Ladies and gentlemen, tired of all the bad news circulating via major media, both online and offline? I know I am. I work from home and the drone of CNN news anchors broadcasting the latest Wall Street gloom and doom, trickle into my consciousness morning, noon and night. Occasionally, President Obama’s voice telling the American public that all is not lost will get me to pause and sit up.
I perk up at the sound of President Obama’s voice because I agree with him. All is not lost.
It’s the Zig Ziglar mantra: “Conceive it, believe it, achieve it.” That’s the American spirit that created the country I know and live in. But, I’m not all Pollyanna – I know times are tough. Fact is, when I read articles touting that “you can do it” spirit, I get a little testy. I already know I can do it; I wouldn’t be in business if I couldn’t do it, dang it all! That’s why I decided to pass on some ideas that you can implement, in your business, no matter what it is, right now.
5 FREE Ways to Stay in Business in a Down Economy
1.) GOOGLE YOURSELF: You have what it takes. But do you know what it takes? How well do you really know and understand your customers? You cannot achieve real results without talking with your customers about themselves, their lives, and what they expect from you. Note the phrase is: talk WITH your customers, not AT them. Of course, then you have to listen. What have your customers said to or about you this week? Google Alerts can tell you. Check yourself and your company through Google, every day.
2.) BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Customer relationships are important but I submit that relationships with other vendors and businesses in your industry are just as important, in a down economy. Let’s say you sell bed and bath products. Or, you sell leather goods. It doesn’t matter. You have competition. They’re worried about the bottom-line, too. Partner with your immediate competitor. Offer package deals – to your mailing list and his (or hers). Create customer deals they can’t walk away from. Here’s an example in the publishing world (PDF file).
3.) SHOW ME: No, I’m not from Missouri. But, if I’m a target customer, I want to know how your goods and services are going to add something to my daily life. Not how good they are for me, not how great they taste or feel or look. But, how are the things you sell going to improve my life? If all you do is TELL me … I’m outta there. SHOW me – use video. Use testimonials. Use feedback surveys. Demonstrate how your products will change my life. ‘Things’ are out, talk is cheap. Value is what’s left. I hope that’s what you started with, also. Scott, that Nametag Guy, says it best here.
4.) TWEET: I recommend learning how to Twitter – it’s not only easy, it’s fun. And people who tweet (as the posts are called) are eager to meet offline, also. Your local city or community can organize a tweet-up in just a few hours. We got one together here in Rochester in 8 hours. Twitter opens the door – the tweet-up beckons you through. Ford Motor Company is twittering (video) – shouldn’t you be?
5.) THROW A PARTY: Seriously, this is a great time to throw an online party. Twitter parties and blog parties are all the rage. Why? Because parties bring something fresh and exciting to our otherwise dull and worrisome lives. Plus, they’re a lot of fun. The key is to grab us with fabulous prizes. Using #2 as your starting point, build partnerships with likely companies that can and will offer products as gifts at your Blog or Twitter party. Announce this on your blog and on Twitter – invite special people via a well-crafted email blast – and remember to ask people to share, or re-tweet. Be spontaneous and colorful – use balloons – you’ll be irresistible! See how Twitter Moms do it here.
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About the Author: Yvonne DiVita is the author of Dick*less Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online, a book about getting those baby boomer icons Dick and Jane to buy at your website. Follwing publcation of her book, she founded Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC. all about Books, Blogs and Beyond. Yvonne maintains a blog at LipSticking supporting her work in the women’s market online. Yvonne is the VP of Web Communications at the Rochester Chapter of the American Marketing Association. She is quoted throughout the net on marketing to women, blogging for business, and publishing.