• Zoe Barnett

4 marketing tips for small business owners taking a holiday

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Did you know that even small business owners are allowed to go on holiday!? Yes, in fact we are allowed to... dare I say it... switch off (I hope you are reading this in my sarcastic tone). In all seriousness, going on holiday or even just taking a few days off, away from your small business, can do you the world of good. And, it will probably benefit your small business too. So what's the problem? Well, how do you actually manage your small business marketing when you're taking a break?

Zoe marketing expert on holiday while doing online marketing services for small business
Now you don't exactly want to be thinking 'shop' here do you? Well, with some preplanning you CAN switch off and be confident your small business' marketing isn't going to suffer.

Good question!

Taking a break as a solopreneur, entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner

From being present on social media to not missing a week of blogging, there's a few things you need to think about when going on holiday as a solopreneur or small business owner.

Me included! (That's why I'm writing this blog...)

In fact, this week I'm going on holiday! Hoorah! But... I'm a small business owner....

Still 'hoorah!' but not so 'hoorah' on the going-on-holiday-when-you-have-a-small-business-to-look-after front! Eek!

So, in the spirit of entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners being allowed to go on holiday and switch off here are 4 tips to manage your small business marketing when you go on holiday:

(And keep you calm so you CAN enjoy your holiday.)

1. Use scheduler tools for social media posts

Let's start with the obvious - social media automation tools.

I use Hootsuite - but there are lots out there. It's just about what suits you.

With Hootsuite you can schedule all your social posts in advance - set the date, time and off it goes. Oh, and it's free to use for up to three social media accounts.

It requires some work time in advance... but then, you can relax on holiday knowing that your social media is ticking along.

Putting aside a few hours to set up your social media posts on Hootsuite is a great way to KNOW that things will happen while you're not around. Don't worry - it's a free tool too!

2. Draft social media posts in advance

Okay - confession: despite what I've just said above, I am NOT a huge fan of scheduler tools for my own marketing.

Yes, they are super useful if you're on a really long journey (plane travel to Australia for example - no, I'm not paying for on board WiFi - I'm drinking a mini bottle of wine and sobbing over a movie, thanks) but otherwise you will probably find WiFi easily enough.

If your posts are drafted, you can simply hop on Facebook or Instagram and post them through the app.

Instagram has a great 'drafts' feature so you can literally set them up ready to go.

Why do I prefer to draft social media posts but publish live?

Well, it simply boils down to 'authenticity' - that elusive word of the social media work.

Let me explain...

If you actually go on Instagram to publish your post live the chances are you'll hang about for a bit.

So any quick comments that come in, you can easily respond to (remember replying quickly to comments is great for building relationships and increasing engagement).

Related: 5 Instagram habits to boost engagement for your small business account

Bonus tip: try to post your drafts at a good time back home (keep an eye on your Instagram Insights to see what time your posts perform well). Then, use any holiday waiting around time (think airports) to engage with your Instagram community.

Many holidays include not-so-fun waiting around times like airports, train stations and taxi journeys - use this time to get social with your Instagram community.

3. Send a newsletter/ email campaign to your clients

I'm all about being open & transparent in the world of small business marketing.

Simply letting your customers know you'll be away for a bit can be a great way to give yourself peace of mind - and be honest with your customers.

Most (good) clients will always understand - you do need a break! You're not gone forever, after all.

And - it's a great opportunity to market yourself.

Put together a newsletter with your latest 'top tips' as a little 'gift' to your clients before you go away.

Or even post on social media to let your clients know about your exciting plans - and how it will (or won't) affect THEM (remember always talk about them!).

Related: How to write Instagram captions for your small business

Remember: be human, be natural and be YOU - it's funny how well this can work because as humans we are social creatures and bond over these things. There's always a person behind every business - so don't be afraid to show that.

Sending a quick email can be BOOSTED by offering your clients some top tips in the form of a newsletter - think of that little nugget of info to help your clients while you're off!

4. Use your holiday as an opportunity to come up with great content marketing ideas

Have you ever realised that some of the best ideas come to you when you don't actually try?

Gosh, I've dreamed up some of my best ideas while doing the washing up... that I just couldn't make happen when at my desk.

So, use your holiday to give your mind a break - and I imagine that some really good content marketing ideas will come to you when you least expect it.

Bonus tip: pack a notepad and pen or use the 'Notes' section of your phone to jot down those ideas - you can then flesh them out when you get home. And... what a relief it will be to have the idea ready and waiting for you!

Grab a drink (corr look at that pinacolada), take in the views and let your mind wander. Creativity works at its best when it's not forced.

And above all...

Have a wonderful holiday, small business owner!

Yes, taking some time off can feel a bit of a worry when you're a small business owner. There's no point glossing over that!

However, there are a few little things you can do to make it feel less stressful - and ticking 'marketing' off your to-do list can make you feel a lot better.

And of course, holidays aren't the only time when you need to get organised with your marketing.

Sometimes even your business doing very well can distract from your marketing!

Woman in knit store to demonstrate working on content marketing as part of marketing strategy
Are you working 'in' your business every day? Or do you dedicate time to working 'on' your business?

Get help with your small business marketing

Are you feeling a little flustered with your marketing?

Not sure what to do? And when to do it?

And how to fit the time in to actually get it done?

Don't worry - you aren't the only one. And you can get some help.

I can help you get on track, get organised and make your marketing work hard for your small business (even during your holiday).

So you can be a happier, healthier... and a more successful small business owner.

Get in touch to find out more - I'd love to chat, learn about your small business and see how I can help you.

Zoe Barnett of Zo Connected - helping small businesses with their online marketing and content marketing in Cheshire
I'm based in Northwich Cheshire but can help small businesses all over the UK with their online & content marketing.