Image of a the back of a woman who is presenting to a blurred out diverse group of people in an airy room.

If you’ve been in business for a while you’ll know that it can be tough out there. Really tough. It might be that you’re in a recession or it’s a time of year when people aren’t spending money or you’re craving a really juicy project but they’re just not coming. If you’re an entrepreneur you’re going to hit times where you don’t feel like showing up.

In these times mindset can only get you so far. Of course we can all do mindset work where we manifest abundance, we turn negative situations into positive ones (not enough work? No problem, more time to sort the house) and all sorts. Eventually, you’re going to feel like you’re running out of rope.

I’ve been running my own business for almost a decade and I’ve fallen into the ‘really not feeling like it’ mindset on more than one occasion. If you’ve been in business for a while, the chances are you’ve felt this at some point, too. Here are some ways to still show up for your business and yourself:

Identify what’s causing it

We’re all wired for negative self-talk but a quick scroll through LinkedIn, Facebook business groups and business podcasts will usually tell you that it’s not you, it’s how the market is at the time.

Is it something within your control?

If the market’s slow and no-one’s buying your type of services then it’s not necessarily in your control. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep working and promoting your services, it just means that whatever’s happening isn’t personal, it’s market-wide.

Can you use the time to improve your skillset?

If you’re having some downtime in your business it could be a great time to offer your services for free to a charity or not-for-profit venture of your choice. For example, each year I complete a website or marketing project for not-for-profit establishments. This gives me the opportunity to continue working on my skillset, as well as have touch points for my ideal clients to see what I’m working on.

You could also look at completing further training - this could be directly in your field, or it could be in marketing your business or customer relations. Many courses are free or you can do your own research across the internet. You can keep your ideal audience updated of what you’re doing, through your Social Media posts.

Can you make your work appealing for when people are ready to buy?

When the market’s tough it means that often people aren’t ready to buy right now. It doesn’t mean they’re never going to buy, it just means they’re not in a position to right now. Your role is to put your brand and your services front and centre so that when they are ready to buy, the only person they want to buy from is you.

Ok, how does that feel? You still with me?

Good. Because this is where it gets interesting. This is the opportunity you have to really show that you’re an expert in your field and the right person for the job. There are a few ways you can do this:

Blogs

These are my favourite because blogs never stop performing on your behalf. Unlike Social Media posts or podcast episodes, a blog will rank on Google, be picked up for search terms and if it’s on a timeless, rather than trending topic, it will perform for years following your writing it.

There are many places you can go to look at what subjects to write about to attract your audience:

Keyword research

Use a website like Answer The Public to find out which search terms people are using. This will allow you to create content which answers the most asked questions in your field.

Ask your audience

Try to narrow it down from ‘what would you like to know?’ To ‘what would you like to know about X?’ For example, as a website designer I may ask ‘what would you like to know about WordPress themes?’ Or ‘what would you like to know about shop websites?’

Competitor research

You can also look at what your competitors are writing about and offer your knowledge, experience and your own take on a similar topic. Do not do this on their social media posts, unless they specifically ask you to. Instead look at creating blogs around these topics. Just to be clear - I’m not suggesting your copy or plagiarise your competitors work. If you’re connected to a few experts in the same industry as you, it could be inspiring to see the different takes you all have on similar subjects in your field.

My favourite book for content ideas is Content Fortress by Lindsay Cambridge and Martin Huntbach.

Social Media posts

I will always advocate for you to have your own website over your Social Media channels. There are loads of reasons for this and you can read about it in this post: Why I don't put social links in headers. Once you have your website up and running, having social media accounts to run alongside this is the ideal situation. Social Media helps you to reach an audience who wouldn’t necessarily be looking for your website, it also reaches people who may then refer you to others. For example, as a website designer I work with many copywriters, so it’s not unusual for them to recommend me when they have a client who wants a website.

Posting on Social Media allows you to showcase your expertise, answer your clients questions and position yourself as a great person for others’ to refer for your services, as well as reaching your ideal customers.

Podcasts

Ok, there is so much more that goes into making a podcast successful, than just recording and releasing an audio file. But it can be really useful for creating a bank of information which showcases your expertise, doesn’t date and sits alongside better known experts in your field.

Planning and carrying out a podcast can be just the thing you need to get you through a slump and back to feeling great about your business. You can also schedule in time to listen to podcasts for research, to update your knowledge and learn something new.

Get your admin in order

Are your T&Cs up to date? Is your website privacy policy still relevant? Are your processes simple to follow, rather than convoluted? Use the quiet periods in your business to know that you’ve got absolutely everything up to date and ready to go, for when things do get busier. You can even engage your audience in this process asking on Social Media things like ‘what do you think should be in a privacy policy?’ Or ‘do you know what sections make a contract legal?’ Most people don’t know what the legal hooks are in a contract so it’s an excellent place to share value and show you’re brilliant at running your business because you’re paying attention to these things.

There will always be ups and downs in business

As small business owners, it’s easy to feel affected by changes in the market. Try not to take it personally, it’s not a reflection of you or how good you are, it’s just how it is at that moment. Using your time constructively and showing up anyway is a great for your own morale, as well as reminding people that you’re still there, providing brilliant services and when they’re ready to buy, the chances are they’ll buy from you.

If you’d like to chat about how I can help you to stay positive and position yourself as an industry expert. Or you’d like to talk about strengthening your website so it reflects the value you bring to your clients, book a free, no-obligation call with me using the button below.