Anticipating the Summer Lull: Prepping for a Business Slowdown (Part 2)
Whenever your revenue dips, it can be tempting to panic and scramble to generate more business; however, a better response might be to consider any cyclical patterns in your industry that could be at play. It’s very common for industries to have highs and lows at different points throughout the year, and there’s little you can do to offset these— besides plan ahead. For instance, the summer lull is something I’ve seen again and again in a variety of online businesses.
Summer is pretty much slow for a ton of online businesses. Rather than wasting a ton of time and energy trying to increase revenue when it simply won’t work, it might be more beneficial to plan for a strong fall.
(Side note: This isn’t always the case, of course. If you haven’t tried a creative means of raising revenue, it could still be worthy of attention, but if you’ve seen a repeated summer lull in your business that defies all attempts at boosting business, it may be simply a fact to accept in your industry.)
Times of lessened demand can be a great time to focus on your behind-the-scenes factors, like systems, finance tools, or team evaluations. For more on this, be sure to check out part one here. Or a better strategy might be to focus on your offers and marketing tools.
So, let’s talk about four key ways you can ramp up to a stronger fall by strategically leveraging you summer lull.
Prep for a Bigger Launch
In most industries, the summer lull leads right into the fall launch season. As tempting as it can be to revel in the free time summer brings, it’s often smarter to focus on building in time for a bigger launch of an existing product, course, or service.
Consider what elements you’ve used previously in your launches, and ask yourself if there’s something strategic you could add to the next round.
Look at some key features that could enhance your existing framework:
- Does your prelaunch training need updating? Would a new webinar, video series, or challenge help you reach more people? Would it help prep your audience better for what your paid offer contains?
- Is it time for affiliate partners? Many times, an affiliate program is too demanding when you’re starting out. But, as your business and reach grow, affiliates can become a huge asset to your business.
- What about some fresh bonuses? Are there any strategic bonuses you can create to enhance your offer? Well, figure it out! Check out this post from the Rulebreakers Club on bonus content do’s and don’ts. Creating fresh bonus content can be a great way to make your offer even more compelling to people who have seen it before. Plus, it can clinch the deal for people who might be on the fence.
Once you’ve established any new content you want to create or other additions to include in your launch, its time to plan. Take the time to create a solid launch plan that breaks down all the pieces you need to create, build, market, and complete for your prelaunch content and sales content.
Then, make strategic decisions about who you need to bring in to help execute your plan. As you up your game, you’ll likely need new support, so the summer lull can give you the time to find any new experts you need and bring them onto your team.
Create a Pop-up Offer
In some cases, you may be perfectly content with your upcoming launch plan, but you still want to build in some additional revenue; however, it can be a huge time investment to develop a new revenue stream from scratch. It can also be challenging to balance existing offers and the creation of new offers. Plus, if you aren’t positive you want to wholly commit, this can seem like far more than you want to do.
Enter the pop-up offer.
A pop-up offer is a short, focused burst that allows you to test the waters on a new service, product, or program. It’s a very strategic beta offer that you set up to be super attractive, so you can get quick feedback on the feasibility of your new offer.
It’s also a way to raise some revenue without a lot of outlay.
A true pop-up offer should be a minimum viable offer — one that you launch with as little upfront time or capital investment as possible. This doesn’t mean you shortchange your clients or customers but that you do a bare-bones approach marketing and delivering it.
Remember, part of this is to test the validity of the offer, so you want to be sure you’re not going too far in too early. For more on the pop-up offer, check out this video from The Rulebreakers Club!
Use the downtime a summer lull provides to make your plan, build the collateral, and pitch your offer when the timing is right.
Optimize Your Funnels
Once you have some funnels up and running that are producing some income, it’s very easy to prioritize just about anything over improving them. This is especially true if you’re busy putting out other fires, but these funnels could likely use some optimizing.
Spend some time evaluating the funnels you have in place, like an opt-in with an upsell. Look at things like:
- Your landing page conversion rate. How many people leave without opting in for your free offer? If you’re not converting strongly, you could be leaving money on the table with the traffic that is finding you. Consider some split testing of page tweaks, buttons, etc. to see if you can improve the conversion.
- What about traffic? Look at where your traffic is coming from and determine if you’re doing all you can to leverage those sources. Evaluate the types of traffic you have, and consider if some paid promotions make sense. You can also consider focusing on testing some new traffic sources for your funnel.
- Check the email stats. After you get the traffic and the signup, you still need to get their attention enough to read/watch your eventual offer. So look at things like open rates, click rates, and subscribers. Evaluate where people drop off and stop opening or clicking. Then, make the necessary tweaks to improve the effectiveness of your emails.
- Look at any sales pages. Again, consider how you can optimize the effectiveness of the page. For instance, what’s your bounce rate? How quickly are people leaving the page? Look at how many abandoned cart instances you have, meaning how many people start buying and don’t finish?
Optimize Your Website
Even with a solid website, there may still be things you can improve to help people find you, get to the right place, or learn more about you. The summer lull can be a great time to buckle down and work on small tweaks that can optimize your main online home.
Consider things like:
- Site speed. Do you need upgraded hosting? What about making sure your images load promptly? These are all little things that can improve your website’s ability to help you sell.
- SEO Power. Here’s another area where small tweaks can have a big impact, so consider if you need to spend some time harnessing SEO for your site. Here’s where you could:
- Conduct some metadata analysis
- Improve your blog’s SEO
- Optimize your images for SEO
- Create some content to target a new keyword you want to use
- Add some appropriate backlinking
- Does your website need a refresh? As tempting as it can be to do a complete redesign, sometimes a brand refresh can help you extend the life and usefulness of your existing site. So consider when a design refresh, copy updates, or user interface tweaks could help your site do more for you.
There are so many amazing tools out there to help with SEO as well as experts who can guide you. Neil Patel has an amazing set of resources available for free here!
Aaaaaand: Get to Work During Your Summer Lull
So there you have it, four projects to help you effectively use some extra time a summer lull may provide. Any of these projects will help set you up for a stronger fall and beyond without derailing any summer revenue or plans to play. A bit of work now pays off big later.