Summer is over. For me, it was a lovely one because having enjoyed a warm and sunny June, July and August (a bit too warm on one occasion to be honest, when the mercury hit 41 degrees!) I was away for the whole of September. But I remained visible online!
I can’t believe it even as I type… A whole month off!
Over the summer, here on LinkedIn, there were lots of posts about taking a break, refreshing, replenishing, self-care and all the other ‘coach stuff’ that we value so highly. There were also lots of ‘taking our own advice and unplugging’ comments on those posts.
Here’s the thing – as a small business owner, you can unplug, once you’ve planned to unplug.
Planning Is Key
I’m much more an ‘organised chaos’ kind of person than I am a planner, but if I wanted to take the longest holiday of my life, I had to give in and plan.
The piece that’s the most important part of the planning is the marketing.
If I wanted to disappear and trot around Europe for a month, my business needed to appear to continue as if I was still there. Why? Because our audience is not the same as our clients. Our clients understand that we’re off and that we’ll be back, our audience – where our potential clients sit – does not.
For our audience, if we just stop for a month, we disappear for them. Out of sight is really out of mind for our audience when we are simply one option among many, no matter how good we are, or how perfect for them we are, if we disappear, they will forget us.
I’ve mentioned this acronym before, but it’s worth mentioning again here.
A = Awareness
I = Interest
D = Desire
A = Action
Your potential clients don’t know that you exist, and so your job as the owner of a coaching business is to make yourself visible to your potential clients, by being where they are.
When you become visible, you slowly start moving these potential clients along the AIDA path – and towards you. You literally attract them to you. The thing is that if they are in the fir A or I stage (awareness or interest) and you vanish, they won’t notice. They’ll forget about you.
Stay Visible Or You Will Be Starting From Scratch
When you return, refreshed from your holiday, you will not be carrying on from where you left off, you will be starting again, almost from scratch with the A and I people.
Worse still, if there are others out there who have a similar ideal client and they were visible when you were not, they will have attracted the very people you were attracting.
In his book The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson explains that there is no such thing as maintaining the status quo by doing nothing. You are constantly doing one of two things. Either moving towards your goal, or moving away from it. He uses an analogy of practising the piano. If you stop, you don’t maintain the same level of prowess – that can only be maintained by daily practise. No, you simply get a little bit worse every day, and so it is with your marketing.
The Moral Of The Story To Stay Visible
Do not stop!
Make sure that you have written enough marketing content to cover the time you’re away. Marketing is a process, not an event, therefore it’s ongoing. Either schedule your posts or give them to your VA to post for you while you’re gone.
I’m not saying don’t have a holiday, I’m saying don’t waste all the hard work you’ve done up until the point you leave by simply vanishing for a month (in my case).