clients. Or look at the period in your business where you experienced the biggest growth. Analyze how you got them, what they share in common, and replicate that process.
Did you attend a networking event? Meet them through a past client? Partner with someone who spread the word about your business? Pick a few strategies that helped your initial growth and begin those efforts again. Prioritize those efforts so that you never have a slow spell again!
Don’t Use Cash to Solve a Famine:
In times of feast, use the cash flow to build systems that create consistent revenue and a client waitlist. Hire a web developer and get your site built out. Hire a social media assistant or pay a family member to help you out. Plan for future growth with the money from your prosperous times.
In a famine, don’t sink money into strategies that may or may not help. Running advertisements on Facebook isn’t a guarantee. There is a lot of testing that goes into running ads and that requires cash. Websites are a great resource for your business, but the expense wouldn’t be worth it during a famine cycle. Or the time you spend DIY’ing your website might pull you away from business-building activities.
Instead, get creative and pull in your biggest fans to help you generate a buzz about your business.
- Reach out to past clients and ask them to post on social media for you, share a post of yours, or give you a Facebook or Google review.
- Reach out to past clients and ask them to share you with their colleagues, friends, and family.
- Partner with a local business to showcase what you do.
- Reach out to a podcast or local radio station to promote your business.
- Join a networking group.
- Volunteer in some capacity to help spread the word about your business.
Those are just a few ideas you can employ to begin generating buzz about your business. Ultimately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel if you have had prior success in your business. It will take time, effort, and a bit of strategy to inject life back into your marketing strategy. But the payoff will match your efforts!
Have you ever faced a feast or famine cycle in your business? What did you do to overcome it? Interested in learning how you can thrive in a famine or feast cycle? Book a call with me today and we can figure out the best course of action for you.
Lisa M Gale Digital Marketing helps service professional business owners improve their online presence and visibility to attract new clients. We develop systems and processes to improve digital marketing efforts and help entrepreneurs reach their business goals. Download your Digital Marketing Made Simple for free here >>