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March 24, 2020

Stuck-at-home marketing & sales, part 2

5 MORE things you can do while you’re hunkered down during the pandemic.

In last week’s post, I outlined 7 low-cost/no-cost marketing & sales ideas you could implement while you had a little extra time on your hands during this COVID-19 outbreak. Since it looks like this ‘new normal’ will be with us for a while, here are 5 more marketing & sales activities to work on while your new office is the kitchen table:

#1. Create an editorial calendar

 One of the things we talked about last week was to blog on a frequent and consistent basis. But what are you going to blog about this week? Or next? Or the week after? To eliminate the stress of ‘topic procrastination,’ create an editorial calendar. Sit down with a cup of coffee and start thinking about who you’re writing for and what kinds of topics might interest them. Imagine them sitting across the table from you… how can you help them to do their job better, how can you help them solve their problems, what keeps them up that night, etc.? Write about those kinds of things and you will quickly find an audience.

Then, as you come up with topics that you think your audience will like, put them into a calendar (use this opportunity to also draft a brief outline for the blog). Try to create at least three months’ worth of content at a time… then when your writing day arrives, you’ll know exactly where to start. You’ll no longer wake up asking, “Uh-oh! My blog post is due today… what am I going to write about?”

#2. Reach out to former clients

 How many clients have you done business with in the past 5 years? 50? 100? And how many of them are you doing business with now? The difference between those two numbers is your ‘former clients.’ And for most firms, the size of that number comes as a bit of a surprise.

But just because they’re gone right now doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. Pick up the phone to be sure. Reach out to those former clients, remind them that’s it’s been a while since you worked together and let them know a lot of new things are happening at your firm that you’d like to share.

Think of it this way… you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe they’ll hang up on you (doubtful)… or maybe they’ll be happy to hear from you and are open to rekindling a dialog. And that’s a very good thing.

#3. Use current clients to help you sell.

Your firm does good work. Of course. You might even get 5 stars on every project customer satisfaction survey. But are you leveraging that good work to get work from other potential clients?

Try this. Reach out to all clients you’ve done excellent work for over the past 6 months as a way to gather testimonials and referrals. And to do so, ask your clients these two key questions:

  • “Based on our successful work together, is there anything you’d be willing to say that we can use for marketing purposes?”
    • They might not know how to craft a testimonial comment for you. No problem… tell them you’d be glad to write it, if they’ll just approve it.
  • “Based on our successful work together, are there any other companies you can think of that might also benefit from our services?”
    • And if they can think of a company or two, see if they can also introduce you to an appropriate contact at those businesses.

#4. Order some ‘thank you’ note cards

In today’s impersonal, electronic world, a little human-to-human interaction can go a long way. And a fast, easy, inexpensive way to do that is by sending simple, handwritten thank you notes. After a project, after they do a favor for you, after a bid opportunity (even if you don’t win it)… take 3 minutes and write a sincere note of appreciation. As easy as this is to do… virtually no one does it. So, stand out and connect with personal thank you notes.

After a bid opportunity - and especially if you DON'T win it - take 3 minutes and hand-write a note of appreciation for the opportunity. As easy as this is to do... virtually no one does it. Click To Tweet

#5. Check out the competition

It really is dog-eat-dog out there. But what do you know about the other dogs on the street corner? Do you know how to best fight them?

A little competitive intel can help. And there are two easy, ongoing ways to do that:

  • Make a note on your calendar to check out your competitors’ websites once per quarter. It’s an easy way to see what they’re doing with their services, locations, staff, etc.
  • Set up your key competitors on Google Alerts. When you do, you’ll receive an email each morning about those firms if anything new about them shows up anywhere on the internet.

This is an odd time for everyone right now, but as I mentioned last week… this virus does not give us an excuse to ignore the health of our businesses. In fact, the pandemic has likely resulted in you having a little extra time on your hands. If that’s the case, put it to good use and invest that time in marketing & sales for your firm.

Good luck.

What about you?

What marketing & sales things are you managing to get done during this crisis from your home office? We’d love to hear from you…

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