Does selling or marketing your small business in the last two weeks of the year feel overwhelming or like a waste of time? Here are 10 activities you can do for an hour a day or less to help set you up for a great start to 2021.
- Get clear on who your best customer is.
This is actually two parts. Define who you have enjoyed working with the most and who was actually your most profitable client. These two lists may not have any overlap which is another post for another day! If you’re already really clear on this, skip this step and keep working through the list.
2. Create a look alike audience.
This means find similar people at similar companies doing similar things. You can ask current clients or friends for referrals, search LinkedIn and use filters, or network through professional associations. If this doesn’t work, try google!
3. Send outreach messages to 5-10 new people.
While you can create a template for these messages, personalization matters. Most people know when they’re reading a templated message that a salesperson has sent to hundreds of people — and they ignore them. Show you’ve done your research and are prepared to take the next step and have a productive call or meeting.
3. Create a new piece of content with your ideal customer in mind.
Create a year end wrap up piece of content. Tell your audience what you’ve done, thank clients for their business, and most importantly add a call to action. This content can focus on how you’ve helped your clients, what kind of results you got from trying something new in your business, or an opportunity you’ve uncovered. Remember that the point of this content is to get your ideal customer thinking about how you can help them!
4. Reach out to prospective clients you didn’t win business from this year.
Keep this message friendly and holiday related but its ok to ask to put a meeting on the books in the new year if you feel this is appropriate. Just because someone told you no doesn’t mean no forever. There may be a new challenge for you to help with or a more appropriate time for you to work together but you won’t know unless you stay in touch. The holiday season provides an easy touchpoint and you can keep your message short, sweet and thoughtful.
5. Close any deals you can that are currently stuck in your pipeline.
December can be a great time to close business. Some company budgets reset in January and often departments have some money left and it is a use it or lose it situation. If you find that is the case for your prospect, you can use this information to incentivize them to sign a contract (and pre-pay) for work that you’ll begin in the new year. Even if this isn’t the case for your prospect you can still create a sense of urgency around signing a contract now even if you won’t begin the work until January.
6. Plan some content for the first few months of the year.
Coming up with great content on the spot can be a challenge for many of us (including me). If you have a little downtime, use it to brainstorm a content calendar for the first few months of the year. You don’t have to follow your calendar exactly, but it will help you have some ideas at your fingertips so you can post consistently more easily. When planning content, think about the customers you want to attract. What might be on their minds? How can you help them? What questions will get a good conversation going? You also want to consider where you are posting the most. For social media keep the posts shorter and consider images. For your blog, consider topics that are easy to share, add value and drive action!
7. Update your website
A lot can happen in a year, and I would be willing to bet that if you’re like me, you haven’t touched your website all year. Or, at least in the last few months. Even if you don’t have time or need for a major re-write, an hour or so of updates might go a long way. Consider reviewing your services, any pricing info and updating your portfolio or example work.
8 . Add time for sales and marketing activities to your calendar
Be sure you are making time to work on your business and not just in it! Proactively block time for sales and marketing activities including networking! If you have it scheduled on your calendar you can always move it should something else come up. If you don’t block the time, you may not even notice that an entire quarter has gone by and you have done zero sales and marketing activities.
9. Find or renew strategic partnerships
If you haven’t worked with strategic partners before or it has been a while, now is a good time to connect or reconnect. Think about who a good strategic partner for your business might be and then look for someone in that area you connect with well. For example, a real estate agent is a great referral partner for a mortgage lender or an interior decorator. Someone in the process of buying a home will most likely need a lender. Someone who is moving into a new home might need an interior decorator. On the content creation side of my business, my best referral partners are independently working SEO’s or small agencies who need help with content for their clients.
10. Thank people who have helped you this year
Remember to say thank you to anyone who has helped you this year. People love to help others and by remembering to say thank you it will remind them of how much they were able to help you. You can (and should) also remember to thank clients for their business this year. Due to the pandemic many businesses had to cut budgets and pivot like never before. I am so grateful for clients who were able start or continue using my services this year and I want to make sure they know that. When thanking referral partners or people who have introduced you to clients its okay to give a little update. Could be as simple as: “Hey thank you again for introducing me to Amy. I was able to help her set up Asana for her agency so they can onboard clients faster. I heard she has 3 new clients since we finished the project too!”
Let me know in the comments if you try any of these 10 activities in the next few weeks. I’d love to hear how it goes!