When the fish are biting, go all in.

That’s my motto when it comes to marketing a service-based business on the web.

I get a lot of business owners who come to me when things are “slow”.

Maybe they have a typical annual uptick such as a tax season, a holiday rush or seasonal work. Or maybe their business is just cooling down and they need some fresh new leads.  Problem is, at this point, it is the worst time to start to think about marketing. Yikes!

I get it, it’s easy to focus on marketing when there’s time to well… focus. The problem is, the time to market your services are when the fish are biting. Not the opposite.   Even if you’re worried about potentially over-extending yourself, there’s always the ability to hire additional help or schedule work based on needs and priorities.

This can also answer the proverbial “I wish I had better clients”.  Marketing during busy times will also allow the service provider to be a bit more selective on which clients to service rather than going after any fish in the sea.

Expect a natural flux in demand; prepare for slow times.

Whether search engine optimization (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), search-based marketing is contextual. Meaning searchers are looking for products and services typically because of a current need.

  • They need to get their taxes done.
  • They need to get a tooth cleaning by the end of the benefits year.
  • They want to paint their house before winter sets in.

Example, Google Search Trends for Taxes:

Google Search Trends - A lot more searches for taxes in Q1 vs rest of year.

Google Search Trends – A lot more searches for taxes in Q1 vs rest of year.


We can’t necessarily make people search for products and services when they simply don’t need them.  Marketing in “off times” should be consider branding opportunities or making to new prospects aware of your existence for when they do need your services.

Digital Marketing comes with planning.

Don’t get me wrong.  It makes a lot sense to build plans and strategy during down time.  I’m completely on board with this but what I’m trying to point out is the time to get aggressive with your lead gen strategy, aka budget, is when your products and services are in-demand.

So the next time you feel that you’re about to enter a “busy streak” this is the time to go all in and capture the right business.  If anything, this will allow you to have more prospects in your database for remarketing when the demand begins to cool.

Special thanks to @maloneyrocks for the graphic!