Summer is a time when most agencies don’t get a lot of jobs. Many clients see the summer months as a downtime. With all the kids on summer break and the local population out on vacation somewhere, it becomes less of a priority to advertise.
Several agencies have significant shortfalls during the summer months because of the fewer jobs coming in. Surviving the summer can be difficult, but if they plan correctly, they can survive and even come through more profitable at the end of the slower months. But how does an agency turn something like the summer slump around?
To help, 12 associates of Forbes Agency Council share their best tips below.
1. Get Your House In Order
Summers are often slow due to disruptions in the decision-making chain of command — C-Suite on vacation. This is a great time to retool your website, author thought leadership pieces, improve your SEO, update your networking connections, etc. The fall will generally pick up, leaving little time to tend to housekeeping details. – Phillip Davis, Tungsten Branding
2. Focus On Building A Brand
Focus on building a brand and giving value. The best thing to not be slow during a slow season is to prepare by building as strong of a brand as possible so there is no slow season. With a brand established, business will continually flow and referrals will be sent to you. Focusing on delivering as much value as possible is key. Establish yourself as an authority in your industry and people will come to you. – Tony Pec, Y Not You Media
3. Try To Forecast Future Outcomes
The key to surviving a summer slowdown or any slowdown is to be less reactive and more proactive by forecasting future outcomes based on historical data. If any season tends to be slower, then make plans to fill in the gaps. Opportunity always exists but it may require you to think outside of the box. – Don Dodds, M16 Marketing
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
4. Take Stock Of What Worked And Didn’t
A slowdown is agency life is rare so agencies should take advantage of the opportunity to take stock of what worked and what didn’t so far in the year and course-correct as needed. It is also a great time to get to those tasks that fall off the radar in busier periods — update your website, social media assets and marketing collateral, for example. Remember the fall rush is just around the corner. – Valerie Chan, Plat4orm PR
5. Pivot Your Business Model
This is not a usual summer. Things are different this time. Agencies have the biggest opportunity to pivot their business model. Do all those things that you never had the time to do. Start an initiative to see if you can productize your craft within your niche. Instead of chasing the future, create it yourself. Listen to the bright people in your company and follow their lead. – Kashif Zaman, Pivyt
6. Conduct Client Outreach
Although summer is traditionally a slower period, departments such as Client Success or Operations will conduct client outreach to ensure we’re meeting or exceeding their expectations. If needed, we can provide expert consultation, based on real-time metrics, if we see certain trends developing, and make campaign adjustments to help ensure our clients’ goals, ROI and ad spend are maximized. – Ajay Gupta, Stirista
7. Never Stop Marketing
Agencies only become vulnerable to seasonal trends if they seasonally sell and market themselves. Often, particularly in smaller agencies, business development is a high priority in dry spells and a low priority in busy periods. The secret to avoiding a seasonal slump is consistent sales and marketing activity all year round. – Dean Seddon, Maverrik
8. Plan Ahead For The Fall
Use the slower summer months to get ahead on plans for the rest of the year, including preparing timelines, scheduling prep meetings and rehearsals (before calendars fill up), and creating stimulating agendas, content and brainstorming sessions for planned virtual customer engagements and customer advisory board (CAB) meetings. – Eyal Danon, Ignite Advisory Group
9. Flex Your Creative Muscles
Planning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be exciting and inventive! Flex those creative muscles by tapping the internet — your greatest creative asset. Start searching and get inspired, then curate the content you find into a board. This way, you have an idea that you can build out later into a fully-baked concept or pitch, getting a head start on the ideation or decision-making process. – Analisa Goodin, Catch&Release
10. Define A Discounted Campaign
One thing that is helpful is to define a discounted campaign in the summer. That ensures that you are able to essentially have a plan in place to work with all of the slowing months. This ensures that, as you are working through the year, you can implement a strategy that will help you achieve success in the slow season. – Jon James, Ignited Results
11. Back Employee Community Projects
Our team has been energized by recent social movements. We’re channeling this energy into backing employee passion projects geared toward supporting our communities through efforts like improving social justice equality and providing local bars and restaurants with free signage reminding New Yorkers to wear masks and social distance. – Elliott Phear, Night After Night
12. Donate Time And Skills To A Charity
One way to combat a lull is to do some good in the world. Choose a charity you believe in and donate some hours in a way that drives your goals and theirs. Try some new marketing of your own. See if you can be a guest on a popular podcast in the space. Craft some articles for LinkedIn or Medium and share them with your contemporaries. If your business is slow, try giving back and doubling down. – Jason Fishman, Digital Niche Agency (DNA)
Go to Source
Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member