Another March is flying by, and March means fun and games. Many of the tech-savvy Central Texas entrepreneurs I know flock to SXSW every spring, tweeting madly about various events, presentations and informal get-togethers. And in the midst of all this chaos, kids suddenly have the week off. The older ones go hit the live music events or take off for whatever beach they can afford, while the younger ones need supervising at home (unless the whole family is planning a week-long excursion). In short, the entire city gets massively distracted. Question is, what happens to your business's marketing in the process?
Okay, you're on vacation, or you genuinely need to be attend trade shows and panels (where you may indeed make new connections and land new clients), or you can't leave your kids at home alone during the break. But if you haven't set up a marketing machine that keep running in your absence, then your business is taking the week off along with you. Many of us can't afford that.
As long as there are people out there who need and want what we offer, we have to keep working to get their attention and hold it long enough to convert curiosity into sales. But too many entrepreneurs are flying by the seat of their pants, marketing-wise, putting out email offers or posting blog articles when and if they have time to do so. The problem is, if you wait until you have time, then your business suffers whenever you don't have time -- which is most of the time! You have to make time for marketing, whether it's convenient for you or not.
This doesn't mean you have to skip all those industry events or personal breaks. It means you have to construct a marketing campaign that can operate more or less on auto-pilot. More often than not, it involves some degree of outsourcing. You might need to talk to a web marketing company about constructing a direct mail system that automatically routes specific messages to prospects in accordance with their various stages of interest. You may have to talk to a copywriter about creating a stockpile of blog articles that will hit your website at scheduled intervals.
Whatever you do, don't let an established routine fall apart for any significant length of time. I once got an email from a client who had been AWOL for about 8 months, wanting to know if I could resume blogging for him. He hadn't come up with any articles of his own during all the time -- the blog had simply, and visibly, been left for dead. I told him that while I'd be happy to write some new articles for him, we'd have to rebuild whatever readership he'd gained from scratch. A little neglect, unfortunately, goes a long way.
Summer will be here soon enough. You and yours may be looking forward to a well-earned vacation. So do the necessary strategizing right now to make sure your marketing will keep its nose to the grindstone while you're having fun!