Just because it’s a slow down season in your personal life doesn’t mean your sales have to follow suit.
Summer especially is known (and sometimes feared) as a dead time for business revenue. Unless your product or service can specifically cater to what people purchase during the season, you’re probably expecting to see a dip in sales.
But you can still keep the sales gravy train going… and not just during the summer but anytime you choose to slow down or take a step back from your business. All you need to do is incorporate a couple of high leverage tactics to keep up the momentum.
These are simple strategies you can use right away. And the best thing about them is, once you have the pieces in place (assuming you don’t already), they run automatically and won’t take up more of your time.
In this episode of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, you’ll learn about three tactics to keep generating the sales and revenue you desire (and deserve) when you take time off from your business. I’ll also teach you ways to implement each one and ensure that you don’t have to suffer through the famine part of the business cycle so many entrepreneurs go through.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
5:21 – What’s the first thing you need to do before you can keep the momentum going in your business?
7:21 – Make sure you make this part easy for potential clients and customers in order to keep up business momentum.
11:34 – I share one of the best ways you can continue sales momentum if you’re a service provider.
13:15 – Here’s a high leverage tactic you can do that often surprises people.
17:34 – What should you double down on to keep momentum going? (Most people do the opposite).
21:47 – I quickly recap my top three ways to keep business momentum going when you’re slowing down or taking a break.
Mentioned in 3 High Leverage Ways to Keep Up Business Momentum
- “Why Your Old Sales Strategy Might Not Be Working”
- “How Your Client Education Process Leads to More Sales”
- “How to Gain Clients for Life with Stacey Harris”
- Fired Up & Focused Challenge
- Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge
- Racheal on Instagram and TikTok
- Rate and review on Apple Podcasts
If you're anything like me, you are ready for the laid back slower pace of the summer months. But how can you slow down personally without slowing down your business? How can you keep the momentum going in your business so when you are ready to come back full force in the fall, you're not having to effort so much to get everything back to speed? Well, in this episode, I'm going to walk you through my top three high-leverage ways to make sure that even if you're taking some time off, even if you're slowing down, your business maintains the momentum. Let's get into it.
Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey there, CEO. Welcome back to another episode here on Promote Yourself to CEO. In the next few episodes, I really wanted to dive into this conversation about how we can keep up momentum in our business even when we, us personally, the CEO of the business, need to press pause or needs to slow down. There are a lot of reasons why we might have to press pause or slow down in our business.
I can think of so many different examples. We're going to cover them over the next few episodes. But I have seen periods of time when maybe there's an illness or an emergency where you have to take time away so that you can focus on your health. Or there's another thing happening in your life where you have to take care of someone else.
I've shared that I've had to step in and care for my mother and manage her full-time nursing care and a team of eight different nurses. Those things take up a lot of mental bandwidth. They take a lot of time to sort out, they take a lot of time to work through, and they take a lot of the mental bandwidth that might hold you back from being 100% in your business, and that's okay. We need to build a business that supports our life, including when we need to focus on life over business.
Maybe we're going into the season of the summer and you're looking at it as “I really want to take a little bit of time and enjoy my life. I want to enjoy my family. I want to go on vacation. I want to spend some extra time with my kids before they're grown and out of this house.” I had that feeling and shared it with a friend. My twins are 13 and I was like, “Wow, we really only have like five summers left before they are out of the house and starting their lives, go into college, or whatever it is they decide to do.”
My friend looked at me, she has older kids, and said, “No, Racheal, you actually only have like three more years. Because as soon as those kids get a driver's license and their friends are all driving, they are really going to want to spend time with their friends and start doing things on their own.” I was like, “Oh, gosh, okay. I've only got a few summers to really make memories and build this next relationship with my kids as they're transitioning from being little kids to teens and then adults.”
I really want to lay that foundation for our future relationship. This is stuff that I think about quite often. How can I make sure that I am prioritizing these things that are so important in my life, my health, my relationships and take advantage of some of the seasons where we can do that? We can go on vacation, we can have some additional one-on-one time with the kids. I can take a little bit of a break. I can start having summer hours and enjoy a little bit of a more relaxed pace but do that without sacrificing the momentum in my business.
