The holidays are right around the corner and everyone is full of good cheer. Well, maybe not everyone. If you are a small business owner it can be difficult to find a work – life balance between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Small business owners are well aware of the fact that if they aren’t working they aren’t making money – and may be losing customers. They also are (or should be) aware that if they don’t take a break from the stresses of work from time to time, they won’t be able to perform the way they need to. They also may regret not spending enough time with friends and family.
So what’s a business owner to do? Here are some tips for achieving balance during the holiday season:
- Get organized. Set up meetings and calls with clients but also make sure you schedule time for non-work related activities. This reduces stress because you can be fully present no matter if you are at work or at play because you aren’t neglecting either.
- Communicate with clients. Letting your clients know in advance what your availability will be over the holidays goes a long way toward making the holidays go more smoothly. The fact is, most of your clients don’t want to be in work mode throughout the holiday season so they would like to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, as well. The simple act of telling clients when you will be open for business will allow them to plan ahead and reassure them that you are taking care of business.
- When you work, work hard. We’re all guilty of wasting time on social media or checking our emails more than necessary during the workday. To ensure you are as productive as possible, don’t try to sneak in online holiday shopping while at the office, for example. You also should work at times when you are the most productive. If you are a morning person, for example, go into the office as early as possible and get as much work done as you can before noon and then leave. Working at full speed all morning and then leaving early makes much more sense than staying all day but taking breaks or getting distracted and wasting time.
The holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year. By making sure that you achieve the right balance between what you need to do and what you want to do, it will stay that way. The key is to plan in advance so you don’t find yourself stressed on all fronts.
If you are looking to draw more traffic to your website, organic searches are an outstanding way to do that. While chances are great that pay-per-click ads also will be a part of any truly effective marketing strategy, organic searches are an excellent tool that allows small businesses to generate qualified leads.
As a small business owner it can be difficult to know exactly how to increase organic traffic—especially when so many other businesses (with similar product offerings) are trying to do the same thing. In light of this fact, here are some important reminders small businesses should keep in mind when trying to increase organic traffic:
- Don’t try to be something you’re not. Many small businesses that sell to a specific target market try to water down their overall message to try to appeal to a greater number of people. This is almost always a mistake. Why? You often end up alienating the very customers and prospects who are really interested in what you have to sell. Therefore, it is always best to cater to your specific audience.
- People understand that they get what they pay for. If you offer the best product or service, people will be willing to pay for it. It’s that simple. Sure, there will always be those consumers who are only interested in a low price but those individuals almost never remain loyal to any business or brand. Most people are very aware that you get what you pay for and may actually be put off if your price is too low.
- Focus on community building. Connect and engage with customers and prospects on social media. Make sure your content always connects, educates and inspires. People may be initially attracted to your product or service because of a promotional offer, for example, but customer loyalty comes about through building long-term relationships. That is why it is important that you foster these types of relationships.
Organic marketing is not always easy and it does takes time. However, if done correctly it can have a tremendously positive effect on your bottom line. In the end, organic marketing is about building something of value that goes beyond just what you are selling. And once you create that value you can be sure that customers will keep coming back for more.
If you are looking for the best ways to market your small business, you need to know what the latest trends in marketing are right now. The problem is, it can be difficult to distinguish an important trend from a passing fad.
While you want to be on top of the latest trends, you also must be aware of what really works. Usually the answer is a combination of the hot new trends and the more tried-and-true methods. It also is important to remember that what is hot today may not be hot tomorrow.
So what is hot today? According to many marketing experts, in 2017 the following marketing techniques will gain small businesses the most traction with customers and prospects.
- Quality Blog Posts: Not only will a quality blog aid your SEO efforts, it will help you acquire new leads. While it is important that you update your blog on a regular basis, quality always trumps quantity so make your blog posts worth reading. In other words, every blog needs to connect, educate and inspire.
- Social Media Advertising: Targeted ads can do wonders when it comes to acquiring qualified leads. Facebook is one example of a social media site that allows businesses to specify what audience a specific ad will reach. These ads also allow a business to track the specific behaviors of its target audience and then tailor its efforts in light of this information.
- Mobile Marketing: Mobile marketing has been all the rage for some time and it shows no signs of slowing. No matter how aware you are of the importance of mobile marketing, you might be surprised to learn that 98 percent of text messages are opened. Add to that fact that 95 percent of Americans use a mobile device and it is easy to see that mobile marketing must remain a top priority for businesses.
- Live Streaming: While visuals have always been an important part of marketing, live streaming is becoming the go-to method of getting noticed online. With more than 100 million hours of video viewed every day online, live video is one of the hottest marketing techniques out there.
- Email Marketing: Many businesses are turning their attention from their email marketing efforts but this can be a costly mistake. Considering that more than 90 percent of consumers say they want to receive promotional emails and it’s no surprise that email marketing remains an outstanding marketing strategy.
What is hot this year may not be hot next year. But as a marketer you must keep up with what speaks to consumers at this very moment.