If you look online, especially at other bloggers or freelancers, you’ll see everyone has been talking about the same thing when it comes to business. It seems that August has been a hard month for many of us. Now, I’m not going to lie to you. It is such a scary feeling when the jobs coming in are slower than usual or when your emails suddenly die down. As with any business, there will be highs and there will be lows. But it’s how you react to the downtimes, that will really help you succeed in the long run. When the work picks back up – and it will – you’ll be so grateful for times like this when you have the breathing space to regroup, recharge and get yourself ready for the months ahead. With that said, here are 7 things to do when business is slow.
Take some time to get inspired once again. As creators, it is only natural to go through dry spells where we feel like our ideas aren’t good enough, or we struggle with battling writer’s block. Take yourself away from your computer and feel grateful for this time to refresh your creative juices. Read books and magazines, explore your local city and take in the new seasonal trends, or even spend time with people who motivate and inspire you – you’ll soon feel excited and brimming with ideas again.
Now, if you’re anything like me – you’ll be a bit of an organisation freak. Apart from being organised in my everyday life, there’s nothing I love more than being well-equipped when it comes to social media. I love being able to visualise my feed a week ahead or know which blog posts I’m promoting over the next few days. But if this isn’t you, don’t worry – this is what the downtime is for. Spend some time familiarising yourself with scheduling platforms such as Sprout, Hootsuite and Buffer to plan your content and keep traffic up over this quiet period.
Take a look at your platforms and ask yourself what you want to achieve. Are there additional ways of making revenue? Do you want to pitch ideas to collaborate with your dream brand? Is there a new service or product you could potentially sell? Grab a notebook and pen and start writing your ideas down!
If you haven’t done your tax return yet, then maybe now is the perfect time to sit down and organise your finances. For me, this is my first year being self-employed so I need all the help I can get, but making sure I’m prepared will save me a lot of time moving forward. Update your spreadsheets, make sure you’re filing all your receipts and keep track of your budget to make sure you are not spending more than you’re saving.
Is your website SEO-friendly? Or is it possible, you have a number of old posts – like me – in need of a little loving? Take some time over the next few weeks to trawl through your old posts and make sure they are as search-engine optimised as possible. Are your images up to date? Do you have any broken links? Have you capitalised on additional traffic sources? Normally, this is all stuff I tend to put off because I never have the time, but now is the perfect opportunity to get everything in complete working order.
Just because your emails have started to dry up, doesn’t mean you sit and stop altogether. Go out and pitch to brands yourself. Reignite past collaborations or try reaching out to that brand you’d love to work with. A lot of this job is all about introducing you and your personal brand to businesses that might not have heard about you before. Never wait for those opportunities to come knocking, go out looking for them!
When was the last time you updated your branding? Does your logo need a little refresh? Are your colours or font choices feeling a little tired? Now is the time to give your branding a well-overdue facelift. Search for new inspirations and moodboard some new designs – remember – it doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, but ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms.
Downtime in any business can always be scary – it’s inevitable – but there is always a way to ensure you are on top of your game when the emails roll back in. In order to try and stay positive, focus on growing your brand and plan for the future. Even rule out a little time for some self-care, you deserve it!
Love, Aysh x