It’s almost become common practice to assume we’ll have a bad season when summer rolls around. It’s the dreaded summer slump. Kids are out of school, families are on vacation and everyone’s usual schedule is, well, out of whack. Clients miss or skip sessions — or just put their normal health and wellness routines on hold altogether.
Being human, we tend to automatically synchronize our own efforts with our expectations (or past experience) and we ease up on our marketing efforts and activities. And of course, our results follow suit!
If summer has typically been slow for you and you need some ideas for keeping the cash flowing this summer, here are three ways to avoid the dreaded summer slump.
Tip #1: Have a Marketing Plan in Place
It’s extremely important to have a marketing plan in place. If we don’t, we’re spending all of our time being reactive instead of proactive and then there’s no way to prevent having some sort of downturn in our business.
But if we’re proactive and have a marketing plan in place, then it’s just becomes about the execution. If you’ve already planned some seasonal promotions and are still following through with activities that generate leads for you on a regular basis, you’ll see results. So keep up the pressure with your normal lead generation activities, including:
- Point of sale referrals
- Internal referrals
- Client reactivation campaigns
If you’re still doing all of those things and have a plan, your summer will rarely be as bad as you expect. The trouble comes when we stop marketing altogether. So having a marketing plan and a marketing calendar in place will help keep your practice full.
Tip #2: Implement Short-Term Programs
Summer can be crazy busy and of course, health and wellness routines aren’t always “sexy.” Short-term programs give your clients immediate gratification AND they fit in with an unusual summer schedule. 21-day programs, 28-day programs are very popular. They make it easy for people to feel like they can pop in and drop a dress size or pant size in just 3-4 weeks.
“Sure, I can do this if it’s just 21 days!” It’s a short-term investment with light at the end of the tunnel.
You can use these short-term programs to keep your cash flow actually flowing during the summer, introduce yourself to new clients and promote other products and services you have.
If you’re a health coach or personal trainer, putting together a 21-day detox or training program is easy. If you’re a massage therapist or chiropractor, put together a small package of shorter sessions.
It gives you something to promote and talk about. It also gives your clients something to talk about and refer. It’s different, out of the ordinary. Tie it in with a specific theme and have some fun with it. A short program with a specific theme and catchy name is exciting. It also allows you to legitimately promote it as a “limited time” opportunity.
You can easily turn it into an annual event. If they don’t take advantage of it now, they’ll miss out completely and have to wait a whole year before they can participate again.
We all avoid making decisions. Putting limiters on your promotion gets your prospects off the fence and gets them to step up and take action.
Tip #3: Run a Transformation Contest or Challenge
Contests and challenges are fun! They capture attention and get your clients to engage with you. They also fit in very well with the season.
Big Tip: Never make your contest or challenge longer than six weeks. Three-four weeks is even better. Remember, it’s important that your clients can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They need to expect that they’ll have/see a specific result within a specific timeframe.
Of course, we all want long-term clients and hope that they’ll stay with us for years. However, think of this as an introductory period. Often, to get someone to even take that first step with us, we need to offer a shorter, smaller program which requires less of a commitment (of time or finances).
One fun thing you can do is make your contest or challenge team-based. Ask your clients to bring in their friends and family to make up teams. A team-based contest or challenge can be a great way to get new referrals while making it super fun for them too.
Contests and challenges keep your clients more active with you and if they’re more active, they’re getting more results. If they’re getting more results, they’re more likely to refer and purchase any ancillary offers you have.
I challenge you to implement at least a short-term program or contest in your practice this summer. Keeping up your marketing efforts and implementing one of these ideas could make summer one of your best seasons ever!
Supporting you for your success,
Founder & CEO