The summer months tend to be slower for many businesses. This can be due to a number of reasons, the biggest, everyone is on vacation.
The summer is a time for rest and relaxation. A time when we recharge our batteries.
Unfortunately, this is not normally the case for a small business owner. We need to create cash every month of the year. The summer months are more difficult, your audience is harder to find.
A Simple Formula for Getting More Clients this Summer
With the 4th of July in the rear view mirror and the kids out of school … the Summer Slowdown is here!
That’s right, for coaches, consultants, lawyers, accountants and pretty much every non-seasonal, service-based business right now, it can seem like more people are interested in going to the beach than they are in contracting your services!
Which can be a frustrating to say the least.
But, to paraphrase a popular line from the fitness industry, “fall clients are made in the summer.” That is why I always advise my clients to engage in a very simple formula for getting more clients during the summer and beyond: Your niche market + your value proposition + action = more clients.
Let’s take a look at each part of that equation.
Your niche market
I’m a stickler about developing a rock-solid niche market, and this is especially true in the summer, when people are super busy and you need a message that resonates with a specific group.
People sometimes resist me on this because they feel like I’m narrowing the field or somehow telling them to drastically reduce their service availability to others, and that is absolutely not true. A niche market is simply a group of people who have a very specific problem that you can solve.
For me, one of my niche markets is coaches and consultants. The problem I help solve is getting them higher-paying clients without being pushy.
See how specific that is? Not just getting more clients. Not just getting more coaching clients. Getting higher paying coaching clients … without being pushy!
That addresses a very specific problem that a lot of coaches and consultants run into.
Could I use this same approach for everyone? Theoretically. But, by really drilling down to a specific group of folks (coaches who want to build their practice in a non-salesy way), I’ve created a unique, niche market.
You’ll want to do something similar. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your last five clients and see what characteristics they have in common, and use that as a starting point for creating a “profile” of the type of person you want to engage.
Your value proposition
Your value proposition is the reason why people choose you to solve their issue. If I’m an accountant, and I’m talking to new business owners to help get their books organized, then what is the specific skill set that I bring that makes prospects want to work with me instead of other accountants they might know?
In most cases, it starts with your experience. What was your previous work history? Who have you helped in the past? What specific problems can you now solve (probably faster) based on that experience?
All of that drives your value proposition.
Taking action can come in all kinds of forms, but here are a few I’ve personally found useful during the summer months.
Hosting a webinar: Even though people are busy at the beach and playing golf doesn’t mean they’re not open to listening to a webinar. Just make sure it’s super compelling, and speaks directly to your niche market. A title I’ve used in the past is “How Coaches and Consultants Can Beat the Summer Slowdown and Get More Clients.”
Publishing an online newsletter: If you don’t have an online newsletter, then now is the perfect time to start! If you do have one already, then consider increasing your publication rate. Why? Because during the summer people are busy. But, if you can consistently stay in front of your niche market with solid, relevant information addressing their problems, they will absolutely be more inclined to buy now and/or later on.
Pro tip: Make sure to have a call to action at the end of each content piece. It can be something as simple as mentioning your blog or website or as sophisticated as a book, webinar or specific product offering.
Put an emphasis on creating a list of buyers: The summer is tough no matter what when it comes to client acquisition. You just might not sell a ton of the gigantic, platinum plus version of your services. But, rather than getting frustrated with that, instead I always focus on creating a list of buyers … people who have taken out their checkbook to buy something from me.
That something might not be as a high a dollar value as I’d like, but it gives me an opportunity to circle back with a buyer during the fall, rather than a prospect. Buyers are much more likely to buy again (and buy larger items) than prospects.
Take a look at your service and see if you can pair it down a bit. If you’re a coach, instead of 10 coaching sessions for $1,000, can you create a package of five for $500? Or better yet, can you do a small group for $250 where you get five folks enrolled? The smaller dollar amount will make it easier for people to buy — especially during a time when they are unusually busy — and it still gets what you want in the form of a client.
Even though client acquisition can feel like an uphill battle in the summer, there is a simple formula that can absolutely help you get more clients this summer.