So, you just got done with a super busy season of work and NOW it’s dead? Literally, you went from having more work than you know what to do with and you were border line stressing out due to the amount on your plate and now it’s ALL gone. Well, it’s not ALL gone, but maybe you just got used to the work coming to you because of the stellar job you have been doing on past projects. Word of mouth is a great advertiser but sometimes we can grow comfortable to the point where when things slow down we forget how we got the ball rolling in the first place.
Here are a few tips on getting that ball rolling again!
If you read my last post on overcoming creative constipation and fighting creative burn out then you know that this past summer was a crazy busy time for myself. However, now it’s fall and business has seemed to slow up a bit. I have a few projects here and there that are smaller that take little to no effort, they’re simple jobs that are recurring and the bills are getting paid, but I honestly just don’t like looking back on my work day and feeling like I did nothing. After all, this past summer and prior to that I became very used to the time where right when I’m starting to finish up a project, a past client refers someone my way that is in need of a more substantial service that I offer, and as I’m closing up one deal another is opening. It’s great, busy, but it feels good, until the pipeline dries up. Recently, I came to that point so I had to think how I got things started in the first place. So here goes.
1. TAKE AN INVENTORY OF HOW YOU GOT THE BALL ROLLING IN THE FIRST PLACE
Think back to when you started your business. You probably knew someone that could use your expertise and you made it clear how you could help. From there, they decided to do some work with you and then they appreciated it so much that they sent a friend or two your way. Maybe you updated your Linkedin profile, and reached out to people on that. Maybe you posted your services and expertise on Craigslist OR my personal favorite (not really…like, at all), you pounded the pavement and went into different local businesses, or even people you did work for in the past with your UPDATED portfolio and approached them to see if they needed anything. The bottom line here is to think back to all the things you did to get started, list them out, and then start doing them again.
2. GET BACK TO THE BASICS
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we’re not greater than where we came from, but where we came from was just a stepping stone to get us from point A to point B. That being said, don’t ever think you are better than the basics of networking, or reaching out to past clients, or even reaching out to friends in the same industry who helped you get started. Sometimes you need to go back and cross the same river you crossed when you started on your journey of whatever field you are in and there is NO SHAME in asking for help, So don’t let your pride get in the way!
3. REACH OUT TO YOUR PAST CLIENTS
Discounted work is better than NO work at all, so don’t be greedy and be willing to offer a discount on services to your clients for referring people your way. Even if they don’t refer anyone, it doesn’t hurt to hook them up with a little discount simply for sticking with you and what it is that you offer. This is where consistent communication with your clients comes in handy. Have an email list where you can email your past clients special offers, as well as provide free blog tips on making the most out of their marketing campaigns and do so frequently. This keeps your name in front of them, so when they do need some work done OR they have a friend who needs work done, you will be the first person they think of.
4. STAY CONSISTENT
Make sure the work you are providing to your clients, even if they are smaller, “less-exciting” projects are still matching the same level of quality and service that you offer every client. That quality and service should be excellent, no matter what. Sometimes when you’re bored or things become slow it’s easy to let your quality or customer service wane, it just happens. The key is realizing when you’re letting it slip, and then making the choice to up your game. Don’t let your endurance on a project falter just because you get fed up with the amount of time a project is taking, or because a client takes longer to get back to you than expected – they notice it when quality of service drops and that can influence their decision to work with you again later.
5. BE RELENTLESS
Maintain your process, no matter what happens. If that means you are forgetting to update your portfolio after each project, then push through and update it with that shiny new project that you just finished. Write a blog that can be of benefit to others in similar lines of work as you. Besides the fact that it will increase your SEO (search engine optimization) with Google because you updated your website, it will also make you feel better to be able to show off your newly finished project. It can also provide another opportunity to you for an on looking prospective client – who knows, you may do something in that project that they really liked and that can be the deciding factor for them to do work with you.
“Good begets good.”
Keep working the process and business will come your way.
6. *BONUS TIP* – DON’T WORRY
Don’t worry, cause that isn’t going to help a thing except to feed the monster of fear. Instead of focusing your energy on worrying, you could be focusing it on any of those 5 tips previously mentioned. Worry saps your strength, and your mental energy which is what you need when it comes to staying consistent and being relentless. Keep your head up and expect good things to come your way, and as long as your working it, it will happen.