Going for a big finish: How to make the most of the remaining months of 2023

By Rebecca Hoffman

Every year passes too quickly in the marketing world. And there is a seemingly ever-expanding constellation of marketing tools and tactics that should be considered by the small business marketer.

The array of choices is simply dazzling.

Now that we are well into the fourth quarter, it is the right time to think about how to finish as big as possible. Every marketer wants to drive toward the strongest revenues, the greatest number of prospective clients, the healthiest pipeline of customers, and so on.

You can do five things right now to encourage your company's success this year.

• Choose one or two social media channels and really use them. Review the information that is visible on your selected social channel profiles. Draft a fast-moving plan to publish steady, good, authentic content. Make sure it is varied so that you can see what truly resonates with your audience. Consider making short videos and sharing those to see the contrast with still photos and links to great content. Work hard each day between now and year-end to have meaningful social interaction with your stakeholders on these platforms and encourage people to celebrate your products or services.

• Audit your print collateral today. What materials do you presently have to give to customers? Everything from business cards to letterhead to annual reports to one-sheets should be included in the print collateral audit. Ask yourself, and your close advisers, if these elements look great. Do they speak correctly about your brand and services? Do they foster a sense of enthusiasm for your business? If the answer is yes, congratulations. Now ensure you are getting these items into the hands of people who care to see them. If the answer is no, it is time to refine the designs and prepare for the start of 2024. There are always opportunities for improvement in print communications.

• Make a list of your greatest sources of referral. These are the people who are sincere evangelists about your business. Make a point to invite each of them to coffee, lunch, or dinner to thank them and explore ways you might further deepen your connections. Word-of-mouth marketing is a total gift from them, and your reputation greatly benefits from their generosity. Take time now through the end of the year to acknowledge these fans. Aside from this being an important activity, it is a fun one.

• Consider the photos you present of you, your associates, your offices, and your products. Do your photos look smashing? Do they appear authentic? Fall is an incredible time to have new photos taken partly because the light can be just right outside and the autumn colors, if you choose them as a natural backdrop, add a refreshing texture to imagery. If you don't love the photos you are using to promote your business hire a skilled photographer, make a list of the types of images you want to create, and create them.

• Online reviews are worth gold, be sure to solicit them. You've probably read reviews on Google, Yelp, or other platforms. Reviews guide consumer decision-making. Be sure to solicit reviews from customers as their candid ratings will help others choose your business. On the chance you receive a negative or poor review, pay heed, respond to the comments, and use these insights to improve the customer or client experience. When you are actively campaigning for reviews, odds are good that most will be excellent and when that one disappointed review comes along you have an opportunity to correct the matter and demonstrate how much you care for your customers.

The next couple of months are always incredibly busy for marketers and for small businesses. There are plenty of meaningful, lower-cost tactics to help your business finish in the biggest possible way. I wish you many successes in the coming months. You can do it!

Rebecca Hoffman is the founder and principal of Good Egg Concepts, a strategic communication and brand marketing consulting practice serving clients around Chicagoland and nationally.

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