It is finally summertime in New England! The weather is warming up, the kids are out of school and people are talking about vacation plans. To many people, that is the perfect excuse to stop dead in their marketing tracks. It is unfortunate to hear that people avoid reaching out to clients in June, July or August because “they are all on vacation.” Last time I checked, people haven’t taken the entire summer off for vacation and so there is a whole lot wrong with this theory! It may take a few tries, but you will find your contacts available in the summer months. In fact, you may just find that they have a little more time to have a chat with you.
Hopefully you have created a solid 12-month marketing plan to guide you through the lazy days of summer. Don’t worry if you haven’t! Summer is the perfect time to reflect upon the first half of the year and start planning for the last half. Here are a few things to consider doing this summer:
- Get some writing done. Throughout the year, I often hear that there isn’t enough time to write an article. Since the summer months tend to have a relaxed pace, take time to plan a few article topics and get them written. Also, work on placement for those articles by reaching out to reporters who may also be enjoying a slower time. Try to publish one article this summer and then have one ready to roll for the fall.
- Build relationships. Continue talking and emailing your contacts to further develop your relationships. Build in your fall follow-up plans by taking a moment to personalize the interactions. Ask about summer plans and then see how it all went when the fall rolls around.
- Reward your relationships. Treat your contacts with tickets to a ballgame, outdoor concert or an ice cream social. Take advantage of the extended daylight hours and meet up after work outdoors somewhere.
- Try out social media. Take a few extra minutes on a quiet summer morning to set yourself up in Twitter or Linked In. Start tweeting and posting status in small steps. By fall, you will be a pro and can ramp up your content.
Don’t let the weather drive your marketing confidence. If you disappear during the summer months, you risk losing the momentum you gained in the first 6 months of the year. Even if you remain in ‘maintenance’ mode for the summer, you will still be ahead of all those people who hid behind the excuse that “everyone is out of town.”