For most businesses the summer season means a little slowing down. Fewer customer requests, fewer projects, and deadlines are a bit further ahead. This gives us time to lean back, take a breath and relax. And time to start something we always wanted to do, but somehow there was never enough time.
Now with business slowing down and more time for you to use on something new or different, here are our suggestions for what you could do:
1) Start a Blog
Starting a blog with the complete setup, design, and the first few articles: It can be overwhelming when your plate is already overly full. Use the time you are given this summer to get it done and become familiar with it.
Here is a short description of one possibility to easily set up a blog:
Before you read on - we have various resources that show you exactly how to use social networks to gain massive traffic and leads. For instance, check out the following:FREE Step-by-Step Twitter Marketing Guide
FREE Pinterest Marketing Ebook
- Book hosting on Cloudways (In the original version of this post, I recommended BlueHost.com, however, we cannot recommend Bluehost anymore and here is why. We are using Cloudways now, you can, of course, use any other hosting provider of your choice.)
- Choose your domain when setting up hosting on BlueHost – If you have a web presence – integrate your blog into it. Your blog should be either reachable via http://blog.yoursite.com or http://yoursite.com/blog
- Install WordPress on your hosting account via BlueHost’s one-click installer
- Login to your WordPress account and select a theme (Choose a “Responsive” theme for your blog – this will make your blog adapt to mobile browsers)
- Install a few plugins, namely Disqus (for comments) and a plugin for share buttons (which one is entirely up to you)
Now it is time to start creating some content – have fun!
Many young entrepreneurs, freelancers, and founders tell us they are not doing marketing (yet) because they simply have so much on their plate with handling customers and projects, they simply have not enough time to do marketing right.
With some extra time on your hands, now is the right time to start some marketing and learn how to market your business. Once you have figured some of the necessary steps out, you can much easier keep going with marketing once your clients and projects start again.
3) Go networking
Here in Berlin, Germany there is no shortage for networking events for any business, entrepreneur, and founder – and it does not seem to slow down over summer. But even if there are no fitting events near you: Why not simply give your contacts a call or send an email and meet them over coffee, dinner – or even a glass of wine enjoying summer time together?
Often we do not meet with people we should talk to much more often, simply because there is no time to sit down and relax with contacts. Thus often we are missing opportunities simply by not networking enough. Use your extra time to meet up some people you wanted to meet for ages.
4) Try a new content format
You may already have a blog and tip number 1 does not apply to you. Then this one is for you: Try a new content format for you blog. There are many options available. If so far, you used written articles for most of your posts, maybe you would like to experiment with a podcast or a video? Jonathan did that last week on this blog by introducing a new post category and showing you how an ad can backfire even 10 years later.
5) Try a new social network
You have been focusing on Facebook and Twitter the whole time because you did not have time to figure out how some of the other networks work or you did not have the time to create compelling content for networks like Pinterest, Instagram or Slideshare? Now is a good time to head over to at least one new network. Play around with some content creation and start a new channel. Which one are you going to try first?
6) Try some new tools for your social media marketing
You are already active in social media marketing, but all your time gets eaten up by daily recurring tasks? And so far you shied away from automating your social media for fear of losing control? Now is a good time, to take a look at some tools which can make your life easier and give you back some free time to use for new ideas and projects.
Here are some recommendations for tools you could try:
Hey, before you read on - we have in various FREE in-depth guides on similar topics that you can download. For this post, check out:FREE workbook: CREATE AWESOME BLOG POSTS
FREE Beginner's Guide: START A BLOG
Buffer: Easily schedule a bunch of updates for your most important networks like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
Postplanner: Easily schedule posts and find content to share, which speaks to your audience on Facebook.
ManageFlitter: Analyze your followers and people you follow on Twitter. Quickly clean up your following by unfollowing all spam accounts and inactive people who have not been on Twitter for ages. Find some interesting new accounts to follow.
Canva: Your content is lacking some great images that speak to your audience and help you gain additional shares and clicks? Take a look at Canva, they make designing images as easy as drinking coffee.
You can find more tools we recommend on our tools list.
7) Try a new story perspective
I notice that when I do not have time to write a blog post, I tend to stick to formats, story structures and even storylines I am already familiar with. With a little extra time, here is what I would do: research other blogs and see what types of stories they write, which I have not done so far. Brainstorm an idea how I could use this type of story for us. Write a new story. Get Jonathan to read it and give me feedback.
8) Learn something new
There are millions of great blogs out there all offering free advice and tips. Or you can book an online course for something you always wanted to know. Or you visit Canva design school and learn how to create better graphics. Browse around and find some great information on something you always wanted to know. Now is a good time to take a deeper look at it.
9) Take some time for just brainstorming
Do it on your own, with a cup of coffee, at a lake or with your partners, colleagues and friends over a bowl of your favorite ice cream. Take the time to talk about business, ideas, projects, hobbies and fun. Allow everyone to fool around with flashes of genius even if they sound more like a joke than a serious plan at first. I find, the best ideas often come unexpectedly at a time when you are not trying to force them.
10) Try a new business model
Why not plan out a new business model for your existing products or services? How could you integrate a monthly subscription instead of getting paid by the hour or day? Or maybe a combination of two of your great products would be an offer your customers could not say no to? Use your brainstorming sessions from #9 to play around with some ideas – and maybe you even find a summer offer that will keep you busy for the rest of the year…
Most of the time, slowing down over summer is nothing to be afraid of. See it as a chance to get some things started you always wanted to do and never had time for. Your business will most likely profit from it.
But with all that being creative and starting something new – never forget to slow down a little for yourself. Summer is also a good time to refuel.