Image by Oberazzi via Flickr
Written by Karen D. Swim
Growing up my mom was big on seasonal meals. We ate fruits and veggies in season, often from our own garden. Summer was a season of lightness, where crisp cool fruits and vegetables took center stage. Fall was the beginning of foods that warmed your body and comforted your heart. Steaming bowls of chili, soups and stews accompanied by fresh homemade cornbread. Even now I can close my eyes and smell the rich aromas of mom’s stew, all of the tasty vegetables combining in a savory combination of love and goodness.
The pattern of business also follows seasonal shifts. In summer, we tend to lighten the load as we make time for play. We put off complex projects that are not essential and opt for a more casual pace. The arrival of September signals a change, time to get back to work. We may find that we are ready to add new textures and tastes to our own business stew. We may expand with new products or services or delve into new avenues of marketing. We mix it up and in so doing we create a richer, more flavorful dish. Below are a few ingredients that you can add to your spice shelf. Add one or two or try them all to create your own tasty selection.
Face to face marketing. We have become so spoiled by the ease and efficiency of web marketing that we often forget that we can still use some of the traditional methods. Go to a local networking meeting, visit your chamber of commerce or set up appointments with local businesses who need your services. In these trying economic times, a little face time can be just the reassurance a potential customer needs to buy.
Add new media. Enrich your business with new forms of content delivery such as video, audio, photos or animation. Record a series of podcasts with tips in your area of expertise. You can upload them to iTunes and add them to your website. Use video to share information and tips and post it on YouTube, Hulu or your own website. If you like Powerpoint, prepare a presentation and upload it to Slideshare. You can even have your own radio or TV program using sites such as BlogTalkRadio and UStream TV.
Grab a partner. Work with someone in your area of expertise to create a joint offering, or partner with someone that offers complemntary services. Partnerships can help you to create deeper client engagements by expanding your portfolio of services. It can also help all involved to share the load of creating, testing and breaking through to a new space. For example, Writers can team up with photographers, marekting agencies, videographers, SEO consultants, graphic designers, printers and more. Think outside the box.
Teach, coach, consult. You can add another layer to your business by teaching rather than doing. Develop self directed e-courses or on demand webinars, add coaching and consulting to your service offerings. All of these services are fairly easy to add to your portfolio and have the potential to expand your client base and revenue stream.
Step into the Spotlight. Pump up your marketing and increase your visibility with interviews. Radio, tv, newspapers and magazines are all within your reach. Join HARO (Help a Reporter Out) for free and you will receive three emails per day chock full of leads of people seeking experts. I have countless friends who have been featured in stories as a result of HARO, including friend and colleague, Trish Lambert. If you need publicity tips, Jeff Crilley, Joan Stewart and Sanyika Calloway Boyce have excellent resources to get you started.
Great cooks are not afraid to experiment with textures and flavors, and neither should you. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little, as you may be surprised with the dish you create!
We would love to hear from you. Do you have any spices to add to the list? Any sources to recommend? Let’s share our knowledge as we all grow and succeed together. Add your comments in the comment box or wherever you happen to read this message. 😉
Remember that if you need a little help with your marketing strategy you can always give me a call!