I think often we tend to have this belief because of hustle culture that momentum only comes from efforting, momentum only comes from rolling up your sleeves and putting in the hours, putting in the work. But that's not necessarily true. Momentum comes from focusing on the things that are creating the momentum.
I have seen over the years, in my own business and in the business of hundreds of my clients, that when we focus on the high-leverage ways to keep that momentum going, we can actually take that time off. We can enjoy our lives, we can rest. We can recuperate, we can spend time with our family and friends and all the things we want to do in these slower seasons and keep the momentum going because we are prioritizing the high-leverage ways to maintain that momentum.
I want to give you a few things to think about, especially as we are going into the summer months. Now if you listen to the previous episode, I want to encourage you to do your mid-year review. Your mid-year review is so important. I'm going to always be shouting from the rooftops how important it is to be checking in with your plan and checking in with your goals. Because it is very easy at this point in the year to be off track and not even know it, to be down on revenue, or to not have hit your sales goals and not really understand what's going on or what's working, what's not working in your business.
The opposite can be true as well. But I think it's really important to be paying attention to what you have going on in your business. Check-in on your plan, check-in on your numbers, check-in on your metrics, see what's working, see what's not working, so that we can adapt and adjust as needed. This is the first step before we talk about any of the high-leverage ways to keep up momentum because you won't know what is creating momentum if you're not actively tracking and reviewing your progress.
Go ahead and listen to the previous episode, grab the download for your mid-year review. Go through it because it's going to be very illuminating and show you what is and what isn't working in your business. Now once you have done that mid-year review, and you have more clarity on what is and isn't working in your business, I want to share a few things that I do on a regular basis to make sure that we're continuing the momentum even if I'm taking time off, even if I'm gone for a couple of weeks and I'm always on a beach vacation for at least two weeks during the summer.
I usually drop down the three days a week that I'm working and my business momentum doesn't slow down because I know what the high-leverage activities are in my business. Here's one of the things that I want you to think about and I have three high-leverage ways to keep up the momentum in your business. First, make it easy to buy from you. One of the reasons people really experience a summer slowdown in their business is it is not easy to buy a product, program, or service.
There's a lot of friction in that buying process. There's a lot of steps. There's also a reduction in just overall sales activity. We'll often see that sales dip for a lot of small business owners during the summer months and it's usually because they've stopped actively, proactively making sales. Make it easy to buy from you.
One: Make sure you have a game plan for what you're promoting through the summer. If you have an opportunity to promote something that is already available for people like literally they can go to your website, get on the sales page, get all the details, and purchase it with just a few clicks, perfect. How are you actively promoting it during the summer?
Don't wait until the end of August to realize you haven't made enough sales. Make sure you have a game plan now like what is the reason to sell something in June, to sell something in July, or to sell something in August? What do you have that is easy to sell? Make it as easy as possible for people to purchase that and proactively decide how are you going to sell those things during the summer.
The other part of this is for my service providers. I often hear from my service providers that they struggle a lot during the summer months because their clients are off in their own summer vacations, etc. But how can you make it easy, walk through your whole buying process, and set it up so that it does the heavy lifting for you? For example, let's say you are a creative entrepreneur, service provider, and people are finding your website, they're finding information about your business. Ask yourself if you were to get on your website for the first time, “Can I quickly, within one click, find more information about the next step to work with you or is it buried somewhere?”
If it takes more than one click off your homepage to get information about your offer and to get information about how to get started with you, then we are making it harder to make sales. Go through the process yourself. If I land on your website, can I within one click get the information I need about what you do and start putting myself in a sales process? Whether that is reading a sales page about your offer, and then putting in a form, an application, or requesting more information, requesting a consult, etc. These are things that you can automate in your business.
I think one of the reasons a lot of people really struggle to continuously make sales is because they are manually doing all this work instead of having an automated process in place. Now, I have shared that I have a lot to say about automation but there are some times where it makes a ton of sense to have an automated process in place. Having a sales page that is doing the heavy lifting for you, totally worth it. Having an application or request-for-information form where you can gather the information you need from that potential client, totally worth it.
