By Jennifer Goforth Gregory
While rain or snow is often inconvenient for everyone, bad weather also can negatively impact the bottom line for business owners who work outside. But instead of taking the day off the next time the ground is covered in snow, use it as an opportunity to devote the day to growing your business. Send a marketing email campaign, beef up your website!
Here are three rainy day marketing tips you can do to increase your revenue the next time the weather refuses to cooperate:
1. Compile testimonials and case studies
When you meet with potential clients, they often want to see your portfolio of projects as well as references from previous clients. For example, attendees at upcoming home and garden shows are often impressed by photos and case studies. Ted Hessing, owner of Charlotte Website Development, says that landscapers, builders and other service professionals can lay a strong foundation for next year’s project pipeline by compiling testimonials and organizing before-and-after pictures from the previous year. Arrange photos by project type into a professional-looking portfolio so that potential clients can easily see your work. You can also write up presentations(with photos) to show the types of projects you have completed in the past. Take a few minutes to contact past clients who were especially happy with your work and get them to write a few sentences as a testimonial to your services. Produce a professional handout with the client feedback so that you can easily hand the information to potential customers.
2. Focus on social media and your website
During good weather, most service professionals go from sunrise to sunset completing projects and often run out of time for their website. On the next bad-weather day, spend some time going through your website from the perspective of a customer. Consider ways you could integrate social media into your website, as well. "Using a website blog to showcase previous work does wonders for making prospects envision the same work being done for them," says Hessing. "You can spend a few hours during the off-season to schedule a year's worth of posts that will provide fresh content on a regular basis. Both readers and search engines will reward those efforts." He also recommends integrating your blog posts with your email newsletter and social media to ensure that the information gets sent to your email contacts, Facebook friends, LinkedIn partners, and Twitter followers all year long.
3. Follow up on potential projects
When business for David Marciniak’s boutique landscape design and consulting firm, Revolutionary Gardens, slowed down during several weeks of rain in the Washington D.C. area, he realized he needed to do something to generate both immediate revenue and revenue for the future. "To generate business, I took the time to go back through my client list and follow up," says Marciniak. "We discussed projects that had been placed on hold previously, as well as potential enhancements to work already installed. Every landscape is a work in progress." His efforts led to steady work over the winter and an exceptionally busy start to the year.