This post is part two of a post I wrote a bit ago. Part one was all about staying motivated and productive when you are a service or product-based business and times are slow. (Like during COVID.) This post has been in the making for a while now, and I’m glad I can finally share it with you!
Because, there WILL be times where you won’t have a client or customer, or maybe just some downtime (this may only be when you are just beginning, so bear with me), and you don’t want to be discouraged or lose momentum.
This ‘dead time’ is a great time to perfect your systems, update your website, learn new things, and just overall beef up your business!
If you haven’t read Part One yet, I encourage you to check it out first! Read it here.
Unlike the first post, this post will be separated between a service-based business and a product-based business, so it is easier to read and navigate.
This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.
If you are a Service-Based Business..
These are things you can do to stay productive in your service-based business, in no particular order:
1. Repurpose your content
In part one of this series I talked about creating content, but I failed to mention that you can repurpose content you already have! You can turn your blog posts into many Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn posts; take a clip from YouTube and put it on IG or Tiktok; or, take an old Facebook/IG post and expand it into a blog post! There are several possibilities and therefore, several pieces of content from things you have already created. (This is where a mind map model might come in handy.)
For example, say you are repurposing a post about being a social media manager. It may look something like this:
As you can see, the main post refers to a blog post. Headlines are the main points of the post. Then it spiders out.
EACH tangent can be a piece of content! Whether it’s another post, YouTube tutorial, podcast episode, etc., you probably have more content than you realize you do.
If you still need ideas, check out this blog post and also get a free content calendar.
2. Edit/revise your blog posts
It’s always a good idea to update your blog posts as new information becomes available. You want to look like an expert in your field (or at least knowledgeable). It’s a great way to build trust with the reader.
This is also a good thing to do if you are not producing content as frequently as you used to. Your posts will look up-to-date instead of months to years old. You’ll look like you’re still in business.
This is a good time to change up your pins, pictures, and affiliate links (if applicable). Add/change your opt-ins, too.
While you’re at it, perform a blog audit. I recently did one using Frances Vidakovic’s Self Audit Blog Review and it was a great way to refresh everything. Do this every quarter for best results.
3. Research how to get ads on your website
If you are a beginner blogger it might be a good idea to research and know what it takes to monetize your website. There are some programs that require a certain amount of pageviews, and some that don’t require any.
You can start off with Google Adsense. I started there and although it takes a bit to get paid, it gives you an option to be monetized with a small/newer blog.
Get paid to do what you love!
4. Create your own stock photos
You don’t have to be a photographer to take a picture! With the technology on our phones, anyone can take a picture and even edit it to look like a professional pic. By doing this, you can create ‘stock’ photos that fit your theme and aesthetic exactly – for free!
It’s great to have a set of photos handy that you can use, in case you don’t find a stock photo of something you want. You should also think about a professional photoshoot at some point as well.
Bonus: you can sell these pictures on sites like Shutterstock!
5. Website check
Speed is an important factor for ANY website, and, more importantly, a BUSINESS website. No one wants to wait for a slow site to load, and you will probably lose readers and potential clients that way.
A few things you can do to fix this is:
- Check your website speed at Pingdom.com. Enter your website URL and it’ll diagnose your account and give you a report of what you need to fix.
- Update your plugins/apps. Sometimes your site runs slower because you don’t have the newest updates.
6. Host and/or participate in a webinar/live challenge/virtual summit
Get yourself out there! Turn a piece of content into a webinar, split it up into a live challenge (go live in your FB group for 3-4 days with valuable information).
Host a virtual summit where you bring together a bunch of experts in different fields.
Getting yourself out there and in the eyes of potential clients! Tip: create workbooks/freebies that people can follow along with, and keep as reference guides.
7. Answer questions on Quora
Quora is a forum where anyone can submit a question, or answer one. A good way to gain authority in your field is to go and answer questions relating to it! You can then mention why they should believe you (because you are an expert in your field) and add website/socials to back up your claims!
It is free to post and/or answer, but you do need to create an account (and should!).
8. Start a Podcast
A podcast is similar to a radio show; it is basically an audio episode. Each episode revolves around a theme or topic, and can be any length. This is a great way to get information out there.
Most days people don’t have time to sit and read a 30 page eBook or browse through a blog. Podcasts have become popular in that you can put them on in the background while you work or drive and still be able to take in information!
9. Write an Ebook
Take a freebie/blog post/course and revamp it to an eBook! Add value and information and offer it to your mailing list, followers, etc. This is a great way to bring passive income.
10. Create passive income streams
Passive income is basically earning money that you don’t have to work hard for. Or, earning money while you sleep.
Some passive income streams include:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Creating digital products (courses, eBooks, printables)
- Investing (stocks and bonds)
- Ad revenue
- Air BNB/rentals
- Cashback sites
- Sell stock photos/photography
- Declutter and sell personal items
- Create an app
These are some ideas that are geared toward product-based businesses.
