If you remember nothing else in this article, remember this: even during the great depression, people still bought things. And not just food and necessities -- lipstick and entertainment were hot sellers. (In fact, that's where the cosmetic industry got its start.)
Why am I starting here? Because I know it's easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity right now but if you want to succeed you absolutely MUST rise above it. People are still going to buy no matter what the economy is doing. It's YOUR job to position your products and services as the ones they buy.
So how do you do that? Here are three tips to get you started.
1. Dance with the one who brought you. In other words, now is not the time to abandon the marketing strategies and tactics that got you here. A lot of business owners will be tempted to cut back, especially their marketing. This is a mistake. If anything, you should increase your marketing now.
However, by increasing your marketing I don't necessarily mean increasing how much you spend. It's perfectly acceptable to find low-cost or no-cost marketing methods to still keep the momentum going. One word of warning -- there's no such thing as a free lunch. Chances are you're going to pay somewhere, and that payment could very well be your time. Before you rush into doing something you end up regretting, take a hard look at the real cost. Would you be better off doing something that might cost more but doesn't suck up time you could be using to make money?
Here are some tactics you can do right now to increase your exposure without necessarily costing you much (if anything):
a. Start an email newsletter, or if you already publish one, increase the frequency you send it out. (Weekly is best. The more often your list hears from you, the more responsive they'll become.)
b. Hold a free teleclass. Make sure you come up with a really great special offer to turn your listeners into customers.
c. Go buy a new dress and hang out on the social networking scene. Okay, I'm kidding about the dress. But if you aren't making the social networking rounds, you're missing major business opportunities. No it's not a waste of time (unless you let it become one).
2. Do a little marketing each day. I know. Marketing isn't your "thing." Why would you want to do something each day? But the reality is successful businesses are built upon small marketing steps consistently done, not necessarily the big launch.
So what can you do today? Write your article for your newsletter? Contact a potential joint venture partner? Write a thank you note to someone who sent you a referral? Do something, even if it's only a 15-minute task, and you'll probably be amazed at how fast you'll start seeing results.
3. Systemize your marketing tasks. If you're like a lot of service professionals, when business is slow, you jump in feet first and do a whole bunch of marketing. Things pick up, you get busy, and the marketing stops. Eventually the work also stops because you stopped the marketing and you're sucked into the feast-famine vortex.
So, rather then repeat that cycle, why not do something a little different this time around? This time, while you're frantically marketing and looking under every stone for work, why don't you also systemize your marketing? Write down everything you do, so when you're busy, you can hand that list off to a virtual assistant who can keep your marketing going for you? Now maybe you won't eliminate that feast-or-famine cycle but you'll definitely soften it.
To sum it up, if business is slow right now and you're nervous about the economy, I want you to take a deep breath and STOP IT. Use this time to transform how you handle your marketing in your business, which will transform your business.