Summer may not be the conventional season for professionals thinking about strategies for growth. It’s true that people are distracted with the nicer weather and family activities throughout the summer, but that also means there is a strong potential for networking and making meaningful and lasting connections with your clients. Instead of letting summer lull you into a quiet business period, mix business with pleasure and enjoy business growth through the season.
The Summer Doldrums
Some businesses enjoy a major upswing during the summer season, but others know it’s a slow period. Kids are home from school, the poolside calls out to children and adults alike, and professionals rarely schedule important meetings to allow for periods of vacation time. For many, the summer season is a casual business session that brings with it freedom and fewer responsibilities. It’s a time to recharge from the busier spring and fall months.
Casual, summer atmosphere and business growth don’t have to be mutually exclusive, though! You can incorporate business activities into your modified workflow to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Networking Activities Meant for Summer
Instead of the hard push towards converting clients, use the warm months of the year to focus on building long-term relationships. Follow up with clients you haven’t spoken to in more than a few months, and schedule some form of marketing activity every day. Even the busiest of schedules can take time for an iced coffee out in the sun or an after work drink. These one-on-one meetings will be naturally fueled by the general atmosphere of the season and can enhance your conversation.
Try some of these other activities, too:
- Client events. Whether you choose to host an evening soiree or a casual barbecue, the summer months are perfect for networking. Find a local craft brewery or rent out a spot at a park, and invite client and prospective clients to the event. You can then use the networking experience to craft further marketing activities later in the season.
- Recreational activities. Many companies play recreational ball games or host regular outings to keep the spirit of the season going. Encourage clients to join you for a round of bocce ball, or play softball on your league. Any lifestyle activity will improve your natural relationship and encourage future business.
- Get engaged locally. Look for the humane society, local cancer awareness organization, or other nonprofit events. Sponsor a booth, and invite clients and potential clients to be part of your team. Connect with a common cause like arthritis awareness or the Boys and Girls Club of America. It’s even better if you can match your activities with organizations your clients really believe in.
- Start a partnership activity. Partner with other businesses in the community and host a series of continuing education events. These happenings are particularly beneficial for B2B businesses and can be valuable to both the hosting business and clients.
Business Activities to Beat the Heat
Play with words in your advertising campaigns and start up a summer theme with promotions and free gifts. If you choose to hand out freebies, keep them relevant to your client base. Everyone can use an extra bottle of sunscreen around this time of year, but not everyone will appreciate a branded beach towel. Protect your investment by really researching gifts.
B2C companies can host open houses with promotions during the season. If summer is truly an off season for your company, use these months to reward savvy shoppers who are looking for great deals before the summer ends. Offer discounts for future services and loyalty rewards to really entice an early investment in your product or service.
When business is slow, you can also use the time to catch up on filing and office organizing or start converting old paper files to digital. Take advantage of the break in reactive, customer service oriented activities to turn your attention to developing proactive strategies, like researching new markets for leads and updating your buyer personas.
Support Summer Engagements With a Fierce Online Presence
Summertime won’t slow the amount of activity you see online much. People take their devices to the pool and beach to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and seasonal information. Use your online presence to support every other marketing activity you’re planning to tackle during summer.
- Work on your content. From online RSVPs to promotions and social media posts, you can use down time at the office to really work on content that supports your summertime activities. Aim for a conversational tone that connects with readers who might be out of the office while reading your content. Keep your phrasing upbeat and focused on suggestions and positive articles rather than pushy sales content and direct phrasing. You want to stick out in your reader’s mind during the summer in addition to encouraging conversions.
- Try something new. The slower months are perfect for trying out that visual content based Pinterest campaign your daughter has been pushing you towards. You have time to really research and implement a new campaign without investing too much in it or worrying about the consequences if it fails. Other times of year, you may be more focused on seeing ROI to meet end or beginning of the year deadlines. Take this time to explore something you will really enjoy. Consider changing up your web design or trying out a new app or service to promote your business.
Spring and the start of summer are the perfect times to think about what you want to try. Sit down with a focus group to develop your strategy and start looking into community events and venues for client events. Start looking for your new online venture. Most of all, approach the summertime with an open mind, and remember to use the time for rest and relaxation, too!
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