Where are you at in your business? Are you in those glorious early stages, where everything is bright on the horizon? Or have you been at it a while and are feeling like things have plateaued?
Wherever you are right now, I think we can all agree that running a business isn’t always fun and exciting. Every day doesn’t feel like a win and there are still great lessons to be learned through the losses. Every business owner struggles with down seasons.
So what can you do to get out of a rut when you’re feeling stuck? You know, the days when everything seems dull, and you just don’t know where to go from here.
We all have those seasons where we feel our marketing efforts are stuck in a rut. We don’t know how to grow things further to see improvement. Our plateau is overwhelming and there’s no end in sight.
That’s when it’s more important than ever to refocus and decide what changes you need to make. As your business scales, you have a choice. You can grow it and make it easier on yourself, or you can settle.
We choose the former.
So, how do you go about it? How can you refocus and grow when you feel stagnant? Keep reading, and we’ll show you exactly how to get out of a rut, and get your business thriving again.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask
There may come a time when you feel like all your strategies are failing. Your cost-per-click is skyrocketing and there doesn’t seem to be any real movement. That’s when you need to take some time to write down a few questions. The nature of those questions depends on whom you should ask.
Ask Your Customers
If you want to know how to get out of a rut, there’s no better place to start than with your customers.
Without demand, the supply is pointless. That’s why it’s essential that you consider your customers when it comes to marketing and scaling your business. Just ask them what they think, and you’ll be amazed at how willing they are to lend an opinion.
Time and time again, we hear about the importance of being customer-centric. That refrain goes on and on for a reason. More than ever, our clients should know that they are more important than our bottom line. Why? Because without them, we have no bottom line.
Reaching out to your customers can be as simple as generating a poll on social media. You can ask a question about what media type catches their attention the most and offer options like video, text, or image. Take time to evaluate which platforms your clients are most inclined to use. Or you can look at the open rates on your newsletters and try spicing up the subject lines.
This may be asking customers outright or trying split ads to gauge their preferences. Whichever option you choose, a lot of progress can be made in your marketing by showing the humility to ask.
Ask Your Competitors
Another great source to show you how to get out of a rut is your competitors.
Now, unless you work in a very competitor-friendly industry, you may not feel comfortable asking them outright. But anyone can study and evaluate how their competitors do business. What are they doing differently than you? How are they thriving?
It’s important to look at established companies in your industry and notice how they respond online. Maybe you want to subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on social media. These are great ways to track how they do business and evaluate how you can do it better.
Even if you can’t pick up the phone and get tips from their marketing department, there’s no reason not to study their methods.
Ask Your Comrades
Hopefully, you also have men and women in your sphere who support your business efforts. These could be family or friends, or maybe other business owners who are willing to help. If they have something to say regarding your marketing strategies, now is the time to listen. It could be a preference on a video title, a question about your product that’s going unanswered, or a new idea altogether.
Allowing others to speak into our business builds vital community rapport. And, it could provide the experience or perspective you are missing to get out of the marketing rut and back on track.
Remember the Early Days
If you really begin feeling anxiety about your marketing, remember the early times. What made you passionate about starting this business? Then ask yourself two very important questions to get clarity on moving forward.
What is Your ‘Why’?
It has become a bit of a cliché, but everyone has to know the ‘why’ of their brand.
Why did you start your business in the first place? Think about what got you going in the beginning.
What did you feel was important to you when you first started it?
What motivates you to keep going every day?
The answer to this question can help propel you forward as you explore how to get out of a rut.
Who is Your ‘Who’?
Another way to look at the problem is to focus on the people you serve. Who needs you to stay in business? Would certain customers or employees be devastated if you disappeared?
Who depends on you? Who are you serving through your product or service?
Knowing who relies on your business is extremely important to keep motivated with your marketing strategy. After all, if your customers love you, think of all the people who don’t yet know how much they need you.
Thrive with a New Plan
Get started with a new plan and work backwards. What does that look like? It starts with asking yourself what you most want or need to accomplish. Then, you can figure out the best way to solve your problem with a marketing strategy.
If your company is having a high rate of abandoned carts, consider how you’re dealing with that. Is your point of sale page difficult to use? Are there slow loading times? Does anything feel like an unnecessary step you can eliminate? When people try to exit the page, do you have a pop-up that prompts them to finish their transaction or offered a coupon code? What about an automated system that sends an email to abandoned cart users who have already added their email address?
This can work for any stage in your selling process. Low conversion rates? Plan a new digital strategy or split test to see how people respond. Low engagement? Ask some questions on social media to prompt your audience to respond. Few repeat customers? Strategize a campaign with an exciting offer.
Sometimes, coming up with a new plan is all it takes to get you out of your rut. Maybe you want something big and all-encompassing to generate sales. But if you’re really hard-pressed for motivation, solving the little things can make a big difference.
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Automate Consistent Content
A great way to get the stress of a marketing rut off your mind is to automate as much of your marketing as possible. Now, you only have to focus on the exciting parts of your digital strategies.
As mentioned in the Plan section, automated emails are a great addition to any marketing strategy. It reminds potential customers about you without you having to do anything. You can automate emails for campaigns, secondary emails for those that weren’t opened the first time. Additionally, you can send reminders for sales or discounts or first time customers, birthday campaigns, whatever you want.
You can automate aspects of your website in response to customer actions. This can be a pop-up call-to-action or a prompt to leave a review of your product.
The great thing about automation is that you can customize it to what your company needs and have it do the work for you. With a bit of effort up front, your marketing can nearly run itself.
Outsource Your Rut
It could be that you’ve tried many of these things and still feel stuck. Maybe your problem lies with ideas and creativity or a lack of function through your website or email system. It could be that you don’t have time to come up with new ideas or learn the technical aspects required to succeed in marketing.
If that’s the case, your best option might be to outsource some help. Getting out of the marketing rut isn’t fun. If you feel stuck beyond repair, a new set of eyes can make all the difference.
When you outsource your marketing, you don’t get someone who knows only your industry. You get someone who understands sales from one person to another person. Marketing agencies will help you not only get out of the rut, but get on track to meet your business goals.
An agency can help with your social media posts, your website, your email content, automation. At Planify, we offer a free session with you to get you out of your marketing ruts. We’ll help you remember just why you got into this business to begin with. We’ll also help you jump-start your plans to accelerate your growth.
[CLICK HERE] to book a FREE strategy session with Planify.
A new plan will help you get out of the rut, but outsourcing to an agency will help you thrive. Now, you can focus on other things. On vacation or taking a day off? Your marketing content is still moving forward.
When you outsource, an agency’s primary focus is your success.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Out of a Rut
As you consider these different routes to get out of your marketing rut, look at your company’s capacity and what seems the most practical. Whatever strategy works best for the people and skills you have available, remember that you aren’t a business selling to customers. You are a person selling to another person. With that as your focus, no rut can get in the way of your success.
Whenever you’re feeling that rut creeping back in, you can always come back and revisit these five principles to get back on track.