Welcome to Winter!

I’ll be honest, it’s not really my favourite time of the year. My enthusiasm and energy tend to follow the sun, and we don’t get a lot of that here in Winter.

While relocating to Queensland for 3 months every year would be the ideal option, for the past few years I have been exploring other Winter survival methods. This year I discovered the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hooga”), which the Danes use to get through their long, dark Winters. It usually refers to cosiness and closeness with family and friends, which I will certainly be implementing at home – toasty fires, hot chocolates, candlelight, playing board games… that type of thing.

But after a recent conversation about “heart” businesses within my Mastermind Group, I wondered if hygge could also be applied to our businesses. After all, the pure essence of hygge means “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people” – something I certainly want within in my biz.

Here are 3 marketing ideas to bring some extra warmth into your biz.

Take a Testimonial Time Out

As you probably know, testimonials are gold! However, you have most likely realised how hard it can be to ask for them. So it makes sense that the small business owners you support find it hard to ask for them too.

Why not take an hour or so out from your business each week, or set aside a whole day, and write testimonials for all the small businesses you love?

Look at any existing testimonials they already have on their website or brochures and see if you can add a different perspective or highlight another product or service they offer. You could even contact them to find out what kind of testimonial they are really after. If they use images with their testimonials, make sure you also supply your best headshot.

Not only are doing something wonderful for the businesses you love to support, but testimonials also help to raise your profile and may even provide precious backlinks to your website. So it’s a win all round!

Thank your Customers

The end of Financial Year gives us a great excuse to do something a little special for our customers mid-year to let them know we appreciate them – away from the stress and rush of the Christmas silly season.

Here are a few ideas, just to get you going. I’m sure you could think of many more!

  • Send out thank you cards.
  • Run a customer-exclusive giveaway.
  • Hold a free workshop to help them prepare for the second half of the year.
  • Celebrate with a party.

In the privacy of your own office, you can also perform a private Gratitude ceremony. Focus on each of your customers one by one if you know them personally, (or your real life avatar as a representative if not) and be grateful that they have chosen to share their money with your business. You might like to prepare a gratitude sheet, write their names on it and put it in a prominent place so that you can do this regularly (mine is on my magnetised whiteboard).

Share some BizBuddy Love

Even if they are not customers or suppliers, your BizBuddies are an important part of your tribe. They are a vital referral network for your business – and you are equally important to them.

So help them along with their businesses.

  • Share their blog posts, articles and special offers to YOUR network.
    Remember to keep your ideal customers and other tribe members in mind though. It maybe more appropriate to target specific people or to share with your personal network rather than your business tribe.
  • Like, Comment and Share their social media posts to help them get greater reach – especially in Facebook.
  • Endorse their skills in LinkedIn
  • If you honestly believe they are the right fit, refer them to others. But please don’t feel that you are obliged to refer someone just because they are part of your business group. Your reputation is at stake, so you need to super-sure they will be the right person for the job.

Do a little bit each day or week, putting a little more “heart” into your business, and hopefully Winter will fly by! Certainly, you will feel a lot better for it, and quite possibly, you will receive some extra biz love in return.

Image: I’m spreading a little BizBuddy love myself here… these gorgeous Gratitude cards are produced by one of members, Merryn Padgett, from Earth & Sea Creative. You can purchase them here.