Last week I came back from two weeks of holiday. Before I went away, I had decided that I was going to take a real break. No scheduling of tweets, posts or newsletters to make it look like I was still working. No checking in. Just silence from me.
Before I left, I sent an email to my newsletter list telling them exactly that.
And I stuck to my guns.
When I returned I felt as though I had left my work mojo in a Namibian desert. Getting started was hard. I knew I needed to send out a newsletter and crank up the social media marketing again, but I was sorely lacking inspiration. For someone whose speciality is writing, I was lost for words.
Eventually, with no great ideas coming to me, I simply wrote a short email that told my subscribers that I was back and I included a list of the different ways I could help them. Nothing fancy. Nothing super creative, just a list of my services saying that I was available if they needed help.
I hit send and looked at my holiday snaps for a while.
Less than a week after sending that email I have made over £2000 in sales and I am booked solid for the next couple of weeks.
So what's the lesson here? Three key learnings:
1. Be unavailable occasionally
There's a saying, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' This flies in the face of all marketing advice that says you have to keep your visibility up all the time. And it goes against the gut instinct of most hard-working entrepreneurs who are programmed to be always on, always available.
Yes your marketing should be consistent, but making yourself unavailable every now and then makes people realise that they actually need you. It's why people who run successful membership clubs or training programmes only open up enrolment at certain times. So don't be afraid to step away every now and then. Just remember to tell people. Make it a conscious absence rather than a silent disappearing act.
2. Tell people that you're back and open for business
It's easy to return from a holiday or absence and assume that because your 'out of office' is switched off and you're being active on social media again that people know you are available to take on new work. This isn't always the case. Remember, they are busy and may not even have noticed that you've been gone. So tell them that you're back and ready to help them.
3. Remind people of what you do
We are often so busy thinking of clever content that we forget that some people aren't actually all that familiar with what we do. Even those who do know your business well can benefit from an occasional reminder. This can be a very simple list stating clearly what you do and how you can help them. It seems so blindingly obvious, but when last did you let your clients know specifically how you could help them?
So to recap:
1. Tell people you're going away and be properly away
2. Tell people you are back and open for business
3. Remind them how you can help them
Take a look at my services to find out how I could help you.