Marketing maven Sarah Petty shares her tips for powering your studio through the slow summer months.
The summer months can be slow for many studios, so unless you’re busy running a thriving destination wedding business, now might be a great time to reassess your marketing strategy and consider new methods for increasing sales and attracting more clients in the second half of the year.
5 things you can do to perk up business before the end of the year:
1. Start a referral program
We know that based on the Pareto Principle (80-20 rule), that 80% of our business comes from 20% of our clients. So, what are you doing to create loyalty with that valuable and profitable group of your clients? Perhaps it is a gift certificate when they refer someone to you. Maybe it is a random act of kindness. The most important thing is that you have a plan to reward those who love and refer business to you.
2. Partner with a charity
Many people think that when the economy is down, you shouldn’t give to charities and really, it is quite the opposite. Many charities are having a harder time than ever in this economy and believe it or not, they can help you grow your business. Take a day and contact all of the charities in your community. Talk to them about your talents and find out what you can do to help them. Many of them host large events or galas and maybe you can be a main sponsor through product or service donations. Also, most charities have a database of donors with whom are very qualified prospects for you. If you reach out to this group, they will be less price-sensitive than buyers who come to you for a discount. Send them an invitation to do business with you and when they do, reward the charity with a percentage of sales. Everyone wins and every new client you get will build your business the right way.
3. Co-market with another local business owner
Many small business owners forget that you can’t do it all alone. By reaching out to other small business owners who share your target market, you are in essence, introducing your clients to and endorsing each other’s products. Maybe you have an event together where you setup shop at one of the store’s locations. Maybe you can sample the other businesses’ products or even give your best clients with a gift certificate to the other business. There are many ways in which small business owners can work together in mutually beneficial ways.
4. Go through your database and contact past clients who haven’t been in lately
Sometimes as small business owners, we tend to constantly focus on attracting new clients when we could increase our sales by looking at our existing database. Your database is one of your greatest assets and you need to stay in touch with your best clients. Sometimes it is seeing them mentioned in the newspaper and writing a note. Sometimes it is calling to say, “oh my gosh, we just got in a product that would be perfect for you.” You might even notice on Facebook that they are spearheading a fundraiser at their child’s school. Reach out and see what you can do to help. It will remind them to visit your business and create goodwill in the process.
5. Find a new product to offer that nobody else is offering
Nothing says freshness like a fun, new and exciting product. It may mean embellishing an old product or scouring around for something you have never seen before but your clients will appreciate you for continuing to offer new things. At least once per year, you should try to create a new product. If your best clients come in and find the exact same thing as the last time they were in, it doesn’t create much value for the experience. Make sure to create signage and displays to showcase your new product.