3 Things To Do When Business Is Slow
I’ve been freelancing for 6 years now. And I think that I’ve finally come to accept that there are ebbs and flows when it comes to the amount of work I have. I used to panic every time I had a little lull (ask any of my business besties about the frantic phone calls they’d get). But nowadays I try to embrace the slower times and have faith that it’ll come back around. So when you find yourself coming down from a peak into one of these valleys, here are 3 things you can do when business is slow that continue to build your business and help you get more work coming down your funnel.
Spread The Word
Are you just waiting around for clients to come find you? Well, the problem there is that if people don't know you're available, they're not going to come looking for you. So you gotta tell people! Start with your inner circle: family, friends, acquaintances, pretty much anyone in your social media network. Send emails to past clients asking them to refer other people like them who might be in need of the same services. You can even offer an incentive or some sort of kickback to whoever refers you.
Want your reach to go even further? Experiment with social media ads. It's inexpensive and you can set the parameters of who you want your content to reach. Decide where your ideal clients spend their time (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and spend $20 running ads to see how it goes.
What do you have to lose? ($20…you have exactly $20 to lose.)
Work On Your Funnel
If you're not familiar, your sales funnel is the entire process that a potential client goes through in order to work with you. From discovering your business, to booking their initial call, to paying a deposit. Take a look at the entire journey they're taking and work out any kinks. Is there anything you can streamline? Where are people getting stuck? How can you make it easier or more convenient for them to say yes?
Then take a look at the people who have shown interest in working with you but never signed on. Do you have a follow up process that gently nudges them to take action? When I get an inquiry I have a 4 email sequence that I send out over the next two weeks urging them to book a consult call. And on more than one occasion I've gotten a response thanking me for following up because they either didn't see my first email or forgot about it and meant to book but forgot.
And after I've had that consult call, by using a CRM program (17hats is my personal choice) I send them a quote so they can accept, sign a contract and pay a deposit in just a few clicks. The more hoops you ask them to jump through, the more opportunity they'll have to walk away. Let’s try to remove some of those hoops.
Share What You're Doing
If you've got extra time, you can still be productive! Learn a new skill to offer your clients. Dig into that e-course that's been sitting in your inbox for the last 9 months untouched. Work on that passion project nagging at the back of your mind. Take on pro-bono work that you usually wouldn't have the time/energy for. But whatever you do, make sure to share it with your audience. By sharing what you're up to you'll constantly be reminding the people in your circle of what you do. They'll see you being active and next time they or someone they know is in need of your services, you'll conveniently be top of mind for them.
Marketing doesn't have to be a raging flood. It can be a slow drip that gradually wears away at the stone until you've permanently made your mark in people's minds.
I know, I know. It’s hard to quell that rising bile when you realize that you don’t have any paying clients in the foreseeable future. But once you swallow it down, try to make the best of the slow periods in your business and keep working on what you can. They do say that slow and steady wins the race, right?
What do you do when you find yourself in a business lull? Any tips or tricks to find more work or continue building your business?