Ep. 025 The Summer Slump: 6 Ways Virtual Assistants Can Make the Most of a Slow Season
One reason that I decided to launch my membership site in the summer is because I knew that my client work would die down a little bit during June and July. I know that my clients love to launch their programs in the late fall and winter and that they usually take the summer to travel and relax. But this knowledge comes from experience: if you are a brand new virtual assistant you might be a little bit taken off-guard by the summer slump. So I want to share 6 ways you can make the most of a slow season.
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Get Your Business in Tip-Top Shape -
As you guys know, when I started my virtual assistant business, I dived right in without much preparation. I didn’t take the time to get all of my ducks in a row in the very beginning. And so, about 6-months in to my business, I kind of felt like I was building a plane as it was flying. I was creating processes on the fly, getting behind on my bookkeeping, and just generally feeling like a hot mess. But during my first summer as a virtual assistant, I noticed that things lightened up so I used that time to get my ish together. A slow season is a great time to make an appointment with an accountant if you haven’t done that yet. This is the time to finish building that website. Have you wanted to put together a portfolio? Use your downtime to do that. Want to streamline your onboarding system? Get your Dubsado account up and running. Slumps like this can often be a blessing in disguise. Time spent doing housekeeping in your business is never wasted time. It will pay off again and again down the line.
Add a New Service to Your Roster -
So maybe a lot of your clients have dropped off this summer, but you still have that one that is full steam ahead. Now is a great time to test out a new service on them! If you’ve been thinking about adding Pinterest management to your repertoire, ask your client if they’d be interested in a trial. You can use this slow time to hone new skills and increase your role with existing clients. After all, your clients might want to take advantage of a slower season in THEIR business by adding a new marketing strategy or getting ahead in creation for the year. This is a great time for you to help them fill in the gaps.
Get Ahead on Content Creation for Your Own Business -
We all know how hard it can be to stay consistent with creating social media content and blog content for our own websites and businesses when we’re constantly hard at work for our clients. So batching out content creation is a great way to use your extra time this summer. Here’s what I recommend: make a list of 6 blog posts (1 a month for the rest of the year!), create deadlines for each of them to hold yourself accountable, and get to writing! You can use content from each of those 6 blog posts to create 5 or 6 social media posts. And before you know it, you’ll be MONTHS ahead on your content creation and not have that nagging thought in your head. Trust me when I tell you that it is soooo much easier to create a block of content all at once than to constantly be trying to create on the fly. And why not make it a little more fun by writing those blog posts at the beach or in a fun new coffee shop in your town? It is summer, after all.
Vision for the Future -
When we’re busy with our clients, we can quickly fall into a grind. Before we know it, our clients are more in control of our business than we are. So I want to encourage you to use this summer to regroup and map out the future of your business. Do you plan on transitioning into an online business manager role with your clients? Map out that transition from start to finish, listing out all the steps you need to take to make it happen. Then put those steps into a Trello or Asana board with deadlines. Or maybe you want to shift your niche or focus it a little more. Evaluate what would need to change with your current clients in order to make your business match your vision more. Create a vision board and display it in your workspace. Use this time to dream. And while you might be thinking that this sounds silly, it’s actually what will keep you moving in your business both from a motivational perspective and a financial perspective. Smart entrepreneurs should be continually planning for the future and planning out next steps. This summer slump is a great time to make that happen!
Test Out New Prospecting Strategies -
If you didn’t plan ahead for this slump, you might be scrambling to make up the lost income! First: take a deep breath. Now: Strategize. If your old ways of prospecting weren’t bringing in your dream clients, now’s a great time to get creative and think outside the box. Maybe this is the time that you’ll actively seek out your dream clients and write them a cold-pitch email. Maybe this is a great time to connect with local businesses that you already frequent by dropping in with a box of donuts and a flyer with your services. Maybe this is the time to utilize LinkedIn for all it’s worth, (it can be an INCREDIBLY powerful tool.) Try out new marketing strategies that you didn’t have the time or energy to invest in during the busy fall and spring. You might be surprised by the quality of clients that you attract when you shift into a more intentional energy.
I know I just shared a million ways for you to spend your time, but sometimes the most productive thing you can do is rest. I especially recommend this strategy if you are on the verge of burn-out, telling yourself you’d rather just get a job, or if you experience a lot of anxiety during busier seasons. Use this time to perfect your systems and processes….of self-care. Create a non-negotiable morning routine. Read a book that’s not business or marketing related. Paint your daughter’s fingernails (a favorite slow-time pastime of mine.) Put down your phone. Remind yourself that life is full of seasons and it’s okay to enjoy each one for what it is. Things will pick back up again, and you will be so glad that you took this precious time to breathe and relax.
One thing I feel that I should definitely mention is that you should prepare for these slow times by setting aside a good portion of your monthly income. That way if you do unexpectedly lose a client or have a major dip in hours, you can enjoy that time without the anxiety of financial instability.
And hey, another great way to make use of this slow time is to hang out with us in The Support Squad Hangout on Facebook. Just like my Instagram stories, I’m also making a commitment to show up live in there a couple of times a week. So bring your questions, bring your support for other VAs, bring your good memes, and join us in there. I’ll see you there. Until next time, boss babe.