Don't lie down with the dogs of summer! We're just about to hit the middle of summer, and that means the online world and pretty much everything else is about to slow way down.
For most small businesses the summer months tend to feel a bit of a snail's crawl; days can feel like they're creeping by. But guess what, we're less than 6 weeks out from the beginning of September!
It's easy to feel like fall is a million miles away, but it's not.
Don't let the seasonal slump make you feel blah, now is the time to take advantage of slow traffic and sales and get ready for the busiest time of year.
This is a perfect opportunity to take care of all of the things we've put off. It's the best time to revisit that goal list, get to work on tasks to help us get ready for the fall rush, and tighten up things to help you feel productive!
17 things you can do right now while your traffic is slow
Audit your content: Take a look at everything you've been posting over the past 6 months. How's it looking? What worked? What didn't? What could be better? What could be repeated? Is your content aligned with your messaging? Are you making sure you are promoting your products and services? Take a big look at everything you are doing, and audit what's working and what's not.
Audit your marketing channels: Take a look at your website analytics, and see what social channels are actually delivering for you. What can you tighten up? If Instagram is your favorite marketing channel, what can you do better there? Take a look at this blog post to learn how to check your social channels in Google Analytics, and how to use this information to inform your decision making. You have a ton of data at your fingertips, learn how it can help you!
Reassess your posting strategy: With the above in mind, take a look at how often you posted to social media and track your engagement. Was there a pattern in better engagement when you posted more? Or were there tumbleweeds? Look at your social accounts insights and see when your audience is online the most. Use this data to define how you'll post for the next 3-6 months. Create a posting schedule that you can adhere to. Both Instagram and Facebook offer insight into when your followers are online (see the below images).
Schedule your social media: Now that you've got a new posting schedule, why not give it a whirl? If you haven't started scheduling your social media, I highly recommend it due to the amount of time you'll save. Plus, planning out your marketing allows you to see the big picture - and make sure you are posting consistently.
Ensure your social media accounts are branded & update: Now that you've taken a look at all of your social media accounts, how do they look visually? Do your profile pics need an update? Are they the same across all of your verticals? How's your bio? Does that need an update? Take a few minutes to make sure your branding is tight and on brand.
Create your very own LinkTree on your website: Make your Instagram website link work for you! Create your own landing page where you can add links and information to drive content back to your site! Read the blog or watch the tutorial here.
Create an editorial calendar: One of the best things you can do for your sanity and your time saving efforts is to create an editorial calendar. Your editorial calendar doesn't need to be overcomplicated! All it is is a calendar. That's it!
Create a calendar in a spreadsheet, use Asana, or an actual calendar and plugin everything that's going on in your business. Use it to dictate your marketing and check in on it daily.
Establish your marketing calendar for fall/winter: Using your new editorial calendar, map out everything that's happening in your business: social media, email marketing, advertising, press, product/service launches, events, sales, holidays, etc. Use this tool to build out your marketing around all of the important events.
Start your press/outreach list for fall: Don't let press come to you. If you don't have it in your budget to hire a publicist - most don't! Then DIY it. Create a list of other small businesses you can partner with for social media/blog giveaways, conferences you want to attend or speak at, publications, blogs, and podcasts you would like to appear on. Make it a point to reach out to people on this list at least once a week. Brigitte Lyons has excellent advice on how to get press, stay on message, and use your marketing to be seen.
Start a newsletter: Get rid of that anxiety and finally kick off that newsletter strategy! Summer is a great time to take on a new marketing channel and really make it stick. You can start small with limited expectations and give it a shot. If you need content ideas go here and here. And if you're feeling really ready, join us for our August workshop!
Review your goals: We're at the half year mark, how are those goals looking? Take them out and review them. Give yourself a high-five and make sure you celebrate the goals you've achieved. Now get to work on what's left. Do the current goals need to be edited? Are there some things you don't care about anymore? Are there goals missing? Update them and hang them up or keep them somewhere that you'll be able to keep on top of them.
Get to know your analytics: There is a wealth of information in your website analytics. It's important that you get to know where your traffic is coming from and what that traffic is engaging with on your site. If the thought of statistics makes you feel overwhelmed, never fear! You can start small. Here is a walkthrough that will tell you what and where to look at in Google Analytics for just social media.
Brainstorm new products and services: Pull out all of those ideas and slips of paper where you've doodled and scribbled down thoughts and dreams for products and services. Line 'em all up on a spreadsheet! See what's possible to get down this year and set a plan to make it happen!
Brainstorm blog posts/social media content: Do you have a space where you dump all of your content ideas? Not yet? Now is a great time to start one and keep it going! I use a Project in Asana to keep all of my ideas for blog posts (good, bad, and questionable!) so when I'm ready to write I have a reserve of inspiration to choose from.
Set up a photoshoot: You'll hear many content producers telling you to batch your content to make it easier (schedule your social media, create visuals for your blog posts, etc.) well you can do this with your photographs too! Set aside some time to take photos that you'll have on reserve. Brit from Brand Strategy Co. offers super helpful, actionable tips to get your photography up to snuff.
Update your systems & operations: Now is the time to get organized, and set up systems that will make your life easier when things get super busy. Here's how I use Asana in my business to organize my marketing and content, and if you need more you can check out how I use Asana to plan my content.
Organize your digital files: #NERDALERT. This is one of my favorite things to do when I need a good procrastination job. I like to organize my files while I'm watching TV or listening to the radio. Get rid of files, documents, and images you no longer need. Set up your files so they make sense and can be found easily within your business. You'll thank yourself later.
This is not a call to BE BUSY
Of course, I'm not here to encourage you to BE BUSY. But I do want to remind you that during these slow times, this can be a great opportunity to take stock, get organized, and tighten up. Especially when there's not a lot of other pressing things happen.
And heck, you can do pretty much all of this on your laptop, so kick your feet up, make a delicious iced beverage, and take care of business!