How to Pivot Your Business: Part Three

This is the second installment in a three-part series to help you pivot your business.  Check out the first article on planning, the second on launching, and subscribe to get more great articles like this!

Part Three:  Marketing

Just because you made announcements and informed your customer base doesn’t mean your work is done.  In fact, there are a lot of people that probably missed your launch event, many more who will continue to think of your business in its former form, and an entire new target market that hasn’t heard of you yet.

Here are some methods for marketing your pivot.  Expect to market your pivot for at minimum of six months after launch.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is everywhere — which is why it is such a powerful marketing tool.  Even if this is not your #1 marketing platform, I still recommend using it.  Marketing on FB means you’re able to narrow down to your exact demographic, and even to those who have already liked your Page or been to your website.  This is a good way to stay in front of ‘your people’.

Business Associations

Do you have a LocalFirst association in your area?  What about a Chamber of Commerce newsletter?  If you’re a startup, what incubators or organizations might cover your pivot?  What about your Alma Matter’s graduates newsletter?  All of these are fantastic places to make an announcement of this caliber.  Lay out a calendar of organizations that will promote the pivot so you don’t use them all at once.

Email Newsletter

Don’t forget that you have a captive audience that already loves you in your email list.  At least, you should.  Even though they already have been privy to the pivot survey, pivot announcement, and launch party, not all may have gotten the message.  In fact, an average of 25% opens and views for an email campaign is considered really good.  That means at least 75% of your customer base may not even realize the pivot happened!  So remind them at the 90 day mark and the six month mark.  Frame it as a curtesy update, and invite them to get involved to check out the new system / product / etc.

Talk To Your Vendors

If you have a physical product, then you have vendors.  Or if you make a physical product for someone else (ie. brochure design), you definitely have suppliers to talk to.  Did you think to update them on your internal changes?  If not, get on it.  It’s never too late to fill in the picture.

Talk To Your Colleagues / Partners / Friends

I have a lot of entrepreneurial friends in my life.  We tend to find each other.  Guess what my biggest mistake was when I pivoted my business:  not telling my friends and colleagues.  Seriously.  Halfway through the year I had a conversation with a buddy and colleague who owns an IT company.  His business doesn’t necessarily interact with mine, but he does bump shoulders with business owners who need website support.  Except he didn’t know that we’d switched from website design to website support.  I’d lost out on the new kind of business I’d been hoping for!  That’s a lesson one only needs to learn once.

Mention It When Networking

Don’t assume that you’ve said it enough.  When you shake hands with someone at an event — old acquaintance or stranger — and they ask you what you do, or how it’s going, be sure you mention your business’ pivot.  You can be vague:  “Oh, good.  We went through a pivot three months ago, and it’s been fun.”  Their response will inevitably be a question about the pivot’s direction.  If you know you’ve mentioned the pivot to the person before, then make an update statement instead, still jogging their memory that the pivot happened.  Everyone is dealing with their own stuff, and even someone you see often may forget.  Heck, I think my partner has even forgotten.

What else has worked for you?