If you can connect that form to a series of pre-education emails, pre-sales education emails that's helping guide them before they even get on a call with you through the process, answering questions, and educating people—we talked about this last month in the sales series—these are things you can put in place that does the work for you, then you don't have to work so hard for each and every sale. You're going to lose a lot less sales, you're going to see a lot more people stick on your calendar when you put these types of things in place.
I want to encourage you, even if you are a service provider, one of the best ways you can keep up the momentum, especially if you're taking some time off or slowing things down, is you can pre-sell things that you're not going to start for a little while. Let's say you're just taking sales calls now but you're not starting any new clients, you're not starting any new projects until later in the summer, that's okay, you can have these calls.
You can take people who are already interested in working with you, have the conversation, get them on board, give them their homework to get started and have their official start date where you start working on their project a few weeks or even a month or so out. You can go ahead and pre-sell things that are coming up in the next few months. You can do that. It's amazing.
Make it easy to buy from you, set it up so that if a part of your sales process is having calls, make those calls, if you're taking less time during the summer, set up your calendar so that you're only taking those types of calls maybe once a week instead of all over the place. Just get really tight with this system and it will make it easier for people to buy from you and it will ensure that you're continuously having these sales conversations even if you're taking some time off during the summer.
Related to making it easy to buy from you and putting a sales process in place—by the way we did a whole series on this, go listen to the sales series because I think that will help tremendously—the next thing that I really think about to keep up the momentum during times where I need to slow down personally is to repurpose. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.
People are often surprised because I think we've all gotten to our heads that in order to grow your business, you have to be cranking out new content all of the time, you have to constantly be coming up with new emails, new newsletters, and new social media, new blogs, podcasts, videos, or whatever you have. Something I realized very early on is that putting yourself on that constant content hamster wheel, it is just a recipe for burnout. It also creates a lot of content that sees a little bit of attention the week it goes live, and then it gets buried in the archives.
My approach to content is very different. I focus on all of my content and think of it as an asset. Every time I create a new piece of content, I know that I am going to bring that piece of content out again on a regular basis. Just because somebody heard me talk about, for example, the Fired Up & Focused Challenge once before does not mean that I should just archive it and never show it again.
I have made that challenge available all the time every year since 2014 since we initially launched the Fired Up & Focused Challenge. The Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge, I have done that every single year since I think our first one that we did was 2017 or maybe even 2016. I pull those things out because they are that good because they are assets and because I know these are foundational pieces of content to the way that I work. Even if somebody saw it last year, it's always a good reminder.
In fact, I had people tell me all the time, “Oh, I took this challenge. I need to refresh. I need to review these concepts. I need to do these things again.” I have people who come back and do those again and again and again. It's the same thing with podcast episodes. If you follow me for long enough, you will see that often I will pull episodes out of the archive and maybe I'll record a new intro, maybe I'll just change the title of it but these are foundational pieces of content to the way that I work.
The whole purpose of them is to help people see how I can help them. I don't need to just be constantly churning out new content for the sake of churning out new content. This is where you will find the longer you are in business, if you're using content as a way to grow your audience, you will say the same thing a thousand times because you need to rinse and repeat. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.
If you have content that worked really well a year ago, it'll work really well again this year. If you had something that resonated with people, let's bring it out again. Repurposing content is a fantastic way to keep up the momentum in your business. I am regularly going through and saying, “Okay, what do I have that I can pull out again this year that did really well?”
What this has done for me is it's shifted from me having to create all new content every single week for this podcast, to probably a good, I want to say about a third of the content is repurposed, meaning we're just bringing it back out. The other third is brand new fresh content. Then maybe the final third is an in-between where I will take something and overhaul it a little bit. But when I do this, when I'm bringing back my best hits, I end up getting so much more mileage out of each piece of content, and it means that I can reduce how much time and energy it takes for me to create the content.
That was my second big way to keep momentum, repurpose. It's a great time saver. If it worked before, it'll work again. If people saw it, it's okay because every year you have new people seeing what you're working on in your business. My third high-leverage way to keep up momentum is to double down on your Attract marketing. Now, this is one of the biggest things I see people pull back from when they go into a slower season.
