Summer is here, but it seems many of your potential clients are not. When you get the response “I’ll be on vacation until…” one too many times, it’s easy to become discouraged about summertime marketing. But fear not, there’s plenty you can do to build your business in the summer months. Here are ten cool ideas for what to do while the weather is hot.

1. Network with colleagues. Many of your colleagues may be experiencing a slow time as well. This is the perfect opportunity to set up lunch, coffee, and phone dates to network with others who serve the same target market and build your referral base.

2. Attend some events. Look for networking opportunities in your local area that will allow you to make contact with folks in your niche. Summer calendars often include awards celebrations, fundraisers, golf tournaments, launch parties, expos, and other events with an element of fun.

3. Take time for projects. Tackle some of the important-but-not-urgent marketing projects you never seem to have time for. Update your ezine, revise your website copy, launch a blog, expand your social media networks, or implement a new contact management system.

4. Book speaking gigs for fall. Associations, networking groups, and brown bag lunch programs are lining up speakers now for their fall meetings. Compose descriptions of two or three topics that capture your expertise and reach out to program chairs, group leaders, and hosts.

5. Write that book. You’ve always wanted to write a book, right? Two slow months could give you plenty of time to write an ebook, workbook, white paper, case study, or other compilation of your words of wisdom. Not into writing? Record a series of audios or videos instead.

6. Make a special offer. Encourage clients to work with you now by offering an incentive. Discounts aren’t always the best choice for professionals, so consider get-acquainted offers like free consultations or demonstrations, and bonuses like extra sessions or add-on services.

7. Reconnect with former clients. It may not be the best time to connect with new prospects or get new projects started, but not everyone is on vacation. Take this opportunity to rekindle old relationships. Contact former clients by phone or email and find out what’s new in their world.

8. Schedule now for later. With the always-in-touch state of communications today, your prospects may still be connected even when out of the office or away from home. When you leave a message or send an email or text, suggest making an appointment for when they return.

9. Take a class, read a book, make a plan. Not sure what’s the best thing to do about marketing? This may be an excellent time to learn and strategize. Participate in a workshop or coaching group, read a sales or marketing book, or create a customized marketing plan.

10. Take time off yourself. Remember that you deserve a break this summer, too. Be sure to schedule your own vacation time. Reconnect with family and friends, with nature, or with yourself. Building your business is always easier once you’re rested and restored.

Summertime may be slow for business, but it doesn’t have to be a dead zone. Take steps to bring your marketing alive, and you’ll see more changes than just the weather by the time fall gets here.

C.J. Hayden, MCC, CPCC, is the author of the bestseller Get Clients Now! A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches, Since 1992, she's been helping entrepreneurs survive and thrive. C.J. is the author of five other business how-to-books, and has taught marketing at Mills College and John F. Kennedy University. Find out how you can work with C.J. as your business coach or strategic advisor or attend one of her upcoming programs.

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