How do you stay connected to your community, even in a slow season?
To help you stay connected to your community, we asked conscious business leaders and small business owners this question for their best insights. From writing story-based emails to hosting community events, there are several tips that may help you maintain contact with your referral partners, clients and potential customers, even in a slow season.
Here are 10 ways to stay connected:
- Write Story-Based Emails
- Use Instagram
- Giving Back
- Replay and Refuel
- Declutter and Donate
- Send Thoughtful Handwritten Notes
- One-on-One Conversations
- Be Authentic
- Reach Out
- Host Community Events
Write Story-Based Emails
The most powerful tool to stay connected with your community is your email list. It gives you a direct line to your people. And the best way to connect with people (or stay connected with them) is to tell personal stories that let them into your life. This approach will transform you from a faceless organization to a person that your community wants to do business with over the long term.
Bobby Klinck, Attorney and Marketing Strategist
Use Instagram Stories
We are big fans of using Instagram stories to stay connected with our community. People love filling out polls and clicking a poll choice just takes a second. Then, they get to see how others respond. Throughout the year, we use polls to ask for feedback relevant to our niche. This not only provides us with feedback to use in busier seasons but keeps us fresh in our potential clients’ minds for when purchasing time comes.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
I owned a large event rental company that specialized in outdoor events. Living in Canada, the winter season was always a slower time. We had 10,000 people on our mailing list. I would send out an email every winter to our customers asking them to donate winter clothing for the homeless. I would personally deliver the items directly to shelters for men, women, and children.
Not only would this not be a typical “please spend your money at our business” it made all of our customers feel really good about them helping people in our community. It made my staff feel great as they took the time to sort through the 2500 donations and of course, delivering the clothes to the most vulnerable in our community made me feel like I was making a positive contribution. It was a win-win-win for our community, our community of customers, and our community of staff.
Michael Wood, Ottawa Consultants
Replay and Refuel
A slow season can be viewed as some extra time your brand has on its hands to think of new ways to recharge your business. And one way to put this time to good use is to dig out old success stories and refuel your marketing strategy. A bit of nostalgia is something that everyone loves. These stories won’t just take your customers back in time and remind them how long your brand has been around but also inspire your team to keep giving their best. And if your brand is a new one without too many success stories to its name, think of ways in which you can work towards some and use the slow season to experiment with these ideas.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Declutter and Donate
Even if you don’t believe it, your clutter can help you feel more connected to the people around you. You may find yourself reevaluating your possessions if you’re forced to seek refuge in your own home. What better time to sift through your belongings – tidy your storage unit, declutter your closet, and finally get rid of the old end table – than right now? As a bonus, you’ll know that your donation to Habitat for Humanity not only avoided a landfill, but it also contributed to the construction of more affordable housing in your area!
Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel
Send Thoughtful Handwritten Notes
There are lots of ways to stay connected to your community, even when things are slow. One great way is to send thoughtful handwritten notes. It can be something as simple as a thank you note, or just a little note letting someone know you’re thinking of them. But taking the time to sit down and write a handwritten note shows that you care about the person, and it’s a nice way to stay connected even when life gets busy.
Rick Elmore, Simply Noted
A slow season is a great time to catch up with things that matter a lot but somehow get sidelined due to the everyday pressure that running a business involves. One of these is to increase customer engagement. And since you now have the time, your teams can engage in one of the most impactful engagement campaigns that you wish your brand could do every day — one-on-one conversations.
In taking the time to interact with customers and learning more about their experience, about what’s perfect about your product or service, or what they think needs to change, you do more than just add momentum to a slow season. You also learn valuable lessons and gain insights that can help your brand evolve into an even better one.
Konstantin Kuligin, K5 Mortgage
One thing that my community knows about me is that they will always get the truth. I choose to stay connected to the individuals around me and share my authenticity in a transparent way.
It is important to me that they hear from me, see me, and know my story. When things slow down, we have more space to BE. It is in this gap that we find the next steps on our life path if we are willing to look. And by staying connected to my community, I am able to hold space for them, even if they are stuck in one spot for a while and treading water. It is that space held for them, and the loving support that they receive that encourages them to keep giving 1% every day of themselves towards their goal. That is what connection means to me.
Connie Davis, Kairos Digital Commerce Consulting
Many of us are in the same boat, despite the fact that we are physically separated. As a group, we confront challenges and share many of the same feelings. Even in our own solitude, we can benefit by reaching out and connecting with one another. Use this opportunity to stay in touch with old friends or make new ones by phone or video chat. Make use of services like Houseparty or Zoom to host virtual family gatherings and get-togethers with pals. Check-in on a neighbor who lives alone, or a grandmother who is in need of some companionship. Simply saying hello can brighten someone’s day since our voices carry a lot of weight.
David Janssen, VPNOverview
Host Community Events
Hosting community events is a great way to keep people connected through a slow season. These don’t need to be overblown festivals or jamborees that can fall flat with a small crowd, but could be as simple as a summer reading series or community picnics. Understanding the needs of the community is first and foremost. The local population and time of year for the slow season will inform which activities will bring the most neighbors together. Remember that the goal is fellowship and strengthening community bonds, not meeting a quote or filling metrics.
Thomas Yuan, Sanebox