Again, it doesn't matter the reason behind needing to have a slower season; we all occasionally need a slower season. But the Attract is the very front end of all of our marketing efforts. This is how we're getting out in front of brand-new people. Often in slower seasons, this is one of the first things to go. We tend to be like, “You know what, I'll just do the minimum for my Nurture content. I'll keep my current community engaged,” but it doesn't take long for that to turn into burning out your existing community, meaning you've already promoted your offers enough time to the people who are already there that you don't have any new potential buyers.
We have to get back on the front end and back into Attract marketing. If there was anything I want more people to take away, I would actually rather you increase how much Attract marketing you're doing and decrease how much new Nurture content you're doing. If you could repurpose your Nurture content or simplify it in some way and focus on just getting in front of new people, you will see the momentum continue to build.
Double down on Attract, what could this look like? I've shared on this podcast before there are several different Attract strategies. The first option is search. If you are getting traffic from search engine optimization, how can you double down on that? Is there something you can do that will increase the organic traffic you are getting from search? That is something that I absolutely love because once you have those things in place, it just is consistently working for you.
Something that takes more time and effort is other people's audiences. Other people's audiences take more time and effort to go out there and get interviews, to get featured as a guest expert, or to write guest blog posts. But find what has worked for you in the past and figure out how can I do more of that one thing?
Currently, right now as I'm recording this, I have been going through and making a list of all the people I want to connect with about doing some sort of collaboration, making a goal that I can go ahead and fill up my calendar now so that when my kids are out of school in June, I've got stuff on my calendar, and it's going to happen. I don't have to do the work of finding the collaboration and implementing the collaboration. I'm doing a little bit of it now.
This could also be advertising. Advertising during the summer months can be a great option. Of course, I always say this caveat: advertising isn't for everybody. But the nice thing is usually it's less competition if you're advertising on Facebook, Instagram, or something like that. This can be a great time to run some ads that is working without you having to physically do things.
Another Attract strategy is cold outreach. Cold outreach isn't everybody's favorite. But if you have things coming up and you think of people who are a great fit for that, this is a great time of year when people aren't as busy to proactively reach out to those potential clients as potential collaborators and start planting the seeds for something that's coming up. If you are looking to do something in the fall, now's the time to be making those connections and making that happen.
The final thing I'll say about Attract is discovery. How can you make your business more discoverable? TikTok has been my go-to platform for this. One of the things I'm doing currently, as I do with all of my content, I just batched a whole bunch of content for TikTok and as I'm doubling down on my TikTok strategy, that means posting more frequently and engaging with the engagement on my TikTok channel, responding to questions, responding to comments, just spending more time there because I know that it yields results. Those are my top three things to keep up the momentum in your business.
Just to simplify it again, one, make it easy to buy from you, do an audit of your entire sales process, and make sure that it is easy for people to figure out how to buy from you and make a plan to sell something over the summer. Go ahead and get that in place and don't forget if you did a promo last year, it'll work again this year. Just zhoosh it up, send it out.
Second tip, repurpose. You don't have to be on the content creation hamster wheel. Start thinking of your content as assets and how can you take something that you've already shared, either just share it again or maybe do a couple of tweaks and reshare it. Finally, double down on Attract. This is one of the most important because remember, the business you have today is the result of the work you did three to six months ago and that includes the Attract marketing you did three to six months ago.
If you are finding that you're not getting more sales out of your existing community, you've burned out your community or burned out your list, now's the time to start getting in front of new potential clients, figure out a strategy that is working, and put all of your effort there.
The best part is if you've done the other two things I recommend, if you've made sure you have a really streamlined sales process with some automation in there, things that are doing the heavy lifting for you, you're not manually doing every part of your sales process, if you are repurposing content, then you will have the bandwidth to double down on Attract even if you're working less hours, even if you're doing summer hours like I am, even if you're taking some time off for vacation, you will have the time to double down on that and set yourself up for success as we go into August, September, October.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. As always, if you liked it, head over to Instagram, let me know, tag me @racheal.cook, and let me know your biggest ahas, insights, takeaways, and what you are going to take action on. This was a very actionable episode. What are you going to take action on? Even if it's just one thing, I think it'll help tremendously to keep that momentum going.