Welcome to 2018.
It is the third week of the first month and the enthusiasm for the new goals and initiatives has entirely left the building. We are back to normal mode. Wondering what on earth is wrong with us, why we cannot ever do the things we set our minds to and when oh when will we ever be good enough. Yup. That does seem to be the standard pattern for January – despite all the happy pictures we see posted on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and Snapchat and lordie knows what other social gadget of the day we are supposed to be using.
Here’s the truth. That letdown feeling of “Why aren’t we good enough?” has been around for centuries! So, I just want to ask you to take a deep breath and stop. You would never say awful things to your best friend or sister or daughter. So why are you saying such things to yourself? Let’s make a pact right now. You are good enough. You are simply overwhelmed. Moreover, being overwhelmed is easy to fix.
Do Something Different
To get back on track, let’s think about the most essential thing in your business: your customers. Where do they hang out? Where do they spend their time? What do they think about when they are there? If you can answer those questions, you can formulate a basic plan of how you are going to meet them and talk to them over the next six or eight weeks. Go meet them and talk to them about their problems. What do I mean?
Let’s say your customers are moms who work. They may spend their weekends at sporting events, cheering their kids on. You can go to those sporting games and hang out with them and get to know them, address their issues and maybe get them interested in your offerings. Alternatively, attend workshops, craft shows, libraries or shopping events. Wherever your clients are, you want to be there and just talk to them. Yup, face to face. You can also go to the places they frequent – like maybe those home renovation stores. Be friendly with the owners, leave a stash of your cards and pitch your services or seminars and workshops.
My point is to set yourself a period of six or eight weeks and pick a few activities and do some wild and crazy events that invite interaction with your customers. Do stuff that you have never done before. Experiment. Give yourself permission to fail. See how it goes. Give things away for free (30-minute consultations) and then follow-up like crazy afterwards. Do not use social media. Use the old-fashioned face to face routine. Pick a start and an end date. It is only six weeks. It will be an invigorating six weeks that will fill your head with many new ideas, many new leads and likely some new cash.
Spin Your Social Contrarily
Nearly all the small business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, work at homes and freelancers I speak with admit to being addicted to their Facebook and Instagram accounts! Most have no idea how to maximize their presence and minimize their usage.
I always say Facebook is a tool – just a tool. It should be used no more than ten minutes a day for general sourcing of customers. So here for your experimentation is my basic advice. The key is consistency, every day, day in and day out.
- On Monday post an inspirational, or humorous picture or quote. Because Monday is simply not a happy day for most of us. Put a smile on the face of your readers.
- Tuesday post something about your industry that your customers would love to learn. Because everyone will always come back for real authentic wisdom.
- Wednesday,post something about your customers. Could be a job you are working on, a thank you note, a before and after, a kindness gesture. Anything about your customers. Because all of us love praise.
- Thursday is your business day. Keep it short. Post your offers, your tips and tricks, how you save time, save money, ask for referrals, season’s offers. This is the ONLY day of the week you get to make an “ask.”
- Friday post something about your community involvement. Could be the charity or sports team you sponsor. But showcase how you are involved in your community. This is not specifically about you. It is about the charity you are involved in. But it is indirectly about you as a good corporate citizen.
- If you post on Saturday and Sunday, either invite people to join you at whatever you are doing on the weekend or brag about your kids or family time taking in a community event. Do not go overboard posting pictures about yourself on the weekends.
- Keep it super easy and post the same pics on Facebook as Instagram.
You see? You are good enough. These two suggestions, which my clients and I have used with excellent results will prove it to you. May they ease some of your overwhelm for 2018.
To your success!