The end of the year is coming to a close, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking….”But, I still have so much I want to achieve!”

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to use the busyness as an excuse to do nothing. Some companies adopt the “wait til January” approach. I think you can do better than that.

Regardless of how much you justify the lack of activity, you still have more than 30 days left to make this year count. Use this as a chance to establish some momentum, so that when January does roll around, you’re already in motion (kinetic energy, it’s a beautiful thing).

If you do NOTHING else in the next 30 days, believe me….. you can do these 5 things. They’re simple and can be completed in a short amount of time. Or, you could hire someone to help you complete these (I can help, but trust me, you can do this!).

1. Survey Your Customers.

We’re not talking about a 50-question survey that dives into the history of their buying preferences, their company needs for the next 5-10 years, or even their loyalty (or lack thereof) to your sales team.

A short 5-7 question survey can provide valuable feedback that allows you to measure the level of engagement you have with your customers. You can learn what their pain points are, and how you can increase the value of your relationships. Plus – services like SurveyMonkey.com make it super simple!

survey-monkey-free-survey-tool

Below I’ve pasted a list of sample questions you could consider including in your end of year survey:

  • How long have you been a customer of Company XYZ?
  • Why do you continue to work with us at Company XYZ?
  • Are you facing any particular challenges in your business? (describe)
  • What keeps you up at night?
  • What tools or resources might make your job easier?
  • If you could snap your fingers and make something instantly happen to grow your business, what would it be?
  • How could we knock your socks off with outstanding customer service?
  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • What ideas have you tossed around in marketing your business, but just haven’t had the time to implement?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to refer our company to your friends and family?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how great of a holiday cookie baker are you?

Sprinkling a few fun questions in there provide opportunities to capitalize on non-traditional promotions. For example – what if their favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day? You could certainly make a big deal out of that. Plus, it reminds them that you’re human.

If your brand isn’t very casual or personable (which has me asking, why wouldn’t it be?) in its marketing, you could just leave those out!

2. Schedule 10-15 social media posts for the rest of the year.

Use a tool like hootsuite or buffer app to write and schedule 10-15 posts that can be shared with your audience on a variety of networks from now until the end of the year. With the holiday hustle and bustle and fiscal year closing, you probably won’t be thinking about social media as much as you could be. So take it off your plate by batching this all together, and scheduling it all at once.

If you’re struggling for WHAT to post, Blogger Michael Hyatt has some great recommendations for the different types of social media posts in one of the latest episodes of his podcast. Click on the graphic below to listen to his recommendations!

Or, like many companies do when they’re in a pinch – highlight the top three themes you want to drive home, and then hire an intern to research good content, write, and schedule the posts. Well worth the money to appear relevant, consistent, and timely in the social space.

3. Shoot one (introductory quality) video.

Cell phone quality cameras are getting so great that there is really no excuse for not having at least one video on a company youtube channel. What’s even better – now that the majority of Americans have access to a smartphone, we actually come to expect homemade movies more than Hollywood dramas on our youtube channels. Use an app like Vine to make a clever video that depicts a service or product you sell. Set up a video camera and simply talk for 30 to 60 seconds about something that your customer would find valuable. In my case, this might be sharing 60 seconds of tips for how to develop great content. You get the idea.

Just start shooting. You can always hire someone from Fiverr to edit the video and add special, fancy pants stuff to it (and for a great price too!).

Check out this Vine video done for Virgin Mobile that shares a funny message and could have easily been done by someone who wasn’t a video expert:

4. Thank your clients/customers.

With thanksgiving approaching, it’s easy to say that we have a mind of thankfulness. But the truth is, we have so many things clammering for our attention that we often make this a short, and uneventful conversation. I’m thankful for you, have a great weekend!

And we say those things to our friends and family – some of whom we may not really feel that thankful for (you know who you are).

But clients, vendors, strategic partners, influencers, referral sources, and others should know that you 1) genuinely care for them 2) appreciate everything they do to make your life a success 3) extend an offer to help them do the same.

It could be a handwritten note or even a short video file –  you be the judge of the delivery. Know that you could audio record all of your thank you notes as you’re driving to a meeting that’s 2 hours away. Then have an intern or other employee write out the notes by hand.

Helpscout has a great blog post on their site about 25 ways to thank your customers. Definitely worth checking out. It includes things like the cookie tin below. Yum!

5. Clean your email list. (puh-lease do this one!)

A company’s email marketing list can easily morph into mess of data and statistics. You have a lot of things there, but you don’t know if you have the right things. Sort of like a closet packed with clothes that don’t fit.

cluttered email marketing

You need to know who is opening your email, who is interacting with it (clicking within in, responding to it), and who could care less.

Marketing is a two way conversation, so why continue to produce content for people who never see it anyway?

Send a short email that asks individuals re-opt in to the news letter list in order to continue to receive content. Those that don’t opt in will be removed from the list.

A 60% engagement rate with 200 people is far better than a 20% engagement rate with 400 people. Plus, when people are engaged, they are likely to share your content with others who have similar interests and goals. Bonus!

Now it’s Your Turn.

What else can you do in the next 30 days to market your business, and set yourself up for success in 2015?

I’m all ears. Leave me a note – I may even ask you to write a post about it!