3 Great Ways to Beat the Summer Slowdown and Get More Clients Entrepreneurs don't have time to wait for fall.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror and the kids out of school, the summer slowdown is officially here!
That's right, over the next couple of months people are running around, out of the office and giving you every reason why they need to "wait until after the summer" to start working together. But, there are some ways to keep that client acquisition train rolling...even during the summer.
Re-engage past clients
This is absolutely crucial for your summer success, because you're spending time with people who already know you. People do business with those they know, like and trust.
This group presumably hits all of those points, since they've worked with you in the past. All we have to do is reconnect.
I like to re-engage with clients from the past six to 12 months to see how things are going in their business. So as a client acquisition coach, that means getting an update on how things are going at work, getting a feel for where their businesses are headed over the next few months and just making sure that the things we talked about during our original work together is actually working!
Regardless of your industry, you'll want to do something similar. Just reach out to get an update and see how things are going. And if you're not sure what to say, here's what I do:
Me: Hey Michelle, it's Brian Hilliard ... long time no talk! How are you?
Michelle: I'm doing fine thanks.
Me: Well listen, I know we haven't talked in a while and I just wanted to touch base and see how things were going with your business. As a general rule I like to stay in touch with people I've worked with in the past, so I had a few minutes and just thought I would reach out. How did things finally end up with that last project we were working on?
You see that?
And the reason this helps with your summer client acquisition strategy is because there is always a chance Michelle or someone else was just thinking about you, too. Assuming you did a good job the first time, it makes sense that these folks might want to do some future business work.
Consider holding webinars
Webinars can be a great idea for growing your client base during the summer, particularly for service-based businesses.
I'm talking about CPAs, accountants, lawyers, coaches, consultants, speakers, marketing agencies, social media gurus -- anyone where their expertise is their business -- webinars can have a huge impact on your business.
But, since webinars can be a huge topic, let's talk about the No. 1 reason I like webinars as a summer client acquisition tool.
Because they allow you to engage busy prospects who might have a problem your business can solve, but just might not have the time or motivation to do a traditional meeting with you today. In other words, by holding a webinar, you're giving prospects a chance to learn more about what you do and how you can help.
Let's say you're a leadership consultant. Instead of banging your head against the wall, trying to get a meeting with the top two or three decision makers, you can record a quick webinar (I'm thinking 10 to 30 mins) that runs through some slides and talks about how you've helped others in similar situations.
Then, you ask if they want to join you in the live call, or whether they would like to look at the recorded version.
Bam! It's that easy.
And all you did was record your "pitch" through Zoom, Go to Meeting or any other screen sharing application, upload it to your YouTube channel, and send them the link!
Now, if you're a coach or consultant like myself, then you can even go so far as to advertise that webinar via Facebook, while promoting it via your own social media channels. Then, you have a legitimate client acquisition opportunity straight from the comfort of your own home.
Double down on social media
Social media can be a daunting task for even the most dedicated business owner. But, now that the summer is here and things have slowed down, it's the perfect time to get caught up and move forward with social. You can do things like:
- Reach out to past clients or referral partners and see how they're doing,
- Reconnect with some personal contacts and see what's going on in their lives. (You never know how someone you know personally might be able to help you professionally.)
- Publish business (or even personal) content more consistently to stay top of mind.
I'm in the process of starting a Facebook Group for my consulting practice, giving people another way to engage and stay connected to my business.
The point: Now that you've got some extra time on your hands, dig into that social media and see how you can turn those contacts into legitimate client generating discussions.
The summer is going to be a little slower than the rest of the year regardless. But, by implementing some of these ideas, you can absolutely mitigate its effect and start getting more clients in the summer weeks ahead.