HOW TO MARKET YOUR PERSONAL STYLING BUSINESS IN A PANDEMIC
I write this blog post with a heavy heart but the intention is filled with positivity and love.
As the Covid-19 virus seems to be tearing down communities and businesses worldwide and we are living in a state of unknown, now is the time we need to dig deep and look for new opportunities.
Style up Social Academy is a service based business and like all other service based businesses we have felt the effects in what felt like a 24 hour period. However, I do feel grateful that I have been working in an industry that has taught me what to do with my marketing activities when a difficult situation arises.
And as I know we have a lot of Personal Styling businesses in our audience I want to share some key tactics and strategies you can adopt during an economic downturn to keep your businesses afloat.
Some of these might be more appropriate than others and will suit your individual business needs more than others, so it’s important that you choose the ones which you feel best align to your marketing objectives. Think about the ones you can implement that will have the most significant impact when it comes to maintaining and improving your business performance.
MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT PRESENCE
I know that for most we feel like hiding away until this over, but now more than ever is it important you show up. The last thing you want is all your hard work and persistence building your social media following and email list, for it to go ‘cold’.
Ensure that you continue to engage and nurture your leads, so that when the market conditions improve, you’ll have a ‘warm’ list to market to.
Send more regular emails, post on social media, engage with your followers, and collaborate with other businesses to increase your visibility.
It will be far easier to generate growth and get your business momentum back if you are still top-of-mind when your prospective clients are ready to buy again.
RESEARCH YOUR TARGET MARKET AND COMPETITION
Unfortunately I know market research is something most people skip out, when they set up their business. It is a key activity for success. When the market conditions change, there’s a fair chance that the wants and needs of your target market will have changed too so even if you have taken the time to do this before, it’s important you do it again. You need to understand as much as possible about your target audience, what they want and need right now.
How have their pain points and challenges changed?
What solutions are most important now in this new market environment?
You can find out by reaching out to past clients or email your email list with a list of questions.
Use Social Media; join conversations in Facebook groups and use your stories to run polls. While demand drops for certain types of services, there are also opportunities to create new services or shift to an online service.
Market research will provide you with the valuable insights as to what these opportunities may be.
Monitor your competition to see how their offers have changed and decide if you need to make any adjustments to stay competitive.
INTRODUCE NEW SERVICES
Now you have new target market research information and researched what your competitors are doing. You can identify if you can develop a new service that will cater to the needs and wants of your audience.
For example are there any styling courses, workshops, or downloads that you could create to share your knowledge with others online?
Only create new services that are aligned to your audience’s needs and not for some quick cash in the back pocket. People, especially in a time like this, will see through desperate sales seekers and now is the time to be there for your audience, offering more value than value and when appropriate light hearted content and offers that will help through difficult times.
NEGOTIATE PAYMENT TERMS
I have never been one to promote undervaluing yourself for the sake of it, and I would never recommend you do anything you felt uncomfortable with. However, in an economic downturn where money is tight, you could also introduce new payment methods or change the terms around your payment plans. Where appropriate, you may also consider extending your payment plan from 3 months to 6 or 12 months for higher priced services.
One thing I am very aware of at the moment is that it might be better to offer reduced fees than losing a client altogether. At Style Up Social we have always been considerate of individuals’ situations and stages of their businesses and that’s more evident now than ever. So for existing clients it’s important to show empathy and keep the lines of communication open.
Proactively reach out to them and have an honest conversation about their circumstances.
Offering good will, value, friendship and empathy will keep you at the forefront that will go a long way as they will remember who helped them out.
Top Tip: During this time where we might find ourselves a little quieter than usual as the economy gets over this and builds, it would be the perfect time to work on your sales, content and marketing plans for the future. Work out your sales strategy going forward, start to build your pipeline again, work on your sales funnel, build an email list by creating some free content that people sign up for and identify your 12 month plans. Start that blog, record that podcast, work on your website or create a webinar. Use this time to make sure you hit the ground running when we get through this. If you have always dreamt of being that planner now is the time to fulfil that dream.
If you want to discuss any of these elements or are worrying about anything in particular please get in touch. I am here for you!