By Shannon Willoby

It’s too hot to go outside in many parts of the country right now – so why fight it? Take advantage of the indoor sabbatical we call summer by devoting your time and energy to promoting your products instead. Grab your computer and an ice-cold drink, and let’s get started!

1. Create Themed Gift Guides and Product Collages

Go beyond the basic product photo this summer by creating eye-catching gift guides and collages to share on social media, your blog, and through email marketing. Give your collages/gift guides a summer theme to resonate with your customers’ immediate seasonal wants and needs.

Here are some ideas:

  • If you sell children’s clothing, create a ‘back to school’ collage that features some of your cutest outfits.
  • If you make candles, create a ‘scents of summer’ collage that features any summer fragrances you offer, like ocean and floral.
  • If you sell home decor, create a ‘pool party’ or ‘BBQ essentials’ collage that features a few of your summer pieces.
  • If you sell jewelry, create a ‘summer birthday’ gift guide featuring some of your best-sellers.

Include a link to your online store or website where customers can purchase the items they see in the collage. (Link the image itself if you’re using the collage in email or on your blog.)

P.S. PicMonkey and Canva are free photo-editing sites where you can easily make professional-looking collages.

2. Try a Blogger Outreach Campaign

No matter what you sell, I’ll bet somebody out there is blogging about it — or at least blogging about your industry. And your mission now is to find these influencers because they just might be your secret weapon to avoiding the summer sales slump.

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Do a search for lifestyle bloggers (or fashion, gamer, pets, beauty, etc.) and create a spreadsheet to keep track of the ones you’re interested in. (You’ll also use this spreadsheet to keep track of which bloggers you contact and any replies you receive.)
  • Add the name of the blog, the name of the editor/primary writer(s) you can find, and any social media following numbers you can locate.
  • Analyze the data to decide which bloggers you want to reach out to first.
  • Take a look at a few of their posts, too. How many shares do they get? How many comments? Do they have engaged social followers? If not, move on to ones that do.

Once you have a list of a few bloggers you’d like to reach out to, follow these tips for a successful outreach campaign:

  • Draft an email that sells your product, your business, and yourself. (Be persuasive and professional.) Call the editor by name if possible and explain what you like about the blog and why your product would be a good fit for its readers. (Please also call the blog by name — and make sure you’ve spelled it correctly.) Share a brief bio of yourself and your business too — include links to your website and any social accounts where you’re active.
  • Clearly state what you’re offering — maybe it’s one of your products for free in exchange for a review of it (but be prepared that there’s no guarantee the blogger will write something favorable). You may also want to provide an additional product for free so the blogger can hold a giveaway on their blog. (And be sure to provide a promo code for X amount off to entice the rest of the readers to buy.)
  • Proofread your email before sending and run it through a quick spell-check, too.
  • Update your spreadsheet with ‘contacted’ for each blogger you send an email to and continue to do this with any responses you receive.

A blogger outreach campaign — even if it’s small scale — can help you get more sales this summer and hopefully some return buyers too.

3. Conduct an Online Store Audit

If you want to increase your sales, you might need to look at what you’re currently doing in addition to trying new promotional mediums like the ones described above.  \But the key to improving sales with this tactic is to be honest with yourself. If there are areas you can improve in, don’t let your pride get in the way. Audit the following components of your online store/website:

  • Product photos: Are your photos blurry, distracting, dark, or unattractive in any way? Make a plan to replace them as soon as possible if so (because we all know bad photos don’t equal buyers). Start with 10 photos a week to make it realistic for you if you have a lot of products.
  • Shipping rates/timeframe: Are you charging too much for shipping? Or are you promising to ship within 2 days but often taking up to 7? Get your ship together and revise your policy to attract more buyers.
  • Product pricing: Are you charging too much that it’s making no one want to buy from you? Are you charging too little that it’s making you want to cut corners? Pricing can be tricky — but invest more time into updating your prices to ensure you’re not overcharging (or undercharging!).
  • Product descriptions/titles: How is your writing? Have you checked to make sure your product descriptions and titles are free from grammatical errors and typos? Are your descriptions persuasive and filled with all the details that turn browsers into buyers? Are your titles clear and to the point?
  • Seasonality: Can you offer your handmade bath salts in a beach-inspired scent for summer? Can you create home decor that plays off a current summer trend, like mermaids? Get creative and get more sales.
  • Marketing: If you sell on an online marketplace, you might think the customer will come to you on their own — and you may get some sales this way — but you can’t rely solely on that. What can you start doing to get more sales? What areas have you been neglecting that you could improve upon?

Summer Slump Be Gone!

Who says you have to accept a summer slump?! From eye-catching seasonal collages to fine-tuning your online store, there’s always something you can be doing to help your business succeed.

Use these tips to banish the summer slump from your business and keep your target audience interested (and buying) this summer and beyond!