Not too long ago, my husband and I had some 90s basketball movie reconciliation to attend to. I had never seen Space Jam, he had never seen White Men Can’t Jump. White Men Can’t Jump is no Oscar-nominee. But it’s a cute little movie with good basketball tricks and a few life lessons along the way. The film’s true star is Rosie Perez, who plays Gloria Clemente, Woody Harrelson’s wife. At one point in the movie, she drops this gem:
“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.” – Gloria Clemente played by Rosie Perez, White Men Can’t Jump
The first time you hear/read this, you may ask yourself, “WTF?” It just sounds like some confusing movie line. But if you stop and think about Gloria is on to something.I think what Gloria is referring to here is ebb and flow. It’s one of life’s little recurring concepts like Murphy’s Law or the Golden Ratio. In short, ebb and flow refers to the concept of “a rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.”
As a small business owner, you know about ebb and flow. Sometimes you’re super busy. A ton of leads are coming in. You’ve got so much work to do, and you can’t keep up. And then sometimes it gets a little slow. You’re freaking out. Why aren’t we as busy anymore? Is this the end? Where are all the customers?
Don’t freak out. Because as Gloria said, it may feel like you’re losing, but you’re actually winning. Here’s why:
When business is slow, your first inclination may be to run out and try to drum up some new leads. But sometimes, it’s good to lean into those periods of slowness and just embrace them for a little bit. You can take a day off in those slow moments – go to the beach or the mountains – take that mental health day. Have a staff retreat or fun day. Or even take a little time to re-evaluate things. Review your website. Reorganize some of your systems. Do the things that you usually wouldn’t have time to do but can tremendously help your business.
From a marketing standpoint, there are quite a few things that you can do during this time to prepare yourself for when the flow (or is it the ebb?) comes back. On to that checklist:
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
When was the last time you checked out your rank in Google? Is there some onsite optimization you can do? Fix broken links? Update alt-text? Build out new links. Check out some of our previous posts on SEO here, here, and here to understand some quick fixes you can make to improve your organization’s rank.
Google My Business
As a customer, I always get salty when businesses fail to update their Google My Business. It’s frustrating to go somewhere and think you have 2 hours until they close only to learn that they closed 30 minutes ago (I’m looking at you, Sherwin Williams!). If you have a physical business address, Google My Business is often the first thing your customers see before your website. Have your hours changed? Are you back in the office? New COVID protocols? Keep your clients in the know by doing a quick audit to make sure your Google My Business page is up to date.
Speaking of Google My Business, when was the last time you asked customers or clients for reviews? Now may be the time. Reviews and recommendations can really help your business, so make sure you have a few recent ones listed.
Have you gone in and checked your reviews on sites like Yelp and Google? It’s not always easy to respond to customer feedback, but when you can, it’s great to get in there and follow up – thank customers who sang your praises and resolve negative issues. Even if the problem has passed, some things are better late than never.
Social Media Audit
When we audit our new clients, we find that most of them have some rogue social media account that they created a while back that they are not posting on. That account is usually still listed on their website, in their email signature, newsletters, etc. If it’s not current, then it might as well not exist. You don’t have to delete the account; just stop listing it in places. Maybe one day, you will hire a social media manager who can keep all your social media accounts updated. But until then, only highlight the accounts that you can manage. No one wants to click on the Twitter logo from your website, only to see a profile that hasn’t been updated since 2010.
Social Media Profile Refresh
Is your Facebook cover the same image as when you started the account 12 years ago? Maybe it’s time for a Glow Up! In the last YEAR, social media has changed a lot, and your profiles need to reflect all of the updates. First, make sure your Instagram bio is using searchable keywords. Next, differentiate your username and your account name. Add cute little emojis to simplify and “bullet” your profile. Use highlights to save and share some of your best stories. Finally, add a new cover image to your Facebook profile and update all of your contact information. While you are in there, check on all of your admin rights, making sure only the right people have access to your page. Keep doing this on Linked In, Twitter, and across all of your social media accounts.
Social Media Strategy
Downtimes are also great for revisiting your social media strategy. One of the best and worst things about social media is how much it changes. As the algorithms change, you may need to adjust your content mix. We’ve talked about how Instagram is prioritizing video. Maybe now is a good time to plan out social content that includes video. Why not even batch make a few videos if you have the time. In our last post, we mentioned how easy it is to make professional videos without a big budget. However, there is a bit of a learning curve. Use these slow periods to master easy video creation so that you can create more content quickly and more efficiently.
Blogs are great for SEO, and they are also good for social media marketing. Use your downtime to write a few blog posts and schedule them for once a month or once a week. Then in the next few months, you can use each of those blogs posts to create multiple social media posts – stories, reels, feed posts, linked-in articles. See what we did there? Do the work once, and you can use it a few times. That’s smart marketing.
Last but definitely, not least is making sure your small business’ website is up to date. In fact, this probably should have been first, as having a solid website is the backbone of a great online marketing plan. We’re not just talking about SEO but also making sure your homepage isn’t featuring events that have already passed. The board member or staff pages should actually reflect people who are still with your organization. Your page should be responsive – so open it up on a tablet, a cell phone, and desktop? Does it look okay? If not, call us.
In conclusion, ebbing and flowing in business is natural and normal, so there’s no need to panic. Instead, use your downtime to work on small but significant tweaks and audits to your website, SEO, and social media accounts. If you need help, you know where to find us.
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We’re a website, social media management, and SEO agency trying to help do-gooders like you do your magic in the world more easily. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help your small business or nonprofit stand out online.Header Photo: National Archives on Flickr