1. Respond to emails and DMs
Get rid of spam, answer questions, and network!
2. Create flatlays
You can create various digital flatlays or real life mockups for your products. You can even collab with other small shops and tag them. This’ll bring you (and them) traffic at the same time!
3. Create other accounts
If you have a standalone website (on Shopify, Big Cartel, etc) you can create a Facebook business page, VIP, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. for your business. You can use all of these platforms to promote on, for free. (AND with paid ads as well!) If you keyword and use SEO well, you can get tons of free traffic.
4. Learn about and create ads
If you want to promote or advertise, the best time to learn about it is during a time where you’re not busy! Study Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/TikTok ads and everything that goes with it.
This is a perfect way to boost your business.
5. Make Hashtag sets
Everyone who uses Instagram knows that you gain the best traffic with the best hashtags. IG allows 30 hashtags per post, so make sure you use all 30! IG allows a user to follow hashtags, too, so that’s a great thing.
It is suggested that you don’t use the same 30 tags for every single post because IG will mark you as spam and not allow your post to be reached as far as it should be going. So, research hashtags on IG and create a bunch of 30-tag sets you can alternate when you post! (A GREAT app I have found to use is HisHash.)
Of course, all social media platforms use hashtags for some reason or another. I don’t know much about FB tags, but I really don’t use or need them.
6. Run a contest/giveaway
If you have a small shop, I’m sure you’ve seen and even been in a giveaway/contest of some sort. These are fun ways to grow your group or IG by making that a way people can enter to win. So, host your own!
7. Change up your pictures
Use your downtime to change up your FB Biz page/VIP covers; switch around your website photos, etc. Create cute graphics for free over on Canva. Or, create some IG stories, TikToks.
8. Sign up for a text program
Sign your business up for a text program, where people can sign up and get specially curated texts from your business! You can send texts for drop reminders, special discounts, etc. A good and easy program to follow is txt180.com. Or, if you’re on Shopify check out the apps they have.
9. Create an email list
If you haven’t already, start an email list! Have people sign up for it and you can create newsletters, send out discount codes, reminders, etc.
If you are on Shopify they have email built right in. If you don’t want to use it, there are tons of Shopify apps available. Don’t forget to do your research!
10. Go live!
Have a fun session, answer questions, or just hang out on FB/IG/TikTok live! I for one know its a hard thing to do, but just try it out once!
11. Run a rep search/promo team
If you don’t already have one, get your business a hype team! You can either get a rep team or promo team; each are very similar to the other. Set requirements and benefits and go about your way!
12. Join small shop Facebook groups
There are tonnsssss of small shop Facebook groups to join, and most of them are insightful. If you have a problem or question, you can expect someone else to have the same question and it may have already been answered!
Approach local businesses to see if they’re interested in having your product in their store.
I have never done this so I don’t know how it works or what the steps are, but it’s been done before so get out there!
14. Get organized!
Having a planner (and a plan!) helps keep you straight and organized. This small business planner is a great way to do that! It includes:
- Cover Page
- Year at a Glance
- Future Log
- Bill Tracker
- Vendors Log
- Brand Reps Log
- Expenses Tracker
- Mileage Tracker
- Inventory Log
- Order Tracker
- Returns Tracker
- Pre-order Tracker
- Social Media Stats Tracker
- Giveaways/promos/deals Log
- Future ideas/brainstorming sheet
- Social Media Content Calendar
- Hashtag and Keyword Bank
- Monthly Page
- Monthly Budget
- Weekly Page
- Daily Page
- Monthly Review
You can grab your copy of this planner here (shameless plug).
15. Hire a Virtual Assistant/Social Media Manager
On the other hand, if you find yourself overwhelmed with business and can’t do it all, hire out! There are people out there who take care of social media posting, keeping up with sales/drops, keeping reps in check, etc.
I offer all the above and more, so if you have any questions/have a need, I encourage you to visit my website.
Things you can do whether you’re a service or product-based business
1. Create various pins
Batch create pins to pins on Pinterest so that you have extras when you need them. You can grab my pin freebies here.
Barter your services and products in exchange for reviews and hype! This helps boost your business.
3. Work on your SEO
SEO is Search Engine Optimization, which is a fancy way of saying – ‘keywords’.
It is important to have good keywords for your listings and blog posts as it helps bring you organic traffic. Learn a bit about SEO in this post.
4. Prepare for the holidays
I am writing this post in October – right in the beginning of the major holiday season.
Think about what’s ahead. Are you going to offer special discounts? Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals? An exclusive release?
5. Take a mental health day
Having your own business is incredibly stressful. While there are so many perks, there are some things that are not ideal, either.
Taking a break to have a day to yourself or a day spent with family is the best thing you can do for your business. It allows you to clear your mind and be focused to do the tasks you need to do.
And there you have it! 30 more things you can do to stay motivated and productive while business is on the slow end! I hope you enjoyed this post and got a lot from it. Leave a comment below and tell me what you’re going to do!