So, life happened, you got busy, shit hit the fan, and now it's been weeks (or months *gasp!*) since you've shown up in your marketing.
Sometimes we get really busy or our energy is so low that we miss a few emails or social media posts, but then a launch is looming and you know you need to get back to it. So how do you start marketing again when it's been a while? In this blog post, I'm going to talk about how to get back into the marketing habit: things to do and things to avoid doing if possible.
But first, I want to say it's totally okay that you haven't shown up in a while. It happens to the best of us (shit, it literally JUST happened to me--what kind of example am I setting?!), but the first thing you need to remember is that it's not the end of the world. We are all humans and we fall off the wagon occasionally.
Alright, let's get into the strategies:
Put Upcoming Promotions on the Calendar.
The first thing you're going to want to do is to outline any upcoming promotions you HAVE to do and put them on the calendar. For example, we have Father's Day coming up on June 20th here in the U.S., and a lot of brands like to do some kind of promotion for that. This will give you an idea of how long you have to reintroduce yourself to your audience before you start selling again. Speaking of which,
You want to give yourself some time to nurture your audience before you start selling to them. As I mentioned in this blog post last year, selling before you serve is a really great way to lose the trust of your audience. Think about it this way, if a person you were dating ghosted you for four weeks and then showed up at your doorstep out of the blue asking you to marry them, you'd probably slam the door in their face, right? So, you're going to want to serve the hell out of your audience for a while before you start selling to them. I recommend roughly following the 80/20 rule when you're marketing--i.e. giving value 80% of the time and only selling 20% of the time. This could look like four value-driven posts on social media per one sales post. If you only email once per week, this could mean delivering a ton of value in the email itself with a link to purchase at the end.
It's okay to have minor/subtle calls to action in these nurturing posts, but don't make the post ONLY about selling. Just remind your audience why they are following you/subscribed to your emails Let's take this Father's Day example: At the time of this blog post, Father's Day is in four weeks. That means that a winery could start nurturing its audience on social media by posting two posts per week with a sixth post that has a hard call to action to buy in time to have the wine shipped. Then on the day OF Father's Day, all you need do is wish dad's and dad-figures a happy day!
RE-ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
For social media in particular, you need to begin rebuilding the relationships that have been neglected while you were away. This looks like responding to comments and DMs, but it also looks like leaving meaningful comments on any posts that you've been tagged in over the last month or two. I recommend reading my blog post, "Four Ways to Give Amazing Customer Service on Social Media" for why and how to engage on social media.
Commit to a Reasonable Posting Schedule
My guess is that one of the reasons you fell off the wagon was because you were expecting too much from yourself and you didn't have a system in place to maintain your posting and emailing schedule. So first-things-first, you need to create a REASONABLE posting schedule for yourself. I get really upset when so-called social media "gurus" say that the ONLY way to succeed on social media is to post several times per week. I think that is an unreasonable thing to expect from a small business owner who is bootstrapping their marketing alongside their millions of other duties.
So, here is what I want you to do: find at minimum one day per week that you can post on social media. Once you get into the habit of posting consistently and you find yourself having more energy to post, then you can look into posting two-three times per week. As for emails, I want you to commit to sending one email per month to start with. And do yourself a favor and plan out three month's worth of emails when you sit down to write this first one. This will help you maintain this schedule.
Once you have done the above things, the next step is to continue doing it! Schedule a non-negotiable weekly or bi-monthly meeting with yourself to sit down and plan your marketing content during that time frame. If you need to, set up recurring reminders for yourself so that you make marketing a habit. That way, when you start getting busy, you are going to have these strategies and systems already built into your routine.