It’s the number one topic on everyone’s mind at some point: what will happen to my business during hard times?
It doesn’t seem to matter what business you’re in, or whether the news says it’s getting a little better or a little worse.
Every business owner’s mind drifts to the recession at some point.
We wonder: are we headed for another Great Depression? Or will we just be tightening our belts to ride out the latest storm?
Wish I had the answer to that but I have no clue. I’m a website promotion specialist. 🙂 How would I know?
What I do know is that I’m not participating in the recession – I’m too busy and I haven’t got a *thing* to wear!
I say that with tongue in cheek, but due to an expensive health problem I’ve had since 1993, I really don’t know what it is to have an adult life where you can consistently indulge in extras.
Mine always went to meds or physical therapy, or back-pay on doctors’ bills.
So for me, it’s Always a recession.
But I believe you can turn just about any circumstance into a positive, and sure enough, it puts me in a unique position to tell you how to get your business to prosper in a time when it feels like the economy is in a tailspin for some indefinite amount of time.
The answer to recession for me?
Market harder, and market better.
Doing better, faster and more creative marketing has always helped me move my business forward, even when I was having a hard time – even now when it seems like Everyone is having a hard time.
I was no genius when I started thinking this way, so don’t think that just because website promotion and marketing is my business, this strategy can’t work for you.
So what does marketing harder mean?
Or marketing better, for that matter?
I’m not saying that if you were spending $2000 a month on advertising that you should now spend $3000. Nor am I saying cut back. There are basically two steps.
First, spend your advertising money *smarter* -make it go as far as it possibly can.
Really look more closely at what is working the best to bring your business leads, sales and in the case of the web, traffic, and focus your money and attention there.
Reduce or eliminate everything else.
If it makes you feel better, put it on hold and resume it when you have more in your pocket.
In other words, if ezine ads have always set your sales on fire, but pay per click has always been iffy, move more of your ad budget into ezine ads until the economic storm passes.
Once your company is in better financial health, you’ll be able to afford to hire an expert to tweak your pay per click if you need it.
Some sites seem to be made for pay per click, but get hit and miss results with press releases. In that case it would be better to reduce, but not end, press release campaigns, and shift that money to PPC until you have more profit to risk.
The second step would be to append that advertising with more cost-effective marketing, especially in whatever area you’re not doing now. If it will only cost you a few hundred dollars in the short term to implement a tested technique that will get you results for years to come, investing the time is a wise move.
Let’s say you’re doing guest blogging by pitching influential bloggers in your niche.
Now get a link to those same articles distributed directly to ezine publishers that have better reach, and are more exclusive about who they accept.
Need to test them out first? Run a classified or top sponsor ad.
And don’t stop there. Once your name gains recognition among your peers, take your expertise marketing to the next level and do some interviews.
Find ten people with targeted audiences and do 10 interviews.
You can even cut those ten people in on the profits by offering their audience a special offer and paying them a percentage per sale as a referral fee.
There’s all kinds of creative marketing you can do that you can start with quickly, from blogging or social media to organic search strategies. And of course there are also all kinds of twists you can put on whatever you’re already doing.
How do you find them?
For at least 30 minutes today, sit down and write marketing ideas.
I learned a tip from a brilliant man named Allen Says that after your mind has been working on something for 30 minutes, it just keeps coming up with more ideas on autopilot.
I’ve found that the longer I go, the better my ideas get. So even if you have to stop after 30 minutes, take that pad and paper with you.
And no matter how silly any idea seems, write it down. It may inspire something else later.
When you’re done, pick the best one and go do it, or assign it to your marketing team if you have one. Research who does something similar, and follow their successes.
It’s the ultimate recipe for getting a business through hard times – market harder, market more creatively, and do it in addition to, not instead of, advertising. Some marketing takes a little time to work.
The people are still out there. Your business still helps people. A recession or hard times just means you have to work a little smarter for the same amount of money.
You can do it. Don’t abandon hope just yet.