You might still be working between Christmas and New Year (after all, small business owners never really stop), but your customers will probably not be too demanding of you during this time. The great thing about that is the time it gives you to do some maintenance tasks on your marketing.
Tamsin Fox-Davies is a Small Business Marketing Mentor with Constant Contact UK
You know what I’m talking about – the things that you’re aware you should be doing, but keep putting off as you ‘don’t have time right now’.
In reality, none of these tasks I’m about to suggest will take long (I’ve even given you approximate durations), so put aside that mince pie, and get down to doing these three tasks now:
1. Set up a contacts system (approx. 1hour)
Most of us have oodles of business cards from other people just lying around, gathering dust. This is not helpful at all as you’re letting all those potential connections go to waste.
You need to collect all that information together so that you can use it and throw the actual cards away.
You need one central place to keep the info and take notes on anything that happens with those contacts. If you are a Constant Contact customer, you can use our contacts platform to do this.
You don’t even have to type it all out! There are card scanner apps that you can use to suck in the data instead. At Constant Contact HQ, we’ve got a little machine that does this, but you can also download free smartphone apps that will do the same thing.
The real key to a contacts system, however, is actually using it. So I recommend sending a ‘hello and nice to meet you’ message to everyone whose cards you collect. You can write this once and save it as a template to use over and over again. Just tweak it for the specific person you’re sending it to.
2. Update your social profiles (30mins – 1hour, depending on a number of profiles)
I’m willing to bet you have at least three social profiles – possibly more. I’m also willing to bet that you haven’t done much to update them later.
Now, I’m not talking about tweeting, posting, or pinning. What I’m talking about in the background, about section, cover image, and/or bio. Because we never really go back to look at our own about sections or bios, we forget what’s there. It’s easy to do!
However, it is important that you update your own bios etc on a regular basis because new contacts WILL look at them.
All you need to do is go to each of your social networks in turn and have a look at your profile as if you were someone else. You may need to log out of your account to do this or borrow a friend’s computer to see what they would see when they look for you online.
Then simply have a read through and make a note of the changes that you need to make. If in doubt, ask a friend for feedback too.
Next, log in to your accounts, make the required tweaks, and go! Do a double-check afterwards to make sure that it all reads okay and you’re done.
3. Create a welcome campaign (30mins per message)
One of the best things you can do for your business is to set up a welcome campaign. This is simply a standard message or series of messages that go out to new contacts or customers when they join your mailing list or sign up for your service.
The purpose of a welcome campaign is to:
- Reassure the recipient that they’ve made the right choice
- Start building a tight relationship with the new contact/customer, and
- Encourage them to take action
Anyone can run a welcome campaign, and everybody should do it, but very few businesses do.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Find a delivery mechanism for your campaign. Focus on finding the right tool that will send these messages for you automatically, often referred to as an ‘autoresponder’ (try ours for free!).
- Decide what you’re going to say. Give the content some thought – you want this to be useful, interesting, and move them closer to action. Do your new customers all have common questions? Is there a process that they should go through? Have you got some top tips to share that apply to everyone? Are there special benefits that they can now take advantage of?
- Write it up. Take your content idea and write it out fast. The shorter the better. If the message looks too long, think about breaking it down into multiple messages. Remember to focus on the benefits for the reader.
- Plug it in. Pop your text into your system, and smarten it up with an image or your logo, and you’re done!